(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Cornhill magazine"

4 

C76 

no . 1-4 

v.85 

c.l 

ROBARTS 




.1 1'i-nnl NXvVc/i nf Thni-ki-rnu by Count tTOrsaii. From the original in the Collection of 
' Major William '//. Lambert. H 



Frontispiece 




AP 



no, )-L| 

CORNHILL MAGAZINE. 

i V 85" T . Q : \- ^ } 



JANUARY 1902. ~ 



THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES.* 
BY GENERAL JAMES GRANT WILSON. 

II. 

THE SECOND VISIT (OCTOBEE 1855 APRIL 1856). 

If Truth were again a goddess, I would make Thackeray her High Priest. 

CHARLOTTE BRONTE. 

IN October 1855 Thackeray departed on his second lecture tour 
in the United States, from which he returned to England in 
April 1856. The subject of the uncompleted lectures on ' The 
Four Georges' for he finished the last one in America seems 
first to have occurred to him several years previous, while travel- 
ling on the Continent. In 1852 he wrote : ' I had a notion of 
lectures on the Four Georges, and going to Hanover to look at 
the place whence that race came ; but if I hope for preferment 
hereafter, I mean Police-magistrateship or what not, I had best 
keep a civil tongue in my head : and I should be sure to say 
something impudent if I got upon that subject : and as I have no 
Heaven-sent mission to do this job, why, perhaps I had best look 
for another. And the malheur is, that because it is a needless 
job, and because I might just as well leave it alone, it is most 
likely I shall be at it.' In August 1855 Thackeray wrote : ' I am 
going to try in the next six weeks to write four lectures for the 
great North American Eepublic, and deliver them after they are 
tired of the stale old humourists.' 

Two days before sailing, some threescore friends and admirers 

1 Copyright, 1901, in the United States of America, by the Century Company. 
VOL. XII. NO. 67, N.S. 1 



2 THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 

entertained him at the London Tavern, Charles Dickens presiding 
at the dinner, and proposing the toast of the evening. Thackeray 
delivered a carefully-prepared reply, which was followed by some 
complimentary verses by another guest, ' a friend of the O'Mul- 
ligan,' recited with great success. 

In the course of an after-dinner address delivered in London 
in 1857, Thackeray said: 'The last time I visited America, two 
years ago, I sailed on board the Africa, Captain Harrison. As 
she was steaming out of Liverpool one fine blowy October day, 
and was hardly over the bar, when, animated by those peculiar 
sensations not uncommon to landsmen at the commencement of a 
sea-voyage, I was holding on amidships, up comes a quick-eyed, 
shrewd-looking little man, who holds on to the rope next to me, 
and says : " Mr. Thackeray, I am the representative of the house 
of D. Appleton & Co., of Broadway, New York a most liberal 
and enterprising firm, who will be most happy to do business with 
you." I don't know that we then did any business in the line 
thus delicately hinted at, because at that particular juncture we 
were both of us called, by a heavy lurch of the ship, to a casting- 
up of accounts of a far less agreeable character.' 

As on his previous visit, Thackeray landed in Boston, where 
he was most cordially welcomed, and where his lectures on ' The 
Four Greorges ' were highly commended by the critics. He 
renewed intimacies made there years earlier, and formed many 
new friendships, seeing much of Ticknor, ' Tom ' Appleton, 
Longfellow, Lowell, Dana, and Prescott, whose histories, he said, 
afforded him more pleasure than Macaulay's ; and he added : 
' When we make a little fortune it will be pleasant some day to 
write a nice little history book. But where is the memory of 
the astonishing Macaulay ? ' 

Who that saw Thackeray in the United States in the 'fifties 
will ever forget that giant form, crowned by a stately and massive 
head, covered with almost snow-white hair ? Said Fitz-Greene 
Halleck, who was five feet seven, to a young friend as they 
approached the English humourist and Bayard Taylor in Broad- 
way : ' Behold those two Brobdingnags coming this way. Toge- 
ther they measure twelve feet and several inches in their stock- 
ings.' The youth was presented, a few words of cordial greetings 
were exchanged, and the giant litterateurs passed on. Halleck 
called his companion's attention to the fact that Thackeray had a 
particularly small hand, half inherited, his friend Fitz Gerald 



THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 3 

suggested, from the Hindu people among whom he was horn. A 
few days later Bayard Taylor received the following note from 

Thackeray : 

' Wednesday, Clarendon [1855]. 

' MY DEAR MR. TAYLOR A card has just been given to me 
which you must have written without having received my note 
written and promised to be sent from the Albion to the Tribune 
yesterday. Young has arranged the Press Club dinner should 
take place on Saturday 17th instead of 24th and we shall meet 
there I hope. 

' And don't, don't give a dinner at Delmonico's please. I 
did yesterday and it's a sin to spend so much money on the 
belly. Let us have content and mutton chops and I shall be a 
great deal better pleased than with that godless disbursement of 
dollars. . . .' 

Notwithstanding Thackeray's protest, he was bidden to a 
Delmonico Sunday breakfast a few days later, and of all the 
eighteen choice spirits who were present at the delightful enter- 
tainment, when the chief guest gave ' Dr. Martin Luther,' and 
Curtis and Wallack sang the duet ' Drink to me only with thine 
eyes,' Richard Henry Stoddard remembers that he is the only 
survivor. It may be mentioned here that the two ' big fellows ' 
became great friends. With three possible exceptions, Thackeray 
admired Bayard Taylor more than any other American that he 
had met, and a few years later presented to him Schiller's sword, 
perhaps his most valued possession ; for Fields relates that on one 
occasion, when Thackeray desired a little service done for a friend, 
he remarked with a quizzical expression, ' Please say the favour 
will greatly oblige a man of the name of Thackeray, whose only 
recommendation is that he has seen Napoleon ' and Groethe, and 
is the owner of Schiller's sword.' Taylor bequeathed the sword to 
the museum of Weimar, where it may now be seen among many 
relics of Groethe and Schiller. Thackeray purchased it in Weimar, 
using it as a part of his court costume when, as a student there, 
he was invited to the Grand Duke's ball and other entertainments. 

1 Thackeray as a youth, while on a voyage from India to England, saw at 
St. Helena a short, fat man in white clothes, wearing a large straw hat. It was 
the hero whose meteor-like career was closed by Wellington at Waterloo, and 
whose funeral Thackeray witnessed in Paris. He afterwards described it in 
the paper entitled ' The Second Funeral of Napoleon.' 

12 



THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 



In January 1856 Thackeray was again in Philadelphia, where 
large audiences listened to his lectures on ' The Four Georges,' 
and where he renewed his agreeable intimacies with William B. 




lolvJjLM^^ 
I? 



From the original in the collection of Major William H. Lambert. 

Reed, Morton McMichael, William D. Lewis, president of the 
G-irard Bank, Thomas J. Wharton, and many others, of whom 
perhaps the only survivor is Mrs. Caspar Wister. 



THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 5 

Thackeray had a particular delight in schoolboys, and an ex- 
cellent way with them, as several American lads of New York 
and Philadelphia who experienced his liberality still remember. 
After his death two of the Philadelphians published apprecia- 
tive notices of the great author with the titles of ' A Friend of my 
Childhood,' and ' A Child's Glimpse of Thackeray.' The mother 
of one of these schoolboys objected to his pocketing the sovereign, 
or five-dollar gold piece, presented to him by Thackeray, who 
vainly endeavoured to convince her that this specimen of bene- 
ficence was a thing of course in England. The result was that the 
coin was returned, but three months later the lad was made happy 
by the receipt of copies of ' Vanity Fair ' and ' Pendennis,' across 
the title-pages of which he saw written, in a curiously small and 
delicate hand, his name, ' Henry Reed, 3 with W. M. Thackeray's 
kind regards, April 1856.' A passage in Dickens's brief tribute 
to his brother novelist will be recalled : ' I remember his once 
asking me with fantastic gravity, when he had been to Eton, where 
my eldest son then was, whether I felt as he did in regard to never 
seeing a boy without wanting instantly to give him a sovereign. 
I thought of this when I looked down into his grave, after he was 
laid there, for I looked down into it over the shoulder of a boy to 
whom he had been kind.' Another English lad to whom that 
' big mass of soul,' as Carlyle described Thackeray, ' with its beauti- 
ful vein of genius,' gave a golden guinea, still treasures it among 
his most valued possessions. He is now known as one of the fore- 
most heroes of the South African War General Baden-Powell. 

At Baltimore, where Thackeray was the guest of John P. 
Kennedy, he repeated his lectures ; also in Richmond, Charleston, 
Savannah, Macon, Mobile which city he greatly admired, ' though 
we did not make a mint of money there ' and New Orleans, 
where he records : ' The papers here are very civil except one a 
Hirish paper, which I am told whips me severely : but I don't 
read it and don't mind it or any abuse from dear old Ireland.' 
When, during his Southern tour, a Virginia friend inquired of 
Thackeray if he purposed to give his impressions of America to 
the public as his predecessor Charles Dickens had done, he promptly 
replied, ' I shall record my opinions on the Americans in the book 
that I do not intend to write.' In St. Louis the lectures were well 
received, and the lecturer met two interesting characters Captain 

1 The late Judge Reed of Philadelphia, son of Professor Henry Reed, lost on 
the steamer Arctic. 



6 THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 

Bonneville, immortalised by Irving, and Pierre Choteau, the 
famous fur-trader, a son of one of the brothers who founded the 
Western city in 1764. It was at the Planters' House that 
Thackeray overheard his waiter say to an associate, ' That's the 
great Thacker.' ' Well, what's to be done ? ' said the other. 
' D d if I know,' was the response. As indicated in the follow- 
ing letter to William Duer Robinson, Thackeray delivered his 
lectures on the Georges in Cincinnati, and then set out for New 
York, sending a few lines en route to his family, in which he says : 
' How sparkling Lake Erie looked, how pretty the country was, 
albeit still wintry. But Europe is a prettier country still for me, 

and I still long for it.' 

'St. Louis. Mo. 26 March [1856]. 

' MY DEAR ROBINSON. I think and hope and trust to be at 
New York next week. Is the Bower of Virtue vacant ? how 
glad I shall be to occupy it ! Is there a bed for Charles my man ? 

' Yours always 

' W. M. THACKERAY. 

' address care Mercantile Library Cincinnati.' 

The Bower of Virtue was No. 604 Houston Street, near 
Broadway, between Green and Mercer. Its site is now occupied 
by a warehouse, but on the north side of the street are still to be 
seen several old-fashioned two-storied brick houses of the same 
style as the one that sheltered Thackeray for several weeks during 
his second visit to the United States. At that time Mr. Robinson, 
J. C. B. Davis, and Samuel E. Lyons occupied what the humourist 
styles ' the Bower of Virtue.' Mr. Davis, one of the few survivors 
among Thackeray's intimate American friends, says, in letters to 
the writer : 

' My acquaintance with Thackeray began in a very pleasant 
way. In the summer of 1849 I went to London, with a letter to 
Mr. Thomas Baring, the head of the house of Baring Bros., and 
commonly known as Tom Baring. This brought me the usual 
invitation to dinner, but as the cholera was then prevalent in 
London, I found only two other guests. No presentations were 
made, and I finished my dinner and the cigars which followed it 
without knowing the names of my fellow-guests. When we came 
to leave, one of them, finding that I was going past Hyde Park 
Corner, said that he was going the same way, and we walked along 
together. When we reached the corner, as I was crossing Piccadilly, 



dl*. ttitH^ 'luM/M** vm* Juu*. X nu 



It* C^i 



</ (u^ 



jiu 



AtU, 4fe 



J^L . ."I -i Vu 

-*u( > A-. U' 






4^V 



{ I 



t'ortiftn of a Letter from Thackeray to Lady Molesworlh. 



To face page 6. 



THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 7 

he said he was to have an early dinner the next day, and after- 
wards take his guests to Vauxhall : would I come ? I answered 
that I should be glad to come, and was about to add that I had 
not the slightest idea what his name was, when he handed me his 
card, told me the hour for dinner, and we bade each other good 
night. When I got to a street light I saw that I had been spend- 
ing the evening with Thackeray. " Vanity Fair " was the only novel 
which he had then published in full, and we were not as familiar 
with his appearance then as we afterwards became. 

' The next day I went to the dinner, and found as companions 
most of the men who figure on the platform with him in the 
second number of the twelfth volume of " Punch " : Doyle, 
Tom Taylor, Lemon, Leech, Douglas Jerrold, &c. We went to 
Yauxhall after dinner, and spent a pleasant evening there. A 
.little later, when Pendennis went to the same place, I understood 
why we had been there. With the acquaintances I made then 
I had most friendly relations afterwards. They made my stay of 
three years in England a most happy one. 

' In 1852 Thackeray made his first visit to the United States. 
I followed about a month later, reaching New York on New Year's 
day, 1853. I had hardly got into the hotel on Broadway, nearly 
opposite Grace Church, when he appeared and said he had an in- 
vitation for me to a reception party to be given that evening at a 
villa in the country, and would call for me. He came in a sleigh 
at the appointed hour, and took me to the out-of-town villa on the 
west side of Fifth Avenue, between 37th and 38th streets. 

' You ask me about our lower floor in Houston Street. Like 
all New York houses of that day, it contained two rooms (with 
closets). The front was our dining-room. The closets between 
were our pantry ; and the rear room was occupied as a bedroom 
by Samuel E. Lyon, Esq., whose family lived in Westchester 
County. He practised law in New York, where he was in partner- 
ship with Alexander Hamilton, grandson of the Alexander Hamil- 
ton. They had a large business, and often he had to stay over in 
town. When he did he made his home with us. . . .' 

To the Bower of Virtue Thackeray was again heartily welcomed 
on his arrival in New York, and a corner was found for Charles, 
who was an excellent specimen of the good English valet. After 
his departure from New York, Mr. Robinson received a note from 
the novelist, saying : ' By the time you receive this, dear William, 
I shall be almost out of the harbour. Let me ask you to accept 



8 THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 

this little gift, as a remembrance of the many, many pleasant days 
and nights we have passed together.' The present was a beautiful 
silver tankard, simply inscribed, ' W. D. Eobinson from W. M. 
Thackeray, April 26, 1856,' which is still in the possession of Mr. 
Robinson's family. Another equally prized treasure is a copy of 
'The Virginians,' presented by the author, with the following 
daintily-written inscription : 

In the U. States and in the Queen's dominions 

All people have a right to their opinions, 

And many people don't much relish ' The Virginians.' 

Peruse my book, dear R., and if you find it 

A little to your taste, I hope you'll bind it. 

In addition to George Bancroft, who knew Byron, Thackeray 
became well acquainted with Charles King, president of Columbia 
College, who, with his elder brother John, was at school at Harrow 
with Byron and Peel, their father, Rufus King, being then 
American Minister to the Court of St. James. This fine type of 
gentleman of the old school expressed to the English author his 
admiration for Byron's pluck. Once, when Harrow challenged 
Eton to a match at cricket, Eton refused, saying, ' Eton only plays 
with schools of royal foundation.' Mr. King remembered Byron 
saying, ' I am not good at cricket ' alluding to his foot ' but if 
you get up an eleven to fight an Eton eleven, I should like to be 
one of yours.' x James G. King, a younger brother of John and 
Charles, was Thackeray's New York banker. 

Before sailing for Liverpool, Thackeray gave a farewell dinner 
at Delmonico's, then on the corner of Broadway and Chambers 
Street, opposite A. T. Stewart & Co.'s. Thirty-two guests sat 
down with him, including Keed and several other Philadelphia 
friends, who came to New York to attend the entertainment. 
The last survivor said, ' We had a glorious night of it,' and he 
remembered that the party included Cozzens, Cranch, Curtis, 
Daly, Dana, Charles A. Davis, Duer, Hackett, Halleck, Hicks, 
Charles King, Robinson, Taylor, the two Wallacks, Ward, and 
Young. Alas ! 

All, all are gone, the old familiar faces. 

' Thackeray was in fine spirits,' writes George William Curtis, 
' and when the cigars were lighted he said that there should be 

1 Byron played for Harrow against Eton in 1805, scoring 7 and 2 in his two 
innings. The name of King does not figure among the players in that year. ED. 

CORNHILL. 




.1 \\'/iti-r-('ulii///- llruwing of Himself, bit Thackrruy in 11 Li'lti-r to Lmly Mnlesuorth. 

Tofacepatjei 



THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 9 

no speech-making, but that everybody, according to the old rule 
of festivity, should sing a song or tell a story. James Wallack 
was one of the guests, and with a kind of shyness which was un- 
expected but very agreeable in a veteran actor, he pleaded very 
earnestly that he could not sing and knew no story. But with 
friendly persistence, which yet was not immoderate, Thackeray 
declared that no excuse could be allowed, because it would be a 
manifest injustice to every other modest man at table and put a 
summary end to the hilarity. " Now, Wallack," he continued, 
" we all know you to be a truthful man. You can, since you say 
so, neither sing a song or tell a story. But I tell you what you 
can do better than any living man you can give us the great 
scene from ' The Rent Day.' " There was a burst of enthusiastic 
agreement, and old Wallack, smiling and yielding, still sitting at 
the table in his evening dress, proceeded in a most effective and 
touching recitation from one of his most famous parts. No 
enjoyment of it was greater and no applause sincerer than those 
of Thackeray, who presently sang his " Little Billee," with infinite 
gusto.' As a pendant to the above, Judge Daly, the last of the 
party, after more than twoscore years, remembered two additional 
incidents of the evening : that the poet Halleck, remaining in his 
seat for, as he said, he could not speak standing made a 
remarkably bright little speech, and that Curtis and Lester 
Wallack sang several duets. 

Two days before his departure on the American steamer 
Baltic, which sailed for Liverpool April 24, Thackeray dined 
with Charles Augustus Davis, meeting, among others, ' lovely 
Sally Baxter ' and the poet Halleck. At that pleasant dinner- 
party he expressed great regret that he came to the United States 
too late to meet Cooper, for whose writings he entertained the 
highest admiration, and referred to the affecting final scene in 
' The Prairie ' when the dying Leatherstocking said, ' Here ! ' as 
surpassing anything that he had met with in English literature. 

A few days after Thackeray sailed, Halleck was speaking to a 
young friend of tae exquisite scene in ' The Newcomes ' when the 
dying Colonel drew himself up, exclaiming, ' Adsum ! ' and he re- 
marked that the similarity between this and the Cooper scene, to 
which attention had been called at the Davis dinner, was certainly 
a singular literary coincidence, but undoubtedly undesigned, 
adding, ' I know of nothing in nineteenth-century fiction likely to 
outlive them.' 



10 THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 

The first message received from Thackeray after his departure 
from the United States was addressed to Mr. William Duer 

Robinson. 

' On board last day. May 7, 1856. 

'MY DEAR OLD ROBINSON I tell you that writing is just as 
dismal and disgusting as saying good bye. I hate it and but for 
a sense of duty I wouldn't write at all confound me if I would. 
But you know after a fellow has been so uncommonly hospitable 
and kind and that sort of thing a fellow ought you see to write 
and tell a fellow that a fellow's very much obliged and in a word 
you understand. Sir you made me happy when I was with you, 
you made me sorry to come away and you make me happy now 
when I think what a kind generous friendly W D R you are. 
You have Davis back in the Bower of Virtue you'll fill that jug 
one day and drink to my health won't you ? and when you come 
to Europe you '11 come to me & my girls mind, and we'll see if 
there is not some good claret at 36 Onslow Square. . . .' 

1 Home, (wiz 36 Onslow Square, 
Brompton London) May 9. 

' We did pass the bar, and didn't I have a good dinner at the 
Adelphi, and wasn't I glad to get back to town yesterday, and 
wasn't there a great dinner at the Grarrick Club (the Annual 
Shakspeare dinner w h ought to have come off on the 23d. ult. 
but was put off on ace* of a naval review) and didn't I make a 
Yankee speech, and oh lor' Robinson ! haven't I got a headache 
this morning ? I'm ashamed to ask for a sober-water that's the 
fact. And so here's the old house, the old room, the old teapot 
by my bedside, the old trees nodding in at the window it looks 
as if I'd never been away and that it is a dream I have been 
making. Well, in my dream I dreamt there was an uncommonly 
good fellow by name W D R. and I dreamed that he treated me 
with all sorts of kindness, and I send him and J C B D. 1 and D D 2 
(and what's L's name downstairs ? 3 ) my heartiest regards ; and 
when my young women come home I shall tell them what a deal 
of kindness their Papa had across the water. So good bye, my 
dear Robinson & believe me always gratefully yours 

'WMT. 

' Tell Jim Wallack that we hadn't a single actor at the Shak- 
speare dinner and that F. Fladgate and C Dance send their best 

1 J. C. Bancroft Davis. * Denning Duer. * Samuel E. Lyons. 




,1 riiin-l-rray Steteh, from Hie original in the Collection of Major William If. Lambert. 

To fact' page 10. 




tu itlc 



J4t (MTC/ Ut 



U. 



u 






"IttJe. 



VU^ 



"tc> eA, race/ cuut 04 
-' <uul JUjv|>jU*4 /tu. Wo^ 



'Vowi ^^e original in the collection of Major William H. Lambert. 
A THACKERAY AUTOGRAPH. 



12 THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 

remembrances to him. How did that Sunday dinner go off? 
Was it as bad as the dreary Friday ? ' 

The following letter is addressed to his friend Frederick S. 
Cozzens, whom he had visited at his Yonkers cottage, described so 
humorously in the ' Sparrowgrass Papers.' 

' 36 Onslow Sq : London. 

' Feb. 8 [1857]. (It's a Sunday evening) and I'm waiting 
for dinner, & that's how you come by an answer. 

' MY DEAR COZZENS : Thank you for a sight of your hand- 
writing, and the kindly reminiscences of those jolly 
Centurions whose hospitality and affectionateness this 
never intends to forget. What pleased me most in your 
letter is to have it under your own hand & seal that you are 
well. I should like to see those pretty little chicks again that 
snug cottage those rosy-tinted palisades that dining-room cup- 
board up w h victuals came with clangor that snug bedroom 
where the celebrated Thacker left the razor strap and could hear 
for hours Judge Daly talking talking into midnight. My dear 
old Judge I haven't forgot what I owe him. . . . Where Bayard 
may be now the Loramussy only knows We liked his pretty 
sisters, we had brief glimpses of a jolly time together we hope 
to meet in April or May when I bragged about taking him into 
the fashionable world. But I hear that I am in disgrace with 
the fashionable world for speaking disrespectfully of the Greorgy 
porgies and am not to be invited myself, much more to be 
allowed to take others into polight society. I writhe at the 
exclusion. The Georges are so astoundingly popular here that 
I go on month after month hauling in fresh bags of sovereigns, 
wondering that the people are not tired & that the lecturer is not 
found out. To-morrow I am away for 2 months to the North 
have found a Barnum who pays me an awful sum for April & 
May, and let us hope June shall make 10,000 by my beloved 
monarchs one way or the other and then and then then well 
I don't know what is going to happen. If I had not to write 20 
letters a day on business I would have written to Greorge Curtis, 
and given him an old man's blessing on his marriage. But I 
can't write no, only for business or for money can this pen bite 
this paper. As I am talking nonsense to you, all the fellows 
are present in my mind, I hear their laughter & talk, 
and taste that 44 Chateau Margaux, and that Champagne 
do you remember ? And I say again I would like to 



THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 



13 



see those pretty little chicks. So the Athenaeum assaulted you 
lo you now ! I never heard of the circumstance the shot is 
fired, the report is over, the man not killed the critic pop- 
gunning away at some other mark by this time and you I hope 
you are writing some more of those papers. Your book & Bayard 
Taylor's helped me over the voyage How curious it is writing ! 
I feel as if I was back again in New York and shaking hands with 
100 of you the heart becomes warm (rod bless all good fellows 
say I. Shall I ever see you all again? Providebit Dominus 




From the original in the collection of Major William H. Lambert. 
A THACKEKAY SKETCH. 

I forget whether you know Bancroft Davis The folks here are 
hospitable to him. He has a pleasant time. Yesterday we elected 
him into the GTarrick and on the mantelpiece in my dining- 
room is a bottle of madeira w h he gave it me and w h I am going 
to hand out to some worthies who are coming to dine. They 
have never tasted anything like it that's the fact. As I go 
on twaddling I feel I MUST come back & see you all. I praise 
Mr. Washington five times more here than I did in the States 
our people cheer the fine folks look a little glum but the cele- 
brated Thacker does not care for their natural ill-temper. Only 



14 



THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 



2 newspapers here have abused me & I have been quite on their 
side. 

' April 5. To think this was written on Feb. 8 and left in 
my portfolio ! I went out of town the next day only returned 
April 3 have been killing & eating the Georges ever since. 
I do not know what this letter is about I am not going to read 
so much M.S. if I can help it, but I remember, when I wrote it, 
how I had a great desire to commune with my old chums at New 




From the original in the collection of Major William H. Lambert. 
ANOTHER THACKERAY SKETCH. 

York and hereby renew the kindest greetings to them. Tell me, 
Judge Daly, are you married & ahappy ? If so I will send you 
those books I owe you. Poor Kane ! I grieved to think of that 
hero carried so soon out of our world. There I can no more 
good bye my dear Cozzens I salute you my excellent Century 
Gr. Curtis & Young ! & Daly I am yours always 

' W. M. THACKERAY.' 

The cordial note which follows was written to Bayard Taylor, 
mentioned in the above letter, who was then in London, receiving 

1 William Young, editor of the ' Albion.' 



-L * <, 





6y Thackeray, from the original in the Collection of Major William II. Lambert. 

To face page 14. 



THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 15 

many kindly attentions from Thackeray, including, a little later, 
a portrait of Tennyson, with the message accompanying it, to 
which were added a few lines. Taylor appended his initials and 
the date, June 1857, so that, as may be seen in the facsimile 
given on the next page, the same sheet contains the handwriting 
of the three T's Tennyson, Thackeray, and Taylor. The original 
is framed with the portrait, and belongs to Mrs. Bayard Taylor. 
In his ' At Home and Abroad,' Taylor describes a pleasant annual 
dinner given by Thackeray in July 1857, to the writers for 
' Punch,' at which he and three other Americans were present. 
The others he describes as ' a noted sculptor, the architect-in- 
chief of the Central Park, and an ex-editor of the New York 
" Times." ' 

' 36 Onslow Square 29 May [1857]. 

. ' MY DEAR BAYARD I have written a letter to Tennyson con- 
taining comments upon your character, which I couldn't safely 
trust to your own hand and so, you'll go to Freshwater in the 
Isle of Wight and he'll be prepared to receive you. The girls are 
sorry not to see the sisters who must have had a famous time and 
we here shall be delighted to shake hands with you A month 
sooner we would not have let you camp out elsewhere, but I have 
just pulled part of my house down and have only one bed-chamber 
where there were to be two. But live as close as you can to us 
and eat drink smoke come in and out as you please, and you'll 
be sure to please 

' W. M. T.' 

Some faint colour is given to the claim made by many Mary- 
landers that John P. Kennedy wrote a portion, if not an entire 
chapter, of ' The Virginians ' by Thackeray's frequent appeals 
to American friends for aid. These occur in several commu- 
nications of this period, including the following addressed to 
William D. Eobinson, ' Cashier of the Customs, New York,' which 
Mrs. Eitchie describes as ' a delightful letter,' adding : ' I think 
it can be scarcely necessary to contradict the assertion that Mr. 
Kennedy wrote a chapter 1 in " The Virginians," which is entirely 
in my father's handwriting. No doubt Mr. Kennedy gave him 
the facts about the scenery, but I am sure that my father wrote 
his own books, for no one could have written them for him.' 

Mr. Dandridge Kennedy writes from Warrenton, Virginia : 

1 The chapter referred to is that headed ' Intentique ora tenebant.' 



16 THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 




k 

X*>. /vvvr<4L . /w 

9 



' 



fa ^ 

v i^t^iAU- * 



<TVCJC -/ 






lthe original vn'tTie collection of Mrs. Bayard Taylor. 

A LETTER FROM TENNYSON, WITH A NOTE TO BAYARD TAYLOR 
ADDED BY THACKERAY. 

(The words ' June,' 1857,' and initials, are Bayard Taylor's.) 



THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 17 

' While in this country, Thackeray was, for a time, the guest of 
my uncle, John P. Kennedy, and during that period my uncle 
took him on a visit to his brother, Mr. Andrew Kennedy, in 






\iu\ \MM, 



i 







Uvu&l 



^Vowi ^/te original in the collection of Major William, H. Lambert. 
LETTER FROM THACKERAY TO LADY LONDONDERRY. 

Virginia. I believe that many of the family have credited the 

chapter you speak of to my uncle, but I cannot positively assert 

it. Mr. Latrobe was very intimate with my uncle, and, I think, 

VOL. xn. NO. 67, N.s. 2 



18 



THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 



knew much of his literary and other work, and would be careful 
in any statement he made. I saw Mr. Thackeray while he was 
staying with my uncle, and knew that the latter gave him much 
information as to the Virginia people and country, and that he 



*l \Kt*** 



\\sru+t, tuf iulit . 




tu 



uL v^ 



<Ae original in the collection of Major William H. Lambert. 
LETTER FROM THACKERAY TO LADY LONDONDERRY. 



took him on the visit to Virginia that he might see it for himself. 
I am not sure that they visited the exact spot of Virginia that 
Thackeray describes, and about which my uncle had written a 
great deal.' 



THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 19 

Saturday. Jan. 23. 1858. 36 Onslow Sq. 

' A sudden gust of friendship blows from this boosom in the 
direction of Houston Street and my Wobinson. The fact is, Sir. 
I was in the drawing room just now, and out of a portfolio on one 
of the elegant rosewood tables, there peeped a photograph, w h 
represented the honest old mug of W. D. E. How is he ? Can 
he afford to drink claret still ? are there any cocktails about 604 ? 
I would give a guinea to be there and now and then get quite 
a bust of feeling towards folks on your side. Davis's marriage 
came upon me quite inopportunely ; I have had to give presents 
to no less than 4 brides this year and I can't positively stand no 
more. The last was Libbie Strong, whose votive teapot is at this- 
present moment in my house, waiting for an opportunity to X 
the water. What can I tell you about myself? nothing very 
good, new, or funny. . . . Virginians are doing pretty well thank 
you, but not so very well as we expected so that I only draw 
250 per month instead of 30(XD as the agreement is. But I like 
every body who deal with me to make money by me so I cede 
those 50 you see until better times. I have just paid the last 
of the Oxford Election bills, and got how much do you think out 
of 900? 13 is the modest figure returned. Then you know 
J. Gr King's Sons have somehow forgotten to send me any divi- 
dends upon Michigan Centrals & N Y Centrals. So I am not 
much richer in Jan 58 than I was in Jan 57. that's the fact. 
But then in compensation I live very much more expensively. 
Charles, much injured by going to America, has been ruined by 
the company he keeps next door. Next door has a butler and a 
footman in livery. Charles found it was impossible to carry on 
without a footman in livery ; so when the girls dine off 2 mutton 
chops they have the pleasure of being waited on by 2 menials 
who walk round & round them. We give very good dinners, 
our house is full of pretty little things, our cellar is not badly off. 
Sir I am going in a few days to pay 100 for 18 dozen of '48 
claret that is not to be drunk for 4 years. That is the price 
Wine has got to now. 'Tis as dear as at New York. No wonder 
a fellow can't afford to send a marriage token to his friend when 
he lives in this here extravagant way. I fondly talk of going to 
America in the autumn and finishing my story sur lea lieux. 
I want to know what was the colour of Washington's livery 
Where the deuce was George Warrington carried after he was 
knocked down at Braddock's defeat ? Was he taken by Indians 

2-2 



20 



THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 



into a French fort ? I want him to be away for a year and a half, 
or until the siege of Quebec. If you see Fred. Cozzens or George 
Curtis, ask them to manage this job for me, and send me a little 
line stating what really has happened to the eldest of the 2 
Virginians (This is genteeler paper than the other, \v h I use for 
my " copy" paper.) I only got my number done last night, and 
am getting more disgustingly lazy every day. I can't do the 
work until it's wanted. . . . Sir I came up stairs now to do a 
little work before dinner ; only I thought how much pleasanter it 
would be to have a chat with old Robinson ! Do you see in the 
Times this morning the death of Beverley Eobinson late a Captain 
of the R. Artillery ? He must be one of you. And now it is 5 
minutes to 7 : and it is time to go dress for dinner. Hark at 
the Brougham-horse snorting in the frost ! ' 
Then follows this sketch : 




From the original lent by Robert Emmet Robinson. 

And the letter runs on : 

4 This is Wednesday 27. What do you think I did yesterday ? 
gave one of the old '51 lectures in a suburb of London. It was 
quite refreshing. Went there with my doctor who attended me 
all last year without a fee gave him the 25 cheque w h they gave 
me for the lecture. It was easily earned money wasn't it ? 
How shall I fill up the rest of this thin paper ? Ever since the 
Georges I have been in disgrace with the Bo Monde. My former 



THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 21 

entertainers the Earls and Marquises having fought very shy of 
me. This year they're beginning to come back. 

' Thursday 25 th . Yes, but the 25 th February. What a time 
this letter has been a-composing ! I have written a number, two 
numbers, since it began have spent ever so much money grown 
ever so much older and not a bit wiser am just at my desk 
again. ... If I don't write this letter off now I shall never send 
it that's flat. It must go, Eobinson, and I want you to ask Duer 
THIS IS THE ONLY IMPORTANT PART of the letter whether 
(I cannot spoil my own mug on the other side) the Michigan 
Centrals and New York Centrals are ever going to pay, and what 
becomes of the absent dividend of last year? What are my 
Michigan Bonds worth now? Will you get me a philosophic 
answer to these questions please ? What more ? I often look at 
your beauteous image. Next week I am going to Macready in 
the country to read one of those demd old Georges . He offers 
me 5Q to read in 2 little towns close by and I won't. Why do 
for nothing what I won't do for 5Q ? because I am sick of letting 
myself out for hire I have just bought a famous little cob that 
carries me to perfection. Adieu Robinson, Davis, Duer. 

' W M T [signed in monogram].' 

As the story of ' Hemy Esmond ' was the fruit of Thackeray's 
researches for the preparation of his lectures on the 'English 
Humourists,' so ' The Virginians ' originated in his studies for 
' The Four Georges ' and his second visit to the United States. 
The first number appeared in November 1857. The reader will 
recall the opening lines : 

On the library wall of one of the most famous writers of America there hang 
two crossed swords, which his relatives wore in the great War of Independence. 
The one sword was gallantly drawn in the service of the King, the other was the 
weapon of a brave and honoured republican soldier. The possessor of the harm- 
less trophy has earned for himself a name alike honoured in his ancestor's country 
and his own, where genius such as his has always a peaceful welcome. 

Concerning this Mr. Prescott wrote : 

' Boston, November 30, 1857. 

' MY DEAR THACKERAY : I was much pleased on seeing you 
opened your new novel with a compliment to my two swords of 
Bunker Hill memory and their unworthy proprietor. It was 
prettily done, and I take it very kind of you. I could not have 



22 

wished anything better, nor certainly have preferred any other 
pen to write it among all the golden pens of history and romance. 
I am sure you will believe me. . . . 

WILLIAM H. PRESCOTT.' 




From the original in the collection of Major Willia/ni H. Lambert. 
A THACKERAY SKETCH (POSSIBLY A CARICATURE OF HIMSELF). 

Among Thackeray's many American correspondents was George 
William Curtis, who in ' Harper's Magazine,' immediately after 
the great author's death, published a touching tribute to his 
memory. Unfortunately he seems not to have preserved any of 
the numerous notes and letters received from his gifted friend, 



THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 23 

but fortunately we find one written to Thackeray containing 
pleasant references to ' The Virginians ' : 

' North Shore, Staten Island, June 17, 1858. 
(This day eighty-three years ago, we had a tussle on Bunker Hill.) 

' MY DEAR THACKERAY I have received all your kind messages, 
and we have a hundred times conceived a round robin to you 
which flew away before we caught it and oh ! there's no end of 
reasons why I haven't written to a man I love dearly. Then I've 
been fighting for you in papers, &c., for of course you know how 
you've been abused by us for " The Virginians " and especially the 
Washington. It is curious that I have seen a copy of a MS. 
letter from Edward Mason to Routledge (I think) after the Lee 
difficulty at the battle of Monmouth, out of which, it was thought 
by the indiscreet, personal difficulty might grow, in which Mason 
says, " Have no fear, for I have known W. from boyhood, and he 
never had but one opinion of the duels, &c." It has been the 
most tempestuous teapot you ever heard. Meanwhile I have been 
as happy as a king, with my queen and prince imperial under the 
trees here on the island. We are all well, and you would not 
think it was all vanity, this writing, if you could see the eager 
circle of children and old men and maidens to whom I read the 
monthly " Virginians," with shouts of merriment and sometimes 
even a tear. We wonder if you will ever come back again, or if 
we are henceforth to shake hands with you at this long stretch ; 
but your kindest memory does not go away. I am a sinner never 
to have sent you a solitary line before now. I give it an edge by 
two extracts the one from Philadelphia, the other from New 
Orleans. Good-bye. Think of us sometimes who think of you. 

' Yours affectionately 

' GEORGE W. CURTIS.' 

In the following letter Thackeray introduces a young friend 
to William Duer Eobinson, and in the succeeding one refers to 
his unfortunate quarrel with Edmund Yates, which led to an 
estrangement with Dickens, who took sides with Yates in the 
unhappy affair. 

'36 Onslow Sq r . S.W. July 11. 1860 

' MY DEAR W. D. This will be handed to you by my young 
friend Mr. Gore, son of Mrs. Gore, who is going to Bluenosia to look 
after property left by his loyalist ancestors this will be a recom- 
mendation to him with somebody whose name I shall write pre- 



24 THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 

sently on an envelope. Gore has been in India with his regiment 
and served there like a man. He is also as you will see one of 
the Cremornaments of our young society. Please show him what 
you think pretty and profitable for him at New York, of w h I never 
think without a wish to see my trusty kind old W. D. Think of 
a letter to You ! going to N. York & coming back to me ! Wasn't 
it too bad ? It was a stupid letter, but dull or lively, I am always 
W D's W T.' 

' XXXVI Onslow Sq. S.W. 26 Sep*. 1860 

' MY DEAR OLD W D R. I fancy you write anything against 
me ? what next ? The culprit was my old friend Mr. Yates who 
was turned out of the Grarrick because after agreeing to submit 
the difference between us to the Club, he would not consent to the 
apology w h they ordered him to make. And in consequence of 
this last business even Dickens has cut him. We don't like men 
writing about our privacies on this side of the water. 

' And what the dickens has happened to Davis ? I found on my 
return home a notekin beginning " dear Sir " and enclosing yours. 
He was here for some time, and never told me he had come As 
soon as I heard it, I went to look for him. He never came to look 
for me. I thought nothing of it, but that he was busy engaged 
in some tremendous railroad transaction some one told me too 
busy to come after me and went away out of town with my young 
folks, and my parents, and my magazine on my back, ... in 
dreary health, spirits, condition. We had a little trip to Holland 
from w h I have just returned and find your note. Well, surely, 
I've written since my last letter was sent back. I know I have 
but that I have sent the letter is another paire de bottes I find 
letters lying about weeks & months after and be hanged to me 
I not only am lazy in writing 'em, but incorrigibly irregular in 
sending 'em. I have done those things w h I ought not to have 
done I have left undone those things w h I ought to have done, 
and there is little health in me. 

'But if I don't write to my friends they'll remember what 
heaps of letters I have to write and forgive me, won't they ? I have 
a magazine once a month, a fever attack once a month, the charge 
of old folks and young folks whom I have to take to the country 
or arrange for at home a great deal of business, & bad health, 
and very little order. 7 offended with my friends ? I have been 
looking out for my dear good Baxters, who wrote in the Spring, 
and here's winter almost and no sign of 'em. 




Thackeray's Sketch of Titters, from the original in the Colleilion of Major Willu,nt II. Lumltrt. 

To face page 24. 



THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 25 

' What news for you ? I am making and spending a deal of 
money, have outlived my health, popularity, and inventive faculties 
as I rather suspect am building a fine house and wonder whether 
I shall ever be able to live in it, and am yours my dear Eobinson 
as always 

' W. M. T.' 

In February 1861, Thackeray sends to Eobinson, from the 
Orarrick Club, a laconic introduction of Mr. now Sir W. H. 
Russell, the well-known war correspondent, accompanied by some 
minute drawings on the envelope of a pair of spectacles. Except 
the date, it consists only of these words : ' My dear old W. D., 
Russell is going to you with this, and I wish I was a going too,' 
followed by his monogram. It was received by Mr. Robinson 
enclosed in the following note : 

' MY DEAR SIR : Here is that great big binocled man's envelope 
which is supposed to contain a favouring word on behalf of your 
humble servant. I am sorry I had not got it to recommend myself 
to you last night. 

' Yours very faithfully, 

' W. H. RUSSELL.' 

Many of Thackeray's manuscripts are owned in America. 
The venerable Ferdinand J. Dreer of Philadelphia purchased for 
his friend, Gfeorge W. Childs, at a cost of twenty-five hundred 
dollars, the original manuscript of the lectures on ' The Four 
Georges,' and he presented it to the Drexel Institute of that city. 
Mrs. Ritchie and her brother-in-law, Mr. Leslie Stephen, gave to 
the library of Harvard University the manuscript of the ' Round- 
about Papers,' and among the treasures of Evert A. Duyckinck's 
collection, bequeathed to the Lenox Library, as already mentioned, 
is the original of Thackeray's preface to the Appletons' American 
edition of his writings, containing much matter that had not 
before appeared in book form, and edited with rare discrimination. 
New York city possesses the Morgan, Reed, and Trowbridge col- 
lections of Thackeray, and Philadelphia those of Frederick S. 
Dickson and Major William H. Lambert, the latter believed by 
Mr. Dickson to be the completest in the world, and including the 
finest and fullest set of first editions known ; also a complete file 
of the ' Constitutional,' the short-lived English journal that ruined 
Thackeray in early life. Among Major Lambert's Thackeray 



26 THACKERAY IN THE UNITED STATES. 

manuscripts is ' The Eose and the Ring,' with the original draw- 
ings begun in Rome in 1854, and issued in England for the fol- 
lowing Christmas season ; ' The Adventures of Philip ' ; lecture on 
' Swift ' ; ' Charity and Humour ' an address, written in New York ; 
' Our Street,' about one half; speech at the Commercial Travellers' 
dinner ; notebook of ' The Virginians ' ; and fragments of manu- 
scripts from most of Thackeray's other books. The manuscript of 
' The Rose and the Ring ' being shown to Sir Theodore Martin by 
Mrs. Ritchie, he took it away, returning it mounted and superbly 
bound in red morocco, additionally protected by double cases of 
morocco and sole-leather. ' If this work shall escape the wrecks 
of time,' said Sir Theodore, ' it will tell of such a combined power 
of pen and pencil as the world has not hitherto known.' The 
Thackeray autograph letters include the series sent to William 
B. Reed ; above thirty written to Mrs. Brookfield, not included in 
the two Brookfield volumes purchased by Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan 
at the Augustin Daly sale for sixteen thousand two hundred dollars, 
for which there was much spirited bidding ; many letters to 
Macready, to his early publishers, Chapman & Hall, and to his 
artist friend Richard Doyle. 

Major Lambert's original drawings by Thackeray include twelve 
from ' Vanity Fair ' ; three from ' Pendennis ' ; two from ' The 
Newcomes,' not included in that work, but copied by Doyle, who 
illustrated it ; five from ' The Great Hoggarty Diamond ' ; twelve 
from the ' Adventures of M. Boudin ' ; five from ' The Count and 
Countess des Dragies ' ; and about two hundred and fifty others, 
together with an ' Original Sketch-Book,' containing many examples 
of Thackeray's skill as an artist. 

The bust of the novelist by his friend and neighbour Baron 
Marochetti was unveiled in Westminster Abbey on October 25, 
1865. Thirty-six years later, through the liberality of Major 
Lambert, the marble bust was vastly improved, under Mrs. Ritchie's 
supervision, by the removal of the long, pendent whiskers which 
Thackeray never wore. 



27 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 
BY ANTHONY HOPE. 

CHAPTER I. 

LIFE IS RECOMMENDED. 

THE changeful April morning that she watched from the window 
of her flat looking over the river began a day of significance in 
the career of Trix Trevalla of feminine significance, almost 
milliner's perhaps, but of significance all the same. She had put 
off her widow's weeds, and for the first time these three years 
back was dressed in a soft shade of blue ; the harmony of her 
eyes and the gleams of her brown hair welcomed the colour 
with the cordiality of an old friendship happily renewed. Mrs. 
Trevalla's maid had been all in a flutter over the momentous 
transformation ; in her mistress it bred a quietly retrospective 
mood. As she lay in an armchair watching the water and the 
clouds, she turned back on the course of her life, remembering 
many things. The beginning of a new era brought the old 
before her eyes in a protesting flash of vividness. She abandoned 
herself to recollections an insidious form of dissipating the 
mind, which goes well with a relaxed ease of the body. 

Not that Mrs. Trevalla's recollections were calculated to 
promote a sense of luxury, unless indeed they were to act as a 
provocative contrast. 

There was childhood, spent in a whirling succession of lodging- 
houses. They had little individuality and retained hardly any 
separate identity ; each had consisted of two rooms with folding 
doors between, and somewhere, at the back or on the floor above, 
a cupboard for her to sleep in. There was the first baby, her 
brother, who died when she was six ; he had been a helpless, 
clinging child, incapable of living without far more sympathy 
and encouragement than he had ever got. Luckily she had been 
of hardier stuff. There was her mother, a bridling, blushing, 
weak-kneed woman (Trix's memory was candid) ; kind save when 
her nerves were bad, and when they were, unkind in a weak and 

Copyright, 1901, by A. H. Hawkins in the United States of America, 



28 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

desultory fashion that did not deserve the name of cruelty. 
Trix had always felt less anger than contempt for her half- 
hysterical outbursts, and bore no malice on their account. This 
pale visitor soon faded as indeed Mrs. Trevalla herself had 
into non-existence, and a different picture took its place. Here 
was the Keverend Algernon, her father, explaining that he found 
himself unsuited to pastoral work and indisposed to adopt any 
other active calling, that inadequate means were a misfortune, not 
a fault, that a man must follow his temperament, and that he 
asked only to be allowed to go his own way he did not add to 
pay it in peace and quiet. His utterances came back with the 
old distinction of manner and the distant politeness with which 
Mr. Trevalla bore himself towards all disagreeable incidents of 
life under which head there was much reason to surmise that 
he ranked his daughter. 

Was he unjust in that ? Trix was puzzled. She recalled a 
sturdy, stubborn, rather self-assertive child ; the freshness of deli- 
cacy is rubbed off, the appeal of shyness silenced, by a hand-to- 
mouth existence, by a habit of regarding the leavings of the first- 
floor lodger in the light of windfalls, by constant Sittings unmarked 
by the discharge of obligations incurred in the abandoned locality, 
by a practical outlawry from the class to which we should in the 
ordinary course belong. Trix decided that she must have been 
an unattractive girl, rather hard, too much awake to the ways of 
the world, readily retorting its chilliness towards her. All this 
was natural enough, since neither death nor poverty nor lack of 
love was strange to her. Natural, yes ; pleasant, no, Trix con- 
cluded, and with that she extended a degree of pardon to Mr. 
Trevalla. He had something to say for himself. With a smile 
she recalled what he always did say for himself, if anyone seemed 
to challenge the spotlessness of his character. On such painful 
occasions he would mention that he was, and had been for twenty 
years, a teetotaller. There were reasons in the Trevalla family 
history which made the fact remarkable ; in its owner's eyes the 
virtue was so striking and enormous that it had exhausted the 
moral possibilities of his being, condemned other excellencies to 
atrophy, and left him, in the flower-show of graces, the self- 
complacent exhibitor of a single bloom. 

Yet he had become a party to the great conspiracy ; it was 
no less, however much motives of love, and hopes ever sanguine, 
might excuse it in one of the parties to it not the Keverend 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 29 

Algernon. They had all been involved in it her father, old 
Lady Trevalla (her husband had been a soldier and K.C.B.), 
Vesey Trevalla himself. Vesey loved Trix, Lady Trevalla loved 
Vesey in a mother's conscienceless way ; the mother persuaded 
herself that the experiment would work, the son would not stop 
to ask. The Eeverend Algernon presumably persuaded himself 
too and money was very scarce. So Trix was bidden to notice 
when those days at Bournemouth came back to mind her brows 
contracted into a frown as though from a quick spasm of pain 
how Vesey loved her, what a good steady fellow he was, how 
safely she might trust herself to him. Why, he was a teetotaller 
too ! ' Yes, though his gay friends do laugh at him ! ' exclaimed 
Lady Trevalla admiringly. They were actually staying at a 
Temperance Hotel ! The stress laid on these facts did not 
seem strange to an ignorant girl of seventeen, accustomed to 
Mr. Tre valla's solitary but eloquent virtue. Bather weary of the 
trait, she pouted a little over it, and then forgot it as a matter of 
small moment one way or the other. So the conspiracy throve, 
and ended in the good marriage with the well-to-do cousin, 
in being Mrs. Trevalla of Trevalla Haven, married to a big, 
handsome, ruddy fellow who loved her. The wedding day stood 
out in memory ; clearest of all now was what had been no more 
than a faint and elusive but ever-present sense that for some 
reason the guests, Vesey's neighbours, looked on her with pity 
the men who pressed her hand and the women who kissed her 
cheek. And at the last old Lady Trevalla had burst suddenly 
into unrestrained sobbing. Why ? Vesey looked very uncom- 
fortable, and even the Reverend Algernon was rather upset. 
However consciences do no harm if they do not get the upper 
hand till the work is done ; Trix was already Vesey's wife. 

He was something of a man, this Vesey Trevalla; he was 
large-built in mind, equitable, kind, shrewd, of a clear vision. 
To the end he was a good friend and a worthy companion in his 
hours of reason. Trix's thoughts of him were free from bitter- 
ness. Her early life had given her a tolerance that stood her in 
stead, a touch of callousness which enabled her to endure. As a 
child she had shrugged thin shoulders under her shabby frock ; 
she shrugged her shoulders at the tragedy now ; her heart did 
not break, but hardened a little more. She made some ineffectual 
efforts to reclaim him ; their hopelessness was absurdly plain ; 
after a few months Vesey laughed at them, she almost laughed 



30 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

herself. She settled down into the impossible life, reproaching 
nobody. When her husband was sober, she never referred to 
what had happened when he was drunk ; if he threw a plate at 
her then, she dodged the plate : she seemed in a sense to have 
been dodging plates and suchlike missiles all her life. Some- 
times he had suspicions of himself, and conjured up recollections 
of what he had done. ' Oh, what does last night matter ? ' she 
would ask in a friendly if rather contemptuous tone. Once she 
lifted the veil for a moment. He found her standing by the 
body of her baby ; it had died while he was unfit to be told, or at 
any rate unable to understand. 

' So the poor little chap's gone,' he said softly, laying his 
hand on her shoulder. 

' Yes, Vesey, he's gone, thank Grod ! ' she said, looking him 
full in the eyes. 

He turned away without a word, and went out with a heavy 
tread. Trix felt that she had been cruel, but she did not 
apologise ; and Vesey showed no grudge. 

The odd thing about the four years her married life lasted 
was that they now seemed so short. Even before old Lady 
Trevalla's death (which happened a year after the wedding) 
Trix had accommodated herself to her position. From that time 
all was monotony the kind of monotony which might well kill, 
but, failing that, left little to mark out one day from another. 
She did not remember even that she had been acutely miserable 
either for her husband or for herself; rather she had come to 
disbelieve in acute feelings. She had grown deadened to sorrow 
as to joy, and to love, the great parent of both ; the hardening 
process of her youth had been carried further. When Vesey 
caught a chill and crumpled up under it as sodden men do, and 
died with a thankfulness he did not conceal, she was unmoved. 
She was not grateful for the deliverance, nor yet grieved for the 
loss of a friend. She shrugged her shoulders again, asking what 
the world was going to do with her next. 

Mr. Trevalla took a view more hopeful than his daughter's, 
concluding that there was cause for feeling considerable satis- 
faction both on moral and on worldly grounds. From the higher 
standpoint Trix (under his guidance) had made a noble although 
unsuccessful effort, and had shown the fortitude to be expected 
from his daughter ; while Vesey, poor fellow, had been well 
looked after to the end, and was now beyond the reach of tempta- 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 31 

tion. From the lower Mr. Tre valla glanced for a moment round 
the cosy apartment he now occupied at Brighton, where he was 
beginning to get a nice little library round him yes, from the 
lower, while it was regrettable that the estate had passed to a 
distant cousin, Trix was left with twenty thousand pounds (in 
free cash, for Vesey had refused to make a settlement, since he 
did not know what money he would want that is, how long he 
would last) and an ascertained social position. She was only 
twenty-two when left a widow, and better-looking than she had 
ever been in her life. On the whole, were the four years mis- 
spent ? Had anybody very much to grumble at ? Certainly 
nobody had any reason to reproach himself. And he wondered 
why Trix had not sent for him to console her in her affliction. 
He was glad she had not, but he thought that the invitation 
would have been natural and becoming. 

' But I never pretended to understand women,' he murmured, 
with his gentle smile. 

Women would have declared that they did not understand 
him either, using the phrase with a bitter intention foreign to the 
Keverend Algernon's lips and temper. His good points were so 
purely intellectual lucidity of thought, temperance of opinion, 
tolerance, humour, appreciation of things which deserved it. 
These gifts would, with women, have pleaded their rarity in vain 
against the more ordinary endowments of willingness to work and 
a capacity for thinking, even occasionally, about other people. 
Men liked him so long as they had no business relations with 
him. But women are moralists, from the best to the worst of 
them. If he had lived, Trix would probably have scorned to 
avail herself of his counsels. Yet they might well have been 
useful to her in after days ; he was a good taster of men. As it 
was, he died soon after Vesey, having caught a chill and refused 
to drink hot grog. That was his doctor's explanation. Mr. 
Trevalla's dying smile accused the man of cloaking his own 
ignorance by such an excuse ; he prized his virtue too much to 
charge it with his death. He was sorry to leave his rooms at 
Brighton ; other very strong feeling about his departure he had 
none. Certainly his daughter did not come between him and his 
preparations for hereafter, nor the thought of her solitude distract 
his fleeting soul. 

In the general result life seemed ended for Trix Trevalla at 
twenty-two, and. pending release from it in the ordinary course, 



32 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

she contemplated an impatient and provisional existence in Con- 
tinental pensions establishments where a young and pretty 
woman could not be suspected of wishing to reap any advantage 
from prettiness or youth. Hundreds of estimable ladies guarantee 
this security, and thereby obtain a genteel and sufficient company 
round their modest and inexpensive tables. It was what Trix 
asked for, and for two years she got it. During this period she 
sometimes regretted Vesey Trevalla, and sometimes asked whether 
vacancy were not worse than misery, or on what grounds limbo 
was to be preferred to hell. She could not make up her mind on 
this question nor is it proposed to settle it here. Probably most 
people have tried both on their own account. 

One evening she arrived at Paris rather late, and the isolation 
ward (metaphors will not be denied sometimes) to which she had 
been recommended was found to be full. Somewhat apprehensive, 
she was driven to an hotel of respectability, and, rushing to catch 
the flying coat-tails of table d'hote, found herself seated beside a 
man who was apparently not much above thirty. This unwonted 
propinquity set her doing what she had not done for years in 
public, though she had never altogether abandoned the practice 
as a private solace : as she drank her cold soup, she laughed. 
Her neighbour, a shabby man with a rather shaggy beard, turned 
benevolently inquiring eyes on her. A moment's glance made 
him start a little and say, ' Surely it's Mrs. Trevalla ? ' 

' That's my name,' answered Trix, wondering greatly, but 
thanking heaven for a soul who knew her. In the pensions they 
never knew who you were, but were always trying to find out, and 
generally succeeded the day after you went away. 

' That's very curious,' he went on. ' I daresay you'll be sur- 
prised, but your photograph stands on my bedroom mantelpiece. 
I knew you directly from it. It was sent to me.' 

' When was it sent you ? ' she asked. 

' At the time of your marriage.' He grew grave as he spoke. 

' You were his friend ? ' 

' I called myself so.' Conversation was busy round them, yet 
he lowered his voice to add, ' I don't know now whether I had any 
right.' 

1 Why not ? ' 

' I gave up very soon.' 

Trix's eyes shot a quick glance at him and she frowned a 
little. 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 33 

' Well, I ought to have been more than a friend, and so did I,' 
she said. 

' It would have been utterly useless, of course. Reason recog- 
nises that, but then conscience isn't always reasonable.' 

She agreed with a nod as she galloped through her fish, eager 
to overtake the menu. 

1 Besides, I have ' He hesitated a moment, smiling 

apologetically and playing nervously with a knife. ' I have a 
propensity myself, and that makes me judge him more easily 
and myself not so lightly.' 

She looked at his pint of ordinaire with eyebrows raised. 

' Oh, no, quite another,' he assured her, smiling. ' But it's 
enough to teach me what propensities are.' 

' What is it ? Tell me.' She caught eagerly at the strange 
luxury of intimate talk. 

' Never ! But, as I say, I've learnt from it. Are you alone 
here, Mrs. Trevalla ? ' 

' Here and everywhere,' said Trix, with a sigh and a smile. 

' Come for a stroll after dinner. I'm an old friend of Vesey's, 
you know.' The last remark was evidently thrown in as a con- 
cession to rules not held in much honour by the speaker. Trix 
said that she would come ; the outing seemed a treat to her after 
the pensions. 

They drank beer together on the boulevards ; he heard her 
story, and he said many things to her, waving (as the evening 
wore on) a pipe to and fro from his mouth to the length of his 
arm. It was entirely owing to the things which he said that 
evening on the boulevards that she sat now in the flat over the 
river, her mourning doffed, her guaranteed pensions forsaken, 
London before her, an unknown alluring sea. 

' W T hat you want,' he told her with smiling vehemence, ' is a 
revenge. Hitherto you've done nothing ; you've only had things 
done to you. You've made nothing ; you've only been made into 
things yourself. Life has played with you ; go and play with it.' 

Trix listened, sitting very still, with eager eyes. There was 
a life, then a life still open to her ; the door was not shut, nor 
her story of necessity ended. 

' I daresay you'll scorch your fingers ; for the fire burns. But 
it's better to die of heat than of cold. And if trouble comes, call 
at 6 A Danes Inn.' 

' Where in the world is Danes Inn ? ' she asked, laughing. 

VOL. XII. NO. 67, N.S. 3 



34 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

' Between New and Clement's, of course.' He looked at her 
in momentary surprise, and then laughed. ' Oh, well, not above 
a mile from civilisation and a shilling cab from aristocracy. I 
happen to lodge there.' 

She looked at him curiously. He was shabby yet rather dis- 
tinguished, shaggy but clean. He advised life, and he lived in 
Danes Inn, where an instinct told her that life would not be 
a very maddening or riotous thing. 

' Come, you must live again, Mrs. Trevalla,' he urged. 

' Do you live, as you call it ? ' she asked, half in mocker}', 
half in a genuine curiosity. 

A shade of doubt, perhaps of distress, spread over his face. 
He knocked out his pipe deliberately before answering. 

' Well, hardly, perhaps.' Then he added eagerly, ' I work, 
though.' 

' Does that do instead ? ' To Triz's new-born mood the substi- 
tute seemed a poor one. 

' Yes if you have a propensity.' 

What was his tone ? Sad or humorous, serious or mocking ? 
It sounded all. 

' Oh, work's your propensity, is it ? ' she cried gaily and scorn- 
fully, as she rose to her feet. ' I don't think it's mine, you know.' 

He made no reply, but turned away to pay for the beer. It 
was a trifling circumstance, but she noticed that at first he put 
down three sous for the waiter, and then returned to the table in 
order to make the tip six. He looked as if he had done his duty 
when he had made it six. 

They walked back to the hotel together and shook hands in 
the hall. 

' GA Danes Inn ? ' she asked merrily. 

' GA Danes Inn, Mrs. Trevalla. Is it possible that my advice 
is working ? ' 

' It's working very hard indeed as hard as you work. But 
Danes Inn is only a refuge, isn't it ? ' 

' It's not fit for much more, I fear.' 

' I shall remember it. And now, as a formality and perhaps 
as a concession to the postman who are you ? ' 

' My name is Airey Newton.' 

' I never heard Vesey mention you.' 

' No, I expect not. But I knew him very well. I'm not an 
impostor, Mrs. Trevalla.' 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 35 

' Why didn't he mention you ? ' asked Trix. Vesey had been, 
on the whole, a communicative man. 

He hesitated a moment before he answered. 

' Well, I wrote to him on the subject of his marriage,' he 
confessed at last. 

She needed no more. 

' I see,' she said, with an understanding nod. ' Well, that 
was honest of you. Good night, Mr. Newton.' 

This meeting all their conversation was fresh and speaking 
in her brain as she sat looking over the river in her recovered 
gown of blue. But for the meeting, but for the shabby man 
and what he had said, there would have been no blue gown, she 
would not have been in London nor in the flat. He had brought 
her there, to do something, to make something, to play with life 
as life had played with her, to have a revenge, to die, if die she 
must, of heat rather than of cold. 

Well, she would follow his advice would accept and fulfil it 
amply. ' At the worst there are the pensions again and there's 
Danes Inn ! ' 

She laughed at that idea, but her laugh was rather hard, her 
mouth a little grim, her eyes mischievous. These were the marks 
youth and the four years had left. Besides, she cared for not a 
soul on earth. 



CHAPTEE II. 

COMING NEAR THE FIRE. 

AT the age of forty (a point now passed by some half-dozen years) 
Mrs. Bonfill had become motherly. The change was sudden, 
complete, and eminently wise. It was accomplished during a 
summer's retirement ; she disappeared a queen regnant, she re- 
appeared a dowager all by her own act, for none had yet 
ventured to call her passee. But she was a big woman, and she 
recognised facts. She had her reward. She gained power 
instead of losing it; she had always loved power, and had the 
shrewdness to discern that there was more than one form of it. 
The obvious form she had never, as a young and handsome 
woman, misused or over-used ; she had no temptations that way, 
or, as her friend Lady Blixworth preferred to put it, 'In that 
respect dearest Sarah was always bourgeoise to the core.' The 

32 



36 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

new form she now attained influence was more to her taste. 
She liked to shape people's lives ; if they were submissive and 
obedient she would make their fortunes. She needed some 
natural capacities in her proteges, of course ; but, since she chose 
cleverly, these were seldom lacking. Mrs. Bonfill did the rest. 
She could open doors that obeyed no common key; she could 
smooth difficulties ; she had in two or three cases blotted out a 
past, and once had reformed a gambler. But she liked best to 
make marriages and Ministers. Her own daughter, of course, 
she married immediately that was nothing. She had married 
Nellie Towler to Sir James Quinby-Lee the betting had been 
ten to one against it and Lady Mildred Haughton to Frank 
Cleveland flat in the face of both the families. As for Ministers, 
she stood well with Lord Farringham, was an old friend of Lord 
Grlentorly, and, to put it unkindly, had Constantine Blair fairly 
in her pocket. It does not do to exaggerate drawing-room 
influence, but when Beaufort Chance became a Whip, and young 
Lord Mervyn was appointed Grlentorly's Under-Secretary at the 
War Office, and everybody knew that they were Mrs. Bonfill's 
last and prime favourites well, the coincidence was remarkable. 
And never a breath of scandal with it all ! It was no small 
achievement for a woman born in, bred at, and married from an 
unpretentious villa at Streatham. La carrier e ouverte but 
perhaps that is doing some injustice to Mr. Bonfill. After all, 
he and the big house in Grosvenor Square had made everything 
possible. Mrs. Bonfill loved her husband, and she never tried 
to make him a Minister ; it was a well-balanced mind, save for 
that foible of power. He was very proud of her, though he 
rather wondered why she took so much trouble about other 
people's affairs. He owned a brewery, and was Chairman of a 
railway company. 

Trix Trevalla had been no more than a month in London 
when she had the great good fortune to be taken up by Mrs. 
Bonfill. It was not everybody's luck. Mrs. Bonfill was par- 
ticular; she refused hundreds, some for her own reasons, some 
because of the things Viola Blixworth might say. The Frickers, 
for example, failed in their assault on Mrs. Bonfill or had up to 
now. Yet Mrs. Bonfill herself would have been good-natured to 
the Frickers. 

' I can't expose myself to Viola by taking up the Frickers,' 
she explained to her husband, who had been not indisposed, for 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 37 

business reasons, to do Fricker a good turn. For Lady Blixworth, 
with no other qualities very striking to a casual observer, and 
with an appearance that the term ' elegant ' did ample justice to, 
possessed a knack of describing people whom she did not like in 
a way that they did not like a gift which made her respected 
and, on the whole, popular. 

' The woman's like a bolster grown fat ; the daughter's like a 
sausage rilled unevenly ; and the man well, I wouldn't have him 
to a political party ! ' 

Thus had Lady Blixworth dealt with the Frickers, and even 
Mrs. Bonfill quailed. 

It was very different with Trix Tre valla. Pretty, presentable, 
pleasant, even witty in an unsubtle sort of fashion, she made an 
immediate success. She was understood to be well-off too ; the 
flat was not a cheap one ; she began to entertain a good deal in 
a quiet way ; she drove a remarkably neat brougham. These 
things are not done for nothing nor even on the interest of 
twenty thousand pounds. Yet Trix did them, and nobody asked 
any questions except Mrs. Bonfill, and she was assured that Trix 
was living well within her means. May not 'means' denote 
capital as well as income ? The distinction was in itself rather 
obscure to Trix, and, Vesey Trevalla having made no settlement, 
there was nothing to drive it home. Lastly, Trix was most 
prettily docile and submissive to Mrs. Bonfill grateful, attentive, 
and obedient. She earned a reward. Any woman with half an 
eye could see what that reward should be. 

But for once Mrs. Bonfill vacillated. After knowing Trix a 
fortnight she destined her for Beaufort Chance, who had a fair 
income, ambition at least equal to his talents, and a chance of 
the House of Lords some day. Before she had known Trix a 
month so engaging and docile was Trix Mrs. Bonfill began to 
wonder whether Beaufort Chance were good enough. Certainly 
Trix was making a very great success. What then ? Should it 
be Mervyn, Mrs. BonfilPs prime card, her chosen disciple ? A 
man destined, as she believed, to go very high starting pretty 
high anyhow, and starts in the handicap are not to be dis- 
regarded. Mrs. Bonfill doubted seriously whether, in that mental 
book she kept, she should not transfer Trix to Mervyn. If Trix 

went on behaving well But the truth is that Mrs. Bonfill 

herself was captured by Trix. Yet Trix feared Mrs. Bonfill, even 
while she liked and to some extent managed her. After favouring 



38 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

Chance, Mrs. Bonfill began to put forward Mervyn. Whether 
Trix's management had anything to do with this result it is hard 
to say. 

Practical statesmen are not generally blamed for such changes 
of purpose. They may hold out hopes of, say, a reduction of 
taxation to one class or interest, and ultimately award the boon 
to another. Nobody is very severe on them. But it comes 
rather hard on the disappointed interest, which, in revenge, may 
show what teeth it has. 

Trix and Mervyn were waltzing together at Mrs. Bonfill's 
dance. Lady Blixworth sat on a sofa with Beaufort Chance and 
looked on at the dance and at her companion. 

' She's rather remarkable,' she was saying in her idle languid 
voice. ' She was meant to be vulgar, I'm sure, but she contrives 
to avoid it. I rather admire her.' 

' A dangerous shade of feeling to excite in you, it seems,' he 
remarked sourly. 

The lady imparted an artificial alarm to her countenance. 

' I'm so sorry if I said anything wrong ; but, oh, surely, there's 

no truth in the report that you're ? ' A motion of her fan 

towards Trix ended the sentence. 

' Not the least,' he answered gruffly. 

Sympathy succeeded alarm. With people not too clever Lady 
Blixworth allowed herself a liberal display of sympathy. It may 
have been all right to make Beaufort a Whip (though that 
question arose afterwards in an acute form), but he was no genius 
in a drawing-room. 

'Dear Sarah talks so at random sometimes,' drawled she. 
' Well-meant, I know, Beaufort, but it does put people in awkward 
positions, doesn't it ? ' 

He was a conceited man, and a pink-and-white one. He 
flushed visibly and angrily. 

' What has Mrs. Bonfill been saying about me ? ' 

' Oh, nothing much ; it's just her way. And you mustn't resent 
it you owe so much to her.' Lady Blixworth was enjoying 
herself; she had a natural delight in mischief, especially when 
ahe could direct it against her beloved and dreaded Sarah with 
fair security. 

' What did she say ? ' 

' Say ! Nothing, you foolish man ! She diffused an im- 
pression.' 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 39 



That I- 



' That you liked Mrs. Trevalla ! She was wrong, I suppose. 
Voila tout, and, above all, don't look hot and furious ; the room's 
stifling as it is.' 

Beaufort Chance was furious. We forgive much ill-treatment 
so it is secret, we accept many benefits on the same under- 
standing. To parade the benefit and to let the injustice leak 
out are the things that make us smart. Lady Blixworth had by 
dexterous implication accused Mrs. Bonfill of both offences. 
Beaufort had not the self-control to seem less angry than he was. 
' Surely,' thought Lady Blixworth, watching him, ' he's too stupid 
even for politics ! ' 

' You may take it from me,' he said pompously, ' that I have, 
and have had, no more than the most ordinary acquaintance with 
Mrs. Trevalla.' 

She nodded her head in satisfied assent. ' No, he's just stupid 
enough,' she concluded, smiling and yawning behind her fan. 
She had no compunctions she had told nearly half the truth. 
Mrs. Bonfill never gossiped about her Ministers it would have 
been fatal but she was sometimes rather expansive on the sub- 
ject of her marriages ; she was tempted to collect opinions on 
them ; she had, no doubt, (before she began to vacillate) collected 
two or three opinions about Beaufort Chance and Trix Trevalla. 

Trix's brain was whirling far quicker than her body turned in 
the easy swing of the waltz. It had been whirling this month 
back, ever since the prospect began to open, the triumphs to 
dawn, ambition to grow, a sense of her attraction and power to 
come home to her. The pensioTis were gone ; she had plunged 
into life. She was delighted and dazzled. Herself, her time, her 
feelings, and her money, she flung into the stream with a lavish 
recklessness. Yet behind the gay intoxication of the transformed 
woman she was conscious still of the old self, the wide-awake, 
rather hard girl, that product of the lodging-houses and the four 
years with Vesey Trevalla. Amid the excitement, the success, 
the folly, the old voice spoke, cautioning, advising, never allowing 
her to forget that there was a purpose and an end in it all, a 
career to make and to make speedily. Her eyes might wander to 
every alluring object ; they returned to the main chance. Where- 
fore Mrs. Bonfill had no serious uneasiness about dear Trix ; when 
the time came she would be sensible ; people fare, she reflected, 
none the worse" for being a bit hard at the core. 



40 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

' I like sitting here,' said Trix to Mervyn after the dance, 
' and seeing everybody one's read about or seen pictures of. Of 
course I don't really belong to it, but it makes me feel as if I did.' 

' You'd like to ? ' he asked. 

' Well, I suppose so,' she laughed as her eyes rambled over the 
room again. 

Lord Mervyn was conscious of his responsibilities. He had a 
future ; he was often told so in public and in private, though it 
is fair to add that he would have believed it unsolicited. That 
future, together with the man who was to have it, he took 
seriously. And, though of rank unimpeachable, he was not quite 
rich enough for that future ; it could be done on what he had, but 
it could be done better with some more. Evidently Mrs. Bonfill 
had been captured by Trix ; as a rule she would not have 
neglected the consideration that his future could be done better 
with some more. He had not forgotten it ; so he did not imme- 
diately offer to make Trix really belong to the brilliant world she 
saw. She. was very attractive, and well-off, as he understood, but 
she was not, from a material point of view, by any means what he 
had a right to claim. Besides she was a widow, and he would 
have preferred that not to be the case. 

' Prime Ministers and things walking about like flies ! ' sighed 
Trix, venting satisfaction in a pardonable exaggeration. It was 
true, however, that Lord Farringham had looked in for half an 
hour, talked to Mrs. Bonfill for ten minutes, and made a tour 
round, displaying a lofty cordiality which admirably concealed 
his desire to be elsewhere. 

' You'll soon get used to it all,' Mervyn assured her with a 
rather superior air. ' It's a bore, but it has to be done. The 
social side can't be neglected, you see.' 

' If I neglected anything, it would be the other, I think.' 

He smiled tolerantly and quite believed her. Trix was most 
butterfly-like to-night ; there was no hardness in her laugh, not a 
hint of grimness in her smile. ' You would never think,' Mrs. 
Bonfill used to whisper, ' what the poor child has been through.' 

Beaufort Chance passed by, casting a scowling glance at them. 

' I haven't seen you dancing with Chance or perhaps you 
sat out ? He's not much of a performer.' 

' I gave him a dance, but I forgot.' 

'Which dance, Mrs. Trevalla?' Her glance had prompted 
the question. 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 41 

' Ours,' said Trix. ' You came so late I had none left.' 

' I very seldom dance, but you tempted me.' He was not 
underrating his compliment. For a moment Trix was sorely 
inclined to snub him ; but policy forbade. When he left her, to 
seek Lady Blixworth, she felt rather relieved. 

Beaufort Chance had watched his opportunity, and came by 
again with an accidental air. She called to him and was all 
graciousness and apologies ; she had every wish to keep the second 
string in working order. Beaufort had not sat there ten minutes 
before he was in his haste accusing Lady Blixworth of false in- 
sinuations unless, indeed, Trix were an innocent instrument in 
Mrs. Bonfill's hands. Trix was looking the part very well. 

' I wish you'd do me a great kindness,' he said presently. 
' Come to dinner some day.' 

' Oh, that's a very tolerable form of benevolence. Of course 
I will.' 

' Wait a bit. I mean to meet the Flickers.' 

' Oh ! ' Meeting the Frickers seemed hardly an inducement. 

But Beaufort Chance explained. On the one side Fricker 
was a very useful man to stand well with ; he could put you into 
things and take you out at the right time. Trix nodded sagely, 
though she knew nothing about such matters. On the other 
hand Beaufort grew both diplomatic and confidential in manner 
Fricker had little ambition outside his business, but Mrs. and 
Miss Fricker had enough and to spare ambitions social for them- 
selves, and, subsidiary thereunto, political for Fricker. 

' Viola Blixworth has frightened Mrs. Bonfill,' he complained. 
' Lady Grlentorly talks about drawing the line, and all the rest of 
them are just as bad. Now if you'd come ' 

' Me ? What good should I do ? The Frickers won't care 
about me.' 

' Oh, yes, they will ! ' He did not lack adroitness in baiting 
the hook for her. ' They know you can do anything with Mrs. 
Bonfill ; they know you're going to be very much in it. You 
won't be afraid of Viola Blixworth in a month or two ! I shall 
please Fricker you'll please the women. Now do come.' 

Trix's vanity was flattered. Was she already a woman of 
influence ? Beaufort Chance had the other lure ready too. 

' And I daresay you don't mind hearing of a good thing if it 
comes in your way ? ' he suggested carelessly. ' People with 
money to spare find Fricker worth knowing, and he's absolutely 
square.' 



42 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

' Do you mean he'd make money for me ? ' asked Trix, trying 
to keep any note of eagerness out of her voice. 

' He'd show you how to make it for yourself, anyhow.' 

Trix sat in meditative silence for a few moments. Presently 
she turned to him with a bright friendly smile. 

' Oh, never mind all that ! I'll come for your sake to please 
you,' she said. 

Beaufort Chance was not quite sure that he believed her this 
time, but he looked as if he did which serves just as well in social 
relations. He named a day, and Trix gaily accepted the appoint- 
ment. There were few adventures, not many new things, that 
she was not ready for just now. The love of the world had laid 
hold of her. 

And here at Mrs. BonfilPs she seemed to be in the world up 
to her eyes. People had come on from big parties as the evening 
waned, and the last hour dotted the ball-room with celebrities. 
Politicians in crowds, leaders of fashion, an actress or two, an 
Indian prince, a great explorer they made groups which seemed 
to express the many-sidedness of London, to be the thousand 
tributaries that swell the great stream of its society. There was 
a little unusual stir to-night. A foreign complication had arisen, 
or was supposed to have arisen. People were asking what the 
Tsar was going to do; and, when one considers the reputation 
for secrecy enjoyed by Eussian diplomacy, quite a surprising 
number of them seemed to know, and told one another with an 
authority only matched by the discrepancy between their versions. 
When they saw a man who possibly might know Lord Glentorly 
they crowded round him eagerly, regardless of the implied 
aspersion on their own knowledge. G-lentorly had been sitting in 
a corner with Mrs. Bonfill, and she shared in his glory, perhaps 
in his private knowledge. But both Glentorly and Mrs. Bonfill 
professed to know no more than there was in the papers, and 
insinuated that they did not believe that. Everybody at once 
declared that they had never believed that, and had said so at 
dinner, and the very wise added that it was evidently inspired by 
the Stock Exchange. A remark to this effect had just fallen 
on Trix's ears when a second observation from behind reached her. 

' Not one of them knows a thing about it,' said a calm, cool, 
youthful voice. 

' I can't think why they want to,' came as an answer in rich 
pleasant tones. 

Trix glanced round and saw a smart trim young man, and by 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 43 

his side a girl with beautiful hair. She had only a glimpse of 
them, for in an instant they disentangled themselves from the 
gossipers and joined the few couples who were keeping it up to 
the last dance. 

It will be seen that Beaufort Chance had not given up the 
game ; Lady Blixworth's pin-pricks had done the work which they 
were probably intended to do : they had incited him to defy Mrs. 
Bonfill, to try to win off his own bat. She might discard him in 
favour of Mervyn, but he would fight for himself. The dinner to 
which he bade Trix would at once assert and favour intimacy ; if 
he could put her under an obligation it would be all to the good ; 
flattering her vanity was already a valuable expedient. That 
stupidity of his, which struck Viola Blixworth with such a sense of 
its density, lay not in misunderstanding or misraluing the com- 
mon motives of humanity, but in considering that all humanity 
was common : he did not allow for the shades, the variations, 
the degrees. Nor did he appreciate in the least the mood that 
governed or the temper that swayed Trix Trevalla. He thought 
that she preferred him as a man, Mervyn as a match. Both of 
them were, in fact, at this time no more than figures in the great 
ballet at which she now looked on, in which she meant soon to mix. 

Mrs. Bonfill caught Trix as she went to her carriage that smart 
brougham was in waiting and patted her cheek more materno. 

' I saw you were enjoying yourself, child,' she said. ' What 
was all that Beaufort had to say to you ? ' 

' Oh, just nonsense,' answered Trix lightly. 

Mrs. Bonfill smiled amiably. 

'He's not considered to talk nonsense generally,' she said; 
' but perhaps there was someone you wanted to talk to more ! 
You won't say anything, I see, but Mortimer stayed late ! 
He's coming to luncheon to-morrow. Won't you come too ? ' 

' I shall be delighted,' said Trix. Her eyes were sparkling. 
She had possessed wit enough to see the vacillation of Mrs 
Bonfill. Did this mean that it was ended ? The invitation to 
lunch looked like it. Mrs. Bonfill believed in lunch for such 
purposes. In view of the invitation to lunch, Trix said nothing 
about the invitation to dinner. 

As she was driven from Grosvenor Square to the flat by the 
river, she was marvellously content enjoying still, not thinking, 
wondering, not feeling, making in her soul material and sport of 
others, herself seeming not subject to design or accident. The 
change was great to her ; the ordinary mood of youth that ha 



44 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

known only good fortune seemed to her the most wonderful of 
transformations, almost incredible. She exulted in it and gloated 
over the brightness of her days. What of others ? Well, what of 
the players in the pantomime ? Do they not play for us ? What 
more do we ask of or about them? Trix was not in the least 
inclined to be busy with more fortunes than her own. For this 
was the thing this was what she had desired. 

How had she come to desire it so urgently and to take it 
with such recklessness ? The words of the shabby man on the 
boulevards came back to her. ' Life has played with you ; go 
and play with it. You may scorch your fingers, for the fire 
burns ; but it's better to die of heat than of cold.' 

' Yes, better of heat than of cold,' laughed Trix Trevalla 
triumphantly, and she added, ' If there's anything wrong, why, 
he's responsible ! ' She was amused both at the idea of anything 
being wrong, and at the notion of holding the quiet shabby man 
responsible. There could be no link between his life and the 
world she had lived in that night. Yet, if he held these views 
about the way to treat life, why did he not live ? He had said 
he hardly lived, he only worked. Trix was in an amused puzzle 
about the shabby man as she got into bed ; he actually put the 
party and its great ballet out of her head. 



CHAPTER III. 

IN DANES INN. 

SOME men maintained that it was not the quantity, nor the 
quality, nor the colour of Peggy Ryle's hair that did the mischief, 
but simply and solely the way it grew. Perhaps (for the opinion 
of men in such matters is eminently and consciously fallible) it 
did not grow that way at all, but was arranged. The result to 
the eye was the same, a peculiar harmony between the waves 
of the hair, the turn of the neck, and the set of the head. So 
notable and individual a thing was this agreement that Arthur 
Kane and Miles Childwick, poet and critic, were substantially at 
one about it. Kane described it as ' the artistry of accident,' 
Childwick lauded its ' meditated spontaneity.' Neither gentle- 
man was ill-pleased with his phrase, and each professed a polite 
admiration of the other's effort these civilities are necessary in 
literary circles. Other young men painted or drew the hair, and 
the neck, and the head, till Peggy complained that her other 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 45 

features were neglected most disdainfully. Other young men 
again, not endowed with the gift of expression by tongue or by 
hand, contented themselves with swelling Peggy's court. She- 
did not mind how much they swelled it. She had a fine versa- 
tility, and could be flirted with in rhyme, in polished periods, in 
modern slang, or in the deaf-and-dumb alphabet ; the heart is, of 
course, the thing in such a matter, various forms of expression no 
more than its interpreters. Meanwhile Peggy learnt men and 
their manners, caused a good deal of picturesque misery published 
and unpublished and immensely increased the amenity of life 
wherever she went. And she went everywhere, when she could 
pay a cab fare and contrive a frock, or borrow one or both of these 
commodities. (Elfreda Flood, for instance, often had a frock. 
She generally returned the cab fare, and you could usually regain 
the frock by personal exertions ; it was not considered the correct 
thing to ask her directly for either. She had an income of forty 
pounds a year, and professed to be about to learn to paint in real 
earnest. There was also an uncle in Berlin who sent cheques at 
rare and irregular intervals. When a cheque came, Peggy gave a 
dinner-party ; when there had been no cheque for a long while, 
Peggy accepted a dinner. That was all the difference it made. 
And anyhow there was always bread-and-butter to be had at 
Airey Newton's. Airey appeared not to dine, but there was tea 
and there was bread-and-butter a thing worth knowing now and 
then to Peggy Eyle. 

She had been acquainted with Airey Newton for two years 
almost since her first coming to London. Theirs was a real and 
intimate friendship, and her figure was familiar to the dingy 
house whose soft-stone front had crumbled into a premature old 
age. Airey was on the third floor, front and back ; two very 
large windows adorned his sitting-room it was necessary to give 
all encouragement and opportunity to any light that found its way 
into the gloomy cul-de-sac. Many an afternoon Peggy sat by one 
of these windows in a dilapidated wicker arm-chair, watching the 
typewriting clerk visible through the corresponding big window 
opposite. Sometimes Airey talked, oftener he went on with his 
work as though she were not there ; she liked this inattention as 
a change. But she was a little puzzled over that work of his. 
He had told her that he was an inventor. So far she was content, 
and when she saw him busy with models or working out sums 
she concluded that he was-et his trade. It did not appear to be 
a good trade, for he was shabby, the room was shabbier, and (as 



46 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

has been mentioned) he did not, so far at her observation went, 
dine. But probably it kept him happy ; she had always pictured 
.inventors as blissful although poverty-stricken persons. The 
work-table then, a big deal one which blocked the other window, 
was intelligible enough. The mystery lay in the small table on 
the right hand of the fireplace ; under it stood a Chubb' s safe, 
and on it reposed a large book covered in red leather and fastened 
with a padlock. She had never seen either book or safe open, 
and when she had asked what was in them, Airey told her a little 
story about a Spartan who was carrying something under his 
cloak a mode of retort which rather annoyed her. So she 
inquired no more. But she was sure that the locks were un- 
fastened when she was gone. What was there ? Was he writing 
a great book ? Or did he own ancestral plate ? Or precious 
and perhaps scandalous documents ? Something precious there 
must be ; the handsomeness of the book, the high polish by 
which the metal of the safe shamed the surrounding dustiness, 
stood out sure signs and proofs of that. 

Peggy had just bought a new frock and paid for it under 
some pressure and a cheque had not come for ever so long ; so 
she ate bread-and-butter steadily and happily, interrupting herself 
only to pour out more tea. At last Airey pushed away his papers 
and models, saying, ' That's done, thank heaven ! ' and got up to 
light his pipe. Peggy poured out a cup of tea for him, and he 
came across the room for it. He looked much as when he had 
met Trix Trevalla in Paris, but his hair was shorter and his beard 
trimmed close and cut to a point ; these improvements were due 
to Peggy's reiterated entreaties. 

' Well ? ' he asked, standing before her, his eyes twinkling 
kindly. 

' Times are hard, but the heart is light, Airey. I've been 
immortalised in a sonnet ' 

' Dissected in an essay too ? ' he suggested with ironical 
admiration. 

' I don't recognise myself there. And I've had an offer 

' Another ? ' 

' Not that sort an offer of a riding-horse. But I haven't got 
a habit.' 

' Nor a stable perhaps ? ' 

' No, nor a stable. I didn't think of that. And you, Airey ? ' 

' Barring the horse, and the sonnei, and the essay, I'm much 
as you are, Peggy.' 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 47 

She threw her head back a little and looked at him ; her tone, 
while curious, was also slightly compassionate. 

' I suppose you get some money for your things sometimes ? ' 
she asked. ' I mean, when you invent a a -well, say a cork- 
screw, they give you something ? ' 

' Of course. I make my living that way/ He smiled faintly 
at the involuntary glance from Peggy's eyes that played round 
the room. ' Yesterday's again ! ' he exclaimed suddenly, taking 
up the loaf. ' I told Mrs. Stryver I wouldn't have a yesterday's ! ' 
His tone was indignant ; he seemed anxious to vindicate himself. 

' It won't be to-morrow's, anyhow,' laughed Peggy, regarding 
the remaining and much diminished fragment in his hand. ' It 
wasn't badly stale.' 

Airey took his pipe out of his mouth and spoke with the 
abruptness of a man who has just made up his mind to speak. 

' Do you know a Mrs. Tre valla ? ' he asked. 

' Oh, yes ; by sight very well.' 

' How does she strike you ? ' 

' Well certainly pretty ; probably clever ; perhaps Is 

she a friend of yours ? ' 

' I've known about her a long while and met her once.' 

' Once ! Well, then, perhaps unscrupulous.' 

' Why do you think she's unscrupulous ? ' 

' Why do you ask me about her ? ' retorted Peggy. 

' She's written to me, proposing to come and see me.' 

' Have you asked her ? I can't have you having a lot of 
visitors, you know. I come here for quiet.' 

Airey looked a little embarrassed. ' Well, I did give her a 
sort of general invitation,' he murmured, fingering his beard. 
' That is, I told her to come if if she was in any difficulty.' He 
turned an appealing glance towards Peggy's amused face. ' Have 
you heard of her being in any difficulty ? ' 

' No, but I should think it's not at all unlikely.' 

' Why ? ' 

' Have you ever had two people in love with you at the same 
time ? ' 

' Never, on my honour/ said Airey with obvious sincerity. 

' If you had, and if you were as pleasant as you could be to 
both of them, and kept them going by turns, and got all you 
could out of both of them, and kept on like that for about two 
months ' 

' Oh, that's how the land lies, is it ? ' 



48 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

' Don't you think it possible you might be in a difficulty some 
day?' 

' But, good heavens, that's not the sort of thing to bring to me.' 

' Apparently Mrs. Trevalla thinks differently,' laughed Peggy. 
' At least I can't think of any other difficulty she's likely to be in.' 

Airey was obviously disturbed and displeased. 

' If what you say is true,' he observed, ' she can't be a good 
sort of woman.' 

' I suppose not.' Peggy's admission sounded rather reluctant. 

' Who are the two men ? ' 

' Lord Mervyn and Beaufort Chance.' 

' M.P.'s, aren't they ? ' 

' Among other things, Airey. Well, you can't tell her not to 
come, can you ? After that sort of general invitation, you know.' 
Peggy's tone was satirical ; she had rather strong views as to the 
way in which men made fools of themselves over women or 
sometimes said she had. 

' I was an old friend of her husband's.' 

' Oh, you've nothing to apologise for. When does she want 
to come ? ' 

' To-morrow. I say, oughtn't I to offer to go and call on her?' 

' She'd think that very dull in comparison,' Peggy assured 
him. ' Let her come and sob out her trouble here.' 

' You appear to be taking the matter in a flippant spirit, 
Peggy.' 

' I don't think I'm going to be particularly sorry if Mrs. 
Trevalla is in a bit of a scrape.' 

' You young women are so moral.' 

' I don't care,' said Peggy defiantly. 

' Women have an extraordinary gift for disliking one another 
on sight,' mused Airey in an injured voice. 

' You seem to have liked Mrs. Trevalla a good deal on sight.' 

' She looked so sad, so solitary, a mere girl in her widow's 
weeds.' His tone grew compassionate, almost tender, as he recalled 
the forlorn figure which had timidly stolen into the dining-room 
of the Paris hotel. 

' You'll find her a little bit changed perhaps,' Peggy sug- 
gested with a suppressed malice that found pleasure in anticipating 
his feelings. 

' Oh, well, she must come anyhow, I suppose.' 

' Yes, let her come, Airey. It does these people good to see 
how the poor live.' 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 49 

Airey laughed, but not very heartily. However it was well 
understood that everybody in their circle was very poor, and 
Peggy felt no qualms about referring to the fact. 

' I shall come the next day and hear all about the interview. 
Fancy these interesting things happening to you ! Because, you 
know, she's rather famous. Mrs. Bonfill has taken her up, and 
the G-lentorlys are devoted to her, and Lady Blixworth has said 
some of her best things about her. She'll bring you into touch 
with fashion.' 

' Hang fashion ! ' said Airey. ' I wonder what her difficulty 
is.' He seemed quite preoccupied with the idea of Mrs. Tre- 
valla's difficulty. 

I see you're going to be very romantic indeed,' laughed 
Peggy Kyle. 

His eyes dwelt on her for a moment, and a very friendly 
expression filled them. 

' Don't you get into any difficulties ? ' he said. 

' There's never but one with me,' she laughed ; ' and that 
doesn't hurt, Airey.' 

There was a loud and cheerful knock on the door. 

' Visitors ! When people come, how do you account for 
me?' 

' I say nothing. I believe you're taken for my daughter.' 

' Not since you trimmed your beard ! Well, it doesn't matter, 
does it ? Let him in.' 

The visitor proved to be nobody to whom Peggy needed to be 
accounted for ; he was Tommy Trent, the smart trim young man 
who had danced with her at Mrs. Bonfill's party. 

' You here again ! ' he exclaimed in tones of grave censure, as 
he laid down his hat on the top of the red-leather book on the 
little table. He blew on the book first, to make sure it was not 
dusty. 

Peggy smiled, and Airey relit his pipe. Tommy walked across 
and looked at the d&yris of the loaf. He shook his head when 
Peggy offered him tea. 

A sudden idea seemed to occur to him. 

1 I'm awfully glad to find you here,' he remarked to her. ' It 
saves me going up to your place, as I meant. I've got some 
people dining to-night, and one of them's failed. I wonder if 
you'd come ? I know it's a bore coming again so soon, but ' 

' I haven't been since Saturday.' 

VOL. XII. NO. 67, N.S. 4 



50 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

' But it would get me out of a hole.' He spoke in humble 
entreaty. 

' I'd come directly, but I'm engaged.' 

Tommy looked at her sorrowfully, and, it must be added, 
sceptically. 

' Engaged to dinner and supper,' averred Peggy with emphasis 
as she pulled her hat straight and put on her gloves. 

' You wouldn't even look in between the two and and have 
an ice with us ?' 

' I really can't eat three meals in one evening, Tommy.' 

' Oh, chuck one of them. You might, for once ! ' 

' Impossible ! I'm dining with my oldest friend,' smiled Peggy. 
' I simply can't.' She turned to Airey, giving him her hand with 
a laugh. ' I like you best, because you just let me ' 

Both words and laughter died away; she stopped abruptly, 
looking from one man to the other. There was something in 
their faces that arrested her words and her merriment. She 
could not analyse what it was, but she saw that she had made 
both of them uncomfortable. They had guessed what she was 
going to say ; it would have been painful to one of them, and the 
other knew it. But whom had she wounded Tommy by imply- 
ing that his hospitality was importunate and his kindness clumsy, 
or Airey by a renewed reference to his poverty as shown in the 
absence of pressing invitations from him ? She could not tell ; 
but a constraint had fallen on them both. She cut her farewell 
short and went away, vaguely vexed and penitent for an offence 
which she perceived but did not understand. 

The two men stood listening a moment to her light footfall on 
the stairs. 

' It's all a lie, you know,' said Tommy. ' She isn't engaged 
to dinner or to supper either. It's beastly, that's what it is.' 

' Yours was all a lie too, I suppose ? ' Airey spoke in a dull 
hard voice. 

' Of course it was, but I could have beaten somebody up in 
time, or said they'd caught influenza, or been given a box at the 
opera, or something.' 

Airey sat down by the fireplace, his chin sunk on his necktie. 
He seemed unhappy and rather ashamed. Tommy glanced at 
him with a puzzled look, shook his head, and then broke into a 
smile as though, in the end, the only thing for it was to be 
amused. Then he drew a long envelope from his pocket. 

' I've brought the certificates along,' he said. ' Here they are. 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 51 

Two thousand. Just look at them. It's a good thing; and if you 
sit on it for a bit, it'll pay for keeping.' He laid the envelope on 
the small table by Airey's side, took up his hat, put it on, and lit 
a cigarette as he repeated, ' Just see they're all right, old chap.' 

' They're sure to be right.' Airey shifted uncomfortably in 
his chair and pulled at his empty pipe. 

Tommy tilted his hat far back on his head, turned a chair 
back foremost, and sat down on it, facing his friend. 

' I'm your business man,' he remarked. ' I do your business 
and I hold my tongue about it. Don't I ? ' 

' Like the tomb,' Airey acknowledged. 

' And Well, at any rate let me congratulate you on 

the bread-and-butter. Only only, I say, she'd have dined with 
you, if you'd asked her, Airey.' 

His usually composed and unemotional voice shook for an 
almost imperceptible moment. 

' I know,' said Airey Newton, He rose, unlocked the safe, 
and threw the long envelope in. Then he unlocked the red- 
leather book, took a pen, made a careful entry in it, re-locked it, 
and returned to his chair. He said nothing more, but he glanced 
once at Tommy Trent in a timid way. Tommy smiled back in 
recovered placidity. Then they began to talk of inventions, 
patents, processes, companies, stocks, shares, and all manner of 
things that produce or have to do with money. 

' So far, so good,' ended Tommy. ' And if the oxygen process 
proves commercially practicable it's all right in theory, I know 
I fancy you may look for something big.' He threw away his 
cigarette and stood up, as if to go. But he lingered a moment, 
and a touch of embarrassment affected his manner. Airey had 
quite recovered his confidence and happiness during the talk on 
money matters. 

' She didn't tell you any news, I suppose ? ' Tommy asked. 

' What, Peggy ? No, I don't think so. Well, nothing about 
herself, anyhow.' 

' It's uncommonly wearing for me,' Tommy complained with 
a pathetic look on his clear-cut healthy countenance. ' I know 
I must play a waiting game; if I said anything to her now I 
shouldn't have a chance. So I have to stand by and see the other 
fellows make the running. By Jove, I lie awake at nights some 

nights, anyhow imagining infernally handsome poets Old 

Arty Kane isn't handsome, though ! I say, Airey, don't you think 

42 



52 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

she's got too much sense to marry a poet ? You told me 1 
must touch her imagination. Do I look like touching anybody's 
imagination ? I'm about as likely to do it as as you are.' His 
attitude towards the suggested achievement wavered between envy 
and scorn. 

Airey endured this outburst and its concluding insinuation 
with unruffled patience. He was at his pipe again, and puffed 
out wisdom securely vague. 

' You can't tell with a girl. It takes them all at once some- 
times. Up to now I think it's all right.' 

'Not Arty Kane?' 

' Lord, no ! ' 

' Nor Childwick ? He's a clever chap, Childwick. Not got a 
sou, of course ; she'd starve just the same.' 

' She'd have done it before if i^had been going to be Miles 
Childwick.' 

' She'll meet some devilish fascinating chap some day, I know 
she will.' 

1 He'll ill-use her perhaps,' Airey suggested hopefully. 

' Then I shall nip in, you mean ? Have you been treating 
yourself to Drury Lane ? ' 

Airey laughed openly, and presently Tommy himself joined in, 
though in a rather rueful fashion. 

' Why the deuce can't we just like 'em ? ' he asked. 

' That would be all right on the pessimistic theory of the 
world.' 

' Oh, hang the world ! Well, good-bye, old chap. I'm glad 
you approve of what I've done about the business.' 

His reference to the business seemed to renew Airey Newton's 
discomfort. He looked at his friend, and after a long pause said 
solemnly : 

' Tommy Trent ! ' 

' Yes, Airey Newton ! ' 

' Would you mind telling me man to man how you contrive 
to be my friend ? ' 

'What?' 

' You're the only man who knows and you're my only real 
friend.' 

' I regard it as just like drinking,' Tommy explained, after a 
minute's thought. ' You're the deuce of a good fellow in every 
other way. I hope you'll be cured some day too. I may live to 
see you bankrupt yet.' 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 53 

' I work for it. I work hard and usefully.' 

' And even brilliantly,' added Tommy. 

' It's mine. I haven't robbed anybody. And nobody has any 
claim on me.' 

' I didn't introduce this discussion.' Tommy was evidently 
pained. He held out his hand to take leave. 

' It's an extraordinary thing, but there it is,' mused Airey. 
He took Tommy's hand and said, ' On my honour I'll ask her to 
dinner.' 

' Where ? ' inquired Tommy, in a suspicious tone. 

Airey hesitated. 

' Magnifique ! ' said Tommy firmly and relentlessly. 

' Yes, the the Magnifique,' agreed Airey, after another pause. 

' Delighted, old man ! ' He waited a moment longer, but 
Airey Newton did not fix a date. 

Airey was left sorrowful, for he loved Tommy Trent. Though 
Tommy knew his secret, still he loved him a fact that may go 
to the credit of both men. Many a man in Airey 's place would 
have hated Tommy, even while he used and relied on him ; for 
Tommy's knowledge put Airey to shame a shame he could not 
stifle any more than he could master the thing that gave it birth. 

Certainly Tommy deserved not to be hated, for he was very 
loyal. He showed that only two days later, and at a cost to him- 
self. He was dining with Peggy Ryle not she with him ; for a 
cheque had arrived, and they celebrated its coming. Tommy, in 
noble spirits (the coming of a cheque was as great an event to him 
as to Peggy herself), told her how he had elicited the offer of a 
dinner from Airey Newton ; he chuckled in pride over it. 

How men misjudge things ! Peggy sat up straight in her 
chair and flushed up to the outward curve of her hair. 

' How dare you ? ' she cried. ' As if he hadn't done enough 
for me already ! I must have eaten pounds of butter of mere 
butter alone ! You know he can't afford to give dinners.' 

Besides anger, there was a hint of pride in her emphasis on 
' dinners.' 

' I believe he can,' said Tommy, with the air of offering a 
hardy conjecture. 

' I know he can't, or of course he would. Do you intend to 
tell me that Airey Airey of all men is mean ? ' 

' Oh, no, I I don't say ' 

' It's you that's mean ! I never knew you do such a thing 
before. You've quite spoilt my pleasure this evening.' She 



54 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

looked at him sternly. ' I don't like you at all to-night. I'm 
very grievously disappointed in you.' 

Temptation raged in Tommy Trent ; he held it down manfully. 

' Well, I don't suppose he'll give the dinner, anyhow,' he 
remarked morosely. 

' No, because he can't ; but you'll have made him feel miser- 
able about it. What time is it ? I think I shall go home.' 

' Look here, Peggy, you aren't doing me justice.' 

' Well, what have you got to say ? ' 

Tommy, smoking for a moment or two, looked across at her 
and answered, ' Nothing.' 

She rose and handed him her purse. 

' Pay the bill, please, and mind you give the waiter half-a- 
crown. And ask him to call me a cab, please.' 

' It's only half a mile, and it's quite fine.' 

' A rubber-tired hansom, please, with a good horse.' 

Tommy put her into the cab and looked as if he would like to 
get in too. The cabman, generalising from observed cases, held 
the reins out of the way, that Tommy's tall hat might mount in 
safety. 

' Tell him where to go, please. Good-night,' said Peggy. 

Tommy was left on the pavement. He walked slowly along 
to his club, too upset to think of having a cigar. 

' Very well,' he remarked, as he reached his destination. ' I 
played fair, but old Airey shall give that dinner I'm hanged if 
he shan't ! and do it as if he liked it too ! ' 

A vicious chuckle surprised the hall-porter as Tommy passed 
within the precincts. 

Peggy drove home, determined to speak plainly to Airey him- 
self; that was the only way to put it right. 

'He shall know that I do him justice, anyhow,' said she. 
Thanks to the cheque, she was feeling as the rich feel, or should 
feel, towards those who have helped them in early days of 
struggle ; she experienced a generous glow and meditated delicate 
benevolence. At least the bread-and-butter must be recouped an 
hundredfold. 

So great is the virtue of twenty pounds, if only they happen 
to be sent to the right address. Most money, however, seems to 
go astray. 

(To be continued.) 



55 



AT THE JUSTICE'S WINDOW. 
BY MRS. WOODS. 

THE window looks on a narrow shelf of grass and a hedge of 
poinsettias. Beyond, the ground drops steeply towards the 
pastures. At this season the poinsettias have grown tall and 
ragged and hold their burning scarlet blossoms up singly to the 
sun. Through their straggling stems the trees show : a cloud of 
pale pink marenga blossom, the heavy greens and browns of the 
palm, the dull foliage of the mango. Away to the right, beyond 
the verandah, there is the barbecue, looking like a small asphalte 
tennis-court set in the grass. On the edge of the little plateau a 
few palm-trees, with the bold pattern of their leaning stems and 
large fronds, put an accent on the wide distance ; where in green 
pastures of tufted guinea-grass the red Herefords and the humped 
Indian cattle are feeding, under giant plumes of bamboos and 
in the elm-like shade of the broad-leaf. Spire-high the cotton- 
trees tower over all, stretching out gaunt white arms, half hidden 
by the growth of magenta orchids, wild pines, and parasite figs. 
And about the flat pastures stand forest-clothed mountains, 
beautiful with the beauty of mountains in all places of the earth. 
Here and there white wisps of vapour still trail across them, for 
it is early morning although there is no dewy dimness in the air. 
Rather the sun smites with such a brilliancy of light, such a 
crispness of shadow on the dozen or more black men and women 
waiting upon the barbecue, that it makes a picture of them in 
spite of themselves they truly having put on the whole armour 
of civilisation, called Sunday clothes : except such of them as 
have no Sunday clothes. The ebon youth they mostly are or 
look young wear serge coats and light trousers of the last mode, 
the stiffest of shirt-collars and the smartest of ties. One hat 
alone, a felt, orange in the sunlight, strikes a note of colour, of 
pleasant savagery. The white sailor-hat, that pitiless uniform of 
the she Briton, perches whiter, harder than ever on the short 
wool, above the flat noses of three particularly black young 
negresses. Their waists are pinched in British shirt-blouses, 
their feet are pinched in yellow British shoes. On the stone edge 
of the barbecue a woman, worn and emaciated as one seldom sees 



56 AT THE JUSTICE'S WINDOW. 

them here, sits nursing a baby, and a bright-eyed little girl 
stands beside her. This woman does not wear Sunday clothes. 
A crimson handkerchief, knotted at the four corners, covers her 
head and forehead squarely. Not far from her stands a much 
older woman, grim and silent, she also kerchiefed and clothed in 
a loose garment of a shade which our ancestors used to call 
Isabel that is, the colour of Queen Isabel's linen when a rash 
vow compelled her still to go on wearing it. I mention the 
colour because it is the one which seems most generally worn in 
this neighbourhood, when Sunday clothes do not prevail. But 
just in time to save me from the sin of wishing all negresses, 
especially them of the sailor-hats, to go for ever clad in Isabel, 
up past the blowing bushes of red hibiscus, comes a fine robust 
black woman, clothed in a loose-girt garment of shining white, 
and wearing a snowy kerchief knotted four-square upon her well- 
held head. She also is seeking the magistrate, whom here they 
call the Justice, as our ancestors called him in Shakespeare's 
time ; or the Squire, as fifty years since the rural Englishman 
called the landowner of his parish. And the Squire there in his 
study is to all appearance just such a big loose-coated Briton as 
might have tramped with dog and gun across his acres when 
there were still squires in England and such things were still 
done. Yet, of all living creatures astir this morning, none has a 
better and few as good a claim to be called a native; if one 
excepts the humming-birds and the small green lizard that flits 
about in the sun, waving its beautiful orange frill in hopes of 
touching the aesthetic sense of the flies. For in Jamaica every- 
thing which is most characteristic of the country is exotic ; trees, 
fruit, animals, and, above all, men. The very grandfathers of 
some of these waiting negroes led the hunting and hunted life of 
the African forest less than a hundred years ago. Small wonder 
that the African type, the savage in his childishness, not in his 
ferocity, survives here, decked in tailoring instead of beads. 
Much more surprising to find how frequently the type of the 
energetic ruling race has survived generations of tropic life, life 
of the old kind, with its fever and pestilence, its luxury and its 
slave-owning. Yet so it is, and here sits the Squire according to 
the custom of that race, to do as a matter of course, without 
payment or reward, his share of the government of the community. 
This means, in truth, no great quantity of strictly legal business, 
but rather the listening to long stories for the negro must be let 



AT THE JUSTICE'S WINDOW. 57 

tell his tale in his own way about larceny and suspected larceny, 
about difficulties between husbands and wives, and, above all, 
about abusive quarrels fain to transform themselves into cases of 
assault and libel. Truly to dissuade these law-abiding but law- 
loving people from indulging their passion for litigation is, 
perhaps, the most valuable, as it is certainly the lengthiest part 
of the Justice's business. And in these trivial stories, these 
childish individualities, Black Jamaica, with all its problems, is 
continually passing along that narrow shelf of grass before his 
window. The tenant who has now so long occupied it is telling, 
in the sweet inexpressibly plaintive negro voice, an interminable 
story concerning the mysterious disappearance of his yams. 
' Tiefing,' he calls it. The Government calls it ' praedial larceny,' 
and is preparing a cat-o'-nine-tails for the thief; but whether 
either he or the Government will catch that elusive individual is 
another matter. As he draws to an end a well-dressed negro, 
with the air of youth bestowed by plump and shiny blackness, 
steps jauntily into his place. There is even something exag- 
gerated about the easy nonchalance of his pose, the beatific 
nature of his smile. He coughs insinuatingly, and the Justice, who 
has been noting something in a book, looks up, stares, and then : 

' Why, it's you, Dixon ! I never expected to see you again.' 

With innocent wonder Dixon interrogates : ' Not see me, 
'quire ? Why not see me ? ' 

' Because I haven't seen you for ten years, and then you owed 
me a pound.' 

Oh the world of gentle pained astonishment in that ebon face ! 
The depths of mild yet shocked reproach in the mellifluous voice, 
' Me go 'way and owe you a pound, 'quire ? Oh no, Su', you make 
great mistake. I not owe no man anyting.' 

But something perhaps a distant glimpse of a certain big 
book which has a way of recording trifles otherwise un considered 
suddenly galvanises Dixon's memory into unnatural activity. 
He not only recollects owing that pound, but he recollects repay- 
ing it at least seven times, if not unto seventy times seven. 
Doesn't Squire remember how he paid it in cleaning the pasture, 
how he paid it in corn, how he paid it in driving the wagon, how 
he paid it, in short, at various times in all the various fruits of 
the earth and by all the various labours of man ? how finally he, 
Dixon, paid that pound of which, oh, shocking to relate, the 
Squire has heard nothing in cash, into the hands of the Squire's 



58 AT THE JUSTICE'S WINDOW. 

own trusted Mr. Brown ? The debt of one pound has multiplied 
on the wrong side in a manner to put to shame the loaves 
and fishes, till the brain whirls in a vain attempt to catch up 
with it and calculate for how many pounds the Squire is by this 
time indebted to Dixon. But the Squire recks not of this. 
What pains that British magistrate is, that his voluble ex-tenant 
has surprised him into the discussion of private affairs, when 
public business is to the fore. Has Dixon no magisterial busi- 
ness ? He has. Alas, that he should not have a monopoly of 
dishonesty ! Some very bad fellow has been ' tiefing ' his bananas. 
Prsedial larceny, or the ' tiefing ' of bananas and other fruits 
of the earth, is the one criminal offence really common in 
Jamaica; which does not prove the negro to be exceptionally 
thievish. ' When black man tief, he tief yam ; when white man 
tief he tief whole estate,' says his own self-justificatory proverb. 
But if money lay scattered on the hill-sides the white man would 
1 tief ' that ; and the crop of his provision ground means the same 
thing to the black man. Any day in March or April you will see 
here and there as you look along the mountain ridges, blue 
columns of smoke rising up from the forest, and at night glow 
upon glow, as of dim beacon-fires. Each patch of light signifies 
that a negro is preparing a new provision ground after his 
wasteful primitive fashion. Sometimes, when the fire has licked 
up the trees and undergrowth, this ground will seem little more 
than a steep slope of limestone rock, coated with ashes. But out 
of this sprang the forest, and out of this too the kindly sun will 
bring forth, with no great toil on his part, his subsistence for the 
year and something to spare, which he can sell in the nearest 
market. This will give him a little money to spend at the store 
and if he does not own his land to pay his rent or such part 
of his rent as he does not prefer to pay in labour or produce. His 
shanty, built of laths and mud, is seldom near his provision 
ground. Possibly this is because his improvident system of 
culture makes a constant change of land necessary. He exhausts 
it so rapidly that in some parts of the island only ten per cent, 
of the land can be kept under cultivation at the same time. The 
rest, having been cropped two years, must lie fallow for eight or 
ten. Thus remote, usually separated by a mere boundary line 
from his neighbour's patch, the negro's provision ground is at 
the mercy of the thief; and if his own crop fail, he himself is apt 
to be at the mercy of that bunch of ripe bananas which hangs so 



AT THE JUSTICE'S WINDOW. 59 

temptingly just on the wrong side of his boundary. They mean 
subsistence or wealth to him, and it is so easy to take them with- 
out discovery. 

The local policeman is not here this morning, from which it 
must not be inferred he has nothing to do. To keep his clothes 
and his helmet at that dazzling and becoming pitch of whiteness 
must in itself be a care to him. Then there is the police-station, 
a substantial stone building, very different from the lath and 
plaster shanties of the neighbours, to be kept clean and tidy, and 
the wall round the yard to be whitewashed. The last policeman 
ignominiously failed in these duties and was dismissed in conse- 
quence ; wherefore the present man is zealous in their perform- 
ance. Having brought the uniform, the house, and the yard-wall 
up to the ideal standard, he has gone further, and is now engaged 
in reducing the surrounding trees to symmetry and order by 
whitewashing them all up to a certain height. It is, however, 
but a few days since he appeared at the Justice's window dragging 
with him a wretched delinquent. ' Please, sir,' says he, sternly 
triumphant, putting forward his living and quite unimpaired 
prey, ' Please, sir, I brought de suicide.' But what of that ? 
Suicide is certainly rare, but I have seen many a murdered man 
stand here and tell with dramatic illustrations the horrid tale 
of his own murder. Only the word after all is more often 
' Murderation ' ; and experience shows that a charge of murdera- 
tion may be whittled down to one of ' using some scrampy words.' 

The negro, in spite of the big knife he carries to cut his 
yams with, is seldom guilty of real violence. The countless 
victims of "buse and 'ssault,' who fly to the Justice, thirsting 
for legal vengeance, have whole skins, however much their 
feelings may be abraded. Yet I can never withhold my sympathy 
from them when they rehearse the little scene of their wrongs 
before the window, their wonderful voices now waxing deep with 
manly indignation, now softening in the sad appeal of helpless 
and oppressed innocence. Having expressed at length all the 
grief and rage that is in their souls, these children of Nature 
step-children of Civilisation will most likely listen to the words 
of wisdom and kindliness, humorous or grave, which flow from 
the lips of the Justice. They will recognise that the distant 
chance of punishing a neighbour for ' scrampy words ' is hardly 
worth the trouble and the money it will cost them, although a 
negro who can find money for nothing else can find it for a law- 



60 AT THE JUSTICE'S WINDOW. 

suit, and some are very persistent. Look at the youth with the 
orange felt hat, the particularly high shirt-collar and jaunty tie. 
With much dignity and careful attention to his diction, he ex- 
presses his desire to have ' process issued ' against ' some persons ' 
for ' 'ssault, 'buse, and damage to property.' He gave a tea-party, 
it appears, last Friday in the evening. Now, giving a tea-party 
in Jamaica is a matter of business as well as of pleasure. Ad- 
mittance to a tea-party is a question of payment. There is a 
professional chairman who is paid for his speech. This may be 
entirely burlesque, or it may soar to heights in which a Latin 
word or so is necessary to support it ; in which case he will have 
to apply to someone else for the Latin, and pay at least a 
macaroni (or shilling) for it. Burlesque speeches and songs will 
also be provided by the company. The show-cake is the most 
lucrative part of the affair to the organiser of the tea-party. It 
is a special, a superior cake, which cannot even be seen under one 
shilling, and one shilling must the man pay who would offer a 
slice to his fair. Then follows dancing, perhaps ' ketch dances,' 
negro dances, which are danced all together, hand in hand. That 
there are objections to these dances carried on late into the 
night, whether at a tea-party or a Revivalist meeting, it is easy 
to understand ; but I suspect it is only the Nonconformist Con- 
science which impels ministers of religion to try and make their 
flocks ashamed of the harmless, light-hearted nonsense of the 
tea-party itself. Not that I have attended one. I have only 
played the Peri at the gate ; and a very pretty gate it was. Long 
branches of bamboo and palm formed the arch, in the centre of 
which hung a coloured lamp, but this lamp was not yet lighted 
because the low sun still whitened the steep mountain road, and 
threw frail shadows of palm and mango across it. Beside the 
gate the Wandering Jew clothed the roadside bank with red-wine 
colour, and below, among the greyish-green of mango foliage, 
wild oranges hung out their globes of gold. Down the turn of 
the road, where the palm-trees feather against the sky, and up 
from the cane-fields and the bamboo-thickets of the plain, came 
trooping to that tea-party a joyous company of sweetly-laughing, 
ivory-smiling, jet-black beaux and belles. And I trust that the 
entertainment ended as joyously as it began, under the auspices 
of some more experienced manager than the boy of seventeen 
who told the story of his tea-party at the Justice's window. 
' Fust I mek de tickets fippence (threepence), den dey not satis- 



AT THE JUSTICE'S WINDOW. 61 

fied, and I mek dem a quarty (a penny-halfpenny) so dey all 
come. And I mek show-cake vairy nice, bread and butter vairy 
nice, but when I hand round bread and butter dey ' tears in the 
voice ' dey say it no ketch (go round). Dey fro de slices at 
me ' he suits the action to the word ' dey 'ssault me, 'quire, 
also dey say ahem dey say some several words Yas, Su', some 
several words. Dey cut de show-cake and eat it, and dey not pay 
one shilling, no, dey not pay one gill ' (three-farthings). His voice 
deepens to the tragic close, and he stares into vacancy sombrely. 

The Justice, after a paternal admonition on the folly of his 
youth in undertaking so serious a matter as a tea-party, asked him 
how many persons he wishes to summons. 

' All, Su', I want process 'gainst dem all.' 

' How many ? ' 

The youth does some mental arithmetic. 

' Twenty-nine, 'quire.' 

' Twenty-nine ! Why, the Court-house would not hold them 
all. Name three or four.' 

' No, Su',' obstinately, ' I waant you issue process 'gainst dem 
all: 

The Justice smiles a subtle smile, and there is a touch of the 
vernacular in his next question. ' Why you want process 'gainst 
them all ? You think they give evidence ? ' 

' Yes, Su',' the youth replies with ready candour, ' if I not get 
process 'gainst dem all, some of dem come give evidence 'gainst me.' 

The Justice had already guessed his plan of campaign. 

' If you want process against twenty-nine persons,' he says 
drily, ' you must go to someone else.' 

' Going to someone else ' means walking twenty-five miles, 
besides expense. The Justice is immovable, but the youth 
remains. He hangs round silently, like a child refused its way, 
but unable to abandon the hope of getting it eventually. That 
dodge for keeping the witness-box reserved for self and friends was 
not new certainly, but then how good it was ! 

Meantime the old woman in the. Isabel clothes is at the 
window. She has two complaints to lay before the Justice. 
Firstly : her daughter, and the young man who should be her 
son-in-law but there are reasons why lawful marriage is un- 
popular in Jamaica have left their child upon her hands and 
contribute nothing to its support. Can the Justice compel them 
to do so ? No, neither the Justice nor anyone else. Like three- 



62 AT THE JUSTICE'S WINDOW. 

fifths of the children born in the island, this child has no legal 
claim on its parents. Secondly : there is a young man who fre- 
quently passes through her yard and jeers and 'buses her because 
she is a Sixty, and the Sixties meet there. Who are the Sixties ? 
They are a Kevivalist sect, so obscure that even the Squire has 
never heard of them. ' Are the Sixties noisy ? ' he asks with 
meaning. The Isabel woman repudiates the suggestion with due 
horror, ' Noisy, 'quire ? De Sixties ? No-o no-o. De Sixties 
vairy quiet. Dey revive in dem beds.' She rocks herself and 
groans piously ; also noisily. ' De Sixties waant Peace, Peace ! ' 
But what does this particular Sixty want ? The suppression of 
the young man peacefully. No; she does not want process 
issued against him. No ; she will not go to the court-house on 
Wednesday, when the Justice and the stipendiary magistrate will 
be there. Apparently Sixties are above such proceedings. Then 
what does she want ? ' Peace, Peace ! ' and the extermination of 
that young man. ' Peace, Peace ! ' in a crescendo yell. If it is 
thus that the Sixties ' revive in dem beds ' they may be trying 
neighbours, even to youth. Eevivalism in Jamaica has its trage- 
dies and its comedies, but under no circumstances its advantages. 
The excitability of the black man is animal, it leads him back- 
wards towards the jungle, towards Obeahism. The noisy Ee- 
vivalistic meeting is a more serious scandal than a tea-party. 
A doctor told us that not long since he was called in to a 
meeting, where he saw a woman lying on the ground, while 
her co-religionists danced a ketch-dance in frantic circle round 
her, proclaiming her to be ' in de spirit.' He found she was 
dead from a fit caused by excitement. But the consequences of 
these ' pious orgies ' may be merely inconvenient ; as in the case 
of the black lady, who, when ' in de spirit,' climbed upon her 
neighbour's roof and sat there for two days. The neighbour 
found this inconvenient, to judge from the piteous accents in 
which he implored relief at the hands of the Justice. 

The best, the most civilising form of religion for the black 
man is the one which is most successful in training him to think 
and to exercise self-control. In these respects Presbyterianism 
is considered by unprejudiced persons to stand first, partly owing 
to its inherent qualities and partly to the qualities of the 
Ministers the Scotch Church sends out to Jamaica. 

It is now the turn of the woman with the little girl and the 
baby ; a small drooping baby, which with its closed eyes and the 



AT THE JUSTICE'S WINDOW. 63 

sores on its woolly head, painfully resembles a little sick mother- 
deserted black kitten. The poor tiny creature has plainly not 
long to live. There is here nothing misleading in the penetra- 
ting pathos of the negro voice, the supplicatory slave-tone ; it 
accords well with the woman's melancholy story. She was left a 
widow with nine children whom one way and another she has 
managed to keep. But then her sister died, leaving this baby 
and two other children, and there was no one except herself to 
take charge of them. In this case it happens that she does not 
know who the father was, but if she did, these starving children, 
supported by a woman evidently half-starved herself, have no 
claim upon him. He is free to continue increasing the popula- 
tion with children for other people to support, since the law will 
do nothing to develop in him a sense of parental responsibility 
which one need not call human, since the birds possess it. The 
Justice can only advise her to apply for Parochial Eelief on 
the first opportunity. Meantime, he sends round the starving 
woman, the dying baby, and the bright-eyed little girl to that 
much better Relieving Officer of his own ' the Missus.' 

These are the evil results of the rudimentary negro social 
system. But as regards women only, there more frequently pass 
before this window examples of the disadvantages of importing 
an alien marriage system, which has grown up under social and 
above all economical conditions not prevailing among the black 
people. ' Trute is, 'quire, me and my husband is a bit disagree- 
able,' begins the handsome woman in white, confidentially. This 
time it is an ordinary matrimonial quarrel ; but even this would 
probably not have occurred if the woman had been a partner 
instead of a legal wife. No other legal and aggrieved wife comes 
to the window to-day, but yesterday while we sat at tea on the 
balcony, a wild figure came rushing up the slope calling on the 
Squire for justice. Her brownish clothes were girt classically 
round her hips, an immense hat framed her black face and 
glittering eyes. She stood below swaying like a Maenad with 
whirling words and gestures. Her story was long, all about her 
husband's quarrel with his brother, and about a donkey belonging 
to herself which lodged in the brother's stable, and about the 
sundry occasions on which her husband had maltreated her on 
the score of this donkey. At last to-day, when she came back 
from feeding it, he had caught her by the throat and cried out 
he would murder her. ' Yas, he ketch me by de trote and choke 
me,' she cries, seizing herself by the throat with violent hands, 



64 AT THE JUSTICE'S WINDOW. 

' I ketch de door-posts but he fro me down ' her arms are out- 
stretched, her draperies flying ' he fro me out and trample on 
me he say be kill me, he trample on me till I smell de fresh 
blood in my 'tomach.' The expression is crude but veridic, for 
a taste as of iron or blood in the mouth has been noted as a 
physiological symptom of extreme fear. ' I tell him I go to the 
Justice, but my husband tell me, " Boccra (white) law say no 
beat picc'ny, boccra law no say no beat wife." ' Here lies the 
crux of the matter. To the letter the husband's statement is 
untrue, practically it is true. The only idea of marriage that 
the African brought with him was that of domestic slavery with 
himself for master. Unfortunately, in spite of all the modifica- 
tions which civilisation has effected in it, our own marriage 
system is originally rooted in the same idea ; moreover, its 
development has been conditioned by the economic dependence 
of European women. Now the antecedents of her race give the 
black woman an intense horror of slavery of any kind. She is 
not immoral, she is usually faithful to her own customary 
partnerships, but marriage according to boccra law takes away 
from her too much and offers her too little. For she is in a 
position of vantage as compared with a typical European or African 
woman. Her physical strength, a tropical climate, and the 
simplicity of social conditions, make her able to keep herself 
almost as well as a man. White civilisation protects her from 
enslavement and robbery of every sort so long as she remains 
unmarried. If her partner over-works or beats her she has the 
remedy in her hands : consequently he seldom does it. Here are 
the reasons why so large a majority of the children born in 
Jamaica are illegitimate. It must be added that an undue 
proportion of the illegitimate children die, and it was for the 
benefit of this majority of children, and also as I conceive for the 
real benefit of the majority of parents, especially the fathers, 
that the Jamaicans lately passed an affiliation law. The Home 
Government quashed it. 

All this time the Sunday clothes young ladies are waiting 
near the window with an admirable patience. Up trips one, 
resplendent in her white sailor hat and yellow shoes. She 
' wants process ' against the other two young ladies and against 
several more for ' 'ssault and 'buse.' She tells the usual lengthy 
tale with even more than the usual amount of pathos and meek, 
injured innocence thrown in. The lady with the jaunty hat is 
not exactly a widow, nor yet an orphan, but she would gladly for 



AT THE JUSTICE'S WINDOW. 65 

the moment be both these and anything else that is forlorn, 
helpless, appealing, if she could be them with the faintest 
appearance of probability. Unluckily the two other ladies are 
what is called ' watching the case.' But she and her husband 
are all alone, they not belong to this parish (county), they come 
from a long way off, they have no family, no friends to stand 
by them and defend them from wrong and insult. She knows 
not what she can have done to offend the local ladies, but she 
cannot even pass them in the road without they jeer and call her 
very bad names. Finally they box her. ' I 'tand de box,' says 
this virtuous one, ' but I no 'tand de bad words dem.' She does 
not, like the tea-party youth, confine herself to a euphemism, 
' dey say some several words ' she distinctly states that she 
heard the words ' ineffectual biped.' The defendants vehemently 
deny having used so dreadful an expression. They say, what 
they really said, ' Ineffective rubbish ! ' 

The Justice smoking his pipe listens with great gravity and 
attention. Probably he has heard about this quarrel before, for 
he is in the confidence of most of the neighbouring ministers. 
' I believe you are all members of the same chapel ? ' he says. 
They admit it. 

' Then you know you ought to lay your quarrel before your 
minister and let him settle it instead of bringing it to me.' 

They accept this verdict meekly and depart without any of 
the usual silent sulky lingering of the rejected applicant. For 
the power of the Church the paradox of the word is only 
apparent is great, well earned and on the whole well used, 
although a certain unavoidable limitation of view in the wielders 
of it must always keep this kind of government something short 
of the best. The barbecue is deserted, the sun is high and hot. 
Surely by this time the Justice has earned his breakfast. In 
parenthesis, a true Jamaican breakfast is a dejeuner a la fourchette, 
and may take place at any hour from half-past ten to twelve. 
But no ! Just as he is leaving his study another black head 
bounds into view at the window: a large, black, breathless, 
particularly ugly head 

' 'Quire, 'quire, I want process 'gainst Thomas Jones ! ' 
Thomas Jones is a black man. 
' What for, Edwards ? ' 

'Libel, Su', libel! He call me ugly black nigger. Yas - 
ugly, black, niggah ! ' 

VOL. XII. NO. 67, N.S. 5 



66 

VICTOR? 
BY A. T. QUILLER-COUCH. 

I. 

' You will ruin his life,' said one of the two women. As the phrase 
escaped her she remembered, or seemed to remember, having met 
with it in half a dozen novels. She had nerved herself for the 
interview which up to this moment had been desperately real ; 
but now she felt herself losing grip. It had all happened before 
somewhere ; she was reacting an old scene, going through a past ; 
the four or five second-hand words gave her this sensation. Then 
she reflected that the other woman, too, had perhaps met them 
before in some cheap novelette, and, being an uneducated person, 
would probably find them the more impressive for that. 

The other woman had, in fact, met them before, in the pages 
of ' Bow Bells,' and been impressed by them. But since then 
love had found her ignorant and left her wise, wiser than in her 
humiliation she dared to guess, and yet the wiser for being 
humiliated. She answered in a curiously dispassionate voice : 
' I think, miss,his life is ruined already ; that is, if he sent you to 
say all this to me.' 

' He did not.' Miss Bracy lifted the nose and chin which she 
inherited from several highly distinguished Crusaders, and gave 
the denial sharply and promptly, looking her ex-maid straight in 
the face. She had never to use her own words stood any non- 
sense from Bassett. 

But Bassett, formerly so docile (though, as it now turned out, 
so deceitful), who had always known her place and never answered 
her mistress but with respect, was to-day an unrecognisable 
Bassett not in the least impudent, but as certainly not to be awed 
or browbeaten. Standing in the glare of discovered misconduct, 
under the scourge of her shame, the poor girl had grasped some 
secret strength which made her invincible. 

' But I think, miss,' she answered, ' Mr. Frank must have 
known you was coming.' 

And this Miss Bracy could not deny. She had never told a lie 
in her life. 

1 Copyright, 1901, by A. T. Quiller-Couch in the United States of America. 



VICTOR. 67 

'It is very likely no, it is certain that he guessed,' she 
admitted. 

' And if so, it comes to the same thing,' Bassett persisted with 
a shade of weariness in her voice. 

' You ungrateful girl ! You ungrateful and quite extraordinary 
girl ! First you inveigle that poor boy at the very outset of his 
career, and then, when upon a supposed point of honour he offers 
to marry you ' 

' A supposed point, miss ? Do you say " supposed " ? ' 

' Not one in a thousand would offer such a redemption. And 
even he cannot know what it will mean to his life what it will 
cost him.' 

' I shall tell him, miss,' said Bassett quietly. 

' And his parents what do you suppose they would say, were 
they alive ? His poor mother, for instance ? ' 

Bassett dismissed this point silently. To Miss Bracy, the 
queerest thing about the girl was the quiet, practical manner she 
had put on so suddenly. 

' You said, miss, that Mr. Frank wants to make amends on a 
" supposed " point of honour. Don't you think it a real one ? ' 

Miss Bracy's somewhat high cheek bones showed two red spots. 
' Because he offers it, it doesn't follow that you ought to accept. 
And that's the whole point,' she wound up viciously. 

Bassett sighed that she could not get her question answered. 
' You will excuse me, miss, but I never " inveigled " him as you 
say. That I deny, and if you ask Mr. Frank he will bear me out 
not that it's any use trying to make you believe,' she added 
with a drop back to her old level tone, as she saw the other's eye- 
brow go up. It was indeed hopeless, Miss Bracy being one of 
those women who take it for granted that a man has been inveigled 
as soon as his love affairs run counter to their own wishes or taste, 
and who thereby reveal an estimate of man for which in the end 
they are pretty sure to pay heavily. 

All her answer now was a frankly incredulous stare. 

' You won't believe me, miss. It's not your fault, I know ; 
you can't believe me. But I loved Mr. Frank.' 

Miss Bracy made a funny little sound high up in her Crusader- 
nose. That the passions of gentlemen were often ill regulated she 
knew ; it disgusted her, but she recognised it as a real danger to 
be watched by their anxious relatives. That love, however what 
she understood by love could be felt by the lower orders, the 

52 



68 VICTOR. 

people who ' walked together,' and kept company ' before mating, 
was too incredible. Even if driven by evidence to admit the fact, 
she would have set it down to the pernicious encroachment of 
Board School education and remarked that a little knowledge is a 
dangerous thing. 

' " Love ! " My poor child, don't profane a word you cannot 
possibly understand. A nice love, indeed, that shows itself by 
ruining his life ! ' 

That second-hand phrase again ! As it slipped out the 
indomitable Bassett dealt it another blow. 

' I am not sure, miss, that I love him any longer in the same 
way, I mean. I should always have a regard for him for many 
reasons and because he behaved honourably in a way. But I 
couldn't quite believe as I did before he showed himself weak.' 

' Well, of all the ' Miss Bracy's lips were open for a word 

to fit this offence when Bassett followed it up with a worse one. 

' I beg your pardon, miss, but you are so fond of Mr. Frank. 
Supposing I refused his offer, would you marry him yourself ? ' 

The girl, too, meant it quite seriously. In her tone was no 
trace of impudence. She had divined her adversary's secret, and 
thrust home the question with a kind of anxious honesty. Miss 
Bracy, red and gasping, tingling with shame, yet knew that she 
was not being exulted over. She dropped the unequal fight 
between conventional argument and naked insight, and stood up, 
woman to woman. She neither denied nor exclaimed. She, too, 
told the truth. 

' Never ! ' She paused. ' After what has happened I would 
never marry my cousin.' 

' I thought that, miss. You mean it, I am sure, and it eases 
my mind, because you have been a good mistress to me, and it 
would always have been a sorry thought that I'd stood in your 
way. Not that it would have prevented me.' 

' Do you still stand there and tell me that you will hold this 
unhappy boy to his word ? ' 

' He's twenty-two, miss, my own age. Yes, I shall hold him 
to it.' 

' To save yourself ? ' 

' No, miss.' 

' For his own sake, then ? ' Miss Bracy's laugh was passing 
bitter. 

' No, miss though there might be something in that.' 



VICTOR 69 

' For whose, then ? ' 

The girl did not answer. But in the silence her mistress 
understood, and moved to the door. She was beaten, and she 
knew it ; beaten and unforgiving. In the doorway she turned. 

' It was not for your own sake that you persist ? It was not to 
gratify yourself to be made a lady that you plotted this ? 
Very well ; you shall be taken at your word. I cannot counsel 
Frank against his honour ; if he insists and you still accept the 
sacrifice, he shall marry you. But from that hour you under- 
stand ? you have seen the last of him. I know Frank well 
enough to promise it.' 

She paused to let the words sink in and watch their effect. 
This was not only cruel, but a mistake, for it gave Bassett who 
was past caring for it the last word. 

l lf you do, miss,' she said drearily, yet with a mind made up, 
' I dare say that will be best.' 

II. 

Long before I heard this story I knew three of the characters 
in it. Just within the harbour beside which I am writing this 
on your left as you enter it from the sea a little creek runs 
up past Battery Point to a stout sea-wall with a turfed garden 
behind it and a low cottage ; and behind that again a steep-sided 
valley down which a stream tumbles to a granite conduit. It 
chokes and overflows the conduit, is caught into a granite-covered 
gutter by the door of the cottage, and emerges beyond it in a 
small cascade upon the beach. At spring tides the sea climbs 
half way up this cascade, and great then is the splashing. The 
land birds, tits and warblers, come down to the very edge to 
drink ; but none of them unless it be the wagtail will trespass 
on the beach below. The rooks and gulls on their side never 
forage above the cascade, but when the ploughing calls them 
inland mount and cross the frontier line high overhead. All day 
long in summer the windows of the cottage stand open and its 
rooms are filled with song ; and night and day, summer and 
winter, the inmates move and talk, wake and sleep, to the con- 
tending music of the waters. 

It had lain tenantless for two years when one spring morning 
Miss Bracy and Mr. Frank Bracy arrived and took possession. 
They came (for aught we knew) out of nowhere, but they brought 
a good many boxes, six cats, and a complete set of new muslin 



70 VICTOR. 

blinds. On their way they purchased a quart of fresh milk, and 
Mr. Frank fed the cats while Miss Bracy put up the blinds. In 
the afternoon a long van arrived with a load of furniture, and we 
children who had gathered to watch were rewarded by a sensation 
when the van started by disgorging an artist's lay-figure, followed 
by a suit of armour. From these to a mahogany chest of drawers 
with brass handles was a sad drop, and we never regained the 
high romance of those first few minutes ; but the furniture was 
undeniably handsome, and when Miss Bracy stepped out and 
offered us sixpence apiece to go and annoy somebody else we 
came away convinced that our visitors were persons of exception- 
ally high rank. It puzzled us afterwards that, though a bargain 
is a bargain, not one of us had stayed to claim his sixpence. 

The newcomers brought no servants, but after a week there 
arrived (also out of nowhere) an elderly and taciturn cook. Also 
Miss Bracy on the third morning walked up to the farm at the 
head of the valley and hired down the hind's second daughter for 
a ' help.' We knew this girl, Lizzie Truscott, and waylaid her on 
her homeward road that evening, for information. She told us 
that Miss Bracy's cats had a cradle apiece lined with muslin over 
pink calico; that the window curtains inside reached from the 
ceilings to the floors ; that the number of knives and forks was 
something cruel one kind for fish, another for meat, and a third 
for fruit ; that in one of the looking-glasses a body could see her- 
self at one time from head to foot, though why you should want 
a looking-glass to see your feet in when you could see them 
without was more than she knew ; and finally, that Miss Bracy 
had strictly forbidden her to carry tales a behest which, con- 
vinced that Miss Bracy had dealings with the Evil One, she 
meant to observe. The elderly cook when she arrived warned us 
away from the door with a dialect we did not recognise. Her 
name (Lizzie reported) was Deborah, and in our hearts we set her 
down for a Jewess, but I seem to have detected her accent since, 
and a few of her pet phrases, in the pages of Scottish fiction. 

This is all I can tell so fitful are childish memories of the 
coming of Miss Bracy and Mr. Frank. I cannot say, for instance, 
what gossip it bred, or how soon they wore down the edge of it 
and became, with their eccentricities, an accepted feature of the 
spot they had made their home. They made no friends, no 
acquaintances ; every one knew of Miss Bracy's cats, but few had 
seen them. Miss Bracy herself was on view in church every 



VICTOR. 71 

Sunday morning, when Mr. Frank walked with her as far as 
the porch. He never entered the building, but took a country 
walk during service, returning in time to meet her at the porch 
and escort her home. His other walks he took alone, and almost 
always at night. The policeman tramping toward Four Turnings 
after midnight to report to the country patrol would meet him 
and pause for a minute's chat. Night-wandering beasts foxes 
and owls and hedgehogs knew his footstep, and unlearned their 
first fear of it. Sometimes, but not often, you might surprise 
him of an afternoon seated before an easel in some out-of-the-way 
corner of the cliffs ; but if you paused then to look he too paused 
and seemed inclined to smudge out his work. The vicar put it 
about that Mr. Frank had formerly been a painter of fame, and 
(being an astute man) one day decoyed him into his library, 
where hung an engraving of a picture, Amos Barton, by one 
F. Bracy. It had made a small sensation at Burlington House 
a dozen years before, and the vicar liked it for the pathos of its 
subject an elderly clergyman beside his wife's death-bed. To 
him the picture itself could have told little more than this en- 
graving, which utterly failed to suggest the wonderful colour and 
careful work the artist (a young man with a theory and enthusiasm 
to back it) had lavished on the worn carpet and valances of the 
bed, as well as the chestnut hair of the dying woman glorified in 
the red light of sunset. 

Mr. Frank glanced up at the engraving and turned his face 
away. It was the face of a man taken at unawares, embarrassed, 
almost afraid. The vicar, who had been watching him, intending 
some pleasant remark about the picture, saw at once that some- 
thing was wrong, and with great tact kept the talk upon some 
petty act of charity in which he sought to enlist his visitor's help. 
Mr. Frank listened, and gave his promise hurriedly and made his 
escape. He never entered the vicarage again. 

III. 

Eighteen years had passed since Miss Bracy's interview with 
Bassett ; and now, late on a summer afternoon, she and Mr. 
Frank were pacing the little waterside garden while they awaited 
their first visitor. 

Mr. Frank betrayed the greater emotion, or, at any rate, the 
greater nervousness. Since breakfast he had been unable to sit 



72 VICTOR. 

still or to apply himself to any piece of work for ten minutes 
together until Miss Bracy suggested the lawn-mower, and brought 
purgatory upon herself. With that lawn-mower all the after- 
noon he had been ' rattling her brain to fiddle-strings,' as she put 
it, and working himself into a heat which obliged a change of 
clothing. The tea stood ready now on a table which Deborah 
had carried out into the garden dainty linen and silver-ware and 
flowered china dishes heaped with cakes of which only Scotch- 
women know the secrets. 

The sun dropping behind Battery Point slanted its rays down 
through the pine-trunks and over the massed plumes of the 
rhododendrons. Scents of jasmine and of shorn grass mingled 
with the clear breath of the sea borne to the garden wall on a 
high tide tranquil and clear so clear that the eye, following for 
a hundred yards the lines of the cove, could see the feet of the 
cliffs where they rested, three fathoms down, on lily-white sand. 
Miss Bracy adored these clear depths. She had missed much 
that life could have given ; but at least she had found a life 
comely and to her mind. She had sacrificed much ; but at times 
she forgot how much in contemplating the modest elegance of 
the altar. 

She wore this evening a gown of purplish silk with a light 
cashmere scarf about her shoulders. Nothing could make her a 
tall woman ; but her grey hair dressed high a Vimperatrice gave 
her dignity at least, and an air of old-fashioned distinction. And 
she was one of those few and fortunate ladies who never used to 
worry about the appearance of their cavaliers. Mr. Frank six 
feet of him, without reckoning a slight stoop always satisfied 
the eye ; his grey flannel suit fitted loosely, but fitted well ; his 
wide-brimmed straw hat was as faultless as his linen ; his neck- 
tie had a negligent neatness ; you felt sure alike and at once of 
his bootmaker and his shirtmaker ; and his fresh complexion, his 
prematurely white hair, his strong, well-kept hands completed 
the impression of cleanliness for its own sake, of a careful physical 
cult as far as possible removed from foppery. 

This may have been in Miss Bracy's mind when she began : 
' I dare say he will be fairly presentable to look at. That un- 
fortunate woman had at least an art of dressing a quiet taste, 
too, quite extraordinary in one of her station. I often wondered 
where she picked it up.' 

Mr. Frank winced. Until the news of his wife's death came, 



VICTOR. 73 

a fortnight ago, her name had not been spoken between them for 
years. That he and his cousin regarded her very differently, he 
knew ; but, while silence was kept, it had been possible to ignore 
the difference. Now it surprised him that speech should hurt so, 
and at the same moment, that his cousin should not divine how 
sorely it hurt. After all, he was the saddest evidence of poor 
Bassett's ' lady-like ' tastes. 

' I suppose you know nothing of the school she sent him to ? ' 
Miss Bracy went on. ' King William's, or whatever it is ? ' 

' King Edward's,' Mr. Frank corrected. ' Yes, I made 
inquiries about it at the time ten years ago. People spoke well 
of it. Not a public school, of course at least, not quite ; the 
line isn't so easy to draw nowadays but it turns out gentlemen.' 

In her heart Miss Bracy thought him too hopeful. But she 
said : ' He wrote a becoming letter his hand, by the way, 
curiously suggests yours. It was quite a nice letter, and agree- 
ably surprised me. I shouldn't wonder if his headmaster had 
helped him with it and cut out the boyish heroics, for of course 
she must have taught him to hate us.' 

' My dear Laura, why in the world ' began Mr. Frank testily. 

' Oh, she had spirit ! ' The encounter of long ago rose up in 
Miss Bracy's memory, and she nodded her head with conviction. 
' Like most of the quiet ones, she had spirit. You don't suppose, 
I imagine, that she forgave ? ' 

' No.' Mr. Frank came to a halt and dug with his heel at a 
daisy-root in the turf. Then using his heel as a pivot, he swung 
himself around in an awkward circle. The action was ludicrous 
almost, but he faced his cousin again with serious eyes. ' But it 
is not her heart that I doubt,' he added gently. 

Miss Bracy stared up at him. ' My dear Frank, do you mean 
to tell me that you regret ? ' 

Yes, as a fact, he did regret, and knew that he should never 
cease to regret. He was not a man to nurse malice even for a 
wrong done to him, still less to live carelessly conscious of having 
wronged another. He was weak, but incurably just. And more, 
though self entered last into his regret, he knew perfectly well 
that the wrong had wrecked him too. His was a career manqu6 : 
he had failed as a man, and it had broken his nerve as an artist. 
He was a dabbler now, with as Heine said of De Musset a fine 
future behind him, and none but an artist can tell the bitterness 
of that self-knowledge. Had he kept his faith with Bassett in 



74 VICTOR. 

spirit as in letter he might have failed just as decidedly; her 
daily companionship might have coarsened his inspiration, soured 
him, driven him to work cheaply, recklessly; but at least he 
could have accused fate, circumstance, a boyish error, whereas 
now he and his own manhood shared the defeat and the responsi- 
bility. Yes, he regretted ; but it would never do to let Laura 
know his regret. That would be to play the double traitor. She 
had saved him (she believed) from himself; with utterly wrong- 
headed loyalty she had devoted her life to this. The other debt 
was irredeemable ; but this, at any rate, could be paid. 

He evaded her question. ' My dear,' he said, ' what was done 
has been atoned for by her, and is being atoned for by by us. 
Let us think of her without bitterness.' 

Miss Bracy shook her head. ' I am a poor sort of Christian,' 
she confessed, ' and if she has taught this boy to hate us ' 

' Mr. Victor Bracy,' announced Deborah from the garden- 
porch behind them, and a tall youth in black stepped past her 
and came across the turf with a shy smile. 

The pair turned with an odd sort of confusion, almost of 
dismay. They were prepared for the ' Victor,' but somehow they 
had not thought of him as bearing their own surname. Mr. 
Frank had felt the shock once before, in addressing an envelope, 
but to Miss Bracy it was quite new. 

Yet she was the first to recover herself, and, while holding 
out her hand, took quick note that the boy had Frank's stature 
and eyes, carried his clothes well and himself, if shyly, without 
clumsiness. She could find no fault with his manner of shaking 
hands, and when he turned to his father, the boy's greeting was 
the less embarrassed of the two. Mr. Frank indeed had suddenly 
become conscious of his light suit and bird's-eye neckcloth. 

' But how did you come ? ' asked Miss Bracy. ' We sent a 
cart to meet you I heard, no sound of wheels.' 

' Yes, I saw it outside the station, but the man didn't 
recognise me quite a small crowd came by the train and of 
course I didn't recognise him. So I bribed a porter to put my 
luggage on a barrow and come along with me. Half-way up the 
hill the cart overtook us the driver full of apologies. While 
they transhipped my things I walked on ahead yes, listen 
there it comes : and oh, I say, what a lovely spot ! ' 

Miss Bracy was listening not for the wheels, and not to the 
story, but critically to every word as it came from his lips. ' The 



VICTOR. 75 

woman has certainly done wonders,' was her unspoken comment. 
At Victor's frank outburst, however, she flushed with something 
like real pleasure. She was proud of her cottage and garden, and 
had even a sort of proprietary feeling about the view. 

They sat down around the little tea-table, the boy first 
apologising for his travel-stains (he was, in fact, as neat as a pin) 
and afterward chatting gaily about his journey not talking too 
much, but appealing from one to another with a quick deferent 
grace and allowing them always the lead. 

' This is better and better,' thought Miss Bracy as she poured 
out tea, and, after a while : ' But this is amazing ! ' He was a 
thorough child, too, with all his unconscious tact. The scent of 
lemon-verbena plant fetched him suddenly to his feet with his 
eyes bright. 

' Please let me ' He thrust his face into the bush. ' I 

have never seen it growing like this.' 

Miss Bracy looked at Mr. Frank. How utterly different it 
was from their old-maidish expectations ! They had pictured the 
scene a hundred times, and always it included some awkwardly 
decorous reference to the dead woman. This had been their 
terror to do justice to the occasion without hurting the poor 
boy's feelings to meet his sullen shyness, perhaps antipathy, 
with a welcome which somehow excused the past. Yes, the past 
(they had felt) required excuse to him. And he had made no 
allusion to his mother, and obviously wished for none. Miss 
Bracy could not help smiling at the picture of their fears. 

The boy had turned, caught her smiling, and broke into a 
jolly laugh at his own absurdity. It echoed in the garden where 
no one had laughed aloud for years. And with that laugh 
Bassett's revenge began. 

IV. 

For with that laugh they began to love him. They did not 
or at any rate Miss Bracy did not know it at the time. For 
some days they watched him, and he, the unsuspicious one, 
administered a score of shocks as again and again he took them 
neatly and decisively at unawares. He had accepted them at 
once and in entire good faith. They were (with just the right 
recognition of their seniority) good comrades in this jolliest of 
worlds. They were his holiday hosts, and it was not for the guest 
to hint (just yet) at the end of the holiday. 



76 VICTOR. 

He surprised them at every turn. His father's canvases filled 
him with admiring awe. ' Oh, but I say however is it done ? ' 
As he stood before them with legs a trifle wide, he smoothed the 
top of his head with a gesture of perplexity. And Mr. Frank, 
standing at his shoulder with legs similarly spread, used the same 
gesture as Miss Bracy had seen him use it a thousand times. 
Yet the boy had no artistic talent not so much as a germ. For 
beauty of line and beauty of colour he inherited an impeccable 
eye ; indeed his young senses were alive to seize all innocent 
delight his quickness in scenting the lemon-verbena bush proved 
but the first of many instances. But he began and ended with 
enjoyment ; of the artist's impulse to reproduce and imitate 
beauty he felt nothing. Mr. Frank recognised with a pang that 
he had failed not only in keeping his torch bright, but in passing 
it on, that the true self which he had missed expressing must 
die with him barren and untransmitted. The closer he drew in 
affection, the farther this son of his receded receded in the 
very act of acknowledging his sonship with a gesture, smilingly 
irreprehensible, with eyes which allured the yearning he baffled, 
and tied it to the hopeless chase. 

Mr. Frank, who worshipped flowers, was perhaps the most 
ineffective gardener in England. With a trowel and the best 
intentions he would do more damage in twenty minutes than Miss 
Bracy could repair in a week. She had made a paradise in spite 
of him, and he contented himself with assuring her that the next 
tenant would dig it up and find it paved with good intentions. 
The seeds he sowed and he must have sown many pounds' worth 
before she stopped the wild expense never sprouted by any 
chance. ' Dormant, my dear Laura dormant ! ' he would ex- 
claim in springtime, rubbing his head perplexedly as he studied 
the empty borders. ' When I die and am buried here they will 
all sprout together, and you will have to take a hook and cut 
your way daily through the vegetation which hides my grave.' 
But Victor, who approached them in the frankest ignorance, 
seemed to divine the ways of flowers at once. In the autumn he 
struck cuttings of Miss Bracy's rarest roses ; he removed a sickly 
passion-flower from one corner of the cottage to another, and 
restored it to health within a fortnight. Within a week after his 
coming he and Miss Bracy were deep in cross-fertilising a border 
full of carnations she had raised from seed. He carried the same 
natural deftness into a score of small household repairs. He 



VICTOR. 77 

devised new cradles for Miss Bracy's cats, and those conservative 
animals at once accepted the improvement ; he invented a cup- 
board for his father's canvases ; he laid an electric bell from the 
kitchen beneath the floor of the dining-room, so that Miss Bracy 
could ring for Deborah by a mere pressure of the foot ; and the 
well-rope which Deborah had been used to wind up patiently was 
soon fitted with a wheel and balance- weight which saved four- 
fifths of the labour. 

' It beats me where you learned how to do these things,' his 
father protested. 

' But it doesn't want learning ; it's all so simple not like 
painting, you know.' 

Mr. Frank had been corresponding with the boy's head- 
master. 

- ' Yes, he is a good fellow,' said one of the letters. ' Just a 
gentle, clean-minded boy, with courage at call when he wants it, 
and one really remarkable talent. You may not have discovered 
it, but he is a mathematician, and as different from the ordinary 
book-made mathematician from the dozens of boys I send up 
regularly to Cambridge as cheese is from chalk. He has a sort of 
passion for pure reasoning for its processes. Of course he does 
not know it, but from the first it has been a pleasure to me (an 
old pupil of Routh's) to watch his work. " Style" is not a word 
one associates as a rule with mathematics, but I can use no other 
to express the quality which your boy brings to that study. . . . ' 

' (rood Lord ! ' groaned Mr. Frank, who had never been able 
to add up his washing bills. 

He read the letter to Miss Bracy, and the pair began to watch 
Victor with a new wonder. They were confident that no Bracy 
had ever been a mathematician ; for an uncle of theirs, now a 
rector in Shropshire and once of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, 
where, for reasons best known to himself, he had sought honours 
in the mathematical tripos, and narrowly missed the Wooden 
Spoon, had clearly no claim to the title. Whence in the world 

did the boy derive this gift ? ' His mother ' Miss Bracy 

began, and broke off as a puff of smoke shot out from the fire- 
place. It was late September. Deborah had lit the fire that 
morning for the first time since May, and the chimney never 
drew well at starting. Miss Bracy took the tongs in hand, but 
she was not thinking of the smoke ; neither was Mr. Frank, while 
he watched her. They were both thinking of the dead woman. 



78 VICTOR 

The thought of her the ghost of her was always rising now 
between them and her boy ; she was the impalpable screen they 
tried daily and in vain to pierce ; to her they had come to refer 
unconsciously all that was inexplicable in him. And so much 
was inexplicable ! They loved him now ! they stretched out their 
hands to him ; behind her he smiled at them, but through or 
across her their hands could never reach. 

As at first they had avoided all allusion to her and been 
thankful that the boy's reticence made it easy, so now they grew 
almost feverishly anxious to discover how he felt towards his 
mother's memory. They detected each other laying small traps 
for him, and were ashamed. They held their breath as with an 
air of cheerful unconsciousness he walked past the traps, escaping 
them one and all. At first in her irritation Miss Bracy accused 
him of what she (of all women !) called false pride. ' He is 
ashamed of her. He wishes to forget, and is only too glad that 
we began by encouraging him.' On second thoughts she knew 
the charge to be undeserved and odious. His obvious simplicity 
gave it the lie. Besides she knew that a small water-colour 
sketch of her in her youth a drawing of Mr. Frank's stood on 
the table in the boy's bedroom. Miss Bracy often dusted that 
room with her own hands. 

' And, Frank,' she confessed one day, ' he kisses it ! I know 
by the dulness on the glass when I rub it.' She did not add 

*/ 

that she rubbed it viciously. ' I tell you,' she insisted almost 
with a groan, ' he lives with her. She is with him in this house 
in spite of us ; she talks with him ; his real existence is with her. 
He comes out of it to make himself pleasant to us, but he goes 
back and tells her his secrets.' 

' Nonsense, Laura,' Mr. Frank interrupted testily. ' For some 
reason or other the boy is getting on your nerves. It is natural, 
after all.' 

' Natural ? Yes, I see ; you mean that I'm an old maid, and 
it's a case of crabbed age and youth.' 

' My dear Laura, I mean nothing so rude. But, after all, we 
have been living here a great many years, and it is a, change.' 

' Frank, you can be singularly dense at times. Must I tell 
you in so many words that I am fond of the boy, and if he'd be 
only as fond of me he might racket the house down and I'd only 
like him the better for it ? ' 

Mr. Frank rubbed his head, and then with sudden resolution 



VICTOR. 79 

marched out of the house in search of Victor. He found the boy 
on the roof removing a patent cowl which the local man had set 
up a week before to cure the smoky chimney. 

' My dear fellow,' the father cried up. ' You'll break your neck ! 
Come down at once I have something particular to say to you.' 

Victor descended with the cowl under his arm. 

' Do be careful. Doesn't it make you giddy, clambering about 
a place like that ? ' Mr. Frank had no head at all for a height. 

' Not a bit. . . . Just look at this silly contrivance choked 
with soot in three days ! The fellow who invented it ought to 
have his head examined.' 

' It has made you in a horrible mess,' said his father, who took 
no interest in cowls, but lost his temper in a smoky house. 

' I'll run in and have a change and wash.' 

' No, put the nasty thing down and come into the garden.' 
He opened the gate and Victor followed after dipping his hands 
in the waterfall. 

' The fact is, my boy, I've come to a decision. This has been 
a pleasant time a very pleasant time for all of us. We have 
put off speaking to you about this, but I hope you understand 
that this is to be your home henceforward ; that we wish it and 
shall be the happier for having you. . . .' 

Victor had been gazing out over the cove, but now turned and 
met his father's eyes frankly. 

' I have a little money,' he said. ' Mother managed to put by 
a small sum from time to time enough to start me in life. She 
did not tell me until a few days before she died ; she knew I 
wanted to be an engineer.' 

He said this quite simply. It was the first time he had men- 
tioned his mother. Mr. Frank felt his face flushing. 

' But your head-master tells me it will be a thousand pities if 
you don't go to Cambridge. I am proposing that you should go 
there should matriculate this term. My dear boy' belaid a 
hand on Victor's arm ' don't refuse me this. I have no right, 
perhaps, to insist ; but I dare say you can guess what your accept- 
ance would mean to me. You can choose your own career when 
the time comes. For your sake your mother would have liked 
this ; ask yourself if she would not.' 

Mr. Frank had not looked forward to pleading like this, yet 
when it came to the point this seemed his only possible attitude. 
Victor had removed his gaze, and his eyes were resting now on 



80 VICTOR. 

the green sunny waves rolling in at the harbour's mouth. For 
about a minute he kept silence, then : 

' Yes, she would advise it,' he said. It was as though he had 
laid the case before an unseen adviser and waited submissively for 
the answer. Mr. Frank had gained his end and without trouble, 
yet he felt a disappointment he could not at once explain. He 
was the last man in the world to expect a gratitude which he did 
not deserve, but in the satisfaction of carrying his point he missed 
something, and surmised what he missed. The boy had not 
turned to him for the answer, but had turned away and brought 
it to him. Father and son would never have the deeper joy of 
taking counsel together heart to heart. 

V. 

So Victor went up to Trinity and returned for the Christmas 
vacation on the heels of an announcement that he had won a 
scholarship. He had grown more manly and serious, and he 
smoked a tobacco which sorely tried Miss Bracy's distinguished 
nose, but he kept the boyish laugh the laugh which always 
seemed to them to call invitingly from the door of his soul : ' Why 
don't you enter and read me ? The house is clean and full of 
good- will come ! ' But though they never ceased trying, they 
could never penetrate to those inner chambers. Sometimes 
though they might be talking of most trivial matters the appeal 
would suddenly grow pathetic, almost plangent : ' What is this 
that shuts me off from you ? We sit together and love one 
another ; why am I set apart ? ' Time was when he had seemed 
to them consciously reticent, almost of set purpose, but now it 
was they who, looking within the doorway, saw the dead woman 
standing there with finger on lip. 

He made no intimate friends at Cambridge, yet was popular, 
and something of a figure in his college, which had marked him 
down for high perhaps the highest university honours, and was 
pleasantly astonished to find him also a good cricketer. His good 
looks attracted men ; they asked his name, were told it, and ex- 
claimed, ' Bracy ? Not the man Trinity is running for Senior 
Wrangler?' With this double reputation he might have won a 
host of friends, and his father and Miss Bracy would gladly have 
welcomed one, in hope that such companionship might exorcise 
the ghost ; but he kept his way, liking and liked by men, yet 
aloof ; with many acquaintances, censorious of none ; influenced 
by none ; avoiding where he disapproved, but not judging, and in 



VICTOR. 81 

no haste even to disapprove ; easy to approach and almost eager 
for good will, yet in the end inaccessible. 

His first Easter vacation he spent with a reading-party 
in Cumberland. There he first tasted the ' sacred fury ' of the 
mountains and mountain-climbing, and in Switzerland the next 
August it grew to be a passion. He returned to it again and 
again, in Cumberland playing at the game with half a dozen 
fellow-undergraduates whom he had bitten with the mania, but in 
Switzerland during the Long Va ations giving himself over to a 
glut of it, with only a guide and porter for company sometimes 
alone, if he could ever be said to be alone. As in mathematics, so 
in his sport, the cold heights were the mistresses he wooed ; the 
peaks called to him, the rare atmosphere, the glittering wastes. 
He neither scorned danger nor was daunted by it. Below in the 
forests he would sing aloud, but the summits held him silent. As 
an old pastor at Zermatt told Mr. Frank, he would come down 
from a mountain ' like Moses, with his face illumined.' 

He started on his third visit to Switzerland early in July ; in 
the second week in August Miss Bracy and Mr. Frank were to 
join him at Chamounix, and thence the three would make a tour 
together. He started in the highest spirits, and halted at the 
gate to wave his ice-axe defiantly. 

VI. 

The clergyman who ministered to the little tin English church 
boarded at the big hotel, which kept a bedroom and a sitting-room 
at his disposal. They faced north from the back of the building, 
which stood against the mountain-side, but the sitting-room had 
a second window at the corner of the block, and from this the eye 
went up over a plantation of dark firs to the white snowfields of 
the Col and the dark jagged wall of the Dent du Greant distant, 
yet as clear as if stencilled against the blue heaven. It was a 
delectable vision, but the clergyman, being short-sighted as a 
mole, had never seen it. He wore spectacles with a line running 
horizontally across them, and through these he peered at Mr. 
Frank and Miss Bracy as if uncertain of their distance. 

Mr. Frank, in a suit of black, sat at the little round table in 
the centre of the room, pressing his finger-tips into the soft nap 
of gaudy French tablecloth. Miss Bracy stood by the window 
with her back to the room, but she was listening. She, too, wore 
black. The fourth person, at the little clergyman's elbow, was 

VOL. XII. NO. 67, N.S. 6 



82 VICTOR. 

Christian, the guide. It was he who spoke, while Mr. Frank dug his 
fingers deeper, and the clergyman nodded at every pause sympa- 
thetically, and both kept their eyes on the tablecloth, the pink and 
crimson roses of which, on their background of buff and maroon, 
were to one a blur only, to the other a pattern bitten on his brain. 

' It must have been between noon and one o'clock,' the guide 
was saying, ' when we crossed the Col and began on the rocks. I 
was leading, of course ; the Herr next, and Michel ' this was 
their porter ' behind. We had halted and lunched at the foot 
of the rocks. They were nasty, with a coating, for the most part, 
of thin ice which we must knock away ; but not really dangerous. 
The Herr was silent, not singing he had been singing and 
laughing all through the morning but in high spirits. He kept 
his breath now for business. I never knew him fatigued, and 
that day I had to beg him once or twice not to press the pace. 
Michel was tired, I think, and the wine he had taken earlier had 
upset his stomach ; also he had been earning wages all the winter 
in England as a gentleman's valet, and this was his first ascent 
for the year, so it may have been that his nerve was wrong. 

' The first trouble we had with him was soon after starting on 
the rocks. We were roped, and at the first awkward place he 
said, "If one of us should slip now, we are all lost." The Herr 
was annoyed as I have never seen him, and I, too, was angry, the 
more because what he said had some truth, but it was not, you 
understand, the moment to say it. After this we had no gieat 
trouble until we had passed the place where Herr Mummery 
turned back. About thirty metres from the summit we came to 
a bit requiring caution, a small couLoi/r filled with good ice, but 
at a slope so ! ' Here Christian held his open hand aslant, but 
Mr. Frank did not lift his eyes. ' They anchored themselves and 
held me while I cut step* large steps across it. On the other 
side there was no good foothold within length of the rope, so I 
cast off, and the Herr came across in my steps with Michel well 
anchored. It was now Michel's turn, and having now the extra 
length of rope brought across by the Herr, I could go higher to a 
rock and moor myself firmly. The Herr was right enough where 
he stood, but not to bear any strain, so I told him to cast off that 
I might look to Michel alone. While he unknotted his rope I 
turned to examine the rock, and at that instant . . . Michel did 
not understand, or was impatient to get it over ... at any rate, 
he started to cross just as the Herr had both hands busy. He 



VICTOR. 83 

slipped at the third step ... I heard, and turned again in time 
to see the jerk come. The Herr bent backward, but it was use- 
less ; he was torn from his foothold ' 

The little clergyman nodded and broke in : ' They were found, 
close together, on a ledge, two thousand feet below. Your son, 
sir, was not much mutilated, though his limbs were broken 
and his spine and neck. The bodies were found the next day, 
and brought down. We did all that was possible. Shall I take 
you and madame to the grave ? ' 

But the guide had not finished. ' He fell almost on top of 
Michel, and the two went spinning down the couloir out of sight. 
I do not think that Michel uttered any cry, but the Herr as the 
strain came and he went backward against it, seeking to get his 
axe free and plant it ... though that would have been useless 
. . . the Herr cried once and very loud . . . such a strange cry ! ' 

' Madame will be glad,' interrupted the clergyman again, who 
had heard Christian's story at the inquest. ' Madame will be 

glad ' He addressed Miss Bracy, who, as he was dimly aware, 

had been standing throughout with face averted, staring up at 
the far-away cliffs. ' The young's man's last thoughts ' 

But Christian was not to be denied. He had told the story a 
score of times during the last three days, had assured himself by 
every evidence that he could tell it effectively. He was something 
of an egoist, too, and the climax- he had in mind was that of his 
own emotions in recrossing the fatal couloir ropeless, with shaking 
knees, haunted by the Englishman's last cry. 

' Such a strange cry,' he persisted. ' His eyes were on mine 
for a moment . . . then they turned from me to the couloir and 
the great space below. It was then he uttered it, stretching out 
his hands as the rope pulled him forward, yet not as one afraid. 
" Mother ! " he cried ; just that, and only once " Mother ! " 

Mr. Frank looked up sharply and turned his head toward Miss 
Bracy. The clergyman and the guide also had their eyes on her, 
the latter waiting for the effect of his climax. 

' It must be a consolation to you,' the clergyman began to 
mumble. 

But Miss Bracy did not hear. Mr. Frank withdrew his eyes 
from her and fixed them again on the gaudy tablecloth. She 
continued to stare up at the clean ice-fields, the pencilled cliffs. 
She did not even move. 

So Bassett was avenged. 

62 



84 



THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY PLACE-HUNTER. 
BY ALEXANDER INNES SHAND. 

WHEN Disraeli very unfairly satirised Croker in ' Coningsby,' 
the sharpest stroke was naming Lord Monmouth's parasite and 
pander after the most notorious time-server of the previous 
century. The real Rigby has had the honours of infamy ; 
political moralists have taken him for the type of all that was 
corrupt, scandalous, and shameless. Junius splashed him inci- 
dentally with vitriol in the letters addressed to his Grace of 
Graf ton, Macaulay branded him in the articles on Lord Chatham, 
and Macaulay's nephew, in the ' Early History of Charles Fox," 
has laid on the lash with unsparing severity. He is not dismissed 
with a few stinging cuts of the cat ; like the soldiers of our good 
old regime, he is sentenced to innumerable lashes, and the punish- 
ment is dealt out in generous instalments. Unrelenting severity 
is apt to overreach itself, and excessive punishment awakens 
sympathy with its victim. We ask if Rigby was really so vile 
as he is represented, and whether there is any very exceptional 
reason why he should be singled out as the scapegoat of a worth- 
less generation. And the answer is not altogether unfavourable. 
If Rigby was not a good man or a great man, he was undoubtedly 
a strong man, and he made his mark by sterling qualities which 
Englishmen hold in respect. His very vices were sometimes the 
excess of popular virtues. He had the dogged and indomitable 
pluck which asserted our ascendency in bloody sea-fights, for it 
was sheer calumny that taxed him with showing the white feather ; 
he was always ready to back his abuse with the pistol, and could 
face a storm of obloquy as resolutely as a shower of brickbats. 
In fact, he owed the constant patronage of the Duke of Bedford to 
having saved him at no slight personal peril from a riotous mob. 
He would never, like his ally Sandwich, have turned Jemmy 
Twitcher and ' peeched upon an old pal ' ; though he could throw a 
friend brutally over if their interests happened to clash. Honour 
among thieves was his guiding maxim, and when he formed and 
disciplined the Bloom-sbury Gang, bound to stick together through 



THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY PLACE-HUNTER. 85 

thick and thin in all contingencies, he promoted the political 
company (limited) whose shares were always at a premium. He 
was no hypocrite in that hypocritical age : he never professed the 
lofty principles he ridiculed ; and thanks to the unimpeachable 
honesty of his unblushing and audacious candour, enemies and 
friends alike knew exactly ' where to have him.' He was not a 
great man, but he was a very powerful man. He led his patron 
the Duke of Bedford by the nose, a statesman with rectitude and 
perhaps intellect far superior to his own, and so he wielded the 
influence of the great House of Eussell. He set the exalted dis- 
interestedness of Chatham down as sheer insanity ; that was a 
nobility of soul of which he had no sort of comprehension ; but 
to Chatham he dictated terms when the great war minister was 
bargaining for allies. And not the least of his gifts was an extra- 
ordinarily strong head. In that hard-drinking age, when manhood 
was measured by the ' marines ' thrown aside at a drinking bout ; 
when Carteret's ordinary allowance was half a gallon of Burgundy, 
and when a leading divine in the strait-laced Scottish Church 
was famous as a five-bottle man, Rigby was pi^imus inter pares. 
Nowhere was so much liquor consumed as at his daily carouses at 
the Pay Office. Ministers knew his cellar and liked his company, 
and never refused his invitations. His guests might be slipping 
under the table or loosening their starched neckties, but Rigby 
was still cool and self-possessed. When he left the dinner-table for 
the senate his coarse eloquence was only more animated ; he was 
ever ready in debate and prompt in retort. His whole character 
may be summed up as concentrated and cynical egotism : he set 
himself to retrieve his shattered fortunes at the cost of the 
country ; he pressed steadily forwards towards the cumulation of 
lucrative preferments, and no place-hunter in English history ever 
had more brilliant success. He embarked in politics when well- 
nigh ruined ; he lived in luxury, regardless of expense, and he is 
said to have died worth half a million. 

Rigby, by general consent, like Richard III., and lago and 
other historical scarecrows, has been blackened almost beyond 
redemption, and gibbeted to point morals for posterity; yet 
material for the whitewasher is not altogether wanting. Need- 
less to say that his failings were regarded leniently by his friends 
and contemporaries, who were pretty generally tarred with the 
same brush, and rather inclined to envy than censure. But 
Horace Walpole, who seldom took genial views of humanity, 



86 THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY PLACE-HUNTER. 

is singularly charitable to the indefatigable place-hunter. He 
magnifies his virtues and extenuates or explains his faults. From 
the popular portraiture we are apt to figure to ourselves a bloated, 
brazen-faced ruffian, with an overbearing swagger. Junius 
speaks of his blushing for Grafton as an unprecedented and 
almost miraculous sign of the times. But Walpole says he had 
an advantageous and manly person, a spirited jollity that was 
very pleasing, though sometimes roughened into brutality, and a 
most insinuating good-breeding when he wished to be pleasing. 
He admits that his passions were turbulent and his manner 
dictatorial as much might have been said of Chatham but he 
credits him with ' a bold courage, fond of exerting itself.' He 
even adds that though in company, from gaiety of temper, he 
indulged in profuse drinking, in private few men were so sober 
though G-arrick suggested that he loved to retire to his 
sequestered seat of Mistley, in the marshlands, that he might 
have an excuse for drinking brandy as other men drink small 
beer. Quot homines, tot sententice I We should have said that 
from Eigby's point of view he had made as few mistakes in life 
as most men. But Walpole, assuming some errors, attributes 
them to a mischievous political education. A pupil of Winning- 
ton, he was the victim of Winnington's vicious maxims. 
Winnington had lived when all virtue had been set up to sale, 
and in ridicule of hypocritical pretences had affected an honesty 
in avowing whatever was dishonourable. ' Rigby, whose heart 
was naturally good, thought it sensible to laugh at the shackles 
of morality, and having early encumbered his fortunes by gaming, 
he found his patrons' maxims but too well adapted to retrieve 
his desperate fortunes.' As to that, all that can be said is that 
the times had not changed for the better with the passing of a 
generation, and that Rigby was an apt pupil who improved on the 
teaching of his master. There is truth as well as shrewdness in 
Walpole's summing up. ' A man who seldom loved or hated 
with moderation, yet he himself, though a violent opponent, was 
never a bitter enemy. His amiable qualities were natural : his 
faults were all acquired.' ' Shrewdness,' we say, because Rigby 
was far too practical to care for hard hitting, whether fair or foul. 
It was all in the rough and tumble game. And it clashed with 
his principles to bear malice, when the foe of the day might be 
the friend of the morrow, and when, in the incessant shuffling of 
the cards, anything might turn up trumps. 



THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY PLACE-HUNTER. 87 

It is a common subject of lament with biographers that their 
heroes were born too soon or too late. Rigby's good luck stood 
by him from the cradle, and he came into the world at the very 
time most favourable for the exercise of his peculiar abilities. 
In his early manhood, when he set seriously to sowing his wild 
oats, London was seething with political intrigue ; corruption 
was rampant, and fashionable life was almost as loose as in the 
reign of the second Charles. Though the grandson of a linen- 
draper, he had inherited a handsome fortune, and the rich young 
squire, with good manners and a hospitable country seat, had 
money to throw away, which was his best recommendation. 
Most doors in the Georgian period were unlocked by a golden 
key, and a gambler who was a good loser had the entree almost 
anywhere. At no time was high Cabinet office more jealously 
monopolised by the great aristocracy. In the ministry which 
came into power the year after Rigby attained his majority, with 
the exception of the premier the brother of a duke all the 
ministers were peers and eight of them had dukedoms. Yet, as 
the peerage has always been recruited from the ranks, some of the 
most aristocratic leaders of fashion have been men of the hum- 
blest origin. Fifty years later, Brummel was the rival of the 
Regent, and Brummel is said to have been son of a footman. So 
Rigby, who was easy and genial when on his promotion, convivial, 
free-handed, and a prince of good fellows, had naturally a fair 
chance. Nor did he neglect the setting off of his personal 
advantages. When he had grown gross and bloated, the bully of 
the House of Commons was still severely correct in his attire, 
and in earlier manhood he had been something of a fop. When 
the custom dues on clothes imported from France were exorbitant, 
the Right Hon. Richard Rigby might have been seen one stormy 
day crossing the Channel in a court suit, richly embroidered with 
gold lace and priceless ruffles of Flanders point. 

As matter of course he made the Grand Tour, which was de 
rigueur, and on his return was presented at Leicester House, 
where the Prince gave him a gracious reception and soon admitted 
him to something like intimacy. The youth had then the flexi- 
bility of the courtier, and less intelligence than his would have 
quickly hit the royal road to courtly favour. Flattery went far , 
no doubt, but the favoured parasites, when without political influ- 
ence, had to pay their footing. Rigby dropped large sums at the 
card-tables : his losses were so serious that his creditors became 



88 THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY PLACE-HUNTER. 

troublesome. We know not what his original intentions were, 
and very probably he would have let himself drift on the sea of 
pleasure had all been smooth sailing. But adversity called all his 
special energies into action, and he was the last man to let his 
practical capacity run to waste. It was then he turned in earnest 
to the business of place-hunting, and no profession was so lucra- 
tive. The great nobles might monopolise power and high place, 
but obsequious followers, who could make themselves useful, were 
richly rewarded. Subordinate offices, largely salaried, with pickings 
and stealings at the holder's indiscretion, sinecures, pensions on 
the Irish Establishment, were to be had for the asking by politi- 
cians who were either serviceable or feared. When a minister 
took one of these jackals into his confidence, it was at the risk of 
being remorselessly blackmailed. Rigby's first disappointment 
proved another stroke of luck. Prince Frederick was always 
lavish of promises, and he had pledged himself to make Rigby a 
Lord of the Bedchamber. As Rigby's duns became pressing, in 
turn he pressed the Prince, and then a vacancy occurred. The 
spendthrift Frederick, though far deeper in debt than his peti- 
tioner, was in some respects an excellent economist : nor was he 
fool enough to fulfil his engagement to the friend whose pockets 
he had emptied. Rigby shook the dust of Leicester Square off 
his feet, and, trading on the gratitude of its noble owner, trans- 
ferred his attendance to Bedford House, where he speedily rose 
to the command of his Grace's Household brigade. 

He assured his fortunes by the fortunate exchange, and it is 
doubtful whether the Duke lost by the connection. Like many 
another man, had he been other than he was, he might have 
taken commanding rank among English statesmen. Disinterested 
as Chatham, and lavish of his large revenues, he was a man of 
no mean capacity, and honestly patriotic and conscientious. But 
there was an unpractical side to his unstable character, and he was 
born not to lead, but to be guided. Predestined to be the pawn 
and tool of absolutely unscrupulous intriguers, Rigby was as 
good as any for the purpose. Rigby was his will, his mind, his 
memory, and his evil genius. It is true that it was the counsels 
of his Mephistopheles which gave point to the satire of Junius. 
It is true that it was the subtle temptation of Rigby which induced 
the Viceroy of Ireland to abandon purity of principle for shameless 
prostitution of patronage. But Sandwich, or Weymouth, or any 
other adviser would have done the same, and Rigby had the iron 



THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY PLACE-HUNTER. 89 

concentration of purpose which in some measure communicated 
itself to his nominal superior. Kigby's self-seeking was not alto- 
gether devoid of patriotism, though patriotism was kept in the 
second place and at a long distance. And there were lengths to 
which Bedford would not be driven, and measures to which he 
could not be induced to stoop. He stood aloof from parties ; his 
following was a personal one ; his influence on State affairs, on the 
whole, was good ; his letters to ministers abroad show sagacity and 
political insight ; and if he exercised any influence at all, it was 
because Rigby had drilled his compact battalion. 

Rigby had entered Parliament when twenty-three, and in 
Pelham's administration had voted with the Opposition as silent 
member for Castle Rising and Sudbury. He had lost his seat for 
the latter borough ; but in 1754 his new patron returned him for 
Tavistock. Without intermission he represented that family seat 
of the Bedfords for more than thirty years. It is a proof at once 
of the constancy of the patron, who never forsook a friend, though 
he had often to complain of ingratitude witness Legge, who owed 
everything to Bedford and turned Judas when Newcastle ousted 
him from the ministry and of the many-sided usefulness of 
Rigby, who speedily made himself indispensable. His letters 
to the Duke are amusingly autobiographical, abounding in frank 
self-revelation. The first which appears in the published corre- 
spondence was written in June 1751. Already he had established 
a respectful familiarity. It is the letter of a favoured servant, on 
the footing of a trusted friend, who knows how to take playful 
liberties without offending the dignity he serves. 

Rigby had won the Duke by the real service to which we 
have alluded, and improved his opportunities as the best of boon 
companions. The great man passed much of his time at 
Woburn ; in fact, one of Newcastle's complaints when backbiting 
him with the monarch was that he was always on the road and 
seldom in his office. In his ample leisure he divided time and 
tastes between his children, his plantations and private theatricals. 
But he loved to keep himself informed of all that went on in the 
gay world. Rigby constituted himself purveyor-in-ordinary of 
rumours, gossip and scandal. He feels his way delicately in 
these letters, making one pave the way for another, by protesting 
that he would not write at all if his Grace thought it incumbent 
to answer. He knew well that however averse to letter-writing 
the Duke might be, it was a correspondence in which he must 



90 THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY PLACE-HUNTER. 

inevitably be entangled. As well might Horace Mann have 
refused to reply to Horace Walpole. Eigby's style is rough and 
ready, as Walpole's is polished, but these letters of his are scarcely 
less amusing. He moved in the highest society, where he knew 
well how to keep his place in more senses than one : he would 
buttonhole a duke in his regardful familiarity : he was in the 
good graces of fair ladies of fashion : he was forward in getting 
up parties at Greenwich or Kichmond : he supped and dropped 
his money by way of investment at White's or Brooks' ; and in 
those days conviviality levelled ranks and degrees, when the wine 
was in and the wit was out. We may be sure, besides, that he 
made the very most of his intimacy with Bedford, who with rank 
and wealth and fair chances of political supremacy was a sort of 
Mikado generally worshipped, but not to be lightly approached. 

The intimacy ripened fast. In 1752 the Duke paid a visit 
to the Squire of Mistley no slight condescension, Rigby writes 
with befitting gratitude. ' You must accept my thanks for the 
great honour you have done me in this second-rate manner. I 
must declare that though I cannot express either my obligations 
or my attachment to you in so good oratorical language ' (as 
Mr. Pitt's), ' I can keep my word better and be more faithful to 
you in every respect. But not to read you a panegyric upon 
myself, I will have done with egotism and assure you I am infinitely 
obliged for the favour of your visit. It convinces the world of 
what I am most desirous they should know that I am extremely 
well in your good graces, and it convinces me of what makes me 
more happy (if, indeed, I could want conviction), that I am so 
also in your friendship.' The last sentence might have been 
addressed by Boswell to Johnson, and both were servile worship- 
pers of their idol, though Bozzy's devotion was the more dis- 
interested. For Rigby had made himself useful till he was 
indispensable. The Duke invariably consulted him and was 
guided by his advice. He was regarded by all intriguers as the 
official representative and mayor of the palace of the man whom 
Newcastle addressed in one of his flattering letters for the most 
part they were asking Bedford to aid in some job as the first and 
greatest of English subjects. In 1758, when Bedford consented 
to go to Dublin as Lord Lieutenant, Rigby naturally accompanied 
him as Irish Secretary. In some respects it was an excellent 
hoice. In that hard-drinking society the Secretary could hold 
his own, and his bluff good-fellowship commended him to men 



THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY PLACE-HUNTER. 91 

who loved jests and light talk the better for strong seasoning. 
He tells his patron complacently of a couple of clever character- 
sketches by Lady Doneraile : ' His Grace was the honestest and 
best man, but an ipse-dixit man ; and his Secretary was a good 
four-bottle man.' 

But rare convivial qualities are not everything, and Rigby 
found that in the Protestant Parliament he had a difficult team 
to drive. Irish politicians might be place-hunters like himself, 
but patriotism was a strong card to play, and the mob was as 
inflammable as the Parliament was venal. Bedford went to 
Ireland with the fairest professions and probably with the best 
intentions. He declared he would rise superior to faction, and 
have nothing to do with jobbery. Nothing, indeed, could be 
more firm than his respectful opposition to His Majesty's gracious 
and modest proposal to saddle the Irish pension list with annuities 
for life to the Princess of Hesse and her children, who had been 
turned out of their hereditary principality. But purity was 
opposed to Rigby's principles. Playing on his patron's family 
affection, he persuaded him to pension his sister-in-law ; and the 
barrier being once breached, the Bloomsburys came with a rush. 
As was but right and just, Rigby came best off. First appointed 
to the Board of Trade, a few months later he was Master of the 
Rolls. As Walpole remarked, ' Though the office is no post of 
business, the choice of a man so little grave is not decent.' Hs 
might have added besides that a gentleman who had never passed 
at the Bar was scarcely eligible for a nominally legal appoint- 
ment. But the beauty of the sinecure system was that ineligi- 
bility was no objection. 

Irishmen in high places had no objection to financial abuses 
in the abstract, but they naturally resented English intrusion. 
The Lord Lieutenant and his Secretary became the more 
unpopular, that they had raised national hopes which were 
disappointed. Pensioners who were secured in their pensions 
turned rusty in the House, and it became impossible to keep a 
Government majority. Even Ponsonby, the Speaker, assumed a 
virtue if he had it not blocked the money Bills and brought the 
Viceroy to his knees. Moreover, their emissaries spread the 
report that Bedford was bent on bringing about a Union, and 
that the Secretary was his zealous agent. They set Dublin in a 
flame, and a furious mob besieged the doors of the House of 
Commons. Ponsonby, alarmed at the storm, tried in vain to 



92 THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY PLACE-HUNTER. 

pacify them. Rigby rose in his place to declare that if a Bill 
of Union were brought in, he would be the first to oppose it. 
Probably he spoke the truth, but unfortunately he was not 
believed. His appointment as Master of the Rolls rekindled the 
smouldering fire. Again there was serious rioting, and the 
cavalry was called out. Undoubtedly he had a very narrow 
escape, for the mob had raised a gallows and fully intended to hang 
him. As it chanced, he had gone out that morning for a ride ; 
he got warning of the fate intended for him, and did not come 
back till the streets were cleared. Cowardice was none of his 
failings, and the place-hunter becomes hardened to invective and 
unpopularity. But Dublin thenceforth was no bed of roses, and 
he could only congratulate himself when Bedford was relieved. 
He had done an excellent stroke of business on his Irish trip, 
and could spend the pay of his sinecures more pleasantly in 
London. 

When Fox was packing a Parliament for Bute, Rigby was in 
his element. None was more active than he in hounding on the 
able renegade, who had abandoned his friends and broken with 
his associations. The group of the Bedfords was holding watch- 
fully aloof, and Rigby's thoroughgoing counsel to Fox was to 
make a clean sweep of the other Whig families. Great was the 
fall of Fox in the following year, when, charged with peculation 
and threatened with impeachment, he was execrated on all sides. 
At least he might have counted on the support of Rigby, and he 
confidently reckoned on his friendship. Unamiable as he was to 
all beyond his family circle, to Rigby he seems to have been 
strangely attracted and tenderly attached. He wrote to Selwyn 
at the time, ' I thought this man's friendship had not been only 
political.' Five years afterwards he wrote to Bedford, ' Mr. 
Rigby (whose behaviour has cost me more than any other thing 
that has ever yet happened) I loved as much as I did my brother.' 
If he loved him, it is no marvel he was deeply wounded at the 
manner in which his prompter and counsellor broke off the con- 
nection. The disgraced minister met Rigby's chariot in St. 
James's Street and stopped it. Leaning on the door he began to 
abuse Lord Shelburne. ' You tell your story of Shelburne,' was 
the harsh rejoinder. ' He has a damned one to tell of you, and I do 
not trouble myself which is the truth,' and pushing Fox's elbow 
aside, he bade the coachman drive on. There could hardly be a 
coarser display of brutality, and no doubt it hit the sagacious 



THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY PLACE-HUNTER. 93 

Fox the harder that he appreciated his ' friend's ' shrewdness. 
Kigby would never have trampled on him had there been any- 
thing to hope from him in the future. 

To Bedford, Rigby was what Thackeray calls ' a florid toady,' 
and even when paying assiduous and humble court to his chief, 
he always knew well how se faire valoir. But it must be 
remembered that in that reflected light and with his own talents 
for intrigue he was really an important personage. He had been 
chosen to mediate between Fox and Pitt, when it was the desire 
alike of the Crown and the country to have them working 
amicably in the same Cabinet. His Majesty habitually admitted 
him to private interviews, unbending so far as lay in his nature 
to do. Most significant of all, Newcastle never kept him waiting 
at the crowded levies, and always spoke of him behind his back 
with extreme civility. When addressing himself to the great 
jobber and giver of places on behalf of his patron, Rigby never 
failed, when he saw the opportunity, of putting in a word for 
himself. As Bedford's steady backing was essential, and as the 
Duke knew him for a confirmed beggar, he always reported these 
interviews frankly. One passage from the letters one among 
many will show the manner of his proceedings. In 1761 he 
had good cause of complaint, for nothing had been given since he 
evacuated Ireland. He writes : ' Your goodness in mentioning 
my name to him ' (Newcastle) ' was the means of opening a con- 
versation about myself and my situation. The chair which 
your Grace has mentioned ' (at the Treasury Board), ' his Grace 
thinks, as I do, would not suit me. . . . But he has been very 
explicit and kind with respect to any other favour I might wish to 
have and your Grace thinks I should deserve. I told him fairly 
I should be very glad of a place, but that I could never take 
one from any other recommendation but the Duke of Bedford's.' 
After discussing various possible openings in which the minister 
seems to have shuffled characteristically, and after encouraging 
Rigby to look even higher than he had done, the crafty veteran 
sent the petitioner away delighted. A clever piece of political leger- 
demain it was, that throwing dust in the eyes of the keen-sighted 
Rigby, for he was to get nothing more for several years to come. 
' Upon my word,' he says, ' I could not desire more show of friend- 
ship or regard from the nearest friend I have in the world, hardly 
from your Grace yourself. He cast about for everything that is 
or is likely to be vacant, and told me that my pretensions were 



94 THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY PLACE-HUNTER. 

heightened by the great consequence of my patron, of which I 
ought to avail myself, and in doing which I should have his whole 
weight and support. ... I hope I have not said too much 
about myself in this letter. The last thing I mean to do is to lay 
your Grace under any difficulties about me. And if you don't 
like to ask any favours from the Court, I am perfectly happy and 
satisfied with those you were so good as to shower upon me out 
of employment.' 

In 1763 Bedford was persuaded to take office as President of 
the Council, and Rigby was busier than ever at wire-pulling. 
Bedford hated Bute and disliked Grenville for his pennywise 
parsimony. There was a stormy passage of arms in the House, 
when Rigby savagely attacked Lord Temple. Grenville, in a 
tempest of unaccustomed passion, called Rigby a coward who had 
fled from Ireland to escape the gallows. Rigby laughed pleasantly, 
restored to good-humour, and readily consented to keep the 
peace. Hard words break no bones ; he could not afford to make 
an enemy of Grenville, and indeed not long afterwards he had 
serious occasion to approach him with obsequious appeals. 

In 1766, when Chatham's tottering administration was shaken 
by the secession of those of the Rockinghams who had joined 
him, he necessarily sought the support of the Bedfords. The 
bargaining was closed in the following January, when G-rafton 
surrendered at discretion. It was the triumph of Rigby's astute 
strategy. The Bloomsbury company might have adopted the 
device of the Swiss Confederation Un pour tons et tons pour un. 
Rigby bluntly told Chatham that he must take all or have none. 
They sold themselves in a lot, and got their own terms. Lord 
Gower was to be President of the Council, Sandwich had the 
patronage of the Post Office, and the Duke was induced, after 
long hesitation, to insist on the sacrifice of Conway. He had 
held to the seals too long for his good fame, but now they were 
handed over to Weymouth. Rigby, the soul of the venal league, 
looked strictly, as usual, to the main chance. He had another 
draft on the Irish Exchequer, in the shape of a vice-treasurership 
with a salary of 3,500., and he was assured of the reversion of 
the Pay Office, the most lucrative place under Government. He 
might have been contented, for the Pay Office fell vacant next 
year, but humanity is never secure from trouble. The minister 
was guilty of a piece of gross injustice. He actually brought in 
a Bill to tax the incomes of non-resident Irish officials and pen- 



THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY PLACE-HUNTER. 95 

sioners. Rigby was in despair : he whined and he blustered ; he 
made himself exceptionally offensive in the House by unmeasured 
abuse ; and he addressed the most humble petitions to Grafton 
and to Grenville. The misfortune was that all was in vain, and 
he had a sad experience of ministerial ingratitude. However, he 
was consoled in a measure by the vacancy at the Pay Office, and 
he was never more in his element. All the business could be 
done by deputy ; he drew an ample salary, and he had almost 
limitless pickings and ' stealings,' which were sanctioned by use 
and honoured precedent. At that time he had no sinister fore- 
boding that a Burke was . to succeed him and call him over the 
coals. And the genial side of his character came to the front, 
when he made himself famous by his convivial entertainments. 
He dined and got ' concerned in liquor,' in the best official com- 
pany. With G-ower and Weymouth, his sworn allies, he had always 
been hand in glove. Dundas kept him company as a many-bottle 
man, and the sage and austere Thurlow graced the orgies with 
his imposing presence. 

In gratitude for favours, past, present and to come, he stood 
loyally by the King and Court in the Wilkes affair. Indeed, he 
went to no small expense in getting up ' a loyal address ' from his 
county of Essex, and when arbitrary and unconstitutional action 
was bringing the democracy to the verge of revolt, naturally 
Rigby of the iron nerve was put forward to make the motion to 
annul the election. Soon afterwards another blow was struck at 
constitutional or traditional right, but on that occasion Rigby 
was for once on the popular side. Grenville's Bribery Bill pro- 
posed to limit freedom of corruption, and among other things to 
forbid treating at elections. Rigby denounced it with all the 
honest vehemence of the hard drinker who has sympathy with old 
English virtues, and of the politician whose experience had taught 
him the methods most persuasive with the uneducated. 

That was the last of his prominent public performances, 
though afterwards he was to oppose the motion for funeral 
honours to Chatham we may remember that no less a man 
than Windham took the same line in the case of Chatham's 
illustrious son ; and on another occasion, with all the fire of 
strong fellow-feeling, he warmly defended some officials charged 
with malversation. For the period of his public eminence was 
drawing to a close. In 1771 died the Duke of Bedford, and Rigby 
became simply the Right Hon. Richard when he ceased to be the 



96 THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY PLACE-HUNTER. 

alter ego of the great Duke. His patron and staunch friend had 
dealt with him liberally. He left him a legacy and the remission 
of considerable debts, for his Grace had been consistently generous, 
and Rigby had never scrupled to draw on his purse. That the 
debts had never been repaid is significant of their relations, 
for Rigby had repaired his fortunes many years before, and 
when he went to the Pay Office he must have been rolling in 
riches. He remained there till the fall of the Coalition Ministry 
in 1784, when Burke was tardily rewarded with the profitable 
place. Being turned out of the lucrative berth was hard enough 
upon the old place-hunter, but it was far worse to be called to 
account by the law-officers for heavy balances of public money in 
his hands. Rigby was shocked by the indelicacy of the proceed- 
ing, and seriously alarmed by the threats of an impeachment ; but 
his astuteness was equal to the occasion, and he seems to have 
scraped clear of the dilemma, with what might have been called 
some sacrifice of character. But Rigby's character had been 
established long before beyond possibility of damage. 

He died at Bath in 1785, and was buried at his Essex seat, 
bequeathing to a nephew the half million of money he had indus- 
triously amassed in the public service. Satire itself must have 
been silenced, had it been inscribed upon his tomb that he 
turned his talents to excellent account. 



97 



A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 

XII. 

OUR experiment of spending the autumn in London was not 
altogether a success ; but the winter is passing very pleasantly. 
The fogs which have so extensively prevailed have afforded Bertha 
excellent opportunities of losing her way in returning from her 
district, and it has become quite a recognised institution that 
Bumpstead should see her home just about tea-time, when he does 
extraordinary execution among Selina's buttered scones. His 
performances in this field elicit no acrid criticisms, but my dear 
wife banters him with a winsome playfulness which recalls the 
days when I used to ride over from Proudflesh Park to The Saw- 
pits, and decline old Mr. Topham-Sawyer's ' glass of sherry and a 
biscuit ' in favour of the tea and muffins dispensed by the fascinat- 
ing Miss Selina. That was more than twenty years ago, and if I 
asked for muffins to-day the request would be received with some 
painfully frank allusion to incipient obesity. 

The Soulsbys are away. The exertions and emotions of the 
Harvest Festival proved too much for the Vicar's highly-strung 
organisation. He was overwrought already, and that Brown Paper 
Service was what old Lady Farringdon, who is now a little dodder- 
ing, called ' the last hair upon the camel's back.' Signs of brain- 
fag and nerve-exhaustion made themselves apparent to Dr. 
Snuffin's watchful eye, and Soulsby was recommended to take 
three weeks at Torquay. ' No lark could pipe in skies so dull 
and gray,' he quoted pathetically, as his excuse for deserting his 
parish so soon after his autumn holiday ; and, turning his face 
sunward, left his flock to the tender mercies of frost and fog. 
During the Vicar's absence, Mr. Bumpstead became acting 
editor of ' St. Ursula's Parish Magazine,' and his brief period of 
responsibility was signalised by a remarkable occurrence. When 
the December number appeared, it was found to contain an 
anonymous set of verses, some of which I append : 

I am a loyal Anglican, 

A Rural Dean and Rector ; 
I keep a wife and pony-trap, 

I wear a chest-protector. 
VOL. XII. NO. 67, N.S. 7 



98 A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 

I should not like my natne to be 
Connected with a party ; 

But still my type of service is 
Extremely bright and hearty. 

Of course, one has to keep abreast 

Of changing times and manners ; 
A Harvest Festival we keep, 

With Special Psalms and banners ; 
A Flower-Service in July, 

A Toy-Fund Intercession, 
And, when the hens lay well, we hope 

To start an Egg- Procession. 

My wife and I composed a form 

For dedicating hassocks, 
Which (slightly changed) we also use 

For surplices and cassocks ; 
Our Bishop, when we sent it for 

His Lordship's approbation, 
Remarked : ' A very primitive 

And pleasing compilation.' 

To pick the best from every school 

The object of my art is, 
And steer a middle course between 

The two contending parties. 
My own opinions would no doubt 

Be labelled ' High ' by many ; 
But all know well I would not wish 

To give offence to any. 

When first I came I had to face 

A certain opposition, 
And several friends in town advised 

A short Parochial Mission ; 
I thought that quiet pastoral work 

Would build foundations firmer. 
It did. This year we started ' Lights,' 

Without a single murmur. 

One ought, I'm certain, to produce 

By gradual education 
A tone of deeper Churchmanship 

Throughout the population. 
There are, I doubt not, even here 

Things to be done in plenty ; 
But still you know the ancient saw 

' Festina lent& lenti.' 

I humbly feel that my success, 
My power of attraction, 

Is mainly due to following 
This golden rule of action : 



A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 98 

> 

' See all from all men's point of view, 

Use all men's eyes to see with, 
And never preach what anyone 

Could ever disagree with.' 

The appearance of these rather ribald rhymes occasioned 
nothing less than a parochial storm. Loud was the outcry of the 
Fishers in Deep Waters. ' It is too shameful,' they exclaimed, ' to 
hold up the dear Vicar to ridicule in his own magazine ! Not, of 
course, that it was the least bit like him ; but obviously it was 
meant for him. How dreadfully pained he will be ! I shouldn't 
wonder if he would resign the living. Who in the world could 
have written the lines ? They are in the worst possible taste, and 
not the least amusing. I am sure, if I knew who it was, I would 
never ask him inside my house again. And how could Mr. 
Bumpstead have printed them ? Well, for my own part, I always 
thought him a very underbred young man. And he is com- 
pletely uneducated, and not the least fitted to be Mr. Soulsby's 
colleague. I do hope the Bishop of London will do something. 
But the worst of it is that this new Bishop likes that sort of 
young man, and calls them "old chap." I suppose they remind 
him of the people he lived with in the East End.' 

Oddly enough, my own modest roof remains unshaken by this 
storm. A year ago it would have been a very different story. 
Selina would have said, ' Well, I am not the least surprised. You 
know what I always said about that man ; and you see it has come 
true. If he put those horrid verses into the magazine in order to 
make fun of the Vicar, it was most impertinent ; and as to saying 
that he didn't see the point of them till he read them in print, 
all I can say is that if that's the case he must be even stupider 
than he looks.' 

Such, I say, would have been the language of a year ago ; 
but to-day Selina says the verses are really very funny, and 
remind her of the things which Lord Curzon used to write in 
visitors'-books when she used to meet him in country-houses. 
And from certain mysterious signs of sympathy which I see 
passing between Bumpstead and Bertha, I am inclined to believe 
that my sister-in-law, who has come to think Mr. Soulsby ' an 
absolute fraud,' must have handed the peccant poem to her 
clerical admirer. I believe parochial rumour asserts that I wrote 
it, but this I categorically deny ; and I should recommend the 
Vicar, if he feels aggrieved, to make personal inquiries at 

72 



100 A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 

St. Alban's Clergy-House, Holborn, where, unless my friend 
Arthur Stanton has very much changed, the worthy Soulsby will 
hear, as the advertisements say, something to his advantage. 

But Christmas is upon us, and ' amicablenesses ' (as Miss 
Miggs called them), rather than ' unpleasantnesses ' (as the Parish 
calls them) should dominate the season. For my own part, I feel 
no difficulty in being amiable when I contrast a Christmas in 
Stuccovia with a Christmas in Loamshire. ' Christians, awake,' 
with the thermometer below zero ; the arctic cold of the family 
pew at Proudflesh Park or The Sawpits ; the faint odour of long- 
descended ancestry wafted up from the vault beneath ; the con- 
course of uncongenial cousins ; the masses of revengeful food ; the 
servants' ball and the workhouse treat all these ' Christmassy 
sort of things,' as Byng in ' Happy Thoughts ' called them, belong 
to a remote past. In London no one compels me to eat what 
disagrees with me, or go to churches where I catch cold, or dine 
with relations whom I don't like, or attend gatherings at which 
I feel out of place. And then, again, we happy denizens of 
Stuccovia are within half-an-hour by Underground Train of the 
centre of life, civilisation, and commerce. 

Ere yet my Selina had fallen like a star from its place in 
other words, before she had married me and settled down in 
Stuccovia one of her partners was the admirable Lord St. Alde- 
gonde, who used to hunt in Loamshire. Mrs. Topham-Sawyer 
fondly fancied that his reason for choosing our very undis- 
tinguished country was his admiration for Selina, who certainly 
looked her best on a horse ; but his real inducement as with 
generous outspokenness he did not scruple to tell us was that, 
though the hunting was infernally slow and the whole establish- 
ment seemed to have come out of Noah's Ark, it was a good grass 
country and lay within two hours' journey of London, whereas 
his own ancestral castle frowned upon the Border. ' What I 
want in December,' he used to say, ' is a slice of cod and a beef- 
steak, and, by Jove ! I never could get them at home. Those 
infernal cooks spoil everything. I was obliged to come to town. 
It is no joke having to travel three hundred miles for a slice of 
cod and a beefsteak.' I am entirely of one mind with St. Alde- 
gonde. Whether the object of one's desires is a beefsteak or a 
Christmas card, a slice of cod or a wedding present, it is no 
joke having to travel three hundred miles to get it. We, who 
are hampered by no Northern castles, have got through our 



A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 101 

Christmas shopping this year very comfortably, and, on the 
whole, inexpensively. For the barrel of oysters which we used 
to send to The Sawpits we have substituted a box of chromatic 
sweetmeats made by a lady in reduced circumstances. A photo- 
graph-frame for Mrs. Topbam-Sawyer works out at considerably 
less than the Grorgonzola cheese of more affluent days ; while 
the Soulsbys, on their return from Torquay, will find our Christmas 
gift awaiting them in the shape of a copy already cut, but very 
carefully handled so as to avoid thumb-marks of ' Lady Mar- 
guerite Manquee.' 

This may fairly be said, by others than its publishers, to be 
the Book of the Season . It has smashed ' The Eternal City,' and 
obliterated the memory of ' Tristram of Blent.' 

The Manques, Manquees, or De Manques, for so their name 
was indifferently spelt in the earlier stages of our history, were 
a family of Norman extraction. Some genealogists refer their 
origin to a hardy Norseman who exercised regal rights in the Isle 
of Man long before the Earls of Derby were heard of; but Mr. 
J. Horace Eound dismisses this pedigree as legendary, and 
represents the original De Manques as companions-in-arms of the 
Conqueror. From successive kings they obtained grants of royal 
land, stately castles, hereditary offices, and writs of summons. 
They sedulously mixed their blood with all that was noblest in 
European chivalry, and increased in splendour and opulence as 
the centuries rolled on. Dynasties rose and fell, religions 
changed, revolutions brought the proudest heads to the block, 
and confiscation impoverished the wealthiest ; but no disaster 
ever touched the fortunate De Manques. They seemed to be 
in some mysterious way the spoilt children of fate ; and, as our 
national history unrolled itself, a tradition gradually gained 
ground in the highest circles of the social mysteries that the 
prosperity of this favoured race depended on some talisman or 
charm. 'The Luck of the Manques' became proverbial, though 
nobody except the head of the family, the eldest son, and the 
domestic chaplain knew what it was. There were romantic stories 
of a secret chamber where it was death to penetrate unbidden. 
The wife of one of the Lords De Manque had once peeped through 
the keyhole, and had spent the rest of her days in a strait-waist- 
coat. A chimney-sweeper who had climbed to the top of the 
Donjon-Keep and peered down the chimney, exclaimed, ' Well, I 
am damned,' and fell, a blackened corpse, into the moat. The 



102 A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 

intrusions of a profane curiosity being rebuked by these signal 
catastrophes, ' the Luck of the Manques ' took its place among the 
recognised mysteries of high life. Lord Houghton wrote a mono- 
graph about it. The Psychical Society made it the subject of 
some curious experiments. Mr. Augustus Hare (who was a 
cousin of the Manques) gave several detailed, though inconsistent, 
accounts of it in successive volumes of his Memoirs. But, in 
spite of all struggles for the light, the secret remained involved 
in Cimmerian darkness. Meanwhile the fortunes of the illustrious 
line had come to centre in the person of an only girl. The last 
Lord de Manque (they had been Barons since the Flood and 
Earls since the Conquest) was a man of desperate adventures and 
broke his neck in trying to ride an Irish hunter over the Grreat 
Wall of China. Thus heroically cut off in his prime, he left an 
infant daughter and heiress Marguerite Manquee. She would 
have been a peeress in her own right but for some tiresome 
technicality about a wedding-ring. As an earl's daughter she 
was styled by courtesy ' Lady,' although some purists might have 
disputed even that modest claim ; and she inherited all her father's 
estates, equal in size to a German Principality. Her mother had 
died in giving birth to her, and the sole trustee and guardian 
appointed by her father's will was the domestic chaplain. As 
Marguerite was only a year old when she succeeded, she could not, 
in spite of amazing precocity, be admitted to the Secret of the 
Luck, of which the chaplain was now the sole depository. She 
was brought up in her principal castle, under the careful super- 
intendence of accomplished governesses, none of whom was below 
the rank of a Baronet's daughter ; and she was sedulously with- 
held from contact with the outer world. But the development 
and characteristics of so great an heiress could not fail to evoke 
the interest of a right-minded society. 

People began to ask one another if they knew anything of 
that Manquee child, who must really be a big girl by now ; and 
in reply to these queries disquieting rumours began to circulate. 
It was stated, with much show of certitude and circumstantiality, 
that the Heiress of the De Manques had no hair and no teeth ; 
while others went so far as to add that she had only one eye. 
' Ah, poor child ! ' cried sympathetic friends, ' every situation 
has its drawbacks, and all lots their crosses. But it is really too 
bad to spread these stories about her, if they are not true. We 
shall see when she comes out.' 



A LONDONER'S LOG BOOK. 103 

When Marguerite Manquee was presented, social curiosity 
was keenly on the alert, and the verdict on her appearance was 
highly favourable. She was tall and nobly made ; her bearing 
was majestic. She wore a lifelike peruke of the richest auburn. 
Her ratelier was the finest product of Parisian art. Her one eye 
flashed with all the fire of her Crusading ancestry ; and the 
other, fashioned out of a single opal, rather added to than 
detracted from the impressiveness of her general appearance. 

But how came a pretty girl of seventeen to be so strangely 
defective in those appendages which nature, as a rule, bestows 
impartially on the high-born and the lowly ? Society might 
have asked the question in vain, only an Illustrious Personage, 
who had danced with Lady Marguerite at the Court Ball, insisted 
on knowing the truth. Then, all unexpectedly, the mystery of 
the Luck of the De Manques was disclosed. The talisman which 
from generation to generation had been so jealously guarded in 
the secret chamber of Castle Manque had vanished out of 
existence. It could never be recovered ; the secret was at an end, 
and the story might be told. 

And what a weird story it was ! Lionel Manque, tenth Baron 
De Manque, who flourished A.D. 1000, had conceived an un- 
hallowed passion for his grandmother. His ill-starred love is 
commemorated for the warning of posterity in the Table of 
Kindred and Affinity. Heaven had manifested its wrath by 
saying (through the mouth of a Palmer), ' You shall have what you 
desire. You have admired the toothless and the bald. Hence- 
forward no child born to the Manques shall ever have a tooth 
in its mouth or a hair on its head.' 

The doom which fell upon the house in the person of the 
guilty Lionel was reversed by the piety of his successor, 
Bawdewyn. His exploits in the Crusades expiated his father's 
sin, and an Eremite of Ascalon, to whom he had paid a hand- 
some tribute of Turks' heads, gave him in return a mysterious 
elixir, which could be warranted to stir into generative activity 
the barest scalp or the deadest gum. This invaluable fluid the 
triumphant Crusader brought home in a pocket-flask. A golden 
pyx of cunning workmanship was fashioned to receive it, and a 
secret chamber was hollowed in the thickness of the castle-wall to 
enshrine the talisman. 

For generation after generation this talisman, always safe- 
guarded by the Lord, the Heir, and the Chaplain, went on doing 



104 A LONDONER'S LOG BOOK. 

its beneficent work. The Palmer's curse was frustrated, and each 
child born to the De Manques was in time subjected to the healing 
influence, and developed hair and teeth in the richest abundance. 
But the story closed in gloom. When the last Lord De Manque 
died, the Chaplain, finding himself in sole possession of the secret, 
suddenly yielded to a diabolical impulse. A life-long dipsomaniac 
(as subsequent investigation proved), the temptation to sample a 
new liquor was too much for him. He drank the elixir, took the 
next train for London, sold the gold pyx to coiners who melted it 
into sovereigns, and, recovering from a paroxysm of inebriety, was 
overcome by remorse and drowned himself in the Serpentine, 
leaving a letter in his trousers-pocket to say what he had done. 
The spell was broken, and henceforward the heiress of the De 
Manques must dree her weird of toothlessness and alopecia. 

This romantic tale, instinct with historical and supernatural 
interest, spread like wildfire. At every ball where Lady Mar- 
guerite appeared, young men of fashion were drawn to her by an 
irresistible attraction. They longed to toy with those exuberant 
tresses ; they hung in rapture on every word which issued from 
those gleaming teeth. And a further zest was added to their 
passion when it became known that the loss of Marguerite's eye 
was due to the duenna-like zeal of her governess, who had inad- 
vertently jobbed it out with a ruler when correcting her pupil for 
winking at the schoolroom-footman. This last was a trait of 
hereditary character not to be overlooked in a story of the 
affections. 

Among the band of ardent youths who worshipped at Lady 
Marguerite's shrine, the most ardent and the most irresistible 
was young Lancelot Smith, who inherited from his father (a friend 
of Charles Kingsley's) a power of passion which carried all before 
it. He loved with an uncalculating and self-abandoned ardour 
which seemed to belong to a more strenuous age and a warmer 
climate than our own. The crisis of his fate was reached when, 
one day, slipping into Lady Marguerite's boudoir in order to lay 
a billet-doux upon her blotting-book, he found her dozing on the 
sofa. It was a scorching afternoon in July, and Marguerite was 
fatigued by a long day's shopping. Her hair was thrown care- 
lessly upon the piano. Her dachshund was playing with her 
rdtelier on the velvet hearth-rug. It was too much. I^incelot 
saw Marguerite as she really was. The rich, concrete fact 
surpassed even his most ardent imaginations. His passion broke 



A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 105 

the narrow bounds of convention, as an imprisoned ocean bursts 
its dam. Flinging all restraint to the winds, he tickled the coral 
gums with a peacock's feather torn from the hand-screen, and 
rained kisses on the virginal, cold, white scalp. 

Lancelot and Marguerite were married in Westminster Abbey. 
When the Dean joined their hands the Home Secretary joined 
their names. The Smith-Manques live splendidly in Lady Mar- 
guerite's castle, now completely refurnished by Gillow ; and it is 
understood that at the Coronation the barony of De Manque is 
pretty sure to be revived. 



106 



THE GREAT DUCHESS. 

WHENEVER, in my casual reading, I meet with even the slightest 
mention of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, I pause to offer her 
memory a silent salutation. I have just now read two rather 
large volumes about her, and it becomes necessary to me to break 
into articulate homage. It is an instinct with most of us to be 
struck (whether we are catholic enough to admire or not) by the 
spectacle of any person wholly and absolutely consistent with 
himself and with some simple elemental law of his being. Now 
I know of no man or woman in history who, on anything like a 
large scale and with recognisable strength of will and action, is 
at all comparable to Sarah Jennings for unity of life and feeling. 
In her slightest aside and most vehement speech, in her least 
and her greatest actions, the same spectacle is presented to my 
admiring vision a procession of strong, unfaltering, straight- 
forward, frank, remorseless, heartless selfishness. She was a 
perfect expression of egotism, without compromise or exception 
a type, an example for ever. The moralist may say this or that, 
but the artist cannot choose but applaud. 

It is not my purpose to ' review ' Mr. FitzGerald Molloy's Life of 
her which I have just read. (He calls it ' The Queen's Comrade,' 
in which title I doubt poor Queen Anne would have seen irony or 
cynicism.) But it would be less than civil not to thank him for 
much material new to me, and to compliment him on the pleasant 
manner of its presentment. To people who have not made a 
study of the sort of thing the book should be both illuminative 
and interesting, and an excellent corrective, so far as it goes, in 
regard to Eevolution times of that arch-manipulator of truth, 
Lord Macaulay. To me, who knew something of the subject, it 
was an increase of detailed knowledge and a confirmation of 
opinion. The latter very decidedly, especially as regarded Sarah 
Jennings. In every fresh detail she was the same as I had always 
seen her, never swerving to the right or the left, grasping every- 
thing with her strong hands, and striking hard with them if she 
were thwarted old friends, old benefactors, her own children : 
it was all one to her. A perfectly consistent woman. 

You can express her life with the simplicity and finality of a 



THE GREAT DUCHESS. 107 

problem in Euclid. The theory which guided her throughout, 
and which I will not believe could have been less than half- 
conscious, was clearly this : that the world was created for the 
benefit of Sarah Jennings ; that those who aided this wise design 
of Providence by advancing her fortunes, heaping money and titles 
on her, and so forth, were simply doing their duty, and deserved 
neither return nor any feeling of gratitude on her part ; that those 
who ceased so to do, or who were indifferent, or who did the 
opposite, were wretches for whom no punishment could be too 
severe : they were thwarting the nature of things. There is 
something almost impersonal in the even, unhesitating retribution 
with which she pursued any one who had crossed or offended her 
in the slightest degree ; such a person was an undoubted reptile, 
and when it raised its head whenever or wherever Sarah 
Jennings hit at it. And, mark, there was very little cant of self- 
righteousness about all this. She was not like Queen Mary II., who, 
whenever her treachery to her father had been brought home to 
her, went and congratulated Heaven on her virtues in her diary. 

No misconduct, you may be sure, was ever brought home to the 
mind of the Duchess of Marlborough. When Queen Anne finally 
dismissed her, the Duchess simply excused herself for ever having 
put up with the society of such a creature as her Sovereign. ' I 
am afraid,' she wrote to Sir David Hamilton, ' you will have a very 
ill opinion of one that could pass so many hours with one I have 
just given such a character of ; but though it was extremely tedious 
to pass so many hours where there could be no conversation, I 
knew she loved me.' You see, the kindness had been all on the 
Duchess's part, not on the Queen's, who had endured all kinds of 
affronts in the last reign, because she would not part with her 
favourite, and since her accession had heaped every benefit she 
could on the Duchess. Of course Sarah had given her Sovereign 
a direct piece of her mind before her dismissal, in terms even 
then, when English people were far less obsequious to Eoyalty 
than they are now, very much out of the way, but not as one 
defending herself, rather as one painfully pointing out a child's 
naughtiness. To say that she did not blame herself for the 
rupture is to understate the truth ; in her mind no conduct of 
hers, whatever it was, could justify a revolt against her. With 
the same beautiful and, I do not doubt, sincere simplicity, when 
she had to leave England, she bewailed the necessary ruin of a 
country which had ceased to pay the Duke and her ninety thou- 



108 THE GREAT DUCHESS. 

sand a year. There was no cant in this ; it flowed inevitably 
from her theory of life. 

For the expression of this theory and it was surely a fine 
theory to live with Nature had been kind to Sarah Jennings and 
us. It had given her every quality necessary to make it clear to 
our edification. To begin with, she was only passionate when her 
interests were concerned, not otherwise. People who are passionate 
in their love affairs may be selfish, but their selfishness is super- 
ficially obscured now and then by an apparent regard for the other 
person. Sarah Jennings escaped that obscuration. Moreover 
her coldness of blood, in that regard, probably ministered to the 
extreme uxoriousness of the Duke, lasting from young man- 
hood to old age. Wherever he was, campaigning or not, he 
sent her constant letters of devotion, and was lucky, it seemed, 
if he escaped a douche of criticism in return. He mentions a 
' kind ' letter of hers as something extraordinary. No one could 
throw stones at the Duchess on the score of her morals, in the 
usual sense of the term, so that she was invulnerable to the gene- 
ral criticism of English moralists ; in fact, I venture to think they 
ought to acclaim her as a ' good woman.' But her husband could 
not stand against her theory ; she could not curb her indignation 
with Anne for taking a new favourite, and so give him a chance 
of keeping his places. It is not an extended selfishness that we 
contemplate in Sarah Jennings ; it is the real thing ; self with her 
meant self. 

Again, she had a splendid constitution, a strong will, and a 
good head ; necessary qualities, because if she had been ailing, 
weak, or a fool, her selfishness might have been just as complete, 
but it would not have been so fine a spectacle for us. Also she 
was naturally frank and straightforward. Had she been more 
inclined to subterfuge and double-dealing she might, it is true, 
have had even greater success in life, but her memory would not 
be so finely simple to appreciate. She was not an intriguer. She 
felt it due to her theory of life to march straight to her goal and 
seize on what she wanted in the eye of the world. Of course she 
dropped people who had ceased to be useful to her, but openly and 
as a natural consequence. When James's cause was hopeless she 
dropped him ; it was his fault that he could no longer promote 
and enrich her husband, and so he forfeited her patronage. It is 
really misleading to call such plain-dealing as that treachery. 
The great successes in her life were due to her influence over Anne, 



THE GREAT DUCHESS. 109 

and that was gained by no flattery or intrigue, but by the frank 
imposition of a strong will on a weak one. Anne became her 
creature and took her orders. When Anne had revolted and that 
source of power was gone, even then she did not intrigue. She 
made one straightforward threat, to publish the letters of ' Mrs. 
Morley ' to ' Mrs. Freeman.' It was rather like blackmailing, to 
be sure, and no doubt the Duchess thought it hard that Providence 
should drive her to such means to her just ends, but it was not 
intriguing. Nor, in the absence of direct evidence, do I believe 
that she coquetted between St. Germain and Hanover as her 
husband did. He was a born intriguer, a man natively underhand, 
but it was not her way at all. She did not plot to bring people 
into power; when they were in power she went to them and 
demanded everything they had to give. Moreover, she honestly 
disliked St. Germain, and was true to her dislikes. Fairly con- 
sistent in an age of turncoats, fairly truthful in an age of liars, 
and very strong in an age of weaklings her good qualities in this 
kind all minister to the supreme effect of her life. 

Accident and circumstance as well as natural qualities conspired 
to bring her theory into relief. If she had been successful without 
interruption, had never met with a rebuff, we should have missed 
the sublime spectacle of her indignation, of her wrath with those 
who had defied the right order of the universe. The first rebuff 
came with William and Mary. Mary hated Lady Churchill, a fact 
which Lady Churchill was very slow to grasp. But when she did 
grasp it, and the fact that she and Lord Churchill had little to 
hope for from the new Court, she said very forcible things. Other 
people were disappointed as well. It is, indeed, rather refreshing 
to observe the indignation of the patriots who had brought in 
William of Orange when they perceived that he preferred his 
Dutch minions, the Bentincks and the Keppels, to his English 
traitors, driving the latter from his presence that he might get 
drunk in peace with the former. The Princess Anne said things 
about him which we may fairly trace to the more trenchant style 
of her favourite ' Caliban ' and ' the Dutch monster ' I am sure 
were phrases of Sarah Jennings. But Sarah was generous ; those 
who sinned against her had to be punished all their lives, but her 
just wrath stopped short at the grave. ' When the King came to 
die,' she beautifully wrote, ' I felt nothing of that satisfaction 
which I once thought I should have had upon this occasion . . . 
so little is it in my nature to retain resentment against any 



110 THE GREAT DUCHESS. 

mortal (however unjust he may have been) in whom the will to 
injure is no more.' Surely a grand passage ! But familiarity 
with the injustice of kings did not prevent this great woman from 
taking infinite pains to punish humble people. When Sir John 
Vanbrugh had the temerity to criticise her she ' was very sorry I 
had fouled my fingers in writing to such a fellow ' ; but, mindful 
of her duty to the world, she took the trouble to fill thirty sheets 
of paper with charges against Sir John. 

In her old age, indeed, she found time to do a good deal of 
polemical writing against her enemies. Among other such 
efforts she wrote an elaborate account of her daughters' miscon- 
duct towards her, and sent the agreeable brochure to various 
friends and relations. ' Having boare what I have done for so 
many years, rather than hurt my children, I hope nobody will 
blame me now/ &c., &c. Also she dictated to Hooke her famous 
'Account of her Conduct,' and composed with Henry Fielding 
her ' Vindication.' (What would one not give to have heard these 
two geniuses in consultation !) Her vindication, it need hardly 
be said, took the form of exposing the wickedness of other people 
rather than of defending herself. . . . But I protest that as I 
think of this splendid old woman, bed-ridden at last and so near 
her end, still indomitable, still strong in thought, and still keenly 
humorous, I feel sympathy for her human qualities rather than 
admiration for her superhuman perfection. But that is a senti- 
mental weakness and must be suppressed. An artistic wonder 
and joy in the contemplation of life and character absolutely 
thorough, absolutely true to itself that must be one's emotion 
when one reads of Sarah Jennings, Duchess of Marlborough. 

Gr. S. STREET. 



Ill 



A FORGOTTEN POET. 

THE Cotswolds, I have often been tempted to say, have no poet. 
I have been often contradicted ; and, indeed, I am not eager to 
defend myself. There have been many since Robert of Gloucester 
looked on the battle of Evesham and saw the storm ' grisly,' as 
he calls it sweep over the hills, who have set down their thoughts 
in verse. I certainly do not forget some charming lines of Mr. 
Norman Gale. But now I am inclined to think rather of one who 
is forgotten William Shenstone, who sought some of his first 
subjects among the Cotswolds. 

Though his chief fame circles round his own house of the 
Leasowes, near Halesowen, he belongs not a little to the country 
which lies between Stratford and Campden and Cheltenham, as 
pretty a wooded hilly land as you may see. It is near here that 
William Morris thought of settling before he went to Merton. 
Broadway, the too hackneyed resort of artists and Americans, a 
place far inferior in picturesqueness to Campden, or to Willersey, 
its nearer neighbour, is hard by. Shenstone himself knew all the 
attractions of the district, and he did not forget that it was 
Shakespeare who had given immortality to them all. Indeed, he 
was almost at his happiest when he wrote those quaint lines that he 
called ' Slender's Ghost.' They begin : 

Beneath a churchyard yew, 

Decay'd and worn with age, 
At dusk of eve methought I spy'd 
Poor Slender's ghost, that whimp'ring cry'd, 

' sweet, sweet Anne Page.' 

Certainly we none of us doubt that Slender walked the streets of 
Stratford, and he may well have stepped out a few miles to where 
the yews grow round a church that Shenstone knew well, 

Where Avon rolls her winding stream, 

Avon, the Muse's fav'rite theme ! 

Avon, that fills the farmers' purses, 

And decks with flow'rs both farms and verses. 

So Shenstone wrote when he told a scandalous tale that hap- 
pened 'in Evesham Vale or near it.' It was from Mickleton, where 
his close friend Graves (best remembered as the author of ' The 
Spiritual Quixote ') lived, that he chiefly saw the Cotswolds. 



112 A FORGOTTEN POET. 

At Mickleton there is still the manor-house of Graves, built 
perhaps by the Porters and lived in by that peerless Endymion, 
the associate of all the Jacobean wits a fine Elizabethan ' mansion/ 
as they call it. The church has the more abiding memorial of 
Shenstone. It is a fine Decorated building with some earlier 
work about it, a priest's chamber over the north porch, a large 
south aisle, and a fine spire. It is filled with monuments of 
the Graves family and of earlier folk but its most interesting 
memorial is that which Shenstone's friend put up ' in memory of 
an extraordinary young woman, Utrecia Smith, the daughter of a 
worthy and learned clergyman who, on a small living of about 
fifty pounds a year, a curacy of thirty pounds, and a lifehold estate 
of about the same value, bred up two sons and two daughters in 
a genteel manner, and died at the age of ninety, without any 
other preferment. This daughter, Utrecia,' says Mr. Graves, 
' at a time when the ladies did not so generally rival our sex in 
learning and ingenuity, from the books with which her father 
supplied her had formed to herself so good a taste of polite 
literature, and wrote so well in prose (and sometimes in verse), 
that a very ingenious clergyman, bred at a public school and 
a Master of Arts in the University, often said he was afraid to 
declare his opinion of any author till he previously knew hers.' 
The inscription runs thus : 

UTRECIAE SMITH 
Puellae simplici, innocuae, elegant! ; 

R. G. 

Una actae memor pueritiae 

Moerens posuit. 

MDCCXLIV. 

It is on this that Shenstone wrote his first elegy, which he 
called Ophelia's Urn.' 

Sure nought unhallow'd shall presume to stray 
Where sleep the reliques of that virtuous maid ; 

Nor aught unlovely bend its devious way 
Where soft Ophelia's dear remains are laid. 

He was himself, so a manuscript note of an ancestor of mine 
tells me, an elegant writer of epitaphs. ' Shenstone's epitaph on 
his amiable Relation,' wrote my great-uncle in his copy of 
Johnson's ' Lives,' ' Miss Doleman, who died of the small-pox at 
the age of 21, is one of the very rare modern Productions, 



A FORGOTTEN POET. 113 

that not only resembles, but rivals, the dignified and affecting 
conciseness of the Ancients in their sepulchral Inscriptions. It is 
worth volumes of his pastorals : 

Peramabili suae consobrinae 

M. D. 

Ah 1 Maria, 

Puellarum elegantissima, 
Ah ! flore venustatis abrepta, 

Vale! 

Heu quanto minus est 
Cum reliquis versari, 
Quam tui 
Meminisse.' 

But to return. As it was the memory of Utrecia Smith that 
gave a subject for his first elegy, so it was in this neighbourhood 
that Shenstone was inspired by the mild passion of his life, the 
delight in the artifices of a garden maker. Mickleton, wrote the 
owner of its manor house, ' though in an indifferent country ' a 
statement which it is hard to forgive ' has many natural beauties ; 
of surrounding hills, and hanging woods ; a spacious lawn, and one 
natural cascade : capable of great improvement, though, from 
various circumstances, the place is to this day in a very unfinished 
state.' It was his friend's design that set Shenstone to work at 
the Leasowes, and there he wrought the mimic wonders which 
brought him so much fame and the tepid eulogy of Johnson 
' that to embellish the form of Nature is an innocent form of 
amusement ; and some praise must be allowed by the most 
supercilious observer to him who does best what such multitudes 
are contending to do well.' 

Johnson's inimitable description of the foibles of this ingenious 
gentleman ' nothing raised his indignation more than to ask if 
there were any fishes in his water,' and ' in time his expenses 
brought clamours about him that overpowered the lamb's bleat 
and the linnet's song ; and his groves were haunted by beings 
very different from fauns and fairies ' l concerns us as little as 
Mr. Grraves's serious defence. Shenstone has the artificiality of 
his age most of all when he strives to be natural, and we care 
but very tepidly for his waterfalls and groves, and not at all, 
when they are described in verse, for his hermitages and statues 

1 There is a quaint little poem in the first volume of Shenstone's works 
(ed. 1765), pp. 217-18, called The Poet and the Dun, 

VOL. XII. NO. 67, N.S. 8 



114 A FORGOTTEN POET. 

and urns. It is as a poet and a lover of country life that we 
think of him when we wander over the Cotswolds, for they were 
his first inspiration. 

It was at Mickleton, where it would seem that he was first 
brought into a society above that in which he had been born, that 
he formed that delightful idea of the rich man's country paradise 
which is so characteristic of the ideals of the century and of the 
man: 

' Had I a fortune of about eight or ten thousand pounds a 
year, I would, methinks, make myself a neighbourhood. I would 
first build a village with a church, and people it with inhabitants 
of some branch of trade that was suitable to the country round. 
I would then, at proper distances, erect a number of genteel 
boxes of about a thousand pounds apiece, and amuse myself with 
giving them all the advantages they could receive from taste. 
These would I people with a select number of well-chosen friends, 
assigning to each annually the sum of two hundred pounds for 
life. The salary would be irrevocable, in order to give them in- 
dependency. The house, of a more precarious tenure, that, in 
cases of ingratitude, I might introduce another inhabitant.' 

The picture needs no emphasis. Genteel boxes, at proper 
distances, would make an eighteenth-century Elysium ; and 
indeed the millionaires of the twentieth are likely to make a 
worse use of their money. But Shenstone adds, ' How plausible 
however this may appear in speculation, perhaps a very natural 
and lively novel might be founded upon the inconvenient conse- 
quences of it, when put in execution.' 

He himself had certainly no chance to carry out such a 
design : he was obliged to be content with ' the peace of solitude, 
the innocence of inactivity, and the unenvied security of an 
humble station,' which, however they may have satisfied his 
modest ambition and they hardly seem to have done so can 
fill, as Johnson says, but a few pages of poetry. A few pages, 
and those perhaps artificial in every line. Yet the inspiration was 
natural, and it was only the trammels which convention placed 
upon a mind most submissive to such a despotism which prevented 
the heart of Shenstone from speaking freely. He is hampered 
by the absurdities of his day. The shepherdesses are too dainty 
for life. There is an air of Watteau in the background. And yet 
Shenstone is not nearly delicate enough for the style of the prince 
of Court painters, though he is not ready to advance to the robust 



A FORGOTTEN POET. 115 

naturalism of Crabbe. Here are some lines from one of his 
Cotswold elegies. Collin is ' a discerning shepherd,' and he 
laments the state of the woollen manufacture : 

Near Avon's bank, on Arden's flow'ry plain, 

A tuneful shepherd charm'd the list'ning wave ; 

And sunny Cotsol' fondly lov'd the strain. 

Yet not a garland crowns the shepherd's grave. 

The shepherd, and indeed he was but Mr. Somerville in 
disguise, must needs die, and as he departs he advises his brother- 
shepherds to arouse the British statesman to arrest the craft of 
Gallia, and again procure for Britain the markets of the world. 

Then 

Britons for Britain shall the crook employ ; 
Britons for Britain's glory sheer the fold. 

It was a plaint that he learnt on the hills beside Mickleton : 
Where the wild thyme perfumes the purpled heath. 

And as he walked through those pleasant lanes that run by Weston- 
sub-Edge he may well have written the lines 

And you, ye shepherds I lead my gentle sheep ; 

To breezy hills, or leafy shelters lead ; 
But if the sky with show'rs incessant weep, 

Avoid the putrid moisture of the mead. 

The neighbourhood of Mickleton remained for many years 
full of attraction for Shenstone. It was there, says his friend 
Graves, that ' he seems to have felt the first symptoms of that 
tender passion, which appears so conspicuous and predominant in 
most of his lyrics, and at length produced his much-admired 
"Pastoral Ballad " ' ; and in 1 743 he paid a long visit to Cheltenham, 
where he became attached to Miss C., of whom the biographer 
'can hardly believe, as her sister was married to a baronet of 
considerable fortune, that ' she, ' in her bloom, would have con- 
descended to marry a man, however deserving, of so small a 
fortune as Mr. Shenstone.' On his way to Cheltenham once he 
' missed the road, and wandered till ten o'clock at night on the 
Cotswold Hills.' It was this which brought out his seventh 
elegy, which comes as near perhaps to a description of the Cots- 
wolds as anything else he ever wrote : 

On distant heaths, beneath autumnal skies, 

Pensive I saw the circling shades descend; 
Weary and faint I heard the storm arise, 

While the sun vanish'd like a faithless friend. 

82 



116 A FORGOTTEN POET. 

No kind companion led my steps aright ; 

No friendly planet lent its glim'ring ray 
Ev'n the lone cot refus'd its wonted light, 

Where toil in peaceful slumber clos'd the day. 

Then the dale bell had giv'n a pleasing sound ; 

The village cur 'twere transport then to hear ; 
In dreadful silence all was hush'd around, 

While the rude storm alone distress'd mine ear. 

There is not much description here, certainly; but he has 
caught and conveyed the chill that is felt so keenly on these high 
downs, and one may imagine him then writing the reflection 
that he afterwards set down : ' How melancholy it is to travel 
late, upon any ambitious project, on a winter's night, and observe 
the light of cottages, where all the unambitious people are warm 
and happy, or at rest in their beds ! Some of them (says Whistler') 
as wretched as princes, for what we know to the contrary.' But 
there is more perhaps of the Cotswold air in the ' Irregular Ode 
after Sickness, 1749,' in which he sings his return to 'catch the 
verdure of the trees ' : 

Come, gentle air I and, while the thickets bloom, 

Convey the jasmin's breath divine, 
Convey the woodbine's rich perfume, 

Nor spare the sweet-leaft eglantine. 
And may'st thou share the rugged storm 

Till health her wonted charms explain, 

With rural pleasure in her train, 
To greet me in her fairest form ; 

While from this lofty mount I view 

The sons of earth, the vulgar crew, 
Anxious for futile gains, beneath me stray, 
And seek with erring step contentment's obvious way. 

These pictures that came to him as he stood on the Cotswold 
slopes prepared at least, it may be thought, the sensitive delicate 
touch which shows itself in the best poem he ever wrote, the 
charming ' Hope,' the second part of his ' Pastoral Ballad,' which 
came, Mr. Graves tells, from the inspiration he gained at Chelten- 
ham, and is set in scenery that may be the happiest Cotswold : 

My banks they are furnish'd with bees, 

Whose murmur invites one to sleep ; 
My grottoes are shaded with trees, 

And my hills are white over with sheep. 
I seldom have met with a loss, 

Such health do my fountains bestow 
My fountains all border'd with moss, 

Where the hare-bells and violets grow. 



A FORGOTTEN POET. 117 

Charming though that is, it is hardly the best stanza. It 
sounds easy enough, but really the tunefulness of it is inimitable. 
And it comes, like so many other sweet things, from the Cotswolds. 

But though a lover of this ' sea of rolling hills and dancing 
air ' may try to claim Shenstone as a Cotswold worthy, it were 
idle to deny that his fame, such as it is, belongs to the land 
of Hagley and Halesowen. How changed it is now ! Hagley is 
still beautiful, and Halesowen has her fine church unspoiled ; but 
all else is altered. Pits everywhere, and slag hills and rows of 
grimy cottages replace the ' glass-house not ill-resembling a 
distant pyramid ' in the ' romantic well-variegated country ' which 
enchanted the sober mind of Mr. Richard Dodsley, the publisher 
and the poet's friend. Yet the memory of Shenstone still lingers, 
though the memory is akin to neglect. A plain tomb, worse than 
that of many a yeoman of his day, still stands in the churchyard, 
near his brother's (as Graves tells us), but touched by another 
tomb still meaner than his own. The plain inscription is repeated 
on an urn inside the church, and below the urn are the lines 
Graves wrote for memorial. Thus they end : 

Reader ! if genius, taste refin'd, 

A native elegance of mind ; 

If virtue, science, manly sense ; 

If wit, that never gave offence ; 

The clearest head, the tenderest heart, 

In thy esteem e'er claimed a part ; 

Ah ! smite thy breast, and drop a tear, 

For know, thy Shenstone's dust lies here. 

Near it is the magnificent monument which Lady Jane Halli- 
day erected to the memory of her husband, who bought the 
Leasowes after Shenstone's death, and who seems to have made 
his chief and modest approach to fame in the boast that he was 
the poet's successor : 

What tho' no more (alas !) allow'd to rove, 
With learned ease, thro' Shenstone's classic grove ; 
Tho' spar'd no longer to protect that ground, 
Which the lov'd Poet's genius hovers round ; 
Tho' the fine form by a too early doom 
Be left to moulder in this votive tomb, 
Th' unfettered Spirit sooner wins her way 
To higher joys in scenes of endless day. 

Halliday preserved the ' delightful scenes which persons of 
taste in the present age are desirous to see ' the walks and grots 
and rivulets ; but the house he replaced by a larger one. Shen- 



118 A FORGOTTEN POET. 

stone had ' a mere farmhouse of modest dimensions,' in which the 
utmost he could do was to give ' his hall some air of magnificence, 
by sinking the floor an altitude of ten feet instead of seven.' The 
house that Mr. Halliday built still stands. He had the good 
taste not to attempt to replace the ferme ornee by any ex- 
travagant mansion. The gardens remained the attraction of the 
l^easowes, and so they remain to-day. 

Mr. Dodsley wrote a description ' intended to give a friend 
some idea of the Leasowes,' and the description is still useful to the 
visitor. Mr. Dodsley himself was for a time celebrated there, ' in 
a natural bower of almost circular oaks, inscribed in the following 
manner ' : 

Come then, my friend, thy sylvan taste display ; 

Come, hear thy Faunus tune his rustic lay ; 

Ah, rather come, and in these dells disown 

The care of other strains, and tune thine own. 

Whether the kindly publisher accepted the invitation and dis- 
owned the care of Mr. Shen stone's strains he does not inform us. 
Certainly he published them in a very friendly fashion after the 
author's death. And, for his own, he tuned them in prose quite 
prettily when he told of the happy valleys so cleverly planned to 
afford a visto again and again, and here and there some openings 
' to the more pleasing parts of this grotesque and hilly country.' 

The Leasowes is approached now, as in 1763, by a green lane, 
' descending in a winding manner to the bottom of a deep valley 
finely shaded.' It was there that the worthy Mr. Wildgoose, the 
spiritual Quixote, discovered his old college friend, ' a gentleman 
in his own hair, giving directions to some labourers, who were 
working beyond the usual hour in order to finish a receptacle for a 
cataract of water, a glimpse of which appeared through the trees on 
the side of the road.' With Mr. Dodsley's description in your hand 
you identify the ' ruinated wall,' you walk on by the slopes of a 
narrow dingle, past the Priory a delightful piece of eighteenth- 
century Gothic, which seemed to be a hermitage, but really 
sheltered a labourer and his family to the little lake at the bottom 
of the hill. Alas ! the visto hence is now closed by a slag hill, so 
you gladly turn away to seek by the ' pleasing serpentine walk ' a 
' common bench, which affords a retiring place secluded from 
every eye, and a short respite, during which the eye reposes on a 
fine amphitheatre of wood and thicket.' The common bench is 
gone, and the fine canopy of spreading oak has followed it, and 



A FORGOTTEN POET. 119 

there is no cast of the piping Faunus or urn to William Somer- 
ville. Yet still through the glade you may trace, as you ascend, 
where once the ' irregular and romantic fall of water ' rushed ' very 
irregular one hundred and fifty yards in continuity.' It was only 
upon reflection that Mr. Dodsley found that the stream was 'not a 
Niagara, but rather a waterfall in miniature.' The language need 
not excite any tremendous emotion to-day. A toy Niagara 
indeed it must have been at best ; but now it has ceased even 
to flow, choked, like so many of these pretty fantasies of the 
gardener, by the leaves and saplings that time has strewn over 
the glade. The trees of Shenstone's time, except here and there 
a group of firs or elms or beeches, have perished, and are replaced by 
thin straggling shoots. The urns have long been destroyed, and 
no inscription survives to illustrate the poet's piety or friendship. 
Yet still you can follow the path as he made it, with the plan 
that Mr. Dodsley drew for your guide, by thickets, across broken 
rustic bridges, past sloping lawns, on the verge of ' wild shaggy 
precipices.' From the higher ground the distant views may still 
be seen the Hagley obelisk and the hill of Clent. ' Virgil's 
Grove ' is still ' a beautiful gloomy scene,' with an ' ingenious suc- 
cession of cascades ' and ' a dripping fountain, where a small rill 
trickles down a rude nich of rock-work, through fern, liverwort 
and aquatic weeds.' 

A pathetic sight, neglected, overgrown, despoiled, is the 
scene to whose beauties ' it was Mr. Shenstone's only study to give 
their full effect.' But even now it shows, as do few other places 
in England, how in the beginnings of the art the principles of 
landscape gardening were developed. It was Shenstone's idea 
' that a landscape-painter would be the best English gardener,' 
and Mr. Graves, in his charming ' Eecollections of Some Particulars 
in the Life of the Late William Shenstone, Esq.,' makes comparison 
between the work of his friend and that of Gainsborough. The 
poet himself very pleasantly expounded his system in prose, and 
indeed he has some claim to be regarded as one of the earliest 
masters of that craft. He had no sympathy, it is clear, with some 
of the later affectations, such as those which Thomas Love Peacock 
makes mock at. He endeavoured always to minister to Nature, 
not to thwart her. Yet his statues and urns were little better than 
an intrusion, though he could defend them thus : ' Art should 
never be allowed to set a foot in the province of Nature other- 
wise than clandestinely and by night. Whenever she is allowed 



120 A FORGOTTEN POET. 

to appear there, and men begin to compromise the difference, 
night, Gothicism, confusion and absolute chaos are come again.' 
Artifice must have been, if not obvious, yet easy to expose, if we 
may believe Johnson's suggestion that the Lytteltons, when they 
became jealous of their neighbour's success, delighted to take their 
visitors to the points of view from which the disguises were patent, 
and maliciously to destroy all the deceptive steps of gradual 
allurement designed by the poor owner of the Leasowes. It 
seems as if he found no great comfort in his art, or his simple 
country life, at the best. Winter seemed to him an intolerable 
season. ' To see one's urns, obelisks and waterfalls laid open ; the 
nakedness of our beloved mistresses, the Naiads and the Dryads, 
exposed by that ruffian Winter to universal observation ; is a 
severity scarcely to be supported by the help of blazing hearths, 
cheerful companions, and a bottle of the most grateful Burgundy.' 
All did not, indeed, go well with him. His aphorisms, often 
witty, have a tinge of unhappy bitterness about them. ' His 
whole philosophy,' said Gray a little unkindly of him, ' consisted 
in living against his will in retirement, and in a place which his 
taste had adorned, but which he only enjoyed when people of 
note came to see and commend it.' A letter of his which was for 
sale in London the other day seems to make only a show of 
contentment. It was written to his friend Graves ; and it is worth 
quoting as it stands, for it does not seem to have been printed till 
now. There is no date to it, but evidently it was written while he 
was not at enmity with his other friend, Mr. Whistler, with whom 
he had the silly quarrel Graves tells us of. Thus it runs : 

MR. GRAVES. 

DEAR SIR, I did indeed give you up for lost, as a correspondent, and find by 
your letter y* I am to expect but very few future ones. I will endeavour all I 
can to avoid any suspicion of your Indifference for my own satisfaction. But 
I don't know for certain y' I shall be able, unless you assist my Endeavours, like 
my good Genius, by a course of suitable Epistles at certain distances. I myself 
correspond but very little now, so you will meet with the more Indulgence. 
I don't find by your Letter y' you have much more Philosophy y n me. I can't 
tell indeed what y situation of y r House is. I own mine gives me offence on 
no other consideration y" that it does not receive a sufficient Number of polite 
Friends, or y 1 it is not fit to receive 'em, were they so dispos'd. I wou'd else 
cultivate an Acquaintance with about Three or Four in my Neighbourhood, y 1 are 
of a Degree of Elegance, and station superior to y e common Run. But I make it 
a certain Rule Arcere prof anil vidgus. Persons of vulgar minds, who will despise 
you for y want of a good set of Chairs, or an uncouth Fire-shovel at y e same 
Time y 1 they can't taste any Excellence in a mind that overlooks those things ; 
or, (to make a conceit of this sentiment) with whom 'tis in vain that y r mind is 



A FORGOTTEN POET. 121 

furnish'd if y r walls are naked. Indeed one loses much of one's Acquisitions in 
virtue by an Hour's converse with such as Judge of merit by Money, &c. Yet 
I am now and then impell'd by y" social Passion to sit half an Hour in my 
Kitchen. I was all along an Admirer of Sr. Thomas Head's Humour and Wit, 
And I beg you wou'd represent me in y' light if occasion happens. Tis not 
impossible y* I may penetrate this winter as far as y r neighbourhood, connecting 
a set of visits which I have in my Eye. Tell M r Whistler when you see him that 
if he must have some Distemper, I cannot but be pleas'd y l it is one which is a 
Forerunner of Longevity. Don't tell him so neither, for y" compliment is trite. 
From y e ' Birmingham Gazette ' : ' We hear that on Thursday last was married at 
Halesowen, in Shropshire, M r Jorden, an eminent Gunsmith of this Town, to a 
sister of y* R' Hon ble Ferdinando L d Dudley.' I was yesterday at y e Grange, 
where his old Father (w th a number of People) was celebrating y e Nuptials of his 
Son ; when in the midst of his Feasting, high Jollity, and grand Alliance, the 
old Fellow bethought him of a Piece of Timber in y e neighbourhood y* was 
convertible into good Gunsticks, and had some of it sent for into y e Room by way 
of Specimen ! Animcenil magntB lavdis egentis! Pray, is y r Sister at Smethwick ? 
For I have not heard. You said you wou'd give me y r Picture, which I long 
earnestly for. Cou'dn't you contrive to have it sent me directly ? I am quite in 
y r debt with regard to downright goods and moveables, and what is y e proper 
subject of an Inventory neque tu pessima mnneru ferres divite me scilicet artium 
qi/as aut Parrhasius protulit aut Scopas sed non Jiceo mihi vis ! I will, however, 
endeavour to be more upon a Par with you w th regard to presents, tho' I never 
can with regard to y e Pleasures I have receiv'd fro y r conversation. I make 
People wonder at my Exploits in pulling down walls, Hovels, cow-houses, &c. ; 
and my Place is not y e same. I am, that is, w th Regard to you a Faithfull Friend, 
and h ble serv', W. S. 

M r Whistler and you and I and S r T. Head (who I shoud name first, speaking 
after y e mariner of men) have just variety enough, and not too much, in our 
Charct. to make an Interview, whenever it happens, Entertaining I mean, tho' 
we were not old Friends and Acquaintance. 

It is the letter of a good-humoured, if a disappointed man. 
And disappointed Shenstone certainly was. ' The Schoolmistress ' 
should have won him more fame than it did. He had few friends. 
Percy, the Lytteltons, Pitt, Lady Luxborough (Bolingbroke's 
charming sister), and Spence were only acquaintances for whom he 
had a tepid liking ; and after his brother's death he lived a lonely 
life. Horace Walpole seems never to have heard of him till he 
was dead, and in his pretty little essay on ' Modern Gardening,' 
printed so daintily at the Strawberry Hill Press, with a translation 
into French by the Due de Nivernois, in 1785, studiously ignores 
his existence. Of his poetry all the exquisite could find to say 
was that he was ' a water-gruel bard ' ; and unkindness could go 
no further than the cruel words in which he summed up his aims : 
' Poor man ! he wanted to have all the world talk of him for 
the pretty place he had made, and which he seems to have made 
only that it might be talked of.' 



122 A FORGOTTEN POET. 

Talked of, the Leasowes and its ' landskips ' are no longer ; but 
those who visit them can still trace the ingenuity in their ordering 
which friends called genius. Long enough ago Mr. Graves un- 
kindly observed that the place was called ' Shenstone's Folly ' ; 
and he added, ' this is a name which, with some sort of propriety, 
the common people give to any work of taste, the utility of which 
exceeds the level of their comprehension.' Those who turn over 
the pages of prose and verse that Dodsley collected and eulogised 
may raise even now a kindly affection for their author. Shenstone 
has some of the marks of the true poet, and certainly not a few of 
the kindly and amiable man. 

W. H. HUTTON. 



123 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 1 
BY A. E. W. MASON. 

CHAPTEE I. 

A CRIMEAN NIGHT. 

LIEUTENANT SUTCH was the first of General Feversham's guests 
to reach Broad Place. He arrived about five o'clock on an after- 
noon of sunshine in mid June, and the old red-brick house, lodged 
on a southern slope of the Surrey hills, was glowing from a dark 
forest depth of pines with the warmth of a rare jewel. Lieu- 
tenant Sutch limped across the hall, where the portraits of the 
Fevershams rose one above the other to the ceiling, and out on 
to the stone-flagged terrace at the back. There he found his 
host sitting erect like a boy, and gazing southwards towards 
the Sussex Downs. 

' How's the leg ? ' asked General Feversham, as he rose 
briskly from his chair. He was a small wiry man, and, in spite 
of his white hairs, alert. But the alertness was of the body. A 
bony face with a high narrow forehead and steel-blue inex- 
pressive eyes suggested a barrenness of mind. 

' It gave me trouble during the winter,' replied Sutch. ' But 
that was to be expected.' General Feversham nodded, and for 
a little while both men were silent. From the terrace the ground 
fell steeply to a wide level plain of brown earth and emerald 
fields and dark clumps of trees. From this plain voices rose 
through the sunshine, small but very clear. Far away towards 
Horsham a coil of white smoke from a train snaked rapidly in and 
out amongst the trees ; and on the horizon, patched with white 
chalk, rose the Downs. 

' I thought that I should find you here,' said Sutch. 

' It was my wife's favourite corner,' answered Feversham in a 
quite emotionless voice. ' She would sit here by the hour. She 
had a queer liking for wide and empty spaces.' 

1 Copyright, 1901, by A. E. W. Mason in the United States of America. 
The character of Harry Feversham is developed from a short story by the 
author, originally printed in the Illustrated London Nems, and since republished. 



124 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

' Yes,' said Sutch. ' She had imagination. Her thoughts 
could people them.' 

General Feversham glanced at his companion as though he 
hardly understood. But he asked no questions. What he did 
not understand he habitually let slip from his mind as not worth 
comprehension. He spoke at once upon a different topic. 

' There will be a leaf out of our table to-night.' 

' Yes. Collins, Barberton, and Vaughan went this winter. 
Well, we are all permanently shelved upon the world's half-pay 
list as it is. The obituary column is just the last formality 
which gazettes us out of the Service altogether,' and Sutch 
stretched out and eased his crippled leg, which fourteen years 
ago that day had been crushed and twisted in the fall of a 
scaling-ladder. 

' I am glad that you came before the others,' continued 
Feversham. ' I would like to take your opinion. This day is 
more to me than the anniversary of our attack upon the Eedan. 
At the very moment when we were standing under arms in the 
dark ' 

' To the west of the quarries, I remember,' interrupted Sutch 
with a deep breath. ' How should one forget ? ' 

'At that very moment Harry was born in this house. I 
thought, therefore, that if you did not object he might join us 
to-night. He happens to be at home. He will, of course, enter 
the service, and he might learn something, perhaps, which after- 
wards will be of use one never knows.' 

' By all means,' said Sutch with alacrity. For since his 
visits to G-eneral Feversham were limited to the occasion of these 
anniversary dinners, he had never yet seen Harry Feversham. 

Sutch had for many years been puzzled as to the qualities 
in General Feversham which had attracted Muriel Graham, a 
woman as remarkable for the refinement of her intellect as for 
the beauty of her person ; and he could never find an explanation. 
He had to be content with his knowledge that for some mysterious 
reason she had married this man so much older than herself, 
and so unlike to her in character. Personal courage and an 
indomitable self-confidence were the chief, indeed the only 
qualities which sprang to light in him. Lieutenant Sutch went 
back in thought over twenty years as he sat on his garden-chair 
to a time before he had taken part, as an officer of the Naval 
Brigade, in that unsuccessful onslaught on the Kedan. He re- 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 125 

membered a season in London to which he had come fresh from 
the China Station ; and he was curious to see Harry Feversham. 
He did not admit that it was more than the natural curiosity 
of a man who, disabled in comparative youth, had made a 
hobby out of the study of human nature. He was interested 
to see whether the lad took after his mother or his father that 
was all. 

So that night Harry Feversham took a place at the dinner- 
table and listened to the stories which his elders told, while 
Lieutenant Sutch watched him. The stories were all of that 
dark winter in the Crimea, and a fresh story was always in the 
telling before its predecessor was ended. They were stories of 
death, of hazardous exploits ; of the pinch of famine and the 
chill of snow. But they were told in clipped words and with a 
matter-of-fact tone, as though the men who related them were 
only conscious of them as far-off things ; and there was seldom 
a comment more pronounced than a mere ' that's curious,' or an 
exclamation more significant than a laugh. 

But Harry Feversham sat listening as though the incidents 
thus carelessly narrated were happening actually at that moment 
and within the walls of that room. His dark eyes the eyes of 
his mother turned with each story from speaker to speaker, and 
waited wide-open and fixed until the last word was spoken. He 
listened fascinated and enthralled. And so vividly did the 
changes of expression shoot and quiver across his face, that it 
seemed to Sutch the lad must actually hear the drone of bullets 
in the air, actually resist the stunning shock of a charge, actually 
ride down in the thick of a squadron to where guns screeched 
out a tongue of flame from a fog. Once a major of artillery spoke 
of the suspense of the hours between the parading of the troops 
before a battle and the first command to advance ; and Harry's 
shoulders worked under the intolerable strain of those lagging 
minutes. 

But he did more than work his shoulders. He threw a single 
furtive, wavering glance backwards ; and Lieutenant Sutch was 
startled, and indeed more than startled, he was pained. For this 
after all was Muriel Graham's boy. 

The look was too familiar a one to Sutch. He had seen it 
on the faces of recruits during their first experience of a battle 
too often for him to misunderstand it. And one picture in par- 
ticular rose before his mind. An advancing square at Inkermann, 



126 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

and a tall big soldier rushing forward from the line in the eager- 
ness of his attack, and then stopping suddenly as though he 
suddenly understood that he was alone, and had to meet alone 
the charge of a mounted Cossack. Sutch remembered very 
clearly the fatal wavering glance which the big soldier had 
thrown backwards towards his companions, a glance accompanied 
by a queer sickly smile. He remembered too, with equal vivid- 
ness, its consequence. For though the soldier carried a loaded 
musket and a bayonet locked to the muzzle, he had without an 
effort of self-defence received the Cossack's lance-thrust in his 
throat. 

Sutch glanced hurriedly about the table, afraid that General 
Feversham, or that some one of his guests, should have remarked 
the same look and the same smile upon Harry's face. But no 
one had eyes for the lad ; each visitor was waiting too eagerly for 
an opportunity to tell a story of his own. Sutch drew a breath 
of relief and turned to Harry. But the boy was sitting with his 
elbows on the cloth and his head propped between his hands, lost 
to the glare of the room and its glitter of silver, constructing 
again out of the swift succession of anecdotes a world of cries 
and wounds, and maddened riderless chargers and men writhing 
in a fog of cannon-smoke. The curtest, least graphic descrip- 
tion of the biting days and nights in the trenches set the lad 
shivering. Even his face grew pinched, as though the iron frost 
of that winter was actually eating into his bones. Sutch touched 
him lightly on the elbow. 

' You renew those days for me,' said he. ' Though the 
heat is dripping down the windows, I feel the chill of the 
Crimea.' 

Harry roused himself from his absorption. 

' The stories renew them,' said he. 

' No. It is you listening to the stories.' 

And before Harry could reply, General Feversham's voice 
broke sharply in from the head of the table : 

' Harry, look at the clock ! ' 

At once all eyes were turned upon the lad. The hands of 
the clock made the acutest of angles. It was close upon midnight, 
and from eight, without so much as a word or a question, he had 
sat at the dinner-table listening. Yet even now he rose with 
reluctance. 

' Must I go, father ? ' be asked, and the General's guests 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 127 

intervened in a chorus. The conversation was clear gain to 
the lad, a first taste of powder which might stand him in good 
stead afterwards. 

' Besides, it's the boy's birthday,' added the major of artillery. 
' He wants to stay, that's plain. You wouldn't find a youngster 
of fourteen sit all these hours without a kick of the foot against 
the table-leg unless the conversation entertained him. Let him 
stay, Feversham ! ' 

For once General Feversham relaxed the iron discipline under 
which the boy lived. 

' Very well,' said he. ' Harry shall have an hour's furlough 
from his bed. A single hour won't make much difference.' 

Harry's eyes turned towards his father, and just for a moment 
rested upon his face with a curious steady gaze. It seemed to 
Sutch that they uttered a question, and, rightly or wrongly, he 
interpreted the question into words : 

' Are you blind ? ' 

But General Feversham was already talking to his neigh- 
bours, and Harry quietly sat down, and again propping his chin 
upon his hands, listened with all his soul. Yet he was not 
entertained; rather he was enthralled, he sat quiet under the 
compulsion of a spell. His face became unnaturally white, 
his eyes unnaturally large, while the flames of the candles 
shone even redder and more blurred through a blue haze of 
tobacco-smoke, and the level of the wine grew steadily lower in 
the decanters. 

Thus half of that one hour's furlough was passed ; and then 
General Feversham, himself jogged by the unlucky mention of a 
name, suddenly blurted out in his jerky fashion : 

' Lord Wilmington. One of the best names in England if you 
please. Did you ever see his house in Warwickshire ? Every 
inch of the ground you would think would have a voice to bid 
him play the man, if only in remembrance of his fathers. .... 
It seemed incredible and mere camp rumour, but the rumour 
grew. If it was whispered at the Alma, it was spoken aloud at 
Inkermann, it was shouted at Balaclava. Before Sebastopol the 
hideous thing was proved. Wilmington was acting as galloper to 
his General. I believe upon my soul the General chose him for 
the duty, so that the fellow might set himself right. There were 
three hundred yards of bullet-swept flat ground, and a message to 
be carried'across them. Had Wilmington toppled off his horse 



128 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

on the way, why, there were the whispers silenced for ever. Had 
he ridden through alive he earned distinction besides. But he 
didn't dare, he refused ! Imagine it if you can ! He sat shaking 
on his horse and declined. You should have seen the General. 
His face turned the colour of that Burgundy. " No doubt you 
have a previous engagement," he said, in the politest voice you 
ever heard just that, not a word of abuse. A previous engage- 
ment on the battle-field ! For the life of me I could hardly help 
laughing. But it was a tragic business for Wilmington. He was 
broken of course, and slunk back to London. Every house was 
closed to him, he dropped out of his circle like a lead bullet you 
let slip out of your hand into the sea. The very women in 
Piccadilly spat if he spoke to them ; and he blew his brains out 
in a back bedroom off the Haymarket. Curious that, eh ? He 
hadn't the pluck to face the bullets when his name was at stake, 
yet he could blow his own brains out afterwards.' 

Lieutenant Sutch chanced to look at the clock as the story 
came to an end. It was now a quarter to one. Harry Feversham 
had still a quarter of an hour's furlough, and that quarter of an 
hour was occupied by a retired surgeon-general with a great 
wagging beard, who sat nearly opposite to the boy. 

' I can tell you an incident still more curious,' he said. ' The 
man in this case had never been under fire before, but he was of 
my own profession. Life and death were part of his business. 
Nor was he really in any particular danger. The affair happened 
during a hill campaign in India. We were encamped in a valley,, 
and a few Pathans used to lie out on the hillside at night and 
take long shots into the camp. A bullet ripped through the 
canvas of the hospital tent that was all. The surgeon crept out 
to his own quarters, and his orderly discovered him half-an-hour 
afterwards lying in his blood stone dead.' 

' Hit ? ' exclaimed the Major. 

' Not a bit of it,' said the surgeon. ' He had quietly opened 
his instrument-case in the dark, taken out a lancet and severed 
his femoral artery. Sheer panic, do you see, at the whistle of a 
bullet.' 

Even upon these men, case-hardened to horrors, the incident 
related in its bald simplicity wrought its effect. From some 
there broke a half-uttered exclamation of disbelief ; others moved 
restlessly in their chairs with a sort of physical discomfort, be- 
cause a man had sunk so far below humanity. Here an officer 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 129 

gulped his wine, there a second shook his shoulders as though to 
shake the knowledge off as a dog shakes water. There was only 
one in all that company who sat perfectly still in the silence 
which followed upon the story. That one was the boy Harry 
Feversham. 

He sat with his hands now clenched upon his knees and 
leaning forward a little across the table towards the surgeon ; 
his cheeks white as paper, his eyes burning and burning with 
ferocity. He had the look of a dangerous animal in the trap. 
His body was gathered, his muscles taut. Sutch had a fear that 
the lad meant to leap across the table and strike with all his 
strength in the savagery of despair. He had indeed reached out 
a restraining hand when General Feversham's matter-of-fact voice 
intervened, and the boy's attitude suddenly relaxed. 

' Queer incomprehensible things happen. Here are two 
of them. You can only say they are the truth and pray God you 
may forget 'em. But you can't explain. For you can't under- 
stand.' 

Sutch was moved to lay his hand upon Harry's shoulder. 

' Can you ? ' he asked, and regretted the question almost 
before it was spoken. But it was spoken, and Harry's eyes turned 
swiftly towards Sutch, and rested upon his face, not, however, 
with any betrayal of guilt, but quietly, inscrutably. Nor did he 
answer the question, although it was answered in a fashion by 
General Feversham. 

' Harry understand ! ' exclaimed the General with a snort of 
indignation. ' How should he ? He's a Feversham.' 

The question, which Harry's glance had mutely put before, 
Sutch in the same mute way repeated. ' Are you blind ? ' his 
eyes asked of General Feversham. Never had he heard an 
untruth so demonstrably untrue. A mere look at the father 
and the son proved it so. Harry Feversham wore his father's 
name, but he had his mother's dark and haunted eyes, his 
mother's breadth of forehead, his mother's delicacy of profile, his 
mother's imagination. 1 needed perhaps a stranger to recognise 
the truth. The father had been so long familiar with his son's 
aspect that it had no significance to his mind. 

' Look at the clock, Harry.' 

The hour's furlough had run out. Harry rose from his chair, 
and drew a breath. 

' Good-night, sir,' he said, and walked to the door. 

VOL. XII. NO. 67, N.S. y 



130 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

The servants had long since gone to bed ; and, as Harry 
opened the door, the hall gaped black like the mouth of night. 
For a second or two the boy hesitated upon the threshold, and 
seemed almost to shrink back into the lighted room as though 
in that dark void peril awaited him. And peril did the peril of 
his thoughts. 

He stepped out of the room and closed the door behind him. 
The decanter was sent again upon its rounds, there was a popping 
of soda-water bottles, the talk revolved again in its accustomed 
groove. Harry was in an instant forgotten by all but Sutch. 
The Lieutenant, although he prided himself upon his impartial 
and disinterested study of human nature, was the kindliest of men. 
He had more kindliness than observation by a great deal. More- 
over, there were special reasons which caused him to take an interest 
in Harry Fever sham. He sat for a little while with the air of 
a man profoundly disturbed. Then, acting upon an impulse, he 
went to the door, opened it noiselessly, as noiselessly passed out, 
and, without so much as a click of the latch, closed the door 
behind him. 

And this is what he saw : Harry Feversham holding in the 
centre of the hall a lighted candle high above his head and look- 
ing up towards the portraits of the Fevershams as they mounted 
the walls and were lost in the darkness of the roof. A muffled 
sound of voices came from the other side of the door-panels. But 
the hall itself was silent. Harry stood remarkably still, and the 
only thing which moved at all was the yellow flame of the candle 
as it flickered apparently in some faint draught. The light 
wavered across the portraits, glowing here upon a red coat, glitter- 
ing there upon a corselet of steel. For there was not one man's 
portrait upon the walls which did not glisten with the colours of 
a uniform, and there were the portraits of many men. Father 
and son, the Fevershams had been soldiers from the very birth of 
the family. Father and son, in lace collars and bucket boots, in 
Ramillies wigs and steel breastplates, in velvet coats with powder 
on their hair, in shakos and swallow-tails, in high stocks and 
frogged coats, they looked down upon this last Feversham, 
summoning him to the like service. They were men of one 
stamp; no distinction of uniform could obscure their relation- 
ship lean-faced men, hard as iron, rugged in feature, thin-lipped, 
with firm chins and straight level mouths, narrow foreheads, and 
the steel-blue inexpressive eyes ; men of courage and resolution, 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 131 

no doubt, but without subtleties, or nerves, or that burdensome 
gift of imagination ; sturdy men, a little wanting in delicacy, 
hardly conspicuous for intellect ; to put it frankly, men rather 
stupid all of them, in a word, first-class fighting men, but not 
one of them a first-class soldier. 

But Harry Feversham plainly saw none of their defects. To 
him they were one and all portentous and terrible. He stood 
before them in the attitude of a criminal before his judges, reading 
his condemnation in their cold unchanging eyes. Lieutenant 
Sutch understood more clearly why the flame of the candle 
flickered. There was no draught in the hall, but the boy's hand 
shook. And finally, as though he had heard the mute voices of 
his judges delivering sentence and admitted its justice, he actually 
bowed to the portraits on the wall. As he raised his head, he saw 
Lieutenant Sutch in the embrasure of the doorway. 

He did not start, he uttered no word ; he let his eyes quietly 
rest upon Sutch and waited. Of the two it was the man who was 
embarrassed. 

' Harry/ he said, and in spite of his embarrassment he had the 
tact to use the tone and the language of one addressing not a boy, 
but a comrade equal in years, ' we meet for the first time to- 
night. But I knew your mother a long time ago. I like to think 
that I have the right to call her by that much misused word 
friend. Have you anything to tell me ? ' 

' Nothing,' said Harry. 

' The mere telling sometimes lightens a trouble.' 

' It is kind of you. There is nothing.' 

Lieutenant Sutch was rather at a loss. The lad's loneliness 
made a strong appeal to him. For lonely the boy could not but be, 
set apart as he was no less unmistakably in mind as in feature from 
his father and his father's fathers. Yet what more could he do ? 
His tact again came to his aid. He took his card-case from his 
pocket. 

' You will find my address upon this card. Perhaps some day 
you will give me a few days of your company. I can offer you on 
my side a day or two's hunting.' 

A spasm of pain shook for a fleeting moment the boy's 
steady inscrutable face. It passed, however, swiftly as it had 
come. 

' Thank you, sir,' Harry monotonously repeated. ' You are 
very kind.' 

92 



132 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

' And if ever you want to talk over a difficult question with an 
older man, I am at your service.' 

He spoke purposely in a formal voice lest Harry with a boy's 
sensitiveness should think he laughed. Harry took the card and 
repeated his thanks. Then he went upstairs to bed. 

Lieutenant Sutch waited uncomfortably in the hall until the 
light of the candle had diminished and disappeared. Something 
was amiss, he was very sure. There were words which he should 
have spoken to the boy, but he had not known how to set about 
the task. He returned to the dining-room, and with a feeling 
that he was almost repairing his omissions, he filled his glass and 
called for silence. 

' Grentlemen,' he said, 'this is June 15th,' and there was 
great applause and much rapping on the table. ' It is the anni- 
versary of our attack upon the Eedan. It is also Harry Fever- 
sham's birthday. For us, our work is done. I ask you to drink 
the health of one of the youngsters who are ousting us. His work 
lies before him. The traditions of the Feversham family are 
very well known to us. May Harry Feversham carry them on ! 
May he. add distinction to a distinguished name ! ' 

At once all that company was on its feet. 

' Harry Feversham ! ' 

The name was shouted with so hearty a goodwill that the 
glasses on the table rang. ' Harry Feversham, Harry Feversham,' 
the cry was repeated and repeated, while old General Feversham 
sat in his chair, with a face aflush with pride. And a boy a 
minute afterwards in a room high up in the house heard the 
muffled words of a chorus : 

For he's a jolly good fellow, 
For he's a jolly good fellow, 
For he's a jolly good fellow, 
And so say all of us, 

and believed the guests upon this Crimean night were drinking 
his father's health. He turned over in his bed and lay shivering. 
He saw in his mind a broken officer slinking at night in the 
shadows of the London streets. He pushed back the flap of a 
tent and stooped over a man lying stone-dead in his blood, with an ) 
open lancet clenched in his right hand. And he saw that the 
face of the broken officer and the face of the dead surgeon were 
one ; and that one face, the face of Harry Feversham. 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 138 



CHAPTER II. 

CAPTAIN TRENCH AND A TELEGRAM. 

THIRTEEN years later, and in the same month of June, Harry 
Feversham's health was drunk again, but after a quieter fashion 
and in a smaller company. The company was gathered in a room 
high up in a shapeless block of buildings which frowns like a 
fortress over Westminster. A stranger crossing St. James's Park 
southwards, over the suspension bridge, at night, who chanced to 
lift his eyes and see suddenly the tiers of lighted windows towering 
above him to so precipitous a height, might be brought to a stop 
with the fancy that here in the heart of London was a mountain 
and the gnomes at work. Upon the tenth floor of this building 
Harry had taken a flat during his year's furlough from his regi- 
ment in India ; and it was in the dining-room of this flat that 
the simple ceremony took place. The room was furnished in 
a dark and restful fashion, and since the chill of the weather 
belied the calendar, a comfortable fire blazed in the hearth. A 
bay window over which the blinds had not been lowered com- 
manded London. 

There were four men smoking about the dinner-table. Harry 
Feversham was unchanged except for a fair moustache which con- 
trasted with his dark hair, and the natural consequences of growth. 
He was now a man of middle height, long-limbed and well-knit 
like an athlete, but his features had not altered since that night 
when they had been so closely scrutinised by Lieutenant Sutch. 
Of his companions two were brother-officers on leave in England, 
like himself, whom he had that afternoon picked up at his club. 
Captain Trench, a small man, growing bald, with a small, sharp, 
resourceful face and black eyes of a remarkable activity, and 
Lieutenant Willoughby, an officer of quite a different stamp. A 
round forehead, a thick snub nose, and a pair of vacant and pro- 
truding eyes gave to him an aspect of invincible stupidity. He 
spoke but seldom, and never to the point, but rather to some point 
long forgotten which he had since been laboriously revolving in 
his mind ; and he continually twisted a moustache, of which the 
ends curled up towards his eyes with a ridiculous ferocity. A 
man whom one would dismiss from mind as of no consequence 
upon a first thought, and take again into one's consideration upon 



134 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

a second. For he was born stubborn as well as stupid ; and the 
harm which his stupidity might do, his stubbornness would hinder 
him from admitting. He was not a man to be persuaded ; having 
few ideas he clung to them ; it was no use to argue with him, for 
he did not hear the argument, but behind his vacant eyes all the 
while he turned over his crippled thoughts and was satisfied. The 
fourth at the table was Durrance, a lieutenant of the East Surrey 
Kegiment, and Feversham's friend, who had come in answer to a 
telegram. 

This was June of the year 1882, and the thoughts of civilians 
turned towards Egypt with anxiety, those of soldiers with an eager 
anticipation. Arabi Pasha, in spite of threats, was steadily 
strengthening the fortifications of Alexandria, and already a long 
way to the south, the other, the great danger, was swelling like a 
thunder-cloud. A year had passed since a young, slight, and tall 
Dongolawi, Mohammed Ahmed, had marched through the villages 
of the White Nile, preaching with the fire of a Wesley the coming 
of a Saviour. The passionate victims of the Turkish tax-gatherer 
had listened, had heard the promise repeated in the whispers of the 
wind in the withered grass, had found the holy names imprinted 
even upon the eggs they gathered up. In 1882 Mohammed had 
declared himself that Saviour, and had won his first battles 
against the Turks. 

'There will be trouble/ said Trench, and the sentence was 
the text on which three of the four men talked. In a rare 
interval, however, the fourth, Harry Feversham, spoke upon a 
different subject. 

' I am very glad you were all able to dine with me to-night. 
I telegraphed to Castleton as well, an officer of ours,' he explained 
to Durrance, ' but he was dining with a big man from the War 
Office, and leaves for Scotland afterwards, so that he could not 
come. I have news of a sort.' 

The three men leaned forward, their minds still full of the 
dominant subject. But it was not about the prospect of war that 
Harry Feversham had to speak. 

' I only reached London this morning from Dublin,' he said 
with a shade of embarrassment. ' I have been some weeks in 
Dublin.' 

Durrance lifted his eyes from the tablecloth and looked 
quietly at his friend. 

' Yes ? ' he asked steadily. 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 135 

' I have come back engaged to be married.' 

Durrance lifted his glass to his lips. 

' Well, here's luck to you, Harry,' he said, and that was all. 
The wish, indeed, was almost curtly expressed, but there was 
nothing wanting in it to Feversham's ears. The friendship 
between these two men was not one in which affectionate phrases 
had any part. There was, in truth, no need of such. Both 
men were securely conscious of it ; they estimated it at its true 
strong value ; it was a helpful instrument which would not wear 
out, put into their hands for a hard, lifelong use ; but it was not, 
and never had been, spoken of between them. Both men were 
grateful for it, as for a rare and undeserved gift ; yet both knew 
that it might entail an obligation of sacrifice. But the sacrifices, 
were they needful, would be made, and they would not be 
mentioned. It may be, indeed, that the very knowledge of its 
strength constrained them to a particular reticence in their words 
to one another. 

' Thank you, Jack ! ' said Feversham. ' I am glad of your 
good wishes. It was you who introduced me to Ethne. I cannot 
forget it.' 

Durrance set his glass down without any haste. There followed 
a moment of silence, during which he sat with his eyes upon the 
tablecloth, and his hands resting on the table-edge. 

' Yes,' he said in a level voice. ' I did you a good turn 
then.' 

He seemed on the point of saying more, and doubtful how to 
say it. But Captain Trench's sharp, quick, practical voice, a 
voice which fitted the man who spoke, saved him his pains. 

' Will this make any difference ? ' asked Trench. 

Feversham replaced his cigar between his lips, 

' You mean, shall I leave the service ? ' he asked slowly. ' I 
don't know ; ' and Durrance seized the opportunity to rise from 
the table and cross to the window, where he stood with his back 
to his companions. Feversham took the abrupt movement for a 
reproach, and spoke to Durrance's back, not to Trench. 

' I don't know,' he repeated. ' It will need thought. There is 
much to be said. On the one side, of course, there's my father, 
my career, such as it is. On the other hand, there is her father, 
Dermod Eustace.' 

' He wishes you to chuck your commission ?' asked Willoughby. 

' He has no doubt the Irishman's objection to constituted 



136 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

authority,' said Trench with a laugh. ' But need you subscribe 
to it, Feversham?' 

' It is not merely that.' It was still to Durrance's back that he 
addressed his excuses. ' Dermod is old, his estates going to ruin, 
and there are other things. You know, Jack ? ' The direct appeal 
he had to repeat, and even then Durrance answered it absently : 

' Yes, I know,' and he added like one quoting a catch-word, 
" If you want any whisky, rap twice on the floor with your foot. 
The servants understand." ' 

' Precisely,' said Feversham. He continued, carefully weighing 
his words, and still intently looking across the shoulders of his 
companions to his friend. 

' Besides, there is Ethne herself. Dermod for once did an 
appropriate thing when he gave her that name. For she is of her 
country, and more of her county. She has the love of it in her 
bones. I do not think that she could be quite happy in India, 
or indeed in any place which was not within reach of Donegal, 
the smell of its peat, its streams, and the brown friendliness of 
its hills. One has to consider that.' 

He waited for an answer, and getting none went on again. 
Durrance, however, had no thought of reproach in his mind. He 
knew that Feversham was speaking he wished very much that 
he would continue to speak for a little while but he paid no 
heed to what was said. He stood looking steadfastly out of the 
windows. Over against him was the glare from Pall Mall striking 
upwards to the sky, and the chains of lights banked one above 
the other as the town rose northwards, and a rumble as of a 
million carriages was in his ears. At his feet, very far below, lay 
St. James's Park silent and black, a quiet pool of darkness in the 
midst of glitter and noise. Durrance had a great desire to escape 
out of this room into its secrecy. But that he could not do 
without remark. Therefore he kept his back turned to his 
companion and leaned his forehead against the window, and hoped 
his friend would continue to talk. For he was face to face with 
one of the sacrifices which must not be mentioned, and which no 
sign must betray. 

Feversham did continue, and if Durrance did not listen, on 
the other hand Captain Trench gave to him his closest attention. 
But it was evident that Harry Feversham was giving reasons 
seriously considered. He was not making excuses, and in the end 
Captain Trench was satisfied. 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 137 

' Well, I drink to you, Feversham,' he said, ' with all the proper 
sentiments.' 

' I too, old man,' said Willoughby, obediently following his 
senior's lead. 

Thus they drank their comrade's health, and as their empty 
glasses rattled on the table, their came a knock upon the door. 

The two officers looked up. Durrance turned about from the 
window. Feversham said, ' Come in ' ; and his servant brought 
in to him a telegram. 

Feversham tore open the envelope carelessly, as carelessly read 
through the telegram, and then sat very still with his eyes upon 
the slip of pink paper, and his face grown at once extremely grave. 
Thus he sat for an appreciable time, not so much stunned as 
thoughtful. And in the room there was a complete silence. 
Feversham's three guests averted their eyes. Durrance turned 
again to his window ; Willoughby twisted his moustache and gazed 
intently upwards at the ceiling ; Captain Trench shifted his chair 
round and stared into the glowing fire, and each man's attitude 
expressed a certain suspense. It seemed that sharp upon the heels 
of Feversham's good news calamity had come knocking at the 
door. 

' There is no answer,' said Harry, and fell to silence again. 
Once he raised his head and looked at Trench as though he had a 
mind to speak. But he thought the better of it, and so dropped 
again to the consideration of this message. And in a moment or 
two the silence was sharply interrupted, but not by any one of the 
expectant motionless three men seated in the room. The inter- 
ruption came from without. 

From the parade ground of Wellington Barracks the drums 
and fifes sounding the tattoo shrilled through the open window 
with a startling clearness like a sharp summons, and diminished 
as the band marched away across the gravel and again grew loud. 
Feversham did not change his attitude, but the look upon his 
face was now that of a man listening, and listening thoughtfully, 
just as he had read thoughtfully. In the years which followed 
that moment was to recur again and again to the recollection of 
each of Harry's three guests. The lighted room with the bright 
homely fire, the open window overlooking the myriad lamps of 
London, Harry Feversham seated with the telegram spread before 
him, the drums and fifes calling loudly, and then dwindling to a 
music very small and pretty music which beckoned, where a 



138 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

moment ago it had commanded : all these details made up a 
picture of which the colours were not to fade by any lapse of time, 
although its significance was not apprehended now. 

It was remembered that Feversham rose abruptly from his 
chair, just before the tattoo ceased. He crumpled the telegram 
loosely in his hands, tossed it into the fire, and then, leaning his 
back against the chimney-piece and upon one side of the fireplace, 
said again : 

' I don't know ' ; as though he had thrust that message, what- 
ever it might be, from his mind, and was summing up in this 
indefinite way the argument which had gone before. Thus that 
long silence was broken, and a spell was lifted. But the fire took 
hold upon the telegram and shook it, so that it moved like a thing 
alive and in pain. It twisted, and part of it unrolled, and for a 
second lay open and smooth of creases, lit up by the flame and 
as yet untouched ; so that two or three words sprang, as it were, 
out of a yellow glare of fire and were legible. Then the flame 
seized upon that smooth part too, and in a moment it shrivelled 
into black tatters. But Captain Trench was all this while staring 
into the fire. 

' You return to Dublin, I suppose ? ' said Durrance. He had 
moved back again into the room. Like his companions, he was 
conscious of an unexplained relief. 

' To Dublin, no. I go to Donegal in three weeks' time. There 
is to be a dance. It is hoped you will come.' 

' I am not sure that I can manage it. There is just a chance, 
I believe, should trouble come in the East, that I may go out on 
the Staff.' The talk thus came round again to the chances of peace 
and war, and held in that quarter till the boom of the Westminster 
clock told that the hour was eleven. Captain Trench rose from 
his seat on the last stroke ; Willoughby and Durrance followed his 
example. 

' I shall see you to-morrow,' said Durrance to Feversham. 

' As usual,' replied Harry ; and his three guests descended from 
his rooms and walked across the Park together. At the corner of 
Pall Mall, however, they parted company, Durrance mounting 
St. James's Street, while Trench and Willoughby crossed the road 
into St. James's Square. There Trench slipped his arm through 
Willoughby's, to Willoughby's surprise for Trench was an un- 
demonstrative man. 

' You know Castleton's address ? ' he asked. 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 139 

' Albemarle Street,' Willoughby answered and added the number. 

' He leaves Euston at twelve o'clock. It is now ten minutes 
past eleven. Are you curious, Willoughby ? I confess to curiosity. 
I am an inquisitive methodical person, and when a man gets a 
telegram bidding him tell Trench something and he tells Trench 
nothing, I am curious as a philosopher to know what that some- 
thing is ! Castleton is the only other officer of our regiment in 
London. Castleton, too, was dining with a big man from the War 
Office. I think that if we take a hansom to Albemarle Street we 
shall just catch Castleton upon his doorstep.' 

Mr. Willoughby, who understood very little of Trench's 
meaning, nevertheless cordially agreed to the proposal. 

' I think it would be prudent,' said he, and he hailed a passing 
cab. A moment later the two men were driving to Albemarle 
Street. 



CHAPTER III. 

THE LAST RIDE TOGETHER. 

DURRANCE, meanwhile, walked to his lodging alone, remembering 
a day, now two years since, when by a curious whim of old Dermod 
Eustace he had been fetched against his will to the house by the 
Lennon river in Donegal, and there, to his surprise, had been 
made acquainted with Dermod's daughter Ethne. For she sur- 
prised all who had first held speech with the father. Durrance 
had stayed for a night in the house, and through that evening 
she had played upon her violin, seated with her back towards her 
audience, as was her custom when she played, lest a look or a 
gesture should interrupt the concentration of her thoughts. The 
melodies which she had played rang in his ears now. For the 
girl possessed the gift of music, and the strings of her violin 
spoke to the questions of her bow. There was in particular an 
overture the Melusine overture which had the very sob of the 
waves. Durrance had listened wondering, for the violin had 
spoken to him of many things of which the girl who played it 
could know nothing. It had spoken of long perilous journeys 
and the faces of strange countries ; of the silver way across 
moonlit seas ; of the beckoning voices from the under edges of the 
desert.. It had taken a deeper, a more mysterious tone. It had 



HO THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

told of great joys, quite unattainable, and of great griefs too, 
eternal, and with a sort of nobility by reason of their greatness ; 
and of many unformulated longings beyond the reach of words ; 
but with never a single note of mere complaint. So it had 
seemed to Durrance that night as he had sat listening while 
Ethne's face was turned away. So it seemed to him now when 
he knew that her face was still to be turned away for all his days. 
He had drawn a thought from her playing which he was at 
some pains to keep definite in his mind. The true music cannot 
complain. 

Therefore it was that as he rode the next morning into the 
Row his blue eyes looked out upon the world from his bronzed 
face with not a jot less of his usual friendliness. He waited at 
half-past nine by the clump of lilacs and laburnums at the end of 
the sand, but Harry Feversham did not join him that morning, 
nor indeed for the next three weeks. Ever since the two men 
had graduated from Oxford it had been their custom to meet 
at this spot and hour, when both chanced to be in town, and 
Durrance was puzzled. It seemed to him that he had lost his 
friend as well. 

Meanwhile, however, the rumours of war grew to a certainty, 
and when at last Feversham kept the tryst, Durrance had news. 

' I told you luck might look my way. Well, she has. I go 
out to Egypt on General Graham's Staff. There's talk we may run 
dow the Red Sea to Suakim afterwards.' 

The exhilaration of his voice brought an unmistakable envy 
into Feversham's eyes. It seemed strange to Durrance even at 
that moment of his good luck, that Harry Feversham should envy 
him strange and rather pleasant. But he interpreted the envy 
in the light of his own ambitions. 

' It is rough on you,' he said sympathetically, ' that your 
regiment has to stay behind.' 

Feversham rode by his friend's side in silence. Then, as they 
came to the chairs beneath the trees, he said : 

' That was expected. The day you dined with me I sent in 
my papers.' 

' That night ? ' said Durrance, turning in his saddle. ' After 
we had gone ? 

' Yes,' said Feversham, accepting the correction. He wondered 
whether it had been intended. But Durrance rode silently 
forward. Again Harry Feversham was conscious of a reproach 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. HI 

in his friend's silence, and again he was wrong. For Durrance 
suddenly spoke heartily, and with a laugh. 

' I remember. You gave us your reasons that night. But 
for the life of me I can't help wishing that we had been going out- 
together. When do you leave for Ireland ? ' 

' To-night.' 

* So soon ? ' 

They turned their horses and rode westwards again down the 
alley of trees. The morning was still fresh. The limes and 
chestnuts had tost nothing of their early green, and since the 
May was late that year, its blossoms still hung delicately white 
like snow upon the branches and shone red against the dark 
rhododendrons. The Park shimmered in a haze of sunlight, and 
the distant roar of the streets was as the tumbling of river 
water. 

' It is a long time since we bathed in Sandford Lasher,' said 
Durrance. 

' Or froze in the Easter vacations in the big snow-gully on 
Great End,' returned Feversham. Both men had the feeling that 
on this morning a volume in their book of life was ended, and 
since the volume had been a pleasant one to read, and they did 
not know whether its successors would sustain its promise, they 
were looking backwards through the leaves before they put it 
finally away. 

' You must stay with us, Jack, when you come back,' said 
Feversham. 

Durrance had schooled himself not to wince, and he did not 
even at that anticipatory ' us.' If his left hand tightened upon 
the thongs of his reins, the sign could not be detected by his 
friend. 

' If I come back,' said Durrance. ' You know my creed. I 
could never pity a man who died on active service. I would very 
much like to come by that end myself.' 

It was a quite simple creed, consistent with the simplicity of 
the man who uttered it. It amounted to no more than this : that 
to die decently was worth a good many years of life. So that he 
uttered it without melancholy or any sign of foreboding. Even 
so, however, he had a fear that perhaps his friend might place 
another interpretation upon the words, and he looked quickly into 
his face. He only saw again, however, that puzzling look of envy 
in Feversham's eyes. 



142 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

' You see there are worse things which can happen,' he con- 
tinued. ' Disablement, for instance. Clever men could make a 
shift perhaps to put up with it. But what in the world should I 
do if I had to sit in a chair all my days ? It makes me shiver to 
think of it,' and he shook his broad shoulders to unsaddle that 
fear. ' Well, this is the last ride. Let us gallop,' and he let 
out his horse. 

Feversham followed his example, and side by side they went 
racing down the sand. At the bottom of the Row they stopped, 
shook hands, and with the curtest of nods parted. Feversham 
rode out of the Park, Durrance turned back and walked his horse 
up towards the seats beneath the trees. 

Even as a boy in his home in Devonshire upon a wooded creek 
of the Salcombe estuary, he had always been conscious of a certain 
restlessness, a desire to sail down that creek and out over the 
levels of the sea, a dream of queer outlandish countries and 
peoples beyond the dark familiar woods. And the restlessness 
had grown upon him, so that ' Ohiessens,' even when he had 
inherited it with its farms and lands, had remained always in his 
thoughts as a place to come home to rather than an estate to 
occupy a life. He purposely exaggerated that restlessness now, 
and purposely set against it words which Feversham had spoken 
and which he knew to be true. Ethne Eustace would hardly be 
happy outside her county of Donegal. Therefore, even had things 
fallen out differently, as he phrased it, there might have been a 
clash. Perhaps it was as well that Harry Feversham was to 
marry Ethne and not another than Feversham. 

Thus at all events he argued as he rode, until the riders 
vanished from before his eyes, and the ladies in their coloured 
frocks beneath the cool of the trees. The trees themselves 
dwindled to ragged mimosas, the brown sand at his feet spread 
out in a widening circumference and took the bright colour of 
honey; and upon the empty sand black stones began to heap 
themselves shapelessly like coal, and to flash in the sun like 
mirrors. He was deep in his anticipations of the Soudan, when 
he heard his name called out softly in a woman's voice, and, 
looking up, found himself close by the rails. 

' How do you do, Mrs. Adair ? ' said he, and he stopped his horse. 
Mrs. Adair gave him her hand across the rails. She was Durrance's 
neighbour at Southpool, and by a year or two his elder a tall 
woman remarkable for the many shades of her thick brown hair 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 143 

and the peculiar pallor on her face. But at this moment the face 
had brightened, there was a hint of colour in the cheeks. 

' I have news for you,' said Durrance. ' Two special items. 
One, Harry Feversharn is to be married.' 

' To whom ? ' asked the lady eagerly. 

' You should know. It was in your house in Hill Street that 
Harry first met her. And I introduced him. He has been im- 
proving the acquaintance in Dublin.' 

But Mrs. Adair already understood ; and it was plain that the 
news was welcome. 

' Ethne Eustace,' she cried. ' They will be married soon ? ' 

' There is nothing to prevent it.' 

* I am glad,' and the lady sighed as though with relief. 
' What is your second item ? ' 

' As good as the first. I go out on General Graham's Staff.' 

Mrs. Adair was silent. There came a look of anxiety into her 
eyes, and the colour died out of her face. 

' You are very glad, I suppose,' she said slowly. 

Durrance's voice left her in no doubt. 

' I should think I was. I go soon, too, and the sooner the 
better. I will come and dine some night, if I may, before I go.' 

'My husband will be pleased to see you,' said Mrs. Adair 
rather coldly. Durrance did not notice the coldness, however. 
He had his own reasons for making the most of the opportunity 
which had come his way ; and he urged his enthusiasm, and laid 
it bare in words more for his own benefit than with any thought of 
Mrs. Adair. Indeed, he had always rather a vague impression of 
the lady. She was handsome in a queer, foreign way, not so un- 
common along the coasts of Devonshire and Cornwall, and she had 
good hair, and was always well dressed. Moreover, she was 
friendly. And at that point, Durrance's knowledge of her came 
to an end. Perhaps her chief merit in his eyes was that she 
had made friends with Ethne Eustace. But he was to become 
better acquainted with Mrs. Adair. He rode away from the Park 
with the old regret in his mind that the fortunes of himself and 
his friend were this morning finally severed. As a fact he had that 
morning set the strands of a new rope a-weaving which was to 
bring them together again in a strange and terrible relationship. 
Mrs. Adair followed him out of the Park, and walked home very 
thoughtfully. 

Durrance had just one week wherein to provide his equipment, 



144 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

and arrange his estate in Devonshire. It passed in a continuous 
hurry of preparation, so that his newspaper lay each day unfolded 
in his rooms. The General was to travel overland to Brindisi, and 
so on an evening of wind and rain towards the end of July Dur- 
rance stepped from the Dover Pier into the mail boat for Calais. 
In spite of the rain and the gloomy night, a small crowd had 
gathered to give the General a send-off. As the ropes were cast 
off a feeble cheer was raised, and before the cheer had ended, 
Durrance found himself beset by a strange illusion. He was 
leaning upon the bulwarks idly wondering whether this was his 
last view of England, and with a wish that some one of his friends 
had come down to see him go, when it seemed to him suddenly 
that his wish was answered. For he caught a glimpse of a man 
standing beneath a gas-lamp, and that man was of the stature and 
wore the likeness of Harry Feversham. Durrance rubbed his 
eyes and looked again. But the wind made the tongue of light 
flicker uncertainly within the glass, the rain too blurred the quay. 
He could only be certain that a man was standing there, he could 
only vaguely distinguish beneath the lamp the whiteness of a face. 
It was an illusion, he said to himself. Harry Feversham was at 
that moment most likely listening to a girl playing the violin 
under a clear sky in a high garden of Donegal. But even as he 
was turning from the bulwarks, there came a lull of the wind, the 
lights burned bright and steady on the pier, and the face leaped 
from the shadows distinct in feature and expression. Durrance 
leaned out over the side of the boat. 

"' Harry ! ' he shouted at the top of a wondering voice. 

But the figure beneath the lamp never stirred. The wind 
blew the lights again this way and that, the paddles churned the 
water, the mail-boat passed beyond the pier. It was an illusion, he 
repeated, it was a coincidence. It was the face of a stranger very 
like to Harry Feversham. It could not be Feversham's, because 
the face which Durrance had seen so distinctly for a moment 
was a haggard wistful face, a face stamped with an extraordinary 
misery, the face of a man cast out from among his fellows. 

Durrance had been very busy all that week. He had clean 
forgotten the arrival of that telegram and the suspense which the 
long perusal of it had caused. Moreover, his newspaper had lain 
unfolded in his rooms. But his friend Harry Feversham had 
come to see him off. 

{To le continued.) 



THE 

CORNHILL MAGAZINE 



FEBRUABY 1902. 



BROWNING IN VENICE. 

BEING RECOLLECTIONS BY THE LATE KATHARINE DE KAY BRONSON, 
WITH A PREFATORY NOTE BY HENRY JAMES. 

* * 

* 

I HAVE read the following pages of cordial and faithful reminis- 
cence, in which a frank, predominant presence seems to live 
again, with an interest inevitably somewhat sad so past and 
gone to-day is so much of the life suggested. Those who fortu- 
nately knew Mrs. Bronson will read into her notes still more of 
it more of her subject, more of herself too, and of many things 
than she gives, and some may well even feel tempted to do for 
her what she has done here for her distinguished friend. In 
Venice, during a long period, for many pilgrims, Mrs. Arthur 
Bronson, originally of New York, was, so far as ' society,' hospi- 
tality, a charming personal welcome were concerned, almost in sole 
possession ; she had become there, with time, quite the prime 
representative of those private amenities which the Anglo-Saxon 
abroad is apt to miss just in proportion as the place visited is 
publicly wonderful, and in which he therefore finds a value twice 
as great as at home. Mrs. Bronson really earned in this way 
the gratitude of mingled generations and races. She sat for twenty 
years at the wide mouth, as it were, of the Grand Canal, holding 
out her hand, with endless good-nature, patience, charity, to 
all decently-accredited petitioners, the incessant troop of those 
either bewilderedly making or fondly renewing acquaintance with 
the dazzling city. 

Casa Alvisi is directly opposite the high, broad-based florid 
church of S. Maria della Salute so directly that from the balcony 

VOL. XII. NO. 68, N.S. 10 



146 BROWNING IN VENICE. 

over the water-entrance your eye, crossing the canal, seems to 
find the key-hole of the great door right in a line with it ; and 
there was something in this position that, for the time, made all 
Venice-lovers think of the genial padrona as thus levying in the 
most convenient way the toll of curiosity and sympathy. Every- 
one passed, everyone was seen to pass, and few were those not 
seen to stop and to return. The most generous of hostesses died 
a year ago at Florence ; her house knows her no more it had 
ceased to do so for some time before her death ; and the long, 
pleased procession the charmed arrivals, the happy sojourns at 
anchor, the reluctant departures that made Ca' Alvisi, as was 
currently said, a social porto di mare is, for remembrance and 
regret, already a procession of ghosts ; so that, on the spot, at 
present, the attention ruefully averts itself from the dear little 
old faded but once familiarly bright facade, overtaken at last by 
the comparatively vulgar uses that are doing their best to ' paint 
out' in Venice, right and left, by staring signs and other 
vulgarities, the immemorial note of distinction. The house, in 
a city of palaces, was small, but the tenant clung to her perfect, her 
inclusive position the one right place that gave her a better 
command, as it were, than a better house obtained by a harder 
compromise; not being fond, moreover, of spacious halls and 
massive treasures, but of compact and familiar rooms, in which 
her remarkable accumulation of minute and delicate Venetian 
objects could show. She adored in the way of the Venetian, 
to which all her taste addressed itself the small, the domestic 
and the exquisite ; so that she would have given a Tintoretto or 
two, I think, without difficulty, for a cabinet of tiny gilded 
glasses or a dinner-service of the right old silver. 

The general receptacle of these multiplied treasures played at 
any rate, through the years, the part of a friendly private box at the 
constant operatic show, a box at the best point of the best tier, 
with the cushioned ledge of its front raking the whole scene and 
with its withdrawing-rooms behind for more detached con- 
versation ; for easy when not indeed slightly difficult polyglot 
talk, artful bibite, artful cigarettes too, straight from the hand of 
the hostess, who could do all that belonged to a hostess, place 
people in relation, and keep them so, take up and put down the 
topic, cause delicate tobacco and little gilded glasses to circulate, 
without ever leaving her sofa-cushions or intermitting her good- 
nature. She exercised in these conditions, with never a block, as 



BROWNING IN VENICE. 147 

we say in London, in the traffic, with never an admission, an 
acceptance of the least social complication, her positive genius 
for easy interest, easy sympathy, easy friendship. It was as if, 
at last, she had taken the human race at large, quite irrespective 
of geography, for her neighbours, with neighbourly relations as 
a matter of course. These things, on her part, had at all events 
the greater appearance of ease from their having found to their 
purpose and as if the very air of Venice produced them a 
cluster of forms so light and immediate, so pre-established by 
picturesque custom. The old bright tradition, the wonderful 
Venetian legend, had appealed to her from the first, closing 
round her house and her well-plashed water-steps, where the 
waiting gondolas were thick ; quite as if, actually, the ghost of 
the defunct Carnival since I have spoken of ghosts still played 
some haunting part. 

Let me add, at the same time, that Mrs. Bronson's social 
facility, which was really her great refuge from importunity, a 
defence with serious thought and serious feeling quietly cherished 
behind it, had its discriminations as well as its inveteracies, and 
that the most marked of all these, perhaps, was her attachment 
to Eobert Browning. Nothing in all her beneficent life had pro- 
bably made her happier than to have found herself able to minister, 
each year, with the returning autumn, to his pleasure and comfort. 
Attached to Ca' Alvisi, on the land side, is a somewhat melancholy 
old section of a Griustiniani palace, which she had annexed to her 
own premises mainly for the purpose of placing it, in comfortable 
guise, at the service of her friends. She liked, as she professed,, 
when they were the real thing, to have them under her hand ; 
and here succeeded each other, through the years, the company 
of the privileged and the more closely domesticated, who liked, 
harmlessly, to distinguish between themselves and outsiders. 
Among visitors partaking of this pleasant provision Mr. Browning 
was of course easily first. But I must leave her own pen to show 
him as her best years knew him. The point was, meanwhile, 
that if her charity was great even for the outsider, this was by 
reason of the inner essence of it her perfect tenderness for 
Venice, which she always recognised as a link. That was the 
true principle of fusion, the key to communication. She com- 
municated in proportion little or much, measuring it as she felt 
people more responsive or less so ; and she expressed herself in 
other words her full affection for the place only to those who had 

102 



148 BROWNING IN VENICE. 

most of the same sentiment. The rich and interesting form in 
which she found it in Browning may well be imagined together 
with the quite independent quantity of the genial at large that 
she also found ; but I am not sure that his favour was not 
primarily based on his paid tribute of such things as ' Two in a 
Gondola,' and ' A Toccata of Galuppi.' He had more ineffaceably 
than anyone recorded his initiation from of old. 

She was thus, all round, supremely faithful ; yet it was per- 
haps after all with the very small folk, those to the manner born, 
that she made the easiest terms. She loved, she had from the first 
enthusiastically adopted, the engaging Venetian people, whose 
virtues she found touching, and their infirmities but such as appeal 
mainly to the sense of humour and the love of anecdote ; and she 
befriended and admired, she studied and spoiled them. There must 
have been a multitude of whom it would scarce be too much to 
say that her long residence among them was their settled golden 
age. When I consider that they have lost her now I fairly wonder 
to what shifts they have been put and how long they may not 
have to wait for such another messenger of Providence. She 
cultivated their dialect, she renewed their boats, she piously 
relighted at the top of the tide-washed pali of traghetto or 
lagoon the neglected lamp of the tutelary Madonetta ; she took 
cognisance of the wives, the children, the accidents, the troubles, 
as to which she became, perceptibly, the most prompt, the estab- 
lished remedy. On lines where the amusement was happily less 
one-sided she put together in dialect many short comedies, 
dramatic proverbs, which, with one of her drawing-rooms perma- 
nently arranged as a charming diminutive theatre, she caused 
to be performed by the young persons of her circle often, when 
the case lent itself, by the wonderful small offspring of humbler 
friends, children of the Venetian lower class, whose aptitude, 
teachability, drollery, were her constant delight. It was certainly 
true that an impression of Venice as humanly sweet might easily 
found itself on the frankness and quickness and amiability of these 
little people. They were at least so much to the good ; for the 
philosophy of their patroness was as Venetian as everything else ; 
helping her to accept experience without bitterness and to remain 
fresh, even in the fatigue which finally overtook her, for pleasant 
surprises and proved sincerities. She was herself sincere to the last 
for the place of her predilection ; inasmuch as though she had 
arranged herself, in the later time and largely for the love of 



BROWNING IN VENICE. 149 

' Pippa Passes ' an alternative refuge at Asolo, she absented 
herself from Venice with continuity only under coercion of illness. 
At Asolo, periodically, the link with Browning was more 
confirmed than weakened, and there, in old Venetian territory, 
and with the invasion of visitors comparatively checked, her 
preferentially small house became again a setting for the pleasure 
of talk and the sense of Italy. It contained again its own small 
treasures, all in the pleasant key of the homelier Venetian spirit. 
The plain beneath it stretched away like a purple sea from 
the lower cliffs of the hills, and the white campanili of the 
villages, as one was perpetually saying, showed on the expanse 
like scattered sails of ships. The rumbling carriage, the old- 
time, rattling, red-velveted carriage of provincial, rural Italy, 
delightful and quaint, did the office of the gondola ; to Bassano, 
to Treviso, to high-walled Castelfranco, all pink and gold, the 
home of the great OKorgione. Here also memories cluster ; but 
it is in Venice again that her vanished presence is most felt, 
for there, in the real, or certainly the finer, the more sifted 
Cosmopolis, it falls into its place among the others evoked, those 
of the past seekers of poetry and dispensers of romance. It is 
a fact that almost everyone interesting, appealing, melancholy, 
memorable, odd, seems at one time or another, after many days 
and much life, to have gravitated to Venice by a happy instinct, 
settling in it and treating it, cherishing it, as a sort of repository 
of consolations ; all of which to-day, for the conscious mind, is 
mixed with its air and constitutes its unwritten history. The 
deposed, the defeated, the disenchanted, the wounded, or even 
only the bored, have seemed to find there something that no 
other place could give. But such people came for themselves, as 
we seem to see them only with the egotism of their grievances 
and the vanity of their hopes. Mrs. Bronson's case was beautifully 
different she had come altogether for others. 

HENRY JAMES. 



* * 

* 



1 In a letter from Browning dated in London, speaking of a pleasant 
experience in Venice, he says : ' It has given an association which 
will live in my mind with every delight of that dearest place in 
the world.' Again, in allusion to an album of carefully chosen 

1 Copyright, 1902, in the United States of America by the Century Co. 



150 BROWNING IN VENICE. 

Venetian photographs received as a Christmas gift, he says : ' What 
a book of memories, and instigations to yet still more memories, 
does that most beautiful book prove to me ! I never supposed that 
photographers would have the good sense to use their art on so 
many out-of-the-way scenes and sights, just those I love most.' 

Nevertheless, he did not acquiesce when people suggested that 
he should leave England and take up his permanent abode in 
Venice. His answer was : ' Impossible ! I have too many friends 
in London. I would never forsake them. Still, I admit that for 
three or four months in the year I should like nothing half so well 
as Venice.' 

To this end he once made all arrangements for the purchase 
of an ancient Venetian palace. Everything seemed propitious. 
He was charmed with the early fifteenth-century construction, 
with the arched windows and exquisite facade covered with 
medallions of many-coloured marbles, and pleased himself with 
plans and fancies of how, with certain alterations, it could easily 
be made a perfect summer and autumn residence. All was decided, 
the law formalities were nearly complete, and the purchase-money 
was ready, when, at the last hour, a flaw in the title became 
apparent, partly owing to the fact that the property belonged to 
absentees. So, to the poet's intense chagrin, he was obliged to 
give up his darling scheme. Perhaps he had never, in his long 
lifetime, been so thoroughly annoyed by a thwarted project as by 
the failure of this one. There came a day, some years later, when 
he saw that al< had been ordained for his good. As a matter of 
fact, the foundations of the palace were as insecure as the title, 
there were many sunless rooms, some of the floors were sunken 
badly, and an enormous outlay of money would have been required 
to make the place habitable. 

These drawbacks the poet at first refused to consider. He thought 
only of the beauty and the archaeological interest ; he doubted 
that the facade was in a perilous condition ; pleased himself by 
fancying how many windows he could open to the morning sun on 
the garden, how many balconies could be added towards the south ; 
in fact, he may be said to have passed a month, not in building 
but in restoring a ' castle in the air ' hanging over the waters of 
the Grand Canal. Even when he became convinced that Fate 
had kept a kindly hand over him, and that the purchase, had it 
been concluded, would have proved a source of endless trouble and 
perhaps regret, he still remained offended with the unseen and 



BROWNING IN VENICE. 151 

unknown owners of the palazzo. It was only after his son had 
bought the Palazzo Kezzonico l that the father was really re- 
conciled to the loss of the Manzoni. 

The poet's nature was so essentially joyous that one was at a 
loss to decide where he took the keenest pleasure, whether in his 
daily walks or his afternoon rows in the gondola. He seemed 
never to weary of either, but my personal experience of his delight 
was in the latter, when we floated over the still lagoons. The view 
of the rose-coloured city rising from the pale-green waters, of the 
golden light of sunset on the distant Alps, of the day as it turned 
to evening behind the Euganean Hills, never seemed to pall upon 
his sense. 

' Only Shelley has given us an idea of this,' he would say, and 
quote lines from ' Julian and Maddalo.' ' Never say Euganean,' 
he corrected me ; ' many people make that mistake, but if you 
keep in mind that the poet makes the word rhyme to ' psean,' you 
will remember to pronoun it Eugane-an.' 

His memory for the poems he had read in his youth was ex- 
traordinary. If one quoted a line from Byron, who, he said, was 
the singer of his first enthusiasm, he would continue the quotation, 
never hesitating for a word, and then interrupt himself, saying 
' I think you have had enough of this,' to which his dear sister 
and I would give silent consent, lest the effort of memory should 
tire him. He was very proud of his retentive memory and of his 
well-preserved sight ; the latter he attributed to his practice of 
bathing his eyes in cold water every morning. He was proud, 
too, of his strength, of his power of walking for hours without 
fatigue, of the few requirements of his Spartan-like daily life, and 
above all he was proud of his son, who was his idol. 

Yes, that was his vulnerable point, the heel of Achilles. 
People who praised or loved or noticed his only child found the 

1 It is on the left side of the palace, at the corner above the little canal, that 
one may see the memorial tablet erected by the municipality of Venice : 

A 

ROBERTO BROWNING 

MORTO IN QUESTO PALAZZO 

IL 12 DICEMBRB 1889 

VENEZIA 

POSE 

' Open my heart and you will see 
Graved inside of it, " Italy." ' 



152 BROWNING IN VENICE. 

direct road to his heart. Even those who only spoke with him of 
' Pen ' were at once his friends and worthy of attention and interest. 
He said to me many years ago, while awaiting anxiously the result 
of his son's earnest art studies : 

' Do you know, dear friend, if the thing were possible, I would 
renounce all personal ambition and would destroy every line I ever 
wrote, if by so doing I could see fame and honour heaped on my 
Kobert's head.' 

What a proof are these words of an intense nature devoid of 
all egotism ! In his boy he saw the image of the wife whom he 
adored, literally adored ; for, as I felt, the thbught of her, as an 
angel in heaven, was never out of his mind. He wore a small 
gold ring on his watch-chain. ' This was hers,' he said. ' Can 
you fancy that tiny finger ? Can you believe that a woman could 
wear such a circlet as this ? It is a child's.' 

The only other souvenir on his chain was a coin placed there 
years ago, the date 1848, a piece of the first money struck by 
Manin in Venice to record the freedom from Austrian dominion. 
' I love this coin.' he said, ' as she would have loved it. You know 
what she felt and wrote about United Italy.' 

He had no personal vanity : it never occurred to him to admire 
himself in any way, to call attention to the beauty of his hand, 
which in old age was the hand of youth, nor did he seem to be 
aware of the perfect outline of his head, the colour and brightness 
of his eyes, or the fairness of his skin, which, with his snow- 
white hair, made him look as if carved in old Greek marble. 

After his disappointment with regard to the Palazzo Manzoni 
he cherished a momentary idea, may I call it ? perhaps fancy 
is the better word of buying an unfinished villa on the Lido, the 
sand-strip towards the Adriatic, begun in years gone by for Victor 
Emmanuel. He would talk of this with great zest, saying, 
' Thence one could see every day the divine sunsets,' and continue 
with a list of the charms and advantages of the really beautiful place, 
then pause and wait for the assent and approbation of his sister or 
some listening friend. He seemed annoyed when no such word 
was spoken. He could not bring those who loved him quite to 
agree with so unpractical a scheme, yet all contrary arguments of 
distance from town and markets, exposure to storms, and so on, 
seemed to annoy him, until at last everyone ended by listening 
to his enthusiastic plans, while offering no direct opposition to 
them. After a time, finding that in this case silence meant the 



BROWNING IN VENICE. 153 

reverse of consent, he ceased to talk and dream of a ' villa on the 
Lido.' 

He expressed one day a wish to go to the Church of San 
Niccolo to find the tomb of his hero Salinguerra. On the way 
he talked of the character and deeds of this soldier prince, who 
plays so important a part in the poem of ' Sordello ' ; how he was 
taken by the Venetians at Ferrara, and kept for years an honoured 
prisoner by the republic, and how he died in Casa Bosco at San 
Toma, and was buried with great pomp at San Niccolo al Lido. 
After searching vainly for some time through the lonely church, 
where no sacristan was to be found, he discovered or rediscovered 
the memorial tablet in a sort of corridor attached to the east side 
of the church. It bears in Grothic characters the name and date 
of death of the renowned Salinguerra, which being translated 
signifies ' leap to war.' 

The poet looked at the ancient stone with great interest and 
attention, and on the way back to Venice he seemed lost in 
thought. Though he said but little, I could follow through that 
the current of his thought. He was repassing in his mind that 
complicated bit of mediaeval Italian histoiy so strongly treated 
in his own great poem. While he took a vivid and ever-present 
interest in all he had written, he very rarely spoke on the 
subject, even to his most intimate friends. In a letter of thanks 
for a manuscript collection of dramatic episodes taken from 
Venetian archives, he said : 

' The extracts are all very characteristic and valuable. If I 
do not immediately turn them to use, it is because of an old 
peculiarity in my mental digestion a long and obscure process. 
There comes up unexpectedly some subject for poetry, which has 
been dormant, and apparently dead, for perhaps dozens of years. 
A month since I wrote a poem of some two hundred lines about a 
story I heard more than forty years ago, and never dreamed of 
trying to repeat, wondering how it had so long escaped me ; and 
so it has been with my best things. These petits fails vrais are 
precious.' 

The poem he spoke of is ' Donald.' I always fancied that in 
Venice the poet was more ready to be pleased than elsewhere ; 
everything charmed him. He found grace and beauty in the 
popolo, whom he paints so well in the Groldoni sonnet. The 
poorest street children were pretty in his eyes. He would admire 
a carpenter or a painter who chanced to be at work in the house, 



154 BROWNING IN VENICE. 

and say to me : ' See the fine poise of the head, the movement of 
the torso, those well-cut features. You might fancy that man in 
the crimson robe of a senator, as you see them on Tintoret's 
canvas.' 

I would occasionally translate his compliment to the man in 
question, in milder terms : ' The signore says you look like the 
people in the old pictures ' ; and it amused him to see the work- 
man change colour at words of praise from the one he well knew 
as the sommo poeta. Professor Molmenti wrote to him one day 
with the request that he would write something for a pamphlet 
published at the time of the unveiling of Goldoni's statue in 
Venice. He acquiesced without hesitation, and the very next 
day the sonnet was ready for print. It was written very rapidly ; 
probably it was thought out carefully before he put pen to paper, 
as I observed there were but two or three trifling alterations in the 
original copy. He seemed pleased that the committee should 
have asked him to write, and pleased to accede to the wish. The 
subject appealed to his taste, and he seemed most happy to show 
his sympathy with Venice and Venetians. 

The saying that ' no man is a hero to his valet de chambre ' 
was disproved in the case of Kobert Browning. He was so 
gracious and yet so dignified with servants that he was as 
profoundly revered by them as he was beloved. An exact account 
of his gentle geniality in this regard might read like exaggera- 
tion. He appeared to dread giving his inferiors trouble ; it was 
as though he would fain spare them the sense of servitude, which 
his own independent spirit caused him to imagine a painful 
burden. It seemed as if he were ever striving to place a cushion 
under a galling yoke, and in vain one sought to convince him 
that service rendered to such as he could only be a source of 
pride and pleasure to the server. He would always resist the 
hand of a friend or menial that tried to assist him, even in so 
small a matter as the adjustment or removal of his great-coat or 
his hat. 

' Nothing that I can do for myself should be done for me,' 
he would say, and brave was the servant who dared hold an 
umbrella over his head as he stepped into or out of the gondola. 
' What do you take me for,' he would exclaim ' an infant or 
a man ? ' 

In Venice his memory will live in many a humble heart until 
its pulse has ceased to beat. ' There'll never be another like 



BROWNING IN VENICE. 155 

him,' is still the common saying whenever his name is mentioned 
to those who served him. 

In his immense humanity he refused to make distinctions of 
manner among those of his own class of life who approached him, 
always excepting the rare cases where base qualities had been 
proved beyond a doubt to his min4. The thing he most abhorred 
was untruthfulness ; even insincerity in its most conventional 
form was detestable to an upright mind which loved and sought 
for truth in all its phases. His first impulse was to think well of 
people, to like them, to respect them ; they were human souls, 
and therefore to him of the greatest earthly interest. He con- 
versed affably with all. Lover of beauty as he was, he would talk 
as pleasantly with dull old ladies as with young and pretty ones. 
He made himself delightful at a dinner-party; whether the 
guests chanced to be of mediocre intelligence or of superior brains, 
his fund of sparkling anecdote for all was never exhausted. In 
this, as in many other ways, one learned from him the lesson of 
self-forgetfulness. He never asked, ' Do these people amuse me ? 
Do I find them agreeable ? ' His only thought was, ' Let me try 
to make their time pass pleasantly.' 

He wrote a few words some years ago in .the album of Lia, a 
daughter of Princess Melanie Metternich, a lovely little creature, 
just ten years of age, who died some months later of scarlet fever. 
Among her books the mother found one containing original 
verses, some most pathetic lines, bidding her brother farewell, and 
prophetic of her approaching death. The child had never shown 
them to anyone, not even to her governess. I copied and sent 
them to Mr. Browning, and he thus wrote in answer : 

' I want to say how much touched I was by those dear 
innocencies of the poor sweet child a week before the end. The 
mother's discovery of that book, those unsuspected yearnings in 
verse, one cannot venture to try and realise that. I like to 
think that when the kind little creature asked me so prettily to 
write my name in her birthday book there went some sort of true 
sympathy (in the asking) with a person she had heard was a 
" poet," not merely a stranger with a name other people told her 
they had heard of. Perhaps she was meaning to be herself a 
"poet." Well, she is passed into poetry, for all who knew her 
even so slightly as I.' 

Some years ago an overflow of rivers, and consequent inunda- 
tion of a part of the Venetian territory, interrupted for a time all 



156 BROWNING IN VENICE. 

communication between Venice and northern Italy. In a letter 
written at this fateful time, soon after his return to London, he 
said: 

' As for the failure to get to Venice, we, my sister and I, have 
only regretted it once, that is, uninterruptedly ever since. You 
must know that, beside the adverse floods and bridge-breakings, 
I was, for the first time in my life, literally lamed by what I 
took for an attack of rheumatism, which I caught just before 
leaving St. Pierre de Chartreuse, through my stupid inadvertence 
in sitting with a window open at my back reading the Iliad, all 
my excuse ! while clad in a thin summer suit, and snow on the 
hills and bitterness everywhere ; . . . but this was no such slight 
matter at Bologna, and I fancied I might be absolutely crippled 
at Venice if I even managed to overcome all obstacles and get 
there. Of course now that what is done is done, I am tantalised 
with fancies of what might have been done otherwise. But, if I 
live and do well, be sure that I will go as early to Venice next 
year, and stay as late, as circumstances will allow.' 

A gifted friend of mine, who met Mr. Browning in my house, 
thus writes of him : 

' It was evident to me that he always strove to excuse the 
faults of others and overlook their weaknesses, gathering all, with 
his large charity, into the great brotherhood of humanity. But 
his indignation at anything low, base, or untrue was like a flash of 
fire. His whole face would change and glow as he denounced 
those who used their talents to corrupt the world, as he thought 
some of the modern French novelists do. No word was too scathing, 
no scorn too intense, for that great sin consciously committed.' 

In this connection I recollect that a certain lady, whom he had 
known slightly years ago in Rome, met him one day in the street 
and greeted him with, ' Oh, Mr. Browning, you are the very 
person I wished to see ! ' This was somewhat embarrassing, as he 
did not recognise his former acquaintance in the least ; so she 
hurriedly explained to him who she once had been the wife of 
an English banker in Rome and who she then was the wife of 
an Italian councillor of prefecture. 

' And what, pray, can I do for you ? ' asked Mr. Browning. 

' I have written a poem,' was her answer, ' and I want you to 
read it and tell me what you think of it ; ' so there and then she 
brought forth a manuscript from her pocket, and was about to 
read it aloud in the street when he stopped her, saying : 



BROWNING IN VENICE, 157 

' Not here, not here ! Had we not better go into a shop ? ' 

So, as they chanced to be near the library on the Piazza, they 
stepped into a book-shop, and the title and dedication of the poem 
were read. It was addressed to a French novelist, whom the 
author called ' the Jenner of literature.' Mr. Browning was dis- 
pleased, but, as he said, he managed to conceal his real sentiments, 
only saying : 

' I think I should be an unfair critic on such a subject. I 
would rather not hear the poem.' 

Surprised, the lady asked his reason. ' Do you not think,' she 
inquired, ' that the portrayal of the evil existing in the world has 
the effect of making people fear and avoid it ? ' 

' Not in the very least,' he explained ; ' the exact contrary is 
the case. It tends to make people who sin occasionally consider 
themselves admirably virtuous as compared with those who 
commit sins every day and hour.' So saying, he took leave of the 
poetess. 

One of his great pleasures was to walk with my daughter 
through the little Venetian calli. He liked to find himself 
suddenly in one so narrow as to force him to close his umbrella, 
whether in sun or rain. 

' Edith is the best cicerone in the world,' he said ; ' she knows 
everything and teaches me all she knows. There never was such 
a guide.' 

In past years he had known little of the tortuous inner streets 
of Venice, so all was new to him. He sometimes fancied that he 
and his young companion had discovered a hitherto unknown bit 
of stone carving or bas-relief. I remember hearing him give a 
description of the tablet which . marks the visit of Pope Alexander 
to Venice, which the two explorers had found in a dim, out-of- 
the-way corner, and he seemed so pleased that I dared not 
disappoint him by saying that its existence is mentioned in 
various guide-books. One of his favourite walks was to SS. 
Giovanni e Paolo to see the Colleoni, which he considered the 
finest equestrian statue in the world. He remarked that the 
artist was well named Verocchio, or ' true eye,' and related to us 
one day, in his own inimitable terse manner, the story of the 
checkered life of the great condottiere, and why his statue had 
been erected in Venice. He never passed a day without taking one 
or more long walks ; indeed, his panacea for most ills was exercise, 
and the exercise he chiefly advocated was walking. He wrote : 



158 BROWNING IN VENICE. 

' I get as nearly angry as it is in me to become with people I 
love when they trifle with their health, that is, with their life, 
like children playing with jewels over a bridge-side, jewels which, 
once in the water, how can we, the poor lookers-on, hope to 
recover ? You don't know how absolutely well I am after my 
walking, not on the mountains merely, but on the beloved Lido. 
Gro there, if only to stand and be blown about by the sea-wind.' 

His long walks on the Lido were among his greatest pleasures. 
At one time he went there daily with his congenial friends Mr. 
and Mrs. Sargent Curtis. He would return full of colour and 
health, talk of the light and life and fresh air with enthusiasm, 
combined with a sort of pity for those who had remained at home. 
' It is like coming into a room from the outer air,' he said, ' to 
re-enter Venice after walking on the sea-shore.' 

When storms kept him by force in the house all day, he never 
complained ; but one could see that it troubled him to find 
himself a prisoner. He would stand at the window and watch the 
sea-gulls as they sailed to and fro, their presence a sure sign of 
heavy storms in the Adriatic. He remarked upon their strength 
of wing and grace of flight, as they swept down to the wreaths 
and long lines of dark-green seaweed floating on the surface of 
the canal between the house and the Church of the Salute. One 
day he observed : ' I do not know why I never see in descriptions 
of Venice any mention of the sea-gulls ; to me they are even more 
interesting than the doves of St. Mark.' 

Indeed, the white-winged creatures so charmed him that I 
often thought the world would see a poem from his pen to 
immortalise the birds. He admired the Salute, the sometimes 
adversely criticised Church of Our Lady of Health. 

' Is it possible,' he said, ' that wise men disapprove of those 
quaint buttresses ? To me they rise out of the sea like gigantic 
shells ; but then I am not an architect, and only know what is 
beautiful to my own eyes.' 

' One of his most charming traits was the readiness with which 
he always acquiesced when asked to read aloud his own poems. 
He accepted no thanks, saying in a genial manner : ' It is very 
kind of you to wish to hear them ; when shall it be ? ' 

He liked especially to read for his friends the Curtises at the 
Palazzo Barbaro, where he felt at home, feeling certain that hosts 
and guests were sympathetic. The day and hour fixed, he allowed 
nothing to interfere with his intention. The sense of honour 



BROWNING IN VENICE. 159 

which showed itself in the smallest matters made it impossible for 
him to frame even a conventional excuse when his absence might 
disappoint others. Rather than b^sak a promise he would brave 
a storm, or force himself to keep his word even when he justly 
complained that his throat was not quite as it should be. That 
word, once given, must be held to, despite all obstacles. Let me 
quote again from my friend's letter : 

' His reading of his own poems was a never-to-be-forgotten 
delight simple, direct, and virile as was the nature of the man. 
The graver portions he read in a quiet, almost introspective way, 
as if he were thinking it all out again. I remember once that in 
finishing the grand profession of faith at the end of " Saul " his 
voice failed him a very little, and when it was ended he turned 
his back to us, who were gathered about him in reverent silence, 
and laying the book quietly on the table, stood so for a moment. 
. . . He seemed as full of dramatic interest in reading " In a 
Balcony " as if he had just written it for our benefit. One who 
sat near him said that it was a natural sequence that the step of 
the guard should be heard coming to take Norbert to his doom, 
as, with a nature like the queen's, who had known only one hour 
of joy in her sterile life, vengeance swift and terrible would follow 
on the sudden destruction of her happiness. 

' " Now, I don't quite think that," answered Browning, as if 
he were following out the play as a spectator. ' The queen had 
a large and passionate temperament, which had only once been 
touched and brought into intense life. She would have died, as 
by a knife in her heart. The guard would have come to carry 
away her dead body." 

' " But I imagine that most people interpret it as I do," was 
the reply. % 

' " Then," said Browning, with quick interest, " don't you 
think it would be well to put it in the stage directions, and have 
it seen that they were carrying her across the back of the stage ? " 

' Whether this was ever done I do not know ; but it was 
wonderful to me, as showing the personal interest he took in his 
own creations.' 

He had a fund of simple playfulness which often comes with 
genius. One evening, after dinner at the Casa Alvisi, he was 
talking on the subject of certain music with the lady whose letter 
I have quoted, when he said suddenly : 

' Come, I will play to you on the spinet in the anteroom.' 



160 BROWNING IN VENICE. 

So they went together, and found the place but partly lighted 
by one dim lamp. The spinet had no chair, so he knelt on the 
carpet before it, the light falling on his bent head, its snow-white 
hair, and on his small, eloquent hands. He played a little fugue 
of Bach, and finding that one or two of the ancient keys refused 
to do their work, for the spinet was a curiosity, and not meant 
for use, he said : 

' Raise the wooden bar over the hammers ; let us see if it will 
do better.' 

The lady obeyed, and all going well, he was threading some 
of the intricacies of the great maestro, when she, thinking still to 
improve the tone, lifted the bar higher, then all at once the little 
hammers, tipped with bits of crow-quill, freed from captivity, 
leaped into the air and fell lifeless on the strings. Then all was 
lost, and in the midst of suppressed laughter he said : 

' Now you have ruined the instrument ! Let us cover it 
quickly and go back.' 

So they covered over the destruction, and, like naughty 
children, lifted the portiere and went back demurely to the 
drawing-room, making no confession of the crime. He would 
refer to this escapade with boyish amusement. 

He was on friendly terms with one of the foreign residents in 
Venice, an old Russian prince, a man of intelligence and varied 
experience. Born in Rome in the beginning of the nineteenth 
century and educated in Russia, he afterwards represented his 
country at the courts of Athens, Constantinople, and Turin. At 
the latter place he was the friend of Cavour and of good service in 
maintaining friendly diplomatic relations between St. Petersburg 
and newly formed United Italy. Between him and Browning, 
therefore, numerous subjects of common interest existed, and their 
long conversations were enjoyed equally on both sides. 

' I like Gagarin, with his crusty old port flavour,' the poet says 
in one of his letters. 

On one never-to-be-forgotten evening the subject of music 
took the place of old-time politics. To the great surprise of the 
prince, the poet recalled to his memory, and sang in a low, sweet 
voice, a number of folk-songs and national airs he had caught by 
ear during his short stay in Russia, more than fifty years before. 
First one would sing and then the other ; if one hesitated for a 
note or phrase, the other could generally supply the deficiency, 
and with great spirit and mutual delight they continued the 



BROWNING IN VENICE. 161 

* 

curious tournament for quite an hour. It was evident that the 
old music took them both back to the days of their youth. The 
Kussian expressed himself amazed at the poet's musical memory. 
' It is better than my own, on which I have hitherto piqued 
myself not a little,' he said at the time, and he often referred to 
the experience of that evening as the most remarkable proof of 
memory he ever met with. 

Browning never failed to read the London daily papers, but 
seldom found time to look at those published in Venice. When 
he did take up one of the latter he would smile and say : 

' Now listen to the iniquities committed in this wicked city 
yesterday ! ' 

Then he would read aloud the police reports, which never 
recorded anything more serious than a petty theft of oars or 
forcole, cavalli di gondola, or, at the worst, some household linen 
by a bold thief abstracted from its drying place to the value 
of five francs. Comparison of these delinquencies with those 
of similar columns in other lands was really a source of delight to 
the poet. 

' How pleasant it is to be in the midst of so guileless a com- 
munity ! ' he would say, with a genial laugh. On reading the 
necrologies, which often recorded the demise of someone ' morto 
nella ancora fresca eta di sessanta-cinque anni ' (dead at the still 
youthful age of sixty-five), They consider sixty-five an early 
death apparently,' he said, with a smile. 

A modern book was brought to his notice during his last 
sojourn (but one) in Venice. It is Tassini's ' CuriositaVeneziane,' 
which gives a history in brief of the old palaces, together with 
their divers le~gends ; also the origin of the names of the streets 
and bridges. He was interested in this, and even mentions the 
book in a letter written after his return to London : ' Tassini 
tempts me to dip into him whenever I pass the book-case.' 

He was impressed by a story in this volume, which he after- 
wards told in verse. It is published in ' Asolando,' and is entitled 
' Ponte dell' Angelo.' Not content with Tassini's version of the 
legend, the poet looked it up in the ' Annals of the Cappucini,' by 
Father Boverio. He said nothing of this to anyone until a certain 
day, when, to the question, ' Where would you like to go ? ' he 
answered promptly : 

' To see the house of the Devil and the Advocate.' 

We rowed quickly to the place where three waterways meet, 

VOL. XII. NO. 68, N.S. 11 



162 BROWNING IN VENICE. 

and where the Ponte dell' Angelo spans one of the narrow canals. 
Opposite stands the old Soranzo palace, with an angel carved in 
stone on the facade. 

' Stop,' he said to the gondolier, ' broad-backed Luigi,' as he 
always called him. ' Do you know the story of that angel ? ' 

'Si, signore.' 

< Then relate it.' 

The boatman at once proceeded to repeat most volubly in the 
Venetian dialect the tale, familiar to him from childhood. 

' Do you think it is true, Luigi ? ' said the poet. 

' Yes, sir, it is really true ; it has been printed.' The man's 
faith in the veracity of print amused the poet immensely. 

He was much pleased on one occasion when Professor Nencioni 
came from Home expressly to see him. Nencioni is perhaps the 
only Italian who has thoroughly mastered the difficulties of 
Browning's poetry, certainly the only one who has translated and 
written essays upon it, and one need hardly say that he is an en- 
thusiastic admirer. Browning was already aware of this through 
a series of articles in the ' Fanfulla della Domenica,' published at 
Kome. Italian recognition of his work was especially gratifying 
to him for various reasons, and he welcomed this distinguished 
exponent of it with genuine gratitude and pleasure. ' I subscribed 
to the paper at once,' he said, with his usual frank geniality, ' after 
reading your first kind notice of me.' 

Together with his clever young friend and ' fellow-pilgrim ' 
Carlo Placci, the professor dined with the poet at Casa Alvisi. 
Everyone was in the best of spirits, but to recall such conversa- 
tion is beyond my power. I only remember that in the evening 
Nencioni, speaking to me in an aside, said : ' I have studied 
Browning since my early youth, when first I saw him in Siena. 
I consider that his work has qualities not to be found even in 
Shakespeare ; in fact, in some respects I regard him as the 
superior of the two.' 

After the Professor had gone I said to the poet, ' Do you know 
what your admirer says of you ? ' 

'No; what?' 

So I made myself a base tattler and repeated his words. The 
poet frowned and shook his head impatiently. 

'No, no, no; I won't hear that. No one in the world will 
ever approach Shakespeare never ! ' 

So I repented my boldness, but fancied, nevertheless, he must 



BROWNING IN VENICE. 163 

have been somewhat pleased by what, in his modesty, he found 
an exaggerated expression of admiration. Indeed, this was but 
one of many instances which went to prove that, although he had 
a sincere consciousness of his own merit as a poet, he placed 
others far above himself. Nothing annoyed him more than com- 
parisons so often made between himself and Tennyson, for whom 
he had a heartfelt appreciation. The slightest word of dispraise 
or faint praise of his friend and brother poet roused him to 
positive anger. His admirers frequently displeased him in this 
way, thinking to flatter him by some such expression of opinion, 
and his sharp quick answer always punished their want of tact and 
discrimination. 

In one of his later letters he says : 

' Did you get a little book by Michael Field, " Long Ago," a 
number of poems written to innestare what fragmentary lines and 
words we have left of Sappho's poetry ? . . . The author is a 
great genius, a friend we know. Do you like it ? ' 

In speaking afterwards to me on the subject of this work, his 
praise was enthusiastic, and he added to his expressions of 
admiration for the author's genius his sorrow for the trouble and 
anxiety she had been lately called upon to bear. 

In Venice, as elsewhere, Browning rose early, and after a light 
breakfast went with his sister to the Public Gardens. They never 
failed to carry with them a store of cakes and fruits for the 
prisoned elephant, whose lonely fate was often pityingly alluded 
to by the poet, in whom a love of animals amounted to a passion. 
A large baboon, confined in what had once been a greenhouse, 
was also an object of special interest to him. This beast 
fortunately excited no commiseration, being healthy and content, 
and taking equal pleasure with the givers in his daily present of 
dainty food. After saying ' Good morning ' and ' Good appetite ' 
to these animals, he gave a passing salutation to a pair of beauti- 
ful gazelles, presented to the gardens by one of his friends ; then 
a word of greeting to two merry marmosets, the gift of another 
friend ; then a glance at the pelicans, the ostriches, and the 
quaint kangaroos ; he had a word and a look for each, seeming to 
study them and almost to guess their thoughts. After this he 
made the tour of the gardens, three times round the inclosure 
with great exactness, and then returned to his temporary home in 
the Palazzo Giustiniani-Recanati. 

On a certain day he met one of the servants, whose joy it was 

112 



164 BROWNING IN VENICE. 

to wait upon him, carrying a rather heavy basket of grapes and 
other fruits on her arm. 

' Oh. Griuseppina,' he cried, ' let me help you ! ' and seized the 
basket suddenly from her hand. 

The woman, overwhelmed by such condescension, protested, 
' Troppo onore, signore.' 

' Nonsense ! ' said the poet. ' You are always helping me ; 
won't you allow me for once to help you ? ' 

Still the woman resisted, saying, ' It is not for such as you, 
signore ! ' 

This was more than he could bear. 

' We are all made of the same clay, Griuseppina ' ; and gaining 
his point for who could withstand his will ? he held one handle 
of the basket until they reached the palace door. 

This same worthy woman is fond of relating a story of her 
master which illustrates another side of his character. He had 
paid her weekly account, and there remained one centesimo as 
change. The woman showed the little coin, saying shyly, ' I 
cannot offer this trifle to the signore.' 

' Yes, my good Griuseppina,' he said, taking it from her hand ; 
' it is one thing to be just and another to be generous ; you do 
right to return it to me.' 

' And not long after this,' continues the woman, ' he made me 
such a grand present ! ' 

The Griustiniani-Kecanati palace was in some respects worthy 
of a poet's sojourn. It is one of the oldest in Venice, built in the 
fifteenth century, and has a fine facade, with Gothic windows 
looking out upon a court and garden, and a southern exposure. 
It belongs to a lineal descendant of one of the most ancient and 
historically interesting families in Italy, the one in which the 
well-known circumstance of the marriage of a monk, by order of 
the Pope, occurred many centuries ago. The aroma of antiquity 
and we may add sanctity, since many members of the family 
lived and died in the odour thereof was a source of pleasure to the 
poet. He said once, ' I am glad to have written some of my 
verses in the house of the Griustiniani,' for his soul rejoiced in the 
heroic deeds and romantic records of bygone days. 

It was curious to see that, on each one of his arrivals in Venice, 
he took up his life precisely as he had left it. On Sunday morning 
he always went with his sister to the same Waldensian chapel, in 
which they seemed to take great interest, especially enjoying the 



BROWNING IN VENICE. 165 

preaching of a certain eloquent pastor, whose name, I regret to 
say, I have forgotten. On the return from the brisk morning 
walk he read his newspapers and letters, answering each day a 
few among the many received from friends and admirers. He was 
amused, but never impatient, with the innumerable requests for 
autographs, some of which were written in illiterate and inelegant 
handwriting, many of them from the Western States and far 
California. When his instinct told him these were genuinely 
asked for, and not from the idly curious, he would answer them, 
unless, indeed, the number of important private letters took up 
too much of his precious time. When people asked him viva 
voce for an autograph, he looked puzzled, and said : 

' I don't like to write always the same verse, yet I can remem- 
ber only one.' 

Of course the person addressed replied : ' I am grateful for 
anything whatever that comes to your mind.' Then he would take 
up his pen at once and write : 

All that I know of a certain star, etc. 

Sometimes, when in a merry mood, he wrote .this verse in so fine 
a handwriting that only such extraordinary eyesight as his own 
could decipher it, and on one occasion, in the same microscopic 
calligraphy, he wrote Mrs. Barbauld's lines, 

Life ! we've been long together, &c. 

saying, after he had read it aloud, ' If she had never written aught 
but that one verse she would deserve to be for ever remembered.' 

I recollect an amusing incident a propos of autographs. A 
Venetian banker had asked, through me, an autograph for his 
daughter's album. Browning said, ' I really cannot write always 
the same thing ; ' then, after a pause, he exclaimed, ' Ah, now I 
have it,' and, seating himself at a table, he quickly wrote a verse 
which I had often heard him quote and laugh at, about pence and 
pounds, a variety of the well-known proverb. Edith said timidly : 

' But will they not find that rather personal ? ' 

The poet thought a moment, and, laughing heartily, said, ' I 
believe you are right, my dear ; here, keep this for yourself, and 
I will write something else for the banker's daughter.' 

He could not possibly have managed to keep pace with his 
large correspondence but for the aid of his sister, his guardian 
angel, who helped him in this as in many other ways not obtru- 
sively, for she knew his strong spirit of independence, but with 



166 BROWNING IN VENICE. 

the fine tact that can be inspired by intense affection only, com- 
bined with a high order of intelligence. The most perfect under- 
standing existed between the two, and the devotion of the sister 
to the supremely endowed brother was appreciated and admired 
by all who were privileged to observe it. At midday these two 
dear friends took their second breakfast together, ordering by 
preference Italian dishes, such as risotto, macaroni, and all fruits 
in their reason, especially grapes and figs. They enjoyed their 
novel menus and tete-a-tete repasts, talking and laughing the 
while, and approving especially of the cook's manner of treating 
ortolans, of which ' mouthfuls for cardinals ' the poet writes so 
amusingly in the prologue to ' Ferishtah's Fancies.' About three 
o'clock they went out in a gondola. To the question, 'Where 
shall we go ? ' the answer was : 

' Anywhere. All is beautiful, but let it be toward the Lido.' 
They seldom wished to make formal visits, though they were 
scrupulously exact in returning those which, as he always said, 
people were ' kind enough to make him.' 

Sometimes, though rarely, they wandered through the antiquity 
shops. The poet had a keen flair for good bric-a-brac, and had 
an especial liking for tapestry and old carved furniture. He 
seldom sought for them, but his eye seized quickly upon an object 
of interest or value. He never hesitated or changed his mind ; 
his intuition was always correct. A purchase once made, he was 
as thoroughly delighted as if the particular object were the first 
bibelot he had ever had the good luck to acquire. Like a child 
with a new toy, he would carry it himself (size and weight per- 
mitting) into the gondola, rejoice over his chance in finding it, 
and descant eloquently upon its intrinsic merits. In this, as in 
every other phase of his character, he was entirely unspoiled. 
Then he would explain minutely where the object should be placed 
in the London house, and add significantly, ' I never buy anything 
without knowing exactly what I wish to do with it,' which was 
quite true, as his mind was unfailingly clear from great things to 
trifles. ' You might take this lesson from me, if none other,' he 
said to me playfully ; for he disapproved of the habit of buying 
useless things in a vague manner only because they were old and 
pretty. 

He never expressed a wish to ' see sights ' in the tourist manner, 
but would occasionally visit such churches as SS. Giovanni e 
Paolo or the Fran, and study the monuments with close attention. 



BROWNING IN VENICE. 167 

These seemed to interest him more than old pictures, and he 
examined carefully, on one occasion, the marble carvings within 
and without of the Miracoli, which he called a ' jewel of a church.' 
The ancient palaces with their strangely varied facades were always 
interesting and suggestive to him ; we see how suggestive in that 
wonderful short poem called ' In a Gondola,' in which he pictures 
Venice, it seems to me, as no one else in prose or verse has ever 
depicted the sea-city. 

About five o'clock, when we returned to the Alvisi for tea, the 
poet would sometimes say, ' Excuse me for to-day,' and retire to 
his own apartments in the Gfiustiniani. He never gave nor was 
asked his reason for doing so ; it was enough that he wished it. 
At other times he would join us at the tea-table and talk with 
equal facility in English, French, or Italian with visitors who 
chanced to be present. Occasionally, to our great delight, he 
would say, ' Edith dear, you may give me a cup of tea to-day ; ' 
but, as a rule, he abstained from what he considered a somewhat 
unhygienic beverage if taken before dinner. When it so pleased 
them the brother and sister went together to their own rooms, and 
punctually at half-past seven returned to dine at Casa Alvisi. 
The poet, unlike many men of letters, was always scrupulously 
careful in his dress, especially in his dinner-hour toilet. His 
sister wore beautiful gowns of rich and sombre tints, and appeared 
each day in a different and most dainty French cap and quaint 
antique jewels. They were both so genial and content that, puzzle 
the brain as one might, it was impossible to know whether the 
quiet family dinner or the presence of guests was the more agree- 
able to them. In face of the doubt we decided on the latter ; it 
seemed selfish to do otherwise, and we were rarely without common 
friends to share the pleasure of the poet's conversation. If the 
direct question were asked on this subject, the invariable answer 
was, ' Do as you please ; you know we are always perfectly happy.' 

Browning's strong dramatic instinct made him take intense 
pleasure in plays, whether written or acted. Though he was 
rarely seen at the theatre in London, he greatly enjoyed a ' short 
season' at the Goldoni, where he went every night to see G-allina's 
clever Venetian comedies. He had two boxes thrown into one, and, 
seated in an armchair quite at his ease, he followed each play with 
the deepest interest, never taking his eyes off the stage until the 
fall of the curtain. Gallina was invited during an entr'acte to 
come into the box to be presented to the poet and hear from his 



168 BROWNING IN VENICE. 

own lips an expression of genuine admiration for his work. The 
Italian was pleased and flattered, as may be easily imagined, for 
Browning's art of praise was as distinguishing a characteristic as 
was his art of dedication, which caused someone to style him 
the ' Prince of Dedicators.' It was a combination of judgment 
and enthusiasm, so turned that each word should have its due 
' specific gravity,' and of which there should be neither too many 
nor too few. 

Each night after the play Gallina waited at the door of the 
theatre to see the poet pass, and the latter invariably turned a few 
steps out of his way to exchange a hearty hand-shake with his 
' brother dramatist,' as he liked to call him. Browning's large 
and genial nature made him always wish to express his thanks, 
either for favours received, the occasion for which happened rarely 
in his independent mode of life, or for pleasures procured him by 
anyone ; author or actor, whoever it might be, he always longed 
to say the words, ' I thank you.' The following extract from one 
of his letters, written at Primiero, is an illustration of this : 

' The little train from Montebelluna to Feltre was crowded ; 
we could find no room except in a smoking-carriage, wherein I 
observed a good-natured elderly gentleman an Italian, I took 
for granted. Presently he said, " Can I offer you an English 
paper ? " 

' " What, are you English ? " 

' " Oh, yes, and I know that you are going to see your son 
at Primiero." 

' " Why, who can you be ? " 

' " One who has seen you often." 

' " Not surely Mr. Malcolm ? " 

' " Well, nobody else." 

' So ensued an affectionate greeting, he having been the 
guardian angel of Pen in all his chafferings about the purchase of 
the palazzo. He gave me abundance of information, and satisfied 
me on many points.' 

The time of year which Browning always gave to his sojourns 
in Venice was one which all the great Venetian families pass 
in their country homes, so that compai-atively few among them 
had the pleasure of the illustrious stranger's acquaintance. 
Among these few the Countess Marcel lo was a favourite of his, 
and he accepted, for himself and his sister, her invitation to pass 
a day at her villa at Mogliano. The day was bright and beautiful, 



BROWNING IN VENICE. 169 

and he seemed to enjoy the short hour's journey by rail, and 
to admire the smiling country about him. The countess, with 
several of her children, met us at the little station, and we were 
quickly whirled away, the younger people with their ponies, the 
elders in a comfortable landau, through the country road and 
pretty park to a villa of simple yet imposing architecture. On 
one side of the house is a sun-dial with the familiar motto (in 
Latin), ' I count only the hours of sunshine,' and the lawns near 
the house bear English mottoes in flowers and coloured plants, 
together with the device of the countess, a trefoil joined by 
letters to form her name, Andriana. After luncheon we all 
repaired to the tennis-ground, past the deer-houses and through 
a stately avenue of ancient beech-trees whose great branches met 
and interlaced far above our heads, making a gigantic arbour. 
The young people gave up their usual games and seated them- 
selves on rustic benches, listening attentively to every word from 
the poet's lips. A Venetian sculptor, who chanced to be one of 
the guests, hid himself behind a group of trees, and, peeping 
through their trunks from his coign of vantage, drew in his album 
a fairly good portrait of Browning. The countess, who was 
Queen Margherita's favourite lady of honour, showed the poet a 
specimen of the handwriting of her royal mistress, which he 
greatly admired, as being at once forcible and graceful. 

Before the hour of departure, the daughter of the house, 
a young and very lovely creature, asked the favour that Mr. 
Browning should write in her album. 

' With the greatest pleasure,' he said, ' but I am ashamed to 
say I remember only one verse.' 

Everyone smiled at this, and the poet, as usual, wrote 'My 
star.' When the contessina looked at it. she exclaimed : ' This 
is one of my favourites. See, I have copied it in my book of 
verses' ; and turning over the pages, she showed the poem, neatly 
written out by her own hand, among many others by the same 
author. Browning was surprised to find his writings understood 
and admired by this fair young foreigner, and complimented her 
on her proficiency in so difficult a language, adding, with a smile : 
' Even English girls do not find my poems easy to read, you 
know.' Then he said : ' Let us compare the verses, the one you 
have copied and the one I have written ; I am sure we shall find 
some mistake.' 

There were indeed a few errors, and as he corrected them 



170 BROWNING IN VENICE. 

he said : ' See what a service you have rendered me. I should 
have left the verse full of faults if you had not been able to 
correct me.' 

The girl flushed with pleasure, which made her beauty still 
more apparent. In speaking afterwards of this most agreeable 
visit, Browning gave a glowing description of the beautiful 
mother and her children. ' It is like an English family,' he said, 
which was the highest praise he could bestow. 

At the railway-station, while we were awaiting the arrival of 
the train, a young Italian litterateur asked to be presented to 
Browning. The countess introduced him as 'one who has 
already distinguished himself in the world of letters,' which was 
of course a passport to the poet's interest. They talked together 
until forced to part by the shrill whistle of warning, and then 
came cordial farewells to all who had accompanied us to the 
station. 

' He seems a youth of promise,' said Browning, as we sped 
Venice-ward ; ' I liked him. I hope he will do well and that I 
shall hear of him again.' 

Unluckily, when next his name was mentioned, it was in 
connection with a series of lectures announced in the papers as 
' twelve lectures on Zola,' which, as may be supposed, the poet 
expressed no desire to attend. 

All who strove to attain success in art or literature interested 
him. Each one struck, with more or less force, his most responsive 
chord. He was pleased, on the occasion of one of his readings 
at the Palazzo Barbaro, to meet the novelist Castelnuovo, and 
mentioned an incident which had long before made the writer's 
name familiar to his ear. He related how, on his second visit to 
Asolo, whither he had taken his sister to bear witness to the 
wisdom of his early admiration for the place, they found them- 
selves without a book of any sort, an unusual position for book- 
lovers such as they. The poet went out in search of something 
or anything readable in the little town, where book-shops are 
even now unknown. He found one volume only, in a paper-shop 
I think it was, containing a series of short stories by Castelnuovo, 
entitled ' Alia Finestra.' The brother and sister were both 
delighted with the book, and ever after procured for themselves 
each work by the same author as soon as it was given to the 
public. 

Browning's memory is still green in Asolo, where many of the 



BROWNING IN VENICE. 171 

citizens remember him well, where his son owns not only Pippa's 
Tower, erected after his father's death, but other houses with fine 
outlooks over the Venetian plain. The small museum in the 
town hall has his bust in plaster by a local artist, and other 
relics of the poet who so doted on Asolo. These rambling 
reminiscences of hours spent with him in Asolo and Venice may 
have the good fortune to bring him in spirit nearer to his admirers, 
for I have striven to give an exact report of the man and his cha- 
racter as they appeared to me during an unbroken friendship of 
many years. 



172 



THE CONSOLATION OF MEDIOCRITY. 



THOSE persons happiest I deem 

Who learn the valuable lesson 
How better is than each extreme 

What Aristotle calls the Meson : 

Who sit secure upon a fence, 

Nor are by passing crazes bitten, 
But with judicial sentiments 

Review the feuds of Boer and Briton, 

Nor prophesy an instant storm 

Though Germans growl and Frenchmen vapour, 
Nor straightway don their uniform 

Whene'er they read a foreign paper : 

Who hope not much the truth to find 

In statements of demented dailies, 
But with a philosophic mind 

Accept them all cum grano salis: 

Who know the worth of party names, 
Nor much revere those titles hoary, 

When Tories strive for Liberal aims 
And Liberal apes the ways of Tory : 



n. 

Who, when some bard of new renown 
Provides a theme that critics rave on, 

And Eobinson asserts that Brown 
Is equal to the Swan of Avon, 



THE CONSOLATION OF MEDIOCRITY. 

Their mental equilibrium 

By judgment rational controlling 

Amid the loud diurnal hum 
Of logs reciprocally rolling, 

Calmly such ecstasies survey, 

Nor blame the age with useless sorrow : 
Because they know the boom to-day 

Is followed by a slump to-morrow. 



ill. 

This is the reasonable man 

Who cultivates content and patience, 
And does not spend his vital span 

In looking out for new sensations : 

Who covets not with effort vain 

The mind of Mill, the strength of Sandow, 
But sees his limitations plain, 

And what he can't, and what he can do : 

Nor murmurs much nor makes a fuss 
About the marks which fates assign us 

(Though Delta mayn't be Alpha Plus 
'Tis better far than Lambda Minus), 

And when of life's supreme rewards 
He sees that he can ne'er be winner, 

Yet with a solid joy regards 

The daily prospect of his dinner. 



IV. 

Such are the good and truly great, 

And attributes like these will show them : 

But hitherto, I grieve to state, 

I've not been privileged to know them. 

A. D. GrODLEY. 



174 

THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 1 
BY ANTHONY HOPE. 

CHAPTER IV. 

FROM THE MIDST OF THE WHIRL. 

' REALLY I must congratulate you on your latest, Sarah,' remarked 
Lady Blixworth, who was taking tea with Mrs. Bonfill. ' Trix 
Trevalla is carrying everything before her. The Grlentorlys have 
had her to meet Lord Farringham, and he was delighted. The 
men adore her, and they do say women like her. All done in six 
weeks ! You're a genius ! ' 

Mrs. Bonfill made a deprecatory gesture of a Non nobis order. 
'Her friend insisted amiably : 

' Oh, yes, you are. You choose so well. You never make a 
mistake. Now do tell me what's going to happen. Does Mortimer 
Mervyn mean it ? Of course she wouldn't hesitate.' 

Mrs. Bonfill looked at her volatile friend with a good-humoured 
distrust. 

' When you congratulate me, Viola,' she said, ' I generally 
expect to hear that something has gone wrong.' 

' Oh, you believe what you're told about me,' the accused lady 
murmured plaintively. 

' It's experience,' persisted Mrs. Bonfill. ' Have you anything 
that you think I sha'n't like to tell me about Trix Trevalla ? ' 

' I don't suppose you'll dislike it, but I should. Need she 
drive in the park with Mrs. Fricker ? ' Her smile contradicted 
the regret of her tone, as she spread her hands out in affected 
surprise and appeal. 

' Mrs. Fricker's a very decent sort of woman, Viola. You have 
a prejudice against her.' 

'Yes, thank heaven! We all want money nowadays, but for 
my part I'd starve sooner than get it from the Frickers.' 

' Oh, that's what you want me to believe?' 

' Dearest Sarah, no ! That's what I'm afraid her enemies and 
yours will say.' 

1 Copyright, 1902, by A. H. Hawkins, in the United States of America. 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 175 

' I see,' smiled Mrs. Bonfill indulgently. She always acknow- 
ledged that Viola was neat as a siege-gun might admit it of the 
field artillery. 

' Couldn't you give her a hint ? The gossip about Beaufort 

Chance doesn't so much matter, but ' Lady Blixworth looked 

as if she expected to be interrupted, even pausing an instant to 
allow the opportunity. Mrs. Bonfill obliged her. 

' There's gossip about Beaufort, is there ? ' 

' Oh, there is, of course ; that can't be denied ; but it really 
doesn't matter as long as Mortimer doesn't hear about it.' 

' Was there never more than one aspirant at a time when you 
were young ? ' 

' As long as you're content, I am,' Lady Blixworth declared in 
an injured manner. 'It's not my business what Mrs. Tre valla 
does.' 

' Don't be huffy,' was Mrs. Bonfill's maternal advice. ' As far 
as I can see, everything is going splendidly.' 

' It is to be Mortimer ? ' 

' How can I tell, my dear ? If Mortimer Mervyn should ask 
my advice, which really isn't likely, what could I say except 
that Trix is a charming woman, and that I know of nothing 
against it ? ' 

' She must be very well off, by the way she does things.' 
There was an inflection of question in her voice, but no direct 
interrogatory. 

' Doubtless,' gaid Mrs. Bonfill. Often the craftiest suggestions 
failed in face of her broad imperturbability. 

Lady Blixworth smiled at her. Mrs. Bonfill shook her head 
in benign rebuke. The two understood one another, and on the 
whole liked one another very well. 

' All right, Sarah,' said Lady Blixworth, ' but if you want my 
opinion, it is that she's out-running the constable, unless ' 

' Well, go on.' 

'You give me leave? You won't order me out? Well, 

unless Well, as I said, why drive Mrs. Fricker round 

the Park? Why take Connie Fricker to the Quinby-Lees's 
dance ? ' 

' Oh, everybody goes to the Quinby-Lees's. She's never offered 
to bring them here or anywhere that matters.' 

' You know the difference ; perhaps the Frickers don't.' 

' That's downright malicious, Viola. And of course they do j 



176 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

at least they live to find it out. No, you can't put me out of 
conceit with Trix Trevalla.' 

' You're so loyal,' murmured Lady Blixworth in admiration. 
' Really Sarah's as blind as a bat sometimes,' she reflected as she 
got into her carriage. 

A world of people at once inquisitive and clear-sighted would 
render necessary either moral perfection or reckless defiance ; in- 
difference and obtuseness preserve a place for that mediocrity of 
conduct which characterises the majority. Society at large had 
hitherto found small fault with Trix Trevalla, and what it 
said, when passed through Lady Blixworth's resourceful intellect, 
gained greatly both in volume and in point. No doubt she had 
very many gowns, no doubt she spent money, certainly she flirted, 
possibly she was, for so young and pretty a woman, a trifle indis- 
creet. But she gave the impression of being able to take care 
of herself, and her attractions, combined with Mrs. Bonfill's 
unwavering patronage, would have sufficed to excuse more errors 
than she had been found guilty of. It was actually true that, 
while men admired, women liked her. There was hardly a 
discordant voice to break in harshly on her triumph. 

There is no place like the top especially when it is narrow, 
and will not hold many at a time. The natives of it have their 
peculiar joy, those who have painfully climbed theirs. Trix 
Trevalla seemed, to herself at least, very near the top ; if she were 
not quite on it, she could put her head up over the last ledge and 
see it, and feel that with one more hoist she would be able to 
land herself there. It is unnecessary to recite the houses she 
went to, and would be (save for the utter lack of authority such a 
list would have) invidious; it would be tiresome to retail compli- 
ments and conquests. But the smallest choicest gatherings 
began to know her, and houses which were not fashionable but 
something much beyond eternal pillars supporting London 
society welcomed her. This was no success of curiosity, of 
whim, of a season ; it was the establishment of a position for 
life. From the purely social point of view, even a match with 
Mervyn could do little more. So Trix was tempted to declare in 
her pride. 

But the case had other aspects, of course. It was all some- 
thing of a struggle, however victorious ; it may be supposed that 
generally it is. Security is hard to believe in, and there is 
always a craving to make the strong position impregnable. 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 177 

Life alone at twenty-six is lonely. These things were in her 
mind, as they might have been in the thoughts of any woman 
so placed. There was another consideration, more special to her- 
self, which could not be excluded from view : she had begun to 
realise what her manner of life cost. Behold her sitting before 
books and bills that revealed the truth beyond possibility of 
error or of gloss ! Lady Blixworth's instinct had not been at 
fault. Trix's mouth grew rather hard again, and her eyes coldly 
resolute, as she studied these disagreeable documents. 

From such studies she had arisen to go to dinner with Beau- 
fort Chance and to meet the Frickers. She sat next Fricker, and 
talked to him most of the time, while Beaufort was very attentive 
to Mrs. Fricker, and the young man who had been procured for 
Connie Fricker fulfilled his appointed function. Fricker was not 
a bad-looking man, and was better bred and less aggressive than 
his wife or daughter. Trix found him not so disagreeable as she 
had expected ; she encouraged him to talk on his own subjects, 
and began to find him interesting ; by the end of dinner she had 
discovered that he, or at least his conversation, was engrossing. 
The old theme of making money without working for it, by 
gaming or betting, by chance or speculation, by black magic or 
white, is ever attractive to the children of men. Fricker could 
talk very well about it ; he produced the impression that it was 
exceedingly easy to be rich ; it seemed to be anybody's own fault 
if he were poor. Only at the end did he throw in any qualifica- 
tion of this broad position. 

'Of course you must know the ropes, or find somebody who 
does.' 

' There's the rub, Mr. Fricker. Don't people who know them 
generally keep their knowledge to themselves ? ' 

' They've a bit to spare for their friends sometimes.' His 
smile was quietly reflective. 

Beaufort Chance had hinted that some such benevolent senti- 
ments might be found to animate Mr. Fricker. He had even 
used the idea as a bait to lure Trix to the dinner. Do what she 
would, she could not help giving Fricker a glance, half-grateful, 
half-provocative. Vanity new-born of her great triumph made 
her feel that her presence there was really a thing to be repaid. 
Her study of those documents tempted her to listen when the 
suggestion of repayment came. In the drawing-room Trix found 
herself inviting Mrs. Fricker to call. Youthful experiences made 

VOL. XII. NO. 68, N.S. 12 



178 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

Trix socially tolerant in one direction if she were socially ambi- 
tious in another. She had none of Lady Blixworth's shudders, 
and was ready to be nice to Mrs. Fricker. Still her laugh was 
conscious and she blushed a little when Beaufort Chance thanked 
her for making herself so pleasant. 

All through the month there were renewed and continual 
rumours of what the Tsar meant to do. A speech by Lord Far- 
ringham might seem to dispose of them, but there were people 
who did not trust Lord Farringham who, in fact, knew better. 
There were telegrams from abroad, there were mysterious para- 
graphs claiming an authority too high to be disclosed to the 
vulgar, there were leaders asking whether it were actually the 
fact that nothing was going to be done ; there was an agitation 
about the Navy, another final exposure of the methods of the War 
Office, and philosophic attacks on the system of party government. 
Churchmen began to say that they were also patriots, and dons 
to remind the country that they were citizens. And in the 
end what did the Tsar mean to do ? That Potentate gave no 
sign. What of that ? Had not generals uttered speeches and 
worked out professional problems ? Lord Glentorly ordered 
extensive mancEuvres, and bade the country rely on him. The 
country seemed a little doubtful ; or, anyhow, the Press told it 
that it was. ' The atmosphere is electric,' declared Mr. LifFey in 
an article in the ' Sentinel ' : thousands read it in railway 
carriages and looked grave ; they had not seen Mr. Liffey's 
smile. 

Things were in this condition, and the broadsheets blazing in 
big letters, when one afternoon a hansom whisked along Wych 
Street and set down a lady in a very neat grey frock at the 
entrance of Danes Inn. Trix trod the pavement of that secluded 
spot and ascended the stairs of GA with an amusement and ex- 
citement far different from Peggy Kyle's matter-of-fact familiarity. 
She had known lodging-houses ; they were as dirty as this, but 
there the likeness ended. They had been new, flimsy, confined ; 
this looked old, was very solid and relatively spacious ; they had 
been noisy, it was very quiet ; they had swarmed with children, 
here were none ; the whole place seemed to her quasi-monastic ; 
she blushed for herself as she passed through. Her knock on 
Airey Newton's door was timid. 

Airey's amazement at the sight of her was unmistakable. He 
drew back saying : 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 179 

' Mrs. Trevalla ! Is it really you ? ' 

The picture he had in his mind was so different. Where was 
the forlorn girl in the widow's weeds? This brilliant creature 
surely was not the same ! 

But Trix laughed and chattered, insisting that she was herself. 

' I couldn't wear mourning all my life, could I ? ' she asked. 
' You didn't mean me to, when we had our talk in Paris ? ' 

' I'm not blaming, only wondering.' For a moment she almost 
robbed him of speech ; he busied himself with the tea (there was 
a cake to-day) while she flitted about the room, not omitting to 
include Airey himself in her rapid scrutiny. She marked the 
shortness of his hair, the trimness of his beard, and approved 
Peggy's work, little thinking it was Peggy's. 

' It's delightful to be here,' she exclaimed as she sat down to 
tea. 

' I took your coming as a bad omen,' said Airey, smiling, ' but 
I hope there's nothing very wrong ? ' 

' I'm an impostor. Everything is just splendidly right, and 
I came to tell you.' 

' It was very kind.' He had not quite recovered from his 
surprise yet. 

' I thought you had a right to know. I owe it all to your 
advice, you see. You told me to come back to life. Well, I've 
come.' 

She was alive enough, certainly ; she breathed animation and 
seemed to diffuse vitality ; she was positively eager in her living. 

' You told me to have my revenge, to play with life. Don't 
you remember ? Fancy your forgetting, when I've remembered 
so well ! To die of heat rather than of cold surely you 
remember, Mr. Newton ? ' 

' Every word, now you say it,' he nodded. ' And you're acting 
on that ? ' 

' For all I'm worth,' laughed Trix. 

He sat down opposite her, looking at her with a grave but 
still rather bewildered attention. 

' And it works well ? ' he asked after a pause, and, as it seemed, 
a conscientious examination of her. 

' Superb ! ' She could not resist adding, ' Haven't you heard 
anything about me ? ' 

' In here ? ' asked Airey, waving his arm round the room, and 
smiling. 

122 



180 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

' No, I suppose you wouldn't,' she laughed ; ' but I'm rather 
famous, you know. That's why I felt bound to come and tell you 
to let you see what great things you've done. Yes, it's quite 
true, you gave me the impulse.' She set down her cup and leant 
back in her chair, smiling brightly at him. ' Are you afraid of 
the responsibility ? ' 

' Everything seems so prosperous,' said Airey. ' I forgot, but 
I have heard one person speak of you. Do you know Peggy 
Ryle ? ' 

' I know her by sight. Is she a friend of yours ? ' 

' Yes, and she told me of some of your triumphs.' 

' Oh, not half so well as I shall tell you myself ! ' Trix was 
evidently little interested in Peggy Ryle. To Airey himself 
Peggy's doubts and criticism seemed now rather absurd ; this 
bright vision threw them into the shade of neglect. 

Trix launched out. It was the first chance she had enjoyed 
of telling to somebody who belonged to the old life the wonderful 
things about the new. Indeed who else of the old life was left ? 
Graves, material or metaphorical, covered all that had belonged 
to it. Mrs. Bonfill was always kind, but with her there was 
not the delicious sense of the contrast that must rise before 
the eyes of the listener. Airey gave her that ; he had heard of 
the lodging-houses, he knew about the four years with Vesey 
Trevalla; it was evident he had not forgotten the forlornness 
and the widow's weeds of Paris. He then could appreciate the 
change, the great change, that still amazed and dazzled Trix 
herself. It was not in ostentation, but in the pure joy of victory, 
that she flung great names at him, would have him know that 
the highest of them were familiar to her, and that the woman 
who now sat talking to him, friend to friend, amidst the dinginess 
of Danes Inn, was a sought-after, valued, honoured guest in all 
these houses. Peggy Ryle went to some of the houses also, but 
she had never considered that talk about them would interest 
Airey Newton. She might be right or wrong. Trix Trevalla 
was certainly right in guessing that talk about herself in the 
houses would. 

'You seem to be going it, Mrs. Trevalla,' he said at last, 
unconsciously reaching out for his pipe. 

' I am,' said Trix. ' Yes, do smoke. So will I.' She pro- 
duced her cigarette-case. ' Well, I've arrears to make up, 
haven't I ? ' She glanced round. ' And you live here ? ' she asked. 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 181 

'Always. I know nothing of all you've been talking 
about.' 

' You wouldn't care about it anyhow, would you ? ' Her tones 
were gentle and consolatory. She accepted the fact that it was 
all impossible to him, that the door was shut, and comforted him 
in his exclusion. 

' I don't suppose I should, and at all events ' He 

shrugged his shoulders. If her impression had needed con- 
firmation, here it was. ' And what's to be the end of it with 
you ? ' he asked. 

' End ? Why should there be an end ? It's only just begun,' 
cried Trix. 

' Well, there are ends that are beginnings of other things/ he 
suggested. What Peggy had told him recurred to his mind, 
though certainly there was no sign of Mrs. Trevalla being in 
trouble on that or any other score. 

Yet his words brought a shadow to Trix's face, a touch of 
irritation into her manner. 

' Oh, some day, I daresay,' she said. ' Yes, I suppose so. 
I'm not thinking about that either just now. I'm just thinking 
about myself. That's what you meant me to do ? ' 

' It seems to me that my responsibility is growing, Mrs. 
Trevalla.' 

' Yes, that's it, it is ! ' Trix was delighted with the whimsi- 
cality of the idea. ' You're responsible for it all, though you 
sit quietly here and nobody knows anything about you. I shall 
come and report myself from time to time. I'm obedient up 
to now ? ' 

' Well, I'm not quite sure. Did I tell you to ? ' 

' Yes, yes, to take my revenge, you know. Oh, you remember, 
and you can't shirk it now.' She began to laugh at the half- 
humorous gravity of Airey's face, as she insisted on his responsi- 
bility. This talk with him, the sort of relations that she was 
establishing with him, promised to give a new zest to her life, a 
pleasant diversion for her thoughts. He would make a splendid 
onlooker, and she would select all the pleasant things for him to 
see. Of course there was nothing really unpleasant, but there 
were a few things that it would not interest him to hear. There 
were things that even Mrs. Bonfill did not hear, although 
she would have been able to understand them much better 
than he. 



182 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

Trix found her host again looking at her with an amused and 
admiring scrutiny. She was well prepared for it ; the most select 
of parties had elicited no greater care in the choice of her dress 
than this visit to Danes Inn. Was not the contrast to be made 
as wonderful and striking as possible ? 

' Shall I do you credit ? ' she asked in gay mockery. 

' You're really rather marvellous,' laughed Airey. ' And I 
suppose you'll come out all right.' 

A hint of doubt crept into his voice. Trix glanced at him 
quickly. 

' If I don't, you'll have to look after me,' she warned him. 

He was grave now, not solemn, but, as it seemed, meditative. 

' What if I think only of myself too ? ' he asked. 

Trix laughed at the idea. ' There'd be no sort of excuse for 
you,' she reminded him. 

' I suppose not,' he admitted, rather ruefully. 

' But I'm going to come out most splendidly all right, so we 
won't worry about that.' As she spoke she had been putting on 
her gloves, and now she rose from her chair. ' I must go ; got an 
early dinner and a theatre.' She looked round the room, and 
then back to Airey ; her lips parted in an appealing confidential 
smile that drew an answer from him, and made him feel what her 
power was. ' Do you know, I don't want I positively don't 
want to go, Mr. Newton.' 

' The attractions are so numerous, so unrivalled ? ' 

' It's so quiet, so peaceful, so out of it all.' 

' That a recommendation to you ? ' He raised his brows. 

' Well, it's all a bit of a rush and a fight, and and so on. 
I love it all, but just now and then ' she came to him and laid 
her hand lightly on his arm ' just now and then may I come 
again ? ' she implored. ' I shall like to think that I've got it to 
come to.' 

' It's always here, Mrs. Trevalla, and, except for me, generally 
empty.' 

' Generally ? ' Her mocking tone hid a real curiosity ; but 
Airey's manner was matter-of-fact. 

' Oh, Peggy Ryle comes, and one or two of her friends, now 
and then. But I could send them away. Any time's the same 
to them.' 

' Miss Eyle comes ? She's beautiful, I think ; don't you ? ' 

' Now am I a judge ? Well, yes, I think Peggy's attractive.' 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 183 

'Oh, you're all hypocrites! Well, you must think me 
attractive too, or I won't come.' 

It was a long while since Airey Newton had been flirted with. 
He recognised the process, however, and did not object to it ; it 
also appeared to him that Trix did it very well. 

' If you come, I shall think you most attractive.' 
Trix relapsed into sincerity and heartiness. ' I've enjoyed 
coming awfully,' she said. Airey found the sincerity no less 
attractive. ' I shall think about you.' 
' From the midst of the whirl ? ' 
' Yes, from the midst of the whirl ! (rood-bye.' 
She left behind her a twofold and puzzling impression. There 
was the woman of the world, with airs and graces a trifle elaborate, 
perhaps, in their prettiness, the woman steeped in society, en- 
grossed with its triumphs, fired with its ambitions. But there 
had been visible from time to time, or had seemed to peep out, 
another woman, the one who had come to see her friend, had felt 
the need of talking it all over with him, of sharing it and getting 
sympathy in it, and who had in the end dropped her graces and 
declared with a frank heartiness that she had enjoyed coming 
'awfully.' Airey Newton pulled his beard and smoked a pipe 
over these two women, as he sat alone. With some regret he 
came to the conclusion that as a permanent factor, as an influence 
in guiding and shaping Trix Trevalla's life, the second woman 
would not have much chance against the first. Everything 
was adverse to the second woman in the world in which Trix 
lived. 

And he had sent her to that world ? So she declared, partly 
in mockery perhaps, enjoying the incongruity of the idea with 
his dull life, his dingy room, his shabby coat. Yet he traced in 
the persistence with which she had recurred to the notion some- 
thing more than mere chaff. The idea might be fanciful or 
whimsical, but there it was in her mind, dating from their talk at 
Paris. Unquestionably it clung to her, and in some vague way 
she based on it an obligation on his part, and thought it raised a 
claim on hers, a claim that he should not judge her severely or 
condemn the way she lived ; perhaps, more vaguely still, a claim 
that he should help her if ever she needed help. 



184 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

CHAPTER V. 

THE WORLD RECALCITRANT. 

BEAUFORT Chance was no genius in a drawing-room that may 
be accepted on Lady Blixworth's authority. In concluding that 
he was a fool in the general affairs of life she went beyond her 
premises and her knowledge. Mrs. Bonfill, out of a larger 
experience, had considered that he would do more than usually 
well ; he was ingenious, hard-working, and conciliatory, of affable 
address and sufficient tact ; Mrs. Bonfill seemed to have placed 
him with judgment, and Mr. Dickinson (who led the House) was 
content with his performances. Yet perhaps after all he was, in 
the finest sense of the term, a fool. He could not see how things 
would look to other people, if other people came to know them ; 
he hardly perceived when he was sailing very near the wind ; the 
probability of an upset did not occur to him. He saw with his 
own eyes only ; their view was short, and perhaps awry. 

Fricker was his friend ; he had bestowed favours on Fricker, or 
at least on Fricker's belongings, for whose debts Fricker assumed 
liability. If Fricker were minded to repay the obligation, w r as 
there any particular harm in that? Beaufort could not see 
it. If, again, the account being a little more than squared, he 
in his turn equalised it, leaving Fricker's kindness to set him at 
a debit again, and again await his balancing, what harm? It 
seemed only the natural way of things when business and friend- 
ship went hand in hand. The Flickers wanted one thing, he 
wanted another. If each could help the other to the desired 
object, good was done to both, hurt to nobody. Many things are 
private which are not wrong ; delicacy is different from shame, 
reticence from concealment. These relations between himself 
and Fricker were not fit subjects for gossip, but Beaufort saw no 
sin in them. Fricker, it need not be added, was clearly, and even 
scornfully, of the same opinion. 

But Fricker's business affairs were influenced, indeed most 
materially affected, by what the Tsar meant to do, and by one or 
two kindred problems then greatly exercising the world of politics, 
society, and finance. Beaufort Chance was not only in the 
House, he was in the Government. Humbly in, it is true, but 
actually. Still, what then ? He was not in the Cabinet. Did 
he know secrets ? He knew none ; of course he would never 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 185 

have used secrets or divulged them. Things told to him, or 
picked up by him, were ex hypothesi not secrets, or he would 
never have come to know them. Fricker had represented all 
this to him, and, after some consideration and hesitation, Fricker's 
argument had seemed very sound. 

Must a man be tempted to argue thus or to accept such 
arguments ? Beaufort scorned the idea, but, lest he should have 
been in error on this point, it may be said that there was much 
to tempt him. He was an extravagant man ; he sat for an 
expensive constituency ; he knew (his place taught him still better) 
the value of riches of real wealth, not of a beggarly competence. 
He wanted wealth and he wanted Trix Trevalla. He seemed to 
see how he could work towards the satisfaction of both desires at 
the same time and along the same lines. Mervyn was his rival 
with Trix every day made that plain. He had believed himself 
on the way to win till Mervyn was brought on the scene by 
Mrs. Bonfill, whom he now began to hate. Mervyn had rank and 
many other advantages. To fight Mervyn every reinforcement 
was needed. As wealth tempted himself, so he knew it would 
and must tempt Trix ; he was better informed as to her affairs 
than Mrs. Bonfill, and shared Lady Blixworth's opinion about 
them. 

Having this opinion, and a lively wish to ingratiate himself 
with Trix, he allowed her to share in some of the benefits which 
his own information and Fricker's manipulation of the markets 
brought to their partnership. Trix, conscious of money slipping 
away, very ready to put it back, reckless and ignorant, was only 
too happy in the opportunity. She seemed also very grateful, 
and Beaufort was encouraged to persevere. For a little while his 
kindness to Trix escaped Fricker's notice, but not for long. As 
soon as Fricker discovered it, his attitude was perfectly clear and, 
to himself, no more than reasonable. 

'You've every motive for standing well with Mrs. Trevalla, 
I know, my dear fellow,' said he, licking his big cigar and placing 
his well-groomed hat on Beaufort's table. ' But what motive have 
I ? Everybody we let in means one more to share the the profit 
perhaps, one might add, to increase the risk. Now why should 
I let Mrs. Trevalla in ? Any more than, for instance, I should 
let shall we say Mrs. Bonfill in ? ' Fricker did not like Mrs. 
Bonfill since she had quailed before Viola Blixworth. 

' Oh, if you take it like that ! ' muttered Beaufort crossly. 



186 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

1 1 don't take it any way. I put the case. It would be 
different if Mrs. Trevalla were a friend of mine or of my family.' 

That was pretty plain for Fricker. As a rule Mrs. Fricker 
put the things plainly to him, and he transmitted them consider- 
ably disguised and carefully wrapped in his dry humour. On this 
occasion he allowed his hint to be fairly obvious ; he knew 
Beaufort intimately by now. 

Beaufort looked at him, feeling rather uncomfortable. 

' Friends do one another good turns ; I don't go about doing 
them to anybody I meet, just for fun,' continued Fricker. 

Beaufort nodded a slow assent. 

'Of course we don't bargain with a lady,' smiled Fricker, 
thoughtfully flicking off his ash. ' But, on the other hand, ladies 
are very quick to understand. Eh, Beaufort? I daresay you 
could convey ? ' He stuck the cigar back into his mouth. 

This was the conversation that led to the little dinner-party 
hereinbefore recorded ; Fricker had gone to it lot doubting that 
Trix Trevalla understood ; Mrs. Fricker did not doubt it either 
when Trix had been so civil in the drawing-room. Trix herself 
had thought she ought to be civil, as has been seen ; it may, 
however, be doubted whether Beaufort Chance had made her 
understand quite how much a matter of business the whole thing 
was. She did not realise that she, now or about to be a social 
power, was to do what Lady Blixworth would not and Mrs. Bonfill 
dared not was to push the Frickers, to make her cause theirs, to 
open doors for them, and in return was to be told when to put 
money in this stock or that, and when to take it out again. She 
was told when to do these things, and did them. The money 
rolled in, and she was wonderfully pleased. If it would go on 
rolling in like this, its rolling out again (as it did) was of no 
consequence ; her one pressing difficulty seemed in a fair way to 
be removed. Something she did for the Frickers ; she got them 
some minor invitations, and asked them to meet some minor folk, 
and thought herself very kind. Now and then they seemed to 
hint at more, just as now and then Beaufort Chance's attentions 
became inconveniently urgent. On such occasions Trix laughed 
and joked and evaded, and for the moment wriggled out of any 
pledge. As regards the seemliness of the position, her state of 
mind was very much Beaufort's own ; she saw no harm in it, but 
she did not talk about it ; some people were stupid, others 
malicious. It was, after all, a private concern. So she said 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 187 

nothing to anybody not even to Mrs. Bonfill. There was little 
sign of Airey Newton's ' second woman ' in her treatment of this 
matter ; the first held undivided sway. 

If what the Tsar meant to do and the kindred problems 
occupied Fricker in one way, they made no less claim on Mervyn's 
time in another. He was very busy in his office and in the 
House ; he had to help Lord Grlentorly to persuade the nation to 
rely on him. Still he made some opportunities for meeting Trix 
Trevalla ; she was always very ready to meet him when Beaufort 
Chance and Fricker were not to the fore. He was a man of 
methodical mind, which he made up slowly. He took things in 
their order, and gave them their proper proportion of time. He 
was making his career. It could hardly be doubted that he was 
also paying attentions, and it was probable that he meant to pay 
his addresses, to Trix Trevalla. But his progress was leisurely ; 
the disadvantages attaching to her perhaps made him slower, even 
though in the end he would disregard them. In Trix's eyes he 
was one or two things worse than leisurely. He was very con- 
fident and rather condescending. On this point she did speak 
to Mrs. Bonfill, expressing some impatience. Mrs. Bonfill was 
sympathetic as always, but also, as always, wise. 

' Well, and if he is, my dear ? ' Her smile appealed to Trix 
to admit that everything which she had been objecting to and 
rebelling against was no more than what any woman of the world 
would expect and allow for. 

Trix's expression was still mutinous. Mrs. Bonfill proceeded 
with judicial weightiness. 

' Now look at Audrey Pollington you know that big niece of 
Viola's? Do you suppose that, if Mortimer paid her attentions, 
she'd complain of him for being condescending ? She'd just 
thank her stars, and take what she could get.' (These very frank 
expressions are recorded with an apology.) 

'I'm not Audrey Pollington,' muttered Trix, using a weak 
though common argument. 

There are moments when youth is the better for a judicious 
dose of truth. 

' My dear,' remarked Mrs. Bonfill, ' most people would say 
that what Audrey Pollington didn't mind, you needn't.' Miss 
Pollington was grand-daughter to a duke (female line), and had a 
pretty little fortune of her own. Mrs. Bonfill could not be held 
wrong for seeking to temper her young friend's arrogance. 



188 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

'It's not my idea of making love, that's all,' said Trix 
obstinately. 

' We live and learn.' Mrs. Bonfill implied that Trix had much 
to learn. ' Don't lose your head, child,' she added warningly. 
' You've made plenty of people envious. Don't give them any 
chance.' She paused before she asked, ' Do you see much of 
Beaufort now ? ' 

' A certain amount.' Trix did not wish to be drawn on this 
point. 

'Well, Trix?' 

' We keep friends,' smiled Trix. 

' Yes, that's right. I wouldn't see too much of him, though.' 

' Till my lord has made up his mind ? ' 

' Silly ! ' That one word seemed to Mrs. Bonfill sufficient 
answer. She had, however, more confidence in Trix than the one 
word implied. Young women must be allowed their moods, but 
most of them acted sensibly in the end ; that was Mrs. Bonfill's 
experience. 

Trix came and kissed her affectionately ; she was fond of Mrs. 
Bonfill and really grateful to her ; it is possible, besides, that she 
had twinges of conscience; her conversations with Mrs. Bonfill 
were marked by a good deal of reserve. It was all very well to 
say that the matters reserved did not concern Mrs. Bonfill, but 
even Trix in her most independent mood could not feel quite con- 
vinced of this. She knew though she tried not to think of it 
that she was playing a double game ; in one side of it Mrs. Bonfill 
was with her and she accepted that lady's help ; the other side was 
sedulously hidden. It was not playing fair. Trix might set her 
teeth sometimes and declare she would do it, unfair though it was ; 
or more often she would banish thought altogether by a plunge into 
amusement ; but the thought and the consciousness were there. 
Well, she was not treating anybody half as badly as most people 
had treated her. She hardened her heart and went forward on 
her dangerous path, confident that she could keep clear of pitfalls. 
Only yes, it was all rather a fight ; once or twice she thought of 
Danes Inn with a half-serious yearning for its quiet and repose. 

Some of what Mrs. Bonfill did not see Lady Blixworth did 
distantly, of course, and mainly by putting an observed two 
together with some other observed but superficially unrelated two 
a task eminently congenial to her mind. Natural inclination was 
quickened by family duty. ' I wish,' Lady Blixworth said, ' that 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 189 

Sarah would have undertaken dear Audrey ; but since she won't, 
I must do the best I can for her myself.' It was largely with a 
view to doing the best she could for Audrey that Lady Blixworth 
kept her eye on Trix Trevalla a thing of which Trix was quite 
unconscious. Lady Blixworth's motives command respect, and it 
must be admitted that Miss Pollington did not render her relative's 
dutiful assistance superfluous. She was a tall handsome girl, 
rather inert, not very ready in conversation. Lady Blixworth, 
who was never absurd even in praise, pitched on the epithet 
' statuesque ' as peculiarly suitable. Society acquiesced. ' How 
statuesque Miss Pollington is ! ' became the thing to say to one's 
neighbour or partner. Lady Blixworth herself said it with a smile 
sometimes ; most people, content as ever to accept what is given 
to them, were grave enough. 

Audrey herself was extremely pleased with the epithet, so 
delighted, indeed, that her aunt thought it necessary to administer 
a caution. 

' When people praise you or your appearance for a certain 
quality, Audrey dear,' she observed sweetly, ' it generally means 
that you've got that quality in a marked degree.' 

' Yes, of course, Aunt Viola,' said Audrey, rather surprised but 
quite understanding. 

' And so,' pursued Aunt Viola in yet more gentle tones, ' it 
isn't necessary for you to cultivate it consciously.' She stroked 
Audrey's hand with much affection. ' Because they tell you 
you're statuesque, for instance, don't try to go about looking like 
the Venus of Milo in a pair of stays.' 

' I'm sure I don't, Auntie,' cried poor Audrey, blushing 
piteously. She was conscious of having posed a little bit as Mr. 
Cruise, the eminent sculptor, passed by. 

' On the contrary, it does no harm to remember that one has 
a tendency in a certain direction ; then one is careful to keep a 
watch on oneself and not overdo it. I don't want you to skip 
about, my dear, but you know what I mean.' 

Audrey nodded rather ruefully. What is the good of being 
statuesque if you may not live up to it ? 

' You aren't hurt with me, darling ? ' cooed Aunt Viola. 

Audrey declared she was not hurt, but she felt rather be- 
wildered. 

With the coming of June, affairs of the heart and affairs of 
the purse became lamentably and unpoetically confounded in Trix 



190 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

Trevalla's life and thoughts. Mrs. Bonfill was hinting prodi- 
giously about Audrey Pollington ; Lady Blixworth was working 
creditably hard, and danger undoubtedly threatened from that 
quarter. Trix must exert herself if Mervyn were not to slip 
through the meshes. On the other hand, the problems were rather 
acute. Lord Farringham had been decidedly pessimistic in a 
speech in the House of Lords, Fricker was hinting at a great 
coup, Beaufort Chance was reminding her in a disagreeably press- 
ing fashion of how much he had done for her and of how much 
he still could do. Trix had tried one or two little gambles on her 
own account and met with serious disaster ; current expenses rose 
rather than fell. In the midst of all her gaiety Trix grew a little 
careworn and irritable ; a line or two showed on her face ; critics 
said that Mrs. Trevalla was doing too much, and must be more 
careful of her looks. Mrs. Bonfill began to be vaguely uncom- 
fortable about her favourite. But still Trix held on her way, her 
courage commanding more admiration than any other quality she 
manifested at this time. Indeed she had moments of clear sight 
about herself, but her shibboleth of ' revenge ' still sufficed to 
stiffen, if not to comfort her. 

Some said that Lord Farringham' s pessimistic speech was 
meant only for home consumption, the objects being to induce 
the country to spend money freely and also to feel that it was no 
moment for seeking to change the Crown's responsible advisers. 
Others said that it was intended solely for abroad, either as a 
warning or, more probably, as an excuse to enable a foreign nation 
to retire with good grace from an untenable position. A minority 
considered that the Prime Minister had perhaps said what he 
thought. On the whole there was considerable uneasiness. 

' What does it all mean, Mr. Fricker ? ' asked Trix, when that 
gentleman called on her, cool, alert, and apparently in very good 
spirits. 

' It means that fools are making things smooth for wise men, 
as usual,' he answered, and looked at her with a keen glance. 

' If you will only make them plain to one fool ! ' she suggested 
with a laugh. 

' I presume you aren't interested in international politics as 
such ? ' 

' Not a bit,' said Trix heartily. 

' But if there's any little venture going ' He smiled as 

he tempted her, knowing that she would yield. 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 191 

'You've been very kind to me,' murmured Trix. 

' It's a big thing this time and a good thing. You've heard 
Beaufort mention the Dramoffsky Concessions, I daresay ? ' 

Trix nodded. 

' He'd only mention them casually, of course,' Fricker con- 
tinued with a passing smile. ' Well, if there's trouble, or serious 
apprehension of it, the Dramoffsky Concessions would be blown 
sky-high because it's all English capital and labour, and for a 
long time anyhow the whole thing would be brought to a stand- 
still, and the machinery all go to the deuce, and so on.' 

Again Trix nodded wisely. 

' Whereas, if everything's all right, the Concessions are pretty 
well all right too. Have you noticed that they've been falling a 
good deal lately ? No, I suppose not. Most papers don't quote 
them.' 

' I haven't looked for them. I've had my eye on the Grl owing 
Star.' Trix was anxious to give an impression of being business- 
like in one matter anyhow. 

' Oh, that's good for a few hundreds, but don't you worry about 
it. I'll look after that for you. As I say, if there's serious appre- 
hension, Dramoffskys go down. Well, there will be more serious 
than there is now. And after that ' 

' War ? ' asked Trix in some excitement. 

' We imagine not. I'd say we know, only one never really 
knows anything. No, there will be a revival of confidence. And 
then Dramoffskys well, you see what follows. Now it's a little 
risky not very and it's a big thing if it comes off, and what 
I'm telling you is worth a considerable sum as a marketable com- 
modity. Are you inclined to come in ? ' 

To Trix there could be but one answer. Coming in with Mr. 
Fricker had always meant coming out better for the process. She 
thanked him enthusiastically. 

' All right. Lodge five thousand at your bankers' as soon as 
you can, and let me have it.' 

' Five thousand ! ' Trix gasped a little. She had not done the 
thing on such a scale as this before. 

' It's always seemed to me waste of time to fish for herrings 
with a rod and line,' observed Fricker ; ' but just as you like, of 
course.' 

' Does Beaufort think well of it ? ' 

' Do you generally find us differing ? ' Fricker smiled ironically. 






192 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

' I'll go in,' said Trix. ' I shall make a lot, sha'n't I ? ' 
' I think so. Hold your tongue, and stay in till I tell you to 
come out. You can rely on me.' 

Nothing more passed between them then. Trix was left to 
consider the plunge that she had made. Could it possibly go 
wrong ? If it did she reckoned up her position. If it went 
wrong if the five thousand or the bulk of it were lost, what 
was left to her ? After payment of all liabilities, she would have 
about ten thousand pounds. That she had determined to keep 
intact. On the interest of that at last the distinction was 
beginning to thrust itself on her mind with a new and odious 
sharpness she would have to live. To live not to have that 
flat, or those gowns, or that brougham, or this position ; not to 
have anything that she wanted and loved, but just to live. 
Pensions again ! It would come to going back to pensions. 

No, would it? There was another resource. Trix, rather 
anxious, a little fretful and uneasy, was sanguine and resolute 
still. She wrote to Beaufort Chance, telling him what she had 
done, thanking him, bidding him thank Fricker, expressing the 
amplest gratitude to both gentlemen. Then she sat down and 
invited Mervyn to come and see her ; he had not been for some 
days, and, busy as he was, Trix thought it was time to see him, 
and to blot out, for a season at least, all idea of Audrey Pollington. 
She reckoned that an interview with her, properly managed, would 
put Audrey and her ally out of action for some little while to 
come. 

Mervyn obeyed her summons, but not in a very cheerful 
mood. Trix's efforts to pump him about the problems and the 
complications were signally unsuccessful. He snubbed her, giving 
her to understand that he was amazed at being asked such 
questions. What then was Beaufort Chance doing, she asked 
in her heart. She passed rapidly from the dangerous ground, 
declaring with a pout that she thought he might have told her 
some gossip, to equip her for her next dinner party. He responded 
to her lighter mood with hardly more cordiality. Evidently there 
was something wrong with him, something which prevented her 
spell from working on him as it was wont. Trix was dismayed. 
Was her power gone? It could not be that statuesque Miss 
Pollington had triumphed, or was even imminently dangerous ? 

At last Mervyn broke out with what he had to say. He 
looked, she thought, like a husband (not like Vesey Trevalla, but 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 193 

like the abstract conception), and a rather imperious one, as he 
took his stand on her hearthrug and frowned down at her. 

' You might know no, you do know the best people in 
London,' he said, ' and yet I hear of your going about with the 
Frickers ! I should think Fricker's a rogue, and I know he's 
a cad. And the women ! ' Aristocratic scorn embittered his 
tongue. 

' Who have you heard it from ? ' 

' Lots of people. Among others, Viola Blixworth.' 

' Oh, Lady Blixworth ! Of course you'd hear it from her ! ' 

' It doesn't matter who tells me, if it's true.' 

That was an annoying line to take. It was easy to show 
Lady Blixworth's motive, but it was impossible to deny the accu- 
racy of what she said. A hundred safe witnesses would have 
confounded Trix had she denied. 

' What in the world do you do it for ? ' he asked angrily 
and impatiently. ' What can Fricker do for you ? Don't you 
see how you lower yourself ? They'll be saying he's bought you 
next!' 

Trix did not start, but a spot of colour came on her cheeks ; 
her eyes were hard and wary as they watched Mervyn covertly. 
He came towards her, and, with a sudden softening of manner, 
laid his hand on hers. 

' Drop them,' he urged. ' Don't have anything more to do 
with such a lot.' 

Trix looked up at him there were doubt and distress in her 
eyes. He was affectionate now, but also very firm. 

' For my sake, drop them,' he said. ' You know people can't 
come where they may meet the Frickers.' 

Trix was never slow of understanding ; she saw very well what 
Mervyn meant. His words might be smooth, his manner might 
be kind, and, if she wished it at the moment, ready to grow more 
than kind. With all this he was asking, nay, he was demand- 
ing, that she should drop the Frickers. How difficult the path 
had suddenly grown ; how hard it was to work her complicated 
plan ! 

' A good many people know them. There's Mr. Chance ' 

she began timidly. 

' Beaufort Chance ! Yes, better if he didn't ! ' His lips, 
grimly closing again, were a strong condemnation of his colleague. 

' They're kind people, really.' 

VOL. XII. NO. 68, N.S. 13 



194 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

' They're entirely beneath you and beneath your friends.' 

There was no mistaking the position. Mervyn was delivering 
an ultimatum. It was little use to say that he had no right 
because he had made her no offer. He had the power, which, it 
is to be feared, is generally more the question. And at what a 
moment the ultimatum came ! Must Trix relinquish that golden 
dream of the Dramoffsky Concessions, and give up those hundreds 
welcome if few from the Glowing Star ? Or was she to defy 
Mervyn and cast in her lot with the Frickers and with Beaufort 
Chance ? 

' Promise me,' he said softly, with as near an approach to a 
lover's entreaty as his grave and condescending manner allowed. 
' I never thought you'd make any difficulty. Do you really 
hesitate between doing what pleases me and what pleases Chance 
or the Frickers ? ' 

Trix would have dearly liked to cry ' Yes, yes, yes ! ' Such a 
reply would, she considered, have been wholesome for Mortimer 
Mervyn, and it would have been most gratifying to herself. She 
dared not give it ; it would mean far too much. 

' I can't be actually rude,' she pleaded. ' I must do it gradu- 
ally. But since you ask me, I will break with them as much and 
as soon as I can.' 

' That's all I ask of you,' said Mervyn. He bent and kissed 
her hand with a reassuring air of homage and devotion. But 
evidently homage and devotion must be paid for. They bore a 
resemblance to financial assistance in that respect. Trix was 
becoming disagreeably conscious that people expected to be paid, 
in one way or another, for most things that they gave. Chance 
and Fricker wanted payment. Mervyn claimed it too. And to 
pay both as they asked seemed now impossible. 

Somehow life appeared to have an objection to being played 
with, the world to be rather unmalleable as material, the revenge 
not to be the simple and triumphant progress that it had looked. 

Trix Trevalla, under pressure of circumstances, got thus far on 
the way towards a judgment of herself and a knowledge of the 
world ; the two things are closely interdependent. 

{To be continued.} 



195 



THE LUXURY OF DOING GOOD. 

BENEVOLENCE, said Hobbes, is a love of power and delight in the 
exercise of it. Strange that so trenchant a definition never pro- 
voked from a somewhat self-righteous mankind such protest as was 
raised by La Rochefoucauld when he laid it down that virtue is 
for the most part only self-love in disguise. Perhaps mankind 
felt instinctively that the Frenchman had overstated his case, but 
had an equally instinctive disinclination to adventure in the 
defence of disinterested virtue against the position taken up by 
Hobbes. For, although there exist men and women with whom 
an actual, positive affection for self is the predominant motive, 
realised and not merely unconsciously present men and women 
who, in whatever they say or do, think not simply of what they 
are saying or doing, but of the way in which their sensations will 
be affected by it yet these persons are rare and exceptional ; just 
as are those others who regulate all their words and works by a 
kindly thought of some fellow-creature. Action in itself is 
pleasant ; inaction, except by contrast, destitute of pain ; and most 
acts of the ordinary mortal are performed for the perfectly natural 
satisfaction which attends the accomplishing of any end. 

Very low down in the scale of evolution men are impelled to 
act by the pains and pleasures attending hunger and thirst. Yet 
even here it is pretty certain that if one savage sees another 
whittling incompetently at a stick in the endeavour to make a 
bow, he will take the tool and go to work himself sooner than 
watch the job bungled. He will not be deterred by the notion 
that in equipping a rival he sacrifices something of his own superi- 
ority, for the excellent reason that the idea will not occur to him. 
He will want to do the thing just for the sake of doing it right, 
desiring, so far as he consciously has a desire in the matter, the glow 
of gratification that attends any successful exhibition of power just 
as surely as pleasure accompanies the filling of a stomach. In the 
sphere of life that most of us think about, hunger and thirst have 
only a theoretical existence. We work, no doubt, in order to get 
more of the good things of existence, but we work also very largely 
to let off steam. 

13 2 



196 THE LUXURY OF DOING GOOD. 

It is an axiom of conduct that if you want a thing done you 
should go to the busiest man of your acquaintance ; and we all act 
upon this maxim without reflecting that it concedes the theory of 
benevolence put forward by Hobbes. How else should one account 
for this practical paradox ? Is it to be supposed that busy men 
are more sympathetic than idle ones? Hardly. If you want 
sympathy, someone to be sorry for you or glad with you, an idle 
person is the best recipient of your confidence. You will occupy 
a larger and a more enduring place in his mind. But two things 
go to make up benevolence sympathy and energy and for 
practical purposes the latter is the more important. It may seem 
that sympathy lies nearer to the fount of action, and is, therefore, 
to be ranked as a cause, whereas energy is merely a condition. 
And this is true in a sense. Stupidity and indolence are the two 
hindrances to benevolence, and of the two, stupidity that is, 
dulness of perception is the more potent obstacle ; for the stupid 
man will never realise in sympathy the need of help, nor leap to a 
sight of the means to supply it ; whereas the indolent man may be 
moved by sympathy to shake off his indolence. 

But my argument is that most acts of practical benevolence are 
traceable not to the desire to help, but to the instinct to do. Every 
energetic man is a reservoir of unexhausted force, for hardly anyone 
is employed up to the limit of his capacity. No salary will buy 
the monopoly of a man's power, and very few have so much work 
to do for themselves that there is no energy left over. Certain 
pursuits, such as the passionate study of an art, or the business of 
money-making, when the object is not what money will buy but 
simply the acquisition of wealth, have power to engross the faculties 
so far that no object unconnected with the one main purpose will 
tempt the man to exertion. But these cases are abnormal ; and 
if you go to the ordinary successful busy man with a request for 
help in a difficulty, you propound to him a practical problem : 
What is to be done ? If he likes you, it will of course give him 
pleasure to gratify you, but the exertion by which he does so will 
be pleasant for its own sake. And even if you are perfectly 
indifferent to him, you will still have propounded a problem to 
one who has the habit of doing things and the instinct for getting 
them done. His mind by its very nature and training instantly 
turns to think of an expedient. He sees something that can be 
done, and in nine cases out of ten cannot resist what is really an 
appetite to do it. The surplus energy flows as naturally as water 



THE LUXURY OF DOING GOOD. 197 

when you turn a tap. Moreover, it is a positive pain to a capable 
man to see labour misapplied, capacity going to waste, or a life 
bungled ; and if he interposes, it is often from just the same 
motive as the savage with the bow ; he helps because he cannot 
endure to see the work being done badly. 

It is worth while to emphasise this aspect of benevolence, 
because so many people, especially in England, dislike the idea of 
' giving trouble,' as they call it but in reality the idea of laying 
themselves under an obligation. Yet, if they would realise how 
they themselves would probably welcome the chance of doing a 
good turn to some acquaintance, there would surely be less ol 
this ungenerous reluctance. It is the sense of obligation which 
breeds ingratitude ; for ingratitude is not merely indifference, 
but an ill-suppressed malignity. ' I owe him one ' is the thought 
of the ungrateful, and it bears a sinister meaning. The cheerful 
and natural philosophy of Hobbes would tell us that we have 
afforded to another human being the delight of exercising the 
power which he loves, and if we are the gainers by the transaction, 
why, so is our friend. The other view of the relation degrades 
benevolence almost to the level of the charity which confers an 
official merit on the giver and an official stigma on the recipient. 
Yet the Charity Organisation Society would, I am sure, disclaim all 
pretension to benevolence, and I am sure that whatever unfortunate 
person has gone to them for help would amply bear them out in 
the disclaimer. No right-minded person can feel a pleasure in 
giving what cannot be accepted without a sense of humiliation, 
whereas the essence of benevolence lies in giving help which is 
both given and received with pleasure. The Society I speak of, 
which stands, on the whole, rightly for the perfected type of 
scientific almsgiving, concerns itself with strict justice the 
administration of the indispensable aid. Benevolence does not 
look so closely into the title of the person to be helped, does not 
ask whether he or she has failed to save money, but helps simply 
for the sake of helping. In this way benevolence is often first- 
cousin to jobbery ; and for jobbery also there is a good word to be 
said. 

Most of the help which is worth giving or getting takes the 
shape of assisting another person to find work. And that help 
comes to us chiefly (we are taught to believe) from our connec- 
tions, but in my own experience of life much more often from our 
competitors that is, from those in our own profession. One hears 



198 THE LUXURY OF DOING GOOD. 

a great deal of professional jealousies, and very little of professional 
good-fellowship, yet the latter is in reality a much more potent 
factor, and for very good reasons. To begin with, of course, every 
man knows the ropes more or less in his own trade ; professional 
knowledge suggests means to help which would be less evident to 
an outsider. But this does not account for the willingness to put 
those means into operation a willingness which is, nevertheless, 
quite natural. 

The career of each of us is to himself or herself a matter 
of the most vivid interest ; every colour, every shade, every 
turn in a life is acutely realised by the person who lives it. Yet 
to the rest of the world, as Mr. Hardy has remarked in more 
than one page of melancholy comment, each of us is only -a 
passing thought at best, to our nearest and dearest only a 
thought of frequent recurrence. The points at which our 
fortunes are least inadequately realised by our neighbours, at 
which they assume to others something of the importance that 
they wear to ourselves, are the points of community. The 
ambitions, the hopes and fears, of a son who is a barrister must 
be always somewhat vague to his father, the doctor ; but every 
other barrister is interested by them almost as keenly as a 
mother by all that relates to her daughter's marriage. That is 
the cause of professional sympathy a feeling so strong that for 
one man who stops to reflect that the profession is already over- 
crowded, and competition increasing in severity, you shall find 
twenty who gladly give a hand to the man on a lower rung of 
the ladder, regardless of the fact that he may one day be jostling 
them off it. They will remember to put in a word where a 
word is useful, when another friend with equal opportunities 
would forget, just because the young man's fortunes resemble 
their own as one woman's love affairs resemble another's. Pro- 
fessional benevolence is, in short, very nearly allied to matchmaking, 
and, like nearly all the most lovable traits in human nature, has 
no claim to be regarded as a disinterested virtue, The healthy- 
minded energetic man does not stop to consider whether the man 
he backs is the ideal person for a given employment he simply 
desires to get the job for the man whom he is backing ; and I 
have no doubt that the trouble which he will take for almost an 
absolute stranger is unconsciously prompted by the desire to 
effectuate his own personality, to utilise some of his spare energy 
in accomplishing an end with which he has identified himself. 



THE LUXURY OF DOING GOOD. 199 

Perhaps it is wrong to deny that this natural propensity of a 
strong physical and mental constitution ranks or ought to rank 
as a virtue when it is exercised on behalf of mere friends or 
acquaintances. But if so, I am sure it should not be condemned 
as nepotism or jobbery when allowed free play on behalf of kins- 
folk. We praise the Scotch for the clannish tendency which they 
seldom fail to manifest when a Scot is among the candidates for 
an employment (the Irish, I am glad to say, exhibit something 
of the same characteristic), yet what is this but the most ex- 
tended nepotism ? Even if we grant that the ideally benevolent 
man will be too delicate to make interest for himself or his 
nearest kin, but will wear himself out in the endeavour to serve 
seme stray aspirant who, either by promise of merit or need of 
help, has excited his sympathy (and I have known such a cha- 
racter), yet it must be urged that the men who go far out of 
their way to secure good things for their relatives are as a rule 
the industrious, active men who do service to the world, and are 
also men who, in default of a relation, will be exceedingly prone 
to serve a stranger sooner than leave undone a good turn which 
they see their way to doing. Of course, like all other creditable 
and harmless propensities, this may be exaggerated into a defect, 
just as every truth may be pushed into a heresy ; but upon the 
whole nepotism lies nearer to virtue than to vice, and a race or 
family in whom the instinct of racial benevolence has died out is 
in extreme danger of dying out itself. But it is superfluous to 
labour a defence of jobbery. The virtue of nepotism is com- 
mended to us by the highest examples the State and the law 
lend it illustrious sanction. 

On the other hand, there is a kind of benevolence which runs 
very easily into an odious failing ; but it is the sort which popu- 
larly figures as an accredited virtue. This is the benevolence 
which seeks to substitute its own goodwill for its neighbour's 
possibly very inferior inclination ; which is always willing, and 
even anxious, to help its neighbour, but not as the neighbour 
desires to be helped. There is no need nowadays or there should 
not be to condemn the other-worldliness which sees in the 
human beings placed at a disadvantage the occasion for a profit- 
able investment of good works. And yet there are still those 
who argue that Socialism is impious because it seeks to abolish 
poverty, whereas we are promised that the poor shall be always 
with us, to afford stepping-stones to celestial preferment. This, 



200 THE LUXURY OF DOING GOOD. 

however, is plainly not benevolence. The benevolence of which I 
speak is the benevolence of a benevolent despotism the love of 
power passing into a tyranny. The respectable Christian who 
knows a young man bent upon becoming an actor or a journalist, 
or upon devoting himself to the study of physical science or 
any other of the pursuits habitually disapproved by respectable 
Christians, and who offers that young man a stool in his counting- 
house, may be doing a wise thing, but is not really benevolent. 
And yet in many cases he talks of black ingratitude because the 
would-be author or scientist does not thank him for the offer, and 
perhaps rejects it with contumely. Such, says the respectable 
Christian, is the reward of benevolence. But benevolence con- 
sists in helping your neighbour to attain an end which he 
desires, not in substituting an end which you would be glad to see 
him attain by your assistance. Much of the assistance offered 
with the keenest sense of merit in the offering is about as 
valuable or appropriate as the ugly sack stitched at a working- 
party is to the South Sea islander whose harmonious proportions 
it is designed to conceal. Sometimes the offer is accepted, and, 
whether it be the sack or the high stool, it seldom does much 
good to the person who accepts what is foreign to his or her whole 
nature and desires. 

Yet suppose it accepted, and suppose everything turns out 
well, who is to be grateful ? I who accepted, let us say, or you 
who volunteered the help ? I may be grateful for assistance 
that I sought or desired, but this was none of my seeking. 
The convention demands that I should feel gratitude, but the 
morality of the case is very different. To interpolate our per- 
sonality into the life of another human being is always a 
liberty, it may be an impertinence ; and if the act, however 
kindly meant, be taken in a friendly spirit, we should be amply 
contented. We have had the satisfaction of doing what we 
designed to do ; we have probably been thanked for it. But the 
gratitude that endures should be on our side, for there is no truer 
truth than that we love those whom we have benefited another 
person being converted into a monument of our good deed. But 
to be angry because someone else will not efface his will to let 
us have this satisfaction is really iniquitous. Benevolence is not 
often self-sacrifice it is always self-realisation ; and to attempt 
to realise ourselves at someone else's expense, to express our 
own personality by sacrificing our neighbour's, is one of the 



THE LUXURY OF DOING GOOD. 201 

wickednesses which not only escape the social stigma, but con- 
tinually masquerade as virtues. 

In short, the luxury of doing good is a luxury, and like all 
luxuries carries with it a temptation. We cannot do too much good ; 
but we can easily administer to ourselves too often the pleasant 
sensation of having done it, neglecting to establish thoroughly the 
necessary premise that we have administered a pleasurable sensa- 
tion to others whether in the present or the future. How often 
does the sense that we have done good to some other person arise 
out of a conviction that we have administered to him or to her a 
sensation the reverse of pleasurable ! 

STEPHEN G-WYNN. 



202 



THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 

NEAR the extreme south-east corner of the island of Jamaica, 
washed by the Caribbean rollers and hemmed in between the sea 
and the Blue Mountains, lies Morant Bay, a little West Indian 
township with its houses half-hidden amid cane-fields and cocoa- 
nut groves. Not far from the shelving beach, its back to the 
water, stands the Court-house. Adjoining it are a group of build- 
ings, and the square or parade before the steps forms a spacious 
frontage, upon which several streets converge. Here, on the 
afternoon of October 11, 1865, an anxious group of British subjects 
were collected together face to face with one of those crises which 
from time to time try the mettle of men whose lot is cast among 
an alien people. 

The history of Jamaica needs no telling here. Won from the 
Spaniards by Cromwell's fleet, governed and enriched by Morgan 
and his buccaneers, it has shared in the prosperity and decay of 
the West Indies. The slave trade and the sugar-cane made it, 
during the eighteenth century, the most flourishing of the King's 
possessions over-sea, and Eodney, after his great victory had saved 
it from the French, described it as the first gem in the diadem of 
England. Emancipation and the equalisation of the sugar duties 
brought down the planters from wealth to penury. A vast negro 
population was suddenly, without any preparation or restraint, 
invested with the full civil rights of English citizens. When a 
period of prolonged and apparently hopeless industrial depression 
accompanies such a social upheaval, only a match is needed to 
kindle the flame of revolution. 

All through the early months of 1865 trouble had been brew- 
ing in Jamaica. A certain Dr. Underbill, the secretary of the 
Baptist Missionary Society, had seized the opportunity of a long 
drought, with its consequent distress, to lay before Mr. Cardwell, 
the Secretary for the Colonies, a highly coloured memorandum as 
to the poverty and political grievances of the negroes. This 
document was sent back from England to the Governor of Jamaica 
with directions for an inquiry, and its contents were not long in 
finding their way into the colonial papers. An agitation was set on 
foot, largely supported by the ministers of the native Baptist con- 



THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 203 

nection, meetings were held at which inflammatory speeches were 
delivered by orators of colour, and appeals to united action were 
widely circulated. It was notorious that much excitement pre- 
vailed among the negroes, but the months passed on and there 
seemed good reason to hope that the storm would blow over. 

On Saturday, October 7, the ordinary court of petty sessions 
for the parish of St. Thomas-in-the-East was held at Morant Bay. 
Eeaders of last month's CORNHILL will not need to be reminded 
that in Jamaica justice is still administered, as in the rural dis- 
tricts of England, by the local gentry, among whom the ' squire ' 
and the clergyman loom large. On that day the business was 
mostly of an ordinary description, ' consisting principally of charges 
of assault and of the use of abusive language,' but the court was 
unusually crowded and there was much disturbance, culminating 
in something very like a riot and in the rescue from the police of 
a negro whose arrest had been ordered by the magistrates. 

On the following Monday warrants were issued for the arrest 
of, amongst others, a certain Paul Bogle, who had taken a leading 
part in the disturbance and was a man of importance among the 
negroes of the parish. They were placed in the hands of a black 
policeman, who started early on the morning of Tuesday, the 10th, 
with five of his comrades and two rural constables, for Stony Gut, 
a negro settlement about five miles from Morant Bay, where Paul 
Bogle's habitation was situated. The warrants were not destined 
to be executed. Arrived at Stony Gut, the officers of the law were 
surrounded by a mob of some hundreds of negroes armed with 
cutlasses, sticks, and pikes. Bogle called on them for help; 
the police were overpowered, beaten, and only released after a 
detention of some hours upon taking an oath that from henceforth 
they would 'join their colour' and 'cleave to the black'; while 
Bogle openly expressed the intention of leading his men down to 
Morant Bay on the morrow, and threats were uttered of ' killing 
all the white men and all the black men that would not join them.' 

The news of this outrage and of the threat to march on Morant 
Bay was not long in reaching Baron von Ketelhodt, a naturalised 
German who filled the position of Gustos of the parish of St. 
Thomas-in-the-East, an office combining some of the functions of 
the Lord-Lieutenant of an English county with those of a chair- 
man of quarter sessions. The Baron had incurred some unpopu- 
larity among the negroes, and had been stigmatised in an anony- 
mous placard some months previously as ' an unscrupulous and 



204 THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 

oppressive foreigner.' He now lost no time, but despatched a letter 
to Spanish Town begging the Governor for military aid, and as 
there were no troops in the parish he summoned the Volunteers 
of the neighbouring district of Bath to assemble early the next 
morning at Morant Bay. Accordingly, by 8 A.M. on Wednesday, 
the llth, the St. Thomas-in-the-East Volunteers, No. 1 company, 
drawn from the scanty white population, and mustering about 
twenty strong, were in full march under Captain Kitchens. For 
all practical purposes they were untrained men ; they knew little 
drill, were barely acquainted with their manual and firing exer- 
cises, and were restricted to ten rounds of ball ammunition apiece. 
When they reached Morant Bay they were joined by nine or ten 
of the Volunteers of that locality, and finding everything quiet 
there were allowed by the Gustos, after a few preliminary evolu- 
tions, to fall out and obtain refreshment. 

Meanwhile the vestry, which consisted of certain elected 
members, coloured as well as white, and of the magistrates who 
sat ex officio, were transacting their routine business, and up 
till four o'clock in the afternoon it looked as if, after all, there 
would be no disturbance. Suddenly one of the rector's sons was 
seen galloping at full speed across the parade, and a cry was 
raised ' They are coming, they are coming ! ' The Volunteers had 
scarcely time to load their muskets and form up in front of the 
Court-house when the whole open space was filled with a surging 
mob of negroes armed with cutlasses, sticks, and firearms. The 
Gustos came out on to the steps with the magistrates and vestry- 
men. His cries of ' Keep peace, go back, keep peace ! ' were 
drowned with yells of ' War, war ! ' Stones were flung from the 
crowd, Captain Hitchens was struck on the head, an ineffectual 
effort was made to read the Riot Act, and the order was given to 
the Volunteers to fire. Some of the rioters fell, but the mob were 
too close to be checked ; the Volunteers were overwhelmed in a 
moment, some were mortally wounded, others disarmed, and the 
rest were compelled either to flee or to take refuge in the Court- 
house with the Gustos and the magistrates. Here for a time 
resistance was maintained, the mob returning the fire with the 
weapons they had captured, and with showers of stones. One 
by one the defenders sank down wounded. After a time a 
cry was heard of ' Burn the brutes out ! ' The school-house, 
which adjoined the Court-house, was seen to be on fire, the flames 
spread to the latter building, and as the roof was beginning to 



THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 205 

fall in, the surviving occupants made their way out of the build- 
ing, hoping, by the aid of the darkness for it was now night to 
conceal themselves in the vicinity. Some few were successful 
and remained undiscovered till morning, but others were dragged 
from their hiding-places and beaten to death, or left for dead on 
the ground. Among those who perished in this miserable fashion 
were the Gustos, Mr. Herschell the curate of the parish, and several 
of the magistrates and Volunteer officers, together with some of the 
coloured vestrymen. Altogether eighteen lives were taken and 
thirty more of the party were wounded, some of them very 
severely. The town remained in the hands of the rioters, the 
gaol was broken into and the prisoners released, several stores were 
attacked, and a considerable quantity of gunpowder was taken. 

Later on in the evening, when all was over, Bogle, who 
throughout the assault had acted as the ringleader, returned to 
Stony Grut, and there, in the chapel in which he was in the 
habit of conducting service, returned thanks to (rod that he 
' went to this work and that God had succeeded him in his 
work.' Early the next morning a party of 200 negroes armed 
with guns and pikes, and with shells blowing to summon their 
comrades, proceeded to Coley, a few miles to the north-west of 
Stony Grut, obtaining fresh adherents as they went, and compel- 
ling all they met, under the threat of immediate death, to swear 
that they would henceforth join the blacks. ' Colour for colour ! ' 
was the cry everywhere. Bath was entered by a large party 
marching in military order, with flags flying and drums beating. 
The stores in the town were pillaged, and property to a large 
amount was taken or destroyed, while the few white inhabitants 
took refuge in the bush. In the course of the next three days 
the insurgents spread over a tract of country extending from 
White Horses, a few miles to the west of Morant Bay, to Elmwood, 
a distance of upwards of thirty miles to the north-east, burning 
and plundering the houses and estates. 

In one or two instances the owners or the managers were 
murdered, in others they were severely wounded, but in most 
cases timely warning was given, and the persons who were sought 
for were able to escape, frequently by the connivance and 
assistance of faithful black servants. At Blue Mountains, a 
valuable estate belonging to Sir William Fitzherbert, the white 
bookkeeper was done to death with cutlasses, but Mr. Beresford 
Fitzherbert, a young man just arrived from England, was spared, 



206 THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 

on the intercession of a coloured overseer, and catching a bare- 
backed mule, he rode, without saddle or bridle, some thirty 
miles across the mountains into safety. Meanwhile women and 
children were cowering in hiding-places in the woods, exposed to 
hourly apprehensions of a fate worse than death, 1 many of them 
having already suffered bereavement, and more still in a state of 
sickening uncertainty as to the safety of those who were dearest 
to them. 

Fortunately, the agony was not of long duration. It will be 
remembered that on the afternoon of the 10th the ill-fated Baron 
von Ketelhodt had despatched a letter asking for military aid. On 
the morning of the 12th, H.M.S. Wolveri/ne, under the command 
of Captain Algernon de Horsey, and with a company of the West 
India Eegiment on board, steamed into Morant Bay. The soldiers 
were landed and marched through the square, still strewn with 
maimed and disfigured corpses, 2 and during the course of that 
day and the next the fugitives, men, women and children, were 
placed on board the vessel and conveyed to Kingston. 

His Excellency John Edward Eyre, the Governor of Jamaica, 
was a man in the prime of life, and with a prolonged and varied 
experience in dealing with subject races. Born in August 1815, 
the son of a Yorkshire clergyman, and the descendant of that 
gallant Sir Gervase Eyre who held Newark for King Charles against 
the armies of Meldrum and Willoughby , he owed nothing to fortune 
or connection. Emigrating to Australia at the age of eighteen, 
he had thriven and prospered, and was appointed a resident magis- 
trate and Protector of the Aborigines, in which capacity he became 
known as the consistent and unflinching champion of the natives 
against the settlers. ' He was too big a dog,' wrote Henry Kingsley, 
' to be bayed down by any small bush clique.' He won fame as an 
explorer by his memorable and fearless journey with a single black 
companion across the terrible desert from Sydney to Swan Kiver,and 
in 1846 he was made Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand under 
Sir George Grey. Thence he was transferred as Governor to St. 
Vincent in 1854, and to Antigua in 1859, in each position winning 

1 In or two cases insult was offered, but there is no authenticated case of 
outrage, though the rioters made no secret as to what the fate of the women 
would be when their protectors were slain. 

2 Blood-curdling stories were in circulation, and ultimately transmitted to 
England, of atrocities committed on the bodies of the fallen before life was 
extinct, but they appear to have had little or no foundation. 



THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 207 

golden opinions and maintaining his former reputation for even- 
handed justice between black man and white. In 1862 he was 
sent to Jamaica as acting Grovernor during the absence of Sir 
Charles Darling, and on the latter's retirement, in 1864, he suc- 
ceeded him as Grovernor-in-Chief. 

There from the very beginning he found himself at variance with 
the turbulent and ill-regulated local Legislature, in which the 
negro element was largely represented. The year 1865 had been 
calamitous in many ways. Dr. Underbill's lucubrations had 
added fuel to the flame, and as far back as July the Grovernor had 
received warning of an intended negro rising on August 4, and 
had taken his measures accordingly. Now he was confronted 
with that most awful of scourges a Servile war in which colour 
is pitted against colour. None knew better than he that, though 
the negro brain is utterly wanting in that power of combination 
which alone can give reality to what we understand by conspiracy, 
yet a common grievance and a common end will suddenly trans- 
mute themselves into concerted action with appalling rapidity. 
Where distress and disaffection undoubtedly existed, the least 
encouragement or show of weakness was certain to be fatal, and 
it should be borne in mind that in the hundred years immediately 
preceding the Emancipation Act of 1834 there had been in Jamaica 
some half-dozen formidable negro risings, in the course of which 
plantations had been fired and proprietors killed by the score. 

On the morning of Wednesday, the llth, immediately on 
the receipt of Baron von Ketelhodt's letter, Grovernor Eyre 
communicated its purport to the officer commanding the forces in 
Jamaica, Major-General O'Connor, and requested him to despatch 
troops to Morant Bay. In the course of the morrow came the 
news of the rising and massacre. The Grovernor rode straight 
into Kingston, and, after hurriedly concerting measures of 
repression with the military and naval authorities, he summoned 
his Executive Committee and Privy Council. There was no 
divergence of opinion as to the necessity for the immediate 
proclamation of martial law, but under the island constitution it 
was necessary to obtain the advice and sanction of a so-called 
' Council of War.' The next morning, the 13th, that body 
assembled, comprising the senior naval and military officers, the 
Grovernor, and the members of the two branches of the Legislature. 
A proclamation, drawn up by the Attorn ey-Greneral, was approved, 
and it was announced in the Queen's name, 



208 THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 

to all whom it may concern, that martial law shall prevail throughout the said 
county of Surrey, except in the city and parish of Kingston, and that our military 
forces shall have all power of exercising the rights of belligerents against such 
of the inhabitants of the said county, except as aforesaid, as our said military 
forces may consider opposed to our Government and the well-being of our beloved 
subjects. 

The force at the disposal of Major-General O'Connor was cer- 
tainly not excessive. Rather more than 500 regular soldiers drawn 
from the 1st West India Regiment and the 2nd battalion of the 
6th Foot, together with one or two field guns under the care of 
an artillery subaltern, represented all that was available for the 
repression of the rebellion, leaving another 500 for the protection 
of an island with an area of 4,193 square miles, much of which con- 
sisted of mountain fastnesses or dense jungles with few facilities for 
intercommunication, and with a population in the ratio of 350,000 
blacks to 13,000 whites. Besides this, however, were the officers 
and bluejackets of the Wolverine, the Onyx, and the Aurora, 
some hastily-enrolled Volunteers and the town pensioners, while as 
a last resort were the Maroons, a strange wild race, the descendants 
of the slaves held in bondage by the Spaniards when the island 
was taken from them in 1658. The Maroons had retreated to the 
mountains, they had never been reduced to slavery by the English, 
they had warred against them and made peace with them time out of 
mind, and they had never intermarried or mingled with the negro 
population, by whom they were held in great awe. To call out, 
arm, and enroll these men was a desperate experiment, but it has 
had many parallels in our history, and on this occasion it was 
completely successful. It is not too much to say that the fate 
of Jamaica rested for the moment on the loyalty of the Maroons. 

The object of the Governor was to hem in the insurgents 
between the mountains and the eastern coast, and thus prevent 
them from effecting raids in the central, western, and northern dis- 
tricts of the island. Ably carried out by the military and naval 
authorities, his plans were completely successful. The area of 
disturbance was strictly confined to the seat of the original out- 
break, the refugees were promptly extricated from their 
perilous position, and the insurgent negroes, equally surprised 
and cowed by the arrival of the troops, slunk away without 
offering more than the shadow of an armed resistance. Paul 
Bogle, on whose head had been set a reward of four thousand 
dollars, was captured by the Maroons, handed over to the military, 
and promptly hanged. On October 30 it was formally announced 



THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. !i09 

by the Governor that the rebellion had been subdued, and that 
the chief instigators and actors therein had been visited with 
condign punishment. 

As to the severity of the punishment, indeed, there could be 
no two opinions. During the thirty days for which martial law 
extended over the county of Surrey, 439 negroes were either shot 
down or executed, sometimes with, sometimes without the 
formality of a trial, and over 600, amongst whom were included 
a number of women, were flogged, in some cases with revolting 
cruelty. Due allowance must be made for the soldiers, few in 
number amidst an overwhelming population, acting in small 
detachments where it was difficult to keep prisoners, and with 
the memories of the Indian Mutiny still fresh in their minds. 
For the first two or three days after the murders at the Court- 
house the fate of Jamaica was trembling in the balance, and it 
was idle to expect any great self-restraint on the part of those 
engaged in repressing the insurrection. But it is impossible to 
resist the conclusion that the reign of terror was continued long 
after it had ceased to have any justification, that proper dis- 
crimination was not always used in sifting the innocent from the 
guilty, that many perished who had no connection with the 
rising, and that the number of hangings and floggings was grossly 
in excess of the requirements of the emergency. The youth and 
inexperience of the ensigns and naval lieutenants who sat on 
many of the courts-martial that dealt out such heavy measure 
with so free a hand were unfortunate circumstances, though it was 
afterwards held by the Royal Commission ' that in the great 
majority of cases the evidence seems to have been unobjection- 
able in character and quite sufficient to justify the finding of the 
Court,' and justice was done to the manner and deportment of the 
officers themselves. On the other hand, unfortunately several of 
them, and those not the youngest, placed on record their own 
condemnation by the reckless levity and brutality in which by 
speech and on paper they described their actions towards the 
negroes. The British fighting man is not always a felicitous 
letter writer, nor does he always measure his words with accuracy 
or calculate their effect upon the public ; but it is extraordinary 
that the military authorities on the island should not only have 
passed these deplorable documents without censure, but should 
actually have transmitted them home. 

In the suppression of the rebellion and in these wholesale 

VOL. XII. NO. 68, N.S. 14 



210 THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 

measures of retribution the Governor took no share, though he 
fully accepted the responsibility for the acts of his subordinates. 
Having once placed the safety of the white inhabitants in the 
hands of the military, he refrained from interference. But in one 
conspicuous case he played a part which was destined to embitter 
his whole future life. George William Gordon was a coloured 
man of education and intelligence, owning considerable landed 
property in the parish of St. Thomas-in-the-East, which he repre- 
sented in the House of Assembly, as well as at Kingston and in 
other parts of the island. He was a member of the ' Native 
Baptists,' and had recently ordained as a deacon in that com- 
munity Paul Bogle, who was his intimate correspondent or friend. 
He had taken great interest in the parochial affairs of St. Thomas, 
and had been at one time appointed churchwarden, but his 
adhesion to the Baptists was held to disqualify him for that 
office. He had been removed from the vestry by Baron von 
Ketelhodt, the Gustos, had subsequently brought an unsuccessful 
action against him, and was known to cherish bitter resentment 
against the Baron, against Mr. Herschell, and the local magistracy 
generally. It should be added that his estates were heavily 
mortgaged, and his financial affairs deeply involved. 

All through the spring and summer of 1865 Gordon had 
taken a leading part in the agitation which followed upon 
the publication of Dr. Underbill's memorandum, and he had used 
language of a highly inflammatory and vindictive nature both 
towards the Government and the Governor. On October 11 
Gordon was far away from the scene of the massacre, being on his 
property at Cherry Garden, a place near Kingston, where Mr. 
Froude afterwards stayed on his visit to the West Indies; but 
when the news of the outbreak and its attendant horrors reached 
the latter place his name was at once associated in popular speech 
with the authors of the disturbances, and he was regarded both by 
friends and foes as being undoubtedly a party to it. He seems 
to have had news of the massacre at a period which, considering 
the distance between Morant Bay and Kingston, is difficult to 
reconcile with entire ignorance of what was in contemplation. 
Flight was suggested, but he disregarded the advice, adding that 
if he went to St. Thomas-in-the-East he would be the first man 
hanged, and on the 14th came into Kingston, which, it will be 
remembered, was excepted from the proclamation of martial law. 
On the 17th, while the police were searching unsuccessfully for 



THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 211 

him, he went to the house of Major-General O'Connor and gave 
himself up. The general declined jurisdiction, but at that 
moment Governor Eyre arrived on the scene, and informed Gordon 
that he must accompany him on board the Wolverine, which was 
then about to start on a second trip for Morant Bay. 

Arrived there, he was put on shore as a prisoner, and on 
October 21 he was sent by Lieutenant-Colonel Nelson, an officer 
of considerable service and experience and in command of the 
troops on the spot, before a court-martial consisting of Lieu- 
tenant Brand, K.N., who acted as President, Lieutenant Errington, 
K.N., and Ensign Kelly, of the 4th West India Eegiment. He 
was charged with furthering the massacre at Morant Bay, ' inciting 
and advising with certain insurgents, and thereby by his influence 
tending to cause the riot.' After a six hours' trial he was found 
guilty and sentenced to death. The finding was confirmed by 
Colonel Nelson, and forwarded through General O'Connor to 
Governor Eyre, who replied in writing that he quite concurred 
in the justice of the sentence and the necessity of carrying it 
into effect. Gordon was hanged on the morning of October 23 
from the centre arch of the ruined Court-house. 

The first news of the outbreak reached England on November 3, 
and caused a thrill of horror. The apprehension and concern were 
not lessened when fuller particulars of the outrages and excesses 
of the negroes were furnished by mail on the 13th. On the 17th, 
however, came the news of the complete suppression of the rising 
and the execution of Gordon, who was described as the ringleader 
in the insurrection. It was clear from the first that the re- 
pression had been ruthless, and the ' Times ' on the following day 
anticipated that there would be an outcry, and expressed regret 
that the tone of the officers' letters had not been more guarded. 
There succeeded a feeling of wonder that an outbreak which had 
caused such widespread alarm could have been quenched with 
such ease and rapidity. Then came the tale of the floggings 
and hangings and burnings of cottages, embellished with all the 
luxuriance of a tropical imagination, and multiplied far beyond 
the truth, which, indeed, scarcely needed exaggeration. On the 
top of all came the violation of the liberty of the subject involved 
in the removal of Gordon from civil jurisdiction and his trial by 
court-martial. There was a burst of indignation throughout the 
land. In a very short time a 'Jamaica Committee' was formed, 
and meetings were held in London and throughout the provinces, 

142 



2\-2 THE CASE OF GOVERNOR FA'RK. 

at which Governor Eyre and his subordinates were denounced 
in the most unmeasured terms. Speaking at Blackburn on 
November 30, John Bright did not hesitate to say that if murder 
had not changed its name and ceased to be a crime, he hoped to 
see the Governor of Jamaica and his accomplices standing at the 
Bar for the murder of Gordon. 

Associated with the great tribune were Mr. ' Tom ' Hughes, 
then member for Lambeth ; Mr. Peter Taylor, member for 
Leicester, a veteran of the Anti-Corn Law League and an eminent 
opponent of vaccination ; Mr. Frederic Harrison, and Mr. John 
Stuart Mill, M.P. A large section of the Press took the same line : 
there was little or no restraint in what the ' Pall Mall Gazette ' 
called ' the brutal and senseless outcry,' and anonymous letters 
and telegrams of a disgraceful nature were directed to Miss Eyre, 
who had the temerity to beg, in print, that her brother might 
not be condemned unheard. 

This aspect of the case had few sympathisers among the 
white population of Jamaica. The Governor's ' prompt forethought, 
vigorous action, and generous courage ' were in the mouths of all. 
Addresses of gratitude and of confidence poured in from every corner 
of the island from every class of society, from the Legislative 
Council, from the House of Assembly, from the magistracy, and 
inhabitants of every parish, from grand juries and custodes, from 
the clergy, from the heads of private families, and from the women, 
who felt that they owed the Governor an especial debt. Mrs. 
Stewart, the wife of the Archdeacon, and 2,809 other ladies pre- 
sented a memorial in which their fervent and heartfelt thankful- 
ness was expressed to his Excellency for saving them, ' their 
families and their homes, from outrage, desolation, and ruin.' 

Our gratitude is enhanced by the sad and solemn recollection, no less of the 
miseries over which widows, orphans, and other victims of wrong have now to 
mourn, than of the horrors to which we ourselves had been doomed. 

The inhabitants of Jamaica had ever at their door the example 
of the black republic of Haiti, and the memory of the awful scenes 
of bloodshed and lust and agony in which the French planters and 
their families had been exterminated by the negroes in 1793. At 
the meetings which preceded the Morant Bay rising there had 
been ominous references to Haiti ; and the white population, scat- 
tered in isolated and unprotected positions and widely separated 
from each other, had passed through all the anguish of anticipation. 
To the planters the trend of feeling at home was equally incom- 



i 



THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 213 

prehensible and repellent, just as those excellent and humane 
people to whom ' massacre, torture, and black despair ' are mere 
idle words can little appreciate the sort of temperament which is 
engendered where a native rising is an ever-present possibility. 

On December 30, 1865, a Royal Commission was issued to 
inquire into the origin, nature, and circumstances of the ' dis- 
turbances ' in Jamaica, and ' with respect to the measures adopted 
in the course of their suppression,' wherein ' it is alleged that 
excessive and unlawful severity had been used.' The Commis- 
sioners appointed were Major-General Sir Henry Storks, a soldier 
of long military service and considerable experience in civil 
administration, together with Mr. Eussell Gurney, the Recorder of 
London, and Mr. John Blossett Maule, Recorder of Leeds, both of 
them barristers of high standing and accustomed to the exercise of 
judicial functions. The secretary, Mr. C. S. Roundell, also a 
barrister, and for many years a member of the House of Commons, 
still survives. It was impossible to disguise the fact that Eyre 
was practically on his trial before the Commission, and with such 
a cloud hanging over him his retention of the office of Governor 
was hardly practicable. He was superseded pendente lite, and the 
senior Commissioner, Sir Henry Storks, took his place. 

The labours of the Commission were thorough and exhaustive ; 
730 witnesses were examined and sixty separate sittings were held 
between January 25 and March 21, 1866. Governor Eyre gave 
evidence at great length, besides furnishing an enormous mass of 
documentary evidence to the Commissioners. It is, I think, im- 
possible to read his examination, whatever view one takes of his 
actions, without feeling that he bore himself with dignity in a 
very trying situation, and that he had conducted himself in 
what he felt to be a great emergency with a single eye to the 
safety of the people committed to his charge. 

The report was despatched from Jamaica on April 9, re- 
ceived in London on the 30th ; and five out of its seven clauses 
contained a complete vindication of the Governor. The Commis- 
sioners found : 

(1) That the disturbances in St. Thomas-in-the-East had their immediate 
origin in a planned resistance to lawful authority. 

(2) That while the obtaining of land free from rent and a want of confidence 
in the local tribunals were among the predisposing motives of the rioters, ' not a 
few contemplated the attainment of their ends by the death or expulsion of the 
white inhabitants of the island.' 

(3) That though the original design was confined to a small portion of the 



214 THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 

parish of St. Thonias-iu-the-East, the disorder spread with singular rapidity over 
an extensive tract of country, ' and that such was the state of excitement pre- 
vailing in other parts of the island that, had more than a momentary success 
been obtained by the insurgents, their ultimate overthrow would have been 
attended with a still more fearful loss of life and property.' 

(4) That praise is due to Governor Eyre for the skill, promptitude, and vigour 
which he manifested during the early stages of the insurrection, to the exercise 
of which qualities its speedy termination is in a great degree to be attributed. 

(5) That the military and naval operations appear to us to have been prompt 
and judicious. 

On the other hand : 

(6) That by the continuance of martial law in its full force to the extreme limit 
of its statutory operation the people were deprived for longer than the neces- 
sary period of the great constitutional privileges by which the security of life and 
property is provided for. 

(7) That the punishments inflicted were excessive : (a) that the punishment 
of death was unnecessarily frequent ; (>) that the floggings were reckless, and at 
Bath positively barbarous ; (c) that the burning of 1,000 houses was wanton and 
cruel. 

The responsibility for the amount and kind of the punish- 
ments thus stigmatised clearly rests with the military authorities, 
to whom the execution of martial law was delegated. It is equally 
clear that the responsibility for what the Commissioners regarded 
as the unnecessary prolongation of martial law, with its con- 
sequent severities, lay with the Governor. 

To the case of Gordon the Commissioners devoted a separate 
section of their report. After a careful review of the evidence, 
they found that though by his words and writings Gordon had 
probably produced a material effect upon the minds of Bogle 
and his followers, and did much to produce that excitement 
and discontent throughout the island which rendered the spread 
of the insurrection exceedingly probable, yet they could see 
no sufficient proof either of his complicity in the outbreak at 
Morant Bay, or of his having been a party to a general conspiracy 
against the Government. They added their opinion ' that the true 
explanation of Mr. Gordon's conduct is to be found in the account 
which he has given of himself : " I have gone as far as I can go, 
but no further," ' and that though this educated member of the 
Legislature might know well the distinction between (to use his 
own words) a " rebellion " and a " demonstration," it would not be 
so easy to his ignorant and fanatical followers. When we are told 
that as recently as September 4 he had used the words at a meeting, 
" We must do as Haiti does," it is difficult to feel any very profound 
sympathy with him, and the cry of one of the blacks who was being 



THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 215 

led to execution, " See what Massa Gordon bring me to," is a melan- 
choly commentary on whatever good intentions Mr. Gordon may 
have been endowed with.' Yet a case of such gravity demanded a 
more responsible tribunal than a court-martial consisting of two 
naval lieutenants and an ensign in a West India regiment. 

The publication of the report and the evidence in the form of 
an enormously bulky Blue-book produced a profound effect, and 
rekindled the flame of agitation, which had somewhat died down. 
Whether a strong Ministry could have reinstated Eyre in his post 
as Governor, and whether after a verdict in which praise and 
censure were so closely blended they would have been justified, may 
be doubted. But Lord KusselPs Administration was notoriously 
weak, and the outcry against Eyre raged fiercest among those with 
whom he could least afford to quarrel. Governor Eyre was recalled. 
His fall was made as gentle for him as possible by the terms in 
which the decision was communicated to him ; but the blunt fact 
remained that he was a ruined man, and that his career was over. 
In May 1866 he quitted the island which, in the opinion of nine- 
tenths of the white population, he had saved from the horrors 
of Haiti and St. Domingo, carrying away with him such a tribute 
of gratitude, regard, and affection as falls to the lot of few colonial 
Governors. 1 

The Jamaica Committee at home were scarcely more satisfied 
with what they called the feeble and timid report. As far back 
as January they had consulted Mr. (afterwards Sir) James Fitz- 
james Stephen as to the proper steps to take for invoking the law, 
and they now prepared to act on his opinion. A serious differ- 
ence, however, soon made itself manifest in their ranks. The 
majority of the Committee and their supporters were for the 
immediate prosecution of the ex-Governor and his subordinates on 
the charge of murdering Gordon. The Government, when inter- 
rogated in Parliament, declined to undertake any such proceeding, 
on the ground that Eyre had been fully convinced of Gordon's 
guilt and had acted without legal ' malice.' Not deterred by this, 
the Committee resolved to prosecute, either by themselves or 
through Mrs. Gordon, and fresh funds were collected and the 

1 It may be added that several months after the Commissioners had come 
home, and when Eyre's successor, Sir Peter Grant, was firmly in the saddle, a 
number of trials before the regular civil tribunals proved much more premeditation 
in the outbreak than had come out before the Commissioners, and sentences of 
great severity were awarded by the Courts. 



216 THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 

meetings renewed through the country. Their chairman, how- 
ever, Mr. Buxton, M.P. for East Surrey, resigned his position and 
seceded from the Committee, followed by several others who held 
with him that criminal proceedings were bound to fail and would 
result in a triumph to the accused, and that they might rest 
content with the recall and disgrace of the Governor. 

A final effort, however, was made to induce the Government 
to follow the wishes of the Jamaica Committee, and on July 31 
Mr. Buxton moved a series of resolutions deploring the excessive 
punishments that had been inflicted during the late disturbances, 
approving the dismissal of Governor Eyre, calling for compensa- 
tion to the families of the black victims, and for a remission of 
sentences for all those still undergoing punishments. Lord 
Eussell's Administration had been overthrown on June 18, and 
Lord Derby reigned in his stead, the Colonial Office being repre- 
sented in the Commons by Sir Charles Adderley (now Lord 
Norton), the Under Secretary. 

Mr. Buxton's speech was free from the intemperances of the 
platform, but it contained a powerful and moving recital of the 
floggings and burnings, a fierce attack on the youngsters who 
comprised the courts-martial, on the senior officers who approved 
and confirmed their sentences, and on the ' cold indifference to 
the anguish of the people exhibited by the Governor.' He made 
light of the supposed danger to the island, laughed at the idea of 
conspiracy, and represented the tumult and massacre at Port 
Morant as an agrarian riot badly handled by the authorities. As 
was said by Sir Charles Adderley, he picked out of the report of 
the Commissioners all that censured the Jamaica authorities, and 
omitted all that praised or excused them. Mr. John Stuart Mill 
followed with a cold logical argument, in which he expressed his 
intention of prosecuting Eyre and of establishing ' the great 
principle of the responsibility to the law of all agents of the 
Executive for taking human life without justification.' 

The burden of opposition fell upon Mr. Card well and Mr. 
\V. E. Forster, who had been respectively Secretary and Under 
Secretary for the Colonies during the period when Eyre's conduct 
was under investigation. Mr. Forster held that the Governor 
deserved the censure of the House of Commons, but deprecated 
the idea of prosecution ; and while crediting Eyre with being a 
humane and conscientious man, said that there were particular 
circumstances connected with the Jamaica Act which practically 



THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 217 

left the Governor no option in declaring martial law. Mr. 
Card well went further, and expressed strong concurrence with all 
the language used by the Commissioners in Eyre's favour, and 
pointed to him as a man who, amid universal anxiety and alarm, 
had retained some portion, at any rate, of his self-possession. 
The fatal mistake had been, he said, the continuance of martial 
law for the full period of thirty days. Mr. Eussell Gurney rose 
to asseverate his opinion that while the evidence on which Gordon 
was condemned might have possibly subjected him to an indict- 
ment for sedition, it was totally insufficient to justify a conviction 
for murder. At the same time he indignantly traversed Mr. 
Buxton's description of the original outbreak, both as to its origin 
and gravity, and pointed out how completely the latter had 
ignored the planned risings, the drillings, the war-cry of ' Colour 
for colour ! ' and the significant fact that ' the trash-houses ' for 
crushing the sugar were invariably left standing on the ruined 
plantations for the use of their future masters. 

Mr. Baillie Cochrane (afterwards Lord Lamington) and Colonel 
North (not the nitrate king, but the member for Oxfordshire) spoke 
out for Eyre. Mr. Hughes, on the other hand, thought he ought 
to welcome the opportunity of clearing his character in the dock, 
and Mr. Ayrton, afterwards famous as Mr. Gladstone's First Com- 
missioner of Works, advocated impeachment, a course which was 
not likely to commend itself to those who remembered the dreary 
farce into which the proceedings against Warren Hastings had de- 
generated. Finally, after Sir Charles Adderley had intimated that 
both compensation and a revision of sentences were in contempla- 
tion, the House passed, without a division, the resolution deploring 
the excessive punishments, and allowed the others to be withdrawn. 

The Jamaica Committee had received somewhat cold en- 
couragement, but it now set to work, under the chairmanship of 
Mr. Mill, to bring the man whom they regarded as ' the splendid 
delinquent ' to justice. There were many who hoped to see him 
hang as high as Governor Wall, whom tardy justice had overtaken 
in 1802 for acts of cruelty committed twenty years before. The 
recently published letters of John Eichard Green record Lady 
Salisbury's epigram, ' Here is the Eyre, come, let us kill him.' 

Meanwhile Eyre's friends had not been idle. When the first 
mutterings of the storm had become audible, Henry Kingsley, 
the brilliant writer whose novels have been somewhat eclipsed 
by a brother's fame, had dwelt on his splendid Australian 



218 THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 

record, and described him as a man eminently ' kind, generous, 
and just.' The author of ' Geoffrey Hamlyn ' could speak with 
some authority, both as to his championship of the natives and 
his work as an explorer. Sir Koderick Murchison, as the President 
of the Eoyal Geographical Society, was no less warm in his praises. 
And in the ' Daily Telegraph ' of December 19, 1865, appeared a 
letter signed John Kuskin, which, amid much charming irre- 
levance, protested that the writer had thought better of Mr. Mill 
and Mr. Hughes ' than that they would countenance this fatuous 
outcry against Governor Eyre.' ' Let the men,' he added, ' who 
would now deserve well of England, reserve their impeachments, 
or turn them from those among us who have saved colonies to 
those who have destroyed nations.' 

But a fiercer fighter than Ruskin was to come on the scene. 
Brooding in his lonely room at Cheyne Row, the Sage of Chelsea 
was stirred into a white heat of fury at what he considered the 
base and ungenerous treatment of Governor Eyre. In charac- 
teristic language he branded his recall and prosecution as the 
' reward for saving the West Indies and hanging one incendiary 
mulatto, well worth the hanging if I can judge.' To quote the 
words of Mr. Froude : 

Beaten as he himself was to the ground, he took weapon in hand again, and 
stood forward with such feeble support as he could find for an unpopular cause 
in defence of a grossly injured man. 

An ' Eyre Defence Committee ' was formed in the course of 
the autumn, and an appeal to the public was made for funds, 
which was liberally responded to. Carlyle was voted into the 
chair at the first meeting, and became, with Sir Roderick Mur- 
chison, its vice-president. Ruskin and Charles Kingsley were 
among its leading spirits, and on December 15, 1866, Carlyle 
sent to Miss Bromley a copy of a speech by the former, and wrote : 

While all the world stands tremulous, shilly-shallying from the gutter, 
impetuous Ruskin plunges his rapier up to the very hilt in the abominable belly 
of the vast blockheadism, and leaves it staring very considerably. 

Carlyle's own metaphor has been often quoted : the captain of 
a burning ship, by immediate and bold exertion, had put the fire 
out, and had been called to account for having flung a bucket or 
two of water into the hold beyond what was necessary. He had 
damaged some of the cargo, perhaps, but he had saved the ship. 

All through the year meetings and counter-meetings were 
held up and down the country side, and the Press teemed with 



THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 219 

letters, argumentative and vituperative. Society was rent asunder 
much as the French nation over the Dreyfus case, and many of 
the ' demonstrations ' were of a stormy character. There are 
survivors who remember when a ' knuckle-duster ' was part of the 
equipment of those who held strong views, and were prone to express 
them to an adverse audience. Governor Eyre himself arrived in 
England on August 12, and was greeted with a complimentary 
banquet at Southampton, at which Charles Kingsley was reported 
to have described his actions in Jamaica as a display of modern 
chivalry, words which prompted Sir George Trevelyan to write : 

Let's rather speak of what was felt by us who value ' Yeast ' 
On learning who had led the chair at that triumphal feast, 
Where Hampshire's town and county joined a civic wreath to fling 
O'er him, the great pro-consul, whose renown through time shall ring. 
.... That he who gave our ancient creeds their first and rudest shock, 
Till half the lads for pattern took his Chartist Alton Locke, 
.... Should teach that ' modern chivalry ' has found its noblest egress 
In burning Baptist villages, and stringing up a negress. 

On January 6, 1867, Mr. Stephen applied at Bow Street 
before Sir Thomas Henry, on behalf of Mr. Mill and Mr. 
Peter Taylor (the widowed Mrs. Gordon having declined to 
prosecute), for a warrant against Colonel Nelson and Lieutenant 
Brand on the charge of having wilfully murdered George William 
Gordon, and after a good deal of evidence and a learned legal argu- 
ment, the accused were committed for trial at the Central Criminal 
Court. Mr. Stephen was less successful in his application for a 
warrant against Eyre himself. The latter was residing in Shrop- 
shire, at Adderley Hall, and on March 25 Mr. Stephen appeared 
before a full bench of magistrates at Market Dray ton, presided 
over by Sir Baldwin Leighton, Chairman of Quarter Sessions for 
the County. The ex-Governor was charged with having been an 
accessory before the fact to the murder of Gordon ; he was 
represented by the present Lord Chancellor, then Mr. Giffard, 
and after a prolonged hearing the application was refused, the 
magistrates being unanimously of opinion that the evidence did 
not raise a strong or probable presumption of guilt. 

At the Old Bailey, on April 10, an indictment for murder was 
duly preferred against Nelson and Brand. Sir Alexander Cockburn, 
Lord Chief Justice, himself charged the grand jury in an address 
which lasted six hours, and is looked upon as the classic judicial 
utterance on the history, existence, and nature of martial law in 
England. The points to which he asked the jury to direct their 



220 THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE 

mind were, whether the accused had jurisdiction to try Gordon, 
and, if so, was the jurisdiction exercised honestly, or corruptly for 
the purpose of getting rid of a political opponent. If the jury 
had any opinion that the jurisdiction to exercise martial law was 
not satisfactorily made out, or had any doubt whether the accused 
had acted honestly and faithfully in the discharge of their duties, 
then the Chief Justice thought it would be the safer course for the 
jury to ' let the matter go forward.' 

The jury ignored the bill, making, however, a formal present- 
ment that it was highly desirable that martial law should be more 
clearly defined a recommendation which has gone the way of 
most presentments. 

After this rebuff it was thought by many sympathisers with 
the Jamaica Committee that enough had been done, and that the 
wisdom of Mr. Buxton's advice had been justified. Amongst 
these was Mr. Stephen, who felt, according to his brother and 
biographer, that to proceed further would look like a vindictive 
prosecution, and he ceased for the future to act as their counsel, 
to the no small dudgeon of Mill, who chafed at such want of zeal 
in the matter. 

Nothing daunted, the Committee persisted on their course. 
and on June 2, 1868, an indictment was brought before a 
grand jury of Middlesex, in the Court of Queen's Bench, 
charging Mr. Eyre, in twenty-one counts, with various mis- 
demeanours in connection with the Jamaica rising. They 
included the maintenance of martial law after the necessity for it 
had ceased, the removal of Gordon from Kingston, and the causing 
him to be tried by a court which had no jurisdiction over him, 
together with the flogging of certain negroes, for which it was 
alleged he was directly responsible. 

Mr. Justice Blackburn, on whom, as senior puisne judge, it 
devolved to charge the grand jury, put the hypotheses in a some- 
what more favourable light to the accused than is to be found 
in the charge of his chief in the case of Nelson and Brand. 

' If the jury thought that Eyre sent Gordon to Morant Bay to hang him be- 
cause he would be acquitted under the common law and ordinary tribunals,' then 
it was an act of grave and lawless oppression, and a bill ought to be found at 
once. But if they should hold, putting themselves as much as possible in the 
Governor's position, ' that he thought there was a dangerous insurrection and 
conspiracy spreading throughout the island, and that it was necessary for sup- 
pressing it that Gordon should be summarily tried, because there was no time to 
wait,' then Eyre would be excused, however mistaken, in acting under the powers 
conferred upon him by the Colonial Legislature for that purpose, and there 



THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE. 221 

should be no bill. Secondly, Was Eyre guilty of that degree of want of care and 
reasonable calmness and moderation which a man in his position was bound to 
exercise as to render him criminally responsible ? 

The jury found for Eyre on both points by ignoring the bill. 

This was the last criminal proceeding to which the ex- 
Grovernor was subjected, though he was harassed by a series of 
civil suits for assault, false imprisonment, &c., the last of which, 
by a negro named Phillipps, was dismissed in January 1869, the 
indemnity of the Colonial Legislature being deemed a sufficient 
estoppel. The Jamaica Committee had ceased to exist by that time, 
having failed, as Mr. Peter Taylor admitted, in its main object, 
but ' having procured an authoritative declaration that the law 
was what they maintained it to be.' And as John Stuart Mill puts 
it in his ' Autobiography ' : 

We had given an emphatic warning to those who might be tempted to 
similar guilt thereafter, that though they might escape the actual sentence of a 
criminal tribunal, they were not safe against being put to some trouble and ex- 
pense in order to avoid it. 

Of that there can be no doubt, for on July 8, 1872, Parlia- 
ment voted 4,133. to defray the costs incurred by Mr. Eyre in 
the various criminal prosecutions instituted against him. The 
vote, in spite of the fact that the Government were pledged to it 
by a promise made by their predecessors, was bitterly opposed, 
and eventually carried by 243 to 130, after a debate in which the 
whole story of the rising and its suppression was thrashed out again. 

With that vote Governor Eyre disappears from history, and 
his death at Walreddon Manor, near Tavistock, on November 30 
last was only a surprise because few imagined him to be still 
living. In his long retirement he maintained dignified silence 
on the events which had once convulsed England, and he 
left his case to the verdict of posterity. As to what that verdict 
should be men will always differ, as was said by his biographer 
in the ' Times,' so long as the types of mind represented by 
Kuskin, Froude, and Carlyle on the one hand, are matched by 
those of Bright and Mill and Buxton on the other. Whatever 
his errors of judgment may have been and they were un- 
doubtedly grave it seems to me that he saved Jamaica from 
a terrible civil war, and that he met with but a scant measure of 
that tolerance and consideration which is the meed of all men 
who are called upon to act promptly in a moment of great peril. 

J. B. ATLAY. 



A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 

XIII. 

ALTHOUGH at the time of writing it is only mid-January, there 
is a feeling of spring in the air. Our letters from Loamshire 
report the first crocus of the season in the south garden at Proud- 
flesh Park; and Tom Topham-Sawyer, sending us a brace of 
pheasants, remarked with characteristic grace that in this muggy 
weather nothing would keep, and so he was obliged to clear out his 
larder. But, though the physical season is thus abnormally mild, 
there is a certain rigour in the religious atmosphere of Stuccovia, 
and for its cause we must look back a little. The vicar returned 
from Torquay just at the end of Advent ; but the accumulation 
of Christmas Trees, social gatherings, and Plum-Pudding Services 
has proved a little too much for even his renovated strength. On 
the last night of the old year he conducted a novel devotion in 
church. It was announced as ' voices of eminent preachers, 
heard through the phonograph, with illustrative comments ' and 
was so timed that, just as the clock struck twelve, Dr. Liddon was 
heard saying, in the tone of a half-stifled Punch, ' We stand at a 
division of time : we look backward and we look onwards.' The 
effect, as the Parish Magazine said, was supernaturally solemn, 
but the reaction was too much for Soulsby. The pew-opener 
tells Bertha that he swooned in the vestry, and that, when she 
pressed a glass of water to his lips and the curate told him to buck 
up, he only murmured with half-closed eyes 

0, 'tis a burthen, Bumpstead, 'tis a burthen 
Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven. 

When Bertha reported this collapse, Selina observed with acrimony 
that if Mr. Soulsby would only take Pulsatilla before preaching 
and Grape-nuts afterwards, perhaps he wouldn't have to desert his 
parish for six months every year. But Dr. Snuffin, who has in 
high perfection that faculty of sympathy which is so invaluable 
in a family physician, likened his patient to a high-bred racer 
which will go till it drops ; and recommended him to lie in bed 
till ten every morning and to drink a pint of dry champagne 
with his luncheon and dinner. The churchwardens, the district- 



A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 223 

visitors, and the Fishers in Deep Waters, joined in a chorus of 
warning against ' overdoing it,' and the vicar so far yielded as to 
call in a good deal of clerical assistance. Father Adderley has 
more than once swooped down from his high perch in the Maryle- 
bone Eoad ; and the Cowley Fathers from Dartmouth Street have 
been unremitting in their attentions. Hence arises that rigour of 
which I spoke before as marring the mildness of our religious 
atmosphere. I have observed that, whether on grounds of reason 
or of mere prejudice, English people dislike a man in a petticoat 
' a woman with a great peard under her muffler ' and though 
Father Black and Father Waggett have given us the most 
excellent sermons, their appearance in Stucco Koad, which is the 
part of our parish least touched by ecclesiastical influences, has 
given rise to unfavourable comment. The minister of the Wesleyan 
Chapel has preached a discourse on the ' Vestments of Baal,' 
which has been reported in the local press ; and Miss Scrimgeour, a 
member of the ' Presbyterian Church of England,' whatever that 
may be, has been distributing from door to door a warning poem 
(printed at Chelmsford), which lamentably fails to distinguish 
between our truly Anglican organisations and those of an alien type. 

THE COMING OF THE MONKS. 

Wnerefore should they come to England, 

Companies of banded foes : 
Come to England in the open, 

While their tactics England knows 
If their influence is evil 

Where the legislature ties, 
What their mischief where their system 

Legislative law defies ? 

Freedom ! 1 Ay, aye, give them freedom 

Such as we and ours may claim, 
In the ranks of social labour 

To uphold an honest name 
But I know not, oh, I know not 

Where is England's common sense, 
That she lets her halls to traitors 

And ignores her own defence. 

Is it not enough that lately 

Up and down the land has sprung 
Locked and barred and bolted buildings 

For the hiding of our young 1 
Many a father would have sooner 

Parted with his household stuff ; 
Many a mother's heart is broken 

Tell me, is it not enough ? 



m A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOR 

Do we want our boys to wither 

'Neath a monasteric blight ; 
With the priestly bands around them 

And the Bible out of sight ? 
Should we swell the list of voters, 

Who at touch of foreign spring, 
Through the ballot could endanger 

The position of our king ? 

Wherefore should they come to England ? 

Wherefore should their haunts be free 
From the government inspector, 

In this land of liberty ? 
And since nuns are noted beggars, 

How does English law avail, 
While these bold bag-carrying spinsters 

All escape the common gaol 1 

An alarmist 1 aye, I know it, 

My opponents know it too ; 
Know the danger and the duty 

Of the Protestants they woo : 
It might rouse us could we witness 

How they grin behind their cowl, 
At our ineffectual clearing 

Of the nest they come to foul. 

O, the sorrow would be lessened 

If old England did not Itnom ; 
But she has the lights of ages 

Falling on her welcomed foe : 
God sends night to those who love it, 

And our warnings men will note, 
When the papacy in England 

Takes her hostess by the throat. 

' This is eloquence,' said Queen Caroline, when Jeanie Deans 
had made an end of pleading for her sister. ' This is eloquence ' 
cried many a Stuccovian Protestant, when he pictured the British 
father ' parting with his household stuff' to save his son. The 
scene of the Papacy taking her hostess by the throat seemed to 
suggest a woodcut for the 'Police News.' The thought of our 
monastic preachers ' grinning ' at us ' behind their cowl ' was 
excessively annoying ; and, as an excuse for not giving is always 
welcome, our front doors have been rudely banged in the face of 
the ' bold bag-carrying spinsters ' from the convent in Stucco 
Vale. 

To what lengths this religious rigour would have gone, and 
how far it would have frozen the stream of neighbourly goodwill, 
it skills not now to inquire ; for, before a parochial crisis had 



A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 225 

time to arise, a sudden scare of smallpox has recalled our atten- 
tion to the secular sphere. As long as the disease confined its 
ravages to Camberwell and Poplar we regarded it with philosophic 

calm. 

We bore their sufferings with such equanimity 
That everyone exclaimed, ' What magnanimity 1 ' 

We agreed that sanitation was everything that if people would 
live in filth they must expect disease ; and as Stuccovia is a 
remarkably clean and airy district we felt that virtue was its own 
reward. But one fine day a case was reported from Stucco 
Gardens Mews, and in an instant the whole spirit of the place 
was changed. How the disease had made its way into so well- 
regulated a parish we shall never know ; and indeed the sceptical 
are inclined to believe that it has never been within five 
miles of our sacred precincts. But undoubtedly one of the 
district visitors found a child with a rash, and insisted on calling 
in Dr. Snuffin, who, with disinterested zeal for the public health, 
told all his patients that they must at once be re vaccinated. 
Marvellous was the result of this ukase. Selina, who, since she 
took to unauthorised systems of medicine, has poured scorn on 
vaccination as a disgusting and archaic superstition, not only was 
vaccinated herself, but caused a domestic revolution by insisting 
that all the servants should follow suit. Muggins, the dingy 
retainer, had been deeply pitted with the disease in infancy, but 
this availed him nothing against Selina's sanitary zeal ; and the 
cook, who will never see sixty again, pleaded in vain the case, 
well known to her, of a young person at Friller's, the great dress- 
maker's, who ' 'ad such a harm through bein' done that it 'ad to 
be cut hoff above the elber.' 

Mr. Soulsby preached a mystical sermon on the Golden Calf, 
interpreting it as prophetic of that most beneficent boon of 
science which will be immortally associated with the name 
of Jenner ; and fainted three times when subjected to the process. 
Mr. Barrington-Bounderley, laudably anxious to set a good 
example to his constituents, goes about with a red ribbon tied 
round the arm of his astrachan coat. Dr. Snuffin, whose horses 
have hitherto been a little touched in the wind or else afflicted 
with string-halt, and were presumably bought cheap in considera- 
tion of those infirmities, has now broken out into a pair of 
steppers ; and a grand piano has been seen going in at his 
drawing-room window, 

VOL. XII. NO. 68, N.Sf. 15 



226 A LONDONER'S LOCI- BOOK. 

Young Bumpstead ' took ' rather badly, and carries his left 
arm in a sling. Having been recommended by Snuffin to take it 
easy for a day or two, he spends most of his time in our dining- 
room, where his contests with Bertha at Ping- Pong are Homeric, 
and have led to betting. Bertha is a capital hand at all athletic 
exercises. She rides, rows, skates, swims, and cycles, has won the 
Ivoamshire Annual Prize for lawn-tennis, and captains a girls' golf 
club. When she is staying in Stuccovia she rather misses these 
accustomed exercises, and Ping-Pong is the only substitute which 
our resources provide. Selina, indeed, has a certain contempt for 
bodily prowess. She likes games which, as she says, ' involve a 
little mind,' and when I seek to renew my youth by playing 
croquet she professes that she can see nothing to admire in a fat 
man trying to squeeze a big ball through a narrow hoop, though, 
to be sure, it is better than bowls. ' My dear Robert, if you 
were such a goose as to stoop double directly after dinner you 
would die no other death.' That a bosom which harbours these 
sentiments should have melted towards Ping-Pong is, I am con- 
vinced, partly due to the influence of fashion. My Selina loves 
to keep abreast with what Soulsby calls ' the great mundane 
movement.' She has heard that Lord Salisbury and the Bishop 
of London played Ping-Pong when they met at Sandringham the 
other day, and (though she expressed a high-sniffing contempt for 
such nonsense when she first read it) I am persuaded that this 
paragraph from ' Classy Cuttings ' was not without its effect upon 
her mind. It has been suggested by unfriendly critics of the 
game that the language is ironical ; but Selina, who has all the 
admirable gravity of her sex, takes it ' at the foot of the letter.' 

Conferences about political party matters, about the settlement of the Boer 
War, about education, and the housing of the working classes are no doubt all 
very well in their way. They may be useful, of course, and for those who are 
interested in such matters they may have their importance. But the really 
momentous question of the day is, How can we best promote the interests of the 
great Ping-Pong movement ? How can the game be most widely popularised ? 
What can be done to add interest to it, and to bring the rules by which it is 
governed into closer harmony with the eternal principles of right and justice ? 
Some of the greatest of living authorities, and many of the most gifted and 
accomplished players in the British Empire, have, I understand, been sitting in 
solemn conclave for the discussion of imperatively needed changes in the laws 
of the game, and anxiously debating proposals for some sort of national federa- 
tion. It seems probable therefore that Ping-Pong is about to enter on a new 
phase of interest and importance, and that upper and middle-class society will 
have less time and attention to bestow on such troublesome and unpleasant 
matters as the South African War and the evils of the drink-trade. 



A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 227 

Selina does not herself play Ping-Pong, though she is all in 
favour of it for the young and thoughtless. Her own brow wears 
a preoccupied air, and there is that in her manner and bearing 
which assures me that her mind is big with solemn purposes. 

Lord Beaconsfield, when he depicted the high-born damsels 
of Muriel Towers brushing their hair at night, broke off with the 
quaint aposiopesis, ' But we must not profane the mysteries of 
Bona Dea.' I am much too cautious to commit myself to any 
original observations about woman's dress ; but I am conscious of 
an impalpable feeling in the air which portends some startling 
development. Just a year ago, a loyal population was plunged 
into mourning ; and, though Selina really looks her best in black, 
and was once told with amiable frankness by dear old Lady 
Farringford, that she ' was a fright in yaller,' I have for some 
time been aware that she was growing restive under the dis- 
cipline of twelve months' sombreness. Bertha frankly revels in 
bright colours, and, if left to her own devices, would bedizen her- 
self like a macaw. For my own part, these concerns do not 
touch me, as long as my women-kind confine their operations to 
Stuccovia ; but occasionally our old friends of the County or the 
world remember us, and then I have to escort my wife and 
sister-in-law into a more formidable society. I confess to anxious 
moments when I see the lost companions of my youth gazing 
critically at Selina's gown, or hear them whispering that Bertha 
isn't a bad-looking girl, but her clothes look as if they had come 
out of a rag-bag. Splendour we cannot attain ; but a chaste 
sobriety of apparel is within our compass, and I dread experi- 
ments in millinery. Judge, therefore, of my consternation when 
I lately picked up a notice of Friller's winter sales, and found 
the following items marked with Selina's violet ink : 

Navy Blue Serge Bolero, trimmed blue and white velvet, with large ermine 
sailor collar, skirt with box-pleated flounce, and strapped blue and white velvet. 

Red Faced Cloth Zouave, fancy strapping of own material, white embroidered 
cloth collar, facings and cuffs studded with quaint buttons, skirt strapped and 
studded to match coat. 

Mauve Shag Cloth Russian Blouse, collar and facings and cuffs of white cloth, 
with fancy braid box-pleated skirt. 

Ducks-egg Green Coat, faced velvet, and trimmed white braid, slightly soiled. 

Mauve Hopsac, strapped faced cloth, bolero and skirt stitched and tucked, 
lined through silk, slightly soiled ; suitable for short stout figure. 

Well indeed is it for ardent youth that it cannot foresee its 
future. ' Seek not to proticipate,' is the wisest of warnings. On 

152 



228 A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 

that long-distant night at the Loamshire Hunt Ball, when I first 
learned that I had proposed to Selina and had been accepted by 
her, I little thought that I should some day have to lead about 
a wife in a Navy Blue Bolero or a Shag Cloth Blouse ; but even 
less that the developments of time would link me to a ' short 
stout figure,' in a ' Mauve Hopsac,' or a ' Ducks-egg Green Coat, 
slightly soiled.' 

But, if these things are to be done as I understand they 
are in the light of day, far worse are the deeds of darkness. 
Under the heading of ' Evening Dresses,' I find that the violet 
ink has been alarmingly busy. Sympathetic crosses of appro- 
bation are prefixed to the succeeding items, while marks of 
interrogation against the annexed prices indicate a characteristic 
determination to drive a bargain : 

Pink Chiffon Princess Gown, bodice embroidered corals and pearls, hand- 
somely trimmed lace, flowing overtrain. 20 gns. 

Black Point d'Esprit gown, baby bodice, trimmed jet and silver sequins, em- 
broidered on cream panne, skirt with 18 net frills in front and wider at back, 
niched at waist. 18 gns. 

Pink Kilted Chiffon Princess Dress, with insertion of ecru lace, black lace 
applique, pin-boxed velvet poppies. 12 gns. 

White soft satin, with lace embroidered violets in baskets and pearls, embroi- 
dered sequins, straps of velvet, applique lace and velvet flowers, baby bodice em- 
broidered jet and steel, with primula garniture. 25 gns. 

Now if, as I surmise, some at least of these garments are in- 
tended for Bertha's wearing, I confess that I deplore the prospect. 
I cannot believe that the dear girl will look her best in ' Pink 
Kilted Chiffon,' even though it be enlivened by ' pin-boxed velvet 
poppies.' The object of dress, I take it, is marriage ; and that 
supreme end of woman will, I believe, be more readily attained 
by simpler methods. Bertha Topham-Sawyer in a well-cut habit, 
popping over the Loamshire fences, or tittupping along Rotten 
Row, is a spectacle as attractive as Die Vernon on her black hunter 
or Mary of Scotland on ' Rosabelle.' In a home-spun skirt and a 
red jacket, wielding a golf-club or driving the ' bung ' at hockey, 
she is a figure that might inspire heroes, and is absolutely fatal 
to susceptible curates. But in a ' baby bodice ' and ' flowing over- 
train,' ' niched ' at the waist, and garnished with primulas, she 
will, I fear, create a less felicitous impression. 

It used, I believe, to be held by that section of English society 
to which Selina and I by birth belonged that ' frippery was the 
ambition of a huckster's daughter ; ' but one cannot live twenty 



A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 229 

years in Stuccovia without imbibing something of its spirit. Evil 
communications with the Cashingtons and the Barrington- 
Bounderleys corrupt good manners ; and for my own part I fancy 
that, in our narrow sphere, we are experiencing that ' Americani- 
sation of the World' on which Mr. Stead has just expended 164 
pages of luscious rhetoric. The American invasion has reached us 
through Lady Farringford ; and here I must be understood as in- 
dicating the wife of the present peer. The dear old dowager 
remains unshaken in the convictions of her youth. To her, 
Americans are a set of people who talk through their noses, dine 
with their ' helps,' and drape the legs of their pianos ; nor would 
either argument or eloquence move her from that sure anchorage. 
But, in spite of these prepossessions, her son, the present Lord 
Farringford, having partly ruined himself at Newmarket and com- 
pleted the process at Monte Carlo, has repaired his shattered for- 
tunes by marrying Miss Van Oof of New York, whose father made 
his millions by the famous ' corner ' in canvas-backed ducks. 
And the new Lady Farringford, being young, pretty, rich, and 
outspoken, has had a deserved success in London. Her intimacy 
in the highest quarters, reported in the society journals of New 
York, provoked from a friend of her youth the sarcastic exclama- 
tion, ' What ! Sally Van Oof sporting in the lap of Eoyalty ? 
You bet your last biscuit she'll roll off ! ' But the prophecy is not 
yet fulfilled. The dowager, who knows the market value of social 
commodities as well as most of us, has conveniently forgotten her 
former sarcasms against Vanderbilts and Astors, and has given 
tea-parties in honour of her daughter-in-law. Contrary to 
my expectations, Selina has ' taken immensely ' to young Lady 
Farringford. Even Bertha thinks she is ' rather a dear'; and she 
has conciliated parochial sympathy by pronouncing Mr. Soulsby 
' a lovely man.' But she brings with her an atmosphere of 
worldliness which I perceive and deplore. Her taste in dress 
is flamboyant. Her habits of expenditure are difficult to keep 
pace with. She defies all the social proprieties in which Selina 
and I were nurtured. And yet she confidently reckons on being 
invited to the ' courts ' which the King and Queen are to hold ; 
and she has just carried off Bertha to Norfolk House to inspect 
the model of the robes in which she will flaunt at the Coronation. 



230 



THE GIFTS. 

WHENAS my child was ten days old. 

Beside his tiny cot I laid 
My slender wedding ring of gold 

Upon a table white arrayed ; 
Cakes and fruits moreover, 

And a piece of silver money, 

And a pot of mountain honey, 
Smelling of thyme and clover, 

And three new almonds therewithin, 

The Fairy Ladies' grace to win. 



So when I knew he soundly slept, 
As any blossom pink and small, 

Behind the curtain-fold I crept, 

And watched to see what should befall ; 

And presently a brightness 
About the doorway kindled, 
So that the firelight dwindled 

Then came, all clad in whiteness, 

The Ladies Three, and stood and smiled, 
Looking upon my little child. 

Then said the first, ' This fruit and cake 
I claim that he may hunger sore.' 

The second said, ' This coin I take 
Poverty he shall know therefore.' 

The third one, reaching over, 
Took the ring, laughing lightly, 
' New sorrows daily and nightly 

Shall pierce the hapless lover. 

Now have we left him void and bare 
Unto the bitter world's cold air ! ' 

Then was I torn 'twixt grief and rage, 
Whether to curse them there and die, 

Who robbed my dear's poor heritage, 
And bid him cold and hungry lie, 



THE GIFTS. 231 

Or to kneel down before them, 

And pray them for repentance 

Of this their cruel sentence, 
And with wild words implore them, 

And with a mother's anguish plead, 

To change the doom they had decreed. 

But suddenly there seemed to wake 

A music like a silver bell ; 
And if they sang, or if they spake, 

Or if I dreamed, I cannot tell. 
A singing and a ringing, 

Like rivers murmuring lowly, 

Like wind-rocked pine trees slowly 
Their woven branches swinging, 

Filled all the room : and one did stand 

With the honey-jar in her right hand. 

Then said the first, ' This child I dower 

With fragrance of the mountain thyme, 
And sweetness of the clover-flower, 

Set in imperishable rhyme.' 
The next, ' And in his hearing 

Shall bees be ever humming, 

In filmy flight still coming 
With drowsy sounds endearing.' 

The third, ' I give the glory and glow 

Of yon great sea that rolls below.' 

' Sleep soft,' they sang ; ' thy little lips 

Not yet in deathless song shall stir, 
Not yet thy rosy finger-tips 

Shall touch or lute or dulcimer : 
Weaned from the world's gross pleasure, 

By pain and fast made worthy, 

Eternal fame waits for thee, 
And everlasting treasure. 

Then shalt thou greet us where we dwell 

On our clear heights till then, farewell.' 

MAY BYRON. 



232 



LA DOCTORESSE MA LORE ELLE. 

WHEN the doctors advised us to go and settle in the mountains, 
for the sake of our baby-boy who was just recovering from a long 
and serious illness, we were delighted. As we had always lived 
in towns, we longed for the open fields, exclaiming with Horace : 
' rua, quando ego te aspiciam ? ' 

My husband at once looked out for a country church. The 
parish of B., over three thousand feet high, in the Cevennes 
mountains, was in want of a pastor, so he went and reconnoitred. 
He found it was just what we were seeking, and the inhabitants, 
descendants of the old Huguenots, welcomed him enthusiastically. 

When we arrived at B., in the month of June, the country 
was at its best. The meadows were covered with a profusion of 
wild flowers, the green corn was waving in the fields, the brooks 
babbling gaily as they skirted the edges of the pine forests. 
Wherever we turned picturesque views met our charmed gaze, 
and we congratulated one another on having found a home in 
such exquisite scenery. 

What was our surprise to find that these beauties of Nature 
were unappreciated by the peasants ! 

When we admired the many-hued sweet-scented flowers we 
were told they spoilt the hay ; the bold rocky mountains were 
bad pasture-land, and the lovely ferns only good for fodder. Once 
I made a nosegay of large wild pansies that spread like a fragrant 
carpet at our feet. Next morning a girl called at the Manse with 
a basket full of them, wanting to sell them at twopence the 
pound ! I lifted the lid, and there were hundreds of the lovely 
blooms crushed and stalkless. She had seen me gathering them 
.and thought I wanted them for herb-tea. 

The longer we stayed at B. the more we were struck by the 
contrast between its romantic surroundings and its unpoetic in- 
habitants. They did not even use the produce of their country 
for themselves, and instead of thriving on creamy milk, golden 
butter, and new-laid eggs, as we had imagined, they carried all 
these to market to be turned into ready money, and lived on 
prosy fat bacon, cabbages, and potatoes in the form of soup. So 
attached were they to this diet that I once heard a young fellow 



LA DOCTORESSE MALGRE ELLE. 233 

grumble to his mother, who had cooked some barley for supper, 
' Well, mother, if a fellow can't have his cabbage soup every meal, 
life isn't wortn living.' 

The limpid water of the brooks they used internally, it is 
true, but externally it was applied on Sundays only in many 
cases. One fresh-looking woman was a constant scandal to her 
neighbours. She washed her face and hands several times a day, 
and was even suspected of taking baths ; they insinuated that she 
must have very little to do to have so much time to waste on her 
ablutions. 

Before we had discovered these manners and customs, we were 
surprised to find that in spite of the pure mountain air there was 
a good deal of sickness in B. We soon saw that it could not be 
otherwise with people living on such poor fare and having so 
complete a disregard of the aphorism that ' cleanliness is next 
to godliness.' Many of the complaints they suffered from were 
chronic, and they treated them with home-made remedies, such 
as tisanes (herb-tea), in the use of which the simplest French 
housewife is very skilful. But we were astonished to see that, 
even in acute cases of serious illness, a medical man was rarely 
sent for. This was due, first, to the high fees the doctors charged 
on account of the distance, the nearest living over two hours' 
drive from B., then to the fatalism of the peasants, whose 
habitual remark by the bedside of a sick friend was, ' If his hour 
has come, what is the use of sending for the doctor ? ' in which 
sentiment the patient fully acquiesced. Their economy was some- 
times productive of very serious consequences, as in the following 
case. 

My husband was called every autumn of our stay in B. to a 
peasant's house to bury a newborn babe. The mother would 
send for neither doctor nor nurse, with the result that each infant 
in turn died at the birth. He told the parents such parsimony 
was criminal and they promised to do differently, but they 
never did. 

When a doctor was summoned they had no scruple in beating 
down his fees. I saw this done once myself. After he had pre- 
scribed, the patient's wife asked : 

' How much is it ? ' 

' Let me see, how far is it ? Twenty kilometres or there- 
abouts. Then it is twenty francs ; I will say eighteen.' 

' Oh, perhaps not as much as that ! We are poor people.' 



234 I A DOCTORESSE MALGRE ELLE. 

Here the neighbours chimed in : ' Oh, yes, they are poor people. 
I wished myself miles away, I felt so uncomfortable for that 
doctor. But he was evidently an old hand. After a little more 
haggling, the woman put fifteen francs in his hand, saying : ' We 
shall not quarrel over three paltry francs ! ' He pocketed the 
money without further comment. 

As a rule the doctor was sent for too late, and the patient 
would die just before his arrival. In the midst of their grief, 
the nearest relatives (who would have to pay) never failed to 
exclaim : ' Send somebody to stop the doctor, quick ! ' 

So after a long drive the latter would be told, as he came in 
sight of the house, that all was over and he could go home again 
fee-less. 

They never dreamed of asking him to see the body to make 
sure that life was extinct. 

Such things were done in a free-and-easy style at B. Ked- 
tape existed but to a limited extent. For instance, no pastor 
could legally conduct a funeral before receiving the official 
document stating that the death of the person concerned had 
been verified by the mayor's clerk. And this paper always was 
handed in duly signed and stamped. But the clerk had not been 
near the deceased's house. A relative informed him that So-and- 
So was dead, and he delivered the ' permission to bury ' at once 
without any formalities. 

My husband feared that this casual way of interring people 
might lead to gruesome results, so he always ascertained the exact 
hour of the decease in order that the legal minimum delay of 
twenty-four hours should be observed. The peasants were in 
great haste to be rid of their dead. So many had but one room 
to live and die in. 

A neighbouring pastor told us he felt convinced he had buried 
a man alive. The person in question had been a hard drinker, a 
rarity in the mountains, and he expired, or appeared to do so, at 
the end of a drinking bout. A few days after the funeral, the 
pastor heard rumours which led him to investigate the matter. 
The responsible parties, on being pressed, admitted that when the 
body was put into the coffin it was still warm. Asked why they 
did not say so at the time, they replied : 

' We thought the brandy had preserved him, perhaps,' adding 
by way of explanation : 

' You see, everything was ready and we were not sure.' 



LA DOCTORESSR MALGRE ELLE. 235 

Then, to console the horror-struck pastor, they said cheerfully 

' He'll be dead by now, at any rate.' 

My husband was within a hair's-breadth of doing the same 
thing. 

A peasant called to ask him to conduct the funeral of a 
Monsieur Verne the next day. 

1 When did he die ? ' 

' To-day.' 

' Yes, but at what time ? ' 

The messenger replied calmly : 

' He must be dead by now, I should think.' 

' What ! do you mean to say he is still alive and you ask me 
to bury him ? ' 

'Well, you see, it's far from here and, as I happened to be 
coming this way, the family asked me to tell you. I am now 
going to the town hall to make the declaration of his death, to 
save sending a messenger on purpose. It's all right, there was 
scarcely any breath in him when I started ; he's dead now, for 
sure.' 

My husband pointed out the heartlessness of such a proceed- 
ing, and prevented his making the declaration. 

Eeceiving no further intimation from the family, my husband 
took occasion to go to their house a few weeks later ; the first 
person he saw was Monsieur Verne tying up cabbages in his 
garden. Knowing the peasants were not sensitive on such points, 
he told him how near he came to burying him. The good man 
was quite flattered, and ever after enjoyed a little local celebrity 
as the man whose funeral was ordered before he was dead. 

He was more fortunate than most men of his age (he was over 
forty), for as a rule their constitutions were so worn out with poor 
food and hard work that they rarely recovered from any disease 
that overtook them. 

Infants, too, were handicapped by the want of suitable 
nourishment. The mothers fed them on cabbage soup before 
they cut their teeth. An epidemic of whooping cough was at its 
height when we arrived at B., and the sufferings of the poor 
babies, greatly increased by the indigestible food, so touched my 
heart that I prescribed for two or three of them, little thinking 
with what consequences this action was fraught. 

I had the little mites' chests and backs rubbed night and 
morning with acetic acid, which had proved very useful in our 



'236 LA DOCTORESSE MALGRE* ELLE. 

baby-boy's illness, and gave them some homoeopathic medicines 
internally. They were well in a fortnight. 

The news of these cures spread like wild-fire through the 
parish, as we learned by subsequent events ; the first of which 
was the arrival of a peasant with her baby, saying she had 
heard Madame was a doctor and she had brought her child to be 
cured. My astonished maid replied : 

' Madame is not a doctor, you must mean somebody else.' 

But the woman insisted on seeing me. She told me she 
knew I cured babies, so had brought hers. Would I make him 
well ? And she lifted pleading eyes to mine. I gave her the 
same simple remedies and thought no more about it, for we were 
far from surmising that she was the first of hundreds who would 
come to see la doctoresse malgre elle. 

Yet so it was. Next day the bell rang constantly, and by 
night over twenty mothers had called for medicines. I supposed 
the rush was over, but I was mistaken, for during the following 
weeks our hall and dining-room were constantly filled with 
women and children, and now the former wanted remedies for 
themselves too. 

' But I am not a doctor,' I explained to the first woman who 
urged me to prescribe for her. 

' Madame could cure me if she liked,' was her reply. 

' I have never studied medicine ; all I know I have learned 
just by nursing my own family/ 

' Madame could cure me if she liked,' persisted the woman, 
and seeing she meant it, what was there for it but to give her 
the most suitable medicines I could think of? 

The climax arrived a week later. My maid came to me, her 
eyes sparkling with mischief. 

' Please, Madame, there's a man downstairs asking for you, 
and (here she giggled) I think he is ill.' 

1 111 ! ' I cried, ' but I do not see sick mm. Find out if he is 
ill, and tell him to go to a doctor.' 

Down she went, but soon re-appeared. 

'He says he must see you, Madame, but he will not say what for.' 

I went to my visitor and found a middle-aged peasant. 

' You wanted to speak to me ? ' 

' Yes, Madame.' A pause. ' It's my throat.' 

' So you are ill. You must consult a medical man. I only 
treat women and children.' 






LA DOCTORESSE MALGRE ELLE. 237 

' Won't your " stuff" do men good ? ' he asked with surprise. 

' I dare say it might.' 

' Then why won't you give me some ? I don't mind taking 
the same stuff as the babies.' 

I was perplexed ; he was incapable of understanding my 
difficulty, for those simple-minded peasants had very primitive 
ideas on the subject of proprieties. After a minute's reflection, 
T said : 

' Open your mouth and let me see your throat.' 

He did so, and I gave him his medicines, which he carried off 
triumphantly. 

Now the number of patients increased, for the men came too. 
One of the quaintest of them was the Mayor of Chabroulles. He 
was a wizened old man, wearing a coat cut very short in front, 
with little tails behind that terminated abruptly a foot below the 
waist. His high, unstarched collar was held erect by a volumi- 
nous neckcloth. His sockless feet were encased in huge black 
sabots, and he had a broad-brimmed felt hat on. His son, in 
more modern attire, signed to him to take his hat off. He did 
so, but replaced it by a black nightcap, which stood straight up 
like a sugar-loaf, surmounted by a tassel. It was the finishing 
touch ! 

' What are you suffering from ? ' I asked. 

He referred me by a sign to his son, who explained that the 
Mayor only spoke patois, so he had come to translate. After the 
consultation the son wrote down name and address ; the old man, 
thinking doubtless it was a document that needed signing, added 
a large cross, saying in patois, ' That's my mark.' 

At last I was so overdone with constant doctoring that I fixed 
three mornings a week for sick visitors. But this did not deter 
some from coming at all hours of the day or night. 

One woman on being told she could not see Madame, for she 
was lying down tired out, exclaimed : ' I don't mind going to her 
room,' and, suiting the action to the word, made for the staircase. 

One Saturday the bell rang soon after midnight. I found a 
peasant with an infant in her arms. 

' Not very good for baby to come out at this time of night,' 
I remarked. 

' It won't hurt her, she has been ill over five months.' 

' Over five months ! Then why did you not bring her this 
morning ? ' 



238 LA DOCTORESSE MALGRE ELLE. 

' I was at the fair at Chabroulles all day, and when I re- 
turned I felt, all of a sudden, that I would bring her.' 

I inwardly hoped that the rest of the parishioners would not 
feel ' all of a sudden ' that they would pay me nocturnal visits, 
but said nothing and gave the necessary remedies. 

The people eventually were not satisfied with coining to see 
me, they wanted me to visit them, and this is how that began. 

A peasant woman arrived one day accompanied by a village 
shopkeeper as spokeswoman. The latter informed me that the 
woman's husband was dangerously ill and wanted Monsieur le 
pasteur to go and administer the Communion. I promised to tell 
him at once, and expressed my sympathy. The women still 
lingered, the peasant signing to her friend to speak. 

' She wants you to go too, Madame.' 

' Indeed, and why ? ' 

' To give Monsieur Croche some medicine.' 

' She shall have some to take home, but she must fetch a 
doctor. I am told they may complain if I go to patients' houses.' 

Here Madame Croche burst into tears, and went down on her 
knees to me crying : 

' Oh, Madame, save my husband ! Pour I'amour de Dieu, 
save my husband ! ' 

I was moved ; no wife can hear that cry untouched. Her 
companion whispered to me : 

' They won't send for a doctor; they are poor, and it would 
cost them twenty-five francs and over. Madame will harm nobody 
by going.' 

So I agreed to go. We started off and reached Eette, the 
nearest village to the sick man's house, within an hour. There 
they told us to go down a road they called it a rough track full 
of rocks. Half an hour's scramble brought us to our destination. 
Madame Croche, who had gone home on horseback by a short 
cut then unknown to us, come out to meet us. We followed her 
indoors and found her husband in bed in a cupboard, as was 
customary in those parts. These cupboards had doors, which the 
peasants shut on cold nights to keep the warmth in. He was 
suffering from an ulcerated throat. He listened to my husband 
with great attention and took the Communion. I prescribed some 
remedies (he was well again in ten days), and we left to visit 
some parishioners close by. 

These offered to send us home in their cart ; in a rash moment 



LA DOCTORESSE MALGRE ELLE. 239 

I accepted. I have been in springless wood carts in Switzerland, 
I have driven over rough American roads in a broken-down buggy, 
but none' of these experiences, though they are still green (and 
blue) in my memory, came anywhere near that drive to Rette. 
It was like a sea-voyage, for now we were on the crest of a rock, 
then down in the hollow of a rut, with the difference that the 
sea lets you down gently and that road did not. At first I felt 
like pointing out the boulders to the driver, that he might avoid 
the largest of them, but I soon saw he had a soul above such 
trifles ; he drove stolidly over whatever lay in his path. Sud- 
denly a sharper jerk than usual sent me flying to the bottom of 
the cart. I picked myself up ruefully, explaining to my con- 
ductor, who seemed surprised at my behaviour, that it was the 
first time I had the privilege of driving over such a road in such 
a conveyance. ' It is a little rough ' was all he would admit. 

At last we arrived at Rette, and as we drew up in the little 
market-place, where my husband was to rejoin us, we were sur- 
rounded by people clamouring for medicine. My first male 
patient was among them. He told me his throat was quite well ; 
to prove his statement he advanced to the side of the vehicle, 
and when my husband came upon the scene this is what met his 
astonished gaze. A man with hat off and head thrown well back 
opening a large pair of jaws, his wife looking down from the 
cart into the man's throat, and a group of peasants watching the 
proceedings in spell-bound admiration. 

Now I was looked upon as the doctor of the parish, and was 
sent for from far and near. I went in cases of sudden emer- 
gencies, or when the sick person was really too poor to pay the 
doctor's fee. 

Once I was called to a year-old baby ; noticing the irritated 
state of the skin, I asked the mother if she ever washed him. 

; Washed him ? ' she replied indignantly, ' no, indeed, 
Madame ! What makes you think I would do such a thing ? 
He has always been delicate, but it is not my fault, for I can 
truthfully say I have never touched him with water, hot or cold.' 

That the preceding generation had an equal antipathy to 
performing their ablutions I discovered one day when letting my 
baby-boy paddle in the brook. A dear old lady over seventy, the 
nurse of the village, watched him with great interest ; then she 
turned to me and said : 

' There, now ! and to think you are not afraid of the little dear 



240 LA DOCTORESSE MALGRE ELLE. 

wetting his pretty feet ! Why, I have never put mine in water 
since I was born ! ' 

I was consulted for a girl who had taken a chill. I ordered a 
hot bath. The messenger assured me no one would take the 
responsibility of administering so heroic a remedy. Would I 
come and superintend ? I agreed to do so, and gave directions 
to have everything ready by the time I arrived. 

I found the mother and sisters assembled at the patient's 
bedside, looking like people prepared for the worst. I coaxed 
the girl into the bath, and, tucking up my sleeves, took advantage 
of the chance of soaping her well. When she had sat a few 
minutes in the tub, she exclaimed, ' Why, it's quite nice ! ' 

After she was snug in bed again, a knock was heard, and a 
neighbour put her head in, her face full of the deepest concern. 
She said : 

' I heard your poor Vasti was to have a bath. I have come to 
see if she is still alive ! ' 

Luckily the girl recovered in a few days. 

Epidemics were rare in B., but we had some cases of infectious 
diseases. Many of the peasants had relatives working in the 
nearest city. These would catch some complaint, and then come 
home to recruit, bringing the germs with them. 

One day a peasant begged me to come and see her husband. 
Knowing she was well off, I replied that she must fetch a doctor. 
Later on she re-appeared, and so implored me to come that I went. 
I found him in a high fever. Not knowing the nature of the 
illness, I ordered wet packs wrung out of acetic acid and water. 
This relieved him greatly. 

In the middle of the , night, they sent word that he was all 
over spots ; would we come and see ? When I examined the 
rash, being a perfect novice (as I constantly assured them), I still 
failed to see what it was. My husband felt the spots, and he 
too did not know what it could be. He read and prayed with 
him, and we left telling them to report what the doctor said. I 
never knew if they failed to send for him, at any rate he did not 
put in an appearance that day. 

The following afternoon, as I approached the house, I heard 
Monsieur Charlier, the schoolmaster, holding forth. He was 
much looked up to by the villagers, and now a dozen of them were 
listening open-mouthed while he explained matters to them. 

' This, my friends, is a case of fever.' His audience exchanged 



LA DOCTOR ESSE MALGRE ELLE. 241 

admiring glances, as much as to say, ' How clever of him to find 
that out ! ' 

' As it is a fever complicated with a rash, we may go further 
and call it a case of eruptive fever.' 

Here, unfortunately, he caught sight of me, which cut his 
eloquence short. His hearers afterwards informed their friends 
that ' poor Pierre Borel has the fever,' then, shaking their heads 
significantly, ' and Monsieur Charlier says it is the " ruptive " 
fever, just think of that ! ' 

The patient was getting weaker ; I was getting anxious about 
him, and still the doctor did not arrive. We continued the wet 
packs, as he kept asking for them. Next day the doctor 
appeared. He looked at the sick man, then said sharply to 
Madame Borel : 

' (rive me a spoon ! ' 

He glanced at the throat, then, flinging the spoon across the 
room into the fire, he shouted : 

' Grood heavens ! He has the small-pox of the worst kind ! 
It's black small-pox, and he'll be dead to-morrow ! ' 

And taking up his hat he made for the door. 

This is a fair specimen of the frank way in which the faculty 
expressed their view of the situation when visiting patients in 
those regions. 

He called Madame Borel to him and said : 

' Send for this at once,' writing down a prescription in pencil. 

' What's the use,' replied the thrifty housewife, ' if he will be 
dead to-morrow ? ' 

' Tut ! tut ! my good woman ; you can't let a man die without 
trying to save him. Send for this immediately.' 

I learned all this a few hours later, when they brought the 
doctor's report and asked me to go and sit up with the sick man 
for a while. I found them depressed and not a neighbour near 
(the village was panic-stricken), but very brave as far as fear of 
infection was concerned. The patient, one of the elders of the 
church, seemed quite resigned. I left them towards morning, and 
soon after daybreak he died. 

I was sitting in the dining-room a few hours after his death 
when the gate opened and the senior elder came in. Our baby- 
boy was in the garden ; his nurse had orders to run off with him 
directly anyone called, for fear of contagion. She happened not 
to be there, and before I could get to him the old man had bent 

VOL. XII. NO. 68, N.S. 16 



242 LA DOCTORESSE MALGRE ELLE. 

over him saying, ' Bonjour, Monsieur Bebe.' Then he said to me : 
'Very sad about Pierre Borel, isn't it ? Poor fellow, I have just 
been putting him in his coffin ' ! 

He had no more sense than to stand over a baby in the same 
clothes. Having had the small-pox himself, he ran no risk, but 
none of us at the Manse had ever seen the disease before. 

Monsieur Borel was buried under the pine tree a stone's-throw 
from his dwelling. This was usual in B., only those who owned 
no land being carried to the cemetery. 

We had a few more cases of small-pox. We look back upon 
that time as a very trying one. The peasants had such confidence 
in me, and yet I could do so little to check the loathsome disease, 
that my nights were sleepless from anxiety. 

What were the results of my medical labours ? Seeing that 
by calling in aid immediately further illness might be averted, the 
peasants, who never scrupled to send for me at any hour (as it 
cost them nothing), became less convinced that because a person 
fell ill ' his hour had come.' As, too, I urged them in serious 
cases to send for a doctor, the local physicians were more often 
called in during our stay in B. than ever before. One with whom 
we were very friendly told me so and thanked me for it. This 
result was indirect, but none the less useful. 

The direct results were also satisfactory, for many sufferers were 
cured. 

It is true that the carelessness of the more ignorant peasants 
was a great hindrance to the recovery of their friends. They 
would persist in rubbing them with the medicines and giving 
them the lotions to drink ! 

A woman applied the homeopathic potion to her mother's 
spine, and gave her the pure acetic acid to drink, and then said 
that my ' stuff ' made her mother cry. 

A man sponged his father's sore leg with undiluted acid ; the 
result was vociferous. 

And all this in spite of minute written directions and verbal 
warnings. 

Happily I used no poisonous liniments, or there would have 
been some terrible catastrophes. 

The effect of the treatment was often neutralised by the diet. 
Some mothers insisted on giving their sick babies cabbage soup 
instead of the milk I advised. Adults fared no better. I admit 
that in extreme cases the oldest fowl on the farm was sometimes 



LA DOCTORESSE MALGRE ELLE. 243 

reluctantly sacrificed and converted into weak broth, but the par- 
taker might be sure then that his friends felt ' his hour had come ' 
indeed. 

Still, my presence in the parish of B. was a source of untold 
comfort to the inhabitants, and never have I felt to be of so much 
use to the community as I did there. It moves me now as I re- 
member how the troubled faces brightened when I appeared, and 
how completely anxious relatives transferred their burden of re- 
sponsibility to me ; the words, ' Here's Madame ! ' did the patient 
more good than a dose of medicine. 

Whenever I think of my doctoring days, my heart goes out in 
pity to those poor helpless peasants, and I long to hear they have 
found another ' doctoresse malgrg die' 

ZELIA DE LADEVEZE. 



162 



244 



THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 1 
BY THE BEV. PEOF. H. C. BEECHING. 

THE value of Shakespeare's sonnets lies, of course, in their 
supreme beauty, and is altogether independent of the critical 
and historical problems that cluster about them. These problems 
have, nevertheless, a perennial interest, even a fascination of their 
own ; witness the large and ever-increasing number of volumes 
devoted to their investigation. Within the last few years three 
elaborate studies have been added to the pile, two of which, at 
any rate, cannot be disregarded by anyone who wishes to form 
a competent judgment upon the points at issue. Mr. Sidney 
Lee, in his monumental Life of Shakespeare, published in 1898, 
devoted four chapters and eight appendices to an examination of 
the general character of sonneteering in the sixteenth century, and 
a reinforcement of the claim of the Earl of Southampton, Shake- 
speare's early patron, to be the person to whom the sonnets are 
addressed. Of the learning displayed in that examination and 
the skill with which the arguments are marshalled there cannot 
be two opinions. I do not myself think, however, that the 
Southampton theory can be maintained, for reasons which will be 
advanced presently ; and Mr. Lee's general view, which aims at 
formulating a scientific law of sonnet-writing, seems to me to 
disregard the instances those of men of genius which alone 
have any value and interest. To argue away the special charac- 
teristics of Shakespeare's sonnets on the ground that twenty con- 
temporary sonnet-sequences do not possess them seems as illogical 
a course as the common habit, against which Mr. Lee protests, of 
ignoring the fact that Shakespeare's sonnets have literary 
parallels ; but the new abstraction, Shakespeare being what he 
was, is likely to lead farther from the truth than the old. In 
the same year as Mr. Lee's book Mr. George Wyndham pro- 
duced a handsome and scholarly edition of Shakespeare's poems, 
and collected into his introduction most of the historical material 
with which the criticism of the sonnets must deal ; but the main 
purpose of his book, and a most praiseworthy one, was to rivet 

1 Copyright, 1902, in the United States of America by the Rev. Professor 
H. C. Beeching. 



THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 245 

attention on the poems themselves. In the year following 
Mr. Samuel Butler, the author of ' Erewhon,' brought out an 
edition of the sonnets with prolegomena ; which are sufficiently 
good reading when they handle the absurdities and inconsistencies 
of his predecessors, but are negligible in their own proposals. The 
purpose of the present paper is not to attempt any final pronounce- 
ment on a cause which will surely go from court to court and be 
judged and rejudged many times yet ; but simply to investigate 
the present position of the problem as Mr. Lee has left it, to see 
if any points may be taken as finally concluded, and to expose 
the questions remaining upon which more light is still required. 

I. 

Readers of the sonnets who have no theories to defend would 
probably agree that the friendship which the sonnets describe is 
an affection between an elder and a younger man, wherewith there 
mingles not a little admiration for his grace and charm, which, 
indeed, occasionally seem to get on the poet's nerves. If I may 
put in one word what I conceive to be the peculiar type of this 
affection, I should say it was a type not uncommonly found in 
imaginative natures. A poet, whatever else he is, is a man with 
keener senses and stronger emotions than other men ; he is more 
sensitive to beauty, especially the beauty of youth ; and, as the 
poetry of the whole world may convince us, he is especially 
sensitive to that beauty's decay. Hence it is not uncommon to 
find in poets of mature years a strong disposition to consort 
with young people, and a keen pleasure in their society, as though 
to atone for the slow sapping of youthful strength and ardour in 
themselves. It is well that the majority of us should stifle our 
dissatisfaction at the inevitable oncoming of age by doing the 
tasks which age lays upon us and for which youth is incompetent. 
The middle-aged youth or maiden is a fair theme for satire. But 
poets cannot be blamed if, feeling what we feel more keenly, they 
give to the sentiment an occasional expression ; nor if they seek 
to keep fresh their own youthful enthusiasm by associating with 
younger people. There is an interesting passage in Browning's 
poem of ' Cleon,' where Cleon, who is a poet, writing to King 
Protus on the subject of joy in life, contrasts his own supposed joy 
in the wide outlook of age with the actual joy of living ; and 
Browning seems there, through the mouth of Cleon, to be utter- 



246 THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 

ing a sentiment that many poets have felt, and which, as I 
believe, accounts for much in Shakespeare's sonnets : 

The last point now : thou dost except a case, 

Holding joy not impossible to one 

With artist-gifts to such a man as I, 

Who leave behind me living works indeed ; 

For such a poem, such a painting, lives. 

What ? dost thou verily trip upon a word, 

Confound the accurate view of what joy is 

(Caught somewhat clearer by my eyes than thine) 

With feeling joy ? Confound the knowing, how 

And showing how to live (my faculty) 

With actually living ? Otherwise, 

Where is the artist's 'vantage o'er the king ? 

Because in my great epos I display 

How divers men young, strong, fair, wise can act 

Is this as though I acted ? if I paint, 

Carve the young Phoebus, am I therefore young ? 

Methinks I'm older that I bowed myself 

The many years of pain that taught me art ! 

Indeed, to know is something, and to prove 

How all this beauty might be enjoyed is more : 

But knowing nought, to enjoy, is something too. 

Yon rower with the moulded muscles there, 

Lowering the sail, is nearer it than I. 

I can write love-odes : thy fair slave's an ode. 

I get to sing of love, when grown too grey 

For being beloved : she turns to that young man, 

The muscles all a-ripple on his back. 

I know the joy of kingship well, thou art king ! 

That passage goes far to explain the attraction which many 
poets have found in the society of young people distinguished in 
some special degree for beauty, or grace, or vivacity. And, of 
course, there must not be forgotten another element in the 
problem, the peculiar sweetness of admiration and praise coming 
from the young. Theocritus desired to sing songs that should 
win the young ; and the sentiment has been echoed by the most 
austere of our own living poets : 

'Twere something yet to live again among 
The gentle youth beloved, and where I learned 
My art, be there remembered for my song. 

The nearest parallel I can suggest to the case of Shakespeare 
and his young friend is the friendship between the poet Gray 
and Bonstetten. Bonstetten was a Swiss youth of quality, who 
went to Cambridge with an introduction to Gray from his friend 
Norton Nicholls ; and the havoc he wrought in that poet's 



THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 247 

domestic affections is visible in his correspondence. He wrote to 
Norton Nicholls (April 4, 1770): 

At length, my dear sir, we have lost our poor de Bonstetten. I packed him 
up with my own hands in the Dover machine at four o'clock in the morning on 
Friday, 23rd March ; the next day at seven he sailed, and reached Calais by 
noon, and Boulogne at night ; the next night he reached Abbeville. From thence 
he wrote to me ; and here am I again to pass my solitary evenings, which hung 
much lighter on my hands before I knew him. This is your fault 1 Pray, let 
the next you send me be halt and blind, dull, unapprehensive, and wrong- 
headed. For this (as Lady Constance says) Was never such a gracious creature 
born ! and yet 

Among Gray's letters are three to Bonstetten himself; it will be 
sufficient to quote the shortest of them : 

I am returned, my dear Bonstetten, from the little journey I made into 
Suffolk, without answering the end proposed. The thought that you might 
have been with me there has embittered all my hours. Your letter has made me 
happy as happy as so gloomy, so solitary a being as I am is capable of being 
made. I know, and have too often felt the disadvantages I lay myself under, 
how much I hurt the little interest I have in you, by this air of sadness, 
so contrary to your nature and present enjoyments ; but sure you will forgive, 
though you cannot sympathise with me. It is impossible with me to dissemble 
with you ; such as I am I expose my heart to your view, nor wish to conceal a 
single thought from your penetrating eyes. All that you say to me, especially 
on the subject of Switzerland, is infinitely acceptable. It feels too pleasing ever 
to be fulfilled, and as often as I read over your truly kind letter, written long 
since from London, I stop at these words : ' la mort qui peut glacer nos bras 
avant qu'ils soient entrelaces.' 

It seems to me that in these letters we have, beneath many 
superficial dissimilarities, a very close parallel to Shakespeare's 
own case as it lies before us in the sonnets. We have a com- 
panionship marked by respectful admiration and affection on the 
one side, on the other by a more tender sentiment. And the other 
letters draw the parallel closer, for one describes the pangs of 
absence 

Alas I how do I every moment feel the truth of what I have somewhere read : 
' Ce n'est pas le voir, que de s'en souvenir ; ' and yet that remembrance is the 
only satisfaction I have left. My life now is but a conversation with your 
shadow, &c. 

and another warns the youth against the vices to which his 
youth and good looks and the example of his own class leave 
him peculiarly exposed. With such an actual experience to call 
in evidence, I do not see why we should reject as inconceivable 
the obvious interpretation that the sonnets put upon themselves : 
that Shakespeare at a certain period found the loneliness of his life 
in London filled up by a friendship which, not being ' equal poised,' 



248 THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 

could not last, but which was in no sense unworthy. If that 
were allowed, it would not, of course, follow that the sonnets 
could he treated as one side of an ordinary correspondence, and 
every statement they contain be transferred to Shakespeare's 
biography as literal fact. The truth at which poetry aims is a 
truth of feeling, not of incident. And the fact, often enough 
implied in the sonnets, that they were intended for publication 
some day (though that day was anticipated by a piratical pub- 
lisher), as well as the still more cogent fact that Shakespeare was 
a poet, should prepare us to recognise that situations would be 
generalised and reduced to their common human measure. 

II. 

Such being, in my judgment, the view of the sonnets that 
will commend itself to a reader who interprets them in the 
light of general experience, we must see how far such a view is 
affected by Mr. Lee's investigation into the special conditions 
of Elizabethan sonnet-writing. Mr. Lee's theory is that what 
the ordinary reader takes for friendship in Shakespeare's sonnets 
is merely the conventional adulation common at the time between 
client and patron. ' There is nothing,' he says, ' in the vocabu- 
lary of affection which Shakespeare employed in his sonnets of 
friendship to conflict with the theory that they were inscribed 
to a literary patron, with whom the intimacy was of the kind 
normally subsisting at the time between literary clients and their 
patrons ' (p. 141). A new theory of this sort must, of course, 
stand or fall by the evidence that can be produced for it ; and 
accordingly Mr. Lee proceeds to supply parallels. ' The tone of 
yearning,' he tells us, ' for a man's affection is sounded by Donne 
and Campion almost as plaintively in their sonnets to patrons 
as it was sounded by Shakespeare ' (&&.). In support of this state- 
ment Mr. Lee refers to two poems (which we must presume to be 
the strongest instances he can find), one a verse-letter by Donne 
to a certain T. W., and the other a poem by Campion addressed 
to the young Lord Walden. The letter of Donne's must be ruled 
out, because it is not written to a patron at all, but to a friend. 
We do not know who T. W. was, but we know the names of 
Donne's patrons, and the initials fit none of them. In the four 
stanzas to Lord Walden which are prefixed, among various 
dedications, to one of Campion's masques, I cannot detect the 



THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 249 

least tone of yearning, or even of plaintiveness. The word ' love ' 
certainly occurs twice, but the love meant is the general love of 
all the world for the young gentleman's admired virtues. As 
Campion's poems are not accessible except in a privately printed 
edition, it may be well to quote the material verses : 
If to be sprung of high and princely blood, 

If to inherit virtue, honour, grace, 
If to be great in all things, and yet good, 
If to be facile, yet t' have power and place, 
If to be just, and bountiful, may get 
The love of men, your right may challenge it. 

But if th' admired virtues of your youth 

Breed such despairing to my daunted Muse 
That it can scarcely utter naked truth, 
How shall it mount as ravished spirits use 
Under the burden of your riper days, 
Or hope to reach the so far distant bays 1 

My slender Muse shall yet my love express, 

And by the fair Thames' side of you she'll sing ; 
The double streams shall bear her willing verse 
Far hence with murmur of their ebb and spring. 
But if you favour her light tunes, ere long 
She'll strive to raise you with a loftier song. 

I do not think that the ordinary reader unbiassed by a theory 
would hear in these conventional lines any tone of yearning for 
affection ; what is too clearly audible in them is a bid for ' favour ' 
in some more tangible shape. If Mr. Lee is to convince the world 
that there is nothing in Shakespeare's sonnets beyond the normal 
Elizabethan note of patron-worship, he must adduce by way of 
parallel a poem with some passion in it. Did any Elizabethan 
client, for example, speak of his love for his patron as keeping 
him awake at night, as Shakespeare says in the sixty-first sonnet 
that his love for his friend kept him awake ? 

A more specious argument is that which Mr. Lee bases on the 
very mysterious section of the sonnets concerned with rival poets 
(Ixxvii.-lxxxvL), which he interprets as an attempt on Shake- 
speare's part to monopolise patronage. In the sonnets Shake- 
speare certainly reveals some jealousy. He charges his friend 
with being attracted by the flattery of some other writer of verses. 
But it is evident that the poems in question are not dedicated to 
the friend, but written about him ; 1 the friend is not the patron, 
but the subject of the rival's song; so that it is not merely 

1 They may, of course, have included dedicatory poems, printed or unprinted, 
as the 82nd sonnet seems to imply. 



250 THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 

patronage that Shakespeare deprecate*. Indeed, how could he 
have done so, considering the custom of the age, with any reason- 
able prospect of success ? I would have said, how could he have 
done so with decency ? only Mr. Lee denies him decency. He 
says : ' The sole biographical inference deducible from the sonnets 
is that at one time in his career Shakespeare disdained no weapon 
of flattery in an endeavour to monopolise the bountiful patronage 
of a young man of rank' (p. 159). The sonnets themselves, 
happily, lend no support to this view. It is one thing to say 
' X. has begun to ask your patronage for his books. I hope you 
will have nothing to do with him ; ' and quite another thing to 
say, as Shakespeare says, ' X. has been writing verses about you 
in which he flatters you extravagantly. Of course you like it. 
And I am quite willing to own that as poetry his verses are better 
than mine. But for all that, mine express real affection ; so don't 
desert me for him/ It is difficult to bring this matter to a more 
decisive test, because it is impossible to determine how far the 
complaint was serious and who this rival was ; and no verses of 
the sort are extant. The praise of the poet's learning and the 
reference to the ' proud full sail of his great verse ' have been 
thought by Professor Minto to indicate Chapman. (Those who 
take this view may thank me for a further argument. It is hinted 
in the eighty-sixth sonnet that the rival dabbled, as many Eliza- 
bethans did, in necromancy ; for the reference to the familiar ghost 

That nightly guilt him with intelligence 

is not a compliment, and cannot be whittled down to a recognition 
of ' a touch of magic' in the poet's writing. Now we find Chap- 
man dedicating a poem in 1598 to that celebrated Doctor Harriot 
of whom Marlowe had said, in his ' atheistical ' way, that he could 
juggle better than Moses.) But can we conceive of Chapman 
writing sentimental sonnets about any young man ? With his 
sonnet-cycle on Philosophy before me I find it impossible to do 
so. A less incredible suggestion would be Ben Jonson, who was 
becoming known in 1597, and in that or the next year took the 
town by storm with ' Every Man in his Humour ; ' and 1597-8, as I 
hope to show, is probably the date of a large number of the sonnets. 
Mr. Lee enumerates (p. 175) twenty sonnets which he calls 
' dedicatory ' sonnets, in which he claims that the friend is 
' declared without paraphrase and without disguise to be a patron 
of the poet's verse.' If so, Mr. Lee uses the word ' patron ' 



THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 251 

in an esoteric sense. Shakespeare says again and again that 
his friend's beauty and constancy give his pen 'both skill and 

argument ' : 

How can my Muse want subject to invent 
While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse 

Thine own sweet argument, too excellent 
For every vulgar paper to rehearse ? 

Surely there is all the difference in the world between the 
subject and argument of a book and its patron ! I do not think, 
then, that Mr. Lee's new and ingenious theory, that the relations 
of the poet and his friend were simply those of client and patron, 
will bear the test of examination, and as the theory seriously 
impugns the character of Shakespeare, I for one cannot be sorry 
that the facts are against it. 

ILL. 

The next problem that presents itself concerns the approxi- 
mate date of the sonnet-cycle. This problem is usually discussed 
in relation to the question whether Lord Southampton or Lord 
Pembroke is the friend to whom the sonnets are addressed, 
because a late date makes the former an impossible candidate, 
and an early date disposes of the latter. But it has also a bear- 
ing upon the previous question, whether we are justified in looking 
in the sonnets for any genuine sentiment at all. Mr. Lee in his 
Life of Shakespeare has restated with new emphasis the fact 
that the sonnet was a fashionable literary form in the last decade 
of the sixteenth century ; and he has further shown, for the first 
time, that a large stock of ideas and images was common to the 
whole tribe of sonneteers. Of course it by no means follows 
because a poet uses a fashionable and artificial form of verse, that 
the emotion he puts into it is merely fashionable and artificial. 
It may be or it may not be. We must not forget that, although 
the sonnet was fashionable at this epoch, the passion of love had 
perhaps as great a vogue as the sonnet. 1 If, however, Shake- 

1 Perhaps Mr. Lee a little overstates the case, strong as it is, for the arti- 
ficiality of the emotion displayed in Elizabethan sonnets. Drayton, by calling 
his lady Idea, did not imply (p. 105 n.~) that she was merely an abstraction, but 
that she was his ideal. He himself identifies her with Anne Goodere. Nor does 
he tell his readers (ib.) ' that if any sought genuine passion in them they had 
better go elsewhere.' His words are : ' Into these loves who but for passion 
looks, At this first sight here let him lay them by ' ; and he goes on to explain 
passion by ' far-fetched sighs,' ' ah, me's,' and ' whining.' The point of the sonnet, 
which is a prefatory advertisement, is that the reader may expect variety and 



252 THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 

speare wrote a sequence of sonnets simply, as Mr. Lee thinks, to 
be in the mode and to please his patron, we should expect to find 
him turning them out as soon as he had finished ' Lucrece ' in 
1594; for even as early as that date Sidney, Daniel, Constable, 
Barnes, Watson, Lodge, and Drayton to mention only consider- 
able people were in the field before him. And in pursuance of 
his theory Mr. Lee places the bulk of Shakespeare's sonnets in 
1594. But all the evidence there is points to a date considerably 
later. No reference to the sonnets has been traced in con- 
temporary literature before 1598. It was not till 1599 that any 
of them found their way into print. And the only sonnet that 
can be dated with absolute certainty from internal evidence (cvii.) 
belongs to 1603. The evidence from style points also, for the 
most part, to a late date ; but of that it is of no use to speak, 
because it convinces no one who has other reasons for not being 
convinced. There is, however, a line of argument hitherto 
neglected which, in competent hands, might yield material re- 
sults the argument from parallel passages. Every writer knows 
the perverse facility with which a phrase once used presents itself 
again ; and Shakespeare seems to have been not a little liable to 
this human infirmity. It is not uncommon for him to use a 
word or a phrase twice in a single play, and never afterwards. 1 
There is a strong probability, therefore, if a remarkable phrase or 
figure of speech occurs both in a sonnet and in a play, that the 
play and the sonnet belong to the same period. Now the greater 
number of the parallel passages hitherto recognised are to be 
found in ' Henry IV.,' in ' Love's Labour's Lost,' and in ' Hamlet ;' 
and it is certain that ' Henry IV.' was written in 1597, that 
' Love's Labour's Lost ' was revised in that same year, and that 
' Hamlet ' is later still. 2 To take an example : the phrase ' world- 
without-end ' makes a sufficiently remarkable epithet ; but it is 
so used only in the fifty-seventh sonnet and in ' Love's Labour's 
Lost' (v. 2, 799). But as it is open to anyone to reply that this 
and other phrases may have occurred in the original draft of that 

will not be bored. The Doctor of Divinity whom Mr. Lee quotes as warning his 
readers that ' a man may write of love, and not be in love,' was probably in fear 
of his archdeacon. 

1 Examples are disoandy (A. <md C. iii. 13, 165 ; iv. 12, 22) ; chare (A. and C. 
iv. 15, 75 ; v. 2, 231) ; bear me hard (J. C. i. 3, 311 ; ii. 1, 215) ; handsome about 
him (Much Ado, iv. 2, 88 ; v. 4, 105). 

* Professor Bradley calls my attention to the series 71-74, which has not only 
the tone of ' Hamlet ' but parallelisms of phrase, especially in 74 to v. 2, 350 and 
i. 4, 66. 



THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 253 

play, written several years earlier, it will be best to confine the 
parallels to ' Henry IV.,' the date of which is beyond dispute. 
Compare, then, Sonnet 33 

Anon permit the basest clouds to ride 
With ugly rack on his celestial face 

with ' 1 Henry IV.' i. 2, 221 

The sun, 

Who doth permit the base contagious clouds 
To smother up his beauty from the world. 

Again, compare the 52nd sonnet 

Therefore are feasts so seldom and so rare, 
Since, seldom coming, in the long year set 

So is the time that keeps you as my chest, 
Or as the wardrobe which the robe doth hide, 
To make some special instant special blest 

with ' 1 Henry IV.' iii. 2, 55 

My presence like a robe pontifical, 
Ne'er seen, but wonder'd at ; and so my state 
Seldom but sumptuous, showed like & feast, 
And won by rareness such solemnity, 

where the concurrence of the images of a feast and a robe is very 
noticeable. Compare also the 64th sonnet with ' 2 Henry IV.' iii. 
1, 45, where the revolution of states is compared with the sea 
gaining on the land, and the land on the sea an idea not found 
in the famous description of the works of Time in 'Lucrece.' 
Compare also the epithet sullen, applied to a bell in Sonnet 71, 
and '2 Henry IV.' i. 1, 102, and the phrase ' compounded with 
clay,' or ' dust,' found in the same sonnet and ' 2 Henry IV.' iv. 
5, 116. I do not wish to press this argument further than it 
will go, but it must be allowed that its force accumulates with 
every instance adduced ; and, in my opinion, it is strong enough 
to dispose of the hypothesis that the main body of the sonnets 
was written in 1593 or 1594, especially as not a single argument 
has been brought forward for assigning them to so early a date, 1 

1 Mr. Lee yields a doubtful assent to the idea that Henry Willobie, in his 
Avisa (1594), refers to Shakespeare, under the initials W. S., as having escaped 
heart-whole from a passion in which he found himself involved. The sole 
ground for the conjecture is that W. S. is referred to as the ' old player.' But 
the love affair had been previously spoken of as 'a comedy like to end in a tragedy,' 
and Willobie himself is called the 'new actor.' There is, therefore, not the 
slightest reason for taking the one expression more literally than the other. 
And where, it may be asked, is there anything in the sonnets that could be 



254 THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 

and every indication of both internal and external evidence 
suggests that they were written later. One conclusion from these 
premisses seems to be that Shakespeare did not write his sonnets 
merely in pursuit of the fashion, though he recognised the fashion 
by introducing a sonnet occasionally into an early play, and by 
representing his lovers Beatrice and Benedick, the lovesick Thurio 
in the 'Two Gentlemen of Verona,' and the nobles in 'Love's 
Labour's Lost ' as turning to the sonnet as the proper form in 
which to ease their over-burdened hearts. It may have been 
that the impulse to write sonnets came to Shakespeare himself 
from a like natural cause. 

IV. 

Who was Shakespeare's friend ? Mr. Butler, in his edition 
of the sonnets referred to above, makes very merry over the 
popular notion that the friend must have been a peer ; and to a 
reader who comes to the sonnets without prejudice there are a 
few striking passages that make the current hypothesis a little 
hard to believe. 'Farewell,' says the poet in the 87th sonnet; 
'thou art too dear for my possessing, and like enough thou 
know'st thy estimate.' Now it is generally given to peers to know 
their estimate very exactly. Again, in 84 the poet says : 

You to your beauteous blessings add a curse, 

Being fond on praise, which makes your praises worse 

and in 69 he says, still more rudely : 

But why thy odour matcheth not thy show 

The soil [solution] is this that thou dost common grow. 

To a mere patron such lines could never have been addressed ; 
and hardly to an Elizabethan peer at all, unless he were very young 
and the friendship very intimate. But that may be the true 
explanation of such passages. That the friend was a person of 
high birth and great fortune is put beyond reasonable doubt by 

referred to as a recovery from love ? Another point which would be an argument 
for the early date of the sonnets, if it could be supported, may be referred to 
here. Mr. Lee thinks Sir John Davies, in a 'gulling sonnet,' was parodying 
Shakespeare's legal phraseology in Sonnet 26. It is possible, though, consider- 
ing the excesses in this respect of ' Zepheria,' to which Davies refers by name, 
it is uncertain. Mr. Lee dates Davies' sonnets in 1595 (p. 436) ; but they are 
dedicated to Sir Anthony Cooke, who, according to Grosart, was knighted at the 
sack of Cadiz, September 15, 1596. They must, therefore, be subsequent to that 
date and they may belong to any year between 1597 and 1603, when Davies 
himself was knighted, for in the MSS. they are attributed to ' Mr. Davyes.' 



THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 255 

the 37th sonnet. Mr. Butler attempts to get over the evidence 
of this sonnet by pointing to its hypothetical construction ; but 
the whole point of the sonnet is that the friend had advantages 
of fortune which were denied to the poet. 

As a decrepit father takes delight 
To see his active child do deeds of youth, 
So I, made lame by Fortune's dearest spite, 
Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth ; 

where ' worth ' must be construed in terms of what follows. And 
if it be replied that a private gentleman might claim ' beauty, 
birth, and wealth and wit ' as well as a peer, the rejoinder might 
be that 'glory' in the twelfth line is a very strong word 
indeed, especially to a youth, being equivalent to ' splendour ' or 

4 magnificence ' : 

I in thy abundance am suffic'd, 
And by a part of all thy glory live. 

I admit, however, that this is the only evidence for the friend's 
nobility, and it is not quite convincing. 

The further question, Which of the young gentlemen of the 
day had the honour of being Shakespeare's admired friend, is one 
that divides the commentators into two hostile factions the 
advocates of Southampton and of Pembroke ; and as I have already 
said that I believe the sonnets to have been written from 1597 
onwards, I have implicitly given a vote against Southampton's 
claim ; for that nobleman was born as early as 1573, and in 1597 
was engaged with Essex in an expedition to the Azores. The 
Southampton theory has received a new lease of life from Mr. 
Lee's recent advocacy ; but I am bold enough to think that, even 
on Mr. Lee's own data, Southampton's claim can be disposed of. 
Mr. Lee, although he dates most of the sonnets in 1593-4. 
assigns the 107th sonnet to the year 1603 l ; it follows that the 
date of the Envoy (cxxvi), a poem obviously, from its exceptional 
form, written to conclude the series, must be at least not earlier 
than 1603, in which year Southampton was thirty years old. 

1 It may be well to state shortly the argument for this date. The palmary 
line is ' The mortal moon hath her eclipse endured.' The parallel in Antony cmd 
Cleopatra (iii. 13, 153), 'Our terrene moon is now eclipsed,' which is applied to 
Cleopatra, shows that 'mortal moon' must refer to a person (and it is not easy 
to see what other meaning it could have), and that to ' endure an eclipse ' means 
to 'suffer it,' not 'to go through it and emerge.' There is no instance in 
Shakespeare of ' eclipse ' being used with the implied notion of recovery. 
Mr. Lee (p. 148 ff.) adds other arguments from contemporary sources. 



256 THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 

Now is it credible that anyone, even if he were the greatest peer 
of the realm and the most bountiful patron conceivable, should 
have been addressed by Shakespeare as a 'lovely boy' when thirty 
years of age ; especially considering the fact that in the sixteenth 
century life began earlier than now, and ended earlier ? Mr. Lee 
surmounts this difficulty by a theory that the Envoy is addressed 
not to Southampton, but to Cupid ; but this does not seem to 
me possible. Cupid is immortal or he is nothing ; and the point 
of the Envoy is that mortal beauty must fade at last. Nature 
may hold back some favourite for a while from the clutches of 
Time, to whom all things are due, but she must at last come to 
the audit, and cannot secure her acquittance without surrendering 
her favourite : 

If Nature, sovereign mistress over wrack, 

As thou goest onward, still will pluck thee back, 

She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill 

May Time disgrace, and envious minutes kill. 

Yet fear her, thou minion of her pleasure 1 

She may detain, but not still [always] keep, her treasure : 

Her audit, though delayed, answered must be, 

And her quietus is to render thee. 

Mr. Lee has advanced one new argument for the Southampton 
theory which, if it could be maintained, would place it for ever 
beyond cavil. Southampton was released from prison on James's 
accession in 1603, and ' it is impossible,' says Mr. Lee, ' to resist the 
inference that Shakespeare [in the 107th sonnet] saluted his patron 
on the close of his days of tribulation.' The inference seems to 
me far from irresistible. Indeed, if this sonnet were really an ode 
of congratulation under such circumstances, Southampton in turn 
could hardly have congratulated the poet on the fervour of his 
feelings. For there is no reference in the sonnet to any release 
from prison, and its crowning thought is that Shakespeare himself, 
not his friend, has overcome death a curiously awkward compli- 
ment on such a remarkable occasion. Mr. Lee suggests a para- 
phrase of the opening quatrain which it will not bear. 

Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul 
Of the wide world, dreaming on things to come, 
Can yet the lease of my true love control, 
Supposed as forfeit to a confined doom. 

The words ' my true love ' might certainly by themselves be 
taken, as Mr. Lee takes them, to mean ' my true friend,' but ' the 
lease of my true love ' can only mean the ' lease of my true 



THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 257 

affection for my friend.' All leases are for a term of years ; each 
has a limit or ' confine ' assigned to it, on which day of doom it 
expires. Shakespeare says that neither his own fears nor the 
world's prophecies of disastrous changes have justified themselves, 
for in the year of grace 1 603 he finds his affection fresher than 
ever. But to the friends of Southampton the death of Elizabeth 
would not have been an occasion of foreboding, but of hope. 

But perhaps the most emphatic argument against the identifi- 
cation of Shakespeare's friend with the Earl of Southampton is 
the non-natural interpretation of certain words and phrases to 
which it compels its adherents. The publisher, Thomas Thorpe, 
inscribed his book to ' the only begetter of these insuing sonnets, 
Mr. W. H.' a phrase that ninety-nine persons out of every hundred, 
even of those familiar with Elizabethan literature, would un- 
hesitatingly understand to mean their inspirer. But Southamp- 
ton's initials were H. W. Either, therefore, it must be assumed 
that the publisher inverted their order as a blind, or else some 
new sense must be found for ' begetter.' Boswell, the editor of 
the Variorum Shakespeare, who wished to relieve the poet from 
the imputation of having written the sonnets to any particular 
person, or as anything but a play of fancy, suggested for the word 
the sense of ' getter ' (which had not occurred to either Steevens 
or Malone), meaning by that the person who procured the manu- 
script, and this interpretation has been adopted by Mr. Lee. 
Such a use of the word is acknowledged to be extremely rare, and 
the cases alleged are dubious, but it is not impossible. However, 
against understanding such a sense here there are several strong 
reasons. In the first place, it takes all meaning from the word 
only. Allowing it to be conceivable that a piratical publisher 
should inscribe a book of sonnets to the thief who brought him 
the manuscript, why should he lay stress on the fact that ' alone 
he did it ' ? Was it an enterprise of such great peril ? Mr. Lee 
attempts to meet this and similar difficulties by depreciating 
Thorpe's skill in the use of language ; but the examples he quotes 
in his interesting Appendix do not support his theory. Thorpe's 
words are accurately used, even to nicety, and, indeed, Mr. Lee 
himself owns that in another matter Thorpe showed a ' literary 
sense ' and ' a good deal of dry humour.' I venture to affirm that 
this dedication also shows a fairly well-developed literary sense. 
In the next place, this theory of the ' procurer ' obliges us to 
believe that Thorpe wished Mr. W. H. that eternity which the 

VOL. XII. NO. 68, N.S. 17 



258 THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 

poet had promised not to him, nor to men in general, but to some 
undesignated third party. Mr. Lee calls the words 'promised by 
our ever-living poet ' ' a decorative and supererogatory phrase.' 
That is a very mild qualification of them under the circumstances. 
But an examination of Thorpe's other dedications shows that his 
style was rather sententious than ' supererogatory.' Then, again, 
on this theory the epithet well-wishing also becomes ' superero- 
gatory.' For what it implies is that the adventurous publisher's 
motive in giving the sonnets to the world without their author's 
consent was a good one. The person to whom they were written 
might reasonably expect, though he would not necessarily credit, 
an assurance on this head ; but what would one literary jackal 
care for another's good intentions ? There are other points that 
might be urged, but these are sufficient. Only, I would add that 
the whole tone of the dedication, which is respectful, and the 
unusual absence of a qualifying -phrase, such as ' his esteemed 
friend,' before the initials are against the theory that Mr. W. H. 
was on the same social level as the publisher. 

There is one other point of interpretation upon which the 
Southampton faction are compelled by their theory to go against 
probabilities. There are two places in which a play is made upon 
the name Will, the paronomasia being indicated in the editio 
princeps by italic type, in which that edition, as Mr. Wyndham 
has shown at length, is very far from being lavish. In one of 
these places (cxliii), if the pun be allowed at all, it cannot refer 
to the poet's own name, but must refer to the name of his friend. 
In this sonnet the ' dark lady,' pursuing the poet's friend while 
the poet pursues her, is compared to a housewife chasing a 
chicken and followed by her own crying child. It concludes : 

So runn'st them after that which flies from thee, 

Whilst I thy babe chase thee afar behind ; 

But if thou catch thy hope, turn back to me, 

And play the mother's part, kiss me, be kind : 

So will I pray that thou mayst have thy Will, 
If thou turn back, and my loud crying still. 

The word Will is printed here in the original text in italics, and 
the pun is in Shakespeare's manner. The 135th sonnet opens : 

Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will, 
And Will to boot, and Will in overplus ; 
More than enough am I that vex thee still, 
To thy sweet will making addition thus. 



THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 259 

The third Will here must be Shakespeare, because ' Will in 
overplus ' corresponds to ' more than enough am /' ; and few critics 
with the 143rd sonnet also in mind would hesitate to refer the 
second Will to Shakespeare's friend, for whom the ' dark lady ' 
had been laying snares. But the Southamptonites, who cannot 
allow that the friend's name was Will, are constrained to deny 
that there is any pun at all in 143, and to refer that in 135 to 
the distinction between ' will ' in its ordinary sense and ' will ' in 
the sense of ' desire.' But the balance of the line makes it almost 
necessary that, as 'Will in overplus' must be a proper name, 
' Will to boot ' should be a proper name also. And that there are 
more Wills than one concerned in the matter is made more 
evident still by other passages, where the poet jocosely limits his 
claim to the lady's favour to the fact that his Christian name is 
Will, acknowledging that not a few other people have as good a 

claim as he : 

Shall will in others seem right gracious, 
And in my will no fair acceptance shine ? 
and again : 

Let no unkind ' no ' fair beseechers kill 
Think all but one, and me in that one, Will. 

To attempt, then, in the face of these multiplied improbabilities 
to maintain that Shakespeare's friend was Lord Southampton is 
a task worthy of a great advocate, and Mr. Lee's brilliant effort 
would suggest that the Bar has lost an ornament in his devotion 
to historical research. I own, nevertheless, that I should prefer 
to hear him argue the other side. 

The theory that the friend addressed in the sonnets was 
William Herbert, afterwards third Earl of Pembroke, arose 
inevitably from the letters W. H. of the dedication, as soon as 
the sonnets themselves began to be studied; and although it 
cannot be said to have established itself, there are not a few 
arguments that may be urged in its favour. Herbert was born 
in 1580, so that he was sixteen years younger than Shakespeare; 
and he seems to have been of an intellectual temper, likely both 
to attract and be attracted by the poet. He wrote verses himself, 
and was inclined, we are told, to melancholy. Dr. Gardiner calls 
him the Hamlet of James's Court, and there may be more in the 
phrase than he intended. At any rate, the date of ' Hamlet ' is 
1602. Pembroke's personal handsomeness is dwelt upon in a 
sonnet by Francis Davison, the son of Secretary Davison, who, 
being a gentleman, was less likely than a literary hack to say 

172 



260 THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 

the thing that was not. In inscribing to him the ' Poetical 
Rhapsody ' in 1602 he prefixed a sonnet which opens thus : 

Great earl, whose high and noble mind is higher 
And nobler than thy noble high desire ; 
Whose outward shape, though it most lovely be, 
Doth in fair robes a fairer soul attire. . . . 

Considering that the occasion did not call for any reference to 
the Earl's personal appearance, Davison's statement must be 
received with attention. Mr. Lee denies that there is any 
evidence for Pembroke's beauty, and calls this sentence of 
Davison's ' a cautiously qualified reference ' ; while, on the other 
hand, he holds that the Virgilian tag, 'quo non formosior alter 
Affuit,' which an Oxford wit applied to Southampton, is a satis- 
factory proof that he came up to Shakespeare's ideal. Surely 
one passage is as good evidence as the other ; and perhaps the 
fact that both young noblemen were admitted to Elizabeth's 
favour is better evidence than either. It is perhaps lucky that 
we have no portrait of Pembroke in youth, for the portrait that 
Mr. Lee prints of Southampton certainly supports his theory 
that Shakespeare's praises, supposing them addressed to him, were 
mere professional flattery. It is interesting that we should have 
a testimony to Pembroke's 'loveliness ' as late as 1602, when he 
was two-and-twenty, for the use of that epithet not, surely, a 
' cautiously qualified ' but a very strong one considering his age 
is some argument that he is the person to whom the same 
epithet is applied in the 126th sonnet, and who is there stated 
to have retained his youthful looks beyond the usual term. 
Enthusiasts for the Pembroke theory, like Mr. Tyler and the 
Rev. W. A. Harrison, have collected from the Sidney Papers all 
the references they contain to the young lord, and one or two of 
these lend a certain additional plausibility to the theory. It is 
discovered, for example, that in 1597 negotiations were on foot 
to marry Herbert to a daughter of the Earl of Oxford, which 
came to nothing; and the suggestion has been made that 
Shakespeare was prompted to help in overcoming the youth's 
reluctance. It cannot be denied that the opening set of sonnets, 
while they are in keeping with the age, demand some such 
background of historical fact ; though the situation is one that 
might have presented itself in any dozen great houses in any 
one year. Such a theory requires us to assume that Shakespeare 
was familiar at Wilton, and knew Herbert at home before he 



THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 261 

came up to London in the following spring. I do not think this 
so improbable as it appears to Mr. Lee, for Shakespeare had 
become famous three years earlier, and Lady Pembroke (Sidney's 
sister) was renowned for her patronage of poets ; moreover 
Samuel Daniel, who speaks of Wilton as ' that arbour of the 
Muses,' was himself there at this period as tutor to the young 
lord ; so that Shakespeare's fame is not likely to have been un- 
sounded. As to the probability, we may ask, If Ben Jonson was 
welcomed at Penshurst, why should not Shakespeare have been 
received at Wilton ? If this were allowed, it might be urged 
that a friendship begun at Wilton in the boy's impressionable 
youth was in a natural way continued in London. Of course all 
this is merely conjecture ; but in the extreme paucity of the 
records I do not think that an argument from silence is conclu- 
sive against it. A friendship is an intangible thing, and would 
make no stir so as to be talked about. It would be absurd to 
have to conclude that neither Shakespeare nor Pembroke had any 
friends in London because we cannot give their names. At the 
same time, it must not be ignored that one weak place in the 
Pembroke theory is the fact that some of the sonnets were 
certainly written before 1598, and that the young gentleman did 
not come to London till that year. 

Another weak place in the theory is the mis-description, that 
it implies, of Lord Pembroke as Mr. W. H. It has often been 
alleged that a parallel case is that of the poet Lord Buckhurst, 
who is described on title-pages as Mr. Sackville; but Mr. Lee 
has disposed of the parallel by showing that while Lord Buck- 
hurst was a commoner when he wrote his poems, Lord Pembroke 
had by courtesy always been a peer, and was known to con- 
temporaries in his minority as Lord Herbert. It is perhaps going 
too far to say that this difficulty renders the Pembroke hypothesis 
altogether untenable ; for there remain two alternative possi- 
bilities. It is possible that Thorpe found his manuscript of the 
Sonnets headed ' To W. H.,' and, being ignorant who W. H. was, 
supplied the ordinary title of respect. This would be a perfectly 
fair argument ; though I should say that it does not answer to the 
impression that the terms of the dedication leave on one's mind. 
(The further question whether the young nobleman would have 
answered to the name of Will instead of to his family title I will not 
attempt to argue ; to friendship all things are possible.) The 
alternative to Thorpe's ignorance would be that he suppressed his 



262 THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 

lordship's title by way of disguise. This also is a fairly legitimate 
supposition under the circumstances. Mr. Lee argues that for a 
publisher to have addressed any peer as plain Mister would have 
been defamation and a Star Chamber matter, as it well might if 
the publisher intended an insult. But in any case the peer would 
have to set the Star Chamber in motion ; and there might be 
good reasons for not doing so. The terms of the dedication seem 
to imply that the publisher was not conscious of taking any 
great liberty. Hence if W. H. is to be interpreted of Pembroke, 
we shall have to assume that Thorpe had satisfied himself that 
the dedication would not be resented ; for if Thorpe knew the 
secret, it must have been a fairly open one. If Thorpe had 
obtained permission to dedicate the Sonnets to Pembroke on con- 
dition that his incognito was respected a somewhat difficult 
supposition then it is hard to say that 'Mr. W. H.' was an 
impossible way of referring to him ; because, though by courtesy 
a peer, Herbert was legally a commoner until he succeeded to the 
earldom in 1601. Those who on the ground of this derogation 
from Herbert's dignity have denied the possibility of his being the 
1 begetter ' of the Sonnets have perhaps not always given weight 
enough to the impossibility of dedicating them 'To the Eight 
Honourable William, Earle of Pembroke, Lord Chamberlaine to 
His Majestie, one of his most honourable Privie Counsell, and 
Knight of the most noble order of the Garter.' Had Thorpe 
ventured upon such a dedication as that, I can almost conceive 
the Star Chamber taking action of its own accord. Still, when 
special pleading has done its utmost, I am bound to confess that 
I am not convinced. There is a smug tone about the dedica- 
tion which suggests that while Mr. W. H. was far above Thorpe's 
own social position, he was yet something less than so magnificent 
a personage as the Earl of Pembroke. 

The Pembroke party, however, not content with identifying 
the poet's friend, are determined to find a counterpart in real life 
to the ' dark lady ' who figures so ominously in the sonnets. The 
number of ' dark ladies ' in the capital at any time is legion, and 
the sonnets supply no possible clue by which the particular 
person can be identified. The attempt, therefore, to fix upon 
someone with whom Pembroke is known to have had relations 
is merely gratuitous ; and it rejoices the heart of any sane 
spectator to learn that this supposed ' dark lady ' turns out, when 
her portraits are examined, to have been conspicuously fair. 



THE SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE. 263 

Probably, as the portraits seem of unimpeachable pedigree, we 
shall next be told that the sonnets themselves imply that the 
lady dyed her hair before sitting for the portrait. 

To sum up, then, the results at which the most recent 
Shakespearean scholarship has arrived. No new light has been 
gained upon the identity of the rival poet, or the friend to whom 
the sonnets were addressed. These mysteries remain as dark as 
ever. The only certain results are negative results. The poet is 
almost certainly not Chapman, and the friend is quite certainly 
not Southampton. If the friend were a peer, he must have been 
Herbert ; if he were a commoner, he may have been any young 
gentleman of good family and large fortune with a taste for the 
theatre and the flattery of men of genius. 1 It is more important 
to remember that, whoever he was, we are not yet debarred by 
Mr. Lee's researches from regarding the sonnets as expressions of 
real feeling, though, in deference to his proof of the fashion- 
ableness of superlatives under Elizabeth, we may be wise to-day 
in transposing their key a tone lower. If superlatives trouble us, 
we may recollect that a sonnet, by its very nature, is a ' descant ' 
upon a more simple ' ground.' More important still is it to re- 
member that these sonnets contain some of the finest poetry in 
the world. Of that nothing has been said in this paper, because 
it is admitted by all critics ; indeed, if it were not for their supreme 
beauty no one would think them worth disputing over. 

1 Tyrwhitt used to think his name was Hughes because in the 20th sonnet 
the word Hems is printed in italics for no obvious reason. As the line stands in 
the original edition, 

' A man in hew all Hewt in his controwling,' 

it looks momentous ; and there is no other word in italics between the 5th sonnet 
and the 53rd. But on the other hand it must be noted that what chiefly im- 
presses us is the capital letter, and this is found with every word printed in 
italics throughout the sonnets, so that it is not in itself evidence of a proper 
name. Further, there is no pun as there is in the sonnets which contain the 
name ' Will.' Probably the italic is accidental. Mr. Wyndham says of fftms, 
' if its capital and italics be a freak of the printer, they constitute the only freaks 
of that kind in the whole edition of 1609 ' (p. 261). But there is another in the 
104th sonnet, where ' autumn ' is in italic type and both ' spring ' and ' winter ' in 
roman. 



264 

THE FOUR FEATHERS. 1 
BY A. E. W. MASON. 

CHAPTER IV. 
THE BALL AT LENNON HOUSE. 

YET Feversham had travelled to Dublin by the night mail after 
his ride with Durrance in the Row. He crossed Lough Swilly on 
the following forenoon by a little cargo steamer, which once a 
week steamed up the Lennon river as far as Ramelton. On the 
quayside Ethne was waiting for him in her dog-cart ; she gave 
him the hand and the smile of a comrade. 

' You are surprised to see me,' said she, noting the look upon 
his face. 

' I always am,' he replied. ' By so much you exceed my 
thoughts of you ; ' and the smile changed upon her face it 
became something more than the smile of a comrade. 

' I shall drive slowly,' she said as soon as his traps had been 
packed into the cart ; ' I brought no groom on purpose. There 
will be guests coming to-morrow. We have only to-day.' 

She drove along the wide causeway by the river-side, and 
turned up the steep, narrow street. Feversham sat silently by 
her side. It was his first visit to Ramelton, and he gazed about 
him, noting the dark thicket of tall trees which climbed on the 
far side of the river, the old grey bridge, the noise of the water 
above it as it sang over shallows, and the drowsy quiet of the 
town, with a great curiosity and almost a pride of ownership, 
since it was here that Ethne lived, and all these things were 
part and parcel of her life. 

She was at that time a girl of twenty-one, tall, strong, and 
supple of limb, and with a squareness of shoulder proportionate 
to her height. She had none of that exaggerated slope which 
our grandmothers esteemed, yet she lacked no grace of woman- 
hood on that account, and in her walk she was light-footed as a 
deer. Her hair was dark brown, and she wore it coiled upon the 
nape of her neck ; a bright colour burned in her cheeks, and her 

1 Copyright, 1901, by A. E. W. Mason in the United States of America, 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 265 

eyes, of a very clear grey, met the eyes of those to whom she 
talked with a most engaging frankness. And in character she 
was the counterpart of her looks. She was honest, she had a 
certain simplicity, the straightforward simplicity of strength 
which comprises much gentleness and excludes violence. Of her 
courage there is a story still told in Kamelton, which Feversham 
could never remember without a thrill of wonder. She had 
stopped at a door on that steep hill leading down to the river, 
and the horse which she was driving took fright at the mere 
clatter of a pail and bolted. The reins were lying loose at the 
moment ; they fell on the ground before Ethne could seize them. 
She was thus seated helpless in the dog-cart, and the horse was 
tearing down to where the road curves sharply over the bridge. 
The thing which she did, she did quite coolly. She climbed over 
the front of the dog-cart as it pitched and raced down the hill, 
and balancing herself along the shafts, reached the reins at the 
horse's neck, and brought the horse to a stop ten yards from 
the curve. But she had, too, the defects of her qualities, although 
Feversham was not yet aware of them. 

Ethne during the first part of this drive was almost as silent 
as her companion, and when she spoke it was with an absent air, 
as though she had something of more importance in her thoughts. 
It was not until she had left the town and was out upon the 
straight undulating road to Letterkenny that she turned quickly 
to Feversham and uttered it. 

' I saw this morning that your regiment was ordered from 
India to Egypt. You could have gone with it had I not come 
in your way. There would have been chances of distinction. I 
have hindered you, and I am very sorry. Of course, you could 
not know that there was any possibility of your regiment going, 
but I can understand it is very hard for you to be left behind. I 
blame myself.' 

Feversham sat staring in front of him for a moment. Then 
he said in a voice suddenly grown hoarse : 

' You need not.' 

' How can I help it ? I blame myself the more,' she continued, 
' because I do not see things quite like other women. For 
instance, supposing that you had gone out, and that the worst 
had happened, I should have felt very lonely, of course, all my 
days, but I should have known quite surely that when those days 
were over, you and I would see much of one another.' 



266 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

She spoke without any impressive lowering of the voice, but 
in the steady level tone of one stating the simplest imaginable 
fact. Feversham caught his breath like a man in pain. But 
the girl's eyes were upon his face, and he sat still, staring in front 
of him without so much as a contraction of the forehead. But it 
seemed that he could not trust himself to answer. He kept his 
lips closed, and Ethne continued : 

' You see I can put up with the absence of the people I care 
about a little better perhaps than most people. I do not feel 
that I have lost them at all,' and she cast about for a while as if 
her thought was difficult to express. 'You know how things 
happen,' she resumed. ' One toddles along in a dull sort of way, 
and then suddenly a face springs out from the crowd of one's 
acquaintances, and you know it at once and certainly for the 
face of a friend, or rather you recognise it, though you have 
never seen it before. It is almost as though you had come upon 
someone long looked for and now gladly recovered. Well, such 
friends they are few, no doubt, but after all only the few really 
count such friends one does not lose, whether they are absent, 
or even dead.' 

' Unless,' said Feversham slowly, ' one has made a mistake. 
Suppose the face in the crowd is a mask, what then ? One may 
make mistakes.' 

Ethne shook her head decidedly. 

' Of that kind, no. One may seem to have made mistakes, 
and perhaps for a long while. But in the end one would be 
proved not to have made them.' 

And the girl's implicit faith took hold upon the man and 
tortured him, so that he could no longer keep silence. 

' Ethne,' he cried, ' you don't know ' But at that moment 

Ethne reined in her horse, laughed, and pointed with her whip. 

They had come to the top of a hill a couple of miles from 
Eamelton. The road ran between stone walls enclosing open 
fields upon the left, and a wood of oaks and beeches on the right. 
A scarlet letter-box was built into the left-hand wall, and at that 
Ethne's whip was pointed. 

' I wanted to show you that,' she interrupted. ' It was there 
I used to post my letters to you during the anxious times.' And 
so Feversham let slip his opportunity of speech. He looked at 
the wonderful letter-box, which had once received missives of so 
high an importance. 






THE FOUR FEATHERS. 267 

' The house is behind the trees to the right,' she said. 

' The letter-box is very convenient,' said Feversham. 

' Yes. I suppose that you and I are the only two people in 
the British Isles who are satisfied with the Postmaster-General,' 
said Ethne, and she drove on and stopped again where the park 
wall had crumbled. 

' That's where I used to climb over to post the letters. There's 
a tree on the other side of the wall as convenient as the letter- 
box. I used to run down the half-mile of avenue at night.' 

' There might have been thieves,' exclaimed Feversham. 

' There were thorns,' said Ethne, and turning through the 
gates she drove up to the porch of the long, irregular grey house. 
' Well, we have still a day before the dance.' 

' I suppose the whole countryside is coming,' said Feversham. 

' It daren't do anything else,' said Ethne with a laugh. ' My 
father would send the police to fetch them if they stayed away, 
just as he fetched your friend Mr. Durrance here. By the way, 
Mr. Durrance has sent me a present a Gruarnerius violin.' 

The door opened, and a thin, lank old man with a fierce 
peaked face like a bird of prey came out upon the steps. His 
face softened, however, into friendliness when he saw Feversham, 
and a smile played upon his lips. A stranger might have thought 
that he winked. But his left eyelid continually drooped over 
the eye. 

' How do you do ? ' he said. ' G-lad to see you. Must make 
yourself at home. If you want any whisky, stamp twice on the 
floor with your foot. The servants understand,' and with that he 
went straightway back into the house. 

The biographer of Dermod Eustace would need to bring a 
wary mind to his work. For though the old master of Lennon 
House has not lain twenty years in his grave, he is already 
swollen into a legendary character. Anecdotes have grown upon 
his memory like barnacles, and any man in those parts with a 
knack of invention has only to foist his stories upon Dermod to 
ensure a ready credence. There are, however, definite facts. He 
practised an ancient and tyrannous hospitality, keeping open 
house upon the road to Letterkenny, and forcing bed and board 
even upon strangers, as Durrance had once discovered. He was 
a man of another century, who looked out with a glowering, angry 
eye upon a topsy-turvy world with which he would not be re- 



268 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

conciled except after much alcohol. He was a sort of intoxicated 
Coriolaims, believing that the people should be shepherded with 
a stick, yet always mindful of his manners even to the lowliest 
of women. It was always said of him with pride by the townsfolk 
of Ramelton that even at his worst, when he came galloping 
down the steep cobbled streets, mounted on a big white mare of 
seventeen hands, with his inseparable collie-dog for his companion 
a gaunt, grey-faced, grey-haired man with a drooping eye, 
swaying with drink, yet by a miracle keeping his saddle he had 
never ridden down anyone except a man. There are two points 
to be added. He was rather afraid of his daughter, who wisely 
kept him doubtful whether she was displeased with him or not, 
and he had conceived a great liking for Harry Fever sham. 

Harry saw little of him that day, however. Dermod retired 
into the room which he was pleased to call his office, while 
Feversham and Ethne spent the afternoon fishing for salmon in 
the Lennon river. It was an afternoon restful as a Sabbath, and 
the very birds were still. From the house the lawns fell steeply, 
shaded by trees and dappled by the sunlight, to a valley, at the 
bottom of which flowed the river swift and black under overarching 
boughs. There was a fall, where the water slid over rocks with a 
smoothness so unbroken that it looked solid except just at one 
point. There a spur stood sharply up and the river broke back 
upon itself in an amber wave through which the sun shone. 
Opposite this spur they sat for a long while, talking at times, but 
for the most part listening to the roar of the water, and watching 
its perpetual flow. And at last the sunset came, and the long 
shadows. They stood up, looked at each other with a smile, and 
so walked slowly back to the house. It was an afternoon which 
Feversham was long to remember. For the next night was the 
night of the dance, and as the band struck up the opening bars of 
the fourth waltz, Ethne left her position at the drawing-room 
door, and taking Feversham's arm passed out into the hall. 

The hall was empty and the front door stood open to the cool 
of the summer night. From the ballroom came the swaying lilt 
of the music and the beat of the dancers' feet. Ethne drew a 
breath of relief at her reprieve from her duties, and then, dropping 
her partner's arm, crossed to a side table. 

' The post is in,' she said. ' There are letters, one, two, three 
for you, and a little box.' 

She held the box out to him as she spoke, a little white 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 269 

jeweller's cardboard box, and was at once struck by its absence of 
weight. 

' It must be empty,' she said. 

Yet it was most carefully sealed and tied. Feversham broke 
the seals and unfastened the string. He looked at the address. 
The box had been forwarded from his lodgings and he was not 
familiar with the handwriting. 

' There is some mistake,' he said as he shook the lid open, and 
then he stopped abruptly. Three white feathers fluttered out of 
the box, swayed and rocked for a moment in the air, and then, one 
after another, settled gently down upon the floor. They lay like 
flakes of snow upon the dark polished boards. But they were not 
whiter than Harry Feversham's cheeks. He stood and stared at 
the feathers until he felt a light touch upon his arm. He looked 
and saw Ethne's gloved hand upon his sleeve. 

' What does it mean ? ' she asked. There was some perplexity 
in her voice, but nothing more than perplexity. The smile upon 
her face and the loyal confidence of her eyes showed she had never 
a doubt that his first word would lift it from her. 'What does it 
mean ? ' 

' That there are things which cannot be hid, I suppose,' said 
Feversham. 

For a little while Ethne did not speak. The languorous 
music floated into the hall, and the trees whispered from the 
garden through the open door. Then she shook his arm gently, 
uttered a breathless little laugh, and spoke as though she were 
pleading with a child. 

' I don't think you understand, Harry. Here are three white 
feathers. They were sent to you in jest ? Oh, of course in jest. 
But it is a cruel kind of jest ' 

' They were sent in deadly earnest.' 

He spoke now, looking her straight in the eyes. Ethne 
dropped her hand from his sleeve. 

' Who sent them ? ' she asked. 

Feversham had not given a thought to that matter. The 
message was all in all, the men who had sent it so unimportant. 
But Ethne reached out her hand and took the box from him. 
There were three visiting cards lying at the bottom, and she took 
them out and read them aloud. 

' Captain Trench, Mr. Castleton, Mr. Willoughby. Do you 
know these men ? ' 



270 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

' All three are officers of my old regiment.' 
The girl was dazed. She knelt down upon the floor and 
gathered the feathers into her hand with a vague thought that 
merely to touch them would help her to comprehension. They 
lay upon the palm of her white glove, and she blew gently upon 
them and they swam up into the air and hung fluttering and 
rocking. As they floated downwards she caught them again, and 
so she slowly felt her way to another question. 
' Were they justly sent ? ' she asked. 
' Yes,' said Harry Feversham. 

He had no thought of denial or evasion. He was only aware 
that the dreadful thing for so many years dreadfully anticipated 
had at last befallen him. He was known for a coward. The word 
which had long blazed upon the wall of his thoughts in letters of 
fire was now written large in the public places. He stood as ' he 
had once stood before the portraits of his fathers, mutely accepting 
condemnation. It was the girl who denied, as she still kneeled 
upon the floor. 

' I do not believe that is true,' she said. ' You could not look 
me in the face so steadily were it true. Your eyes would seek the 
floor, not mine.' 
' Yet it is true.' 

' Three little white feathers,' she said slowly, and then with a 
sob in her throat. ' This afternoon we were under the elms down by 
the Lennon river do you remember, Harry ? just you and I. And 
then come three little white feathers ; and the world's at an end.' 
' Oh don't ! ' cried Harry, and his voice broke upon the word. 
Up till now he had spoken with a steadiness matching the steadi- 
ness of his eyes. But these last words of hers, the picture which 
they evoked in his memories, the pathetic simplicity of her utter- 
ance caught him by the heart. But Ethne seemed not to hear 
the appeal. She was listening with her face turned towards the 
ball-room. The chatter and laughter of the voices there grew 
louder and nearer. She understood that the music had ceased. 
She rose quickly to her feet, clenching the feathers in her hand, 
and opened a door. It was the door of her sitting-room. 
' Come,' she said. 

Harry followed her into the room, and she closed the door, 
shutting out the noise. 

' Now,' she said, ' will you tell me. if you please, why the 
feathers have been sent ? ' 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 271 

She stood quietly before him ; her face was pale, but Feversham 
could not gather from her expression any feeling which she might 
have beyond a desire and a determination to get at the truth. 
She spoke, too, with the same quietude. He answered, as he had 
answered before, directly, and to the point, without any attempt 
at mitigation. 

' A telegram came. It was sent by Castleton. It reached me 
when Captain Trench and Mr. Willoughby were dining with me. 
It told me that my regiment would be ordered on active service in 
Egypt. Castleton was dining with a man likely to know, and I 
did not question the accuracy of his message. He told me to tell 
Trench. I did not. I thought the matter over with the telegram 
in front of me. Castleton was leaving that night for Scotland, and 
he would go straight from Scotland to rejoin the regiment. He 
would not, therefore, see Trench for some weeks at the earliest, 
and by that time the telegram would very likely be forgotten, or 
its date confused. I did not tell Trench. I threw the telegram 
into the fire, and that night sent in my papers. But Trench found 
out somehow. Durrance was at dinner, too good (rod, Durrance ! 
He suddenly broke out. ' Most likely he knows like the rest.' 

It came upon him as something shocking and strangely new 
that his friend Durrance, who, as he knew very well, had been 
wont rather to look up to him, in all likelihood counted him a 
thing of scorn. But he heard Ethne speaking. After all, what 
did it matter whether Durrance knew, whether every man knew 
from the South Pole to the North, since she, Ethne, knew. 

1 And is this all ? ' she asked. 

' Surely it is enough,' said he. 

' I think not,' she answered, and she lowered her voice a little 
as she went on. ' We agreed, didn't we, that no foolish mis- 
understandings should ever come between us. We were to be 
frank, and to take frankness each from the other without offence. 
So be frank with me ! Please ! ' and she pleaded. ' I could, I 
think, claim it as a right. At all events I ask for it as I shall 
never ask for anything else in all my life.' 

There was a sort of explanation of his act, Harry Feversham 
remembered. But it was so futile when compared with the over- 
whelming consequence. Ethne had unclenched her hands, the 
three feathers lay before his eyes upon the table. They could 
not be explained away ; he wore ' coward ' like a blind man's 
label ; besides, he could never make her understand. However, 



272 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

she wished for the explanation, and had a right to it ; she had been 
generous in asking for it, with a generosity not very common 
amongst women. So Feversham gathered his wits and ex- 
plained : 

' All my life I have been afraid that some day I should play 
the coward, and from the very first I knew that I was destined 
for the army. I kept my fear to myself. There was no one to 

whom I could tell it. My mother was dead, and my father ' 

he stopped for a moment with a deep intake of the breath. He 
could see his father, that lonely iron man, sitting at this very 
moment in his mother's favourite seat upon the terrace, and 
looking over the moonlit fields towards the Sussex Downs ; he could 
imagine him dreaming of honours and distinctions worthy of the 
Fevershams to be gained immediately by his son in the Egyptian 
campaign. Surely that old man's stern heart would break 
beneath this blow ! The magnitude of the bad thing which he 
had done, the misery which it would spread, were becoming very 
clear to Harry Feversham. He dropped his head between his 
hands and groaned aloud. 

' My father,' he resumed, ' would, nay, could never have under- 
stood. I know him. When danger came his way it found him 
ready, but he did not foresee. That was my trouble always. I 
foresaw. Any peril to be encountered, any risk to be run I fore- 
saw them. I foresaw something else besides. My father would 
talk in his matter-of-fact way of the hours of waiting before the 
actual commencement of a battle, after the troops had been 
paraded. The mere anticipation of the suspense and the strain 
of those hours was a torture to me. I foresaw the possibility of 
cowardice. Then one evening, when my father had his old 
friends about him on one of his Crimean nights, two dreadful 
stories were told one of an officer, the other of a surgeon, who 
had both shirked. I was now confronted with the fact of 
cowardice. I took those stories up to bed with me. They never 
left my memory; they became a part of me. I saw myself 
behaving now as one, now as the other of those two men had 
behaved, perhaps in the crisis of a battle bringing ruin upon my 
country, certainly dishonouring my father and all the dead men 
whose portraits hung ranged in the hall. I tried to get the best 
of my fears. I hunted, but with a map of the countryside in my 
mind. I foresaw every hedge, every pit, every treacherous 
bank.' 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 273 

' Yet you rode straight,' interrupted Ethne. ' Mr. Durrance 
told me so.' 

' Did I ? ' said Feversham vaguely. ' Well, perhaps I did, 
once the hounds were off". Durrance never knew what the 
moments of waiting before the covers were drawn meant to me ! 
So when this telegram came I took the chance it seemed to offer 
and resigned.' 

So he ended his explanation. He had spoken warily, having 
something to conceal. However earnestly she might ask for 
frankness, he must at all costs, for her sake, hide something from 
her. But at once she suspected it. 

' Were you afraid too of disgracing me ? Was I in any way 
the cause that you resigned ? ' 

Feversham looked her in the eyes and lied : 

'No.' 

' If you had not been engaged to me you would still have sent 
in your papers ? ' 

' Yes.' 

Ethne slowly stripped a glove off her hand. Feversham 
turned away. 

' I think that I am rather like your father,' she said. ' I 
don't understand ' ; and in the silence which followed upon her 
words Feversham heard something whirr and rattle upon the table. 
He looked and saw that she had slipped her engagement ring 
off her finger. It lay upon the table, the stones winking at him. 

' And all this all that you have told to me,' she exclaimed 
suddenly, with her face very stern, ' you would have hidden from 
me. You would have married me and hidden it had not these 
three feathers come ? ' 

The words had been on her lips from the beginning, but she 
had not uttered them lest by a miracle he should after all have 
some unimagined explanation which would re-establish him in 
her thoughts. She had given him every chance. Now, however, 
she struck and laid bare the worst of his disloyalty. Feversham 
flinched, and he did not answer, but allowed his silence to con- 
sent. Ethne, however, was just ; she was in a way curious too : 
she wished to know the very bottom of the matter before she 
thrust it into the back of her mind. 

' But yesterday,' she said, ' you were going to tell me some- 
thing. I stopped you to point out the letter-box,' and she laughed 
in a queer empty way. ' Was it about the feathers ? ' 

""OL. XIT. NO. 68, N.S. 18 



274 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

'Yes,' answered Feversham wearily. What did these per- 
sistent questions matter, since the feathers had come, since her 
ring lay flickering and winking on the table. ' Yes, I think what 
you were saying rather compelled me.' 

' I remember,' said Ethne, interrupting him rather hastily, 
' about seeing much of one another afterwards. We will not 
speak of such things again,' and Feversham swayed upon his feet 
as though he would fall. ' I remember, too, you said one could 
make mistakes. You were right, I was wrong. One can do more 
than seem to make them. Will you, if you please, take back 
your ring ? ' 

Feversham picked up the ring and held it in the palm of his 
hand, standing very still. He had never cared for her so much, 
he had never recognised her value so thoroughly as at this 
moment when he lost her. She gleamed in the quiet room, 
wonderful, most wonderful, from the bright flowers in her hair to 
the white slipper on her foot. It was incredible to him that he 
should ever have won her. Yet he had, and disloyally had lost 
her. Then her voice broke in again upon his reflections. 

' These, too, are yours. Will you take them please ? ' 

She was pointing with her fan to the feathers upon the table. 
Feversham obediently reached out his hand, and then drew it 
back in surprise. 

' There are four,' he said. 

Ethne did not reply, and looking at her fan Feversham 
understood. It was a fan of ivory and white feathers. She had 
broken off one of those feathers and added it on her own account 
to the three. 

The thing which she had done was cruel, no doubt. But she 
wished to make an end a complete, irrevocable end ; though her 
voice was steady, and her face, despite its pallor, calm, she was 
really tortured with humiliation and pain. All the details of 
Harry Feversham's courtship, the interchange of looks, the letters 
she had written and received, the words which had been spoken, 
tingled and smarted unbearably in her recollections. Their lips 
had touched she recalled it with horror. She desired never to 
see Harry Feversham after this night. Therefore she added her 
fourth feather to the three. 

Harry Feversham took the feathers as she bade him, without 
a word of remonstrance, and indeed with a sort of dignity which 
even at that moment surprised her. All the time, too, he had 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 275 

kept his eyes steadily upon hers, he had answered her questions 
simply, there had been nothing abject in his manner ; so that 
Ethne already almost began to regret this last thing which she 
had done. However, it was done. Feversham had taken the 
four feathers. 

He held them in his fingers as though he was about to tear 
them across. But he checked the action. He looked suddenly 
towards her, and kept his eyes upon her face for some little while. 
Then very carefully he put the feathers into his breast pocket. 
Ethne at this time did not consider why. She only thought that 
here was the irrevocable end. 

' We should be going back, I think,' she said. ' We have 
been some time away. Will you give me your arm ? ' In the 
hall she looked at the clock. ' Only eleven o'clock,' she said, 
wearily. 'When we dance here, we dance till daylight. We 
must show brave faces until daylight.' 

And, with her hand resting upon his arm, they passed into 
the ball-room. 



CHAPTEE V. 

THE TARIAH. 

HABIT assisted them ; the irresponsible chatter of the ball-room 
sprang automatically to their lips ; the appearance of enjoyment 
never failed from off their faces ; so that no one at Lennon House 
that night suspected that any swift cause of severance had come 
between them. Harry Feversham watched Ethne laugh and talk 
as though she had never a care, and was perpetually surprised, 
taking no thought that he wore the like mask of gaiety himself. 
When she swung past him the light rhythm of her feet almost 
persuaded him that her heart was in the dance. It seemed that 
she could even command the colour upon her cheeks. Thus they 
both wore brave faces as she had bidden. They even danced 
together. But all the while Ethne was conscious that she was 
holding up a great load of pain and humiliation which would 
presently crush her, and Feversham felt those four feathers 
burning at his breast. It was wonderful to him that the whole 
company did not know of them. He never approached a partner 
without the notion that she would turn upon him with the con- 
temptuous name which was his upon her tongue. Yet he felt no 

82 



276 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

fear on that account. He would not indeed have cared had it 
happened, had the word been spoken. He had lost Ethne. He 
watched her and looked in vain amongst her guests, as indeed 
he surely knew he would, for a fit comparison. There were 
women, pretty, graceful, even beautiful, but Ethne stood apart 
by the particular character of her beauty. The broad forehead, 
the perfect curve of the eyebrows ; the great steady, clear, grey 
eyes, the full red lips which could dimple into tenderness and 
shut level with resolution, and the royal grace of her carriage, 
marked her out to Feversham's thinking, and would do so in any 
company. He watched her in a despairing amazement that he 
had ever had a chance of owning her. 

Only once did her endurance fail her and then only for a 
second. She was dancing with Feversham and as she looked 
towards the windows she saw that the daylight was beginning 
to show very pale and cold upon the other side of the blinds. 

' Look ! ' she said, and Feversham suddenly felt all her weight 
upon his arms. Her face lost its colour and grew tired and very 
grey. Her eyes shut tightly and then opened again. He thought 
that she would faint. ' The morning at last ! ' she exclaimed, and 
then in a voice as weary as her face, ' I wonder whether it is right 
that one should suffer so much pain.' 

' Hush ! ' whispered Feversham, ' Courage ! A few minutes 
more only a very few ! ' He stopped and stood in front of her 
until her strength returned. 

' Thank you ! ' she said gratefully and the bright wheel of the 
dance caught them again. 

It was strange that he should be exhorting her to courage, 
she thanking him for help, but the irony of this queer momentary 
reversal of their position occurred to neither of them. Ethne 
was too tried by the strain of those last hours, and Feversham had 
learned from that one failure of her endurance, from the drawn 
aspect of her face and the depths of pain in her eyes, how deeply 
he had wounded her. He no longer said, ' I have lost her,' he no 
longer thought of his loss at all. He heard her words : ' I wonder 
whether it is right that one should suffer so much pain.' He felt 
that they would go ringing down the world with him, persistent 
in his ears, spoken upon the very accent of her voice. He was 
sure that he would hear them at the end above the voices of any 
who should stand about him when he died, and hear in them his 
condemnation. For it was not right. 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 277 

The ball finished shortly afterwards. The last carriage drove 
away and those who were staying in the house sought the 
smoking-room or went upstairs to bed according to their sex. 
Feversham, however, lingered in the hall with Ethne. She 
understood why. 

' There is no need/ she said, standing with her back to him 
as she lighted a candle, ' I have told my father. I told him 
everything.' 

Feversham bowed his head in acquiescence. 

' Still, I must wait and see him,' he said. 

Ethne did not object, but she turned and looked at him 
quickly with her brows drawn in a frown of perplexity. To wait 
for her father under such circumstances seemed to argue a certain 
courage. Indeed, she herself felt some apprehension as she 
heard the door of the study open and Dermod's footsteps on the 
floor. Dermod walked straight up to Harry Feversham, looking 
for once in a way what he was, a very old man, and stood there 
staring into Feversham's face with a muddled and bewildered ex- 
pression. Twice he opened his mouth to speak, but no words 
came. In the end he turned to the table and lit his candle 
and Harry Feversham's. Then he turned back towards Fever- 
sham, and rather quickly, so that Ethne took a step forward as if 
to get between them. But he did nothing more than stare at 
Feversham again and for a long time. Finally, he took up his 
candle. 

' Well ' he said and stopped. He snuffed the wick with 

the scissors and began again. ' Well ' he said and stopped 

again. Apparently his candle had not helped him to any suitable 
expressions. He stared into the flame now instead of into Fever- 
sham's face and for an equal length of time. He could think of 
nothing whatever to say, and yet he was conscious that something 
must be said. In the end he said in a lame way : 

' If you want any whisky stamp twice on the floor with your 
foot. The servants understand.' 

Thereupon he walked heavily up the stairs. The old man's 
forbearance was perhaps not the least part of Harry Feversham's 
punishment. 

It was broad daylight when Ethne was at last alone within 
her room. She drew up the blinds and opened the windows wide. 
The cool fresh air of the morning was as a draught of spring water 



278 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

to her. She looked out upon a world as yet unillumined by 
colours and found therein an image of her days to come. The 
dark, tall trees looked black ; the winding paths a singular dead 
white ; the very lawns were dull and grey, though the dew lay 
upon them like a network of frost. It was a noisy world, how- 
ever, for all its aspect of quiet. For the blackbirds were calling 
from the branches and the grass, and down beneath the overhang- 
ing trees the Lennon flowed in music between its banks. Ethne 
drew back from the window. She had much to do that morning 
before she slept. For she designed with her natural thoroughness 
to make an end at once of all her associations with Harry Fever- 
sham. She wished that from the moment when next she waked 
she might never come across a single thing which could recall 
him to her memory. And with a sort of stubborn persistence 
she went about the work. 

But she changed her mind. In the very process of collecting 
together the gifts which he had made to her she changed her 
mind. For each gift that she looked upon had its history, and 
the days before this miserable night had darkened on her happi- 
ness came one by one slowly back to her as she looked. She 
determined to keep one thing which had belonged to Harry 
Feversham, a small thing, a thing of no value. At first she 
chose a penknife, which he had once lent to her and she had 
forgotten to return. But the next instant she dropped it and 
rather hurriedly. For she was after all an Irish girl, and though 
she did not believe in superstitions, where superstitions were 
concerned she preferred to be on the safe side. She selected 
his likeness in the end and locked it away in a drawer. 

The rest of his presents she gathered together, packed them 
carefully in a box, fastened the box, addressed it and carried it 
down to the hall, that the servants might despatch it in the 
morning. Then coming back to her room she took his letters, 
made a little pile of them on the hearth and set them alight. 
They took some while to consume, but she waited, sitting upright 
in her armchair while the flame crept from sheet to sheet, dis- 
colouring the paper, blackening the writing like a stream of ink, 
and leaving in the end only flakes of ashes like feathers, and 
white flakes like white feathers. The last sparks were barely 
extinguished when she heard a cautious step on the gravel 
beneath her window. 

It was broad daylight, but her candle was still burning on 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 279 

tlie table at her side, and with a quick instinctive movement she 
reached out her arm and put the light out. Then she sat very 
still and rigid, listening. For awhile she heard only the black- 
birds calling from the trees in the garden and the throbbing 
music of the river. Afterwards she heard the footsteps again, 
cautiously retreating ; and in spite of her will, in spite of her 
formal disposal of the letters and the presents, she was mastered 
all at once, not by pain or humiliation, but by an overpowering 
sense of loneliness. She seemed to be seated high on an empty 
world of ruins. She rose quickly from her chair, and her eyes 
fell upon a violin case. With a sigh of relief she opened it, and 
a little while after one or two of the guests who were sleeping 
in the house chanced to wake up and heard floating down the 
corridors the music of a violin played very lovingly and low. 
Ethne was not aware that the violin which she held was the 
Guarnerius violin which Durrance had sent to her. She only 
understood that she had a companion to share her loneliness. 



CHAPTER VI. 
HARRY FEVERSHAM'S PLAN. 

IT was the night of August 30. A month had passed since the 
ball at Lennon House, but the uneventful country side of 
Donegal was still busy with the stimulating topic of Harry 
Feversham's disappearance. The townsmen in the climbing street 
and the gentry at their dinner-tables gossiped to their hearts' 
contentment. It was asserted that Harry Feversham had been 
seen on the very morning after the dance, and at five minutes to 
six though according to Mrs. Brien O'Brien it was ten minutes 
past the hour still in his dress clothes and with a white suicide's 
face, hurrying along the causeway by the Lennon Bridge. It was 
suggested that a drag-net would be the only way to solve the 
mystery. Mr. Dennis Eafferty, who lived on the road to Eatli- 
mullen, indeed, went so far as to refuse salmon on the plea that 
he was not a cannibal, and the saying had a general vogue. 
Their conjectures as to the cause of the disappearance were no 
nearer to the truth. For there were only two who knew, and 
those two went steadily about the business of living as though no 
catastrophe had befallen them. They held their heads a trifle 



280 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

more proudly perhaps. Ethne might have become a little more 
gentle, Dermod a little more irascible, but these were the only 
changes. So gossip had the field to itself. 

But Harry Feversham was in London, as Lieutenant Sutch 
discovered on the night of the 30th. All that day the town had 
been perturbed by rumours of a great battle fought at Kassassin 
in the desert east of Ismailia. Messengers had raced ceaselessly 
through the streets, shouting tidings of victory and tidings of 
disaster. There had been a charge by moonlight of Greneral 
Drury-Lowe's Cavalry Brigade, which had rolled up Arabi's left 
flank and captured his guns. It was rumoured that an English 
general had been killed, that the York and Lancaster Regiment 
had been cut up. London was uneasy, and at eleven o'clock at 
night a great crowd of people had gathered in Pall Mall, watching 
with pale upturned faces the lighted blinds of the War Office. 
The crowd was silent and impressively still. Only if a figure 
moved for an instant across the blinds a thrill of expectation 
passed from man to man, and the crowd swayed in a continuous 
movement from edge to edge. Lieutenant Sutch, careful of his 
wounded leg, was standing on the outskirts with his back to the 
parapet of the Junior Carlton Club, when he felt himself touched 
upon the arm. He saw Harry Feversham at his side. Fever- 
sham's face was working and extraordinarily white, his eyes were 
bright like the eyes of a man in a fever, and Sutch at the first 
was not sure that he knew or cared who it was to whom he 
talked. 

' I might have been out there in Egypt to-night,' said Harry 
in a quick troubled voice. ' Think of it ! I might have been 
out there, sitting by a camp-fire in the desert, talking over the 
battle with Jack Durrance ; or dead perhaps. What would it 
have mattered ? I might have been in Egypt to-night ! ' 

Feversham's unexpected appearance, no less than his wander- 
ing tongue, told Sutch that somehow his fortunes had gone 
seriously wrong. He had many questions in his mind, but he 
did not ask a single one of them. He took Feversham's arm and 
led him straight out of the throng. 

' I saw you in the crowd,' continued Feversham. ' I thought 
that I would speak to you, because do you remember, a long 
time ago you gave me your card ? I have always kept it because 
I have always feared that I would have reason to use it. You said 
that if one was in trouble, the telling might help.' 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 281 

Sutch. stopped his companion. 

' We will go in here. We can find a quiet corner in the 
upper smoking-room ;' and Harry looking up, saw that he was 
standing by the steps of the Army and Navy Club. 

' (rood (rod, not there ! ' he cried in a sharp low voice, and 
moved quickly into the roadway, where no light fell directly on 
his face. Sutch limped after him. ' Nor to-night. It is late. 
To-morrow if you will, in some quiet place, and after nightfall. 
I do not go out in the daylight.' 

Again Lieutenant Sutch asked no questions. 

' I know a quiet restaurant,' he said. ' If we dine there at 
nine we shall meet no one whom we know. I will meet you just 
before nine to-morrow night at the corner of Swallow Street.' 

They dined together accordingly on the following evening at 
a table in the corner of the Criterion grill-room. Feversham 
looked quickly about him as he entered the room. 

' I dine here often when I am in town,' said Sutch. ' Listen ! ' 
The throbbing of the engines working the electric light could be 
distinctly heard, their vibrations could be felt. 

' It reminds me of a ship,' said Sutch with a smile. ' I can 
almost fancy myself in the gunroom again. We will have dinner. 
Then you shall tell me your story.' 

' You have heard nothing of it ? ' asked Feversham sus- 
piciously. 

' Not a word,' and Feversham drew a breath of relief. It had 
seemed to him that everyone must know. He imagined con- 
tempt on every face which passed him in the street. 

Lieutenant Sutch was even more concerned this evening than 
he had been the night before. He saw Harry Feversham clearly 
now in a full light. Harry's face was thin and haggard with lack of 
sleep, there were black hollows beneath his eyes ; he drew his breath 
and made his movements in a restless feverish fashion, his nerves 
seemed strung to breaking point. Once or twice between the 
courses he began his story, but Sutch would not listen until the 
cloth was cleared. 

' Now,' said he, holding out his cigar-case. ' Take your time, 
Harry.' 

Thereupon Feversham told him the whole truth, without 
exaggeration or omission, forcing himself to a slow, careful, 
matter-of-fact speech, so that in the end Sutch almost fell into the 
illusion that it was just the story of a stranger which Feversham 



282 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

was recounting merely to pass the time. He began with the 
Crimean night at Broad Place, and ended with the ball at Lennon 
House. 

' I came back across Lough Swilly early that morning,' he 
said in conclusion, ' and travelled at once to London. Since then 
I have stayed in my rooms all day, listening to the bugles calling 
in the barrack-yard beneath my windows. At night I prowl 
about the streets or lie in bed waiting for the Westminster clock 
to tell each new quarter of an hour. On foggy nights, too, I can 
hear steam-sirens on the river. Do you know when the ducks 
start quacking in St. James's Park ? ' he asked with a laugh. ' At 
two o'clock to the minute.' 

Sutch listened to the story without an interruption. But 
half way through its narrative he changed his attitude, and in 
a significant way. Up to the moment when Harry told of his 
concealment of the telegram, Sutch had sat with his arms upon 
the table in front of him, and his eyes upon his companion. 
Thereafter he raised a hand to his forehead, and so remained 
with his face screened while the rest was told. Feversham had 
no doubt of the reason. Lieutenant Sutch wished to conceal the 
scorn he felt, and could not trust the muscles of his face. 
Feversham, however, mitigated nothing, but continued steadily 
and truthfully to the end. But even after the end was reached 
Sutch did not remove his hand, nor for some little while did he 
speak. When he did speak, his words came upon Feversham's 
ears with a shock of surprise. There was no contempt in them, 
and though his voice shook, it shook with a great contrition. 

' I am much to blame,' he said. ' I should have spoken that 
night at Broad Place, and I held my tongue. I shall hardly 
forgive myself.' The knowledge that it was Muriel Graham's 
son who had thus brought ruin and disgrace upon himself was 
uppermost in the lieutenant's mind. He felt that he had failed 
in the discharge of an obligation, self-imposed no doubt, but a 
very real obligation none the less. ' You see, I understood,' he 
continued remorsefully. ' Your father, I am afraid, never would.' 

' He never will,' interrupted Harry. 

' No,' Sutch agreed. ' Your mother, of course, had she lived 
would have seen clearly, but few women, I think, except your 
mother. Brute courage ! Women make a god of it. That girl, 
for instance ' and again Harry Feversham interrupted. 

' You must not blame her. I was defrauding her into marriage.' 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 283 

Sutch took his hand suddenly from his forehead. 

' Suppose that you had never met her, would you still have 
sent in your papers ? ' 

' I think not,' said Harry slowly. ' I want to be fair. Dis- 
gracing my name and those dead men in the hall I think I would 
have risked. I could not risk disgracing her.' 

And Lieutenant Sutch thumped his fist despairingly upon the 
table. ' If only I had spoken at Broad Place. Harry, why didn't 
you let me speak ? I might have saved you many unnecessary 
years of torture. Good heavens ! what a childhood you must 
have spent with that fear all alone with you. It makes me shiver 
to think of it. I might even have saved you from this last 
catastrophe. For I understood. I understood.' 

Lieutenant Sutch saw more clearly into the dark places of 
Harry Feversham's mind than Harry Feversham did himself; and 
because he saw so clearly, he could feel no contempt. The long 
years of childhood, and boyhood, and youth, lived apart in Broad 
Place in the presence of the uncomprehending father and the 
relentless dead men on the walls had done the harm. There 
had been no one in whom the boy could confide. The fear of 
cowardice had sapped incessantly at his heart. He had w r alked 
about with it; he had taken it with him to his bed. It had 
haunted his dreams. It had been his perpetual menacing com- 
panion. It had kept him from intimacy with his friends lest an 
impulsive word should betray him. Lieutenant Sutch did not 
wonder that in the end it had brought about this irretrievable 
mistake. For Lieutenant Sutch understood. 

' Did you ever read " Hamlet ? " ' he asked. 

' Of course,' said Harry in reply. 

' Ah, but did you consider it ? The same disability is clear in 
that character. The thing which he foresaw, which he thought 
over, which he imagined in the act and in the consequence 
that he shrank from, upbraiding himself even as you have done. 
Yet when the moment of action comes, sharp and immediate, 
does he fail? No, he excels, and just by reason of that foresight. 
I have seen men in the Crimea, tortured by their imaginations 
before the fight once the fight had begun you must search 
amongst the Oriental fanatics for their match, " Am I a coward ? " 

Do you remember the lines ? 

Am I a coward ? 

Who calls me villain ? Breaks my pate across 1 
Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face 1 



284 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

There's the case in a nutshell. If only I had spoken on that 
night ! ' 

One or two people passed the table on the way out. Sutch 
stopped and looked round the room. It was nearly empty. He 
glanced at his watch and saw that the hour was eleven. Some 
plan of action must be decided upon that night. It was not 
enough to hear Harry Feversham's story. There still remained 
the question, what was Harry Feversham, disgraced and ruined, 
now to do ? How was he to recreate his life ? How was the secret 
of his disgrace to be most easily concealed ? 

' You cannot stay in London, hiding by day, slinking about 

by night,' he said with a shiver. ' That's too like ' and he 

checked himself. Feversham, however, completed the sentence. 

' That's too like Wilmington,' said he quietly, recalling the 
story which his father had told so many years ago, and which he 
had never forgotten even for a single day. ' But Wilmington's 
end will not be mine. Of that I can assure you. I shall not stay 
in London.' 

He spoke with an air of decision. He had indeed mapped out 
already the plan of action concerning which Lieutenant Sutch was 
so disturbed. Sutch, however, was occupied with his own thoughts. 

' Who know of the feathers ? How many people ? ' he asked. 
' Give me their names.' 

' Trench, Castleton, Willoughby,' began Feversham. 

' All three are in Egypt. Besides, for the credit of their 
regiment they are likely to hold their tongues when they return. 
Who else ? ' 

' Dermod Eustace and and Ethne.' 

' They will not speak.' 

' You, Durrance perhaps, and my father.' 

Sutch leaned back in his chair and stared. 

' Your father ! You wrote to him ? ' 

* No. I went into Surrey and told him.' 

Again remorse for that occasion, recognised and not used, 
seized upon Lieutenant Sutch. 

Why didn't I speak that night ? ' he said impotently. ' A 
coward, and you go quietly down to Surrey and confront your 
father with that story to tell to him ! You do not even write ! 
You stand up and tell it to him face to face. Harry, I reckon 
myself as good as another when it comes to bravery, but for the 
life of me I could not have done that.' 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 285 

'It was rot pleasant,' said Feversham simply; and this was 
the only description of the interview between father and son 
which was vouchsafed to anyone. But Lieutenant Sutch knew 
the father and knew the son. He could guess at all which that 
one aujective implied. Harry Feversham told the results of his 
journey into Surrey. 

' My father continues my allowance. I shall need it, every 
penny of it otherwise, I should have taken nothing. But I am 
not to go home again. I did not mean to go home for a long 
while in any case, if at all.' 

He drew his pocket-book from his breast, and took from 
it the four white feathers. These he laid before him on the 
table. 

' You have kept them ? ' exclaimed Sutch. 

' Indeed I treasure them,' said Harry quietly. ' That seems 
strange to you. To you they are the symbols of my disgrace. 
To me they are much more. They are my opportunities of 
retrieving it.' He looked about the room, separated three of 
the feathers, pushed them forward a little on the table-cloth, and 
then leaned across towards Sutch. 

' What if I could compel Trench, Castleton, and Willoughby 
to take back from me, each one of them, the feather he sent ? 
I do not say that it is likely. I do not say even that it is 
possible. But there is a chance that it may be possible, and I 
must wait upon that chance. There will be few men leading 
active lives as these three do who do not at some moment stand 
in great peril and great need. To be in readiness for that 
moment is from now my career. All three are in Egypt. I leave 
for Egypt to-morrow.' 

Upon the face of Lieutenant Sutch there came a look of great 
and unexpected happiness. Here was an issue of which he had 
never thought, and it was the only issue, as he knew for certain, 
once he was aware of it. This student of human nature dis- 
regarded without a scruple the prudence and the calculation 
proper to the character which he assumed. The obstacles in 
Harry Feversham's way, the possibility that at the last moment 
he might shrink again, the improbability that three such oppor- 
tunities would occur these matters he overlooked. His eyes 
already shone with pride, the three feathers for him were already 
taken back. The prudence was on Harry Feversham's side. 

'There are endless difficulties,' he said. 'Just to cite one. 



286 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

I am a civilian, these three are soldiers, surrounded by soldiers ; 
so much the less opportunity therefore for a civilian.' 

' But it is not necessary that the three men should be them- 
selves in peril,' objected Sutch, ' for you to convince them that 
the fault is retrieved.' 

' Oh no. There may be other ways,' agreed Feversham. ' The 
plan came suddenly into my mind, indeed at the moment when 
Ethne bade me take up the feathers, and added the fourth. I was 
on the point of tearing them across when this way out of it sprang 
clearly up in my mind. But I have thought it over since during 
these last weeks while I sat listening to the bugles in the barrack 
yard. And I am sure there is no other way. But it is well worth 
trying. You see, if the three take back their feathers ' he drew 
a deep breath, and in a very low voice, with his eyes upon the 
table so that his face was hidden from Sutch, he added ' why, 
then she perhaps might take hers back too.' 

' Will she wait, do you think ? ' asked Sutch ; and Harry raised 
his head quickly. 

' Oh no,' he exclaimed, ' I had no thought of that. She has 
not even a suspicion of what I intend to do. Nor do I wish her 
to have one until the intention is fulfilled. My thought was 
different ' and he began to speak with hesitation for the first 
time in the course of that evening. ' I find it difficult to tell 
you Ethne said something to me the day before the feathers 
came something rather sacred. I think that I will tell you, 
because what she said is just what sends me out upon this errand. 
But for her words, I would very likely never have thought of 
it. I find in them my motive and a great hope. They may 
seem strange to you, Lieutenant Sutch. But I ask you to believe 
that they are very real to me. She said it was when she knew 
no more than that my regiment was ordered to Egypt ; she was 
blaming herself because I had resigned my commission, for which 
there was no need, because and these were her words because 
had I fallen, although she would have felt lonely all her life, she 
would none the less have surely known that she and I would see 
much of one another afterwards.' 

Feversham had spoken his words with difficulty, not looking 
at his companion, and he continued with his eyes still averted : 

' Do you understand ? I have a hope that if this can be set 
right ' and he pointed to the feathers ' we might still, perhaps, 
see something of one another afterwards.' 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 287 

It was a strange proposition, no doubt, to be debated across 
the soiled table-cloth of a public restaurant, but neither of them 
felt it strange or even fanciful. They were dealing with the 
simple serious issues, and they had reached a point where they 
could not be affected by any incongruity in their surroundings. 
Lieutenant Sutch did not speak for some while after Harry 
Feversham had done, and in the end Harry looked up at his 
companion, prepared for almost a word of ridicule. But he saw 
Sutch's right hand outstretched towards him. 

' When I come back,' said Feversham, and he rose from his 
chair. He gathered the feathers together and replaced them in 
his pocket-book. 

' I have told you everything,' he said. ' You see, I wait 
upon chance opportunities ; the three may not come in Egypt. 
They may never come at all, and in that case I shall not come 
back at all. Or they may come only at the very end and after 
many years. Therefore I thought that I would like just one 
person to know the truth thoroughly in case I do not come back. 
If you hear definitely that I never can come back, I would be 
glad if you would tell my father.' 

' I understand,' said Sutch. 

' But don r t tell him everything I mean not the last part 
not what I have just said about Ethne and my chief motive. For 
I do not think that he would understand. Otherwise you will 
keep silence altogether. Promise ! ' 

Lieutenant Sutch promised, but with an absent face, and 
Feversham consequently insisted. 

' You will breathe no word of this, to man or woman, however 
hard you may be pressed, except to my father under the circum- 
stances which I have explained,' said Feversham. 

Lieutenant Sutch promised a second time and without an 
instant's hesitation. It was quite natural that Harry should lay 
some stress upon the pledge, since any disclosure of his purpose 
might very well wear the appearance of a foolish boast, and Sutch 
himself saw no reason why he should refuse it. So he gave the 
promise and fettered his hands. His thoughts, indeed, were 
occupied with the limit Harry had set upon the knowledge which 
was to be imparted to General Feversham. Even if he died with 
his mission unfulfilled, Sutch was to hide from the father that 
which was best in the son, at the son's request. And the saddest 
part of it, to Sutch's thinking, was that the son was right in so 



288 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

requesting. For what he had said was true : the father could not 
understand. Lieutenant Sutch was brought back to the causes of 
the whole miserable business : the premature death of the mother, 
who could have understood ; the want of comprehension in the 
father, who was left ; and his own silence on the Crimean night at 
Broad Place. 

' If only I had spoken,' he said sadly. He dropped the end of 
his cigar into his coffee-cup, and standing up, reached for his hat. 
' Many things are irrevocable, Harry,' he said, ' but one never 
knows whether they are irrevocable or not until one has found 
out. It is always worth while finding out.' 

The next evening Feversham crossed to Calais. It was a night 
as wild as that on which Durrance had left England ; and, like 
Durrance, Feversham had a friend to see him off. For the last 
thing which his eyes beheld as the packet swung away from the 
pier was the face of Lieutenant Sutch beneath a gas lamp. The 
Lieutenant maintained his position after the boat had passed into 
the darkness and until the throb of its paddles could no longer be 
heard. Then he limped through the rain to his hotel, aware, and 
regretfully aware, that he was growing old. It was long since he 
had felt regret on that account, and the feeling was very strange 
to him. Ever since the Crimea he had been upon the world's 
half-pay list, as he had once said to General Feversham, and what 
with that and the recollection of a certain magical season before 
the Crimea, he had looked forward to old age as an approaching 
friend. To-night, however, he prayed that he might live just long 
enough to welcome back Muriel Graham's son with his honour 
redeemed and his great fault atoned. 

(To be continued.*) 



THE 

CORNHILL MAGAZINE. 



MARCH 1902. 

THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY1 
BY ANTHONY HOPE. 

CHAPTER VI. 

CHILDREN OF SHADOW. 

' A POLITICIAN ! I'd as soon be a policeman,' remarked Miles 
Childwick, with delicate scorn. ' I don't dispute the necessity of 
either I never dispute the necessity of things but it would not 
occur to me to become either.' 

' You're not tall enough for a policeman, anyhow,' said Elfreda 
Flood. 

' Not if it became necessary to take you in charge, I admit ' 
(Elfreda used to be called ' queenly ' and had played Hippolyta), 
' but your remark is impertinent in every sense of the term. 
Politicians and policemen are essentially the same.' 

Everybody looked at the clock. They were waiting for supper 
at the Magnifique ; it was Tommy Trent's party, and the early 
comers sat in a group in the luxurious outer room. 

' From what I know of policemen in the witness-box, I incline 
to agree,' said Manson Smith. 

' The salaries, however, are different,' yawned Tommy, without 
removing his eyes from the clock. 

' I'm most infernally hungry,' announced Arty Kane, a robust- 
looking youth, somewhat famous as a tragic poet. ' Myra Lacri- 
mans ' was perhaps his best-known work. 

Mrs. John Maturin smiled; she was not great at repartee 
outside her writings. ' It is late,' she observed. 

1 Copyright, 1902, by A. H. Hawkins, in the United-States of America. 
VOL. XH, NO. 69, N.S, J9 



290 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

' But while policemen,' pursued Miles Childwick, sublimely 
careless of interruption, ' while policemen make things endurable 
by a decent neglect of their duties (or how do we get home at 
night ?), politicians are constantly raising the income tax. I 
speak with no personal bitterness, since to me it happens to be a 
small matter, but I observe a laceration of the feelings of my 
wealthy friends.' 

' He'd go on all night, whether we listened or not,' said 
Horace Harnack, half in despair, half in admiration. ' I suppose 
it wouldn't do to have a song, Tommy ? ' 

His suggestion met with no attention, for at the moment 
Tommy sprang to his feet, exclaiming, ' Here's Peggy at last ! ' 

The big glass doors were swung open and Peggy came in. 
The five men advanced to meet her ; Mrs. John Maturin smiled 
in a rather pitying way at Elfreda, but Elfreda took this rush 
quite as a matter of course and looked at the clock again. 

' Is Airey here ? ' asked Peggy. 

' Not yet,' replied Tommy. ' I hope he's coming, though.' 

'He said something about being afraid he might be kept,' 
said Peggy ; then she drew Tommy aside and whispered, ' Had to 
get his coat mended, you know.' 

Tommy nodded cautiously. 

' And she hasn't come either ? ' Peggy went on. 

' No ; and whoever she is, I hate her,' remarked Arty Kane. 
' But who is she ? We're all here.' He waved his arm round the 
assembly. 

' Groing to introduce you to society to-night, Arty, 1 his host 
promised. ' Mrs. Trevalla's coming.' 

' Duchesses I know, and countesses I know,' said Childwick ; 
' but who ' 

' Oh, nobody expected you to know,' interrupted Peggy. She 
came up to Elfreda and made a rapid scrutiny. ' New frock ? ' 

Elfreda nodded with an assumption of indifference. 

' How lucky ! ' said Peggy, who was evidently rather excited. 
You're always smart,' she assured Mrs. John Maturin. 

Mrs. John smiled. 

Timidly and with unfamiliar step Airey Newton entered the 
gorgeous apartment. Eelief was dominant on his face when he 
saw the group of friends, and he made a hasty dart towards them, 
giving on the way a nervous glance at his shoes, which showed 
two or three spots of mud the pavements were wet outside. He 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 291 

hastened to hide himself behind Elfreda Flood, and, thus sheltered, 
surveyed the scene. 

' I was just saying, Airey, that politicians ' 

Arty Kane stopped further progress by the hasty suggestion 
of a glass of sherry, and the two went off together to the side 
room, v/here supper was laid, leaving the rest again regarding the 
clock except Peggy, who had put a half-crown in her glove, or 
her purse, or her pocket, and could not find it, and declared that 
she could not get home unless she did ; she created no sympathy 
and (were such degrees possible) less surprise, when at last she 
distinctly recollected having left it on the piano. 

'Whose half-crown on whose piano?' asked Manson Smith 
with a forensic frown. 

When the sherry-bibbers returned with the surreptitious air 
usual in such cases, the group had undergone a marked change ; 
it was clustered round a very brilliant person in a gown of 
resplendent blue, with a flash of jewels about her, a hint of 
perfume, a generally dazzling effect. Miles Childwick came up 
to Manson Smith. 

' This,' said Childwick, ' we must presume to be Mrs. Trevalla. 
Let me be introduced, Manson, before my eyes are blinded by 
the blaze.' 

' Is she a new flame of Tommy's ? ' asked Manson in a whisper. 

The question showed great ignorance ; but Manson was com- 
paratively an outsider, and Miles Childwick let it pass with a 
scornful smile. 

' What a pity we're not supping in the public room ! ' said 
p eggy. 

' We might trot Mrs. Trevalla through first, in procession, you 
know,' suggested Tommy. ' It's awfully good of you to come. I 
hardly dared ask you,' he added to Trix. 

' I was just as afraid, but Miss Ryle encouraged me. I met 
her two or three nights ago at Mrs. Bonfill's.' 

They went in to supper. Trix was placed between Tommy 
and Airey Newton, Peggy was at the other end, supported by 
Childwick and Arty Kane. The rest disposed themselves, if not 
according to taste yet with apparent harmony ; there was, how- 
ever, a momentary hesitation about sitting by Mrs. John. ' Mrs. 
John means just one glass more champagne than is good for one,' 
Childwick had once said, and the remark was felt to be just. 

' No, politicians are essentially concerned with the things that 

193 



292 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

perish,' resumed Miles Childwick ; he addressed Peggy Mrs. 
John was on his other side. 

' Everything perishes,' observed Arty Kane, putting down his 
empty soup-cup with a refreshed and cheerful air. 

' Do learn the use of language. I said " essentially concerned." 
Now we are essentially concerned with ' 

Trix Tre valla heard the conversation in fragments. She did 
not observe that Peggy took much part in it, but every now and 
then she laughed in a rich gurgle, as though things and people 
in general were very amusing. Whenever she did this, all the 
young men looked at her and smiled, or themselves laughed too, 
and Peggy laughed more and, perhaps, blushed a little. Trix 
turned to Tommy and whispered, ' I like her.' 

' Rather ! ' said Tommy. ' Here, waiter, bring some ice.' 

Most of the conversation was far less formidable than Miles 
Childwick's. It was for the most part frank and very keen dis- 
cussion of a number of things and persons entirely, or almost 
entirely, unfamiliar to Trix Tre valla. On the other hand, not one 
of the problems with which she, as a citizen and as a woman, had 
been so occupied was mentioned, and the people who filled her 
sky did not seem to have risen above the horizon here. Some- 
body did mention Russia once, and Horace Harnack expressed a 
desire to have ' a slap ' at that great nation ; but politics were 
evidently an alien plant, and soon died out of the conversation. 
The last play or the last novel, the most recent success on the 
stage, the newest paradox of criticism, were the topics when 
gossip was ousted for a few moments from its habitual and 
evidently welcome sway. People's gossip, however, shows their 
tastes and habits better than anything else, and in this case Trix 
was not too dull to learn from it ; it reproduced another atmo- 
sphere and told her that there was another world than hers. She 
turned suddenly to Airey Newton. 

' We talk of living in London, but it's a most inadequate 
description. There must be ten Londons to live in ! ' 

' Quite without counting the slums.' 

'We ought to say London A, or London B, or London C. 
Social districts, like the postal ones ; only far more of them. I 
suppose some people can live in more than one ? ' 

' Yes, a few ; and a good many people pay visits.' 

' Are you Bohemian ? ' she asked, indicating the company 
with a little movement of her hand. 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 293 

' Look at them ! ' he answered. ' They are smart and spotless. 
I'm the only one who looks the part in the least. And, behold, 
I am frugal, temperate, a hard worker, and a scientific man ! ' 

' There are believed to be Bohemians still in Kensington and 
Chelsea,' observed Tommy Trent. 'They will think anything 
you please, but they won't dine out without their husbands.' 

' If that's the criterion, we can manage it nearer than Chelsea,' 
said Trix. ' This side of Park Lane, I think.' 

'You've got to have the thinking too, though,' smiled Airey. 

Miles Childwick had apparently been listening ; he raised his 
voice a little and remarked : ' The divorce between the theoretical 
bases of immorality ' 

' Falsely so called,' murmured Manson Smith. 

' And its practical development is one of the most ' 

It was no use ; Peggy gurgled helplessly, and hid her face in 
her napkin. Childwick scowled for an instant, then leant back in 
his chair, smiling pathetically. 

' She is the living negation of serious thought,' he complained, 
regarding her affectionately. 

Peggy, emerging, darted him a glance as she returned to her 
chicken. 

' When I published " Myra Lacrimans" ' began Arty Kane. 

In an instant everybody was silent. They leant forward 
towards him with a grave and eager attention, signing to one 
another to keep still. Tommy whispered : ' Don't move for a 
moment, waiter ! ' 

' Oh, confound you all ! ' exclaimed poor Arty Kane, as he 
joined in the general outburst of laughter. 

Trix found herself swelling it light-heartedly. 

' We've found by experience that that's the only way to stop 
him,' Tommy explained, as with a gesture he released the grin- 
ning waiter. 'He'll talk about " Myra " through any conversa- 
tion, but absolute silence makes him shy. Peggy found it out. 
It's most valuable. Isn't it, Mrs. John ? ' 

' Most valuable,' agreed Mrs. John. She made no other con- 
tribution to the conversation for some time. 

' All the same,' Childwick resumed, in a more conversational 
tone but with unabated perseverance, ' what I was going to say is 

true. In nine cases out of ten the people who are ' He 

paused a moment. 

' Irregular,' suggested Manson Smith. 



294 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

' Thank you, Manson. The people who are irregular think 
they ought to be regular, and the people who are regular have 
established their right to be irregular. There's a reason for it, of 
course ' 

' It seems rather more interesting without one,' remarked 
Elfreda Flood. 

' No reason, I think ? ' asked Horace Harnack, gathering the 
suffrages of the table. 

' Certainly not,' agreed the table as a whole. 

' To give reasons is a slur on our intellects and a waste of our 
time,' pronounced Manson Smith. 

' It's such a terribly long while since I heard anybody talk 
nonsense on purpose,' Trix said to Airey, with a sigh of enjoy- 
ment. 

' They do it all the time ; and, yes, it's rather refreshing.' 

' Does Mr. Childwick mind ? ' 

' Mind ? ' interposed Tommy. ' Gracious, no ! He's playing 
the game too ; he knows all about it. He won't let on that he 
does, of course, but he does all the same.' 

' The reason is,' said Childwick, speaking with lightning speed, 
'that the intellect merely disestablishes morality, while the 
emotions disregard it. Thank you for having heard me with such 
patience, ladies and gentlemen.' He finished his champagne 
with a triumphant air. 

' You beat us that time,' said Peggy with a smile of congratu- 
lation. 

Elfreda Flood addressed Harnack, apparently resuming an 
interrupted conversation. 

' If I wear green I look horrid, and if she wears blue she 
looks horrid, and if we don't wear either green or blue, the scene 
looks horrid. I'm sure I don't know what to do.' 

' It'll end in your having to wear green,' prophesied Harnack. 

' I suppose it will,' Elfreda moaned disconsolately. ' She 
always gets her way.' 

' I happen to know he reviewed it,' declared Arty Kane with 
some warmth, 'because he spelt "dreamed" with a"t." He 
always does. And he'd dined with me only two nights before ! ' 

' Where ? ' asked Manson Smith. 

' At my own rooms.' 

' Then he certainly wrote it. I've dined with you there myself.' 

Trix had fallen into silence, and Airey Newton seemed content 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 295 

not to disturb her. The snatches of varied talk fell on her ears, 
each with its implication of a different interest and a different 
life, all foreign to her. The very frivolity, the sort of schoolboy 
and chaffy friendliness of everybody's tone, was new in her expe- 
rience, when it was united, as here it seemed to be, with a live- 
liness of wits and a nimble play of thought. The effect, so far as 
she could sum it up, was of carelessness combined with interest, 
independence without indifference, an alertness of mind which 
laughter softened. These people, she thought, were all poor (she 
did not include Tommy Trent, who was more of her own world), 
they were none of them well known, they did not particularly 
care to be, they aspired to no great position. No doubt they had 
to fight for themselves sometimes witness Elfreda and her battle 
of the colours but they fought as little as they could, and laughed 
while they fought, if fight they must. But they all thought and 
felt, they had emotions and brains. She knew, looking at Mrs. 
John's delicate fine face, that she too had brains, though she did 
not talk. 

' I don't say,' began Childwick once more, ' that when Mrs. 
John puts us in a book, as she does once a year, she fails to do 
justice to our conversation, but she lamentably neglects and 
misrepresents her own.' 

Trix had been momentarily uneasy, but Mrs. John was smiling 
merrily. 

' I miss her pregnant assents, her brief but weighty disagree- 
ments, the rich background of silence which she imparts to the 
entertainment.' 

Yes, Mrs. John had brains too, and evidently Miles Childwick 
and the rest knew it. 

' When Arty wrote a sonnet on Mrs. John,' remarked Manson 
Smith, ' he made it only twelve lines long. The outside world 
jeered, declaring that such a thing was unusual, if not ignorant. 
But we of the elect traced the spiritual significance.' 

' Are you enjoying yourself, Airey ? ' called Peggy Kyle. 

He nodded to her cordially. 

' What a comfort ! ' sighed Peggy. She looked round the 
table, laughed, and cried ' Hurrah ! ' for no obvious reason. 

Trix whispered to Airey, ' She nearly makes me cry when she 
does that.' 

' You can feel it ?' he asked in a quick low question, looking 
at her curiously. 



296 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

' Oh, yes, I don't know why,' she answered, glancing again at 
the girl whose mirth and exultation stirred her to so strange a mood. 

Her eyes turned back to Airey Newton, and found a strong 
attraction in his face too. The strength and kindness of it, 
coming home to her with a keener realisation, were refined by 
the ever-present shadow of sorrow or self-discontent. This hint of 
melancholy persisted even while he took his share in the gaiety 
of the evening ; he was cheerful, but he had not the exuberance 
of most of them ; he was far from bubbling over in sheer joyous- 
ness like Peggy; he could not achieve even the unruffled and 
pain-proof placidity of Tommy Trent. Like herself then in 
spite of a superficial remoteness from her, and an obviously nearer 
kinship with the company in life and circumstances he was in 
spirit something of a stranger there. In the end he, like herself, 
must look on at the fun rather than share in it whole-heartedly. 
There was a background for her and him, rather dark and sombre ; 
for the rest there seemed to be none; their joy blazed unshadowed. 
Whatever she had or had not attained in her attack on the world, 
however well her critical and doubtful fortunes might in the end 
turn out, she had not come near to reaching this ; indeed it had 
never yet been set before her eyes as a thing within human 
reach. But how naturally it belonged to Peggy and her friends ! 
There are children of the sunlight and children of the shadow. 
Was it possible to pass from one to the other, to change your 
origin and name ? It seemed to her that, if she had not been 
born in the shadow, it had fallen on her full soon and heavily, and 
had stayed very long. Had her life now, her new life with all its 
brilliance, quite driven it away ? All the day it had been dark 
and heavy on her ; not even now was it wholly banished. 

When the party broke up it was not an early hour Peggy 
came over to Airey Newton. Trix did not understand the 
conversation. 

' I got your letter, but I'm not coming,' she said. ' I told you 
I wouldn't come, and I won't.' She was very reproachful, and 
seemed to consider that she had been insulted somehow. 

' Oh, I say now, Peggy ! ' urged Tommy Trent, looking very 
miserable. 

' It's your fault, and you know it,' she told him severely. 

' Well, everybody else is coming,' declared Tommy. Airey 
said nothing, but nodded assent in a manner half-rueful, half- 
triumphant. 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 297 

' It's shameful,' Peggy persisted. 

There was a moment's pause. Trix, feeling like an eaves- 
dropper, looked the other way, but she could not avoid hearing. 

' But I've had a windfall, Peggy,' said Airey Newton. ' On 
my honour, I have.' 

' Yes, on my honour, he has,' urged Tommy earnestly. ' A 
good thumping one, isn't it, Airey ? ' 

' One of my things has been a success, you know.' 

' Oh, he hits 'em in the eye sometimes, Peggy.' 

' Are you two men telling anything like the truth ? ' 

' The absolute truth.' 

' Bible truth ! ' declared Tommy Trent. 

' Well, then, I'll come, but I don't think it makes what 
Tommy did any better.' 

' Who cares, if you'll come ? ' asked Tommy. 

Suddenly Airey stepped forward to Trix Tre valla. His manner 
was full of hesitation he was, in fact, awkward ; but then he was 
performing a most unusual function. Peggy and Tommy Trent 
stood watching him, now and then exchanging a word. 

' He's going to ask her,' whispered Peggy. 

' Hanged if he isn't ! ' Tommy whispered back. 

' Then he must have had it ! ' 

' I told you so,' replied Tommy in an extraordinarily trium- 
phant, imperfectly lowered voice. 

Yes, Airey Newton was asking Trix to join his dinner-party. 

' It's it's not much in my line,' he was heard explaining, ' but 
Trent's promised to look after everything for me. It's a small 
affair, of course, and and just a small dinner.' 

'Is it ? ' whispered Tommy with a wink, but Peggy did not 
hear this time. 

' If you'd come ' 

' Of course I will,' said Trix. ' Write and tell me the day, and 
I shall be delighted.' She did not see why he should hesitate 
quite so much, but a glance at Peggy and Tommy showed her 
that something very unusual had happened. 

' It'll be the first dinner-party he's ever given,' whispered 
Peggy excitedly, and she added to Tommy, ' Are you going to 
order it, Tommy ? ' 

' I've asked him to,' interposed Airey, still with an odd mixture 
of pride and apprehension. 

Peggy looked at Tommy suspiciously. 



298 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

' If you don't behave well about it, I shall get up and go 
away,' was her final remark. 

Trix's brougham was at the door she found it necessary now 
to hire one for night-work, her own horse and man finding enough 
to do in the daytime and after a moment's hesitation she offered 
to drive Airey Newton home, declaring that she would enjoy so 
much of a digression from her way. He had been looking on 
rather vaguely while the others were dividing themselves into 
hansom-cab parties, and she received the impression that he 
meant, when everybody was paired, to walk off quietly by himself. 
Peggy overheard her invitation and said with a sort of relief : 

' That'll do splendidly, Airey ! ' 

Airey agreed, but it seemed with more embarrassment than 
pleasure. 

But Trix was pleased to prolong, even by so little, the atmo- 
sphere and associations of the evening, to be able to talk about 
it a little more, to question him while she questioned herself 
also indirectly. She put him through a catechism about the 
members of the party, delighted to elicit anything that confirmed 
her notion of their independence, their carelessness, and their 
comradeship. He answered what she asked, but in a rather 
absent, melancholy fashion ; a pall seemed to have fallen on his 
spirits again. She turned to him, attracted, not repelled, by his 
relapse into sadness. 

' We're not equal to it, you and I,' she said with a laugh. 
' We don't live there ; we can only pay a visit, as you said.' 

He nodded, leaning back against the well-padded cushions 
with an air of finding unwonted ease. He looked tired and worn. 

' Why ? We work too hard, I suppose. Yes, I work too, in 
my way.' 

' It's not work exactly,' he said. ' They work too, you know.' 

' What is it then ? ' She bent forward to look at his face, 
pale in the light of the small carriage lamp. 

' It's the Devil,' he told her. Their eyes met in a long gaze. 
Trix smiled appealingly. She had to go back to her difficult life 
to Mervyn, to the Chance and Flicker entanglement. She felt 
alone and afraid. 

'The Devil, is it? Have I raised him ?' she asked. 'Well, 
you taught me how. If I if I come to grief, you must help me.' 

' You don't know in the least the sort of man you're talking 
to,' he declared, almost roughly. 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 299 

' I know you're a good friend.' 

' I am not,' said Airey Newton. 

Again their eyes met, their hearts were like to open and tell 
secrets that daylight hours would hold safely hidden. But it is 
not far save in the judgment of fashion from the Magnifique 
to Danes Inn, and the horse moved at a good trot. They came to 
a stand before the gates. 

' I don't take your word for that/ she declared, giving him her 
hand. ' I sha'n't believe it without a test,' she went on in a 
lighter tone. ' And at any rate I sha'n't fail at your dinner-party.' 

' No, don't fail at my party my only party.' His smile was 
very bitter, as he relinquished her hand and opened the door of 
the brougham. But she detained him a moment ; she was still 
reluctant to lose him, to be left alone, to be driven back to her flat 
and to her life. 

' We're nice people ! We have a splendid evening, and we 
end it up in the depths of woe! At least you're in them too, 
aren't you ? ' She glanced past him up the gloomy passage, and 
gave a little shudder. ' How could you be anything else, living 
here ? ' she cried in accents of pity. 

' You don't live here, yet you don't seem much better,' he re- 
torted. ' You are beautiful and beautifully turned out gorgeous ! 
And your brougham is most comfortable. Yet you don't seem 
much better.' 

Trix was put on her defence ; she awoke suddenly to the fact 
that she had been very near to a mood dangerously confidential. 

1 I've a few worries,' she laughed, ' but I have my pleasures 
too.' 

' And I've my pleasures,' said Airey. ' And I suppose we both 
find them in the end the best. Grood-night.' 

Each had put out a hand towards the veil that was between 
them; to each had come an impulse to pluck it away. But 
courage failed, and it hung there still. Both went back to their 
pleasures. In the ears of both Peggy Kyle's whole-hearted 
laughter, her soft merry ' Hurrah ! ' that no obvious cause called 
forth, echoed with the mockery of an unattainable delight. You 
need clear soul-space for a laugh like that. 



300 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

CHAPTER VII. 
A DANGEROUS GAME. 

THERE were whispers about Beaufort Chance, and nods and winks 
such as a man in his position had better have given no occasion 
for ; men told one another things in confidence at the club ; 
they were quite sure of them, but at the same time very anxious 
not to be vouched as authority. For there seemed no proof. 
The list of shareholders of the Dramoffsky Concessions did not 
display his name ; it did display, as owners of blocks of shares, 
now larger, now smaller, a number of names unknown to fame, 
social or financial ; even Fricker's interest was modest according 
to the list, and Beaufort Chance's seemed absolutely nothing. 
Yet still the whispers grew. 

Beaufort knew it by the subtle sense that will tell men who 
depend on what people say of them what people are saying. He 
divined it with a politician's sensitiveness to opinion. He saw a 
touch of embarrassment where he was accustomed to meet frank- 
ness, he discerned constraint in quarters where everything had 
been cordiality. He perceived the riskiness of the game he 
played. He urged Fricker to secrecy and to speed ; they must 
not be seen together so much, and the matter must be put 
through quickly ; these were his two requirements. He was in 
something of a terror ; his manner grew nervous and his face 
careworn. He knew that he could look for little mercy if he 
were discovered ; he had outraged the code. But he held on his 
way. His own money was in the venture ; if it were lost he was 
crippled in the race on which he had entered. Trix Trevalla's 
money was in it too ; he wanted Trix Trevalla and he wanted 
her rich. He was so hard-driven by anxiety that he no longer 
scrupled to put these things plainly to himself. His available 
capital had not sufficed for a big stroke ; hers and his, if he 
could consider them as united, and if the big stroke succeeded, 
meant a decent fortune ; it was a fine scheme to get her to make 
him rich while at the same time he earned her gratitude. He 
depended on Fricker to manage this ; he was, by himself, rather 
a helpless man in such affairs. Mrs. Bonfill had never expected 
that he would rise to the top, even while she was helping him to 
rise as high as he could. 

Fricker was not inclined to hurry himself, and he played 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 301 

with the plea for secrecy in a way that showed a consciousness 
of power over his associate. He had been in one or two scandals, 
and to be in another would have interfered with his plans or at 
least with Mrs. Fricker's. Yet there is much difference between 
a man who does not want any more scandals and him who, for 
the sake of a great prize risking one, would be ruined if his 
venture miscarried. Fricker's shrewd equable face displayed 
none of the trouble which made Chance's heavy and careworn. 

But there was hurry in Fricker's family, though not in 
Fricker. The season was half-gone, little progress had been 
made, effect from Trix Trevalla's patronage or favour was con- 
spicuously lacking. Mrs. Fricker did not hesitate to impute 
double-dealing to Trix, to declare that she meant to give nothing 
and to take all she could. Fricker had a soul somewhat above 
these small matters, but he observed honour with his wife for 
his oath's sake and a quiet life's. Moreover, be the affair what it 
would, suggest to him that he was being ' bested ' in it, and he 
became dangerous. 

A word is necessary about the position of Dramoffskys. They 
had collapsed badly on Lord Farringham's pessimistic speech. 
Presently they began to revive on the strength of ' inside buying ; ' 
yet their rise was slow and languid, the Stock Exchange was 
distrustful, the public would not come in. There was a nice 
little profit (' Not a scoop at present,' observed Fricker) for those 
who had bought at the lowest figure, but more rumours would 
stop the rise and might send quotations tumbling again. It was 
all-important to know, or to be informed by somebody who did, 
just how long to hold on, just when to come out. Dramoffskys, 
in fine, needed a great deal of watching ; the operator in them 
required the earliest, best, and most confidential information that 
he could get. Fricker was the operator. Beaufort Chance had 
his sphere. Trix, it will be noticed, was inclined to behave 
purely as a sleeping partner, which was all very well as regarded 
Dramoffskys themselves, but very far from well as it touched her 
relations towards her fellows in the game. 

Trix was praying for speed and secrecy as urgently as 
Beaufort Chance himself; for secrecy from Mrs. Bonfill, from 
Mervyn, from all her eminent friends ; for speed that the enter- 
prise might be prosperously accomplished, the money made, and 
she be free again. No more ventures for her, if once she were 
free, she declared. If once she were free ! There she would 



302 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

pause and insist with herself that she had given Beaufort Chance 
no reason to expect more than the friendship which was all that 
he had openly claimed, nor the Frickers any right to look for 
greater countenance or aid than her own acquaintance and 
hospitality ensured them. Had she ever promised to marry 
Chance, or to take the Frickers to Mrs. Bonfill's or the Glen- 
torlys' ? She defied them to prove any such thing and looked 
forward with terror to telling them so. 

At this point Mr. Liffey made entry on the scene with an 
article in ' The Sentinel.' Mr. Liffey had a terribly keen nose 
for misdeeds of all sorts and for secrets most inconvenient if 
disclosed. He was entirely merciless and inexhaustibly good- 
natured. He never abused anybody ; he dealt with facts, leaving 
each person to judge those facts by his own moral standard. He 
had no moral standard of his own, or said so ; but he had every 
idea of making the ' Sentinel ' a paying property. He came out 
now with an article whose heading seemed to harm nobody 
since people with certain names must by now be hardened to 
having their patronymics employed in a representative capacity. 
' Who are Brown, Jones, and Robinson ? ' was the title of the 
article in ' The Sentinel.' As the reader proceeded and there 
were many readers he found no more about these names, and 
gathered that Mr. Liffey employed them (with a touch of con- 
tempt, maybe) to indicate those gentlemen who, themselves 
unknown to fame, figured so largely in the share list of Dramoff- 
skys. With a persistence worthy of some better end than that 
of making fellow-creatures uncomfortable, or of protecting a 
public that can hardly be said to deserve it, Mr. Liffey tracked 
these unoffending gentlemen to the honourable, though modest, 
suburban homes in which they dwelt, had the want of delicacy 
to disclose their avocations and the amount of their salaries, 
touched jestingly on the probable claims of their large families 
(he had their children by name !), and ended by observing, with 
an innocent surprise, that their holdings in Dramoffskys showed 
them to possess either resources of which his staff had not been 
able to inform him, or, on the other hand, a commercial enter- 
prise which deserved higher remuneration than they appeared to 
be enjoying. He then suggested that present shareholders and 
intending investors in Dramoffskys might find the facts stated in 
his article of some interest, and avowed his intention of pursuing 
his researches into this apparent mystery. He ended by remark- 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 303 

ing, ' Of course, should it turn out that these gentlemen, against 
whom I have not a word to say, hold their shares in a fiduciary 
capacity, I have no more to say no more about them, at least.' 
And he promised, with cheerful obligingness, to deal further with 
this point in his next number. 

Within an hour of the appearance of this article Beaufort 
Chance entered Flicker's study in great perturbation. He found 
that gentleman calm and composed. 

' How much does Liffey know ? ' asked Chance, almost 
trembling. 

Fricker shrugged his shoulders. ' It doesn't much matter.' 

' If he knows that I'm in it, that I've ' 

' He won't know you're in it, unless one of the fellows gives 
us away. Clarkson knows about you, and Tyrrwhitt none of 
the rest. I think I can keep them quiet. And we'll get out 
now. It's not as good as I hoped, but it's pretty good, and it's 
time to go.' He looked up at Chance and licked his cigar. 
' Now's the moment to settle matters with the widow,' he went 
on. ' You go and tell her what I want and what you want. I 
don't trust her, and I want to see ; and, Beaufort, don't tell her 
about Dramoffskys till you find out what she means. If she's 
playing square, all right. If not,' he smiled pensively ' she 
may find out for herself the best time for selling Dramoffskys 
and Glowing Stars too.' 

' Glowing Stars ? She's not deep in them, is she ? I know 
nothing about them.' 

' A little private flutter just between her and me,' Fricker 
assured him. 'Now there's no time to lose. Come back here 
and tell me what happens. Make her understand no nonsense ! 
No more shuffling ! Be quick. I shall hold up the market a 
bit while our men get out, but I won't let you in for anything 
more.' Fricker's morals may have been somewhat to seek, but 
he was a fine study at critical moments. 

' You don't think Liffey knows ' stammered Chance again. 

' About those little hints of yours ? I hope not. But I know, 
Beaufort, my boy. Do as well as you can for me with the widow.' 

Beaufort Chance scowled as he poured himself out a whisky- 
and-soda. But he was Fricker's man and he must obey. He 
went out, the spectre of Mr. Liffey seeming to walk with him 
and to tap him on the shoulder in a genial way. 

At eleven o'clock Beaufort Chance arrived at Trix Trevalla's 



304 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

and sent up his name. Mrs. Trevalla sent down to say that she 
would be glad to see him at lunch. He returned that his busi- 
ness was important and would not bear delay. In ten minutes 
he found himself in her presence. She wore a loose morning- 
gown, her hair was carefully dressed, she looked very pretty ; 
there was an air of excitement about her ; fear and triumph 
seemed to struggle for ascendancy in her manner. She laid a 
letter down on the table by her as he entered. While they 
talked she kept putting her hand on it and withdrawing it again, 
pulling the letter towards her and pushing it away, fingering it 
continually, while she kept a watchful eye on her companion. 

' What's the hurry about ? ' she asked, with a languor that 
was not very plausible. ' Dramoffskys ? ' 

' Dramoffskys are all right,' said he deliberately, as he sat 
down opposite her. ' But I want a talk with you, Trix.' 

' Did we settle that you were to call me Trix ? ' 

' I think of you as that.' 

' Well, but that's much less compromising and just as 
complimentary.' 

' Business ! business ! ' he smiled, giving her appearance an 
approving glance. ' Fricker and I have been having a talk. 
We're not satisfied with you, partner.' He had for the time 
conquered his agitation, and was able to take a tone which he 
hoped would persuade her, without any need of threats or of 
disagreeable hints. 

' Am I not most amiable to Mr. Fricker, and Mrs., and Miss ?' 
Trix's face had clouded at the first mention of Fricker. 

' You women are generally hopeless in business, but I expected 
better things from you. Now let's come to the point. What 
have you done for the Frickers ? ' 

Eeluctantly brought to the point, Trix recounted with all 
possible amplitude what she considered she had done. Her hand 
was often on the letter as she spoke. At the end, with a quick 
glance at Beaufort, she said : 

' And really that's all I can do. They're too impossible, 
you know.' 

He rose and stood on the hearthrug. 

' That's all you can do ? ' he asked in a level smooth voice. 

' Yes. Oh, a few more big squashes, perhaps. But it's 
nonsense talking of the Grlentorlys or of any of Mrs. Bonfill's 
really nice evenings.' 






THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 305 

' It's not nonsense. You could do it if you liked. You 
know Mrs. Bonfill, anyhow, would do it to please you ; and I 
believe the G-lentorlys would too.' 

' Well, then, I don't like,' said Trix Trevalla. 

He frowned heavily and seemed as if he were going to break 
out violently. But he waited a moment and then spoke calmly 
again. The truth is that Fricker's interests were nothing to him. 
They might go, provided he could show that he had done his 
best for them; but doing his best must not involve sacrificing 
his own chances. 

' So much for Fricker ! I must say you've a cool way with 
you, Trix.' 

' The way you speak annoys me very much sometimes,' 
remarked Trix reflectively. 

' Why do you suppose he interested himself in your affairs ? ' 

' I've done what I could.' Her lips shut obstinately. ' If 
I try to do more I sha'n't help the Frickers and I shall hurt 
myself.' 

' That's candid, at all events.' He smiled a moment. ' Don't 
be in a hurry to say it to Fricker, though.' 

' It'll be best to let the truth dawn on him gradually,' smiled 
Trix. ' Is that all you wanted to say ? Because I'm not dressed, 
and I promised to be at the Grlentorlys' at half-past twelve.' 

' No, it's not all I've got to say.' 

' Oh, well, be quick then.' 

Her indifference was overdone, and Beaufort saw it. A sus- 
picion came into his mind. ' So much for Fricker ! ' he had 
said. Did she dare to think of meting out the same cavalier 
treatment to him ? 

' I wish you'd attend to me and let that letter alone,' he said 
in a sudden spasm of irritation. 

' As soon as you begin, I'll attend,' retorted Trix ; ' but you're 
not saying anything. You're only saying you're going to say 
something.' Her manner was annoying ; perhaps she would have 
welcomed the diversion of a little quarrel. 

But Beaufort was not to be turned aside; he was bent on 
business. Fricker, it seemed, was disposed of. He remained. 
But before he could formulate a beginning to this subject, Trix 
broke in : 

' I want to get out of these speculations as soon as I can, 
she said. ' I don't mind about not making any more money 

VOL. XII. NO. 69, N.S. 20 



306. THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

as long as I don't lose any. I'm tired of of the suspense, and 
and so on. And, oh, I won't have anything more to do with the 
Frickers ! ' 

He looked at her in quick distrust. 

' Your views have undergone a considerable change,' he re- 
marked. ' You don't want to speculate ! You don't mind about 
not making any more money ! ' 

Trix looked down and would not meet his eyes. 

' Groing to live on what you've got ? ' he asked mockingly. 
' Or is it a case of cutting down expenses and retiring to the 
country ? ' 

' I don't want to discuss my affairs. I've told you what I 
wish.' 

He took a turn across the room and came back. His voice 
was s^ill calm, but the effort was obvious. 

1 What's happened ? ' he asked. 

' Nothing,' said Trix. 

' That's not true.' 

' Nothing that concerns you, I mean.' 

' Am I to be treated like Fricker ? Do you want to have 
nothing more to do with me ? ' 

' Nonsense ! I want us to be friends, of course.' 

' You seem to think you can use men just as you please. As 
long as they're useful you'll be pleasant you'll promise any- 
thing ' 

' I never promised anything.' 

' Oh, women don't promise only in words. You'll promise 
anything, hold out any hopes, let anything be understood ! No 
promises, no ! You don't like actual lying, perhaps, but you'll 
lie all the while in your actions and your looks.' 

People not themselves impeccable sometimes enunciate moral 
truths and let them lose little in the telling. Trix sat flushed, 
miserable, and degraded as Beaufort Chance exhibited her ways 
to her. 

1 You hold them off, and draw them on, and twiddle them 
about your finger, and get all you can out of them, and make 
fools of them. Then something happens ! Something that 
doesn't concern them ! And, for all you care, they may go to 
the devil ! They may ruin themselves for you. What of that ? 
I daresay I've ruined myself for you. What of that ? ' 

Trix was certainly no more than partly responsible for any 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 307 

trouble in which Mr. Chance's dealings might land him ; but we 
cannot attend to our own faults in the very hour of preaching to 
others. Chance seemed to himself a most ill-used man ; he had 
no doubt that but for Trix Trevalla he would have followed an 
undeviatingly straight path in public and private morality. 

' Well, what have you got to say ? ' he demanded roughly, 
almost brutally. 

' I've nothing to say while you speak like that.' 

' Didn't you lead me to suppose you liked me ? ' 

' I did like you.' 

' Stuff ! You know what I mean. When I helped you when 
I introduced Fricker to you was that only friendship? You 
knew better. And at that time I was good enough for you. I'm 
not good enough for you now. So I'm kicked out with Fricker ! 
It's a precious dangerous game you play, Trix.' 

' Don't call me Trix ! ' 

' I might call you worse than that, and not do you any wrong.' 

Among the temporal punishments of sin and folly there is 
perhaps none harder to bear than the necessity of accepting 
rebuke from unworthy lips, of feeling ourselves made inferior by 
our own acts to those towards whom we really (of this we are 
clear) stand in a position of natural superiority. Their fortuitous 
advantage is the most unpleasant result of our little slips. Trix 
realised the truth of these reflections as she listened to Beaufort 
Chance. Once again the scheme of life with which she had 
started in London seemed to have something very wrong with it. 

' I I'm sorry if I made you ' she began in a stammering 

way. 

' Don't lie. It was deliberate from beginning to end,' he 
interrupted. 

A silence followed. Trix fingered her letter. He stood there, 
motionless but threatening. She was in simple bodily fear ; the 
order not to lie seemed the precursor of a blow just as it used to 
be in early days when her mother's nerves were very bad ; but 
then Mrs. Trevalla's blows had not been severe, and habit goes 
for something. This recrudescence of the tone of the old life 
the oldest life of all was horrible. 

Of course Beaufort Chance struck no blow ; it would have been 
ungentlemanly in the first place ; in the second it was unneces- 
sary ; thirdly, useless. Among men of his class the distinction 
lies, not in doing or not doing such things, but in wanting 

202 



308 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

or not wanting to do them. Beaufort Chance had the desire ; 
his bearing conveyed it to Trix. But he spoke quietly enough 
the next minute. 

' You'll find you can't go on in this fashion/ he said. ' I don't 
know what your plan is now, though perhaps I can guess. You 
mean to start afresh, eh ? Not always so easy.' His look and 
voice were full of a candid contempt ; he spoke to her as a criminal 
might to his confederate who had ' rounded on ' him in considera- 
tion of favours from the police. 

He did not strike her, but in the end, suddenly and with a 
coarse laugh, he stooped down and wrenched the letter from her 
hand, not caring if he hurt her. She gave a little cry, but sat 
there without a movement save to chafe her wrenched fingers 
softly against the palm of the other hand. Beaufort Chance read 
the letter ; it was very short : ' I knew you would do what I wish. 
Expect me to-morrow. M.' 

Trix wanted to feel horrified at his conduct at its brutality, 
its licence, its absolute ignoring of all the canons of decent con- 
duct. Look at him, as he stood there reading her letter, jeering 
at it in a rancorous scorn and a derision charged with hatred ! 
She could not concentrate her indignation on her own wrong. 
Suddenly she saw his too his and Fricker's. She was outraged ; 
but the outrage persisted in having a flavour of deserved punish- 
ment. It was brutal ; was it unjust ? On that question she 
stuck fast as she looked up and saw him reading her letter. 
The next instant he tore it across and flung it into the grate 
behind him. 

' You'll do as he wishes ! ' he sneered. ' He knows you will ! 
Yes, he knows you're for sale, I suppose, just as I know it, and as 
Fricker knows it. He can bid higher, eh ? Well, I hope he'll 
get delivery of the goods he buys. We haven't.' 

He buttoned his frock-coat and looked round for his hat. 

' Well, I've got a lot to do. I must go,' he said, with a 
curious unconscious return to the ordinary tone and manner of 
society. ' Good-bye ! ' 

' Grood-bye, Mr." Chance,' said Trix, stretching out her hand 
towards the bell. 

' I'll let myself out,' he interposed hastily. 

Trix rose slowly to her feet ; she was rather pale and had some 
trouble to keep her lips from twitching. Speak she could not ; 
her brain would do nothing but repeat his words ; it would not 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 309 

denounce him for them, nor impugn their truth ; it would only 
repeat them. Whether they were just or not was a question that 
seemed to fall into the background ; it was enough that anybody 
should be able to use them, and find her without a reply. 

Yet when he was gone her feeling was one of great relief. 
The thing had been as bad as it could be, but it was done. It was 
over and finished. The worst had come was known, measured, 
and endured. At that price she was free. She was degraded, 
bruised, beaten, but free. Chastened enough to perceive the 
truths with which Beaufort Chance had assailed her so un- 
sparingly, she was not so changed in heart but that she still 
rejoiced to think that the object towards which she worked, in 
whose interest she had exposed herself to such a lashing, was still 
possible, really unprejudiced, in fact hers if she would have it. 
The letter was gone ; but the promise of the letter lived. 

Suddenly another thing occurred to her. What about Dra- 
moffskys ? What about her precious money ? There she was, 
in the hands of these men whom she had flouted and enraged, so 
ignorant that she could do nothing for herself, absolutely at their 
mercy. What would they do? Would they wash their hands 
of her ? 

' Well, if they do and I suppose they will I must sell every- 
thing directly, even if I lose by it,' she thought. 'That's the 
only thing, and I sha'n't be quite ruined, I hope.' 

Alas, how we misjudge our fellow-creatures ! This trite 
reflection, always useful as a corrective either to cynicism or to 
enthusiasm, was to recur to Trix before the close of the day and 
to add one more to its already long list of emotions. Wash their 
hands of her ? Concern themselves no more with her ? That was 
not, it seemed, Mr. Fricker's intention anyhow. The evening 
post brought her a letter from him ; she opened it with shrinking, 
fearing fresh denunciations, feeling herself little able to bear any 
more flagellation. Yet she opened it on the spot ; she was un- 
avoidably anxious about Dramoffskys. 

Threats ! Flagellation ! Nothing of the sort. Fricker wrote 
in the friendliest mood ; he was almost playful : 

'My dear Mrs. Trevalla, I understand from our friend 
Beaufort Chance that he had an interview with you to-day. I 
have nothing to do with what concerns you and him only, and no 
desire to meddle. But as regards myself I fear that his friendly 



310 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

zeal may have given you rather a mistaken impression. I am 
grateful for your kindness, which is, I know, limited only by your 
ability to serve me, and I shall think it a privilege to look after 
your interests as long as you leave them in my charge. I gather 
from Chance that you are anxious to sell your Dramoffskys at the 
first favourable moment. I will bear this in mind. Let me, 
however, take the liberty of advising you to think twice before 
you part with your Glowing Stars. I hear good reports, and even 
a moderate rise would give you a very nice little profit on the 
small sum which you entrusted to me for investment in G-. S.'s. 
Of course you must use your own judgment, and I can guarantee 
nothing ; but you will not have found my advice often wrong. I 
may sell some of your Dramoffskys and put the proceeds in G. S.'s. 
' I am, dear Mrs. Trevalla, 

' With every good wish, 

' Very faithfully yours, 

'SYDNEY FRICKER.' 

There was nothing wherewith to meet this letter save a fit of 
remorse, a very kindly note to Mr. Fricker, and a regret that it 
was really impossible to do much for the Frickers. These 
emotions and actions duly occurred ; and Trix Trevalla went to 
bed in a more tolerable frame of mind than had at one time 
seemed probable. 

The gentlemen unknown to fame sold Dramoffskys largely 
that day, and at last, in spite of Mr. Fricker, the price fell and 
fell. Fricker, however, professed himself sanguine. He bought 
a few more ; then he sold a few for Trix Trevalla ; then he bought 
for her a few Glowing Stars, knowing that his friendly note would 
gain him a free hand in his dealings. But his smile had been 
rather mysterious as he booked his purchases, and also while he 
wrote the note ; and 

' It's all right, my dear,' he said to Mrs. Fricker, in reply to 
certain observations which she made. ' Leave it to me, my dear, 
and wait a bit.' 

He had not washed his hands of Trix Trevalla ; and Beaufort 
Chance was ready to let him work his will. As a pure matter of 
business Mr. Fricker had found that it did not pay to be forgiving ; 
naturally he had discarded the practice. 



(To 



311 



CALYPSO AND ULYSSES. 
ODYSSEY, v. 148-224. 

BY J. W. MACKAIL. 

So saying, the mighty Shining One therefrom 
Passed, and the nymph imperial from her home 
Went forth to find Odysseus high of heart, 
Heeding the message that from Zeus had come. 

And him she found upon the ocean-brim, 
Where evermore his eyes with tears were dim, 
And with home-sickness all the joy of life 
In lamentation wore away from him. 

For now no more the nymph was his delight, 
Though in the hollow caverns night by night 
Perforce he needs must sleep beside her, yet 
With no desire could her desire requite : 

And day by day on cliff or beach apart, 
Fretted with tears and sighs and bitter smart 
He sate, and on the seas unharvested 
Grazed with the tears down dropping, sick at heart. 

Then standing by him spoke the Goddess fair : 
' No more, unhappy man, sit mourning there, 
Nor let your life be worn away ; for now 
Myself unasked your journey will prepare. 

' Up therefore, hew long beams, and skilfully 
Fit them with tools a broad-floored raft to be ; 
And build aloft a spar-deck thereupon 
To carry you across the misty sea. 



312 CALYPSO AND ULYSSES 

' But water I will store on it, and bread, 
And the red wine wherewith is comforted 
Man's heart, that you be stayed from famishing ; 
And lend you raiment ; and your sail to spread 

' Will send a following wind, that free from ill 
Home you may win, if such indeed the will 
Be of the Gods, who hold wide heaven, and are 
Greater than I to purpose and fulfil.' 

She spoke : but toilworn bright Odysseus heard 

Aghast, and answering said a winged word : 

' Ah Goddess, surely not my home-going, 

But some strange purpose in your heart is stirred ; 

' On a frail raft the mighty gulfs of sea 
Bidding me cross, that fierce and dreadful be, 
So that not even a swift well-balanced ship 
Before Gfod's wind may cross them running free. 

' And on a raft my foot I will not set, 
Goddess, unless your full consent I get, 
And you take oath and swear, against my life 
Not to devise some other practice yet.' 

So spake he : but the Groddess bright and bland 
Calypso, smiling, stroked him with her hand, 
And spoke a word and answered : ' Verily 
A witch you are, and quick to understand, 

' Such words are these you have devised to say ! 
Now Earth I take to record here to-day, 
And the wide Heaven above our head, and that 
Water Abhorred that trickles down alway 

' (Which is the mightiest and most dread to break 
Of all the oaths the blessed Gods may take), 
No practice for your hurt will I devise, 
But take such thought and counsel for your sake 



CALYPSO AND ULYSSES. 313 

' As for mine own self I would reckon good, 
If in the like extremity I stood. 
For my own mind is righteous, nor my heart 
Iron within me, but of piteous mood.' 

Uttering these words the shining Groddess fair 
Led swiftly on, and he behind her there 
Followed her footsteps ; to the hollow cave, 
A man beside a goddess, came the pair ; 

And to the seat whence Hermes forth was gone 
Divine Odysseus went, and sat thereon. 
Beside him then, that he might eat and drink, 
All kinds of food that mortals feed upon 

The nymph began to lay, and took her seat 
Over against him ; while, that she might eat, 
The thralls her handmaidens set forth for her 
The deathless drink and the immortal meat. 

So to the ready food before them spread 
They reached their hands out : and when they had fed 
To quench their thirst and hunger, then began 
Calypso, bright of Goddesses, and said : 

' Son of Laertes, high-born, subtle-soul ed, 
Odysseus, may your longing naught withhold 
To your own land so straightway to be gone ? 
Then fare you well ; but had your heart foretold 

' How many woes the fates for you decree 
Before you reach your country, here with me 
You had abode, and in this house had kept, 
And been immortal, howso fain to see 

' That wife for whom through all your days you pine 
Yet deem I not her beauty more than mine. 
Since hardly may a mortal woman vie 
In shape and beauty with my race divine,' 



314 CALYPSO AND ULYSSES. 

Then in his wisdom spoke and answered he : 
' Groddess and mistress, be not wroth with me 
Herein : for very well myself I know 
That, set beside you, sage Penelope 

' Were far less stately and less fair to view, 
Being but mortal woman, nor like you 
Ageless and deathless : yet even so I yearn 
With longing sore to see my home anew ; 

' And through all days I see that one day shine : 
But if amid the ocean bright as wine 
Once more some (rod shall break me, then once more 
With steadfast purpose would my heart incline 

' Still to endurance, and would suffer still, 
As ofttimes I have suffered, many an ill 
And many a woe in wave or war ; and now 
Let this too follow after, if it will.' 



315 



THE NEW BOHEMIA. 
BY AN OLD FOGEY. 

SOMETHING more than a quarter of a century ago, before I went 
out to help my uncle Benjamin as a tea-planter in Assam, I used 
to know a little about the Bohemian circles of the town. It was 
rather a fashion among young fellows from Oxford and Cambridge 
in those days. The Thackeray tradition was still with us, and at 
that time we used to read ' Pendennis ' and ' The Newcomes ' and 
' The Adventures of Philip.' I am told people do not read them 
any longer, preferring the polished compositions and chaste fancies 
of certain later novelists. It may be so. We are apt to fall a 
little behind the current of popular literature in the remoter East. 
At any rate, we youngsters in the seventies knew our Thackeray, 
with our Dickens, our Clough, our Tennyson, and other now 
perhaps obsolete writers, and came up to London emulous of the 
brave life which those gallant heroes, Warrington and Pen and 
Clive Newcome, led so dashingly among the taverns and the 
theatres, the men of the quill, and the brothers of the brush and 
palette-knife. Like most other things, the reality proved hardly 
equal to the illusion. We had hummed over the famous lines 

Though its longitude 's rather uncertain, 
And its latitude 's doubtful and vague, 

That person I pity who knows not the city, 
The beautiful city of Prague. 

So we young fellows went for it ' bald-headed ' to use the 
elegant expression which I cull from the pages of one of the most 
cultured American authors of the day and were never so happy 
as when we were spending an evening in the company of our 
Bohemian friends, who, to do them justice, being a hospitable set, 
were not averse to see us. 

They were a jovial crew, who worked hard, and amused them- 
selves in a roystering, companionable fashion. I am bound to 
say that already, when I first came upon the town and took 
chambers in Hare Court, Temple (dingy old Hare Court, whose 
venerable buildings have now been pulled down and replaced 



316 THE NEW BOHEMIA. 

by structures which appear to have been designed in Chicago), 
the glories of the older Bohemianism, as painted by our great 
novelist, had somewhat waned. The singing and suppers of the 
famous Back Kitchen lived only in the regretful memories of the 
elder men. You remember Thackeray's description : ' Squads 
of young apprentices and assistants, the shutters being closed 
over the scene of their labours, came hither, for fresh air, doubt- 
less. Rakish young medical students gallant, dashing, what is 
called " loudly " dressed, and (must it be owned ?) somewhat dirty 
were here smoking and drinking and vociferously applauding 
the songs. Young University bucks were to be found here, too, 
with that indescribable genteel simper which is only learned at 
the knees of Alma Mater ; and handsome young Guardsmen, and 
florid bucks from the St. James's Street clubs nay, senators, 
English and Irish, and even members of the House of Peers.' 

There were men, we knew, who had assisted at these revels 
men who numbered Mr. Hoolan and Mr. Doolan among their inti- 
mates, who had written for the ' Dawn ' and the ' Day,' hobnobbed 
with the original of Captain Shandon, and received guineas from 
the firms of Bacon and of Bungay ; and, albeit we had fallen upon 
somewhat soberer days, they did their best to maintain the Back 
Kitchen precedent in certain resorts and ccenacula, to which they 
were often good enough to give admission to us youngsters. Well 
do I recollect one particular club to which I had the honour of 
being elected a member, on the introduction of my journalistic 
friend and patron of those days, poor Bob Ireson. 

Everybody knew Bob at that time, and to be taken up by him 
was an introduction to the more esoteric circles of Fleet Street and 
the Strand. He was a gentleman and a scholar, was Bob or, at 
least, had been the former, and was still the latter, when sober. 
He had been at St. Quentin's College, Oxford, took his ' first ' in 
' Mods.' and ' Greats/ was proxime for the ' Hertford/ and would 
almost certainly have got the ' Ireland/ but for the fact that he had 
been seduced into a little game of cards and a late supper-party 
the night before with young Lord Rupert Deloraine, who subse- 
quently, as everybody knows, held one of the highest offices in 
the councils of the Queen, but was at that time a somewhat too 
convivial undergraduate at Quentin's. Owing to this festivity Bob 
was by no moans in his best form at the Examination Schools, 
and his Greek iambics were not up to their usual standard. A 
similar accident deprived him of the Fellowship on which he had 



THE NEW BOHEMIA. 317 

reckoned ; and so Bob came to town and joined the Corporation 
of the Groose-Quill. When I knew him he had been in it some 
fifteen years, and was the most brilliant, unreliable, well- 
informed, and erratic contributor who ever plagued or delighted 
an editor. He had a wife and half a dozen neglected children 
stowed away in a back street in Holloway, to which suburb he 
occasionally retired when no other opportunity of spending an 
evening presented itself. I have reason to believe that his 
domestic life was not luxurious ; and Mrs. Bob, who was under- 
stood to be distantly connected with his laundress at Oxford, did 
not frequent literary or other society. Bob himself preferred 
associating with his male companions in that congenial quarter 
of the town in which he pursued his fitful avocations. 

1 do not know where or when he wrote, but somehow or other he 
contrived to cover an enormous quantity of copy-paper. He would 
write leaders, reviews, dramatic criticisms, savage lampoons in prose 
or verse (he was never happier than when he was reviling his old 
college boon companion, Lord Eupert, who by this time had long 
since ranged himself, married an American heiress, and lived in 
great splendour at Eutland Grate), librettos for burlesques and 
pantomimes, or, in fact, anything for which he was paid. He 
earned a good deal of money, according to the comparatively 
humble standard of those days, but I do not think that much of it 
found its way out to Holloway. He had in him the root and 
essential quality of Bohemianism. When he had done pretty 
well and was flush he was ready to stand a bottle of champagne 
and a dinner to any friend or, for the matter of that, to any 
enemy, for Bob was the most placable of men, and would eat and 
drink with anybody. When he had a run of bad luck, he 
consumed sausages and gin-and- water in those appalling dark 
taverns and cook-shops, which have been replaced by the mam- 
moth restaurants and garish cafes of a more civilised generation. 

Sometimes he would vanish for a month or so, and nobody 
knew what became of him ; but in due course he turned up 
again at our club, jovial, impecunious, reckless as ever, equally 
ready to play billiards with the racing tout of a sporting news- 
paper or to discuss Aristophanes with a professor of Greek. At 
length he disappeared definitely, and came back no more ; and 
the rumour went about that he had been found in a condition of 
utter destitution in poor lodgings at a minor seaside resort, and 
had been taken to the local workhouse infirmary. So we made up 



318 THE NEW BOHEMIA. 

a little purse for him at the club, and sent him out on a sea 
voyage to Australia, with strict injunctions to the steward of the 
vessel that he was to be served with nothing stronger than soda- 
water on the journey. But Bob never reached Melbourne. He 
died at sea ; and his body rests quietly, deep down somewhere in 
the Indian Ocean. When a few friends came to look into the 
affairs of the establishment at Holloway they found that poor 
Mrs. Bob was in a very bad way indeed; and so another sub- 
scription had to be raised, and many good fellows who had known 
Bob in his prime were willing enough to put their guineas to it. 

A sad ending ; but many of our jolly Bohemians did finish 
rather mournfully. Still they were uncommonly good company 
while they lasted. Those evenings at our club were amusing 
enough and something more. We used to meet in two or 
three shabby rooms somewhere off the Strand. There were faded 
carpets on the floor, threadbare curtains at the windows, battered, 
old, comfortable leather-seated arm-chairs, and horsehair-covered 
sofas of primeval antiquity. The fastidious appointments of 
the modern club had not entered into the imagination of our 
members. Sam, the butler, a very Ganymede in the bearing and 
compounding of drinks, wore the same shirt for a week ; so by the 
way did some of the members. There was a cupboard in which 
you could wash your hands, but I do not think it was often used. 

The menu was more satisfying than pretentious. You could 
get an excellent steak, a sufficient chop, kidneys grilled to a nicety, 
potatoes smoking hot in their jackets, kippers, bloaters, soft roes 
on toast, devilled bones of a fiery potency ; and gin and whisky, 
and brandy-and-water hot, and stout and bitter, flowed in a never 
slackening stream. On occasions, too, there would be a vast bowl 
of punch, brewed by Mulligan, the cunning of hand, who had a 
skill in that decoction which was famous throughout Bohemia, 
and had penetrated even to the United States. There was dinner, 
cost you 2s., on the table at six o'clock every evening Irish stew, 
boiled mutton, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, and other viands 
of a simple and satisfying nature. If you dropped in to this 
meal you would find some twenty men, more or less, gathered 
round the board, prepared to do full justice to the provisions. 
For our Bohemians, as I have said, were as a rule hard-working 
folks, and they did little at luncheon, and would have scorned 
afternoon tea and muffins if anybody had been prepared to supply 
them with those delicacies. 



THE NEW BOHEMIA. 319 

The food eaten and the cloth cleared, clay pipes and briars 
were produced it was before the day of cigarettes, and many of 
us could not afford cigars a tumbler of spirits or perhaps a small 
bottle of port or claret was before each man, and the company 
settled itself down steadily for conversation. And how they 
talked ! They were the last survivors, some of them, of a great 
conversational age, a time when men met together, as they used 
to do in the days of Addison and in the days of Johnson, as in 
those of Scott and Hazlitt, for the purpose of exchanging ideas. 
It is a custom that seems to have vanished while I have been 
growing tea in Assam. Nowadays I am told there is no conver- 
sation. It is r&ernel feminin which has destroyed the practice. 
Women are everywhere, and you can't converse with women. 
Besides, there is no time to talk. People are too busy in playing 
games, or seeing plays, or performing them. But my elder 
cronies of the old shabby club did not go into society, and would 
no more have thought of putting on a dress coat, and listening 
to music in a lady's drawing-room, than they would have played 
battledore and shuttlecock with school-girls across a dining-room 
table. In the intervals of their work, they liked to discuss matters 
with one another, amid clouds of tobacco and the fragrance of 
much alcohol. 

I do not say the talk was always of the best kind. It was apt 
to be too full-fleshed, too ribald, a little (shall we say ?) too virile. 
There was old Ventregris, the doyen of the coterie, a prosperous 
accountant, I believe, whom we all regarded with considerable 
respect, because he was known to live in affluence somewhere in 
the neighbourhood of Weybridge, with horses and carriages, and 
gardens and many servants to wait upon him. He was the patron 
and financial adviser of the club, and I believe its appointments 
would have been even dingier than they were but for occasional 
cheques from him. The hoary old reprobate preferred the gin- 
sodden atmosphere of our pothouse to all his suburban splendours, 
and was never so happy as when sitting there listening to the 
most atrocious stories, invented for his delectation by some inge- 
nious follower of the theatrical art. But the talk was not always, 
or even usually, of that kind. Much of it, of course, was ' shop,' 
and you were not long in that society before you knew exactly 
how much or how little was to be acquired at the precarious trade 
of letters, or the still more precarious pursuit of journalism. You 
could learn what publisher was good for an advance on royalties, 



320 THE NEW BOHEMIA. 

and what editor could most safely be planted with copy. But often 
we got far away from these subjects. Literature, art, politics, 
philosophy, all these things would be discussed and considered 
and debated by men who, if they were Bohemians, were also in 
many cases students and thinkers and readers, with a knowledge 
of the world and books ; and I can recall some midnight symposia 
in those close and murky chambers in which mind had clashed 
with mind, and perhaps even for a moment the deep places of the 
soul had been unveiled. 

So with these recollections upon me, grave and gay, I have 
naturally not been averse, since my return to town, to seeing 
something of the Bohemianism of the younger generation. I 
find things have changed a good deal in the last quarter of a 
century. The successors of the careless wits and jovial viveurs of 
my earlier days are, I must admit, a much more decorous body 
of persons. The other day, for instance, young Grubbins, the son 
of my old friend, Joe Grubbins, whom you will recollect as one of 
Bacon and Bun gay's favourite and most successful bookmakers, 
came to make acquaintance with me. 

Grubbins p&re was a very sedulous exponent of the literary art. 
Every few months he was in the habit of publishing a substantial 
volume, ' Half Hours with the Twelve Apostles,' ' The Homes of 
Queen Elizabeth,' ' The Private Life of the Emperor Tiberius,' 
' Ten Thousand Household Cookery Eecipes,' and so on. Nothing 
human came amiss to him if he received a publisher's commission 
to write about it. He had written a History of the World, illus- 
trated, which was sold in sixpenny parts with woodcuts of a spirited 
character, and he had written a treatise on Domestic Medicine. 
Withal, he was a fellow of infinite resource and a mass of curious 
information, and he worked ten hours a day, and lived in a small 
house in Brixton with an excellent thrifty wife, who put the 
antimacassars on the chairs in the little back drawing-room when 
visitors were expected, and otherwise sat with Joe in the front 
room, which was parlour, dining-room, and study all in one. Here 
the talented author composed his valuable works and pursued his 
researches when he was not at the British Museum Reading-room. 

Young Joseph is a literary gentleman also, but he seems 
to have hit upon an easier and more lucrative branch of the 
profession than his father. I have not been able to discover the 
names of any books that he has published. When I questioned 
him on the subject he replied, ' Books, no fear, sir ! They don't 



THE NEW BOHEMIA. 321 

pay. The old dad had enough of that, and it don't suit me.' 
Questioned more particularly as to the precise nature of his 
compositions, I discovered that Mr. Grubbins devoted himself to 
that department of journalism which used to be known as per- 
sonal. An enterprising newspaper, .that has come into existence 
since my migration to the East, is the favourite vehicle for what 
he calls his pars, which are mainly concerned with the comings! 
and goings, and the private affairs, of members of fashionable 
society. On the strength of this pursuit Grrubbins junior is 
apparently regarded as a member of quite elegant and exclusive 
circles himself, has chambers in Jermyn Street, dines not infre- 
quently in Piccadilly and Park Lane, and is on. familiar terms 
with various personages, whose affluence and distinction have 
penetrated to me even in the recesses of Asia. Invited by this 
young gentleman to spend an evening with him at the Jolly 
Beggars' Club, I accepted with avidity, a trifle surprised to find 
that the entertainment was to take place, not as I might have 
expected at a tavern in the Fleet Street region, but in the 
' Byzantine Saloon ' of the Megatherium Hotel. 

I was somewhat doubtful as to whether one ought to wear 
evening dress or not, for in the old days these garments were little 
in favour with our set ; but I concluded that as a stranger and a 
visitor I should do no harm to err on the right side and array 
myself in the usual dinner costume. It was well I did so. I drove 
down to Piccadilly in a pleasantly anticipatory frame of mind. 
The name of the club had an attractive sound about it. With the 
Jolly Beggars methought I might count on a rollicking evening, 
perhaps too rollicking for my sedate middle age, but full of mirth, 
wit, and gay boon companionship. The reality was a little 
different. When I arrived, somewhat late, in the radiant banquet- 
ing-hall of the Megatherium, I found a great company assembled, 
some three or four hundred of both sexes. The male guests were 
to a man arrayed in what the novelists of the good old times used 
to call faultless evening costume. The ladies, to my unaccus- 
tomed eyes, seemed to be attired in all the luxury of the latest 
fashion. The chairman of the Jolly Beggars was a severe gentle- 
man of solemn aspect, who presided over the festive board with 
magisterial dignity. The guests of the evening were that 
eminent archaeologist, Professor Chumpchop, whose researches 
into the dietetic peculiarities of the Marquesas Islanders have 
gained deserved applause. Beside him sat a lady, decorated 

VOL. XII. NO. 69, N.S. 21 



322 THE NEW BOHEMIA. 

with many diamonds, whom I ascertained to be a popular 
writer of current fiction. 

The company as a whole was not unworthy of these dis- 
tinguished personages. There were actors, journalists, men of 
letters, who all behaved with the rigid and unbending gravity 
so pleasantly characteristic of English society in its hours of re- 
laxation. I found myself placed alongside of a severe person, a 
contributor to some of the leading reviews of this capital, who 
drank mineral water throughout the evening, and entertained me 
with a serious discourse on the cost of living in the western 
portions of the metropolis, and the incidence of parochial rates 
in South Kensington. I found on subsequent inquiry that a 
considerable number of the Jolly Beggars were resident in this 
or similar eligible localities. Instead of the shabby establish- 
ments in Holloway and Camden Town and those other quarters 
in which my older Bohemian friends abode, I discovered that 
these younger men lived in unimpeachable middle-class respecta- 
bility at Bayswater or Earl's Court. Their wives were At Home 
on the second and fourth Thursdays, and they themselves were 
in the habit of giving dinner-parties, attended by colonels and 
baronets. They take their families to the sea-side in August, 
they play golf, they live in an atmosphere of Philistine calm. 
They are churchwardens, guardians of the poor, some perhaps 
have sunk to be county councillors. 

I turned into our old club the other Saturday evening. It 
has changed its location and many other things. Gone are the 
shabby chairs and sofas, the threadbare carpets. The rooms looked 
clean and prim under the shaded electric lights. The ' Times ' 
was on the table, servants in livery ministered to your wants, 
blameless water-colours and photogravures on the walls had 
replaced the furious caricatures and Rabelaisian sketches contri- 
buted by some of our artistic members. It was supper-time, and 
supper on Saturday night used to be a scene of riotous revelry, a 
babel of unruly talk into the small hours. One veteran I recollect 
was wont to say that he never left the club on a Sunday morning 
till it was time to take in the milk. His successors keep better 
hours. I found some dozen languid members about the table. 
They were mostly in evening dress, and they ate their kippers, 
and drank a modest quantity of whisky and water, to a subdued 
hum of intermittent conversation in duets. There was no general 
chatter, and if you did not ' know ' your neighbour he regarded 



THE NEW BOHEMIA. 323 

you with the frozen, suspicious glare of polite society. In the 
old days we should no more have asked for an introduction than 
for a certificate of baptism. However, I found a man with whom 
I was slightly acquainted, and was permitted to take part in a 
discussion on the Vaccination Acts. Then there was a frigid 
interval of silence, and somebody began to talk in a broken 
whisper of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. I paid my bill to 
the butler a dignified functionary no more like unto old Sam 
' than I to Hercules ' and left in good time to catch the last 'bus 
westward. 

I went to another Bohemian club the other day, which I am 
assured is very much in the movement. It bears the name of a 
mediaeval writer whose works, I understand, are chiefly devoted to 
the glorification of self-indulgence. But there was nothing 
riotous in our merrymaking. A gentleman from, I believe, 
Mincing Lane was good enough to read us a paper about Mrs. 
Hannah More. We discussed the personality and literary merits 
of this author for three hours with suitable gravity. One 
speaker, an eminent lawyer, made several jokes ; but his levity I 
think rather jarred on the feelings of the assembly, which had 
clearly met in a praiseworthy spirit of mutual improvement and 
edification. The majority of the members seemed bored, and I 
wondered why they came. But on opening my daily newspaper 

the next morning I found it on record that ' The Club had 

a meeting last evening at the Eestaurant, under the pre- 
sidency of Mr. . Among those present were Messrs. 

&c.' The old Bohemia seldom got ' into the papers.' The new 
Bohemia appears to spend its life, not unsuccessfully, in being 
paragraphed. It is much too busy in this way to have leisure for 
enjoyment. Indeed it takes its pleasures rather sadly. On the 
other hand, it is always interviewing itself and publishing its own 
portrait in the illustrated newspapers, and giving descriptions 
of its own wives and books and private pursuits. 

I have lately made the acquaintance of a leading member 
of the new school. He is a very active person, who has founded 
a number of literary clubs. The attention of the world is not 
infrequently invited to his doings. ' Mr. Vincent Eopemin will 
preside at the monthly House Dinner of the Asterisk Club on 
Thursday.' ' Mr. Vincent Eopemin will read a paper before the 
Society of Typewriters on Literary Copyright in Venezuela, with 
special reference to the rights of British authors.' ' Mr. and 

212 



324 THE NEW BOHEMIA. 

Mrs. Vincent Kopemin gave a delightful reception at their 
chaiining home in Brompton Crescent the other day. The 
pretty rooms were crowded with literary and theatrical celebrities, 
among whom I noticed, &c. The hostess looked lovely in pale 
blue with sequin trimmings.' 'Mr. Kopemin informs us that 
his latest journalistic venture, the " Ladies' Kattle," is proving 
a phenomenal success.' 'Mr. Eopemin has gone to Constan- 
tinople to work up the materials for his new novel on the sub- 
ject of the Empress Theodora.' With all these pre-occupations, 
Mr. Eopemin is not a vivacious companion. He is a wearied 
gentleman, prematurely bald and grey, with anxious eyes, and 
he presides at the sparkling entertainments just alluded to with 
all the gaiety of a mute at a funeral. When I dine with him 
in serious state in Brompton, with a grizzled bejewelled lady on 
my right hand, and on my left the portly wife of Sir Haverstock 
Hill, that noted City magnate, I realise that many things have 
changed since I left England when Lord Beaconsfield was Consul. 
Literary people, journalists, actors, are no longer declassed 
they are respectable, and often prosperous men of business, as 
regular in their habits as if they bought shellac or sold indigo. 
I suppose there are still unsuccessful out-at-elbow penmen, who 
haunt low taverns, and borrow half-crowns, and pawn their clothes, 
and enjoy themselves in low dissipation. But my friends of the 
old Bohemia strain were not of that kind at all. They were for 
the most part hard-working, and not always ill-paid, craftsmen in 
the factory of letters ; only they had inherited a tradition of 
dislike for the ways of the bourgeoisie. Their successors, being 
wise men in their generation, have allowed themselves to be 
quietly drafted into the great disciplined army of the ' professional ' 
classes, and order their lives like unto their fellows. 

On the whole I suppose one ought not to regret the disappear- 
ance of the old Bohemia. The modern variety is in many ways 
the better of the two. The young fellows I perceive that during 
my absence everybody under threescore has grown young are in 
essential respects better than their fathers, at least in some of 
those matters which make for happiness in private life and good 
repute in public. They pay their way, they earn their living in 
a steady fashion, they indulge themselves I dare say in a more 
innocent manner, and they certainly cause a good deal less trouble 
to their wives and other belongings. One recollects Captain 
Shandon in the Fleet Prison, and the manner in which that 



THE NEW BOHEMIA. 325 

gentleman occupied himself when a casual stroke of work put a 
few pounds in his way. ' Mrs. Shandon sadly went on with her 
work at the window looking into the court. She saw Shandon 
with a couple of men on his heels run rapidly in the direction of 
the prison tavern. She had hoped to have had him at dinner 
herself that day ; there was a piece of meat and some salad in a 
basin on the ledge outside the window of their room, which she 
had expected that she arid little Mary were to share with the 
child's father. But there was no chance of that now. He would 
be in that tavern until the hour for closing it ; then he would go 
and play at cards or drink in some other man's room, and come 
back silent, with glazed eyes, reeling a little in his walk, that his 
wife might nurse him.' Yes, perhaps the new Bohemians are a 
more reputable set than their predecessors ; but one cannot help 
thinking that they are a great deal duller. 



326 



ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 

THE tide was out and they were sitting on the sea wall that holds 
up the end of the lawn at Drumcleugh, smoking and kicking their 
heels absently against the smooth blocks of Portland cement Jack 
Oramore, occupant of Drumcleugh, and his brother-in-law, Dick 
Keppel. 

It was a perfectly peaceful Clyde Sabbath morning. There is 
a special breadth and depth of serenity about a quiet Sabbath 
morning on the Clyde, once you get below Grreenock, which is 
almost unsurpassable. The air was so very still that the smoke 
from the men's pipes wreathed their heads like a blue halo, and 
the smoke from the breakfast chimney of Drumcleugh rose like a 
tall grey feather against the wooded hill behind. The hills on the 
opposite shore looked solemnly down at themselves in the loch as 
in a mirror. Oramore's yacht, the Albatross, was joined at the 
water-line to an inverted Albatross which floated half way up an 
inverted hillside. 

The two men had not spoken for many minutes. One might 
almost have imagined that the peacefulness of the scene had 
entered into their souls. That, however, would have implied a 
very slight acquaintance with Master Richard Keppel. He 
glanced now and again, without turning his head, at the moody 
face of the other, and then, by way of breaking an irksome silence, 
said cheerfully : 

' Pretty picture, isn't it ? ' 

Oramore only grunted, and they smoked on in silence till Dick 
broke out again, through his teeth : 

' See here, old man, out with it, whatever it is. My brain's 
getting muddled trying to think which of my sins has come home 
to roost this time. There's such a lot of 'em it'll be a real relief 
to know which one it is. Is it Cissie Travers ? ' 

Oramore shook his head and looked sombrely out over the 
loch. 

' Bolsover ? ' queried Dick, ' I did think Bolsover was a dead 
cert, but anyhow Polyanthus will pull me round on the Derby.' 

Oramore puffed viciously and lost the pleasure of his pipe. 



ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 327 

' Well,' continued Dick, in default of response, ' if it's neither 
Cissie nor Bolsover, I'm hanged if I know what it can be. Not 
that New York business again ? ' with an anxious look at the 
gloomy smoker. 

' Nothing to do with you, Dick,' said Oramore at last. ' Don't 
give yourself away any more than you need.' 

'All right, old man, if it's nothing to do with me it's all 
right.' 

' I wish to heaven it was. It's all damned wrong.' 

' And nothing to do with me ? Who's in the mud now ? ' 

' Me. I'm on the rocks.' 

' The deuce ! What is it ? Bottom fallen out of market ? ' 

Oramore nodded gloomily. 

'Thought you generally managed to stand from under and 
catch some of the droppings as they fell ? ' 

' I had it straight from old Harris himself to put every penny 
I had into Chartereds. I went a big plunge and look like coming 
a big cropper. That's about the size of it, Dick.' 

' Same with me and Bolsover. No Derby to look forward to ? ' 

' Yes, if I could hang on there's probably a fortune in them. 
I've faith in Harris, and this is only a temporary set-back. But 
settlement's next week, and I don't see my way to cover.' 

' What does it run to ? ' 

' I've got 100,000. They're down four shillings.' 

Dick whistled solemnly as he figured it out on the wall with a 
bit of white stone. 

'20,OOOL! That beats me and Bolsover all into fits. Say, 
Jack, my boy, you ought to be more cautious. 20,000. takes a 
lot of covering.' 

' I can manage about half in the time at a sacrifice. But 
half s no good. It looks like smash.' 

' Bank no use ? ' 

' Not a cent. They look askance at this kind of thing.' 

' Dolly know ? ' 

* No ; she'll know soon enough, poor girl. We'll have to sell up 
and clear out.' 

He smoked in gloomy silence for a few minutes, and then 
slowly pulled out of his pocket a letter with a foreign stamp on, 
and handed it over to Keppel. Dick opened it, and looked first 
with wide round eyes at an enclosure, which proved to be a bank 
draft for 10,OOOZ. 



328 ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 

' Heavens ! ' he said, and then read the letter, and then asked, 
' And what are you going to do ? ' 
1 What would you do ? ' 

* How does it work out ? ' 

'Front on 10,000. worth of arms and ammunition about 
2,OOOZ.' 

* Good enough, but doesn't help you much for next week.' 
' I should get three months' credit on the goods.' 

'I see!' 

'But it's risky business all round. I was half sorry when I got 
the letter yesterday morning. I don't like to disappoint Sylvain, 
and yet I don't much like the business. Someone else will do it, 
of course, if I don't. You see he takes it for granted I'll make no 
bones about it, and it would mean a delay to them which may be 
of importance.' 

' And you could have the use of that 10,OOOZ. for three months ? ' 

Oramore nodded, and the other pondered the situation, flipping 
the draft for 10,000. against his fingers. 

' Well, what would you do ? ' asked Oramore. 

' Could you meet the bills in three months' time in any case ?' 

' Certainly, unless things go to the deuce altogether.' 

* Very well, in that case I should take this chance and send 
the stuff along. It's a risky business, I know, but when one's 
back's to the wall one takes every chance, and I don't see that you 
can afford to let this one slip.' 

' Will you help ? If I buy the stuff will you take it out in the 
Albatross?' 

'Will I, my boy? Won't I? I'd take fifty Albatrosses into 
Manzanillo or into Havana itself to help along. I've no great 
liking personally for the Cubans, but I like 'em better than the 
Spaniards, and they've been brutally treated, there's no doubt about 
that.' 

' Then we'll do it, and if you take 'em out you shall have the 
profit on the run. Here come Dolly and Poppet. Keep mum 
about all this, Dick. No need to worry the wife if there's no need 
to. God ! ' he said, as the fair-haired girl and her two-year-old 
daughter came down the lawn to call them in to breakfast, * I'd do 
more than this to keep them all right.' 

* Me, too ! ' said Keppel. ' Come along, Poppet, and I'll be your 
donk-donk up to the house,' and off he went with the child on his 
back. 



ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 329 

Just one week later the two men were leaning over the sea 
wall again, under much the same conditions as to weather, but in 
a very much more hopeful frame of mind. 

Chartereds had picked up a trifle, and with the help of the 
draft from Cuba Oramore had weathered the settlement and was 
looking forward to a still more hopeful time when that eventful 
day came round again. The arms and ammunition were bought, 
and were being packed and despatched to Glasgow in as innocent- 
looking packages as could be contrived, and within ten days or so 
Keppel expected to start on his adventure. 

Suddenly Oramore rose up from the wall. 

' Here's old McKinnon coming ; I'm off. Don't let him pump 
you, Dick. He knows I was hard hit, and he's on pins and needles 
to find out how I pulled through.' 

Their neighbour came slowly along the shore, picking his way 
over the seaweed-covered stones : an elderly, grey, tight-lipped 
man, his eyes fixed on the ground, his hands behind him. He 
was thinking over his profits on the last settlement, which had 
been a particularly fortunate one for him. He was therefore in a 
peaceful and contented frame of mind. 

It was not till he came opposite the place where Keppel leaned 
over the wall smoking that he looked up with an air of surprise. 

' Morning, Mr. McKinnon ! ' said Dick cheerfully. 

* Oh, Mr. Dick, how are you this morning ? ' 
' Fine, thanks. You all right ? ' 

' I am well, I thank you.' 

1 Miss Maggie none the worse for her soaking yesterday, I hope ? ' 

' I trust not. It was foolish, however, to go so far ' 

' But we didn't know it was going to come down like that, you 
know. The morning was as fine as this one.' 

* It is never wise to count too much on a continuance of fine 
weather at this time of year. It is as undependable as ' 

' Stocks and shares,' said Dick. 

' Ah ! ' said the old man. ' This is the Sabbath. Let us leave 
stocks and shares alone for one day in the week. How is Mr. 
Oramore ? ' 

' He's fine, too, thanks.' 

'Ah!' 

1 Groing to the kirk ? ' asked Dick, after a pause. 

' No ; I'm just taking a dander round to get rid of the cobwebs.' 

' Miss Maggie going ? Hel-lo ! who's this ? ' 



330 ARMS AND THE WOMAN 

Two gleaming spires of snowy canvas had crept round Lament 
Point and were stealing noiselessly up the loch. The schooner 
carried the breeze from the outer loch with her, and just managed 
to reach anchorage near the Albatross when her sails drooped and 
flapped like the wings of a wounded bird, and then in a trice they 
disappeared a splash the ringing run of the chain, and she 
swung round and fitted into the peace of her surroundings. 

The similarity of the two yachts struck both men. From 
knife-sharp forefoot to cream-painted funnel they were as like as 
two peas and almost of a size if anything the Albatross had the 
advantage by some twenty tons. 

' Might be sisters,' said Keppel. 

' Ay,' said McKinnon. < Who is't at all ? ' 

As they watched, a boat dropped gently into the water and 
presently came skimming over the mirror towards them, two men 
pulling and a third steering. The steersman scrambled ashore 
and came up over the rocks towards them ; the boat turned and 
pulled back. 

The newcomer wore the dress of a naval officer, and as he 
drew near he sang out cheerily, ' Good morning, Mr. McKinnon ! 
Hoo's a' wi' ye the noo ? ' 

' Why, Eobert Ogilvie ! I thought you were in the Mediter- 
ranean.' 

' I'm in a much better place, Mr. McKinnon. How's Miss 
Maggie ? ' 

' She is well, thank you. When did you get back ? Let me 
introduce you to Mr. Eichard Keppel Mr. Keppel, Lieutenant 
Ogilvie.' 

The two men nodded and eyed one another askance. Dick 
Keppel disliked Ogilvie on sight, because he had just seen Miss 
Maggie McKinnon turn out of the Dunglass grounds and come 
along the shore towards them, and the Sunday morning stroll he 
had hoped for was obviously out of the question. Ogilvie disliked 
Dick on the general principle that a fellow doesn't, as a rule, like 
another fellow especially if he be an unusually good-looking fellow, 
as Dick was who has exceptional advantages in the enjoyment of 
the society of a particular young lady, while he himself has to be 
away on duty. 

Miss Maggie McKinnon was a very charming young lady 
indeed, so very charming that it was difficult to reconcile her 
relationship with her own father, until one remembered that the 



ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 331 

wild rose blooms on a stem all unkindly and full of prickles. She 
came picking her way over the slippery stones with a light sure 
step, and with her eyes still seeking the best footing sang out, 
' Well, good people, is this a prayer meeting ? Gfood morning, 
Mr. Keppel ; none the worse for your wetting ? Why, Bob ! 
where on earth have you sprung from ? ' and a gladder light shone 
in her eyes and a richer colour mantled her cheek, as she greeted 
him with outstretched hand. 

' Bob ! She calls him Bob ! ' said Dick to himself with an 
internal groan. 

' From going to and fro,' said Ogilvie, turning and greeting 
her with a gladness which was reflected in her own eyes and 
face, ' but last of all from the yacht there. Kibblewhite's ordered 
up here on special duty, and I'm just taking a turn round 
with him. I know this part of the world, you see, and he 
doesn't.' 

' And how long can you stop ? ' asked Maggie. 

' That depends on circumstances,' and he had the appearance 
of one who could say more an he would. ' Going to the kirk, 
Miss Maggie ? ' 

' Yes, I'm going. Will you row me over ? ' 

'Will I? Won't I?' 

' Anybody else coming ? ' asked Maggie over her shoulder in a 
way that said as plainly as words, ' Please don't ; you really are 
not wanted.' 

4 Certainly, my dear, I am coming,' said Mr. McKinnon. ' And 
you, Mr. Dick ? ' 

'No, thanks,' said Dick, grimly amused at the old man's 
sudden change of front and at the disappointment expressed in the 
backs of the other two. ' Three's bad, but four's worse.' 

The others turned in the direction of the Dunglass boat, and 
Dick Keppel lit another cigar and kicked his heels against the 
sea wall and laughed quietly to himself. He knew perfectly well 
that the old man disapproved of himself. It was distinctly con- 
soling to know that he regarded Ogilvie with no greater favour. 
But as to Maggie herself * She calls him Bob ! ' he said again 
with a sigh. 

'Calls who Bob?' 

Oramore had come over the lawn unobserved and stood behind 
him watching the embarkation. 

'Bob's the fool in the brass buttons. Though why a girl's 



332 ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 

eyes should dance like that just because a man wears brass but- 
tons and a band round his hat is beyond me.' 

' H'm ! ' said Oramore. ' Is it as bad as all that ? A very 
nice little arrangement, indeed, if the old gentleman were not 
there.' 

' That's what those two are thinking, I guess.' 

* Miss Maggie McKinnon with 20,000. is one thing and an 
exceedingly nice thing. But Mr. James McKinnon with 20,000. 
is quite a different story.' 

' That's so,' sighed Dick, ' and she calls him Bob ! ' 
' What boat's that ? ' asked Oramore. 

* Don't know, 'cept that Bob came in her. He's a navy man 
lieutenant.' 

' What's the meaning of that, I wonder ? ' said Oramore. 

* Imagine they've got wind of your rifles ? ' laughed Dick. 

' Shouldn't be a bit surprised. We'll stroll over after tea and 
find out all we can about Bob and his boat. She's just about the 
same size as the Albatross and just about as fast, I should say. 
Very much the same build of boat, don't you think ? ' 

' Like as two peas,' said Dick. 

They strolled over to Dunglass after tea, as proposed, and 
learned several things. 

Item. That a very good understanding existed between Miss 
McKinnon and Lieutenant Ogilvie, and that old McKinnon eyed 
the matter with distinct disfavour. 

Item,. That the Barracouta was on special duty under 
a Government charter, and that she was posing as a private 
yacht for special reasons. Lieutenant Bob was no diplomatist. 
Moreover, in his friend's house he had every reason to ima- 
gine that anything he said would be considered confidential. 
Perhaps, however, he spoke more freely than was altogether 
wise. 

' You know every nook and corner of the Clyde, Mr. Keppel, 
I suppose ? ' he said. 

' Pretty well,' said Dick. 

* Suppose you wanted to run a shipment of arms out of the 
country, sub rosa you know, where would you take 'em aboard ? ' 

' Glasgow,' said Dick without turning a hair. * Who's gun- 
running now ? ' 

' It's only rumour. The Spanish Government have asked for 
a specially sharp look-out to be kept on certain ports, the Clyde 



ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 333 

among others, as they have information that shipments of arms 
are being made to the insurgents in Cuba. So we're just nosing 
round in the Barracouta, Kibby on duty, and I for the fun of the 
thing.' 

' And what happens if you come across them ? ' asked Dick. 

1 The arms would be confiscated, of course, and those concerned 
would get various pains and penalties. You see we don't recognise 
the Cubans as belligerents at present.' 

' I see,' said Dick. ' Well, so far as my own feelings go, I 
would sooner be shipping arms to the Cubans than stopping them 
for the Spaniards.' 

'Personally, so would I, perhaps,' said Ogilvie; 'but all 
the same it is our duty to stop 'em, and we've got to do our 
best.' 

' This complicates matters somewhat, old man,' said Oramore, 
as they strolled home in the gloaming. 

' Oh, I don't know. I guess we'll manage all right. Master 
Bob's heart is busier at Dunglass than hunting gun-runners.' 

They laid their heads together and settled their plans. 

Dick was to start three days later, after coaling at Gourock, for 
a cruise among the western islands. He was to return unex- 
pectedly on the second day of his cruise with an alleged breakdown 
of machinery. The following day he was nominally to take the 
yacht under sail across to her builders, Thomson's, of Port Glasgow, 
for repairs. The contrabrand had been coming direct from the 
makers in small lots for several days past, packed as china, and 
was being loaded into lighters, which, when the consignment was 
complete, were to proceed to the Tail o' the Bank and transfer 
their cargo to the good ship Reindeer, bound for Archangel, which 
was supposed to be awaiting them there. 

When the Albatross started on her western cruise the Barra- 
couta took a sudden fancy to cruise in the same direction, but, 
after seeing their friends well round the Mull of Cantire, the 
Government boat returned and nosed inquisitively about the 
coast, returning each night to Loch Grail, so that Lieutenant Bob 
might enjoy, and otherwise, the society of Miss Maggie McKinnon 
and her father. 

He and the young lady were sitting in the heather above the 
belt of trees behind Dunglass, when the Albatross crept up un- 
expectedly to her moorings on the evening of the day after she 
had started for her cruise among the western isles. They were 



334 ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 

talking very earnestly and very confidentially, but the sight of the 
Albatross made Lieutenant Bob sit up. 

* Hello ! ' he said, ' here's Oramore's yacht back. Now I 
wonder what she's back for ? Well, Kibby must play his own 
game now. I've got better work on hand,' at which Miss Maggie 
laughed a low sweet laugh, which was very pleasant for anyone to 
hear, and especially pleasant for Lieutenant Bob. 

' I don't like leaving him in this way, Bob,' she said presently, 
with a little sigh ; ' but if we wait for his consent we may wait 
half our lives, and I know he'll forgive us when it's all over and 
done with.' 

' Why, of course he will, Meg. He's been a good old dad to 
you, but he's hard as nails to me.' 

' That is because he fears your intentions. You are quite sure 
Miss Ogilvie won't be leaving London before ' 

' I have written to her that I'm coming to see her on Friday. 
We shall arrive on Friday morning, and she will be just a wee bit 
surprised when she sees you, but she's as good as gold and as full 
of romance as a penny novelette, and she'll enjoy it all immensely, 
and worship your very boots.' 

' My dear,' she said gravely, ' I am putting myself into your 
hands ' 

* And you are not afraid ? ' he said. 
' No, I am not afraid.' 

He kissed her very reverently, and said with all his heart in 
his voice, ' You will never regret it, Meg ! ' 

* I shall never regret it,' she said quietly. 

Before they reached the house the Albatross had hoisted her 
sails again and crept quietly out of the loch, and later on they 
heard that Keppel had only called in to inform his friends at 
Drumcleugh of his breakdown, and was now on his way to 
Thomson's yard at Port Glasgow to repair damages. 

That Wednesday night several important things happened. 

Lieutenant Sir John Kibblewhite, Bart., dined at Dunglass, 
and, by previous arrangement with Lieutenant Bob, he so ingra- 
tiated himself with Mr. McKinnon that he obtained permission 
for Miss Maggie to accompany the Barracouta on her next day's 
cruise, it being understood that she was to be returned safe and 
sound in the evening. 

The three men sat long over their cigars in the conservatory, 
while Miss Maggie in the next room played and sang the plaintive 



ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 335 

old Scotch airs and ballads which her father and Lieutenant Bob 
loved, and which appealed pleasantly even to Kibblewhite's 
southern ear. 

And while they were thus enjoying themselves at Dunglass 
business of importance was transacting at the Tail o' the Bank. 

The lighters laden with china for Archangel had been 
anchored there since midday, and their skippers were greatly 
perturbed at the non-appeaiance of their consignee, the Reindeer. 
There were several large freighters about, but none of them was 
the Reindeer. 

Skipper No. I went the length of venting his mind on skipper 
No. 2, to whose dilatoriness in coming down stream he ascribed 
their present predicament. The Reindeer had evidently sailed 
without this portion of her freight, and they would have to suffer 
for it. Skipper No. 1's language was voluble and expressive ; 
skipper No. 2 resented it. 

Terms of endearment were still in the air when night fell and 
put an end to the bombardment. About ten o'clock, as the 
skippers were on the point of turning in, after seeing that their 
lights were all right for the night, a sudden hail from the darkness 
roused them to a fresh spell. 

' Lighters ahoy ! are you for the Reindeer ? ' 
' Ay, ay,' sung out the skippers, greatly relieved. 
' Right ! We had a hitch in the machinery and had to go 
up to the yard for repairs.' A sharp-nosed vessel felt its way 
cautiously in between them and dropped an anchor. It was not 
the kind of vessel they had expected, but they had not much time 
to think about it, for a sharp voice above them shouted, ' Now 
then there, off hatches and let's get your stuff aboard. We ought 
to have been away hours ago.' 

The skippers, having got over their relief, growlingly set their 
men to work, and the crew of the steamer tailed to briskly, and 
the sharp- voiced man drove them all. With a lighter braced up 
to either side of her, and her low deck which enabled the cases to 
be easily handled, the work went on apace. By five o'clock the 
cargo was all transferred, and with a full head of steam and a 
crisp white curl at her forefoot, the Reindeer was swinging 
merrily down stream bound for Archangel or elsewhere. 

Miss Maggie McKinnon stepped from the boat to the deck of 
the Barracouta with very mixed feelings, and as the yacht ran 
down the loch she looked back at Dunglass nestling among its 



336 ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 

trees, and her eyes were like the water that lies under the shadow 
of the hills when the gloaming is darkening into night. 

Little Sir John could not make enough of his charming visitor, 
and in the fulness of her heart she was so graciously responsive 
that his conscience began to prick him lest Ogilvie should fancy 
he was trespassing on his friend's preserves. 

Old McKinnon, as he stepped on board the morning boat for 
Grreenock en route for Glasgow, was anything but happy in his 
mind. He was quite aware that his daughter's heart was wrapped 
up in Ogilvie, and knew well that the high spirit which had 
also been her mother's grew only stronger under opposition. 
Under the beguilement of the little baronet the night before, he 
had foolishly consented to this cruise on the Barracouta. 
Suppose it was all a put-up job on Lieutenant Bob's part, and 
only the first step towards that greater one of which he lived in 
perpetual dread. For, close and hard as he was in business 
matters, he loved his daughter as the apple of his eye, only their 
points of view as to what made most for her happiness differed 
diametrically. Maggie would have 10,000. a year when he died. 
Lieutenant Bob possessed a few paltry hundreds. No doubt 
Lieutenant Bob was a rising man, and might go far and high. 
He had known him all his life, and his father before him. Indeed, 
there had been a time when but things went contrary, and 
Janet Ogilvie was an old maid in London, and he was a widower 
this" fifteen years. If it had even been little Sir John, now, he 
would have been more satisfied. In time, if the girl had made 
up her mind, he might have to come round to it ; but if Kobert 
Ogilvie tried to steal a march on him before he had brought his 
mind to it, let him look out for trouble. 

He had half a mind to return direct to Dunglass from Grreenock. 
He would feel easier in his mind if he was on the spot. Here 
the Barracouta shot past, and his daughter waved a farewell 
from the stern. He could do nothing by going back at present, 
and there were several pressing business matters to attend to in 
town. He would see to them, and get back as soon as he could. 
He really would not feel easy in his mind till Maggie was safe 
home again. 

About midday, as the Barracouta was leisurely crossing the 
Tail o' the Bank towards Helensburgh, she was hailed by a lighter, 
whose skipper had just turned out after a stiff night's work and a 
long lie. 



ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 337 

' Was you the boat 'at was speirin' efter anither boat ? ' 

' Ay, ay/ shouted Kibby eagerly. * What do you know about 
her?' 

' I'll come aboard and tell ye.' 

The discontented skipper came aboard, and as the result of 
his communication the Barracouta headed for Helensburgh, 
which was the nearest landing-place, put Miss McKinnon and 
Lieutenant Ogilvie ashore there, and then set her nose to the 
south, and went down the firth at the top of her speed. 

Just off Dunoon she passed the Chancellor, on which Mr. 
McKinnon was returning home for the alleviation of his anxiety 
on his daughter's behalf. He gazed after the flying boat, and 
metaphorically tore his hair and cursed his shortsightedness in 
allowing Maggie ever to set foot on her. He spent a miserable 
afternoon awaiting her return, and when evening came and no 
Barracouta and no daughter, he could stand inaction no longer. 
He borrowed the McColls' steam-launch the McColls were 
butchers in Glasgow, and ordinarily he had not much to say to 
them ; but they had a launch, and he needed it, and in it he 
chuffed away round to Helensburgh, and learned that the 
Barracouta had hurriedly gone south soon after midday. 

Without more ado he steamed across to Port Glasgow. 
Thomson the boatbuilder was an old friend of his, and he was 
so fortunate as to catch him still in the yard. 

' Tarn,' he said, ' I want the fastest screw boat you have, now, 
at once.' 

'What for?' said Mr. Thomson. 

Mr. McKinnon whispered in his ear, and Tarn Thomson looked 
grave and said ' Nay ! ' and then issued rapid orders and turned 
on so many men that by seven o'clock Mr. McKinnon was also 
flying down the Clyde in pursuit of the Barracouta on Tarn 
Thomson's own fast twin-screw yacht, the Clutha. 

The night mail from Glasgow carried Miss Maggie McKinnon 
and Lieutenant Robert Ogilvie to London, where they duly arrived 
early on Friday morning, and proceeded at once to the house of 
Miss Janet Ogilvie in Lansdowne Crescent, and were by her 
received with all the surprise and delight which Bob had foretold. 
Aunt Janet's own romance had never come to a head ; she had 
accordingly spread her natural capacity for the enjoyment thereof 
over half a lifetime, and vicariously suffered and endured and 

VOL. XII. NO. 69, N.S. 22 



388 ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 

triumphed in the sufferings and triumphs of her many friends both 
inside books and outside them. 

The Albatross, still disguised as the Reindeer, sped merrily 
down the firth at her top speed, which ran to about fifteen knots. 
She crossed to the shelter of the Irish coast, and never eased 
her engines till she lay safe and snug alongside the coaling jetty 
in Queenstown harbour. Keppel gave instructions to coal up as 
rapidly as possible, and then went on to the post-office, where 
Oramore had promised to wire him if he had any news. A 
telegram awaited him, but it was six o'clock before he could get 
it. It was short and to the point two words only : ' Barracouta 
follows,' but they sent him back to his ship hot foot. 

' Get in all you can in an hour,' he said to his skipper ; ' then 
we must be off.' And to the minute he broke off the work and 
headed out to sea again. 

He scanned the sea sharply for signs of the pursuit, but saw 
nothing like her, so he laid his course straight for Cuba, and 
pressed on. 

As day after day passed and no sign of the Barracouta was 
discoverable, he came to believe that he had shaken her off or 
that she had given up the chase; and as he was bound to 
economise fuel for the final risky run into the coast, he banked 
his fires and hoisted his sails, which gave him a speed of about 
eight knots, and so jogged contentedly along. 

The Barracouta came down the Clyde at a good fourteen 
knots, one knot worse than the Albatross. Kibblewhite felt 
pretty certain the first stop the chase would make would be at 
Queenstown, and he set off with the intention of getting there as 
quickly as possible. Still, to make sure he was on the right 
track, he stopped now and again at look-out stations to inquire 
if the yacht had been sighted. He reached Queenstown just 
eight hours after the Albatross steamed out, learned that she had 
short coaled there, shot such a supply into his bunkers as he 
could manage in an hour, and followed in the direction he learned 
she had taken, being thus nine hours behind her. 

The CLutha, with Mr. McKinnon on board, had no indication 
what port the Barracouta would make for, and so had to depend 
entirely on such information as was obtainable at the look-out 
stations. She was a fairly fast boat, doing her fifteen knots in 
the hour without undue pressure ; but the constant inquiries 
necessary to keep on the right track handicapped her considerably. 



ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 339 

Between stations, however, they drove her hard, and she reached 
Queenstown five hours after the Barracouta sailed. Her skipper 
set her coaling at once, and meanwhile made his usual inquiries, 
learned that the Barracouta had called, had coaled, and had left 
hurriedly, steering west by south, and 'where in thunder they 
can be going to beats me hollow,' said he, and followed on without 
an instant's unnecessary delay. 

The course the Barracouta was taking led to nowhere, he 
told Mr. McKinnon, and might be just a blind, and they would 
circle round and make for Southampton or London. The old 
gentleman acknowledged that might be so, but had no sugges- 
tions to offer, and bade him keep straight on. They hailed every 
passing ship, and asked if they had sighted a schooner-rigged 
steam-yacht with cream-coloured funnel, and how far she was 
ahead, and they were much puzzled by the humorous character of 
the replies they received, for each vessel had been subjected to 
exactly the same queries by the Barracouta but a few hours before, 
and the skippers in more than one case wound up by asking, 
' How many more of you's coming ? ' 

On the fourth day out the Albatross took fright at sight of 
smoke dead astern on the horizon, lit up her fires again, and 
regardless of coal pressed on with all speed. Presently she sighted 
smoke ahead, which rapidly developed into a West Indian cargo 
steamer, and Keppel, with considerable foresight, made for her at 
once. He said to himself, ' We're both wanting coal, or will be 
before we're through. The one that gets it first will be the only 
one that gets it,' and as soon as he was within hailing distance, he 
lay to, jumped into his boat, and was pulled across to the row of 
inquiring faces on the steamer. 

' Captain,' he said, when greetings were over and he had dis- 
covered by his speech that the other was a Scot, ' I've got Lord 
Ullin's daughter aboard the yacht there, and Lord Ullin himself is 
coming up astern. Can you spare us a few tons of coal all you 
can at your own price ? ' 

The Captain grinned, and made a bargain in which sentiment 
did not interfere with a very handsome profit. Keppel signalled 
the yacht alongside, and the coal was shot rapidly aboard. Then, 
with many thanks and hearty shake of the hand, and a cheer from 
the tarry-breeks, Keppel got back into his ship and clapped on 
full speed to make up for lost time. 

An hour later the West Indiaman was hailed by the 

222 



340 ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 

Barracouta, who asked for information respecting a schooner- 
rigged yacht with cream-coloured funnel, and begged a supply of 
coal on Government service. To which the captain replied that 
he remembered passing such a yacht, and turned for information 
as to an approximate date to the grinning Jacks alongside. One 
suggested that it was last week, and another that it was ten days ago, 
another with an air of extreme exactitude thought that it was last 
Friday. ' Well, anyway,' said the captain, ' it's inside a week.' 
Yes, they finally all agreed it might be inside a week. As for 
coal, he had barely enough to carry him home and couldn't spare 
half a shovel-full. About an hour later the West Indiaman was 
greeted with identically the same requests by the Clutha, and 
this time he met them with a hoarse guffaw. 

' Haw,' said he, ' think I'm a travelling sign post and a 
coaling station all in one ? Haven't set eyes on a ship since we 
left Kingston, and haven't got any coal on board.' 

And as the Clutha swung sulkily away and pressed on, with 
the rakings of her bunkers blackening the sky and a determination 
never to give in, the captain of the West Indiaman looked after 
her and growled, ' Well, if you're short of coals you'll catch it 
before morning.' For the barometer was falling rapidly, and the 
western sky was full of storm and strife. It broke on them at 
midnight, and before dawn the full fury of it was about them 
above, below, and all around them. 

Keppel's skipper put the Albatross's nose right into it, and 
steamed for dear life, and was slowly borne back. 

Kibblewhite tried to do the same, but for lack of coal could 
not make much of a fight of it, and the fight ended suddenly, 
when, with a jerk and a shudder, the shaft of his propeller 
snapped, the engines raced madly for a few seconds, and then the 
Barracouta fell off into the trough of the sea, and the men set 
their jaws tight and quietly prepared for the end. The great 
white caps came roaring over them and into them, and it was only 
a question of minutes with them, when, on top of a roller in front, 
like a rearguard fighting strenuously as it falls back slowly with 
its face to the enemy, they caught a glimpse of the gallant little 
Albatross battling for dear life. The bluejackets raised a cheer. 
Beaten themselves, it warmed their hearts to see another craft 
making a brave fight. The Albatross caught sight of the 
Barracouta, and Keppel, like a British gentleman, though in evil 
enough case himself, set to work to do what he could. They 



ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 341 

were not quite in line with the disabled craft, but by skilful 
manoeuvring the skipper managed so that the trend of their drift 
was straight for her. It was impossible to launch a boat. They 
tied ropes to every life-belt on board and hove them overboard, 
then eased the engines slightly, and came down, stern on, straight 
for the labouring schooner. She was wobbling under their feet 
with a sickening tremor when the Albatross came down on them 
with the life-belts streaming out from her like the filaments of a 
jelly-fish. Then the Albatross's screw began to thrash round 
faster and faster. She almost held her own and hung just ahead 
of them, offering a bare chance of safety for the taking. Then 
without further sign or warning the waterlogged schooner sank, 
the Albatross eased her screw and was in among them, and 
the bluejackets leaped for the life-buoys like sharks for baited 
hooks. 

It was gallantly done, and as the ropes were hauled slowly in 
and the rescued men were dragged on board in ones and twos they 
testified their thanks with deep and grateful oaths. 

Little Sir John, when he was hove inboard by the neck of his 
jacket, spat the salt out of his mouth, and, with the water still 
running out of his sleeves, turned to Keppel, who was hanging on 
to the mainmast, and gasped, ' Awfully obliged to you.' 

' Pray don't mention it,' shouted Keppel. ' Couldn't see you 
drown, you know.' 

' Hel-lo ! ' he shouted again ; ' who's this ? ' For astern and 
slightly to windward came the Clutha, actually making headway 
against the hurricane. 

The two men watched her breathlessly. So slim and frail a 
thing she seemed in the riot of the storm. 

' Grod ! ' said Kibblewhite, ' it's touch and go with her. If she 
falls off half a point she's done for. Ach-h-h ! Gr-r-r-r ! She's 
gone ! ' For that had happened which they had feared for her. 
Either from a momentary default on the part of the steersman, or 
from the sudden impact of a cross sea, the full blast of the gale 
caught her starboard bow and she darted off sideways down the 
side of a swelling green mountain and dived headlong into another, 
and then lay rolling, helpless and waterlogged. 

' Out with those belts again,' shouted Keppel, and repeating 
their former tactics they drifted down to where they had last seen 
the schooner. Half-a-dozen cork -jacketed figures were floating 
about. They had anticipated the catastrophe and provided for it. 



342 ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 

One by one they grabbed the safety lines and were hauled aboard 
the Albatross. 

It was close quarters for them all, but, as the skipper of the 
Clutha remarked, it was a fine sight, better than rolling about free 
outside. Keppel did his best for his unexpected guests, and as 
soon as the gale blew out, and they had time to think of anything 
less pressing than life and death, he fed and clothed them to the 
extent of his powers, and made them welcome. 

The first meeting in the saloon of the Albatross had its points 
of humour. Mr. McKinnon's wrath at the abduction of his 
daughter had had opportunity of cooling, and besides he was in a 
state of absolute mystification. He had been following the 
Barracouta ; he found himself aboard the Albatross. He had ex- 
pected to find Lieutenant Ogilvie ; he found instead Lieutenant 
Kibblewhite and Mr. Kichard Keppel. He was eaten with 
anxiety about his daughter, but he saw no signs of her. At last 
he could wait no longer, and he asked abruptly : 
' Where is my daughter, Mr. Keppel ? ' 

' I beg your pardon ? ' said Keppel, in great surprise. ' Miss 
McKinnon ? ' 

' Yes ; where is she ? ' 

' My dear sir, I have not the remotest idea. Why do you ask me ? ' 
' Is she not on board this boat ? But it was on the Barra- 
couta I expected to find her.' 

'On the Barracouta ? ' said Kibblewhite. ' Why, good 
heavens ! Mr. McKinnon, what do you mean ? I landed Miss 
McKinnon and Ogilvie at Helensburgh before I started.' 

'Before you started? Started for where, and where is the 
Barracouta ? ' asked the bewildered old man. 

4 The Barracouta went to the bottom about half an hour 
before your boat,' said Kibblewhite. 

' And my daughter ? Oh, you say she was not on board. I'm 
afraid I'm getting a little bewildered.' 

' Now, Mr. Keppel,' said Kibblewhite, ' let me ask a question 
or two. Don't answer any you don't want to. Where are you 
bound for ? ' 

' Cuba,' said Dick, ' with arms for my friend Sylvain, one of 
the insurgent leaders.' 

* I see. Then you're the Reindeer ? ' 

' Well, I was before the storm. I expect I'm the Albatross 
again now. It was only a question of paste and paper. Do help 



ARMS AND THE WOMAN. 343 

yourself to another cigar, Lieutenant. Mr. McKinnon, take 
some more whisky and pass the bottle.' 

' Have you coal enough to make Cuba ? ' asked Kibblewhite. 

' Well, this has taxed us a good, deal, but now we can take it 
easy till the final run in. We may just about do it, but it'll be a 
tight fit.' 

Kibblewhite began to laugh. ' Nice situation for an officer in 
Her Majesty's Service, running contraband for insurgents against 
a friendly nation.' 

' Ever been in Cuba ? ' asked Dick. 

'No.' 

' I have,' said Dick decisively. 'But, anyhow, you can't any of 
you help yourselves. I didn't absolutely ask any of you to come 
aboard.' 

' I'm not so sure of that,' laughed Kibby. 'If those life-buoys 
were not in the nature of an invitation, I never received one. 
But, anyhow, Mr. Keppel, I'm very glad to be here under the 
circumstances. We might all be in a very much worse place, 
and, being here, if lean be of any service to you pray command me.' 

The run was made without any further casualty, beyond the 
fact that they had to burn all the cases in which the arms were 
packed and every scrap of available woodwork on the yacht on the 
last night. 

They loaded up enough wood at Manzanillo to reach Kingston, 
and there Mr. McKinnon was able to cable home the news that he 
was still in the land of the living. He asked for news of his daughter, 
but up to the time the Albatross sailed received no answer. 

As Keppel was going straight back to the Clyde Mr. McKinnon 
and Lieutenant Kibblewhite elected to go with him, and the 
yacht crept up the loch to her moorings opposite Drumcleugh one 
fine evening as quietly as though she had simply been for a spin 
down the coast. 

Among the letters awaiting Mr. McKinnon was one in his 
daughter's handwriting. It contained her weddiog cards and a 
fervent appeal for his forgiveness and the assurance that she was 
very happy. It was dated a fortnight back. He put on his hat 
and walked round the point to the telegraph office in the grocer's 
shop, and wired to Janet Ogilvie, ' Send them home.' 

No information has ever transpired as to how those arms 
reached Cuba. 

JOHN OXENHAM. 



344 



WHAT IS 'POPULAR POETRY'? 1 
BY W. B. YEATS. 

I THINK it was a Young Ireland Society that set my mind running 
on ' popular poetry.' We used to discuss everything that was 
known to us about Ireland, and especially Irish literature and 
Irish history. We had no Graelic, but paid great honour to the 
Irish poets who wrote in English, and quoted them in our speeches. 
I could have told you at that time the dates of the birth and death, 
and quoted the chief poems, of men whose names you have not 
heard, and perhaps of some whose names I have forgotten. I knew 
in my heart that the most of them wrote badly, and yet such romance 
clung about them, such a desire for Irish poetry was in all our 
minds that I kept on saying, not only to others but to myself, that 
most of them wrote well, or all but well. I had read Shelley and 
Spenser and had tried to mix their styles together in a pastoral play 
which I have not come to dislike much, and yet I do not think 
Shelley or Spenser ever moved me as did these poets. I thought 
one day I can remember the very day when I thought it ' If some- 
body could make a style which would not be an English style and 
yet would be musical and full of colour, many others would catch 
fire from him, and we would have a really great school of ballad 
poetry in Ireland. If these poets, who have never ceased to fill 
the newspapers and the ballad-books with their verses, had a good 
tradition they would write beautifully and move everybody as they 
move me.' Then a little later on I thought, ' If they had some- 
thing else to write about besides political opinions, if more of 
them would write about the beliefs of the people like Allingham, 
or about old legends like Ferguson, they would find it easier to 
get a style.' Then, with a deliberateness that still surprises me, 
for in my heart of hearts I have never been quite certain that 
one should be more than an artist, that even patriotism is more 
than an impure desire in an artist, I set to work to find a style 
and things to write about that the ballad writers might be the 
better. They are no better, I think, and my desire to make them 
so was, it may be, one of the illusions Nature holds before one, 
because she knows that the gifts she has to give are not worth 

1 Copyright, 1902, by W. B. Yeats, in the United States of America. 



WHAT IS 'POPULAR POETRY'? 345 

troubling about. It is for her sake that we must stir ourselves, 
but we would not trouble to get out of bed in the morning, or to 
leave our chairs once we are in them, if she had not her conjuring 
bag. She wanted a few verses from me I hope she did at any 
rate and because it would not have seemed worth while taking so 
much trouble to see my books lie on a few drawing-room tables, 
she filled my head with thoughts of making a whole literature, 
and plucked me out of the Dublin art schools where I should have 
stayed drawing from the round, and sent me into a library to read 
bad translations from the Irish, and at last down into Connaught 
to sit by turf fires. I wanted to write ' popular poetry ' like those 
Irish poets, for I believed that all good literatures were popular, 
and even cherished the fancy that the Adelphi melodrama, which I 
had never seen, might be good literature, and I hated what I called 
the coteries. I thought that one must write without care, for that 
was of the coteries, but with a gusty energy that would put all 
straight if it came out of the right heart. I had a conviction, 
which indeed I have still, that one's verses should hold, as in a 
mirror, the colours of one's own climate and scenery in their right 
proportion ; and, when I found my verses too full of the reds and 
yellows Shelley gathered in Italy, I thought for two days of setting 
things right, not as I should now by making my rhythms faint 
and nervous and filling my images with a certain coldness, a cer- 
tain wintry wildness, but by eating little and sleeping upon a 
board. I felt indignant with Matthew Arnold because he com- 
plained that somebody, who had translated Homer into a ballad 
measure, had tried to write epic to the tune of ' Yankee Doodle.' 
It seemed to me that it did not matter what tune one wrote to, so 
long as that gusty energy came often enough and strongly enough. 
And I delighted in Victor Hugo's book upon Shakespeare, because 
he abused critics and coteries and thought that Shakespeare wrote 
without care or premeditation and to please everybody. I would 
indeed have had every illusion had I believed in that straightfor- 
ward logic, as of newspaper articles, which so tickles the ears of 
the shopkeepers ; but I always knew that the line of Nature is 
crooked, that, though we dig the canal beds as straight as we can, 
the rivers run hither and thither in their wildness. 

From that day to this I have been busy among the verses and 
stories that the people make for themselves, but I had been busy 
a very little while before I knew that what we call popular poetry 
never came from the people at all. Longfellow, and Campbell, 



3<16 WHAT IS 'POPULAR POETRY'? 

and Mrs. Hemans, and Macaulay in his Lays, and Scott in his 
longer poems are the poets of the middle class, of people who have 
unlearned the unwritten tradition which binds the unlettered, so 
long as they are masters of themselves, to the beginning of time 
and to the foundation of the world, and who have not learned the 
written tradition which has been established upon the unwritten. 
I became certain that Burns, whose greatness has been used to 
justify the littleness of others, was in part a poet of the middle 
class, because though the farmers he sprang from and lived among 
had been able to create a little tradition of their own, less a tradi- 
tion of ideas than of speech, they had been divided by religious 
and political changes from the images and emotions which had once 
carried their memories backward thousands of years. Despite his 
expressive speech which sets him above all other popular poets, 
he has the triviality of emotion, the poverty of ideas, the imper- 
fect sense of beauty of a poetry whose most typical expression is 
in Longfellow. Longfellow has his popularity, in the main, be- 
cause he tells his story or his idea so that one needs nothing but 
his verses to understand it. No words of his borrow their beauty 
from them that used them before, and one can get all that there 
is in story and idea without seeing them, as if moving, before a 
half-faded curtain embroidered with kings and queens, their loves 
and battles and their days out hunting, or else with holy letters and 
images of so great antiquity that nobody can tell the god or goddess 
they would commend to an unfading memory. Poetry that is not 
popular poetry presupposes, indeed, more than it says, though we, 
who cannot know what it is to be disinherited, only understand 
how much more when we read it in its most typical expressions, in 
the ' Epipsychidion ' of Shelley, or in Spenser's description of the 
gardens of Adonis, or when we meet the misunderstandings of others. 
Go down into the street and read to your baker or your candle- 
stick-maker any poem which is not popular poetry. I have heard a 
baker, who was clever enough with his oven, deny that Tennyson 
could have known what he was writing when he wrote ' Warming 
his five wits, the white owl in the belfry sits,' and once when I read 
out Omar Khayyam to one of the best of candlestick-makers, he 
said, ' What is the meaning of " we come like water and like wind 
we go " ? ' Or go down into the street with some thought whose 
bare meaning must be plain to everybody ; take with you Ben 
Jonson's ' Beauty like sorrow dwelleth everywhere,' and find out 
how utterly its enchantment depends on an association of beauty 



WHAT IS 'POPULAR POETRY'? 347 

with sorrow which written tradition has from the unwritten, which 
had it in its turn from ancient religion ; or take with you these 
lines in whose bare meaning also there is nothing to stumble over, 
and find out what men lose who are* not in love with Helen. 

Brightness falls from the air, 
Queens have died young and fair, 
Dust hath closed Helen's eye. 

I pick my examples at random, for I am writing where I have 
no books to turn the pages of, but one need not go east of the 
sun or west of the moon in so simple a matter. 

On the other hand, when a Walt Whitman writes in seeming 
defiance of tradition, he needs tradition for his protection, for the 
butcher and the baker and the candlestick-maker grow merry 
over him when they meet his work by chance. Nature, which 
cannot endure emptiness, has made them gather conventions 
which cannot disguise their low birth though they copy, as from 
far off, the dress and manners of the well-bred and the well-born. 
The gatherers mock all expression that is wholly unlike their 
own, just as little boys in the street mock at strangely dressed 
people and at old men who talk to themselves. 

There is only one kind of good poetry, for the poetry of the 
coteries, which presupposes the written tradition, does not differ 
in kind from the true poetry of the people, which presupposes the 
unwritten tradition. Both are alike strange and obscure, and 
unreal to all who have not understanding, and both, instead of 
that manifest logic, that clear rhetoric of the ' popular poetry,' 
glimmer with thoughts and images whose ' ancestors were stout 
and wise,' ' anigh to Paradise ' ' ere yet men knew the gift of 
corn.' It may be that we know as little of their descent as men 
knew of ' the man born to be king ' when they found him in that 
cradle marked with the red lion crest, and yet we know somewhere 
in the heart that they have been sung in temples, in ladies' 
chambers, and our nerves quiver with a recognition they were 
shaped to by a thousand emotions. If men did not remember or 
half remember impossible things, and, it may be, if the worship of 
sun and moon had not left faint reverence behind it, what Aran 
fisher-girl would sing : 

' It is late last night the dog was speaking of you ; the snipe 
was speaking of you in her deep marsh. It is you are the lonely 
bird throughout the woods ; and that you may be without a mate 
until you find me. 



348 WHAT IS 'POPULAR POETRY'? 

' You promised me and you said a lie to me, that you would 
be before me where the sheep are flocked. I gave a whistle and 
three hundred cries to you ; and I found nothing there but a 
bleating lamb. 

' You promised me a thing that was hard for you, a ship of 
gold under a silver mast ; twelve towns and a market in all of 
them, and a fine white court by the side of the sea. 

'You promised me a thing that is not possible; that you 
would give me gloves of the skin of a fish ; that you would give 
me shoes of the skin of a bird, and a suit of the dearest silk in 
Ireland. 

' My mother said to me not to be talking with you, to-day or 
to-morrow or on Sunday. It was a bad time she took for telling 
me that, it was shutting the door after the house was robbed. . . . 

' You have taken the east from me, you have taken the west 
from me, you have taken what is before me and what is behind 
me ; you have taken the moon, you have taken the sun from me, 
and my fear is great you have taken (rod from me.' 

The Grael of the Scottish islands could not sing his beautiful 
song over a bride had he not a memory of the belief that Christ 
was the only man who measured six feet and not a little more 
or less, and was perfectly shaped in all other ways, and if he 
did not remember old symbolical observances : 

I bathe thy palms 

In showers of wine, 

In the cleansing fire, 

In the juice of raspberries, 

In the milk of honey. 

Thou art the joy of all joyous things, 
Thou art the light of the beam of the sun, 
Thou art the door of the chief of hospitality, 
Thou art the surpassing pilot star, 
Thou art the step of the deer of the hill, 
Thou art the step of the horse of the plain, 
Thou art the grace of the sun rising, 
Thou art the loveliness of all lovely desires. 

The lovely likeness of the Lord 

Is in thy pure face, 

The loveliest likeness that was upon earth. 

I soon learned to cast away one other illusion of ' popular 
poetry.' I learned from the people themselves, before I learned it 
from any book, that they cannot separate the idea of an art or a 



WHAT IS 'POPULAR POETRY'? 349 

craft from the idea of a cult with ancient technicalities and 
mysteries. They can hardly separate mere learning from witch- 
craft, and are fond of words and verses that keep half their secret 
to themselves. Indeed, it is certain that before the counting- 
house had created a new class and a new art without breeding and 
without ancestry, and set this art and this class between the hut 
and the castle, and between the hut and the cloister, the art of 
the people was as closely mingled with the art of the coteries as 
was the speech of the people that delighted in rhythmical 
animation, in idiom, in images, in words full of far-off suggestion, 
with the unchanging speech of the poets. 

Now I see a new generation in Ireland which discusses Irish 
literature and history in ' Young Ireland Societies,' and societies 
with newer names, and there are far more than when I was a boy 
who would make verses for the people. They have the help, too, 
of an awakening press, and this press sometimes urges them to 
desire the direct logic, the clear rhetoric, of ' popular poetry.' It 
sees that Ireland has no cultivated minority, and it does not see, 
though it would cast out all English things, that its literary ideal 
belongs more to England than to other countries. I have hope 
that the new writers will not fall into illusion, for they write in 
Irish, and for a people the counting-house has not made forgetful. 
Among the seven or eight hundred thousand who have had Irish 
from the cradle, there is, perhaps, nobody who has not enough of 
the unwritten tradition to know good verses from bad ones, if he 
have enough mother-wit. Among all that speak English in Australia, 
in America, in Great Britain, are there many more than the ten 
thousand the prophet saw, who have enough of the written 
tradition education has set in room of the unwritten to know 
good verses from bad ones, even though their mother-wit has 
made them Ministers of the Crown or what you will ? Nor can 
things be better till that ten thousand have gone hither and 
thither to preach their faith that ' the imagination is the man 
himself,' and that the world as imagination sees it is the durable 
world, and have won men as did the disciples of Him who 

His seventy disciples sent 
Against religion and government. 



350 

SOCIAL SOLECISMS. 
BY LADY GROVE. 

THERE appeared elsewhere an article by me on the subject of 
mispronunciation and other peculiarities, intended to be mildly 
diverting, but which roused a certain amount of antagonistic 
criticism to which I certainly do not think it was entitled. If 
everything in the article had been meant perfectly seriously I 
admit that it might have given offence in certain quarters, but I 
am happy to say that most of its readers saw its humorous side 
without having had all the i's dotted and the t's crossed for them. 
And indeed I do think that the very people who were offended 
ought, on the contrary, to have been very grateful to me for 
pointing out the microscopic difference between the ' Ins ' and the 
' Outs,' and for exposing the slightness of the structure upon 
which the extreme exclusiveness of a certain section of society 
rests, and for throwing open the bridge thereto whereupon all who 
read might run with the fullest confidence that they would not 
trip up. 

Nevertheless, my contention must distinctly be understood to 
be that it is not the things people do and say that determine 
to what ' sphere ' they belong, but that it is the people themselves 
that build up and put their own unmistakeable mark upon what to 
another ' sphere ' constitute solecisms. Given certain conditions, 
an individual may do or say almost anything he pleases. The 
only certainty is that there are things which under no circum- 
stances would he take pleasure in doing. No proverb is more 
irrefutably borne out by experience than the one that points 
out how one man may steal a horse, and another not even be 
allowed to look over the hedge. 

It is also a fact that words, their pronunciation and use, 
expressions, and even habits, transfer themselves from one grade 
of society to another. What is perfectly correct in one genera- 
tion becomes first old-fashioned, then affected, and finally either 
obsolete or vulgar, according as to whether these discarded husks 
of civilisation have been generally adopted by the ' lower orders ' 
or not. The pronunciation of the word Derby is an illustration 
of this point : ' Darby ' has been comparatively recently adopted 






SOCIAL SOLECISMS. 351 

by the same grade of society as that which formerly pronounced 
the word as the porters, cabmen, and others pronounce it now. 

In the democratic ardour of my youth I did that which is now 
a source of regret to me. I carefully modernised my pronuncia- 
tion, and endeavoured to ' get away ' from what I considered the 
unenlightened peculiarities of the generation above me. Alas ! I 
can no longer say ' corfy ' naturally, so I resign myself to the less 
distinguished and more general sound, except on the occasions 
when, to my joy, I unconsciously revert to the pronunciation of 
my early youth. A highly refined writer of fiction will, in depict- 
ing his low-life scenes, make his barbarians say, ' I'm or/.' And 
when one sees the word spelt like that as a sign of the coarseness 
and ignorance of the character, the writer has betrayed his own 
hideous, mincing mispronunciation of the word which the ruffian 
has enunciated quite as it should be. 

Mr. Kudyard Kipling is rather an offender in this respect. I 
know a highly cultivated, ultra-refined person who always speaks 
of a ' Grawd-mother,' not using the word in any ironical sense, 
however, as indicating the only use that children as a rule can see 
in Godmothers, but simply because she happens to pronounce 
such words in the same way as Mr. Kipling's soldiers. 

At the same time, there it is, and it is no use ignoring the 
fact, and, without wishing to appear dictatorial or arrogant, I 
must say it : there are certain things that must not be said. For 
instance, if you have on your table no matter what specimen of 
the genus hen, even should it be a very Methuselah amongst 
them, and you know it, it must not be referred to as a ' fowl,' it 
must always be spoken of as a ' chicken.' I cannot say why it is 
so, but so it is. On the same principle, perhaps, that in any 
well-conducted establishment the unmarried ladies of the house- 
hold, if there happens to be a married one, are always called ' the 
young ladies,' even should their ages be between sixty and 
seventy. Anyhow, let no consideration for truth or honesty 
persuade you to speak of your plat otherwise than as ' chicken.' 

Some self-respecting pieces of furniture would, I am sure, 
resent being called, and refuse to recognise themselves, under 
certain names. It must, for instance, have been remarked by 
every observant person the partiality that certain people have 
for the word ' couch.' Does not ' couch ' raise up in the mind's 
eye the horsehair atrocities of the lodging-house and the country 
inn in company with a ' chiffonnier,' a mysterious meuble I have 



352 SOCIAL SOLECISMS. 

never identified, but occasionally heard of and seem utterly 
inapplicable to one's own reposeful sofas ? Why, too, does the 
word ' mirror ' sound so out of place, when the more cumbersome 
double-barrelled ' looking-glass ' sounds quite appropriate ? An 
' easy-chair ' is used by the same people who talk about a ' couch,' 
and the room conjured up by anyone using the expression has 
quite a different aspect from one containing ' arm-chairs.' Among 
their household gods there will be knife-sharpeners ' for table use ; ' 
' rests ' for the carving knife and fork ; basket-mats under the 
dishes, which will blossom out into d'oyleys underneath the cake 
at tea, and everywhere when possible on smart occasions paper- 
lace mats. Glass shades on every possible and impossible object, 
coloured wine-glasses, ' jingles ' on the chimney-piece, plates hung 
on the wall (an abomination), fans put to the same incongruous 
use, basket cake-holders of course. Lamps with voluminous 
shades, that are left in the room in the day-time, and in the 
summer-time ' grate decorations.' 

'Mantel-shelf for 'chimney-piece' is also quite a character- 
istic insult to the noble and long-suffering ally of the hearth. 
But it is possibly the word ' mantle ' which is disconcerting, a 
word dear to the heart of the awe-inspiring ' saleswomen ' of 
dignified presence, gracious manners, and wonderful figures, but 
which one never dreams of using in talking of one's own garments 
any more than one would talk of a ' wrap ' or an ' overcoat,' or of 
' dress-clothes,' or, worse still, ' dress-suit ' for evening clothes. 
Perhaps the word ' mantle ' is shunned on account of its sacred 
reminiscences. Anyhow, we do know that they do not tolerate 
such garments in heaven, and even Elijah had to drop his before 
he was admitted. 

Other words used in shops, and which one seldom hears out of 
them, are purely technical, we suppose ' hose,' for instance, and 
' falls ' for veils. 

Another good illustration of autre temps, autre moeurs, is 
afforded in the matter of expletives. A dignified old friend of 
mine of the old-fashioned type told me that he was walking one 
day with the carefully brought-up daughter of a ducal household 
when she dropped her umbrella. As she stooped quickly and 
quietly to pick it up, a ' damn ' came as quickly and quietly to her 
lips. Not with any anger or violence, but in the same manner 
that an ' Oh dear ! ' would have come from her predecessors under 
similar circumstances. 



SOCIAL SOLECISMS. 353 

Now I remember my first ' damn ' quite distinctly. I was 
alone in the park of my girlhood's home, alone with Nature and 
my dog ; I even forget what had annoyed me I have often tried 
to remember, in view of the vivid recollection I have of the sense 
of awed emancipation which crept over me my anger utterly 
dispelled by that one vigorous exclamation. I looked up and 
around, and I wondered if any other but myself had heard that 
terrible word, then I whistled to the dog and walked soberly home. 
Even to-day I confess that it sounds to me strangely ill-bred 
when a man permits himself a ' damn ' in polite society. This 
seems usurping the prerogatives of men with a vengeance to 
tolerate a ' swear- word ' in a woman and not in a man. But so 
it is. Let them comfort themselves with the reflection that the 
reason for this strange perversion lies in the inherent incon- 
sequence of the female sex. When a man swears it is presumably 
a serious matter ; when a woman swears it is often pour rire, as 
are most of the other things she does, they will console themselves 
if consolation they need by saying. 

The decrees of fashion are very arbitrary. It is an unexplained 
mystery why the courtesy title ' Honourable ' is not to be 
mentioned in polite society, and why it should be excluded 
from the visiting cards of the honourable possessors of such title. 
A courageous youth once defied this decree and printed his 
honourableship on his cards. It excited comment if nothing 
more. But what is there from its intrinsic point of view that 
should make this so grave a solecism ? Why should it be 
the only title to be ignored in conversation? It is true, how- 
ever, that of the peerage the dukes and duchesses are the only 
ones whose exact rank it is permitted to mention in addressing 
them. All other titles, from a baron's to a marquis's and their 
ladies, have to be content with the generic prefix of Lord and 
Lady. 

Baron somehow always gives a foreign sound to any name, and 
yet it is one of the earliest of our English honours. A loquacious 
tradesman in the ' old furniture line ' in our neighbourhood always 
spoke of all his customers by their correct rank. Thus he would 
say ' I sold Baron S. a table just like the one I am offering to your 
ladyship, only the other day ; and Viscount P. had a chair very 
much after this pattern.' ' Baron S.' was frequently referred to 
in future in the same way by others in consequence of this good 
man's quaint example. In the same town I took a friend of mine 

VOL XII. NO. 69, N,S, 23 



354 SOCIAL SOLECISMS. 

to a toy-shop. After several purchases had been made, the lady 
of the shop drew me aside and whispered, ' Am I right in sup- 
posing the lady to be the Honourable ? ' On receiving my 

answer in the affirmative, she exclaimed regretfully, ' I wish I'd 'a 
known, I'd have put in a " My lady " occasionally to her too.' She 
evidently deplored this tendency to ignore the least of the courtesy 
titles. 

But to put ' Hon.' on one's cards is not the only outrage that 
can be committed on visiting cards. One card containing the 
joint names of husband and wife is very shocking to one's 
sense of decency. A lady I knew carried this reticence to an 
extreme when she spent her time separating the works of male 
and female authors on her bookshelves, but never tolerated their 
proximity unless then she was delighted they happened to be 
married. But in one of our neighbouring counties a worthy 
baronet and his lady are in the habit of issuing invitations to their 
garden parties in their joint names. Whether it is due to 
modesty on the part of the lady who fears that, without the 
assurance conveyed on the invitation cards that her lord will 
also be at home on the day on which they are .invited, their 
neighbours will not respond by their presence to the hospitable 
call, or whether it is due to vanity on the part of the husband 
who also, suffers from that delusion, I cannot say, but so the in- 
vitation reaches and amuses us. That is, however, not nearly so 
bad as a man alone having the impertinence to intimate that he 
sits at home and receives the ladies to whom he has sent invita- 
tions. Let me inform all those guilty of such a barbarism that 
the proper way to solicit the presence of your friends if you are a 
lone man is to request the honour of their company. I will say, 
however, in excuse that men do not seem to know these things by 
instinct. A woman brought up in a certain milieu knows the 
' right thing ' to do quite instinctively. And as she rules the 
social world it is, so far, her only kingdom that is quite as it 
should be. It is, therefore, easier for a woman to lift a man than 
for a man to give a social lift to a woman. Children, too, un- 
consciously incorporate themselves more with the mother's family 
than the father's. The relationships are more intimate on the 
mother's side. And although a woman adapts herself much more 
quickly to her surroundings, as the things that matter are inborn 
and not acquired in woman, the man in the end is the more 
pliant instrument, and unfortunately sinks to the level of the 



SOCIAL SOLECISMS. 3fi5 

woman as easily as with a more fortunate choice he would have 
risen. 

The same people who have their cards printed ' Mr. and Mrs. 
So-and-so ' will also talk about ' paying calls ' without any idea 
that they are not saying quite the right thing. They will also 
inform you that they are ' going to the theatre ' instead of going 
to ' the play ' ; say they have ' the toothache ' instead of ' a 
toothache,' and will suggest the necessity of having the offending 
tooth ' drawn,' when others would have theirs ' pulled out.' They 
will talk about having caught ' the measles ' instead of measles 
tout court. 

There are expressions, however, that are very much used that 
one deplores as being merely slovenly, but are becoming so 
universal as to harden one into hearing them without wincing. 
The bustle of the busy or the laziness of the idle is the cause 
of abbreviations which one must accustom oneself to without, how- 
ever, being reconciled to them. ' Lunch ' for luncheon is a very 
common one, and is somehow much worse than ' 'bus.' But I 
know people who cannot bring themselves to speak of the Eoyal 
Academy as ' the Academy ' any more than they would talk about 
' the Kow.' 

If ' ain't I ? ' is objected to, surely ' aren't I ? ' is very much 
worse, and which of us can always undertake to keep up to the 
level of those who invariably say ' am I not ? ' or ' am not I ? ' 
Then, if bicycle must be shortened, I admit that I prefer the 
American ' wheel ' to ' bike.' I have, too, often heard well- 
educated people talk of a ' shut carriage ; ' but surely it is just as 
easy and more correct to say a ' closed carriage.' 

Not that severe correctness is not more trying sometimes than 
the most slovenly and slangy expressions. It is very trying when 
one is reading a really engrossing story that has been quite con- 
vincing until some impossible expression jars upon one, and 
awakens one to the fact that the writer is endeavouring to 
deal with situations which he has never viewed except from the 
outside, and of which he is attempting to portray an intimate 
knowledge, which he obviously lacks. Thus, when the earl's 
.son is made to call his father ' sir ' in all his moments of either 
emotion or respect, it is impossible not to feel that the writer ' has 
not passed that way.' For I never knew anyone who addressed 
his father as ' sir,' and so why should a man be made to do so in 
books ? It is equally unpleasant when people say ' uncle ' without 

232 



356 SOCIAL SOLECISMS. 

any name, or ' aunt.' And what is more terrible than when 
husbands call their wives 'mother,' or, worse still, oh, piteous 
sound ! ' wife ' ! You might just as well say ' helpmeet ' or 
' partner.' Now ' madam ' or ' my lady ' I don't object to at all ; 
there is a certain stateliness about it altogether lacking in the 
bald ' wife,' which must be a shocking reminder to have thrust 
at one every minute. In fact, the repetition of any name, even 
the most correct and the most legitimate, is a very tiresome habit 
some people acquire, and it is certainly better to err on the other 
extreme of never saying a name at all if it can possibly be 
avoided. It always strikes me, too, as a little jarring when 
people talk to one about ' your husband ' or ' your wife.' Was it 
in Thackeray's ' Book of Snobs ' where Jones, having married 
' Lady Dulcima Tomnoddy,' is greeted by Smith after the 
marriage with the hearty inquiry, ' Well, Jones, and how's your 
wife ? ' returns the cold response, ' Do you refer to Lady 
Dulcima ? ' and is scored off, as the raconteur thinks, by the reply, 
' Oh, I thought she was your wife ? ' But although Jones showed 
questionable taste in his method of snubbing Smith, I can quite 
understand Jones's feeling of annoyance. If a person has got a 
name, it is just as well to use it when inquiring after him, and it 
savours of the cottage, condescension, and the Lady Bountiful 
when you insist upon the relationship of and to the person you 
are addressing. 

One learns many strange uses and misuses of things at 
country inns, but let us hope that the following experience 
related by a friend of mine as having happened to himself is a 
rare one. He had gone to bed in an Irish inn, bidding the land- 
lady to have him called at eight. At six, however, next morning, 
she knocked at his door. ' Ye've to git up,' she said. ' What 
o'clock is it ? ' ' Six, surr.' ' Go away, I am not going to get up 
till eight.' At seven she reappeared. ' Indade and ye must git 
up now, it's seven.' Finding him unmoved at her next return, 
she said, ' Grit up, there's a sweet gintleman ; there's two com- 
mercial gintlemen waiting for their breakfast, and I can't lay the 
cloth till I have yer honour's top sheet.' 

County balls, too, yield many and wonderful experiences. 
And while it is permitted to talk about what is ' bad form,' let us 
never indulge in the opinion that anybody or anything is ' good 
form.' Likewise, a person may be dubbed second rate, third, 
fourth, or even fifth, if the scale of condemnation is very heavily 



SOCIAL SOLECISMS. 357 

weighted ; but never in the same sense would anyone ' who knew ' 
dream of calling a person 'first rate,' which means something 
quite different, and would be used only as referring to their 
attainments and not to their qualities. At a county ball one can 
hear the lady on guard referred to as ' my chapertme ' instead of 
' chaperon.' You will see the dear debutantes holding up their 
skirts with a small ribbon loop attached to the end of the 
train, and, although I am told that this gruesome sight may be 
now seen at balls in ' London Society,' I have up to now been 
spared. I shall be told next that fans tied round the waist with 
loops of ribbon are de rigueur ; that no one who respects him- 
self fails to ' reverse ' in valsing, or ' waltzing,' as such offenders 
would call it, which, however, is a better way of pronouncing it 
than ' volsing,' which savours of the shopwoman's 'moddam.' We 
shall be assured that to spread the right hand with fingers well 
extended, in the middle of the lady's back, is the only correct 
way to hold your partner, and that if the man sees her trying to 
do something herself he should come forward and say, ' Can I 
assist you ? ' 

We shall be asked to talk about ' going to Court,' or a ' Court 
ball,' instead of the familiar ' Drawing-room,' and : Queen's ball.' 
But I think that even in these demoralised days we may yet be 
spared all these shocking sights and sounds where we have no 
reason to expect them. 

A somewhat annoying habit peculiar to one's maids consists 
in calling the name of the country houses one has been staying 
in by their post towns. In some cases they happen to be 
identical ; then well and good. But I suffered when a child 
from this peculiarity to the extent of being lost out for a walk 
when quite small with a French maid, who had taken a wrong 
turning, and thenceforward persistently asked for the post town 
of the place we were staying at, which happened to be some 
twelve miles off, imagining it to be the name of the house, and 
thus getting farther and farther away until we were fortunately 
rescued by a passing waggon. 

And, after all, ignorance is the root of all evil, even in such 
weighty matters as have been dealt with in this paper. No plant 
flourishes without cultivation except where it is indigenous to the 
soil, but care and cultivation will produce specimens which it will 
need all the inherent advantages of time and place to rival even, 
let alone excel. 



358 



REMINISCENCES OF THE PUNJAUB CAMPAIGN. 
BY MAJOB-GENEEAL T. MAUNSELL, C.B. 

THE ranks of those soldiers who fought in the Sikh War of 
1848-49 are thinning fast, and there are but few now who can 
speak of the events of that memorable campaign from personal 
knowledge. Perhaps it is for this reason that I have been asked 
to recall my own share in those stirring times, and after a lapse 
of fifty-three years to jot down what I can remember of a famous 
war, waged when conditions of warfare differed almost more com- 
pletely from now than they then did from the days of the Peninsular 
battles. 

In the year 1848 my regiment, the 32nd, which I had joined 
as ensign four years previously, was ordered with three other 
infantry regiments to India, to reinforce the troops there 
after the battles of Moodkee, Ferozesha, Aliwal and Sobraon. 
The Sutlej campaign was still in progress when we left 
England, and we fervently hoped that it might yet continue 
to give us a chance of some fighting on our arrival. However, 
the voyage to India in those days, round the Cape, was of a good 
four months' duration, and though, to relieve the tedium and by 
way of exercise, the men were meantime initiated into the 
mysteries of seamanship, so that by the time we reached Calcutta 
we were almost as good sailors as soldiers, yet this fact was small 
compensation to young officers eager for the fray when we found 
on arrival that hostilities were at an end and peace proclaimed. 

But the peace was not to be of long duration. Our destination 
was Meerut, where we marched from Chinsura, and as there were 
no railways in India in those times it took us no less than three 
long months to accomplish this journey, which now can be made 
in three days. At Meerut we stayed about a year, and at the end 
of that time rumours began reaching us of unsettled feeling 
among the natives of the Punjaub, and all things pointed to a 
renewal of disturbances. Nor had we long to wait. In April 1848 
came the tidings of the murder of Mr. Vans Agnew and Lieutenant 
Anderson at Mooltan, and the rising of the Sikhs under the 
treacherous Rajah Moolraj. It was therefore determined to send 



REMINISCENCES OF THE PUNJAUB CAMPAIGN. 359 

a British force to Mooltan to restore order and bring the Kajah to 
terms, and my regiment was ordered to form part of it. 

To my vast disappointment I was first ordered, as one of the 
senior subalterns, to take charge of the depot to be left at 
Ferozepore, and had I done this I should have had the extreme 
mortification of seeing my regiment march off without me. 
Happily for me, however, there was another subaltern needed to 
take charge of the regimental baggage, which was to be con- 
veyed along the right bank of the Sutlej to a place near Mooltan 
where it would meet the regiment, who were to be sent down the 
river by boats. I was senior of the two subalterns ordered for 
these commands, and as such I begged my colonel to allow me 
to have my choice between them. To this he fortunately agreed, 
and needless to say I instantly chose the charge of the baggage, 
and was thus enabled to go on active duty with the regiment 
instead of being left behind. 

Accordingly I took command of the baggage, and with a troop 
of cavalry and a native officer under me had it conveyed across 
the river and to the appointed place, where we arrived a day 
before the regiment. It was in the midst of the hot weather, and 
the marches were long and trying, so that many camels died on 
the way. But more hot marches were before us. On the arrival 
of the regiment I handed over the command and joined my com- 
pany, and the next day we moved off to Mooltan, distant about 
four days' journey. The heat was terrific, so much so that no 
fewer than 200 men went down with heat-apoplexy. At the end 
of the day's march I would go round and find the hospital tents 
crowded with stricken men, and others lying outside, for there 
was not room for them all. A good many died, including one 
officer, and we were not sorry to find ourselves at our destination 
before Mooltan. 

Our besieging force was under command of General Whish, 
and consisted of two brigades of infantry, each formed of one 
European and two native regiments. Edwards's force of irregular . 
troops was with us, and there were also cavalry and horse and field 
batteries of artillery. Part of Edwards's troops were a Sikh force 
under Shere Singh, ostensibly loyal, but in reality disaffected to 
the core, as we had reason to know later on. A few days after 
our arrival a parade of the division was ordered, to read a 
proclamation stating that if the fort and garrison were not 
immediately surrendered by the Eajah the siege of the town 



360 REMINISCENCES OF THE PUNJAUB CAMPAIGN. 

would at once commence. A square of the troops was formed on 
a spot which was plainly visible from the fort, and a special 
messenger was sent to the Kajah to inform him of what was to 
take place. The proclamation was duly read, but the reading 
was scarcely finished when an enormous shell was fired from the 
fort and dropped in the centre of the square. There was no 
mistaking the meaning of this missive, which was clearly 
intended both as a reply and a defiance. The preparations for 
the siege of Mooltan therefore immediately commenced. 

It was shortly after this that General Whish took out his first 
reconnoitring party to examine the other side of the fort and 
city. It consisted of two companies of infantry, a troop of 
cavalry, and horse artillery. I did not belong to either of the 
companies, as it happened, but another officer and myself accom- 
panied the party as spectators merely, and to see what was to be 
seen. Everything went quietly tp begin with ; our skirmishers 
met with no enemy, and we reached the other side of the fort and 
city without molestation. Arrived here the General and staff 
climbed to the top of a minaret of a temple called the Eedgah to 
reconnoitre. This temple, as it happened, was the scene of the 
murder of Mr. Agnew and Lieutenant Anderson, and while the 
General was making his sketch above, my friend and I entered 
the building to look at the bullet marks which were still to be 
seen on the walls. I well remember that as we entered an owl, 
scared from its hiding-place, began to fly round and round the 
circular dome above us, till at length it grew quite giddy and fell 
to the ground. I was just stooping to pick it up when suddenly 
we heard the guns of the fort open fire, and immediately a shot 
came right through the temple, passed just over my head, and 
buried itself in the floor at the foot of the opposite wall. The 
enemy were aiming, of course, at the General on the minaret; but 
by this time he had luckily finished his sketch, and ordered the 
party to retire ; and though the enemy's guns continued to fire 
upon us during the retirement, so that several of us had some 
narrow escapes, we reached the camp without casualty. This was 
the first time in my career that I had found myself under fire, 
and for many years I preserved the skin of the owl I had picked 
up in the temple as a memento of the occasion. 

The work of commencing the siege and opening the trenches 
now began in earnest, and just about this time occurred an 
incident which may be worth relating. A strong position, con- 



REMINISCENCES OF THE PUNJAUB CAMPAIGN. 361 

sisting of a small village strengthened by trenches, was on our 
right front, and was held by us with a picket, increased at night- 
fall and relieved at midnight. One night it came to my turn to 
be on duty there at sunset with my company, the rest of our 
party consisting of another company of my regiment, two guns, 
and the wing of a native infantry regiment. Our force was some- 
what stronger than usual, for a report had got about that the 
position was to be attacked that night, and we were all cautioned 
to be on the alert. The trench on the left flank of the village, 
where it was considered the attack was most likely to be made, 
was strongly occupied. My own company was on the right of the 
trench, the other company on the left, while the native infantry 
was posted between us, in the centre, as being the strongest 
point ; the men moreover being four deep to give them 
confidence. 

For some hours all went quietly. The night was very dark, 
and the time was approaching when we should be relieved when 
the silence was suddenly broken by rifle shots on the left. I was 
with my company on the right, and anxious to learn what the 
alarm was about, I hurried across in the rear of the trenches to 
where the firing proceeded from. I had scarcely gone half-a- 
dozen paces, however, when I was suddenly overwhelmed and 
knocked off my feet by a body of men rushing furiously against 
me in a mad charge to the rear. To my astonishment I found 
they were our own native troops, who had been seized with sudden 
panic, had sprung to their feet, fired wildly without aim into the 
air, and then doubled backwards with their arms at the trail and 
their bayonets fixed, in several cases injuring each other in their 
terror-stricken retreat. As soon as I could struggle to my feet 
I turned to the trench, expecting after all this to see the enemy 
pouring over it in great force ; but there was no enemy or anyone 
else in the trench, and, though I peered out into the night as far 
as I could see, everything was quiet and still. I shouted to my 
company to keep steady, which they certainly did, and then some 
guns in the fort commenced firing and their shots came over and 
into the village. Needless to say this night's incident sufficiently 
impressed me with the mischief which this sort of panic may 
cause, and with the difference between steady and unsteady 
troops. 

The siege operations, trenches and approaches were pushed 
on apace, and a few small skirmishes took place, followed by a 



362 REMINISCENCES OF THE PUNJAUB CAMPAIGN. 

night attack, which, however, could scarcely be considered a 
success ; while there were a good many casualties in the darkness. 
In an attack of this kind the enemy, knowing their ground, may 
generally be considered to have the advantage, and it was decided 
to repeat the same attack by daylight in the hope of better 
success. Two days later, the strength of the troops sent into the 
trenches being increased, it was whispered that something was 
going to be done. There were about six companies of my regi- 
ment, including my own, present, and at about nine o'clock in the 
morning we were all moved into position and deployed into the 
lines required. As soon as the enemy saw the movements taking 
place they immediately opened fire, and we were ordered to lie 
down until all was ready for the advance. The colonel of my 
regiment had the command, and as soon as possible he gave the 
order for the advance ; but its commencement was marked by a 
sad event. 

Our colonel, as it happened, was in front of my company when 
the advance first began, and with him was the little bugler. We 
were at the moment under heavy fire, and the colonel, seeing the 
boy turn pale, said, ' Don't be frightened, my lad ; this is soldiers' 
music ! ' Almost immediately after he was himself shot dead, as 
also his aide-de-camp, who was quartermaster of the regiment, 
and had begged the colonel to allow him to act in that capacity. 
Both were brave men and their loss was deeply felt. But to 
return to the advance. 

After we had proceeded a short distance we came to the deep 
dry bed of a nullah running along our front. It was a difficult 
place to cross, and we had, moreover, to drive back the enemy, who 
were holding it in numbers. We were consequently ordered to 
' Charge ! ' I was in front of my company, and therefore the first 
to jump down into the nullah ; but so close were my men upon 
me that, even as I jumped, one of them in his eagerness sprung 
down on my left side, carrying clean away one of my pistols, as 
also the scabbard, and leaving me only the belt round my waist 
and the other pistol. In the excitement of the moment, however, 
I was unaware of this, nor did I discover the loss till some time 
after. We drove the enemy from the nullah, and also from the 
buildings and position we were required to take, and in spite of 
heavy losses our attack was very successful. I do not think that 
in any of my later experiences, Alma and Inkerman included, I 
have ever been under a heavier fire than on this occasion. That 



REMINISCENCES OF THE PUNJAUB CAMPAIGN. 363 

I had had some narrow escapes was fully evident when I had time 
to examine my clothes and accoutrements. Besides my scabbard 
and pistol I had also lost my sword-knot, which had clearly been cut 
off by a bullet. But my narrowest escape of all was from another 
bullet which went through my left sleeve above the elbow, inside, 
grazing the arm, for an inch one way and the missile would have 
broken the bone, or an inch the other way entered the heart. 

Perhaps the most difficult work which fell to our lot in this 
attack was the capture of a large building where the enemy were 
assembled in great strength. They had removed the flight of 
steps which led up to the entrance, which was some distance from 
the ground, so that even if the place had been undefended we 
should have found it no easy task to get in. As it was it proved 
a hard nut to crack and cost us a good many lives. Arrived 
inside a lucky bullet from one of my men just saved me from 
what would have been an awkward personal encounter. In a 
corner of a yard belonging to this building we came upon a 
ghastly pile of some hundred or more of the dead bodies of the 
enemy, which had for some reason been collected and thrown 
together here. After the position had been taken we made arrange- 
ments to be able to hold it in case of an attempt at re-capture 
by the enemy, and while so engaged I remember that an officer 
of another regiment came to me, asking if I could identify the 
body of an English field-officer lying dead some short distance off. 
I was shocked to find it was our own colonel, with a bullet wound 
in his breast and one of his hands cut completely off. Other of 
our officers had been terribly wounded. One captain of my regi- 
ment had a sword-cut through his cap and nearly into his brain, 
and another cutting off the side of his face and laying it upon his 
shoulder. Poor man ! he was very short-sighted, and unable to 
make any attempt to defend himself, and, I fancy, knew nothing 
of fencing or singlestick. In this somewhat ghastly connection I 
may mention a curious example of the stiffening in the same posi- 
tion that sometimes follows instantaneous death which came under 
my notice that day. We were in line on a ridge, holding a posi- 
tion we had just taken, and I was aware that the man next me 
had been hit by a bullet. I turned to see where he had been 
wounded, and saw blood trickling from behind his right ear. He 
had made no sound or movement to show he was struck ; neverthe- 
less he was dead, shot through the brain, and had stiffened 
instantaneously in the attitude in which he died, kneeling on one 



3G4 REMINISCENCES OF THE PUNJAUB CAMPAIGN 

knee. I saw many instances of the same thing when I went over 
the field of Inkerman the day after the battle soldiers struck 
dead and stiffened in the attitude of loading, and so forth. 

Our position once gained, we had to hold it. We spent the 
rest of the day there, and at night were posted on the banks of the 
nullah. There was every likelihood of an attack on the part of 
the enemy, and such sleep as we could snatch after our hard day's 
fight was with bayonets fixed, and the officers with their drawn 
swords in their hands. Nevertheless, with the exception of a false 
alarm, the night passed quietly. After this the trench-making 
and advance were successfully carried on for some time, and we 
were drawing close upon the town, preparatory to making breaches, 
when, one day, Shere Singh and his 5,000 men (natives) suddenly 
passed over to the enemy. This was a terrible blow to our small 
force, already weakened by our many casualties, and as with our 
remaining numbers it was considered impossible to remain where 
we were and keep our communications open, our General decided 
to withdraw us to a spot some four or five miles distant, and there 
to wait for reinforcements. Needless to say it was with much 
reluctance that we saw ourselves obliged to relinquish the positions 
we had gained and after such hard fighting too. But there was 
small choice left us, and so we accordingly retired to our new 
position, where we remained quietly for some two or three weeks. 

At the end of that time came reports that Moolraj, who had 
been reinforced and was grown aggressive, was about to turn the 
tables on us by coming out to besiege his former besieging party ; 
and shortly afterwards, indeed, he came, and took up a position a 
short distance from our front. We were obliged to send out 
stronger pickets both night and day, and strengthen our position 
in front and flanks ; but presently the enemy's guns became so 
annoying, and the picket duties so heavy and hard upon our small 
force, that we determined on an attack to try and dislodge them. 
Our force was accordingly paraded as strong as possible, leaving 
only sufficient to hold the camp, and we were marched off to the 
right, the infantry, in open order of companies, making a long 
detour round the left flank and towards the rear of the enemy, 
who meanwhile fired round shot at us, but without doing much 
mischief. We marched in order of battle, and as soon as we were 
in position to turn their flank the infantry was wheeled into line 
and advanced. The enemy were taken by surprise, got into con- 
fusion, made little resistance, and retired, while we captured seven 



REMINISCENCES OF THE PUNJAUB CAMPAIGN. 365 

of their guns. It was a brilliant action and a great success, for the 
enemy troubled us no more. 

In due course our much-desired reinforcements arrived from 
Bombay, and we immediately advanced to Mooltan and began 
operations for the second siege. The city was closely pressed and 
the suburbs captured, though not without loss. Breaching 
batteries were next constructed and armed. The firing from these 
was incessant, and many sleepless nights did I spend with my 
company, guarding the guns, which were firing salvoes as fast as 
possible all the time. As long as the sentries were on the alert 
the rest of the guard were permitted to drop off to sleep (if they 
could find it possible to do so under the circumstances), but each 
man slept with bayonet fixed and ready in his hand. 

As soon as the breaches were reported practicable the grand 
assault, for which we were so anxiously waiting, was ordered. It 
proved successful, and my regiment, after the breach was taken, 
were formed up inside and instructed to take possession of a 
certain portion of the town. Opposition was of course expected, 
as the enemy had only been driven from the breach, and would 
evidently not yield possession of the town without stubborn resist- 
ance. We were therefore marched off four deep, with bayonets 
fixed, and arms, of course, loaded the streets, as in other Indian 
cities, being very narrow and not admitting of our marching with 
a broader front. 

We proceeded down a street parallel with the city wall, my 
company leading. There was no opposition for two or three 
hundred yards, when suddenly the column halted and the fours 
began closing up. As lieutenant of the company I was marching 
on the right flank of the rear section of fours, and I immediately 
moved up to the front to see what was the matter. I found that 
we were confronted by a strong body of the enemy, and the 
colonel was ordering the captain of the company to charge ; but 
some momentary panic seemed to have come over the men, and 
though every exertion was made by the captain they did not 
move. 

It occurred to me at this juncture that wherever a British 
soldier was led he would follow, and seeing the state of things, 
and acting on the impulse of the moment, I rushed forward, but 
halted at once, as a crowd of Sikh soldiers advancing at the charge 
with their heads bare and their tulwars drawn and held aloft 
were close upon me. It was an awkward situation in truth, and 



366 REMINISCENCES OF THE PUNJAUB CAMPAIGN. 

it behoved me to be wary if I wished to escape from it alive. 
Being to the left of the street my left was guarded ; but my front 
and right side were open to attack, and two of my enemy imme- 
diately bore down on me together. One was a little in front of 
the other, and as he appeared the more forward and dangerous, 
I was obliged to pay my most particular attention to him. My 
sword was longer than his, and in order to keep him from closing 
in before I was ready for him I placed myself in position to meet 
his attack, feinted with my sword, and succeeded in avoiding his 
guards, while I cut him smartly with the point of my sword twice 
on his left temple. This I did to judge distance and to prevent 
his coming nearer till it suited me. He was, however, deter- 
mined to get at me, for he went off his guard and prepared to 
strike me with his tulwar. This gave me my opportunity, and 
before he could strike I stepped in and cut him with my full 
force on his bare head, and by so doing broke the blade of my 
sword. 

He fell on his side and right knee, but, partly recovering, still 
flourished his tulwar backwards and forwards, and as I was now 
about to be attacked by my second adversary, and had no weapon 
left with which to defend myself, I perceived that my only 
chance was to possess myself of this tulwar. Accordingly I 
struck the man again on the head with the remaining portion of 
my sword, when he at once dropped his tulwar, which I instantly 
picked up. Then I turned on my other foe ; but he was lying on 
his back, close to my right foot, quite dead, with a bullet wound 
in his breast. One of my men, seeing the predicament I was in, 
had evidently fired and shot him just in time to save my life. 
I confess I was thankful enough to find him dead, as I could have 
made but a poor hand with my tulwar against a Sikh who under- 
stood the weapon perfectly. I understood fencing and single- 
stick thoroughly, having been taught by the best masters since 
I was a boy, but the tulwar is used in quite a different manner. 1 
The tulwar and the fragment of my own broken sword are in my 
possession to this day, and I preserve them as mementos of 
certainly the ' tightest corner ' that I was ever in. 

The remainder of the enemy then retired, and we took posses- 
sion of the town without further opposition. I was not to escape 

1 I may perhaps mention that for my proceedings my Colonel Colonel 
Markham, afterwards General Sir Frederick Markham, K.C.B. highly compli- 
mented me in presence of the officers of my regiment. 



REMINISCENCES OF THE PUNJAUB CAMPAIGN. 367 

from the siege of Mooltan, however, wholly unscathed and without 
one other little souvenir with which at the time I could well 
have dispensed. 

Although the town was ours the fort was still held by the 
enemy, and remained to be captured. Our attack was accordingly 
directed against it, and a breach shortly made in its walls. The 
day before the intended storming I was on duty at the Dowlet 
Grate one of our most advanced positions. A messenger from 
Moolraj had just come in under a flag of truce, and after he had 
been blindfolded and sent off under escort to the General the 
firing, which had been temporarily suspended, was recommenced. 
Shortly after a shell burst just over me, and a splinter struck me 
on the left shoulder with great force, striking me down insensible. 
Luckily for me it hit me with its rounded side, and it fell upon 
the shoulder-cord of the shell-jacket I was wearing at the time. 
But for these two circumstances I should certainly not have 
survived to tell the tale. I was speaking to an officer at the 
moment I was hit, and he had me picked up and put into a 
doolie. He also put the piece of shell I was wounded with into 
the doolie with me, for he thought I might like to have it ; and 
I must say when I was able to look at it I was astonished by its 
size. It weighed seven pounds. I was taken up to my tent, and 
lay like a log there for about a fortnight black all over and 
paralysed, as it were, not able to feed myself, and in the greatest 
pain. The doctor thought my recovery almost a miracle. The 
very day I was wounded the fort surrendered, so I cannot say I 
lost any of the fighting ; but I was not able to see the inside of 
the fort, as I should have liked to do. 

Our presence was now much required by Lord (rough, whose 
army had nearly been defeated at the battle of Chillian wallah, 
and who was waiting till the siege of Mooltan was over and we 
could join him, to engage the enemy, who were in great strength 
before him. Accordingly, in about three weeks' time we were 
ordered to march. It was with reluctance that the doctor gave 
me leave to go, and as it was I had to be carried the whole three 
weeks' march in a doolie, suffering a great deal of pain from the 
motion. However, on joining Lord (rough's army I came off the 
sick report, and the very next day the battle of Groojerat was 
fought. 

It was a very brilliant, pretty action, nor did we suffer much 
loss. Just in front of our regiment, I remember, the enemy, who 



368 REMINISCENCES OF THE PUNJAUB CAMPAIGN. 

had been in line, fancying, I suppose, that cavalry were coming 
upon them, formed a square. We could have broken them up 
with our fire, but the General thought that artillery would do 
more damage ; so guns were ordered to pass through our regiment 
to fire canister or grape into them, and certainly no troops could 
have dispersed much quicker than they did. There was a general 
retreat, and our infantry followed for some miles ; but the cavalry 
continued the pursuit until, some days after, the enemy sur- 
rendered and laid down their arms. Thus ended the campaign 
by which the Punjaub was annexed. 



369 



A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 

XIV. 

THOSE who have followed the short and simple annals of Stuccovia 
will perhaps remember the dexterous manoeuvres by which my 
friend Barrington-Bounderley contrived to make himself M.P. for 
our borough, and the assiduous pains which he and his energetic 
wife took to retain the seat. At his original election he was opposed 
by a Social Democrat, who was afterwards convicted of cheating 
the Metropolitan Kailway Company out of a threepenny fare ; but 
this crystal-souled politician polled a mere handful of votes for 
Stuccovian politics are eminently genteel and since that contest 
Bounderley has been returned unopposed. Perhaps this absence 
of opposition has lulled our member into a false security, and has 
relaxed the fibre of his interest in local affairs. Certainly he is less 
often seen in the chair at smoking concerts, and when Bumpstead 
asked him to kick off at the first football-match of the season 
against the Benevolent Cabdrivers' Orphanage, he declined with an 
abruptness which caused Bumpstead to ejaculate, ' All right, old 
chap, keep your hair on.' 

Mrs. Barrington-Bounderley has given up her creche, and 
during 1901 attended only two committee-meetings of the local 
Association for Reforming Workhouse Bonnets. 

There is a rumour in the district that some Companies with 
which our member is or has been connected have not been very 
successful. Mrs. Bounder! ey's victoria seems to have gone into 
dock ; and though Mrs. Soulsby received the kindest imaginable 
letter in reply to her reminder about the parochial Christmas Tree, 
it enclosed a postal order for ten shillings instead of, as on former 
occasions, a cheque for two guineas. 

Now it is not to be supposed that in a district like ours such 
changes can pass without unfavourable comment. Lady Farring- 
ford says, ' I always told you that the man was an impostor. No 
living creature ever knew where he came from, and for my own 
part I never believed in his wife's money. I'm convinced that 
they've been living beyond their means for years, and before long 
we shall see a crash.' The dear old lady's bitterness is partly due 
to the fact that she lately went to call on Mrs. Bounderley, and 

VOL. XII. NO. 69, N.S. 24 



370 A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 

found a tea-party raging to which she had not been invited. ' Not 
that I wanted to go to her shabby party, my dear,' she said to 
Selina. ' But I have no notion of people giving themselves such 
airs, and I was determined to let her know that I had found her 
out. So the next time I met her at Mrs. Soulsby's I said, " I 
came to call on you the other day, dear, but I saw by the look of 
the women who were going in that you had got a Mothers' Meet- 
ing or something of that kind going on. So, of course, I came 
away." ' 

To be sure, Lady Farringford is incurably worldly, and would 
be by nature disposed to renounce the friendship of people whom 
she judged to be socially on the down grade. But I was surprised 
to hear Soulsby, who has always been severe on Mammon- 
worship and has habitually referred to money as ' dross,' insinuat- 
ing mild depreciation of his friend and former churchwarden. 
' I must confess that I am disappointed in Bounderley. I fear he 
has missed his predestined perfection. His ideals seem to have 
lowered since he has been in Parliament. I feel there was an 
inconsistency in refusing to subscribe for the enlargement of the 
vestry, and yet taking twenty tickets for the Licensed Victual- 
lers' Fancy Dress Ball. I trust I am not censorious, but these 
things jar.' 

When voices of depreciation are in the air it were strange 
if Selina did not join the chorus. ' As for people's money- 
matters,' she exclaims, with a fine elevation of tone, 'I know 
nothing, and care less. But I must say I always thought your 
friend Mr. Bounderley one of the very vulgarest men I ever knew. 
He puts his elbows on to the table, and roars as if one was deaf, 
and is so odiously familiar. I should not be the least surprised 
to hear that he had cheated everyone. As to his wife, she is not 
a bad little creature, and I am sincerely sorry for her though 
certainly she once tried to patronise me, on the strength of her 
husband being in Parliament, which was too absurd. No, Robert, 
it's no good saying they used to be my greatest friends. It was 
merely political. It's all very well for you to laugh at politics ; 
but there is such a thing as principle. Please remember 
that, though I am your wife, I am still a Topham-Sawyer, and 
that Papa sat for Loamshire for thirty years. As long as Mr. 
Bounderley is our Member I shall do my best to help him ; 
but I confess I think it's high time we had a change, and if only 
you had played your cards properly you might have succeeded 



A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 371 

him. But it's so exactly like you always throwing away every 
chance you ever had.' 

In the midst of these revilings it is a relief to hear Bertha 
say that Mrs. Bounderley is a very nice little woman, and has 
always been very kind to her ; while Bumpstead, loyally follow- 
ing suit, protests that though old B.-B. cut up a bit rough about 
the kick-off, still he's a good old sport at bottom, and his cigars 
take a lot of beating. 

This fidelity of youth to its early benefactors is always a 
pretty sight ; but I cannot conceal from myself that Bertha and 
Bumpstead are in a minority. Beyond doubt, Bounderley's 
local popularity is waning. The ' trend ' is pointing in another 
direction. It will be remembered that, just about the time 
when I began these jottings, an opulent couple called Mr. and 
Mrs. Cashington settled in Stuccovia. They bought a big corner 
house in Stucco Gardens, enlarged the stables, and built a 
billiard-room. They entertain hospitably and subscribe liberally. 
Their cook is above praise and their wine above suspicion. 

Bounderley's extremity is Cashington's opportunity. Local 
sentiment is ripening for a change, and circumstances seem to 
indicate that the Hour and the Man have arrived. 

Liberalism is a plant of slow growth in a Stuccovian bosom, 
and I am the sole representative in our district of the cause for 
which Hampden died on the field and Sidney on the scaffold. 
I am a Whig pur sang. My forefathers helped Henry VIII. to 
rob the Church, and Edward VI. to despoil the grammar-schools. 
They contrived to keep their possessions under Mary, and increased 
them under Elizabeth. They obtained their baronetcy from 
James L, deserted Charles I. at the psychological moment, lay low 
under the Commonwealth, hastened to congratulate Charles II. on 
his return to Whitehall, plotted against James II., held office 
under William III., early discerned that the Stuarts had no 
chance of a second Restoration, became staunch supporters of the 
Hanoverian Succession, and, by judicious alliances with Levesons, 
and Howards, and Russells, obtained a place in that ' Sacred circle 
of the Great Grandmotherhood ' which acquired the title of the 
Whig party, and did so uncommonly well for itself between 1830 
and 1885. 

Everyone who bears my name belongs to Brooks's and reads 
the ' Edinburgh.' The head of my family, though of course he 
deserted the Liberal party at the crisis of 1886, still describes 

242 



372 A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 

himself as 'a Whig of 1688.' I was trained to believe in the 
' glorious and immortal memory of Mr. Fox,' and at home on 
January 30 we used to drink ' The Man in the Mask.' Selina 
(who trudges through frost and snow to the Royal Martyr's 
Memorial Service at St. Margaret Pattens) denounces this toast 
as brutal and cowardly, and protests that ' The Man who would 
have done it without a Mask ' was a much finer character, for he 
at least had the courage of his convictions. 

If I may for a moment speak egotistically, I believe that my 
sentiments are truly liberal in the best sense of -the word ; and 
when I settled in Stuccovia I willingly joined the local Liberal 
Association. But the atmosphere of the pot-house is disagreeable 
to me. I dissented from the philosophy of Mr. Bradlaugh. I had 
only an imperfect sympathy with the repeal of the Blasphemy 
Laws or the refusal of grants to the Eoyal Family, and when 
the Chairman of the Association pronounced that ' now the Grand 
Old Man is gone, our leader must be Lebowcher,' I felt it was 
time to withdraw from an environment so eminently uncongenial 
to Whiggery. 

But still my name is on the list of the Association, and I 
have lately been not a little gratified to find myself recognised 
as in some sense a leader of local politics. This compliment I 
have received from my neighbour Mr. Cashington. A few days 
ago he sent me a brief but courteous note, requesting the favour 
of a private conversation with me on a matter of urgent business. 
This I graciously accorded, and my visitor came to the point with 
commendable promptitude. He said, ' There's no good in beating 
about the bush, and I may as well say plainly that I am thinking of 
standing for this borough ; and I have come to you because I should 
like to be supported by a gentleman. You may take it from me 
that Bounderley won't stand next time indeed, he may be off before 
the General Election. He has got into some very queer things 
in the City ; and even if he ventured to face the music he 
wouldn't get in again. He can't afford to " part " as freely as he 
used. Soulsby has quarrelled with him for voting for the Deceased 
Wife's Sister the other day ; and the publicans have discovered 
that he sent a donation on the sly to the Church of England 
Temperance Society. In short, he's pretty well found out ; and 
I have a great notion that a strong Liberal candidate could carry 
the seat. Now, for my own part I am a Liberal Imperialist. 
Rosebery is the man for my money. He is an old friend of mine. 



A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 373 

I wasn't actually at Eton with him, because my governor changed 
his mind at the last moment and sent me to Merchant Taylors' ; 
but I came across him a good deal at Oxford. No, I wasn't at 
Christ Church ; our family college was Queen's. But I've often 
seen Eosebery he was Dalmeny then coming out of Tom 
Grate ; and one Fifth of November I did him a good turn in a 
row on Folly Bridge. By Jove ! he never forgot it. When I 
went up to him at the City Liberal Club and said that my name 
was Cashington, he remembered me at once. We got on to 
politics directly. He said, " No man ever was in such a peculiar 
position as I am. I wrote a letter to explain that I couldn't 
speak, and now I must make a speech to explain what I meant 
by my letter." I said, " You needn't explain yourself to me. I'm 
with you, heart and soul. Salisbury is played out. Home Rule 
is dead and buried. Those sneaking Armenians deserve all they 
get ; and the war's just about the best biz. that has happened in 
our time. Gro on with your furrow ; and, by jingo, you won't find 
yourself alone when you reach the end." I saw at a glance that 
he was impressed. It's wonderful how quick he is at picking up 
a point. 

' I dined in Berkeley Square three days afterwards. There 
were a lot of pressmen at dinner, and it was simply a marvel to 
see how Rosebery had the whole conversation to himself; the other 
fellows never opened their mouths except to eat and drink. It is 
glamour, that's what it is glamour, and if we could only get 
him to address the Liberal Association here we should win hands 
down. 

' Oh, yes, the Association is all right. It is run by the 
Secretary, and an extra fiver to his salary will make everything 
square. He doesn't get much as it is, poor beggar; and he's 
quite sharp enough to know where the money-bags are.' 

Thus Mr. Cashington ; and his discourse gave, as the French say, 
furiously to think. Should I, having so long abandoned politics, 
return to my earlier activities ? Should I unfurl the Whig 
banner of buff and blue, and wave it over the head of Imperial 
Cashington? If I undertook any responsibilities in connexion 
with the contest, should I have to subscribe to the registration 
expenses ? should I have to read the ' Daily Mail ' ? and, above 
all, what would Selina say ? Chewing the food of these sweet 
and bitter fancies, I declined to commit myself to Mr. Caehington's 
cause ; but he shook hands with me effusively, and rushed off to 



374 A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 

keep an appointment with Sir Wemyss Reid at the chambers of 
Dr. Heber Hart. Meanwhile, I laid the project, with an air of 
easy indifference, before Selina, who, to my great astonishment, 
did not instantly condemn it as at once unpatriotic and expensive. 
She said that, for her own part, she did not care a jot for 
Mr. Bounderley. She could see no difference between his Tory 
Democratic opinions and the Liberal Imperialist creed of Mr. 
Cashington. On social grounds there was not a pin to choose 
between them ; and, although it was vulgarity itself to think of 
money in connexion with politics, it certainly would be disagree- 
able to find that the Member for whom one had slaved was a 
bankrupt. On the whole, Selina thought she should drop political 
work for a time. The subscriptions were endless, and she was 
no longer equal to trapesing about in dog-days and blizzards, 
trying to secure votes for a candidate who, when he was returned, 
was barely civil. 

In my private opinion, the fact that my family had always 
been Whigs, and had sometimes contested Loamshire with bygone 
Topham-Sawyers, was not without its effect on Selina. Though, 
or because, she is a Conservative, she has a high respect for 
hereditary principles, even though they be those of 1688 ; and 
there was something agreeable to her territorial instincts in the 
thought that the middle classes and the proletariat of Stuccovia 
should look for guidance to her husband. ' At any rate, it shows 
that they know who you are ; and, after all said and done, people 
do like being led by a gentleman.' 

So, after full consideration, I informed Mr. Cashington that I 
would propose his adoption as Liberal candidate for the borough ; 
and perhaps my readiness to do so coexisted with a strong con- 
viction that he would not win. Of electioneering one may say, 
as Napoleon said of war, ' Eh, bien ! C'est un grand jeu belle 
occupation.' Selina warned me emphatically against letting 
myself be induced to give money to the cause. ' Your name is 
quite as much as they have any right to ask, and people who are 
as ostentatious as the Cashingtons ought to be able to pay their 
own election expenses.' Bertha, always loyal to old friends, said 
that I was treating Bounderley very shabbily. She would have 
worked enthusiastically for a pro-Boer, and would have got Canon 
Scott Holland down to speak for a member of the C.S.U. ; but 
Mr. Cashington seemed every bit as much a Tory as Mr. 
Bounderley, though certainly he used longer words. Thus led, 



A LONDONER'S LOG-BOOK. 375 

Bumpstead volunteered his opinion that Cashington was a wrong 
'un ; that, even if he didn't bolt off the course, he would never 
run straight ; and that, before the show was over, we should find 
that we had been ' had.' 

Undeterred by this warning, I plunged into the fray. The 
first step was to call a meeting of the Liberal Association to hear 
an address from Mr. Cashington, and, if his opinions proved 
acceptable, to adopt him as our candidate at the next election. 
We met in a small committee-room at the back of the Parochial 
Hall, and I was voted into the chair. I presided over a meet- 
ing composed of the Wesleyan, Baptist, and Congregationalist 
ministers ; an exceedingly raw-boned Scotch youth from the 
Presbyterian Church ; a milkman, a grocer, and a butcher who 
had experienced some difficulty in getting their accounts settled 
by Mr. Bounderley; a tipsy tailor, who was locally reputed to 
beat his wife ; and a discharged schoolmaster with a grievance 
against the Education Department. The Secretary, who wore 
blue spectacles and a tweed cap, black trousers, and brown boots, 
read a letter from the Liberal Headquarters, which I am not at 
liberty to disclose ; and handed up the following Resolutions, 
which, after an oration by Mr. Cashington, were moved, seconded, 
and carried unanimously : (i.) That this meeting enthusiastically 
recognises Lord Rosebery's condescension in returning to public 
life ; endorses his repudiation of Mr. Gladstone's policy ; and 
assures him that he is the inevitable Prime Minister of our 
free, tolerant, and unaggressive Empire, (ii.) That this meeting, 
having heard the address of Charles Cornelius Cashington, Esquire, 
and having learnt with satisfaction that he approves of the South 
African war, and is opposed to Local Option, Home Rule, Free 
Trade, and Disestablishment, cordially adopts him as Liberal 
candidate for this borough at the next election, and pledges 
itself to use all legitimate means to secure his return.' 

So far, all was well ; but, after all, it is only the first step, and 
what is to come next I do not exactly see. The figures of the last 
contest seem to show that the electorate of Stuccovia comprises 
9,000 Tories and 1,000 Liberals, Radicals, and Socialists. 
Whether, out of these discordant elements, Cashington can con- 
struct a Third Party of Liberal Imperialists remains to be seen. 
But he clings desperately to the idea that Lord Salisbury is to 
resign immediately after the Coronation, and that, in the ensuing 
confusion, the Ploughman of Berkeley Square will come by his own. 



376 



( ON SAFARI.' 1 

IN ki-Swahili, the coast language of East Africa, a ' safari ' is a 
caravan ; to be ' on safari ' means to the ordinary Briton to be on 
march, a state of life in which we spend a fair proportion of our 
days in Eastern Equatorial Africa. In the outlying parts safari 
may be expected to hold its own for the present, but on the 
main route to Uganda it becomes more a thing of the past with 
every yard of railway-line laid down. Not without something 
akin to jealousy do the old pioneers watch the advancing line of 
rails. A hideousness of galvanised iron springs up in its track, 
earthworks and embankments scar the plains, hordes of coolies 
jabber across happy hunting-grounds, and railway camps cumber 
the ancient feeding-places of game. They who pitched their 
tents of old foresee the banal day when they will have to book 
for the coast in a ticket-office on the brink of the Victoria 
Nyanza, and when personally-conducted trippers will frolic on 
the lake in pleasure-boats and fire popguns at the hippopotami. 
Therefore, ere these things come upon us, of the joys of safari 
let us sing, of the breezy, comical, toilsome days of march, of the 
hours of wind and sun and wide distances, of times when we 
washed our shirts ourselves and hung them on our tent-ropes, 
and when we ate hungrily what came before us a life, this, 
which is a grand corrective to super-refinement and luxury run 
riot, an outdoor treatment which doctors should prescribe to 
nervous patients as a regime unequalled for killing or curing. 

What safari meant in more detail was practically this, that 
the Uganda Eailway, by which we travelled from the coast, 
became one day potential rather than actual, 2 and that therefore 
we had need to turn out and continue our journey afoot, or by 
horse, mule or bicycle, while a convoy of mule-carts absorbed 

1 The writer of this article is the wife of Dr, Robert Unwin Moffat, C.M.G., 
Principal Medical Officer in the Uganda Protectorate, and representative in the 
third generation of that family of pioneers, who, since Dr. Robert Moffat, the 
friend and father-in-law of David Livingstone, have laboured unceasingly in South 
Africa in the cause of religion and civilisation. ED. COHNHILL. 

2 The laying of the rails of the Uganda Railway has now been completed up 
to the Victoria Nyanza, the rail-head reaching the shore of the lake on 
December 19, 1901. ED. OOBNHILL. 



'ON SAFARI.' 377 

our kit. It was then that the humour of East African travel 
began to reveal itself, though, be it said, the preliminary run on 
the Uganda Eailway was a fitting hors d'ceuvre to the very lean 
banquet of Uganda life. Every day we marched from four to six 
hours, our camps being fixed by the contingencies of wood and 
"water. "We probably arrived at these camping-places long before 
our lumbering convoy, and casting ourselves in the shade of a 
bush, we awaited its arrival with such patience as Heaven sent 
us. The way was ever hot, we were tired, we were also dirty and 
dusty beyond words, we wanted tubs, and cool drinks and ices, 
and we had them not. Wherefore we sipped tepid pegs of 
whisky out of hot metal cups, and strove to keep our thoughts 
from wandering to the fleshpots of civilisation. Presently the 
cook strolled up with a kettle negligently swinging, presently a 
little fire began to flicker in the sunshine, and our tempers 
moderated their prickliness at the thought of tea. Tender 
thoughts always centred round the battered safari teapot, even 
when condensed milk with flies in it was the accompaniment. 
There was often good water, but it was generally on the thirstiest 
days that we tapped a supply which would have put cocoa to the 
blush in point of colour and substance. Once it broke our filter, 
and it was in vain that we strained it through our handkerchiefs ; 
no amount of straining seemed to abate its rich texture. Even 
to the most parched there is a flavour about tea made with liquid 
mud which leaves something unattained. 

It might be one hour, it might be four hours later, that the 
carts toiled up amid a pillar of cloud and volleys of yelling and 
whip-cracking, and tents and baths and chop-boxes l were snatched 
from the ensuing chaos. Some of the carts always managed to 
stick on the road, and as a rule one turned over the first day and 
smashed a hole in one's bath, so that for the rest of the journey 
bathing had to be conducted with despatch. It was distressing 
to an extremely grubby traveller to have his bath-water lapsing 
with the seconds, like the sand in an hour-glass. The allowance 
for bathing purposes was at times short enough anyhow, and 
when that was much thickened with water-beetles, as sometimes 
happened, the puzzle was to find anything liquid enough to wash 
in. Safari meals are always wonderful repasts, and it takes a 
safari appetite to encounter them successfully. At 4 P.M. our 
chef used to catch one of the unfortunate fowls that had been 

1 Provision-boxes. 



378 'ON SAFARI.' 

dragged along with us and cook it for dinner at seven. There 
was always ' soupu,' swimming in grease and compounded, 
according to popular theory, of a lump of fat, a gallon of water, 
and one onion. If we except hospitable gifts from the ever- 
hospitable forts, of fruit and vegetables there were none till we 
reached the lands of sweet potatoes and bananas. These we at 
first hailed with ecstasy, only to loathe the very sight of them 
later. The tinned butter became a revolting oily deposit by 
luncheon-time, and the milk of course lived in tins, unless we 
were fortunate enough to include a cow and a oalf among our 
smaller luggage. East African cows are so annoyingly primitive 
in their habits that nothing but the sight of their calves will 
induce them to give any milk, consequently on safari the cow- 
herd frequently has to drive the cow and carry the calf, the latter 
being too infantile to manage the daily march, though its pre- 
sence is indispensable. Whenever our supply of tough mutton 
and fowl gave out we stayed ourselves on army rations and 
similar tinned delicacies which formed the bulk of our baggage. 
There were sorrowful times, when the journey having been un- 
duly prolonged, we saw the bottom of our chop-boxes all too 
soon ; pathetic was the solicitude with which we then hoarded 
our vanishing store. Once, after great consultations, someone's 
birthday was celebrated in princely style by the opening of a tin 
of sardines, that being the finest luxury that remained to us. 

Things which at home are regarded with the eye of disdain 
assumed a perfectly disproportionate value on safari. Thus it 
never occurred to us in more civilised days that we should ever 
be transported with delight at the gift of half a cabbage or a cup- 
ful of milk, or that a luncheon of broad beans only would be 
likely to induce in us a lively sense of gratitude. But after even 
a week of tough meat and no vegetables, cabbages came not in 
their wonted homeliness, but as ambrosial food, fit for the gods. 
At most of the stations on the way there were Indian traders, 
who claimed to supply the wants of wayfarers, but having once 
asked whisky of one of these and been offered vinegar, we deemed 
it wisdom not to lay ourselves open to further insult. 

During the earlier stages of the journey eggs were unknown 
luxuries, and even when a land of lean fowls was reached, the 
eggs brought for sale by the natives were usually rotten. We 
were, however, once blessed with a fowl of distinction, known to 
fame as ' Mrs. Hen,' who had been given us originally for chicken- 



'ON SAFARI.' 379 

broth, but who, having somehow managed to evade the pot, 
developed the exemplary habit of laying an egg for us every day 
on march. The moment the tents were put up she would bustle 
in and go clucking round in a state of deplorable indecision as to 
an eligible site for that egg of hers. The half-hour that she 
spent in going inquiringly over every inch of ground within the 
canvas was completely wasted, for she always ended by depositing 
her egg in the most unsuitable place possible. There was, in 
fact, no irregular spot within the tents where we did not find that 
daily egg, but our patience came near to giving way when it was 
discovered in the bath. If she ever displayed a tendency to hunt 
frivolously for grasshoppers instead of attending to her business, 
we found it sufficient to talk to her of chicken-broth, and she 
invariably reverted to duty the next day. Later, presuming upon 
our weakness, she was wont at sunset to bring two or three 
extremely select friends and introduce them to roosting-places 
within the tents. We cavilled at this conduct, for we were not a 
hen-house, and I, personally, considered that Mrs. Hen's hospi- 
tality had gone too far when one morning as the first light came 
creeping through the chinks in the canvas I was startled by an 
outburst of stentorian crowing from a cock whom she had surrep- 
titiously roosted beneath my bed. She died at headquarters, full 
of years and honours. Peace be with thy bones, Mrs. Hen ! 

Towards evening, camp used to assume a somewhat pastoral 
aspect. The carts were drawn up as a laager, the forlorn mules 
were driven in from the plain to receive their rations, the sheep 
and goats for our future meals were tethered, with other livestock, 
near the tents to keep them from night attack. The sudden 
darkness fell, fires shone out fitfully, and lit up the shaven heads 
and grotesque features of our following, who jabbered lustily over 
the preparation of weird foods. At dark an askari ' always went 
on guard with some antiquated weapon. ' Haloocumdar ! ' we 
heard him enunciating with much vigour, and as the guard 
changed through the night we had variations of the cryptic 
challenge. Passers-by were not frequent, but occasionally some- 
one failed to answer the invocation, and in the morning we found 
the askaris bursting with pride at having secured a prisoner. 
Generally it was some harmless aborigine making a night-march, 
too primitive to know the saving grace of the word 'Friend;' 
or perhaps it was a strapping deserter from some previous 

1 Native policeman ; soldier. 



380 'ON SAFARI.' 

caravan, who had skulked among the rocks till nightfall seemed 
propitious for pilfering the camp. 

Long after our tin dishes had clattered back into luncheon- 
baskets, and the water-flasks and the lantern had been placed 
handy, signifying the end of the day's service ; long after the 
tents were closed and in darkness, the ' boys ' still squatted round 
their fires, chattering and laughing till sleep blotted out their 
voices, and the solitude of the great plains closed in upon the 
lonely camp. Myriads of stars shone out over us, the air thrilled 
with the chirp of innumerable crickets, the mules fidgeted at 
their halters, or cropped the grass noisily, a breeze rose, flapped 
the canvas, and fell again. Snores in all keys began to enliven 
the night. From the bush rose the death-scream of some animal 
in the grip of its pursuer, jackals yelped in the distance, or the 
prolonged howl of a hyena broke out close at hand. A wakeful 
' boy ' imitated it derisively, the snores gave place to a renewed 
murmur of talk, the askari flung another log on the smouldering 
fire. Not always did the land lie silent. I have known sleep 
made difficult by the antics of hundreds of zebra, who thudded 
hither and thither on the plain like diminutive cavalry, and cried 
in a succession of little barks, worried perhaps by finding the 
camp between them and their accustomed watering-place. In 
some districts when on wet nights rain had swamped the fires, a 
zoological garden of ' questing beasts ' was apt to foregather round 
the tents. Thus hyenas, jackals, three lions, and a brace of 
hippopotami contributed intimately to one seance that I wot of, 
and as the darkness was too thick for vision, that night yielded 
but scanty peace. Hippo are at all times awkward things to get 
ravelled up in the tent-ropes. 

In the earliest hours the camp lay silent, men and beasts 
seemingly wrapped in a dead sleep ; but the hush was not for 
long. Before it was light came sounds of awakening, and then 
the voice of the head-boy raised persistently at the tent-doors. 
Growls of protest within, some language to fit the occasion, 
a groping for matches, a sketchy toilet by lantern-light, and we 
dived out from the comparative warmth of the tents into the chill 
of the African dawn. The grass was soaked with dew, a grey 
opacity hung over everything, the moon was paling, but the 
east brightened. Shivering ' boys ' dragged themselves about 
wrapped in their blankets, mules were being inspanned, and 
stood with drooping ears and the air of people who had had too 



'ON SAFARI/ 381 

short a night, dazed fowls were secured, and amidst much 
yelling and reciprocal abuse the tent furniture resolved itself into 
bundles. Meanwhile we sat at a table in the sopping grass, 
consuming cocoa and anything tha^t came handy. There were 
few who revelled in this stage of the day's march ; everything was 
always at sixes and sevens. Someone's only shirt-stud had sprung 
away into the grass, and remained lost to sight; someone else 
had mislaid his pipe, and commented on the fact in terms which 
ought to have warmed him. Tempers were naturally en 
deshabille, the early morning's chill grasped at our very bones. 
Yet the start at that raw hour was not without its advantages, 
even such minor ones as the absence of flies in the milk, or the 
notable stability of the butter. It was worth turning out at that 
time to see the light creeping over the vast shadowy plains, to 
note the fresh spoor of beasts across our track, to surprise herds 
of antelope feeding within range, and, not least, to breathe the 
magnificent air, pure as mornings upon clean Egyptian deserts, 
not perfumed, as comes dawn in India. But chairs and tables 
collapsed, and were loaded on the carts, tents disappeared into 
bags of green canvas. Having nothing left to sit on, we must be 
moving, and as we turned off across the dew to the track that 
unrolled itself westward, the first rays of the low sun struck on 
our backs. On the way up to Uganda, how brown the backs of 
our necks grew, to be sure, and returning when our months of 
exile had run, how our noses peeled from sunburn, marching 
eastward to the coast ! 

Step for step behind us came the gunbearers, padding on 
tireless brown feet, eyes searching from side to side in quest of 
game, and behind them again our other henchmen. One very 
small one in particular, I remember, whom we used to call the 
'White Knight ' he being a great deal blacker than our boots. 
He always insisted upon having a rifle to carry, and with that 
weight to his shoulder would trudge long miles radiantly, thinking 
himself in very truth a mighty Bwana. 1 In addition, he had all 
manner of unconsidered trifles tied and slung and strapped about 
his person a stick of his master's, his lady's sun-umbrella and 
warm coat, a water-bottle, field-glasses, a Kodak, a botanical 
collecting-case, a stray tin of biscuits, a whisky-bottle half full of 
milk, and a pair of the cook's boots, which he afterwards stole. 
Thus trudged he, a universal provider ambulant. 

1 Master ; white man. 



382 'ON SAFARI.' 

So, marching, resting, marching again, passed day after day, 
and ever the brown track crept away from us in front, and ever 
we were up at sunrise to follow it. 

If circumstances forced us to choose the old caravan road to 
the Uganda capital, there came a day when we left the bullock- 
convoy which had brought us over the mighty Man Escarpment, 
and diverging, skirted the north end of the Victoria Nyanza. Our 
kit now travelled on the heads of Kavirondo porters, a wild, 
yelling, irrepressible crowd, who could carry sixty pounds' weight 
on their heads for six hours in the sun as though it were the 
merest feather, and on arrival in camp were fain to dance pro- 
longed hornpipes out of sheer gamesomeness and freshness of 
limb. After this they still felt so redundantly fit that they were 
wont to go off and visit friends in surrounding villages within a 
ten-mile radius and forget to come back again, so that the next 
morning the unhappy traveller commonly found himself with all 
his possessions on the ground, ready packed, and not a creature 
to carry them. In the course of some hours the truants probably 
came trickling back by twos and threes, with an engaging air of 
insouciance, and by midday the safari might be able to make a 
start if it had luck. Next to this lamentable lack of punctuality, 
a lack of clothing was and probably still is the most salient 
characteristic of the Wa-Kavirondo. ' I am afraid you will find 
them very naked ! ' said a missionary to me on the borders of their 
country ; and so we did, nothing could have been nakeder. From 
their walled villages they issued in swarms, and crowded round 
the tents to gaze upon us, Monsieur, Madame, and Bebe, 
without a rag to their names, nor a clout between them, unless 
indeed a bead necklace, or a hippopotamus tooth stuck behind the 
ear, could be accounted clothing. An airy, buoyant folk, verily, 
and to missionary eyes a sad contrast to the semi-civilised 
Waganda, with their greasy draperies of bark-cloth. 

The joys of camp-life became greater as weneared the Victoria 
Nyanza. Every day terrific storms rolled up from the lake, to 
fall with fury upon hapless camps. The ' boys ' never could see 
the desirability of trenching round the tents before a storm by 
way of rough and ready drainage. Once only did they effect this 
of their own bright wit, and that was when we were camped within 
a fort on a piece of turf remotely resembling an English lawn, 
which was the pride of the man in command. A storm breaking 
while we were out, we returned to find that our ' boys,' with an 



'ON SAFARI.' 383 

unwonted outburst of zeal, had scraped ample trenches around the 
tents, thus ruining the treasured grass-plot. The storms were 
enough to drive anyone to good resolutions. They came on at 
meal-times if they could, and by drenching the fires into darkness, 
despoiled us of all hopes of cooked food. Hurricanes of wind 
burst upon us, continuous thunder roared appallingly, the lightning 
was blue and pink and altogether amazing, and amidst the swash- 
ing of descending deluges we could not hear ourselves speak. In 
the intervals of trying to eat our dinners philosophically, we had 
to cling to the tent-poles to keep them upright. Sheets of water 
rushed through the tents, and carried away portable articles. 
Through the closed tent-door our saturated retainers handed in 
first a dish of cold, drowned curry, then a derelict piece of soap, 
or a tooth-brush ; we never knew what was coming next. As a 
rule we were none the worse beyond a general wet muddle, but 
sometimes the tents were mown down by the gale, and the 
affronted inhabitants had to fight their way out from a grave of 
canvas into a watery world, much under the impression that they 
were living in the days of Noah. 

Some of the diversions of the march to Uganda used to be 
the crossing of papyrus swamps, of rivers without bridges, and 
of rivers with bridges which only a trained acrobat could hope 
to tackle successfully. The rivers still run, but the papyrus 
swamps on the line of route have been filled up, so that 
nowadays we can pass over dry shod. A swamp is seldom a 
place in which to pass a happy day, unless it be for the purpose 
of collecting the larvae of microbic mosquitos. When it con- 
sisted of a forest of dense papyrus, twelve feet high, growing 
in a channel of murky fluid, perhaps some hundreds of yards 
wide, it was wont to afford pilgrims plenty of occupation. The 
novice on horseback looked contemptuously at the puddle, and 
started in. Two minutes later he found himself hoping for the 
best. The bottom seemed to ooze away from his horse's feet, and 
the animal freed itself from one hole only to sink struggling into 
another. The rider was at last constrained to slip off upon a 
tussock of papyrus, which at once sank down with him, and, forced 
to abandon that, he subsided chest-high in the inky mud. Thus, 
clutching with his feet at tussocks, with his hands at quivering 
papyrus-stems, he floundered on, trusting that some day a kind 
fate would place solid earth beneath his feet once more. In 
course of time the kit and livestock came across somehow. Horses 



384 'ON SAFARI.' 

were wise, as usual, and made the best of these Sloughs of Despond. 
If the calves were carried across, the cows plunged in and followed, 
but donkeys were terrible stick-in-the-muds. They clave to dry 
land with all their obstinate feet, and when forcibly launched, lost 
their little asinine heads, and wallowed despondently to no good 
purpose. The mosquitos near the swamps were of the most deter- 
mined character ; in fact, he who goes on safari is all along much 
chastened by insects and such small game. In the cattle districts 
ticks seized upon us unawares, swelled revoltingly into blue lumps, 
and then dropped off after the manner of leeches ; or flies fell 
upon us in marauding swarms till we had to fight with them for 
our meat and drink. Able-bodied fleas living in the grass made 
us their happy hunting-grounds, and as a harassed new-comer 
once said, they were so large one was almost afraid to catch them. 
Their cousins, the she-chiggers exhibited a reprehensible lack of 
delicacy about burrowing into passing feet, and swelling up into 
bags of eggs which had to be excavated at the needle's point, and 
at the cost of much anguish. Within the tents centipedes and 
fabulous-looking caterpillars strayed in the path of unwary feet, 
and mantidae of all sizes drifted carelessly over the beds, pretend- 
ing that they were bits of hay till surprised in the act of moving 
a leg or an eye. To people with no theatres there was diversion 
to be reaped at times from an obstacle-race of chameleons over a 
coloured course of red blanket, blue shirt, and brown rug taste- 
fully planned ; but the ' boys ' looked their disapprobation at this 
pastime, for to their minds no good could come from playing 
games with so ill-omened a beast as a chameleon. Along the 
borders of the lake, midges became one of the plagues. Far 
away over the water they could be seen hanging in low clouds 
like the smoke-trail of a steamer, but less fleeting. It was when 
these living clouds were blown ashore that we breathed midges 
with our air, and ate them with our soup ; they penetrated down 
our necks and into our eyes and up our sleeves, they put out our 
candles, and covered our dinner-plates with their burnt bodies, 
they silted up our ink-pots. The chief consolation for being 
compelled to eat so many was that they were apparently good for 
that purpose, though the analysis of their nutritive properties has 
not as yet been scientifically set forth. On some of the islands 
on the lake may be found native midge-fishers, evidently proto- 
types of that gentleman in ' Alice in Wonderland ' who was in the 
habit of making butterflies into mutton-pies, for with primitive 



'ON SAFARI.' 385 

butterfly-nets these men amass countless midges, and make them 
into cakes for home consumption. 

One of the saddest experiences on safari was having to pass 
through a district where the rainfall had failed, and the curse of 
famine hung heavy on all sides. A caravan heavily laden and 
unable to find sufficient food even for its own men could do 
grievously little to alleviate the horrors which it came across 
in its line of march. Relief was being distributed, but the 
natives in the outlying parts had probably not heard of it. The 
land seemed to lie strangely silent ; at the camps no strings 
of chattering natives brought in grain or bananas to the safari 
as usual. There were white bones among the bushes, here and 
there was a corpse fresh fallen by the wayside, holes in the 
ground showed where the people had dug for roots in their 
hunger. Now it was a little child, strengthless, nothing -but 
bones and skin, crouched by the road with the flies already 
clustering upon its dulled eyes. The caravan stopped to laugh 
when we attempted to succour the mite, for natives are worse 
than mere beasts in their heartlessness towards one another. One 
of the askaris brought water; he had a youngster of his own 
somewhere in the caravan. But we had to pass on ; we could not 
carry all the human wreckage with us, and there was much of it. 
The little black speck on the hillside faded out of sight. Evening 
would bring the hyenas. That night we dragged into camp an 
old woman dying of starvation, and the askaris made merry over 
reviving her by the fire, and our dinner went down her throat. 
Wherefore, when we shifted camp late the next morning, she was 
strong enough to sit up and look around her, stretching out her 
skinny hands to the blaze, though the sun shone hotly. She 
made a ghastly picture, huddled there in the brightness of the 
fresh morning, her sticks of arms and protruding ribs telling of 
famine, her eyes, with the fear of death in them, following our 
movements. The camp had emptied, the caravan gone on, soon 
she would be the only occupant of the already silent place. The 
' boys ' unwillingly made up the fire, and put wood near her, much 
diverted at the Englishman who laid his bread-supply beside 
her, and filled her gourd with water. Evening would bring the 
hyenas whom we baulked last night. We passed on out of the 
camp. 

HILDA V. MOFFAT. 

VOL. XII. NO. 69, N.S. 26 



386 



SCHOOL LIFE A CENTURY AGO. 

Close, Sarum. 

MRS. VOYSEY, confcious of the va/t Importance of pt^operly 
educating young LADIES, and feeling her f elf devoted to this 
arduous, yet pleafing employ, is defurous that all who entruft 
her with the care of their Children may be acquainted with the 
r mode whereby fhe endeavours to render them lovely to Society, 
and pleafing to themf elves. 

PRESUMING, therefore, upon the goodnefs of her kind 
FRIENDS and the PUBLIC, the following adopted Plan is, 
with much refpect and grateful confederation, submitted to their 
infpection : 

VIZ: 

Ift. As early rifing hath, in every age, been efteemed by 
the moft able writers to be highly neceffary and conducive to 
health, Mrs. V. induces her Pupils to experience the charming 
effects thereof by being in School at Six o'clock in the Morning 
during the Summer Months; and is extremely happy to add, 
the refult has exceeded her moft f anguine expectation; Illnefs 
being almoft a Stranger to the School. 

2nd. As clofe Learning and Study ought ever to be accom- 
panied with tfie alternate relief of innocent freedom, her Pupils 
are daily refrefhed with intervals of cheerful recreation and 
agreeable exercife, so as to caufe the ornamental acquirements 
to be purfued with frefh avidity, whereby the tafk of Learning is 
blended fweetly with real pleafure and delight. 

3rd. As the whole welfare of the r if ing generation depends, 
in a great degree, upon the Seeds of Morality and Virtue which 
are fown in the tender Mind ere it expands to maturity, Mrs. 
V's unremitting attention is continually fixed on this GRAND 
POINT, fo that no Books which are of the leaft dij/lpating 
tendency, are admitted in the School or fuffered to be read ; 
nor fhall any be found there, but fuch as enlarge the Heart to 
Virtue and excellency of Sentiment. 

4th. As from the Moral fituation of this World, 'tis con- 
genial to the human Mind to meet with a variety of His in its 



SCHOOL LIFE A CENTURY AGO. 387 

progrefs through it, to another, and as no adequate counter- 
balance to TROUBLE can ever be found under the mere influence 
of either Learning, or the fineft fyftem of ethics, however defervedly 
admired, Mrs. V. is happy that no blufh reddens her Cheek 
ivhile /he declares, that whenever fhe dif covers the fmalleft glim- 
mering of holy religion within the bofom of any of her Pupils, 
fhe carefully ftrives to nurfe it into an infant flame, that it 
may arife and mingle with the SUPREME; not by necessitating 
it to glow through fanaticifm or error, or any confined channel 
of human invention, butfumply attracting it to the f acred Altar 
of DIVINE REVELATION. 

TAUGHT AT THE SCHOOL. 

The French and Englifh Languages, Writing, Arithmetic, 
Mufic, Dancing, Drawing, Geography, all kinds of Ufeful and 
Ornamental Work, Plain Work, Embroidery, Tambour Cloth- 
work, Filligree, Steel and Varnish Work, &c. &c. 

Board and Inftruction . . 16 16 per ann. 
Entrance . . . . 1 11 6 

French, &c. &c., on the ufual Terms. 

It came accidentally into my possession this old prospectus 
of a Girls' Boarding School in 1787, just one of those chance 
lights which go to make up the pictures of history. Dry facts, 
and dates, and prosaic narration the world's book of life must 
have ; pictures without text would be worse than useless 
misleading. But who can deny the palm of interest to the 
Illustrated Edition ? 

For what after all is it that we really care most to know 
about in the lives of our forefathers we of the average, who live 
out the daily round of working, loving, and suffering, recognising 
what we owe to previous generations who have thought for us, 
and passing on the debt, as best we may, to the next generation ? 
Not in the least which king was contemporary with which Pope ; 
whether Seebohm or Maine is right in his theory of the Teutcnic 
land system ; or what was the origin of vestries. Scholars may 
fight out these hattles for us in the seclusion of academic cloisters 
what we look for is the personal note of human nature. We 
of the South and West counties remember our Armada by the 
beacons marking each height from Dungeness and Beachy Head 

252 



388 SCHOOL LIFE A CENTURY AGO. 

to Land's End. We light them up for Jubilees, but no one 
asks now what had been Philip II.'s political schemes. Sir John 
Hawkins's noble conduct, which saved the situation for England 
in the teeth of a niggardly Grovernment and stingy Queen, 
touches interest and sympathy far more nearly. The patriotism 
which made him willingly dispense his private fortune in order 
to feed and clothe and procure medical treatment for the seamen 
to whom a wretched Government system denied pay, eatable 
rations, and even medicine, finds a too ready parallel in the wars 
of to-day within memory of living man ! We understand that. 

Such side-lights upon the world's history bring before us Life 
as it was actually lived through : humanity, strong, simple, 
intrinsically always the same. We cannot do without the 
pictures that give us this insight into bygone periods the 
intimate details of social and domestic life, of character, and 
upbringing and circumstance the way, in short, in which our 
forefathers did the everyday things that we are doing now. 

Now this need not necessarily be a typical school of the period ; 
moreover, we get no notion from it of the food, clothing, or 
accommodation provided. But girls' schools in those days were 
only for the one section of society, and so must have been on very 
much the same scale ; presumably, therefore, either those harrow- 
ing accounts given us in contemporary novels novels, that is, 
which draw upon the first quarter, or thereabouts, of the nine- 
teenth century for their material are the result of peculiar experi- 
ences, isolated and individual, as the experience of Grenius must 
be; or we must take for granted that, under such pleasant 
promises, there frequently existed in reality a seething hotbed of 
all that was tyrannical and rigorous. 

Sixteen guineas a year less by four than the fees at Dothe- 
boys Hall ! If Mrs. Voysey was sending out prospectuses in 1787, 
or thereabouts, then granting her a term of thirty years or so, 
hers would not be so very much earlier than that celebrated insti- 
tution. Are we to believe there was less civilisation in the 
nineteenth than in the eighteenth century ? Or that from the 
very beginning of things the wants of girls were considered neces- 
sarily less, their requirements fewer than those of their brothers, 
and that so Mrs. Voysey and her kind were able to offer more for 
sixteen guineas a year and yet draw her pupils from a higher 
grade of society than Messrs. Squeers, Creakle, & Co. found it 
possible to do ? Though, to be sure, the experience of IDavid 



SCHOOL LIFE A CENTURY AGO. 389 

Copperfield at school was a very different one from that of poor 
Smike. 

The fees, with the list of attainments, and the moral butter so 
carefully spread, excite suspicion, yet Salisbury Close argues a 
guarantee for some sort of outside coercion and moral ventilation. 
It is the money that makes one dubious ; what could it be that 
was attainable in board, lodging, plus education, at a maximum 
cost of about one shilling per diem per child ? The yearly fees 
at the Cowan Bridge School, including the cost of the uniform 
and all personal expenses, came to 181. ; but that was an ostentati- 
ously charitable system of education, and scarcely comes under 
the category of ordinary boarding schools for the daughters of 
gentlepeople. If boarding schools in those days had been for 
girls of the upper classes, one might better understand one part 
of it ! Their education cost little beyond an incompetent and 
generally depraved French governess. Lady Wallace, in one of her 
novels, puts her satire on this point aptly enough into the mouth 
of the governess herself; it is a terrible revelation. 'Indeed, 
Monsieur, she be de foolish baby : I do all I can to teach her de 
grace, and how she should behave ; but she be so very shy, so 
modest, she can never be de least a Ton lady. I tell her de Ton 
lady be all small talk, all maniere. I teach her to practise de 
grace ; de saucy look for de inferior, de inviting look for de man, 
de sneer for de unfortunate, and de cringe for de leader of 
de Ton.' 

Any girl of the upper classes who in those days went to a 
boarding school did so under exceptional circumstances. She 
might almost safely be considered as having been either too hope- 
lessly intractable in temper to be kept at home ; imbecile ; or 
somehow a burden to her family, with the alternative possibility 
that she was dependent upon rich relations who took this readiest 
means of conveniently forgetting while they provided for the 
existence of an indigent member of the family. Otherwise, the 
delightful ease with which all idea of any real imparting of know- 
ledge is swamped in the ' relief of innocent freedom ' is only too 
characteristic of what was the prevailing sentiment respecting the 
education of girls of good family then, as indeed it too frequently 
is now, and the line of demarcation in those days was drawn hard 
and fast. 

Nobody belonging to the privileged rank of society need ever 
have feared for the health of their daughters from overstudy. 



390 SCHOOL LIFE A CENTURY AGO. 

Gone was the Elizabethan ideal of the cultured gentlewoman ; the 
eighteenth century had no Lady Jane Greys to set the fashion. 
Far removed even was the English from the French model of 
La Grande Dame, who must hold her own in her salons by culture 
pretended or real. 

' Though thought is my foe, and the pen my aversion,' naively 
wrote a ' fine lady ' of Dublin to her husband the poetical effusion 
is published in the ' Gentleman's Magazine ' for 1797 giving him 
the account of a masquerade. The sentiment merely gave expres- 
sion to that of the majority of her sex. 

Mrs. Voysey's seems a candid and simple schedule. But, 
granted that, like Mr. Squeers and Mr. Brocklehurst of evil fame 
('twould be unfair to quote the ingenuous Misses Pinkerton, or the 
inimitable Madame Beck, in this connection), her ethical out- 
pourings were not genuine, still other contemporary literature on 
the subject of the education of children is to be trusted if only 
as showing there was an attempt at theory in the minds of some, 
even though purely unpractical philosophers, which compares 
quite favourably with our own ideas and practice. In a little 
pamphlet, published in 1762, on the 'Education of Children,' 
this is the opening paragraph : 

' In order to be happy in the world we should endeavour to 
preserve a sound mind in a sound body.' Cold water ablutions, 
daily and regular exercise are then recommended, with plenty of 
sleep and no physic ! Then follows a carefully planned regimen 
laid down under headings of thirdly, fourthly, and lastly. It is 
meant pre-eminently, so it would seem, for boys not boys of the 
Dotheboys stamp, presumably but the theories are worth a 
moment's consideration, partly because they are really singularly 
' advanced ' ; partly because they foreshadow the dawn of that 
broadening influence which the French Revolution was in a few 
years to exercise upon English insularity. 

With that wave of turbulent upheaval stirring every pulse to 
activity, crystallising every dormant theory into imperative need 
for instant realisation, everywhere and in all departments of 
thought breaking down old-rooted prejudices between class and 
class, nation and nation, race and race before its own imperious 
torrent of expanding sympathies, sympathies that must spring up 
with knowledge, prejudices that must melt as ignorance lessens, 
there came in as a lever to education in England the element that 
had hitherto been wanting to it. Not only was there desire, but 



SCHOOL LIFE A CENTURY AGO. 391 

a field opened out for ambition. The notion of a career was now 
deliberately set before the eyes of young men. They must needs 
be educated, even though only to become proficient as those pro- 
fessional idlers whom Beau Brummell headed, and who are so tersely 
described by ' Punch's ' American Girl as the ; leisured class whom 
we call tramps ' ! 

Dancing was to be learnt so we read in this pamphlet as 
imparting ' manly thoughts and carriage.' Writing, when the 
child could read ; reading, by the way, so soon as he could talk ! 
Drawing and shorthand are to come next. Then French, and 
then Latin this latter as ' essential for a gentleman as well as 
for a scholar,' after which he might begin Greek. He was then 
to try a little arithmetic, as ' an easy science, without which no 
business can be done,' and so pass on to geography ancient 
geography being ' enough for schoolboys.' It is worth noting 
that the reading of a good weekly newspaper was considered 
absolutely necessary, and then comes a long list of ' ologies ' 
which would make one have a great respect for the boys of that 
day, if it were not for the recollection of that easy dismissal of 
the usual bugbear to youth arithmetic. Probably with no 
terrors of coming competitive examinations to spoil the trowel- 
ling, these subjects were one and all merely smeared in upon the 
brain. Logic, ethics, mathematics, physics, and metaphysics 
are the finishing items of necessity ; while painting, architecture, 
music, and heraldry are to be added as ' amusements to a scholar, 
and a part of a gentleman's conversation.' 

Gardening was to be considered as a ' healthy provision for 
old age,' to which proposition Fox in his historic green baize 
apron enjoying the rural delights of Strawberry Hill would 
certainly have given a hearty assent. 

Fencing necessary in those days of duelling and riding ' the 
Great Horse ' (whatever that may be !) finish the school curriculum. 

After school was to come travel, and here rings out that 
special note of enlightenment which brings the author into 
sympathy with us to-day. ' He should endeavour,' says he, ' to 
learn something of everyone he converses with ; and this is best 
done by hearing men talk of their own professions.' 

' Yes, I despise the man to books confin'd,' as Pope, who 
hardly stirred beyond his own four walls, is so emphatic in telling 
us. However, doubtless he was resting upon Lady Mary Wbrtley's 
adventures at second hand. 



3S2 SCHOOL LIFE A CENTURY AGO. 

A quaint book bearing the title of ' The New London Spelling 
Book,' published in 1806, gives us a curious insight into the 
practical bringing-up of English boys and girls of that period. 
It throws too, incidentally, a painful light, even allowing for the 
exaggerated phraseology of the times, upon the lax state of society 
towards the close of the eighteenth century. When we find in 
a book of rules of conduct for little children such maxims as 
these : ' Squander not thy money at the gaming-table, nor hazard 
thy fortune on a card ' ; ' Drown not thy senses in wine, nor 
intoxicate thyself with the juice of the grape,' it gives us a shock 
to have to remember that such unbridled warnings were only in 
keeping with the object-lessons their seniors so often were in 
conduct and person to the children of that day. 

One catches the Calvinistic note of pessimism in the opening 
exhortation : ' It behoveth thee, child of calamity, early to 
fortify thy mind with courage and patience, that thou mayest 
support with a becoming resolution thy allotted portion of 
human evil.' And the query ' What is man ? ' with its answer, 
' Originally dust, engendered in sin, helpless in his infancy, 
extravagantly wild in his youth, mad in his manhood, decrepit 
in his age,' strikes a chord of gloomy unrest in the contemplation 
of human nature and the course of things, only to be explained 
perhaps by the actual strenuous times Europe generally was then 
passing through. With the century behind him which had seen 
Marlborough's wars and the Jacobean insurrections of 1715 and 
1745, the Thirty Years' War and the American struggle for 
independence, the French Eevolution and the rise of Napoleon, 
with all the attendant circumstances of disruption in politics, 
churchmanship, and society, the writer was not likely perhaps to 
have had an optimistic and serene temper of mind. 

The rules of ' polite usages ' laid down illustrate very 
amusingly the attitude of children towards their elders, com- 
bining worldly wisdom and ethical teaching in a manner worthy 
of Solomon : ' The first rule of wisdom is to know yourself, and 
in order to do this you are to consider your station and rank.' 
' You are placed above vulgar children (who run wild in the 
street) by being brought up at school ; but be not proud because 
you are above the vulgar, for there are others above you.' 

Towards his superiors the boy was to show humility void of 
meanness, and ' to inferiors, an affable behaviour, avoiding 
familiarity.' 



SCHOOL LIFE A CENTURY AGO. 393 

A profound obeisance opened the day on entering the school- 
house, which had been ' attained by decently advancing ' not 
running. Bows were to preface all speech. In church, after 
having repeated a short prayer, the boy was to rise and bow to all 
in order of precedence, and this was to be repeated before leaving 
' softly and discreetly ' and returning home. There he was to 
' knock once, and not too loud,' and was to bow on entering a 
room, and never sit till told to do so, even then only after accept- 
ing the favour with a deep obeisance. He was never to ' slip 
private ' from the room, that being ' mean and unhandsome,' and 
was to sit in a genteel and easy position putting one hand in 
the bosom of his waistcoat, and letting the other fall easily on his 
knee. If he wished to laugh, he was to turn his face from the 
company, and not to yawn if tired, ' as it looks as if you were tired 
of being with them.' ' If you cannot conquer it, turn aside and 
hide it as much as possible.' 

To come back to feminine education, there is an amusing play, 
published in 1785, called 'The Boarding-School Dissected,' which 
is satirically instructive. 

The mistress, Mrs. Teachwell, is a type of what we hope Mrs. 
Voysey may have been. Her idea of her duties (and her material) 
is ably portrayed in her opening speech : 

' How few do we find of our sex, whose education surpasses a 
minuet, cotillon, talking a little French, playing a few airs on the 
harpsichord, and an easy deportment. Mental knowledge and 
fashioning the soul are esteemed as trivial and unnecessary. Do 
but speak of a young lady at school, the reply is, Oh ! how well 
she dances ; how she excels in all sorts of needlework, and I'm 
sure you would be charmed to see how gracefully she enters a 
room and retires. As if forms and ceremonies, needlework and a 
genteel carriage, added to gross and barbarous corruption in their 
own language, as well as in others, incapable to write two lines 
correct in either, was, as is now called, a finished education.' 

The names of the dramatis personce are all bestowed to 
denote the peculiar dominant moral quality of each individual 
a survival perhaps of the Elizabethan simplicity in scene-making : 
' This is a Wood ; ' ' This is a Palace ' ; and which found its 
fullest development perhaps as a completed scheme of nomen- 
clature in the ' Pilgrim's Progress.' It is a scheme which shows 
with delightful naivete the exact nature of the satire intended. 

go we have a set of young ladies Miss Dullbright, Miss 



394 SCHOOL LIFE A CENTURY AGO. 

Skilful, Witty, Friendly, Fiere, Maligne, Fullgold, Captious, 
Simple, Avide, and so on, whose conversation corresponds exactly 
and sadly to their labels, and emphasises very painfully just what 
the author describes as the ' Errors in the present mode of Female 
Education.' 

Miss Fullgold indeed, who bears a strong resemblance to the 
family type of Thackeray's ' Osbornes,' expresses the sentiment of 
a whole class in her one speech : 

' What has a person of two thousand a year to do with wit 
and judgment ? They can have them for pay. Why, there are 
many poor wits who will exhaust themselves for a good dinner 
in a great family ; and, as for manners, people of rank and for- 
tune may assume what manners they please.' 

Does it not seem by the way that such words as modern and 
fin-de-siecle are unnecessary to our vocabulary after all ? Or, is 
it that every phase of human nature is perennial, always in touch 
somewhere throughout every succeeding century ? 

It is interesting to note here a French definition of education 
of about the same date partly by way of contrast, partly because 
it is good to realise that the same ideas and ideals were then in 
the minds of the noble-hearted which in our English system of 
education to-day are actually being put into daily practice. 

' Donner a I'homme une existence digne de son etre, etendre, 
agrandir et perfectionner ses facultes physiques, morales, et intel- 
lectuelles tel est le but de 1'education.' We who have actually 
in our own lives experienced and felt the forces of that noble and 
high ideal of education education in its true, its rightful sense 
which is upheld by those in our universities who have thought it 
good and right to admit girls to share in their privileges, gladly 
bear witness to the realisation to-day of what is the only right 
way of regarding the attainment of every sort of knowledge. It 
is not learning, not pedantry, not the mere acquisition of facts, 
certainly not a feeling of self-aggrandisement and congratulation 
that a share in university privileges should give, is meant to give 
but that higher moulding of character and taste, and the 
uplifting of every innate power which shall tend to make the 
individual more conscious of her responsibility towards life, herself 
and her fellow-creatures, and more capable of supporting it : a 
being stronger than before in moral worth. 

The mind is its own place, and of itself 

Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. 



SCHOOL LIFE A CENTURY AGO. 395 

But whether French youth was really trained in this ideal 
system of ethics is difficult to say. It is worth while as a mere 
comparison quoting in this connection from an amusing little 
book, a sort of ' grown-up ' ' Child's Guide/ published in Paris 
about 1770, and calling itself a 'Dialogue de Morale a 1'usage 
de la Jeune Noblesse,' and which begins : 

' Qu'est-ce la Vertu ? 

Ansiver. ' C'est une heureuse disposition de 1'esprit qui nous 
porte a remplir les devoirs de la Societe pour noire propre 
avantage ' ! 

The last phrase is irresistible (the italics are mine), and quite 
Chesterfieldian. But one wonders as one reads. Surely it is 
legitimate to look to fiction for contemporary manners, yet how 
do our most celebrated descriptions of school-life at first hand 
too tally with the exalted sentiments actually, as we have seen, 
professed by the educators of youth themselves ? The later 
eighteenth and early nineteenth century were not specially given 
to moralising in England : want of sentiment marks that period 
rather. The first volume of the least sentimental book of genius 
ever written, its author the least sentimental of men, saw the 
light in 1777 Gibbon's ' Eoman Empire.' Wars and rumours 
of wars filled the air rather the ' Practic part of life Mistress to 
the Theoric.' 

Certainly, one might say, such novels as ' Jane Eyre,' ' Villette,' 
or ' David Copperfield ' portray life twenty or forty years later. 
But was life physically harder or easier then for children? 
The golden age had not begun for them before the middle of the 
century at least. 

Charlotte Bronte was at Cowan Bridge in 1824, and ' Jane 
Eyre's ' school-life would be fairly contemporaneous with that 
date. I myself have had the pleasure and interest of being 
personally acquainted with a lady, now of course far advanced in 
years, who had actually been at Cowan Bridge with all three 
Brontes, and is probably now the last living contemporary of that 
period of their lives. Mrs. Routh Miss Whaley as she then was, 
though it is under her married name only that I have known her 
was kind enough to try and recall all that she could of her 
school-life and the sisters. Her impressions were that the treat- 
ment was Spartan certainly, but neither cruel nor peculiarly 
harsh, and that the teaching was very sound. I may say at 
once that I understood from her that she was not a delicate 



396 SCHOOL LIFE A CENTURY AGO. 

child, and already accustomed at home to a very frugal regime, 
besides being naturally so docile and studious that school-life in 
any case must have been as easy for her as it could be for any girl. 
She went at the age of nine and outstayed Miss Evans. Charlotte 
Bronte was there all the time that she was, but she only re- 
collected her as a small and not particularly pretty or noticeable 
child one way or another. Neither could she remember that her 
cleverness was in any way remarkable. Mrs Routh allowed that 
the premises were badly warmed, and colds and chills frequent, 
while she herself often went to bed feeling very hungry, but she 
almost indignantly repudiated the idea of the girls ever having 
had anything uneatable put before them. She never remembered 
the porridge being burnt, or the meat sent from table as 
bad ; if plain, everything was quite wholesome. For breakfast, 
by the way, she distinctly remembered that for those who did not 
like porridge an alternative of bread-and-milk was always pro- 
vided. She described something of the curriculum of the school- 
hours, and it seems that French, music, and water-colour 
sketching were all included and not at all badly taught. Needle- 
work was the invariable employment for all spare time not 
charity work however, but the making and mending of their own 
clothes though, as Mrs. Routh remarked, the girls always brought 
so many with them that it was not much that was needed to 
be done during term. She laughed and seemed amused, by 
the way, at the notion of the needles provided being otherwise 
than always perfectly good and suitable for what was required. 
Mrs. Routh said they all loved Miss Evans (Miss Temple) 
dearly, but that Miss Andrews (Miss Scatcherd) was hated, 
describing this latter as a handsome-looking, rather tall woman, 
who she could quite believe might have been cruel to any 
weak or dull girl, though she had never herself seen her do any- 
thing specially harsh. For Mr. Carus Wilson Mrs. Routh had 
nothing but praise, remembering him as a big handsome man, 
kind and gentle, but not often at the school. On the whole, 
she had been contented and happy there, though, like most 
school-girls after all, utterly loathing the return after holidays. 
However, the best proof of what she felt she did owe to the 
institution lies in the fact that for years after her marriage she 
continued her subscriptions to its support. That the life there 
was very hard no one could deny, and undoubtedly it was one 
only fitted for strong children. But no trace of bitterness about 



SCHOOL LIFE A CENTURY AGO. 397 

it remained in any of Mrs. Eouth's reminiscences, and one is rather 
driven to ask whether ' Jane Eyre's ' experience may not have 
been at least an exceptional one. Or may we not rather believe 
that it was written as the result of hardships which might have 
been and were forgotten with years by the average girl, but 
which were bitten in upon the supersensitive soul of genius ? 

Perhaps genius, when drawing pre-eminently upon its own 
experiences, must needs become caricature tragedy if bitter, 
something of parody when it is a Dickensonian humour that 
colours the brush. For observe, the school of Thackeray's Miss 
Pinkerton, both as regards date and general tone, might almost 
be that of Mrs. Voysey or Teachwell. And the account of it is 
the result of dispassionate survey, not memory. Thackeray drew 
as a spectator. His genius was that, mainly, of observation. 
Again, the inimitable Mr. Collins, limned in from the quiet 
chimney-corner by that shrewdness of instinct in genius which 
needs but one letter to make an alphabet the portrait untinged 
by personal resentment is a type for all time. While, on the 
other hand, ' Shirley's ' curates, whose prototypes had pestered 
the poor authoress with unwelcome attentions, are merely caustic 
absurdities. Or is it that genius in character-portraying is most 
out of proportion to truth and reality when most inspired ? We 
know that a roman a clef is the most misleading of directories. 
Skimpole was a Leigh Hunt out of all perspective. Macaulay, as 
a comparative stranger to Leigh Hunt, might comment in con- 
temptuous surprise, writing to Macvey Napier, the then editor of 
the ' Edinburgh Review,' upon 'two guineas borrowed and lent' ; but 
Dickens had seen the seamy side of life, and himself knew both 
poor Leigh Hunt's necessities and happier qualities. It was not 
fair to label him as Skimpole ; he was not Skimpole ; but as 
Skimpole he will probably go down to generations. 

It is not quite fair nor is it easy to disprove fiction, but here 
is a chance at least for Madame Beck. Read this prospectus of a 
Parisian school in 1802 or thereabouts, considering not only the 
moral sentiments, but the practical arrangements, and then ask 
yourself if ' Villette ' rings quite true. The whole scheme does 
credit to heart and common-sense alike. The date is about the 
opening of the nineteenth century. A lease of life extending 
only through the working powers of one Madame Bourdouy would 
make it fairly contemporaneous with Charlotte Bronte's remini- 
scences, since it must be remembered that the date of the 



398 SCHOOL LIFE A CENTURY AGO. 

published novel by no means tallies with the memories it calls up 
again into existence. Charlotte was in Brussels about the year 
1840. 

' Education de Jeunes Personnes. 

1 Get etablissement, particulierement destine aux etrangeres, 
a tous les soins de sante, d'interet et d'agrement que peuvent 
desirer pour leurs enfans des parens eloignes, reunit un choix de 
ces artistes les plus estimes. 

' Je suis seule, tous les momens de ma vie sont a moi. Ces 
momens appartiendront a mes jeunes amies : je trouverai mon 
bonheur en m'occupant sans cesse des moyens d'assurer le leur. 

' . . . Le local que j'ai choisi est vaste, sain et commode, tout 
est neuf, simple et propre. 

' Deux grands salons sont destines pour les etudes, un autre 
pour la musique : il y a aussi une bibliotheque qui ne sera com- 
posee que de livres analogues au but que je me propose. 

' L' etablissement fournit les lits, pour qu'ils soient uniformes. 
Les parens ne recevront aucuns memoires, les livres, cartes, 
musiques, papiers, crayons, couleurs, cadres, pupitres, modeles, 
plumes, accord et entretien des instruments : comme aussi les 
gants, chapeaux, rubans, blanchissage et petits ustensiles neces- 
saires seront aux frais de la maison, ainsi que les maladies. . . .' 

The choice of doctors in individual cases of illness was, 
however, we learn, to be left to the parents ' je ne m'exposerai 
point aux reproches ' but a doctor and a dentist were attached 
to the school. One cannot but notice the motherly and con- 
scientious common-sense revealed in this. 

'Les eleves recevront ici le pren ier jour de chaque mois 6 
francs jusqu'a douze ans, et 12 francs ensuite pour leurs menues 
depenses. Elles auront toutes un livret pour en ecrire 1'emploi. 
Ce moyen servira a connoitre leur penchant soit a la bienfaisance, 
a 1'economie, a 1'avarice ou a la coquetterie : il faut que de 
jeunes personnes aient un peu d'argent a leur disposition pour en 
apprendre la valeur, contracter 1'habitude de 1'ordre et connoitre 
le plaisir de donner a propos. . . .' Very sensibly Madame 
protests against too generous parents giving their children a 
larger allowance, since it would introduce an element of in- 
equality ' Et trop au-dessus de la portee des enfans, ils etonnent 
leur imagination, leur donnent de fausses idees du monde, qu'ils 
ne jugent que de la, et leur rendent maussade et insipide tout ce 



SCHOOL LIFE A CENTURY AGO. 399 

qui n'est pas aussi piquant a leurs yeux.' For the same reason 
Madame protests against her pupils accepting outside social 
engagements. ' Elles trouveront ici des amusemens conformes a 
leur age, et qui leur suffiront, tant qu'elles n'auront pas connu 
les autres. Jeux de toute espece,- assemblies, danses, concerts, 
declamations, petites pieces, voila de quoi remplir 1'intervalle 
des etudes. ... On verra broder, faire de la tapisserie, des 
nattes, des decoupures. L'instant du travail est aussi celui des 
lectures d'agrement ; le developpement des idees, les reflexions 
morales : je crois qu'il est aise, quand on raisonne les enfans avec 
amitie, de les porter au bien : le plus sur moyen c'est de gagner 
leur confiance, en leur montrant cet interet qui attire a tout age : 
c'est de se preter aux confidences comme amie, afin d'etudier 
leur caractere, c'est de faire parler la raison, et jamais 1'humeur, 
mais c'est aussi de tenir strictement aux choses convenues dans 
le principe. . . . 

' J'ai repu dans le monde et dans les couvents, j'ai etudie les 
jeunes personnes dans les differentes situations ou je les ai vues, 
et j'ai remarque que la trop grande severite en perdoit autant 
pour les moeurs, que la trop grande liberte et le desoeuvrement 
pour le bonheur domestique. Du premier de ces inconvenies 
nalt la dissimulation, de 1'autre les mauvaises habitudes. Si 1'on 
veut appro fondir mes reflexions, j'ose croire qu'on les trouvera 
justes. J'en conclus qu'il faut eviier les extremes . . . je 
chercherai a leur applanir les dimcultes de la vie si je puis 
m'exprimer ainsi. . . .' 

The description of the practical arrangement of the establish- 
ment follows. 

' Chaque eleve apportera avec son trousseau 1'instrument dont 
elle aura fait choix. Elles auront toutes leur linge en compte et 
sous leur clef pour s'habituer a le soigner. Les femmes de 
service recevront d'elles chaque jour ce qui aura besoin de 
reparations, et s'en occuperont de suite pour le leur rendre apres. 
La regie prescrit de ne jamais porter de vetement dechire, ni qui 
sente le desordre. Elles auront toutes des tabliers de taffetas 
noir a poches. 

' II y a une grande piece destinee a la toilette commune, dans 
laquelle se trouvera tout ce qui est necessaire a son usage : des 
femmes sures veilleront a tous les soins qu'elle exige : de plus 
une salle de bains et une infirmerie separees. Je mangerai tou- 
jours avec les jeunes personnes : les ainees feront habituellement 



400 SCHOOL LIFE A CENTURY AGO. 

avec moi les honneurs de la table : et quand elles auront quinze 
ans, elles auront chacune a leur tour, pendant une decade, 
1'inspection de la maison, aim de ne pas se trouver etrangeres a 
la leur quand elles se marieront.' 

The last sentence gives the keynote to what was, and 
perhaps still is, the only practical ultimatum from the French 
point of view of all feminine education. And in sympathy with 
it so far indeed is our English ideal, in that we do recognise 
and believe that the highest calling of all for a good and well- 
brought up woman is that of the Wife and Mother. Only we 
would aim, in our ideal of education, at making first and 
foremost the Good Woman, loyal from her own nature to her 
principles, responsibilities, and duties ; sure that, whatever be 
her path in life, happiness can only result in her obedience and 
acquiescence therein. 

The regime for the day was as follows : 

' A 7. Le Lever, premier Devoir, toilette, arrangemens, &c. 
8.30. Dejeuner, avec the, lait, beurre, ou fruits. 
9. Entree au salon d'etudes jusqu'a midi. 
12. Une heure de repos, on mangera si Ton en a besoin. 
1. Etude jusqu'a trois. 
3. Le Diner, jeux et promenades jusqu'a cinq heures.' 

Then follow the subjects to be studied a truly formidable 
array, but the hours of study being what they were, one must 
conclude that the pupils learnt only from merest textbooks. 

' Objds des itudes. 

Religion; histoires ancienne et moderne ; litterature, geo- 
graphic, mythologie. 

L'arithmetique et les elemens de la geometric. 
La langue Franpaise. 

Anglaise. 
,, Allemande. 
,, Italienne. 
La lecture de la prose et de la poesie. 
L'ecriture. 

Le dessin, la peinture (figure, paysage ou fleurs), nuits, 
mignature, gouache. 

La musique, vocale, composition et gout de chant. 



SCHOOL LIFE A CENTURY AGO. 4C1 

Le forte piano. 

La harpe, la guitar e. 

La danse. graces et maintien. 

Et tous les ouvrages dont une femme peut s'occuper. 

On fera ecrire les jeunes personnes regulierernent a leur famille. 
Leur correspondance avec pere et mere, ouceux qui en tiennent lieu, 
sera parfaitement libre, des qu'elles seront en etat d'ecrire seules. 

EOSALIE BOURDOUY. 
Rue de 1'universite, Maison Mailley, 
No. 279, f. B. Saint- Germois.' 

Certainly if kindly discipline, surveillance, and thoughtful 
observation of character could produce a perfect type of Une 
Demoiselle, Madame Bourdouy seems to have known the secret. 

If carried out with fidelity, this prospect of school days would 
certainly be not only alluring, but would oblige us to give to the 
French system of education in those days the first place. It is 
at any rate comforting to remember that it was not a ' School of 
Fiction.' 

VIOLET A. SIMPSON. 



VOL. XII. NO. 6fl, N.S. 26 



402 



A FREE-TRADER IN LETTERS. 

BEING no more than a modest man of commerce, I suppose I take 
the E.G. view of the glorious profession ; but I find my excuse in 
the irreverent view of his toil taken by a young scribbler for 
whom I entertain a sincere affection and regard. It was the eve 
of a new year of toil and moil, a strained moment of weird 
analyses and introspection of work done, illusions destroyed, hopes 
clung to, by the individual, the nation, humanity at large ; and 
he had been depressed by the reading of some reminiscences in 
which a veteran publisher told of how that unconventional editor, 
Thackeray, had been offered thousands on a slip of paper, and how 
Trollope had been offered the chance of tossing for a thousand 
under the chaste cegis of the Reform Club. Such readings of the 
successful pilgrims on the literary highway had sent my young 
friend, whimsically enough, to his pass-book (showing a defiant end- 
year's overdraft) ; and to him, thus absorbed, I entered last Xew 
Year's Eve at his seaside house, he in dressing-gown and slippers, 
the green light from his reading-lamp falling on little heaps of 
tobacco ash, and on slips of paper bearing quaint, untidy and 
inconclusive calculations, scrawled in characters that would have 
assured summary notice to an office boy earning half a sovereign a 
week. 

' Come in ! ' he sings out; ' come in, and drink of Dundee milk, 
and help me to bare some of the naked truths of that " fine 
independent career " of mine that you laud so smugly from your 
gold mills high up in Eastcheap ! And, first, lend me fifty 
pounds to meet an overdraft, which the most useless of bankers 
has just brought to my notice I repay you before the end of 
January and run up those columns in your best three-rows-at-a 
time style, while I mix your grog.' 

I sank in the comfortable embrace of a deep easy-chair, lit one 
of my friend's pungent cigarettes, gathered up his slips of rebel- 
lious arithmetic, and even mentally wrote that 501. cheque; for I 
liked this quaint young man, and was not in the least disturbed 
by an unstudied abruptness of manner, acquired, as I knew, 
under many skies and in pursuit of rough sport that lacked 
the nicer etiquettes of moor or covert. The figures on the slips 



A FREE-TRADER IN LETTERS. 403 

related, as was soon clear, to his earnings with the pen over 
a period embracing the last four preceding years, six months 
out of which he had been away from Europe or from Fleet 
Street, as he preferred more narrowly to put it on his travels. 
In three and a half years, therefore, 'he appeared to have earned 
precisely 2,567. 5s. llcZ. ; and when I had reached this total by 
which time the glasses were sparkling, and he was buried in 
another deep chair on the other side of the hearth I tried to 
cheer him from his low spirits with some commonplace epitaph of 
the Grrub Street hack, long since, I protested, biologically extinct. 
He glared. ' Many thanks,' he growled ; ' I work on an average 
ten hours of the day, seven days of the week, and forty-eight 
weeks of the year. I earn, as you have shown me, rather less 
than eight hundred a year. What do you, who are but ten years 
my senior, make ? ' 

As I did not satisfy this sudden curiosity, having the com- 
mercial reticence on such subjects, but merely laid due stress on 
this ten years' difference, as well as on the hitherto-ignored capital 
already sunk in my father's business when I succeeded to it, he 
resumed : 

' But stay; you will find on that other sheet there five columns, 
in which I was trying to arrive at the amounts that I had made 
in the period under notice from five very different sources of 
literary income. The figures were getting a bore I told you 
that I once made 10 marks out of a possible 1,000 in the India 
Civil Open Competition, didn't I ? but, now that I have trapped 
an arithmetician second only to Carl Meyer, I'll go through with 
them.' 

Of a truth his exercises in compound division and addition 
were not appalling, with such poor little totals did they deal, 
and I was in a few moments able to cast out for him these five 
heads : 

1898-1901, less six months : 

Daily Papers. Weekly Reviews. Magazines. Books. Editing. 

417 0*. U. 1804*. Id. 191 3s. Gd. 365 10s. Od. 1,413 It. Gd. 

and further, for 1901 alone these respectively showed : 

Daily Papers. Weekly Reviews. Magazines. Books. Editing. 

254 13s. 3d. 50 1*. Wd. 113 11*. Od. 100 0*. Od. 135 Os. Od. 

' Good,' said the owner of all this wealth, silently admiring the 
ease with which, having been bred to such work, I ran up his 

262 



404 A FREE-TRADER IN LETTERS. 

columns without even putting pen to paper. ' I wanted those 
totals made out, so that, on the basis of an average remuneration 
fee, honorarium, call it what you like ! of two guineas a 
thousand words from the magazines and reviews, and a guinea and 
a half from the papers for every thousand words contributed, I 
might calculate how many thousands of words of original matter 
I had contributed in a twelvemonth. The reckoning would have 
carried me an hour or two into the next century, but you will do 
it in ten minutes.' 

Ten seconds sufficed for this simple problem of mental 
arithmetic, and I wrote down some 170,000 against the daily 
papers, 25,000 against reviews, and rather over 50,000 against 
the magazines, or not far short of a quarter of a million words 
in all. 

' You see,' he went on, in the bitter tone of one who has to 
prove a case against himself ; ' you see what my work has been. 
And let me tell you that the mere clicking out of those words on 
a typewriter does not represent the half of even the mechanical 
work of the year. What of all the correspondence and interview- 
ing that goes to the placing of those words, the mechanical 
reading of proof and writing of letters to unknown correspondents, 
to disoblige whom is to entail trouble with one's editor ! What, 
too, of the not inconsiderable number of letters to the Press that 
must be written in the course of a year by any knight of the pen 
who, while eschewing any Quixotic tilting at windmills, should be 
sufficiently jealous of his good name to be ready at a moment's 
notice to engage, like the good Sir Nigel Loring, in such 
encounters as offer goodly thrusts, with perchance some knightly 
advancement ! ' 

All this, he went on to say, was more or less mechanical work, 
carrying with it no great exercise of the brain. But what of the 
thought and reading, the study of the ancients, and the wide- 
awakeness to everything of modern interest, that went to the 
writing of those quarter of a million words ! The works in two 
volumes that had to be read ere he could write a review of at most 
a thousand words ! The racking of weary brains for new subjects 
or for new readings of old cnes ! The correspondence and research, 
and even travel, that sometimes went to verifying a point 
seemingly trivial ! Yes, he concluded, if one allowed on an 
average two hours of reading for every hour of actual production, 
a kind of mental ploughing and sowing, in fact, of two acres for 



A FREE-TRADER IN LETTERS 405 

every acre ever reaped, a continuous exploiting of lands never 
allowed to lie fallow, that would be, if anything, to understate the 
work involved. 

I was saddened. For there slept at that moment in his 
little cot at Streatham a small heir, for whom I had dreamed 
of a career of letters, far removed from the dens of clamorous 
bulls and bears and squealing guinea-pigs, among whom I have 
scored a few notable successes. 

I argued the point with my Scribbler, and he, dear soul ! went 
round from his sombre deprecation of his vocation (which, for all 
his pose, he would not have exchanged, emoluments and all, for 
that of the Lord Chancellor or Commander-in-Chief !) to an 
equally immoderate condemnation of every other calling in life ! 

Incidentally we had discussed the relations between authors 
and the publisher on the basis not alone of the aforementioned 
retrospect of Thackeray, but also of the recent attempts by a 
union of idealists to eliminate the personal element and place 
every literary transaction on a cut-and-dried basis, with a ren- 
dering of vouchers and accounts as precise as we should exact 
between Temple Bar and the Tower. 

' See here/ says Scribbler ; ' that is all rot ! ' He has never 
embroidered his friendly intercourse with the more elaborate 
periphrasis reserved for his work. ' Just listen to this.' And 
he took from his table a recently published collection of 
essays on ' The Struggle for Existence,' that had come to him for 
review. 

' Stodart Walker is talking of the relative mortality of different 
occupations, and he says, " Amongst those of low mortality we 
find publishers and booksellers. They are generally masters, in 
better circumstances than their confederates." So far, so good. 
I, you see, am one of the " confederates " ! Yet I do not feel any 
predisposition to an early decease. Of course, publishers last 
longer. They eat more and drink less, and generally lead a far 
more regular life than we could even,' he added, with his usual 
honesty, ' if we wanted to. But no one who attempts to encourage 
suspicion between author and publisher can have the faintest 
notion of the needs of either. He must be independent or a fool. 
As long as publishers hold the capital, as long as the best writers 
cannot often come in touch with the best readers unless they risk 
that capital, so long, in a measure, is the " Grub Street hack "of 
your earlier imaginings extinct only in name and appearance. 



406 A FREE-TRADER IN LETTERS. 

This, to a certain extent, is fair. I have never kicked against it. 
For every publisher who takes advantage of the position not, as 
he fondly imagines, without my plainly seeing that which I feel 
in no position to check I find quite half a dozen who treat me 
as one gentleman has a right to expect of another.' 

I always liked his somewhat cynical justice towards the 
publishers, for the morbid recriminations that sometimes rage in 
the daily papers between the two branches of the service of letters 
have often seemed to me despicable. And I knew that he had, 
in the course of his work, had one or two keen disappointments 
that would have affected one of less buoyant temperament. On 
one occasion he had been duped out of his American rights and 
some not inconsiderable Australian sales by the apparently un- 
intentional omission of a semicolon in his contract. On another 
and this he admitted to be, as indeed it was, entirely his own 
fault he had spent many weeks over a record of his own travels, 
had succeeded in placing it with a firm in whose list it greatly 
pleased him, all question of remuneration apart, to figure, and 
had not only completed the book, but had even corrected several 
revises of proof, before he discovered that he could not publish the 
work without gravely offending one for whom he entertained the 
deepest affection. So hopefully had he built on the appearance 
of the book to bring him some measure of fame, that he assured 
me that the sacrifice of a month's income, the price of suppressing 
the book from the public eye, was quite the least factor in his 
discomfiture. In a third case he had proposed a magazine to a 
publisher, who thought very highly of it, but was taken ill while 
still considering the proposal. My young friend felt himself 
morally bound to give him the chance of taking it up on recovery 
a scruple that did neither of them any good, for another firm had, 
before the publisher returned convalescent from a trip in Southern 
France, announced a monthly production with an almost identical 
programme. Yet these and many other disappointments left him 
without a grudge, and I always set that down not a little to his 
credit. Much of his hardest work, too, was, I knew from his own 
admissions, unremunerative, undertaken solely in order to keep 
himself sufficiently before his public. One or two seasons he 
lectured all over the country, and he frankly owned that the ten- 
guinea fee commonly given barely covered his travelling expenses. 
Then, too, he had a fancy for embellishing some of his articles 
with the most remarkable photographs he could get, and for these 



A FREE-TRADER IN LETTERS. 407 

he often paid two or three times the fee that he received for them 
from his editors. Columns of obiter dicta, too, news and theories 
on every conceivable subject of peace or war, written by the man 
in the crowd for the man in the crowd, would often cost him, in 
his endeavour to keep them bright and interesting, fully as much 
as he got for them, so that he had the mental and mechanical 
work of writing them out for nothing. 

I was recalled from these reminiscences of his past confessions 
by the droning of one of those endless monologues that one ought 
always to forgive in men who work out most of their life alone. 
He was saying that the editor of a magazine would always treat 
you decently if you were not a ' perfect rotter ' which elegant 
term he explained by pointing out that many fools think to trick 
experienced editors with furbished-up articles that other men had, 
to all intents and purposes, already written for other magazines, 
doing a kind of unconfessed brokerage in the brains of others, 
since they had none of their own; yet, not contented with 
brokerage commission, they must needs lay fraudulent claim to 
the profits of merchants. This commercial parallel was so 
evidently drawn for my special benefit that I had not the heart to 
point out its more than slight discrepancies. And then there 
came the optimistic conclusion to his meanderings which, while 
making me rejoice that I had come upon him this last evening of 
the dying year to turn his musings into channels of brighter hope, 
was not soothing to my dormant and not unwarranted pride in a 
commercial escutcheon that had been kept free from stain. 

' You may laugh at the earnings of these three and a half 
years,' he wound up, utterly forgetting, in his altered mood, that 
the laugh had been his own ; ' but the consolations of the literary 
life, even where literature and pot-boiling are of dire necessity 
often synonymous, are not all written on cheque forms. Think 
of the mysterious joy of correcting your first proof ! True, it 
doesn't last long,' he added regretfully, with a wave of his hand 
in the direction of some festoons of proof-slips pinned on the wall 
above his typewriter ; ' but the first is just immense ! Then, 
again, there is the equally transient pleasure of seeing yourselves 
on the bookstalls, in the shop-windows, even in people's hands.' 

I sighed, and was again lost in reverie over the little vanities 
of some of his class. I had even on one occasion seen a third- 
rate (if, as in railway carriages, there is no fourth !) novelist 
reading his own rubbish in all the tremor of the ' Tube.' I knew 



408 A FREE-TRADER IN LETTERS. 

tbe fellow, having once sat opposite him at a Livery dinner, at 
which he bravely vindicated the catholic tastes to which, I believe, 
he laid claim in his stories. He reminded me on the occasion of 
our meeting in the ' Tube ' of a very dirty crossing-sweeper who 
had once fascinated me as a boy at Piccadilly Circus, as I watched 
him licking his fearful ringers and marvelled how he was not taken 
sick ! I pondered, too, on other literary vanities : on ladies who 
ignored reviews and reviewers (except when they could make copy 
out of reviling them), and of men who had a weakness for long 
hair and long nails and the cloaks of Pyrenean bandits. And 
here I became aware of a shock, as my friend was deliberately 
saying : 

' . . . and the clean way in which one makes it. You don't 
mind, old man, I know, but it is impossible, isn't it [this, 
naively], unless you are a clerk or a peer, to make a shilling in 
the City nowadays without soiling your hands a bit ? ' 

And now, at last, I had something to say. I have since had a 
horrible suspicion that an editor who had employed him in such 
work once praised loudly his tact in interviewing difficile subjects ; 
but had he plotted to elicit by indirect challenge the answer to his 
straight and unappreciated question touching my income, that 
had earlier failed to draw me, he could not have gone to work 
better. 

True, I told him in my heat, I made perhaps ten, perhaps 
eleven, times his income ; and true, also, I had my evenings and 
my Sundays to myself. True, lastly, a brief telegram to my stock- 
broker despatched only a few days before, while the ' Times ' and a 
private cablegram that threw such singular and precious light on 
one of its political messages from the beleaguered capital of a South 
American State yet lay on my breakfast-table, would enable me 
on settling day to pay into my bank a difference representing his 
earnings for about seven years. All this I granted. But where 
was the soiling ? Very special information and knowledge went 
to the sending of that innocent-looking wire, and the private 
message on my table would have cost me more than ever he got 
for a book, even had the deal gone against me. Over and above 
all this special knowledge a cool calculation and a passionless 
facing of great risks, of all of which this dreamy weaver of words 
could know nothing ! All this I told him, and more : of the 
capital sunk in our firm, a family affair covering three genera- 
tions, as generations count in this age of hurry ; of the risks and 



A FREE-TRADER IN LETTERS. 409 

disappointments, of which he seemed to take no account. He, as 
1 showed him, ran no risks, embarked no capital, and encountered 
disappointments that were for the most part, however he might 
choose to regard them, purely affairs of sentiment. And as for 
' smart practice,' that moral borderland between the straight and 
crooked was there nothing of the kind in his world ? Might I 
not quite fairly avail myself of knowledge imparted on other 
occasions by himself : little tricks of advertising, suppression of 
the adverse comments in reviews liberally, but discriminatingly, 
quoted ; phenomenal sales of six editions (of how many copies 
each ? ) ; omissions to state on the title-page the fact of a 
previous appearance in serial form, an innocent oversight by 
which, even where not strengthened by the yet more questionable 
expedient of a change in title, the public was sometimes induced 
to buy in cloth covers that which it had already read unbound ? 

Of course he did not lend himself to practices worthy only of 
very successful novelists ; yet why, on the same principle, tar all 
commercial men with one brush ? 

Here, just as the temperature of our discussion promised to 
rise in the neighbourhood of boiling-point, the crisp pealing of 
the New-Year bells came to us through the salt air, and we both 
sprang to the window and forgot our slight differences in a 
parting glass, as the inrush of cold breeze made strange wreaths 
of the tobacco smoke. And we agreed that the literary life had 
its consolations, and that the literal*}' income cannot, even though 
its purchasing power be no greater, be measured by quite the 
same standards as those that rule the returns on other forms of 
labour. For man, we are told, values money by the difficulty 
with which he acquires it ; and, if this be the truth, those who 
live by spreading gallons of ink over acres of paper, or punching 
holes in miles of typed ribbon the statistical form of reasoning 
seemed best suited to the last minutes of the old year must find 
satisfaction in a far more modest income than would content him 
whose wealth was already amassed for him by those who bore his 
name before he carried a cheque-book. Consolations, however, or 
no consolations, those who would lightly put to sea in the 
literary ship, with the futile idea that success may be commanded 
by a little impudence and a little more log-rolling, may certainly 
take warning by the figures given here. They show, at any rate, 
that the literary life is about the last resource for those without 
very special qualifications and some sort of private stand-by. 



410 A FREE-TRADER IN LETTERS. 

It has from time to time been the fashion for successful and 
altruistic writers to invite all and sundry to join the ranks and 
partake of the good things of the literary career. The latest 
example of this fine fooling takes the form of a practical manual 
hy an author who professes to make an income of six hundred a 
year from the magazines. I do not, as did my young friend, question 
the writer's probable claim to his modest pen-name. But, if we 
eliminate some useful hints that any working writer can pick up 
for himself by the time he is making fifty pounds a year, what, 
after all, does this mysterious writer tell us beyond the somewhat 
patent fact that anyone having something to say and knowing 
how to say it can command the attention of an editor ? Even we 
in the City know that, though we find, as a rule, a better way of 
investing our special information than in the columns of the 
Press. 

And as I buttoned up my ulster and took leave of my young 
friend on the doorstep, we wished each other all manner of luck 
in the second year of the century, which was to see him editor of 
the ' Times,' and myself (Goodness forbid !) Lord Mayor of 
London ! This year was to bring him its own particular chances, 
for the Coronation would, apart from the creation of a demand 
for special literature of fact and fancy, prose and poetry, bearing 
on that great event, give a general fillip to the making of books 
all round. And I went out of the gate and towards my hotel, 
leaving my young squire of the pen not ill-pleased with his own 
work in life, and already dreaming, as he bolted his front door, 
of his coming knighthood, when he would vanquish many a famous 
jouster in the world's arena. May luck attend him ! 

S. DE J. 



411 

THE FOUR FEATHERS} 
BY A. E. W. MASON. 

CHAPTER VII. 
THE LAST RECONNAISSANCE. 

' No one,' said Durrance, and he strapped his glasses into the 
leather case at his side. 

' No one, sir,' Captain Mather agreed. 

' We will move forward.' 

The scouts went on ahead, the troops resumed their formation, 
the two seven-pounder mountain guns closed up behind, and 
Durrance's detachment of the Camel Corps moved down from the 
gloomy ridge of Khor Grwob, thirty-five miles south-west of Suakin, 
into the plateau of Sinkat. It was the last reconnaissance in 
strength before the evacuation of the Eastern Soudan. 

All through that morning the camels had jolted slowly up the 
gulley of shale between red precipitous rocks, and when the rocks 
fell back between red mountain-heaps all crumbled into a desola- 
tion of stones. Hardly a patch of grass or the ragged branches 
of a mimosa had broken the monotony of ruin. And after that 
arid journey the green bushes of Sinkat in the valley below com- 
forted the eye with the pleasing aspect of a park. The troopers 
sat their saddles with a greater alertness. 

They moved in a diagonal line across the plateau towards the 
mountains of Erkoweet, a silent company on a plain still more 
silent. It was eleven o'clock. The sun rose towards the centre 
of a colourless, cloudless sky, the sliadows of the camels shortened 
upon the sand, and the sand itself glistened white as a beach of 
the Scilly Islands. There was no draught of air that morning to 
whisper amongst the rich foliage, and the shadows of the branches 
lay so distinct and motionless upon the ground that they might 
themselves have been branches strewn there on some past day by 
a storm. The only sounds that were audible were the sharp clank 
of weapons, the soft ceaseless padding of the camels' feet, and at 
times the whirr of a flight of pigeons disturbed by the approaching 

Copyright, 1902, by A. E. W. Mason in the United States of America. 



412 THE FOUR FEATHERS 

cavalcade. Yet there was life on the plateau, though of a 
noiseless kind. For as the leaders rode along the curves of sand, 
trim and smooth between the shrubs like carriage drives, they 
would see from time to time, far ahead of them, a herd of gazelle 
start up from the ground and race silently, a flash of dappled 
brown and white, to the enclosing hills. It seemed that here was 
a country during this last hour created. 

' Yet this way the caravans passed southwards to Erkoweet and 
the Khor Baraka. Here the Suakis built their summer-houses,' 
said Durrance, answering the thought in his mind. 

'And there Tewfik fought, and died with his four hundred 
men,' said Mather, pointing forwards. 

For three hours the troops marched across the plateau. It 
was the month of May, and the sun blazed upon them with an 
intolerable heat. They had long since lost their alertness. They 
rode rocking drowsily in their saddles and prayed for the evening 
and the silver shine of stars. For three hours the camels went 
mincing on with the queer smirking motions of their heads, and 
then quite suddenly a hundred yards ahead Durrance saw a 
broken wall with window-spaces which let the sky through. 

' The fort,' said he. 

Three years had passed since Osman Digna had captured and 
destroyed it, but during these three years its roofless ruins had 
sustained another siege, and one no less persistent. The quick- 
growing trees had so closely girt and encroached upon it to the 
rear and to the right and to the left, that the traveller came upon 
it unexpectedly, as Childe Roland upon the Dark Tower in the 
plain. In the front, however, the sand still stretched open to the 
wells, where three great Gemeiza trees of dark and spreading 
foliage stood spaced liked sentinels. 

In the shadow to the right front of the fort, where the bushes 
fringed the open sand with the level regularity of a river bank, the 
soldiers unsaddled their camels and prepared their food. Durrance 
and Captain Mather walked round the fort, and as they came to 
the southern corner, Durrance stopped. 

' Hallo,' said he. 

' Some Arab has camped here,' said Mather, stopping in his 
turn. The grey ashes of a wood fire lay in a little heap upon a 
blackened stone. 

' And lately,' said Durrance. 

Mather walked on, mounted a few rough steps to the crumbled 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 413 

archway of the entrance, and passed into the unroofed corridors 
and rooms. Durrance turned the ashes over with his boot. The 
stump of a charred and whitened twig glowed red. Durrance set 
his foot upon it and a tiny thread of smoke spurted into the air. 

' Very lately,' he said to himself, and he followed Mather into 
the fort. In the corners of the mud walls, in any fissure, in the 
very floor, young trees were sprouting. Rearwards a steep glacis 
and a deep fosse defended the works. Durrance sat himself down 
upon the parapet of the wall above the glacis, while the pigeons 
wheeled and circled overhead, thinking of the long months during 
which Tewfik must daily have strained his eyes from this very 
spot towards the pass over the hills from Suakin, looking as that 
other general far to the south had done, for the sunlight flashing 
on the weapons of the help which did not come. Mather sat by 
his side and reflected in quite another spirit. 

' Already the Guards are steaming out through the coral reefs 
towards Suez. A week and our turn comes,' he said. ' What a 
God-forsaken country ! ' 

' I come back to it,' said Durrance. 

' Why ? ' 

' I like it. I like the people.' 

Mather thought the taste unaccountable, but he knew never- 
theless that, however unaccountable in itself, it accounted for his 
companion's rapid promotion and success. Sympathy had stood 
Durrance in the stead of much ability. Sympathy had given him 
patience and the power to understand, so that during these three 
years of campaign he had left far quicker and far abler men 
behind him, in his knowledge of the sorely harassed tribes of the 
eastern Soudan. He liked them ; he could enter into their 
hatred of the old Turkish rule, he could understand their 
fanaticism, and their pretence of fanaticism under the compulsion 
of Osman Digna's hordes. 

' Yes, I shall come back,' he said, ' and in three months' time. 
For one thing, we know every Englishman in Egypt too knows 
that this can't be the end. I want to be here when the work's 
taken in hand again. I hate unfinished things.' 

The sun beat relentlessly upon the plateau ; the men, stretched 
in the shade, slept ; the afternoon was as noiseless as the morning ; 
Durrance and Mather sat for some while compelled to silence by 
the silence surrounding them. But Durrance's eyes turned at 
last from the amphitheatre of hills, they lost their abstraction, they 



414 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

became intently fixed upon the shrubbery beyond the glacis. He 
was no longer recollecting Tewfik Bey and his heroic defence, or 
speculating upon the work to be done in the years ahead. Without 
turning his head, he saw that Mather was gazing in the same 
direction as himself. 

' What are you thinking about ? ' he asked suddenly of 
Mather. 

Mather laughed, and answered thoughtfully : 
' I was drawing up the menu of the first dinner I will have 
when I reach London. I will eat it alone, I think, quite alone, 
and at Epitaux. It will begin with a water-melon. And you ? ' 

' I was wondering why, now that the pigeons have got used 
to our presence, they should still be wheeling in and out of one 
particular tree. Don't point to it please ! I mean the tree 
beyond the ditch, and to the right of two small bushes.' 

All about them they could see the pigeons quietly perched 
upon the branches, spotting the foliage like a purple fruit. 
Only above the one tree they circled and timorously called. 

We will draw that covert,' said Durrance. ' Take a dozen 
men and surround it quietly.' 

He himself remained on the glacis watching the tree and the 
thick undergrowth. He saw six soldiers creep round the shrub- 
bery from the left, six more from the right. But before they 
could meet, and ring the tree in, he saw the branches violently 
shaken, and an Arab with a roll of yellowish dammar wound 
about his waist, and armed with a flat-headed spear and a shield 
of hide, dash from the shelter and race out between the 
soldiers into the open plain. He ran for a few yards only. For 
Mather gave a sharp order to his men, and the Arab, as though 
he understood that order, came to a sudden stop before a rifle 
could be lifted to a shoulder. He walked quietly back to Mather. 
He was brought up on to the glacis, where he stood before 
Durrance without insolence or servility. 

He explained in Arabic that he was a man of the Kababish 
tribe named Abou Fatma. and friendly to the English. He was 
on his way to Suakin. 

' Why did you hide ? ' asked Durrance. 

' It was safer. I knew you for my friends. But, my gentleman, 
did you know me for yours ? ' 

Then Durrance said quickly, ' You speak English,' and 
Durrance spoke in English. 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 415 

The answer came without hesitation. 

' I know a few words.' 

' Where did you learn them ? ' 

' In Khartum.' 

Thereafter he was left alone with Durrance on the glacis, and 
the two men talked together for the best part of an hour. At 
the end of that time the Arab was seen to descend the glacis, 
cross the trench, and proceed towards the hills. Durrance gave 
the order for the resumption of the march. 

The water-tanks were filled, the men replenished their zam- 
shyehs, knowing that of all thirsts in this world the afternoon 
thirst is the very worst, saddled their camels, and mounted to the 
usual groaning and snarling. The detachment moved north- 
westwards from Sinkat, at an acute angle to its morning's march. 
It skirted the hills opposite to the pass from which it had de- 
scended in the morning. The bushes grew sparse. It came 
into a black country of stones scantily relieved by yellow tas- 
selled mimosas. 

Durrance called Mather to his side. 

' That Arab had a strange story to tell me. He was Gordon's 
servant in Khartum. At the beginning of 1884, eighteen 
months ago in fact, Gordon gave him a letter which he was to 
take to Berber, whence the contents were to be telegraphed to 
Cairo. But when the messenger arrived, Berber had just fallen. 
He was seized upon and imprisoned the day after his arrival. 
But during the one day which he had free he hid the letter 
in the wall of a house, and so far as he knows it has not been 
discovered. 

' He would have been questioned if it had been,' said 
Mather. 

' Precisely, and he was riot questioned. He escaped from 
Berber at night, three weeks ago. The story is curious, eh ? ' 

' And the letter still remains in the wall ? It is curious. 
Perhaps the man was telling lies.' 

' He had the chain mark on his ankles,' said Durrance. 

' The cavalcade turned to the left into the hills on the northern 
side of the plateau, and climbed again over shale. 

' A letter from Gordon,' said Durrance in a musing voice, 
' scribbled perhaps upon that rooftop of his palace, by the side of 
his great telescope a sentence written in haste, and his eye again 
to the lens, searching over the palm trees for the smoke of the 



416 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

steamers and it comes down the Nile to be buried in a mud wall 
in Berber. Yes, it's curious,' and he turned his face to the west 
and the sinking sun. Even as he looked, the sun dipped behind 
the hills. The sky above his head darkened rapidly to violet ; in 
the west it flamed a glory of colours rich and iridescent. The 
colours lost their violence and blended delicately into one rose 
hue, the rose lingered for a little, and, fading in its turn, left a 
sky of the purest emerald green transfused with light from 
beneath the rim of the world. 

' If only they had let us go last year westward 'to the Nile,' he 
said with a sort of passion. ' Before Khartum had fallen, before 
Berber had surrendered. But they would not.' 

The magic of the sunset was not at all in Durrance's thoughts. 
The story of the letter had struck upon a chord of reverence 
within him. He was occupied with the history of that honest, 
great, impracticable soldier, who, despised by officials and thwarted 
by intrigues, a man of few ties and much loneliness, had gone 
unflaggingly about his work, knowing the while that the moment 
his back was turned the work was in an instant all undone. 

Darkness came upon the troops, the camels quickened their 
pace, the cicadas shrilled from every tuft of grass. The de- 
tachment moved down towards the well of Disibil. Durrance lay 
long awake that night on his camp bedstead spread out beneath 
the stars. He forgot the letter in the mud wall. Southwards 
the Southern Cross hung slanting in the sky, above him glittered 
the curve of the Great Bear. In a week he would sail for 
England ; he lay awake, counting up the years since the packet 
cast off from Dover pier, and he found that the tale of them was 
good. Kassassin, Tel-el -Kebir, the rush down the Red Sea, 
Tokar, Tamai, Tamanib the crowded moments came vividly to his 
mind. He thrilled even now at the recollection of the Haden- 
dowas leaping and stabbing through the breach of McNeil's zareba 
six miles from Suakin ; he recalled the obdurate defence of the 
Berkshires, the steadiness of the Marines, the rallying of the 
broken troops. The years had been good years, years of plenty, 
years which had advanced him to the brevet -rank of lieutenant- 
colonel. 

' A week more only a week.' murmured Mather drowsily. 
' I shall come back,' said Durrance with a laugh. 
' Have you no friends ? ' 
And there wan a pause. 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 417 

' Yes, I have friends. I shall have three months wherein to 
see them.' 

Durrance had written no word to Harry Feversham during 
these years. Not to write letters was indeed a part of the man. 
Correspondence was a difficulty to him. He was thinking now 
that he would surprise his friends by a visit to Donegal, or he 
might find them perhaps in London. He would ride once again 
in the Kow. But in the end he would come back. For his 
friend was married, and to Etbne Eustace, and as for himself his 
life's work lay here in the Soudan. He would certainly come 
back. And so, turning on his side, he slept dreamlessly while 
the hosts of the stars trampled across the heavens above his head. 

Now, at this moment Abou Fatma of the Kababish tribe was 
sleeping under a boulder on the Khor Grwob. He rose early 
and continued along the broad plains to the white city of Suakin. 
There he told the same story which he had told Durrance to one 
Captain Willoughby, who was acting for the time as deputy 
governor. After he had come from the Palace he told his story 
again, but this time in the native bazaar. He told it in Arabic, 
and it happened that a Greek seated outside a cafe close at hand 
overheard something of what was said. The Greek took Abou 
Fatma aside, and with a promise of much merissa, wherewith to 
intoxicate himself, induced him to tell it a fourth time and very 
slowly. 

' Could you find the house again ? ' asked the Greek. 

Abou Fatma had no doubts upon that score. He proceeded 
to draw diagrams in the dust, not knowing that during his im- 
prisonment the town of Berber had been steadily pulled down 
by the Mahdists and rebuilt to the north. 

' It will be wise to speak of this to no one except me,' said 
the Greek, jingling some significant dollars, and for a long while 
the two men talked secretly together. The Greek happened to 
be Harry Feversham, whom Durrance was proposing to visit in 
Donegal. Captain Willoughby was Deputy-Governor of Suakin, 
and after three years of waiting one of Harry Feversham's oppor- 
tunities had come. 



VOL. XII. NO. 69, N.S. 27 



418 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

CHAPTER VIII. 

LIEUTENANT SUTCH IS TEMPTED TO LIE. 

DURRANCE reached London one morning in June, and on that 
afternoon took the first walk of the exile, into Hyde Park, where 
he sat beneath the trees marvelling at the grace of his country- 
women and the delicacy of their apparel, a solitary figure, sun- 
burnt and stamped already with that indefinable expression of 
the eyes and face which marks the men set apart in the distant 
corners of the world. Amongst the people who strolled past 
him, one, however, smiled, and, as he rose from his chair, Mrs. 
Adair came to his side. She looked him over from head to foot 
with a quick and almost furtive glance which might have told 
even Durrance something of which he was not aware. She was 
comparing him with the picture which she had of him now 
three years old. She was looking for the small marks of change 
which those three years might have brought about, and with 
signs of apprehension. But Durrance only noticed that she was 
dressed in black. She understood the question in his mind and 
answered it. 

' My husband died eighteen months ago,' she explained in 
a quiet voice. ' He was thrown from his horse during a run with 
the Pytchley. He was killed at once.' 

' I had not heard,' Durrance answered awkwardly. ' I am 
very sorry.' 

Mrs. Adair took a chair beside him and did not reply. She 
was a woman of perplexing silences; and her pale and placid 
face with its cold correct outline gave no clue to the thoughts 
with which she occupied them. She sat without stirring. Dur- 
rance was embarrassed. He remembered Mr. Adair as a good- 
humoured man, whose one chief quality was his evident affection 
for his wife, but with what eyes the wife had looked upon him 
he had never up till now considered. Mr. Adair indeed had 
been at the best a shadowy figure in that small household, and 
Durrance found it difficult even to draw upon his recollections 
for any full expression of regret. He gave up the attempt and 
asked: 

' Are Harry Feversham and his wife in town ? ' 

Mrs. Adair was slow to reply. 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 419 

' Not yet,' she said after a pause, but immediately she 
corrected herself, and said a little hurriedly, ' I mean the 
marriage never took place.' 

Durrance was not a man easily startled, and even when he 
was, his surprise was not expressed in exclamations. 

'I don't think that I understand. Why did it never take 
place ?' he asked. Mrs. Adair looked sharply at him as though 
inquiring for the reason of his deliberate tones. 

' I don't know why,' she said. ' Ethne can keep a secret if 
she wishes,' and Durrance nodded his assent. ' The marriage was 
broken off on the night of a dance at Lennon House.' 

Durrance turned at once to her. 

' Just before I left England three years ago ? ' 

' Yes. Then you knew ? ' 

' No. Only you have explained to me something which 
occurred on the very night that I left Dover. What has become 
of Harry ? ' 

Mrs. Adair shrugged her shoulders. 

' I do not know. I have met no one who does know. I do 
not think that I have met anyone who has seen him since that 
time. He must have left England.' 

Durrance pondered on this mysterious disappearance. It was" 
Harry Feversham then whom he had seen upon the pier as the 
Channel boat cast off. The man with the troubled and despairing 
face was after all his friend. 

' And Miss Eustace ? ' he asked after a pause, with a queer 
timidity. ' She has married since ? ' 

Again Mrs. Adair took her time to reply. 

' No,' said she. 

' Then she is still at Eamelton ? ' 

Mrs. Adair shook her head. 

' There was a fire at Lennon House a year ago. Did you ever 
hear of a constable called Bastable ? ' 

' Indeed, I did. He was the means of introducing me to Miss 
Eustace and her father. I was travelling from Londonderry to 
Letterkenny. I received a letter from Mr. Eustace, whom I did 
not know, but who knew from my friends at Letterkenny that I 
was coming past his house. He asked me to stay the night with 
him. Naturally enough, I refused, with the result that Bastable 
arrested me on a magistrate's warrant as soon as I landed from 
the ferry.' 

27-2 



420 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

' That is the man,' said Mrs. Adair, and she told Durrance the 
history of the fire. It appeared that Bastable's claim to Dermod's 
friendship rested upon his skill in preparing a particular brew of 
toddy, which needed a single oyster simmering in the saucepan to 
give it its perfection of flavour. About two o'clock of a June 
morning the spirit lamp on which the saucepan stewed had been 
overset ; neither of the two confederates in drink had their 
wits about them at the moment, and the house was half burnt 
and the rest of it ruined by water before the fire could be got 
under. 

' There were consequences still more distressing than the 
destruction of the house,' she continued. ' The fire was a beacon 
warning to Dermod's creditors for one thing, and Dermod, already 
overpowered with debts, fell in a day upon complete ruin. He 
was drenched by the water hoses besides, and took a chill which 
nearly killed him, from the effects of which he has never 
recovered. You will find him a broken man. The estates are 
let, and Ethne is now living with her father in a little mountain 
village in Donegal.' 

Mrs. Adair had not looked at Durrance while she spoke. 
She kept her eyes fixed steadily in front of her, and indeed 
she spoke without feeling on one side or the other, but rather 
like a person constraining herself to speech because speech was 
a necessity. Nor did she turn to look at Durrance when she 
had done. 

' So she has lost everything,' said Durrance. 

' She still has a home in Donegal,' returned Mrs. Adair. 

' And that means a great deal to her ? ' said Durrance slowly. 
' Yes, I think you are right.' 

' It means,' said Mrs. Adair, ' that Ethne with all her ill-luck 
has reason to be envied by many other women.' 

Durrance did not answer that suggestion directly. He watched 
the carriages drive past, he listened to the chatter and the laughter 
of the people about him, his eyes were refreshed by the women 
in their light-coloured frocks ; and all the time his slow mind was 
working towards the lame expression of his philosophy. Mrs. 
Adair turned to him with a slight impatience in the end. 

' Of what are you thinking ? ' she asked. 

' That women suffer much more than men when the world 
goes wrong with them,' he answered, and the answer was rather a 
question than a definite assertion. ' I know very little, of course. 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 421 

I can only guess. But I think women gather up into themselves 
what they have been through much more than we do. To them, 
what is past becomes a real part of them, as it were, as much a 
part of them as a limb ; to us it's always something external , at 
the best the rung of a ladder, at the worst a weight on the heel. 
Don't you think so too ? I phrase the thought badly. But put 
it this way : Women look backwards, we look ahead, so misfortune 
hits them harder, eh ? ' 

Mrs. Adair answered in her own way. She did not ex- 
pressly agree. But a certain humility became audible in her 
voice. 

' The mountain village at which Ethne is living,' she said in a 
low voice, ' is called Glenalla. A track strikes up towards it from 
the road halfway between Eathmullen and Ramelton.' She rose 
as she finished the sentence and held out her hand. 'Shall 
see you ? ' 

' You are still in Hill Street ? ' said Durrance. ' I shall be for 
a time in London.' 

Mrs. Adair raised her eyebrows. She looked always by nature 
for the intricate and concealed motive, so that conduct which 
sprang from a reason, obvious and simple, was likely to baffle her. 
She was baffled now by Durrance's resolve to remain in town. 
She heard of his continual presence at his Service Club, and could 
not understand. She did not even have a suspicion of his motive 
when he himself informed her that he had travelled into Surrey 
and had spent a day with General Feversham. 

It had been an ineffectual day for Durrance. The General 
kept him steadily to the history of the campaign from which he 
had just returned. Only once was he able to approach the topic 
of Harry Feversham's disappearance, and at the mere mention of 
his son's name the old General's face set like plaster. It became 
void of expression and inattentive as a mask. 

' We will talk of something else, if you please,' said he, 
and Durrance returned to London, not an inch nearer to 
Donegal. 

Thereafter he sat under the great tree in the inner courtyard 
of his club, talking to this man and to that, and still unsatisfied 
with the conversation. All through that June the afternoons and 
evenings found him at his post. Never a friend of Feversham's 
passed by the tree but Durrance had a word for him, and the 
word led always to a question. But the question elicited no 



422 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

answer except a shrug of the shoulders, and a ' Hanged if I 
know ! ' 

Harry Fever sham's place knew him no more ; he had dropped 
even out of the speculations of his friends. 

Towards the end of June, however, an old retired naval officer 
limped into the courtyard, saw Durrance, hesitated, and began 
with a remarkable alacrity to move away. 

Durrance sprang up from his seat. 

' Lieutenant Sutch,' said he. ' You have forgotten me ? ' 

' Colonel Durrance, to be sure,' said the embarrassed lieutenant. 
' It is some while since we met, but I remember you very well 
now. I think we met let me see where was it ? An old man's 
memory, Colonel Durrance, is like a leaky ship. It comes to 
harbour with its cargo of recollections swamped.' 

Neither the Lieutenant's present embarrassment nor his pre- 
vious hesitation escaped Durrance's notice. 

' We met at Broad Place,' said he. ' I wish you to give me 
news of my friend Feversham. Why was his engagement with 
Miss Eustace broken off ? Where is he now ? ' 

The Lieutenant's eyes gleamed for a moment with satisfaction. 
He had always been doubtful whether Durrance was aware of 
Harry's fall into disgrace. Durrance plainly did not know. 

' There is only one person in the world, I believe,' said Sutch, 
' who can answer both your questions.' 

Durrance was in no way disconcerted. 

' Yes. I have waited here a month for you,' he replied. 

Lieutenant Sutch pushed his fingers through his beard, and 
stared down at his companion. 

' Well, it is true,' he admitted. ' I can answer your questions, 
but I will not.' 

' Harry Feversham is my friend.' 

' General Feversham is his father, yet he knows only half 
the truth. Miss Eustace was betrothed to him, and she knows 
no more. I pledged my word to Harry that I would keep 
silence.' 

' It is not curiosity which makes me ask.' 

' I am sure that, on the contrary, it is friendship,' said the 
Lieutenant cordially. 

' Nor that entirely. There is another aspect of the matter. 
I will not ask you to answer my questions, but I will put a third 
one to you. It is one harder for me to ask than for you to answer. 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 423 

Would a friend of Harry Feversham be at all disloyal to that 
friendship, if ' and Durrance flushed beneath his sunburn ' if he 
tried his luck with Miss Eustace ? ' 

The question startled Lieutenant Sutch. 

' You ? ' he exclaimed, and he stood considering Durrance, 
remembering the rapidity of his promotion, speculating upon his 
likelihood to take a woman's fancy. Here was an aspect of the 
case, indeed, to which he had not given a thought, and he was no 
less troubled than startled. For there had grown up within him 
a jealousy on behalf of Harry Feversham as strong as a mother's 
for a favourite second son. He had nursed with a most pleasurable 
anticipation a hope that, in the end, Harry would come back to 
all that he once had owned, like a rethroned king. He stared at 
Durrance and saw the hope stricken. Durrance looked the man 
of courage which his record proved him to be, and Lieutenant 
Sutch had his theory of women. ' Brute courage they make a 
god of it.' 

' Well ? ' asked Durrance. 

Lieutenant Sutch was aware that he must answer. He was 
sorely tempted to lie. For he knew enough of the man who 
questioned him to be certain that the lie would have its effect. 
Durrance would go back to the Soudan, and leave his suit 
unpressed. 

' Well ? ' 

Sutch looked up at the sky and down upon the flags. Harry 
had foreseen that this complication was likely to occur, he had 
not wished that Ethne should wait. Sutch imagined him at this 
very moment, lost somewhere under the burning sun, and com- 
pared that picture with the one before his eyes the successful 
soldier taking his ease at his club. He felt inclined to break his 
promise, to tell the whole truth, to answer both the questions 
which Durrance had first asked. And again the pitiless mono- 
syllable demanded his reply. 

' Well ? ' 

' No,' said Sutch regretfully. ' There would be no disloyalty.' 

And on that evening Durrance took the train for Holyhead. 



424 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

CHAPTER IX. 

AT GLENALLA. 

TELE farm-house stood a mile above the village in a wild moorland 
country. The heather encroached upon its garden, and the bridle- 
path ended at its door. On three sides an amphitheatre of hills, 
which changed so instantly to the season that it seemed one 
could distinguish from day to day a new gradation in their colours, 
harboured it like a ship. No trees grew upon those hills, the 
granite cropped out amidst the moss and heather ; but they had 
a friendly sheltering look, and Durrance came almost to believe 
that they put on their different draperies of emerald green, and 
purple, and russet brown consciously to delight the eyes of the 
girl they sheltered. The house faced the long slope of country 
to the inlet of the Lough. From the windows the eye reached 
down over the sparse thickets, the few tilled fields, the white- 
washed cottages, to the tall woods upon the bank, and caught a 
glimpse of bright water and the gulls poising and dipping 
above it. Durrance rode up the track upon an afternoon and 
knew the house at once. For as he approached, the music of a 
violin floated towards him from the windows like a welcome. His 
hand was checked upon the reins, and a particular strong hope, 
about which he had allowed his fancies to play, rose up within 
him and suspended his breath. 

He tied up his horse and entered in at the gate. A formless 
barrack without, the house within was a place of comfort. The 
room into which he was shown, with its brasses and its gleaming 
oak and its wide prospect, was bright as the afternoon itself. 
Durrance imagined it, too, with the blinds drawn upon a winter's 
night, and the fire red on the hearth, and the wind skirling about 
the hills and rapping on the panes. 

Ethne greeted him without the least mark of surprise. 

' I had a thought that you would come,' she said, and a smile 
shone upon her face. 

Durrance laughed suddenly with a great contentment as they 
shook hands, and Ethne wondered why. She followed the direc- 
tion of his eyes towards the violin which lay upon a table 
at her side. It was pale in colour, there was a mark, too, 
close to the bridge, where a morsel of worm-eaten wood had been 
replaced. 



THE FOUR FEATHERS 425 

' It is yours,' she said. ' You were in Egypt. I could not 
well send it back to you there.' 

' I have hoped lately, since I knew,' returned Durrance, ' that, 
nevertheless, you would accept it.' , 

' You see I have,' said Ethne, and looking straight into his 
eyes she added : ' I accepted it some while ago. There was a 
time when I needed to be assured that I had sure friends. And a 
thing tangible helped. I was very glad to have it.' 

Durrance took the instrument from the table, handling it 
delicately like a sacred vessel. 

' You have played upon it ? The Musoline overture perhaps,' 
said he. 

' Do you remember that ? ' she returned with a laugh. ' Yes, 
I have played upon it, but only recently. For a long time I put 
my violin away. It talked to me too intimately of many things 
which I wished to forget,' and these words, like the rest, she 
spoke without hesitation or any down-dropping of the eyes. 

Durrance fetched up his luggage from Kathmullen the next 
day, and stayed at the farm for a week. But up to the last hour 
of his visit no further reference was made to Harry Feversham by 
either Ethne or Durrance, although they were thrown much into 
each other's company. For Dermod was even more broken than Mrs. 
Adair's description had led Durrance to expect. His speech was 
all dwindled to monosyllables ; his frame was shrunken, and his 
clothes bagged upon his limbs ; his very stature seemed lessened ; 
even the anger was clouded from his eye ; he was become a stay- 
at-home, dozing for the most part of the day by a fire, even in 
that July weather ; his longest walk was to the little grey church 
which stood naked upon a mound some quarter of a mile away and 
within view of the windows, and even that walk taxed his strength. 
He was an old man fallen upon decrepitude, and almost out ot 
recognition, so that his gestures and the rare tones of his voice 
struck upon Durrance as something painful, like the mimicry of 
a dead man. His old collie dog aged in company, and, to see them 
side by side, one might have said, in sympathy. 

Durrance and Ethne were thus thrown much together. By 
day, in the wet weather or the fine, they tramped the hills, while 
she, with the colour glowing in her face, and her eyes most 
jealous and eager, showed him her country and exacted his admi- 
ration. In the evenings she would take her violin, and sitting 
as of old with an averted face, she would bid the strings speak of 



426 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

the heights and depths. Durrance sat watching the sweep of her 
arm, the absorption of her face, and counting up his chances. 
He had not brought with him to OHenalla Lieutenant Sutch's 
anticipations that he would succeed. The shadow of Harry 
Feversham might well separate them. For another thing, he 
knew very well that poverty would fall more lightly upon her 
than upon most women. He had indeed had proofs of that. 
Though the Lennon House was ruined altogether, and its 
lands gone from her, Ethne was still amongst her own people. 
They still looked eagerly for her visits ; she was still the princess 
of that country side. On the other hand, she took a frank 
pleasure in his company, and she led him to speak of his three 
years' service in the East. No detail was too insignificant for 
her inquiries, and while he spoke her eyes continually sounded 
him, and the smile upon her lips continually approved. Durrance 
did not understand what she was after. Possibly no one could 
have understood unless he was aware of what had passed between 
Harry Feversham and Ethne. Durrance wore the likeness of a 
man, and she was well nigh sick with anxiety to know whether 
the spirit of a man informed it. He was a dark lantern to her. 
There might be a flame burning within, or there might be mere 
vacancy and darkness. She was pushing back the slide so that 
she might be sure. 

She led him thus to speak of Egypt upon the last day of his 
visit. They were seated upon the hillside, on the edge of a stream 
which leaped from ledge to ledge down a miniature gorge of rock, 
and flowed over deep pools between the ledges very swiftly, a 
torrent of clear black water. 

' I travelled once for four days amongst the mirages,' he said. 
' Lagoons, still as a mirror and fringed with misty trees. You 
could almost walk your camel up to the knees in them, before 
the lagoon receded and the sand glared at you. And one cannot 
imagine that glare. Every stone within view dances and shakes 
like a heliograph ; you can see yes, actually see the heat flow 
breast high across the desert swift as this stream here, only 
pellucid. So till the sun sets ahead of you level with your eyes ! 
Imagine the nights which follow nights of infinite silence with 
a cool friendly wind blowing from horizon to horizon and your 
bed spread for you under the great dome of stars. Oh,' he cried, 
drawing a deep breath. ' But that country grows on you. It's 
like the Southern Cross four over-rated stars when first you see 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 427 

them, but in a week you begin to look for them, and you miss 
them when you travel north again.' He raised himself upon his 
elbow and turned suddenly towards her. ' Do you know I can 
only speak for myself but I never feel alone in those empty 
spaces. On the contrary, I always feel very close to the things 
I care about and to the few people I care about too.' 

Her eyes shone very brightly upon him, her lips parted in 
a smile. He moved nearer to her upon the grass, and sat with 
his feet gathered under him upon one side, and leaning upon 
his arm. 

' I used to imagine you out there,' he said. ' You would 
have loved it from the start before daybreak, in the dark, to 
the camp-fire at night. You would have been at home. I used 
to think so as I lay awake wondering how the world went with 
my friends.' 

Her bosom rose as she drew in a breath. 

' And you go back there ? ' she said. 

Durrance did not immediately answer. The roar of the torrent 
throbbed about them. When he did speak, all the enthusiasm 
had gone from his voice. He spoke gazing into the stream. 

' To Wadi Haifa. For two years. I suppose so.' 

Ethne kneeled up on the grass at his side. 

' I shall miss you,' she said. 

She was kneeling just behind him as he sat on the ground, 
and again there fell a silence between them. 

' Of what are you thinking ? ' she asked, and she bent forward 
at the moment, so that all unawares her breast lightly touched 
his shoulder. He was thinking indeed of the words which she had 
spoken at their first meeting. There had been a time when she 
had sorely needed her friends. Now she told him that she would 
miss him. He put those sayings together. 

' That you need not miss me,' he said, and he was aware that 
she drew back and sank down upon her heels. ' My appointment 
at Haifa I might shorten its term. I might perhaps avoid it 
altogether. I have still half my furlough.' 

She did not answer nor did she change her attitude. She 
remained very still, and Durrance was alarmed, and all his hopes 
sank. For a stillness of attitude he knew to be with her as 
definite an expression of distress as a cry of pain with another 
woman. He turned about towards her. Her head was bent, but 
she raised it as he turned, and though her lips smiled, there was 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

a look of great trouble in her eyes. Durrance was a man like 
another. His first thought was whether there was not some 
obstacle which would hinder her from compliance, even though 
she herself were willing. 

' There is your father,' he said. 

' Yes,' she answered, ' there is my father too. I could not 
leave him.' 

' Nor need you,' said he quickly. ' That difficulty can be sur- 
mounted. To tell the truth, I was not thinking of your father at 
the moment.' 

' Nor was I,' said she. 

Durrance turned away and sat for a little while staring down the 
rocks into a wrinkled pool of water just beneath. It was after all 
the shadow of Feversham which stretched between himself and her. 

' I know, of course,' he said, ' that you would never feel trouble, 
as so many do, with half your heart. You would neither easily 
care nor lightly forget.' 

' I remember enough,' she returned in a low voice, ' to make 
your words rather a pain to me. Some day perhaps I may bring 
myself to tell everything which happened at that ball three years 
ago, and then you will be better able to understand why I am a 
little distressed. All that I can tell you now is this : I have a 
great fear that I was in some way the cause of another man's ruin. 
I do not mean that I was to blame for it. But if I had not been 
known to him his career might perhaps never have come to so 
abrupt an end. I am not sure, but I am afraid. I asked whether 
it was so, and I was told " no," but I think very likely that 
generosity dictated that answer. And the fear stays. I am much 
distressed by it. I lie awake with it at night. And then you 
come whom I greatly value, and you say quietly, " "Will you please 
spoil my career too ? " ' And she struck one hand sharply into the 
other and cried, ' But that I will not do.' 

And again he answered : 

' There is no need that you should. Wadi Haifa is not the 
only place where a soldier can find work to his hand.' 

His voice had taken a new hopefulness. For he had listened 
intently to the words which she had spoken, and he had construed 
them by the dictionary of his desires. She had not said that 
friendship bounded all her thoughts of him. Therefore he need 
not believe it. Women were given to a hinting modesty of speech, 
at all events the best of them. A man might read a little more 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 429 

emphasis into their tones, and underline their words and still be 
short of their meaning, as he argued. A subtle delicacy graced 
them in nature. Durrance was near to Benedick's mood. ' One 
whom I value ' ; ' I shall miss you ' ; there might be a double 
meaning in the phrases. When she- said that she needed to be 
assured that she had sure friends, did she not mean that she 
needed their companionship ? But the argument, had he been 
acute enough to see it, proved how deep he was sunk in error. 
For what this girl spoke, she habitually meant, and she habitually 
meant no more. Moreover, upon this occasion she had particularly 
weighed her words. 

' No doubt,' she said, ' a soldier can. But can this soldier find 
work so suitable ? Listen, please, till I have done. I was so very 
glad to hear all that you have told me about your work and your 
journeys. I was still more glad because of the satisfaction 
with which you told it. For it seemed to me, as I listened and 
as I watched, that you had found the one true straight channel 
along which your life could run swift and smoothly and unharassed. 
And so few do that so very few ! ' And she wrung her hands 
and cried, ' And now you spoil it all.' 

Durrance suddenly faced her. He ceased from argument ; he 
cried in a voice of passion : 

' I am for you, Ethne ! There's the true straight channel, 
and upon my word I believe you are for me. I thought I admit 
it at one time I would spend my life out there in the East, and 
the thought contented me. But I had schooled myself into con- 
tentment, for I believed you married.' Ethne ever so slightly 
flinched, and he himself recognised that he had spoken in a voice 
overloud, so that it had something almost of brutality. 

' Do I hurt you ? ' he continued. ' I am sorry. But let me 
speak the whole truth out, I cannot afford reticence, I want you 
to know the first and last of it. I say now that I love you. Yes, 
but I could have said it with equal truth five years ago. It is five 
years since your father arrested me at the ferry down there on 
Lough Swilly, because I wished to press on to Letterkenny and 
not delay a night by stopping with a stranger. Five years 
since I first saw you, first heard the language of your violin. I 
remember how you sat with your back towards me. The light 
shone on your hair, I could just see your eyelashes and the colour 
of your cheeks. I remember the sweep of your arm. . . . My 
dear, you are for me ; I am for you.' 



430 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

But she drew back from his outstretched hands. 

' No,' she said very gently, but with a decision he could not 
mistake. She saw more clearly into his mind than he did himself. 
The restlessness of the born traveller, the craving for the large 
and lonely spaces in the outlandish corners of the world, the in- 
curable intermittent fever to be moving, ever moving amongst 
strange peoples and under strange skies these were deep-rooted 
qualities of the man. Passion might obscure them for awhile, 
but they would make their appeal in the end, and the appeal would 
torture. The home would become a prison. Desires would so 
clash within him, there could be no happiness. That was the man. 
For herself, she looked down the slope of the hill across the brown 
country. Away on the right waved the woods about Kamelton, at 
her feet flashed a strip of the Lough ; and this was her country ; 
she was its child and the sister of its people. 

' No,' she repeated as she rose to her feet. Durrance rose 
with her. He was still not so much disheartened as conscious of 
a blunder. He had put his case badly, he should never have 
given her the opportunity to think that marriage would be an 
interruption of his career. 

' We will say good-bye here,' she said, ' in the open. We 
shall be none the less good friends because three thousand miles 
hinder us from shaking hands.' 

They shook hands as she spoke. 

' I shall be in England again in a year's time,' said Durrance. 
' May I come back ? ' 

Ethne's eyes and her smile consented. 

' I should be sorry to lose you altogether,' she said, ' although 
even if I did not see you I should know that I had not lost your 
friendship.' She added, ' I should also be glad to hear news of 
you and what you are doing, if ever you have the time to spare.' 

' I may write ? ' he exclaimed eagerly. 

' Yes,' she answered, and his eagerness made her linger a 
little doubtfully upon the word. ' That is, if you think it fair. 
I mean, it might be best for you, perhaps, to get rid of me 
entirely from your thoughts,' and Durrance laughed and without 
any bitterness, so that in a moment Ethne found herself laughing 
too, though at what she laughed she would have discovered it 
difficult to explain. ' Very well, write to me then.' And she 
added drily, ' But it will be about other things.' 

And again Durrance read into her words the interpretation 



THE FOUR FEATHERS. 431 

he desired ; and again she meant just what she said, and not a 
word more. 

She stood where he left her, a tall, strong-limbed figure of 
womanhood, until he was gone out of sight. Then she climbed down 
to the house, and going into her room took one of her violins from 
its case. But it was the violin which Durrance had given to 
her, and before she had touched the strings with her bow she 
recognised it and put it suddenly away from her in its case. She 
snapped the case to. For a few moments she sat motionless in 
her chair, then she quickly crossed the room, and, taking her 
keys, unlocked a drawer. At the bottom of the drawer there lay 
hidden a photograph, and at this she looked for a long while and 
very wistfully. 

Durrance meanwhile walked down to the trap which was 
waiting for him at the gates of the house, and saw that Dermod 
Eustace stood in the road with his hat upon his head. 

' I will walk a few yards with you, Colonel Durrance,' said 
Dermod. ' I have a word for your ear.' 

Durrance suited his stride to the old man's faltering step, and 
they walked behind the dogcart, and in silence. It was not the 
mere personal disappointment which weighed upon Durrance' s 
spirit. But he could not see with Ethne's eyes, and as his gaze 
took in that quiet corner of Donegal, he was filled with a great 
sadness lest all her life should be passed in this seclusion, her 
grave dug in the end under the wall of the tiny church, and her 
memory linger only in a few white cottages scattered over the 
moorland, and for a very little while. He was recalled by the 
pressure of Dermod's hand upon his elbow. There was a gleam 
of inquiry in the old man's faded eyes, but it seemed that speech 
itself was a difficulty. 

'You have news for me?' he asked after some hesitation. 
' News of Harry Feversham ? I thought that I would ask you 
before you went away.' 
' None,' said Durrance. 

' I am sorry,' replied Dermod wistfully, ' though I have no 
reason for sorrow. He struck us a cruel blow, Colonel Durrance. 
I should have nothing but curses for him in my mouth and my 
heart, a black-throated coward my reason calls him, and yet I 
would be very glad to hear how the world goes with him. You 
were his friend. But you do not know ? ' 

It was actually of Harry Feversham that Dermod Eustace 



432 THE FOUR FEATHERS. 

was speaking, and Durrance, as he remarked the old man's 
wistfulness of voice and face, was seized with a certain remorse 
that he had allowed Ethne so to thrust his friend out of his 
thoughts. He speculated upon the mystery at times as he sat 
in the evening upon his verandah above the Nile at Wadi Haifa, 
piecing together the few hints which he had gathered. 'A black- 
throated coward,' Dermod had called Harry Feversham, and Ethne 
had said enough to assure him that something graver than any 
dispute, something which had destroyed all her faith in the man, 
had put an end to their betrothal. But he could not conjecture 
at the particular cause, and the only consequence of his perplexed 
imaginings was the growth of a very real anger within him against 
the man who had been his friend. So the winter passed, and 
summer came to the Soudan, and the month of May. 



(70 be continued.) 



THE 

CORNHILL MAGAZINE 



APEIL 1902. 



AT CASTERBRIDGE FAIR. 

SING, Ballad-singer, raise a hearty tune ! 
Make me forget that there was ever a one 
I walked with in the meek light of the moon 
When the day's work was done. 

Rhyme, Ballad-rhymer, start a country song ! 
Make me forget that she whom I loved well 
Swore she would love me dearly, love me long ; 
Then what I cannot tell. 

Sing, Ballad-singer, from your little book ! 

Make me forget those heartbreaks, achings, fears ; 

Make me forget her name, her sweet, sweet look ; 

Make me forget her tears. 

THOMAS HARDY. 

1 Copyright, 1902, by Thomas Hardy in the United States of America. 
VOL. XII. NO. 70, N.S. 28 



434 

THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 1 
BY ANTHONY HOPE. 

CHAPTER VIII. 
USURPERS ON THE THRONE. 

AIREY NEWTON was dressing for dinner, for that party of his 
which Tommy Trent had brought about, and which was causing 
endless excitement in the small circle. He arrayed himself slowly 
and ruefully, choosing with care his least frayed shirt, glancing 
ever and again at a parcel of five-pound notes which lay on the 
table in front of him. There were more notes than the dinner 
would demand, however lavish in his orders Tommy might have 
been; Airey had determined to run no risks. He was trying 
hard to persuade himself that he was going to have a pleasant 
evening, and to enjoy dispensing to his friends a sumptuous 
hospitality. The task was a difficult one. He could not help 
thinking that those notes were not made to perish ; they were 
created in order that they might live and breed ; he hated to fritter 
them away. Yet he hated himself for hating it. 

To this pass he had come gradually. First the money, which 
began to roll in as his work prospered and his reputation grew, 
had been precious as an evidence of success and a testimony of 
power. He really wanted it for nothing else ; his tastes had 
always been simple, he had no expensive recreations ; nobody (as 
he told Tommy Trent) had any claim on him ; he was alone in 
the world (except for the rest of mankind, of course). He saved 
his money, and in that seemed to be doing the right and reason- 
able thing. When the change began or how it worked he could 
not now trace. Gradually his living had become more simple, 
and passed from simple to sparing ; everything that threatened 
expense was nipped in the bud. It began to be painful to spend 
money, sweet only to make it, to invest it, and to watch its 
doings. By an effort of will he forced himself to subscribe with 
decent liberality to a fair number of public institutions his 
bankers paid the subscriptions for him. Nor did he fail if a 

1 Copyright, 1902, by A. H, Hawkins, in the United States of America. 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 435 

direct appeal was made for an urgent case ; then he would give, 
though not cheerfully. He could not be called a miser, but he had 
let money get altogether out of its proper place in life. It had 
become to him an end, and was no longer a means ; even while he 
worked he thought of how much the work would bring. He 
thought more about money than about anything else in the 
world ; and he could not endure to waste it. By wasting it he 
meant making his own and other people's lives pleasanter by the 
use of it. 

Nobody knew, save Tommy Trent. People who did business 
with him might conjecture that Airey Newton must be doing 
pretty well ; but such folk were not of his life, and what they 
guessed signified nothing. Of his few friends none suspected, 
least of all Peggy Eyle, who came and ate his bread-and-butter, 
believing that she was demanding and receiving from a poor 
comrade the utmost stretch of an unreserved hospitality. He 
suffered to see her mistake, yet not without consolation. There 
was a secret triumph ; he felt and hated it. That had been his 
feeling when he asked Tommy Trent how he could continue to be 
his friend. He began to live in an alternation of delight and 
shame, of joy in having his money, of fear lest somebody should 
discover that he had it. Yet he did not hate Tommy Trent, who 
knew. He might well have hated Tommy in his heart. This 
again was peculiar in his own eyes, and perhaps in fact. And his 
friends loved him not without cause either; he would have 
given them anything except what to another would have been 
easiest to give ; he would give them even time, for that was only 
money still uncoined. Coin was the great usurper. 

The dinner was a splendid affair. Airey had left all the 
ordering to Tommy Trent, and Tommy had been imperial. 
There were flowers without stint on the table ; there were bouquets 
and button-holes ; there was a gorgeously emblazoned bill of 
fare ; there were blocks of ice specially carved in fantastic forms ; 
there were hand-painted cards with the names of the guests 
curiously wrought thereon. Airey furtively fingered his packet 
of bank-notes, but he could not help being rather pleased when 
Tommy patted him on the back and said that it all looked 
splendid. It did look splendid ; Airey stroked his beard with a 
curious smile. He actually felt now as though he might enjoy 
himself. 

The guests began to arrive punctually. Efforts in raiment 

282 



436 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

had evidently been made. Mrs. John was in red, quite magnifi- 
cent. Elfreda had a lace frock, on the subject of which she 
could not be reduced to silence. Miles Childwick wore a white 
waistcoat with pearl buttons, and tried to give the impress-ion 
that wearing it was an ordinary occurrence. They were all doing 
their best to honour the occasion and the host. A pang shot 
through Airey Newton ; he might have done this for them so 
often ! 

Trix came in splendour. She was very radiant, feeling sure 
that her troubles were at an end, and her sins forgiven in the 
popular and practical sense that she would suffer no more incon- 
venience from them. Had not Beaufort Chance raved his worst ? 
and was not Fricker well, at heart a gentleman ? asked she with 
a smile. There was more. Triumph was impending ; nay, it was 
won ; it waited only to be declared. She smiled again to think 
that she was going to dine with these dear people on the eve of 
her greatness. How little they knew ! In this moment it is to 
be feared that Trix was something of a snob. She made what 
amends she could by feeling also that she was glad to have an 
evening with them before her greatness settled on her. 

Peggy was late ; this was nothing unusual, but the delay 
seemed long to Tommy Trent, who awaited with apprehension her 
attitude towards the lavishness of the banquet. Would she walk 
out again ? He glanced at Airey. Airey appeared commendably 
easy in his mind, and was talking to Trix Trevalla with reassuring 
animation. 

' Here she comes ! ' cried Horace Harnack. 

' She's got a new frock too,' murmured Elfreda, regarding her 
own complacently, and threatening to renew the subject on the 
least provocation. 

Peggy had a new frock. And it was black plain black, quite 
unrelieved. Now she never wore black, not because it was unbe- 
coming, but just for a fad. A new black frock must surely portend 
something. Peggy's manner enforced that impression. She did 
indeed give one scandalised cry of ' Airey ! ' when she saw the pre- 
parations, but evidently her mind was seriously preoccupied ; she 
said she had been detained by business. 

' Frock hadn't come home, I suppose ? ' suggested Miles 
Childwick witheringly. 

' It hadn't,' Peggy admitted, ' but I had most important 
letters to write too.' She paused, and then added, ' I don't sup- 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 437 

pose I ought to be here at all, but I had to come to Airey's party. 
My uncle in Berlin is dead.' 

She said this just as they sat down. It produced almost com- 
plete silence. Trix indeed, with the habits of society, murmured 
condolence, while she thought that Peggy might either have stayed 
away or have said nothing about the uncle. Nobody else spoke ; 
they knew that Peggy had not seen the uncle for years, and could 
not be supposed to be suffering violent personal grief. But they 
knew also the significance of the uncle ; he had been a real, 
though distant, power to them ; the cheques had come from him. 
Now he had died. 

Their glances suggested to one another that somebody might 
put a question somebody who had tact, and could wrap it up 
in a decorous shape. Peggy herself offered no more information, 
but sat down by Tommy and began on her soup. 

Conversation, reviving after the shock that Peggy had admi- 
nistered, presently broke out again. Under coverof it Peggy turned 
to Tommy and asked in a carefully subdued whisper : 

' How much is a mark ? ' 

' A mark ? ' repeated Tommy, who was tasting the champagne 
critically. 

'Yes. G-erman money, you know.' 

' Oh, about a shilling.' 

' A shilling ? ' Peggy pondered. ' I thought it was a franc ? ' 

' No, more than that. About a shilling.' 

Peggy gave a sudden little laugh, and her eyes danced 
gleefully. 

' You mustn't look like that. It's not allowed,' said Tommy 
firmly. 

' Then twenty thousand marks ' whispered Peggy . 

' Would be twenty thousand shillings or twenty-five thousand 
francs or in the depreciated condition of Italian silver some 
twenty-seven thousand lire. It would also be five thousand 
dollars, more cowrie shells than I can easily reckon, and, finally, 
it would amount to one thousand pounds sterling of this realm, 
or thereabouts.' 

Peggy laughed again. 

' I'm sorry your uncle's dead,' pursued Tommy gravely. 

' Oh, so am I ! He was always disagreeable, but he was kind 
too. I'm really sorry. Oh, but, Tommy ' 

The effort was thoroughly well-meant, but sorrow had not 



438 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

much of a chance. Peggy's sincerity was altogether too strong 
and natural She was overwhelmed by the extraordinary effect of 
the uncle's death. 

' He's left me twenty thousand marks,' she gasped out at last. 
' Don't tell anybody not yet.' 

' Well done him,' said Tommy Trent. ' I knew he was a good 
sort from those cheques, you know.' 

' A thousand pounds ! ' mused Peggy Eyle. She looked down 
at her garment. ' So I got a frock for him, you see,' she explained. 
' I wish this was my dinner,' she added. Apparently the dinner 
might have served as a mark of respect as well as the frock. 

' Look here,' said Tommy. ' You've got to give me that 
money, you know.' 

Peggy turned astonished and outraged eyes on him. 

' I'll invest it for you, and get you forty or fifty pounds a year 
for it regular quarterly.' 

' I'm going to spend it,' Peggy announced decisively. ' There 
are a thousand things I want to do with it. It is good of uncle ! ' 

' No, no ! You give it to me. You must learn to value 
money/ 

' To value money ! Why must I ? None of us do.' She 
looked round the table. ' Certainly we've none of us got any.' 

' It would be much better if they did value it,' said Tommy 
with a politico-economical air. 

'You say that when you've made poor Airey give us this 
dinner ! ' she cried triumphantly. 

With a wry smile Tommy Trent gave up the argument ; he 
had no answer to that. Yet he was a little vexed. He was a 
normal man about money ; his two greatest friends Peggy and 
Airey Newton were at the extreme in different directions. What 
did that signify? Well, after all, something. The attitude 
people hold towards money is, in one way and another, a curiously 
far-reaching thing, both in its expression of them and in its effect 
on others. Just as there was always an awkwardness between 
Tommy and Airey Newton because Airey would not spend as 
much as he ought, there was now a hint of tension, of disapproval 
on one side and of defiance on the other, because Peggy meant to 
spend all that she had. There is no safety even in having 
nothing ; the problems you escape for yourself you raise for your 
friends. 

Peggy, having sworn Tommy to secrecy, turned her head 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 439 

round, saw Arty Kane, could by no means resist the temptation, 
told him the news, and swore him to secrecy. He gave his word, 
and remarked across the table to Miles Childwick : ' Peggy's been 
left a thousand pounds.' 

Then he turned to her, saying, ' I take it all on myself. It 
was really the shortest way, you know.' 

Indescribable commotion followed. Everybody had a plan for 
spending the thousand pounds ; each of them appropriated and 
spent it on the spot ; all agreed that Peggy was the wrong person 
to have it, and that they were immensely glad that she had got 
it. Suggestions poured in on her. It may be doubted whether 
the deceased uncle had ever created so much excitement while he 
lived. 

' I propose to do no work for weeks,' said Miles Childwick. 
' I shall just come and dine.' 

' I think of an Edition de luxe,' murmured Arty Kane. 

' I shall take nothing but leading business,' said Horace Harnack. 

' We shall really have to make a great effort to avoid being 
maintained,' murmured Mrs. John, surprised into a remark that 
sounded almost as though it came from her books. 

Trix Trevalla had listened to all the chatter with a renewal of 
her previous pleasure, enjoying it yet the more because, thanks to 
Fricker's gentlemanly conduct, to the worst of Beaufort Chance 
being over, and to her imminent triumph, her soul was at peace 
and her attention not preoccupied. She too found herself rejoicing 
very heartily for Peggy's sake. She knew what pleasure Peggy 
would get, what a royal time lay before her. 

' She'll spend it all. How will she feel when it's finished ? ' 

The question came from Airey Newton, her neighbour. There 
was no touch of malice about it ; it was put in a full-hearted 
sympathy. 

' What a funny way to look at it ! ' exclaimed Trix, laughing. 

'Funny! Why? You know she'll spend it. Oh, perhaps 
you don't ; we do. And when it's gone ' 

He shrugged his shoulders ; her last state would be worse 
than her first, he meant to say. 

Trix stopped laughing. She was touched ; it was pathetic to 
see how the man who worked for a pittance felt a sort of pain at 
the idea of squandering an unselfish pain for the girl who would 
choose a brief ecstasy of extravagance when she might ensure a 
permanent increase of comfort. She could not herself feel like 



440 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

that about such a trifle as a thousand pounds (all in, she was 
wearing about a thousand pounds, and that not in full fig), but 
she saw how the case must appear to Airey Newton ; the windfall 
that had tumbled into Peggy's lap meant years of hard work and 
of self-respecting economy to him. 

' Yes, you're right,' she said. ' But she's too young for the 
lesson. And I well, I'm afraid I'm incurable. You don't set 
us the best example either.' She smiled again as she indicated 
the luxurious table. 

; A very occasional extravagance,' he remarked, seeing her 
misapprehension quite clearly, impelled to confirm it by his 
unresting fear of discovery, fingering the packet of five-pound 
notes in his pocket. 

' I wish somebody could teach me to be prudent,' smiled Trix. 

' Can one be taught to be different ? ' he asked rather 
gloomily. 

' Money doesn't really make one happy,' said Trix in the tone 
of a disillusionised millionaire. 

' I suppose not,' he agreed, but with all the scepticism of a 
hopeless pauper. 

They both acted their parts well ; each successfully imposed 
on the other. But pretence on this one point did not hinder a 
genuine sympathy nor a reciprocal attraction between them. He 
seemed to her the haven that she might have loved, yet had 
always scorned ; she was to him the type of that moving, many- 
coloured, gay life which his allegiance to his jealous god forbade 
him to follow or to know. And they were united again by a 
sense common to them, apart from the rest of the company the 
sense of dissatisfaction ; it was a subtle bond ever felt between 
them, and made them turn to one another with smiles half- 
scornful, half-envious, when the merriment rose high. 

' I'm glad to meet you to-night,' she said, ' because I think I 
can tell you that your advice your Paris advice has been a 
success.' 

' You seemed rather doubtful about that when we met last.' 

' Yes, I was.' She laughed a little. ' Oh, I've had some 
troubles, but I think I'm in smooth water now.' She hardly 
repressed the ring of triumph in her voice. 

' Ah, then you won't come again to Danes Inn ! ' 

There was an unmistakable regret in his voice. Trix felt it 
echoed in her heart. She met his glance for a moment; the 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 441 

contact might have lasted longer, but he, less practised in such 
encounters, turned hastily away. Enough had passed to tell her 
that if she did not come she would be missed, enough to make 
her feel that in not going she would lose something which 
she had come to think of as pleasant in life. Was there 
always a price to be paid ? Great or small perhaps, but a price 
always ? 

' You should come sometimes where you can be seen,' she 
said lightly. 

' A pretty figure I should cut ! ' was his good-humoured, 
rather despairing comment. 

Trix was surprised by a feeling stronger than she could have 
anticipated ; she desired to escape from it ; it seemed as though 
Airey Newton and his friends were laying too forcible a hold on 
her. They had nothing to do with the life that was to be hers ; 
they were utterly outside that, though they might help her to 
laugh away an evening or amuse her with their comments on 
human nature and its phases. To her his friends and he were 
essentially a distraction ; they and he must be kept in the place 
appropriate to distractions. 

At the other end of the table an elementary form of joke was 
achieving a great success. It lay in crediting Peggy with un- 
measured wealth, in assigning her quarters in the most fashion- 
able part of the town, in marrying her to the highest bigwig 
whose title occurred to any one of the company. She was passed 
from Park Lane to Grosvenor Square and assigned every rank in 
the peerage. Schemes of benevolence were proposed to her, 
having for their object the endowment of literature and art. 

' You will not continue the exercise of your profession, I 
presume ? ' asked Childwick, referring to Peggy's projected lessons 
in the art of painting and a promise to buy her works which she 
had wrung from a dealer notoriously devoted to her. 

' She won't know us any more,' moaned Arty Kane. 

' She'll glare at us from boxes boxes paid for,' sighed Harnack. 

' I shall never lose any more frocks,' said Elfreda with affected 
ruefulness. 

Trix smiled at all this a trifle sadly. What was attributed 
in burlesque to the newly enriched Peggy was really going to be 
almost true of herself. Well, she had never belonged to them ; 
she had been a visitor always. 

The most terrible suggestion came from Mrs. John rather 



442 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

late, of course, and as if Mrs. John had taken some pains 
with it. 

' She'll have her hair done quite differently.' 
The idea produced pandemonium. 
' What of my essay ? ' demanded Child wick. 
' What of my poem ? ' cried Arty Kane. 

Everybody agreed that a stand must be made here. A formal 
pledge was demanded from Peggy. When she gave it her health 
was drunk with acclamation. 

A lull came with the arrival of coffee. Perhaps they were 
exhausted. At any rate when Miles Childwick began to talk 
they did not stop him at once as their custom was, but let him 
go on for a little while. He was a thin-faced man with a rather 
sharp nose, prematurely bald, and bowed about the shoulders. 
Trix Tre valla watched him with some interest. 

' If there were such a thing as being poor and unsuccessful,' 
he remarked with something that was almost a wink in his 
eye (Trix took it to deprecate interruption), ' it would probably 
be very unpleasant. Of course, however, it does not exist. The 
impression to the contrary is an instance of what I will call the 
Fallacy of Broad Views. We are always taking broad views of 
our neighbours' lives ; then we call them names. Happily we 
very seldom need to take them of our own.' He paused, looked 
round the silent table, and observed gravely, ' This is very 
unusual.' 

Only a laugh from Peggy, who would have laughed at 
anything, broke the stillness. He resumed : 

' You call a man poor, meaning thereby that he has little 
money by the year. Ladies and gentlemen, we do not feel in 
years, we are not hungry per annum. You call him unsuccess- 
ful because a number of years leave him much where he was in 
most things. It may well be a triumph ! ' He paused and asked, 
' Shall I proceed ? ' 

' If you have another and quite different idea,' said Arty Kane. 
' Well, then, that Homogeneity of Fortune is undesirable 
among friends.' 

'Trite and obvious,' said Manson Smith. 'It excludes the 
opportunity of lending fivers.' 

' I shall talk no more,' said Childwick. ' If we all spoke plain 
English originality would become impossible.' 

The end of the evening came earlier than usual. Peggy was 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 443 

going to a party or two. She had her hansom waiting to convey 
her. It had, it appeared, been waiting all through dinner. 
With her departure the rest melted away. Trix Trevalla, again 
reluctant to go, at last found herself alone with Airey Newton, 
Tommy having gone out to look for her carriage. The waiter 
brought the bill and laid it down beside Airey. 

' Is it good luck or bad luck for Peggy ? ' she asked re- 
flectively. 

' For Peggy it is good luck ; she has instincts that save her. 
But she'll be very poor again.' He came back to that idea 
persistently. 

' She'll marry somebody and be rich.' A sudden thought 
came and made her ask Airey, ' Would you marry for money ? ' 

He thought long, taking no notice of the bill beside him. 
' No,' he said at last, ' I shouldn't care about money I hadn't 
made.' 

' A funny reason for the orthodox conclusion ! ' she laughed. 
' What does it matter who made it as long as you have it ? ' 

Airey shook his head in an obstinate way. Tommy Trent, 
just entering the doorway, saw him lay down three or four notes ; 
he did not look at the bill. The waiter with a smile gave him 
back one, saying ' Pardon, monsieur ! ' and pointing to the 
amount of the account. Tommy stood where he was, looking 
on still. 

'Well, I must go,' said Trix, rising. 'You've given us a 
great deal of pleasure ; I hope you've enjoyed it yourself ! ' 

The waiter brought back the bill and the change. Airey 
scooped up the change carelessly and gave back a sovereign. 
Tommy could not see the coin, but he saw the waiter's low 
and cordial bow. He was smiling broadly as he came up to 
Airey. 

' Business done, old fellow ? We must see Mrs. Trevalla into 
her carriage.' 

' (rood-bye to you both,' said Trix. ' Such an evening ! ' 
Her eyes were bright ; she seemed rather moved. There was in 
Tommy's opinion nothing to account for any emotion, but Airey 
Newton was watching her with a puzzled air. 

' And I shall remember that there's no such thing as being 
poor or unsuccessful,' she laughed. ' We must thank Mr. Child- 
wick for that.' 

' There's nothing of that sort for you anyhow, Mrs. Trevalla,' 



444 THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 

said Tommy. He offered his arm, but withdrew it again, smiling. 
' I forgot the host's privileges,' he said. 

He followed them downstairs, and saw Airey put Trix in her 
carriage. 

' Good-bye,' she called wistfully, as she was driven away. 

' Shall we stroll ? ' asked Tommy. The night was fine this time. 

They walked along in silence for some little way. Then 
Airey said : 

' Thank you, Tommy.' 

' It was no trouble,' said Tommy generously, ' and you did it 
really well.' 

It was no use. Airey had struggled with the secret ; he had 
determined not to tell anybody not to think of it or to take 
account of it even within himself. But it would out. 

' It's all right. I happened to get a little payment to-day 
one that I'd quite given up hope of ever seeing.' 

' How lucky, old chap ! ' Tommy was content to say. 

It was evident that progress would be gradual. Airey was 
comforting himself with the idea that he had given his dinner 
without encroaching on his hoard. 

Yet something had been done more than Tommy knew of, 
more than he could fairly have taken credit for. When Airey 
reached Danes Inn he found it solitary, and he found it mean. 
His safe and his red book were not able to comfort him. No 
thought of change came to him ; he was far from that. He did 
not even challenge his mode of life or quarrel with the motive 
that inspired it. The usurper was still on the throne in his 
heart, even as Trix's usurper sat still enthroned in hers. Airey 
got no farther than to be sorry that the motive and the mode of 
life necessitated certain things and excluded others. He was not 
so deeply affected but that he put these repinings from him with 
a strong hand. Yet they recurred obstinately, and pictures, long 
foreign to him, rose before his eyes. He had a vision of a great 
joy bought at an enormous price, purchased with a pang that he 
at once declared would be unendurable. But the vision was 
there, and seemed bright. 

' What a comforting thing impossibility is sometimes ! ' His 
reflections took that form as he smoked his last pipe. If all 
things were possible, what struggles there would be ! He could 
never be called upon to choose between the vision and the pang. 
That would be spared him by the blessing of impossibility. 



THE INTRUSIONS OF PEGGY. 445 

Rare as the act was, it could hardly be the giving of a dinner 
which had roused these new and strange thoughts in him. The 
vision borrowed form and colour from the commonest mother of 
visions a woman's face. 

Two or three days later Peggy Ryle brought him seven 
hundred pounds because he had a safe. He said the money 
would be all right, and, when she had gone, stowed it away in the 
appointed receptacle. 

' I keep my own there,' he had explained with an ironical 
smile, and had watched Peggy's carefully grave nod with an 
inward groan. 



CHAPTEE IX. 

BRUISES AND BALM. 

GOSSIP in clubs and whispers from more secret circles had a way 
of reaching Mrs. Bonfill's ears. In the days that followed Mr. 
Lifiey's public inquiry as to who Brown, Jones, and Robinson 
might be, care sat on her broad brow, and she received several 
important visitors. She was much troubled ; it was the first 
time that there had been any unpleasantness with regard to one 
of her piwttggs. She felt it a slur on herself, and at first there 
was a hostility in her manner when Lord Glentorly spoke to her 
solemnly and Constantine Blair came to see her in a great flutter. 
But she was open to reason, a woman who would listen; she 
listened to them. Glentorly said that only his regard for her 
made him anxious to manage things quietly ; Blair insisted more 
on th