Read Like A Writer

There are two ways to learn how to write fiction: by reading it and by writing it. Yes, you can learn lots about writing stories in workshops, in writing classes and writing groups, at writers' conferences. You can learn technique and process by reading the dozens of books like this one on fiction writing and by reading articles in writers' magazines. But the best teachers of fiction are the great works of fiction themselves. You can learn more about the structure of a short story by reading Anton Chekhov's 'Heartache' than you can in a semester of Creative Writing 101. If you read like a writer, that is, which means you have to read everything twice, at least. When you read a story or novel the first time, just let it happen. Enjoy the journey. When you've finished, you know where the story took you, and now you can go back and reread, and this time notice how the writer reached that destination. Notice the choices he made at each chapter, each sentence, each word. (Every word is a choice.) You see now how the transitions work, how a character gets across a room. All this time you're learning. You loved the central character in the story, and now you can see how the writer presented the character and rendered her worthy of your love and attention. The first reading is creative—you collaborate with the writer in making the story. The second reading is critical.


John Dufresne, from his book, The Lie That Tells A Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The World's Greatest Books, Vol VIII: Fiction by Arthur Mee, J. A. Hammerton, Eds.

THE WORLD'S

GREATEST

BOOKS

JOINT EDITORS

ARTHUR MEE

Editor and Founder of the Book of Knowledge

J.A. HAMMERTON

Editor of Harmsworth's Universal Encyclopaedia

VOL. VIII

FICTION

MCMX


TABLE OF CONTENTS




SCOTT, SIR WALTER (Continued)
    Quentin Durward
    Rob Roy
    Talisman

SHELLEY, MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT
    Frankenstein

SIDNEY, SIR PHILIP
    Arcadia

SMOLLET, TOBIAS
    Roderick Random
    Peregrine Pickle

STAËL, MME. DE
    Corinne

STENDHAL (HENRI BEYLE)
    Chartreuse of Parma

STERNE, LAURENCE
    Tristram Shandy

STOWE, HARRIET BEECHER
    Uncle Tom's Cabin

SUE, EUGÈNE
    Mysteries of Paris

SWIFT, JONATHAN
    Gulliver's Travels

THACKERAY, WILLIAM MAKEPEACE
    Newcomes
    Virginians
    Vanity Fair

TOLSTOY, COUNT LYOF N.
    Anna Karenina

TROLLOPE, ANTHONY
    The Warden
    Barchester Towers

TURGENEV, IVAN
    Fathers and Sons
    A Nest of Nobles
    Smoke

VERNE, JULES
    Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

WALPOLE, HORACE
    Castle of Otranto

ZOLA, ÉMILE
    Drink

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


SIR WALTER SCOTT

Quentin Durward

In mentioning "Quentin Durward" for the first time Scott speaks of himself as having been ill, and "Peveril" as having suffered through it. "I propose a good rally, however," he says, "and hope it will have a powerful effect. My idea is a Scotch archer in the French King's guard, tempore Louis XI., the most picturesque of all times." The novel, which is by many considered one of the best of Scott's works, was published in June, 1823. It was coldly received by the British public, though it eventually attained a marvellous popularity. In Paris it created a tremendous sensation, similar to that produced in Edinburgh by the appearance of "Waverley." It was Scott's first venture on foreign ground, and the French were delighted to find Louis XI. and Charles the Bold brought to life again at the call of the Wizard of the North. The delineations of these two characters are considered as fine as any in fiction or history.

I.--The Wanderer Meets Louis XI.

It was upon a delicious summer morning that a youth approached the ford of a small river, near the Royal castle of Plessis-les-Tours, in ancient Touraine.

The age of the young traveller might be about nineteen or twenty, and his face and person were very prepossessing. His smart blue bonnet, with sprig of holly and eagle's feather, was already recognised as the Scottish headgear.

Two persons loitered on the opposite side of the small river and observed the youth. "Hark, sir, he halloes to know whether the water be deep," said the younger of the two.

"Nothing like experience in this world," answered the other, "let him try."

The young man receiving no hint to the contrary entered the stream, and to one less alert in the exercise of swimming death had been certain, for the brook was both deep and strong. As it was, he was carried but a little way from the ordinary landing-place.

But the bonnie Scot turned wrathfully on the younger of the strangers for not warning him of the stream, and only the reproof of the elder prevented a violent quarrel.

"Fair son," he said, "you seem a stranger, and you should recollect your dialect is not so easily comprehended by us."

"Well, father," answered the youth, "I do not care much about the ducking I have had, provided you will direct me to some place where I can have my clothes dried, for it is my only suit, and I must keep it somewhat decent."

"For whom do you take us, fair son?" said the elder stranger.

"For substantial burgesses," said the youth. "You, master, may be a money-broker or a corn-merchant."

"My business is to trade in as much money as I can," said the elder, smiling. "As to your accommodation we will try to serve you. It is but a short walk from hence to the village. Let me know your name, and follow me."

"My true name when at home is Quentin Durward," said the youth.

Proceeding along a path they came in sight of the whole front of the Castle of Plessis-les-Tours.

"I have some friend to see in this quarter," said Durward. "My mother's own brother, Ludovic Lesly--an honest and noble name."

"And so it is I doubt not," said the old man. "But of three Leslies in the Scottish Guard two are called Ludovic."

"They call my kinsman Ludovic with the Scar," said Quentin.

"The man you speak of we, I think, call Le Balafré; from that scar on his face," answered his companion. "A proper man and a good soldier. Men call me Maître Pierre--a plain man. I owe you a breakfast, Master Quentin, for the wetting my mistake procured you."

While they were speaking they reached the entrance of the village of Plessis, and presently approached the court-yard of an inn of unusual magnitude.

Maître Pierre lifted the latch of the side door, and led the way into a large room, where arrangements had been made for a substantial breakfast. He whistled and the landlord entered, and bowed with reverence.

Quentin Durward had eaten little for two days, and Maître Pierre seemed delighted with the appetite of the young Scot, who indeed devoured an enormous repast. When his appetite had been satisfied, and the old man had put several questions, the door opened, and a girl, whose countenance, so young and so lovely, was graver, Quentin thought, than belongs to an early beauty, entered with a platter and a cup of delicate workmanship.

"How now, Jacqueline?" said Maître Pierre. "Did I not desire that Dame Perette should bring what I wanted? But I blame thee not, thou art too young to be--what thou must be one day--a false and treacherous thing, like the rest of thy giddy sex. Here is a Scottish cavalier will tell you the same."

But Durward, with the feelings of youth, answered hastily, "That he would throw down his gage to any antagonist, of equal rank and equal age, who should presume to say such a countenance as that which he now looked upon could be animated by other than the purest and the truest mind."

The young woman grew deadly pale, and cast an apprehensive glance upon Maître Pierre, in whom the bravado of the young gallant seemed only to excite laughter.

Jacqueline vanished, and Maître Pierre, after filling a goblet with silver pieces, and bidding Quentin Durward take it and remain in the hostelry until he had seen his kinsman, Le Balafré, also left the apartment.

Within a short time Ludovic Lesly, or Le Balafré (as he was generally known), a robust hard-featured soldier upwards of six feet high, was announced.

Quentin greeted his uncle, and the following day the as taken before Lord Crawford, the commander of the Scottish Archers, the king's bodyguard, and enrolled in that honourable corps as esquire to Le Balafré.

II.--The Scottish Archer

Quentin, accompanying his uncle into the presence-chamber of Louis XI., started so suddenly that he almost dropped his weapon when he recognised in the King of France the merchant, Maître Pierre. No less astonished was he when the king, whose quick eye had at once discovered him, walked straight to the place where he was posted, and addressing Le Balafré, said: "Your kinsman is a fair youth, though fiery. We love to cherish such spirits, and mean to make more than ever we did of the brave men who are around us."

A boar-hunt, wherein the life of Louis was saved from imminent danger by the courage and dexterity of Quentin Durward, brought the young Scot still further into royal favour: "Thou hast begun thy wood-craft well," said the king; "and Maître Pierre owes thee as good an entertainment as he gave thee in the village yonder. I like thee, and will do thee good. Build on no man's favour but mine--not even on thine uncle's or Lord Crawford's, and say nothing of thy timely aid in this matter of the boar, for if a man makes boast that he has served a king in such a pinch, he must take the braggart humour for its own recompense."

So Quentin kept silence discreetly, and was rewarded by a gold chain from the king, by speedy promotion to the rank of free archer, and by being employed to act as sentinel in the private gallery of Louis. And here he once more beheld the young lady whom he had seen at his memorable breakfast, and who had been called Jacqueline. She proved to be the youthful Countess Isabelle, heiress of the rich earldom of Croye, who had fled with her aunt, the Countess Hameline, from the overlordship of the Duke of Burgundy. Had death been the penalty Durward must needs have rendered to this beauty and her companion the same homage which he paid to royalty. They received it as those who were accustomed to the deference of inferiors; but he thought that the young lady coloured slightly and seemed embarrassed.

Occupation and adventure now crowded upon Durward with the force of a spring tide.

Louis, anxious to be on good terms with Burgundy, induced the ladies of Croye to retreat from their concealment at the Court of France, and to place themselves under the protection of the Prince Bishop of Liége. Durward was delighted when the king told him that he was selected, with four others under his command, to escort the Countess Isabelle and her companion to the little court of their relative the bishop, in the safest and most secret manner possible.

They set out at midnight, and Lady Hameline soon interrogated the captain of her escort, and learnt that he was of noble birth.

"Methinks, my cousin," said the Lady Isabelle softly, "we must be safe under this young gentleman's safeguard."

The journey was accomplished, not without perils and hazards, and then four days after the arrival at the bishop's palace, the townsmen of Liége rose in mad revolt, and, led by a ferocious noble, William de la Marck, whom all men called the Wild Boar of Ardennes, overpowered the bishop's guards, and seized the palace. The bishop himself was murdered by De la Marck's orders, in his very dining hall; the Countess Isabelle escaped under Durward's protection, while the Countess Hameline remained to become the wife of the Wild Boar. The son of a burgher with whom Durward had made friends undertook to guide the Countess Isabelle and her companion to the frontiers of Burgundy.

"My resolution is taken," said the young lady; "I return to my native country, to throw myself on the mercy of Charles, Duke of Burgundy."

"And you resolve to become the bride, then, of the Count of Campo-basso, the unworthy favourite of Charles?" said Quentin, who had been told the reason why refuge had been sought with Louis.

"No, Durward, no!" said the Lady Isabelle, "to that hated condition all Burgundy's power shall not sink a daughter of the House of Croye. Burgundy may seize on my lands and fiefs, he may imprison my person in a convent, but that is the worst I have to expect; and worse than that I will endure ere I give my hand to Campo-basso. Ah, Durward, were I your sister, and could you promise me shelter in some of those mountain-glens which you love to describe, where for charity, or for the few jewels I have preserved, I might lead an unharassed life, and forget the lot I was born to, that were indeed a prospect for which it were worth risk of further censure to wander farther and wider!"

The tenderness of voice with which the Countess Isabelle made this admission, at once filled Quentin with joy, and cut him to the very heart.

"Lady," he said at last, "I should act foully against my honour did I suffer you to think I have power in Scotland to afford you other protection than that of the poor arm which is now by your side. Our castle was stormed at midnight, and all were cut off that belonged to my name. Even had the King of Scotland a desire to do me justice, he dared not, for the sake of one poor individual, provoke a chief who rides with five hundred horse."

"Alas!" said the Countess, "there is no corner of the world safe from oppression! No more of Scotland, then; no more of Scotland!"

In the humour of mutual confidence, and forgetting the singularity of their own situation, as well as the perils of the road, the travellers pursued their journey for several hours.

The artificial distinction which divided the two lovers--for such we may now term them--seemed dissolved by the circumstance in which they were placed. For the present, the Countess was as poor as the youth, and for her safety, honour, and life, she was exclusively indebted to his presence of mind, valour, and devotion. They spoke not, indeed, of love, but the thoughts of it were on both sides unavoidable.

It was two hours after noon when a party of De la Marck's banditti appeared, and shortly after a body of men-at-arms under a knight's pennon. The former were soon put to rout by the superiority of the latter, whose banner Countess Isabelle recognised as that of the Count of Crèvecoeur, a noble Burgundian.

"Noble Count!" said Isabelle, as Crèvecoeur gazed on her with doubt and uncertainty, "Isabelle of Croye, the daughter of your old companion in arms, Count Reinold of Croye, renders herself, and asks protection from your valour for her and hers."

"Thou shalt have it, fair kinswoman, were it against a host," said Crèvecoeur. "This is a rough welcome to your home, my pretty cousin, but you and your foolish match-making aunt have made such wild use of your wings of late, that I fear you must be contented to fold them up in a cage for a little while. For my part, my duty will be ended when I have conducted you to the court of the Duke, at Peronne."

III.--A Prize for Honour

The king had ventured, with a small company of his Scottish archers, to be his own ambassador to his troublesome subject the Duke of Burgundy, and Louis and Charles were together at Peronne when the news of the revolt at Liége was brought to them by Crèvecoeur, under whose escort the Countess Isabelle returned to the protection of her suzerain.

The Countess was lodged in the Convent of the Ursulines, and with the Lady Abbess and the Countess of Crèvecoeur attended the presence of the Duke.

In vain Charles stormed and swore that she should marry whom he would.

"My lord," she replied, undismayed, "if you deprive me of my lands, you take away all that your ancestors' generosity gave, and you break the only bonds which attach us together. You cannot dispose the hand of any gentlewoman by force."

The Duke, with a furious glance, turned to his secretary.

"Write," he said, "our doom of forfeiture and imprisonment against this disobedient and insolent minion! She shall to the penitentiary, to herd with those whose lives have rendered them her rivals in effrontery!"

There was a general murmur.

"My Lord Duke," said Crèvecoeur, "this must be better thought on. We, your faithful vassals, cannot suffer dishonour to the nobility and chivalry of Burgundy. If the Countess hath done amiss, let her be punished--but in the manner that becomes her rank and ours, who stand connected with her house."

The Duke paused for a moment, and looked full at his counsellor with the stare of a bull. Prudence, however, prevailed over fury, he saw the sentiment was general in his council, and, being rather of a coarse and violent, than of a malignant temper--felt ashamed of his own dishonourable proposal.

"You are right, Crèvecoeur," he said, "and I spoke hastily. Her fate shall be determined according to the rules of chivalry. Her flight to Liége hath given the signal for the bishop's murder. He that best avenges that deed, and brings us the head of the Wild Boar of Ardennes, shall claim her hand of us; and, if she denies his right, we can at least grant him her lands, leaving it to his generosity to allow her what means he will to retire into a convent."

"Nay!" said the Countess. "Think, I am the daughter of Count Reinold--of your father's old, valiant, and faithful servant. Would you hold me out as a prize to the best sword-player?"

"Your ancestress," said the Duke, "was won at a tourney--you shall be fought for in real melee. Only thus far, for Count Reinold's sake, the successful prizer shall be a gentleman of unimpeached birth, and unstained bearings, but, be he such, and the poorest who ever drew the strap of a sword-belt through the tongue of a buckle, he shall have at least the proffer of your hand. I swear it by my ducal crown, and by the order that I wear. Ha, messires," he added, turning to the nobles present, "this at least is, I think, in conformity with the rules of chivalry?"

Isabelle's remonstrances were drowned in a general and jubilant assent, above which was heard the voice of old Lord Crawford, regretting the weight of years that prevented his striking for so fair a prize.

Le Balafré dared not speak aloud in such a presence, but he muttered to himself:

"Now, Saunders Souplejaw, hold thine own! Thou always saidst the fortune of our house was to be won by marriage, and never had you such a chance to keep your word with us."

The Countess of Crèvecoeur whispered to Isabelle, that perhaps the successful competitor might prove one who should reconcile to obedience. Love, like despair, catches at straws, and the tears of the Countess Isabelle flowed more placidly while she dwelt upon the hope this insinuation conveyed.

IV.--The Winning of the Prize

King Louis and his guards sallied from the gateway of Peronne, to join the Burgundian army under Duke Charles, which commenced at the same time its march against Liége. Ere the troops were fully on march Quentin Durward received from an unknown hand a billet which Lady Hamelin had sent to the Countess Isabelle, mentioning that her William--as she called the Wild Boar--had determined, for purposes of policy, in the first action to have others dressed in his coat-armour, and himself to assume the arms of Orleans, with a bar sinister. Durward had also learnt from other sources that the rebels of Liége hoped to scatter confusion amongst the Burgundians by shouting Vive la France!

The battle began on the night of the arrival of the forces outside Liége, when De la Marck boldly sallied out and attacked the invaders. It was not till daybreak that the Burgundians began to show the qualities which belong to superior discipline, and the great mass of Liégois were compelled to retreat, and at length to fly. Soon the whole became a confused tide of fighters, fliers, and pursuers, which rolled itself towards the city walls, and at last poured into the undefended breach through which the Liégois had sallied.

Quentin had seen the arms of Orleans, and made more than human exertions to overtake the special object of his pursuit. Le Balafré, and several of his comrades, were with him marvelling at the gallantry displayed by so young a soldier. On the very brink of the breach, De la Marck--for it was himself--succeeded in effecting a momentary stand. H mace of iron in his hand, before which everything seemed to go down.

Quentin singled him out, and ascended the ruins to measure swords with the Boar of Ardennes. A shout announced that the besiegers were entering the city at another point, and De la Marck endeavoured to effect a retreat, only to be prevented by Quentin, Le Balafré, and their comrades. De la Marck found his retreat cut off, and bade his lieutenant break through if he could, and escape. "With me it is over," he added. "I am man enough now that I am brought to bay, to send some of these vagabond Scots to hell before me." About six of De la Marck's best men remained to perish with their master, and fronted the archers who were not many more in number.

Quentin had but time to bid his uncle and comrades stand back, when De la Marck sprang upon him with a bound; light of foot and quick of eye, Quentin leaped aside.

They then closed like wolf and wolf-dog, their comrades on either side remaining inactive spectators, for Le Balafré roared out for fair play.

The huge strength of the Boar of Ardennes began to give way to fatigue, so wounded was he, but he fought on unabated in courage and ire, and Quentin's victory seemed dubious and distant, when a female voice behind him called him by his name, ejaculating, "Help! help! for the sake of the blessed Virgin!"

Quentin turned his head and beheld a maiden, who with her family had aided him to escape with Isabelle, dragged forcibly along by a French soldier.

"Wait for me but one moment!" he exclaimed to De la Marck, and sprang to extricate the girl from her dangerous situation.

"I wait no man's pleasure," said De la Marck, flourishing his mace and beginning to retreat.

"You shall wait mine, though, by your leave," said Balafré; "I will not have any nephew baulked." So saying, he instantly assaulted De la Marck with his two-handed sword.

Quentin was obliged to take the defenceless maiden to her father's house, and in the meantime the King and the Duke of Burgundy entered the city on horseback, and ditched orders to stop the sack of the city. When the terrified town was restored to some moderate degree of order, Louis and Charles proceeded to hear the claims which respected the County of Croye and its fair mistress. Doubt and mystery involved the several pretensions of those who claimed the merit of having dispatched the murderer of the bishop, for the rich reward promised brought death to all who were arrayed in De la Marck's resemblance.

In the midst of conflicting claims Crawford pressed forward into the circle, dragging Le Balafré after him. "Away with your hoofs and hides, and painted iron!" cried Crawford. "No one, save he who slew the Boar, can show the tusks!"

He flung on the floor the bloody head, easily known as that of De la Marck, and which was instantly recognised by all who had seen him.

"Crawford," said Louis, "I trust it is one of my faithful Scots who has won this prize?"

"It is Ludovic Lesly, Sire, whom we call Le Balafré," replied the old soldier.

"But is he noble?" said the Duke. "Is he of gentle blood? Otherwise our promise is void."

"I will warrant him a branch of the tree of Rother, as noble as any house in France or Burgundy," said Crawford.

"There is then no help for it," said the Duke; "and the fairest and richest heiress in Burgundy must be the wife of a rude mercenary soldier."

"May it please your Majesty, and your grace," said Crawford. "I must speak for my countryman and old comrade. He hath acted by my advice and resigns his claim to him by whom the Wild Boar was actually brought to bay, who is his maternal nephew, and is of the House of Durward, descended from that Allan Durward who was High Steward of Scotland."

"Nay, if it be young Durward," said Crèvecoeur; "there is nothing more to be said. I have much reason to believe your Grace will find her more amenable to authority than on former occasions. But why should I grudge this youth his preferment, since after all, it is sense, firmness, and gallantry, which have put him in possession of wealth, rank, and beauty!

Rob Roy

The title of "Rob Roy" was suggested by Constable, the publisher, who one day informed the novelist that the name of the hero would be the best possible name for the book. "Nay," answered Scott, "never let me have to write up to a name. You know well that I have generally adopted a title that told nothing." But the bookseller persevered and in the end Sir Walter's scruples gave way. "Rob Roy," by the author of "Waverley," was published on December 31, 1817, and although it is not among the greatest of Scott's novels, it certainly figures among his next best. It is crowded with incident and adventure, and the character of Rob Roy himself will last as long as English literature. Diana Vernon, too, is perhaps the most attractive and surely-drawn in all Scott's gallery of portraits of distinguished women. "Rob Roy" was dramatised shortly after its appearance in book form; Scott himself first witnessed a performance of it at Edinburgh on February 15, 1819, the same company later appearing in it at Glasgow before George IV.

I.--I Meet Diana Vernon

Early in the eighteenth century, when I, Frank Osbaldistone, was a youth of twenty, I was hastily summoned from Bordeaux, where, in a mercantile house, I was, as my father trusted, being initiated into the mysteries of commerce. As a matter of fact, my principal attention had been dedicated to literature and manly exercises.

In an evil hour, my father had received my letter, containing my eloquent and detailed apology for declining a place in the firm, and I was summoned home in all haste, his chief ambition being that I should succeed, not merely to his fortune, but to the views and plans by which he imagined he could extend and perpetuate that wealthy inheritance. I did not understand how deeply my father's happiness was involved, and with something of his own pertinacity, had formed a determination precisely contrary, not conceiving that I should increase my own happiness by augmenting a fortune which I believed already sufficient.

My father cut the matter short; when he was my age, his father had turned him out, and settled his legal inheritance on his younger brother; and one of that brother's sons should take my place, if I crossed him any further.

At the end of the month he gave me to think the matter over, I found myself on the road to York, on a reasonably good horse, with fifty guineas in my pocket, travelling, as it would seem, for the purpose of assisting in the adoption of a successor to myself in my father's house and favour; he having decided that I should pay a visit to my uncle, and stay at Osbaldistone Hall, till I should receive further instructions.

There had been such unexpected ease in the way in which my father had slipt the knot usually esteemed the strongest that binds society together, and let me depart as a sort of outcast from his family, that strangely lessened my self-confidence. The Muse, too,--the very coquette that had led me into this wilderness--deserted me, and I should have been reduced to an uncomfortable state of dullness had it not been for the conversation of strangers who chanced to pass the same way. One poor man with whom I travelled a day and a half, and whose name was Morris, afforded me most amusement. He had upon his pillion a very small, but apparently a very weighty portmanteau, which he would never trust out of his immediate care; and all his conversation was of unfortunate travellers who had fallen among thieves. He wrought himself into a fever of apprehension by the progress of his own narratives, and occasionally eyed me with doubt and suspicion, too ludicrous to be offensive. I found amusement in alternately exciting and lulling to sleep the causeless fears of my timorous companion, who tried in vain to induce a Scotchman with whom we dined in Darlington to ride with him, because the landlord informed us "that for as peaceable a gentleman as Mr. Campbell was, he was, moreover, as bold as a lion--seven highwaymen had he defeated with his single arm, as he came from Whitson tryste."

"Thou art deceived, friend Jonathan," said Campbell, interrupting him. "There were but barely two, and two cowardly loons as man could wish to meet withal." My companion made up to him, and taking him aside seemed to press his company upon him.

Mr. Campbell disengaged himself not very ceremoniously, and coming up to me, observed, "Your friend, sir, is too communicative, considering the nature of his trust."

I hastened to assure him that that gentleman was no friend of mine, and that I knew nothing of him or his business, and we separated for the night.

Next day I parted company with my timid companion, turning more westerly in the direction of my uncle's seat. I had already had a distant view of Osbaldistone Hall, when my horse, tired as he was, pricked up his ears at the notes of a pack of hounds in full cry. The headmost hounds soon burst out of the coppice, followed by three or four riders with reckless haste, regardless of the broken and difficult nature of the ground. "My cousins," thought I, as they swept past me: but a vision interrupted my reflections. It was a young lady, the loveliness of whose very striking features was enhanced by the animation of the chase, whose horse made an irregular movement as she passed me, which served as an apology for me to ride close up to her, as if to her assistance. There was no cause for alarm, for she guided her horse with the most admirable address and presence of mind. One of the young men soon reappeared, waving the brush of the fox in triumph, and after a few words the lady rode back to me and inquired, as she could not persuade "this cultivated young gentleman" to do so, if I had heard anything of a friend of theirs, one Mr. Francis Osbaldistone.

I was too happy to acknowledge myself to be the party enquired after, and she then presented to me, "as his politeness seemed still to be slumbering," my cousin, young Squire Thorncliff Osbaldistone, and "Die Vernon, who has also the honour to be your accomplished cousin's poor kinswoman."

After shaking hands with me, he left us to help couple up the hounds, and Miss Vernon rode with me to Osbaldistone Hall, giving me, on the way, a description of its inmates, of whom, she said, the only conversible beings beside herself were the old priest and Rashleigh--Sir Hildebrand's youngest son.

II.--Rashleigh's Villainy

Rashleigh Osbaldistone was a striking contrast to his young brothers, all tall, stout, and comely, without pretence to accomplishment except their dexterity in field sports. He welcomed me with the air of a man of the world, and though his appearance was far from prepossessing, he was possessed of a voice the most soft, mellow, and rich I ever heard. He had been intended for a priest, but when my father's desire to have one of Sir Hildebrand's sons in his counting-house was known, he had been selected, as, indeed, the only one who could be considered at all suitable.

The day after my arrival, Miss Vernon, as we were following the hounds, showed me in the distance the hills of Scotland, and told me I could be there in safety in two hours. To my dismay, she explained that my timorous fellow-traveller had been robbed of money and dispatches, and accused me. The magistrate had let my uncle know, and both he and Miss Vernon, considering it a merit to distress a Hanoverian government in every way, never doubted my guilt, and only showed the way of escape. On my indignant denial, Miss Vernon rode with me to the magistrate's, where we met Rashleigh, and after a hasty private talk with him, in which from earnest she became angry and flung away from him, saying, "I will have it so." Immediately after we heard his horse's hoofs in rapid motion; and very shortly afterwards Mr. Campbell, the very Scotchman we had met at Darlington, entered the Justice's room, and giving him a billet from the Duke of Argyll to certify that he, Mr. Robert Campbell, was a person of good fame and character, prevailed on the magistrate to discharge me, for he had been with my late fellow-traveller at the time of the robbery, and could swear that the robber was a very different person. Morris was apparently more terrified than ever, but agreed to all Mr. Campbell said, and left the house with him.

Miss Vernon made me promise to ask no questions, and I only entreated her, if at any time my services could be useful to her, she would command them without hesitation.

Before Rashleigh's departure, I had realised his real character, and wrote to Owen, my father's old clerk, to hint that he should keep a strict guard over my father's interests. Notwithstanding Miss Vernon had charged Rashleigh with perfidious conduct towards herself, they had several private interviews together, though their bearing did not seem cordial; and he and I took up distant ground, each disposed to avoid all pretext for collision.

I began to think it strange I had received no letter either from my father or Owen, though I had now been several weeks at Osbaldistone Hall--where the mode of life was too uniform to admit of description. Diana Vernon and I enjoyed much of our time in our mutual studies; although my vanity early discovered that I had given her an additional reason for disliking the cloister, to which she was destined if she would not marry any of Sir Hildebrand's sons, I could not confide in our affection, which seemed completely subordinate to the mysteries of her singular situation. She would not permit her love to overpower her sense of duty or prudence, and one day proved this by advising me at once to return to London--my father was in Holland, she said, and if Rashleigh was allowed to manage his affairs long, he would be ruined. He would use my father's revenues as a means of putting in motion his own ambitious schemes.

I seized her hand and pressed it to my lips--the world could never compensate for what I left behind me, if I left the Hall.

"This is folly! This is madness!" she cried, and my eyes, following the direction of hers, I saw the tapestry shake, which covered the door of the secret passage to Rashleigh's apartment. Prudence, and the necessity of suppressing my passion and obeying Diana's reiterated command of "Leave me! leave me!" came in time to prevent any rash action. I left the apartment in a chaos of thoughts. Above all I was perplexed by the manner in which Miss Vernon had received my tender of affection, and the glance of fear rather than surprise with which she had watched the motion of the tapestry. I resolved to clear up the mystery, and that evening, at a time when I usually did not visit the library, I, hesitating a moment with my hand on the latch, heard a suppressed footstep within, opened the door, and found Miss Vernon alone.

I had determined to seek a complete explanation, but found she refused it with indignant defiance, and avowed to my face the preference for a rival. And yet, when I was about to leave her for ever, it cost her but a change of look and tone to lead me back, her willing subject on her own hard terms, agreeing that we could be nothing to each other but friends now or henceforward. She then gave me a letter which she said might never have reached my hands if it had not fallen into hers. It was from my father's partner, Mr. Tresham, to tell me that Rashleigh had gone to Scotland some time since to take up bills granted by my father, and had not since been heard of, that Owen had been dispatched in search of him, and I was entreated to go after him, and assist to save my father's mercantile honour. Having read this, Diana left me for a moment, and returned with a sheet of paper folded like a letter, but without any address. "If I understand you rightly," she said, "the funds in Rashleigh's possession must be recovered by a certain day. Take this packet; do not open it till other means have failed; within ten days of the fated day you may break the seal, and you will find directions that may be useful to you. Adieu, Frank, we never meet more; but sometimes think of your friend Die Vernon."

She extended her hand, but I clasped her to my bosom. She sighed and escaped to her own apartment, and I saw her no more.

III.--In the Highlands

I had not been a day in Glasgow before, in obedience to a mysterious summons, I met Mr. Campbell, and was by him guided to the prison where my poor old friend Owen was confined. On his arrival two days before, he had gone to one of my father's correspondents, trusting that they who heretofore could not do too much to deserve the patronage of their good friends in Crane Alley, would now give their counsel and assistance. They met this with a counter-demand of instant security against ultimate loss, and when this was refused as unjust to the other creditors of Osbaldistone & Tresham, they had thrown him into prison, as he had a small share in the firm. In the midst of our sorrowful explanation we were disturbed by a loud knocking at the outer door of the prison. The Highland turnkey, with as much delay as possible, undid the fastenings, my guide sprang up the stair, and into Owen's apartment. He cast his eyes around, and then said to me, "Lend me your pistols. Yet, no, I can do without them. Whatever you see, take no heed, and do not mix your hand in another man's feud. This gear's mine, and I must manage it as best I can. I have been as hard bested and worse than I am even now." As he spoke, he confronted the iron door, like a fine horse brought up to the leaping-bar.

But instead of a guard with bayonets fixed, there entered a good-looking young woman, ushering in a short, stout, important person--a magistrate. "A bonny thing it is, and a beseeming, that I should be kept at the door half-an-hour, Captain Stanchells," said he, addressing the principal jailer, who now showed himself. "How's this? how's this? Strangers in the jail after lock-up hours! I must see into this. But, first, I must hae a crack with an auld acquaintance here. Mr. Owen, Mr. Owen, how's a' wi' you man?"

"Pretty well in body, I thank you, Mr. Jarvie," drawled out poor Owen, "but sore afflicted in spirit."

Mr. Jarvie was another correspondent of my father's whom Owen had had no great belief in, largely because of his great opinion of himself. He now showed himself kindly and sensible, and asked Owen to let him see some papers he mentioned. While examining them, he observed my mysterious guide make a slight movement, and said, "I say, look to the door, Stanchells; shut it, and keep watch on the outside."

Mr. Jarvie soon showed himself master of what he had been considering, and saying he could not see how Mr. Owen could arrange his affairs if he were kept lying there, undertook to be his surety and to have him free by breakfast time. He then took the light from the servant-maid's hand, and advanced to my guide, who awaited his scrutiny with great calmness, seated on the table. "Eh! oh! ah!" exclaimed the Bailie. "My conscience! it's impossible! and yet, no! Conscience, it canna be. Ye robber! ye cateran! born devil that ye are--can this be you?"

"E'en as ye see, Bailie," said he.

"Ye are a dauring villain, Rob," answered the Bailie; "and ye will be hanged. But bluid's thicker than water. Whar's the gude thousand pounds Scots than I lent ye, man, and when am I to see it again?"

"As to when you'll see it--why, just 'when the King enjoys his ain again,' as the auld sang says."

"Worst of a', Robin," retorted the Bailie. "I mean ye disloyal traitor--worst of a'! Ye had better stick to your auld trade o' theft-boot and blackmail than ruining nations. And wha the deevil's this?" he continued, turning to me.

Owen explained that I was young Mr. Frank Osbaldistone, the only child of the head of the house, and the Bailie, Nicol Jarvie, having undertaken Owen's release, took me home to sleep at his house.

I was astonished that Mr. Campbell should appear to Mr. Jarvie as the head of a freebooting Highland clan, and dismayed to think that Diana's fate could be involved in that of desperadoes of this man's description.

The packet which Diana Vernon had given me I had opened in the presence of the Highlander, for the ten days had elapsed, and a sealed letter had dropped out. This had at once been claimed by Mr. Campbell, or Rob MacGregor, as Mr. Jarvie called him, and the address showed that it had gone to its rightful owner.

Before we parted, MacGregor bade me visit him in the Highlands, and I kept this appointment in company with the Bailie. Strange to say, in the Highlands I met Diana Vernon, escorted by a single horseman, and from her received papers which had been in Rashleigh's possession. There was fighting in the Highlands, and the Bailie and I were both more than once in peril of our lives.

IV.--Rob Roy to the Rescue

No sooner had we returned from our dangerous expedition than I sought out Owen. He was not alone--my father was with him.

The first impulse was to preserve the dignity of his usual equanimity--"Francis, I am glad to see you." The next was to embrace me tenderly--"my dear, dear son!"

When the tumult of our joy was over, I learnt that my father had arrived from Holland shortly after Owen had set off for Scotland. By his extensive resources, with funds enlarged and credit fortified, he easily put right what had befallen only, perhaps, through his absence, and set out for Scotland to exact justice from Rashleigh Osbaldistone.

The full extent of my cousin Rashleigh's villainy I had yet to learn. In the rebellion of 1715, when in an ill-omened hour the standard of the Stuart was set up, to the ruin of many honourable families, Rashleigh, with more than another Jacobite agent, revealed the plot to the Government. My poor uncle, Sir Hildebrand, was easily persuaded to join the standard of the Stuarts, and was soon taken and lodged in Newgate. He died in prison, but before he died he spoke with great bitterness against Rashleigh, now his only surviving child, and declared that neither he nor his sons who had perished would have plunged into political intrigue but for that very member of his family who had been the first to desert them. By his will, Sir Hildebrand devised his estates at Osbaldistone Hall to me as his next heir, cutting off Rashleigh with a shilling.

Rashleigh had yet one more card to play. The villain was aware that Diana's father, Sir Frederick Vernon, whose life had been forfeited for earlier Jacobite plots, lived in hiding at Osbaldistone Hall, and this had given him power over Miss Vernon.

Some time after I had returned to my father's office, I decided to visit Osbaldistone and take possession. On my arrival, Diana met me in the dining hall with her father.

"We are your suppliants, Mr. Osbaldistone," said the old knight; "we claim the refuge and protection of your roof till we can pursue a journey where dungeons and death gape for me at every step."

"Surely," I articulated, "Miss Vernon cannot suppose me capable of betraying anyone, much less you?"

But scarcely had they retired to rest that night, when Rashleigh arrived with officers of the law, and exhibited his warrant, not only against Frederick Vernon, an attainted traitor, but also against Diana Vernon, spinster, and Francis Osbaldistone, accused of connivance at treason. He provided a coach for his prisoners, but in the park a number of Highlanders had gathered.

"Claymore!" cried the leader of the Highlanders, as the coach appeared, and a scuffle instantly commenced. The officers of the law, surprised at so sudden an attack, conceived themselves surrounded, and galloped off in different directions.

Rashleigh fell, mortally wounded by the leader of the band, who the next instant was at the carriage door. It was Rob Roy, who handed out Miss Vernon, and assisted her father and me to alight.

"Mr. Osbaldistone," he said, in a whisper, "you have nothing to fear; I must look after those who have. Your friends will soon be in safety. Farewell, and forget not the MacGregor."

He whistled; his band gathered round him, and, hurrying Diana and her father along with him, they were almost instantly lost in the glades of the forest.

The death of Rashleigh, who had threatened to challenge at law my right to Osbaldistone Hall, left me access to my inheritance without interference. It was at once admitted that the ridiculous charge of connivance at treason was got up by an unscrupulous attorney on an affidavit made with the sole purpose of favouring Rashleigh's views, and removing me from Osbaldistone Hall.

I learnt subsequently that the opportune appearance of MacGregor and his party was not fortuitous. The Scottish nobles and gentry engaged in the insurrection of 1715 were particularly anxious to further the escape of Sir Frederick Vernon, who, as an old and trusted agent of the house of Stuart, was possessed of matter enough to have ruined half Scotland, and Rob Roy was the person whom they pitched upon to assist his escape. Once at large, they found horses prepared for them, and by MacGregor's knowledge of the country were conducted to the western sea-coast, and safely embarked for France. From the same source I also learnt that Sir Frederick could not long survive a lingering disease, and that his daughter was placed in a convent, although it was her father's wish she should take the veil only on her own inclination.

When these news reached me, I frankly told the state of my affections to my father. After a little hesitation he broke out with "I little thought a son of mine should have been lord of Osbaldistone Manor, and far less that he should go to a French convent for a spouse. But so dutiful a daughter cannot but prove a good wife. You have worked at the desk to please me, Frank, it is but fair you should wive to please yourself."

Long and happily I lived with Diana, and heavily I lamented her death.

Rob Roy died in old age and by a peaceful death some time about 1733, and is still remembered in his country as the Robin Hood of Scotland.


The Talisman

"The Talisman," the most famous of Scott's "Tales of the Crusaders," was written 1824-25, when the fortunes of its author were already threatened. The building of Abbotsford was finished, and the heavy financial losses which fell on Sir Walter, and drove him to write at a speed fatal to his genius, soon followed. "The Talisman" and "The Fair Maid of Perth," which appeared three years later, are the only two of the Waverley Novels published in those later years which are worthy of their author's fame. The Talisman itself has always been deservedly popular. It is full of colour, mystery, plot, and counterplot, and Sir Kenneth's performances in withstanding the jealous enemies of Richard Coeur-de-Lion glow with life. Conrade of Montserrat, Richard's opponent in the armies of the Crusaders, was a well-known figure in the wars against the Saracens, and when he perished at their hands, it was said that Richard instigated his death.

I.--The Knight of the Leopard

The burning sun of Syria had not yet attained its highest point when a Knight of the Red Cross was pacing slowly along the sandy deserts in the vicinity of the Dead Sea. At noon he joyfully hailed the sight of two or three palm trees, and his good horse, too, lifted up his head as if he snuffed from afar off the living waters which marked the place of repose and refreshment. But a distant form separated itself from the trees, and advanced towards the knight at a speed which soon showed a Saracen cavalier. The Crusader, whose arms were a couchant leopard, disengaged his lance, and well acquainted with the customs of Eastern warriors, made a dead halt, confident that his own weight would give him the advantage if the enemy advanced to the actual shock; but the Saracen, wheeling his horse with inimitable dexterity, rode round the Christian, who, constantly turning, frustrated his attempts to attack him in an unguarded point, until, desirous to terminate the elusory warfare, the knight suddenly seized the mace which hung at his saddle-bow, and hurled it at the head of the Emir, who, though beaten to the ground, instantly sprang again into his seat and regained the advantage, enlarging his circles, and discharging arrows. At the seventh, the Christian knight dropped heavily to the ground, and the Saracen dismounting to examine his fallen foe, suddenly found himself in his grasp. He unloosed the sword belt in which the Knight of the Leopard had fixed his hold, mounted, and again rode off. But the loss of his sword and quiver of arrows seemed to incline the Muslim to a truce; he again approached the Christian, but no longer menacingly.

"There is truce betwixt our nations," he said. "Let there be peace betwixt us."

"I am well content," answered he of the couchant leopard, and the late foes, without an angry look or a gesture of doubt, rode side by side to the palm trees; where each relieved his horse from saddle, bit, and rein, and permitted them to drink ere they refreshed themselves. As they sat down together on the turf, and proceeded to their scanty meal, they eyed each other with curiosity, and each was compelled to acknowledge that had he fallen in the combat, it had been by a noble foe. The warriors arose from their brief rest, and courteously aided each other while they replaced the harness of their trusty steeds, and pursued their way, the Saracen performing the part of guide, to the cavern of the hermit, Theodorich of England, with whom Sir Kenneth was to pass the night in penitence and prayer.

II.--Richard Coeur-de-Lion

The scene must change to the camp of King Richard of England, who, afflicted with a slow and wasting fever, lay on his couch of sickness, loathing it as much in mind as his illness made it irksome to his body. "Hark, what trumpets are there?" he said, endeavouring to start up. "By heaven! the Turks are in the camp, I hear their lelies!" Breathless and exhausted he sank back. "Go, I pray thee, De Vaux, and bring me word what strangers are in the camp." Sir Thomas de Vaux had not made many steps from the royal pavilion when he met the Knight of the Leopard, who, accosting him with formal courtesy, desired to see the king; he had brought back with him a Moorish physician, who had undertaken to work a cure. Sir Thomas answered haughtily that no leech should approach the sick bed without his, the Baron of Gilsland's, consent, and turned loftily away; but the Scot, though not without expressing his share of pride, solemnly assured him that he desired but the safety of Richard, and Saladin himself had sent thither this Muslim physician. Sir Kenneth's squire had been suffering dangerously under the same fever, and the leech, El Hakim, had ministered to him not two hours before, and already he was in a refreshing sleep.

"May I see your sick squire, fair sir?" at length said the Englishman.

The Scottish knight hesitated and coloured, yet answered at last:

"Willingly, my lord of Gilsland, but I am poorly lodged," and led the way to his temporary abode.

"This is a strange tale, Sir Thomas," said the king, when he had heard the report. "Art thou sure that this Scottish man is a tall man and true?"

"I cannot say, my lord," replied the jealous borderer; "I have ever found the Scots fair and false, but the man's bearing is that of a true man, and I warrant you have noted the manner in which he bears himself as a knight. He hath been fully well spoken of."

"And justly, Thomas," said the king. "Yes, I have indeed marked the manner in which this knight does his devoir, and he had ere now tasted your bounty but that I have also marked his audacious presumption."

"My liege," said the Baron of Gilsland, "your majesty will pardon me to remind you that I have by mine office right to grant liberty to men of gentle blood, to keep a hound or two within the camp, and besides, it were a sin to harm a thing so noble as this gentleman's dog, the most perfect creature of heaven, of the noblest northern breed."

The king laughed.

"Well, thou hast given him leave to keep the hound, so there is an end of it. But to this piece of learned heathenness--say'st thou the Scot met him in the desert?"

"No, my liege, the Scot's tale runs thus: He was dispatched to the old hermit of Engaddi--"

"'Sdeath and hell!" said Richard, starting up, "by whom dispatched, and for what? Who would send anyone thither when our queen was in the convent of Engaddi?"

"The Council of the Crusade sent him, my lord," the baron answered, "but for what purpose he declined to account to me."

"Well, it shall be looked into," said Richard. "So this envoy met with a wandering physician at Engaddi, ha!"

"Not so, my liege, but he met a Saracen Emir, who understood that Saladin should send his own leech to you. He is attended as if he were a prince, and brings with him letters of credence from Saladin."

Richard took the scroll and read.

"Hold, hold," he said. "I will have no more of this dog of a prophet. Yes, I will put myself in charge of this Hakim--I will repay the noble Soldan his generosity--I will meet him in the field as he proposes. Haste, De Vaux, fetch the Hakim hither."

Scarcely had De Vaux left the royal pavilion when the king, to soothe his impatience, sent a messenger to command the attendance of the Knight of the Leopard, that he might obtain an account of the cause of his absence from the camp.

"Hark thee, Sir Knight," said the king, "I require you to remember that, as a principal member of the Christian League, I have a right to know the negotiations of my confederates. Do me, therefore, the justice to tell me the purport of thine errand."

"My lord," replied the Scot, "I will speak the truth. Be pleased, therefore, to know my charge was to propose through the medium of the hermit--a holy man, respected and protected by Saladin himself--the establishment of a lasting peace, and the withdrawing of our armies from Palestine."

"Saint George!" said Richard. "Ill as I have thought of them, I could not have dreamed of such dishonour. On what conditions was this hopeful peace to be contracted?"

"They were not entrusted to me, my lord," said Sir Kenneth. "I delivered them sealed to the hermit. Might I so far presume, my lord king, this discourse but heats your disease, the enemy from which Christendom dreads more evil than from armed hosts of infidels."

"You can flatter, Sir Knight," said the king, "but you escape me not. Saw you my royal consort at Engaddi?"

"To my knowledge, no, my lord," said Sir Kenneth in some perturbation. "I beheld a choir of ladies do homage to a relic of the highest sanctity, but I saw not their faces."

"I ask you," said Richard, raising himself on his elbow, "as a knight and a gentleman, did you or did you not, know any lady amongst that band of worshippers?"

"My lord," said Kenneth, not without much hesitation, "I might guess."

"And I also might guess," said the king, frowning sternly. "But it is enough. Leopard as you are, Sir Knight, beware o' tempting the lion's paw. Enough--begone!--speed to De Vaux and send him hither with the Arabian physician."

Richard, when the physician, accompanied by the Grand Master of the Templars, Montserrat, with De Vaux and the Knight of the Leopard, entered his apartment, immediately exclaimed:

"So, ho, a goodly fellowship come to see Richard take his leap in the dark. My noble allies, I greet you as the representatives of our assembled league--De Vaux, lives he or dies he, thou hast the thanks of thy prince--There is yet another--What, the bold Scot, who would climb heaven without a ladder? He is welcome, too. Come, Sir Hakim, to the work, to the work."

The physician now felt the king's pulse for a long time, then filled a cup with water, and dipt in it a small red purse, which he took from his bosom. He was about to offer it to the king, but he prevented him, saying:

"Hold an instant, let me lay my finger on thy pulse."

The Arabian yielded his hand without hesitation.

"His blood beats calm as an infant's; so throbs not theirs who poison princes," said the king, "De Vaux, whether we live or die, dismiss this Hakim with honour. Commend us, friend, to the noble Saladin."

He then took the cup, and turning to the Marquis of Montserrat and the grand master: "Mark what I say. To the immortal honour of the first Crusader who shall strike lance or sword on the gate of Jerusalem and to the eternal infamy of whomsoever shall turn back from the plough on which he hath laid his hand." He drained the cup and sank back as if exhausted.

The hour had arrived when the royal patient might be awakened with safety. The fever had entirely left him, and King Richard sitting up and rubbing his eyes demanded what present store of money was in the royal coffers.

"Be it greater or smaller," he said, "bestow it all on the learned leech who hath given me back to the service of the Crusade."

"I sell not the wisdom with which Allah has endowed me," said the Arab. "It is reward enough for me that so great a king as Melech Ric should thus speak to his servant. But now let me pray you to compose yourself again on the couch."

"I must obey thee, Hakim," said the king. "But what mean these shouts and distant music in the camp?"

The Marquis of Montserrat at that moment entered.

"Honoured prince," he said, "I delight to see your majesty so far recovered, and that is a long speech for me to make who has partaken of the Duke of Austria's hospitality."

"What, you have been dining with the Teutonic wine skin!" said the monarch. "And what frolic hath he found to cause all this disturbance? Truly, Sir Conrade, I wonder at your quitting the revel."

"What the Archduke does," said Conrade de Montserrat, not heeding De Vaux's sign, "is of little consequence to anyone; yet to say truth, this is a gambol I should not like to share in, since he is pulling down the banner of England, and displaying his own in its stead."

"What say'st thou?" exclaimed Richard, springing from his couch and casting on his clothes with marvellous speed. "Speak not to me--I command thee, speak not a word to me--Hakim, be silent I charge thee!" And with the last word he snatched his sword and rushed out. Conrade held up his hands as if in astonishment. De Vaux pushed rudely past him calling orders in haste to the equerries, which, imperfectly heard, spread an alarm as general as the cause seemed vague, through the whole British forces.

Without regarding the tumult, Richard pursued his way, followed only by De Vaux and a few servants; but the Knight of the Leopard, as they passed him, aware that danger must be afoot, snatched his sword and shield, and hastened to share it. Richard burst his way through a crowd of the Archduke's friends and retinue, pulled up the standard-spear, threw the Austrian banner on the ground, and placed his foot upon it.

"Thus," said he, "I trample on the banner of Austria!"

A Hungarian nobleman struck at the king a blow that might have proved fatal had not the Scot intercepted it, while Richard glanced round him with an eye from which the angry nobles shrank appalled, until the King of France, whose sagacity Richard much respected, came and remonstrated. The duke at last said he would refer his quarrel to the General Council of the Crusade.

Richard listened to Philip until his oratory seemed exhausted, then said aloud:

"I am drowsy--this fever hangs upon me still. Brother of France, know, at once, I will submit a matter touching the honour of England neither to prince, pope, nor council. Here stands my banner--whatever pennon shall be reared within three butts' length of it--shall be treated as that dishonoured rag."

Philip answered calmly he would have no other strife between the Lions of England and the Lilies of France than which should be carried deepest into the ranks of the infidels. Richard stretched out his hand, with all the frankness of his rash but generous disposition, and replied:

"It is a bargain, my royal brother! Here, Thomas of Gilsland, I give thee charge of this standard--watch over the honour of England."

"Her safety is yet more dear to me," said De Vaux, "and the life of Richard is the safety of England. I must have your highness back to your tent without further tarriance."

"Thou art a rough and peremptory nurse, De Vaux," said the king, and then addressing Sir Kenneth: "Valiant Scot, I owe thee a boon; and I will repay it richly. There stands the banner of England! Watch it as a novice doth his armour. Stir not from it three spears' lengths, and defend it with thy body against injury or insult--Dost thou undertake the charge?"

"Willingly," said Kenneth, "and will discharge it upon penalty of my head. I will but arm me and return thither instantly."

Those whom the disturbance had assembled now drew off in various directions, and the Marquis of Montserrat said to the Grand Master of the Templars:

"Thou seest that subtle courses are more effective than violence. I have unloosed the bonds which held together this bunch of sceptres and lances--thou wilt see them shortly fall asunder."

III.--Richard and Sir Kenneth

It was about sunrise when a slow armed tread was heard approaching the king's pavilion and De Vaux had time to do no more than arise when the Knight of the Leopard entered, with deep gloom on his manly features. Richard, awaking on the instant, exclaimed:

"Speak, Sir Scot, thou comest to tell me of a vigilant watch?"

"My watch hath been neither safe, vigilant, nor honourable," said Sir Kenneth. "The banner of England has been carried off."

"And thou alive to tell it?" said Richard. "Away, it cannot be. There is not even a scratch on thy face. It is ill jesting with a King--yet I will forgive thee if thou hast lied."

"Lied, Sir King!" returned the knight with fierce emphasis. "But this also must be endured. I have spoken the truth."

"By God and St. George!" said the king with fury. "De Vaux, go view the spot. This cannot be. The man's courage is proof--it cannot be! Go speedily--or send, if--"

The King was interrupted by Sir Henry Neville, who came, breathless, to say the banner was gone, and there was a pool of blood where the banner-spear lay.

"But whom do I see here?" said Neville, his eyes suddenly resting upon Sir Kenneth.

"A traitor," said the king, seizing his curtal-axe, "whom thou shalt see die a traitor's death." And he drew back the weapon as in act to strike.

Colourless, but firm as a marble statue, the Scot stood before him, his head uncovered, his eyes cast down. The king stood for a moment prompt to strike, then lowering the weapon, exclaimed:

"But there was blood, Neville--Hark thee, Sir Scot, brave thou wert once, for I have seen thee fight. Say thou hast struck but one blow in our behalf, and get thee out of the camp with thy life and thy infamy."

"There was no blood shed, my lord king," replied Kenneth, "save that of a poor hound, which, more faithful than his master, defended the charge he deserted."

"Now, by St. George," said Richard, again heaving up his arm, but De Vaux threw himself between him and the object of his vengeance. There was a pause.

"My lord," said Kenneth.

"Ha! hast thou found thy speech?" said Richard. "Ask grace from heaven, but none from me. Wert thou my own and only brother, there is no pardon for thy fault."

"I speak not to demand grace of mortal man," replied the Scot. "I beseech your grace for one moment's opportunity to speak that which highly concerns your fame as a Christian king. There is treason around you."

"Treason that will injure thee more deeply than the loss of a hundred banners. The--the--the Lady Edith--"

"Ha!" said the king, "what was she to do with this matter?"

"My lord," said the Scot, "there is a scheme on foot to disgrace your royal lineage, by bestowing the hand of the Lady Edith on the Saracen Soldan, and thereby to purchase a peace most dishonourable to Christendom."

The mention of his relative's name renewed the King's recollection of what he had considered extreme presumption in the Knight of the Leopard, even while he stood high on the rolls of chivalry, and now appeared to drive the fiery monarch into a frenzy of passion.

"Silence," he said, "infamous and audacious. By heaven, I will have thy tongue torn out with hot pincers for mentioning the very name of a noble damsel! With lips blistered with the confession of thine own dishonour--that thou shouldest now dare--name her not--for an instant think not of her."

"Not name--not think of her?" answered Sir Kenneth. "Now by the cross on which I place my hope, her name shall be the last word in my mouth. Try thy boasted strength on this bare brow, and see if thou canst prevent my purpose."

"He will drive me mad," said Richard, once more staggered by the dauntless determination of the criminal.

A bustle was heard and the arrival of the queen was announced.

"Detain her, Neville," cried the king. "Away with him, De Vaux; let him have a ghostly father--and, hark thee, we will not have him dishonoured; he shall die knight-like in his belt and spurs."

The entrance of Queen Berengaria was withstood by the chamberlain, and she could hear the stern commands of the king from within to the executioner. Edith could no longer remain silent:

"I will make entrance for your grace," she said, putting aside the chamberlain.

On their sudden entrance Richard flung himself hastily aside, turning his back to them as if displeased.

"Thou seest, Edith," whispered the queen, "we shall but incense him."

"Be it so," said Edith, stepping forward. "I--your poor kinswoman, crave you for justice rather than mercy, and to that cry the ear of a monarch should be ever open."

"Ha! our cousin Edith!" said Richard, rising. "She speaks ever king-like, and king-like I will answer her."

"My lord," she said, "this good knight whose blood you are about to spill hath fallen from his duty through a snare set for him in idleness and folly. A message sent to him in the name of one--why should I not speak it?--it was in my own--induced him to leave his post."

"And you saw him then, cousin?" said the king, biting his lips to keep down his passion. "Where?"

"In the tent of her majesty, the queen."

"Of your royal consort! Now, by my father's soul, Edith, thou shalt rue this thy life long in a monastery."

"My liege," said Edith, "your greatness licences tyranny. My honour is as little touched as yours, and my lady, the queen, can prove it if she thinks fit. But I have not come here to excuse myself or inculpate others--"

The king was about to answer with much anger, when a Carmelite monk entered hastily, and flinging himself on his knees before the king, conjured him to stop the execution. It was the hermit of Engaddi, and to the king's fierce refusal to listen, he said with irritation:

"Thou art setting that mischief on foot thou wilt afterwards wish thou hadst stopped, though it had cost thee a limb. Rash, blinded man, forbear!"

"Away, away," cried the king, stamping. "The sun has risen on the dishonour of England, and it is not yet avenged. Ladies and priests withdraw, for by St. George, I swear--"

"Swear not!" said the voice of one who now entered--

"Ho! my learned Hakim," said the king, "come, I hope, to tax our generosity."

"I come to request instant speech with you--instant."

"Retire then, Berengaria," said the monarch. "Nay, renew not thy importunities--nay, this I give to thee--the execution shall not be till high noon. Edith, go--if you are wise."

The females hurried from the tent, and El Hakim made his humble prayer for the knight about to die. The king hardening himself as the leech assumed a more lofty tone:

"Know, then," he said, "that through every court of Europe and Asia will I denounce thee as thankless and ungenerous."

Richard turned fiercely from him.

"Hakim, thou hast chosen thy boon, and I may not, king-like, refuse thee. Take this Scot, therefore, use him as thy bond-slave if thou wilt, only let him beware how he comes before the eyes of Richard. Is there aught else in which I may do thee pleasure?"

"Let me touch that victorious hand," said the sage, "in token that should Adonbec El Hakim hereafter demand a boon of Richard of England, he may do so."

"Thou hast hand and glove upon it, man," replied Richard.

"May thy days be multiplied," answered the Hakim.

"Strange pertinacity," said the King, gazing after him as he departed, "in this Hakim to interfere between this Scot and the chastisement he has merited so richly. Yet, let him live! there is one brave man the more in the world."

IV.--The Victory of Sir Kenneth

Surrounded by his valiant knights, Coeur de Lion stood beside the banner of England while the powers of the various Crusading Princes swept round before him; their commanders, as they passed, making a signal of courtesy "in sign of regard and amity," as the protocol of the ceremony heedfully expressed it, "not of vassalage." By the king's side stood an Ethiopian slave, recently sent to Richard by Saladin, holding a noble dog in a leash, who watched the ranks with a sagacious look as they passed. King Richard looked more than once at the Nubian and his dog, and at last said:

"Thy success, my sable friend, will not place thee high in the list of wizards."

But Conrade of Montserrat no sooner came within his ken than the noble hound, uttering a furious yell (the Nubian at the same time slipping his leash), leapt upon the noble charger, and seizing the marquis by the throat, pulled him from the saddle.

The Ethiopian, though not without difficulty, disengaged the dog; while the voice of Richard, loud and sonorous, was heard clear above all others:

"He dies the death who injures the hound. Stand forward for a false traitor, Conrade of Montserrat. I impeach thee of treason!"

When King Richard returned to his tent some hours later, he commanded the Nubian to be brought before him, and his keen glance surveyed him for some time in silence.

"Thou art about to return to the camp of the Soldan, bearing a letter requiring of his country to appoint neutral ground for the deed of chivalry, and should it consort with his pleasure to concur with us in witnessing it. Now, we think thou might'st find in that camp some cavalier, who, for the love of truth, will do battle with this same traitor of Montserrat?"

The Nubian turned his eyes to the king with eager ardour, then to heaven with solemn gratitude, then bent his head as affirming what Richard desired.

"It is well," said the king; "I see thy desire to oblige me in this matter; with thee to hear is to obey."


The two heroic monarchs embraced as brothers and equals, the pomp and display on both sides attracted no further notice. No one saw aught but Richard and Saladin. The looks with which Richard surveyed Saladin were more curious than those which the Soldan fastened on him, and when later Saladin exchanged his turban for a Tartar cap Richard gazed with astonishment and exclaimed:

"A miracle--a miracle! That I should lose my learned Hakim and find him again in my royal brother? It was by thy artifice the Knight of the Leopard visited my camp in disguise? He will do battle on the morrow?"

"He is full of preparation and high in hope," said Saladin. "I have furnished him with weapons and horse, thinking nobly of him from what I have seen under various disguises."


Drum, clarion, trumpet and cymbal rung forth at once in honour of England's champion!

"Brave Knight of the Leopard," said Coeur de Lion, "thou hast shown the Ethiopian may change his skin, and the leopard his spots. I have more to say to you when I have conducted you to the presence of the ladies. And thou, princely Saladin, will also attend them."

Saladin bent his head gracefully, but declined.

"I must attend the wounded man," said he, "and further, Royal Richard, he saith the sage who hath forfeited a treasure doth not wisely to turn back to gaze on it."

"Come," said Richard, "we will to the pavilion, and lead our conqueror thither in triumph."

The victor entered and knelt gracefully down before the queen, though more than half the homage was silently rendered to Edith.

"Unarm him, my mistresses," said the king. "Let Beauty honour Chivalry. Undo his spurs, Berengaria. Unlace his helmet, Edith--by this hand, thou shalt. Here terminate his various disguises. The adventurous Knight Kenneth, arises David, Earl of Huntington, Prince Royal of Scotland."

The next day saw Richard return to his own camp, and in a short space afterwards the young Earl of Huntington was espoused by Edith Plantagenet.

The Soldan sent, as a nuptial present on this occasion, the celebrated talisman; but, though many cures were wrought with it in Europe, none equalled in success and celebrity those which the Soldan achieved.


MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT SHELLEY

Frankenstein

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the daughter of William Godwin (see Vol. IV) and Mary Wollstonecraft, was born in London, August 30, 1797, and married to the poet Shelley in 1816, on the death of his first wife Harriet. Two years previous to this she had eloped with Shelley (see Vol. XVIII) to Switzerland, and they lived together in Italy till his death in 1823, when Mrs. Shelley returned to England, and continued her literary work. "Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus," the first of Mary Shelley's books, was published in 1818, and owed its origin to the summer spent by the Shelleys on the shores of Geneva when Byron was their neighbour. It was "a wet, ungenial summer," according to the account Mary Shelley has left. "Some volumes of ghost stories, translated from the German into French, fell into our hands." Then one evening Byron said, "we will each write a ghost story," and the proposition was agreed to, and Mary Shelley's contribution was developed till at length "Frankenstein" was written. The story is at once a remarkable and impressive performance. The influence of Mrs. Shelley's father is apparent throughout, but probably the authoress was most influenced by the old German tales of the supernatural. The theme of a mortal creating, by the aid of natural science, a being in the shape of man, was at the time a bold and daring innovation in English literature. Mrs. Shelley died February 21, 1851.

I.--Robert Walton's Letter

August 5, 17--

My Dear Sister.--This letter will reach England by a merchantman now on its homeward voyage from Archangel; more fortunate than I, who may not see my native land, perhaps for many years. We have already reached a very high latitude, and it is the height of summer; but last Monday, July 31, we were nearly surrounded by ice which closed in the ship on all sides. Our situation was somewhat dangerous, especially as we were compassed round by a very thick fog. About two o'clock the mist cleared away, and we beheld in every direction, vast and irregular plains of ice. A strange sight suddenly attracted our attention. We perceived a low carriage, fixed on a sledge and drawn by dogs, pass on towards the North: a being which had the shape of a man, but apparently of gigantic stature, sat in the sledge and guided the dogs. We watched the rapid progress of the traveller until he was lost among the distant inequalities of the ice. Before night the ice broke and freed our ship.

In the morning, as soon as it was light, I went upon deck, and found all the sailors apparently talking to some one in the sea, it was, in fact, a sledge, like that we had seen before, which had drifted towards us in the night, on a large fragment of ice. Only one dog remained alive, but there was a human being whom the sailors were persuading to enter the vessel.

On perceiving me, the stranger addressed me in English. "Before I come on board your vessel," said he, "will you have the kindness to inform me whither you are bound?"

I replied that we were on a voyage of discovery towards the northern pole.

Upon hearing this he consented to come on board. His limbs were nearly frozen, and his body dreadfully emaciated. I never saw a man in so wretched a condition, and I often feel that his sufferings had deprived him of understanding.

Once the lieutenant asked why he had come so far upon the ice in so strange a vehicle. He replied, "To seek one who fled from me." "And did the man whom you pursued travel in the same fashion?"

"Yes."

"Then I fancy we have seen him; for the day before we picked you up, we saw some dogs drawing a sledge, with a man in it, across the ice."

From this time a new spirit of life animated the decaying frame of the stranger. He manifested the greatest eagerness to be upon deck, to watch for the sledge which had before appeared.

August 17, 17--

Yesterday the stranger said to me, "You may easily perceive, Capt. Walton, that I have suffered great and unparallelled misfortunes. My fate is nearly fulfilled. I wait but for one event, and then I shall repose in peace. Listen to my history, and you will perceive how irrevocably my destiny is determined."

II.--Frankenstein's Story

I am by birth a Genevese; and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic. My father has filled several public situations with honour and reputation. He passed his younger days perpetually occupied by the affairs of his country, and it was not until the decline of life that he became a husband and the father of a family.

When I was about five years old, my mother, whose benevolent disposition often made her enter the cottages of the poor, brought to our house a child fairer than pictured cherub, an orphan whom she found in a peasant's hut; the infant daughter of a nobleman who had died fighting for Italy. Thus Elizabeth became the inmate of my parents' house. Every one loved her, and I looked upon Elizabeth as mine, to protect, love, and cherish. We called each other familiarly by the name cousin, and were brought up together. No human being could have passed a happier childhood than myself.

When I had attained the age of seventeen, my parents resolved that I should become a student at the University of Ingolstadt; I had hitherto attended the schools, of Geneva.

Before the day of my departure arrived, the first misfortune of my life occurred--an omen of my future misery. My mother attended Elizabeth in an attack of scarlet fever. Elizabeth was saved, but my mother sickened and died. On her deathbed she joined the hands of Elizabeth and myself:--"My children," she said, "my firmest hopes of future happiness were placed on the prospect of your union. This expectation will now be the consolation of your father."

The day of my departure for Ingolstadt, deferred for some weeks by my mother's death, at length arrived. I reached the town after a long and fatiguing journey, delivered my letters of introduction, and paid a visit to some of the principal professors.

M. Krempe, professor of Natural Philosophy, was an uncouth man. He asked me several questions concerning my progress in different branches of science, and informed me I must begin my studies entirely anew.

M. Waldman was very unlike his colleague. His voice was the sweetest I had ever heard. Partly from curiosity, and partly from idleness, I entered his lecture room, and his panegyric upon modern chemistry I shall never forget:--"The ancient teachers of this science," said he, "promised impossibilities, and performed nothing. The modern masters promise very little, and have, indeed, performed miracles. They have discovered how the blood circulates, and the nature of the air we breathe. They have acquired new and almost unlimited powers; they can command the thunders of the heaven, mimic the earthquake, and even mock the invisible world with its own shadows."

Such were the professor's words, words of fate enounced to destroy me. As he went on, I felt as if my soul were grappling with a palpable enemy. So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein. More, far more, will I achieve: I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation. I closed not my eyes that night; and from this time natural philosophy, and particularly chemistry, became nearly my sole occupation. My progress was rapid, and at the end of two years I made some discoveries in the improvement of chemical instruments which procured me great esteem at the University.

I became acquainted with the science of anatomy, and often asked myself, Whence did the principle of life proceed? I observed the natural decay of the human body, and saw how the fine form of man was degraded and wasted. I examined and analysed all the minutiae of causation in the change from life to death and death to life, until from the midst of this darkness a sudden light broke in upon me. I became dizzy with the immensity of the prospect, and surprised that among so many men of genius I alone should be reserved to discover so astonishing a secret.

Although I possessed the capacity of bestowing animation, yet to prepare a frame for the reception of it remained a work of inconceivable difficulty and labour. I collected bones from charnel houses, and the dissecting room and the slaughter house furnished many of my materials. Often my nature turned with loathing from my occupation, but the thought that if I could bestow animation upon lifeless matter I might in process of time renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption, supported my spirits.

In a solitary chamber at the top of the house I kept my workshop of filthy creation. The summer months passed, but my eyes were insensible to the charms of nature. Winter, spring, and summer passed away before my work drew to a close, but now every day showed me how well I had succeeded. But I had become a wreck, so engrossing was my occupation, and nervous to a most painful degree. I shunned my fellow-creatures as if I had been guilty of a crime.

III.--Frankenstein's Creation

It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toil. With an anxiety that amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard; and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.

How can I delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but his watery eyes seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set.

I had worked hard for nearly two years for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. But now that I had finished, breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room. I tried to sleep, but disturbed by the wildest dreams, I started up. By the dim and yellow light of the moon I beheld the miserable monster whom I had created. He held up the curtains of the bed, and his eyes were fixed on me. He might have spoken, but I did not hear; one hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but I escaped and rushed downstairs.

No mortal could support the horror of that countenance. I had gazed on him while unfinished; he was ugly then, but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, no mummy could be so hideous. I took refuge in the court-yard, and passed the night wretchedly.

For several months I was confined by a nervous fever, and on my recovery was filled with a violent antipathy even to the name of Natural Philosophy.

A letter from my father telling me that my youngest brother William had been found murdered, and bidding me return and comfort Elizabeth, made me decide to hasten home.

It was completely dark when I arrived in the environs of Geneva. The gates of the town were shut, and I was obliged to pass the night at a village outside. A storm was raging on the mountains, and I wandered out to watch the tempest and resolved to visit the spot where my poor William had been murdered.

Suddenly I perceived in the gloom a figure which stole from behind a clump of trees near me; I could not be mistaken. A flash of lightning illuminated the object, and discovered its shape plainly to me. Its gigantic stature, and the deformity of its aspect, more hideous than belongs to humanity, instantly informed me that it was the wretch to whom I had given life. What did he there? Could he be the murderer of my brother? No sooner did that idea cross my imagination than I became convinced of its truth. The figure passed me quickly, and I lost it in the gloom. I thought of pursuing, but it would have been in vain, for another flash discovered him to me hanging among the rocks, and he soon reached the summit and disappeared.

It was about five in the morning when I entered my father's house. It was a house of mourning, and from that time I lived in daily fear lest the monster I had created should perpetrate some new wickedness. I wished to see him again that I might avenge the death of William.

My wish was soon gratified. I had wandered off alone up the valley of Chamounix, and was resting on the side of the mountain, when I beheld the figure of a man advancing towards me, over the crevices in the ice, with superhuman speed. He approached: his countenance bespoke bitter anguish--it was the wretch whom I had created.

"Devil," I exclaimed, "do you dare approach me? Begone, vile insect! Or, rather, stay, that I may trample you to dust!"

"I expected this reception," said the monster. "All men hate the wretched: how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things. You purpose to kill me. Do your duty towards me and I will do mine towards you and the rest of mankind. If you will comply with my conditions I will leave them and you at peace; but if you refuse, I will glut the maw of death with the blood of your remaining friends."

My rage was without bounds, but he easily eluded me and said:

"Have I not suffered enough, that you seek to increase my misery? Remember that I am thy creature. Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am excluded. I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. I have assisted the labours of man, I have saved human beings from destruction, and I have been stoned and shot at as a recompense. The feelings of kindness and gentleness have given place to rage. Mankind spurns and hates me. The desert mountains and dreary glaciers are my refuge, and the bleak sky is kinder to me than your fellow-beings. Shall I not hate them who abhor me? Listen to me, Frankenstein. I have wandered through these mountains consumed by a burning passion which you alone can gratify. You must create a female for me with whom I can live. I am alone and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me.

"What I ask of you is reasonable and moderate. It is true, we shall be monstrous, cut off from all the world: but on that account we shall be more attached to one another. Our lives will not be happy, but they will be harmless, and free from the misery I now feel. If you consent, neither you nor any other human being shall ever see us again: I will go to the vast wilds of South America. We shall make our bed of dried leaves; the sun will shine on us as on man, and will ripen our foods. My evil passion will have fled, for I shall meet with sympathy. My life will flow quietly away, and in my dying moments I shall not curse my maker."

His words had a strange effect on me. I compassionated him, and concluded that the justest view both to him and my fellow-creatures demanded of me that I should comply with his request.

"I consent to your demand," I said, "on your solemn oath to quit Europe forever."

"I swear," he cried, "by the sun and by the fire of love which burns in my heart that if you grant my prayer, while they exist you shall never behold me again. Depart to your home, and commence your labours: I shall watch their progress with unutterable anxiety."

Saying this, he suddenly quitted me, fearful, perhaps, of any change in my sentiments.

IV.--The Doom of Frankenstein

I travelled to England with my friend Henry Clerval, and we parted in Scotland. I had fixed on one of the remotest of the Orkneys as the scene of my labours.

Three years before I was engaged in the same manner, and had created a fiend whose barbarity had desolated my heart. I was now about to form another being, of whose dispositions I was alike ignorant. He had sworn to quit the neighbourhood of man, and hide himself in deserts, but she had not. They might even hate each other, and she might quit him. Even if they were to leave Europe, a race of devils would be propagated upon the earth, who might make the very existence of man precarious and full of terror.

I was alone on a solitary island, when looking up, the monster whom I dreaded appeared. My mind was made up: I would never create another like to him.

"Begone," I cried, "I break my promise. Never will I create your equal in deformity and wickedness. Leave me; I am inexorable."

The monster saw my determination in my face, and gnashed his teeth in anger. "Shall each man," cried he, "find a wife for his bosom, and each beast have his mate, and I be alone? I had feelings of affection, and they were requited by detestation and scorn. Are you to be happy, while I grovel in the intensity of my wretchedness? I go, but remember, I shall be with you on your wedding night."

I started forward, but he quitted the house with precipitation. In a few moments I saw him in his boat, which shot across the waters with an arrowy swiftness.

The next day I set off to rejoin Clerval, and return home. But I never saw my friend again. The monster murdered him, and for a time I lay in prison on suspicion of the crime. On my release one duty remained to me. It was necessary that I should hasten without delay to Geneva, there to watch over the lives of those I loved, and to lie in wait for the murderer.

Soon after my arrival, my father spoke of my long-contemplated marriage with Elizabeth. I remembered the fiend's words, "I shall be with you on your wedding night," and if I had thought what might be the devilish intention of my adversary I would never have consented. But thinking it was only my own death I was preparing I agreed with a cheerful countenance.

Elizabeth seemed happy, and I was tranquil. In the meantime I took every precaution, carrying pistols and dagger, lest the fiend should openly attack me.

After the ceremony was performed, a large party assembled at my father's; it was agreed that Elizabeth and I should proceed immediately to the shores of Lake Como.

That night we stopped at an inn. I reflected how fearful a combat, which I momentarily expected, would be to my wife, and earnestly entreated her to retire. She left me, and I walked up and down the passages of the house inspecting every corner that might afford a retreat to my adversary.

Suddenly I heard a shrill and dreadful scream. It came from the room into which Elizabeth had retired. I rushed in. There, lifeless and inanimate, thrown across the bed, her head hanging down, and her pale and distorted features half covered with her hair, was the purest creature on earth, my love, my wife, so lately living, and so dear.

And at the open window I saw a figure the most hideous and abhorred. A grin was on the face of the monster as with his fiendish finger he pointed towards the corpse.

Drawing a pistol I fired; but he eluded me, and running with the swiftness of lightning, plunged into the lake.

The report of the pistol brought a crowd into the room. I pointed to the spot where he had disappeared, and we followed the track with boats. Nets were cast, but in vain. On my return to Geneva, my father sank under the tidings I bore, for Elizabeth had been to him more than a daughter, and in a few days he died in my arms.

Then I decided to tell my story to a criminal judge in the town, and beseech him to assert his whole authority for the apprehension of the murderer. This Genevan magistrate endeavoured to soothe me as a nurse does a child, and treated my tale as the effects of delirium. I broke from the house angry and disturbed, and soon quitted Geneva, hurried away by fury. Revenge has kept me alive; I dared not die and leave my adversary in being.

For many months this has been my task. Guided by a slight clue, I followed the windings of the Rhone, but vainly. The blue Mediterranean appeared; and, by a strange chance, I saw the fiend hide himself in a vessel bound for the Black Sea.

Amidst the wilds of Tartary and Russia, although he still evaded me, I have ever followed in his track. Sometimes the peasants informed me of his path; sometimes he himself left some mark to guide me. The snows descended on my head, and I saw the print of his huge step on the white plain.

My life, as it passed thus, was indeed hateful to me, and it was during sleep alone that I could taste joy.

As I still pursued my journey to the northward, the snows thickened and the cold increased in the degree almost too severe to support. I found the fiend had pursued his journey across the frost-bound sea in a direction that led to no land, and exchanging my land sledge for one fashioned for the Frozen Ocean I followed him.

I cannot guess how many days have passed since then. I was about to sink under the accumulation of distress when you took me on board. But I had determined, if you were going southward, still to trust myself to the mercy of the seas rather than abandon my purpose--for my task is unfulfilled.

V.--Walton's Letter, continued

A week has passed away while I have listened to the strangest tale that ever imagination formed.

The only joy that Frankenstein can now know will be when he composes his shattered spirit to peace and death.

September 12

I am returning to England. I have lost my hopes of utility and glory. September 9 the ice began to move, and we were in the most imminent peril. I had promised the sailors that should a passage open to the south, I would not continue my voyage, but would instantly direct my course southward. On the 11th a breeze sprung from the west, and the passage towards the south became perfectly free. Frankenstein bade me farewell when he heard my decision, and died pressing my hand.

At midnight I heard the sound of a hoarse human voice in the cabin where the remains of Frankenstein were lying. I entered, and there, over the body, hung a form gigantic, but uncouth and distorted, and with a face of appalling hideousness.

The monster uttered wild and incoherent self-reproaches. "He is dead who called me into being," he cried, "and the remembrance of us both will speedily vanish. Soon I shall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt."

He sprang from the cabin window as he said this, upon the ice-raft which lay close to the vessel, and was borne away by the waves, and lost in darkness and distance.


SIR PHILIP SIDNEY

Arcadia

Sir Philip Sidney, the finest type of gentleman of Elizabethan days, was born on November 30, 1554, at Penshurst, Kent, the eldest son of Sir Henry Sidney, Lord-Deputy in Ireland, and grandson, on his mother's side, of the Duke of Northumberland, who was beheaded for complicity in the Lady Jane Grey conspiracy. Education at Oxford, travel abroad, diplomatic service, a wise interest in literature, and a singular graciousness of character made Sidney "a full man." He was regarded, at home and abroad, as the ideal gentleman of his time, and a heroic death, at the siege of Zutphen, on October 2, 1586, enhanced his fame. His body was brought home for a national funeral in old St. Paul's. Sidney's claims as a writer are based on both prose--"Arcadia" and "An Apologie for Poetrie"--and verse--"Astrophel and Stella." The elaborate and artificial romance "Arcadia" was written for his sister Mary, Countess of Pembroke, probably between 1578-80. It was left incomplete, and was not published until four years after his death. It has been described as forming the earliest model for the art of prose. In our epitome we have followed the central thread of a story which has innumerable episodic extensions.

I.--Lost and Found

It was the time that the earth begins to put on her new apparel against the approach of her lover, when the shepherd, Strephon, on the sands which lie against the island of Cithera, called upon him his friendly rival, Claius, and bewailed their hopeless wooing of the fair shepherdess, Urania, whose beauty taught the beholders chastity. As they were going on with their praises, they perceived the thing which floated nearer and nearer to the shore, by the favourable working of the sea, till it was cast up hard before them, and they fully saw it was a man. So they fell to rub and chafe him, till they brought him to recover both breath, the servant, and warmth, the companion of living. Whereupon, without so much as thanking them for their pains, he got up and cried, as he looked round to the uttermost limits of his sight, "What, shall Musidorus live after Pyrocles's destruction?" Then they, hearing him speak in Greek, which was their natural language, became the more tender-hearted towards him.

"Since you take care of me," said he, "I pray you find some bark that will go out of the haven, that it possible we may find the body of Pyrocles." So Claius presently went to a fisherman, and having agreed with him, and provided some apparel for the naked stranger, they embarked, and were no sooner gone beyond the mouth of the haven than they discerned the ship burning which had driven both Musidorus and his friend, rather to commit themselves to the cold mercy of the sea, than to abide the hot cruelty of the fire. And when they had bent their course as near up to it as they could, they saw, but a little way off, the mast, whose proud height now lay along, and upon it a young man who sat as on horseback, holding a sword aloft which often he waved, which when Musidorus saw he was ravished with joy. But now the sailors described a galley which came with sails and oars directly in the chase of them, and straight they perceived it was a well-known pirate, so forthwith they set on all the canvas, and flew homeward, leaving in that poor sort Pyrocles, so near to be rescued. And Musidorus, casting a long look that way, saw the galley leave the pursuit of them, and turn to take up the spoils of the wreck; and, lastly, he might well see them lift up the young man. But the fishermen made such speed into the haven that they absented his eyes from beholding the issue, and he could procure neither them, nor any other, to put to sea again.

The honest shepherds, Strephon and Claius, seeing sickness grew something upon their companion, offered to bring him into their own country of Arcadia, upon the next confines whereof dwelt a gentleman, by name Kalander, who for his hospitality was much haunted, and for his upright dealing beloved of his neighbours. To this Musidorus gave easy assent; and so they came to Arcadia, which welcomed Musidorus' eyes with delightful prospects. These were hills garnished with stately trees, humble valleys comforted with the refreshing of silver rivers, meadows enameled with eye-pleasing flowers, pastures stored with sheep feeding in sober security, here a young shepherdess knitting and singing withal, and there a shepherd boy piping as though he should never be old.

As they came near the house, Claius asked to know something more of Musidorus and the young man he lamented, that they might inform Kalander how to proportion his entertainment. Musidorus, according to an agreement between Pyrocles and himself to alter their names, answered that he called himself Palladius, and his friend Diaphantus. And Kalander, judging his guest was of no mean calling, and seeing him possessed with an extreme burning fever, conveyed him to commodious lodging in his house, and respectfully entertained him; and the young shepherds went away, leaving Musidorus loath to part with them.

There Palladius continued some while with no great hope of life, but youth at length got the victory of sickness. Palladius, having gotten his health, Kalander, who found in him a piercing wit, void of ostentation, high-erected thoughts seated in a heart of courtesy, and a behaviour so noble as gave a majesty to adversity, and enamoured with a fatherly love towards him, proceeded to tell him of Arcadia.

"Here dwelleth and reigneth Prince Basilius, who being already well stricken in years married a young Princess, Gynecia, of notable beauty, and of these two are brought to the world two daughters, the elder named Pamela, the younger Philoclea, both beyond measure excellent in all the gifts allotted to reasonable creatures. When I marked them, methought there was more sweetness in Philoclea, but more majesty in Pamela; methought Philoclea's beauty only persuaded, but so persuaded as all hearts must yield; Pamela's beauty used violence, and such violence as no heart could resist. Philoclea, so bashful as though her excellencies had stolen into her before she was aware; Pamela of high thoughts, who avoids pride by making it one of her excellencies to be void of pride. Now Basilius hath retired himself, his wife, and children, into a forest hereby, which he calleth his desert, having appointed a nobleman named Philanax to be Prince Regent--and most worthy so to be--and this Basilius doth, because he means not, while he breathes, that his daughters shall have any husbands, but keep them solitary with him."

Some few days afterwards Palladius perceived by the behaviour of Kalander, who had retired himself to his chamber, that an ill-pleasing accident had fallen out. Whereupon he called to the steward and desired the truth, who confessed that his master had received news that his son, Clitophon, who was near the day of his marriage, had been made prisoner at a battle between the Lacedæmon and the Helots, when going to deliver a friend of his taken prisoner by the Helots; and every hour he was to look for nothing but some cruel death, though he had offered great ransom for his life, which death, hitherunto, had only been delayed by the captain of the Helots, who seemed to have a heart of more manly pity than the rest.

Hearing this, Palladius thanked the steward, and then, well bethinking himself, called for armour, a horse, and guide, and armed all saving the head, went to Kalander, who had banished food and sleep as enemies to mourning, and said, "No more, no more of this, my Lord Kalander, let us labour to find before we lament the loss." And with those words comfort seemed to lighten in his eyes; and in his face and gesture was painted victory.

Kalander's spirits were so revived that he himself guided Palladiu to the place upon the frontiers where already were assembled several thousand men all well disposed for Kalander's sake to abide any peril. So Palladius marched on the town of Cardamila, where Clitophon was captive, and having by a stratagem obtained entry, put the Helots to flight, but ere the Arcadians could reach the prison, the captain of the Helots, who had been absent, returned and rallied them. Then the fight grew most sharp, and the encounters of cruel obstinacy, and such was the overflowing of the valour of Palladius that the captain of the Helots saw he alone was worth all the rest of the Arcadians; and disdaining to fight any other sought only to join with him, which mind was no less in Palladius. So they began a combat, surpassing in bravery, and, as it were, delightful terribleness, till, both sides beginning to wax faint, the captain of the Helots strake Palladius upon the side of the head, and withal his helmet fell off. Other of the Arcadians were ready to shield him from any harm which might rise of that nakedness; but little needed it, for his chief enemy kneeled down, offering to deliver the pommel of his sword, in token of yielding, withal saying aloud that he thought it more liberty to be his prisoner than any other's general. Palladius, standing upon himself, and misdoubting some craft, "What," said the Captain, "hath Palladius forgotten the voice of Diaphantus?"

And by that watchword Palladius knew it was his only friend Pyrocles, whom he had lost upon the sea, and therefore both caused the retreat to be sounded. And of the Arcadian side the good old Kalander striving more than his old age could achieve, was taken prisoner, but being led towards the captain of the Helots, whom should he see next the captain but his son Clitophon! Then were Kalander and Clitophon delivered to the Arcadians without ransom, for so the Helots agreed, being moved by the authority of Diaphantus as much as persuaded by his reasons, and to Palladius (for so he called Musidorus) he sent word by Clitophon that he would himself repair to Arcadia, having dispatched himself of the Helots. Also he assured them he would bring with him Clitophon's friend. Araglus, till then kept in close prison, or he would die. And this he did, and was received with loving joy by Kalander.

II.--The Lovers' Quest

The two friends having accounted their adventures to each other since they parted, embraced and kissed each other, and then told Kalander the whole story; and Palladius recounted also to Pyrocles the strange story of Arcadia and its king. And so they lived for some days in great contentment. But anon, it could not be hid from Palladius that Diaphantus was grown weary of his abode in Arcadia, seeing the court could not be visited, but was prohibited to all men save certain shepherdish people. And one day, when Kalander had invited them to the hunting of a goodly stag, Diaphantus was missed, after death had been sent to the poor beast with a crossbow, and on returning to the house, Palladius, greatly marvelling, lighted on a letter written by Pyrocles before he went a-hunting, in which he said that violence of love led to his absence. Then Palladius determined never to leave seeking him till his search should be either by meeting accomplished, or by death ended.

So, in private guise, he directed his course to Laconia, and passed through Achai, and Sycyonia, and returned after two months travail in vain. Having already passed over the greater part of Arcadia, one day, going to repose himself in a little wood, he saw a fair lady walking with her side towards him, whose sword interested her to be an Amazon, and following her warily to a fine close arbour, he heard her sing, with a voice no less beautiful to his ears than her goodliness was full of harmony to his sight. The ditty gave him suspicion, and the voice gave him assurance who the singer was, and entering boldly he perceived it was Pyrocles thus disguised.

Then Pyrocles told him he had been infected by love through a sight of the picture of the king's daughter Philoclea, and by what he had heard of her and, in the guise of an Amazon, and under the name of Zelmane, had come forth to seek her.

As a supposed niece to the Queen of the Amazons he had been gently received by King Basilius in his sylvan retirement, and introduced to his Queen and daughters, with the effect that he was more than ever in love with the Princess Philoclea, while old Basilius, deceived as to his sex, showed signs of a doting admiration which choked him with its tediousness.

So Musidorus returned to a village not far off, and Zelmane returned to the part of the forest where the king kept his seclusion.

When Zelmane next returned to the arbour where she had met Musidorus she saw, walking from herward, a man in shepherdish apparel, with a sheephook in his right hand, and singing as he went a lamentable tune. The voice made her hasten her pace to overtake him, for she plainly perceived it was her dear friend Musidorus.

Then Musidorus recounted how sojourning in secret, and watching by the arbour, he had observed and loved the Princess Pamela, and was now under the name of Dorus, disguised as one of the shepherds who were allowed the Princess' presence. And so it happened that when Basilius, the better to breed Zelmane's liking, appointed a fair field for shepherdish pastimes, Zelmane and Dorus were both of the company, Dorus still keeping his eye on Pamela, and Zelmane setting the hand of Philoclea to her lips, when suddenly there came out of a wood a monstrous lion, with a she-bear not far from him, of little less fierceness. Philoclea no sooner espied the lion than she lept up and ran lodge-ward, as fast as her delicate legs could carry her, while Dorus drew Pamela behind a tree, where she stood quaking like the partridge which the hawk is ready to seize. The Zelmane, to whom danger was a cause of dreadlessness, slew the lion and carried the head to Philoclea, while Pamela was seen coming, and having in her hand the paw of the bear which the shepherd Dorus had presented unto her. And while Philoclea applied precious balm to a wound of no importance which Zelmane had received, Pamela's noble heart would needs make known gratefully the valiant means of her safety.

And now the two friends sought to make known their true estate to Philoclea and Pamela. So Dorus, feigning a love in attendance on Pamela, told her, in the presence of her mistress, the story of the two friends, Pyrocles and Musidorus, but in such words that Pamela understood who it was that was speaking, and carried to Philoclea the news that her Dorus had fallen out to be none other than the Prince Musidorus, famous over all Asia for his heroical enterprises; and, later, Pyrocles, finding himself in private conference with Philoclea, did avow himself Prince of Macedon, and her true lover, and they passed the promise of marriage, and she, to entertain him from a more straight parley, did entreat him to tell the story of his life, and what he did until he came to the shipwreck.

III.--Through Perils to Peace

By the mischievous device of Cecropia, aunt to the Princesses, both were carried away, with Zelmane, and imprisoned in her castle in the hope that Philoclea would favour the suit of her cousin Amphialus, Crecropia's son. But Philoclea remained faithful to her love for Pyrocles, and Pamela faithful to her love for Musidorus, who brought up an army and stormed the castle, and rescued the prisoners.

The princes, becoming tired of inaction, and foreseeing no favourable issue to their concealed suits, persuaded the Princesses to attempt an escape with them to their own dominions; and such was the trust Pamela placed in Musidorus and Philoclea in Pyrocles, that they became willing companions in the flight. But when Musidorus and Pamela had escaped, and Pyrocles sought Philoclea in her room to carry her away, he found she was unable to undertake the fatigue of the journey; and Dametas, the clownish guardian of the princess, discovering the presence of Pyrocles in the room, locked the door on the inside, and raised an alarm. Musidorus and Pamela too were surprised, secured, and brought back.

Now, by the laws of the Arcadians, both the princesses and their lovers had forfeited their lives by their indiscretions, but King Basilius was removed from the seat of judgement by drinking a potion of drugged wine, which the Queen, not without warning to the King, had prepared for Zelmane. It was left, therefore, to Philanax, the regent, to deal with the difficulties that surrounded the administration of justice--the offences of Musidorus and Pyrocles, of Philoclea and Pamela, who now became heir to the throne, and the complicity of the Queen in the death of the King. At this moment, Euarchus, King of Macedon, arrived with a small escort, on a visit to his friend, King Basilius, and, by common consent, was asked to deliver judgement on the several prisoners.

His decisions were, that the Queen should be buried quick with the body of her husband; that Philoclea should be kept a prisoner as a vestal nun; that Pyrocles should be thrown out of a high tower to receive his death by his fall, and that Musidorus should be beheaded.

At this moment a stranger broke through the press and astonished the multitude with his cries. Then falling at the feet of Euarchus, he told him those whom he had judged were his own son, the comfort of Macedon, and his nephew, the only stay of Thessalia, who, during their wanderings, had grown out of the knowledge of their king.

Then Euarchus, after staying a good while upon himself like a valiant man that should receive a good encounter, at length said, "O Arcadians, that what this day I have said, hath been out of my assured persuasion what justice itself, and your just laws require. Now, contrary to expectation, I find the guilty to be my only son and nephew. But shall justice halt? Or rather shall all my private respects give place to that holy name? Let the remnant of my life be an inward and outward desolation; but never, never let sacred rightfulness fall. Therefore, O Philanax, see the judgement rightly performed."

But this pitiful matter was not entered into, for King Basilius, who had been thought dead, awoke from the sleep into which the potion had cast him, and there was much ado to make him understand what had fallen out. Then, having weighed these things, he first sent with all honourable pomp for his Queen, Gynecia, and told them how she had warned him to take heed of the drink; and next, with princely entertainment to Euarchus, and to his inestimable joy the marriage was concluded between the peerless princes and princesses.


TOBIAS SMOLLETT

The Adventures of Roderick Random

Tobias George Smollett was born at Dalquhurn, Dumbartonshire, Scotland, in 1721. He was apprenticed to a Glasgow apothecary, came to London in 1739, much in the way described in "Roderick Random," with a tragedy in his pocket, and very little else. The play, "Regicide," he submitted in vain to various theatrical managers, and, reduced almost to starvation, during the same year accepted the post of surgeon's mate on board a King's ship. In 1746 he returned to England, bent upon another desperate effort to make a living by his pen. A period of adverse fortune followed, broken, however, in 1748 by the publication of "The Adventures of Roderick Random." Two years later Smollett obtained his M.D. degree, and for a number of years combined medical work with literature. In 1756 he was made editor of the "Critical Review," a post which resulted in a fine of £100 and three months' imprisonment for a libel on Admiral Knowles. He died on October 21, 1771. Smollett wrote altogether five novels and a number of historical works and records of travel. It is impossible to overestimate his influence on novel-writing. Most of the great Victorian writers, especially Charles Dickens, owe much to his art.

I.--My Birth, Parentage, and Childhood

I was born in the northern part of this United Kingdom, in the house of my grandfather, a gentleman of considerable fortune and influence, who was remarkable for his abilities in the law, which he exercised with great success in the station of a judge.

My father, his youngest son, falling in love with a poor relation, who lived with the old gentleman in the quality of housekeeper, espoused her privately; and I was the first fruit of that marriage. On my grandfather telling my father one day, that he had provided a match for him, the latter frankly owned what he had done. He added, that no exception could be taken to his wife's virtue, birth, beauty, and good sense; and as for fortune, it was beneath his care; he could be in no danger of wanting while his father's tenderness remained, which he and his wife should always cultivate with the utmost veneration. "Your brothers and sisters," said my grandfather, "did not think it beneath them to consult me in an affair of such importance as matrimony; neither, I suppose, would you have omitted that piece of duty, had not you some secret fund in reserve, to the comforts of which I leave you, with a desire that you will this night seek out another habitation for yourself and wife. Sir, you are a polite gentleman, I will send you an account of the expense I have been at in your education--I wish you a great deal of joy, and am your very humble servant."

So saying, he left my father in a situation easily imagined. However, he did not long hesitate: for being perfectly well acquainted with my grandfather's disposition, he knew it would be to no purpose to attempt him by prayers and entreaties. So without any further application, he betook himself with his disconsolate bedfellow to a farmhouse, where an old servant of his mother dwelt. In this ill-adapted situation they remained for some time, until my mother, hoping that her tears and condition would move my grandfather to compassion, went, in disguise, to the house, and implored his forgiveness. My grandfather told her that he had already made a vow which put it out of his power to assist her; and this said, he retired.

My mother was so afflicted by this that she was, at once, thrown into violent pains. By the friendship of an old maidservant she was carried up to a garret, where I was born. Three days later my grandfather sent a peremptory order to her to be gone, and weakness, grief, and anxiety soon put an end to her life. My father was so affected with her death, that he remained six weeks deprived of his senses; during which time, the people where he lodged carried the infant to the old man, who relented so far as to send the child to nurse.

My father's delirium was succeeded by a profound melancholy. At length he disappeared, and could not be heard of; and there were not wanting some who suspected my uncles of being concerned in my father's fate, on the supposition that they would all share in the patrimony destined for him.

I grew apace; and the jealous enmity of my cousins quickly showed itself; before I was six years of age their implacable hatred made them blockade my grandfather, so that I never saw him but by stealth.

I was soon after sent to school at a village hard by, of which my grandfather had been dictator time out of mind; but as he neither paid for my board, nor supplied me with clothes, books, or other necessaries, my condition was very ragged and contemptible; and the schoolmaster gave himself no concern about the progress I made.

In spite of all this, I became a good proficient in the Latin tongue; but the contempt which my appearance produced, the continual wants to which I was exposed, and my own haughty disposition, involved me in a thousand troubles and adventures. I was often inhumanly scourged for crimes I did not commit; because having the character of a vagabond in the village every piece of mischief whose author lay unknown, was charged upon me. Far from being subdued by this infernal usage, my indignation triumphed, and the more my years and knowledge increased, the more I perceived the injustice and barbarity of the treatment I received. By the help of our usher, I made a surprising progress in the classics and arithmetic, so that before I was twelve years old I was allowed by everybody to be the best scholar in the school.

Meanwhile, I took the advantage of every playday to present myself before my grandfather, to whom I seldom found access, by reason of his being closely besieged by a numerous family of his grandchildren, who, though they perpetually quarrelled among themselves, never failed to join against me, as the common enemy of all. His heir, who was about the age of eighteen, minded nothing but fox-hunting, and never set eyes on me, without uncoupling his beagles, and hunting me into some cottage or other, whither I generally fled for shelter.

About this time, my mother's only brother, who had been long abroad, lieutenant of a man of war, arrived in his own country; where, being informed of my condition, he came to see me, and, out of his slender finances, not only supplied me with what necessaries I wanted for the present, but resolved not to leave the country until he had prevailed on my grandfather to settle something handsome on me for the future. To this end he set out with me for my grandfather's house, and after a few minutes' pause he was admitted. When we came into the judge's presence (through a lane of my relations), my uncle, after two or three sea bows, expressed himself in this manner: "Your servant--your servant, what cheer?--I suppose you don't know me--mayhap you don't. My name is Tom Bowling; and this here boy--you look as if you did not know him neither, 'tis like you mayn't. 'Tis my nephew, d'ye see, Roderick Random--your own flesh and blood; and, if you have any conscience at all, do something for this poor boy, who has been used at a very un-Christian rate. Come--consider, old gentleman, you are going in a short time to give an account of your evil actions. Remember the wrongs you did his father, and make all the satisfaction in your power before it be too late. The least thing you can do is to settle his father's portion on him."

The judge in reply told my uncle he had been very kind to the boy, whom he had kept to school seven or eight years, although he was informed he made no progress in his learning, but was addicted to all manner of vice. However, he would see what the lad was fit for, and bind him apprentice to some honest tradesman or other, provided he would behave for the future as became him.

The honest tar answered my grandfather, that it was true he had sent me to school, but it had cost him nothing; as to my making small progress, he was well-informed as how Rory was the best scholar of his age in all the country. "Thank you for your courteous offer of binding the lad apprentice to a tradesman. I suppose you would make a tailor of him, would you. I had rather see him hanged, d'ye see. Come along, Rory, I perceive how the land lies, my boy; let's tack about--i'faith, while I have a shilling, thou sha'n't want a sixpence. Bye, old gentleman, you're bound for the other world, but damnably ill provided for the voyage."

Thus ended our visit, and we returned to the village, my uncle muttering curses all the way against the old shark and the young fry that surrounded him.

II.--I Arrive in London

A few weeks after our first visit, we were informed that the old judge, conscious of his approaching end, had made his will, and desired to see all his descendants. So my uncle set out with me a second time, and when we entered his chamber we found my grandfather in his last agonies. My uncle approached him with these words: "How fare ye, old gentleman?--Lord have mercy upon your poor sinful soul. Here's poor Rory come to see you before you die, and receive your blessing. What, man! Don't despair--you have been a great sinner, 'tis true. What then? There's a righteous judge above--ain't there?--Yes, yes, he's agoing--He minds me no more than a porpoise, the land crabs will have him, I see that--his anchor's apeak, i'faith."

In a few minutes we were convinced of my grandfather's decease, by a dismal yell uttered by the young ladies in his apartment.

It was not till after the funeral that the will was read, and the reader can scarce conceive the astonishment and mortification that appeared, when the attorney pronounced aloud, the young squire sole heir of all his grandfather's estate, personal and real, and that there were no legacies.

My uncle at once decided, though he could ill afford it, to give me university education; and accordingly settled my board and other expenses at a town not many miles distant, famous for its colleges, whither we repaired in a short time.

In a few days after, my uncle set out for his ship, and I began to consider my precarious situation; that my sole dependence was on the generosity of one man.

I at once applied myself with great care to my studies, and in the space of three years I understood Greek very well, and was pretty far advanced in mathematics.

Then one day my landlady's husband put two letters in my hand, from my uncle. The first was to my landlord, explaining that he had fought a duel with his captain, and in consequence had been obliged to sheer off from his ship.

The second was to me, assuring me that all would be well some day.

My landlord only shook his head and desired me to provide myself with another lodging; which I promptly did, and for a time I took service under a drunken surgeon named Crab. When I deemed myself sufficiently master of my business, I decided to go to London. "You may easily get on board of a King's ship in quality of a surgeon's mate," said Crab; "where you will certainly see a great deal of practise, and stand a good chance of getting prize money."

In a few weeks I set out for London, my whole fortune consisting of one suit of clothes, half a dozen ruffled shirts, as many plain, four pair of stockings, a case of pocket instruments, Wiseman's Surgery, and ten guineas in cash, for which Crab took my bond.

At Newcastle-upon-Tyne I found an old schoolfellow, named Hugh Strap, employed in a barber's shop, and we at once embraced cordially. Strap, having saved sufficient money for the occasion, at once decided to go to London with me, and we departed next morning by daybreak.

As we travelled mostly in wagons, it was a tedious journey, but at length we entered the great city. Nothing but disappointment awaited us. In vain I applied at the Navy Office. I had satisfied the board at Surgeon's Hall, it seemed nothing but money could help me at the Navy Office, and by that time I had not wherewithal to purchase a dinner.

Strap obtained employment and generously shared his purse with me, otherwise I should have starved.

Instead of getting an appointment as surgeon's mate, I was seized, when I was crossing Tower Wharf, by a press-gang; and on my resistance, was disarmed, taken prisoner, and carried on board; where, after being treated like a malefactor, I was thrust down into the hold among a parcel of miserable wretches, the sight of whom well nigh distracted me.

After we had sailed, I was released from irons by the good offices of a Surgeon's Mate whom I had met on land, and subsequently I was appointed to assist the surgeon, and exempted from all other duties.

Our destination was the West Indies, and here I saw active service in the war with Spain. When the time came to return to England the ship was wrecked off the coast of Sussex. I got ashore, and in my distress was glad to be hired by an elderly lady as her footman. I speedily acquired the good opinion of my mistress, and fell in love with her niece Narcissa, cursing the servile station that placed me so far beneath the regard of this amiable and adorable being. I soon learnt that the brother of my idol was a savage, fox-hunting squire, who had designed the lovely Narcissa for Sir Timothy Thicket, a neighbouring foxhunter. I cursed in my heart this man for his presumption, looking upon him as my rival.

Eight months I remained in the station of footman, and then an accident put an end to my servitude.

I was passing through a wood when I heard the cries of Narcissa, and rushing to her assistance, rescued her from the brutal familiarities of Sir Timothy. I struck his weapon out of his hand, and cudgelled him so that he fell to the ground and lay senseless.

Narcissa thanked me with tender acknowledgements, but I was soon warned that I should be apprehended and transported for assaulting a magistrate. I escaped to France by the aid of smugglers, but before I left I avowed my passion, and explained that I was an unfortunate gentleman, and the story of my mishandling provoked a sympathetic response.

III.--I Recover My Father

From the Marshalsea Prison, where I had been lodged for debt, some time after my return from France, I was rescued by my generous uncle, Mr. Bowling. He told me that he was now in command of a large merchant ship, and proposed that I should sail with him in quality of his surgeon, with a share in the profits. I accepted his offer, without hesitation, and Strap, who had stood by me in so many troubles, at my desire was made ship's steward by Captain Bowling.

Before we sailed I managed to achieve an interview with Narcissa; and sure, lovers never parted with such sorrow and reluctance as we.

Our voyage was entirely successful, and while we were at anchor in that part of South America which is called Buenos Ayres, I amused myself with the transporting hopes of enjoying Narcissa on our return. I had money and would marry his sister by stealth if the fox-hunting squire was still as averse to me as ever.

We were very much caressed by the Spanish gentlemen of the country, and made the acquaintance of a certain English signior, who had been settled in those parts many years, and had acquired the love and esteem of the whole province.

I had been struck with a profound veneration for this gentleman on first seeing him; when he spoke I listened with reverence and attention. I sympathised involuntarily with the melancholy which saddened the face of Don Rodrigo--for so he was named.

Don Rodrigo, understanding we were his countrymen, desired our company at his house, and seemed to show a particular regard for me. He made me a present of a beautiful ring, saying at the same time that he was once blessed with a son, who, had he lived, would have been nearly of my age. This observation made my heart throb with violence, and a crowd of confused ideas filled my imagination. My uncle, perceiving my absence of thought, tapped me on the shoulder and said: "Odds! are you asleep, Rory?"

Before I had time to reply, Don Rodrigo said eagerly, "Pray, captain, what is the young gentleman's name?"

"His name," said my uncle, "is Roderick Random."

"Gracious Powers!" cried Don Rodrigo, starting up--"and his mother's?"

"His mother," answered the captain, amazed, "was called Charlotte Bowling."

"O Bounteous Heaven!" exclaimed Don Rodrigo, clasping me in his arms, "my son! my son! have I found thee again?" So saying, he fell upon my neck and wept aloud for joy. The captain, wringing my father's hand, cried, "Brother Random, I'm rejoiced to see you--God be praised for this happy meeting." Don Rodrigo embraced him affectionately, saying, "Are you my Charlotte's brother? Brother, you are truly welcome. This day is a jubilee!"

My father decided to return with us to England, and having learnt from me of my love for Narcissa, approved of my passion, and promised to contribute all in his power towards its success. I stayed in his house, and at his request recounted to him the passages of my life, and he gratified me with the particulars of his story.

"Careless of life," he said, "and unable to live in a place where every object recalled the memory of my dear Charlotte, I little suspected that my father's unkindness would have descended to my innocent orphan, when I set out for France. From Paris I accompanied a young nobleman as tutor to the Court of Spain, and from Spain I came to South America, where for sixteen years heaven has prospered my undertakings. Your fate I could never learn, notwithstanding all my enquiries."

Presently Strap arrived, whom my father at once took by the hand, saying, "Is this the honest man who befriended you so much in your distress? I will soon put it in the power of my son to reward you for your good offices in his behalf."

Shortly afterwards, Don Rodrigo, who had already remitted twenty thousand pounds to Holland, settled his affairs, converted his effects into silver and gold, visited and took leave of all his friends; and, coming on board of my uncle's ship, with the first favourable wind we sailed from the Rio de la Plata, and in three months after made the Lizard.

It is impossible to express the joy I felt at the sight of English ground! Don Rodrigo was not unmoved, and Strap shed tears of gladness.

My father and I went ashore immediately at Portsmouth, leaving Strap with the captain to go round with the ship. I rode across country into Sussex, where I learnt that Narcissa was in London, and that her brother was married, and vowed his sister should lose her fortune if she married without his consent.

IV.--I Am Married

No sooner was I in London than I sought my charmer in her lodgings. How was my soul transported, when Narcissa broke in upon my view, in all the bloom of ripened beauty! We flew into each other's arms. "O adorable Narcissa," cried I; "never shall we part again."

In the evening I accompanied my father to her lodgings. He embraced her tenderly, and told her he was proud of having a son who had engaged the affections of such a fine lady.

Don Rodrigo was, quickly, as much charmed with her good sense as with her appearance; and she was no less pleased with his understanding and polite address.

The following was the squire's answer to a letter from my father, promising handsome settlements on my marriage to Narcissa:

"Sir--Concerning a letter which I received, subscribed R. Random, this is the answer. As for you, I know nothing of you. Your son, or pretended son, I have seen--if he marries my sister, at his peril be it; I do declare, that he shall have not one farthing of her fortune, which becomes my property, if she takes a husband without my consent. Your settlement, I do believe, is all a sham, and yourself no better than you should be; but if you had all the wealth of the Indies, your son should never match in our family, with the consent of

ORSON TOPEHALL."

My father was not much surprised at this polite letter, after having heard the character of the author; and as for me, I was very pleased at his refusal, because I now had an opportunity of showing my disinterested love. I waited on my charmer; and having imparted the contents of her brother's letter, the time of our marriage was fixed at the distance of two days.

My uncle being by this time come to town, I introduced him to my bride, and he was struck dumb with admiration at her beauty. After having kissed and gazed at her for some time, he turned to me, saying, "Odds Bobs, Rory! here's a notable prize, indeed, finely built and gloriously rigged, i'faith! No offence, I hope, niece; you must not mind what I say, being, as the saying is, a plain seafaring man."

Narcissa received him with great civility, and told him that she looked upon him as her uncle, by which name she begged leave to call him for the future.

The honest captain was transported at her courteous behaviour, and insisted upon giving her away at the ceremony, swearing that he loved her as well as if she was his own child.

Everything being prepared for the solemnisation of our nuptials, which were to be performed privately at my father's house, the auspicious hour arrived. In a little time the clergyman did his office, my uncle, at his own request, acting the part of a father to my dear Narcissa.


My father, intending to revisit his native country, Narcissa and I resolved to accompany him; while my uncle determined to try his fortune once more at sea.

At Edinburgh, Don Rodrigo, having intelligence that the family estate was to be exposed to sale by public auction, determined to make a purchase, and actually bought all the land that once belonged to his father.

In a few days after this bargain was made, we left Edinburgh, in order to go and take possession; and, by the way, halted one night in that town where I was educated. Upon inquiry, I found that Mr. Crab was dead; whereupon I sent for his executor, paid the sum I owed, with interest, and took up my bond. We proceeded to our estate, which lay about twenty miles from this place, and were met by a prodigious number of poor tenants, men, women, and children, who testified their joy by loud acclamations; so that we were almost devoured by their affection. My charming Narcissa was universally admired by all our neighbours who called upon us; and she is so well pleased with the situation of the place, and the company round, that she has not the least desire of changing her habitation. If there be such a thing as true happiness on earth, I enjoy it.


Peregrine Pickle

"The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle," published in 1751, is the second of Smollett's novels. It was written under more congenial circumstances than "Roderick Random," although it is admitted that the hero is by no means a moral improvement on his predecessor. Sir Walter Scott describes him as "the savage and ferocious Pickle, who, besides his gross and base brutality towards Emilia, besides his ingratitude towards his uncle, and the savage propensity which he shows in the pleasure he takes to torment others by practical jokes, exhibits a low and un-gentlemanlike way of thinking, only one degree higher than that of Roderick Random." But the real interest of the story lies not so much in the adventures of Peregrine, as in the character of the old Commodore Trunnion. Thackeray declared Trunnion to be equal to Fielding's Squire Weston. If in "Peregrine Pickle" Smollett occasionally exhibits a tendency to secure variety by extravagant caricature, it is certain that in none of his works, and in none of those of any of his contemporaries, does a richer and more various crowd of personalities appear--a crowd at once quaint and amusing, disgusting and contemptible.

I.--Peregrine's Parentage

In a certain county of England, bounded on one side by the sea, and at the distance of 100 miles from the metropolis, lived Gamaliel Pickle, Esq., the son of a London merchant, who, from small beginnings, had acquired a plentiful fortune. On the death of his father, Mr. Pickle exerted all his capacity in business; but, encumbered by a certain indolence and sluggishness that prevailed over every interested consideration, he found himself at the end of fifteen years five thousand pounds worse than he was when he first took possession of his father's effects. Convinced by the admonitions of his only sister, Miss Grizzle, then in the thirtieth year of her maidenhood, he withdrew his money from the trade, and removed to a house in the country, which his father built near the seaside.

Here, then, Mr. Pickle fixed his habitation for life in the six and thirtieth year of his age; and before he had been three months settled, the indefatigable zeal of Miss Grizzle had arranged a match for her brother with a fair Miss Appleby, daughter of a gentleman who lived in the next parish.

The following letter was transmitted to Miss Appleby by her brother:

MISS SALLY APPLEBY.

MADAME,--Understanding you have a parcel of heart, warranted sound, to be disposed of, shall be willing to treat for said commodity on reasonable terms; doubt not we shall agree for same; shall wait on you for further information when and where you shall appoint. This the needful from Yours etc.,

GAM. PICKLE.

This laconic epistle met with as cordial a reception as if it had been couched in the terms of passion and genius. Mr. Appleby at once visited Mr. Pickle, the marriage settlement was determined, and the day appointed for the wedding,--to which everybody of any fashion in the neighbourhood was invited. Among these were Commodore Trunnion and Lieutenant Hatchway, two retired seamen, and the sole companions of the bridegroom.

In due time a fine boy was born, who was christened by the name of Peregrine, the Commodore assisting at the ceremony as godfather. On Mrs. Pickle assuming the management of household affairs, Miss Grizzle directed her operations upon the Commodore, whom she was resolved to captivate and enslave, in spite of his well-known distrust of matrimony.

Mr. Pickle had early learnt the singular character of his neighbour Trunnion from a loquacious publican at whose house he was accustomed to call. "The Commodore and your worship," said he, "will in a short time be hand in glove; he has a power of money and spends it like a prince; though, to be sure, he is a little humoursome, and swears roundily, though I'll be sworn he means no more harm than a sucking babe. Lord have mercy upon us! he's been a great warrior in his time, and lost an eye and a heel in the service. Then he does not live like any other Christian landman; but keeps garrison in his house, as if he were in the midst of his enemies, and makes his servants turn out in the night, watch and watch, as he calls it, all the year round. His habitation is defended by a ditch, over which he has laid a drawbridge, and planted his court-yard with pateroes continually loaded with shot, under the direction of one Mr. Hatchway, who had one of his legs shot away, while he acted as lieutenant on board the Commodore's ship; and now being on half pay, lives with him as his companion. The Lieutenant is a very brave man, a great joker, and, as the saying is, hath got the length of his commander's foot; though he has another favourite in the house, called Tom Pipes, that was his boatswain's mate, and now keeps the servants in order. Tom is a man of few words, but an excellent hand at a song, concerning the boatswain's whistle, husslecap, and chuck-farthing--there is not such another pipe in the country. So that the Commodore lives very happy in his own manner; though he be sometimes thrown into perilous passions and quandaries, and exceedingly afflicted with goblins that disturb his rest. Bless your honour's soul, he is a very oddish kind of a gentleman. I don't think he would marry the Queen of Sheba. Lackaday! sir, he won't suffer his own maids to speak in the garrison, but turns them into an outhouse before the watch is set."

However, Hatchway entered spiritedly into Miss Grizzle's cause by working on the fears of the Commodore. He prevailed upon Pipes to get up on the top of the chimney belonging to the Commodore's chamber at midnight, and to hollow through a speaking-trumpet, "Trunnion! turn out and be spliced, or lie still and be damned!" By this, and other stratagems, Trunnion's obstinacy was overcome. He wiped the sweat from his forehead, and heaving a piteous groan yielded to the remonstrances of Hatchway in these words: "Well, since it must be so, I think we must e'en grapple. But 'tis a hard case that a fellow of my years should be compelled, d'ye see, to beat up to windward all the rest of his life, against the current of his own inclination."

Things being brought to this bearing, Miss Grizzle's heart dilated with joy; the parson was persuaded to perform the ceremony in the garrison, which all that day was adorned with flags, and at night illuminated by the direction of Hatchway.

II.--The Commodore Takes Peregrine Under His Own Care

Having no hopes of propagating his own name, the Commodore, through his friendly intercourse with Mr. Gamaliel, contracted a liking for Peregrine, who, by this time entered the third year of his age, was a very handsome, healthy, and promising child, with a certain oddity of disposition for which he had been remarkable even from his cradle. Almost all his little childish satire was levelled against the Commodore, but in this he might have been influenced by the example and instruction of Mr. Hatchway, who delighted in superintending the first essays of his genius.

One day when the Commodore had chastised the child by a gentle tap with his cane, Peregrine fell flat on the floor as if he had been deprived of all sense and motion, to the terror and amazement of the striker; and having filled the whole house with confusion and dismay, opened his eyes, and laughed heartily at the success of his own imposition.

A few years later, when Mrs. Pickle decided to send Peregrine to a boarding-school, her husband not venturing to make the least objection, the Commodore interested himself so much in behalf of his favourite, as to fit him out at his own charge, and accompany him in person to the place of his destination. In less than a twelvemonth the boy was remarkable for the brightness of his parts, and the Commodore received with transport an account of his proficiency, and forthwith communicated the happy tidings to the parents.

Mr. Gamaliel Pickle heard them with a sort of phlegmatic satisfaction, and the child's mother observed that the truth was always exaggerated by schoolmasters. Mrs. Pickle being by this time blessed with a daughter, her affection was otherwise engrossed.

A change of master at the school made the Commodore resolve to fetch the boy away. He went directly to visit Mrs. Pickle, and desired she would permit him to take his godson under his own care.

This lady, whose family was now increased by another son, had not seen Perry during the course of four years, and with regard to him was perfectly weaned of maternal fondness; she therefore consented to the Commodore's request with great condescension, and a polite compliment on the concern he had all along manifested for the welfare of the child.

Trunnion having obtained this permission, that very afternoon dispatched the lieutenant in a postchaise to the school, from whence in two days he returned with our young hero; who, being now in the eleventh year of his age, was remarkable for the beauty of his person. His godfather was transported with his arrival, and in the afternoon conducted him to the house of his parents.

Strange to tell, no sooner was Peregrine presented to his mother, than she eyed him with tokens of affliction and surprise, and bursting into tears, exclaimed that her child was dead, and this was no other than an impostor whom they brought to defraud her sorrow. Trunnion was confounded at this unaccountable passion, which had no other foundation than caprice and whim; and Gamaliel himself was so disconcerted and unsettled in his own belief, which began to waver, that he knew not how to behave towards the boy, whom his godfather immediately carried back to the garrison, swearing all the way that Perry should never cross their threshold again with his goodwill. Thus exiled from his father's house, the young gentleman was left entirely to the disposal of the Commodore, whose affection for him daily increased.

III.--First Acquaintance with Miss Emilia Gauntlet

At the age of twelve Peregrine was sent to Winchester School. A clergyman named Jacob Jolter was engaged as tutor to superintend the boy's education, and Tom Pipes, at his own petition, put into livery, and appointed footman to the young squire. Mr. Pickle approved of the plan, though he durst not venture to see the boy; so much was he intimidated by his wife, whose aversion to her firstborn became every day more inveterate and unaccountable. Her second son, Gam, now in the fourth year of his age, had been rickety from the cradle, and as the deformity increased, the mother's fondness was augmented. Though she no longer retained the notion of Perry being an impostor, she would not suffer him to approach his father's house, and broke off all commerce with her sister-in-law and the Commodore because they favoured the poor child.

Her malice, however, was frustrated by the love and generosity of Trunnion, who, having adopted him as his own son, equipped him accordingly.

At school, Peregrine, after two years of mischievous pranks, fixed his view upon objects which he thought more worthy of his attention than practical joking. Having contracted intimacies with several youths older than himself, they, pleased with his address, introduced him into parties of gallantry; and Peregrine soon found he was by nature particularly adapted for succeeding in adventures of this kind.

Being one evening at the ball which is always given at the time of the races, Peregrine was struck with admiration at the beauty of a young lady, who seemed to be of his own age. He begged she would do him the honour to walk a minuet with him, and she frankly complied with his request. If he was charmed with her appearance, he was quite ravished with her discourse, which was sensible, spirited, and gay. Her mother, who was present, thanked him for his civility, and he received a compliment of the same nature from the young lady's brother.

When the company broke up, Peregrine obtained permission to visit her at her habitation about sixteen miles from Winchester, and was also informed by her mother that her name was Miss Emilia Gauntlet. He assured Mrs. Gauntlet that he should not neglect this invitation, and having learned that his Emilia (for so he already called her) was the only daughter of a deceased field officer, he set out early one morning for the village where his charmer lived. He was received with demonstrations of regard and affection by Emilia and her mother; but his absence produced great disturbance at Winchester, and finally the Commodore, having been informed of his nephew's disappearance, dispatched Hatchway, who traced the truant to the village where he had taken up his abode, and persuaded him to return to the school.

Shortly afterwards Peregrine was summoned to attend his uncle, and in a few days arrived with Mr. Jolter and Pipes at the garrison, which he filled with joy and satisfaction. From a comely boy he was now converted into a most engaging youth, already taller than a middle-sized man. The Commodore, who assumed justly the whole merit of his education, was as proud of the youth's improvements as if he had actually been his own offspring; but Peregrine could not help feeling the injury he suffered from the caprice of his mother, and foreseeing the disagreeable situation he would find himself in if any sudden accident should deprive him of the Commodore, he therefore accompanied his uncle one evening to the Club and presented himself to his father, begging pathetically to know how he had incurred his displeasure.

Mr. Gamaliel was never so disconcerted as at this rencontre. His own disposition was perfectly neutral, but he was so strongly impressed with the terror of his wife, that he answered in a peevish strain, "Why, good now, child, what would you have me to do? Your mother can't abide you."

"If my mother is so unkind, I hope you will not be so unjust," said Peregrine, tears of indignation starting from his eyes. Before Mr. Pickle could reply, the Commodore interposed, and Gamaliel at length surrendered. He acquiesced in the justice of his friend's observations, and, taking his son by the hand, promised to favour him for the future with his love and fatherly protection.

But this laudable resolution did not last. Mrs. Pickle, having made him disclose what had happened, he sustained a most severe rebuke for his simplicity and indiscretion, and humbled himself so far as to promise to annul the condescensions he had made, and for ever renounce the ungracious object of her disgust. This undertaking was punctually performed in a letter to the Commodore, which Mrs. Pickle herself dictated: "Sir,--Whereas my good nature being last night imposed upon, I was persuaded to promise I know not what to that vicious youth whose parent I have the misfortune to be; I desire you will take notice that I revoke all such promises, and shall never look upon that man as my friend, who will henceforth in such a cause solicit,

Yours, etc., GAM. PICKLE."

Trunnion was incensed by this absurd renunciation, nor did Peregrine bear with patience the injurious declaration.

Meanwhile preparations were made for the youth's departure to the University, and in a few weeks Peregrine set out for Oxford in the seventeenth year of his age, accompanied by Mr. Jolter and Pipes, the same attendants who lived with him at Winchester.

IV.--Peregrine is Left an Orphan and Marries

From the University, Peregrine went on a grand tour in Europe, and was only summoned home by a letter from Lieutenant Hatchway representing the dangerous condition of the Commodore.

Our hero arrived at the garrison about four o'clock in the morning and found his generous uncle in extremity. Though the Commodore's speech was difficult, he still retained the use of his senses, and when Peregrine approached, stretched out his hand with manifest signs of satisfaction. In spite of all his endeavours, the tears gushed from the young man's eyes, and the Commodore, perceiving his distress, made a last effort and consoled him in these words:

"Swab the spray from your bowsprit, my good lad, and coil up your spirits. Many a better man has foundered before he has made half my way; though I trust, by the mercy of God, I shall be sure in port in a very few glasses, and fast moored in a most blessed riding; for my good friend Jolter hath overhauled the journal of my sins, and by the observation he hath taken of the state of my soul, I hope I shall happily conclude my voyage, and be brought up in the latitude of heaven. Now while the sucker of my windpipe will go, I would willingly mention a few things which I hope you will set down in the logbook of your remembrance, d'ye see. There's your aunt sitting whimpering by the fire; I desire you will keep her tight, warm, and easy in her old age. Jack Hatchway, I believe she has a kindness for you; whereby, if you two will grapple in the way of matrimony I do suppose that my godson for love of me, will allow you to live in the garrison all the days of your life. I need not talk of Pipes, because I know you will do for him without any recommendation. But I hope you'll take care of the rest of my crew, and not disrate them after I am dead in favour of new followers. As for that young woman, Ned Gauntlet's daughter, I am informed as how she's an excellent wench, and has a respect for you; whereby if you run her on board in an unlawful way, I leave my curse upon you, and trust you will never prosper in the voyage of life. But I believe you are more of an honest man than to behave so much like a pirate. As soon as the breath is out of my body, let minute guns be fired, till I am safe under ground. Let my pistols, cutlass, and pocket compass be laid in the coffin along with me. And now I have no more to say, but God in heaven have mercy on my soul, and send you all fair weather, wheresoever you may be bound."

The Commodore's voice sunk so low as not to be distinguished, and having lain about an hour without moving he gave up the ghost with a groan.

Peregrine, having performed the will with a most pious punctuality, examined the will, and being sole executor, took an account of the estate to which he had succeeded, which amounted to £30,000.

His domestic affairs being settled, Hatchway remaining in command at the garrison, Peregrine was visited by almost all the gentlemen in the country, who endeavoured to effect a reconciliation betwixt his father and him. Old Gamaliel, at their entreaties, seemed very well disposed to any accommodation; but his favourable disposition was rendered altogether ineffectual by his implacable wife, and our hero resigned all expectations of being reunited to his father's house.

Peregrine, then took leave of all his friends, and repaired to London, where he made a remarkable appearance among the people of fashion. His own follies made Mrs. Gauntlet and Emilia hold aloof from him, and landed him for a time in the Fleet Prison. From this place the good offices of Emilia's brother, Godfrey Gauntlet, and Hatchway, released him, and the news of his father's death, who had died without making a will, hastened his departure. Peregrine, having thus succeeded to his father's estate, set off at once for the country, and instead of alighting at the garrison, rode straightway to his father's house, accompanied by Hatchway and Pipes.

No servants appearing to receive him, Peregrine advanced into the hall and made immediate application to a bell-rope. This brought two footmen into his presence, and one of them, in reply to a stern reprimand, said sullenly that they had been in the service of old Mr. Pickle, and now that he was dead, thought themselves bound to obey nobody but their lady, and her son Mr. Gamaliel. Our hero ordered them to decamp without further preparation, and as they continued restive, they were kicked out of doors by Hatchway. Young Gamaliel flew to the assistance of his adherents, and discharged a pistol at his brother, who luckily escaped the shot and turned him out into the court-yard, to the consolation of his two dependents.

The noise of the pistol alarmed Mrs. Pickle, who, running down stairs, would have assaulted our hero, had she not been restrained. The exercise of her tongue not being hindered, she wagged against him with all the virulence of malice. She asked if he was come to butcher his brother, to insult his father's corpse, and triumph in her affliction? And bestowed upon him the epithets of spendthrift, jail-bird, and unnatural ruffian.

Peregrine calmly replied, that if she did not quietly retire to her chamber, he should insist upon her removing to another lodging; for he was determined to be master in his own house.

Next morning the house was supplied with some servants from the garrison, and preparations were made for the funeral of the deceased.

Gamaliel, having taken lodging in the neighbourhood, was speedily followed by his mother, to whom Peregrine sent word that a regular provision should be settled upon her.

No will having been made in favour of the second son, all Mr. Pickle's property, amounting to more than £80,000, fell to Peregrine, the widow being entitled to a jointure of £500 a year.

On Peregrine's return to London, Godfrey Gauntlet, knowing his sister's affections still undiverted from her earliest love, arranged for his friend to call for him at Emilia's lodgings.

Rushing into her presence, Peregrine was at first so dazzled with her beauty, that his speech failed, and all his culties were absorbed in admiration. Then he obeyed the impulse of his love, and circled the charmer in his arms without suffering the least frown or symptom of displeasure. Observing Mrs. Gauntlet, he asked pardon for his neglect, and was forgiven in consideration of the long and unhappy exile which he had suffered.

"I ought to punish you with the mortification of a twelve months' trial," said Emilia, "but it is dangerous to tamper with an admirer of your disposition, and therefore I think I must make sure of you while it is in my power."

"You are willing, then, to take me for better, for worse, in presence of heaven and these witnesses?" cried Peregrine, kneeling, and applying her hand to his lips. She darted a side-glance, while her answer was, "Why--heaven grant me patience to bear the humours of such a yolk-fellow."

"And may the same powers," replied the youth, "grant me life and opportunity to manifest the immensity of my love."

Matters being thus happily matured, the lover begged that immediate recourse might be had to the church, and set out with Godfrey for Doctor Commons for a license, having first agreed that the ceremony should be performed in the lodgings of the bride.

Permission being obtained, they found a means to engage a clergyman, who undertook to attend them at their own time and place.

The ceremony was performed without delay, Hatchway standing as godfather to the bride.

Such another couple as Peregrine and Emilia were not to be found in the whole United Kingdom.


MADAME DE STAËL

Corinne

Madame de Staël, the most famous and brilliant of the many famous Frenchwomen of the Revolution and the Empire, was born, like Bonaparte himself, of alien parents. Her father was Necker, the eminent Swiss minister of finance under Louis XVI, whose triumph and exile were among the startling events of the opening stage of the Revolution; whilst her mother, also Swiss, had been the lover of the historian Gion and now presided over one of the most brilliant salons in Paris. Anne Marie Louise Germaine Necker was born at Paris on April 22, 1766. In 1787 she was married--unhappily--to Baron de Staël-Holstein, Swedish Ambassador at Paris. She was in peril during the Terror, but escaped to Switzerland. A few years afterwards she showed keen political activity against Napoleon, who respected her hostility so profoundly that he would not suffer her to approach Paris. Madame de Staëls "Corinne, or Italy," is accounted one of her two masterpieces, the other one being "On Germany." (See Vol. XX.) It was published in 1807, and was written at Coppet, in Switzerland, her place of residence and exile during her many enforced sojourns from Paris by order of the Emperor. "Corinne" not only revealed for the first time to the Frenchmen of her day the grandeur and mystery and charm of Italy, but also showed the national characteristics of French and Englishmen for the first time in their respective, and in a European light. Moreover, as one European critic has pointed out, it is also one of the first, and still one of the subtlest, studies in the psychology of sex and emancipation of woman of the nineteenth century. Madame de Staël's relations with the clever and ambitious young statesman and writer, Benjamin Constant, formed the chief source of her inspiration in writing "Corinne," as it formed his in writing "Adolphe." Madame de Staël died in Paris, July 14, 1817.

I.--The Roman Poetess

When Oswald, Lord Nevil, awoke on his first morning in Rome, he heard church bells ringing and cannon firing, as if announcing some high solemnity. He inquired the cause and learned that the most celebrated woman in Italy would that morning be crowned at the capital--Corinne, the poetess and improvisatrice, one of the loveliest women of Rome.

As he walked the streets, he heard her named every instant. Her family name was unknown. She had won fame by her verses five years before, under the simple name of Coe; and no one could tell where she had lived nor what she had been, in her earlier days.

The, triumphal procession approached, heralded by a burst of melody. First came a number of Roman nobles, then an antique car drawn by four spotless steeds, escorted by white clad maidens. Not until he beheld the woman in the car did Oswald lay aside his English reserve and yield to the spirit of the scene. Corinne was tall, robust like a Greek statue, and transcendently beautiful. Her attitude was noble and modest; while it manifestly pleased her to be admired, yet a timid air blended with her joy, and she seemed to ask pardon for her triumph.

She ascended to the capitol; the assembled Roman poets recited her praises; Prince Castel Forte, the most honoured of Roman noblemen, uttered a eulogy of her; and, ere she received the destined bays, she took up her lyre and in accordance with custom gave a poetic improvisation. The subject of her passionate chant was the glory of Italy; and amid the impetuous applause that followed, Corinne, looking round, observed Oswald. She saw him to be English; she was struck by his melancholy, and by the mourning he wore. Taking up her lyre again, she spoke some touching stanzas on death and consolation that went straight to his heart.

The crown of bays and myrtle was placed on her head; she descended from the Capitol amid a burst of triumphant music. As she passed Oswald, the crown accidentally fell from her head. He quickly picked it up and restored it to her, with a few words of homage in Italian. What was his surprise when she thanked him in perfect English!

On the evening of the next day, Oswald was introduced to Corinne at her own house by the Count d'Erfeuil, a Frenchman who had been his companion in the journey into Italy. The Prince Castel Forte and all the other guests paid her the most assiduous attention; Oswald gazed on her for the most part in silence, wondering at the mingled sweetness and vivacity of her conversation, realising that she possessed a grace that he had never met before. Although she invited him to meet her again, he did not go on the next evening; he was restrained by a kind of terror at the feeling which excited him.

"Oh, my father," he sighed, "had you known Corinne, what would you have thought of her?"

For the mourning that Oswald wore was for his father. A terrible event in Oswald's life had drawn the two apart; his father had died ere he could return to ask forgiveness. But his father had blessed him on his deathbed, and it was Oswald's whole desire in the grief that preyed upon him, to live in all things as his dead parent would have wished him to live.

The attraction of Corinne's society soon drew him back to her presence, and during the next fortnight she, at her own proposal, guided him in his exploration of Rome. Together they wandered through the ruins, the churches, the art galleries. Their opinions were seldom in agreement; Corinne was characteristically and brightly Italian in her views, Oswald characteristically and sombrely English. But each was conscious, none the less, of keen intellectual sympathy with the other; and Oswald, without speaking of the love of which he began to be conscious, made her sensible of it every hour in the day. His proud retiring attachment shed a new interest over her life. Accustomed as she was to the lively and flattering tributes of the Italians, this outward coldness disguising intense tenderness of heart captivated her imagination.

But one morning she received from him a note saying that indisposition would confine him to his house for some days. Oswald had made up his mind to avoid Corinne; he felt too strongly the power of her charms. What would his father have said of this woman? Could she, the brilliant poetess, be expected to possess the English domestic virtues which his father valued above all things in a wife? Besides, there was a mystery about her; she had not revealed her name and family even to him; nor had he ever had an explanation of her perfect knowledge of English.

Corinne was terrified, on receiving the note, by the idea that he would fly without bidding her adieu. Unable to rest in the house where Oswald came not, she wandered in the gardens of Rome, hoping to meet him. As she was seated in grief beside the Fount of Trevi, Oswald, who had paused there at the same moment, saw her countenance reflected in the water. He started, as if he had seen her phantom; but a moment later Corinne had rushed forward and seized his arm--then, repenting of her impetuosity, she blushed, and covered her face to hide her tears.

"Dear Corinne!" he cried, "has my absence pained you?"

"Yes," she replied, "you must have known it would. Why then inflict such pangs on me? Have I deserved them?"

Her emotion greatly affected Oswald. "I will visit you again to-morrow, Corinne," he said. "Swear it!" she exclaimed, eagerly. "I do."

II.--The Living and the Dead

Oswald's natural irresolution had been augmented by misfortune, and he hesitated before entering upon an irrevocable engagement. Although he no longer sought to disguise his affection for Corinne, he did not propose marriage to her. She, on her part, was mortified by his silence. Often he was on the point of breaking it; but the thought of his father restrained him--and the thought of Lucy Edgarmond, the English girl whom his father had wished him to marry, when she was old enough, and whom he had not seen since she was a child of twelve. What, he asked himself, again and again, was his duty?

One day, as he was visiting her at her house at Tivoli, she took her harp and sang one of those simple Scotch ballads, the notes of which seemed fit to be borne on the wailing breeze. Oswald's heart was touched at the memories thus awakened of his own country; his eyes filled with tears.

"Ah, Corinne," he cried, "does then my country affect your heart? Could you go with me there, and be the partner of my life?"

"Surely I could," she answered, "for I love you."

"In love's name, then, tell me who you are, Corinne; have no more secrets from me."

"Your will shall be obeyed, Oswald. I only ask that you require not my story until the religious solemnities of Easter are over; is not the support of heaven more than ever necessary at the moment which must decide my fate?"

"Corinne," he said, "if thy fate depends on me, it shall no longer be a sad one."

When Easter was over, Corinne set out for Naples, where she had many friends and admirers; and Oswald accompanied her there. She still feared to tell the story of her life.

"Who can tell," she said to Oswald, "if, when I have opened my heart to you, you will remain the same? How can I help trembling beneath such doubt?"

To encourage her, and to exchange confidences honourably with her, he told her his own secret He had been skilfully drawn into an intrigue with a scheming Frenchwoman, utterly against his father's wishes; when he had escaped from the net that had been cast for him, and was hurrying homeward, he heard the news that the being whom he loved and revered most of all mankind was dead. He had knelt at his father's tomb and sworn in atonement that he would never marry without his consent. But how obtain the consent of one who was no more? Lucy Edgarmond--Corinne started at the name--had been destined by his father for his bride. Was the wish one that could be set aside? He had simply advised the match, for Lucy was still a child with character unformed.

"Ere I met you," said Oswald, "I meant to fulfil his wish as an act of expiation; but now," he went on passionately, "you have triumphed over my whole being. My doubts are over, love; I am yours for ever. Would my father have had it otherwise had he known you?"

"Hold," cried Corinne, "speak not thus to me yet!"

"Ah, tell me what you have to tell me!"

"Presently I shall; and I shall hear my sentence from your lips unmurmuringly, even if it be cruel."

Ere she revealed her story, Corinne gave a fête, as if to enjoy one more day of fame and happiness ere her lover pronounced her doom. It was held on the cape of Micena. The lovely bay and its islands lay before the party; Vesuvius frowned in the background. As the party embarked to return in the glowing calm of the evening hour, Corinne put back her tresses that she might better enjoy the sea air; Oswald had never seen her look so beautiful.

"Oh, my love, oh, my love," he whispered, "can I ever forget this day?"

"Alas!" returned Corinne, "I hope not for such another day."

"Corinne!" he cried, "here is the ring my father gave his wife, let me give it to you, and while you keep it, let me be no longer free."

"No, no! take it back," she answered in a stifled voice.

"I shall not," he replied; "I swear never to wed another till you send back that ring."

"Perhaps when you have read my history, the dreadful word adieu--"

"Never," cried Oswald, "until my deathbed--fear not that word till then."

"Alas!" said Corinne, "as I looked at the heavens a minute ago, the moon was covered by a cloud of fatal aspect. A childish superstition came back to my mind. To-night the sky condemns our love."

That evening Corinne's maid brought him the papers in which she had written her story.

III.--Corinne's Story

"Oswald, I begin with the avowal that must determine my fate. Lord Edgarmond was my father. I was born in Italy; his first wife was a Roman lady; and Lucy, whom they intended for your bride, is my sister by my father's second marriage.

"I lost my mother ere I was ten years old, and remained in the care of an aunt at Florence until I was fifteen, when my father brought me to his home in Northumberland. My stepmother was a cold, dignified, silent woman, whose eyes could turn affectionately on her child Lucy, then three years old; but she usually wore so positive an air that it seemed impossible to make her understand a new idea.

"My tastes and talents had already been formed, and they were but ill-suited to the dismal monotony of my life in Northumberland. I was bidden to forget Italy; I was not allowed to converse on poetry or art; I had no congenial friends. Even the sun, that might have reminded me of Italy, was often hidden by fog. My only occupation was the education of my half-sister; my only solace, the company of my father.

"'My dear child, he said to me once, it is not here as in Italy; our women have no occupation save their domestic uses. Your talents may beguile your solitude; but in a country town like this all that attracts attention excites envy. One must not combat the habits of a place in which one is established. It is better to bear a little ennui than to be beset by wondering faces that every instant demand reasons for what you do.'

"Lord Nevil was my father's intimate friend, and it was yourself of whom he thought for my husband. Had we then met and loved, our fate would have been cloudless. But when I was presented to Lord Nevil I desired, perhaps too ardently, to please him; I displayed all my talents, dancing, singing, and extemporising before him--I believe, though I am not certain--that I appeared to Lord Nevil somewhat too wild; for although he treated me very kindly, yet, when he left my father he said that he thought his son too young for the marriage in question. Oswald, what importance do you attach to this confession? I might suppress it, but I will not. Is it possible that it will prove my condemnation?

"When my father died, my despair was uncontrollable. I found myself without support. My only adult relation was my stepmother, who was as frigid as ever towards me. I was attacked by that homesick yearning which makes exile more terrible than death. All the country around me was dull and sullen. I longed for the sunshine, the vine, the music, the sweet language of Italy. At twenty-one I had a right to my mother's fortune, and whatever my father had left me. Then did I first dream of returning to Italy, and devoting my life to the arts.

"When I suggested the possibility of my doing so to Lady Edgarmond, she replied, with dry indifference, 'You are of age, and the mistress of your conduct; but if you take any step which would dishonour you in the eyes of the world, you owe it to your family to change your name and be reported dead.' This heartless scorn helped me to come to a decision. In less than a week I had embarked on a vessel for Leghorn. I set forth without warning my stepmother, but left a letter apprising her of my plans.

"For a time I lived in Florence, whither Lady Edgarmond wrote me word of her having spread the report that I had travelled southwards for my health and had died on the voyage. During the following five years, as you know, I won fame as Corinne the poetess.

"And now you know my history--I have concealed nothing. My happiness depends entirely upon you. When you have read this, I would see you; my impatience will bring me to your side, and I shall read my fate at a glance; for grief is a rapid poison--and the heart, though weak, never mistakes the signal of irrevocable destiny."

IV.--Parting and Pursuit

"Well," said Corinne, struggling to appear calm, when she went to Oswald to learn her fate, "you have had time enough--speak! tell me what you have resolved!"

"Corinne," answered Oswald, "my heart is unchanged. We will both live for love. I will return."

"Return!" interrupted Corinne; "ah, you leave me then! How all is changed since yesterday!"

"Dearest love," he replied, "be composed. It is necessary that I should ascertain my father's reasons for opposing our union seven years ago. I will hope for the best, Corinne; but if my father decides against you, I will never be the husband of another, though I cannot be yours."

One night in Venice a few weeks later, when Corinne was leaving a scene of festivity of which she had been the most brilliant ornament, Oswald led her aside. She marked his paleness and agitation.

"What has happened?" she cried.

"I must start for England to-night. My regiment is about to embark for the West Indies, and I am recalled to rejoin it."

"Ah!" moaned Corinne, "when I tell myself to-morrow 'I shall see him no more,' the thought may kill me; happy am I if it does."

"Why do you fear? Is my solemn promise nothing?"

"Oh, I believe it; but listen--when you are in London, you will discover that love promises bind not your honour. Will you find excuses in these sophisms for inflicting a mortal wound on me? Cannot you at least pity me for loving you thus?"

"Stay!" cried Oswald, seizing her in his arms, "this is too much. Dearest, I cannot leave you!"

"Nay, you must," replied Corinne, recalled to herself by his words.

"My love," answered Oswald, trying to calm himself, "I shall strive during my absence to restore to you your due rank in your father's country. If I fail, I will return to Italy, and live or die at your feet."

A light gleamed through the window, and the gondola that was to take Oswald away stopped at the door.

"They are here--adieu--all is ended!" sobbed Corinne.

"Oh God! O my father!" he exclaimed, "what do ye exact of me?"

He flung himself once more into her arms and then, trembling and pale, like one prepared for the torture, he passed from her sight.

On reaching England, he found that his regiment's departure had been postponed, and, while waiting, he visited Northumberland, told Lady Edgarmond of his affection for her stepdaughter, and demanded Corinne's restoration to her rank. Lady Edgarmond unbendingly refused.

"I owe to your father's memory," she added, "my exertion to prevent your union with her if I can. Your father's letter on the subject is in the hands of his old friend, Mr. Dickson."

Oswald speedily set out for his ancestral estate in Scotland, anxious to see Mr. Dickson and read the letter. In Northumberland he had seen Lucy--a beautiful and sweetly innocent girl, one whom he could plainly see to be a maiden after his father's own heart.

His father's letter confirmed his worst fears. He had wholly disapproved of Oswald's union with the girl who afterwards became Corinne. He had thought her wholly unfitted for domestic English life, and had feared that she would destroy his son's English character and transform him into an Italian. Oswald was to be acquainted with his wishes if necessary; he knew he would respect them.

The irresolution and unhappiness into which Oswald was plunged was increased by the fact that his letters to Corinne received no replies. Had her love ceased when his presence was removed? His friends told him of the fickleness of Italian women, and he began to believe that she had deserted him. The truth was that Corinne was not in Italy to receive his letters. She had come to England.

Desolated by his absence, and alarmed by the tone of the letters from him that had reached her, she had resolved to follow him. On arriving in London, she had been seized by an illness which prevented her from seeing him. On her recovery the people with whom she was staying took her to the theatre where Mrs. Siddons was playing. Oswald was at the theatre with Lady Edgarmond and Lucy. Corinne observed with a sinking heart the delicate attention which Oswald paid to her half-sister.

She saw him next at a review, where he appeared at the head of his regiment. After the march past, he escorted Lucy in a ride on horseback. Corinne noted his kind solicitude, his promptitude when Lucy was in danger, the tenderness with which he supported her. What more did Corinne need to convince her of his love for Lucy?

That evening she went to his door, and learnt that he had left for Scotland an hour earlier. She felt that she must see him again; so she, also, departed for Scotland.

Lady Edgarmond gave a ball on her Scottish estate, and among the guests was Oswald, whose home was near at hand. In the grounds lurked Corinne, seeking an opportunity of meeting her lover. In the midst of the festivities, a white-clad figure hurried out alone; Corinne knew it to be her half-sister. Lucy, believing that no eye was upon her, knelt down in the grove where stood her father's tomb. "Pray for me, O my father!" she said; "inspire him to choose me as the partner of his life! Oh God, render me worthy of the love of Oswald!"

"Grant her prayer," whispered Corinne, "and give her sister a peaceful grave."

She drew out the ring that Oswald had given her, and wrapped it in a piece of paper on which she wrote the words, "You are free." She thrust this into the hand of a man near the house with a request that he should hand it to a servant to be delivered to Lord Nevil. She saw the man give it to a servant. Then she fled.

V.--The Clouded Moon

To Oswald's assured knowledge of his father's wishes, and his fear that Corinne had been untrue to him, had been added a third consideration, Lady Edgarmond's health was rapidly declining, and when she died Lucy would be unprotected in the world. Was it not his duty to protect her? He resolved to undertake the duty, if he could only be free from his promise to Corinne.

When his freedom came, with the mysterious return of the ring, all his doubts were removed. Soon afterwards he married Lucy, and after a short interval--during which he felt intense anxiety as to whether he had not wronged Corinne--he went with his regiment to the West Indies.

Ere she had left Scotland, Corinne had heard the announcement of the proposed marriage. She retired to Florence, and dwelt there in unending misery. Her poetic faculty, her love of the arts, could not console her, for they were utterly subjugated by her despair. Her whole soul had been given to her love for Oswald. And when he had forsaken her, her life had been broken by the blow.

It was four years ere Oswald returned to England, and soon afterwards he and Lucy were summoned to the deathbed of Lady Edgarmond. He now had a dangerous illness; in his delirium he cried for the southern sun. Lucy heard him, and remembered Corinne. Oswald had striven to forget his former passion, but could not help at times contrasting Corinne's warmth of feeling with Lucy's coldness. Lucy had been taught by her mother that it was immodest to avow affection even for a husband. She loved Oswald, but her pride concealed her love.

Oswald was ordered to Italy by his physicians, and his wife and child accompanied him. At Milan the earth was snow-covered; beyond there, the rivers were in flood, and the land was covered by cold, damp fog.

"Where is your lovely Italy?" asked Lucy.

"I know not where or when I shall regain her," sadly answered Oswald. As he approached Florence, where he had heard that Corinne was dwelling, his heart became terribly agitated. He had learnt, through his old friend d'Erfeuil, that Corinne had been faithful to him, that she had followed him to England, and sought to see him, that he and not she was the betrayer.

On arriving at Florence, Oswald met Prince Castel Forte, whose faithful, unrewarded homage to Corinne was still unchanged. Corinne, the Prince told him, was ill and growing weaker every day. Oswald's desertion, he said plainly, had mortally wounded her.

Oswald, dismally repentant, handed Castel Forte a letter to Corinne in which he begged permission to see her. In answer she declined the permission, but asked to see his wife and child.

The little girl was taken to her; Lucy had resolved not to go, but was struck with fear lest the child's affection should be won away from her. She went at length, determined to reproach Corinne, but all her anger vanished at the sight of the wasted woman on the sickbed. The sisters embraced in tears.

Castel Forte had told Corinne of the reserve and coldness that separated Lucy from her husband. Her last wish was to reconcile them, and thus aid by means of another, the happiness of the man she loved.

"Pride not yourself in your perfections, dear sister," she said; "let your charm consist in seeming to forget them; be Corinne and Lucy in one; let not grace be injured by self-respect."

Lucy bore her words in mind; the barriers between herself and her husband were gradually removed, and Oswald guessed who was removing them.

At last the end came. Corinne lay on a sofa, where she could gaze upon the sky. Castel Forte held her dying hand. Lucy entered; behind her came Oswald. He fell at her feet. She would have spoken, but her voice failed. She looked up--the moon was covered by just such a cloud as they had seen at Naples. Corinne pointed to it--one sigh--and her hand sank powerless in death.


STENDHAL (HENRI BEYLE)

The Chartreuse of Parma

Stendhal is the best-known pseudonym (for there were others) of the refined, somewhat eccentric, and still distinguished French author whose real name was C. Marie Henri Beyle. Born at Grenoble on January 23, 1783, he found his way as a youth to Milan, and fought with Bonaparte at Marengo. Afterwards he followed various occupations at Paris and Marseilles; went through the Russian campaign of 1812; and returned to Italy, where he began to establish a reputation as a critic of music and of painting. "La Chartreuse de Parme," his most successful work of fiction, was written in the winter of 1830. Like his other novels, it is discursive and formless; but is considered remarkable alike for its keenness of analysis and its exposition of the acid, materialistic philosophy of its author. A friend of that other eclectic, Mérimée, Stendhal was not much thought of in his own time until the profound praises of Balzac drew all eyes upon him; and in much more recent times interest in the best of his writings has revived on account of his keen and impartial analysis of whatever subject he touched upon. Beyle died on March 22, 1842.

I. Fabrice del Dongo

"Three members of your family," said Count Mosca to the Duchess of Sanseverina, "have been Archbishops of Parma. Could a better career be open to your nephew Fabrice?"

The Duchess disliked the notion; and indeed Fabrice del Dongo seemed a person but little fitted for an ecclesiastical career. His ambitions were military; his hero was Napoleon. The great escapade of his life had been a secret journey into France to fight at Waterloo. His father, the Marquis del Dongo, was loyal to the Austrian masters of Lombardy; and during Fabrice's absence his elder brother Arcanio had laid an information against him as a conspirator against Austrian rule. Consequently Fabrice, on his return, found himself exposed to the risk of ten years in an Austrian prison. By his own address and by the good offices of his aunt, the Countess Pietravera, Fabrice was able to escape from Milanese territory.

Immediately afterwards the Countess wedded the aged and wealthy Duke of Sanseverina, and transferred her beauty and unbounded social talents from Milan to the court of Prince Ranuce Ernest IV., absolute ruler of Parma. The Duke had his ambitions gratified by an appointment as Ambassador to a distant country; the Duchess, left behind at Parma, was able to devote herself to the interests of Count Mosca, the Prince's chief Minister, and to counteract the intrigues of the celebrated Marchioness Raversi, head of the party that sought to overthrow him.

The welfare of her beloved nephew was the most cherished of all the Duchess's aims, and she succeeded in inspiring Count Mosca with an equal enthusiasm for the prosperity of that errant youth. But she hesitated over the project of making him an Archbishop.

"You must understand," explained the Count, "that I do not intend to make Fabrice an exemplary priest of the conventional kind. No, he will above all remain a great noble; he may continue to be absolutely ignorant if he so pleases, and will become a Bishop and an Archbishop just the same--provided, of course, that I succeed in retaining the Prince's confidence."

Ultimately the Duchess agreed, and undertook to persuade Fabrice to enter the Church. The persuasion was not easy; but at length Fabrice, having been convinced that the clerical yoke would bear but lightly upon him, consented to the step, and as a preliminary spent three years in a theological college at Naples.

When at the end of the three years Fabrice, now a Monsignore, returned to Parma, matters there were at a crisis; the Raversi party were gaining ground, and Count Mosca was in danger. Nor did the Prince's interview with the young cleric improve matters. Ranuce Ernest IV. had two ruling passions--an ambition to become ruler of united Italy, and a fear of revolution. Count Mosca, the diplomatist, was the only man who could further his hopes in the one direction; his fears in the other were carefully kept alive by Rassi, the fiscal-general--to such an extent that each night the Prince looked under his bed to see if by chance a liberal were lurking there. Rassi was a man of low origin, who kept his place partly by submitting good-humouredly to the abuse and even the kicks of his master, and partly by rousing that master's alarms and afterwards allaying them by hanging or imprisoning liberals, with the ready assistance of a carefully corrupted judicial bench.

Towards this nervous Prince, Fabrice bore himself with an aristocratic assurance, and a promptness and coolness in conversation that made a bad impression. His political notions were correct enough, according to the Prince's standard; but plainly, he was a man of spirit, and the Prince did not like men of spirit; they were all cousins-germane of Voltaire and Rousseau. He deemed Fabrice, in short, a potential if not an actual liberal, and therefore dangerous.

Nevertheless Count Mosca carried the day against his rivals--a triumph due less to his own efforts than to those of the Duchess, to whose charms as the court's chief ornament the Prince was far from insusceptible. The Count's success was Fabrice's; that youth found himself established as co-adjutor to the Archbishop of Parma, with a reversion to the Archbishopric on the demise of its worthy occupant.

On Fabrice's return from Naples, the Duchess had found him developed from a boy into a young man, and the handsomest young man in Italy; her affection for him became sisterly; she was nearly in love with him. She had no cause for jealousy, for Fabrice, although prone to flirtation, had no affairs of the heart. The word love, as yet, had no meaning for him.

II.--Giletti

One of our hero's flirtations had consequences with a very pronounced bearing on his after career. During a surreptitious visit to the theatre he became captivated with the actress, Marietta Valserra. Stolen visits of two minutes duration to Marietta's lodging on the fourth floor of an old house behind the theatre were an agreeable variation of the monotony of Fabrice's clerical duties, and of his visits among the most important and least entertaining families in Parma. But the trifling little intrigue came to the ears of Count Mosca, with the result that the travelling company to which Marietta belonged received its passports and was requested to move on.

In the affair, moreover, Fabrice had a rival. Giletti was the low comedian of the company, and the ugliest member of it; he assumed proprietorship over Marietta, who, although she did not love him, was at any rate horribly afraid of him. Giletti several times threatened to kill Fabrice; whereby Fabrice was not disturbed.

Count Mosca was passionately archaeological, and this taste he shared with Fabrice, who had cultivated the hobby at Naples. It so happened that the two were engaged in excavations near the bridge over the Po where the main road passes into Austrian territory at Castel-Maggiore. Early one morning Fabrice, after surveying the work that was going on in the trenches, strolled away with a gun, intent upon lark-shooting. A wounded bird dropped on the road; and as Fabrice followed it he encountered a battered old carriage driving towards the frontier. In it were Giletti, Marietta and an old woman who passed as Marietta's mother.

Giletti leapt to the conclusion that Fabrice had come there, gun in hand, to insult him, and possibly to carry off Marietta. He leapt out of the carriage.

"Brigand!" he yelled, "we are only a league from the frontier--now I can finish you!"

Fabrice saw a pistol levelled at him at a distance of three feet; he knocked it aside with the butt of his gun, and it went off harmlessly. Giletti then clutched the gun; the two men wrestled for it, and it exploded close to Giletti's ear. Staggered for an instant, he quickly recovered himself; drawing from its sheath a "property" sword, he fell once more upon Fabrice.

"Look out! he will kill you," came an agitated whisper from Marietta; "take this!"

A sort of hunting knife was flung out of the carriage door. Fabrice picked it up, and was nearly stunned forthwith by a blow from the handle of the "property" sword. Happily Giletti was too near to use his sword-point. Pulling himself together, Fabrice gave his enemy a gash on the thigh. Giletti, swearing furiously, injured Fabrice on the cheek. Blood poured down our hero's face. The thought, "I am disfigured for life!" flashed through his mind. Enraged at the idea, he thrust the hunting knife at Giletti's breast with all his force. Giletti fell and lay motionless.

"He is dead!" said Fabrice to himself. Then, turning to the coach, he asked, "Have you a looking-glass?"

His eyes and teeth were undamaged; he was not permanently disfigured. Hastily, then, he turned to thoughts of escape. Marietta gave him Giletti's passport; obviously his first business was to get across the frontier. And yet the Austrian frontier was no safe one for him to cross. Were he recognised, he might expect ten years in an Imperial fortress. But this was the less immediate danger, and he determined to risk it.

With considerable trepidation he walked across the bridge, and presented Giletti's passport to the Austrian gendarme.

The gendarme looked at it, and rose, "You must wait, monsieur; there is a difficulty," he said, and left the room. Fabrice was profoundly uncomfortable; he was nearly for bolting, when he heard the gendarme say to another, "I am done up with the heat; just go and put your visa on a passport in there when you have finished your pipe; I'm going for some coffee."

This gendarme, in fact, knew Giletti, and was quite well aware that the man before him was not the actor. But, for all he could tell, Giletti had lent the passport for reasons of his own. The easiest way out of the difficulty was to get another gendarme to see to the visa. This man affixed it as a matter of course, and Fabrice escaped danger number one.

The rest was very easy, thanks to Ludovico, an old servant of the Duchess, whom Fabrice met at an eating-house where he had turned in for some very necessary refreshment. With the aid of this excellent fellow Fabrice had his wounds attended to, and was safely smuggled out of Austrian territory into Bologna.

III.--The Citadel

The party opposed to Count Mosca hastened to take advantage of Fabrice's offence. He was represented as a murderer; the workmen in the trenches who had seen the affray, and knew that Fabrice had acted in self-defence, were either bribed or got out of the way. Rassi accused Fabrice of being a liberal; and since the Prince was ill-disposed towards the young man, not all the endeavours of Count Mosca could save him from a sentence of twenty years' imprisonment, should he be so impudent as to venture upon the territory of Parma.

Just before the sentence was presented to the Prince for final confirmation, the Prince learnt that the Duchess of Sanseverina sought an audience with him. He rubbed his hands; the greatest beauty of his court had come to beg mercy for her nephew; there would be tears and frantic appeals. For a quarter of an hour the Prince gloated over the prospect; then he ordered that the Duchess be admitted.

She entered--in travelling costume; never had she looked more charming, never more cheerful. "I trust your Serene Highness will pardon my unorthodox costume," she said, smiling archly; "but as I am about to leave Parma for a very long time, I have felt it my duty to come and thank you ere I go for all the kindnesses you have deigned to confer upon me."

The Prince was astonished and profoundly chagrined. "Why are you going?" he asked, as calmly as he could.

"I have had the project for some time," she replied, "and a little insult paid to Monsignor del Dongo has hastened it."

The Prince was beside himself. What would his court be without the Duchess? At all costs he must check her flight.

At this moment Count Mosca, pale with anxiety, begged admittance. He had just heard of the Duchess's intention to leave Parma.

"Let me speak as a friend to friends," said the Prince, collecting himself; "what can I do, Madame, to arrest your hasty resolution?"

"If your highness were to write a gracious letter revoking the unjust sentence upon Fabrice del Dongo, I might re-consider my decision; and, let me add, if the Marchioness Raversi were advised by you to retire to the country early to-morrow morning for the benefit of her health--"

"Was there ever such a woman?" cried the Prince, stamping up and down the room.

But he agreed. At his orders Count Mosca sat down and wrote the letter required. The Prince objected to the phrase "unjust sentence," and Count Mosca, courtier-like, abstained from using it. The Prince did not mind the banishment of the Marchioness Raversi; he liked exiling people.

At seven o'clock next morning the Prince summoned Rassi, and dictated to him another letter. The sentence of twenty years, upon the criminal del Dongo was to be reduced by the Prince's clemency, at the supplication of the Duchess Sanseverina, to twelve years; and the police were instructed to do their utmost to arrest the offender.

The only difficulty was that of tempting Fabrice into the territory of Parma. A hint to the Marchioness Raversi and her associates removed the obstacle. A forged letter, purporting to be from the Duchess, reached Fabrice at Bologna, telling him that there would be little danger in his meeting her at Castelnovo, within the frontier. Fabrice repaired joyfully to Castelnovo. That night he lay a prisoner in the citadel of Parma; while the Duchess, alone in her room with locked door, sobbed her heart out and raved helplessly against the treachery of princes.

"So long as her nephew is in the citadel," said the Prince to himself, "the Duchess will be in Parma."

The citadel of Parma is a colossal building with a flat roof 180 feet above the level of the ground. On this roof are erected two structures: one, the governor's residence; the other, the Famese tower, a prison specially erected for a recalcitrant prince of earlier days. In this tower Fabrice, as a prisoner of importance, was confined; and as he looked from the window on the evening of his arrival and beheld the superb panorama of the distant Alps, he reflected pleasantly that he might have found a worse dungeon.

On the next morning his attention was absorbed by something nearer at hand. His window overlooked one belonging to the governor's palace; in this window were many bird cages, and at eleven o'clock a maiden came to feed the birds. Fabrice recognised her as Celia Conti, the governor's daughter. He succeeded in attracting her attention; she blushed and withdrew. But next day she came again at the same hour. On the third day, however, a heavy wooden shutter was clapped upon the window. Nothing daunted, Fabrice proceeded patiently to cut a peep-hole in the shutter by aid of the mainspring of his watch. When he had succeeded in removing a square piece of the wood, he looked with delight upon Clelia gazing at his window with eyes of profound pity, unconscious that she was observed.

Gradually he broke down the maiden's reserve. She discovered the secret of the peep-hole; she consented to communicate with him; finally the two conversed by a system of signals. Fabrice even dared to tell Clelia that he loved her--and truly he was in love, for the first time in his life. The worst of it was that these declarations were apt to bring the conversation to an end; so Fabrice was sparing of them.

Clelia, meanwhile, was in sore perplexity. Her father, General Fabio Conti the governor, was a political opponent of Count Mosca, and had ambitions of office. These ambitions might be forwarded, he deemed, by the successful marriage of his daughter. He did not desire that she should remain a lovely recluse, feeding birds on the top of the citadel. Accordingly he had presented to her an ultimatum; either she must marry the Marquis Crescenzi, the wealthiest nobleman of Parma, who sought her hand, or she must retire to a convent.

The signalled conversations with Fabrice, therefore, could not last long. And yet she had beyond doubt fallen deeply in love with Fabrice. She knew he was her father's prisoner, and belonged to the party hostile to her father; she was ashamed, as a daughter, of her love for him. But she admired him, and pitied him; she was well aware that he was a victim of political intrigue, for why should a nobleman of Fabrice's standing be thus punished for killing a mere actor? The stolen interviews with the captive were as dear to her as to him; and so dear were they to him that, after months of imprisonment he declared that he had never been so happy in his life.

IV.--The Escape

One night, as Fabrice looked through his peep-hole, he became aware of a light flashing from the town. Obviously some attempt was being made at signalling. He observed the flashes, counting them in relation to the order of the letters in the alphabet--one for A, two for B, and so on. He discovered that the message was from the Duchess, and was directed to himself. He replied, on the same system, by passing his lantern in front of the peep-hole. The answer from the distance was important; arrangements were being made for his escape. But he did not want to escape.

Next day he told Clelia of his message, and of his unwillingness to leave the prison. She gave no answer, but burst into tears. How could she tell him that she herself must presently leave--for marriage or a convent?

Next day, Fabrice, by his gaoler's connivance, received a long letter from Clelia. She urged him to escape, declaring that at any time the Prince might order his execution, and in addition that he was in danger of death by poison. Straightway he sought an interview with Clelia, with whom he had not hitherto conversed save by signals from their windows. The gaoler arranged that they should meet when Fabrice was being conducted from his cell to the roof of the Farnese tower, where he was occasionally allowed to take exercise.

"I can speak but few words to you," she said trembling, with tears in her eyes. "Swear that you will obey the Duchess, and escape when she wishes and as she wishes."

"And condemn myself to live far away from her whom I love?"

"Swear it! for my sake, swear it!" she implored hint.

"Well then, I swear it!"

The preparations were quickly advanced. Three knotted ropes were smuggled with Clelia's aid into Fabrice's cell--one for descending the 35 feet between his window and the roof of the citadel; another for descending the tremendous wall of 180 feet between the roof and the ramparts; a third for the 30 feet between the top of the ramparts and the ground.

A feast-day, when the garrison of the citadel would presumably be drunk, was chosen for the attempt. Fabrice spent the time of waiting in cutting a hole in his shutter large enough to enable him to get through. Fortunately, on the night of the feast-day a thick fog arose and enveloped the citadel. The Duchess had seen to it that the garrison was plentifully supplied with wine.

Fabrice attached one of the shorter ropes to his bed, and struggled through the shutter--an ungainly figure, for round his body was wound the immense rope necessary for the long descent. Once on the roof-platform he made his way along the parapet until he came to a new stove which he had been told marked the best spot for lowering the rope. He could hear the soldiers talking near at hand, but the fog made him invisible. Unrolling his rope, and fastening his rope to the parapet by threading it through a water-duct, he flung it over; then, with a prayer and a thought of Clelia, he began to descend.

At first he went down mechanically, as if doing the feat for a wager. About half-way down, his arms seemed to lose their strength; he nearly let go--he might have fallen had he not supported himself by clinging to the vegetation on the wall. From time to time he felt horrible pain between the shoulders. Birds hustled against him now and then; he feared at the first contact with them that pursuers were coming down the rope after him. But he reached the rampart undamaged save for bleeding hands.

He was quite exhausted; for a few minutes he slept. On waking and realising the situation, he attached his third rope to a cannon, and hurried down to the ground. Two men seized him just as he fainted at the foot.

A few hours afterwards a carriage crossed the frontier with Ludovico on the box, and within it the Duchess watching over the sleeping Fabrice. The journey did not end until they had reached Locarno on Lake Maggiore.

V.--Clelia's Vow

To Locarno soon afterwards came die news that Ranuce Ernest IV. was dead. Fabrice could now safely return, for the young Ranuce Ernest V. was believed to be entirely under the influence of Count Mosca, and was an honest youth without the tyrannical instincts of his father. Nevertheless the Duchess returned first, to make certain of Fabrice's security. She employed her whole influence to hasten forward the wedding of Clelia with the Marquis Crescenzi; she was jealous of the ascendancy the girl had gained over her beloved nephew.

Fabrice, on reaching Parma, was well received by the young Prince. Witnesses, he was told, had been found who could prove that he had killed Giletti in self-defence. He would spend a few days in a purely nominal confinement in the city gaol, and then would be tried by impartial judges and released.

Imagine the consternation of the Duchess when she learnt that Fabrice, having to go to prison, had deliberately given himself up at the citadel!

She saw the danger clearly. Fabrice was in the hands of Count Mosca's political opponents, among whom General Conti was still a leading spirit. They would not suffer him to escape this time. Fabrice would be poisoned.

Clelia, too, knew that this would be his fate. When she saw him once again at the old window, happily signalling to her, she was smitten with panic terror. Her alarm was realised when she learnt of a plot between Rassi and her father to poison the prisoner.

On the second day of his confinement Fabrice was about to eat his dinner when Clelia, in desperate agitation, forced her way into his cell.

"Have you tasted it?" she cried, grasping his arm.

Fabrice guessed the state of affairs with delight. He seized her in his arms and kissed her.

"Help me to die," he said.

"Oh, my beloved," she answered, "let me die with you."

"Let me not spoil our happiness with a lie," said he as he embraced her. "I have not yet tasted."

For an instant Clelia looked at him in anger; then she fell again into his arms.

At that instant there came a sound of men hurrying. There entered the Prince's aide-de-camp, with order to remove Fabrice from the citadel and to seize the poisoned food. The Duchess had heard of the plot, and had persuaded the Prince to take instant action.

Clelia, when her father was in danger of death on account of the plot, vowed before the Virgin Mary never again to look upon the face of Fabrice. Her father escaped with a sentence of banishment; and Clelia, to the profound satisfaction of the Duchess, was wedded to the Marquis Crescenzi. The Duchess was now a widow, Count Mosca a widower. Their long friendship, after Fabrice's triumphant acquittal, was cemented by marriage.

The loss of Clelia left Fabrice inconsolable. He shunned society; he lived a life of religious retirement, and gained a reputation for piety that even inspired the jealousy of his good friend the Archbishop.

At length Fabrice emerged from his solitude; he came forth as a preacher, and his success was unequalled. All Parma, gentle and simple, flocked to hear the famous devotee--slender, ill-clad, so handsome and yet so profoundly melancholy. And ere he began each sermon, Fabrice looked earnestly round his congregation to see if Clelia was there.

But Clelia, adhering to her vow, stayed away. It was not until she was told that a certain Anetta Marini was in love with the preacher, and that gossip asserted that the preacher was smitten with Anetta Marini, that she changed her mind.

One evening, as Fabrice stood in the pulpit, he saw Clelia before him. Her eyes were filled with tears; he looked so pale, so thin, so worn. But never had he preached as he preached that night.

After the sermon he received a note asking him to be at a small garden door of the Crescenzi Palace at midnight on the next night. Eagerly he obeyed; when he reached the door, a voice called him enter. The darkness was intense; he could see nothing.

"I have asked you to come here," said the voice, "to say that I still love you. But I have vowed to the Virgin never to see your face; that is why I receive you in this darkness. And let me beg you--never preach again before Anetta Marini.

"My angel," replied the enraptured Fabrice, "I shall never preach again before anyone; it was only in the hope of seeing you that I preached at all."

During the following three years the two often met in darkness. But twice, by accident, Clelia again broke her vow by looking on Fabrice's face. Her conscience preyed upon her; she wore away and died.

A few days afterwards Fabrice resigned his reversion to the Archbishopric, and retired to the Chartreuse of Parma. He ended his days in the monastery only a year afterwards.


LAURENCE STERNE

Tristram Shandy

A more uncanonical book than the Rev. Laurence Sterne's "Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman," has never been printed since the monk Rabelais gave to the world his celebrated masterpiece. "Shandy" made its first appearance in 1757 at York, whose inhabitants were greatly shocked, generally, at its audacious wit; and particularly at the caricature of a local physician. But the success of "Shandy" was pronounced: it spread to the southern counties and to London, where a second edition was published in 1760. "Parson Yorick," as he styles himself in the book, was continually invited to add to it, with the result that between 1761 and 1767 eight more numbers were added to the original slim volume. There are many imperfections in "Tristram Shandy," both from the standpoint of art and taste; yet withal it remains one of the great classics in English literature, its many passages of genuine humour and wit ensuring an immortality for the wayward genius of Laurence Sterne. (Sterne, biography: See Vol. XIX.)

I

On the fifth day of November, 1718, was I, Tristram Shandy, gentleman, brought forth into this scurvy and disastrous world of ours. I wish I had been born in the moon, or in any of the planets (except Jupiter or Saturn), because I never could bear cold weather; for it could not well have fared worse with me in any of them (though I will not answer for Venus) than it has in this vile dirty planet of ours, which of my conscience with reverence be it spoken I take to be made up of the shreds and clippings of the rest; not but the planet is well enough, provided a man could be born in it to a great title or to a great estate, or could anyhow contrive to be called up to public charges and employments of dignity and power; but that is not my case; and therefore every man will speak of the fair as his own market has gone in it; for which cause I affirm it over again to be one of the vilest worlds that ever was made; for I can truly say, that from the first hour I drew breath in it, to this--I can now scarce draw it at all, for an asthma I got in skating against the wind in Flanders--I have been the continual sport of what the world calls Fortune, and though I will not wrong her by saying she has ever made me feel the weight of any great and signal evil, yet with all the good temper in the world, I affirm it of her, that in every stage of my life, and at every turn and corner where she could get fairly at me, the ungracious duchess has pelted me with a set of as pitiful misadventures and cross accidents as ever small hero sustained.

II

"I wonder what's all that noise and running backwards and forwards for above stairs?" quoth my father, addressing himself after an hour and a half's silence to my Uncle Toby, who, you must know, was sitting on the opposite side of the fire, smoking his pipe all the time in mute contemplation of a new pair of black plush breeches which he had got on. "What can they be doing, brother?" quoth my father; "We can scarce hear ourselves talk."

"I think," replied my uncle Toby, taking his pipe from his mouth and striking the head of it two or three times upon the nail of his left thumb as he began his sentence; "I think," says he--but to enter rightly into my Uncle Toby's sentiments upon this matter, you must be made to enter just a little into his character.

III

The wound in my Uncle Toby's groin, which he received at the siege of Namur, rendering him unfit for the service, it was thought expedient he should return to England, in order, if possible, to be set to rights.

He was four years totally confined, partly to his bed and all of it to his room; and in the course of his cure, which was all that time in hand, suffered unspeakable misery.

My father at that time was just beginning business in London, and had taken a house, and as the truest friendship and cordiality subsisted between the two brothers, and as my father thought my Uncle Toby could nowhere be so well nursed and taken care of as in his own house, he assigned him the very best apartment in it. And what was a much more sincere mark of his affection still, he would never suffer a friend or acquaintance to step into the house, but he would take him by the hand, and lead him upstairs to see his brother Toby, and chat an hour by his bedside.

The history of a soldier's wound beguiles the pain of it--my uncle's visitors at least thought so, and they would frequently turn the discourse to that subject, and from that subject the discourse would generally roll on to the siege itself.

IV

When my Uncle Toby got his map of Namur to his mind he began immediately to apply himself, and with the utmost diligence, to the study of it. The more my Uncle Toby pored over the map, the more he took a liking to it.

In the latter end of the third year my Uncle began to break in upon daily regularity of a clean shirt, and to allow his surgeon scarce time sufficient to dress his wound, concerning himself so little about it as not to ask him once in seven times dressing how it went on, when, lo! all of a sudden--for the change was as quick as lightning--he began to sigh heavily for his recovery, complained to my father, grew impatient with the surgeon; and one morning, as he heard his foot coming upstairs, he shut up his books and thrust aside his instruments, in order to expostulate with him upon the protraction of his cure, which he told him might surely have been accomplished at least by that time.

Desire of life and health is implanted in man's nature; the love of liberty and enlargement is a sister-passion to it. These my Uncle Toby had in common with his species. But nothing wrought with our family after the common way.

V

When a man gives himself up to the government of a ruling passion, or, in other words, when his hobbyhorse grows headstrong, farewell cool reason and fair discretion. My Uncle Toby's wound was near well; he broiled with impatience to put his design in execution; and so, without consulting further, with any soul living, which, by the way, I think is right, when you are predetermined to take no one soul's advice, he privately ordered Trim, his man, to pack up a bundle of lint and dressings, and hire a chariot and four to be at the door exactly by twelve o'clock that day, when he knew my father would be upon change. So, leaving a banknote upon the table for the surgeon's care of him, and a letter of tender thanks for his brother's, he packed up his maps, his books of fortification, his instruments, and so forth, and by the help of a crutch on one side and Trim on the other, my Uncle Toby embarked for Shandy Hall.

The reason, or rather the rise, of this sudden demigration was as follows:

The table in my Uncle Toby's room, being somewhat of the smallest, for that infinity of great and small instruments of knowledge which usually lay crowded upon it, he had the accident in reaching over for his tobacco box to throw down his compasses, and in stooping to take the compasses up, with his sleeve he threw down his case of instruments and snuffers; and in his endeavouring to catch the snuffers in falling, he thrust his books off the table. 'Twas to no purpose for a man, lame as my Uncle Toby was, to think of redressing all these evils by himself; he rung his bell for his man Trim,--"Trim," quoth my Uncle Toby, "prithee see what confusion I have been making. I must have some better contrivance, Trim."

I must here inform you that this servant of my Uncle Toby's, who went by the name of Trim, had been a corporal in my Uncle's own company. His real name was James Butter, but having got the nickname of Trim in the regiment, my Uncle Toby, unless when he happened to be very angry with him, would never call him by any other name.

The poor fellow had been disabled for the service by a wound on his left knee by a musket bullet at the Battle of Landen, which was two years before the affair of Namur; and as the fellow was well-beloved in the regiment, and a handy fellow into the bargain, my Uncle Toby took him for his servant, and of excellent use was he, attending my Uncle Toby in the camp and in his quarters as valet, groom, barber, cook, sempster, and nurse; and indeed, from first to last, waited upon him and served him with great fidelity and affection.

My Uncle Toby loved the man in return, and what attached him more to him still, was the similitude of their knowledge; for Corporal Trim by four years occasional attention to his master's discourse upon fortified towns had become no mean proficient in the science, and was thought by the cook and chambermaid to know as much of the nature of strongholds as my Uncle Toby himself.

"If I durst presume," said Trim, "to give your honour my advice, and speak my opinion in this matter"--"Thou art welcome, Trim," quoth my Uncle Toby. "Why then," replied Trim, pointing with his right hand towards a map of Dunkirk: "I think with humble submission to your honour's better judgement, that the ravelins, bastions, and curtains, make but a poor, contemptible, fiddle-faddle piece of work of it here upon paper, compared to what your honour and I could make of it were we out in the country by ourselves, and had but a rood and a half of ground to do what we pleased with. As summer is coming on," continued Trim, "your honour might sit out of doors and give me the nography"--(call it icnography, quoth my uncle)--"of the town or citadel your honour was pleased to sit down before, and I will be shot by your honour upon the glacis of it if I did not fortify it to your honour's mind."--"I dare say thou wouldst, Trim," quoth my uncle. "I would throw out the earth," continued the corporal, "upon this hand towards the town for the scarp, and on the right hand towards the campaign for the counterscarp."--"Very right, Trim," quoth my Uncle Toby.--"And when I had sloped them to your mind, an' please your honour, I would face the glacis, as the finest fortifications are done in Flanders, with sods, and as your honour knows they should be, and I would make the walls and parapets with sods too."--"The best engineers call them gazons, Trim," said my Uncle Toby.

"Your honour understands these matters," replied corporal Trim, "better than any officer in His Majesty's service; but would your honour please but let us go into the country, I would work under your honour's directions like a horse, and make fortifications for you something like a Tansy with all their batteries, saps, ditches, and pallisadoes, that it should be worth all the world to ride twenty miles to go and see it."

My Uncle Toby blushed as red as scarlet as Trim went on, but it was not a blush of guilt, of modesty, or of anger--it was a blush of joy; he was fired with Corporal Trim's project and description. "Trim," said my Uncle Toby, "say no more; but go down, Trim, this moment, my lad, and bring up my supper this instant."

Trim ran down and brought up his master's supper, to no purpose. Trim's plan of operation ran so in my Uncle Toby's head, he could not taste it. "Trim," quoth my Uncle Toby, "get me to bed." 'Twas all one. Corporal Trim's description had fired his imagination. My Uncle Toby could not shut his eyes. The more he considered it, the more bewitching the scene appeared to him; so that two full hours before daylight he had come to a final determination, and had concerted the whole plan of his and Corporal Trim's decampment.

My Uncle Toby had a neat little country house of his own in the village where my father's estate lay at Shandy. Behind this house was a kitchen garden of about half an acre; and at the bottom of the garden, and cut off from it by a tall yew hedge, was a bowling-green, containing just about as much ground as Corporal Trim wished for. So that as Trim uttered the words, "a rood and a half of ground, to do what they would with," this identical bowling-green instantly presented itself upon the retina of my Uncle Toby's fancy.

Never did lover post down to a beloved mistress with more heat and expectation than my Uncle Toby did to enjoy this self-same thing in private.

VI

"Then reach my breeches off the chair," said my father to Susanah.--"There's not a moment's time to dress you, sir," cried Susanah; "bless me, sir, the child's in a fit. Mr. Yorick's curate's in the dressing room with the child upon his arm, waiting for the name; and my mistress bid me run as fast as I could to know, as Captain Shandy is the godfather, whether it should not be called after him."

"Were one sure," said my father to himself, scratching his eyebrow, "that the child was expiring, one might as well compliment my brother Toby as not, and 'twould be a pity in such a case to throw away so great a name as Trismegistus upon him. But he may recover."

"No, no," said my father to Susanah, "I'll get up."--"There's no time," cried Susanah, "the child's as black as my shoe."--"Trismegistus," said my father: "but stay; thou art a leaky vessel, Susanah; canst thou carry Trismegistus in thy head the length of the gallery without scattering?"--"Can I," cried Susanah, shutting the door in a huff.--"If she can, I'll be shot," said my father, bouncing out of bed in the dark and groping for his breeches.

Susanah ran with all speed along the gallery.

My father made all possible speed to find his breeches. Susanah got the start and kept it. "'Tis Tris something," cried Susanah.--"There is no Christian name in the world," said the curate, "beginning with Tris, but Tristram."--"Then 'tis Tristram-gistus," quoth Susanah.

"There is no gistus to it, noodle; 'tis my own name," replied the curate, dipping his hand as he spoke into the basin. "Tristram," said he, etc., etc. So Tristram was I called, and Tristram shall I be to the day of my death.

VII.--The Story of Le Fevre

It was some time in the summer of that year in which Dendermond was taken by the Allies, which was about seven years after the time that my Uncle Toby and Trim had privately decamped from my father's house in town, in order to lay some of the finest sieges to some of the finest cities in Europe, when my Uncle Toby was one evening getting his supper, with Trim sitting behind him at a small sideboard, when the landlord of a little inn in the village came into the parlour with an empty phial in his hand, to beg a glass or two of sack: "'Tis for a poor gentleman, I think, of the Army," said the landlord, "who has been taken ill at my house four days ago, and has never held up his head since, or had a desire to taste anything, till just now, that he has a fancy for a glass of sack and a thin toast: 'I think,' says he, 'it would comfort me.' If I could neither beg, borrow nor buy such a thing," added the landlord, "I would almost steal it for the poor gentleman, he is so ill. I hope in God he will still mend, we are all of us concerned for him."

"Thou art a good-natured soul, I will answer for thee," cried my Uncle Toby, "and thou shalt drink the poor gentleman's health in a glass of sack thyself, and take a couple of bottles with my service and tell him he is heartily welcome to them, and to a dozen more if they will do him good."

"Though I am persuaded," said my Uncle Toby, as the landlord shut the door, "he is a very compassionate fellow, Trim, yet I cannot help entertaining a high opinion of his guest too; there must be something more than common in him, that in so short a time should win so much upon the affections of his host."--"And of his whole family," added the Corporal, "for they are all concerned for him."--"Step after him," said my Uncle Toby; "do, Trim, ask if he knows his name."

"I have quite forgot it truly," said the landlord, coming back to the parlour with the Corporal, "but I can ask his son again."--"Has he a son with him, then?" said my Uncle Toby.--"A boy," replied the landlord, "of about eleven or twelve years of age; but the poor creature has tasted almost as little as his father; he does nothing but mourn and lament for him night and day. He has not stirred from the bedside these two days."

My Uncle Toby lay down his knife and fork, and thrust his plate from before him, as the landlord gave him the account; and Trim, without being ordered, took it away without saying one word, and in a few minutes after brought him his pipe and tobacco.

"Trim," said my Uncle Toby, after he had lighted his pipe and smoked about a dozen whiffs; "I have a project in my head, as it is a bad night, of wrapping myself up warm and paying a visit to this poor gentleman." "Leave it, an' please your honour, to me," quoth the Corporal; "I'll take my hat and stick and go to the house and reconnoitre, and act accordingly; and I will bring your honour a full account in an hour."

VIII.--The Story of Le Fevre (continued)

It was not till my Uncle Toby had knocked the ashes out of his third pipe that Corporal Trim returned from the inn, and gave him the following account.

"I despaired at first," said the Corporal, "of being able to bring back any intelligence to your honour about the Lieutenant and his son; for when I asked where his servant was, from whom I made myself sure of knowing everything which was proper to be asked,"--("that's a right distinction, Trim," said my Uncle Toby)--"I was answered, an' please your honour, that he had no servant with him; that he had come to the inn with hired horses, which, upon finding himself unable to proceed (to join, I suppose the regiment) he had dismissed the morning after he came. 'If I get better, my dear,' said he, as he gave his purse to his son to pay the man, 'we can hire horses from hence'--'but, alas! the poor gentleman will never get from hence,' said the landlady to me, 'for I heard the deathwatch all night long; and when he dies, the youth, his son, will certainly die with him, for he's broken-hearted already.' I was hearing this account, when the youth came into the kitchen, to order the thin toast the landlord spoke of. 'But I will do it for my father myself,' said the youth.--'Pray let me save you the trouble, young gentleman,' said I, taking up a fork for that purpose.--'I believe, sir,' said he, very modestly, 'I can please him best myself.'--'I am sure,' said I, 'his honour will not like the toast the worse for being toasted by an old soldier,' The youth took hold of my hand and instantly burst into tears." ("Poor youth," said my Uncle Toby, "he has been bred up from an infant in the army, and the name of a soldier, Trim, sounded in his ears like the name of a friend. I wish I had him here.")

"When I gave him the toast," continued the Corporal, "I thought it was proper to tell him I was Captain Shandy's servant, and that your honour (though a stranger) was extremely concerned for his father, and that if there was anything in your house or cellar,"--("And thou mightest have added my purse, too," said my Uncle Toby)--he was heartily welcome to it. He made a very low bow (which was meant to your honour) but no answer, for his heart was full; so he went upstairs with the toast. When the lieutenant had taken his glass of sack and toast, he felt himself a little revived, and sent down into the kitchen to let me know that he should be glad if I would step upstairs. He did not offer to speak to me till I had walked up close to his bedside. 'If you are Captain Shandy's servant,' said he, 'you must present my thanks to your master, with my little boy's thanks along with them, for his courtesy to me: if he was of Leven's,' said the Lieutenant,--I told him your honour was. 'Then,' said he, 'I served three campaigns with him in Flanders, and remember him; but 'tis most likely that he remembers nothing of me. You will tell him, however, that the person his good nature has laid under obligations to him is one Le Fevre, a lieutenant in Angus'--'but he knows me not,' said he a second time, musing. 'Possibly he may know my story,' added he. 'Pray tell the Captain I was the ensign at Breda whose wife was most unfortunately killed with musket-shot as she lay in my arms in my tent'"

"I remember," said my Uncle Toby, sighing, "the story of the ensign and his wife. But finish the story thou art upon."--"'Tis finished already," said the Corporal, "for I could stay no longer, so wished his honour good night; young Le Fevre rose from off the bed, and saw me to the bottom of the stairs, and, as we went down, he told me they had come from Ireland and were on their route to join the regiment in Flanders. But, alas!" said the Corporal, "the lieutenant's last day's march is over."

IX.--The Story of Le Fevre (concluded)

"Thou hast left this matter short," said my Uncle Toby to the Corporal, as he was putting him to bed, "and I will tell thee in what, Trim. When thou offeredst Le Fevre whatever was in my house, thou shouldst have offered him my house, too. A sick brother officer should have the best quarter's, Trim, and if we had him with us, we could tend and look to him. Thou art an excellent nurse thyself, Trim, and what with thy care of him, and the old woman's, and his boy's, and mine together, we might recruit him again at once and set him upon his legs. In a fortnight or three weeks he might march."

"He will never march, an' please your honour, in this world," said the Corporal.--"He will march," said my Uncle Toby, rising up from the side of the bed with one shoe off. "An' please your honour," said the Corporal, "he will never march but to his grave."--"He shall march," cried my Uncle Toby, marching the foot which had a shoe on, though without advancing an inch, "he shall march to his regiment." "He cannot stand it," said the Corporal.--"He shall be supported," said my Uncle Toby. "He'll drop at last," said the Corporal.--"He shall not drop," said my Uncle Toby, firmly.--"Ah, well-a-day, do what we can for him," said Trim, "the poor soul will die."--"He shall not die, by G----," cried my Uncle Toby.

The Accusing Spirit which flew up to Heaven's chancery with the oath, blushed as he gave it in; and the Recording Angel, as he wrote it down, dropped a tear upon the word, and blotted it out for ever.


The sun looked bright the morning after to every eye in the village but Le Fevre's and his afflicted son's. My Uncle Toby, who had rose up an hour before his wonted time, entered the lieutenant's room, and sat himself down upon the chair by the bedside, and opened the curtain in the manner an old friend and brother officer would have done it.

There was a frankness in my Uncle Toby--not the effect of familiarity, but the cause of it--which let you at once into his soul, and showed you the goodness of his nature. The blood and spirits of Le Fevre, which were waxing cold and slow within him, and were retreating to the last citadel, the heart, rallied back. The film forsook his eyes for a moment. He looked up wistfully in my Uncle Toby's face, then cast a look upon his boy. Nature instantly ebbed again. The film returned to its place: the pulse fluttered, stopped, went on--throbbed, stopped again--moved, stopped----.

My Uncle Toby, with young Le Fevre in his hand, attended the poor lieutenant as chief mourners to his grave.


HARRIET BEECHER STOWE

Uncle Tom's Cabin

When the authoress of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe, visited the White House in 1863, President Lincoln took her hand, and, looking down from his great height, said, "Is this the little woman who brought on so great a war?" But, strangely enough, the attitude of the writer was thoroughly misunderstood. A terrible indictment against the principle of slavery the story certainly is. "Scenes, incidents, conversation, rushed upon her," says one of her biographers, "with a vividness that would not be denied. The book insisted upon getting itself into print." Yet there is no trace of bitterness against those who inherited slaves throughout the story. The most attractive personages are Southerners, the most repulsive Northerners. No more delightful a picture of conditions under slavery has ever been drawn as that with which the book opens--on the Shelby estate in Kentucky. Mrs. Stowe was born at Litchfield, Connecticut, on June 14, 1812. Her father was the Rev. Lyman Beecher, her brother Henry Ward Beecher. She died on July 1, 1896. "Uncle Tom," published in book form in 1852, is one of the most successful novels of modern times. In less than a week of its appearance, 10,000 copies were sold, and before the end of the year 300,000 copies had been supplied to the public. It was almost at once translated into all European languages. Mrs. Stowe wrote about forty other stories, but posterity will know her as the authoress of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" only.

I.--Humane Dealing

Late in the afternoon of a chilly day in February two gentlemen were sitting over their wine, in a well-furnished parlour in the town of P---- in Kentucky in the midst of an earnest conversation.

"That is the way I should arrange the matter," said Mr. Shelby, the owner of the place. "The fact is, Tom is an uncommon fellow; he is certainly worth that sum anywhere; steady, honest, capable, manages my farm like a clock. You ought to let him cover the whole of the debt; and you would, Haley, if you'd got any conscience."

"Well, I've got just as much conscience as any man in business can afford to keep," said Haley, "and I'm willing to do anything to 'blige friends; but this yer, ye see, is too hard on a feller, it really is. Haven't you a boy or gal you could thrown in with Tom?"

"Hum!--none that I could well spare; to tell the truth, it's only hard necessity makes me sell at all." Here the door opened, and a small quadroon boy, remarkably beautiful and engaging, entered with a comic air of assurance which showed he was used to being petted and noticed by his master. "Hulloa, Jim Crow," said Mr. Shelby, snapping a bunch of raisins towards him, "pick that up, now!" The child scampered, with all his little strength after the prize, while his master laughed. "Tell you what," said Haley, "fling in that chap, and I'll settle the business, I will."

At this moment a young woman, obviously the child's mother, came in search of him, and Haley, as soon as she had carried him away, turned to Mr. Shelby in admiration.

"By Jupiter!" said the trader, "there's an article now! You might make your fortune on that one gal in Orleans, any way. What shall I say for her? What'll you take?"

"Mr. Haley, she is not to be sold. I say no, and I mean no," said Mr. Shelby, decidedly.

"Well, you'll let me have the boy, though."

"I would rather not sell him," said Mr. Shelby; "the fact is, I'm a humane man, and I hate to take the boy from his mother, sir."

"Oh, you do? La, yes, I understand perfectly. It is mighty unpleasant getting on with women sometimes. I al'ays hates these yer screechin' times. As I manages business, I generally avoids 'em, sir. Now, what if you get the gal off for a day or so? then the thing's done quietly. It's always best to do the humane thing, sir; that's been my experience." "I'd like to have been able to kick the fellow down the steps," said Mr. Shelby to himself, when the trader had bowed himself out. "And Eliza's child, too! I know I shall have some fuss with the wife about that, and for that matter, about Tom, too! So much for being in debt, heigho!"


The prayer-meeting at Uncle Tom's Cabin had been protracted to a very late hour, and Tom and his worthy helpmeet were not yet asleep, when between twelve and one there was a light tap on the window pane.

"Good Lord! what's that?" said Aunt Chloe, starting up. "My sakes alive, if it aint Lizzy! Get on your clothes, old man, quick. I'm gwine to open the door." And suiting the action to the word, the door flew open, and the light of the candle which Tom had hastily lighted, fell on the face of Eliza. "I'm running away, Uncle Tom and Aunt Chloe--carrying off my child. Master sold him."

"Sold him?" echoed both, holding up their hands in dismay.

"Yes, sold him!" said Eliza firmly. "I crept into the closet by mistress's door to-night, and I heard master tell missus that he had sold my Harry and you, Uncle Tom, both to a trader, and that the man was to take possession to-day."

Slowly, as the meaning of this speech came over Tom, he collapsed on his old chair, and sunk his head on his knees.

"The good Lord have pity on us!" said Aunt Chloe. "What has he done that mas'r should sell him?"

"He hasn't done anything--it isn't for that. I heard Master say there was no choice between selling these two, and selling all, the man was driving him so hard. Master said he was sorry; but, oh! missis! you should have heard her talk! If she ain't a Christian and an angel, there never was one. I'm a wicked girl to leave her so--but then I can't help it, the Lord forgive me, for I can't help doing it."

"Well, old man," said Aunt Chloe, "why don't you go too? Will you wait to be toted down river, where they kill niggers with hard work and starving? There's time for ye; be off with Lizzy, you've got a pass to come and go any time."

Tom slowly raised his head, and sorrowfully said, "No, no: I aint going. Let Eliza go--it's her right. 'Tan't in natur for her to stay, but you heard what she said. If I must be sold, or all the people on the place and everything to go to rack, why let me be sold. Mas'r aint to blame, Chloe; and he'll take care of you and the poor--." Here he turned to the rough trundle-bed full of little woolly heads and fairly broke down.

"And now," said Eliza, "do try, if you can, to get a word to my husband. He told me this afternoon he was going to run away. Tell him why I went, and tell him, I'm going to try and find Canada. Give my love to him, and tell him, if I never see him again--tell him to be as good as he can, and try and meet me in the kingdom of heaven."

A few last words and tears, a few simple adieus and blessings, and she glided noiselessly away.

II.--Eliza's Escape

It is impossible to conceive of a human being more wholly desolate and forlorn than Eliza as she left the only home she had ever known. Her husband's sufferings and danger, and the danger of her child, all blended in her mind, she trembled at every sound, and every quaking leaf quickened her steps. She felt the weight of her boy as if it had been a feather, he was old enough to have walked by her side, but now she strained him to her bosom as she went rapidly forward; and every flutter of fear seemed to increase the supernatural strength that bore her on, while from her pale lips burst forth, in frequent ejaculations, "Lord help me."

Still she went, leaving one familiar object after another, till reddening daylight found her many a long mile, upon the open highway, on the way to the village of T---- upon the Ohio river, when she constrained herself to walk regularly and composedly, quickening the speed of her child, by rolling an apple before him, when the boy would run with all his might after it; this ruse often repeated carried them over many a half-mile.

An hour before sunset she came in sight of the river, which lay between her and liberty. Great cakes of floating ice were swinging heavily to and fro in the turbid waters. Eliza turned into a small public house to ask if there was no ferry boat.

"No, indeed," said the hostess, stopping her cooking as Eliza's sweet, plaintive voice fell on her ear; "the boats has stopped running." Eliza's look of dismay struck her and she said, "Maybe you're wanting to get over? anybody sick? Ye seem mighty anxious."

"I've got a child that's very dangerous," said Eliza, "I never heard of it till last night, and I've walked quite a piece to-day, in hopes to get to the ferry."

"Well, now, that's unlucky" said the woman, her motherly sympathies aroused; "I'm rilly concerned for ye. Solomon!" she called from the window. "I say Sol, is that ar man going to tote them bar'ls over to-night?"

"He said he should try, if 'twas any ways prudent," replied a man's voice.

"There's a man going over to-night, if he durs' to; he'll be in to supper, so you'd better sit down and wait. That's a sweet little fellow" added the woman, offering him a cake.

But the child, wholly exhausted, cried with weariness.

"Take him into this room," said the woman opening into a small bedroom, and Eliza laid the weary boy on the comfortable bed, and held his hands till he was fast asleep. For her there was no rest, the thought of her pursuers urged her on, and she gazed with longing eyes on the swaying waters between her and liberty.

She was standing by the window as Haley and two of Mr. Shelby's servants came riding by. Sam, the foremost, catching sight of her, contrived to have his hat blown off, and uttered a loud and characteristic ejaculation. She drew back and the whole train swept by to the front door. A thousand lives were concentrated in that moment to Eliza. Her room opened by a side door to the river. She caught her child and sprang down the steps. The trader caught a glimpse of her as she disappeared down the bank, and calling loudly to Sam and Andy, was after her like a hound after a deer. Her feet scarce seemed to touch the ground, a moment brought her to the water's edge. Right on behind they came, and nerved with strength such as God gives only to the desperate, with one wild and flying leap, she vaulted sheer over the current by the shore, on to the raft of ice beyond. It was a desperate leap--impossible to anything but madmen and despair. The huge green fragment of ice pitched and creaked as her weight came on it, but she stayed there not a moment. With wild cries and desperate energy she leaped to another and still another cake; stumbling, leaping, slipping, springing upwards again. Her shoes were gone--her stockings cut from her feet--while blood marked every step; but she saw nothing, felt nothing, till dimly she saw the Ohio side, and a man helping her up the bank.

"Yer a brave girl, now, whoever ye are!" said he. Eliza recognised a farmer from near her old home. "Oh, Mr. Symmes! save me! do save me! do hide me!" said Eliza.

"Why, what's this?" said the man, "why, if 'taint Shelby's gal!"

"My child!--this boy--he'd sold him! There is his mas'r," said she, pointing to the Kentucky shore. "Oh, Mr. Symmes, you've got a little boy."

"So I have," said the man, as he roughly but kindly helped her up the bank. "Besides, you're a right brave gal. I'd be glad to do something for you. The best thing I can do is to tell you to go there," pointing to a large white house, standing by itself, "they're kind folks. There's no kind o' danger but they'll help you--they're up to all that sort of thing."

"The Lord bless you!" said Eliza earnestly, and folding her child to her bosom, walked firmly away.


Late that night the fugitives were driven to the house of a man who had once been a considerable shareholder in Kentucky; but, being possessed of a great, honest, just heart, he had witnessed for years with uneasiness the workings of a system equally bad for oppressors and oppressed, and one day bought some land in Ohio, made out free passes for all his people, and settled down to enjoy his conscience. He conveyed Eliza to a Quaker settlement, where by the help of these good friends she was joined by her husband and soon landed in Canada. Free!

III.--The Property Is Carried Off

An unceremonious kick pushed open the door of Uncle Tom's cabin, and Mr. Haley stood there in very ill humour after his hard riding and ill success.

"Come, ye nigger, ye'r ready. Servant, ma'am!" said he, taking off his hat as he saw Mrs. Shelby, who detained him a few moments. Speaking in an earnest manner, she made him promise to let her know to whom he sold Tom; while Tom rose up meekly, and his wife took the baby in her arms, her tears seeming suddenly turned to sparks of fire, to go with him to the wagon: "Get in," said Haley, and Tom got in, when Haley made fast a heavy pair of shackles round each ankle; a groan of indignation ran round the crowd of servants gathered to bid Tom farewell. Mr. Shelby had gone away on business, hoping all would be over before he returned.

"Give my love to Mas'r George," said Tom earnestly, as he was whirled away, fixing a steady, mournful look to the last on the old place. Tom insensibly won his way far into the confidence of such a man as Mr. Haley, and on the steamboat was permitted to come and go freely where he pleased. Among the passengers was a young gentleman of New Orleans whose little daughter often and often walked mournfully round the place where Haley's gang of men and women were chained. To Tom she appeared almost divine; he half believed he saw one of the angels stepped out of his New Testament, and they soon got on confidential terms. As the steamer drew near New Orleans Mr. St. Clare, carelessly putting the tip of his finger under Tom's chin, said good-humouredly, "Look up, Tom, and see how you like your new master."

It was not in nature to look into that gay, handsome young face without pleasure, and Tom said heartily, "God bless you, Mas'r."

Eva's fancy for him had led her to petition her father that Tom might be her special attendant in her walks and rides. He was called coachman, but his stable duties were a sinecure; struck with his good business capacity, his master confided in him more and more, till gradually all the providing for the family was entrusted to him. Tom regarded his airy young master with an odd mixture of fealty, reverence and fatherly solicitude, and his friendship with Eva grew with the child's growth; but his home yearnings grew so strong that he tried to write a letter--so unsuccessfully that St. Clare offered to write for him, and. Tom had the joy of receiving an answer from Master George, stating that Aunt Chloe had been hired out, at her own request, to a confectioner, and was gaining vast sums of money, all of which was to be laid by for Tom's redemption.

About two years after his coming, Eva began to fail rapidly, and even her father could no longer deceive himself. Eva was about to leave him. It was Tom's greatest joy to carry the frail little form in his arms, up and down, into the veranda, and to him she talked, what she would not distress her father with, of these mysterious intimations which the soul feels ere it leaves its clay for ever. He lay, at last, all night in the veranda ready to rouse at the least call, and at midnight came the message. Earth was passed and earthly pain; so solemn was the triumphant brightness of that face it checked even the sobs of sorrow. A glorious smile, and she said, brokenly, "Oh--love--joy--peace" and passed from death unto life.

Week after week glided by in the St. Clare mansion and the waves of life settled back to their usual flow where that little bark had gone down. St. Clare was in many respects another man; he read his little Eva's Bible seriously and honestly; he thought soberly of his relations to his servants, and he commenced the legal steps necessary to Tom's emancipation as he had promised Eva he would do. But, one evening while Tom was sitting thinking of his home, feeling the muscles of his brawny arms with joy as he thought how he would work to buy his wife and boys; his master was brought home dying. He had interfered in an affray in a cafe and been stabbed.

He reached out and took Tom's hand; he closed his eyes, but still retained his hold; for in the gates of eternity the black hand and the white hold each other with an equal grasp, and softly murmured some words he had been singing that evening--words of entreaty to Infinite Pity.

IV.--Freedom

Mrs. St. Clare decided at once to sell the place and all the servants, except her own personal property, and although she was told of her husband's intention of freeing Tom, he was sold by auction with the rest. His new master, Mr. Simon Legree, came round to review his purchases as they sat in chains on the lower deck of a small mean boat, on their way to his cotton plantation, on the Red River. "I say, all on ye," he said, "look at me--look me right in the eye--straight, now!" stamping his foot. "Now," said he, doubling his great heavy fist, "d'ye see this fist? Heft it," he said, bringing it down on Tom's hand. "Look at these yer bones! Well, I tell ye this yer fist has got as hard as iron knocking down niggers. I don't keep none of yer cussed overseers; I does my own overseeing and I tell ye things is seen to. You won't find no soft spot in me, nowhere. So, now, mind yourselves; for I don't show no mercy!" The women drew in their breath; and the whole gang sat with downcast, dejected faces. Trailing wearily behind a rude wagon, and over a ruder road, Tom and his associates came to their new home. The whole place looked desolate, everything told of coarse neglect and discomfort. Three or four ferocious looking dogs rushed out and were with difficulty restrained from laying hold of Tom and his companions.

"Ye see what ye'd get!" said Legree. "Ye see what ye'd get if you tried to run off. They'd just as soon chaw one on ye up as eat their supper. So mind yourself. How now, Sambo!" to a ragged fellow, who was officious in his attentions, "How have things been goin' on?"

"Fust rate, mas'r."

"Quimbo," said Legree to another, "ye minded what I tell'd ye?"

"Guess I did, didn't I?"

Legree had trained these two men in savagery as systematically as he had his bulldogs, and they were in admirable keeping with the vile character of the whole place.

Tom's heart sank as he followed Sambo to the quarters. They had a forlorn, brutal air. He had been comforting himself with the thought of a cottage, rude indeed but one which he might keep neat and quiet and read his Bible in out of his labouring hours. They were mere rude sheds with no furniture but a heap of straw, foul with dirt. "Spec there's room for another thar'," said Sambo, "thar's a pretty smart heap o' niggers to each on 'em, now. Sure, I dunno what I's to do with more."


Tom looked in vain, as the weary occupants of the shanties came flocking home, for a companionable face; he saw only sullen, embruted men and feeble, discouraged women; or, those who, treated in every way like brutes, had sunk to their level.

"Thar you!" said Quimbo throwing down a coarse bag containing a peck of corn, "thar, nigger, grab, you won't get no more dis yer week."

Tom was faint for want of food, but moved by the utter weariness of two women, whom he saw trying to grind their corn, he ground for them; and then set about getting his own supper. An expression of kindness came over their hard faces--they mixed his cake for him, and tended the baking, and Tom drew out his Bible by the light of the fire--for he had need of comfort.

Tom saw enough of abuse and misery in his new life to make him sick and weary; but he toiled on with religious patience, committing himself to Him that judgeth righteously. Legree took silent note, and rating him as a first-class hand, made up his mind that Tom must be hardened; he had bought him with a view to making him a sort of overseer, so one night he told him to flog one of the women. Tom begged him not to set him at that. He could not do it, "no way possible." Legree struck him repeatedly with a cowhide. "There," said he stopping to rest, "now will ye tell me ye can't do it?"

"Yes, mas'r," said Tom, wiping the blood from his face. "I'm willin' to work, night and day; but this yer thing I can't feel it right to do; and mas'r, I never shall do it, never!"

Legree looked stupefied--Tom was so respectful--but at last burst forth:

"What, ye blasted black beast! tell me ye don't think it right to do what I tell ye. So ye pretend it's wrong to flog the girl?"

"I think so, mas'r," said Tom. "'Twould be downright cruel, the poor critter's sick and feeble. Mas'r, if you mean to kill me, kill me; but as to my raising my hand against anyone here, I never will--I'll die first." Legree shook with anger. "Here, Sambo!--Quimbo!" he shouted, "give this dog such a breakin' in as he won't get over this month."

The two seized Tom with fiendish exultation, and dragged him unresistingly from the place.


For weeks and months Tom wrestled, in darkness and sorrow--crushing back to his soul the bitter thought that God had forgotten him. One night he sat like one stunned when everything around him seemed to fade, and a vision rose of One crowned with thorns, buffeted and bleeding; and a voice said, "He that overcometh shall sit down with Me on My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father upon His throne."

From this time an inviolable peace filled the lowly heart of the oppressed one; life's uttermost woes fell from him unharming.


Scenes of blood and cruelty are shocking to our ear and heart. What man has nerve to do, man has not nerve to hear.

Tom lay dying at last; not suffering, for every nerve was blunted and destroyed; when George Shelby found him, and his voice reached his dying ear.

"Oh, Mas'r George, he ain't done me any real harm: only opened the gate of Heaven for me. Who--who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" and with a smile he fell asleep.


As George knelt by the grave of his poor friend, "Witness, eternal God," said he, "Oh, witness that, from this hour, I will do what one man can to drive out the curse of slavery from my land!"


EUGÈNE SUE

Mysteries of Paris

Joseph Marie Sue, known as Eugène Sue, is the most notable French exponent of the melodramatic style in fiction. Sue was born in Paris on December 10, 1804 He was the son of a physician in the household of Napoleon, and followed his father's profession for a number of years. The death of his father brought him a handsome fortune, upon the receipt of which he devoted himself exclusively to literature. His first novel, "Kernock, the Pirate," which appeared in 1830, was only in a small measure successful. It was followed in quick succession by four others, but with like results. His next attempt was the quasi-historical "Jean Cavalier." About this time Sue became imbued with the socialistic ideas that were then spreading through France, and his attempt to express these in fiction produced his most famous work, "The Mysteries of Paris," which was published in 1842. The story first appeared as a feuilleton in the "Journal des Débats." Its success was remarkable, exceeded only by its tremendous popularity in book form. "The Mysteries of Paris" is partly melodrama; it has faults both in construction and in art; its characters are mere puppets, dancing hither and thither at the end of their creator's string. Yet withal the novel brought about many legislative changes in Paris through the light which it cast on existing legal abuses. Sue died on August 3, 1859.

I

One cold, rainy evening towards the end of October-1838, a man of athletic build wearing an old straw hat and ragged serge shirt and trousers dived into the City ward of Paris, a maze of dark, crooked streets which spreads from the Palace of Justice Notre Dame. This district is the Mint, or haunt of a great number of low malefactors who swarm in the low drinking-dens.

The man we noticed slackened his pace, feeling that he was "on his own ground." It was very dark and gusts of rain lashed the walls.

"Good arternoon, La Goualeuse (Sweet-Throat)" said he to one of a group of girls sheltering under a projecting window. "You're the very girl to stand some brandy."

"I'm out of money, Slasher," said the girl trembling; for the man was the terror of the neighbourhood.

He grasped her arm, but she wrenched herself loose and fled down a dark alley, pursued by the ruffian.

"I'll have you," he exclaimed after a few seconds as he seized in his powerful hand one altogether as soft and slight.

"You shall dance for it," a masculine voice broke in, and under the soft delicate skin of the hand the Slasher felt himself grasped by muscles of iron. For some seconds nothing was heard save the sounds of a deadly strife.

The struggle was short, for the ruffian, although of athletic make and of first rate ability in rough and tumble fights, found he had met his master; he measured his length on the ground.

Burning with rage the Slasher returned to the charge, whereupon the defender of La Goualeuse showered upon the cut-throat's head a succession of blows so weighty and crushing and so completely out of the French mode of fighting that the Slasher was mentally as well as bodily stunned by them and gave up, muttering, "I'm floored. Except the Skeleton with his iron bones and the Schoolmaster, no one till now could brag of having set his foot on my neck."

"Well, come and drink a glass and you shall know who I am," said the Unknown. "Come, don't nurse a grudge against me."

"Bear malice? Not a bit of it! You're best man, make no mistake!"

The three, now upon the best terms, directed their steps towards a tavern. As the Unknown followed his companions a charcoal-seller approached him and whispered in German, "Be on your guard, Your Highness!" The Unknown waved his hand carelessly and entered the tavern.

Over their drinks the three related to each other their histories.

The Slasher was a man of tall stature, with light hair and enormous red whiskers. Notwithstanding his terrible surname his features expressed rather brutal hardihood and unconquerable boldness, than ferocity. In his childhood he had strolled about with an old rag and bone picker, who almost knocked the life out of him. He had never known his parents. His first employment was to help knockers cut horses' throats at Montfauçon till cutting and slashing became a rage with him and he was turned out of the slaughter-house for spoiling the hides. Later he enlisted and served three years. Then one day the bullying of the sergeant roused the old rage and he turned on him and cut and slashed as if he had been in the slaughter-house. That got him fifteen years in the hulks. Now he was a lighterman on the Seine rafts.

Sweet-Throat was not over sixteen and a half. A forehead of the whitest surmounted a face perfectly oval and of angelic expression, such as we see in Raphael's beauties. She was also called "Fleur-de-Marie," doubtless on account of the maiden purity of her countenance. She, too, had never known her parents. When she was about seven years of age she lived with an old and one-eyed woman, called Screech-Owl because her hooked nose and round green eye made her resemble an owl that had lost its eye. She taunted the child with being picked up from the streets and sent her out begging, rewarding her with beatings if she did not bring her at least six pence at night, until at last she ran away from Screech-Owl and hid in a wood-yard for the night. Next day she was found, taken before a magistrate and sent to a reformatory as a vagrant until she was sixteen. It was a perfect paradise compared to Screech-Owl's miserable roost. But when she came out she fell into the hands of the Ogress who kept the inn they were now in. The clothes she stood in belonged to the Ogress, she owed her for board and lodgings and could not stir from her or she must be taken up as a thief.

Rudolph (for so we shall call the defender of La Goualeuse) listened with deep interest to her recital, made with touching frankness. Misery, destitution, ignorance of the world, had destroyed this wretched girl, cast alone and unprotected on the immensity of Paris. He involuntarily thought of a beloved child whom he had lost, who had died at six, and would have been, had she lived, like Fleur-de-Marie, sixteen and a half years old.

Rudolph appeared to be about thirty-six, tall, graceful, of a contemplative air, yet with a haughty and imperious, carriage of the head. In other respects he sported with ease the language and manners which gave him a perfect resemblance to the Ogress's other guests. He represented himself as a painter of fans.

Presently the Schoolmaster entered the inn, with a woman. He was a powerful, fleshy fellow with a face mutilated and scarred in a most horribly repugnant fashion. The woman was old and her green eye, hooked nose, and countenance, at once reminded Rudolph of the horrible woman of whom Goualeuse had been the victim. Suddenly seizing his arm, Goualeuse whispered "Oh! The Owl! The one-eyed woman!"

At this moment the Schoolmaster approached the table and said to Rudolph "If you don't hand the wench over to me, I'll smash you."

"For the love of heaven, defend me," cried Goualeuse to Rudolph.

He rose and was about to attack the Schoolmaster when the charcoal-dealer rushed into the inn, and coming up to him whispered in German, "Your Highness, the countess and her brother are at the end of the street."

At these words, Rudolph threw a louis on the counter and hurried towards the door. The Schoolmaster attempted to stop him but fell heavily under two or three blows straight from the shoulder.

Soon after he had gone two strangers entered, one in a military frock-coat, the other easily detected as a woman in male attire. She was the Countess Sarah Macgregor. They ordered drinks and proceeded to make inquiries after Rudolph. When they left, the Schoolmaster and the Screech-Owl followed them and robbed them in a dark street. But they suffered the robbery quietly and even offered the ruffian and his woman more to lay a trap for M. Rudolph. They parted, but an invisible witness--the Slasher--had been present. Alarmed at the perils which threatened his new friend, he resolved to warn him.

II

On the morrow Rudolph again made his way to the tavern and met the Ogress, with whom he had a short conversation which resulted in his paying La Goualeuse's debts to the old hag and taking the girl for a drive in the country. They spent the day roaming about the fields. Towards evening the carriage stopped at a farm near a pretty village and to her amazed delight Rudolph told Fleur-de-Marie that she might stay there with Mrs. George, the mistress of the farm. He explained his sympathy for her in the loss of the child who would have been her age.

Fleur-de-Marie could not reply. She seized his hand, and before he could prevent her, raised it to her lips with an air of modest submission; then she followed Mrs. George, who was to play the character of her aunt.

Before he left, Rudolph said to Mrs. George, "Marie will at least find a corner in your heart?"

"Yes, I shall devote my time to her as I should be giving it to him," she said with emotion.

"Come, do not be again discouraged. If our search has been unsuccessful hitherto, perhaps--"

"May the good God help you, M. Rudolph. My son would now be twenty. His father would never reveal whether he lives. Since he was condemned to the galleys, entreaties, prayers and letters have all been unanswered."

The next day Rudolph heard from the Slasher of the plot against him and arranged to meet the Schoolmaster on the pretext of having a profitable business on hand. The prospect of gain overcame the Schoolmaster's suspicions and he and Screech-Owl met Rudolph in an inn. Rudolph unfolded his scheme of entering a house in the Allee des Veuves, the residence of a doctor gone into the country. The Schoolmaster agreed, but insisted on their remaining together till the evening. On leaving the inn Rudolph dropped a note, which he saw picked up by the pseudo-charcoal-dealer, now attired as a gentleman.

The three retired to an inn of evil appearance, while Screech-Owl went out to reconnoitre the house and grounds. She returned to the inn with a favourable report. Suddenly the Schoolmaster threw himself on Rudolph and hurled him into the cellar, locking the door behind him.

Rudolph's efforts to free himself were in vain. For hours he lay there, gasping for breath. Suddenly, when he was about to suffocate, the door was broken open, and he found himself fainting in the arms of the Slasher.

When Rudolph recovered consciousness he was in his house, attended by his doctor, a negro and the Slasher.

The Schoolmaster and the Screech-Owl had come to enter the house. The Screech-Owl had remained at the gate to watch, but the Slasher, who had observed all, had silenced her with a blow. Following the Schoolmaster in, he came upon him as he was overcoming one of Rudolph's men and downed him with another blow. Then the two robbers, being bound, were carried in.

"Order them to bring him here," said Rudolph calmly, and the Schoolmaster was carried in, bound with ropes. Rudolph addressed him.

"Escaped from the hulks, to which you were sentenced for life, you are the husband of Mrs. George. What have you done with her son?"

Believing his hour was come he trembled and whimpered "mercy." He confessed all, even his crimes, his murders, speaking now in the grammatical French of his guiltless days.

"He lived in the Rue du Temple, where he passed as François Germain. He left there; now I do not know where he is."

"Good; your life shall be spared. But I will paralyse the strength you have criminally abused. Doctor David, do as I have told you."

The Schoolmaster was seized by two servants and carried into another room. A few minutes later he was brought back.

"You are free," said Rudolph. "Go and repent. Here are five thousand francs. You are harmless."

The two men loosened the cords which bound him, then took a bandage from his eyes. He sprang up in rage and terror; then falling back, cried in agony and fury, "I am blind!"

III

Rudolph was the reigning Duke of the German State of Gerolstein. While he was a boy a Scotch adventuress, Lady Sarah MacGregor, and her brother, Sir Thomas Seyton, had appeared in the little German court and begun an intrigue that resulted in a secret marriage between Sarah and Rudolph. The old duke, then alive, on hearing of this annulled the marriage. To his son he gave a letter from Sarah to her brother, betraying her cold-blooded ambitions. The young prince's love had frozen. Sarah gave birth to a child in England, whither she had fled. To all Rudolph's appeals for this child she gave no answer. She had turned it over to Jacques Ferrand, a notary in Paris. Six years later he reported the child's death, and both parents believed their unhappy daughter to be dead, though she was, in fact, the unfortunate Fleur-de-Marie.

It was Sarah who now, having learned of Rudolph's presence in Paris, had hurried hither to seek an interview with him, hoping to effect a reconciliation, now that the old Grand Duke was dead and Rudolph sovereign Prince of Gerolstein. Rudolph was known for his fondness for strange adventures, and Lady Sarah had hoped to catch him during one of his visits to the lower quarters of the city, seeking any aid, however low.

Rudolph, grateful to the Slasher for saving his life, presented him with an estate in Algiers; and the following day he set out for Algeria.

Rudolph was determined to find the son of Mrs. George, the unfortunate wife of the Schoolmaster. He had saved her from starvation and he meant to satisfy the great longing that still possessed her, but for some while he had no real success.

Meanwhile, unknown to Rudolph, a misfortune had come to Fleur-de-Marie. While on a visit to a neighbouring farm one evening she was suddenly seized by Screech-Owl and the blind Schoolmaster and carried off to Paris. They forced an oath of secrecy from her and liberated her near a police station. Screech-Owl then informed the police that a vagrant had passed down the street, and Fleur-de-Marie was arrested and sent to St Lazare. A forged note was sent to Mrs. George, appearing to be signed by Rudolph. Fleur-de-Marie's abduction had been caused by Sarah, who, believing Rudolph too much interested in her, decided to rid herself of a possible rival. Screech-Owl was her tool.

Rudolph learned of Germain's address through a second-hand dealer who had bought his furniture. He was employed as cashier in the office of a notary, Jacques Ferrand. Rudolph had heard evil reports of this man, though he was highly respected and known as a pious man. When Rudolph finally attempted to communicate with Germain he learned that the young man had been accused of theft from notary Ferrand and imprisoned.

Screech-Owl conceived of a scheme to blackmail the notary Ferrand. His housekeeper, ten years before, had turned over to her a child which she was to care for in consideration of one thousand francs. She obtained an interview with Ferrand, but he denied all knowledge of the child.

Ferrand was, in fact, thoroughly frightened. He learned that Fleur-de-Marie was in St. Lazare, and determined to paralyse Screech-Owl's threats by removing Fleur-de-Marie.

On an island in the Seine lived a criminal family, the Martials, who throve by thieving and murder. With Nicholas Martial, Ferrand arranged that Marie was to be conducted across the river and upset. His housekeeper met the girl at the prison door after the notary had procured her release and, pretending she had come from Mrs. George, brought her down to the river.

Once on the shore, the old woman signalled, and two boats came from the island. Fleur-de-Marie felt an instinctive uneasiness on beholding the foul face of Nicholas Martial. But she seated herself in the boat with the old woman, and they shot out into the stream.

Half an hour later two gentlemen strolling along the opposite river-bank saw the body of a young girl floating by and rescued it. One was a doctor. Discovering signs of life, he set to work and presently a faint glow of vitality revived. Then she was carried to his home.

That same night Screech-Owl appeared at the home of Countess Sarah, keeping an appointment. Lady Sarah took the creature into her private room and locked the door, leaving open only the passage from the garden whence they had entered.

"Listen," said the Countess, "I want you to find me a girl of about seventeen, one who has lost her parents very early, of agreeable face, and a sweet temper."

Screech-Owl showed her astonishment.

"My little lady, have you forgotten La Goualeuse?"

"I have nothing to do with her," said Lady Sarah impatiently.

"But listen a moment. Take La Goualeuse; she was only six years old when Jacques Ferrand gave her to me, with a thousand francs, to get rid of her."

"Jacques Ferrand!" cried Sarah, "the notary?"

"Yes, what of it?"

"Ten years ago? Fair? With blue eyes?

"Yes."

"Ah, Mon Dieu! Mon Dieu!" cried Sarah, falling on her knees. Suddenly she rose. Hastily opening a secretary, she took from it an ebony casket, which she opened. She took from it diamond necklaces and bracelets, throwing them on the table in her hurry to reach the bottom.

"Is this she?" she cried, producing a small miniature.

"Yes."

Sarah took out paper and pen and began writing.

"Come," she said, "as you dictate, so I write. A written declaration--"

She did not finish. Screech-Owl brought down her arm and her dagger entered Sarah's back between the shoulder-blades. She threw out her hands and fell forward on the table.

Hastily gathering the jewels, the murderess slipped through the door into the garden and escaped into the dark streets.

That night the police made one of the most notable hauls of the year; they captured a group of notorious criminals in the act of murdering a diamond-agent in a low-class resort on the banks of the Seine, among them all the Martial family. In the cellar they found the blind Schoolmaster chained to a pillar. He had been confined there by his former comrades, who feared that in his helpless state he might fall under the care of honest people and reveal to them the habits of his associates. He was mad; in his arms he gripped, almost crushed, the dead and mangled body of Screech-Owl, who, seeking to escape down the cellar, had stumbled within the captive's reach.

IV

For some days Jacques Ferrand's clerks noticed in the notary a curious change. He denied admission to his clients, though they knew his interests suffered heavily thereby. His face thinned, his temples hollowed, his complexion became ghastly yellow. In constant company with him was a red-bearded man, known as Brodamonte.

Then came the announcement that Germain had been freed from prison, the charges against him being dropped. Also that Monsieur Ferrand gave a million francs to found a workingmen's bank where the poor could borrow without paying interest. Germain was to be cashier.

Ferrand's sufferings were intense. Brodamonte, discovered in a criminal act by Rudolph, was now his slave, and acted as his agent. Both were watched by a well-concealed circle of spies. Brodamonte forced Ferrand's system of restitution, under Rudolph's directions, who had succeeded in obtaining from the notary by a trick papers which proved his crimes and guilt. This was his punishment. A miser, he must give; and, always a pious fraud, he was now compelled to place all his money in trust with the good, simple old abbé he had long deceived.

By chance Rudolph now learned of the absence of the girl and the deception that had caused Madame George to make no inquiries. He suspected truly that La Goualeuse's abduction had been instigated by Sarah.

Suddenly an idea burst upon him. Looking over the papers taken from Ferrand, he saw that the notary had reason to fear the existence of a certain child he had turned over to Screech-Owl ten years previously. These suspicions changed to conviction when e learned that on the day of Marie's release a woman had been drowned in the Seine. So great was his rage that he now determined to revenge himself doubly on the criminal notary.

The Countess Sarah was recovering slowly. Rudolph, believing her to be dying, consented to visit her. He found her dressed and decked in her jewels, but pale and weak.

"Rudolph, I am dying," she said; "I have something of great importance to tell you." Her agitation was intense.

"Our child is not dead!" burst from her suddenly.

"Our child!"

"I tell you, she lives!"

"Enough, madame, you cannot deceive me. I know your schemes."

"But listen, I have proof!" she cried eagerly. "I have told you the truth. You remember I had left the child with my notary to superintend her education. He was false to me. She had not died, but was disposed of to a woman known as the Screech-Owl, and----"

"No! No! I do not believe you--I do not wish to believe you!"

"See," she continued, "here is her portrait."

He seized the miniature. Yes, in the child's face were recognizable the blue eyes, the oval face, the fair hair, so familiar to him in Fleur-de-Marie.

"God!" he cried, "you wretched woman! La Goualeuse our daughter! Found, only to lose her again. Dead!"

"No, she lives, Rudolph. Pity! I die!"

"Your child is dead, murdered. May the knowledge curse your last moments!" And he rushed from the house, leaving Sarah in a fainting condition.

Meanwhile, the Marquise d'Harville, a friend of Rudolph's, learned by chance of the presence of La Goualeuse in the house of the doctor who had rescued her from the Seine. Knowing Rudolph's keen interest in La Goualeuse, Madame d'Harville determined to take her with her in her carriage to convey the good news to Rudolph in person.

Some days later she appeared at Rudolph's magnificent apartments and announced to him that Fleur-de-Marie was below in the carriage. Rudolph rose, pale, supporting himself by the table. Madame d'Harville's surprise restrained him.

"Ah, Clemence," he murmured, "you do not know what you have done for me. Fleur-de-Marie is--my daughter!"

"Your daughter, your Highness?"

Then suddenly she understood. Fleur-de-Marie was brought up, and it required Clemence to restrain Rudolph so that he broke the news gently. Fleur-de-Marie was even then overcome, for she had loved Rudolph as she would have loved her god.

Sarah died soon afterward. Rudolph asked Clemence d'Harville to become mother to Marie, now the Princess Amelia, and they returned to Germany. On setting out they passed in their carriage through a crowd attending an execution. Several criminals in the crowd, recognising Rudolph, attempted to attack him. Suddenly a man sprang forward in his defence, but was stabbed by one of the crowd and fell dying. It was the Slasher. "I could not go to Algiers," he murmured. "I wished to be near you, Monsieur Rudolph."

A noble prince sought the hand of the Princess Amelia, but she, feeling her past degradation, retired to a convent, where she died, beloved by all, mourned deeply by Rudolph and Clemence.

Ferrand, the notary, died in convulsions, killing Brodamonte with a poisoned dagger. Germain, restored to his mother, married happily, his wife's dowry coming from the prince.


JONATHAN SWIFT

Gulliver's Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World

Jonathan Swift, the greatest and most original satirist of his own, or perhaps of any age, was born in Dublin, Ireland, of English parents, November 30, 1667. His poverty and abject dependence upon his relatives in his early youth may have given the first impetus to that bitter resentment and haughty spirit of pride which characterized him through life. After a somewhat troubled career in Trinity College, Dublin, he removed to England, where he entered the household of the retired English statesman, Sir William Temple, whose literary executor he became ten years later. The advertisement which this connection, and the performance of its final office, gave him, led to his appointment to a small living and certain other church emoluments in Ireland. In the following years he paid several protracted visits to London, where by the power of his pen and his unrivalled genius as a satirist of the politics of his time, he rapidly rose to a most formidable position in the State,--the intimate of poets and of statesmen. And yet, owing to the opposition which his claims met with at court, he derived no higher preferment for himself than the deanery of St. Patrick's, Dublin, in 1713. In time Swift reconciled himself to this change by vehemently espousing the cause of the Irish against their English rulers, and by his writings made himself as famous in that country as he had formerly done in England. Gradually the gloom of cerebral decay descended upon his magnificent intellect, and he died October 19, 1745. "To think of his ruin," said Thackeray, "is like thinking of the ruin of an empire." No more original work of genius than Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" exists in the English language. For sheer intellectual power it may not be equal to the "Tale of a Tub," but as it has more variety, so it has more art. "Gulliver" was published in 1726, at a period when life's disappointments had ceased to worry Swift. It is probable, however, that the book was planned some years previously, the keenness of the satire on courts and statesmen suggesting that his frustrated aims still rankled in his mind. Curious is it that so perfect an artist should nevertheless have missed the main purpose which he set himself in this book, namely, "to vex the world rather than divert it." The world refused to be vexed, and was hugely diverted. The real greatness of "Gulliver" lies in its teeming imagination and implacable logic. Swift succeeded in endowing the wildest improbabilities with an air of veracity rivalling Defoe himself. (See also Vol. X, p. 282.)

I.--A Voyage to Lilliput

My father had a small estate in Nottinghamshire, but the charge of maintaining me at Cambridge being too great, after three years there I was bound apprentice to an eminent surgeon in London; in my spare time I studied navigation, and mathematics, useful to those who travel, as I always believed, at some time, it would be my fortune to do.

After studying physics in Leyden for two years, I became surgeon to the Swallow, and made a voyage or two in the Levant. I then settled in London, married, but after some years, my business beginning to fail, having consulted with my wife, I determined to go again to sea and made several voyages to the East and West Indies, by which I got some addition to my fortune.

In 1699, being on a voyage in the South Seas, we were driven on a rock, and the ship immediately split. I conclude my companions were all lost; for my part, I swam as fortune directed me, and being pushed forward by wind and tide, found myself at last within my depth, and had to wade near a mile before I got to shore. I was extremely tired, and lay down on the grass and slept soundly until daylight. I attempted to rise, but found myself strongly fastened to the ground, not able to turn even my head. I felt something moving gently up my leg, and over my breast, when bending my eyes downward, I perceived a human creature, not six inches high, with a bow and arrows in his hand; and felt a number more following him. I roared so loud, they all fell off in a fright, but soon returned. I struggled, and broke the strings that fastened my left hand, but the creatures ran off before I could seize them, and I felt about a hundred arrows discharged into my left hand, which pricked like so many needles. I lay still, groaning with grief and pain, till some of the inhabitants came and cut the strings that fastened my head, when turning it a little I saw one, who seemed to be a person of quality, who made me a long speech, of which I understood not one word; but in which I could observe many periods of threatening, and others of pity and kindness.

I answered in the most submissive manner, and being famished with hunger (perhaps against the strict rules of decency), put my finger in my mouth, to signify I wanted food. He understood me very well. Several ladders were applied to my sides, and a hundred of the inhabitants mounted, laden with food and drink, and supplied me as fast as they could, with marks of wonder at my bulk and appetite.

It seems that at the first moment I was discovered, the Emperor had notice by an express, and it was determined in council that I should be secured and fed, and at once conveyed to the capital city.

A sleepy potion having been mingled with my wine, I again slept. These people have arrived to a great perfection in mechanics, and by means of cords and pulleys, in less than three hours, I was raised and slung on to the largest of their machines, used for the carriage of trees and other great weights. Fifteen hundred of the largest horses, each about four and a half inches high, were employed to draw me towards the metropolis. The Emperor and all his Court came out to meet us. In the largest temple in the kingdom, disused because polluted by a murder some years before, I was to be lodged, secured by fourscore and eleven chains locked to my left leg. They were about two yards long and being fixed within four inches of the gate of the temple, allowed me to creep in and lie on the ground at my full length.

The Emperor is taller, by almost the breadth of my nail, than any of his court, his features strong and masculine, and his deportment majestic. He had reigned for seven years in great felicity, and generally victorious. I lay on my side, for the better convenience of beholding him, but I have had him many times since in my hand, and therefore cannot be deceived in this description. He held his sword drawn in his hand to defend himself, if I should happen to break loose, and spoke to me many times, and I answered, but neither of us could understand a syllable.

The Emperor had frequent councils to debate what course should be taken with me; they apprehended I might break loose; or might cause a famine; but my behaviour had made a favourable impression, and his Majesty made provision for me out of his own Treasury, and coming frequently to see me, I soon learnt to express my desire for liberty, which was after a time granted on certain conditions.

I soon learnt, in spite of its flourishing appearance, this country laboured under two evils; a violent faction at home, and the danger of invasion, by a most potent enemy, from abroad. The two parties in the kingdom were distinguished by the high or low heels of their shoes. The high heels were most agreeable to their ancient constitution, but the present Emperor was determined only to make use of low heels in the administration of the government--but the heir apparent seemed to have some tendency to high heels.

They were threatened with an invasion from the Island of Blefusco, which had been engaged in an obstinate war with Lilliput for a long time, on a question of a schism in religion. They had now prepared a numerous fleet, and were about to descend upon us, and his Majesty, in his confidence in my strength and valour, laid this account of his affairs before me.

II. I Depart from Blefusco

Having ascertained the depth of the channel between the two countries, and viewed the enemy's fleet through my perspective glass, I obtained a great quantity of cable and bars of iron. I twisted the bars into hooks which I fixed to fifty cables, and walked into the sea, wading with what haste I could, swam about thirty yards in the middle, and arrived at the fleet in about half an hour.

The enemy were so frightened when they saw me that they fled, and swam to shore. I then took my tackling, fixed a hook to each vessel, and tied all my cords together at the end; but not a ship would stir, they were held too fast by their anchors. The enemy's arrows disturbed me much, but I resolutely cut all the cables, and with the greatest ease drew fifty of the largest men of war with me. The tide had now fallen, and I waded safe to the royal port of Lilliput, where the Emperor received me with the highest honour. So immeasurable is the ambition of princes, that he thought now of nothing less than the complete submission of Blefusco; but I plainly protested "that I would never be an instrument of bringing a free and brave people into slavery"; and the wisest part of the Council were of my opinion.

His Majesty never forgave me, and an intrigue began which had like to have been my utter ruin; but a considerable person at Court informed me of the schemes against me, and I resolved at once to pay a visit to Blefusco, whose Emperor had sent a solemn embassy to Lilliput with humble offers of peace, and who received me with the generosity suitable to so great a Prince.

Three days after my arrival I observed a boat overturned on the coast, which with great difficulty I managed to get to the royal port of Blefusco; I told the Emperor that my good fortune had thrown this boat in my way, to carry me towards my native country, and begged his orders for materials to fit it up, together with his license to depart, which, after some kind expostulation, he was pleased to grant.

His Majesty of Lilliput had sent an envoy, to ask his brother of Blefusco to have me sent back to be punished as a traitor with the loss of my eyes; so that I resolved to "venture myself on the ocean rather than be an occasion of difference between two such mighty monarchs."

I stored the boat with the carcasses of sheep and oxen, and with bread and drink proportionable, and as much ready-dressed meat as four-hundred cooks could provide. I took with me cows and bulls, and rams and ewes, intending to propagate the breed in my own country; and would gladly have taken a dozen or two of the natives, but this his Majesty would not permit. Besides making a diligent search in my pockets, his Majesty engaged my honour "not to carry away any of his subjects, although by their own desire."

I set sail, and on the third day descried a sail steering to the south-east. I made all the sail I could, and in half an hour she espied me and flung out her flag and fired a gun.

My heart leaped within me to see her English colours, and putting my cows and sheep into my pockets, I soon got on board with all my provisions.

The Captain, a very civil man, and an excellent sailor, treated me with kindness, and we arrived in England with only one misfortune: the rats carried off one of my sheep. The rest I got safely ashore, and made a considerable profit in showing them to persons of quality, and before I began my second voyage I sold them for six hundred pounds.

I stayed but two months with my wife and family, for my insatiable desire of seeing foreign countries would suffer me to stay no longer. I left fifteen hundred pounds with my wife; my uncle had left me a small estate near Epping of about thirty pounds a year, and I had a long lease of the Black Bull in Fetter Lane; so that I was in no danger of leaving my wife and family upon the parish. My son Johnny was at the grammar school, and a towardly child. My daughter Betty (who is now well married) was then at her needlework.

I took leave of them with tears on both sides, and went on board the Adventure, a merchant ship of 300 tons, bound for Surat.

III.--A Voyage to Brobdingnag

We made a good voyage, until we had passed the Straits of Madagascar, when the southern monsoon set in, and we were driven many leagues out of our course. Being in distress for water, and coming in sight of land, some of us went on shore in search of it. I walked alone about a mile, when, seeing nothing to satisfy my curiosity, I was returning when I saw our men already in the boat, and rowing for life to the ship, with a huge creature walking after them, the sea up his knees.

I ran off as fast as I could, up a hill, and along what I took for a highroad, but could see little, on either side the corn rising at least forty feet, until I came to a stone stile, which it was impossible for me to climb. I was looking for a gap in the hedge, when I saw one of the inhabitants in the next field. He seemed as high as an ordinary spire steeple, and took about ten yards at each step. I ran to hide myself in the corn, whence I saw him at the stile calling out in a voice which at first I certainly took for thunder. Seven monsters like himself then came, and began to reap the field where I lay. I made a shift to get away, squeezing myself between the stalks, till I came to a part laid by the rain and wind. It was impossible to advance a step, and I heard the reapers not a hundred yards behind me. Being quite dispirited with toil, I lay down and began to bemoan my widow and fatherless children, when one of the reapers came quite near me, and I screamed as loud as I could, fearing I should be squashed to death by his foot. He looked about, and at last espying me, took me carefully behind, between his finger and thumb, as I myself had done with a weasel in England.

I resolved not to struggle, but ventured to put my hands together in a supplicating manner, and say some words in a humble, melancholy tone, and letting him know by my gestures how grievously he pinched my sides. He seemed to apprehend my meaning, and put me gently in the lapel of his coat, and ran along to show me to his master, the substantial farmer I had first seen in the field.

He placed me gently on all fours on the ground, but I immediately got up, and walked slowly backwards and forwards to let those people see I had no intent to run away. They all sat down in a circle round me, and the farmer was soon convinced I was a rational creature, but we were quite unintelligible to one another. He put me gently in his handkerchief and took me to show to his wife. She at first screamed, as women do at a toad, but seeing how well I observed the signs her husband made, she, by degrees, grew extremely fond of me.

A servant brought in dinner, and the farmer put me on the table. The wife minced some bread and meat and placed it before me. I made her a low bow, took out my knife and fork, and fell to eating, which gave them great delight. The farmer's youngest son, an arch boy of ten, took me up by the legs and held me so high in the air, that I trembled in every limb; but the farmer snatched me from him and gave him such a box on the ear, as would have felled a European troop of horse to the earth.

I fell on my knees, and pointing to the boy made my master understand I desired his son to be pardoned. The lad took his seat again and I went and kissed his hand, which my master took and made him stroke me gently with it.

When dinner was almost done, the nurse came in with a child of a year old in her arms, who at once began to squall to get me for a plaything.

The mother, out of pure indulgence, held me up to the child, who seized me by the middle and got my head into his mouth, where I roared so loud, the urchin was frightened, and let me drop, and I should have infallibly broke my neck, if the mother had not held her apron underneath.

My mistress, perceiving I was very tired, put me on her own bed after dinner, and covered me with a clean white handkerchief; I slept, and dreamed I was at home with my wife and children, which aggravated my sorrows when I awoke, to find myself alone in a bed twenty feet wide. Two rats had crept up the curtains, and had the boldness to attack me, but I had the good fortune to rip one up with my hanger, before he could do me any mischief, and the other ran away; though not without one good wound. These creatures were the size of a large mastiff, and infinitely more nimble and fierce. My mistress was extremely rejoiced to find I was not hurt, and with her little daughter fitted me up the baby's cradle against night, which was then placed on a shelf for fear of rats.

The daughter, nine years old, and not above forty feet high, was very good natured, became my schoolmistress, and called me Grildrig, which imports in English, mannikin. To her I chiefly owe my preservation: I called her Glumdalclitch, or Little Nurse, and I heartily wish it was in my power to requite her care and affection as she deserves, instead of being, as I have reason to fear, the innocent unhappy instrument of her disgrace.

My master, being advised to show me as a sight in the next town, I was carried there in a box by Glumdalclitch on a pillion behind her father, who, after consulting the inn-keeper, hired the crier to give notice to the town of a strange creature to be seen not six feet long, resembling in every part a human creature, could speak several words, and perform a hundred diverting tricks.

I was shown that day till I was half dead with weariness and vexation, for those who had seen me made such wonderful reports that the people were ready to break down the doors to come in.

My master, finding how profitable I was likely to be, showed me in all the considerable towns in the kingdom, till observing that I was almost reduced to a skeleton, concluded I must soon die, and sold me to the Queen for a thousand pieces of gold. Her Majesty asked me "whether I should be content to live at Court?" I bowed down to the table, and humbly answered, "I should be proud to devote my life to her Majesty's service," and begged the favour that Glumdalclitch might be admitted into her service and continue to be my nurse and instructor.

IV.--At the Court of Brobdingnag

Her Majesty agreed, and easily got the farmer's consent, and the poor girl herself was not able to hide her joy.

The Queen was surprised at so much wit and good sense in so small an animal, and took me in her own hand to the King, who, though as learned a person as any in his dominions, conceived I might be a piece of clockwork, until he heard me speak. He sent for three great scholars, who, after much debate, concluded that I was only lusus naturae; a determination agreeable to the modern philosophy of Europe, whose professors have invented this wonderful solution of all difficulties, to the unspeakable advancement of human knowledge.

I entreated to be heard a word or two, and assured them that I came from a country where everything was in proportion, and where, in consequence, I might defend myself and find sustenance. To which they only replied, with a smile of contempt, saying, "that the farmer had instructed me very well in my lesson." The King, who had a much better understanding, dismissed his learned men, and after some further examination, began to think what we told him might be true. A convenient apartment was provided for Glumdalclitch, a governess to attend to her education, a maid to dress her, and two other servants; but the care of me was wholly appropriated to herself. I soon became a great favourite with the King; my little chair and table were placed at his left hand, before the salt-cellar, and he took pleasure in conversing with me, inquiring into the laws, government, and learning of Europe. He made very wise observations upon all I said, but once when I had been a little too copious in talking of my beloved country, he took me up in his hand, and in a hearty fit of laughter asked me if I were a Whig or a Tory? Then, turning to his first minister, observed how contemptible a thing was human grandeur, which could be mimicked by such diminutive insects as I.

But as I was not in a condition to resent injuries, so upon mature thoughts I began to doubt whether I was injured or no. For after being accustomed to the sight of these people for some time, I really began to imagine myself dwindled many degrees below my usual size. My littleness exposed me to many ridiculous and troublesome accidents, which determined Glumdalclitch never to let me go abroad out of her sight. I was, indeed, treated with much kindness, the favourite of the King and Queen, and the delight of the whole Court. But I could never forget the domestic pledges I had left behind me, and longed to be again with people with whom I could converse on equal terms.

About the beginning of the third year of my stay in this country, Glumdalclitch and I attended the King and Queen in a progress round the south coast. I was carried as usual in my travelling box, a very convenient closet about twelve feet wide. I longed to see the ocean, which must be the only scene of my escape, and desired leave to take the air of the sea with a page who sometimes took charge of me.

I shall never forget with what unwillingness Glumdalclitch consented; we were both much tired with our journey, and the poor girl was so ill as to be confined to her chamber. The boy took me out in my box towards the seashore, when ordering him to set me down, I cast many a wistful glance toward the sea.

I found myself not very well, and hoping a nap would do me good soon fell asleep. I conjecture as I slept the page went off to look for birds' eggs, for I was awakened by finding myself raised high in the air and borne forward with prodigious speed. I called out, I looked out, but could see nothing but clouds and sky. I heard a great flapping of wings--they increased very fast, and my box was tossed up and down, and I felt myself falling with incredible swiftness. My fall was stopped by a terrible squash, I was quite in the dark for a minute, then I could see light from the tops of my windows. I had fallen into the sea. I did then, and do now, suppose that the eagle, that had flown away with me, was pursued by two or three others, and forced to let me drop. I was for four hours, under these circumstances, expecting, and, indeed, hoping, every moment to be my last.

I heard a grating sound on the side of my box, and soon felt I was being towed along the sea, and called for help until I was hoarse. In return I heard a great shout, giving me transports of joy, and somebody called in the English tongue that I was safe, for my box was fastened to their ship. The carpenter came, in a few minutes, and sawed a hole, through which I was taken into the ship in a very weak condition.

The Captain, a worthy Shropshire man, was returning to England, and we came into the Downs on the 3rd of June, 1706, about nine months after my escape.

When I came to my own house my wife protested I should never go to sea any more.


WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY

The Newcomes

William Makepeace Thackeray was born on July 18, 1811, at Calcutta, where his father was in the service of the East India Company. He was educated at Charterhouse School, then situated in Smithfield, and spent two years at Trinity College, Cambridge. After travelling on the continent as an artist, he returned to London, and wrote for the "Examiner" and "Fraser's Magazine," subsequently joining the staff of "Punch." "The Newcomes," finished by Thackeray at Paris in 1855, was the fourth of his great novels. Without being in any real sense a sequel to "Pendennis," it reintroduces us to several characters of the earlier work, and is told in the first person by Arthur Pendennis himself. The Gray Friars School is the Charterhouse where Thackeray was at school. In 1859 Thackeray started the "Cornhill Magazine," and on December 23, 1863, he died at Kensington. Besides his five great novels, a large number of shorter stories and sketches came from Thackeray's pen.

I.--The "Cave of Harmony"

It was in the days of my youth, when, having been to the play with some young fellows of my own age, we became naturally hungry at twelve o'clock at night, and a desire for welsh-rarebits and good old glee singing led us to the "Cave of Harmony," then kept by the celebrated Hoskins, among whose friends we were proud to count.

It happened that there was a very small attendance at the "cave" that night, and we were all more sociable and friendly because the company was select. The songs were chiefly of the sentimental class; such ditties were much in vogue at the time of which I speak.

There came into the "cave" a gentleman with a lean brown face and long black mustachios, and evidently a stranger to the place. At least he had not visited it for a long time. He was pointing out changes to a lad who was in his company; and, calling for sherry-and-water, he listened to the music and twirled his mustachios with great enthusiasm.

At the very first glimpse of me the boy jumped up from the table, ran to me with his hands out, and, blushing, said, "Don't you know me?"

It was little Newcome, my schoolfellow, whom I had not seen for six years, grown a fine tall young stripling now, with the same bright blue eyes which I remembered when he was quite a little boy.

"What the deuce brings you here?" said I.

He laughed and looked roguish. "My father--that's my father--would come. He's just come back from India. He says all the wits used to come here. I told him your name, and that you used to be very kind to me when I first went to Smithfield. I've left now: I'm to have a private tutor."

Here the whiskered gentleman, Newcome's father, strode across the room to the table where we sat, and held out his hand to me.

"I have heard of your kindness, sir," says he, "to my boy. And whoever is kind to him is kind to me. Will you allow me to sit down by you? and may I beg of you to try my cheroots."

We were friends in a minute--young Newcome snuggling by my side, and his father opposite.

It was worth a guinea to see the simple Colonel, and his delight at the music. He became quite excited over his sherry-and-water. He joined in all the choruses with an exceedingly sweet voice; and when Hoskins sang (as he did admirably) "The Old English Gentleman," and described the death of that venerable aristocrat, tears trickled down the honest warrior's cheek.

And now Mr. Hoskins asking if any gentleman would volunteer a song, what was our amazement when the simple Colonel offered to sing himself. Poor Clive Newcome blushed as red as a peony, and I thought what my own sensations would have been if, in that place, my own uncle Major Pendennis had suddenly proposed to exert his lyrical powers.

The Colonel selected the ditty of "Wapping Old Stairs," and gave his heart and soul to the simple ballad. When the song was over, Clive held up his head too, and looked round with surprise and pleasure in his eyes. The Colonel bowed and smiled with good nature at our plaudits. "I learnt that song forty years ago," he said, turning round to his boy. "I used to slip out from Grey Friars to hear it. Lord! Lord! how the time passes!"

Whilst he was singing his ballad, there had reeled into the room my friend Captain Costizan, in his usual condition at this hour of the night.

"Captain Costizan, will you take something to drink?"

"Bedad I will," says the Captain, "and I'll sing ye a song too."

Having procured a glass of whisky and water, the unlucky wretch, who scarcely knew what he was doing or saying, selected one of the most outrageous of what he called his prime songs, and began his music. At the end of the second verse, the Colonel started up, and looking as ferocious as though he had been going to do battle with a Pindaree, roared out "Silence!"

"Do you dare, sir," cries the Colonel, trembling with anger, "to call yourself a gentleman, and to say that you hold the king's commission, and to sit down amongst Christians and men of honour, and defile the ears of young boys with this wicked balderdash?"

"Why do you bring young boys here, old man?" cries a malcontent.

"Why? Because I thought I was coming to a society of gentlemen. I never could have believed that Englishmen could meet together and allow an old man so to disgrace himself. For shame! Go home to your bed, you hoary old sinner! And for my part, I'm not sorry that my son should see for once in his life to what degradation, drunkenness, and whisky may bring a man. Never mind the change, sir!" says the Colonel, to the amazed waiter. "Keep it till you see me in this place again, which will be never--by George, never!" And shouldering his stick, and scowling round at the company, the indignant gentleman stalked away, his boy after him.

Clive seemed rather shamefaced; but I fear the rest of the company looked still more foolish.

II.--Clive Newman in Love

The Colonel, in conjunction with an Indian friend of his, Mr. Binnie, took a house in London, No. 120, Fitzroy Square, and there was fine amusement for Clive and his father and Mr. Binnie in the purchase of furniture for the new mansion. It was like nobody else's house. What cosy pipes did we not smoke in the dining room, in the drawing room, or where we would!

Clive had a tutor, whom we recommended to him, and with whom the young gentleman did not fatigue his brains very much; but his great forte decidedly lay in drawing. He sketched the horses, he drew the dogs. He drew his father in all postures--asleep, on foot, on horseback; and jolly little Mr. Binnie, with his plump legs on a chair, or jumping briskly on the back of a cob which he rode.

"Oh," says Clive, if you talk to him now about those early days, "it was a jolly time! I do not believe there was any young fellow in London so happy." And there hangs up in his painting-room now a head, with hair touched with grey, with a large moustache, and melancholy eyes. And Clive shows that portrait of their grandfather to his children, and tells them that the whole world never saw a nobler gentleman.

Of course our young man commenced as an historical painter, deeming that the highest branch of art. He painted a prodigious battle-piece of Assaye, and will it be believed that the Royal Academicians rejected this masterpiece? Clive himself, after a month's trip to Paris with his father, declared the thing was rubbish.

It was during this time, when Clive and his father were in Paris, that Mr. Binnie, laid up with a wrenched ankle, was consoled by a visit from his sister, Mrs. Mackenzie, a brisk, plump little widow, and her daughter, Miss Rosey, a blue-eyed, fair-haired lass, with a very sweet voice.

Of course the most hospitable and polite of colonels would not hear of Mrs. Mackenzie and her daughter quitting his house when he returned to it, after the pleasant sojourn in Paris; nor indeed, did his fair guest show the least anxiety or intention to go away. Certainly, the house was a great deal more cheerful for the presence of the two pleasant ladies. Everybody liked them. Binnie received their caresses very good-humouredly. The Colonel liked every woman under the sun. Clive laughed and joked and waltzed alternately with Rosey and her mamma. None of us could avoid seeing that Mrs. Mackenzie was, as the phrase is, "setting her cap" openly at Clive; and Clive laughed at her simple manoeuvres as merrily as the rest.

Some months after the arrival of Mr. Binnie's niece and sister in Fitzroy Square, Mrs. Newcome, wife of Hobson Newcome, banker, the Colonel's brother, gave a dinner party at her house in Bryanstone Square. "It is quite a family party," whispered the happy Mrs. Newcome, when we recognised Lady Ann Newcome's carriage, and saw her ladyship, her mother--old Lady Kew, her daughter, Ethel, and her husband, Sir Brian, (Hobson's twin brother and partner in the banking firm of Hobson Brothers and Newcome), descend from the vehicle. The whole party from St. Pancras were already assembled--Mr. Binnie, the Colonel and his son, Mrs. Mackenzie and Miss Rosey.

Everybody was bent upon being happy and gracious. Miss Newcome ran up to the Colonel with both hands out, and with no eyes for anyone else, until Clive advancing, those bright eyes become brighter still with surprise and pleasure as she beholds him. And, as she looks, Miss Ethel sees a very handsome fellow, while the blushing youth casts down his eyes before hers.

"Upon my word, my dear Colonel," says old Lady Kew, nodding her head shrewdly, "I think we were right."

"No doubt right in everything your ladyship does, but in what particularly?" asks the Colonel.

"Right to keep him out of the way. Ethel has been disposed of these ten years. Did not Ann tell you? How foolish of her! But all mothers like to have young men dying for their daughters. Your son is really the handsomest boy in London. Ethel, my dear! Colonel Newcome must present us to Mrs. Mackenzie and Miss Mackenzie;" and Ethel, giving a nod to Clive, with whom she had talked for a minute or two, again puts her hand into her uncle's and walks towards Mrs. Mackenzie.

Let the artist give us a likeness of Ethel. She is seventeen years old, rather taller than the majority of women. Youth looks out of her bright eyes and flashes scorn or denial, perhaps too readily, when she encounters flattery or meanness. Her smile, when it lights up her face and eyes, is as beautiful as spring sunshine. Her countenance somewhat grave and haughty, on occasion brightens with humour or beams with kindliness and affection.

That night in the drawing room we found the two young ladies engaged over an album, containing a number of Clive's drawings made in the time of his very early youth, and Miss Ethel seemed to be very much pleased with these performances.

Old Major Pendennis, whom I met earlier in the day, made some confidential remarks concerning Miss Ethel and her relatives, which I set down here. "Your Indian Colonel," says he, "seems a worthy man. He don't seem to know much of the world and we are not very intimate. They say he wanted to marry your friend Clive to Lady Ann's daughter, an exceedingly fine girl; one of the prettiest girls come out this season. And that shows how monstrous ignorant of the world Colonel Newcome is. His son could no more get that girl than he could marry one of the royal princesses. These banker fellows are wild after grand marriages. Mark my words, they intend Miss Newcome for some man of high rank. Old Lady Kew is a monstrous clever woman. Nothing could show a more deplorable ignorance of the world than poor Newcome supposing his son could make such a match as that with his cousin. Is it true that he is going to make his son an artist? I don't know what the deuce the world is coming to. An artist! By Gad, in my time a fellow would as soon have thought of making his son a hairdresser, or a pastrycook, by Gad."

Lady Kew carried off her granddaughter Ethel, the Colonel returned to India, and Clive, endowed with a considerable annual sum from his father, went abroad with an apparatus of easels and painting boxes. Clive found Lady Ann, with Ethel and her other children, at Bount on their way to Baden Baden, and the old Countess being away for the time, it seemed to Clive that the barrier between himself and the family was withdrawn. He was glad enough to go with his cousins, and travel in the orbit of Ethel Newcome--who is now grown up and has been presented at Court.

At Baden Baden was Lady Kew; and Clive learning that Ethel was about to be betrothed, and that his suit was hopeless, retreated, with his paint boxes across the Alps to Rome.

III.--Clive is Married

It was announced that Miss Newcome was engaged to the Marquis Fairntosh, but for all that no marriage took place. First the death of Lady Kew made an inevitable postponement, and then Ethel herself shrunk from the loveless match, and, in spite of Lord Fairntosh's protests, dismissed the noble marquis.

But the announcement drove Clive to marry pretty little Rose Mackenzie. The Colonel was back in England again, and for good--a rich man, thanks to the success of the Bundeleund Bank, Bengal, in which his savings were invested, and heavily displeased with Ethel's treatment of his son.

Clive's marriage was performed in Brussels, where Mr. James Binnie, who longed to see Rosey wedded, and his sister, whom we flippantly ventured to call the Campaigner, had been staying that summer. After the marriage they went off to Scotland, and the Colonel and his son and daughter-in-law came to London--not to the old bachelor quarters in Fitzroy Square, but to a sumptuous mansion in the Tyburnian district--and one which became people of their station. To this house came Mrs. Mackenzie when the baby was born, and there she stayed.

In a pique with the woman he loved, and from that generous weakness which led him to acquiesce in most wishes of his good father, the young man had gratified the darling wish of the Colonel's heart, and taken the wife whom his old friends brought to him. Rosey, who was also of a very obedient and docile nature, had acquiesced gladly enough in her mamma's opinion, that she was in love with the rich and handsome young Clive, and accepted him for better or worse.

If Clive was gloomy and discontented even when the honeymoon had scarce waned, what was the young man's condition in poverty, when they had no love along with a silent dinner of herbs; when his mother-in-law grudged each morsel which his poor old father ate--when a vulgar, coarse-minded woman--as Mrs. Mackenzie was--pursued with brutal sarcasm one of the tenderest and noblest gentlemen in the world; when an ailing wife, always under some one's domination, received him with helpless hysterical cries and reproaches!

For a ghastly bankruptcy overwhelmed the Bundeleund Bank, and with its failure went all Colonel Newcome's savings, and all Mrs. Mackenzie's money and her daughter's. Even the Colonel's pension and annuities were swallowed up in the general ruin, for the old man would pay every shilling of his debts.

When I ventured to ask the Colonel why Mrs. Mackenzie should continue to live with them--"She has a right to live in the house," he said, "it is I who have no right in it. I am a poor old pensioner, don't you see, subsisting on Rosey's bounty. We live on the hundred a year secured to her at her marriage, and Mrs. Mackenzie has her forty pounds of pension which she adds to the common stock. They put their little means together, and they keep us--me and Clive. What can we do for a living? Great God! What can we do?"

But Clive was getting on tolerably well, at his painting, and many sitters came to him from amongst his old friends; he had work, scantily paid it is true, but work sufficient. "I am pretty easy in my mind, since I have become acquainted with a virtuous dealer," the painter assured me one day. "I sell myself to him, body and soul, for some half dozen pounds a week. I know I can get my money, and he is regularly supplied with his pictures. But for Rosey's illness we might carry on well enough."

Rosey's illness? I was sorry to hear of that; and poor Clive, entering into particulars, told me how he had spent upon doctors rather more than a fourth of his year's earnings.

IV.--The Colonel Says "Adsum" When His Name is Called

Mention has been made of the Grey Friars school--where the Colonel and Clive and I had been brought up, an ancient foundation still subsisting at Smithfield.

On the 12th of December, the Founder's Day, a goodly company of old Cistercians is generally brought together, to hear a sermon in chapel; after which we adjourn to a great dinner, where old condisciples meet, and speeches are made. In the chapel sit some three-score old gentlemen pensioners of the hospital, listening to the prayers and the psalms.

The service for Founder's Day is a special one, and we hear--

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord
upholdeth him with his hand.
I have been young, and now am old, yet have I not seen the
righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging their bread.

As we came to this verse in the psalms I chanced to look up from my book towards the black-coated pensioners, and amongst them--amongst them--sat Thomas Newcome.

There was no mistaking him. He wore the black gown of the pensioners of the Hospital of Grey Friars. The steps of this good man had been ordered hither by heaven's decree to this alms-house!

The organ played us out of chapel, and I waited until the pensioners took their turn to quit it. The wan face of my dear old friend flushed up when he saw me, and his hand shook in mine, "I have found a home, Arthur," said he. "My good friend Lord H., who is a Cistercian like ourselves, and has just been appointed a governor, gave me his first nomination. Don't be agitated, Arthur, my boy; I am very happy. I have good quarters, good food, good light and fire, and good friends. Why, sir, I am as happy as the day is long."

We walked through the courts of the building towards his room, which in truth I found neat and comfortable, with a brisk fire on the hearth, a little tea-table laid out, and over the mantelpiece a drawing of his grandson by Clive.

"You may come and see me here, sir, whenever you like--but you must not stay now. You must go back to your dinner."

Of course I came to him on the very next day, and I had the happiness of bringing Clive and his little boy to Thomas Newcome that evening. Clive thought his father was in Scotland with Lord H.

It was at Xmas that Miss Ethel found an old unposted letter of her grandmother's, Mrs. Newcome, asking her lawyer to add a codicil to her will leaving a legacy of £6000 to Clive. The letter, of course, had no legal value, but Ethel was a rich woman, and insisted that the money should be sent, as from the family.

The old Colonel seemed hardly to comprehend it, and when Clive told him the story of the legacy, and said they could now pay Mrs. Mackenzie, "Quite right, quite right; of course we shall pay her, Clivy, when we can!" was all he said.

So it was, that when happier days seemed to be dawning for the good man, that reprieve came too late. Grief and years, and humiliation and care, had been too strong for him, and Thomas Newcome was stricken down. Our Colonel was no more our friend of old days. After some days the fever which had attacked him left him, but left him so weak and enfeebled that he could only go from his bed to the chair by his fireside.

Two more days and I had to take two advertisements to the Times on the part of poor Clive. Among the announcements of births was printed, "On the 28th in Howland street, Mrs. Clive Newcome of a son, still born." And a little lower, in the third division of the same column, appeared the words, "On the 29th, in Howland street, aged 26, Rosaline, wife of Clive Newcome, Esq." So this poor little flower had bloomed for its little day, and pined and withered.

The days went on, and our hopes for the Colonel's recovery, raised sometimes, began to flicker and fail. One evening the Colonel left his chair for his bed in pretty good spirits, but passed a disturbed night, and the next morning was too weak to rise. Then he remained in his bed and his friends visited him there.

Weeks passed away. Our old friend's mind was gone at intervals, but would rally feebly; and with his consciousness returned his love, his simplicity, his sweetness. The circumstances of Clive's legacy he never understood, but Ethel was almost always with him.

One afternoon in early spring, Thomas Newcome began to wander more and more. He talked louder; he gave the word of command, spoke Hindustanee as if to his men. Ethel and Clive were with him, and presently his voice sank into faint murmurs.

At the usual evening hour the chapel bell began to toll, and Thomas Newcome's hands feebly beat time. And just as the last bell struck a peculiar sweet smile shone over his face, and he lifted up his head a little, and quickly said "Adsum!" and fell back. It was the word we used at school, when names were called; and lo, he, whose heart was as that of a little child, had answered his name, and stood in the presence of The Master.


The Virginians

"The Virginians" was published in 1859, and ranks as one of its author's five great novels. It contains some excellent description of fashionable life in England in the middle of the eighteenth century. The "Lamberts" rank among Thackeray's best character sketches.

I.--Harry Warrington Comes Home

One summer morning in the year 1756, and in the reign of his Majesty King George the Second, the Young Rachel, Virginian ship, Edward Franks, master, came up the Avon river on her happy return from her annual voyage to the Potomac. She proceeded to Bristol with the tide, and moored in the stream as near as possible to Frail's wharf, and Mr. Frail, her part owner, who could survey his ship from his counting-house windows, straightway took boat and came up her side.

While the master was in conversation with Mr. Frail a young man of some nineteen years of age came up the hatchway. He was dressed in deep mourning and called out, "Gumbo, you idiot, why don't you fetch the baggage out of the cabin? Well, shipmate, our journey is ended. I thought yesterday the voyage would never be done, and now I am almost sorry it is over."

"This is Mr. Warrington, Madam Esmond Warrington's son of Castlewood," said Captain Franks to Mr. Frail. The British merchant's hat was instantly off his head, and its owner was bowing, as if a crown prince were before him.

"Gracious powers, Mr. Warrington! This is a delight indeed! Let me cordially and respectfully welcome you to England; let me shake your hand as the son of my benefactress and patroness, Mrs. Esmond Warrington, whose name is known and honoured on Bristol 'Change, I warrant you, my dear Mr. George."

"My name is not George; my name is Henry," said the young man as he turned his head away, and his eyes filled with tears.

"Gracious powers, what do you mean, sir? Are you not my lady's heir? and is not George Esmond Warrington, Esq--"

"Hold your tongue, you fool!" cried Mr. Franks.

"Don't you see the young gentleman's black clothes? Mr. George is there," pointing with his finger towards the topmast, or the sky beyond. "He is dead a year sir, come next July. He would go out with General Braddock, and he and a thousand more never came back again. Every man of them was murdered as he fell. You know the Indian way, Mr. Frail? Horrible! Ain't it, sir? He was a fine young man, the very picture of this one; only his hair was black, which is now hanging in a bloody Indian wigwam. He was often on board on the Young Rachel, with his chest of books,--a shy and silent young gent, not like this one, which was the merriest, wildest young fellow full of his songs and fun. He took on dreadful at the news, but he's got better on the voyage; and, in course, the young gentleman can't be for ever a-crying after a brother who dies and leaves him a great fortune. Ever since we sighted Ireland he has been quite gay and happy, only he would go off at times, when he was most merry, saying, 'I wish my dearest Georgie could enjoy this here sight along with me,' and when you mentioned t'other's name, you see, he couldn't stand it."

Again and again Harry Warrington and his brother had poured over the English map, and determined upon the course which they should take upon arriving at Home. The sacred point in their pilgrimage was that old Castlewood in Hampshire, the home of their family, whence had come their grandparents. From Bristol to Bath, to Salisbury, to Winchester, to Home; they had mapped the journey many and many a time. Without stopping in Bristol, Harry Warrington was whirled away in a postchaise and at last drew up at the rustic inn on Castlewood Green. Then with a beating heart he walked towards the house where his grandsire Colonel Esmond's youth had been passed.

The family was away, and the housekeeper was busy getting ready for my lord and my lady who were expected that evening. Harry wrote down his name on a paper from his own pocket and laid it on a table in the hall; and then walked away, not caring to own how disappointed he was. No one had known him. Had any of his relatives ridden up to his house in Virginia, whether the master were present or absent, the guests would have been made welcome. Harry felt terribly alone. The inn folks did not know the name of Warrington. They told him before he went to bed that my lord Castlewood and his sister Lady Maria, and their stepmother the Countess, and her son Mr. William, had arrived at the Castle, and two hours later the Baroness Bernstein, my lord's aunt. Harry remembered that the Baroness Bernstein was his mother's half-sister, for Colonel Esmond's wife was the mother of Beatrice Bernstein who had married a German baron, after marrying Bishop Tusher.

The Castlewoods were for letting their young American kinsman stay at his inn, but Madam Bernstein, of whom all the family stood in awe, at once insisted that Harry Warrington should be sent for, and on his arrival made much of him. As for the boy, he felt very grateful towards the lady who had received him so warmly.

Within six months Harry had fallen in love with Lady Maria, who was over forty. He was wealthy and, thanks to Gumbo, his servant, the extent of his estate had been greatly magnified by that cheerfullest of negroes. The Castlewoods professed themselves indifferent to the love-making that seemed to be going on between Harry and Maria, but Madam Bernstein was indignant.

"Do you remember," she cried, with energy, "who the poor boy is, and what your house owes to its family? His grandfather gave up this estate, this title, this very castle, that you and yours might profit by it. And the reward for all this is that you talk of marrying him to a silly elderly creature, who might be his mother. He shan't marry her."

So Madam Bernstein, having tired of Castlewood, decided that Maria must accompany her to Tunbridge Wells and Harry was invited to act as escort, and to stay a day or two at the Wells. At the end of the first day's travel, when they had just reached Farnham, poor Maria was ill, and her cheeks were yellow when she retired for the night.

"That absurd Maria!" says Madam Bernstein, playing piquet with Harry. "She never had a good constitution. I hope she intends to be well to-morrow morning. She was forty-one years old. All her upper teeth are false, and she can't eat with them. How clumsily you deal, child!"

The next morning Lady Maria's indisposition was over, but Harry was wretched. Then in the evening the horse Harry was riding, in the matter of which he had been cheated by his cousin Will, at Castlewood, came down on his knees and sent the rider over his head. Mr. Harry was picked up insensible and carried home into a house called Oakhurst that stood hard by the road.

II.--Samaritans

That Mr. Warrington is still alive can be proved by the following letter, sent from the lady into whose house he was taken after his fall from Mr. Will's broken-kneed horse, to Mrs. Esmond Warrington. "If Mrs. Esmond Warrington of Virginia can call to mind twenty-three years ago, she may perhaps remember Miss Molly Benson, her classmate, at Kensington boarding school. Yesterday evening, as we were at tea there came a great ringing at our gate, and the servants, running out returned with the news that a young gentleman was lying lifeless on the road. At this, my dear husband, Colonel Lambert (who is sure the most Samaritan of men) hastens away, and presently, with the aid of the servants, and followed by two ladies,--one of whom is your cousin, Lady Maria Esmond and the other Baroness of Bernstein,--brings into the house such a pale, beautiful young man! The ladies went on to Tunbridge when Mr. Warrington was restored to consciousness and this morning the patient is very comfortable and the Colonel, who has had plenty of practice in accidents of this nature during his campaigns, pronounces that in two days more Mr. Warrington will be ready to take the road.

"Madam, Your affectionate, humble servant,

"MARY LAMBERT."

Harry Warrington's dislocated shoulder having been set, he was well enough to rise the following day, and Colonel Lambert lead his young guest into the parlour and introduced him to his two daughters, Miss Hester and Miss Theo. Three days later Mr. Warrington's health was entirely restored and he was out walking with Mrs. Lambert and the young ladies. What business had he to be walking with anybody but Lady Maria Esmond on the Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells? Why did he stay behind, unless he was in love with either of the young ladies? (and we say he wasn't). Could it be that he did not want to go? Only a week ago he was whispering in Castlewood shrubberies, and was he now ashamed of the nonsense he had talked there? What if his fell aunt's purpose is answered, and if his late love is killed by her communications? Surely kind hearts must pity Lady Maria, for she is having no very pleasant time of it at Tunbridge Wells. There is no one to protect her. Madam Beatrix has her all to herself. Lady Maria is poor, and hopes for money for her aunt, and Lady Maria has a secret or two which the old woman knows and brandishes over her.

Meanwhile Harry Warrington remained day after day contentedly at Oakhurst, with each day finding the kindly folks who welcomed him more to his liking. Never, since his grandfather's death, had he been in such good company. His lot had lain among fox hunting Virginian squires, and until he left his home he did not know how narrow and confined his life had been there.

Here the lad found himself in the midst of a circle where everything about him was incomparably gayer, brighter and more free. He was living with a man and woman who had seen the world, though they lived retired from it, and one of the benefits which Harry Warrington received from this family was to begin to learn that he was a profoundly ignorant young fellow. He admired his brother at home faithfully, of his kinsman at Castlewood he had felt himself at least the equal. In Colonel Lambert he found a man who had read far more books than Harry could pretend to judge of, and who had goodness and honesty written on his face and breathing from his lips.

As for the women, they were the kindest, merriest, most agreeable he had ever known. Here was a tranquil, sunshiny day of a life that was to be agitated and stormy. He was not in love, either with saucy Hetty or generous Theodosia: but when the time came for going away, he fastened on both their hands, and felt an immense regard for them.

"He is very kind and honest," said Theo gravely as they watched him and their father riding away.

"I am glad he has got papa to ride with him to Westerham," said little Hetty. "I don't like his going to those Castlewood people. I am sure that Madam Bernstein is a wicked old woman. I expected to see her ride away on her crooked stick. The other old woman seemed fond of him. She looked very melancholy when she went away, but Madam Bernstein whisked her off with her crutch, and she was obliged to go."

III.--Harry Warrington is Disinherited

Our young Virginian found himself after a few days at Tunbridge Wells by far the most important personage in the place. The story of his wealth had been magnified, and his winnings at play, which were considerable, were told and calculated at every tea-table. The old aunt Bernstein enjoyed his triumphs, and bade him pursue his enjoyments. As for Lady Maria, though Harry Warrington knew she was as old as his mother, he had given her his word to marry her at Castlewood, and, as he said, "A Virginian Esmond has but his word!"

Madam Bernstein offered her niece £5,000 to free Mr. Warrington of his engagement but the offer was declined, and a few weeks later Lady Maria returned to Castlewood, while Harry went to London. He knew that his mother, who was mistress for life of the Virginian property, would refuse her consent to his marriage, and the thought of it was put off to a late period. Meanwhile it hung like a weight round the young man's neck.

No wonder that his spirits rose more gaily as he came near London. He took lodgings in Bond Street and lived upon the fat of the land. His title of Fortunate Youth, bestowed upon him because of his luck at cards, was prettily recognised. But after a few weeks of lavish success, the luck turned and he lost heavily: the last blow was after a private game at piquet with his kinsman Lord Castlewood. Harry Warrington had now drawn and spent all his patrimony, and one evening when he was leaving the house of his uncle Sir Miles Warrington,--his dead father's elder brother,--two bailiffs took him for a debt of £500 and the Fortunate Youth was lodged in a sponging house in Chancery Lane.

Madam Bernstein was willing to pay her nephew's debts at once if he would break off his engagement with Lady Maria, but this the high-spirited youth declined to do.

Castlewood wrote frankly and said he had not got enough money for the purpose, and Lady Warrington sent a tract and said Sir Miles was away from home. But for his faithful servant Gumbo, Harry would have wanted ready money for his food.

It was Colonel Lambert, of whom Harry had seen little since he left Oakhurst, who came to his young friend's assistance. But the same night which saw Colonel Lambert at the sponging house saw the reappearance of his brother George.

"I am the brother whom you have heard of, sir," he said, addressing Colonel Lambert; "and who was left for dead in Mr. Braddock's action: and came to life again after eighteen months amongst the French; and live to thank God, and thank you for your kindness to my Harry. I can never forget that you helped my brother at his need."

While the two brothers were rejoicing over their meeting, "the whole town" was soon busy talking over the news that Mr. Harry Warrington was but a second son, and no longer the heir to a principality and untold wealth.

George loved his brother too well to have any desire for the union with Lady Maria, and lost no time in explaining to Lord Castlewood that Harry had no resources save dependence,--"and I know no worse lot than to be dependent on a self-willed woman like our mother. The means my brother had to make himself respected at home he hath squandered away here."

To Harry himself George repeated these words and added:

"My dear, I think one day you will say I have done my duty."

That night after the two brothers had dined together Harry went out, and did not return for three hours.

"It was shabby to say I would not aid him, and God help me, it was not true. I won't leave him, though he marries a blackamoor," thought George as he sat alone.

Presently Harry came in, looking ghastly pale. He came up and took his brother's hand.

"Perhaps what you did was right," he said, "though I, for one, will never believe that you would throw your brother off in distress. At dinner I thought suddenly, I'll say to her, 'Maria, poor as I am, I am yours to take or to leave. If you will have me, here I am: I will enlist: I will work: I will try and make a livelihood for myself somehow, and my bro--my relations will relent, and give us enough to live on.' That's what I determined to tell her; and I did, George. I found them all at dinner, all except Will; that is, I spoke out that very moment to them all, sitting round the table over their wine. 'Maria,' says I, 'a poor fellow wants to redeem his promise which he made when he fancied he was rich. Will you take him?' I found I had plenty of words, and I ended by saying 'I would do my best and my duty by her, so help me God!'

"When I had done, she came up to me quite kind. She took my hand, and kissed it before the rest. 'My dear,' she said, 'I have long seen it was only duty and a foolish promise made by a young man to an old woman, that has held you to your engagement. To keep it would make you miserable, and I absolve you from it, thanking you with all my heart for your fidelity, and blessing my dear cousin always.' And she came up to me and kissed me before them all, and went out of the room quite stately, and without a single tear. Oh, George, isn't she a noble creature?"

"Here's her health," cries George, filling a glass.

"Hip, hip, huzzay!" says Harry. He was wild with delight at being free.

Madame Bernstein was scarcely less pleased than her Virginian nephews at the result of Harry's final interview with Lady Maria.

IV.--From the Warrington MSS.

My brother Harry Warrington went to Canada to serve tinder General Wolfe, and remained with the army after the death of his glorious commander. And I, George Warrington, stayed in London, read law in the Temple, and wrote plays which were performed at Covent Garden, and was in love with Miss Theodosia Lambert. Madame Esmond Warrington, however, refused her consent to the match, and Major General Lambert declared an engagement impossible under the circumstances.

Then in 1760, when George II. was dead, and George III. was king, General Lambert was appointed to be governor and commander-in-chief of the Island of Jamaica. His speedy departure was announced, he would have a frigate given him, and take his family with him. Merciful powers! and were we to be parted?

At last, one day, almost the last of his stay, when the General's preparations for departure were all made, the good man (His Excellency we call him now) canoe home to his dinner and sighed out to his wife:

"I wish, Molly, George was here. I may go away and never see him again, and take his foolish little sweetheart along with me. I suppose you will write to each other, children? I can't prevent that, you know."

"George is in the drawing-room," says mamma, quietly.

"Is he? my dearest boy!" cries the general. "Come to me--come in!" And when I entered he held me to his heart and kissed me.

"Always loved you as a son--haven't I, Molly?" he mutters hurriedly. "Broke my heart nearly when I quarrelled with you about this little--What, all down on your knees! In heaven's name, tell me what has happened!"

What had happened was, that George Esmond Warrington and Theodosia Lambert had been married in Southwark Church that morning.

I pass over the scenes of forgiveness, of reconciliation, of final separation when the ship sailed away before us, leaving me and Theo on the shore. And there is no need to recall her expressions of maternal indignation when my mother was informed of the step I had taken. On the pacification of Canada, my dear Harry dutifully paid a visit to Virginia, and wrote describing his reception at home.

Many were the doubts and anxieties which, for my last play had been a failure, now beset us, and plan after plan I tried for procuring work and adding to our dwindling stock of money. By a hard day's labour at translating from foreign languages for the booksellers, I could earn a few shillings--so few that a week's work would hardly bring me a guinea. Hard times were not over with us till some time after the Baroness Bernstein's death (she left everything she had to her dear nephew, Henry Esmond Warrington), when my uncle Sir Miles procured me a post as one of his Majesty's commissioners for licensing hackney coaches. His only child was dead, and I was now heir to the Baronetcy.

Then one morning, before almost I had heard of my uncle's illness, a lawyer waits upon me at my lodgings in Bloomsbury, and salutes me by the name of Sir George Warrington.

The records of a prosperous country life are easily told. Obedient tenants bowed and curtsied as we went to church, and we drove to visit our neighbours in the great family coach.

Shall I ever see the old mother again, I wonder! When Hal was in England, we sent her pictures of both her sons painted by the admirable Sir Joshua Reynolds. We never let Harry rest until he had asked Hetty in marriage. He obeyed, and it was she who declined. "She had always," she wrote, "the truest regard for him from the dear old time when they had met almost children together. But she would never leave her father. When it pleased God to take him, she hoped she would be too old to think of bearing any other name but her own."

My brother Hal is still a young man, being little more than 50, and Hetty is now a staid little lady. There are days when she looks surprisingly young and blooming. Why should Theo and I have been so happy, and thou so lonely?


Vanity Fair

"Vanity Fair" was published in 1848, and at once placed its author in the front rank of novelists. It was followed by "Pendennis" in 1850, "Esmond" in 1852, "The Newcomes" in 1855, and "The Virginians" in 1859. Some critics profess to see manifested in "Vanity Fair" a certain sharpness and sarcasm in Thackeray's character which does not appear in his later works, but however much the author may have mellowed in his later novels, "Vanity Fair" continues to be his acknowledged masterpiece, and of all the characters he drew, Becky Sharp is the best known.

I.--Miss Sharp Opens Her Campaign

One sunshiny morning in June there drove up to the great iron gate of Miss Pinkerton's academy for young ladies, on Chiswick Mall, a large family coach with two fat horses in blazing harness.

"It is Mrs. Sedley's coach, sister," said Miss Jemima. The day of departure had come, and Miss Amelia Sedley, an amiable young lady, was glad to go home, and yet woefully sad at leaving school. Miss Rebecca Sharp, whose father had been an artist, accompanied Amelia, to pass a week with her friend in Russell Square before she entered upon her duties as governess in Sir Pitt Crawley's family.

Thus the world began for these two young ladies. For Amelia it was quite a new, fresh, brilliant world, with all the bloom upon it. It was not quite a new one for Rebecca, who, before she came to the Mall, as a governess-pupil, had turned many a dun away from her father's door. She had never been a girl, she said: she had been a woman since she was eight years old.

At Russell Square Rebecca saw the two magnificent Cashmere shawls which Joseph Sedley of the East India Company's Civil Service had brought home to his sister, said with perfect truth that it must be delightful to have a brother, and easily got the pity of the tender-hearted Amelia for being alone in the world. A series of queries, addressed to her friend, brought Rebecca, who was but nineteen, to the following conclusion:--"As Mr. Joseph Sedley is rich and unmarried, why should I not marry him? I have only a fortnight, to be sure, but there is no harm in trying." I don't think we have any right to blame her, if Rebecca did not set her heart upon the conquest of this beau, for she had no kind parents to arrange these delicate matters for her.

But Mr. Joseph Sedley, greedy, vain, and cowardly, would not be brought up to the sticking point. Young George Osborne, Captain of the --th, old Sedley's godson, and the accepted lover of Amelia, thought Joseph was a milksop. He turned over in his mind, as the Sedleys did, the possibility of marriage between Joseph and Rebecca, and was not over well pleased that a member of a family into which he, George Osborne, was going to marry, should make a mesalliance with a little nobody--a little upstart governess. "Hang it, the family's low enough already without her," Osborne said to his friend Captain Dobbin. "A governess is all very well, but I'd rather have a lady for my sister-in-law. I'm a liberal man; but I've proper pride, and know my own station: let her know hers. And I'll take down that hectoring Nabob, and prevent him from being made a greater fool than he is. That's why I told him to look out, lest she brought an action against him."

Joseph Sedley fled to Cheltenham, and Rebecca said in her heart, "It was George Osborne who prevented my marriage." And she loved George Osborne accordingly.

Miss Amelia would have been delighted that Joseph should carry back a wife to India. Old Mr. Sedley was neutral. "Let Joseph marry whom he likes," he said to his wife. "It's no affair of mine. This girl has no fortune; no more had Mrs. Sedley. She seems good-humoured and clever, and will keep him in order, perhaps. Better she, my dear, than a black Mrs. Sedley, and a dozen of mahogany grandchildren. As I am perfectly sure that if you and I and his sister were to die to-morrow, he would say 'Good Gad!' and eat his dinner just as well as usual, I am not going to make myself anxious about him. Let him marry whom he likes. It's no affair of mine."

If he had had the courage, Joseph Sedley's bachelorhood would have been at an end. He did not lie awake all night thinking whether or not he was in love with Miss Sharp; the passion of love never interfered with the appetite or the slumber of Mr. Joseph Sedley; but he thought to himself how delightful it would be to hear such songs as Miss Sharp could sing in India--what a distinguée girl she was--how she could speak French better than the governor-general's lady herself--and what a sensation she would make at the Calcutta balls. "It's evident the poor devil's in love with me" thought he. "She is just as rich as most of the girls who come out to India. I might go further and fare worse, egad!"

Then came an evening at Vauxhall, on which occasion Dobbin, George Osborne, and Joseph Sedley escorted Amelia and Rebecca, and the Indian civilian got hopelessly tipsy on a bowl of rack punch. The next morning, which Rebecca thought was to dawn upon her fortune, found Sedley groaning in agonies, soothing the fever of his previous night's potation with small beer--for soda water was not invented yet. George Osborne, calling upon him, so frightened the unhappy Joseph with stories of his overnight performance, that instead of proposing marriage Joseph Sedley hastened away to Cheltenham that day, sending a note to Amelia praying her to excuse him to Miss Sharp for his conduct.

It was now clear to every soul in the house, except poor Amelia, that Rebecca should take her departure, and accordingly she set out for the residence of Sir Pitt Crawley, Baronet, of Queen's Crawley, Hants. Sir Pitt had two sons by his first wife, Pitt and Rawdon; and by his second wife, two daughters,--for whose benefit Miss Rebecca Sharp was now engaged as governess. It will be seen that the young lady was come into a family of very genteel connections, and was about to move in a much more distinguished circle than the one she had just quitted in Russell Square.

II.--Two Marriages

Before Rebecca had been a year at Queen's Crawley she had quite won the Baronet's confidence. She was almost mistress of the house when Mr. Crawley was absent, but conducted herself in her new and exalted situation with such circumspection and modesty as not to offend the authorities of the kitchen and stable.

The elder and younger son of the house of Crawley hated each other cordially, and Rawdon Crawley, who was in the heavy dragoons, seldom came to the place except when Miss Crawley paid her annual visit. The great good quality of this old lady was that she possessed seventy thousand pounds, and had almost adopted Rawdon.

Both Miss Crawley and Rawdon were charmed with Rebecca, and on Lady Crawley's death Sir Pitt said to his children's governess, "I can't get on without you. Come and be my wife. You're as good a lady as ever I see. Say yes, Becky. I'm good for twenty years. I'll make you happy, see if I don't."

Rebecca started back a picture of consternation, "O Sir Pitt!" she said--"O sir--I--I'm married already!"


"Suppose the old lady doesn't come round, eh, Becky?" Rawdon said to his little wife, as they sat together in their snug Brompton lodgings, a few weeks later.

"I'll make your fortune," she said.

But old Miss Crawley did not come round, and Captain Rawdon Crawley and Rebecca went to Brussels in June 1815 with the flower of the British Army.

Another young married couple also went to Brussels at that time, Captain George Osborne and Amelia his wife.

The landing of Napoleon at Cannes in March, 1815, brought, amongst other things, ruin to the worthy old stockbroker John Sedley, and the most determined and obstinate of his creditors was his old friend and neighbour John Osborne--whom he had set up in life, and whose son was to marry his daughter, and who consequently had the intolerable sense of former benefit to goad and irritate him.

Joseph Sedley acted as a man of his disposition would; when the announcement of the family misfortune reached him. He did not come to London, but he wrote to his mother to draw upon his agents for whatever money was wanted, so that his kind broken-spirited old parents had no present poverty to fear. This done, Joseph went on at his boarding-house at Cheltenham pretty much as before.

Amelia took the news very pale and calmly. A brutal letter from John Osborne told her in a few curt lines that all engagements between the families were at an end, and old Joseph Sedley spoke with almost equal bitterness. No power on earth, he swore, would induce him to marry his daughter to the son of such a villain, and he ordered Emmy to banish George from her mind.

It was Captain William Dobbin, who, having made up his mind that Miss Sedley would die of the disappointment, found himself the great promoter of the match between George Osborne and Amelia.

To old Sedley's refusal Dobbin answered finally, "If you don't give your daughter your consent it will be her duty to marry without it. What better answer can there be to Osborne's attacks on you, than that his son claims to enter your family and marry your daughter?"

George Osborne parted in anger from his father.

"I ain't going to have any of this damn sentimental nonsense here, sir," old Osborne cried out at the end of the interview. "There shall be no beggar-marriages in my family." He pulled frantically at the cord to summon the butler and, almost black in the face, ordered that functionary to call a coach for Captain Osborne.

George told Dobbin what had passed between his father and himself.

"I'll marry her to-morrow," he said, with an oath. "I love her more every day, Dobbin."

So on a gusty, raw day at the aid of April Captain Osborne and Captain Dobbin drove down to a certain chapel near the Fulham Road.

"Here you are," said Joseph Sedley, coming forward. "What a day, eh? You're five minutes late, George, my boy. Come along; my mother and Emmy are in the vestry."

There was nobody in the church besides the officiating persons and a small marriage party and their attendants. Old Sedley would not be present. Joseph acted for his father giving away the bride, whilst Captain Dobbin stepped up as groomsman to his friend George.

"God bless you, old Dobbin," George said, grasping him by the hand, when they went into the vestry and signed the register. William replied only by nodding his head; his heart was too full to say much.

Ten days after the above ceremony Dobbin came down to Brighton, where not only Captain Osborne and Amelia, but also the Rawdon Crawleys were enjoying themselves, with news. He had seen old Osborne, and tried to reconcile him to his son's marriage, with the result that he left the implacable old man in a fit. He had also learnt from his old Colonel that in a day or two the army would get its marching orders, for Belgium.

"It's my opinion, George," he said, "that the French Emperor will be upon us before three weeks are over. But you need not say that to Mrs. Osborne, you know, and Brussels is full of fine people and ladies of fashion."

Little Amelia, it must be owned, had rather a mean opinion of her husband's friend, Captain Dobbin. He was very plain and homely-looking, and exceedingly awkward and ungainly. Not knowing him intimately as yet, she made light of honest William; and he knew her opinions of him quite well, and acquiesced in them very humbly. A time came when she knew him better, and changed her notions regarding him; but that was distant as yet.

As for Rebecca, Captain Dobbin had not been two hours in the ladies' company before she understood his secret perfectly. She did not like him, and feared him privately. He was so honest, that her arts did not affect him, and he shrank from her with instinctive repugnance.

On May 8 George Osborne received a letter from his father's lawyer, informing him that "in consequence of the marriage which he had been pleased to contract Mr. Osborne ceases to consider him henceforth as a member of his family. This determination is final and irrevocable."

Within a week of this epistle George Osborne and his wife, Dobbin, Joseph Sedley, and the Rawdon Crawleys, were on their way to Brussels.

III.--After Waterloo

About three weeks after the 18th of June, Alderman Sir William Dobbin called at Mr. Osborne's house in Russell Square, and insisted upon seeing that gentleman. "My son," the Alderman said, with some hesitation, "dispatched me a letter by an officer of the --th, who arrived in town to-day. My son's letter contains one for you, Osborne."

The letter was in George's well-known bold handwriting. He had written it before daybreak on the 16th of June, just before he took leave of Amelia. The very seal that sealed it had been robbed from George's dead body on the field of battle. The father knew nothing of this, but sat and looked at the letter in terrified vacancy.

The poor boy's letter did not say much. He had been too proud to acknowledge the tenderness which his heart felt. He only said that on the eve of a great battle he wished to bid his father farewell, and solemnly to implore his good offices for the wife--it might be for the child--whom he had left behind. His English habit, pride, awkwardness, perhaps, had prevented him from saying more. His father could not see the kiss George had placed on the superscription of his letter. Mr. Osborne dropped it with the bitterest, deadliest pang of balked affection and revenge. His son was still beloved and unforgiven.

Two months afterwards an elaborate funeral monument to the memory of Captain George Osborne appeared on the wall of the church which Mr. Osborne attended, and in the autumn the old man went to Belgium. George's widow was still in Brussels, and very many of the brave--th, recovering of their wounds. The city was a vast military hospital for months after the great battle.

Mr. Osborne made the journey of Waterloo and Quarter Bras soon after his arrival, and his carriage, nearing the gates of the city at sunset, met another open barouche by the side of which an officer was riding. Osborne gave a start back, but Amelia, for it was she, though she stared blank in his face did not know him. Her face was white and thin; her eyes were fixed, and looked nowhere. Osborne saw who it was and hated her--he did not know how much until he saw her there. Her carriage passed on; a minute afterwards a horse came clattering over the pavement behind Osborne's carriage, and Major Dobbin rode up.

"Mr. Osborne, Mr. Osborne!" cried Dobbin, while the other shouted to his servant to drive on. "I will see you, sir; I have a message for you."

"From that woman?" said Osborne fiercely.

"No, from your son." At which Osborne fell back into his carriage and Dobbin followed him to his hotel and up to his apartments.

"Make it short, sir," said Osborne, with an oath.

"I'm here as your son's closest friend," said the Major, "and the executor of his will. Are you aware how small his means were, and of the straitened circumstances of his widow? Do you know, sir, Mrs. Osborne's condition? Her life and her reason almost have been shaken by the blow which has fallen on her. She will be a mother soon. Will you visit the parent's offence upon the child's head? Or will you forgive the child for poor George's sake?"

Osborne broke into a rhapsody of self praise and imprecations. No father in all England could have behaved more generously to a son who had rebelled against him, and had died without even confessing he was wrong. As for himself, he had sworn never to speak to that woman, or to recognise her as his son's wife. "And that's what I will stick to till the last day of my life," he concluded, with an oath.

There was no hope from that quarter then. The widow must live on her slender pittance, or on such aid as Joseph could give her.

For six years Amelia did live on this pittance in shabby genteel poverty with her boy and her parents in Fulham. Dobbin and Joseph Sedley were in India now, and old Sedley, always speculating in bootless schemes, once more brought ruin on his family.

Mr. Osborne had seen his grandson, and had formally offered to take the boy and make him heir to the fortune intended for his father. He would make Mrs. George Osborne an allowance, such as to assure her a decent competency. But it must be understood that the child would live entirely with his grandfather in Russell Square, and that he would be occasionally permitted to see Mrs. George Osborne at her own residence.

At first Amelia rejected the offer with indignation. It was only on the knowledge that her father, in his speculations, had made away with the annuity from Joseph that poverty and misery made her capitulate. Her own, pittance would barely enable her to support her parents, and would not suffice for her son.

"What! Mrs. Pride has come down, has she?" old Osborne said when with a tremulous, eager voice, Miss Osborne, the only unmarried daughter, read him Amelia's letter.

"Regular starve out, hey? ha, ha! I knew she would." He tried to keep his dignity, as he chuckled and swore to himself behind his paper.

"Get the room over mine--his room that was--ready. And you had better send that woman some money," Mr. Osborne said before he went out. "She shan't want for nothing. Send her a hundred pound. But she don't come in here, mind. No, not for all the money in London."

A few days are past, and the great event of Amelia's life is consummated. The child is sacrificed and offered up to fate, and the widow is quite alone.

It was about this time when the Rawdon Crawleys, after contriving to live well on nothing a year, for a considerable period, came to smash. Rawdon retired to the Governorship of Coventry Island, a post procured for him by the influence of that great nobleman the Marquis of Steyne, and who cared what became of Becky? It was said she went to Naples. Rawdon certainly declined to be reconciled to her, because of the money she had received from Lord Steyne and which she had concealed from her husband. "If she's not guilty, she's as bad as guilty; and I'll never see her again--never," he said.

IV.--Colonel Dobbin Leaves the Army

Good fortune began to smile upon Amelia when Joseph Sedley, once more came back to England, a rich man, and with him Major Dobbin. But the round of decorous pleasure in which the Sedley family now indulged was soon broken by Mrs. Sedley's death, and old Sedley was not long in following his wife whither she had preceded him.

A change was coming over old Osborne's mind. He found that Major Dobbin was a distinguished officer, and one day looking into his grandson's accounts he learnt that it was out of William Dobbin's own pocket the fund had been supplied upon which the poor widow and the child had subsisted.

Then the pair shook hands, and after that the Major would often come and dine at the gloomy old house in Russell Square. He tried to soften the old man and reconcile him towards his son's memory, and more than once Mr. Osborne asked him about Mrs. George Osborne. A reconciliation was announced as speedy and inevitable, when one morning old Osborne was found lying at the foot of his dressing-table in a fit. He never could speak again and in four days he died.

When the will was opened, it was seen that half the property was left to his grandson, George, and the remainder to two married daughters. An annuity of £500 was left to "the widow of my beloved son, George Osborne," who was to resume the guardianship of the boy, and "Major William Dobbin, my beloved son's friend," was appointed executor.

That summer Major Dobbin and Joseph Sedley escorted the widow and her boy to the Continent and at Pumpernickel, in a happy valley in Germany, Joseph renewed acquaintance with Mrs. Rawdon Crawley, and after a long and confidential talk was convinced that Becky was the most virtuous as she was one of the most fascinating of women. Amelia was won over at the tale of Becky's sufferings, but Major Dobbin was obdurate. Amelia declined to give up Becky, and Major Dobbin said "good-bye."

Amelia didn't wish to marry him, but she wished to keep him, and his departure left her broken and cast down. Becky bore Dobbin no rancour for the part he had taken against her. It was an open move; she was in the game and played fairly. She even admired him, and now that she was in comfortable quarters, made no scruple of declaring her admiration for the high-minded gentleman, and of telling Emmy that she had behaved most cruelly regarding him.

From Pumpernickel Joseph and Amelia were persuaded to go to Ostend, and here, while Becky was cut by scores of people, two ruffians, Major Loder and Captain Rook, easily got an introduction to Mr. Joseph Sedley's hospitable board.

Rebecca, to do her justice, never would let either of these men remain alone with Amelia.

"Listen to me, Amelia," said Becky that same night; "you must go away from here. You are no more fit to live in the world than a baby in arms. You must marry or you and your precious boy will go to ruin. You must have a husband, you fool; and one of the best gentlemen I ever saw has offered you an hundred times, and you have ejected him, you silly, heartless, ungrateful little creature!"

"I--I wrote to him this morning," Emmy said, blushing exceedingly.

Only George and his uncle were present at the marriage ceremony. Colonel Dobbin quitted the service immediately after his marriage, and rented a pretty little place in Hampshire, not far from Queen's Crawley.

His excellency Colonel Rawdon Crawley died of yellow fever at Coventry Island, six weeks before the death of his brother Sir Pitt, who had succeeded to the title.

Rebecca, Lady Crawley (so she called herself, though she never was Lady Crawley) has a liberal allowance, and chiefly hangs about Bath and Cheltenham, where a very strong party of excellent people consider her a most injured woman.

Ah! Vanitas Vanitatum! which of us is happy in this world?


COUNT LYOF N. TOLSTOY

Anna Karenina

Lyof (Lev or Leo) Tolstoy (who objects to his name being transliterated Tolstoi) is generally recognised as the noblest figure in modern Russia. He was born on the family estate at Yasnaya Polyana, in the Government of Tula, about 100 miles south of Moscow, on August 28 (new style September 9), 1828. His father, Count N.I. Tolstoy, who retired from the army about the time of his son's birth, had been among the prisoners taken by Napoleon's invading forces in the war of 1812. He died suddenly in 1837. Young Tolstoy after three years at Kazan University decided to abandon his college studies without graduating, so repelled was he by the degraded character of the average student. Retiring to his estate at Yasnaya Polyana in 1847, he sought, though without success, to ameliorate the condition of his serfs. The Imperial decree of emancipation was not promulgated till 1861. In 1851 Count Tolstoy joined the army in the Caucasus, and shortly afterwards he participated in the defence of Sebastopol during the great Crimean War. Since that period his life has been a wonderful career of literary success. On his fine estate, with his large family and his servants about him, he lives the life of a simple peasant, advocating a form of socialism which he considers to constitute a practical interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount. In "Anna Karenina" Tolstoy manifestly aims at furnishing an elaborate delineation of the sociological ethics of high life in Russia. It is a lurid and sombre recital, of the most realistic kind. It is not a story of the masses, for no prominent characters from lower life appear. Little is seen of the ways and doings of the poor. All the real personages of this story are members of the fashionable section of St. Petersburg and Moscow, or are great landed proprietors, or high officials. In these pages appear some of the noblest and some of the most profligate characters, and all are perfectly typical. As in all the writings of Tolstoy, wit and humour are entirely lacking, but the emotionalism is intense, the psychological analysis is masterly, and the fidelity to actual conditions is scrupulous. The tale is a moral one, written with a purpose that is consistently pursued throughout. Sin is displayed without a mask, and its retribution is shown to be inevitable. There is no attempt at varnishing or veneering the surface of a lax moral order. The idea prevails among critics that Tolstoy himself appears in this novel under the character of Levin. (See also Vol. X, p. 291.)

I

The Oblonsky family was plunged into miserable confusion, for the wife, through detecting a flirtation between her husband and the French governess, declared she would no longer live with him. She remained in her rooms, and the husband had not shown himself at home for three days. Some of the servants quarrelled and others demanded their wages.

Prince Stepan Arkadyevitch (socially styled Stiva) had on returning one evening from the theatre found his Dolly sitting with a letter in her hand, and an expression of terror and despair on her countenance. "What is this? This?" she asked. Instead of attempting a reply, Stepan smiled good-humouredly and stupidly; and Dolly, after a flow of passionate reproaches, rushed from the room.

Stepan had never imagined that any such discovery would have such an effect on his wife. "How delightfully we were living till this happened!" said he, as on the third morning after the outbreak he awoke in his library, where he had rested on the lounge. "I never interfered with Dolly, and she did as she pleased with the household and children. What can be done?" He rose and put on his dressing gown and rang for his valet, who came in response to the summons, followed by the barber. The valet handed him a telegram, which announced that his loving sister, Anna Arkadyevna, was coming on a visit. He was pleased to receive the intelligence, for it might mean that she would effect a reconciliation.

Prince Stepan tranquilly partook of breakfast over his newspaper, and became absorbed in thought. Suddenly two children's voices roused him from his reverie. They were those of Grisha, his youngest boy, and Tania, his eldest daughter. The little girl, his favourite, ran in and laughingly and fondly embraced him. "What is mamma doing? Is she all right?" he asked of the girl.

"I don't know," was the reply. "She told us we were not to have lessons to-day but were to go to grandmamma's." He told the children to run along, and then said to himself, "To go, or not to go--but it has to be done, sooner or later," and straightening himself and lighting a cigarette, he opened the door into his wife's room. She was standing in the room removing the contents of a drawer, and turned her worn face on Stepan with a look of terror. She had dreaded this moment, for though she felt she could not stay, yet she knew she loved him and that it was impossible to leave him.

"What do you want? Go away, go away," she cried. He broke into sobs and began to beg forgiveness. "Dolly, think for the love of God of the children. They are not to blame. I alone am to blame. Now, Dolly, forgive me." But as the voice of one of the children was heard, she went out from him and slammed the door.

II

Stepan Arkadyevitch was naturally idle, yet his natural gifts had enabled him to do well at school, and he had gained an excellent position at Moscow as natchalnik, or president of one of the courts, through the influence of Aleksei Alexandrovitch Karenin, husband of his sister Anna, one of the most important members of the ministry. In this office Stepan enjoyed a salary of 6,000 roubles. Everyone who knew Oblonsky liked him, for his amiability, honesty, and brilliance, qualities which rendered him a most attractive character.

Going to his office after his unpleasant interview with his wife, he attended to matters in the court for some time, and on suspending business for lunch found his friend Levin waiting to see him--a fair-complexioned, broad-shouldered man whom he often saw in Moscow. Levin frequently came in from the country, full of enthusiasm about great things he had been attempting, at the reports of which Stepan was apt to smile in his good-humoured style. That Levin was in love with his sister Kitty was well enough known to Stepan.

When Oblonsky on this occasion, after chatting over some rural concerns in Levin's district, asked his friend what had specially brought him to Moscow, Levin blushed and was vexed with himself for blushing. He could not bring himself to reply that he had come to ask for the hand of Stepan's sister-in-law Kitty, though that was really his errand. As a student and a friend of the Shcherbatsky family, belonging like his own to the old nobility of Moscow, Konstantin Levin at first thought himself in love with Dolly, the eldest, but she married Oblonsky; then with Natalie, who married Lyof, a diplomat; and finally his passion settled on Kitty, who had been only a child when he left the University. He was now thirty-two, was wealthy, would surely have been reckoned an acceptable suitor, but had a most exalted opinion of Kitty, and to a corresponding degree depreciated himself.

He feared that probably Kitty did not love him, and he knew that his friends only looked upon him as a country proprietor, occupied with farming, or amusing himself with hunting. He was not what is understood as a society man. But he felt that he could no longer rest without seeking to get the question settled whether she would or would not be his wife.

III

Levin made his way to the gate of the Zoological Gardens and followed the path to the ice-mountains, where he knew that he should find the Shcherbatskys there, Kitty among them. He had seen their carriage at the gate. It was a lovely day, and the gaily-clad fashionable people, the Russian izbas with their carved woodwork, the paths gleaming with snow, and the old birch-trees, brilliant with icicles, combined to render the whole scene one of fascination.

Drawing near the ice-mountains, where the sledges rushed down the inclines, he soon discovered Kitty, who was on the opposite side, standing in close conversation with a lady. For him her presence filled the place with light and glory. He asked himself whether he was brave enough to go and meet her on the ice. The spot where she was seemed to him like a sanctuary, and all the persons privileged to be near her seemed to be the elect of heaven. This day the ice was the common meeting-ground for fashionable people, the masters in the art of skating being among them. Nikolai Shcherbatsky, Kitty's cousin, catching sight of Levin, exclaimed, "There is the best skater in Russia." Kitty cordially invited Levin to skate with her. He did so, and the faster they went together, the closer Kitty held his hand. And when after a spin they rested, and she asked how long he was going to stay in St. Petersburg, he astonished her by replying, "It depends on you." Either she did not understand, or did not wish to understand, his words, for she at once made an excuse to leave him.

At this moment Stepan came up and took Levin's arm, and the two went to the restaurant. Here Levin opened his soul to Stepan, and Stepan assured him that Kitty would become his wife. "But," said Levin, "it is shocking that we who are already getting old dare not approach a pure and innocent being. I look on my life with dismay, and mourn over it bitterly."

Said Stepan, "You have not much cause for self-reproach. What can you do? The world is thus constituted."

"There is only one comfort," replied Levin. "That is in the prayer I have always delighted in: 'Pardon me not according to my deserts, but according to Thy loving kindness.' Thus only can she forgive me."

IV

Kitty had another suitor, Count Vronsky, on whom she looked with the favour that she could not accord to Levin. He was rich, intelligent, of good birth, with a brilliant career before him in court and navy. He was charming, and in him the Princess Shcherbatsky saw an admirable match for her youngest daughter. Princess Kitty was now eighteen. She was the favourite child of her father. It was manifest to both parents that she was in love with Vronsky. Yet when at length Levin ventured on an actual declaration of his love, she was deeply agitated. Lifting her sincere glance to him, she said hastily, "This cannot be. Forgive me."

Anna Karenina arrived in the home of Stepan Arkadyevitch, where she was received with cordial kisses by Dolly, who remembered that Stepan's sister was not to blame, and that she was a grande dame of St. Petersburg, wife of one of the important personages of the city. She was delighted to think that at last she could open her mind and tell her troubles. And she was not disappointed, for in a lengthy and sympathetic colloquy Dolly's heart was touched with the sentiment of forgiveness.

Anna was one of the most beautiful and graceful of women. And she was as tactful as she was lovely. Before many hours she had successfully played the part of peacemaker, and thanked God in her heart that she had been able to effect complete reconciliation between Stepan and his wife. That same evening Anna went to a grand ball with Kitty and her mother, where the three were quickly saluted by Vronsky. It was a most brilliant affair. But next morning Anna telegraphed to her husband that she was leaving Moscow for home. It happened that Vronsky travelled by the same train, and thus the two were thrown together for the long journey.

V

Aleksei Alexandrovitch, though he affectionately met his wife, found but little time to spend with her. The next day several visitors came to dine with the Karenins. Every moment of Aleksei's life was fully occupied with his official duties, and he was forced to be strictly regular and punctual in his arrangements. He was an excellent man, and an intellectual one, delighting in art, poetry, and music, and loving to talk of Shakespeare, Raphael, and Beethoven.

Society in St. Petersburg is very united, and Anna Karenina had very friendly relations with the gay world of fashion, with its dinner parties and balls. She met Vronsky at several of these brilliant reunions. He, deeply impressed with her, notwithstanding his connection with Kitty, went everywhere that he was likely to meet her, and her joy at meeting him easily betrayed itself in her eyes and her smile. And he did not refrain from actually making love to Anna on the occasions when they were able to engage in tête-à-tête conversations. Nor was he positively repelled. Soon the acquaintance became more and more intimate. Meantime, Aleksei as usual would come home and, instead of seeking his wife's society, would bury himself in his library amongst his books. But suddenly the idea that his wife could form an attachment to another man filled him with terror. He resolved to remonstrate with her, but she received his expostulations with laughing and good-humoured mockery, which entirely frustrated his purpose. He dropped the subject; yet from that moment a new life began for the husband and wife. There was no outward sign of the change. Anna continued to meet Vronsky, and Aleksei felt himself powerless to intervene.

While Vronsky was thus entangling himself with Anna Karenina at St. Petersburg, the Shcherbatskys at Moscow were growing anxious about the health of Princess Kitty, their beautiful daughter who was so deeply in love with him. She was ill, and after a consultation of physicians it was decided that travelling abroad would be advisable. But the girl said to herself that her trouble was one that they could not fathom, that her supposed illness and the remedies she had to endure were nonsense. What did they amount to? Nothing more than the gathering up of the fragments of a broken vase to patch it up again. Her heart was broken, and could it be healed by pills and powders?

VI

Absorbed by his passion, Vronsky yet proceeded in his regular manner of life, sustaining as usual his social and military relations. He loved his regiment and was very popular in it. Naturally, he spoke not a syllable to anyone about his passion. He drank moderately, and not an indiscreet word escaped him. But his mother was not a little disturbed when she discovered that his infatuation for Madame Karenina had impelled him to refuse an excellent promotion which would have necessitated his removal from the metropolis. She feared that instead of being a flirtation of which she might not disapprove, this passion might develop into a Werther-like tragedy and lead her son to commit some imprudence.

Many fashionable young ladies who were jealous of Anna and were weary of hearing her praised, were malignantly pleased to hear rumours to her disparagement and to feel justified in alluding scornfully to her. Vronsky received a message from his mother in Moscow. She desired him to come to her. His elder brother, though not himself by any means a pattern of perfect propriety, strongly expressed his dissatisfaction, because he felt that the unpleasant rumours would be likely to cause displeasure in certain high quarters.

Early in the spring, Anna Karenina's husband went abroad, according to his annual custom, to take the water-cure after the toils of winter. Returning in July to St. Petersburg, he at once resumed his official duties with the usual vigour. Anna had already gone into the country, not far from the capital, to the summer datcha at Peterhof. Since the pair had failed to come to a mutual understanding coolness had existed, but it was simply a cloud, not an actual alienation.

He resolved for the sake of appearances to visit his wife once a week. To his astonishment, his doctor called voluntarily on him, to ask if he might examine into the condition of his health. The secret reason of this was that a kind friend, the Countess Lidia, had begged the doctor to do so, as she had noticed that Aleksei did not look well. The medical man after the diagnosis was perturbed with the result, for Aleksei's liver was congested and his digestion was out of order. The waters had not benefited him. He was ordered to take more physical exercise and to undergo less mental strain, and above all to avoid all worry.

It was not with real pleasure, but with an affectation of cordiality that Anna received her husband when he reached the datcha. She was gay and animated. He was somewhat constrained, and the conversation was without any special interest. But Anna afterwards could only recall it with real pain. The crisis came on a racecourse. One of Vronsky's chief pleasures was horse-racing, and at the brilliant races that season he himself rode his own splendid horse. But the occasion was a most disastrous one, for at the hurdle races more than half the riders were thrown, Vronsky being one of them. He was picked up uninjured, but the horse had its back broken.

Aleksei and his wife and several friends were amongst the gay crowd, and he noted with deep displeasure that his wife turned pale when the accident happened and was strangely excited throughout the occasion. In the carriage, as the pair returned, he taxed her with her unseemly demeanour, and a violent quarrel ensued, in which she exclaimed, "I love him. I fear you. I hate you. Do as you please with me." And Anna flung herself to the bottom of the carriage, covering her face with her hands and sobbing convulsively.

Aleksei sat in silence during the rest of the journey home, but as they came near the house he said, "I insist that from this moment appearances be preserved for the sake of my honour, and I will communicate my decision to you after I have considered what measures I shall take." He assisted her to alight at the datcha, shook hands with her in the presence of the servants, and returned to St. Petersburg.

"Thank God, it is all over between us," said Anna to herself. But, notwithstanding this reflection, she had felt strangely impressed by the aspect of deathlike rigidity in her husband's face, though he gave no sign of inward agitation. As he rode off alone he felt a keen pain in his heart. But, curiously enough, he also experienced a sensation of deep relief of soul now that a vast load of doubt and jealousy had been lifted from him.

"I always knew she was without either heart or religion," said he to himself. "I made a mistake when I united my life with hers, but I should not be unhappy, for my error was not my fault. Henceforth for me she does not exist." He pondered over the problem whether he should challenge Vronsky, but he soon decided against the idea of fighting a duel. No one would expect it of him, so his reputation would not be injured by abstaining from such a proceeding. At length he came to the conclusion that an open separation would not be expedient and that the status quo alone was advisable, on the condition that Anna should obey his will and break off her acquaintance with Vronsky.

"Only thus," thought Aleksei, "can I conform to the requirements of religion. I give her another chance, and consecrate my powers to her salvation." He wrote his wife a letter saying that for his own sake, for her sake, and the sake of her son, their lives must remain unchanged, the family must not be sacrificed, and as he was sure she felt penitent, he hoped at their next interview to come to a complete understanding.

Though, when she received this communication, Anna felt her anger rising, yet her heart told her that she was in a false position from which she longed to escape. A new sensation had taken possession of her soul, and she seemed to be a double kind of personality. At length, after long agitation she wrote to her husband, telling him that she could no longer remain in his house, but was going away, taking their boy Serosha with her. "Be generous; let me have him," were the last words in the letter. She wrote a little note to Vronsky, but her cheeks burned as she wrote, and presently she tore the note to tatters. Then she made her preparations for going to Moscow.

VII

Anna returned to the home in St. Petersburg. Husband and wife met with a silent greeting, and the silence lasted some time. Then ensued an interview in which each side coldly accused the other, but which ended in Aleksei's demand that his wife should so comport herself that neither the world nor the servants could accuse her, on which condition she could enjoy the position and fulfil the duties of an honourable wife.

And so the Kareninas continued to live in the same house, to meet daily, and yet to remain strangers to each other. Vronsky was never seen near the place, yet Anna met him elsewhere and Aleksei knew it.

Meanwhile, a change was coming over the prospect for Kitty and Levin. He had never renounced the hope of possessing the beautiful girl, and at length she had come to understand his nobility of character and to feel that she could reciprocate his affection. During a conversation with her, he watched as she mechanically drew circles with chalk on the table-cloth.

"I have waited for a long time to ask you a question," said he, looking fondly at her.

"What is it?" said Kitty.

"This is it," said Levin, taking the chalk and writing the letters w, y, s, i, i, i, w, i, i, t, o, a? The letters were the initials of the words, "When you said 'It is impossible,' was it impossible then, or always?"

Kitty studied the letters long and attentively, and at length took the chalk and, blushing deeply, wrote the letters: t, I, c, n, a, d. Levin's face soon beamed with joy. He comprehended that the reply was: "Then I could not answer differently." Everything was settled. Kitty had acknowledged her love for him, and Levin at last was happy.

VIII

Aleksei sat alone in his room, pondering events, when he was startled by a telegram from his wife--"I am dying. I beg you to come; I shall die easier if I have your forgiveness." He read the words with momentary scorn, imagining that some scheme of deceit was being practised. But presently he reflected that it might be true, and, if so, it would be cruel and foolish to refuse to go, and besides, everybody would blame him.

He travelled all night and arrived, tired and dusty, in the morning at St. Petersburg. Reaching his house, he went into the drawing-room, and the nurse quickly led him into the bedroom, saying, "Thank God, you have come. She talks only of you."

"Bring ice at once," the doctor's voice was heard saying. Aleksei was startled to see in the boudoir, seated on a low chair, Vronsky, weeping with his hands over his face. And the latter was startled in turn as, disturbed by the doctor's words, he looked up and caught sight of the husband. He rose and seemed desiring to disappear, but with an evident effort said, "She is dying and the doctors say there is no hope. I am in your power, but allow me to stay and I will conform to your wishes."

Aleksei turned without replying and went to the door. Anna was talking clearly and gaily. Her cheeks were bright and her eyes gleamed. Rattling on incoherently, she suddenly recognised her husband, and looking terrified, raised her hands as if to avert a blow; but she said the next moment, "No, no, I am not afraid of him, I am afraid of dying. Aleksei, I have but a few moments to live. Soon the fever will return and I shall know nothing more, but now I understand everything. There is another being in me, who loved him and hated you, but now I am my real self. But no, you cannot forgive me. Go away, you are too good."

With one burning hand she pushed him away, with the other she held him. Aleksei's emotion became uncontrollable. His soul was filled with love and forgiveness. Kneeling by the bed, he sobbed like a child. The doctors said that there was not one chance in a hundred of her living.

Vronsky returned to his home in an agony of soul. He tried in vain to sleep. Visions of the faces of Aleksei and Anna rose before him. Suddenly his brain seemed to receive a shock. He rose, paced the room, went to the table, took from it a revolver, which he examined and loaded. Presently he held it to his breast and without flinching pulled the trigger. The blow knocked him down, but he had failed to kill himself The valet, who had heard the report, ran in, but was so frightened at the sight of his master lying on the floor wounded that he rushed out again for help. In an hour came Varia, Vronsky's sister-in-law, who sent for three doctors. They managed to put the wounded man to bed, and Varia stayed to nurse him.

IX

Vronsky's wound, though the heart was not touched, was so dangerous that for several days his life was in the balance. But gradually the crisis passed, and as he recovered he felt calmed with the conviction that he had now effected redemption from his faults. He accepted without hesitation an appointment to a position in Tashkend. But the nearer the time came, the more irrepressible grew the desire to see Anna for a farewell. He sent her a message, and she waited for his coming. The visit was fatal. Anna had made up her mind what to say, but the presence of Vronsky instantly overcame her resolution, and when she could find words she said, "Yes, you have conquered me. I am yours."

A month later Aleksei was left alone with his son, and Anna went abroad with Vronsky.

The marriage of Levin and Kitty was a brilliant occasion. A difficulty for Levin before the marriage was the necessity of attending confession. Like the majority of his fellows in society, he cherished no decided views on religion. He did not believe, nor did he positively disbelieve. But there could be no wedding without a certificate of confession. To the priest he frankly acknowledged his doubts, that doubt was his chief sin, that he was nearly always in doubt. But the gentle and kindly priest exhorted him to cultivate the practice of prayer, and then pronounced the formula of absolution.

In presence of a great assembly the wedding took place. The same priest who had heard the confession ministered for the marriage. He handed to each of the couple a lighted candle decorated with flowers. The chanting of an invisible choir resounded richly through the church, and when the liturgy was finished, the solemn benediction was read over the bridal pair. It was a great event in the fashionable world of Moscow.

X

Anna and Vronsky had been travelling for three months in Europe. As for Anna, she had revelled in the exuberance of her freedom from a disagreeable past, the events of which seemed like some frightful nightmare. She appeased her conscience to some extent by saying to herself: "I have done my husband an irreparable injury, but I also suffer, and I shall suffer." The prediction was soon fulfilled. Vronsky soon began to feel dissatisfied. He grew weary of lack of occupation in foreign cities for sixteen hours a day. Life soon became intolerable in little Italian cities, and Anna, though astonished at this speedy disillusionment, agreed to return to Russia and to spend the summer on his estate. They travelled home, but neither of them was happy. Vronsky perceived that Anna was in a strange state of mind, evidently tormented by something which she made no attempt to explain. By degrees she, on her part, realized that Vronsky was willing to absent himself from her society on various excuses. Quarrels became frequent, and at length alienation was complete.


A tragedy happened on the railway. A woman went along the platform of the station and walked off on to the line. Like a madman a short time afterwards Vronsky rushed into the barracks where Anna's body had been carried. Her head was untouched, with its heavy braids of hair and light curls gathered about the temples. Her eyes were half closed and her lips were slightly opened as if she was about to speak, and to repeat the last words she had uttered to him: "You will repent."

The war with Turkey had broken out, and Vronsky, disgusted with his whole life, left for Servia.


ANTHONY TROLLOPE

The Warden

Few English men of letters have had an unhappier childhood than Anthony Trollope. Born in London on April 24, 1815, his home was made sordid by his father's misfortunes, and at Harrow and Winchester, where he was for nearly eleven years, his mean appearance subjected him to many dire humiliations. A final catastrophe in the fortunes of the elder Trollope drove the family to Belgium, where Anthony for a time acted as usher in a school at Brussels. But at the age of nineteen a Post-office appointment brought him back to London. The turning point in his career came in 1841, when he accepted the position of a cleric to one of the surveyors in the West of England. Here he developed an extraordinary energy and ability, and it was during this time, in 1847, that he published his first novel, "The Macdermots of Ballycloran." "The Warden," published in 1855, was the first and in many ways the best of the famous six Barsetshire series that caused Trollope to attract the notice of the reading public. Henry James says, "'The Warden' is simply the history of an old man's conscience, and Trollope never did anything happier than the picture of this sweet and serious little old gentleman." The book is regarded as Trollope's masterpiece.

I.--Hiram's Hospital

The Rev. Septimus Harding was a beneficed clergyman residing in the cathedral town of Barchester.

Mr. Harding had married early in life, and was the father of two daughters. The elder, Susan, had been married some twelve years since to the Rev. Dr. Theophilus Grantly, son of the bishop, archdeacon of Barchester, and rector of Plumstead Episcopi, and a few months after her marriage her father became precentor of Barchester Cathedral. The younger daughter, Eleanor, was twenty-four years of age.

Now there are peculiar circumstances connected with the precentorship which must be explained. In the year 1434 there died at Barchester one John Hiram, who had made money in the town as a wool-stapler, and in his will he left the house in which he died and certain meadows and closes near the town for the support of twelve superannuated wool-carders; he also appointed that an alms-house should be built for their abode, with a fitting residence for a warden, which warden was also to receive a certain sum annually out of the rents of the said meadows and closes. He, moreover, willed that the precentor of the cathedral should have the option of being also warden of the alms-house, if the bishop approved.

From that day to this the charity had gone on and prospered--at least, the charity had gone on, and the estates had prospered. The bedesmen received one shilling and fourpence a day and a comfortable lodging. The stipend of the precentor was £80 a year. The income arising from the wardenship of the hospital was £800, besides the value of the house.

Murmurs had been heard in Barchester--few indeed and far between--that the proceeds of John Hiram's property had not been fairly divided; the thing had been whispered, and Mr. Harding had heard it. And Mr. Harding, being an open-handed, just-minded man, had, on his instalment, declared his intention of adding twopence a day to each man's pittance.

Mr. Harding was a small man, now verging on sixty years. His warmest admirers could not say that he had ever been an industrious man; the circumstances of his life had not called on him to so; and yet he could hardly be called an idler. He had greatly improved the choir of Barchester, and taken something more than his fair share in the cathedral services. He was generous to all, but especially to the twelve old men who were under his care. With an income of £800 a year and only one daughter, Mr. Harding should have been above the world, but he was not above Archdeacon Grantly, and was always more or less in debt to his son-in-law, who had to a certain extent assumed the management of the precentor's pecuniary affairs.

Mr. Harding had been precentor of Barchester for ten years when the murmurs respecting the proceeds of Hiram's estate again became audible. He was aware that two of his old men had been heard to say that if everyone had his own, they might each have their hundred pounds a year, and live like gentlemen, instead of a beggarly one shilling and sixpence a day. One of this discontented pair, Abel Handy, had been put into the hospital by Mr. Harding himself; he had been a stonemason in Barchester, and had broken his thigh by a fall from a scaffolding. (Dr. Grantly had been very anxious to put into it instead an insufferable clerk of his at Plumstead, who had lost all his teeth, and whom the archdeacon hardly knew how to get rid of by other means.) There was living at Barchester a young man, a surgeon, named John Bold, and both Mr. Harding and Dr. Grantly were well aware that to him was owing the pestilent rebellious feeling which had shown itself in the hospital; and the renewal, too, of that disagreeable talk about Hiram's estates which was again prevalent in Barchester. Nevertheless, Mr. Harding and Mr. Bold were acquainted with each other, and were friends in spite of the great disparity in their years; for John Bold--whose father had been a physician in London, who had bought property in Barchester and retired to die there--was not more than twenty-seven years old at this time.

John Bold was a clever man, but, having enough to live on since his father's death, he had not been forced to work for bread. In three years he had not taken three fees, but he frequently bound up the bruises and set the limbs of such of the poorer classes as professed his way of thinking. Bold was a strong reformer. His passion was the reform of all abuses, and he was thoroughly sincere in his patriotic endeavours to mend mankind. No wonder that Dr. Grantly regarded Bold as a firebrand and a demagogue, and would have him avoided as the plague. But the old Doctor and Mr. Harding had been fast friends and young Johnny Bold used to play as a boy on Mr. Harding's lawn.

Eleanor Harding had not plighted her troth to John Bold, but she could not endure that anyone should speak harshly of him; she cared little to go to houses where she would not meet him, and, in fact, she was in love. Nor was there any reason why Eleanor Harding should not love John Bold. His character was in all respects good; he had sufficient income to support a wife, and, above all, he was in love with her. Mr. Harding himself saw no reason why his daughter should not love John Bold.

II.--The Barchester Reformer

Bold had often expressed his indignation at the misappropriation of church funds in general, in the hearing of his friend the precentor, but the conversation had never referred to anything at Barchester.

He heard from different quarters that Hiram's bedesmen were treated as paupers, whereas the property to which they were, in effect, heirs, was very large, and being looked on as the upholder of the rights of the poor of Barchester, he was instigated by a lawyer, whom he had previously employed, to call upon Mr. Chadwick, the steward of the episcopal estates, for a statement as to the funds of the estate.

It was against Chadwick that his efforts were to be directed, but Bold soon found that if he interfered with Mr. Chadwick as steward, he must interfere with Mr. Harding as warden; and though he regretted the situation in which this would place him, he was not the man to flinch from his undertaking from personal motives.

Having got a copy of John Hiram's will, and mastered it, Bold next ascertained the extent and value of the property, and then made out a schedule of what he was informed was the present distribution of its income. Armed with these particulars, he called on Mr. Chadwick, who naturally declined to answer any questions and referred him to his attorneys in London.

Bold at once repaired to the hospital. The day was now far advanced, but he knew that Mr. Harding dined in the summer at four, that Eleanor was accustomed to drive in the evening, and that he might therefore probably find Mr. Harding alone. It was between seven and eight when he reached the precentor's garden, and as he raised the latch he heard the notes of Mr. Harding's violoncello; advancing before the house and across the lawn, he found him playing, and not without an audience. The musician was seated in a garden chair, and around sat, and lay, ten of the twelve old men who dwelt with him beneath John Hiram's roof. Bold sat down on the soft turf to listen, or rather to think how, after such harmony, he might best introduce a theme of so much discord. He felt that he had a somewhat difficult task, and he almost regretted the final leave-taking of the last of the old men, slow as they were in going through their adieus.

The precentor remarked on the friendliness of the visit. "One evening call," said he, "is worth ten in the morning. It's all formality in the morning; real social talk never begins till after dinner. That's why I dine early, so as to get as much as I can of it."

"Quite true, Mr. Harding," said the other; "but I fear I've reversed the order of things, and I owe you much apology for troubling you on business at such an hour. I wish to speak to you about the hospital."

Mr. Harding looked blank and annoyed. But he only said, "Well, well, anything I can tell you I shall be most happy--"

"It's about the accounts."

"Then, my dear fellow, I can tell you nothing, for I'm as ignorant as a child. All I know is that they pay me £800 a year. Go t Chadwick; he knows all about the accounts."

"But, Mr. Harding, I hope you won't object to discuss with me what I have to say about the hospital."

Mr. Harding gave a deep, long-drawn sigh. He did object, very strongly object, to discuss any such subject with John Bold, but he had not the business tact of Mr. Chadwick, and did not know how to relieve himself from the coming evil.

"I fear there is reason to think that John Hiram's will is not carried out to the letter, Mr. Harding, and I have been asked to see into it."

"Very well, I've no objection on earth; and now we need not say another word about it."

"Only one word more, Mr. Harding. Chadwick has referred me to lawyers. In what I do I may appear to be interfering with you, and I hope you will forgive me for doing so."

"Mr. Bold," said the other, speaking with some solemnity, "if you act justly, say nothing in this matter but the truth, and use no unfair weapons in carrying out your purposes, I shall have nothing to forgive. I presume you think I am not entitled to the income I receive from the hospital, and that others are entitled to it. Whatever some may do, I shall never attribute to you base motives because you hold an opinion opposed to my own and adverse to my interests; pray do what you consider to be your duty; I can give you no assistance, neither will I offer you any obstacle. Let me, however, suggest to you that you can in no wise forward your views, nor I mine, by any discussion between us. Here comes Eleanor and the ponies, and we'll go in to tea."

Bold felt that he could not sit down at ease with Mr. Harding and his daughter after what had passed, and therefore excused himself with much awkward apology; and, merely raising his hat and bowing as he passed Eleanor and the pony chair, left her in disappointed amazement at his departure.

III.--Iphigenia

The bedesmen heard a whisper that they were entitled to one hundred pounds a year, and signed a petition, which Abel Handy drew up, to the bishop as visitor, praying his lordship to see justice done to the legal recipients of John Hiram's charity. John Bold was advised to institute formal proceedings against Mr. Harding and Mr. Chadwick. Archdeacon Grantly took up the cause of the warden, and obtained a legal opinion from the attorney general, Sir Abraham Haphazard, that Mr. Harding and Mr. Chadwick being only paid servants, the action should not have been brought against them, but that the defendants should have been either the corporation of Barchester, or possibly the dean and chapter, or the bishop. That all-powerful organ of the press, the daily Jupiter, launched a leading thunderbolt against the administration of Hiram's Hospital, which made out the warden to be a man unjust, grasping--and the responsibility for this attack rested upon John Bold's friend Tom Towers, of the Temple.

Bold kept away from the warden's house, but he met Miss Harding one day in the cathedral close. He tried to explain and apologised.

"Mr. Bold," said she, "you may be sure of one thing: I shall always judge my father to be right, and those who oppose him I shall judge to be wrong." And then, curtsying low, she sailed on, leaving her lover in anything but a happy state of mind.

To her father Eleanor owned that she had loved John Bold once, but would not, could not do so now, when he proved himself the enemy of her father.

But the warden, wretched as he was at the attacks of the Jupiter, declared that Bold was no enemy of his, and encouraged her love, and then he spoke to her of happier days when their trials would all be over.

That night Eleanor decided that she would extricate her father from his misery; she would sacrifice herself as Iphigenia did for Agamemnon. She would herself personally implore John Bold to desist from his undertaking and stop the lawsuit; she would explain to him her father's sorrows, and tell him how her father would die if he were thus dragged before the public and exposed to such unmerited ignominy; she would appeal to his old friendship, and, if need were, kneel to him for the favour she would ask; but before she did this the idea of love must be banished. There must be no bargain in the matter. She could not appeal to his love, nor allow him to do so. Should he declare his passion he must be rejected.

She rose refreshed in the morning, and after breakfast started out, and arrived at Bold's door; where John's sister Mary greeted her warmly.

"John's out now, and will be for the next two hours, and he returns to London by the mail train to-night."

"Mary, I must see your brother before he goes back, and beg from him a great favour." Miss Harding spoke with a solemn air, and then went on and opened to her friend all her plan for saving her father from a sorrow which would, if it lasted, bring him to his grave.

While they were yet discussing the matter, Bold returned, and Eleanor was forced into sudden action.

"Mr. Bold," said she, "I have come here to implore you to abandon this proceeding, to implore you to spare my father."

"Eleanor, I will do anything; only let me tell you how I love you!"

"No, no, no," she almost screamed. "This is unmanly of you, Mr. Bold. Will you leave my father to die in peace in his quiet home?" And seizing him by his arm, she clung to him with fixed tenacity, and reiterated her appeal with hysterical passion.

"Promise me, promise me!" said Eleanor; "say that my father is safe--one word will do. I know how true you are; say one word, and I will let you go."

"I will," said he, at length; "I do. All I can do I will do."

"Then may God Almighty bless you for ever and ever!" said Eleanor; and, with her face in Mary Bold's lap, she wept and sobbed like a child.

In a while she was recovered, and got up to go; and Mary, under a pretence of fetching her bonnet, left the two together in the room.

And now, with a volley of impassioned love, John Bold poured forth the feelings of his heart; and Eleanor repeated with every shade of vehemence, "No, no, no!" But let her be never so vehement, her vehemence was not respected now; all her "No, no, noes" were met with counter asseverations, and at last were overpowered. Her defences were demolished, all her maiden barriers swept away, and Eleanor capitulated, or rather marched out with the honours of war, vanquished evidently, but still not reduced to the necessity of confessing it. Certainly she had been victorious, certainly she had achieved her object, certainly she was not unhappy. Eleanor as she returned home felt that she had now nothing further to do but to add to the budget of news for her father that John Bold was her accepted lover.

IV.--The Warden Resigns

When Eleanor informed her father of the end of the lawsuit the warden did not express himself peculiarly gratified at the intelligence. His own mind was already made up. A third article had appeared in the Jupiter, calling on Mr. Harding to give an account of his stewardship, and how it was that he consumed three-fifths of Hiram's charity. "I tell you what, my dear," he said, while Eleanor stared at him as though she scarcely understood the words he was speaking, "I can't dispute the truth of these words. I do believe I have no right to be here. No right to be warden with £800 a year; no right to spend in luxury money that was intended for charity. I will go up to London, my dear, and see these lawyers myself. There are some things which a man cannot bear--" and he put his hand upon the newspaper.

And to London Mr. Harding went, stealing a march upon the archdeacon, who with Mrs. Grantly pursued him twenty-four hours later. By that time the warden had obtained an interview with the great Sir Abraham Haphazard. "What I want you, Sir Abraham, to tell me is this," said Mr. Harding. "Am I, as warden, legally and distinctly entitled to the proceeds of the property after the due maintenance of the twelve bedesmen?"

Sir Abraham declared that he couldn't exactly say in so many words that Mr. Harding was legally entitled to, etc., etc., and ended in expressing a strong opinion that, as the other side had given notice of withdrawing the suit, it would be madness to raise any further question on the matter.

"I can resign," said Mr. Harding, slowly.

"What! throw it up altogether?" said the attorney general. "Believe me, it is sheer Quixotism."

But Mr. Harding's mind was made up. He knew that the attorney general regarded him as a fool, but Eleanor, he was sure, would exult in what he had done, and his old friend, the bishop, he trusted, would sympathise with him. Back at his hotel in St. Paul's Churchyard Mr. Harding had to face the archdeacon. In vain Dr. Grantly argued. "I shall certainly resign this wardenship," said Mr. Harding. The letter of resignation was posted to the bishop, and the warden returned home. The bishop at once wrote to him full of affection, condolence, and praise, and besought him to come and live at the palace.

It was hard for Mr. Harding to make the bishop understand that this would not suit him, and that the only real favour he could confer was the continuation of his independent friendship; but at last even this was done. "At any rate," thought the bishop, "he will come and dine with me from time to time, and if he be absolutely starving I shall see it." It was settled that Mr. Harding should still be the precentor of the cathedral, and a small living within the walls of the city was given to him. It was the smallest possible parish, containing a part of the cathedral close and a few old houses adjoining. The church was no bigger than an ordinary room--perhaps twenty-seven feet long by eighteen wide--but still it was a perfect church. Such was the living of St. Cuthbert's at Barchester, of which Mr. Harding became rector, with a clear income of £75 a year.

Mr. Harding allowed himself no rest till everything was prepared for his departure from the hospital.

For his present use he took a lodging in Barchester, and thither were conveyed such articles as he wanted for daily use. Mrs. Grantly had much wished that her sister would reside at Plumstead, but Eleanor strongly resisted this proposal. She had not desired that her father should give up the hospital in order that she might live at Plumstead rectory and he alone in his Barchester lodgings. So she got a little bedroom for herself behind the sitting-room, and just over the little back parlour of the chemist, with whom they were to lodge. There was somewhat of a savour of senna softened by peppermint about the place; but, on the whole, the lodgings were clean and comfortable.

Nothing could induce the bishop to fill up the vacancy at Hiram's Hospital caused by Mr. Harding's retirement. It is now some years since Mr. Harding left it, and the warden's house is tenantless and the warden's garden a wretched wilderness.

Mr. Harding is neither a discontented nor an unhappy man; he still inhabits the lodgings to which he went on leaving the hospital, but he now has them to himself. Three months after that time Eleanor became Mrs. Bold, and of course removed to her husband's house.

The archdeacon would not be persuaded to grace the marriage ceremony with his presence, but he allowed his wife and children to be there. The marriage took place at the palace, and the bishop himself officiated. It was the last occasion on which he ever did so, and it is not probable that he will ever do so again.

Mr. Harding's time is spent chiefly at his daughter's or at the palace, but he keeps his lodgings.

Every other day a message is brought to him from the bishop. "The bishop's compliments, and his lordship is not very well to-day, and he hopes Mr. Harding will dine with him." This bulletin as to the old man's health is a myth; for, though he is over eighty, he is never ill. Mr. Harding does dine with him very often, which means going to the palace at three and remaining till ten.


Barchester Towers

"Barchester Towers" shares with "The Warden" the distinction of containing Trollope's most original, freshest, and best work, and in the character of Mr. Proudie a new specimen was added to English fiction. It was written for the most part in pencil, while the author was travelling about the country prosecuting his duties as a Post-office Surveyor, what was done being afterwards copied by the novelist's wife. The Barchester of the story has been identified as Winchester, and scattered at random throughout the work are many references to the neighbourhood of Hampshire's ancient capital.

I.--The New Bishop

In the latter days of July in the year 1805, a most important question was hourly asked in the cathedral city of Barchester: Who was to be the new bishop?

The death of old Dr. Grantly, who had for many years filled that chair with meek authority, took place exactly as the ministry of Lord----was going to give place to that of Lord----. The illness of the good old man was long and lingering, and it became at last a matter of intense interest to those concerned whether the new appointment should be made by a Conservative or Liberal government.

It was pretty well understood that the outgoing premier had made his selection, and that, if the question rested with him, the mitre would descend on the head of Archdeacon Grantly, the old bishop's son, who had long managed the affairs of the diocese.

A trying time was this for the archdeacon as he sat by his father's dying bed. The ministry were to be out within five days: his father was to be dead within--no, he rejected that view of the subject.

Presently Mr. Harding entered noiselessly.

"God bless you, my dears"--said the bishop with feeble voice--"God bless you both." And so he died.

"It's a great relief, archdeacon," said Mr. Harding, "a great relief. Dear, good, excellent old man. Oh, that our last moments may be as innocent and as peaceful as his!"

The archdeacon's mind, however, had already travelled from the death chamber to the study of the prime minister. It was already evening, and nearly dark. It was most important that the prime minister should know that night that the diocese was vacant. Everything might depend on it. And so, in answer to Mr. Harding's further consolation, the archdeacon suggested that a telegraph message should be immediately sent to London.

Mr. Harding got as far as the library door with the slip of paper containing the message to the prime minister, when he turned back.

"I forgot to tell you," he said. "The ministry are out. Mr. Chadwick got the news by telegraph, and left word at the palace door."

Thus terminated our unfortunate friend's chance of possessing the glories of a bishopric.

The names of many divines were given in the papers as that of the bishop elect. And then the Jupiter declared that Dr. Proudie was to be the man.

Dr. Proudie was the man. Just a month after the demise of the late bishop, Dr. Proudie kissed the queen's hand as his successor elect, and was consecrated bishop of Barchester.

Dr. Proudie was one among those who early in life adapted himself to the views held by the Whigs on most theological and religious subjects. Toleration became the basis on which he fought his battles, and at this time he was found to be useful by the government. In person he was a good-looking man, and it was no fault of his own if he had not a commanding eye, for he studied hard for it.

Dr. Proudie may well be said to have been a fortunate man, for he had not been born to wealth, and he was now bishop of Barchester with £5000 a year; but nevertheless he had his cares. He had a large family, of whom the three eldest were daughters, now all grown up and all fitted for fashionable life; and he had a wife.

Now, Mrs. Proudie was not satisfied with home dominion, but stretched her power over all her husband's movements, and would not even abstain from things spiritual. In fact, the bishop was henpecked. In her own way the bishop's wife was a religious woman, and the form in which this tendency showed itself in her was by a strict observance of Sabbatarian rule. Dissipation and low dresses during the week were, under her control, atoned for by three services, an evening sermon read by herself, and a perfect abstinence from any cheering employment on the Sunday. In these matters Mrs. Proudie allowed herself to be guided by the Rev. Mr. Slope, the bishop's chaplain; and as Dr. Proudie was guided by his wife, it necessarily followed that Mr. Slope had obtained a good deal of control over Dr. Proudie in matters concerning religion. Mr. Slope's only preferment hitherto had been that of reader and preacher in a London district church; and on the consecration of his friend the new bishop he readily gave this up to become domestic chaplain to his lordship.

II.--The Bishop's Chaplain

When Mr. Slope sat himself down in the railway carriage, confronting the bishop and Mrs. Proudie, as they started on their first journey to Barchester, he began to form in his own mind a plan of his future life. He knew well his patron's strong points, but he knew the weak ones as well; and he rightly guessed that public life would better suit the great man's taste than the small details of diocesan duty.

He, therefore--he, Mr. Slope--would in effect be bishop of Barchester. Such was his resolve; and, to give Mr. Slope his due, he had both courage and spirit to bear him out in his resolution. He knew that he should have a hard battle to fight, for Mr. Proudie would also choose to be bishop of Barchester. At first, doubtless, he must flatter and cajole, and perhaps yield in some things; but he did not doubt of ultimate triumph. If all other means failed, he could join the bishop against his wife, inspire courage into the unhappy man, and emancipate the husband.

Such were Mr. Slope's thoughts as he sat looking at the sleeping pair in the railway carriage. He intended to lead, and to have followers; he intended to hold the purse-strings of the diocese, and draw round him a herd of his poor and hungry brethren. He had, however, a pawing, greasy way with him, and he was not a man to make himself at once popular in the circle of Barchester.

The second day after his arrival came Mr. Slope's first introduction to the clergy of Barchester, when Archdeacon Grantly and Mr. Harding called together at the palace to pay their respects to the bishop.

Our friends found Dr. Proudie sitting in the old bishop's chair, very nice in his new apron; they found, too, Mr. Slope standing on the hearth-rug, persuasive and eager; but on the sofa they found Mrs. Proudie, an innovation for which no precedent could be found in all the annals of Barchester. There she was, however, and they could only make the best of her.

The introductions were gone through in much form. The archdeacon shook hands with the bishop, and named Mr. Harding. His lordship then presented them to his lady wife. After this Mr. Slope presented himself. The bishop did mention his name, and so did Mrs. Proudie, too, in a louder tone; but Mr. Slope took upon himself the chief burden of his own introduction. He thrust out his hand, and, grasping that of the archdeacon, bedewed it unmercifully. Dr. Grantly in return bowed, looked stiff, contracted his eyebrows, and wiped his hand with his pocket handkerchief. Nothing abashed, Mr. Slope then noticed the precentor, and descended to the grade of the lower clergy.

There were four persons there, each of whom considered himself--or herself, as Mrs. Proudie was one of them--the most important personage in the diocese. The bishop himself actually wore the visible apron. The archdeacon knew his subject, and really understood the business of bishoping, which the others did not. Mrs. Proudie had her habit of command. Mr. Slope had only his own courage and tact to depend on.

"I fear there is a great deal of Sabbath travelling here," said Mr. Slope. "On looking at the 'Bradshaw,' I see that there are three trains in and three out every Sabbath. Could nothing be done to induce the company to withdraw them?"

"Not being a director, I really can't say. But if you can withdraw the passengers, the company, I dare say, will withdraw the trains," said the archdeacon. "It's merely a question of dividends."

"But surely, Dr. Grantly," said the lady, "surely we should look at it differently. Don't you think so, Mr. Harding?"

Mr. Harding thought that all porters and stokers, guards and pointsmen ought to have an opportunity of going to church, and he hoped that they all had.

"But surely, surely!" continued Mrs. Proudie, "surely that is not enough."

Come what might, Dr. Grantly was not to be forced into a dissertation on a point of doctrine with Mrs. Proudie, nor yet with Mr. Slope; so he turned his back upon the sofa, and hoped that Dr. Proudie had found the palace repairs had been such as to meet his wishes.

At once Mr. Slope sidled over to the bishop's chair, and began a catalogue of grievances concerning the stables and the out-houses. Mrs. Proudie, while she lent her assistance in reciting the palatial short-comings in the matter of gas, hot-water pipes, and the locks on the doors of servants' bedrooms, did not give up her hold of Mr. Harding. Over and over again she had thrown out her "Surely, surely!" at Mr. Harding's devoted head, and ill had that gentleman been able to parry the attack.

He had never before found himself subjected to such a nuisance, or been so hard pressed in his life. Mrs. Proudie interrogated him, and then lectured. "Neither thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man servant, nor thy maid servant," said she, impressively, and more than once, as though Mr. Harding had forgotten the words. She shook her fingers at him as she quoted the law, as though menacing him with punishment.

Mr. Harding felt that he ought to rebuke the lady for presuming so to talk to a gentleman and a clergyman many years her senior; but he recoiled from the idea of scolding the bishop's wife, in the bishop's presence, on his first visit to the palace; moreover, to tell the truth, he was somewhat afraid of her.

The archdeacon was now ready to depart, and he and the precentor, after bowing low to the lady and shaking hands with my lord, made their escape from Mr. Slope as best they could. It was not till they were well out of the palace and on the gravel walk of the close that the archdeacon allowed the wrath inspired by Mr. Slope to find expression.

"He is the most thoroughly bestial creature that ever I set my eyes upon," said the archdeacon. "But what are we to do with him? Impudent scoundrel! To have to cross-examine me about out-houses, and Sunday travelling, too. I never in my life met his equal for sheer impudence. Why, he must have thought we were two candidates for ordination!"

"I declare I thought Mrs. Proudie was the worst of the two." said Mr. Harding.

III.--Mrs. Proudie Gets a Fall

An act of Parliament had decided that in future the warden of Hiram's Hospital should receive £450 a year, and no one thought for a moment that the new bishop would appoint any other than Mr. Harding.

Mr. Slope, however, had other plans. He saw from the first that he could not conciliate Dr. Grantly, and decided on open battle against the archdeacon and all his adherents. Only those came to call on Mr. Slope who, like Mr. Quiverful, the rector of Puddingdale, had large families and small incomes, and could not afford to neglect the loaves and fishes of the diocese, even if a Mr. Slope had charge of the baskets.

So Mr. Harding received a note begging him to call on Mr. Slope at the palace concerning the wardenship.

The result of this interview was so offensive to Mr. Harding that he said:

"You may tell the bishop, Mr. Slope, that as I altogether disagree with his views about the hospital, I shall decline the situation if I find that any such conditions are attached to it as those you have suggested." And so saying, he took his hat and went his way.

Mr. Slope was contented. He considered himself at liberty to accept Mr. Harding's last speech as an absolute refusal of the appointment. At least, he so represented it to the bishop and to Mrs. Proudie.

"I really am sorry for it," said the bishop.

"I don't know that there is much cause for sorrow," said the lady. "Mr. Quiverful is a much more deserving man."

"I suppose I had better see Quiverful," said the chaplain.

"I suppose you had," said the bishop.

But no sooner had Mr. Slope promised Quiverful the wardenship, Mrs. Proudie writing at the same time to her protégée, Mrs. Quiverful, than he repented of the step he had taken.

Eleanor Bold, Mr. Harding's daughter, was a widow in prosperous circumstances, and when Mr. Slope had made her acquaintance, and learnt of her income, he decided that he would woo her. Mr. Harding at the hospital, and placed there by his means, would be more inclined to receive him as a son-in-law. Mr. Slope wanted a wife, and he wanted money, but he wanted power more than either. He had fully realised that sooner or later he must come to blows with Mrs. Proudie. He had no desire to remain in Barchester as her chaplain; he had higher views of his own destiny. Either he or Mrs. Proudie must go to the wall, and now had come the time when he would try which it should be.

To that end, he rode over to Puddingdale and persuaded Mr. Quiverful to give up all hope of the wardenship. Mrs. Quiverful, however, with fourteen children, refused to yield without a struggle, and went off there and then to Mrs. Proudie at the palace.

She told her tale, and Mrs. Proudie walked quickly into her husband's room, and found him seated at his office table, with Mr. Slope opposite to him.

"What is this, bishop, about Mr. Quiverful?" said she, coming to the end of the table and standing there.

"I have been out to Puddingdale this morning, ma'am," replied Mr. Slope, "and have seen Mr. Quiverful; and he has abandoned all claim to the hospital. Under these circumstances I have strongly advised his lordship to nominate Mr. Harding."

"Who desired you to go to Mr. Quiverful?" said Mrs. Proudie, now at the top of her wrath--for it was plain to her the chaplain was taking too much upon himself. "Did anyone send you, sir?"

There was a dead pause in the room. The bishop sat twiddling his thumbs. How comfortable it would be, he thought, if they could fight it out between them; fight it out so that one should kill the other utterly, as far as diocesan life was concerned, so that he, the bishop, might know clearly by whom he ought to be led. If he had a wish as to which might prove victor, that wish was not antagonistic to Mr. Slope.

"Will you answer me, sir?" Mrs. Proudie repeated. "Who instructed you to call on Mr. Quiverful?"

"Mrs. Proudie," said Mr. Slope, "I am quite aware how much I owe to your kindness. But my duty in this matter is to his lordship. He has approved of what I have done, and having that approval, and my own, I want none other."

What horrid words were these which greeted the ear of Mrs. Proudie? Here was premeditated mutiny in the camp. The bishop had not yet been twelve months in the chair, and rebellion had already reared her hideous head in the palace.

"Mr. Slope," said Mrs. Proudie, with slow and dignified voice, "I will trouble you, if you please, to leave the apartment. I wish to speak to my lord alone."

Mr. Slope felt that everything depended on the present interview. Should the bishop now be repetticoated his thralldom would be complete and for ever. Now was the moment for victory or rout. It was now that Mr. Slope must make himself master of the diocese, or else resign his place and begin his search for fortune elsewhere.

"His lordship has summoned me on most important diocesan business," said Mr. Slope, glancing with uneasy eye at Dr. Proudie; "my leaving him at the present moment is, I fear, impossible."

"Do you bandy words with me, you ungrateful man?" said the lady. "My lord, is Mr. Slope to leave this room, or am I?"

His lordship twiddled his thumbs, and then proclaimed himself a Slopeite.

"Why, my dear," said he, "Mr. Slope and I are very busy."

That was all. There was nothing more necessary. Mr. Slope saw at once the full amount of his gain, and turned on the vanquished lady a look of triumph which she never forgot and never forgave.

Mrs. Proudie without further parley left the room; and then followed a close conference between the new allies. The chaplain told the bishop that the world gave him credit for being under the governance of his wife, and the bishop pledged himself with Mr. Slope's assistance to change his courses.

IV.--Mr. Slope Bids Farewell

As it proved, however, Mr. Slope had not a chance against Mrs. Proudie. Not only could she stun the poor bishop by her midnight anger when the two were alone, but she could assuage him, if she so willed, by daily indulgences.

On the death of Dr. Trefoil, the dean of Barchester, Mr. Slope had not shrunk from urging the bishop to recommend his chaplain for the post.

"How could you think of making such a creature as that dean of Barchester?" said Mrs. Proudie to her now submissive husband.

"Why, my dear," said he, "it appeared to me that you and Mr. Slope did not get on as well as you used to do, and therefore I thought that if he got this place, and so ceased to be my chaplain, you might be pleased at such an arrangement."

Mrs. Proudie laughed aloud.

"Oh yes, my dear, of course he'll cease to be your chaplain," said she. "After what has passed, that must be a matter of course. I couldn't for a moment think of living in the same house with such a man. Dean, indeed! The man has gone mad with arrogance."

The bishop said nothing further to excuse either himself or his family, and having shown himself passive and docile was again taken into favour, and spent the pleasantest evening he had had in his own house for a long time.

Mr. Slope did not get the deanery, though for a week he was decidedly the favourite--owing to the backing he received from the Jupiter. And Mr. Quiverful was after all appointed to the hospital, with the complete acquiescence of Mr. Harding.

Mr. Harding might have had the deanery, but he declined the office on the ground of his age and his inability to fit himself into new duties. In vain the archdeacon threatened, and in vain he coaxed; his father-in-law could not be made to accept it.

To Mr. Harding's infinite relief, Mrs. Bold regarded Mr. Slope's proposal with horror, and refused him with indignation. She had never thought of him as a possible suitor, and when he addressed her as "beautiful woman," and as "dearest Eleanor," and as "sweetest angel," and even contrived to pass his arm round her waist, it was more than she could bear. Mrs. Bold raised her little hand and just dealt him a box on the ear with such good will that it sounded among the trees--he had followed her into the garden--like a miniature thunderclap.

The news that the deanery was not for him ended Mr. Slope's prospects in Barchester. He was aware that as regarded the diocese Mrs. Proudie had checkmated him. He had, for a moment, run her hard, but it was only for a moment, and Mrs. Proudie had come forth victorious in the struggle.

Having received a formal command to wait upon the bishop, he went into Dr. Proudie's study. There, as he had anticipated, he found Mrs. Proudie together with her husband.

"Mr. Slope," began the bishop, "I think you had better look for some other preferment. I do not think you are well suited for the situation you have lately held. I will enclose you a cheque for any balance that may be due to you; and under the present circumstances it will, of course, be better for all parties that you should leave the palace at the earliest possible moment."

"If, however, you wish to remain in the neighbourhood," said Mrs. Proudie, "the bishop will mention your name to Mr. Quiverful, who now wants a curate at Puddingdale, and the stipend is £50 a year, sufficient for your requirements."

"May God forgive you, madam, for the manner in which you have treated me," said Mr. Slope; "and remember this, madam, that you yourself may still have a fall. As to the bishop, I pity him!"

Thus ended the intimacy of the bishop of Barchester with his first confidential chaplain.

Mr. Slope returned to town, and promptly consoled the widow of a rich sugar-refiner. He soon was settled with much comfort in Baker Street, and is now possessed of a church in the New Road.

Mr. Harding is still precentor, and still pastor of the little churc of St. Cuthbert's. In spite of what he has often said, he is not even yet an old man.


IVAN TURGENEV

Fathers and Sons

Among the great critics and great artists of every period, Ivan Sergeyvitch Turgenev occupies a supreme position. He was born at Oriel in the Government of the same name, on November 9, 1818, and died on September 3, 1883. His father was a colonel in a cavalry regiment, and an ancestor was a James Turgenev who was one of Peter the Great's jesters. Educated at Moscow, St Petersburg, and Berlin, Ivan Turgenev began life in a government office, but after a year retired into private life. His early attempts at literature consisted chiefly of poems and sketches, none of which attracted any degree of attention; and it was not until about 1847, upon the appearance of "A Sportsman's Sketches"--a series of stories depicting with startling realism the condition of the Russian peasant, that his name became known. About 1860 Ivan Turgenev, in common with many of the Russian writers of the period, found himself being carried away towards the study of social reform. In 1861 he produced "Fathers and Sons" ("Otzi i Dieti"), a story that stirred up a storm the suddenness of which is difficult to imagine in the light of recent events. Yet, curiously enough, Turgenev, ardent Liberal though he was, had no political motive whatsoever in view in writing his novel, his purpose simply being the delineation of certain types which were then, for good or for bad, making themselves a force in his country. The figure of Bazaroff, in regard to whom Turgenev gave a new interpretation of the word "nihilist," possesses few of the revolutionary ideas that are now generally associated with his kind. Young Russia greatly objected to the picture, and the author, who so far had been hailed as a champion of liberty, was now looked on as a reactionist. To the end, however, Turgenev persisted that Bazaroff represented a type as he saw it, and the portrait was neither a caricature nor entirely a product of the imagination.

I.--The Old and the New

Arkady had come home, a full-blown graduate from the University at Petersburg, and as his father, Nikolai Petrovitch pressed his lips to his beardless, dusky, sunburnt cheek, he was beside himself with delight. Even his uncle, Pavel Petrovitch--once a famous figure in Russian society, and now, in spite of his dandy habits and dandy dress, living with his brother on the latter's estate in the heart of the country--showed some emotion. And Arkady, too, though he endeavoured to stifle his feelings as became a superior young man who had risen above the prejudices of the older generation, could not conceal the pleasure he felt.

Arkady had brought back with him his great friend, Bazaroff, a tall man, long and lean, with a broad forehead, a nose flat at the base and sharper at the end, large greenish eyes, and drooping whiskers of a sandy colour--a face which was lighted up by a tranquil smile and showed self-confidence and intelligence. Bazaroff alone seemed supremely indifferent to the atmosphere of pleasure which pervaded his friend's home-coming. As the two young men left the room, Pavel Petrovitch turned to his brother with a slightly questioning look on his clear-cut, clean-shaved, refined face.

"Who is he?" he asked.

"A friend of Arkady's; according to him, a very clever fellow."

"Is he going to stay with us?"

"Yes."

"That unkempt creature?"

"Why, yes."

Pavel Petrovitch drummed with his finger-tips on the table. "I fancy Arkady s'est dégourdé," he remarked. "I am glad he has come back."

"Your uncle's a queer fish," Bazaroff remarked to Arkady, in the seclusion of their room; "only fancy such style in the country! His nails, his nails--you ought to send them to an exhibition! And as to his chin, it's shaved simply to perfection. Now, come, Arkady, isn't he rather ridiculous?"

"Perhaps he is," replied Arkady; "but he's a splendid man, really."

"An antique survival! But your father's a capital fellow. He wastes his time reading poetry, and doesn't know much about farming, but he's a good-hearted fellow."

"My father's a man in a thousand."

"Did you notice how shy and nervous he is?"

Arkady shook his head, as though he himself were not shy and nervous.

"It's something astonishing," pursued Bazaroff, "these old idealists, they develop their nervous systems till they break down... so balance is lost.... In my room there's an English wash-stand, but the door won't fasten. Anyway, that ought to be encouraged--an English wash-stand stands for progress."

The antipathy between Pavel Petrovitch and Bazaroff became more pronounced as the days went by. There were several passages of arms between them--the one taking the old-fashioned view of life, the other dismissing contemptuously his outlook as unprogressive. For himself, Nikolai Petrovitch was too delighted at having his son with him to feel any concern about Bazaroff.

"What is this Mr. Bazaroff--your friend?" Pavel asked one day, with a drawl.

"Would you like me to tell you, uncle?" Arkady replied with a smile. "He is a Nihilist, a man who accepts nothing, who regards everything from the critical point of view--who does not take any principle on faith, whatever reverence that principle may be enshrined in."

"Well, and is that good?"

"That depends, uncle. Some people it would do good to, but some people would suffer for it."

"Indeed! Well, I see it's not in our line. We are old-fashioned people; we imagine that without principles, taken as you say on faith, there is no taking a step, no breathing. Vous avez changé tout cela, God give you good health and the rank of a general, while we will be content to look on and admire worthy... what was it?"

"Nihilist," Arkady said, speaking very distinctly.

So great was the silent, unvoiced antipathy between the two men that Nikolai Petrovitch, even, breathed more freely when Arkady and Bazaroff at the end of a fortnight announced their intention of visiting the neighbouring town of X------.

At X------, the two friends made the acquaintance of Madame Odintsov, a wealthy widow, who lived alone in her large, well-ordered establishment, with her one daughter, Katya Sergyevna. Bazaroff was contemptuously amused at the luxury and peace that pervaded the house. The excellent arrangements of the establishment he made a subject for laughter, but, none the less, he gladly prolonged his stay for a fortnight. The reason was not far to seek. In spite of his avowed disbelief in love and romance, the gracious charm, the refined intelligence and the beauty of Madame Odintsov had won his heart. And Arkady, too, willingly accepted his hostess's urgent invitation that they should stay for as long as they pleased, because of his passion for Katya. Circumstances, however, brought their visit to an abrupt conclusion.

One morning Madame Odintsov, when she was alone with Bazaroff, commented upon his reticence and constraint. As she made this remark, Bazaroff got up and went to the window.

"And would you like to know the reason for this reticence?" he queried. "Would you like to know what is passing within me?"

"Yes," rejoined Madame Odintsov, with a sort of dread she did not at the time understand.

"And you will not be angry?"

"No."

"No?" Bazaroff was standing with his back to her. "Let me tell you, then, that I love you like a fool, like a madman.... There, you forced it out of me."

He turned quickly, flung a searching look upon her, and, snatching both her hands, he drew her suddenly to his breast.

She did not at once free herself from his embrace, but an instant later she was in the seclusion of her own room, standing, her cheeks scarlet, meditating on what had occurred.

"I am to blame," she decided, aloud, "that I could not have foreseen this.... No, no.... God knows what it would lead to; he couldn't be played with. Peace is, anyway, the best thing in the world."

She had come to a definite decision before she saw Bazaroff again. He found an opportunity of speaking to her alone and hoarsely apologised for what had taken place.

"I am sufficiently punished," he said, without raising his eyes to hers. "My position, you will certainly agree, is most foolish. To-morrow I shall be gone. There is no recalling the past, consequently I must go. I can only conceive of one condition upon which I could remain; that condition will never be. Excuse my impertinence, but you don't love me and you never will love me, I suppose?"

Bazaroff's eyes glittered for an instant under their dark brows. Madame Odintsov did not answer him. "I am afraid of this man," flashed through her brain.

"Good-bye, then," said Bazaroff, as though he guessed her thought, and he went back into the house.

II--Bazaroff's Home-Coming

From the scene of his discomfiture Bazaroff fled to his own house, taking Arkady with him. Vassily Ivanovitch, his father, an old retired army doctor, who had not seen his son for three years, was standing on the steps of the little manor house as the coach in which they travelled rolled up. He was a tall, thinnish man, with, dishevelled hair and a thin hawk nose, dressed in an old military coat not buttoned up. He was smoking a long pipe and screwing up his eyes to keep the sun out of them. The horses stopped.

"Arrived at last," said Bazaroff's father, still going on smoking, though the pipe was fairly dancing up and down between his fingers.

"Enyusha, Enyusha," was heard a trembling woman's voice. The door was flung open and in the doorway was seen a plump, short little woman, in a white cap and a short, striped jacket. She moaned, staggered, and would certainly have fallen had not Bazaroff supported her. Her plump little hands were instantly twined round his neck. "For what ages, my dear one, my darling Enyusha!" she cried, her wrinkled face wet with tears. Old Bazaroff breathed hard and screwed his eyes up more than ever.

"There, that's enough, that's enough, Arina; give over--please give over."

His lips and eyebrows were twitching and his beard was quivering... but he was obviously trying to control himself and appear almost indifferent. But, like his wife, the old man was deeply moved at the coming of his son. Only with difficulty could he keep his eyes off him. The whole little house was turned upside down to provide him proper entertainment. Arisha produced the most tempting dainties she could cook and old Bazaroff brought out a bottle of wine, told some of the best of his old stories, and, regardless of the snubs uttered occasionally by Bazaroff, seemed to be filled with an ecstatic joy as long as he could be near him. He took an early opportunity of questioning Arkady, and when he heard the words of praise that fell from the latter's lips and the expectation that was current at the University of the great future for his son, he could stand it no longer. He bent down to Arkady and kissed him on his shoulder.

"You have made me perfectly happy," he said, never ceasing to smile. "I ought to tell you, I... idolise my son; my old wife I won't speak of--we all know what mothers are!--but I dare not show my feelings before him, because he doesn't like it. He is averse to every kind of demonstration of feeling; many people even find fault with him for such firmness of character, and regard it as a proof of pride or lack of feeling, but men like him ought not to be judged by the common standard, ought they?"

One thing troubled old Bazaroff. How long was his son going to stay? He dared not ask him, but he centred his hopes on three weeks, at least. Bazaroff, however, was restless and unsatisfied. He had not succeeded in effacing the memory of Madame Odintsov. On the third day he told Arkady that he could stand it no longer.

"I am bored; I want to work, but I can't work here. I will come to your place again; I have left all my apparatus there, too. In your house one can, at any rate, shut oneself up; while here my father repeats to me, 'My study is at your disposal--nobody shall interfere with you,' and all the time he himself is never a yard away. It's the same thing, too, with mother. I hear her sighing the other side of the wall, and if one goes in to her, one's nothing to say to her."

Vassily Ivanovitch was dumbfounded when he broke the news to him.

"Very good..." he faltered, "very good.... I had thought you were to be with us... a little longer. Three days.... After three years, it's rather little; rather little, Yevgeny!"

"But I tell you I'm coming back directly. It's necessary for me to go."

"Necessary.... Very good. Arina and I, of course, did not anticipate this. She has just begged some flowers from a neighbour; she meant to decorate the room for you. Liberty... is the great thing; that's my rule.... I don't want to hamper you... not..."

He suddenly ceased and rushed from the room. He had to tell his old wife; that was the trying task that lay before him. She was utterly crushed, and only a two-hour exhortation from her husband enabled her to control herself until her son's departure. When at last he was gone she broke down. Vassily Ivanovitch bent his grey head against her grey head.

"There's no hope for it," she moaned. "Only I am left you, unchanged for ever, as you for me."

III.--The Duel

The two friends journeyed as far as X---- together. There Arkady left his companion in order to see Katya. Bazaroff, determined to cure himself of his passion for Madame Odintsov, made the rest of the journey alone, and took up his quarters once more in the house of Nicolai Petrovitch.

The fact of Arkady's absence did not tend to improve matters between Pavel Petrovitch and Bazaroff. After a week the aristocrat's antipathy passed all bounds. That night he knocked at Bazaroff's door, and, gaining admittance, begged in his most delicate manner for five minutes' conversation.

"I want to hear your views on the subject of duelling," he said. Bazaroff, for once, was taken by surprise.

"My view is," he said at last, "that I should not, in practice, allow myself to be insulted without demanding satisfaction."

"Your words save me from rather a deplorable necessity. I have made up my mind to fight you."

Bazaroff opened his eyes wide. "Me?"

"Undoubtedly."

"What for, pray?"

"I cannot endure you; to my idea your presence here is superfluous, I despise you; and if that is not enough for you..."

Pavel Petrovitch's eyes glittered.... Bazaroff's, too, were flashing.

"Very good," he assented; "no need of further explanations. You've a whim to try your chivalrous spirit upon me. I might refuse you this pleasure, but--so be it!"

The details of the duel were arranged there and then, eight paces and two shots each. The following morning they met at the place agreed upon, and, having marked off the ground, they took up their stations. Bazaroff watched Pavel Petrovitch take careful aim.... "He's aiming straight at my nerves," he thought; "and doesn't he blink down it carefully, the ruffian! Not an agreeable sensation, though! I'm going to look at his watch-chain."

Something whizzed sharply by his ear, and at the same instant there was the sound of a shot. Bazaroff, without taking aim, pressed the spring. Pavel Petrovitch gave a slight start, and clutched at his thigh. A stream of blood began to trickle down his white trousers. Bazaroff became the doctor at once, and, flinging aside his pistol, fell on his knees beside his late antagonist, and began with professional skill to attend to his wound. At that moment Nicolai Petrovitch drove up.

"What does this mean?" he asked, rushing to the side of his brother.

"It is nothing," answered Pavel Petrovitch, faintly. "I had a little dispute with Mr. Bazaroff, and I have had to pay for it a little. I am the only person to blame in all this.... Mr. Bazaroff has behaved most honourably."

After that incident Bazaroff's stay in the house any longer was an impossibility. He left the same day, calling at Madame Odintsov's house on his way home to see Arkady. He found his friend engaged to Katya and in the seventh heaven of delight. Madame Odintsov would have had him stay.

"Why should you not stay now?" she said. "Stay... it's exciting talking to you... one seems walking on the edge of a precipice. At first one feels timid, but one gains courage as one goes on. Do stay."

"Thanks for the suggestion," he retorted, "and for your flattering opinion of my conversational talent. But I think I have already been moving too long in a sphere which is not my own. Flying fishes can hold out for a time in the air, but soon they must splash back into the water; allow me, too, to paddle in my own element."

Madame Odintsov looked at Bazaroff. His pale face was twitching with a bitter smile. "This man did love me!" she thought, and she felt pity for him, and held out her hand to him with sympathy.

He, too, understood her. "No!" he said, stepping back a pace. "I am a poor man, but I have never taken charity so far. Good-bye and good luck to you."

"I am certain we are not seeing each other for the last time," she declared, with an unconscious gesture.

"Anything may happen!" answered Bazaroff, and he bowed and went away.

IV.--The Passing of Bazaroff

Bazaroff's old parents were all the more overjoyed at their son's arrival, as it was quite unexpected. His mother was greatly excited and his father, touching his neck with his fingers, turned his head round as though he were trying whether it were properly screwed on, and then, all at once, he opened his wide mouth and went off into a perfectly noiseless chuckle.

"I've come to you for six whole weeks, governor," Bazaroff said to him. "I want to work, so please don't hinder me now."

But though his father and mother almost effaced themselves, scarcely daring to ask him a question, even to discover what he would like for dinner, the fever of work fell away. It was replaced by dreary boredom or vague restlessness. He began to seek the society of his father and to smoke with him in silence. Now and again he even assisted at some of the medical operations which his father conducted as a charity. Once he pulled a tooth out from a pedlar's head, and Vassily Ivanovitch never ceased boasting about the extraordinary feat.

One day in a neighbouring village, the news was brought them that a peasant had died of typhus. Three days later Bazaroff came into his father's room and asked him if he had any caustic to burn a cut in his finger.

"What sort of a cut? where is it?"

"Here, on my finger. I have been dissecting that peasant who died of typhus fever."

Vassily Ivanovitch suddenly turned quite white. All that day he watched his son's face stealthily. On the third day Bazaroff could not touch his food.

"Have you no appetite? And your head?" he at last asked, timidly; "does it ache?"

"Yes, of course it aches."

"Don't be angry, please," continued Vassily Ivanovitch. "Won't you let me feel your pulse?"

Bazaroff got up. "I can tell you without feeling my pulse," he said. "I am feverish."

"Has there been any shivering?"

"Yes, there's been shivering, too; I'll go and lie down."

Bazaroff did not get up again all day, and passed the whole night in heavy, half-unconscious slumber. At one o'clock in the morning, opening his eyes with an effort, he saw, by the light of a lamp, his father's pale face bending over him, and told him to go away. The old man begged his pardon, but he quickly came back on tiptoe, and, half hidden by the cupboard door, he gazed persistently at his son. His wife did not go to bed either, and, leaving the study door open a very little, she kept coming up to it to listen "how Enyusha was breathing" and to look at Vassily Ivanovitch. She could see nothing but his motionless bent back, but even that afforded her some faint consolation.

In the morning Bazaroff spoke to his father in a slow, drowsy voice.

"Governor, I am in a bad way; I've got the infection, and in a few days you will have to bury me."

Vassily Ivanovitch staggered back as if someone had aimed a blow at his leg.

"God have mercy on you! What do you mean? You have only caught a cold. I've sent for the doctor and you'll soon be cured."

"Come, that's humbug. I've got the typhus; you can see it in my arm. You told me you'd sent for the doctor. You did that to comfort yourself... comfort me, too; send a messenger to Madame Odintsov; she's a lady with an estate... Do you know?" (Vassily Ivanovitch nodded.) "Yevgeny Bazaroff, say, sends his greetings, and sends word he is dying. Will you do that?"

"Yes, I will do it... But it is an impossible thing for you to die... Think only! Where would divine justice be after that?"

"I know nothing about that; only you send the messenger."

He turned his face painfully to the wall, while Vassily Ivanovitch went out of the study, and, struggling as far as his wife's bedroom, simply dropped down on to his knees before the holy pictures.

"Pray, Arina, pray for us," he murmured. "Our son is dying."

Bazaroff got worse every hour. He was in the agonies of high fever. His mother and father watched over him, combing his hair and giving him gulps of tea. The old man was tormented by a special anguish. He wished his son to take the sacrament, though, knowing his attitude towards religion, he dared not ask him. At last he could keep back the words no longer. As in a broken voice he begged his son to see a priest, a strange look came over Bazaroff's face.

"I won't refuse if that can be any comfort to you, but I'll wait a little."

There was the sound of carriage wheels outside. Vassily Ivanovitch rushed to the door. A lady in a black veil and a black mantle, accompanied by a little German doctor in spectacles, got out of the carriage.

"I am Madame Odintsov," said the lady. "Your son is still living? I have a doctor with me."

"Benefactress!" cried Vassily Ivanovitch, snatching her hand and placing it convulsively to his lips. "Still living; my Yevgeny is living, and now he will be saved! Wife! wife!... An angel from heaven has come to us."

But when the doctor came out from examining his patient he breathed the news that there was no hope, and Vassily Ivanovitch conducted Madame Odintsov to his son's room. As she looked at Bazaroff she felt simply dismayed, with a sort of cold and suffocating dismay; the thought that she would not have felt like that if she had really loved him flashed instantaneously through her brain.

"Thanks," said Bazaroff from the bed. "I did not expect this. It's a deed of mercy. So we have seen each other again as you promised.... I loved you! there was no sense in that even before, and less than ever now. Love is a form, and my own form is already breaking up."

Madame Odintsov gave an involuntary shudder.

"Noble-hearted!" he whispered. "Oh, how young and fresh and pure... in this loathsome room! Well, good-bye.... I thought I wouldn't die; I'd break down so many things. I wouldn't die; why should I? There were problems to solve, and I was a giant! And now all the problem for the giant is how to die decently.... My father will tell you what a man Russia is losing.... That's nonsense, but don't contradict the old man. Whatever toy will comfort a child... you know. And be kind to mother. People like them are not to be found in your great world.... I was needed by Russia.... No, it's clear I wasn't needed. And who is needed?"

Bazaroff put his hand to his brow. Madame Odintsov bent down to him. "Yevgeny Vassilyvitch, I am here...." He at once took his hand away and raised himself.

"Good-bye," he said, with a sudden force, and his eyes gleamed with their last light. "Good-bye.... Listen.... You know I didn't kiss you then.... Breathe on the dying lamp, and let it go out...."

She put her lips on his forehead.

"Enough!" he murmured, and dropped back on to the pillow. "Now... darkness...."

Madame Odintsov went softly out. "Well?" Vassily Ivanovitch asked her in a whisper. "He has fallen asleep," she answered, hardly audible. But Bazaroff was not fated to awaken. That night he breathed his last. A universal lamentation arose in the house. Vassily Ivanovitch was seized by a sudden frenzy.

"I said I should rebel," he shrieked hoarsely, his face inflamed and distorted, shaking his fist in the air, as though threatening someone; "and I rebel, I rebel!"

But his wife, all in tears, hung upon his neck, and both fell on their faces together. "Side by side," said one of the servants afterwards, "they drooped their poor heads like lambs at noonday...."


There is a little grave in the graveyard, surrounded by an iron railing; two young fir-trees have been planted, one at each end. Yevgeny Bazaroff is buried in this tomb. Often from the little village not far off two quite feeble old people come to visit it--a husband and wife. At the iron railing they fall down and remain on their knees, and long and bitterly they weep and yearn and intently they gaze at the dumb stone under which their son is lying.... Can it be that their prayers, their tears are fruitless? Can it be that love, sacred, devoted love, is not all-powerful?

Oh, no! however passionate, sinning, and rebellious the heart hidden in the tomb, the flowers growing over it peep serenely at us with their innocent eyes; they tell us not of eternal peace alone, that great peace of "indifferent" nature; they tell us, too, of eternal reconciliation and of life without end.


A Nest of Nobles

"A Nest of Nobles" ("Dvorianskoe Gniezdo"), published in 1858, brought Turgenev a European reputation. Of all his novels, "A Nest of Nobles" is probably the best. It has all the love of detail that is peculiar to the Slavonic mind, a trait which is largely responsible for that feeling of pessimism that pervades the writings of all those who have listened to the "still, sad music of humanity." Yet Turgenev is not typical of that Russian school of novelists of which Tolstoy and Gorki are distinguished examples; rather he belongs to the school of Thackeray, George Eliot, and Dickens.

I.--A Student's Marriage

Fedor Ivanitch Lavretsky came of an ancient noble family. His father, a strangely whimsical man, determined that his son should grow up a Spartan. A gymnastic instructor was his principal teacher, although he also studied natural science, mathematics, and international law. Music, as a pursuit unworthy of a man, was discarded. The female sex he was taught to hold in contempt, and all the gentler arts and emotions were rigorously repressed. The boy was conscious of defects in his education, and from his eighteenth year set himself to remedy them as far as he could. His father died when he was twenty-two, and young Lavretsky determined to go to Moscow, in the hope that diligent study might enable him to regain the ground lost in youth.

The whole tendency of his education had been to make him into a shy man: he could not get on with people; with an unquenchable thirst for love in his heart, he had never yet dared to look a woman in the face. Robust, rosy-cheeked, bearded, and taciturn, he produced a strange impression on his companions, who did not suspect that this outwardly austere man was inwardly almost a child. He appeared to them to be a queer kind of pedant; they did not care for him, made no overtures to him, and he avoided them. During the first two years he spent at the University he only became fairly intimate with one student, Mihalevitch by name, for he took lessons in Latin.

One day at the theatre he saw in a box in the front tier a young girl leaning her elbow on the velvet of the box. The light of youth and life played in every feature of her lovely dark oval face; subtle intelligence was expressed in the splendid eyes which gazed softly and attentively from under her fine brows, in the swift smile of her sensitive lips, in the very poise of her head, her hands, her neck.

Suddenly the door of her box opened, and a man came in--it was Mihalevitch. The appearance of this man, almost his only acquaintance in Moscow, on the society of the girl who had suddenly absorbed his whole attention, struck him as curious and significant. The performance ceased to interest Lavretsky, and at one pathetic part he involuntarily looked at his beauty: she was bending forward, her cheeks glowing. Under the influence of his persistent gaze her eyes slowly turned and rested on him.

All night he was haunted by those eyes. The skilfully constructed barriers were broken down at last; he was in a shiver and a fever, and the next day he went to Mihalevitch, from whom he learnt that her name was Barbara Paulovna Korobyin. Mihalevitch offered to introduce him; Lavretsky blushed, muttered something unintelligible, and ran away. For five whole days he struggled with his timidity; on the sixth he got into a new uniform and placed himself at Mihalevitch's disposal.

Paul Petrovitch Korobyin was a retired major-general. With the intention of improving his pecuniary position, he devised a new method of speculating with public funds--an excellent method in itself--but he neglected to bribe in the right place. Information was laid against him, and as a result of the subsequent inquiry he was advised to retire from active service. In Moscow he lived the life of a retired general on 2750 roubles a year.

His daughter at this time was nineteen years old, and the general found her expenses an ever-increasing tax upon his slender resources. He was therefore glad to throw no obstacle in Lavretsky's way--having discovered that he was wealthy--when, six months after their first meeting, he proposed for his daughter's hand.

Barbara Paulovna had much practical sense, and a very great love of comfort, together with a great faculty of obtaining it for herself. What charming travelling knick-knacks appeared from various corners of the luxurious carriage that she had purchased to convey them to Lavretsky's country home! And how delightfully she herself made coffee in the morning! Lavretsky, however, was not disposed to be observant at that time: he was blissful, drunk with happiness; he gave himself up to it like a child; indeed, he was as innocent as a child, this young Hercules. Not in vain was the whole personality of his young wife breathing with fascination; not in vain was her promise to the senses of a mysterious luxury of untold bliss: her fulfilment was richer than her promise.

Barbara Paulovna had no mind to establish herself permanently at Lavriky. The idea of staying in that out-of-the-way corner of the steppes never entered her head for an instant. In September she carried her husband off to St. Petersburg, where they passed two winters; the summer they spent at Tsarskoe Selo. They made many acquaintances, went out, and entertained a good deal, and gave the most charming dances and musical evenings. Barbara Paulovna attracted guests as fire attracts moths.

Fedor Ivanitch did not altogether like such a frivolous life. He was unwilling to enter the government service, as his wife suggested; still, he remained in St. Petersburg for her pleasure. He soon discovered, however, that no one hindered him from being alone; that it was not for nothing that he had the quietest and most comfortable study in St. Petersburg; that his tender wife was ever ready to aid him to be alone.

In the course of time a son was born to them, but the poor child did not live long--it died in the spring, and in the summer Lavretsky took his wife abroad. One summer and autumn they spent in Germany and Switzerland, and for the winter they went to Paris.

In Paris Barbara Paulovna made herself a little nest as quickly and as cleverly as in St. Petersburg. She soon drew round herself acquaintances--at first only Russians, afterwards Frenchmen with very excellent manners and fine-sounding names. All of them brought their friends, and la belle Mme. de Lavretsky was soon known from Chausée d'Antin to Rue de Lille.

Fedor Ivanitch still busied himself with study, and set to work translating a well-known treatise on irrigation. "I am not wasting my time," he thought; "it is all of use; but next winter I must, without fail, return to Russia and get to work." An unexpected incident broke up his plans.

II.--Separation

Lavretsky had the most absolute confidence in his wife's every action and thought. She was always as calm, affectionate, and confidential with him as she had been from the first. It was therefore with a feeling of stupefaction that, going one day into her boudoir during her absence, he picked up from the floor a note that disclosed her infidelity. He read it absent-mindedly, and did not understand what he had read. He read it a second time--his head began to swim, the ground to sway under his feet.

He had so blindly believed in her; the possibility of deception, of treason, had never presented itself to his mind. He could not understand. This young Frenchman, almost the most insignificant of all his wife's acquaintances! The fear was borne in upon him that perhaps she had never been worthy of the trust he had reposed in her. To complete it all, he had been hoping in a few months to become a father.

All that night he wandered, half-distraught, about the streets of Paris and in the open country beyond. In the morning he went to an hotel and sent the incriminating note to his wife, with the following letter:

"The enclosed scraps of paper will explain everything to you. I cannot see you again; I imagine that you, too, would hardly desire an interview with me. I am assigning you fifteen thousand francs a year; I cannot give more. Send your address to the office of the estate. Do what you please. Live where you please. I wish you happiness!"

A long letter came back in reply: it put the finishing touch--his last doubts vanished. She did not attempt to defend herself; her only desire was to see him; she besought him not to condemn her irrevocably.

Three days later Lavretsky left Paris. For a time he followed his wife's movements, as chronicled in Paris society papers. He learnt that a daughter had been born to him. Finally a tragi-comic story was reported with acclamation in all the papers; his wife played an unenviable part in it. Barbara Paulovna had become a notoriety. He ceased to follow her movements. Scepticism, half formed already by the experiences of his life and by his education, took complete possession of his heart, and he became indifferent to everything.

Four years passed by till he felt himself able to return to his own country and to meet his own people. He went to the town of O----, where lived his cousin, Marya Dmitrievna Kalitin, with her two daughters, Elizabeth and Helena, and her aunt, Marfa Timofyevna Petrov.

III.--A New Friendship

Lavretsky stayed a few days in O---- before going to take up his residence, as he proposed doing, at Vassilyevskoe, a small estate of his some twenty miles distant. Mounting the steps of Kalitin's house to say good-bye before departing, he met Elizabeth coming down.

"Where are you going?" he asked.

"To service. It is Sunday."

"Why do you go to church?"

Lisa looked at him in silent amazement.

"I beg your pardon; I did not mean to say that. I have come to say good-bye to you; I am starting for my village in an hour."

"Well, mind you don't forget us," said Lisa, and went down the steps.

"And don't forget me. And listen," he added; "you are going to church; while you are there, pray for me too."

Lisa stopped short and turned to face him. "Certainly," she said, looking straight at him; "I will pray for you too. Good-bye."

In the drawing-room he found Marya Dmitrievna alone. She began to gossip about a young man whom he had met the previous day, Vladimir Nikolaitch Panshin.

"I will tell you a secret, my dear cousin: he is simply crazy about my Lisa. Well, he is of good family, has a capital position, and is a clever fellow; and if it is God's will, I for my part shall be well pleased." She launched into a description of her cares and anxieties and maternal sentiments. Lavretsky listened in silence, turning his hat in his hands. Finally he rose, took his leave, and went upstairs to say good-bye to Marfa Timofyevna.

"Tell me, please," he began; "Marya Dmitrievna has just been talking to me about this--what's his name?--Panshin? What sort of man is he?"

"What a chatterbox she is, Lord save us! She told you, I suppose, as a secret that he has turned up as a suitor, and so far, there's nothing to tell, thank God! But already she's gossipping about him."

"Why thank God?"

"Because I don't like the fine young gentleman; and so what is there to be glad of in it?

"Well, shall we see you again soon?" the old lady asked, as he rose to depart.

"Very likely, aunt; it's not so far, you know."

"Well, go, then, and God be with you. And Lisa's not going to marry Panshin; don't you trouble yourself--that's not the sort of husband she deserves."


Lavretsky lived alone at Vassilyevskoe, and often rode into O------ to see his cousins. He saw a good deal of Lisa's music-master, an old German named Christopher Theodor Lemm, and, finding much in common with him, invited him to stay for a few days.

"Maestro," said Lavretsky one morning at breakfast, "you will soon have to compose a triumphal cantata."

"On what occasion?"

"On the nuptials of M. Panshin and Lisa. It seems to me things are in a fair way with them already."

"That will never be," cried Lemm.

"Why?"

"Because it is impossible."

"What, then, do you find amiss with the match?"

"Everything is amiss, everything. At the age of nineteen Lisavetta is a girl of high principles, serious, of lofty feelings, and he--he is a dilettante, in a word."

"But suppose she loves him?"

"No, she does not love him; that is to say, she is very pure in heart, and does not know herself what it means--love. Mme. de Kalitin tells her that he is a fine young man, and she obeys because she is quite a child. She can only love what is beautiful, and he is not--that is, his soul is not beautiful...."

It sometimes happens that two people who are acquainted but not on intimate terms all of a sudden grow more intimate in a few minutes. This was exactly what came to pass with Lavretsky and Lisa. "So he is like that," was her thought as she turned a friendly glance at him. "So you are like that," he, too, was thinking. And thus he was not very much surprised when she began to speak to him about his wife.

"You will forgive me--I ought not to dare to speak of it to you... but how could you... why did you separate from her?"

Lavretsky shuddered. He looked at Lisa and sat down beside her. "My child," he began, "do not touch on that woman; your hands are tender, but it will hurt me just the same."

"I know," Lisa continued as though she had not heard. "I know she has been to blame. I don't want to defend her; but what God has joined, how can you put asunder? You must forgive, if you wish to be forgiven."

"She is perfectly contented with her position, I assure you. But her name ought never to be uttered by you. You are too pure. You are not capable of understanding such a creature."

"Then, if she is like that, why did you marry her?"

Lavretsky got up quickly from his seat. "Why did I marry her? I was young and inexperienced; I was deceived, I was carried away by a beautiful exterior. I knew no women, I knew nothing. God grant that you may make a happier marriage."

At that moment Marya Dmitrievna came in. Lavretsky did not again succeed in being alone with Lisa, but he looked at her in such a way that she felt her heart at rest, and a little ashamed and sorry for him. Before he left, he had obtained from his cousin a promise that she would come over to Vassilyevskoe one day with her daughters.

When they came Lavretsky made further opportunities to talk with Lisa, while the others were fishing. He led the conversation round to Panshin.

"Vladimir Nikolaitch has a good heart," said Lisa, "and he is clever; mother likes him."

"And do you like him?"

"He is nice; why should I not like him?"

"Ah!" A half ironical, half mournful expression crossed his face. "Well, may God grant them happiness," he muttered as though to himself.

Lisa flushed. "You are mistaken, Fedor Ivanitch. You are wrong in thinking--but don't you like Vladimir Nikolaitch?"

"No, I don't."

"Why?"

"I think he has no heart."

"What makes you think he has no heart?"

"I may be mistaken--time will show, however."

Lisa grew thoughtful. Lavretsky began to talk to her about his daily life at Vassilyevskoe. He felt a need to talk to her, to share with her everything that was passing in his heart; she listened so sweetly, so attentively. Her few replies and observations seemed to him so intelligent....

IV.--Love and Duty

Glancing one day at a bundle of French newspapers that had been lying on the table unopened for a fortnight, Lavretsky suddenly came upon a paragraph announcing "Mournful intelligence: That charming, fascinating Moscow lady, Mme. Lavretsky, died suddenly yesterday."

He hastened over to O----and communicated the news to Lisa, requesting her to keep it secret for a time. They walked in the garden; Lavretsky discussed his newly won freedom.

"Stop!" said Lisa, "don't talk like that. Of what use is your freedom to you? You ought to be thinking of forgiveness."

"I forgave her long ago."

"You don't understand! You ought to be seeking to be forgiven."

"You are right," said Lavretsky after a pause; "what good is my freedom to me?"

"When did you get that paper?" said Lisa without heeding his question.

"The day after your visit."

"And is it possible that you did not shed tears?"

"What is there to weep over now? Though, indeed, who knows? I might perhaps have been more grieved a fortnight sooner."

"A fortnight?" said Lisa. "But what has happened, then, in the last fortnight?"

Lavretsky made no reply, and suddenly Lisa flushed violently.

"Yes, yes! you guess why. In the course of this fortnight I have come to know the value of a pure woman's heart. But I am glad I showed you that paper," Lavretsky continued after a pause; "already I have grown used to hiding nothing from you, and I hope that you will repay me with the same confidence...."

Lavretsky was not a young man; he could not long delude himself as to the nature of the feeling inspired in him by Lisa. He was brought that day to the final conviction that he loved her.

"Have I really nothing better to do," he thought, "at the age of thirty-five, than to put my soul into a woman's keeping again? But Lisa is not like her; she would not demand degrading sacrifices from me; she would not tempt me away from my duties; she would herself incite me to hard, honest work, and we should walk hand in hand towards a noble aim. That's all very fine," he concluded his reflections, "but the worst of it is that she does not in the least wish to walk hand in hand with me. But she doesn't in the least love Panshin either... a poor consolation!"

Painful days followed for Fedor Ivanitch. He found himself in a continual fever. Every morning he made for the post and tore open letters and papers; nowhere did he find confirmation or disproof of the fateful news.

Late one night he found himself wandering aimlessly around the outskirts of O----. Rambling over the dewy grass he came across a narrow path leading to a little gate which he found open. Wandering in, he found, to his amazement, that he was in the Kalitins' garden. In Lisa's room a candle shone behind the white curtains; all else was dark. The light vanished as he looked.

"Sleep well, my sweet girl," he whispered, sitting motionless, his eyes fixed on the darkened window. Suddenly a light appeared in one of the windows of the ground floor, then another. Who could it be? Lavretsky rose... he caught a glimpse of a well-known face. Lisa entered the drawing-room--she drew near the open door, and stood on the threshold, a light, slender figure, all in white.

"Lisa!" broke hardly audibly from his lips. She started, and began to gaze into the darkness. "Lisa!" he repeated louder, and came out of the shadow.

She raised her head in alarm, and shrank back. "Is it you?" she said. "You here?"

"I--I--listen to me," whispered Lavretsky, and seizing her hand he led her to a seat. She followed him unresisting. Her pale face, her fixed eyes, and all her gestures expressed an unutterable bewilderment. Lavretsky stood before her. "I did not mean to come here," he began; "something brought me. I--I love you," he uttered, in involuntary terror. She tried to get up--she could not; she covered her face with her hands.

"Lisa!" murmured Lavretsky. "Lisa," he repeated, and fell at her feet. Her shoulders began to heave slightly.

"What is it?" he urged, and he heard a subdued sob. His heart stood still... he knew the meaning of those tears. "Can it be that you love me?" he whispered, and caressed her knees.

"Get up!" he heard her voice. "Get up, Fedor Ivanitch. What are we doing?"

He got up and sat beside her on the seat.

"It frightens me; what we are doing?" she repeated.

"I love you," he said again. "I am ready to devote my whole life to you."

She shuddered again as though something had stung her, and lifted her eyes towards heaven.

"All that is in God's hands," she said.

"But you love me, Lisa? We shall be happy."

She dropped her eyes. He softly drew her to him, and her head sank on to his shoulder--he bent his head a little and touched her pale lips....

On the following day Lavretsky drove over to Vassilyevskoe. The first thing that struck him on entering was the scent of patchouli, always distasteful to him. There were some travelling trunks in the hall. He crossed the threshold of the drawing-room--a lady arose from the sofa, made a step forward, and fell at his feet. He caught his breath... he leaned against the wall for support.... It was Barbara Paulovna!

A torrent of words told him that, stricken by remorse, she had determined to break every tie with her sins. A serious illness had given rise to the rumour of her death. She had taken advantage of this to give up everything. Would he not spare her for their little daughter's sake?

Lavretsky listened to the flood of eloquence in silence. He did not believe one word of her protestations. His wrath choked him: this blow had fallen so suddenly upon him.


Lisa bent forward in her chair and covered her face with her hands.

"This is how we were to meet again," he brought out at last. It was in Marfa Timofyevna's room that they met once more. Lisa took her hands from her face. "Yes!" she said faintly. "We were quickly punished."

"Punished!" said Lavretsky. "What had you done to be punished?" His heart ached with pity and love. "Yes, all is over before it had begun."

"We must forget all that," she brought out at last. "It is left for us to do our duty. You, Fedor Ivanitch, must be reconciled with your wife."

"Lisa!"

"I beg you to do so: by that alone can you expiate..."

"Lisa, for God's sake!--to be reconciled to her now!"

"I do not ask of you--do not live with her if you cannot. Remember your little girl; do it for my sake."

"Very well," Lavretsky muttered between his clenched teeth; "I will do that; in that I shall fulfil my duty. But you--what does your duty consist in?"

"That I know myself."

Lavretsky started: "You cannot be making up your mind to marry Panshin?"

Lisa gave an almost imperceptible smile--"Oh, no!" she said.

"Now you see for yourself, Fedor Ivanitch, as I told you before, that happiness does not depend on us, but on God."


Smoke

Considered simply as stories, "Fathers and Sons" and "Smoke" are to all intents and purposes independent of each other, yet in important particulars the latter is a sequel to the first. Once on his arrival at St. Petersburg, Turgenev was met with the words, "Just see what your Nihilists are doing! They have almost gone so far as to burn the city." Thus again he took up the question of social reform, and in "Smoke" ("Dim") he views with apprehension the actions of the so-called "intellectuals," who would make themselves responsible for the shaping of future Russia. Charlatans among the leaders of the new thought, and society dilettantism, both came under his merciless lash. In his opinion the men and ideas in the two camps are no more than smoke--dirty, evil-smelling smoke. The entire atmosphere is gloomy, and throughout is only relieved by the character of Irina, the most exquisite piece of feminine psychology in the whole range of Turgenev's novels.

I.--A Broken Idyll

Early in the fifties there was living in Moscow, in very straitened circumstances, almost in poverty, the numerous family of the Princes Osinin. These were real princes--not Tartar-Georgians, but pure-blooded descendants of Rurik. Time, however, had dealt hardly with them. They had fallen under the ban of the Empire, and retained nothing but their name and the pride of their nobility.

The family of Osinins consisted of a husband and wife and five children. It was living near the dog's place, in a one-storied little wooden house with a striped portico looking on to the street, green lions on the gates, and all the other pretensions of nobility, though it could hardly make both ends meet, was constantly in debt at the green-grocer's, and often sitting without firewood or candles in the winter. Though their pride kept them aloof from the society of their neighbours, their straitened circumstances compelled them to receive certain people to whom they were under obligations. Among the number of these was Grigory Mihalovitch Litvinov, a young student of Moscow, the son of a retired official of plebeian extraction, who had once lent the Osinins three hundred roubles. Litvinov called frequently at the house, and fell desperately in love with the eldest daughter, Irina.

Irina was only seventeen, and as beautiful as the dawn. Her thick fair hair was mingled with darker tresses; the languid curves of her lovely neck, and her smile--half indifferent, half weary--betrayed the nervous temperament of a delicate girl; but in the lines of those fine, faintly smiling lips there was something wilful and passionate, something dangerous to herself and others. Her dark grey eyes, with shining lashes and bold sweep of eyebrow, had a strange look in them; they seemed looking out intently and thoughtfully--looking out from some unknown depth and distance. Litvinov fell in love with Irina from the moment he saw her (he was only three years older than she was), but for a long while he failed to obtain not only a response, but even a hearing. She treated him with hostility, and the more he showed his love, the greater was her coldness, the more malignant her indifference. She tortured him in this way for two months. Then everything was transformed in one day.

Worn out by this cold torture, Litvinov was one night about to depart in despair. Without saying good-bye, he began to look for his hat. "Stay," sounded suddenly in a soft whisper. With throbbing heart he looked round, hardly believing his ears. Before him he saw Irina, transformed. "Stay," she repeated; "don't go. I want to be with you."

From that moment of the discovery of her love, Irina was changed. She, who before had been proud and cruel, became at once as docile as a lamb, as soft as silk, and boundlessly kind.

"Ah, love me, love me, my sweet, my saviour," she would whisper to him, with her arms about his neck.

In this new dream of happiness the days flew, the weeks passed; the future came ever nearer with the glorious hope of their happiness, and then, suddenly, an event occurred which scattered all their dreams and plans like light roadside dust. The Court came to Moscow, and the Osinins, despite their poverty, determined to attend the customary great ball in the Hall of Nobility. At first Irina resolutely refused to go, and Litvinov was called in by the prince to use his persuasion.

"Very well, then, I will go," she said, when she had listened to his arguments; "only remember, it is you yourself who desired it."

She spoke so strangely that he feared he had offended her.

"Irina, darling, you seem to be angry."

Irina laughed.

"Oh, no! I am not angry. Only, Grisha..." (She fastened her eyes on him, and he thought he had never before seen such an expression in them.) "Perhaps it must be," she added, in an undertone.

"But, Irina, you love me, dear?"

"I love you," she answered, with almost solemn gravity, and she clasped his hand firmly like a man.

She went to the ball in a simple white dress, wearing a bunch of heliotrope, the gift of her lover. When he called the following day, Litvinov heard from the prince of the impression Irina had created; how all the great noblemen from St. Petersburg, and even the Czar himself, had commented upon her beauty. But Irina herself he did not see. She had a bad headache, the prince explained. The following day he was again denied a sight of her, and as he turned once more from the house he saw a great personage drive up in a magnificent carriage. A dread foreboding seized him. Dull stupefaction, and thoughts scurrying like mice, vague terror, and the numbness of expectation and the weight of crushed tears in his heavy-laden breast, on his lips the forced, empty smile, and a meaningless prayer--addressed to no one....

As he walked down the street his servant touched him on the shoulder, handing him a note. He recognised Irina's writing. He tore open the envelope all at once. On a small sheet of notepaper were the following lines:

"Forgive me, Grigory Mihalovitch. All is over between us; I am going away to Petersburg. I am dreadfully unhappy, but the thing is done. It seems my fate... but no, I do not want to justify myself. My presentiments have been realised. Forgive me, forget me! I am not worthy of you.--Irina. Be magnanimous: do not try to see me."

The blow almost broke Litvinov's heart. A rich cousin of the Princess Osinin, struck by the impression created by the girl at the ball, had taken her to Petersburg, to use her as a pawn in his struggle for power. Utterly crushed, Litvinov threw up the University and went home to his father in the country. He heard of her occasionally, encircled in splendour. Her name was mentioned with curiosity, respect, and envy, and at last came the news of her marriage to General Ratmirov.

II--Temptation

Ten years had passed--ten years during which much had happened to Litvinov. He had served in the Crimea, and, after almost dying of typhus, had been invalided home. Observation had shown him that his father's management of their property was so old-fashioned that it did not yield a tenth of the revenue it might yield in skillful hands. He determined to go abroad to study agriculture and technology, so that he might properly manage the estate. In various parts of Europe, in England as well, he had travelled and studied, and now he found himself at Baden, his work concluded, ready to take up his duties.

He was at Baden for two reasons: first, because he was espoused to his cousin, Tatyana Petrovna Shestov, whom he had grown to dearly love, and who had promised to be his comrade and friend "for better or worse," as the English say. And he was at Baden, also, because Tatyana's aunt, Kapitolina Markovna Shestov, an old unmarried lady of fifty-five, a good-natured, honest, eccentric soul--a democrat, sworn opponent of aristocracy and fashionable society--could not resist the temptation of gazing for once on the aristocratic society which sunned itself in such a fashionable place as Baden.

While he was expecting the arrival of his betrothed, Litvinov found himself compelled to pass his time in the society of his fellow-countrymen--ardent young Russian Liberals of both sexes, bubbling over with new theories and enthusiasm, and ready to talk for hours together on the political and social regeneration of their native country. As far as possible, he avoided their society, and escaped into the solitudes of the mountains. It was during one of these lonely excursions that, feeling hungry, he made his way to the old castle, and, seating himself at one of the little white-painted tables of the restaurant, ordered a light breakfast. While he was seated there, there was a loud tramping of horses, and a party of young Russian generals--persons of the highest society, of weight and importance--arrived, and with much noise and ostentation summoned the obsequious waiters to attend to their wants. Litvinov made haste to drink off his glass of milk, paid for it, and, putting his hat on, was just making off past the party of generals...

"Grigory Mihalovitch," he heard a woman's voice, "don't you recognise me?"

He stopped involuntarily. That voice... that voice had too often set his heart beating in the past... He turned round and saw Irina.

Litvinov knew her at once, though she had changed since he saw her that last time ten years ago, though she had been transformed from a girl into a woman.

"Irina Pavlovna," he uttered, irresolutely.

"You know me? How glad I am! how glad--" She stopped, blushing. "Let me introduce you to my husband."

One of the young generals, Ratmirov by name, almost the most elegant of all, got up from his seat at the introduction, and bowed with a dandified air. Litvinov would have escaped, but Irina insisted on his sitting down. For a time he had to listen to the empty, meaningless talk of the company, hardly able to say a word to Irina. At last his clean plebeian pride revolted. He rose to his feet, somehow took leave of Irina and her husband, and walked rapidly away, trying to brace and soothe his nerves by violent exercise.

"Oh, Tatyana, Tatyana!" he cried passionately to himself. "You are my guardian angel! you only my good genius! I love you only, and will love you for ever, and I will not go to see her. Forget her altogether! Let her amuse herself with her generals."

That very evening Irina sent him a message, asking him to come and see her, and, in spite of all his determinations, he went. She saw him alone in a room in one of the best hotels in Baden. "Grigory Mihalovitch," she cried, as soon as he had closed the door behind him, "here we are alone at last, and I can tell you how glad I am at our meeting, because it... gives me a chance... of asking your forgiveness."

Litvinov started involuntarily at this unexpected reference to old times.

"Forgiveness... for what?" he muttered.

"For what? I wronged you, though of course it was my fate, and I do not regret it. You must tell me you forgive me, or else I shall imagine you feel... de la rancune."

As he looked into her beautiful eyes, shining with tears, Litvinov's senses seemed to swim.

"I will remember nothing," he managed to say; "nothing but the happy moments for which I was once indebted to you."

Irina held out both hands to him; Litvinov clasped them warmly, and did not at once let them go. Something that long had not been secretly stirred in his heart at that soft contact.... They fell into conversation, he learning from her something of her life, she extracting from him in fragments the details of his career. General Ratmirov's arrival put an end to their converse, and Litvinov rose to depart. At the door Irina stopped him.

"You have told me everything," she said, "but the chief thing you have concealed. You are going to be married, I am told."

Litvinov blushed up to his ears. As a fact, he had intentionally not referred to Tatyana.

"Yes, I am going to be married," he said at last, and at once withdrew.

He came away, swearing to himself that he would never see her again. Next day he met her on his way to the mountains, but pretended not to see her. On his return he found her sitting alone on a bench in the fashionable walk. She stopped him, insisting, with an unsteady voice, on speaking to him. He tried to be frank with her, pointing out that their paths lay far apart, that she belonged to a society which he did not understand, that she was above him, beyond him. But her passionate appeal that they should at least be friends melted his determination, and he left her with a promise to call again that very night.

When he returned once more to his rooms, he made a desperate effort to recover his senses. Taking out a picture of Tatyana, he placed it in front of him, and stared at it long and eagerly. Suddenly he pushed it gently away, and clutched his head in both hands.

"All is at an end," he whispered at last. "Irina! Irina!"

He realised in an instant that he was irrevocably, senselessly, in love with her.

"But Tatyana, Tatyana, my guardian, Tatyana, Tatyana!" he repeated, while Irina's shape, as he had seen her last, rose before his eyes with a radiant calm of victory on her marble-white face.

Next day he told her of his love. For answer she threw her arms round his neck and whispered in his ear, "I love you, too.... I love you... and you know it."

"You must go," she went on suddenly, moving away from him and turning impulsively toward the door. "It's dangerous, it's terrible.... Good-bye."

Litvinov stood, like a block of wood, at a distance. Once more she said, "Good-bye, forget me," and, without looking round, rushed away.

As he left the hotel, like a man in a fog, he passed Ratmirov on the stairs. The general lifted his hat unnecessarily high, and wished him a very good day in a voice which was obviously ironical.

He hardly responded to Ratmirov's bow, but rushed back to his lodgings. His head was turning round, and his heart vibrating like a harp-string. He tried to pull himself together. He would fly from her. "If I die for it," he muttered to himself. He packed his bag and trunk with furious energy, determined to go that very night. As he was in the midst of his preparations, a note was brought him from Irina.

"Sooner or later," she wrote, "it must have been. My life is in your hands. If necessary, I will throw up everything and follow you to the ends of the earth. We shall see each other to-morrow, of course. Your Irina."

Two hours later he was sitting in his room on the sofa. His box stood in the corner, open and empty.

III--A Ruined Life

Tatyana and her aunt arrived the following day at twelve o'clock. Litvinov was at the station to meet them--a different Litvinov from the one who a few days before had been so self-confident, so spiritual, so calm and content. His whole appearance, his movements, the expression of his face, had been transformed. Some sensation, unknown before, had come, strong, sweet--and evil; the mysterious guest had made its way to the innermost shrine, and taken possession and lain down in it in silence, but, in all its magnitude, like the owner in a new house. Litvinov was no longer ashamed, he was afraid; he had been vanquished, vanquished suddenly... and what had become of his honesty? The first look at Tatyana, the first look of Tatyana... that was what filled him with terror, that was what he had to live through directly... and afterwards?... afterwards?... Come what may come!

The train steamed in. Tatyana, standing near her aunt, smiled brightly and held out her hand. He helped them to a fly and took a place in it opposite them. He brought himself at last to look at Tatyana. His heart throbbed with involuntary emotion; the serene expression of that honest, candid face gave him a pang of bitter reproach. "So you are here, poor girl," he thought. "You whom I have so longed for, so urged to come, with whom I had hoped to spend my life to the end, you have come, you believe in me... while I... while I..."

But Kapitolina Markoyna gave him no time for musing. She was full of chatter, full of interest in everything that was going on, afire to see all the fine aristocrats, though she abused them soundly.

After doing a round of the sights, Litvinov, his mind always on the rack, led the ladies back to their hotel. As they entered a note was handed to him. He tore open the envelope and read the words within, scribbled in pencil: "Come to me this evening at seven, for one minute, I entreat you. Irina."

After dinner Litvinov escorted the two ladies to their room, and, after standing a little while at the window, with a scowl on his face, he suddenly announced that he had to go out for a short time on business. Tatyana said nothing; she turned pale and dropped her eyes. She was well aware that Litvinov knew that her aunt took a nap after dinner; she had expected him to take advantage of it to remain with her. He had not been alone with her nor spoken frankly to her since her arrival. And now he was going out! What was she to make of it? And, indeed, his whole behaviour all along....

In a few minutes he was with Irina, holding her in his arms.

"I can't live without you, Irina," he whispered; "I am yours for ever and always. I can only breathe at your feet."

He stooped down, all in a tremble, to kiss her hand. Irina gazed at his bent head.

"Then let me say that I, too, am ready for anything; that I, too, will consider no one and nothing. As you decide, so it shall be. I, too, am for ever yours... yours."

He tore himself away with difficulty. He had turned his back on his upright, well-organised, orderly future. The thing was done, but how was he to face his judge? And if only his judge would come to meet him--an angel with a flaming sword; that would be easier for a sinning heart... instead of which, he had himself to plunge the knife in... infamous! but to turn back, to abandon that other, to take advantage of the freedom offered him, recognised as his... No, no! better to die! No, he would have none of such loathsome freedom... but would humble himself in the dust, and might those eyes look down on him with love.

Two hours later he was back again, trying to talk to the girl he determined to deceive. He felt a continual gnawing of conscience; whatever he said, it always seemed to him that he was telling lies, and Tatyana was seeing through it. The girl was paler than usual, and, replying to her aunt, she said she had a little headache.

"It's the journey," suggested Litvinov, and he positively blushed with shame.

"Yes, the journey," repeated Tatyana, letting her eyes dwell for a moment on his face.

In the night, at two o'clock, Kapitolina Markovna, who was sleeping in the same room with her niece, suddenly lifted up her head and listened.

"Tatyana," she said, "you are crying?"

Tatyana did not at once answer.

"No, aunt," sounded her gentle voice; "I have caught cold."

In the course of that dreadful night Litvinov had arrived at a resolution. He determined to tell Tatyana the truth, and in the morning he steeled himself for the interview. He found her alone, and with an effort stumbled out the introductory words of his confession. Tatyana stopped him abruptly in the middle.

"Grigory Mihalovitch," she said in a measured voice, while a deathly pallor overspread her whole face, "I will come to your assistance. You no longer love me, and you don't know how to tell me so."

He flung himself on his knees before her.

"Tatyana," he cried, "could I dream that I should bring such a blow upon you, my best friend, my guardian angel! I have come to tell you that your friend is ruined, that he is falling into the pit, and would not drag you down with him, but save me... no! even you cannot save me. I should push you away; I am ruined, Tatyana, I am ruined past all help."

Tatyana's brow twitched. Her pale face darkened.

"Since you say yourself this passion is unalterable, it only remains for me to give you back your word. I will ask you to leave me. I want to collect myself a little.... Leave me alone... spare my pride."

Uttering these words, Tatyana hurriedly withdrew into an inner room.

He was free now, free to go to Irina! That day Tatyana and her aunt left Baden. There were no barriers between him and his soul's desire. He hastened to Irina's side. He found her turning over some lace in a cardboard box.

"Don't be angry with me, dear one," she said, "for attending to this trash at the present moment. I am obliged to go to a ball at a certain lady's. These bits of finery have been sent me, and I must choose to-day. Ah! I am awfully wretched," she cried suddenly, and she laid her face down on the edge of the box. Tears began falling from her eyes... she turned away; the tears might spoil the lace.

He was uneasy at her tears and tried to comfort her, and she, putting her arms around him, cried to him that she would do whatever he wished. They should be free people. "Let us be free," she said. "The day is ours. A lifetime is ours."

Litvinov spent the next twenty-four hours in making all arrangements for their flight together. He raised as much money as he could, even stooping to try his luck at roulette to increase his hoard. The appointed moment of their departure approached. As he waited impatiently in the hotel hall, a letter was brought him. It was a letter from Irina in French.

"My dear one," she wrote, "I cannot run away with you. I have not the strength to do it. I cannot leave this life; I see the poison has gone too deeply into me. Oh, my dear one, think me a weak, worthless woman, despise, but don't abandon me, don't abandon your Irina.... To leave this life I have not the courage, but live it without you I cannot either. Come soon to me. I shall not have an instant's peace until I see you. Yours, yours, yours--I."

The blood beat like a sledgehammer in Litvinov's head, then slowly and painfully sank to his heart, and was chill as a stone. And so again, again deceit; no, worse than deceit--lying and baseness... and life shattered, everything torn up by its roots utterly, and the sole thing which he could cling to, the last prop, in fragments too. In Litvinov's soul rose, like sudden gusts of wind before a storm, momentary impulses of fury.

He determined to leave Baden at once. Getting a carriage, he took his box to the station. He was just taking his seat in the railway carriage.

"Grigory Mihalovitch... Grigory..." he heard a supplicating whisper behind him.

He started to see Irina standing on the platform, her eyes crying to him to come back--to come back.... He jumped into the carriage, and turning round, he motioned her to a place beside him. She understood him. There was still time. One step, one movement, and two lives made one for ever would have been hurried away into the uncertain distance.... While she wavered, a loud whistle sounded, and the train moved off.

IV.--Love's Reward

A year had passed--a year spent by Litvinov on his father's estate, a year of hard work, a year of devoting the knowledge he had acquired abroad to the betterment of the property. Another year, and his toil began to show its fruit. A third year was beginning. An uncle, who happened to be a cousin of Kapitolina Markovna, and had been recently staying with her, paid them a visit. He brought Litvinov a great deal of news about Tatyana. The next day, after his departure, Litvinov sent her a letter, the first since their separation.

He begged for permission to renew her acquaintance, at least by correspondence, and also desired to learn whether he must forever give up all idea of some day seeing her. Not without emotion he awaited the answer... the answer came at last. Tatyana responded cordially to his overture. "If you are disposed to pay us a visit," she finished up, "we hope you will come; you know the saying, 'even the sick are easier together than apart.'"

With a new lightness of heart, Litvinov set off on his journey. The horses would not go quick enough for him. At last the house was in view... and on the steps Kapitolina Markovna was standing, and, beside herself with joy, was clapping her hands, crying, "I heard him! I knew him first! It's he! it's he! I knew him."

Litvinov dashed into the house... before him, all shamefaced, stood Tatyana. She glanced at him with kind, caressing eyes and gave him her hand. But he did not take her hand. He fell on his knees before her, kissing the hem of her dress. The tears started into her eyes. She was frightened, but her whole face beamed with delight.

"Tatyana," Litvinov cried, "Tatyana, you have forgiven me? Tatyana!"

"Aunt, aunt, what is this?" cried Tatyana, turning to Kapitolina Markovna as she came in.

"Don't hinder him, Tatyana," answered the kind old lady; "you see the sinner has repented."


JULES VERNE

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Jules Verne was born in 1828. He studied law at Paris, but turned to writing almost immediately after completing his education, and brought out his first comedy in 1850. This was followed by several comic operas. However, he is chiefly known by his "scientific romances," of which the first, "Five Weeks in a Balloon," appeared in 1863. "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" is perhaps the best example of Verne's tales of the marvels of invention, and we have to remember that when it was written, in 1873, nobody had yet succeeded in making a boat to travel under water. For that reason it was, in a way, a prophetic book, shadowing forth the wonderful possibilities of human ingenuity in exploring the ocean's unknown depths. Jules Verne died March 24, 1905.

I.--I Join a Strange Expedition

In the year 1866 the whole seafaring world of Europe and America was greatly disturbed by an ocean mystery which baffled the wits of scientists and sailors alike. Several vessels, in widely different regions of the seas, had met a long and rapidly moving object, much larger than a whale, and capable of almost incredible speed. It had also been seen at night, and was then phosphorescent, moving under the water in a glow of light.

There was no doubt whatever as to the reality of this unknown terror of the deep, for several vessels had been struck by it, and particularly the Cunard steamer Scotia, homeward bound for Liverpool. It had pierced a large triangular hole through the steel plates of the Scotia's hull, and would certainly have sunk the vessel had it not been divided into seven water-tight compartments, any one of which could stand injury without danger to the vessel. It was three hundred miles off Cape Clear that the Scotia encountered this mysterious monster. Arriving after some days' delay at Liverpool, the vessel was put into dock, when the result of the blow from the unknown was thoroughly investigated. So many vessels having recently been lost from unknown causes, the narrow escape of the Scotia directed fresh attention to this ocean mystery, and both in Europe and America there was a strong public agitation for an expedition to be sent out, prepared to do battle with, and if possible destroy, this narwhal of monstrous growth, as many scientists believed it to be.

Now I, Pierre Arronax, assistant professor in the Paris Museum of Natural History, was at this time in America, where I had been engaged on a scientific expedition into the disagreeable region of Nebraska. I had arrived at New York in company of my faithful attendant, Conseil, and was devoting my attention to classifying the numerous specimens I had gathered for the Paris Museum. As I had already some reputation in the scientific world from my book on "The Mysteries of the Great Submarine Grounds," a number of people did me the honour of consulting me concerning the one subject then exercising the minds of all interested in ocean travel.

An expedition was also being fitted out by the United States government, the fastest frigate of the navy, the Abraham Lincoln, under command of Captain Farragut, being in active preparation, with the object of hunting out this wandering monster which had last been seen three weeks before by a San Francisco steamer in the North Pacific Ocean. I was invited to join this expedition as a representative of France, and immediately decided to do so. The faithful Conseil said he would go with me wherever I went, and thus it came about that my sturdy Flemish companion, who had accompanied me on scientific expeditions for ten years was with me again on the eventful cruise which began when we sailed from Brooklyn for the Pacific and the unknown.

The crew of the frigate and the various scientists on board were all eagerness to meet the great cetacean, or sea-unicorn. My own opinion was that it would be found to be a narwhal of monstrous growth, for these creatures are armed with a kind of ivory sword, or tusk, as hard as steel, and sometimes nearly seven feet long by fifteen inches in diameter at the base. Supposing one to exist ten times as large as any that had ever been captured, with its tusk proportionately powerful, it was conceivable that such a gigantic creature, moving at a great rate, could do all the damage that had been reported.

There was among our crew one Ned Land, a gigantic Canadian of forty, who was considered to be the prince of harpooners. Many a whale had received its deathblow from him, and he was eager to flesh his harpoon in this redoubtable cetacean which had terrified the marine world.

Week after week passed without any sign that our quest would be successful. Indeed, after nearly four months had gone, and we had explored the whole of the Japanese and Chinese coasts, the captain reached the point of deciding to return, when one night the voice of Ned Land was heard calling:

"Look out there! The thing we are looking for on our weather-beam!"

At this cry the entire crew rushed towards the harpooner--captain, officers, masters, sailors, and cabin-boys; even the engineers left their engines, and the stokers their furnaces. The frigate was now moving only by her own momentum, for the engines had been stopped.

My heart beat violently. I was sure the harpooner's eyes had not deceived him. Soon we could all see, about two cables' length away, a strange and luminous object, lying some fathoms below the surface, just as described in many of the reports. One of the officers suggested that it was merely an enormous mass of phosphorous particles, but I replied with conviction that the light was electric. And even as I spoke the strange thing began to move towards us!

The captain immediately reversed engines and put on full speed, but the luminous monster gained on us and played round the frigate with frightful rapidity. Its light would go out suddenly and reappear again on the other side of the vessel. It was clearly too great a risk to attack the thing in the dark, and by midnight it disappeared, dying out like a huge glow-worm. It appeared again, about five miles to the windward, at two in the morning, coming up to the surface as if to breathe, and it seemed as though the air rushed into its huge lungs like steam in the vast cylinders of a 2,000 horse-power engine.

"Hum!" said I. "A whale with the strength of a cavalry regiment would be a pretty whale!"

II.--The Attack and After

Everything was in readiness to attack with the coming of the dawn, and Ned Land was calmly sharpening his great harpoon, but by six in the morning the thing had again disappeared, and a thick sea-fog made it impossible to observe its further movements. At eight o'clock, however, the mist had begun to clear, and then, as suddenly as on the night before, Ned Land's voice was heard calling: "The thing on the port-quarter!"

There it was, surely enough, a mile and a half away, now a large black body showing above the waves, and leaving a track of dazzling white as its great tail beat the water into foam.

Moving rapidly, it approached within twenty feet of the frigate. Ned stood ready at the bow to hurl his harpoon, and the monster was now shining again with that strange light which dazzled our eyes. All at once he threw the harpoon. It struck on a hard body.

Instantly the light went out and two enormous water-spouts fell on our deck. A frightful shock followed, and the next moment I found myself struggling in the sea. Though a good swimmer, I kept afloat with some difficulty, and great was my joy when I heard the voice of the faithful Conseil, who had jumped in after me. Much stronger than myself, he helped me to remove some of my clothes, and thus we kept afloat until I fainted.

When I regained consciousness, I found myself on the top of what seemed to be a floating island, and there was Ned Land as well as Conseil. We were on the back of the mysterious monster, and it was made of metal! Presently it began to move, and we were afraid it might go below the surface.

Indeed, it seemed to be on the point of submerging, when Land hammered loudly on the metal plates, and in a moment an opening was made and the three of us were drawn inside by eight masked men. A door banged on us, and for half an hour we lay in utter darkness. Then a brilliant electric light flooded the cabin, a room of about twenty feet by ten, and two men entered. One was tall, pale, and dark-eyed, but magnificently proportioned.

Though we spoke to them in French, German, English, and Latin, they did not seem to understand, while their own speech was unintelligible to us. But they gave us clothes and food. After eating the food, which was strange but delicious, we all lay down and slept the sleep of sheer exhaustion.

Next day the tall man, whom I afterwards came to know as Captain Nemo, master of his marvellous submarine boat, came to me, and, speaking in French, said:

"I have been considering your case, and did not choose to speak till I had weighed it well. You have pursued me to destroy me. I have done with society for reasons of my own. I have decided. I give you choice of life or death. If you grant me a passive obedience, and submit to my consigning you to your cabin for some hours or days, as occasion calls, you are safe. You, Monsieur Arronax, have least cause to complain, for you have written on the life of the sea--I have your book in my library here--and will benefit most when I show you its marvels. I love it. It does not belong to despots."

Clearly we could do nothing but submit, and afterwards Captain Nemo showed me his wondrous craft.

III.--Our Life on the Nautilus

It was indeed a thing of marvels; for, besides the dining-room, it contained a large library of twelve thousand volumes, a drawing-room measuring thirty feet by eighteen, and fifteen high. The walls of this apartment were adorned with masterpieces of the great painters, and beautiful marbles and bronzes. A large piano-organ stood in one corner, and there were glass cases containing the rarest marine curiosities which a naturalist could wish to see. A collection of enormous pearls in a cabinet must have been worth millions, and Captain Nemo told me he had rifled every sea to find them.

The room assigned to me was fitted up with every luxury, yet the captain's own apartment was as simply furnished as a monastic cell, but in it were contained all the ingenious instruments that controlled the movements of the Nautilus, as his submarine was named. The electricity was manufactured by a process of extracting chloride of sodium from the sea-water, but the fresh air necessary for the life of the crew could only be obtained by rising to the surface. The engine-room was sixty-five feet long, and in it was the machinery for producing electricity as well as that for applying the power to the propeller.

The Nautilus, Captain Nemo explained, was capable of a speed of fifty miles an hour, and could be made to sink or rise with precision by flooding or emptying a reservoir. In a box, raised somewhat above the hull and fitted with glass ten inches thick, the steersman had his place, and a powerful electric reflector behind him illumined the sea for half a mile in front.

The submarine also carried a small torpedo-like boat, fitted in a groove along the top, so that it could be entered from the Nautilus by opening a panel, and, after that was closed, the boat could be detached from the submarine, and would then bob upwards to the surface like a cork. The importance of this and its bearing on my story will appear in due time.

It was on a desert island that Captain Nemo had carried out the building of the Nautilus, and from many different places he had secured the various parts of the hull and machinery, in order to maintain secrecy.

Deeply interested as I was in every detail of this extraordinary vessel, and excited beyond measure at the wonders which awaited me in exploring the world beneath the waves, I had still the feeling of a prisoner who dared scarcely hope that liberty might some day be obtained. But when the metal plates which covered the windows of the saloon were rolled back as we sailed under the water, and on each hand I could see a thronging army of many-coloured aquatic creatures swimming around us, attracted by our light, I was in an ecstasy of wonder and delight.

Then days would pass without Captain Nemo putting in an appearance, and none of the crew were ever to be seen. But the Nautilus kept on its journey, which, I learned, took us to the Torres Strait, the Papuan coast, through the Red Sea, through a subterranean strait, under the Isthmus of Suez, to the island of Santorin, the Cretan Archipelago, to the South Pole, on whose sterile wastes Captain Nemo reared his black flag with a white "N" upon it, and through the Gulf Stream.

Of the wonders of the deep, those amazing and beautiful specimens of unknown life that passed before my vision on this strange journey, never before seen by the eye of any naturalist, I cannot here enter into particulars. But it must not be supposed, prisoners though we were, that we never emerged from the interior of the Nautilus.

One of my first surprises, indeed, was to be invited by Captain Nemo to accompany him on a hunting expedition in the marine forest that grew about the base of the little island of Crespo, in the North Pacific Ocean. We were told to make a hearty breakfast, as the jaunt would be a long one. This we did, for we had soon become accustomed to the strange food, every item of which was produced by the sea.

For our submarine excursion we were furnished with diving dresses of seamless india-rubber, fitted on the shoulders with a reservoir of stored air, its tubes opening into the great copper helmet. We even had powerful air-guns and electric bullets, which proved weapons of deadly precision. When inside our diving dresses, we could not move our feet on account of the enormous leaden soles, so that we had to be pushed into a compartment at the bottom of the vessel, and the iron doors secured behind us. Water was then pumped in, and we could feel it rising around us, until the compartment was full, when an outer door opened and we stepped on to the floor of the sea.

For some considerable distance we walked along sands of the most perfect smoothness, and then had to make our way over slimy rocks and treacherous masses of seaweed, before we reached the fairy-like forest under the sea, where all the branches of the marvellous growths ascended perpendicularly.

It was indeed a rare experience for me, who had written "The Mysteries of the Great Submarine Grounds," thus to see, at first hand, the life which I had only been able to speculate on before. We captured many rare specimens, and shot a fine sea-otter, the only known quadruped that inhabits the rocky depths of the Pacific. It was five feet long, and its skin was worth a hundred pounds.

IV.--Captain Nemo and the Avenger

So constantly was I enchanted with the wonders of our journey that day succeeded day without my taking note of them; but Captain Nemo, for all his kindness, still remained as mysterious as the Sphinx. One day he became violently agitated after looking through the glass at a point indicated by his lieutenant, and I and my companions were immediately imprisoned in darkness, as we had been when first taken into the Nautilus. When I awoke next morning the captain took me to see a wounded Englishman whose head had been shattered, and on my stating that the man could not live for two hours, the dark eyes of the captain seemed to fill with tears. I thought that night I heard sounds of a funeral hymn, and next day I was taken to a submarine forest of coral, where they buried the man. This was really a little cemetery beneath the sea, as I gathered from the coral cross which had been erected there. Ned Land, unlike me, was soon satisfied with what he had seen of the submarine world, and had now but one thought of escape. We were sailing up the eastern coast of South America, and by May 17 were some five hundred miles from Heart's Content. There I saw, at a depth of more than fifteen hundred fathoms, the great electric cable lying at the bottom of the ocean. The restlessness of poor Ned Land was at its height when he had a glimpse of the American shore; but Captain Nemo bent his course towards Ireland, and then southward, passing within sight of Land's End on May 30.

All the next day the vessel seemed to be making a series of circular movements, in some endeavour to locate a particular spot, and the captain was gloomier than I had ever seen him, having no word for me. The following day, which was beautifully clear, we could make out, some eight miles to the eastward, a large steam vessel flying no flag. Suddenly, after using his sextant, the captain exclaimed: "It is here!"

Presently the Nautilus sank to the bottom of the sea. When at rest the lights were put out and the sliding panels opened. We could now see on our starboard the remains of a sunken vessel, so encrusted with shells that it must have lain there a great many years. As I stood there wondering what might be Captain Nemo's reason for his manoeuvres, he came to my side and, speaking slowly, said:

"That was the Marseillais, launched in 1772. It carried seventy-four guns, and fought gallantly against the Preston, was in action again at the siege of Granada, and in Chesapeake Bay. Then in 1794 the French Republic changed the vessel's name, and it joined a squadron at Brest to escort a cargo of corn coming from America. The squadron fell in with an English man-o'-war, and seventy-two years ago to this very day, on this very spot, after fighting heroically, until its masts were shot away, its hold full of water, and a third of its crew disabled, this vessel preferred sinking, with its 356 sailors, to surrendering. Nailing its colours to the mast, it sank beneath the waves to the cry of 'Long live the Republic!'"

"The Avenger!" I exclaimed.

"Yes, the Avenger. A good name!" said the captain, with a strange seriousness, as he crossed his arms.

I was deeply impressed with his whole bearing while he recalled these facts. It was clearly no common spite against his fellow-men that had shut up Captain Nemo and his crew in the Nautilus.

Already we were ascending, fast leaving the grave of the old Avenger. When we had reached the surface we could see the other vessel steaming towards us. A low boom greeted the Nautilus as its upper part showed above the water. Ned Land, aflame once more with hope of escape, made out the vessel to be a two-decker ram, but she showed no flag at her mizzen. It seemed for a moment there might just be some chance of escape for us three prisoners, and Ned declared he would jump into the sea if the man-o'-war came within a mile of us. Just then another gun boomed out. She was firing at us.

It flashed across my mind at that moment that as those on board the Abraham Lincoln, having once seen the effect of Ned Land's harpoon when it struck the Nautilus, could not but have concluded their enemy was no monster of the deep--though indeed a monster of man's contriving--the warships of all nations would now be on the look-out for the Nautilus, and we on board it could scarcely hope for mercy.

The shot rattled about us as we stood on the opened upper deck of the submarine, and Ned Land, in a mad moment, waved his handkerchief to the enemy, only to be instantly felled by the iron hand of Captain Nemo. Then, frightfully pale, the captain turned towards the approaching man-o'-war, and, in a voice terrible to hear, cried: "Ah, ship of an accursed nation, you know who I am! I do not need to see your colours to know you. Look, and see mine!"

So saying, he unfurled his black flag, and then sternly bade us go below, just as a shell struck the Nautilus, and rebounded into the sea. "You have seen the attack," he said calmly. "I shall sink yonder ship, but not here--no, not here. Her ruins shall not mingle with those of the Avenger."

V.--The Doom of the Oppressor

Having no choice but to obey, we all went below, and the propeller of the Nautilus was soon lashing the water into creamy foam, taking us beyond the range of fire. I held my peace for a time, but, after some deliberation, ventured to go up in the hope of dissuading Captain Nemo from more destruction. His vessel was now coursing round the other ship like a wild beast manoeuvring to attack its prey, and I had scarcely spoken when the captain turned on me fiercely, commanding silence.

"Here I am the law and the judge," he said, almost in a shriek. "There is the oppressor. Through him I have lost all that I have loved, cherished, and venerated--country, wife, children, father, and mother. I saw all perish! All that I hate is represented by that ship! Not another word!"

In the face of such fierce hatred it was useless to try persuasion. I and my companions resolved to attempt escape when the Nautilus made the attack. At six the next morning, being the second day of June, the two vessels were less than a mile and a half apart. Suddenly, as the three of us were preparing to rush on deck and jump overboard, the upper panel closed sharply. Our chance was gone!

Next moment the noise of the water rushing into the reservoir indicated that we were sinking, and in a moment more the machinery throbbed at its greatest speed as the Nautilus shot forward under the sea. Then the whole submarine trembled; there was a shock, and then a rending jar above. The terror of the seas had cut its way through the other vessel like a needle through sailcloth! Horror-stricken, I rushed into the saloon and found Captain Nemo, mute and gloomy, standing by the port panel, which had instantly been slid back, watching with a terrible satisfaction the injured vessel sinking with all its crew beneath the waves. The Nautilus sank with it, so that its terrible captain might lose nothing of the fascinating horror presented by the spectacle of his victims descending to their ocean grave. When we had seen all, he went to his room, and, following him, I saw on the wall the portraits of a woman, still young, and two little children. He looked at them, and as he stretched his arms toward them the fierce expression of hate died away from his face. He sank down on his knees, and burst into deep sobs. I felt a strange horror for this man, who, though he might have suffered terribly, had no right to exact so terrible a vengeance.

The Nautilus was now making its top speed, and the instruments indicated a northerly direction. Whither was it flying? That night we covered two hundred leagues of the Atlantic. Onward we kept our course, the speed never lessening, and for fifteen or twenty days, during which we prisoners never saw the captain or his lieutenant, this headlong race continued.

VI.--Our Escape from the Nautilus

Poor Ned Land was in despair, and Conseil and I had to watch him carefully lest he might kill himself. One morning he said to me:

"We are going to fly to-night. I have taken the reckoning, and make out that twenty miles or so to the east is land. I have got a little food and water, and Conseil and I will be near the opening into the small boat at ten. Meet us there. If we do not escape, they sha'n't take me alive."

"I will go with you," I said. "At least we can die together."

Wishing to verify the direction of the Nautilus, I went to the saloon. We were going N.N.E. with frightful speed at a depth of twenty-five fathoms. I took a last look at all the natural marvels and art treasures collected in this strange museum, a collection doomed to perish in the depths of the ocean with the man who had made it. Back in my own room I donned my sea garments, and placed all my notes carefully about my clothing. My heart was beating so loudly that I feared my agitation might betray me if I met Captain Nemo. I decided it was best to lie down on my bed in the hope of calming my nerves, and thus to pass the time till the hour determined upon for our attempt. Ten o'clock was on the point of striking, when I heard Captain Nemo playing a weird and sad melody, and I was struck with the sudden terror of having to pass through the saloon while he was there. I must make the attempt, and softly I crept to the door of the saloon and softly opened it. Captain Nemo was still playing his subdued melody; but the room was in darkness, and slowly I made my way across it to the library door. I had almost opened this when a sigh from him made me pause.

He had risen from the organ, and, as some rays of light were now admitted from the library, I could see him coming toward me with folded arms, gliding like a ghost rather than walking. His breast heaved with sobs, and I heard him murmur these words, the last of his I heard: "Enough! O God, enough!" Was it remorse escaping thus from the conscience of this mysterious being?

Had I not seen it begin with the tears in his eyes at the death of the Englishman whom he had buried in the coral cemetery, and who was doubtless a victim of one of his acts of destruction?

Now rendered desperate, I rushed into the library, up the central staircase, and so gained the opening to the boat where my companions were awaiting me. Quickly the panel through which we went was shut and bolted by means of a wrench which Ned Land had secured. The opening of the boat was also quickly fastened after we had got inside, and the harpooner had begun to undo from the inside the screws that still fastened the boat to the Nautilus. Suddenly a great noise was heard within the submarine. We thought we had been discovered, and were prepared to die defending ourselves. Ned Land stopped his work for the moment, and the noise grew louder. It was a terrible word, twenty times repeated, that we heard. "The Maelstrom! The Maelstrom!" was what they were crying. Was it to this, then, that the Nautilus had been driven, by accident or design, with such headlong speed? We heard a roaring noise, and could feel ourselves whirled in spiral circles. The steel muscles of the submarine were cracking, and at times in the awful churning of the whirlpool it seemed to stand on end. "We must hold on," cried Land, "and we may be saved if we can stick to the Nautilus."

His anxiety now was to make fast the screws that bound the boat to the submarine, but he had scarcely finished speaking when, with a great crash, the bolts gave way, and the boat shot up, released from the larger vessel, into the midst of the whirlpool. My head struck on its iron framework and with the violent shock I lost all consciousness.

How we escaped from that hideous gulf, where even whales of mighty strength have been tossed and battered to death, none of us will ever know! But I was in a fisherman's hut on the Lofoden Isles when I regained consciousness. My two companions were by my side, safe and sound, and we all shook hands heartily. There we had to wait for the steamer that runs twice a month to Cape North, and in the interval I occupied myself revising this record of our incredible expedition in an element previously considered inaccessible to man, but to which progress will one day open up a way.

I may be believed or not, but I know that I have made a journey of twenty thousand leagues under the sea.

Does the Nautilus still exist? Is Captain Nemo still alive? Was that awful night in the Maelstrom his last, or is he still pursuing a terrible vengeance? Will the confessions of his life, which he told me he had written, and which the last survivor of his fellow-exiles was to cast into the sea in an air-tight case, ever be found?

This I know, that only two men could have a right to answer the question asked in the Ecclesiastes three thousand years ago: "That which is far off and exceeding deep, who can find it out?" These two men are Captain Nemo and I.


HORACE WALPOLE

Castle of Otranto

Horace Walpole, the third son of Sir Robert Walpole, was born in 1717. After finishing his education at Eton and Cambridge, he travelled abroad for some years, principally in Italy, where he seems to have acquired those tastes for which he afterwards became so well known. He returned to England in 1741, and took his seat in parliament, but he had no taste for politics, and six years later he purchased a piece of ground near Twickenham, and made the principal occupation of his life the erection and decoration of his famous mansion--"Strawberry. Hill." "The Castle of Otranto" appeared in 1764. It was described as a "Gothic Story translated by William Marshal Gent, from the original Italian of Onuphrio Muralto, Canon of the Church of St. Nicholas at Otranto." But, emboldened by the success of the work, Walpole in the second edition acknowledged that he himself was the author. The theme of the story was suggested to him by a dream, of which he said, "All I could recover was that I thought myself in an ancient castle, and that on the uppermost baluster of a great staircase I saw a gigantic hand in armour. In the evening I sat down and began to write without knowing in the least what I intended to relate." The tale was the precursor of a whole series of Gothic romances, and for fifty years afterwards English readers were afforded an unfailing supply of the supernatural and the horrible. A more important if less direct achievement of Walpole's was that by "The Castle of Otranto" he heralded the romantic revival that culminated in the masterpieces of Scott. Walpole died on March 2, 1797.

I.--The Helmet

Manfred, Prince of Otranto, had contracted a marriage for his son Conrad with the Marquis of Vicenza's daughter, Isabella. Young Conrad's birthday was fixed for his espousal, and Manfred's impatience for this ceremonial was marked by everyone. His tenants and subjects attributed this haste to the Prince's dread of seeing accomplished an ancient prophecy that the Castle and lordship of Otranto should pass from the present family whenever the real owner should be grown too large to inhabit it. It was difficult to make any sense of this prophecy; yet this mystery did not make the populace adhere the less to their opinion.

On the wedding-day, when the company was assembled in the chapel of the castle, Conrad himself was missing. Manfred, impatient of the least delay, sent an attendant to summon the young Prince. In less than a minute the attendant came back breathless, in a frantic manner, and foaming at the mouth. At last, after repeated questions, he cried out, "Oh! the helmet! the helmet!" Manfred and most of the company ran out into the court, from whence was heard a confused noise of shrieks, horror, and surprise.

What a sight for a father's eyes! Manfred beheld his child dashed to pieces, and almost buried under an enormous helmet, an hundred times more large than any casque ever made for human being, and shaded with a proportionable quantity of black feathers.

The horror of the spectacle, and the tremendous phenomenon before him, took away the Prince's speech. Yet his silence lasted longer than even grief could occasion; and when he spoke, it was observed that his first words were, "Take care of the Lady Isabella."

Manfred then touched and examined the fatal casque, and inquired whether any man knew from whence it could have come? Nobody could give him the least information. At length, however, a young peasant from a neighbouring village observed that the miraculous helmet was exactly like that on the figure in black marble of Alfonso the Good, one of their former Princes, in the Church of St. Nicholas.

"Villain!" cried Manfred in a tempest of rage, "how darest thou utter such treason!"

At this moment there came news from the church that the helmet was missing from Alfonso's statue. Manfred rushed frantically on the young peasant, crying, "Sorcerer! 'tis thou hast done this!" Coming to himself, he gravely declared that the young man was a necromancer, and ordered that he should be kept prisoner under the helmet itself till the church should take cognisance of the affair.

Conrad's mother, the Princess Hippolita, had been carried fainting to her apartments, accompanied by her daughter Matilda, who smothered her own grief in order to assist her afflicted parent, and by Isabella. To his wife and daughter Manfred that day paid no attention; but as the ladies sat together sorrowing at night, a servant of Manfred's arrived and told Isabella that his lord demanded to speak with her.

"I sent for you on a matter of great moment," said he. "Isabella, the line of Manfred calls for numerous supports; and since I cannot give you my son, I offer you myself."

"Heavens!" cried Isabella. "You, my lord! the husband of the virtuous and tender Hippolita!"

"Name not that woman to me!" said Manfred imperiously. "I shall divorce her. My fate depends on having sons."

He seized the hand of Isabella, who shrieked and started from him. At that instant the portrait of his grandfather, which hung in the apartment, uttered a deep sigh and descended from its panel. Manfred in his distraction released Isabella, who had not seen the portrait's movement, and who made towards the door. The spectre marched sedately, but dejectedly, into a chamber on the right hand. Manfred would have followed; but the door was clapped to with violence, nor could he with all his force re-open it.

As Isabella took flight, she recollected a subterraneous passage, which led from the vaults of the castle to the church of St. Nicholas. She determined, if no other means of deliverance offered, to shut herself up forever among the holy virgins, whose convent was contiguous to the cathedral. In this resolution, she seized a lamp that burned at the foot of the staircase, and hurried towards the secret passage.

The lower part of the castle was hollowed into several intricate cloisters, and it was not easy for one under so much anxiety to find the door that opened into the cavern. When in that long labyrinth of darkness a gust of wind extinguished her lamp, words cannot paint the horror of her situation. It gave her a momentary relief to perceive a ray of moonshine gleam from the roof of the vault, which seemed to be fallen in; but as she advanced, she discerned a human form standing close against the wall.

She shrieked, believing it to be the ghost of Conrad. But the figure asked her, in a submissive voice, not to be alarmed. "Sir, whoever you are," she replied, "assist me to escape from this fatal castle."

"Alas!" said the stranger, "what can I do to assist you?"

"Oh!" said Isabella, "help me but to find the trap-door that is hereabout; it is the greatest service you can do me."

With a little searching they found the trap-door; the stranger lifted it, and Isabella descended to some stone steps below. The stranger was about to follow, when the voice of Manfred was heard in the distance. "Make haste or we are ruined!" cried Isabella. But the door slipped out of his hands and fell with a crash. Instantly Manfred, who had heard the noise, hastened up, accompanied by servants with torches.

"It must be Isabella escaping by the subterraneous passage," he cried.

What was his astonishment when the light discovered to him the young peasant whom he had thought confined under the helmet.

"Traitor, how camest thou here?" said Manfred.

"I am no traitor," replied the young man, "and that is how I came here."

He pointed upwards, and Manfred perceived that one of the cheeks of the casque had broken through the pavement of the court, as his servants had let it fall over the peasant, and had made a gap through which the young man had escaped.

"And what noise was that which I heard?" asked Manfred.

"Providence led me to the trap-door," answered the peasant, "but I let it fall."

Manfred removed him to confinement in the castle, and continued his vain search for Isabella.

II.--Father Jerome

On the following morning Manfred went to Hippolita's apartment, to inquire if she knew aught of Isabella. While he was questioning her, word was brought that Father Jerome demanded to speak with him. Manfred ordered him to be admitted.

"Is your business with me or the Princess?" asked Manfred.

"With both," replied the holy man. "The lady Isabella--"

"What of her?" interrupted Manfred eagerly.

--"Is at St. Nicholas altar," replied Jerome.

"That is no business of Hippolita," said Manfred with confusion; "let us retire to my chamber."

"No, my lord," said Jerome firmly; "my commission is to both, and in the presence of both I shall deliver it. But first I must interrogate the Princess, whether she is acquainted with the cause of the lady Isabella's flight."

"No, on my soul," said Hippolita.

"Father," interrupted Manfred, "I am the sovereign here, and will allow no meddling priest to interfere in my domestic affairs."

"My lord," said the friar, "I know my duty, and am the minister of a mightier Prince than Manfred."

Manfred trembled with rage and shame, but Hippolita intervened. "Holy father," said she, "it is my duty to hear nothing that it pleases not my lord I should hear. Attend the Prince to his chamber; I will retire to my oratory."

"Excellent woman!" said the friar. "My lord, I attend your pleasure."

As soon as they had entered the Prince's apartments, Manfred began. "I perceive that Isabella has acquainted you with my purpose. Now hear my resolve. Urgent reasons of state demand that I should have a son. It is in vain to expect an heir from Hippolita. I have made choice of Isabella, and you must bring her back."

"Prince," replied Jerome, "the injuries of the virtuous Hippolita have mounted to the throne of pity. By me thou art reprimanded for thy intention of repudiating her; by me thou art warned not to pursue thy wicked design on Isabella."

"Father, you mistake me," said the Prince. "You know not the bitterest of my pangs. I have had scruples on the legality of our union; Hippolita is related to me in the fourth degree. It is true, we had a dispensation. But I have been informed that she had been contracted to another. Ease my conscience of this burden by dissolving our marriage."

For some time the holy man remained absorbed in thought. At length, conceiving some hopes from delay, he professed to be struck with the Prince's scruples. Manfred was overjoyed at this apparent change.

"Since we now understand one another," resumed the Prince, "I expect that you will satisfy me on one point. Who is the youth that I found in the vault? He must have been privy to Isabella's flight. Is he her lover?"

The friar conceived it might not be amiss to sow the seeds of jealousy in Manfred's mind, so that he might be prejudiced against Isabella, or have his attention diverted to a wrong scent. With this unhappy policy, he answered in a manner to confirm Manfred's fears.

"I will fathom to the bottom of this intrigue," cried Manfred in a rage; and, quitting Jerome abruptly, he hastened to the great hall, and ordered the peasant to be brought before him.

The young man, finding that his share in Isabella's flight had been discovered, boldly told the truth of his adventure in the vault.

"And on a silly girl's report," said Manfred, "thou didst hazard my displeasure!"

"I fear no man's displeasure," said the peasant, "when a woman in distress puts herself under my protection."

Matilda was passing through a latticed gallery at the upper end of the hall, when her attention was drawn to the prisoner. The gallantry of his last reply interested her in his favour. His person was noble, handsome, and commanding; but his countenance soon engrossed her whole care.

"Heavens!" she said to herself softly, "is he not the exact resemblance of Alfonso's picture?"

"Take him to the court-yard, and sever his head from his body!" was the sentence of Manfred.

Matilda fainted. Father Jerome, horrified at the catastrophe his imprudence had occasioned, begged for the prisoner's life. But the undaunted youth received the sentence with courage and resignation. In the court-yard he unbuttoned his collar, and knelt down to his prayers. As he stooped, his shirt slipped down below his shoulder and disclosed the mark of a bloody arrow.

"Gracious heavens!" cried Jerome, "it is my child! my Theodore!"

"What may this mean? how can it be thy son?" said Manfred.

"Spare him, good Prince! He is my lawful son, born to me when I was Count of Falconara; Sicily can boast of few houses more ancient--is it possible my lord can refuse a father the life of his long-lost child?"

"Return to thy convent," answered Manfred after a pause; "conduct the Princess hither; obey me in what else thou knowest; and I promise thee the life of thy son."

"Rather let me die a thousand deaths!" cried Theodore.

Ere Manfred could reply, a brazen trumpet, which hung without the gate of the castle, was suddenly sounded.

III.--The Knight of the Sword

It was announced that a herald sought to speak with Manfred, who ordered him to be admitted.

"I came," said the herald, "from the renowned and invincible Knight of the Gigantic Sabre. In the name of his lord, Frederic, Marquis of Vicenza, he demands the Lady Isabella, daughter of that Prince whom thou hast barely got into thy power; and he requires thee to resign the principality of Otranto, which thou hast usurped from the said Lord Frederic, the nearest of blood to the last rightful lord, Alfonso the Good. If thou dost not instantly comply with these just demands, he defies thee to single combat to the last extremity."

Injurious as this challenge was, Manfred reflected that it was not his interest to provoke the Marquis. He knew how well founded the claim of Frederic was. Frederic's ancestors had assumed the style of Princes of Otranto; but Manfred's family had been too powerful for the house of Vicenza to dispossess them. Frederic had taken the cross and gone to the Holy Land, where he was wounded, made prisoner, and reported to be dead. Manfred had bribed Isabella's guardians to deliver her up to him as a bride for Conrad, hoping to unite the claims of the two houses.

"Herald," said Manfred, "tell thy master that ere we liquidate our differences with the sword, I would hold converse with him. Bid him welcome to the castle."

In a few minutes the cavalcade arrived. Pages and trumpeters were followed by foot-guards; then came knights with their squires; then an hundred gentlemen bearing an enormous sword, and seeming to faint under its weight; then the knight himself, in complete armour, his face entirely concealed by his visor.

As the knight entered, the plumes on the enchanted helmet in the court-yard were tempestuously agitated, and nodded thrice. The knight gazed on the casque, dismounted, and kneeling down, seemed to pray inwardly for some minutes.

Manfred, during the feast that followed, discoursed to his guests of his claim to Otranto through the will of Alfonso bequeathing his estates to Don Ricardo, Manfred's grandfather, in consideration of faithful services; and he subtly suggested his plan of uniting the houses by divorcing Hippolita and marrying Isabella. But the knight and his companions would not reveal their countenances, and, although they occasionally made gestures of dissent, they hardly ever spoke.

Manfred's discourse was interrupted by the news that Isabella had fled from the convent. The knight was not less disturbed at this than Manfred himself, and, rushing to the door, summoned his attendants to search for her. Manfred also gave orders that she should be found, hoping to secure her for himself and prevent her from falling into the hands of the strangers.

When the company had quitted the castle, Matilda bethought herself of Theodore, who had been placed hastily in confinement. His guards had been by accident included in the general order that had been given by Manfred for the pursuit of Isabella. Matilda stole to his prison, and unbolted the door.

"Fly!" she said; "the doors of thy prison are open; and may the angels of heaven direct thy course!"

"Thou art surely one of these angels!" said the enraptured Theodore. "But dost thou not neglect thine own safety in setting me free?"

"Nay," she answered, "I am Manfred's daughter, but no dangers await me."

"Is it possible? can Manfred's blood feel holy pity?"

"Hasten; I tremble to see thee abide here." Matilda took him to the armoury, and equipped him with a complete suit.

"Yonder behind that forest," she said, "is a chain of rocks, hollowed into caverns that reach the sea-coast. Lie concealed there until thou canst make signs to some vessel to take thee off."

Theodore flung himself at her feet, kissed her hand, vowed to get himself knighted, and entreated her permission to swear himself her knight. But Matilda bade him hasten away, and thus made end of an interview in which both had tasted for the first time the passion of love.

When Theodore had reached the caves and was roving amongst them, he heard steps retreating before him and an imperfect rustling sound. He gave pursuit, and caught a breathless woman who besought him not to deliver her up to Manfred.

"No, Lady Isabella," cried he, "I have once already delivered thee from his tyranny--"

"Art thou the generous unknown whom I met in the vault?" she interrupted. "Surely thou art my guardian angel."

A cry was heard, "Isabella! what ho! Isabella!" The Knight of the Sword approached, and Theodore bade him advance at his peril. Each took the other for an emissary of Manfred; they rushed upon each other, and after a furious combat the knight was wounded and disarmed.

Some of Manfred's domestics, running up, informed Theodore that the knight was an enemy of Manfred; and Theodore, touched with compunction, helped to staunch his wounds. When the knight recovered his speech, he asked faintly for Isabella.

Theodore flew to her, told her of his mistake, and brought her to the knight, who seemed to be dying.

"Isabella," said the knight, struggling for utterance, "thou--seest--thy father!"

"Oh, amazement! horror!" cried Isabella. "My father!"

"Yes, I am Frederic, thy father--I came to deliver thee--it may not be--"

He could say no more, and he was carried back to the castle, whither Isabella accompanied him, Theodore vowing to protect her from Manfred.

IV.--The Prophecy Fulfilled

It was found by the surgeons that none of Frederic's wounds were mortal, and when he was recovering he informed Hippolita of his story. While a prisoner with the infidels he had dreamed that his daughter was in danger of dreadful misfortunes, and that if he repaired to a wood near Joppa he would learn more. On being ransomed he instantly set out for the wood, where he found in a cave a hermit on the point of death, who with his last words bade him dig under the seventh tree on the left of the cave. When Frederic and his attendants dug according to the direction, they found an enormous sabre--the very weapon that was now in the court of the castle--with these lines written on the blade.

Where'er a casque that suits this sword is found,
With perils is thy daughter compass'd round;
Alfonso's blood alone can save the maid,
And quiet a long restless Prince's shade.

Hearing on his return that Isabella was at Otranto in the hands of Manfred, Frederic had travelled thither, and on arriving had beheld the miraculous casque that fulfilled the lines on the sword-blade.

Manfred, on entering the castle after the search, beheld Theodore in his armour. He started in an agony of terror and amazement.

"Ha!" he cried, "thou dreadful spectre, what art thou?"

"My dearest lord," said Hippolita, clasping him in her arms, "what is it you see?"

"What, is not that Alfonso? Dost thou not see him?"

"This, my lord," said Hippolita, "is Theodore."

"Theodore!" said Manfred, striking his forehead. "But how comes he here?"

"I believe," answered Hippolita, "he went in search of Isabella."

"Isabella!" cried Manfred, relapsing into jealous rage. "Has this youth been brought into my castle to insult me?"

"My lord," said Theodore, "is it insolence to surrender myself thus to your highness's pleasure? Behold my bosom," he continued, laying his sword at Manfred's feet. "Strike, my lord, if you suspect that a disloyal thought is lodged there."

Even Manfred was touched by these words. "Rise," said he, "thy life is not my present purpose."

Manfred now devised a scheme for uniting the two houses by proposing the marriage of Matilda to Frederic, while he himself should divorce Hippolita and marry Isabella. When he broke his purpose to Frederic, that weak Prince, who had been struck with the charms of Matilda, listened but too eagerly to the offer. But he wished to find the disposition of Hippolita in the affair, and sought her apartments. He found them empty; and concluding that she was in her oratory, he passed on. On entering, he saw a person kneeling before the altar; not a woman, but one in a long woollen weed, whose back was towards him.

"Reverend father," said Frederic, meaning to excuse his interruption, "I sought the lady Hippolita."

"Hippolita!" replied a hollow voice; and then the figure, turning slowly round, discovered to Frederic the fleshless jaws and empty sockets of a skeleton, wrapped in a hermit's cowl.

"Angels of grace, protect me!" cried Frederic, recoiling.

"Deserve their protection!" said the spectre. "Remember the wood of Joppa!"

"Art thou that holy hermit?" asked Frederic, trembling. "What is thy errand to me?"

"Forget Matilda!" said the apparition--and vanished.

For some minutes Frederic remained motionless, his blood frozen in his veins. Then, falling before the altar, he besought the intercession of every saint for pardon.

On that night Matilda, whose passion for Theodore had increased, and who abhorred her father's purpose of marrying her to Frederic, had by chance met her lover as he was kneeling at the tomb of Alfonso in the great church. Manfred was told by the domestic that Theodore and some lady from the castle were in private conference at the tomb. Concluding in his jealousy that the lady was Isabella, he hastened secretly to the church.

The first sounds he could distinguish in the darkness were, "Does it, alas! depend on me? Manfred will never permit our union--"

"No, this shall prevent it!" cried the tyrant, plunging his dagger into the bosom of the woman that spoke.

"Inhuman monster!" cried Theodore, rushing on him.

"Stop! stop!" cried Matilda, "it is my father!"

Manfred, waking as from a trance, beat his breast and twisted his hands in his locks. Theodore's cries quickly drew some monks to his aid, among them Father Jerome.

"Now, tyrant," said Jerome, "behold the completion of woe fulfilled on thy impious head!"

"Cruel man!" cried Matilda, "to aggravate the woes of a parent!"

"Oh, Matilda," said Manfred, "I took thee for Isabella. Oh, canst thou forgive the blindness of my rage?"

"I can, and do," answered Matilda, "and may heaven confirm it!"

Matilda was carried back to the castle; and Hippolita, when she saw the afflicted procession, ran weeping to her daughter, whose hands the agonized Theodore covered with a thousand kisses.

"I would say something more," said Matilda, struggling, "but it may not be. Isabella--Theodore--for my sake--oh!" She expired.

A clap of thunder at that instant shook the castle to its foundations; the earth rocked, and the clank of more than mortal armour was heard behind. The walls of the castle were thrown down with a mighty force, and the form of Alfonso, dilated to an immense magnitude, appeared in the centre of the ruins. "Behold in Theodore the true heir of Alfonso!" said the vision; and having pronounced these words, accompanied by a clap of thunder, it ascended solemnly towards heaven, where, the clouds parting asunder, the form of St. Nicholas was seen, and receiving Alfonso's shade, they were soon wrapt from mortal eyes in a blaze of glory.

The beholders fell prostrate on their faces, acknowledging the divine will. Manfred at last spoke.

"My story has drawn down these judgements," he said; "let my confession atone. Alfonso died by poison. A fictitious will declared my grandfather Ricardo his heir. Ricardo's crimes have been visited upon my head. St. Nicholas promised him in a dream that his posterity should reign in Otranto until the rightful owner should be grown too large to inhabit the castle, and as long as male descendants of Ricardo should live to enjoy it. Alas! nor male nor female, except myself, remains of all his wretched race! How this young man can be Alfonso's heir, I know not--yet I do not doubt it."

"What remains, it is my part to declare," said Jerome. "When Alfonso was journeying to the Holy Land, he loved and wedded a fair Sicilian maiden. Deeming this incongruous with his holy vow of arms, he concealed their nuptials. During his absence, his wife was delivered of a daughter; and straightway afterwards she heard of her lord's death in the Holy Land and Ricardo's succession. The daughter was married to me. My son Theodore has told me that he was captured and enslaved by corsairs, and, on his release, found that my castle was burnt to the ground, and that I was retired into religion, but where no man could inform him. Destitute and friendless, he wandered into this province, where he has supported himself by the labour of his hands."

On the next morning Manfred signed his abdication of the principality, with the approbation of Hippolita, and each took on them the habit of religion. Frederic offered his daughter to the new Prince. But Theodore's grief was too fresh to admit the thought of another love, and it was not until after frequent discourses with Isabella of his dear Matilda that he was persuaded he could know no happiness but in the society of one with whom he could for ever indulge the melancholy that had taken possession of his soul.


ÉMILE ZOLA

Drink

The early days of Émile Edouard Charles Antoine Zola were sordid and unromantic. He was born at Paris, on April 2, 1840, his father dying while the son was quite young, and leaving his family no legacy except a lawsuit against the municipality of the town of Aix. And it was at Aix, which figures in many of his novels under the name of "Plassans," that Zola received the first part of his education. Later he went to Paris and Marseilles, but failed to get his degree. A period of terrible poverty followed, Zola existing as best he might in a garret at Paris, and employing his hours in writing. Towards the beginning of 1862 he obtained a position as clerk in a publishing house at a salary of a pound a week. Two years after his first novel, "Contes à Ninon," appeared. The book was only moderately successful, but attracted sufficient attention to justify Zola in abandoning clerking, and taking seriously to literature. There followed a long series of powerful and realistic studies of social life, each of unquestioned ability, but failing to win the popularity which was later accorded to Zola's works. The turning-point came in 1877 with the publication of "Drink" ("L'Assommoir"). Its success was extraordinary, and its author found himself the most widely-read writer in France. The story belongs to the "realistic" school, and, although objections may be raised against its nauseating details, there is no mistaking its graphic power and truth to a certain phase of life. Zola was accidentally suffocated by charcoal fumes on September 29, 1902.

I.--The Lodgers of the Hôtel Boncoeur

Gervaise had waited up for Lantier until two in the morning, exposed in a thin loose jacket to the night air at the window. Then, chilled and drowsy, she had thrown herself across the bed, bathed in tears. For a week he had not appeared till late, alleging that he had been in search of work. This evening she thought she had seen him enter a dancing-hall opposite, and, five or six paces behind, little Adèle, a burnisher.

Towards five o'clock Gervaise awoke, stiff and sore. Seated on the edge of the bed, her eyes veiled in tears, she glanced round the wretched room, furnished with a chest of drawers, three chairs and a little greasy table on which stood a broken water-jug. On the mantelpiece was a bundle of pawn tickets. It was the best room of the lodging house, the Hôtel Boncoeur, in the Boulevard de la Chapelle.

The two children were sleeping side by side. Claude was eight years of age, while Étienne was only four. The bedewed gaze of their mother rested upon them and she burst into a fresh fit of sobbing. Then she returned to the window and searched the distant pavements with her eyes.

About eight Lantier returned. He was a young fellow of twenty-six, a short, dark, and handsome Provençal. He pushed her aside, and when she upbraided him, shook her violently, and then sent her out to pawn a few ragged, soiled garments. When she returned with a five-franc-piece he slipped it into his pocket and lay down on the bed and appeared to fall asleep. Reassured by his regular breathing, she gathered together a bundle of dirty clothes and went out to a wash-house near by.

Madame Boche, the doorkeeper of the Hôtel Boncoeur, had kept a place for her, and immediately started talking, without leaving off her work.

"No, we're not married" said Gervaise presently. "Lantier isn't so nice that one should care to be his wife. We have lived together eight years. In the country he was very good to me, but his mother died last year and left him seventeen hundred francs. He would come to Paris, and since then I don't know what to make of him. He's ambitious and a spendthrift, and at the end of two months we came to the Hôtel Boncoeur."

The gossip continued and Gervaise had nearly finished when she recognised, a few tubs away, the tall Virginie, her supposed rival in the affections of Lantier, and the sister of Adèle. Suddenly some laughter arose at the door of the wash-house and Claude and Etienne ran to Gervaise through the puddles. Claude had the key of the room on his finger, and he exclaimed in his clear voice, "Papa's gone. He jumped off the bed, put all the things in the box and carried it down to a cab. He's gone."

Gervaise rose to her feet, ghastly pale, unable to cry.

"Come, my dear," murmured Madame Boche.

"If you but knew," she said at length. "He sent me this morning to pawn the last of my things so that he could pay the cab." And she burst out crying. Then, seeing the tall Virginie, with other women, staring at her, a mad rage seized her, and noticing a bucket of water, she threw its contents with all her might. A fierce quarrel ensued, ending in a hand-to-hand conflict with flowing blood and torn garments. When her rival was driven to flight Gervaise returned to her deserted lodgings. Her tears again took possession of her. Lantier had forgotten nothing. Even a little hand-glass and the packet of pawn tickets were gone.

II.--Gervaise and Coupeau

About three weeks later, at half-past eleven one beautiful day of sunshine, Gervaise and Coupeau, the zinc-worker, were partaking together of plums preserved in brandy at the "Assommoir" kept by old Colombe. Coupeau, who had been smoking a cigarette on the pavement, had prevailed on her to go inside as she crossed the road returning from taking home a customer's washing; and her large square laundress's basket was on the floor beside her, behind the little zinc-covered table.

Coupeau was making a fresh cigarette. He was very clean in a cap and a short blue linen blouse, laughing and showing his white teeth. With a projecting under jaw, and slightly snub nose, he had yet handsome chestnut eyes, and the face of a jolly dog, and a good fellow. His coarse, curly hair stood erect. His skin still preserved the softness of his twenty-six years. Opposite to him, Gervaise, in a frock of black Orleans stuff, and bareheaded, was finishing her plum, which she held by the stalk between the tips of her fingers.

The zinc-worker, having lit his cigarette, placed his elbows on the table, and said, "Then it's to be 'No,' is it?"

"Oh, most decidedly 'No,' Monsieur Coupeau," she replied. "You'll find someone else prettier than I am who won't have two monkeys to drag about with her."

But she did not repulse him entirely, and as, in his urgency, Coupeau made a point of offering marriage, little by little Gervaise gave way. At last, after a month, she yielded.

"How you do tease me," she murmured. "Well, then, yes. Ah, we're perhaps doing a very foolish thing."

During the following days Coupeau sought to get Gervaise to call on his sister in the Rue de la Goutte d'Or, but the young woman showed a great dread of this visit to the Lorilleux. Coupeau was in no wise dependent on his sister, only the Lorilleux had the reputation of earning as much as ten francs a day as gold chain makers, and on that ground they exercised special authority. They lived on the sixth floor in a tenement house crammed with tenants of every degree of squalor. They were so busy that they could not cease their work, and welcomed their new relative with but a few cold words. Her reception was very trying to Gervaise, but the disappointment of herself and Coupeau was dispelled when the Lorilleux agreed to attend the wedding and pay their share of the wedding dinner.

Gervaise did not want to have guests at her wedding. What was the use of spending money? Besides, it seemed quite unnecessary to show off her marriage before the whole neighbourhood. But Coupeau exclaimed at this. One could not be married without having a spread, and at length he got her to consent.

They formed a party of twelve, including the Lorilleux and some of Coupeau's comrades who frequented the "Assommoir." The day was excessively hot. At the mayor's they had to wait their turn and thus were late at the church. On the way the men had some beer and after the religious ceremony they adjourned to a wine-shop. Then a heavy storm preventing a proposed excursion into the country before dinner, they went to the Louvre. The general opinion was that the pictures were quite wonderful. Shut out of the galleries with still two hours to spare, the party decided to take a short walk and filled up the interval in climbing to the top of the Vendome monument.

Then the wedding party, feeling very lively, sat down to the long-desired feast. The repast was pronounced fairly good. It was accompanied by quantities of cheap wine and enlivened with much coarse joking, becoming violent as the discussion turned on politics. Quiet being obtained, there followed the settling-up squabble with the landlord. Each paid his share and Coupeau found himself starting married life on seven sous, the day's entertainment having cost him over forty francs.

There were four years of hard work after this. Gervaise worked twelve hours a day at Madame Fauconnier's, the laundress, and still found means to keep their lodging clean and bright as a son. Coupeau never got drunk and brought his wages home regularly from the zinc-works. During the earlier days especially, they had to work slavishly to make ends meet. The marriage had burdened them with a two-hundred-franc debt. Then, too, they hated the Hôtel Boncoeur. It was a disgusting place and they dreamed of a home of their own. Then there came a piece of good luck. Claude was taken off their hands by an old gentleman who had been struck by some of his sketches. Eight months later they were able to furnish a room and a kitchen in a house nearly facing Madame Fauconnier's. There, soon after, Nana was born. They had two good friends in Jean Goujet, a blacksmith, and his mother. They went out nearly every Sunday with the Goujes.

III.--Starting on the Down Road

No great change took place in their affairs until one day Coupeau fell from the roof of a house and was laid up for three months. Lying idle so long he lost the habit of work, and as he grew stronger again, he wasted his time and Gervaise's earnings in drinking shops. But he slapped his chest as he boasted that he never drank anything but wine, always wine, never brandy. Money grew scarcer and Gervaise's one ambition--a laundry of her own--seemed to fade away. But the Goujets came to her aid, and lent her five hundred francs to begin business with. Engaging three assistants, Gervaise was able, with her industry and beautiful work and her cheerful face and manner, to obtain plenty of custom and to lay up money again.

Never before had Gervaise shown so much complaisance. She was as quiet as a lamb and as good as bread. In her slight gluttonous forgetfulness, when she had lunched well and taken her coffee, she yielded to the necessity for a general indulgence all round. Her common saying was "One must forgive one another if one does not wish to live like savages." When people talked of her kindness she laughed. It would never have suited her to have been cruel. She protested, she said, no merit was due to her for being kind. Had not all her dreams been realised? Had she any other ambition in life?

It was to Coupeau especially that Gervaise behaved so well. Never an angry word, never a complaint behind her husband's back. The zinc-worker had at last resumed work, and as his employment was at the other side of Paris, she gave him every morning forty sous for his luncheon, his drink and his tobacco. Only two days out of every six Coupeau would stop on the way, drink the forty sous with a friend, and return home to lunch with some grand story or other. Once even he did not take the trouble to go far, he treated himself and four others to a regular feast at the "Capuchin," on the Barriere de la Chapelle. Then, as his forty sous were not sufficient, he had sent the waiter to his wife with the bill, and to say that he was under lock for the balance. She laughed and shrugged her shoulders. Where was the harm if her good man amused himself a little while? You must give men a long rein if you want to live peaceably at home. Gracious powers! It was easy to understand. Coupeau still suffered from his leg; besides, he was drawn in sometimes. He was obliged to do as the others did, or else he would pass for a muff. It was really a matter of no consequence. If he came home a little bit elevated, he went to bed, and two hours afterwards he was all right again.

But Coupeau was becoming a continual drag on his wife. Most of his time and few earnings were wasted in Colombe's "Assommoir." And Nana, between her mother's toil and her father's shiftlessness, ran wild about the streets.

Then one day Coupeau came in drunk. He almost smashed a pane of glass with his shoulder as he missed the door. He was in a state of absolute drunkenness, with his teeth clinched and his nose inflamed. And Gervaise at once recognised the "vitriol" of the "Assommoir" in the poisoned blood which made his skin quite pale. She tried to make fun and get him to bed, as she had done on the days when the wine had made him merry, but he pushed her aside, without opening his lips, and raised his fist to her in passing as he went to bed of his own accord. Then she grew cold. She thought of the men she knew--of her husband, of Goujet, of Lantier--her heart breaking, despairing of ever being happy.

IV.--Lantier's Return

At this stage of Coupeau's affairs Virginie reappeared. She expressed great joy in meeting her former foe, declaring that she retained no bad feeling. She mentioned that Gervaise might be interested to know that she had recently seen Lantier in the neighbourhood. Gervaise received the news with apparent indifference. Then, on the evening of her fête Lantier appeared and, strangely enough, it was the zinc-worker who, heated with the festival drinking, welcomed him most warmly.

Gervaise, feeling meek and stupid, gazed at them one after the other. At first when her husband pushed her old lover into the shop, she could not believe it possible; the walls would fall in and crush the whole of them. Then, seeing the two men seated together, and without so much as the muslin curtains moving, she suddenly thought it the most natural thing in the world.

On the following Saturday Coupeau brought Lantier home with him in the evening. He remained standing and avoided looking at Gervaise.

Coupeau looked at them, and then spoke his mind very plainly. They were not going to behave like a couple of geese, he hoped. The past was the past, was it not? If people nursed grudges after nine and ten years, one would end by no longer seeing anybody. No, no, he carried his heart in his hand, he did. He knew who he had to deal with, a worthy woman and a worthy man--in short, two friends.

"Oh! that's certain, quite certain," repeated Gervaise.

"She's a sister now--nothing but a sister," murmured Lantier.

From that evening Lantier frequently called at the Rue de la Goutte d'Or. He came when the zinc-worker was there, inquiring after his health the moment he passed the door, and affecting to have solely called for him. Then, shaved, his hair nicely divided, and always wearing his overcoat, he would take a seat by the window, and converse politely with the manners of a man who had received a good education. Thus the Coupeaus learnt little by little some particulars of his life.

During the last eight years he had for a while managed a hat factory; and when they asked him why he had retired from it, he merely alluded to the rascality of a partner. He was forever saying that he was on the point of making a first-class arrangement; some wholesale manufacturers were about to establish him in business and trust him with an enormous stock. Meanwhile, he did nothing whatever but walk about like a gentleman. In his effusiveness Coupeau suggested that Lantier become a lodger, and overruled all objections. Nevertheless, Lantier showed no intention for a long while of trespassing on the bibulous good nature of Coupeau.

V.--The Beginning of the End

Coupeau was now becoming a confirmed drunkard and presently Lantier ceased paying for his lodging, talking of clearing up everything as soon as he had completed an agreement. Thus Gervaise had two men to support, while her increasing indolence and gluttony continuously reduced her earnings. Custom began to fall away faster and faster and soon they were living almost entirely on credit. Then Madame Coupeau, who had come to live with her son and Gervaise soon after the shop was opened, died. The funeral was celebrated with pomp and feast greatly in excess of the resources of the Coupeaus and helped considerably towards the final ruin.

As they were sitting down to the funeral meal the landlord presented himself, looking very grave, and wearing a broad decoration on his frock coat. He bowed in silence, and went straight to the little room, where he knelt down. He was very pious; he prayed in the accustomed manner of a priest, then made the sign of the cross in the air, whilst he sprinkled the body with the sprig of box. All the family leaving the table, stood up, greatly moved. Mr. Marescot, having ended his devotions, passed into the shop and said to the Coupeaus, "I have called for the two quarters' rent which remain unpaid. Can you give it me?"

"No, sir, not quite," stammered Gervaise. "You will understand, with the misfortune which has--"

"No doubt, but everyone has his troubles," resumed the landlord, spreading out his immense fingers. "I am very sorry, but I cannot wait any longer. If I am not paid by the morning after to-morrow, I shall be forced to have recourse to expulsion."

Gervaise, struck dumb, imploringly clasped her hands, her eyes full of tears. With an energetic shake of his big bony head, he gave her to understand that all supplications were useless. Besides, the respect due to the dead forbade all discussion. He discreetly retired, walking backwards.

Gervaise was persuaded by the jealous Lorilleux to resign the lease of her shop to Virginie and her husband. That evening when Gervaise found herself at home again after the funeral she continued in a stupefied state on a chair. It seemed to her that the rooms were very large and deserted. Really, it would be a good riddance. But it was certainly not only mother Coupeau that she missed. She missed, too, many other things, very likely a part of her life, and her shop, and her pride of being an employer, and other sentiments besides, which she had buried on that day. Yes, the walls were bare, and her heart also; it was an absolute deplenishment, a tumble into the pit.

It was the beginning of the end. She got employment with her old employer, Madame Fauconnier, but presently she began to be looked upon with disfavour. She was not nearly so expert; she did her work so clumsily that the mistress had reduced her wages to forty sous a day, the price paid to the stupidest. With all that she was very proud and very susceptible, throwing at everybody's head her former position of a person in business. Some days she never appeared at all, whilst on others she would leave in the midst of her work through nothing but a fit of temper. After these outbursts, she would be taken back out of charity, which embittered her still more.

As for Coupeau, he did perhaps work, but in that case he certainly made a present of his labour to the government; for Gervaise never saw his money. She no longer looked in his hands when he returned home on paydays. He arrived swinging his arms, his pockets empty, and often without his handkerchief. Good gracious! Yes, he had lost his fogle, or else some rascally comrade had sneaked it. At first he made excuses; he invented all sorts of lies--ten francs for a subscription, twenty francs fallen through a hole which he showed in his pocket, fifty francs disbursed in paying off imaginary debts. After a little, he no longer troubled himself to give any explanations. The money evaporated, that was all!

Yes, it was their fault if they descended lower and lower every season. But that is the sort of thing one never tells one self, especially when one is down in the gutter. They accused their bad fortune; they pretended that fate was against them. Their home had become a little hell by this time. They bickered away the whole day. However, they had not yet come to blows, with the exception of a few smacks which somehow were given at the height of their disputes. The saddest thing was that they had opened the cage of affection; the better feelings had all taken flight like so many canaries. The loving warmth of father, mother, and child, when united and wrapped up in each other, deserted them, and left them shivering, each in his or her own corner. The whole three--Coupeau, Gervaise, and Nana--were ever ready to seize one another by the hair, biting each other for nothing at all, their eyes full of hatred. What use was he, that drunkard? thought Gervaise. To make her weep, to eat up all she possessed, to drive her to sin. Well, men so useless as he should be thrown as quickly as possible into the hole, and the polka of deliverance be danced over them.

VI.--The Final Ruin

Presently, Gervaise took to fuddling with her husband at the "Assommoir." She sank lower than ever; she missed going to her work oftener, gossipped for whole days, and became as soft as a rag whenever she had any work to do. If a thing fell from her hands, it might remain on the floor; it was certainly not she who would have bent down to pick it up. She intended to save her bacon. She took her ease, and never handled a broom except when the accumulation of filth almost upset her.

She could keep no work, and at last came to scrub out the shop and rooms for Virginie. She came on Saturday morning with a pail and a scrubbing brush, without appearing to suffer in the least at having to perform a dirty, humble duty, a charwoman's work, in the home where she had reigned as the beautiful, fair-haired mistress--for thirty sous. It was a last humiliation, the end of her pride. Virginie must have enjoyed herself, for a yellowish flame darted from her cat's eyes. At last she was revenged for that thrashing she had received at the wash-house, and which she had never forgotten.

Coupeau went from worse to worse. He was not sober once in six months. Then he fell ill and had to go to the asylum, but when he came out repaired he would begin to pull himself to bits again and need another mending. In three years he went seven times to the asylum in this fashion, until he died in the extremities of delirium.

Gervaise was next compelled to descend to begging of Lorilleux and his wife. But they refused her a son or a crumb and laughed at her. It was terrible. She remembered her ideal of former days; to work quietly, always having bread to eat and a tidy home to sleep in, to bring up her children not to be thrashed, and to die in her bed. No, really, it was droll how all that was be? coming realised! She no longer worked, she no longer ate, she slept on filth; all that was left for her to do was to die on the pavement, and it would not take long if, on getting into her room, she could only screw up enough courage to fling herself out of the window. What increased her ugly laugh was the remembrance of her grand hope of retiring into the country after twenty years spent in ironing. Well! she was on her way to the country. She was about to have her green corner in the Père-Lachaise cemetery.

Gervaise lasted in this state several months. She fell lower and lower still, dying of starvation a little every day. As soon as she had four sous, she drank and fought the walls. Her landlord had decided to turn her out of her room on the sixth floor, but allowed her to turn into a hole under the staircase. It was inside there, on some old straw, that her teeth chattered, whilst her stomach was empty and her bones were frozen. The earth would not have her evidently. She was becoming idiotic; she did not even think of making an end of herself by jumping out of the sixthfloor window on to the pavement of the court-yard beneath. Death was to take her little by little, bit by bit, dragging her thus to the end through the accursed existence she had made for herself. It was never even exactly known what she did die of. There was some talk of a cold, but the truth was she died of privation, and of the filth and hardship of her spoilt life. Over-gorging and dissoluteness killed her, said the Lorilleux.



[VOL. I] [VOL. II] [VOL. III] [VOL. IV] [VOL. V] [VOL. VI] [VOL. VII] [VOL. VIII]


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