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Full text of "Nineteen hundred? : a forecast and a story"

00? 






MAf^ANNE FaI\N1NGHAM 



DUKE UNIVERSITY 



LIBRARY 



The Glenn Negley Collection 
of Utopian Literature 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2010 with funding from 
Duke University Libraries 



http://www.archive.org/details/nineteenhundredfOOfarn 




NINETEEN HUNDRED 



NINETEEN HUNDRED? 



A FORECAST AND A STORY. 



MARIANNE FARNINGHAM, 

Xuthor of " The Cathedral Shadoiv," "The Clarence Family,' 
"Songs of Suwhine" &fc., dr»c. 



ilontfon : 
JA.MES CLARK?: & CO., 13 & 14, FLEET STREET. 

1892. 






This little dream, of what, I hope, may be in the near 
future, was dreamed several years ago, and much of it 
written on paper, the rest having to wait for strength and 
opportunity. But, meanwhile, the spirit of progressive love 
has not had to wait, and already part of my dream has 
come true, for the genius of " applied Christianity " is at 
work, doing what I only saw in a vision. I take this fact 
as an earnest that the other good things will follow. Biit 
they will not unless it is realised that the hope of England 
is in her young. And I affectionately dedicate this fore- 
cast-story to all father-hearted men and mother-hearted 
women who see in every child a treasui-e of priceless 
value, a force of mightiest possibilities, to be redeemed 
for Christ at any cost. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER 


PAGE 


I.— Old England for Ever 


1 


II. — A Sunday in the Country 


8 


III. — A Sunday in London 


IG 


IV.— Cousin Tom 


25 


v.— The Duhy that is Nearest 


33 


VI. — Arthur Knight's Inheritance 


45 


VII. — Mary Wythburn's Wedding 


53 


VIII. — Some Signs of the Times 


63 


IX. — In the Autumn 


72 


X. — In Paradise 


84 


XL— Our Parish 


95 


XII.— A New Order 


106 


XIII.— The Course of True Love 


117 


XIV.— Defeat, or Victory ? 


127 


XV. — A New Emigration 


137 


XVI.— Christmas Day 


147 


XVII. — A Eeport of Progress 


156 


XVIII. — Discovered 


166 


XIX.— A New Minister 


175 


XX.— A Tri-Coloured Crusader 


179 



viii CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER 

XXI. — A Happy Exodus 
XXII. — " Get On, Get Honour, Get Honest " 

XXIII.— A City of Homes 

XXIV. — A Church in Conference 

XXV.— Thistles or Grapes ? 

XXVI.— His Own Wcay 

XXVII. — A Visit of Inquiry 

XXVIII.—" For Christ and the People ! " 

XXIX.— Young England 

XXX.— Peace! 

XXXI. — From Darentdale to High Scathori^e 

XXXII.— A Letter 

XXXIII.— All's Well that Ends Well 

XXXIV.— Was it a Dream ? 

XXXV.— Was it Expedient ? 

XXXVI.— For Ever After ? 



PAUK 

18G 
199 
207 
216 
221 
229 
237 
244 
252 
259 
267 
276 
283 
292 
300 
307 



Nineteen Hundred? 

A FORECAST AND A STOR Y. 



CHAPTER I. 

OLD ENGLAND FOR EVER. 

THE good ship Kenwich Castle lay off Madeira. Few of her 
passengers cared to land, for they were homeward bound, 
and desired nothing so much as to get away speedily. Neither 
were they as much impressed as on the outward journey, 
by the soft brilliancy of the atmosphere and the picturesque 
loveliness of the crimped coast of the island. The towering 
peaks, the rainbow- spanned gorges and ravines, the dense 
foliage of the forests, the vineyards and the plantations — 
made up a picture worthy of admiration ; but the eyes that 
looked across the waters to the white houses of Funchal were 
wearying for the quiet beauty of English meadows. 

The scene between the ship and the shore was a lively one. 
Boats flashed in the sun, and a clamorous company of Portu- 
giiese, Moorish, and negro salesmen offered fruits, baskets, 
chairs, and ornaments of all sorts, so that those who had 
forgotten to bring presents for their friends might easily 
purchase them now. Swimming boys — black-skinned and 
coffee-coloured — were shouting for money to be thrown into 
the sea to test their diving powers, and boatmen were eager 
for customers. But the captain and the crew looked only for 
fresh passengers, and did but wait with dogged patience until 
they shovild arrive. 

Two young men were leaning over the side of the vessel, 
and watching the boats and the shore. 

" There are passengers coming," said one. " It would indeed 
be strange if Miss Wentworth were among them." 

" Too strange to be true, I imagine. She is probably in 
England." 



2 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" Yes. But she iisiially leaves Madeii-a al)Oi;t this time. I 
wish she might happen to be goine; with us." 

" So do I, heartily. And, look — look at the lady in the 
second boat. She is very like her." 

" How curious. It is really she. Let us see if we can help 
her." 

They hi;rried to the gangway and welcomed with great 
cordiality a lady whom everybody seemed glad to see, not a 
young lady, however, but a placid, kindly-looking woman, tall 
and matronly, who was between fifty and sixty years of age. 
She thanked the young men who had eagerly offered their 
services, but she evidently did not recognise them nor quite 
understand their manifest pleasure. 

" How are you, Miss Wentworth ? It is good to meet you 
again. Ton have forgotten us, I see. "We came out with you 
six years ago in the Drnmrnond Castle. My friend is John 
Dallington, and I am Arthur Knight." 

" Oh, yes, I remember ! Ton were both sent from England 
to be out of the way ; because your presence at home was 
embarrassing." 

" Exactly ; and we have been together ever since. We have 
travelled nearly all over the world ; bl^t they cannot do with- 
out us any longer in England, so we are homeward bound, as 
you are. Don't you want to know how we have been getting 
along since we parted from you at the hotel yonder ? " 

" I shall like to hear anything you have to tell me. Tou 
are both so altered that I should not have known you. Tou 
have grown, I think, and passed from youth into manhood. 
Six years make a great difference when you are young. What 
has become of the gentleman who went to take care of you ? 
Is he with you still ? " 

" No, he is not. We must tell you of him presently." 

They made a pleasant-looking trio, frequently, during the 
three days that sufficed to carry them to England, as, with 
chairs drawn together on the deck, they talked of the past 
and the future. Miss Wentworth was an interested listener. 
Her fifty years had made her very kindly and sympathetic, 
and the motherliness of her nature rendered her the friend of 
every one who came within her reach, and especially of the 
young. She had been kind to the two youths, when, a little 
sore-hearted and rebellious, they were outward bound, and 
among the things which she had said to " hearten them up " 
had been one which they had not forgotten. They were 
therefore the more glad to see her now that their banishment 
was ended, and they were about to begin life in earnest. 

Of the two young men, though Dallington was the more 



OLD ENGLAND FOR EVER. 3 

liandsome. Knight was by far the more attractive. Rather 
taller than the average Englishman, strong and graceful 
in figure, with a broad forehead, masculine nose, firm lips, 
and wide chin, he was the personification of strength and 
manliness ; but there was something about him which told 
also of great tenderness, refinement, and self-mastery. There 
was not a particle of self-assertion in him, and yet he was 
one who would never be overlooked, even in a crowd. When 
he entered a room people naturally observed him, when he 
spoke everybody listened; for he had the rare gift of mag- 
Tietic influence, which seems to be possessed by only a few in a 
century. 

Miss Wentworth had recognised this on her first meeting 
with him. She felt sure that if he lived the world wotild hear 
■of Arthur Knight, and she was full of desire that the life 
so vigorous and forceful might be altogether on the side of 
righteousness and truth. So wistful was she that she could 
not let him go without one or two earnest words. She 
believed that " the Christian is the highest type of man," and 
her faith in the power of the living Christ to draw and train 
disciples was great. She had doubts of the presmnption 
which talks to people about "their souls," yet she did summon 
■courage to say to those young men, who glibly informed her 
that they did not believe in the Founder of the Christian 
religion, " No, for you do not need Him now ; but when you 
do, you will find that He is both able and willing to help 
you." 

These words neither of the three had forgotten ; and 
Knight referred to them in one of their conversations. 

" I proved the truth of what you said. Miss Wentworth, in 
a very extraordinary manner. I had not the slightest sym- 
pathy with religion in any form. My mother died when I 
was about three, I can scarcely remember her ; but my father, 
who was a Dissenter, took me to chapel with him always ; 
though I never really entered into the service. I did not join 
in the prayer, for I did not want the things for which the 
minister asked, and the sermons never concerned me. They 
were for the most part disquisitions on texts, for which I did 
not care, and they seemed to me to have nothing whatever to 
do with the ordinary lives of the people. I cannot remember 
ever hearing anything to make a false or selfish man uncom- 
fortable, and I could not see that those who were church 
members were at all better than those who were not. And I 
really believed that the whole thing was a farce." 

" I never went as far as that," said Dallington. " But I did 
."not have as much of it as my friend. We were Church. 



4 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

people ; and we had no prayer-meetings in the vestry, nor 
psalm-singing at home." 

" I had enough of it, and it was really irksome ; and when I 
began to read books that were opposed to Christianity I 
agi'eed with every word that was said, and decided that as for 
religion there was absolutely nothing in it." 

"Yes?" 

" But I know now that there is. You were asking me about 
my old tutor. He is dead ; and it was at his death that I put 
your words to the test. It was very painful. We were alone, 
with none but Arabs near us. He was awfully ill; and when 
the thought came to him that he would probably die, he was 
altogether unnerved. The fact is that he was really afraid of 
what might be after death. He said to me, ' Arthur, if there 
is a hereafter I am not prepared for it.' Then I told him 
what you had said." 

At this point of the conversation John Dallington arose 
and walked to the side of the vessel. 

"Mr. Knight, if you would rather not talk about it, do not 
tell me," said Miss Wentworth, in a low voice. 

" But I want you to know," said Knight. " One cannot 
talk much about it ; but I ought to tell you, and I will. I had 
never prayed before, but then with all my heart I called upon 
Jesus Christ. I asked Him, if it were true, as so many people 
believed, that He was really the living Saviour, to reveal 
Himself now. And He did." 

" But yoiir friend did not live." 

" No ; we did not ask for that. That was not what we most 
wanted. What we needed was the assurance that there is 
Some One who sees us in our weakness and cares for oiu' 
pain, and hears its when we cry. The assurance came so cer- 
tainly that I have never doubted since. Hutton grew first 
calm, and then radiantly happy — as I had never seen him 
before. He looked up with a wonderful light upon his face, 
as if he could really see what is beyond, and he died with the 
name of Jesus upon his lips." 

" I am very glad. And what of yourself ? " 

" Of course, I cannot explain things. Dallington and I 
have received pretty regularly from England all the books 
and journals which we coiild get ; and I know that this is 
a time of great doubt. I cannot answer the questions that 
are asked. Biit" — and the young man bowed his head 
reverently — "I believe in the Son of God, and I rest in His 
salvation." 

Such a conversation could not be a j^rotracted one. Miss 
Wentworth could only look the sympathy and joy which she 



OLD ENGLAND FOR EVER. 5 

felt ; and Avtliuv Knight walked the length of the deck 
twice, and then joined his friend. When the three met 
again on the following day the talk was of a less serious 
character. 

"I wonder," said Miss Wentworth, " if you are going to 
rave against everything English, as so many of our country- 
men do ? " 

" No, indeed," replied Dallington ; " I think we shall be 
moi-e likely to err in the opposite direction. I, for one, am 
proud of my country. I suppose we might learn a few things 
from other nations, but I am very well satisfied to be an 
Englishman." 

" What are you going to do ? " 

" I have an estate to look after," said Dallington. " I am 
going to take cai-e of my mother, and find out the best way 
of growing fruit and corn." 

" And I am going to help my father," said Knight. " He is 
a manufacturer." 

" But his son does not wish to be a manufacturer," said 
Dallington, significantly. " He hopes to talk the people of 
England round to his ideas." 

Knight's face flushed almost painfully. " We cannot 
always alter circumstances," he said ; " but I confess that there 
is to me a marvellous fascination in a listening crowd. There 
is, however, no lack of orators in England." 

"A new man who has something to say, and knows how to 
say it, has always his chance, though," said Miss Wentworth. 

What his dreams had been by night and day the young 
man did not tell. He said, " My father's business is a large 
one. I have some ideas on the subject of heads and hands, or 
masters and men ; and hojje I may have the opportunity of 
putting them into practice." 

" Oh ! surely you have not been abroad to learn Socialism. 
We English people are afraid of that," said Miss Wentworth. 

" And yet many are dissatisfied with things as they are." 

" Certainly, and they have need to be. Bide by side with 
all the good there are evils of which every decent person is 
utterly ashamed." 

" Then why do the decent people allow them to exist ? " 

" I suppose they cannot help it." 

" But they could if they would. They have the power and 
the influence, if they only had the will. Very much of the 
wealth, too, is in the hands of religious i^eople, and if only 
they cared, as I think they ought, the great evils which are a 
disgrace to England might be stamped out in a year." 

" Do you really think so ? " 



6 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" I feel sure of it. Englishmen do but need to know God's, 
greatness and their own, and then they could lift our country 
up to its name as a Christian land. ' 

Miss Wentworth laughed a little. "' That would bring the 
Millenniiim much sooner than it is exj)ected," she said. 

" Another Wesley is wanted, or even a non-political Glad- 
stone, that is all. The people are ready for the man who has 
an understanding of the times." 

It was early in the morning, just after daybreak, that the 
long-looked-for homeland aj^peared in sight. Nobody had 
slept much that night, for the thoughts of the passengers 
had gone on before their eyes to the green heights of 
Plymouth Hoe. Tet it was not so much because of its. 
historical associations that it so haunted them, bvit because 
it would give them the first glimpse of the old coimtry. A 
cheer arose from the throats of the watchers as soon as it 
first came in sight, and preparations for disembarking were 
so rapidly completed that every one was ready long before the 
land was reached. 

Arthur Knight stood with folded arms and glowing eyes 
looking at the land. How he had dreamed of that moment, 
and prayed, " Here am I, send me." It was strange for a 
modern young man to be thinking of St. Paul and of Peter 
the Hermit, biit he was. He believed, as they did, that he 
had received a God-inspired impulse, and that he had a 
message to deliver for which there were hundreds of thou- 
sands of people waiting in this dear native land of his. He 
was in a state of exaltation, tempered, however, with deep 
humility. " I am not worthy, yet send me," he said. " Let 
me go to the crowded towns and the lonely villages, and tell 
the people what Thou hast told me." 

He uttered the words aloud, for no one was quite close, and 
the next moment he stepped ashore, and a man came forward 
to greet him. " Welcome home, Mr. Arthur. I am very glad 
to see you." 

" How do you do, Hancourt ? How is my father P" 

" Mr. Knight is well, sir ; so am I, only I am much worried. 
As you said you wished to talk to me I have taken the liberty 
to engage a private compartment for the journey to London," 
said tlie man. 

" Yery good. When does the train start ? " 

" Almost immediately. Can I look after yoiir luggage ? " 

Knight at once took leave of his travelling companions. " My 
father's chief business manager has come to meet me at my 
request," he said, " and we travel together. Good-bye, Dalling- 
ton, and thank you for everything, old fellow. Hope you will 



OLD ENGLAND FOR EVER. 7 

find your Margaret unchanged. I should be sorry to think 
we had come to the end of the story. Remember, we are but 
beginning it." 

" I will not forget," answered Dallington. 

" Good-bye, Miss Wentworth. I am glad to have youi- 
address. Tou will be sure to hear from me." 

When they were in the carriage, Knight and Hancourt 
looked steadfastly at each other before either spoke, and each 
noted the changes which the years had made. 

" How is Mrs. Hancourt ? And how are your children ? " 
asked Knight. 

" They are very well, thank you. Mr. Arthur, I am not 
sure that I ought to have met you, for there have been many 
changes in the last few months, and I am no longer in your 
father's employment." 

" How is that ? I thought my father could not do without 

you." 

" Tou are wanted at home, sir. Mr. Knight has become a 
universal manufacturer, and has an enormous business, or 
a dozen businesses, and employs thousands of hands. He 
has been for the last few years making money fast ; but as 
fast as he has got rich his workpeople have got poor, and that 
is not right, Mr. Ai'thur." 

"Tou must take care what you say of my father, Han- 
court." 

" Yery good, sir. I am out of the concern, so it is nothing 
to me ; but I hope you will let me tell you what is in my 
heart." 

" Go on, then." 

" Lately, indeed almost ever since you went away, the 
master has been cutting things very close and underselling 
everybody, and to do that he has used the commonest mate- 
rial, and has frequently lowered the wages of his hands. Many 
things which go across the sea are not wortli the cost of 
carriage ; they are just put together to look well and that is 
all. I -think it is a gi-eat pity, and I ventured to say so 
to Mr. Knight, because he will lose his customers, and the 
business will go down as quickly as it went up if he does not 
change his method. But Mr. Knight told me he did not care 
for that. 'He thinks it is no business of his that other English 
maniifacturers will be suspected because he has got England 
a bad name, but I think it ought to be, and that such conduct 
is unpatriotic. But exciise me, Mr. Arthur, I can't help 
getting warm over it. I want to ask you, however, if you 
will not try and bring about a better state of things ? " 

Arthur felt as if a stone had been given him when he asked 



8 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

for bread. Could it be that this and not that was bis duty ? 
How sbould be give up bis cberisbed ideas, and tbe work to 
wbicb be bonestly believed bimself called, and come down to 
business ? 

Hancourt broke in upon bis musings. " You see, sir, I am 
one of tbe people, and know wbat it is to work for starva- 
tion wages, and so 1 tbougbt I would try and enlist your 
sympatby." 

" Wbat are you doing yourself P " 

" Notbing, sir, and I bave a wife and two cbildren. But I 
am afraid I bave spoiled your bome coming." 

Indeed, be bad. 



CHAPTER II. 

A SUNDAY IN THE COUNTRY. 

THE door of tbe manor bouse was open, and tbe owner 
stood on tbe step looking across green fields and sloping 
bills. Botb tbe man and tbe bouse were wortby of attention. 
Tbe man was a strong, straigbt young Englisbman of twenty- 
tbree years, a little above tbe average lieigbt, witb a face fvill 
of bealtb and intelligence, a moutb and cbin tbat sbowed 
strengtb and firmness, grey eyes full of kindliness, and a well- 
sbapcd bead covei-ed witb crisj?, brown bair. Tbe bouse was 
an old-fasbioned Englisb bomestead, unpretentious, but sub- 
stantial, and witb an air about it of comfort and plenty. It 
was tbe sort of bouse always associated in our minds witb 
tbe pictures of rural life wbicb emigrants keep intbeir bearts, 
and painters put on tbe canvas. 

Tbe young man standing in tbe doorway was tbinking not 
of tbe bouse, but of tbe view tbat was visible from it ; and, in 
trutb, it was a very pleasant one. Tbe garden at bis feet was 
ample and well kept, and already tbe spring flowers were 
making it beautiful. Around tbe outside tbere were sbrubs 
of many kinds, and beyond tbem tbe bomeclose looked green 
and sunny, wbile furtber still a little stream rippled and 
sang, and woods and fields made tbe landscape fair. Jobn 
Dailington was by no means an emotional man, but bis lieart 
beat quickly as be looked across tbe fertile Englisb lands 
tbat bad been bis fatber's, and were now his own. He bad 
never experienced tbe land-bunger tbat some jseople know ; 



A SUNDAY IN THE COUNTRY. 9 

but if lie liad lie could scarcely have felt a greater sense of 
■satisfaction than that which filled him now. 

" To think that so fair a piece of this wonderful little Eng- 
land is really mine, to have and hold, and do as I please with ! " 
he thought. " I have seen nothing so peaceful and pic- 
turesque in all my wanderings. It is indeed good to be at 
home." 

And he felt this all the more because his absence had been 
a long one. More than six years had passed since on a cold, 
wet morning he had parted from his mother, and turned his 
back upon his home. It was better so he thought then, and 
it was his conviction still. But the memory was rather 
a painful one, though it came to him on a Sunday morning, 
when everything seemed glad, and the contrast between the 
present and the past was most striking. 

John Dallington lost his father when he was between 
sixteen and seventeen years old. He had only just left 
school, and was beginning to learn the best way to farm 
land when his father died unexpectedly and suddenly. 
In his will he left everything to bis wife, constituting her 
sole executrix, with power to make any arrangements or 
alterations she pleased until their child was of an age to 
assume the control of the estate. The lad loved his mother, 
and proudly endeavoured to take his place as her natural 
companion and protector. But when, less than a year after 
bis father's death, she married Mr. Daniel Hunter, every- 
thing became changed. John and his step father disliked each 
•other from the first, and the youth felt as an interloper in his 
home. There were a few stormy scenes between the two, the 
mother always taking sides with her husband ; and then 
John made his mother so angry, by some hot words, which he 
uttered respecting a young lady in Darentdale whom she 
disliked, that she decided to send him away from home forth- 
with, and from that time until the jDrevious evening the heir 
had not seen his home. But he never forgot what his 
future position was to be, and had spent considerable time in 
study, and in examination of agricultural plans as foltowed in 
the different countries which he visited. He was, therefore, 
not altogether unready for his new duties. But he had been 
in no hurry to return and take them upon himself. Even 
when his lawyer's letter reminded him that he had attained 
his majority, and requested him to come home and claim his 
rights, he did not do so; and it was not until his mother 
wrote informing him that she was a second time a widow, and 
needed him. that he started on his journey. 

While waiting tor his mother on this, his first Sunday 



10 NINETEEN HUNDRED ? 

in England, his thouglits were full of kindliness toward her- 
" Poor little mother, it must be hard for her to be twice a 
widow. I wonder if Hunter really made her happy, and if 
she cared very much for him. I shall never be able to under- 
stand how it was that she married him — a man not fit to hold 
a candle to my father, and with scarcely a particle of his 
high principle and goodness ! How could she do it ? But it 
is sti-ange to me if she has not had to suffer for it, and she 
certainly looks ill and miserable. It cannot be because she- 
loved him. I hope he was good to her. In any case I will 
be. No woman can help liking to have her son with her, and 
I will try to make up to her for the trouble she has had." 

At that moment the sound of the bells came across the 
field, and John remembered that there was a mile to walk to 
church. 

" Mother, it is time to start. Are you ready ? " he cried, 
and she came immediately — a small figure, short and slight, 
but very dignified, and covered from head to foot in crape. 

" What a shrouded up little mother it is ! " he said tenderly, 
" and how uncomfortable you must be. Can you breathe at 
all imder that thick thing ? " 

" Oh. yes. It is not so thick as it looks." 

" I am glad to hear it. I don't like the crape fashion in 
the very least. It is a shame to cover up your face when it 
looks so pretty with the grey hair above it." 

"Ah, you must see a great change in me, John. My hair 
has got very grey during the last two years, and my sight is 
failing me too. I am quite the old woman already." 

" Not at all ! Besides, you will be getting young again 
presently. You must wear glasses ; they are an improve- 
ment to most people. And as for grey hair, what does that 
matter ? Everybody knows that it means many things besides 
old age." 

" I am old, though, older than my years " 

" Poor little mother ; you have had plenty to make you so ; 
but you will soon feel better. Is not this a beautiful morn- 
ing ! And you cannot guess how glad I am to be at home 
with you. I used to read some poetry when I was away 
about ' England's primrose meadow paths,' and try to re- 
member what they looked like. It is a very agreeable change 
to see them. This is a cosy little wood." 

They were wending their way through the spinney, and 
the scent of the spring flowers was very sweet. The air, too, 
was full of music, for the birds were singing, and the chiming 
of the bells came nearer with every step they took. Now 
and then a thrush or blackbird sang to them as they passed 



A SUNDAY IN THE COUNTRY. 11 

a squirrel sprang among the trees, and the rabljits scuttled 
across the path. The whole scene was so peaceful and lovely 
that John Dallington felt like taking his hat off in instinctive 
reverence for the beauty by which he was surrounded. He 
did not want to talt, and his mother seemed equally willing 
to be silent. Indeed, the finest sermon that could have been 
preached to the young man was finding its way into his heart 
as he walked toward the church that morning. 

But when they emerged from the wood, and after crossing 
a meadow reached the high road, his thoughts were at once 
interrupted. The village of Darentdale was only a small one, 
and every individual in it knew that the young squire had 
come home to claim his own. There had been much talking 
of neighbours about him, and the liveliest interest was ex- 
cited by his appearance. As he and his mother passed the 
scattered houses, faces peeped from the windows, and doors 
were softly opened to enable the occupants of the cottages to 
have a longer look at Mrs. Hunter and her son. Every one 
who passed glanced at the young man's face, with an expression 
first of curiosity, and then of confidence and pleasure. In 
these days the villagers are not too much given to the " old- 
fashioned practice of saluting " their betters " : they do not 
think that they have any : but on this Sunday morning all 
the women seemed inclined to remember their manners of the 
old style, and thei'e was not a man who did not touch or raise 
his hat as they passed. It was all very agreeable to John 
Dallington, and the genial, hearty way in which he returned 
each salutation had the effect of at once favourably im- 
pressing his neighbours. 

" He'U do, won't he ? Eh ! " said a man who was leaning 
over his garden gate. 

" Oh, ah ! he'll do fine," replied another, taking his i)ipe 
from his mouth for a moment. " He's growed into a very 
likely lad, has he, and we shall do better with him nor we did 
with t'other." 

" That's my 'pinion also. He looks like a fine young 
Englishman, though he have been a-living in foreign parts." 

" He'll do. and that's my verdict." 

John Dallington was looking at the villagers with an in- 
terest scarcely less keen than that with which they regarded 
him. He knew more about them than might be imagined. 
Newspapers, magazines, reviews, and other floating literature 
dealing with the questions of the day had been regularly 
transmitted to him during his absence, and he was, therefore, 
well acquainted with things as they were. He had read of 
bad harvests in Encidand while linserino; among the cornfield 5 



12 NINETEEN HUNDRED ? 

of America ; and " the bitter cry " of London liad reached 
him in New Zealand. Perhaps, as he looked at these sub- 
jects from a distance, and studied them very impartially by 
the aid of both Liberal and Conservative journals, he was as 
able to decide concerning them as those who had remained 
upon the scene. In any case, with the usual sanguine con- 
fidence of youth, he quite believed he was ; and had already 
fully made up his mind in regard to his course of action. 
One of the first things he meant to do next morning was 
to go over the estate and " see to things." especially keeping 
his eyes open to the needs of the cottage tenants on the 
farm. 

" John, this is rather a trying ordeal," said Mrs. Hunter, 
as they entered the churchyard. " Everybody seems to be 
looking at us." 

" Never mind, mother ; they are looking very kindly. And 
here is Emerson, appearing not a day older than when I went 
away. I suppose he is as good as ever. He used to work as 
hard and live on as little as if he were the curate instead of 
the vicai-. How sti'ange it will feel to be in the old pew once 
more." 

The next minute they had taken their places ; and as the 
last strokes of the bells died away the sounds of the organ 
were heard ; and John knelt as he used to kneel when a little 
boy at his mother's side, to join in the General Confession, 
and listen to the Absolution. 

John Dallington had frequently availed himself of the oppor- 
tianities afforded him in distant lauds of attending religious 
services, but he never joined more heartily in the prayers 
than he did on this occasion. They expressed exactly what 
he felt, and the grand old Psalms and the Te Deum filled the 
little old Darentdale church with strains that were sweeter to 
his ears than any that he had heard in the gi-and cathedrals 
•of the Continent. But now his heart was full of peace and 
goodwill, and he was in the mood to enjoy anything. How 
could he help wishing to be good when he had so mut;h for 
which to be thankful ? We hear plenty of talk about the 
salutary effects of sorrow, but is not joy salvitary too ? It is 
the miserable who are the most tempted to wickedness. H 
there were only more happiness in the world, it is almost cer- 
tain that there would be more goodness also. 

The services at Darentdale church were never unnecessarily 
lengthened, and before long the congregation was filing out. 
Most people waited to give some sort of respectful greeting 
to Mrs. Hunter and her son. Considerable sympathy Avas 
felt for the widow, though very little affection had been 



A SUNDAY IN THE COUNTRY. 15 

manifested toward Ler late husband, and the villagers 
managed to let the lady feel this. 

" Things are looking very much the same, mother. I miss 
one or two of the older people, and some of the boys and 
girls have grown up like myself ; but, on the whole, there is 
little change. How are the Dissenters getting on ? Are 
there any more chapels built ? " 

" Oh, yes ; one or two Methodists, besides the old Baptist 
and the Salvation Army." 

" I must turn into one of them this evening, and see how 
things look there ! " 

" I hope you will not take to chapel going ! " 

" Why not, mother ? " laughed John. " It is a rule of mine 
to go everywhere, and see everything that I can. And it has 
answered very well, too. I assure you that one sometimes 
gets splendidly entertained in most unlikely places." 

" I hope you will not seek entertainment there, at all 
events ; though, of course, you must do as you like now." 
Mrs. Hunter accompanied the last clause with a significant 
sigh of resignation. 

" That is a privilege you have always given me," he 
answered, gently, " and I hope it has done me no harm. But 
here we are in the wood again. Mother, haven't you heard 
people say that they love the very ground they tread on ? 
That is how I feel to-day. I wonder how it is that we all 
have such a regard for land." 

" Because of what it brings forth, I suppose." 
" I scarcely think that accounts for it altogether. Of 
course, as the land is such a marvellous producer of wealth, it 
is only right and natural that it should be respected and well- 
treated. But it is no thought of crops that makes me like to 
look at it to-day." 

" That is as well, perhaps," said Mrs. Hunter, grimly, " for 
he who sets his heart upon crops in these days is likely to 
become heart-broken." 

" I know they have been very poor for several seasons." 
" They have been utterly and wholly disappointing failures. 
I can tell you, John, that you have been spared an immense 
amount of worry by your residence abroad. Rain has come 
when we wanted it dry, and drought when we needed rain. 
Sumraers have had no sunshine, and winters no snow. This 
last winter, indeed, has been more like the old-fashioned kind; 
so, perhaps, the tide of misfortune is turning, and we may 
hope for better things. I should like one change which I sup- 
pose I shall not live to see, and that is the reduction of the 
present high rate of wages paid to agricultural labourers." 



14 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" High wages do you call them ? What do you think you 
could do with an income of sixteen shillings a week, mother ? " 

*' Now, John, you need not speak so indignantly. I trust 
jou have not iml^iljed any of those socialistic notions that 
seem to be prevalent. It will be so much the worse for you if 
jou have, for you will find that the wages are higher than you 
can afford to pay ; and Ijesides, the men are neither better nor 
happier for receiving them." 

" I am not a Socialist," said John, and then a diversion, 
occurred. 

" Why, who is this ? Old Benham, isn't it ? Then he is 
still at work about the place. How are you, George ? " 

'• I'm hearty, thank you, Master John, sir, and how's your- 
self ? How you have altered to be sure ; but I knowed it was 
you when I seed you going down the lane this morning. And 
how did you like them furrin parts, sir? " 

" Oh, I liked them very much ; but there's no place like 
home." 

" Werry true, sir, and I'm glad you think so, and it's a 
beautifvil morning to welcome you back. We're a going to 
have a better season this year, Mr. John, you take my word 
for it. When that 'ere tree in the holler is covered in leaves 
by the fifteenth of April we alius gets a good summer. I've 
noticed it, bless yer heart, hundreds of times." 

'• Have you though P " said John, laughingly. " I should 
not have thought it. You really look young for your years." 

Benham did not understand where the joke was, but he saw 
that he must have said a good thing, and laughed too. "And 
I hope it imll be a good season," he added, " since it's the 
first in your home, and we be all glad, every man and boy on 
the estate, as you've come into your own, and long may you 
•enjoy it." 

It was all very pleasant to John Dallington, who would not 
soon forget the first Sunday spent in his own place. In the 
afternoon he walked across the fields where the young corn 
was springing, and into the woods where bursting buds and 
merry songs were eloquent of spring. The delight of posses- 
sion was very keen within him, and it, perhaps, more than 
anything else, made this sunny Sunday in the covmtry to be 
for ever a delightful memory with him. 

In the evening he did as he had said he would, and 
attended the service at one of the Darentdale chapels. 
There, as at the church, he was recognised, and cordially 
welcomed. There was something in the young man's appear- 
ance that bespoke for him the universal favour of his kind. 
His eyes were so frank and clear, the smile upon his lips was 



A SUNDAY IN THE COUNTRY. 15 

«o cheery and real, the tones of his voice were oo hearty, 
that people trnsted him and liked him at once. His presence 
at the chapel doors excited the liveliest approbation. Was 
the young squire a Dissenter ? If so, then good times were 
coming for the little " cause" at Darentdale. 

" Very glad to see you, sir," was the welcome given to him. 
by one of the principal men in the place, whose duty it was 
to conduct strangers to their seats. He had not very much 
of this work to do, for few strangers came to Darentdale, 
and fewer still to the chapel ; and so he was fain to open the 
pew doors for the regular attendants, and, with a bow and a 
smile, fasten them in their own rented domicile of the 
Sabbath. But now there was a chance to distinguish him- 
self, and the air with which John Dallington was marshalled 
Tip the aisle and into the best square pew at the top was 
exceedingly impressive. 

John looked about him for a moment with a little curiosity. 
He had never been into the place before, and he was sur- 
prised to see the numbers crowding the body of the chapel 
and pressing forward in the gallery. The fact of their pre- 
sence was in itself sufficient to cause him to feel respect for 
the service, for John Dallington had not yet grown to think 
that he was right and everybody else wrong, and he enter- 
tained a profound reverence for anything that could influence 
numbers of people. He saw a plain-looking building, with 
uncomfortable pews, each securely buttoned, and each filled 
with persons. He saw a pulpit, rather more uncomfortable- 
looking than the pews, which a man with benevolent face and 
white hair presently entered, and was also shut in. And he 
saw, immediately under the pulpit, a large pool of water. 
He did not, as probably many young men would have done, 
promise himself some fun out of the entertainment. He had 
too much veneration in his composition for that. He had 
felt no inclination to laugh at the use made of water in the 
churches of the Continental cities which he had visited, and 
it must be confessed that he had seen nothing to sigh over 
either. It was evident that the people were sincere and 
attached some significance to the act, and that was enough 
for him. It was with precisely the same placid toleration 
that he looked at the baptistery in Darentdale Chapel. And, 
although he wondered how any one could prefer it to that 
which he attended in the morning, it was not with a feeling 
of indifl^erence that the young man regarded the service. 
His whole being was susceptible to all the influences of that 
day, and he felt some stirring of heart when the people sang 
together their hymn of praise. The sermon was not a bad 



16 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

piece of oratory ; the speaker knew liis subject and handled 
it courageously, and as it proceeded John began to under- 
stand that the pool of water was not an ordinary adjunct to 
the service, but that he was about to witness the rite peculiar 
to the Baptist denomination. 

His attention was held throughout ; but when the minister 
had descended from the pulpit and was standing by the 
water, his heart gave a great bound. A girl who had been 
sitting in one of the pews, and whose face had been hidden 
from him by otliei- people, quietly went to the side of the pool. 
"• Margaret does look lovely to-night." whispered some one 
behind him ; and the next moment the girl lifted her eyes, 
luminous with some mysterious exultation, and they met his 
own. What happened after that he scarcely knew. As soon 
as he could he left the place and started across the fields to 
his home. 

" It was no use sending me away," he said. " The boy's 
love is living yet. Margaret, Margaret, have you forgotten ? 
I never shall forget, and you are all the world to me still." 

But he looked and felt much more troubled than glad as 
he thus uttered his thought. 



CHAPTER III. 

A SUNDAY IN LONDON. 

TO be in London at any time is an experience that is worth 
having ; for all good things seem to tend to this wonderful 
city, which is the very heart of the world ! What might o£ 
power and influence it possesses ! What vivid life of all 
kinds exists in it ! Some people say it is not beautiful as 
Paris. Brussels, and other cities are; bvit they are surely 
mistaken. It has a beauty and a homeliness that is all its 
own. I'^o parks are more green ; no streets are more 
interesting. To Arthur Knight, as he drove from West to 
East on his arrival, it seemed to him the fairest, as it was 
certainly the dearest, of all the world. The trouble that had 
been put into his mind by Hancourt, though a very personal 
one, could not absorb his thoughts as he looked upon his 
fellow-countrymen in the crowded thoroughfares. " If 
London were _ Christian, there would be hope of the whole 
world," he said ; and his was the dream of how many devout 



A SUNDA V IN LONDON. 17 

souls beside ! With liis strong heart full of the enthusiasm of 
youth, he did not for a moment consider the dream to be 
impossible of realisation. And with the same buoyant hope- 
fulness he thought that something which he had to say would 
hasten that consummation. He passed by the dwellings of 
the rich, and, measuring others by himself, he peopled them 
with young men who were ready to live or die in the true 
service of their country. He believed that the time had come 
for the new aristocracy to assert itself — the aristocracy of 
character and helpfulness — the nobility of the future, whose 
destiny it is to rule the world with righteousness. " This 
little island ought to be full of friends," he said, echoing the 
thought of one of England's greatest teachers. But when he 
reached the East-end the awful contrasts of the metropolis 
impressed and saddened him. 

It was in this part of London that Arthur Knight's home 
was. Mr. Knight, senior, had not followed the fashion, and 
sought out a suburban residence. He preferred to live near 
his works, and could not bring himself to believe that a 
railway ride every morning and evening would be a saving of 
time, or strength, or money. He lived in an old house, sur- 
rounded by a moderately large garden, in which, however, few 
things flourished but shrubs. All aroimd the garden was a 
high wall, which completely shut the place out of sight ; so 
that, but for the noise, one might have fancied himself miles 
away from the great city. Not only was the house an ancient 
one, but the furniture in it was sombre and old-fashioned. It 
was not a home-like house, for no woman presided over it ; 
only a couple of servants kept it in something like order, and 
carried out the wishes of the master. A child's voice was 
never heard making music in it, and few guests ever entered 
it. If people wanted to see the owner, they generally sought 
him at his office, because there they were the most likely to 
find him ; and no one had come to the house by invitation for 
several years. There were rooms enough in it to accommodate 
a large family, but Mr. Knight had lived in it, after his son 
went away, in complete solitude. He had often felt sorry 
that he had sent the lad from him in anger, and had not 
more patiently tried to bend the young will to his own ; but 
the anger had died away now, and he had begun to acknow- 
ledge that he felt lonely. 

It was on Saturday evening that Arthur passed through 
the well-remembered gateway. His heart beat rapidly as he 
entered the house, and when he took his father's hand in his 
a great wave of tender feeling swept over him. His father 
was all that he had in the world. Mother, brothers, sister — 



18 NINETEEN HUNDRED ? 

;ill were gone, and lie liad not yet found any one on whom lie 
could set his heart. But he owed everythmg to his father, 
and he resolved that it should go hardly with him indeed but 
that he would prove a loyal and helpful son now that he had 
at last recalled him. The old man trembled as he met him. 
He was as much altered as Arthur himself, and he looked as 
if the years had dealt far less kindly with him than they had 
with his son. Arthur could see that the meeting was trying 
his father exceedingly, and during the evening he did his best 
to keep the conversation on commonplace topics. 

But after breakfast the next morning he could feel that 
something was coming. The church bells were chiming in 
all directions, and the young man's heart was drawn towards 
the quiet and restfulness which he knew might be reached in 
a few minutes. But his father wanted him, and he thought 
his duty was with him. 

" We may as well have a talk about things, Arthur," he 
said. '' I suppose you don't care about going out P I have 
given up my sittings in Queen-street. I used to do a great 
deal for the place, as you know ; but latterly they had a man 
whom I could not get on with. He insulted me, and I don't 
take an insult twice from the same person. He told me that 
I did not subscribe enough money, and I was not going to 
stand such impertinence from anybody. I always thought the 
Nonconformist places of worshij? were maintained on the 
voluntary principle, but I don't call it voluntary when a man 
tries to bully you out of your money." 

" No, indeed. I wish the question of money had not to 
come so much to the front." 

" I have saved the money that religion used to cost me, 
that is all." 

" Could you not have gone to some other church ? " asked 
Arthur, gravely. He could not answer his father's chuckle 
with a laugh. 

" Of course I could ! There were enough to choose from ; 
but I know they are all alike in one respect — they are all 
greedy and grasping for money." 

" It seems that nothing can be carried on without it." 

" Then let those who like such things pay for them." 

Arthur was amazed. His father was indeed changed 
since those old Sundays which he remembered so well, when 
he had been taken to pi-ayer-meeting, Sunday-school, and 
service from early morning imtil late at night. He won- 
dered curiously how many orthodox sermons his father must 
have heard, and what had been the good of them all to him. 

" Trade is bad," said the old man, after a pause. 



A SUNDA Y IN LONDON. 19 

" Is it ? I am sorry to hear that." 

" I hope it will not give out just yet, because I have not 
'done all upon which I have set my heart. I have had some 
heavy losses, too, and these are the things that eat into a 
man's life. But, still, I have not done badly after all, and I 
may as well tell you at once." 

Here he stopped, as if he would arouse his son's cui-iosity ; 
but Arthur only waited in courteous deference until his 
father chose to say tlie next thing. And it was rather long 
in coming. 

•• Arthin- ! " 

■• Yes, father P " 

" I am almost a millionaire ! " 

" Father ! " 

" Really and truly, if I am spared a few years longer, and a 
Tiind Providence smiles on me still, I should not wonder if you 
prove to be the heir to a million of money." 

Arthur stared at his father, who had spoken the last words, 
:as indeed they deserved to be spoken, in tones that were as 
solemn as they were triumphant. 

" A million ? " he echoed. 

'• That is between ourselves, of course. Nobody else knows 
exactly, and most people would scarcely believe me if I were 
to tell them." And Mr. Knight leaiied back in his chair, and 
laughed softly. 

Arthur did not laugh; and presently his father glanced 
keenly at him. 

" Well, my son, what do you think of that ? " 

" I think it is an enormous fortune, and that great responsi- 
bility attaches to it." 

In fact, his thoughts were so busy that he scarcely knew 
what to say. It seemed to him that many of his dreams might 
almost at once become accomplished facts. More than enough 
money would be his to set in action the beneficent schemes 
which, night and day, had haunted him during the last two 
years. And what was there to prevent him from spending his 
life in his own chosen way ? The business indeed ? Surely 
the right thing would be to retire from it altogether. And 
yet, — would that he right or best ? Ai-thur Knight himgered 
for people ; and here in his father's employ were several thou- 
sands of them. Nay, he would not send all these adrift, since, 
in a sense, he would inherit them as well as his father's 
fortune. 

He arose from his seat in excitement, and paced the room, 
his father, in the meantime, scrutinising him closely. 

" Arthur, I wonder if you have much business capacity ? " 



20 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

he said, presently. " It is harder than ever now to make 
money. Competition is so keen and the price of labour is sO' 
great that one must be clever to make headway now." 

" But yon have made your headway, father." 

" Oh ! I have not done nearly all that I want to do. Arthur," 
said the old man, suddenly, " if you had your own way, and 
were perfectly free to choose, what woiild you like to do ?" 

" I am going to try to help you." 

" Please to answer my question, sir." 

"A young man has his dreams generally, I suppose. I 
should like to talk to the people." 

A very impatient grvmt met this assertion. 

" Do you mean that you would like to be a parson ? " 

" Not exactly ; bxit don't you think it would be a good plan 
if men of means gave themselves to the work of the Church, 
so that all the money raised could go to beneficent purposes, 
instead of the peojDle having to consider the minister's salary ? 
However, I do not feel that I ought to be a minister." 

" A Member of Parliament, Arthur ? That you might very 
well be. There's a wretched set of muffs in Parliament now. 
They ought to interfere in some matters more than they 
do." 

*' It is a good thing that the markets of the world are open 
to us," said Arthur. "I wish, though, that some of our mer- 
chants were a little more patriotic. They are sending out 
such worthless goods that they are getting a bad name for 
England." 

" That is not their fault, but the fault of the foreign dealers 
who are crying out for cheap things, and will always buy at 
the least price. A man must in self-defence put inferior 
articles in circulation if people will not give the good price 
for the good thing." 

" But he might meet the difficulty by taking less profit for 
himself." 

" Why in the world should he ? He has himself to look 
after. He offers the articles that are asked for at a price 
which the people are willing to give. What more can be 
expected of him H " 

Arthur resolved to use caution in the disclosure of his 
thoughts on the subject. For the next hour he kept his 
father amused with tales of his adventures. 

Later, Mr. Knight again brought business forward ; and the 
day of rest was to Arthur a very different one from that for 
which he longed. 

They were still talking together when an unexpected 
diversion arose. 



A SUNDAY IN LONDON. 21 

The gate wliicli formed tlie only entrance to the grounds 
•of Brent House was always kept locked, and could only be 
opened from the inside. There was a ring at the bell, and 
when the boy unlocked it three men immediately stepped 
inside. While the porter was asking their business, one of 
them again opened the gate, and a dozen other men pressed 
in. Mr. Knight and Arthur were endeavouring to discover 
what it all meant, and they saw that a great crowd was in the 
street. The frightened porter came breathlessly into the 
room. 

" If you please, sir, here are men who say they are a depu- 
tation, and they come on very particular business." 

" Tell them to take their particular business away, then, as 
fast as they can." 

The boy went out with the message, and soon came again. 

•' They say they are your workmen, sir, and what they have 
to say concerns you very much. And they say they are not 
going until they have had their talk with you." 

" Oh, that's it, is it ? Set the dog on them." 

Arthur rose hastily. 

" May I see them, father ? They seem respectful and quiet 
enough. Let me hear what they have to say." 

"No, Arthur; I would rather you keep out of it. Would 
you let them tell you what they want if you were me ? " 

" Yes, I certainly would." 

Mr. Knight threw up the window. 

" Now, then, you fellows, what is the meaning of this P " 

A man who was in the front touched his cap and cleared 
his throat, and began a short speech. 

" Beg pardon sir, but we are come to lay our case before 
jou, man to man. We have been given to understand that 
the factory in Chislehurst-street belongs to you, though it is 
carried on in the name of Woolton and Company. We are 
all employed at that factory ; and we are not satisfied with 
the wages. . We want a rise, sir, begging your pardon." 

"And so do we," said another man, in tones that were far 
less respectful. " We find that a good many of them works 
at the back of Stepton belong to you ; and it is impossible 
.for a man to keep his family respectable on the wages you 
give. We're going to strike and demand better pay, and we 
have come here to-day to give you notice to that effect." 

" Yes, we have," began another, but Mr. Knight angrily 
■stopped him. 

■■ If you don't clear out of this directly I will have you all 
arrested for trespass," he said. " And you are vei-y much 
mistaken if you think this is the way to get what you want. 



22 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

If you have a case, lay it before the man fi-om whose hands- 
you take your money, and approach nie through him." 

A scornful laugh broke in here, and several voices said, "A 
lot of good that would do ! " 

" But I may as well tell you now you are here," continued 
Mr. Knight, "that this is no time to ask for higher wages. 
Trade is bad, and the manufacturers are not getting the 
money they ought. If you don't like to take the wages you 
can leave them. I could get your places filled to-morrow, 
and with better men than you. So go about your business. 
And remember, you are marked men. I shall know your 
faces again, and you needn't be surprised if you get notice 
to quit." 

" Please to understand, sir," said the first speaker, "' that 
we come as a deputation. Pretty well all your men are at 
the back of us. And we was to tell you that we would give 
you a week to consider it. "We shall be glad to state oiir 
grievances to you, and also to mention the terms we think 
fair, if you will appoint an interview. Our Union will back 
us, and we don't mean to go on in the old way, and so we give 
you notice." 

Mr. Knight closed his window, and again ordered his 
servant to set the dog loose ; but the men quietly withdrew,, 
pulling the gate to behind them, not. however, before the 
owner of the house and his son had another glimpse of the 
waiting crowd outside. 

Mr. Knight was in a rage. " What do you think of that 
for a piece of impertinence ? " he asked. 

" How much can the men earn, father ? " 

" Oh, different sums. Nobody has less than fifteen shillings- 
a week." 

" I should hope not. That is very little for a man who has 
a family." 

*' Well, the family is no business of mine. I don't employ 
more men than I can help. I like women and boys better. 
A woman is well off if she gets ten shillings a week, and she 
does as much work as a man will do for a pound." 

" Have you ever thought what a fair and right thing it 
would be to give your work-people a share in your profits ? 
You know that both individuals and companies have tried 
the plan, and found it answer. A man who has a stake in 
the concern will be more likely to do his best, and to work 
economically and diligently, than one who has no share in it."^ 

"What nonsense, Arthur! They do have a share in the 
profits when they get their wages, don't they ? " 

It was inevitable that Arthur, being a young man, should 



A SUNDA V IN LONDON. ■ 23 

look at things differently from the old one — young men 
always do. But he was sensible enough to be held in check 
by the reflection that his father had— what he certainly had 
not — experience. This niade him resolve to be careful of his 
words, and only to speak when an opportunity had been given 
him to prove things. He knew, however, that sooner or later 
he would have to tell his father what his own views were, 
which he would certainly put into force if he had the oppor- 
tunity, because he thought it quite possible that when his 
father was informed he would take care that his business 
should be put in other hands. Arthur believed that wealth, 
whether inherited or won, was a trust to be used for others. 

" It seems to me," he said, " that their share is often not a 
fair one. For instance, if I have invented an article which 
meets the needs or tastes of my customers, I have the right to 
what of financial good it brings if 1 can make the article with 
my own hands ; but if I have to employ other hands they 
ought to have a much larger share than usually they do. 
And if I am getting rich, I ought not to lay more and more 
by, unless I give those who help me to get rich more and 
more. The fact is, father, that a Christian man may not do 
what others may. He cannot be selfish, and keep all the 
good things that come in his way ; he must help others, and 
try to find his joy in that. You know money is no real good 
to a man. He can only eat as much, and drink as much, and 
wear as many clothes as others. But if he scatter his wealth, 
and make a hundred or a thousand families better off be- 
cause he is rich, that seems to me splendid, and the lot of that 
man must be the best in the world." 

Arthur glanced at his father as he finished. His words 
had a curious effect upon the old man. He was bitterly dis- 
appointed, and yet. as he listened to his son, he was conscious 
of a feeling that was more like pride and gratification than 
anger. 

" So those are your views, are they ? " he said. " I am very 
glad you have told me what I have to expect. But I am not 
going to quarrel with you to-day. I will think what is the 
next best thing to do. Would you not like a walk ? I am 
going to be busy for an hour or two." 

Arthur gladly went forth to mingle for a little in the life 
of the metropolis. It was not much like Sunday down in the 
East-end of the great city, where the stalls were in the 
streets, and the shops were open, and there was a great 
umult among the people who were buying and selling, 
arguing and quarrelling, and, above all. drinking and smoking. 

laces of worship enough there were to contain them all. but 



24 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

few appeai-ed to recognise the Father's house, or to care to 
enter it. The noise of London seemed to surge round the 
chiu'ches and chapels, which are like harbours of refuge in 
the stormy sea — only, most of the people preferred to be out 
on the waters rather than within the calm. Centres of influ- 
ence and helpful service were these, every one of them. If 
the ministers and the members did not work together with 
those of other chiirches. they had each their own set of 
workers, all honestly endeavouring to meet, in the way they 
thought best, the needs of the neighbourhood. Many stories 
of heroism and self-denial could be told of those who were 
consecrating their life to this East-end work, and labouring 
on, through good report and evil report, often with scant 
success to encourage them, A few of the people were lifted 
up and out of the mass of wickedness ; but so few that they 
seemed to make little difference, for the streets were as 
teri-ible as ever. Still bad language shocked the ears of those 
who did not live amongst it; still drunkenness and cruelty 
appeared to flourish more than anything beside. And on this 
day the men and women who talked together in angry voices 
in some of the most densely-populated places were more 
fierce than usual because one of their favourite public-houses 
had lately been closed. Arthur Knight was shocked and 
pained with what he saw and heard, but he was not rendered 
hopeless and despairing. " They ought never to have been 
suffered to get into this state." he thought. " Nearly all 
these men and women were once in the Sunday-school. How 
is it that they were let to slip away from those who were 
their best friends ? But the hope of the future is with the 
young. The present generation of the young must be 
secured somehow." And as he half-uttered aloud these 
words he passed a large hall filled with boys and girls listen- 
ing delightedly to a man whom he half-envied, such power 
had his eloquence over them. Then he thouglit of the latest 
developments of Christian endeavour, and his heart leaped 
with joy as he remembered that he could now become asso- 
ciated in these and other services to humanity, so well and 
wisely rendered in modern times ; and it was with a happy 
assurance that he went home, for the words that were upon 
his lips was a prophecy in process of fulfilment : " The king- 
doms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord 
and of His Christ." 



COUSIN TOM. 25 



CHAPTER lY. 

COUSIN TOM. 

"" IV/rOTHER, how is Cousin Tom?" 

_LYJ. Jolin Dallington had been enjoying a ride over his 
farm before breakfast, and had returned, as he said, with an 
enormous appetite. The morning was delightful, and the 
sweet scent of the early Spring flowers came in at the open 
window as he spoke. Mrs. Hunter assumed a listening 
attitude, and then replied, " If I am not mistaken, Tom is 
coming to answer for herself." 

The next moment John was at the door, and in time to 
assisthis cousin to alightfrom her horse ; but she was by his side 
before he could quite reach her. This lady with the incon- 
gruous name, " Tom Whitwell," was the youngest daughter of 
Henry Whitwell, Esq., of Hornby Hall, the father of eleven 
daughters and no son. Mr. Whitwell had waited very 
anxiously for the son who did not come ; and when the eleventh 
daughter was announced, he declared that he did not wish to 
look at her. But meeting the disappointed gaze of his wife he 
relented. 

" Never mind, wife," he said, " we will make the best of the 
bad bargain. This last comer shall have a boy's name, and a 
boy's education, and, as far as possible, a boy's portion. She 
shall be called Tom, after my father." 

Mrs. Whitwell suggested a compromise, and the baby was 
eventually named Thomasine Grace Whitwell. But she had 
always been called Tom, and to please her father she had en- 
deavoured to live up to her name. She early learned to ride 
and row and play cricket. Her brown hair was cut short and 
parted on one side, and she wore the most gentlemanly hats, 
jackets, collars, boots, and gloves that could be bought. She 
cultivated the lower notes of her voice, and when asked to sing 
professed herself *' only able to do bass." She was fond of 
mathematics and science, and considered herself a very logical 
reasoner. She was a doughty defender of women, but a 
merciless critic of their weaknesses. She tried to look at 
things from a man's standpoint, and laughed at the pleasures 
iiud pursuits of her own sex. But she did not do this when 
one of her friends, Margaret Miller, was near, for Margaret 
had a way of smiling quietly, and saying, " There is no more 



26 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

womanly woman living, really, at heart, yoiT know, than 
little Tom Whitwell." 

John Dallington thonght that she looked as fresh as the- 
morning ; her clear grey eyes were bright with pleasure ; and 
as she glanced into her cousin's face her cheeks glowed, and 
she was a vision of health and hapjjiness that quite delighted 
him. Tom had always been a favourite with John, and he 
was unfeignedly glad to see her now. 

" Ton have really got back, John ! And how well you look ! " 

" So do you, Tom ; and not a day older than when I went 
away." 

" Oh, thank you ! You have grown polite, I find. I cannot 
return the compliment, for you look about ten years older." 

" Do I, indeed ? I am glad of that. I want to be old, to 
inspire you all with respect. Will you have some breakfast, 
Tom P " 

" If I do, it will be the third this morning. The air makes 
one hungry. How do you like England, John ? " 

" I like it very much. I have been long enough away to 
make me think the old country charming." 

" 'No place like home,' and all that sort of thing, I suppose ?" 

" Oh, yes ! And ' absence makes the heart grow fonder,' 
and all that sort of thing. You look splendid, Tom ; and I do 
believe you have grown. Would not you like to see the places 
I have seen ? " 

" I would, indeed. You have been everywhere, haven't you ? 
And I have been staying in England all the time. It is well 
to be you. John." 

" That is precisely my opinion. But I have seen nothing 
more beautiful than the view from this window." 

" Really ? " 

" And truly. Of course I have seen many places a thousand 
times more magnificent, but none more lovely and pictiu'esque. 
The world altogether is very beautiful. Tom. You come 
upon proofs of it in unexpected places. There are countries 
that everybody visits for the sake of their mountains or their 
rivers, or some 'special features of interest; but those less 
known are not the least lovely, and I have f reqi;ently enjoyed 
most when I have expected nothing." 

" It is not a very happy world, though, John." 

" I think it is ! What has given you that idea ? " 

'• Oh, everything ! I have seen two persons this morning, 
one a woman and one a child, both poor and both suffering. 
And the doctors are of no use. John, do you know I mean to 
be a doctor myself ? " 

" Indeed ? " laughed John. " Well, it may be desirable. The 



COUSIN TOM. 27 

liuinan race is increasing at too rapid a rate. Some parts of 
England are inconveniently crowded, and even the colonies 
are getting overstocked ; so tliat anything which helps to 
thin the population will not be an unmixed evil. Taking all 
things into consideration, 1 do not know a less objectionable 
method of augmenting the death-rate than appointing a con- 
siderable number of lady-doctors. And there is no reason in 
the world why you should not be one of them." 

" You know nothing about the matter, or you woiild not talk 
so flippantly. When are you coming to Hornby P Father 
would like to see you soon, and so would my sisters." 

" Perhaps I can ride back with you. You will not return 
yet, I suppose ? " 

Before Tom could answer a dog-cart drove up to the door, 
and the faces of both ladies flushed and looked confused. 

" Whom have we here ? " asked John with interest. 

" That is my stepson," replied his mother shortly. 

The visitor entered, and was introduced as Mr. William 
Hunter. John Dallington was kindly disposed, but he did 
not like his mother's stepson, who came in with a very free- 
and-easy air, only removing a big cigar from his mouth to 
enable him to speak. 

" How do, Dallington P Congratulate you, I'm siire. Good 
morning, mother. How are you, Miss Whitwell ? Feel myself 
fortunate in meeting you." 

The new-comer threw himself into a chair and continued 
to smoke his cigar. This irritated Dallington, who was not a 
smoker, and disliked the habit in others. The coolness of 
the man who could behave so rudely in the presence of ladies 
annoyed him. " Do you dislike the smoke P " he asked of his 
cousin. 

Mr. Hunter laughed. " Miss Whitwell is probably herself 
a smoker," he said. " She is too sensible a lady to set herself 
against smoking, for that would be to set men against her." 

Tom flushed violently. " It is scarcely worth while to 
contradict you," she said. 

Mrs. Hunter interposed with some remarks upon the 
weather ; she was extremely anxious that the two young men 
should be friends, but she had some misgivings, for she could 
not but know that her son and son-in-law were of very 
opposite natures, and that their tastes, therefore, were not 
likely to be the same. John Dallington, however, was too 
much interested in his cousin to give a second thought to 
William Hunter. " Will you come into the garden, Tom P " 
he said. "I have forgotten the names of some of the English 
flowers, and you must remind me of them." 



•28 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

'• I do so dislike that man," she said, as soon as they were 
on the outside of the house. "He is a most unpleasant 
person, and not good either. Do not have much to do with 
him, John; and you must remember that you are master, 
and assert yourself accordingly." 
" I hope he will behave himself." 
" I do not think he knows how." 

■• We must give him a few lessons. But never mind Mm 
now, Tom. Tell me about yourself and everybody. What 
have you been doing all this long time ? Have you got 
yourself engaged yet ? " 

" Not I, indeed. There has been far too mucb to do. I 
have been making myself a practical farmer, and I am great 
on lands and soils and crops ; so if you are at a loss, consult 
your cousin." 

" Thank you ; I will witli pleasure, for I am sure that I have 
very much to learn." 

" And I am sure that farming was never so difficult as now. 
Father often looks worried, thoiigh he keeps wonderfully well, 
on the whole." 

" I am glad of that. I want to see him. I shall have plenty 
to do, I hnd. I have actually already had an invitation to a 
wedding." 

" Mary Wythburn's, I suppose ? You must accept it, John. 
I am to be one of the bridesmaids, and many of your old 
friends will be there." 

" Give me a few names. First, the bridegroom : who 
is he P " 

'• Alfred Greenholme is the bridegroom. Dr. Stapleton the 
groomsman, and the vicar, Mr. Sherborne, will also be present 
as a friend. The other bridesmaids are Hilda Copeland and 
Margaret Miller." 

Tom glanced at her cousin as she uttered the last name, 
and saw that his countenance brightened. 

" How is Miss Miller, Tom ? Ai-e you as good friends as 
■ever ? " 

" Yes, we are good friends, and Margaret is very well. 
Which are the flowers whose names you have forgotten ? " 

" I am afraid we have passed them. Let us go back and 
look for them. I hope Alfred Greenholme is not as a man 
what he was as a boy, or Miss Wythburn is little to be 
•congratulated." 

" She does not congratulate herself. In fact, I know that 
she is wretched. There is notJiing very tangible against Mr. 
Greenholme. He is a lazy, self-pleasing, good-natured man ; 
but girls of these days — some ot them, at all events — want 



COUSIN TOM. 29' 

more than tliat. Mary Wythburn is a very clever girl, and 
far-seeing, too. She denounces such people as Mr. Green- 
holme. Like Mrs. Booth, she gets into a furious mood when 
she sees hosts of poor wretches starving, because they cannot 
get remunerative work to do, while men and women in good 
circumstances — professing Christianity, too — seem to have 
not a thought in life excepting that which touches their own 
pleasure. She thinks that if we are real Christians we 
cannot, and ought not, to be happy while so many are- 
miserable, and I agree with her." 

" I often think the same. But she ought not to marry 
Greenholnie if she feels like that. And the invitations are 
out ? " 

" Yes ; so I suppose the wedding will take j)lace. But I shall 
not quite believe it until I see her married. John, there are 
hundreds, if not thousands, of the best people in England 
who are absolutely weary of things as they ai-e ; and they are 
growing determined to change them, too. You have come 
home in time to help. We only want one or two men of 
genius and grace to show us the way. I believe the way is 
not through the giving of alms, for the money given to the- 
poor every winter is enormous — besides special magnificent 
gifts for special purposes — and yet things are little better for 
it all." 

" Tom, have you been surreptitiously in correspondence 
with my old comrade, Arthur Knight ? " 

" Who and what is Arthur Knight ? He has a good name." 

" Has he not ? And he is a true knight, too — a splendid 
fellow, and great on this subject. He says things need not 
be another year as they are ; and declares that it only re- 
quires a long pull, and a strong pull, and a pull altogether to 
accomplish such a revolution as shall crown England with 
truer glory than she has ever known before." 

"I expect it is a revolution that we want. There has 
been a great deal of pottering, but the right thing has yet 
to be done. John, I must be going. Will you order my 
horse ? " 

" Yes, and ride with you. It will be like old times." 

They had a delightful ride, and almost forgot that they 
were not boy and girl together. They went the longest way 
round, and yet reached their destination sooner than they 
wished, 

Hornby Hall was an old-fashioned manor house — large, 
substantial, and comfortable — standing in its own grounds, 
and itself covering considerable space. It was built in the 
Gothic style, and had any number of large, low rooms, with 



30 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

thick walls, aud ample cliimney-corners and enticing window 
seats. 

The master, " a fine old English gentleman," came forwai'd 
to greet his nephew with much cordiality, and John Dal- 
lington felt proud of his uncle, as well he might, for he was 
an upright num, who could not do a mean thing, stately in 
form and spotless in character, a magistrate, a member of 
the County Council, a man whose name was respected through 
the whole province, whose keen grey eyes seemed to see 
everything, whose courteous bearing delighted everybody, 
who was beloved and honoured by the pooi- and admired and 
trusted by the rich ; a man without rei3roach, whose glory 
was not in what he had, but in what he was. It was a privilege 
to be related to him, as Dallington felt. 

" Welcome home, my boy," he said, kindly. '' I am glad 
you have come into your own, and that we shall see some- 
thing of you again. I wish you health and happiness for 
your new life. Come in, and be made much of by your aunt 
and cousins ; they are not all such forward things as Tom, 
but they will be just as glad to see you." 

And indeed they appeared to be, and seemed bent on 
spoiling the returned wanderer, who might have been a 
veritable prodigal son, so eager were they to lavish the best 
of everything upon him. 

John spent some very pleasant hours that day at Hornby 
Hall, hearing the news and telling stories of his own experi- 
ences. His cousins were merry girls, quick at repartee, and 
full of good-humoured fun. Some of them were married, but 
there were quite enough of them at home to fill the old house 
with pleasant sights and sounds. 

In the afternoon Mr. Whit well took his nephew over the 
farm and showed him the improvements he had made during 
his absence. " You must see my model cottages, John," he 
said. " The old places were falling into dis-repair, and were 
not very comfortable to live in ; but you will be pleased with 
these, I think." 

'* These are scarcely like the old style of agricultural 
cottages." 

" No; are they ? But the old style of thing will not do in 
these days. You see they have large gardens. I am not a 
Radical, you know, John, but a steady-going Conservative ; 
and that is how it is that I have come to see what a shame it 
is for a man to work on a farm, and have spacious fields and 
meadows all around him, and yet not have a patch of ground 
large enough to grow a bed of cabbages or a few potatoes to 
<5aU his own. Monstrous, when you come to think of it ! " 



COUSIN TOM. 31 

" Tes, so it is," assented Dallington ; " but I should not 
have thought that such ideas on your part were the outcome 
of Conservatism." 

'■ Would you not ? I am happy to say that most of the old 
Tories of my acquaintance have come to have the same 
opinion as I." 

" I am glad to hear it. I shall have to do something to my 
own cottages, I expect. Why, you have actually planted 
these gardens with fruit trees." 

" Oh, yes ! It does not do to expect too much from my 
tenants. If they take care of the trees, and train them and 
eat the fruit, it is as much as one has a right to look for." 

" They are very pretty cottages." 

" I am glad you like them. And they are convenient. They 
have rooms enough, and they are not too small. At one time 
a man was satisfied with a four-roomed cottage, no matter 
how many sons and daughters he had ; but all that has passed 
away before a better education, thank God ! " 

" The gardens look well-kept." 

" They are ; and they provide vegetables enough to last the 
whole year. The people are all right, you know, if they have 
fruit and vegetables, corn and milk." 

" Have you raised the rents? " 

" No ; nor yet the wages. The men are quite alive to the 
value of the house and garden. But come and look at the 
crops." 

The estate was, as John knew, strictly entailed. At Mr. 
Whitwell's death it would pass away from his family of girls 
to the next heir, who was his brother's son. But all the same 
for that, indeed, partly because of it, the squire of Hornby 
was scrupulously anxious to do the very best he could for the 
property. The farm buildings were either new or kept in 
perfect repair. He was careful not to impoverish any of the 
land, but by all the means which modern science had made 
possible he nursed it for the heir as carefully as if he had been 
his son. The said heir was a young man of whom his uncle 
did not approve, and, vain as it was, he could not keep the 
wish from his mind that, since he had no sons of his own, 
John Dallington had been the next in succession. 

It was late in the day when John left to go home, accom- 
panied part of the way by three of his cousins. Tom did not 
go, but she stood at the window watching until they were 
out of sight. Then her father called her into the library, 
where the two were often together hard at work for many 
hours. 

" It is too late for those accounts, Tom, I'm afraid." 



32 NINETEEN HUNDRED ^ 

"I think it is, father. They can wait until to-morrow, 
cannot they ? " 

" Oh. yes ! Yery well. John has become a fine young 
fellow, hasn't he ? " 

" Tes ; I think he is very much improved. I wonder if he 
has seen his lawyer ? " 

" Ah. poor fellow ! No ; he has not seen him yet. If he had 
he would not be as light-hearted as he is. I think his father 
did not treat him quite fairly. The lad ought to have been 
told how things were. And then it was too hard for Dalling- 
ton to leave so miich power in his wife's hands. She has made 
things a good deal worse for John. He will find it as much 
as he can do to hold his own." 

" I suppose he can sell part of his land ? " 

" Tes, if he can get anybody to buy it. But land does not 
now fetch the price it ought, and farming is not what it used 
to be." 

Tom was silent for some minutes, and her face became first 
red and then pale. 

She wanted to say something to her father. Generally she 
thought aloud in liis presence, such good friends were they ; 
but she needed more courage than she had now. 

At last she rose and stood beside him, putting her hand on 
his shoulder, and turning her face so that he could not see it. 

'■ Father," she said, trying to steady her voice and speak in 
her ordinary tones, " do you remember promising me that I 
should have that mortgage, or whatever it is, for my 
portion ? " 

" Of course I do." 

"May I have the j^apers and keep them in my possession 
now ? " 

" Why, what do you want them for, Tom? What possible 
good could they do you?" 

" No good at all. only I should like them." 

Mr. Whitwell hesitated. 

" Do you think you are quite capable of taking care of 
them ? They are worth three thousand poimds, you know." 

" Yes ; I do not forget their value. You are not afraid to 
trust me. father, ai-e you ? " 

" I trust you with everything. Tom, as you know." 

But Mr. Whitwell said no more ; and Tom waited. 

Presently she sighed, and pressed her lips to her father's 
cheek. " Never mind," she said, " if you would rather not. 
I am sure yovi know best what is right and wise." 

Mr. Whitwell arose, unlocked a safe, and took from it a 
parchment. 



THE DUTY THAT IS NEAREST. 33 

" Here it is," lie said. " Take care of it, and I think it 
will be prudent of you to give it back into my charge when 
you have looked it through." 

Tom took the paper without a word, and her father did not 
notice how pale she was. She kissed him, and, going swiftly 
to her own room, locked the parchment in a drawer. 

But that night she took it out and read it through, every 
word. Then a strange expression came over her face, and 
she folded up the parchment, muttering, " If only I dared ! 
If only I dared ! " and held it above the flame of the candle, 
so near that it began to be scorched. And then she opened 
it, and spread it on the bed, and fell on her knees to pray, 
but burst instead into a flood of tears. 



CHAPTER V. 

THE DUTY THAT IS NEAREST. 

ARTHUR KNIGHT scarcely knew whether pleasure or 
pain predominated in his mind during the first days 
which he spent at home. London interested him intensely. 
The vivid life, the untiring resolution, the concentrated energy 
of the people amazed and delighted him. And when he saw 
all that was being done to further the cause of righteousness, 
he was as proud of his country as an Englishman oiight to be. 
But that which had presented itself to his mind as the blot upon 
the picture, when he contemplated it from a distance, filled 
him with as much wonder and sadness when he was on the 
spot. Since his people could do so much, why did they not 
do more ? They had conquered so many worlds ; why did 
they not conquer their own ? Were they as great as they 
used to be ? Were they not rather afraid of being great ? 
What was it that dominated most of the individitals that 
made up a London crowd P It needed very little discern- 
ment to discover that the one great desire of the people was 
to get on — not to get itp, or to rise higher in intelligence or 
character, but to be able to pay a pound or two more of rent, 
and a longer bill at the tailor's, or grocer's, or milliner's. 
Certainly there was nothing great, but everything that was 
infinitesimally little, in such an ambition as that ! But he 
knew — a traveller in all lands must always know — that simple 

3 



34 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

living brings as much happiness as hixurious fare, and he 
believed that if the spell could be broken, and the people who 
were so eager to get on that they had not time to think of 
other tilings could once get the fashion changed, they would 
rise to their own capabilities, and, completely changing their 
standpoint, would become really great in character and 
achievement. And he believed that the time for this was 
coming. 

The first ten days of Arthur's return were very memorable 
ones. 

One of the incidents that ever afterward remained in his 
memory was that of his first attempt to speak to English 
people of that which was in his heart. He was passing down 
the City-road when he noticed that men were rapidly enter- 
ing the historical Wesley Chapel. He went into the building, 
and found that a Conference of Christian men had been 
called to consider whether means could not be taken before- 
hand to prevent the misery which every recurring winter 
brought to the East-end of London. It was felt by the con- 
veners of the meeting that it would be a wise step to prepare 
for the inevitable, and that the appalling distress might be to 
a great extent prevented if good arrangements were made in 
time. 

Arthur Knight knew that the Wesleyans had been moving 
forward for a considerable period. He knew, too, that the 
last few years had seen the Salvation Army and other 
organisations making extraordinary endeavours to stem the 
tide of misery and sin, and that, indeed, every department of 
the Christian Church was working for this end, with much 
personal efEort, and by means of enormous sums of 
money both specially and annually contributed. But 
the disappointing thing was that so little difference 
seemed to have been made by it all. The world of 
London was scarcely better. Still men cursed God and 
died. Still there were cases of death from starvation and 
cold ; even in the last winter thousands of men were un- 
employed, while drunkenness, cruelty and sin seemed as 
strong as ever. 

The speakers at the meeting referred to this in tones of 
disappointment and sorrow. They could not but thank God 
for what had been done ; but they felt that the work was 
piecemeal and inefficient. A paper was read suggesting 
some new methods of raising money, and indicating some 
fresh methods of service, and then the meeting was thrown 
open, and any one who had anything to say which could be 
said in five minutes was invited to say it. 



THE DUTY THAT IS NEAREST. 35 

This was Arthur Kniglit's oppoi-timity. He waited until 
several persons had spoken, and then he sent up his name, 
and made his five minutes' speech. 

" Much that we wish for could be accomplished in a single 
year, in one way," he said. " Christian brothers, let us be 
heroic for Christ's sake ! Let us join our forces and work 
together. We have our differences and divisions, and these are 
the things that weaken us. How long shall we ourselves hinder 
the fulfilment of our Lord's prayer, ' That they all may be 
one, that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.' If 
we were to lift up the white flag of truce and fight under it, 
every Christian man, shoulder to shoulder, the battle of peace 
and righteousness could be won. These things that yoii 
deplore need not exist another year. England is so small, 
and, therefore, so manageable. It is mapped out into parishes 
and into Parliamentary divisions. Ton have no difficulty in 
getting into contact with every man when you want his vote. 
Tour School Board officers know the number and age of every 
child in the kingdom. It will be easy, therefore, for a com- 
mittee of church members to ascertain the circumstances of 
every individual around the centre of a church or chapel. 
Gentlemen, nearly two-thirds of the entire population of 
England are members of some Christian church ; the money, 
the intelligence, the influence, the character, the ability of the 
nation are mostly among these two-thirds. What of the 
other third ? Do you believe that we are powerless to deal 
with it — two to one, and more ? Why, we are strong enough 
to see that every man has work to do, and every man 
does it, that the idle shall be forced to labour, that 
the inefficient shall be taught, that the sick shall be 
nursed and the children fed, that ol^r ships shall be laden 
with good things only, that our people shall not be drunken, 
that another language than that of swearing and blasphemy 
shall be heard in our streets, that cruelty and vice shall hide 
their heads. Sirs, we are the masters in England ; why, then, 
do we allow the things which shame iis to exist ? Only 
because we are craven and selfish, and small when we ought 
to be great ; only because we care more for our denominations, 
and our party, and our own personal ease than for Christ and 
righteousness. Shall we change all this ? You are able. Are 
you willing and ready ? Will you, sons of Wesley, who 
occupy the middle position between the Church of England 
and Nonconformity, lead the way ? " 

Cries of " Yes, yes ! " greeted this appeal, and when Knight 
sat down many rose to their feet to echo his words. Later 
they called for him to speak again ; but it was found that he 



36 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

had left, and lie did not know till afterwards what was the 
result of his first sjieech. 

His heart was beating rapidly as he went forth into the 
London streets. He had only uttered a part of his convic- 
tions, biit he was thankful to have had the opportunity to do 
that. He crossed over, and stood for a few minutes among 
the graves of Bunhill Fields, and saw the names of the brave 
men who had done the work which God gave them to do ; and 
he vowed that he would lose no chance of using his voice, 
whenever and wherever he could, for he longed to see the 
Church united in the work which was so evidently waiting to 
be done. 

But he had much to engross him in his own and his father's 
affairs. He spent some hours of every day in the office, 
endeavouring to grasp the real state of things there, and 
finding much to make him sad. His father was very disin- 
clined to give way to the men; and one of those much-to-be- 
regretted labour disputes seemed inevitable. The men 
appeared to have veiy little power, really, to secure that 
which they wanted. Crowds of unemployed were always 
ready to step into vacant places. For one situation there 
would be fifty applicants, and this made it j^ossible for masters 
to be to some extent independent of the men, notwith- 
standing the trades unions. And there had arisen an anti- 
unionist association composed of men who helped each other 
and foiight for each other, and who were now numerically 
strong enough to resist the trades union men who in a strike 
tried to keep them out of wharves, docks, and factories. 
Mr. Knight, finding that women and boys could do his 
work as well as men, and for less wages, had in his employ 
many thousands of these, and this was a grievance of which 
the men bitterly complained. It happened in an enormoiis 
number of cases that men were idling about, and drinking, 
while their wives were employed at factories, in consequence 
of which the homes were wretched, and the children sorely 
neglected. There were, indeed, a hundred wrongs that 
called for reform, and a crying need of some one with a 
clear head and a kindly Christian heart to put matters 
straight. 

Arthur Knight knew from the first day that he spent in his 
father's office that under existing conditions it was no place 
for him. He would not, he simply could not, for the sake of 
all the wealth of the world, so do violence to his conscience, 
and slay all that was best in him, as to continue to sell goods 
that were next to worthless, and keep thousands of families 
on the verge of starvation, while he was getting richer every 



THE DUTY THAT IS NEAREST. 37 

year. So much he settled with himself once for all, although 
he equally resolved to have no rupture with his father. 

He was troubled at the signs of seething discontent and 
unrest which were visible ; and he succeeded in winning a 
promise from his father that he would consider one or two 
suggestions that he made. He had mentioned Hancourt, and 
although Mr. Knight would not promise to reinstate him, he 
commissioned his son to visit him for the purpose of dis- 
covering whether he would return if an offer were made him, 
and, accordingly, on Saturday afternoon, Arthur made his 
way to Hancourt's residence. He was not at home, but as 
his wife expected him shortly, he waited. 

Mrs. Hancourt was a good-looking woman, with a pleasant 
face, and with lady-like manners. The home was the picture 
of neatness and comfort, and it was evident that its mistress 
was a person of refined tastes and habits. The arrangements 
of the house were artistic even, and there was a warmth and 
homeliness about them which were to Arthur very attrac- 
tive. And Mrs. Hancom-t could talk well. She had read 
books, and thought about them. She had ideas of her own, 
and a liapjjy way of expressing them. She was a good listener, 
too, and anxious to learn ; and a very delightful half-hour 
was passed by Arthur, who felt as if he had found a little 
haven of refuge after a sea of trouble. Mrs. Hancourt had 
two beautiful children — the one, a boy between seven and 
eight ; the other, a girl between five and six. A lovely pictm-e 
they made, standing together and looking through their blue 
eyes into Arthur's face with the frank fearlessness which 
characterises English children. They came very demurely to 
shake hands with Arthur, and the little girl, whom they called 
Sissie, lifted her pretty face to be kissed, and was perfectly 
willing to sit upon his knee, and to be told about little girls 
whose faces were black. But after a time, when the conver- 
sation became uninteresting, she said, " I like you, Mr. Arthur 
— you are a nice man ; but I like my brother best. Please 
set me down." And the children were soon happily at play 
together by the window. After a time Mrs. Hancourt was 
called away, and Arthur took a book, and appeared to be 
engrossed by it. In reality, he was being greatly entertained 
by the little ones. 

" Now, Sissie, you are a prisoner, you know ; the giant has 
locked you up, but I am a knight coming to deliver you. 
Look at me through the back of the chair — that is a strong 
iron gate, a fortress. I shall climb over the bars of the gate, 
and mount the tower, and pick you up, and carry you off, 
and make you my wife." 



38 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" And then shall I crown you with flowers ? " 

" Oh, yes, of course ! Knights are always crowned with 
flowers." 

" Are they the crowns they wear in heaven, GeofE ? Jane 
told me we should all be crowned in heaven." 

" I don't think they are flowers —they are gold crowns they 
have there." 

" Are the gold crowns heavy ? " 

"I suppose so; gold is the heaviest metal, I know, for I 
learnt that in my lesson book." 

" Oh, then, how their heads must ache ! But perhaps they 
haven't any heads in heaven." 

" Sissie, how foolish ! Of course they have heads, or how 
could they be crowned P " 

The girl was silent a little after that, but presently she 
said, musingly, "I'm so afraid 1 shall forget — and I don't 
want to forget — but I can't quite remember what heaven was 
like." 

" Sissie, what do you mean ? Why, you never were in 
heaven ! " 

" Oh, yes, GeofB ! I was in heaven before I came here." 

" What nonsense ! I'm sure you have never been in heaven 
at all." 

" Haven't I ? Then where was I ? " 

Geoff was thoughtful for a few minutes, and then he said, 
" I think it was like this : God thought He would like to 
have a little Sissie, so He said, ' Let there be Sissie ! ' and 
there was Sissie." 

" Tes ; I suppose that was it. Geoffrey, say a little bit of 
the ' Fairy Queen.' " 

_ Geoff repeated a few lines which he had been taught, but 
his sister interrupted him. 

" Geoff, where is the Fairy Queen now P " 

"In heaven, I expect," was the answer. 

" How long has she been there P " 

"Most all the time, I should think. You know, Sissie, our 
Lord was in the grave three days ; but common people like 
the Fairy Queen have to stay longer — I should think about a 
fortnight or three weeks." 

Here the conversation abruptly terminated, for Arthur- 
Knight burst into a laugh so lovid and startling that the chil- 
dren were quite disconcerted. 

" I am so sorry, but I really could not help it," he said. 
And then the door opened, and Mr. Hancourt entered, looking 
very pale and anxious. 

" Oh, Mr. Arthur," he said, " I am sorry to see you here. I 



THE DUTY THAT IS NEAREST. 39 

hoped you were at home. I am afraid there will be a riot 
this evening. The m^en who are disappointed ai-e swearing 
that they will seek your father and compel him to listen to 
them. Indeed, they are talking very foolishly and wildly 
about revenge, and all that sort of thing." 
" Your money or yoiir life, I suppose ? " 
" Exactly. It is a great pity that Mr. Knight lives so near 
the works. Most people reside a long way from their places 
of business, somewhere in the country, where their men can- 
not find them ; but Mr. Knight has not chosen to do this, and 
as the men know where to find him they are going to march 
to his house. And they talk about having a band, and I am 
afraid they have a great many sympathisers and friends." 

'• I came to ask you if you could give me any advice, or say 
what can be done." 

'' I am afraid it is too late to do anything." 
" In any case I must hasten home and stand by my father. 
Will you come with me ? " 

As soon as a cab could be procured they drove away, telling 
the driver to make all possible speed. 

But the crowd reached Brent House before them, and it 
was a more ugly crowd than that of the week before. As 
Hancourt and Arthur entered the gate, Mr. Knight showed 
himself at the window, and this was a signal for all sorts of 
cries and execrations. 

" Give us our rights ! " " Hypocrite ! " " Robber ! " 
" Tyrant ! " " Live and let live, can't you ? " " Do as you'd 
be done by, or it will be the worse for you ! " " "What did you 
turn Hancourt away for ? " " And Hamilton ? " " And 
Allen P " " Better men than you are ! " These and worse 
things were shouted by the crowd, which presented a very 
threatening aspect. 

" Come into the house," said Arthur to Hancourt. " We 
can get in by the side door." 

" No ; I will not come in. I will be among the men, and see 
if they will hear reason, while you go to your father." 
Arthur found Mr. Knight greatly excited. 
" I wanted you to go for the police," he said. " But I have 
sent for them, and they will be here soon. The wretches ! I 
did not expect them to-day. I meant to have had the place 
guarded to-morrow, but they have stolen a march upon me. 
And yet I cannot think how they got in. Those stupid 
servants must have undone the gate for them. What a 
horrible noise they are making ! But they are only bringing 
worse things upon themselves." 

" Father," said Arthur, " it is a pity to have all this fuss if 



40 NINETEEN HUNDRED.? 

we can help it. Tou are going to let me have a voice in the 
business, are you not? And I will tell them so, and that 
there will be two of us to consider their claims and 
grievances." 

Before Mr. Knight could answer he threw open the window, 
and his clear voice rang through the crowd. " Men," he said, 

" I want you to give us a little time " A stone was 

thrown at him, which struck his head and knocked him 
down. 

It was not the first time that a messenger of peace had been 
misunderstood and ill-treated. Arthur thought at the 
moment of other peacemakers, and he kept his temper. 

He rose to his feet, and, with the blood streaming from his 
head, he again faced the peoijle. " The man who threw that 
stone does not know me," he said, " or he would not have 
thrown it. I am Arthur Knight " 

" Oh, yes ! the man who threw the stone knew that," shouted 
a voice. 

" I am going to help my father in his business, and I promise 
you that I will try to see that justice is done, both to him and to 
you. If your grievances are real they shall be removed, as far 
as I am able to arrange things ; and if your claims are reason- 
able and just they shall be met — if possible. I cannot tell 
how far you are right. I know you are not at all right in 
coming here to make a commotion, and calling names and 
throwing stones — all this is unmanly and unworthy of you — 
but you may think that you have some excuse, and I will hear 
all you have to say about it if you choose three men, and let 
them meet me on Monday evening at eight o'clock in the 
office. Will you ? " 

" Yes, sir ! " The words came in a great shout. The effect 
of Arthur's little speech had been marvellous. Where was its 
power ? In the words or m the man ? These questions were 
to be often asked in the future. 

" And what ai-e we to do on Monday morning ? " some one 
asked. 

" What are you to do ? Why, go to work, to be sure, if you 
want your wages. Don't strike, don't lose time. You can- 
not afford that as well as we can, you know. Be in your places 
on Monday morning, and do your best for us, and I promise 
you that I will do my best for you." 

How was it that they all believed him p They certainly did. 
There was not a man who doubted. 

" Three cheers for the young governor ! " said one, and a 
hearty hurrah was raised. 

"Thank you," said Arthur, when the noise ceased, "I 



THE DUTY THAT IS NEAREST. 41 

shall be glad now to see how much or how little I am 
hurt." 

" Sorry you are hurt at all, sir," said one. " Now then, 
mates, clear out ! The youngster looks faintish like." 

They vanished speedily, and then as Artlmr turned from 
the window he wondered where his father was, and what he 
would say to him. He was not in the room, but Hancourt 
was there, holding by the collar a pale, unkempt youth, who 
looked considerably crestfallen and frightened. 

" This is the fellow who threw a stone at you, Mr. Arthur. 
His name is Jones. As there was no policeman near I ari'ested 
him myself. I suppose now that there is little need of their 
services the police will soon be coming, and I will keep this 
fellow until I can give him into custody." 

" Bring him into my room, and turn the key upon us both." 

Tea had been set on the table, some cold chicken, pie, cake, 
and toast. 

" Come and have some," said Arthur to his prisoner. " Ton 
look hungry, and it is tea-time.'' 

The lad could not keep his eyes fi-om wandering to that well- 
spread table. He was hungry, certainly, for he had scarcely 
tasted food that day ; liut he did not think he was so far gone 
as to eat the food of the man whom he had struck with a 
stone. 

" Now then," said Arthur, " why don't you begin ? You 
know it will be some time before they give you anything to 
eat at the police-station. You had better get a meal while 
you have the chance." As he spoke he was tying a handker- 
chief around his head. 

" I wish that stone hadn't hit you," said the youth. 

" Oh, yes ! I am sure you do, because it was a cowardly 
thing to throw it, and no man likes to be a coward. I will cut 
you some chicken." 

A well-filled plate was put before the young man, who really 
■ could not resist it ; and if he could have got rid of the lump 
in his throat he would have greatly enjoyed it, for such bread, 
such ham, and such chicken he had never tasted befoi-e. 

" Will you have a glass of milk ? " said Arthur, pouring it 
out. " I am not going to give you into custody, though a 
whole army of police should come to take you, because, as 
you say, you did not mean to hurt me.' 

" Thank you, kindly, sir, I'm sure." 

Arthur Knight let the young man go on with his meal in 
comfort, and then he began to question him. 

" Now, which workshop are you in ? " 

" I ain't in no workshop at all, sir." 



42 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" What do you do then ? " 

" Oh ! I do odd jobs, and earn a sixpence here and there." 

" I suppose you worlc for my father ? " 

" What say, sir ? " 

" Ton work for Mr. Knight, don't you ? " 

" No, sir." 

" Then what in the world are you here for if the quarrel is 
none of yours ? " 

" I seed the men coming, and as there was a row on I thought 
I'd come too." 

" Ah ! there are plenty of lads about like you, I suppose P 
I have heard of you. Such as yuu do most of the mischief 
that is done, don't you ? " 

" That's about it, sir," said the lad, grinning as if he thought 
it was a very fine thing, though that expression changed to 
one of shame when Arthur looked at him steadily. 

" There is not much gain to be got out of such a life as that, 
you know," said Arthur, gravely. " It is not anything to be 
proud of really, is it ? I think it is a pity for a strong, 
likely lad such as you are to take up with that sort of thing. 
I wouldn t if I were you. I call it a waste of good power, 
because you are sharp enough to make your way in the world 
if you will only set about it in the right fashion." 

" I ain't got nobody to show me the way, nor I ain't got 
nobody to help me." 

" Oh. yes, you have ! You've got me, and I shall be very 
glad to help you. I will find some work for you, and if you 
don't know how to do it, you shall be taught, and put in the 
way of earning an honest living. Will you do your best ? " 

The lad hesitated. He really felt that he was giving up a 
great deal. The prospect which Arthur held oiit was not very 
alluring. He and his companions considered that " earning 
an honest living " was far too slow a thing for them. But 
somewhere under his ragged waistcoat the lad had a heart, 
and Arthvir had found his way to it, as to so many more of 
the same kind. 

" Yes, I will, sir ! " — the words were spoken quite solemnly 
— " I will, indeed, sir, to make up for hurting of ye." 

" Yery good ! Shake hands upon it." 

The steady tramp of the policemen's feet was heard in the 
grounds, and Arthur opened the door. Hancourt came 
forward. 

" Where is the boy? " he asked. 

" Oh, the boy is all right ! I am not going to give him into 
custody ; and, Hancourt, will you tell those fellows that 
things are quiet, and send them about their business ? If 



THE DUTY THAT IS NEAREST. 43 

they see me with my head bandaged, I suppose they will 
think they ought to do something, and there is nothing for 
them to do." 

Arthur was getting anxious. He had no doubt that his 
father would be angry with him ; but he had done what he 
felt sure was the only right thing to do, and he was not 
without hope that he would bring his father to his way of 
thinking. But he was desirous of getting it over as soon as 
possible, and he rang the bell and inquired of the servant if she 
knew where Mr. Knight was. She replied that she had heard 
him go into the library and shut the door some time ago. 

Arthur went at once to the room and knocked. There was 
no response. He opened the door, and found the room empty. 
Then he went to his father's bedroom, and found it locked. 
" Father ! " he called, but there was no answer. He listened 
a moment, and then, with all the force of his strong young 
frame, he burst open the door, and saw what he feared to 
see — his father lying on the floor in a state of unconscious- 
ness ! 

No time was lost, and two doctors were speedily on the 
spot; but they were able to do very little for the stricken 
man. They did not pronounce the case hopeless ; they said it 
was possible that there might be partial recovery, but even 
that was improbable. They feared it was the beginning of 
the end, and the end might be not far off. 

Arthur Knight was profoundly grieved. The love for 
his father — which had always been in his heart, though for 
yeai's it had been restrained — was warm and strong now, as 
he sat by the bedside of the unconscious man, and he forgot 
everything but that he was his father, and had always been 
generous and kind to him. How he wished he had come 
home before ! A flood of compassion filled his heart as he 
pictured the lonely man in the solitary house, melancholy 
and bitter. How joyless his life must have been ! He 
seemed to have had little to comfort him biit the one fact 
of his commercial success ; and there must have been many 
times when that failed, and he was altogether comfortless. 
So far as the world judged him he was an honourable man. 
His life had been pure from many of the vices of the age, 
and as Arthur thought over these things he wished with all 
his heart that he might recover, if only to find comfort in his 
son. But there seemed little hope of that. The doctors 
looked more grave at each visit, and made no secret of theii- 
conviction that the days of Mr. Knight were numbered. 

So Arthur had a son's sacred duty to perform in nursing 
and watching his father, his heart full of sorrow that he 



44 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

could not do more for him. He was very tender and affec- 
tionate; and half hoping that some of his words might pierce 
through the cloud over him, he told him of his love, and 
uttered slowly and impressively those good words of the 
"wonderful Book which tell of a Father's love and a Saviour's 
power. Arthur could not feel afraid to trust the dying man 
to the compassionate Christ. He did not doubt that the 
Great Father, who had loved and cared for this neglectful 
child of His for so many years, would pity him because he 
had lived out his life to such unworthy issues, and found it 
so disappointing, and had made so many mistakes, and 
suffered for them, as was inevitable, and that He would have 
mercy upon him, whether at the last he was able to ask for it 
or not. Arthur's hope was not in his father, but in his God ; 
and there was no fear, but much faith in his prayers. 

Hlness and death are great softeners of human hearts. It 
was wonderful how tender the jjeople who knew Mr. Knight 
became towards him when they heard that he was dying. 
All thought the best and none the worst of him then. And 
when they looked through the eyes of love and pity, instead 
of those of censure, they were not long in finding his good 
traits. Even his workpeople altered their tones. " After 
all," they said, " he had been no worse a master than other 
men. Of course, he had tried to get all he could out of them ; 
it was only natural — other people did the same. And it was 
not altogether his fault, perhaps, that he had not used better 
materials ; people would have nasty cheap things nowadays, 
and they could not expect them to be cheap and good too." 
So they talked, the people whose hearts are mostly kind at 
the bottom, not because they quite believed what they said, 
nor because they did not understand the meaning of justice, 
truth, and honesty, but because in the presence of death even 
the hardest becomes pitiful. 

It was a great comfort to Arthur Knight to know that 
many kind inquiries were being made and much sympathy 
shown for his father, and these things helped him through 
the time of waiting. 

It was not a very long time either. 

" He has not the strength to rally," said the doctors. " He 
may have a gleam of consciousness towards the last, but 
it is scarcely likely, and the end may come at any time." 

The end came suddenly. Mr. Knight opened his eyes and 
fixed them upon his son. " Ai'thur," he said. 

" Yes, father; I am here. I love you. What can I do for 
you ? " 

The eyes closed wearily again for some minutes. Then they 



ARTHUR KNIGHT'S INHERITANCE. 45 

were once more lifted to the sorrowful and sympathetic face 
bending over him. and the dying man made an effort to speak. 
" Arthur — undo it all — if you can — and pray for me. God be 
merciful — to me— a sinner." 

Then, after a few minutes of struggle, his eyes closed, and 
his face grew calm. 



CHAPTER YI. 

ARTHUE knight's INHERITANCE. 

THE stateliness of death was upon the still face of his 
father when the son gazed upon it for the last time. A 
wonderful peace and beauty, which had never been seen 
before, was there ; and as Arthur looked through his tears 
he saw that all the wrinkles which care had made were 
smoothed away, and something of the youthfulness which, 
he remembered had returned. Did it mean anything or 
nothing, he wondered, this calm which is always so com- 
forting to those who look upon their dead P Love made 
him tender ; but neither it nor sorrow could make him un- 
mindful of facts. His father had not really been an irre- 
ligious man. He had known his Lord's will ; but in many 
things he had not done it. He had gone home to God with 
the ci-y of mercy on his lips and in his heart ; and his son 
believed in nothing so entirely as in the compassion of the 
Father, as Christ represented Him. Arthur was not afraid ; 
but he wondered where the dead man was now, and how it 
fared with him. His father had appeared to be entirely 
engrossed with the world of money-making and business ; 
and what sort of preparation was that for the hereafter 
which was before him ? Had the habit of woi'ldliness so 
hardened his heart that it had kei^t the weary wanderer from 
going back to the Father ? Ai-thur was thankful that he had 
heard the dying lips pray, " God be merciful to me, a sinner." 
What issues might have hung upon the j^rayer for the man 
who was passing away he could not tell, but there was in- 
finite comfort in it for the one who remained. Yet he 
mourned for what might have been. He knew enough of 
his own heart, with its weaknesses and sins, to understand 
how a man's prayer has at the last to take the deprecating 
tones of humility and confession. In the silent hours of his 



46 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

life lie liad dared to pray with Moses, " Show me Thy glory," 
and he to whom that is an answered prayer must needs abhor 
himself in dnst and ashes. He understood how natural it was 
that a good and gi-eat man should have asked that the only 
epitaph upon his tomb should be — 

A guilty, weak, and helpless worm, 

On Thy kind arms I fall ; 
Be Tlioii my strength and righteousness. 

My Saviour, and my all. 

Arthur Knight had uttered these words for himself many a 
time. But still he knew, and never failed to realise, that 
there is another side to it all. He delighted to dwell on the 
heroic side of Christ's men. He believed that what St. Paul 
said evei'y disciple of Jesus might say, " I can do all things 
through Christ, who strengtheneth me," and that the inspiring 
song of victory which the Apostle raised might be echoed by 
every one whom faith made sti'ong : that the Christian indeed 
should live so grand a life that he also might declare at the 
last, " I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, 
I have kept the faith." 

As he thought of all the possibilities which his father had 
had, of the life which he had lived and the life that he might 
have lived, he was filled with sorrow — just such sorrow as 
many of us are preparing for those who know and love us 
best. But Ai'thur had a child's faith as well as a man's 
loyalty ; and he did what we all have to do — and what, indeed, 
we are all glad to do — he left his dead with God. He knew 
every saving clause in the history of the life that had ended 
— what relentings and repentances and upward wistful 
glances there had been, and how fierce was the struggle 
between the better and the worse nature of the man ! God 
knew it all, and that was enough. " I know not where he is ; 
but, O my Father ! he is in Thy hands, commended to Thy 
love, and I am not afraid to leave him with Thee," he said ; 
and with these words he was comforted. 

The great manufacturer of the East-end had left a fortune 
considerably in excess of the amount which he had mentioned 
to his heir ; and the young man was too sensible to feel other 
than glad when he had the facts of his inhei-itance placed 
before him in figui-es which told their own story. With the 
exception of a few legacies to old servants, among whom 
Arthur was gratified to see Hancourt's name, everything was 
left to him absolutely. Houses and lands, shares and invest- 
ments were all at his disposal, together with the business by 
which they had been won. But to the new master these were 



ARTHUR KNIGHT-S INHERITANCE. 47 

cliiefly valuable as means to an end. That which thrilled his 
soul, and caused his eyes to flash and his heart to glow, was 
the fact that nearly three thousand persons, men and women 
youths and girls, looked to him for work and wao-es He 
needed no one to remind him that whatever of other thouo-hts 
and plans were in his mind, the duty that lay the nearest, to 
him was the care of these people— their bodies and their 
souls. And he never thought of this without a thrill of ioy 
" They are My People, and, God helping me, I wiU do niy 
duty by them," he said, and he meant much more than most 
men when he said it. 

It was with considerable emotion that Arthur Knight went 
through the factories and saw his people at work. They were 
all English, like himself, and he felt drawn towards them for 
this reason, if for no other— for he was a true-hearted patriot. 
Many of them, too, were nearer him because they were 
sharers in his faith, served the same Master, and hoped for 
the same heaven. He thought he could tell which these were 
by the look upon their faces, by their demeanour, and even 
their dress : for his religion was very simple and sincere ; 
and he had not a doubt but that godliness exalts a man in 
every respect, and is profitable altogether, for the present as 
well as the future life. These men and women, who were 
members of Christian churches, and, therefore, must be living 
their daily life on a higher level than the rest, having nobler 
motives to guide them, would, he hoped, be very much his 
friends and helpers in his future efforts to benefit the others. 
Knight looked upon them all, indeed, as his friends ; a sreat 
change and deterioration would have to be wrought in" him 
before he could regard them as " hands " merely ; to him they 
were men and women, boys and girls ; they were heads and 
hearts, much more than hands, and were to be his companions 
as well as his servants in the future. To him " the father- 
hood of God " and " the brotherhood of man " were not well- 
sounding phrases only, but very significant realities ; but he 
knew that he would have to prove this to his people before 
they would believe it. So he was busy with plans, which he 
confided to his friend John Dallington, who came to spend a 
few days with him. He would at once provide a readino-. 
room for the men, and he would get Miss Wentworth and 
her band of helpers to look after the women. For the boys 
— great, rough, tmcouth fellows as some of them were — he 
had a warm heart, a resourceful brain, and a patient, tolerant 
temper ; and the first thing he did was to turn the top floor of 
his house, which had hitherto been unoccupied, into class rooms 
of different kinds for their especial comfort and benefit. 



48 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

One morning lie told Dalliugton that he was going to see a 
former emplorji' of his father's, and invited him to accompany 
him. " I must tiy to master the broad facts and general 
principles of the business myself," he said, " and I have a 
hard spell of work before me. But Hancourt can help me. 
I should like your opinion of him. Come with me and see 
him. It is a pleasant errand. My father has left him a 
hundred pounds, and I will give him the cheque with the 
news. And Hancourt has two children well worth knowing." 

When they reached the house the children were as usual 
very much in evidence. " How do you do, Mr. Arthur ? " said 
the girl, and when he lifted her she put her arms around his 
neck and kissed him. " Mother said I was to kiss you as soon 
as ever I saw you, because your father is dead." 

" Oh, Sissie ! " said Geoff, reprovingly. " You should not 
talk about Mr. Knight to Mr. Arthur, now, you know." 

" Yes, she should," said Arthur. " Are you sorry for me, 
Si«sieP" 

"Yes, I am very sorry. Were you a good boy to your 
father, Mr. Arthur"? " 

" Not always, Sissie ; and I am sorry for it now. You will 
always be good to your father and mother, won't you ? " 

" I don't know. Mother says I'm very bad. Did you ever 
have a mother ? " 

" Yes ; but that was a long, long time ago. She died when 
I was such a little boy that I cannot even remember her." 

" But what will you do now, when you have not either 
a father or a motht r ? " 

" I don't know, Sissie. I shall be very lonely. I think you 
must come and see me." 

" I'm much obliged to you. Thanks very much." 

This was said in such a droll way that Dallington laughed. 

" You shouldn't laugh ; it's rude," said the child. But her 
brother rebuked her. 

" It is you who are rude, Sissie ; isn't she, mother ? " 

" I am afraid she is, Geoff." 

" She is very entertaining," said Dallington. " Sissie, will 
you not be gracious, and give me a kiss, too P " 

" Have you got any little girls at home ? " 

" No ; I am sorry to say I have not. Will you come home 
with me ? " 

"No; I could not leave Geoff. He would be always in 
trouble without me." 

" Then come to me for a little time now ; for if you do not 
I shall be jealous." 

" What is ' jealous ' ? " 



ARTHUR KNIGHT'S INHERITANCE. 49 

" I am afraid you know the thing if you do not know the 
word," said Mrs. Hancourt. 

" Is it to be naughty, mother ? " 

" Yes, Sissie ; and that is what you have been to-day. And 
you must go to bed early. Indeed, you had better say ' Good- 
night,' and go now." 

" But let me say my prayers down here, mother, because I 
always do, you know." And without more ado the child 
knelt down, and, folding her hands together, she said : " Oh, 
God, please make Sissie a good girl ! " and demurely added, 
*' And if at first you don't succeed, ti-y, try again." 

Sounds that were not devotional were heard from the other 
parts of the room, and Mrs. Hancourt lifted the little one in 
her arms. " I think, darling," she said, " you had better 
finish your prayers upstairs." 

When Mrs. Hancourt and the children had left, Arthur 
told his news. "I have the pleasure to inform you, Mr. 
Hancourt, that my father proved the respect which he had 
for you by leaving you a small legacy." 

" A legacy, sir F " exclaimed the man, in amazement. " A 
legacy for me ? Left me by Mr. Knight ? Do let me call my 
wife. Kate, come here ! This is news, indeed. Mr. Knight 
really had not any ill feeling toward me, after all." 

" Oh ! I am very glad," said Mrs. Hancourt. " Mr. Arthur, 
my husband, ever since Mr. Knight's illness, has been won- 
dering if he had not been harsh and Avi-ong." 

" But, Kate, you would never guess the rest. Mr. Knight 
has left us a legacy." 

" It is nothing to make a fuss about," said Knight. " It is 
only a hundred pounds. Here is a cheque for the amount." 

" A hundred pounds ? " It was all that Hancourt could 
say. He changed colour, and struggled for composure. 

His wife had tears in her eyes. " You must please excuse 
him," she said to Arthur. " You do not know, you cannot guess, 
what this money is to us, nor what we have gone through 
lately." 

Knight's heart beat quickly. He had not felt so glad 
before as he did now that he was rich. How possible it 
would be for him to increase the happiness of other people if 
only he used his inheritance wisely ! 

" Mr. Hancourt," he said, " you were for a long time my 
father's right-hand man. Will you be mine ? My father's 
most solemn legacy to me was his command to undo any- 
thing which is wi-ong in the business. Justice shall be 
done, as far as it is possible ; but wisdom is a part of right- 
-eousness, and I need to be much wiser than I am to do 

4 



50 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

perfectly the part that is allotted to me. It is my firm con- 
viction that it is as possible to-day as ever to carry on a 
business upon Christian principles, and I am going to try. 
"Will you help me ? " 

" With all my lieai-t, sir," said Hancourt, fervently. " And 
I will try to deserve jowr confidence." 

" The first thing I -wtsIi you to do is to furnish me with all 
the particulars of my constituency of labour. I want to know 
my people. Make me out a list of their names, and write 
beside each the sex, age, i*esidence, religious denomination, 
what work he does, what wages he gets, and anything and 
everything there is to say about him. I hope in time to make 
the personal acquaintance of every individual who works for 
me. First, I must know the boys ; and before another week is 
gone I shall get them together in some suitable place, that 
we may have a talk, and understand each other. I hope you 
agree with me, Mr. Hancourt, that the hope of the future 
is in the young. If we can secure them on the right side 
everything is gained." 

Hancourt was delighted. He had found a master after his 
own heart. Hope had come back to him, and there was great 
gladness in the little home in which he lived. 

" I wish, Dallington, you could give me a year," said 
Knight, as they drove back together. "It is not in my 
inheritance of money, but in my inheritance of men that I 
rejoice. These claim my first attention. I mean to make my 
employes my friends." 

" I hope you are not attempting the impossible. Many 
masters before you have tried, and failed," replied Dallington. 
" Human nature is a very difiicult thing to manage. Still, I 
wish you success. You will do it if it can be done, because 
you recognise the rights of brotherhood. But I am sorry 
that before you have everywhere delivered that speech which, 
is in your mind you have all these new duties thrust upon 
you." 

" I am not sorry. I have the chance to test my theories 
upon my o-mi people ; could anything be better ? And, be- 
sides, it is the busy people who will do this work that has to 
be done. I am not going to delay my part, John. You and I 
and many others will proclaim the fact that the Church must 
not be afraid to take the greatness which the Master is 
thrusting upon her, and that for His sake, and her own sake, 
and the world's sake, she must be an united and not a split-up 
Church." 

" But people — even good people — love to fight." 

" Very well ; and there is still the world, the flesh, and the 



ARTHUR KNIGHTS INHERITANCE. 51 

devil for them to attack. That they should waste their 
strength in fighting one another after all these centuries of 
Christian teaching seems to me wonderful. But I am sure 
the Christian world is ready for a change. Already there are 
dozens, soon there will be thousands, of preachers proclaiming 
a truce, while the Church puts right the wrongs of the poor 
and degraded in England." 

But Knight found that his hands were full when he went 
to look at the properties that had come into his possession. 
Among the rest was an immense number of courts and alleys 
near the i^laces of business ; and the heart of the young 
owner of them grew very sad as he examined them. They 
were most of them miserably old and dirty, and the women 
and childi'en whom he saw lounging about the doorways 
looked sickly and filthy, too. He remembered what he had 
once read — that men and animals were greatly influenced by 
the character of the places in which they ate and slept ; and 
he ceased to wonder that some of the men of whom he had 
heard were lazy, drunken, and blasphemous. The places 
were not homes — they did not deserve the name. And to 
think that his brother-men had to pass their hours of leisure 
there or in a public-house ! 

He continued his researches, however, for some hours, after 
which he felt utterly miserable and ashamed that such places 
should form part of his inheritance. 

He was turning to go home when a lady accosted him. 
" Excuse me," she said, " people are telling me that you are 
the owner of these houses. Will you be good enough to come 
and look at one of them ? " 

She spoke in a low voice, which thrilled with indignation, 
and her eyes were blazing with a passion of anger. 

" I have only been the owner for a few days," said Arthur. 
"I am not proud of them, I assure you, but very much 
ashamed of them. I will do what I can as speedily as I can ; 
they cannot be changed by a miracle. I wish they could." 

The girl did not reply ; and Arthur followed her into the 
most wretched house that he had ever seen, and into a room 
where there was a hole in the roof and another in the floor, 
and in the corner of which lay a woman suffering horribly 
from rheumatic fever, while two wretched, half-clothed 
children sat by her side, munching a piece of bread. 

" This woman, a deserted wife," said the young lady, " sews 
packing-bags for the factory near. By working fourteen 
hours a day she can earn eight siiillings a week ; and the man 
who pays the wages has five shillings back for rent. It is 
iniquitous, all of it ! It is a shame to pay so little for so 



52 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

much work ; and it is even worse robbery to take more than 
a nominal rent for such a disgraceful place. Robbery ! It 
is murder ! And the man who has committed it would 
have to take his trial for it if there were any justice in 
England." 

Arthur looked into the flushed face lifted so accusingly to 
his own with mixed feelings. He felt almost like a schoolboy 
being scolded, or like the prisoner she had sj)oken of arraigned 
before a judge who would have very little mercy ; and he was 
almost amused at her vehemence, too. 

" Really — yes," he stammered. " It is, as you say, ini- 
quitous, all of it. Believe me, so far as I am responsible, it 
shall be changed. In the meantime, let me do what I can for 
this woman. Cannot she be removed to the hospital ? Allow 
me " 

He took some money from his purse and held it towards 
her, but she refused it. " I have taken this case in hand," 
she said. " You will find plenty of others quite near if you 
are really in earnest ; but what all these people want is not 
charity, but justice." 

" It is good of you to visit and help them," began Knight ; 
but the young lady smiled a peculiar smile that made him 
feel uncomfortable. 

" Good P " she said. " If any of us were good, we would 
surely be able to prevent such things as these." 

Knight much wished to know something of the young lec- 
turer who had so taken him to task ; bi;t she dismissed him 
with a stately bow, and there was nothing for him but to 
leave, more resolute than ever to at once begin what really 
appeared a hopeless task. But early the next morning he 
had an inspiration. 

It was possible for him, with the money which he had and 
could make, to take his business and his people out of thies 
terrible city altogether, and he would do it ! What a chance he 
had ! He could plan a model town ; and there set his people 
to work under far different conditions. He felt that the 
thought was a call from God, and he had some minutes of 
such joyous thankfulness as come to few men in a lifetime. 
Here was a bit of work that suited him exactly ; and with 
all the energy he had, he at once set about making the 
thought an accomplished fact. He had an inheritance, 
indeed, of duty and of joy. 



MARY WYTHBURN'S WEDDING. 53 



CHAPTER VII. 

MARY WYTHBURN'S WEDDING. 

TOHN DALLINGTON bad liis own troubles to bear, 
fj altbough they were of a different character from those 
of Arthur Knight. For a few weeks he rejoiced greatly in 
his heritage, while the land of his fathers grew dearer to him 
day by day ; and then he learnt that only a part of it was 
really his own, and that some of it had been mortgaged 
That there could be a debt upon his inheritance was a 
possibility that had never once occurred to him ; and the 
fact was an exceedingly bitter one — indeed, he had not 
known how to bear it. Years afterward he remembered the 
lawyer's office in which the unwelcome news was told him so 
distinctly that he knew the pattern of the paper on the wall 
and the number of panes in the window. 

'* I will redeem it," he said ; " I could not bear to let even a 
bit of the land go. It will take me years to rlo it, no doubt, 
but if I live it shall be accomplished." 

" A very worthy ambition," replied the solicitor, who was 
sorry for the young man, and sympathised with him. " It is 
a good thing to have an object in life — keeps a man out 
of mischief, you know, and helps him to put forth his best 
powers. I assure you, Mr. Dallington, that there is nothing 
like trouble of this sort for making a man of you." 

But it was with a sore heart and rueful countenance that 
Dallington betook himself to his farm. He had been so sure 
that it was his, to do as he liked with, and his fancy had 
painted glowing pictures of what he would do for his mother, 
and his cottage tenants afterwards. And now he must 
economise, and deny himself the pleasure of making im- 
provements, and must be careful of his own personal ex- 
penses. The thought made him sigh ; not that he had 
extravagant habits, but because he had already hoped to 
persuade the lady of his heart to begin with him the new life 
which was before him. That was out of the question now, 
and he must not seek her, nor eveu think of her. 

So he said to himself as he was moodily making his way 
home, and he had no sooner said it than his heart gave a leap 
of joy, for, there before him, in the little woodland path, 
coming towards him with a flush upon her beautiful face, 



54 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

and ter eyes shining like stars, was Margaret Miller. She 
■vras used to these woods and loved them ; but she would not 
have been there that day had she expected to meet him there. 
She steadied herself to speak to him with quiet friend- 
liness, but he took both her hands, and gazed in her face, 
■with his heart in his eyes, and could only say, " Margaret, 
Margaret ! " 

So they stood for a few moments, and a year of happiness 
■was in them ; and then John remembered ! If it had hap- 
pened yesterday he would have poured forth his love in a 
torrent of words, and asked her at once to be his wife ; but 
now he must not, for stern duty forbade. As for Margaret, 
she had not forgotten ; and though, for an instant, her heart 
sank -nath dismay lest he had read the triith, she soon re- 
covered herself, and helped him to do the same. But all the 
pain went from him, and when he turned and walked back 
■with her. and the sweet summer sun kissed them both, while 
the birds sang as if in sympathy with their joy, he felt 
strong enough and brave enough to do everything. And 
he took her at once into his confidence. Every one else did 
the same ; it was wonderful how many secrets of sorrow had 
been given to Margaret to keep, young as she was ; but it 
was no wonder that Dallingtou felt the comfort and strength 
of her sympathy. It was not news to Margaret that John 
Dallington was not a rich man, for in a little place like 
Darentdale few things are altogether hidden, and she could 
not feel as sorry for his pain as she was glad to learn in what 
the chief pain consisted. 

"I was hoping," he said, "that there might not be a really 
poor person on my estate. I meant every man to have a 
chance — and every woman, too. The cottages need re- 
building badly, and the labourers ought to have some share 
in the land ; but what am I to do now ? " 

" It would not make much difference to your income," said 
Margaret, gently, " if you gave them half of one of your 
meadows as allotments or gardens ; and that would probably 
furnish each of your labourers ■with a strip of ground. Even 
if they had it rent free you would not lose very much ; but if 
you let them have it for the value of the grass it would not 
cost them much either. It is too bad of those farmers who 
charge the men higher rents for small pieces than they would 
get for the larger ones." 

John Dallington saw his ■way at once. " To be sure, I can 
do that," he said. " I intended to put a garden to each cot- 
tage ; but it does not matter where it is, and I have a field 
that ■will do for that purpose exactly." 



MARY WYTHBURN'S WEDDING. 55 

" And you have a stone quarry. Why not allow your men 
to use your stone, and enlarge or rebuild their own cottages P 
Labour is even more costly than materials, and you might 
save that if you could induce the men to do the work them- 
selves. But I expect you would have to grant them leases, 
unless they trust you more than they do most masters, so 
that they could have no fear or possibility of being turned 
out of the places they had renovated." 

John thought it was beautiful of her to be so much in- 
terested ; and was she not as sensible as she w^as good ? Then 
they talked 'together of old times, and every care vanished 
fi'om them both. 

" I shall see you to-morrow," he said, as they parted. " I 
am going to Miss Wythburn's wedding." 

The next day dawned auspiciously in Scourby, a manu- 
facturing town at the head of Darentdale, where the wedding 
was to take place. 

Mrs. Wythburn's face was a little tearful on that morning, 
for Mary was her only child, and the mother's heart was full 
of solicitude. But with the self-repression characteristic of 
mothers she was prepared to put her own feelings ;on one 
side, and meet her friends with smiles as bright as she could 
make them. 

The father of the bride did not j)retend to smile at all, and 
made no secret of his sentiments in regard to weddings. He 
had been in a chronic state of grumblement since the day 
was fixed. " They say that a man's house is his castle ; mine 
is much more like a fancy fair," he said. " People have 
been coming in at all my doors as if they had a right; 
the only person who has seemed to have no right to be upon 
the premises is myself. I shall be glad when the fuss is 
over." 

His wife was not disconcerted by this pretence at ill- 
temper, fur she knew how much — or, rather, how little — it 
meant ; and was assured that her hiisband would be genial 
enough when the time arrived for his after-breakfast speech. 
For she knew that Mr. Wythburn would not on any account 
have had things other than they were, since he had long 
wished to see his daughter married to his oldest neighbour. 

Some of Mary's friends thought it a pity. The two were so 
•entirely different that it was doubtful if they had any tastes 
or feelings in common. Alfred Greenholme was inactive, 
self-indulgent, unambitious. Everything was too great an 
exertion for him. He never wanted even to play at tennis, 
nor to dance at an evening party. " There was no harm in 
iim," people said. " He was a good-natured sort of fellow 



56 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

enough ; " but Le positively seemed to care for nothing but 
lounging about and smoking cigars. But Mary Wythburn 
was full of intense, vivid life. She had an enormous 
capacity for work, and she used this capacity to the utmost. 
Quiet, and even timid, in manner, she had such perfect 
control over herself that few guessed how keen was her 
desire to know and to do. She was an exceedingly clever 
girl, and had availed herself to the utmost of all the educa- 
tional advantages which the modern spirit of fairness has 
granted to women, and at school, college, and university she 
had gained distinctions and carried off prizes. Her father 
and mother had not hindered her ; but she knew that though 
they could not help feeling a little proud of her successes, 
they did not altogether approve of her. They had her por- 
trait taken in the college cap and gown which l^ecame her so 
well ; and they said that, since the letters which she had the 
right to put after her name meant something, she ought to use 
them ; but they both considered it a little unwomanly to be 
too clever, arid wished that she would settle down and be 
married. 

In another respect they scarcely understood their daiighter. 
Her nature was intensely sensitive and sympathetic. She 
knew what it was to weep over sorrows that were none of 
hers, and to be punished for sins which she had not com- 
mitted. Pain, want, wickedness, and woe were spectres that 
haunted the girl, and would not let her forget them. More- 
over, Mary was grievously beset by doiibt, which she endured 
in loneliness because the least expression of it so shocked 
those whom she loved that she had not the courage to say all 
that was in her mind. She had once declared, with flushed 
face and dilated eyes, on returning from visiting a woman 
who was dying of cancer, that she did not, could not, would 
not believe that the poor creatures who were so badly off in 
this world would be also punished in the next, even for their 
sins. Her father and mother, secure and comfortable in 
their church-gomg consummateness, believing all that they 
ought to believe, and never troubling themselves further, 
asked her sternly if she read her Bible now. Truth to tell, 
she read it very little. She tried to reconcile that which she 
knew was in it with that which she saw in the world, and 
finding the two apparently irreconcilable she yielded to 
unbelief ; and because she could not herself believe, began to 
doubt the honesty of those who did. Poor Mary had lost her 
child's faith in the Fatherhood of God, and had failed to 
apprehend the meaning of the sacrifice of His Son. 

She sorely needed some one to help her. She was not in 



MARY WYTHBURN'S WEDDING. 57 

tlie least brave, though she was clever, and had simply 
drifted into an engagement with Mr. Greenholme. 

But when the wedding was drawing near she filled her 
mother with consternation. 

" Mother," she said, " I am i-eally not sure that I can 
marry Alfred after all." 

" Oh, my dear child ! how you frighten me ! What do you 
mean ? " 

" I don't believe I care for him as people generally do care 
when they are going to be married." 

"Is there any one else for whom you care, Mary ? " 

" Oh, no, mother ! There is not any one whom I like 
better than Alfred ; and he is very kind to me ; but I do not 
want to be married at all." 

" That will come right, my dear. I am sm-e you would 
not like to be an old maid ; no woman does. Oh, yes, you 
may think now yovi would not mind, because you are young ; 
but you would be very miserable afterward, and as Alfred's 
wife you will have every comfort. You must not think of 
anything now but your promise." 

So the preparations went on, and every one was pleased 
with Mary. 

It was to be a quiet wedding. The three bridesmaids — 
Mary's girl-friends, the Misses Copeland, Miller, and Whit- 
well— had arrived on the previous evening, since they all 
lived some distance from Scourby. Miss Copeland was a tall 
and graceful young lady who, for some reason or other, 
appeared ill-tempered and irritable ; Miss Miller was quiet 
and hajjpy ; and Miss Whitwell as merry as a cricket. 

Dr. Stapleton, a friend of the family, called early, and 
asked after the health of the bride. " I am now going to see 
her," said Mrs. Wythburn ; and she went away wearing the 
bright look of love which makes mothers' faces so beautiful. 

But in a few minutes she came back, looking quite changed. 
Her face had lost its colour, and she trembled so that she 
could scarcely walk. She seemed to have become suddenly 
blind, for although the drawing-room door stood open she 
appeared to be feeling for the handle. 

The only person who observed her was Margaret Miller, 
who saw at a glance that either Mrs. Wythbm-n had been 
taken suddenly ill, or something dreadful had hapisened. 
Swiftly and silently Margaret went to her side, and, closing 
the door behind them, led the shaking women into the dining- 
room. 

" What is the matter, Mrs. Wythburn ? I hope nothing is 
wrong. Where is Mary ? " 



58 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

Mrs. Wytliburn tried to speak, but at first no words could 
be uttered. Margaret was as tender as a daughter. " Don't 
be frightened, my dear, whatever it is," she said. " There is 
a little mistake, somehow, perhaps. Or a little sudden faint- 
ness, which will pass off presently." 

After a time Mrs. Wytliburn managed to gasp out a few 
words. "■ Margaret, there is great trouble. I do not know 
what it is. Fetch my husband." 

They had been married many years, but they were a veiy 
kindly Darby and Joan, and the wife felt as if she could not 
break to her huslaand the news that she had to tell. 

" Why, Martha, what is the matter ? " 

" Oh, John, God help us, for something terrible has 
happened ! " 

"Don't give way, dearie; we have borne some troubles 
together, and we will meet this. Tell me what it is. Is it 
anything about Mai-y ? " 

" Yes, it is. Mary — Mary is gone ! " 

" Gone where ? " 

" All, that is it ! Mary has not slept in her room, and she 
is not in the house. No one has seen her this morning, and 
she is not to be found anywhere. I have questioned the 
servants ; I have searched every room." 

Here the poor woman's feeling quite overcame her, and Mr. 
Wytliburn placed her on the couch and went straiglit to his 
daughter's apartment. 

It was true. The dainty little room was in perfect order, 
save foi- the wedding finery that overflowed the wardrobe and 
occupied some of the chairs. The bed was not disturbed, and 
the gas was burning as it was last night. There was not a 
scrap of i^aper anywhere to explain the strange absence of the 
bride ; only one thing was certain — that she was gone ! 
Yague fears took possession of the father's mind : there must 
have been foul play, for surely no girl in her senses would 
run away from her own wedding ! But what was to be done ? 
Of course there could be no marriage without a bride, and 
the bridegroom must be warned. Mr. Wythburn tried to 
control himself, but his face was ghastly and his hands 
were shaking. His thoughts turned to Margaret Miller : he 
knew that she would keep her senses and prove reliable, and 
at that moment she appeared. 

" What is it, Mr. Wythburn P Mary is not here. Ah ! do 
not be unnecessarily alarmed ; Mary will explain it. Nothing 
has happened to her." 

" But, Margaret, where can my child be, and what is to be 
done P Alfred Greenholme " 



MARY WYTHBURN'S WEDDING. 59 

"Yes; I will ask Dr. Stapleton to fetch liim, and to see 
that the church remains closed. I will manage it. We will 
not have more talk than we can help. And, Mr. Wythburn, 
do not give way to grief. Be sure that it will all come right 
in the end. Oh, be sure that Mary is to be trusted ! She 
will, perhaps, be here presently, and laugh at all our fears." 

Margaret went at once to the room where Dr. Stapleton 
still waited. He was standing and looking eagerly toward 
the door when it was opened. He seemed to have a prevision 
of some catastrophe. 

" What is it ? " he said. " Something wrong with Mary, 
isn't it ? Tell me what it is. Is she ill ? " 

Margaret noticed that he looked white, as if with fear, and 
that he used her Christian name when speaking of Miss 
Wythburn. 

" Yes ; I think there is no doubt that she is ill. I had 
better tell you all the truth, Dr. Stapleton, for we are both 
Mary's friends and the friends of the family. Mary, for 
some reason, left her home last night. Her room was not 
disturbed, and no one has seen her this morning, or has the 
slightest idea where she can be." 

Dr. Stapleton said nothing. He caught Margaret's hands 
and held them forcibly, looking in her face with staring eyes. 

" Dr. Stapleton, please, I want you to help us. Some one 
must go to Mr. Greenholme's house. Will you go and ask 
Alfred to come here at once ? And will you tell the sexton 
not to open the church until he hears from us ? But it will 
be better to say nothing of what has happened." 

Still Stapleton did not speak or move. 

" I think Mary will be here directly, do not you ? I cannot 
imagine her doing anything unusual. Please go directly, and 
tell Mr. Greenholme." 

Margaret gave him a little push and put his hat in his 
hand and opened the door. Even then he seemed scarcely to 
understand, but he passed out mechanically, and Margaret 
saw that he went in the direction of Mr. Greenholme's 
house. 

She herself turned to meet the dismayed faces of the other 
two bridesmaids. 

"Margaret, what is it?" asked Miss Whitwell. "Mr. 
Wythburn has just rushed through the room saying that he 
was going to search the garden for Mary. Is not Mary in the 
house ? " 

" No ; she must have left the house last night, for she has 
not slept in her bed. Hilda, your room was next Mary's ; did 
you hear her in the night ? " 



60 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

"No. But Mary is a little peculiar. Perhaps she went 
for a walk, and sprained her ankle or something. We had 
better go through the grounds. I should not be surprised if 
she went over the hill to Rayford. It was a magnificent 
night, and the moon made it almost like day; but if she 
attempted to go across the rocks she might well meet with an 
accident." 

" Oh, but she never would ! What is the use of saying 
such things P " exclaimed Miss Whitwell, and immediately 
added, " Perhaps she is somewhere near, and we shall find 
her." 

But Margaret felt sure that she wotild not be found, and, 
instead of joining the others, she went to Mrs. Wythburn, 
who was still going into one room after another, and peering 
into all sorts of unlikely places, searching for her missing 
daughter and sobbing as if her heart would break. 

Presently in came Alfred Greenholme and his father, the 
former feeling more disturbed than he had ever felt in his life 
before. 

" What in the world is the matter ? " he said. " Stapleton 
seems to have taken leave of his senses. He was as in- 
coherent as if he had been drinking ; but I understand him 
to say that Mary is missing." 

" Yes ; he said what is true. Mary cannot be found." 
" Then there must have been foul play. Where were her 
jewels kept P Have they been stolen P " 

" No," replied Margaret ; "■ nothing seems to have been 
touched. All her wedding presents are exactly as they were, 
and her jewels are in the drawer in which they were always 
kept." 

" What am I to do P " asked Alfred. " Surely Mary will be 
here presently. She will not get late for the wedding P She 
fixed the time herself." 

"lam so sorry for you," said Hilda Copeland. "Mary 
must have been out of her senses." 

" Did she seem so P Was she ill last night ? " demanded 
Greenholme. 

" She did not say so. She was very quiet, though." 
" Quiet ! " repeated Alfred, forgetting to be courteous. 
" She was never other than quiet. But such conduct is per- 
fectly inexplicable. Are you siire Mary is not in the house, 
Miss Miller p " 

" Quite sure. We have looked everywhere." 
" Where is Stapleton P He might go and prevent the 
carriages from coming. We do not want a row of them 
standing in front of the house for an hour." 



MARY WYTHBURN'S WEDDING. 61 

"The servants will attend to that. There will be no 
wedding to-day," said Margaret. 

" Do not say so. Mary may yet be in time. Is there no 
letter, or something to explain where she is or what she has 
done ? " demanded the disappointed bridegroom. 

"No ; we can find nothing." 

" Then she will be forthcoming presently." 

But she was not; the searchers returned and looked at 
each other in dismay. 

The hours wore on. Mr. Greenholme thought the police 
shoiild be communicated with, but Mr. Wythburn was not 
willing. 

" I cannot have detectives trying to track my daughter," he 
said. " Mary is not a child unable to take care of herself. 
We shall have a telegram presently, or a letter from her in 
the morning." 

Alfred Greenholme said very little. But when Mrs. "Wyth- 
burn came tremblingly towards him, and kissed him, he said, 
" Do not be more anxious than you can help. We both know 
Mary. Nothing dreadful can have happened. We must 
wait. And let us keep our own counsel as much as we can, 
and not set the whole town gossiping." 

But many friends of the family called during the day, and 
of course the news spread rapidly. The vicar came, and his 
presence proved a great comfort, for he said what commended 
itself to all. " Be sure that Mary is in God's keeping. No 
harm has come to her. For some reason or other Mary has 
absented herself rather than be married. It is a very strange 
thing ; but we must not be too swift to blame her. She has 
really lived a very independent life, you know, and she has 
simply acted for herself now. Do you not think that is the 
explanation, Miss Miller ? " And Margaret had little doubt 
that it was. 

The Greenholnies remained all day, for the trouble was one 
to be shared between them. Alfred behaved very well ; but 
he seemed to suffer more annoyance than grief, and that is 
decidedly the more easy to bear. 

And late in the afternoon a telegram came for Mr. Green- 
holme. It contained only these words : " Do not be anxioiis. 
All is well. Mary." 

It wrought instantly a change in the feelings of the house- 
hold ; for anger and vexation took the place of grief and 
anxiety. "It is too bad of Mary," everybody said; and hot 
words of blame were spoken freely. Nobody took her part 
very courageously. Even Margaret admitted that her friend 
had been, at the very least, guilty of great cowardice, while 



62 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

Miss Copelaud abvised lier in unmeasured terms ; and only 
Tom Wliitwell pleaded that they would give her time to ex- 
plain before they judged and condemned her. 

It had been arranged that Mr. Dallington should drive his 
cousin home. He had come, as he thought, to the wedding, 
and seeing that there was to be none, he thought they should 
leave early. Dr. Stapleton was to have taken Miss Miller to- 
Darentdale, but as he had not retui-ned she accepted Dalling- 
ton's invitation, and accompanied him and Miss Whitwell. 

" I told you that I believed the wedding would not take 
place, did I not, John ? " asked the latter, as soon as they 
had started. 

" Tes, you did, Tom ; but I consider that your friend has- 
digraced her womanhood in acting as she has done. If I were 
Greenholme I would never forgive her." 

" 1 am sure she will never ask him," said Tom. " But she 
has been a great coward through it all." 

" She ought never to have allowed herself to be engaged to 
him," said Margaret ; " but having done so she ought to have 
gone through with it." 

"And been miserable for ever after," added Tom. 

And then the clouds cleared away ; for why should three 
healthy happy young people be sad because one had been 
stupid ? 

Late in the evening Dr. Stapleton called at Mr. Wythburn's 
to make inquiries. He only stayed a few minutes ; and when 
he left the vicar went with him. They parted after ten 
minutes' walk, and as they did so Mr. Sherborne looked 
straight into the doctor's eyes, and suddenly asked him a, 
question. " Stapleton, do you know where Miss Wythburn,- 
is?" 

The doctor stai-ted violently, and the colour first came into 
his face, and then left him pale. 

"I? No, indeed ! "he exclaimed. " I wish to God I did ! " 

"If you know anything at all you ought to tell her 
father." 

" What can I know ? " stammered Stapleton. 

But the vicar lifted his hat and walked away without 
another word. 



SOME SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 63 



CHAPTER YIII. 

SOME SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 

MARY WTTHBURN'S disappearance was one of tlie 
signs of tlie times. And, excepting to tlie parties 
most nearly concerned, it was scarcely a nine days' 
wonder. To a great extent even tlieir minds were speedily 
set at rest, for a few days after the wedding was to have 
taken place a letter reached her friend, Margaret Miller, 
which explained in part the occurrence, though unquestion- 
ably the real reason was that Mary's heart was playing 
truant. 

" Dear Margaret," it said, "' I am so frightened at what I 
have done that I do not know how to bear it ; but you know I 
am such a coward that I could not bravely face it all out as I 
ought to have done. I simply dare not marry Alfred Green- 
holme, and I dare not say so. Do go to my mother and 
comfort her, and tell her that I am safe and well ; l^ut I can- 
not let any one know where I am, for, of course, if I did I 
should be fetched home ; and I would rather die than go. 
Margaret, I am doing what I have always known I ought to 
do. I am at work on my own plans in this terrible London, 
and, God helping me, I will make a few of my own sex better 
and happier before I die. It makes me sick to see how 
wretched and wicked they are. Please be my friend, and do 
not let my dear father and mother, whom I love with all my 
heart, be more miserable than they need be. Of course, I 
know they are angry with me, and I deserve that they should 
be ; it is very hard for them that they could not have a 
daiighter like other people's girls. I can bear their anger, 
but they must not be anxious or sorrowful about me. I have 
my cheque-book, and I can take care of myself for a little 
while ; but, oh, Madge ! what would I not give to put my head 
on your shoulder and have a good cry, and hear you scold 
me (as I know you would). I am very thankful to sign 
myself, still ever yours, Mary Wythburn." 

In point of fact Mary Wythburn had not done an imheard- 
of thing in preferring to work among theijoor rather than be 
married. Many girls had made the same choice ; and many 
men too. The world of the great East of London was the 
scene of more heroic labours for the wretched than had ever 



64 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

been known before. Metliodism bad its centre tbere, from 
wbicb radiated all sorts of beneficent liglits that flashed 
across the darkness. The Congregationalists had a home 
where good women who had given up their wealth for Christ's 
sake, and that of humanity, lived together in a little com- 
munity, and laboured in every conceivable way among the 
poor. The Baptists had long led the Forward Movement, which 
was another name for the " applied Christianity " in which 
the Church had now come to believe. The Episcopal Church 
had brought wealth, culture, and influence to bear upon the 
problem of the outcasts. University men had chosen this 
work instead of Parliamentary honours, or the accumulation 
of money. And many a young lady had quietly disappeared 
from society, and, receiving a pound or two a week from 
her father for her personal needs, had gone to dwell among 
the poor, as poor, in order to live a consecrated life of 
Christian helpfulness. Mai'y Wythburn had but added one 
to the already swelling multitude who had yielded to the 
fascination of the modern ministry of love and service. 
The old things repeated themselves — with a difference. The 
piety which had moved men and women to withdraw from 
the world and give themselves entii-ely to a religious life 
was equally strong and impassioned in many of the young 
men and women who were sworn disciples of Jesus now ; 
but they served Him by withdrawing from kixuries only, and 
not from men. They took no vows upon them excepting the 
usual ones which characterise the entrance into the Church, 
but they put a different meaning into them. They heard a 
call summoning them into the thick of the crowd, there to 
do the works of their Master — to feed the five thousand, 
to heal the sick, to open the eyes of the blind, to deliver 
the captives ; aye, to take the little children into their arms 
and bless them. 

For thoughtful people were most of all concerned about 
the young. The State had given them enough schooling to 
render them precocious, for it was compulsory and free ; but 
it had not educated them, for the conscience and the cha- 
racter were very much untouched by the schools, since the 
children left far too early to have had a chance to gain 
anything more than the mere rudiments of elementary 
training. The years at which they might begin to labour 
were put back a little, but now there were thousands, where 
fifty years before there had been dozens, earning their own 
livelihood in factories and works of various kinds. This 
massing of young people together, with little control over 
their tongues or conduct, was having a terrible effect upon 



SOME SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 65 

the men and women of the next generation. Their conversa- 
tion was frequently of the most filthy kind, and juvenile 
immorality was frightfully on the increase. 

Arthur Knight had a shock as, sitting in his office one day 
with the windows open, he overheard some of the girls in his 
employ talking together, and he lost no time in providing a 
place where Miss Wentworth and her helpers might begin a 
beneficial work among these young people, many of whom, 
though at present between fourteen and sixteen, would soon 
be the mothers of children, and who for that, if no other 
reason, needed greatly the womanly ministrations of Chris- 
tian love. 

But it happened that at the first of the girls' meetings in 
the temporary evening homes prepared for their reception 
Miss Wentworth could not be present, and, indeed, for several 
weeks the young ladies who were to help her had about fifty 
factory girls to themselves. Neither of them would ever for- 
get their experience. Provision had been made for the girls to 
wash at the rooms, and take tea there, so that they might be 
as long as possible under the influence of their friends, who 
earnestly desired to render them real service, but who were 
at their wit's end to know how to accomplish it. The girls 
brought curling-tongs, and spent most of their time in 
" frizzing " their " fringes." They were urged to join a 
savings' club, but said they were already in a " feather club," 
to which they paid, out of their earnings of seven or eight 
shillings, a shilling a week for " fashion and finery," and they 
could not afford to save anything else. For some time it 
seemed impossible to reduce them to any sort of order. They 
at once gave nicknames to the ladies ; and began by mimick- 
ing their manner of speaking. One of the girls went to a 
timid, nervous young lady, and, looking her full in the face, 
said, "Blush ! blush ! " an order which was, of course, instantly 
obeyed, to the great glee of those who stood around, and who 
laughed uproariously. One impudent-looking girl had a 
dreadful black eye, and in reply to a lady who kindly inquired 
if she had met with an accident, said, " Mother did that. She 
throwed a tater at me, and it hit my eye. My mother can't 
do nothing with me, and it makes her mad." The words 
were immediately sung in a sort of chorus : " My mother 
can't do nothing with me, and it makes her mad." A lady 
ofilered to give a little talk on the body, having made physio- 
logy her favourite study ; the girls sat and giggled the whole 
time, at the end of which they dubbed their teacher, " Bones." 
The young ladies were very much troubled by the boys out- 
side, who waited about for the girls, and amused themselves 

5 



66 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

by knocking at the doors and climbing up to the windows, 
and who became at last so troublesome that a policeman was 
asked to take up his station near and keep order. The next 
day many of the girls brought the policeman offerings of 
flowers, and nearly all surrounded him, and began talking 
and joking with him. 

" It is of no use to try. We shall never do them any good. 
"We miist give it up and leave them to their fate." But this 
was not what those educated, Christ-obeying girls said. Some 
whom they knew had gone away to work among the dwarfs 
of the Congo, the fever-stricken men and women of the 
jungle, and the lepers of Siberia ; should these be less heroic 
than they ? They kept steadily on, and, after a time, a few 
of the girls for whose salvation they agonised gi-ew more 
quiet than the rest, and these would distribute themselves 
among the others and try to keep order dui-ing the prayer- 
time ; and, at last, now and then the young heai'ts of these 
home missionaries were thrilled with such whispers as this : 
'■ I do want to be better, please tell me how ? " So they 
worked faithfully. 

But many signs of the times were lees hopeful than this. 
It was known in England, and especially in London, that few 
financial ventures were so absolutely safe as those connected 
with journalism, provided the popular taste was met. Those 
who won the greatest popularity were those who wi-ote 
down to the masses, and went even a little lower than they. 
The sale of such journals was largely helped by religious 
people, not that they approved the morality of the joiu-nals, 
but because they were amusing, the gossip being of a spicy 
nature, and the tales sensational and enthralling. For 
several years almost all papers had become increasingly 
personal in their character, and editors were willing to pay 
large sums for little bits of news touching persons who were 
in the least distinguished for position, possession, or power. 
The society journals had always a large sale, especially those 
that wei-e the most unsoaipulous in hunting for skeletons in 
cupboards, and exhibiting them to the public at the rate of a 
penny a week. 

But lately there had been commenced a new journal, which 
was giving intense pain, and covering with shame a large 
section of the British people. Its registered title was Saints' 
Society, and the motto under the title, chosen in confessed 
irony, was, "' See how these Christians love one another." It 
existed for the express piirpose of blackening the character 
and showing up the weaknesses of all sections of the Chui-ch, 
and was full of personalities of the vilest kinds. It would 



SOME SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 67 

have done less harm if it had been boycotted by respectable 
or even Christian people, but too many women and some men 
bought the paper, and gloated over it in semi-secret circles, 
because of what it told of individuals whom they knew. The 
adults who did this could not perhaps be greatly hai-med by 
it, since, already, the process of deterioi-ation must have gone 
so far with their own characters that a little more made 
almost no perceptible difBerence ; but it was the young people 
in their families who suffered most, and who, by hundreds 
throughout the land, were declaring gleefully or angrily, 
according to their temperament, tnat religion was a sham 
and a fraud, which they declined altogether to uphold by any 
adhesion of theirs. 

But the paper was chiefly supported by those who openly 
hated anything bearing the Christian name. Certain indi- 
viduals in some sections of the Church had roused con- 
siderable antagonism by harassing, with piecemeal legis- 
lation, the supporters of existing evils. They had not the 
energy and perseverance, perhaps they had not the power, to 
destroy the wi-ongs of which they complained — that would 
require a revolution — but they had made it disagreeable for a 
good many people who coined money by, and were otherwise 
interested in, the perpetuation of these wrongs, and this had 
created a great amount of angry feeling. The Saints' Society 
Journal was the outcome of revenge. 

But in one respect the journal was serviceable. It threw a 
vivid light upon the standard of excellence which the world 
expects in Christian people, and many readers turned away 
from its columns with uneasy consciences. Even The Saints' 
Society had a generous word for real goodness, but for those 
who professed to be religious and yet were not good it 
had no mercy. It devoted a whole page to paragraj)hs 
referring to incidents in which professors fell below their 
ideal. The following are illustrations from a single number 
of the paper : — 

" Art and Artful. — One day last week a young lady brought 
a painting to a fine art depository in the West-end, and asked 
the proprietor to buy it for two pounds. He looked at it, and 
declared the price ridiculously high, inquiring, with a sneer, where 
she got svich a lofty estimate of her own talents. She replied that 
she was in most urgent need of two pounds, and felt sure that the 
picture was worth the money. He told her to take her picture 
and clear out if she had no more sense than that. Then she 
asked him wha.t he would give her for it ; and he rejjlied that he 
would pay her eighteen shillings. With trembling lips she said 
eighteen shillings would not be enough, she must have more; 



68 NINETEEN HUNDRED f 

would he not make it twenty-five ? No, lie replied, not a penny 
more than eighteen shillings. Eventually, she left it on sale or 
return, and was to call again in two or three days. It was an 
exquisite little gem, and before the day was ended it was sold. 
A gentleman bought it for ten guineas. Two days later, the 
artist called again and saw the proprietor. Was her picture 
sold ? Oh yes, it was sold, and there was the money for it — 
eighteen shillings. The poor girl began hysterically to beg for 
more, and to ask in agony, what should she do ? The dealer 
in art ordered her to leave his premises, and not make a scene, or it 
would become unpleasant for her ; and after vainly trying to melt 
the heart of stone of the art man, she went away cursing him. 
But he is a much respected churchwarden of St. Ronald's. Could 
a wronged girl's curse touch him ? " 

" Going Shares. — A gentleman had in his employment a 
skilled workman to whom he paid thirty-five shillings a week, 
which is about the usual wages for the sort of work he did. 
Ten years ago the workman saw how, by a slight alteration in a 
machine, the work might be done much more advantageously, 
and he told his master. ' A very good idea, Smith,' he said : 
' can you manage to set it down in writing and make a drawing 
of it ? ' Smith did so, and the master had it patented. He has 
just died, leaving a fortune of sixty thousand pounds, made 
chiefly, as all the world knows, by that improved machine. Did 
he go shares with Smith ? Oh, yes ! This is how he went shares : 
he gave him a pou.nd for his idea ; and before he died Mr Jones 
made things still more right by leaving two hundred pounds to 
the hospital in which Smith is ending his days ! " 

"A Case of Starvation has just been brought to light in 
King Court. A screaming child attracted the notice of the 
police, who broke into the room from which the sounds issued. 
A dead woman lay on the bare floor, and by her side a naked 
female child was endeavouring to awaken the mother. There 
was not a scrap of food in the place, and the only furniture was a 
wooden stool, a table, a ginger-beer bottle, and an old blanket, 
which partly covered the body of the corpse. The room was a 
very small one; the floor was broken in several places; there 
were three broken panes of glass in the window ; the walls 
were damp and dirty, and the ceiling far from waterproof. 
An inquest will be held to-morrow. It has been ascertained 
by oiu" detective that the woman paid four shillings a week 
for this room. We had some difficulty in finding the real 
owner of the house ; but we have discovered him to be 
Mr. John Smith, of Albert Buildings. Mr. Smith is a deacon of 
the Duke Street Church. The woman made sacks. By working 
thirteen hours a day she could earn tenpence. She was employed 
by Mr. Samuel Sneed, of Thames Place. Mr. Sneed attends the 
cliurch of Mole Street. He is the respected leader of the Band of 
Hope." 



SOME SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 69 

"A Shocking Accident has occurred in Westleigh, a London 
suburb, to John Lane, the driver of a grocer's van. His horse 
stumbled, and he was thrown from his seat ; the horse lost its 
tooting and feU on the unfortunate man. The vehicle was over- 
turned and it was with difficulty the horse was removed • but 
when this had been accomplished it was discovered that the man 
was dead. Two of his brothers subsequently demanded his 
watch each declaring himself to be the elder, and the policeman 
gave It to the one whose appearance pointed him out as the 
senior. A disgraceful fight ensued, during which the watch got 
injured. The man has left a wife and three children ; but as the 
widow was too much overcome with grief to demand the »?atch 
^7.7^®'' i^®^®^^®^^ husband's eldest son, and no one spoke for her 
{although two parsons were in the crowd), she has lost the watch as 
well as her husband." 

"MoDEBN Girls.— On Sunday evening, at seven o'clock, the 
servant left m charge of No. 1. Freeman Street, was summoned 
to the door by a loud peal of the bell. As soon as she opened it 
a company of rough girls rushed in, pushing the servant violently 
into a back room and locking her in. They then proceeded to 
ransack the house, and appropriated all the money, jewellery 
plate and other moveable articles they could find, alter which 
they took what food there was, and departed. It is satisfactory 
to be able to state that these girls— fifteen in number-were 
tound spending the stolen money in the Half Moon public-house, 
miiuli btreet— satisfactory, because so many of these things have 
occurred lately, and the police have not been able to detect the 
offenders. Unfortunately, however, thirteen of the girls managed 
to escape after the policemen who endeavoured to arrest them 
had been severely beaten, and the house in which they were found 
almost wrecked by them. They were angry because the land- 
lord did not bar his doors against the upholders of the law, and 
declared that they, who had hitherto been his best customers 
would rum him. Our detective has interviewed two of the girls 
who escaped, and they have informed him that every one of the 
tifteen had at some time or other been scholars in a Sunday- 
school. •' 

"Last Night a band of boys and girls assembled in Oxford 
btreet, and for an hour held revelry there before the police suc- 
ceeded m dispersing them. Several persons were robbed, and an 
old lady was so much hurt that she had to be taken to the 
hospital. The leader of the gang was the son of the Eev. J. B. 
Yellowstone ; and his s-econder was the son of Mr. Waller, an 
active Christian man and churchwarden." 

" A Sailor's Freak.— A young man, who was under orders to 
sail and return in the steamship Smart, has been summoned for 
neglect of duty. He was one of Miss King's saints, and having 
been converted and signed the pledge, annoimced his intention of 
never sailing under a flag which waved above a cargo of alcohol 



70 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

going to foreign shores. But the young prig reckoned without 
his host. He was compelled to keep his engagement, although 
he made the discovery that the Smart carried both London gin 
and Scotch and Irish whisky. Somewhere out at sea the ship fell 
in with a fleet of fishing-boats. It was found that the Smart was 
licensed, and the captain ordered the lad to serve the customers 
who floated round the ship. This he refused to do. He was put 
in chains, and kept on a diet of bread and water. But his in- 
subordination was repeated on several occasions, both while the 
ship was on the sea and when she was in port. His defence was 
that he did not engage to be a barman in a floating grog-shop, 
bvit that his work was to help sail the ship. The magistrate, 
however, informed him that he was to do as his captain bade him, 
and in order to enforce the lesson he gave him six months' hard 
labour. Our grandmotherly legislators will, no doubt, ask a 
question to-night in the House." 

But there were liappier signs than these, which told that a 
new revival was silently spreading among the churches. In 
confirmation of this, we will give one more illustration from 
Saints' Society. 

" Quixotic Saints. — We are informed that a very lively scene 
took place at Green Place Chapel, at a church meeting. The 
subject vxnder consideration was the debt on the chapel. The 
building is one of the most ornate in the neighbourhood, and 
has a pretty spire and stained-glass windows. The seats are 
lined and cushioned throughout. The pulpit is of marble — the 
gift of Mr. Golden, the well-known distiller. Upon the chapel 
there is a debt of nearly four thousand povinds. The minister 
feels the pressure of this debt, and besought his people to do their 
utmost to lessen it. Mr. Smith, one of the leading men, made 
the following remarks : — ' Our minister is not the only one who 
would be glad to see this debt removed, and I for one am pre- 
pared to do what I can. I have the pleasure to hand over to the 
treasurer, on my own behalf, a second donation of thirty pounds. 
And I am happy to say that my daughtex's have, during the past 
month, been working for the cause. They have wi-itten seven 
hundred letters to well-known persons in all parts of the country, 
begging for help; and though T grieve that, so strong is the spirit 
of worldliness in the land, more than two-thirds of the persons 
addressed have not even had the courtesy to respond, they have 
yet received cheques and postal orders to the amount of twenty- 
seven pounds eighteen shillings and sixpence.' 

" A working man in the meeting said, ' Sir, it is our chapel and 
we ought to pay for it ourselves. It is well known that our 
brother whose daughters have been flooding the land with beg- 
ging letters could, if he would, write a cheque for the whole 
amount of the debt. The place has been built in accordance 



SOME SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 71 

with his wish, and I for one hope he will see his way to give 
instead of beg.' 

" Mr. Shelve, a gentleman in the middle of the room, next arose 
with a beaming smile upon his countenance. ' I, sir,' he said, 
' am the bearer of good news. Like our friend Mr. Smith, I have 
written a few letters, and in response to one of these I have re- 
ceived this cheque for one hundred pounds, which I have much 
pleasure in presenting in the name of the giver.' 

" Very loud applause followed this announcement, and then a 
man asked, in a quiet voice, ' Will Mr. Shelve kindly give us the 
name of the generous friend ? ' 

" ' Certainly,' was the reply. ' The munificent gift is from Mr. 
William Quellset.' 

"'Then,' said the questioner, who was still on his feet, ' I beg 
to i^ropose that we respectfvilly return this cheque to the sender. 
Mr. William Quellset can well aiford to give a hvmdred pounds to 
this chapel, and he is anxious to stand well with the people of 
this neighbourhood, whom he intends, if possible, to represent in 
Parliament. But no blessing could go with any amount of money 
from such a man.' 

" There was some interruption, and the speaker corrected him- 
self. ' 1 beg pardon ; I know nothing of the personal character 
of Mr. Quellset. I will therefore change the form of my words 
and say. No blessing coiild go with money made as he makes his. 
I suppose everybody knows that he is the patentee of those 
lozenges which are so attractive that probably the wives and 
daiighters of nine-tenths of the men present are eating them 
every day — the lozenges to which he has not given the name 
of opium, but which have done more than anything else to 
make opium-eating universal amongst us. As our Government 
grows opium, and is anxious to sell it, it has contented itself, as 
you know, with imposing a duty on Mr. Quellset's articles, and 
many a statesman quiets his conscience in regard to this growing 
evil by telling himself that the country is enriched by this in- 
crease to its revenue. Sir, the country is being ruined by it. 
The drink has slain its thousands and opium is slaying its tens 
of thousands. Mr. Quellset has found out how to make it 
palatable, and he has grown enormously rich ; but surely, sir, we 
do not now live in days when men think they can purchase 
pardon and heaven by presenting to the Church a small part 
of their ill-gotten gains. I hope there may be found some one to 
second my proposition.' 

" ' I will do so,' said a blunt, unediicated man, ' and I cry shame 
on any church which, for the sake of adorning its biiilding, will 
in such a way as Mr. Shelve proposes thus make friends of the 
mammon of unrighteousness.' 

" ' Sir,' said another, ' I move that the grateful thanks of this 
church be presented to Mr. Quellset for his munificent gift. We 
have been patiently listening to a lot of arrant nonsense. We 



72 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

havo nothing to do with the way in which a man chooses to make 
his money. If we had, I should say that Mr. Qnellset has done 
the country more good than harm. He has found a new employ- 
ment for men, women, and children. He pays better wages for 
box-making and all the other branches of his industries than 
they could earn in many ways. It is not yet proved that opium 
does more harm than alcohol ; and, for my own part, I believe 
that all these good gifts of God, taken in moderation, are 
tiseful. And, besides, beggars must not be choosers, and it 
V ould be an insane thing to retiirn a man's money when we need 
it so much.' 

" Nevertheless" [added the journal], "this Quixotic company of 
saints decided by a maiority to return the cash, and pay its debts 
by the practice of its own self-denial and generosity." 

There were many qviiet souls filled with piety and patriotism 
who thanked God and took courage when they heard this, for 
there was a leaven working in the real Christian society of the 
day which was destined eventually to bring about a marvellous 
change. 

And this change, like almost everything else in England, 
had to do with politics. 



CHAPTER IX. 

IN THE AUTUMN. 

LITTLE Darentdale led the way. 
The summer had not yet died into winter, nor had the 
leisure which comes into a country parish with the short 
days and long evenings left the thoughts of the people free. 
Nevertheless, some time and thought were given to an ex- 
periment which John Dallingtou, urged by Arthur Knight, 
had proposed should be tested in the village. The village 
was a small one, and it was almost wholly agricultural. 
There were about thirty persons who were employers of 
labour, and the rest were employed by them. Thirteen were 
looked up to as belonging to the moneyed classes, and of 
these, Mr. Whitwell — who lived out of the village, but had 
property in it — and John Dallington were the principal in- 
dividuals. They employed on their farms the largest number 
of labourers, bu.t besides these there were two smaller farmers, 



IN THE AUTUMN. 73 

and several other persons who owned or rented a few acres of 
land, a gentleman who had retired from his business in 
London and had bought a good-sized house and garden, a 
lady of limited income, who kept one servant, and the general 
shop-keeper, who combined the businesses of chemist and 
druggist, draper, grocer, and coal dealer, all in one. There 
were, besides, two bakers, a blacksmith, a butcher, four 
publicans, and Henry Harris. 

" We have everything in our own hands," said John 
Dallington, " and it ought to be possible for us to have each 
man, woman, and child in our care, if not under owe control. 
We may not be able to make the villagers religious; but 
surely it is possible so to govern our little world that there 
shall be no poverty in it, but every one have a share in the 
comforts and refinements which the richest enjoy. I find 
that we have some poor to be relieved, and some evilly- 
disposed persons — the most poor and the most miserable of 
all — who must be helped out of themselves." 

There were eight persons in conference — the Vicar, the 
Rev. George Emerson, the Baptist minister, the Rev. Henry 
Marshall, and the chief supporter of the Methodists — Mr. 
Rouse, who was also the principal tradesman in the place — 
Mr. Whitwell, and Dallington. There was here, happily, 
no bitterness between the Clergyman and the Dissenting 
ministers. The men knew each other so well that they had 
lost the disiDOsition for fighting. In theory, of course, Mr. 
Marshall thought the Church should be disestablished, and 
when the time came he would do his duty, and vote to that 
effect ; in theo]-y, too, Mr. Emerson thought the Dissenters 
were schismatics, and ought to be repressed; but in practice 
the men were brothers, who respected the good which they 
saw in each other, and carried together the burden of the 
souls of the j)eople. Neither begrudged the other the success 
which came to him, both moiirned because they, thoiigh 
helped by the Salvationists and Methodists, failed between 
them to bring to the house of God as many as two-thirds of 
the people of Darentdale. But for this sympathy which 
existed between the Christian workers of the denominations, 
Dallington would have had no hope whatever for the success 
of his plan. 

They had before them a list of the inhabitants, the joint 
work of Margaret Miller and Tom Whitwell, which gave all 
necessary particulars of the family and circumstances of 
each householder, together with certain facts touching their 
character, religion, and occupation — a list quite easily drawn 
up, since every individual was well kno"v\Ti. 



74 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" Oui' parochial system has already parcelled out the 
country," began Mi-. Emerson. 

" And placed a gentleman in every parish," quoted Mr. 
Marshall, with a significant smile. 

" Exactly ; and to help him teach the people the Free 
Churches have been established, so that it is certainly not 
an impossible thing for us together to provide religious 
instruction on the Sunday, and visitation during the week. 
I do not quite know how it is that we have failed to get hold 
of so many of the people." 

" For part of the trouble our collections are responsible," 
said Mr. Marshall. " The working classes do not care to be 
asked continually for money." 

" I do not think they mind paying for what they have," 
said the Methodist. " The penny a week from our people 
comes in readily enough, and the Salvation Army procures 
immense sums from the working-classes. The real difficulty 
is that men do not consider religion a thing worth paying for. 
They judge it by its professors, and pronounce it a fraud or 
a failure, because so many of us are not what we declare 
religion makes people to be. There is not enough difference 
between those who are naturally good and those who profess 
to have been made good by grace." 

" Exactly," said the clergyman. " Among the poor and 
irreligious of this village there is no man so highly respected 
as Mr. Harris, who never darkens the doors of church or 
chapel." 

" Yes ; the carnal mind is still at enmity against God," re- 
marked the Baptist minister. " But is not even that, to a 
great extent, because the representatives of Christ have 
failed to prove that they are the bringers of good tidings ? 
What is your gospel of help to the people, Mr. Dallington ?" 

" Better wages, better homes, more leisure, better amuse- 
ments, better education," he replied, promptly ; " every Chris- 
tian employer the friend and brother of his own people ; every 
church the centre of a religious activity which leaves none 
near it untouched by brotherly love. And charity begins at 
home, and everybody is to look after his own neighbour." 

The little company knew that he was himself doing that 
which he urged them to do, and this gave him the greater 
power and influence. 

The meeting was a very practical one. The farmers 
declared that they would slightly increase the wages of their 
men, and follow Dallington's plan. Each cottager should 
have a strip of land for a garden, and every one who was 
willing to repair his own house dm-ing the winter should have 



IN THE AUTUMA. 75 

the materials given him. They knew that Dallington had set 
betore him the task of winning back the whole of his in- 
heritance, but he would not do it at the expense of the com 
fort and well-being of his men. Mr. Whitwell was not so 
rich as he was thought to be. but a few pounds could be 
spared which, paid in shillings, would make all the difPerence 
to the families of some of his men. The only thing which 
had hitherto prevented him from paying more in somli cases 
was his desire not to appear more generous than his neigh- 
bours. ° 

It was agreed at the meeting that there should be an in- 
vitation sent to all the better-class people in the village to 
come to the vicarage for consultation. After that, " all who 
professed and called themselves Christians " were invited to 
the same place, the vicarage being selected instead of the 
schoolroom of the Baptist Chapel, out of deference to the 
bigotry of a few Church people. 

And so it was decided that when November came a won- 
derful thing should happen. But in the meantime the 
summer lingered, and John Dallington was in love with it. 
One fine morning he said, " I am amazed at the manner in 
which English people libel their own climate. Never 
were such perfect summer days as these; nor is there, in 
any part of the world, grander harvest scenery." As' he 
spoke his eyes looked lovingly over the prospect before him, 
which was, indeed, a pleasant one. The remark was made to 
two of his cousins, Edith and Tom, who had ridden over to 
Darentdale with a message from their father, and having 
delivered it to the young farmer, whom they found where he 
ought to have been, among his fields, were lingering by his 
side. John's hand was on the neck of the horse on which 
his youngest cousin sat, and she glanced at him with a smile 
half merry and half sad as he spoke. 

" Yes, I am glad that for once the season is behaving pro- 
perly," she said. " It does not often, and it is well that you 
should not find everything disappointing. All your hay is safely 
m, I see ; so is ours, and father is better tempered than ever in 
consequence. But don't be too sanguine. Remember the 
proverb, ' Blessed is he that expecteth nothing, for he shall 
not be disappointed.' I should be sorry to suggest evil; but 
there are such things, even in this magnificent English 
climate, as storms of wind and rain, and even hail, that spoil 
the crops of the most hopeful men." 

" But they will surely respect John's crops," said Edith, 
" especially after he has so complimented the weather. I am 
glad you are courageous enough to grow corn at all, for 



76 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

it will scarcely pay you to compete with tlie foreign wheat 
in the market. England will soon cease to be a corn-growing 
country." 

"Never mind; let England grow men," said Dallington, 
" and all the other lands grow corn for them to eat. You 
know the English-speaking race is destined to dominate the 
world." 

" Say the worlds, while you are about it, John. You are a 
tz'ue Englishman in conceit of your country. I think the 
dominant race might be improved," remarked Tom. 

" So do I ; but we are getting on all the same. The real 
aristocracy — that of charactei' — is realising its power a little, 
and before you are many years older, Tom, you will see a 
change." 

" Yes ? Then I promise that when it comes I will re- 
member the words of the prophet John." 

" You are winning golden oj)inions from your labourers," 
said Edith " You have followed father's examjjle, I hear, 
and given them pieces of ground for their own vise. Now 
that so much of the land produces nothing but grass it will 
not mean as great a loss to you as gain to them. Old 
Benham said to me, 'Lor', miss, our young master be a brick, 
and no mistake ' ; and, you know, to be called a brick is the 
highest praise any one can hope for." 

" I suppose that is because I have told him he shall have as 
many bricks as he likes with which to build a wing to his 
house." 

" I am afraid your men will not take the trouble to do the 
work, even though you give the time and material." 

" I think they will," said John, quietly. " Indeed, I am 
sure of it; and this is another prophecy for you to re- 
member, Tom. Are you not coming into the house ? How 
tired you look ! " 

Tom answered hastily : " No, we cannot call ; we saw Mr. 
Hunter as we passed, and father will be expecting us." 

" Tom is not well," said Edith ; " she is always tired now ; 
she has lost her appetite, and she does not sleep. I want 
father to let us go away for a change " 

" Do not be stupid, Edith," interrupted Tom, irritably; "I 
am all right, and where could we find purer air and more 
bracing breezes than on our own farm ? The sea ? Oh, it is 
not half as good as this ! Besides, think of the poor wretches 
iu London being baked and boiled in stifling streets and 
rooms ! Good-bye, John, and a good harvest to you." 

" Tom," he said, " the poor people in London will not be 
any cooler because you deny yourself sea-breezes." But Tom 



IN THE AUTUMN. 77 

only lifted h.ev hat in her most gentlemanly fashion, and rode 
away with a smile on her lips that quivered with pain the 
next moment. 

John was very fond of his cousin, and was really troubled 
at the change which he saw in her appearance, and which he 
felt also, though he could not define it. He would probably 
have ridden after her, but that his mind was turning in 
another direction than that of Hornby Hall, for he knew 
that Margaret Miller was at Scourby, and, guessing that she 
would walk home in the evening, he was resolved at all 
hazards to meet her, 

Margaret's home was in the centre of the pretty Darent- 
dale Village, and the name of it was " The Old House " — 
a name which was appropriate since it was the oldest dwelling 
in the place. The other inhabitants were a man whom she 
called grandfather, whose name was Henry Hai-ris, and his 
housekeeper, Ann Johnson. The Old House had originally 
belonged to John Dallington's uncle. Captain Frank Dal- 
lington, and it was he who brought Harris to Darentdale. 
Margaret came with them, and since she was but a child they 
at once made inquiries for a suitable person to act as foster- 
mother to her as well as housekeeper to Harris. Ann Johnson 
presented herself, and was accepted ; nor had there been 
reason to regret the appointment, for she had proved herself 
warm-hearted, if somewhat rough, and entirely trustworthy, 
though peculiar. The Old House had previously been empty 
for some time, for Captain Dallington would neither let it 
nor live in it ; but he had it fm'bished up and comfortably 
furnished, and then he spent some months in it with Harris. 
There were plenty of rooms in the house, and one of them 
which faced the front was turned into a bookseller's shop. 
But Darentdale folk were not great readers, and the trade 
was so small that the people became rather suspicious about 
the shop, and often wondered where Harris got the money to 
enable him to live comfortably. He, however, vouchsafed no 
information, and when Ann Johnson was questioned, she 
always began telling a tale about somebody or other, 
instead of giving a definite answer, so the Darentdalers had 
nothing left but to exercise their imagination. Mr. Harris 
was for some time no favourite in the place. Some said 
he was an atheist, though he was pronounced generally 
to be neither one thing nor the other. He did not go to 
either of the inns to spend his evenings sociably with his 
neighbours ; but neither when a Temperance Mission was 
held did he don the Blue Ribbon. As to politics, he acknow- 
ledged that he was neither a Tory nor a Radical, but voted 



78 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

for the best man — as if the man had anything to do with 
it when there was the party to supi^ort ! The villagers 
did not know what to make of a man who never called others 
names, and had no principles at all. But he had now been 
at Darentdale fifteen years, and it was strange how few 
people there were in the parish who, at some time or other, 
had not been helped by Henry Harris. There was nobody 
like him for getting another out of a difficulty, and almost 
every one had been glad to avail himself of the unostentatious 
assistance that was always ready. But some people liked 
Harris less on that account, and a few whom he had served 
the most were the most sure that they owed him a grudge. 
It is only noble people who know how to accept help 
gracefully. 

Nobody disliked him more than John Dallington's mother. 
But she had more reason than others for her disaffection, 
because she had a settled conviction that Harris and his 
granddaughter had money which she ought to have. Captain 
Dallington, who was always a wanderer, did not return to 
Darentdale after he had installed Harris and the child in the 
Old House. He had now been dead some years, and when 
liis will was read his brother and his wife were astonished to 
find how little he had to leave. What he had was bequeathed 
to his relatives, excepting " the Old House, and all that was 
in it," which was left to Henry Harris and Margaret Miller 
after him. The phrase — " and all that is in it " — had given 
John Dallington's mother many an unhappy hour. 

But what it was that was in it nobody outside the house 
knew, excepting that for the last few years there was in that 
Old House the most beautiful and interesting girl that 
Darentdale ever o\vned. It was not her beauty alone, nor 
her tall, graceful figure, nor her musical voice, nor her sweet, 
brown eyes that were the attraction ; but there was a charm 
about her that could not be named, and generally could not 
be I'esisted. Most people loved Margaret, even those who 
did not want to. 

Margaret, visiting Mrs. Wythburn, found her preparing for 
her departure. "We have made up our minds," she said, "to 
go to London. Mary is there, and my husband believes that 
we shall be able to find her if we watch there. So we have 
taken rooms as near as possible to the Bank ; and we quite 
hope to be successful in our search. We are willing that she 
should remain at the work she has chosen to do ; and we shall 
no doubt eventually live in London altogether." 

"But it is a pity to leave the country for London now, 
when the weather is so unusually hot." 



IN THE AUTUMN. 79 

" Our child is enduring tlie lieat somewliere, and so can we. 
Besides, we cannot stay at Scourby. Do you know that 
Alfred Greenholme is already engaged to Hilda Copeland ? " 

" No ; but I am not surprised. She is far more suitable for 
him than our splendid Mary, who never could have been 
happy as his wife. I hope you are not letting that trouble 
you, Mrs. Wythburn ? " 

"Perhaps it is annoyance rather than trouble. Mrs. 
Greenholme herself told me, and naturally, I had an un- 
pleasant ordeal to go through. But the worst of it is, 
Margaret, that the people are setting very disagreeable 
stories afloat. Mrs. Grreenholme said it was reported in the 
town that Mary and Dr. Stapleton had gone off together." 

" Oh, the slanderous tongues ! How dare they give utterance 
to such abominable falsehoods ! I should feel disposed to 
try to trace the lie to its source, though really it would 
be waste of time, for no one who knows Mary could 
believe it." 

" But I am sure that something is wrong with Dr. Stapleton. 
He is not in the least like himself. He looks ten years older 
since Mary's disappearance. And his charges are almost 
doulile what they were. He is making the poor pay now, 
which, you know, he never did before, for he has always been 
most attentive and kind to those who could not pay him. He 
is often away, and cannot be found ; and when he is sum- 
moned he is absent-minded and disagi-eeable. And people 
say all this looks suspicious, especially as he and Mary were 
known to be great friends." 

" Oh, my dear Mrs. Wythburn, every one will know that it 
is only a coincidence ! Dr. Stapleton must have some trouble 
which he does not care to publish; but, of course, it has 
nothing to do with Mary. I am very sorry for him ; he has 
always been so kind and good. But I hope for every reason 
that Mary will soon let you know where she is, and then all 
this will be made right." 

Mr. Wythburn entered the house while they were talking, 
and he was in excellent spirits. 

" We shall be happy to see you in London, Margaret. We 
have not yet selected our town house, but when we have there 
will be a room for you in it. And we are going to catch 
Mary and chastise her. We have spoiled the child by sparing 
the rod. Now we shall alter all that ! " 
" It is rather late to begin, is it not ? " 

" Better late than never. But do you know, Margaret, I 
am coming to think that Mary is right. Some of us do not 
deserve to be called Christians, or to have any comfort, 



80 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

because we spend our lives on sucli a low level. Mary shall 
train up her parents in the way they should go." 

" That will suit Mary very well, no doubt ; for that is what 
all young people feel called upon to do in these days." 

" And I think we needn't be very unhappy about her. I am 
thankful that on her birthday I made over that money to her 
and gave her the cheque-book. She will not want for any- 
thing that money can buy, and that is a great comfort." 

" Let me help you to get ready," suggested Margaret; and 
before she left the boxes wei'e packed, the carriage was 
ordered, and Mr. and Mrs. Wythburnwere almost as jubilant 
as if they were going to London on their honeymoon. 

The hot afternoon was wearing towards evening when 
Margaret started on her homeward journey. She elected to 
walk, for it was delightful to be out of doors, and having 
nothing to cause her to hasten her steps, she might linger in 
the green lanes and sunny fields as long as she pleased, and 
so the burden of care was rolled away. 

How blue the skies were and how fresh was the air ! 
Margaret felt that everything was friendly towards her. 
The flowers seemed to look into her eyes as she touched them 
with caressing fingers. She had always a feeling that they 
knew who loved them, ana could be happy or sad as other 
and bigger things were. She never gathered them to die in 
hot rooms, or faint their lives away, plucked and then 
neglected. She loved and cared for them, and thought they 
knew it. The birds were growing silent, but a few even now 
sang to her, and she answered them. 

Yes, my Father cares for you. 
Little birds amid the blue ; 
Praise Him, and I praise Him, too. 

You know little of His care ; 
I, who feel Him everywhere. 
Voice my love in praise and prayer. 

You a little while may sing : 
I will love and praise my King, 
Yonder, in unending spring. 

There was no one in sight, and Margaret's sweet, clear 
voice rose and fell as she pleased. Presently she was too 
happy even to sing, for God seemed so near to her, and all 
things so glad that her eyes grew dim for very sympathy 
with the world. A little aside from the path, and near a 
gate, was a beautiful ash-tree, whose roots provided a com- 
fortable seat, and she sat down to rest, and was presently 



IN THE AUTUMN. 81 

lost in thouglit. Some one was approacliing, but she did not 
see or hear him until he was almost close to her. Then she 
arose and turned, her face lighted with the thought that had 
been last in her mind, and confronted John Dalliugton. 

He came eagerly forward, a great gladness in his heart. 

Margaret was glad, too, as the rose colour in her face might 
have told him, and she lifted her eyes a moment to his with 
all the pleasure in them ; but they fell before his gaze, for it 
told her almost too much. 

" Which way are you going ? Home ? So am I. Let us go 
together — together." He liugei'ed on the word, for it was 
sweet to him — he would that they should always go together ! 
" Margaret, say you are glad to see me, if you honestly can." 

" I am unfeignedly glad," said Margaret in a low voice, and 
she asked herself how she could possibly be other than glad ? 
But she was almost frightened to find how gi'eat the joy was, 
and how necessary it became that she should keep her 
feelings luider control. 

Ah ! what a walk that was ! They were both so young and 
so noble — so loving, too, — and all Nature was in sympathy 
with them. They had plenty to say — at least Dallington had ; 
but the moments when they said nothing, and a soft silence 
fell upon them, were the sweetest, for they were side by side, 
and could glance into each other's eyes when they did not 
hear the voice which was to the other the best-loved musio of 
the world. 

Time passes swiftly under such conditions, and the distance 
across the fields appeared as nothing. Quite before they 
expected it the spire of Darentdale Church became visible, 
and then Dallington turned from the path. 

" Let us go this way," he said. " We do not want to get 
home just yet, do we ? " Margaret hesitated. He asked, " Are 
you too tired to go farther ? " 

" No ; I am certainly not too tired," she said. " But I have 
been away all day, and my grandfather may have wanted me. 
I must return soon." 

" Yery well ; we will not go far. But tell me about your- 
self," he said. " Do you know that I went to the chapel on 
my first Sunday evening at home, and saw you ? " 

" Yes, I know." 

" I wondered very much what made you do that thing ? It 
coidd not have been pleasant ; was it ? " 

"Indeed, it was not." Margaret was silent for a few 
minutes ; and then she continued, in the low tones which she 
always used when she was deeply moved, " The fact is, that a 
change has come over m,e lately. I was always helped to 

6 



82 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

form habits whicli were of the better sort, and I thought 
myself a very good Christian until a little while ago, when, 
after I had read a book opposed to Christianity, I began to 
really study the New Testament." 

" And what did you find ? " 

" I found Christ." 

" Of course ! " 

" No ; it was not ' of course ' at all. I had read it many 
times, and found a great deal about Him that was interesting 
and beautiful. But I had not found Hhn, which is quite a 
different thing. It is as if I had been in the dark, and a 
sudden flash had lighted up everything." 

" I wish the flash would come to me ! I am anxious to see 
that Sermon on the Mount put into living form." 

" But it can never be while it is considered to be merely an 
exquisite literary production, to be praised and patronised. 
It has to be acknowledged as a code of laws absolutely 
binding on those who profess to be the disciples of Him who 
proclaimed it. But it is impossible for these laws to be 
entirely obeyed except by those who have found in Christ 
the Regenerator of themselves. Don't you think so ? I used 
to admire Him and venerate Him, and perhaps fear Him a 
little ; but now it is all so different ; I know Him, a living, 
reliable, present Friend and Companion. And I love Him 
because He first loved me." 

Dallington looked into the beautiful eyes, alive with feel- 
ing, and said, " And He is really real to you ? " 

" Real to me ? " she ci-ied. " I am not more real to myself. 
And it is all so wonderful ! " 

" And that ceremony in the chapel was the outcome of all 
this ? And, I suppose, you mean to live up to it ? " 

" I am certainly going to try." 

" Margaret let us try together. I cannot let you go without 
telling you that which is my heart. Do you remember what 
the last words were which I said to you before I went away P ' 

Margaret had grown pale, and was trembling. " You must 
not say them again," she said. 

" But, indeed, I have been saying them ever since, and I 
shall say them as long as we both live. I chose you for my 
own dear love when I was a boy, and now that I see you as 
you ai'e — oh, Margaret, surely you must love me a little, 
because you see how dear you have been to me all these 
years ! " 

"But you know," said Margaret, very gently, ''that I 
must not let myself care for you. The old reasons remain 
stiU." 



IN THE AUTUMN. 83 

" I know of no reason in the world tliat should keep ns 
apart. When I spoke to you before I was not my own 
master ; but now I am free to decide for myself. Oh, my 
darling, if you love me we shall be so happy." 

Margaret turned from his pleading eyes as she answered, 
" You have the duties and responsibilities of your position. 
Tou must not be unfaithful to them. And you must not 
marry one who is beneath you ; and " 

" Beneath me ! Oh, Margaret, do not talk nonsense ! I 
cannot bear it. The only inequality there is between you and 
me is that I am not half worthy of you, not half good enough 
for you. And you know already that I have my troubles — 
— money troubles, and others^so that life is going to be a 
fight for me, as it is for most men. I am very much 
worried already. No man needs a good wife to help him 
more than I." 

" I hope you will find one, my friend," said Margaret, bravely. 
"No one would rejoice more heartily than I to see you happy 
and prosperous. You must look for some one who can help 
you financially as well as in every other way." 

Dallington laughed a little bitterly. " My mother has 
been telling me to marry money. I scarcely expected 
Margaret Miller to give me the same advice. You are like 
the rest of the world after all, I suppose. Do you mean to 
marry money too, Margaret ? " 

" Are you going to be cruel to me ? " 

" No, dear ; but neither must you be to me. Margaret, 
listen to me. I will not persecute you with unwelcome 
attentions ; but I will not give you up until I discover that 
you are promised to another. You have grown so lovely and 
so sweet that, of course, you may have already learnt to care 
for some one else " — Margaret smiled — " but I do not think 
you have ; and if you say No to-day, I shall ask you again. I 
have thought of you in every land to which I have gone. I 
have compared, or rather, contrasted — all women with you. 
Once, when I was ill, a strange feeling came over me that you 
were praying for me. It was my greatest hope when I re- 
turned to England that at last you would accept me. I have 
been very faithful to you, Margaret, because I love you — I 
love you ! Darling, give me my answer now." 

They were standing iinder the shade of a tree in the lane 
behind Margaret's home, and none saw or heard but the birds. 
The girl hesitated for a few seconds. It was no use to try to 
persuade herself that she did not care for him, for she knew 
better. He was searching her face with eager eyes, and she 
dared not meet his passionate gaze. She had given him love 



84 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

for love all along, and it was this that made it impossible for 
her to care for those who in his absence had sought her hand. 
Ah ! yes, she loved him, and because she did his happiness 
should be dearer to her than her own. Oh ! if she could 
believe that it would be really best for him, so that she might 
give him the answer he wanted, and which was thi'obbing in 
her heart and trembling on her lips ! Might she ? Dare 
she ? True love is always humble, and there were strong 
reasons why Margaret's should be especially so ; and yet 

"Margaret, my darling, you do care for me !" he said, and 
he drew her gently toward him. 

" Care for you ? Oh, John, John ! " It was no use ; love is 
stronger than anything. She yielded herself for a moment 
to his arms, and he took his first sweet kiss of love. 



CHAPTER X. 

IN PARADISE. 

WHO is responsible for the naming of places ? 
Paradises and Edens are plentiful in London, if there 
is anything in names : but some of them have surely received 
their cognomens in bitter irony. Near Mr. Knight's pre- 
mises was a court which was called Nightingale Lane, and 
another known as Wild Rose Court, the houses in which 
were, most of them, a disgrace to civilisation. But there 
was another, containing about seventy dwellings, which re- 
joiced in the name of Paradise Grove. Away at the 
chui-ch, the sound of whose bells came in a sort of muffled 
music, they used sometimes to sing about Paradise in the 
anthem — 

O Paradise ! O Paradise ! 

Who doth not crave for rest ? 

Who woiild not seek the happy land 

Where they that love are blest ? 

But this Paradise was hot and close and dreadfully dirty. At 
the open windows of the little houses men sat in ragged shirts 
and trousers, and worked off and on every day but Monday. 
There was a smell of dirt everywhere, and the children, 
escaping from tlie vigilance of the School Board officer, lay 



IN PARADISE. 85 

about in the dusty road until tliey looked like lieaps of dust 
themselves. As for the language heard in Paradise, it was 
astonishingly bad. The men could scarcely utter a sentence 
without bringing in some oaths. The children, even when 
they meant to say good-natured things to each other, used 
the foulest of our language ; and, worst of all, the girls raised 
yells of laughter by their filthy conversation. There was not 
a tree in Paradise Grove, nor a flower of any kind, but weeds 
grew there, and ill thoughts and utter misery. 

Were there no churches or chapels or missions near ? 

Oh, yes ! But the Grove people did not believe in Chris- 
tianity, and declared themselves against humbugs. They 
were fond of that word, and applied it to every one who was in 
any way better than themselves. 

No one had succeeded in effecting an entrance into the 
hearts of the inhabitants of Paradise Grove until a young 
woman, plainly dressed in grey cloak and hat, and having 
a sweet, sad face, had called at the doors with a basket of 
articles which she was anxious to sell. The people looked 
at her a little suspiciously at first. If she had brought 
tracts and magazines, she might go where she came from ; 
they had had such visitors before. But she assured them, 
with a smile, that tracts and magazines were not in her line. 
She had large j)ieces of beautiful soap, exceedingly cheap, 
and would sell for a halfpenny a piece big enough for the whole 
family. And she had good scrubbing-brushes and hair- 
brushes, for which she would take a few pence only; and 
little white table cloths ; no one knew what a difference 
it made to a room if a white cloth were put on a table before 
the loaf was placed upon it. The Grove men and women 
thought it perfect nonsense. Where was the good of wasting 
money over such extravagances as table-cloths ? There was 
some sense in getting more to eat. When the people had 
their way, and right was done, chickens and hares and 
pheasants would be within the reach of the poor. If one 
of them could be placed beside the loaf, that would be some- 
thing worth talking about. But in the meantime the woman's 
things were certainly cheap, and she appeared very anxious 
to sell them ; so now and then a purchase was made — espe- 
cially when the women found that they could pawn the 
articles for as much as, or more than, they had given for 
them. 

By degrees the woman and her basket had come to be 
familiar objects in Paradise Grove, and the people had grown 
to like her a little. She never attempted to meddle with 
them or lecture them. They tried once or twice to shock 



86 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

and frighten her ; but she did not seem afraid ; only, at 
first, it was noticed that if two men or women happened 
to be quarrelling and fighting when she came, she turned 
faint, and had to leave the neighbourhood. She never could 
be got to take sides in a quarrel ; and now and then, very 
gently and unassumingly, she tried to put in a peacemaking 
or quieting word, but generally she was content to sell the 
articles she had brought, and explain their use. 

The best of all was that the woman seemed to know about 
ailments, and what could cure them. There was always some 
one ill in Paradise Grove, and " the Basket "Woman," as they 
called her, carried medicine whicb generally did the sick 
ones good. Also, she made a very pleasant drink. It was 
not ale, for you coiild drink a gallon of it, and it would not 
get into your head ; but it tasted something like ale, and was 
almost as nice. 

But whether it was crockery, or medicine, or drink, the 
woman never would give it away or sell it on trust. Her 
wares were both cheap and good, but she would be paid for 
them ; and so when she came they had to find their money. 
And this very fact caused them to respect her and themselves. 
Some of the women got quite an air of independence as they 
talked to her, and some of the men, respectable in whole 
shirts which she had sold them, held up their heads with an 
expression of superiority which was altogether new. 

Certainly the most popular person in Paradise was the 
" Basket Woman." But one day a Paradise girl, who rejoiced 
in the name of Fan Burton, spread thi-ough the Grove the 
news that their " Basket Woman " was not a basket woman 
at all, but a lady, who only pretended to sell things 
that she might " get round them." Fanny had seen her 
dressed and talking to a gentleman. Why this should make 
any difference it would be difficult to tell ; but after Fan had 
cleverly and maliciously circulated this news, the women 
chose to feel themselves " sold," and a strange reaction set in. 
" She has had us nicely ! " said Fan. " Let's pay her out for 
it. I shouldn't wonder if she turns out one of them female 
detectives, or, perhaps, she's worse ; how do we know as that 
drink and medicine ain't poison ? I don't trust her one bit. 
Well, I ain't had none of her rubbish, except a scrubbing- 
brush, and that can't hurt me much." 

Then other women took the same tone ; one especially told 
how she had been impudent enough to interfere when Mrs. 
Broggins beat her Sammy, as if a Avoman mightn't do what 
she liked with her own brat. And what business was it of 
that Basket Woman's, so long as Sammy wasn't killed ? She 



IN PARADISE. 87 

talked about fetcliing tlie police, she did — ali ! she forgot her- 
self then ; she was mostly a meek-faced thing enough, but 
everybody had seen how she flared up about that boy — " a 
himperant, hinterferen 'ussy " as she was ! 

Things looked rather black for the Basket Woman ; and it 
would have been well if some one could have warned her. 
But there was no one to do it, and she came into the Grove 
as usual, with a smile upon her face. 

" I beg youi- pardon," she said, pleasantly, " I dare say you 
know as well as anybody how to knit P " 

" It ain't no business of yours whether I do or not," said 
the woman, in tones that became louder with every word. 
Then a shout came down the road. " Basket Woman ! come 
here ! I want a talk with you." 

A loud guffaw from all the women at all the doors showed 
that something had happened to make the dwellers in the 
Grove angry. The Basket Woman was not very courageous, 
and her first impulse was to fly ; but she went toward the 
person who had called her. 

" Will you have some wool ? " she asked. But the person 
addressed turned angrily upon her. 

" Wool, indeed P No ; nor anything else that you have. 
I'll tell you what you are ! You are a sneaking hypocrite." 

A flush shot over the refined face, the basket was put down, 
and she faced the woman and the group that had gathered 
curiously around her. " Now, what is the matter ? And 
what does all this mean ? " 

A torrent of abuse was poiired upon her. She stood per- 
fectly still, and her face was now white but firm. Presently, 
when there was a lull, she said, in a qiiiet, penetrating voice, 
" How hard and unkind you women can be ! " 

" Clear out ! We don't want none of your tongue ! " 

" I shall not go until you have let me say one thing," she 
said, becoming suddenly brave. " I have as much right as 
anybody to come here and try to sell things. Why are you 
angry with me P Have I ever done you any harm ? " 

There were more shouts of scorn and anger, and nobody 
was courageous enough to say a word in favour of the 
stranger. In the crowd was a woman whose child she had 
nursed through two nights of croup, and another whose house 
she had cleaned because the mistress's hand had been hurt. 
The Basket Woman looked into the faces of these women 
%vith pathetic wonder and disapiaointment, while all sorts of 
things were shouted at her and of her. Then she turned 
sorrowfully, and, taking up her basket, walked slowly out of 
the court. 



88 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" I hope you will let me come again, when you are not quite 
so angry with me, because I like you, and I thought some of 
you were my friends." 

As she said the words her eyes fell on the face of Fanny 
Burton, who looked sorj-y for her part in the matter, and who 
felt more than a little doubtful as to whether she had not 
made a mistake. But the woman herself was so sorely dis- 
appointed that the tears sprang to her eyes, and her lips 
quivered, as she slowly, and with gentle dignity, made her 
way along the court to the street at the end of it. 

" Drive her out ! " somebody hissed presently, and then 
there was sound of hurrying feet behind her. She quickened 
her steps a little, but before she reached the entrance to the 
court a big boy of eighteen came hastily behind her and gave 
her a push of so violent a character that she was propelled 
suddenly into the street and fell. With a wild yell the 
women took to their heels, and, running up Paradise Grove, 
disappeared in their houses. 

The Basket Woman lay stunned in the street, her head 
having come in contact with the kerb-stone, and she remained 
for several moments insensible. 

A lady who was passing in her carriage had seen the 
sudden rush in the street, and immediately went to the aid of 
the prostrate woman. Some water was brought, and pre- 
sently the white eyelids opened. 

" My carriage is here," said the lady, who had been 
intently regarding her. " Let me take you home with me for 
some tea." 

" Oh, no, thank you ! My home is quite near. I can reach 
it, I am all right now." 

" You belong to the Helpful Miuistiy, I can see," said the 
lady, " by whatever name you may call yourself ; and you 
have i-eceived quite the customary thanks and pay. My name 
is Wentworth, and I love girls, and am glad to find any who 
need mothering ; and jiist now you need not only a mother's 
love, but a mother's skill also. Come with me." 

Thp Basket Woman sighed, and glanced at the kind face 
beside her. But the next moment she grew frightened, and 
answered hastily, " Oh, no, I cannot do that. Thank you so 
much, but I would rather go to my lodging." 

" Very well, I will help you," said Miss Wentworth, for it 
was she. " No ? I must not do that ? Ah ! I quite under- 
stand. But you may trust me. Here is my card. Will you 
promise to come and see me ? If not, I shall not leave until 
I know where to find you." 

It was very tiresome, the Basket Woman thought; but 



IN PARADISE. 89 

6lie took the card, and gave the promise, and then crept 
back to her lodging, and went at once to her bed, where 
she remained for some days, with ample time and oppor- 
tunity for testing the efficacy of her own medicines. Truth 
to tell, while enduring considerable pain and weakness, 
she much wished that she could have accepted the kind 
invitation of Miss Wentworth ; but afterwards she was 
glad she had not. As soon as she was able she called on that 
lady, but was relieved to find that she was out. And then she 
gave herself afresh to her work. Paradise Grove was her 
own "happy hunting-ground," and, therefoi'e, she had taken 
two rooms, and thoroughly whitewashed and cleaned them, 
and lived among the people. She was glad to find that the 
ill-feeling which had been roused against her seemed all to 
have died out, and, as there never had been any in her heart, 
she went on with her work as if nothing had happened. She was 
needed just then for a bad case of sickness, and before that 
duty was through an incident occurred in connection with 
Fanny Burton that gave the Basket Woman great joy. 

It was Sunday, and Paradise Grove was less savoury than 
usual. It was also more active, for most of the cleaning and 
washing were done on that day. Sunday, too, was the grand 
cooking-day of the week ; everybody in the Grove tried to get 
a little hot meat on the Sunday. Often it was not possible, 
for in the Grove were many of the victims of London's cruel 
sweating system, and many a woman worked fourteen hours a 
day for less than a shilling. Considering this terrible fight for 
life, and the environments of these people, the wonder was that 
they were not worse than they were. Happily, however, the 
system was doomed, for England was determined not to 
endure it, and public opinion was so severe on the sweaters 
themselves that their number became less every month. 
There was in process of formation a new Volunteer Corps, 
which already numbered thousands of employers of labour, 
who were sworn to abolish slavery in London, and set every 
man, woman, and child free. The Basket Woman, like many 
others, was preparing the way for this consummation. 

Fanny Burton was busy on Sunday morning. First she 
helped her mother scrub the floor of the living room, and 
then she washed and ironed a pair of cuif s and a pocket hand- 
kerchief ; next she brushed her Sunday dress, putting a stitch 
here and there to make it tidy. The fact was that Fanny 
was going out. George Green had invited her, and she had 
consented, to take a walk to Harleigh Furze; and, as she 
herself would have said, she was " counting on it," not alto- 
gether for George's sake, but still more for the sake of the 



90 NINETEEN EIUNDRED? 

flowers and the ferns ; for tliis poor, uneducated girl, who 
spent the greater part of her life in a close factory, had the 
love of flowers born with her. 

"Hurry on the dinner, mother," she said; "I want to go 
out." 

" Very well ; you must get it ready yourself, then," was the 
curt reply. '" Nobody else can please you." 

After dinner Fanny hastened from the Grove to the^ap- 
pointed rendezvous to meet George. He was not there, and 
the girl waited nearly half an hour before he appeared. When 
he came there was a sheepish look on his face. " How are 
you, Fan ? Ton won't mind, will you, if Drom Jones goes 
with us P She asked me to take her, and I couldn't say we 
wouldn't have her. And we won't go to the Furze. Drom 
wants to go to Addington Park instead, because it's nearer." 

A look of scorn came into Fanny's eyes. Andromeda Jones 
(the Paradise Grove people were fond of fine names) was no 
favourite of hers, and George knew that. 

" I have been counting on Harleigh Furze all the week," 
she said, " and I shall go there. You can take Drom Jones to 
the Park if you like. It will not be the first shabby trick you 
have played me, George Green, but it will be the last." 

" Don't be stupid. Fan. What is a fellow to do ? " 

" What he likes." 

At this moment Andromeda herself appeared on the scene, 
and, without another word, Fanny walked away. 

But it was not until she had quite got away from the 
houses, and had walked some distance from the tram termi- 
nus, that she succeeded in overcoming the ill-humour that 
possessed her ; and when she entered a field where no one 
was in sight, the first thing she did was to sit down uj)on a 
green bank and shed a few hot tears — not many, for Fanny 
was a girl of spirit, and did not indulge in such weaknesses 
as a rule. It was not jealousy in regard to George Green that 
troubled her, for after the first feeling of annoyance had 
passed away she did not give him a thought, but a restless- 
ness that had taken possession of her, and that caused her to 
feel her own life to be altogether unsatisfactory. Not that it 
had ever occurred to her to tliink about her life imtil lately ; 
but a subtle change had been going on within the girl which 
could scarcely be explained or accounted for. Fanny was 
active and curious, and had the desire to know which charac- 
terises some young folk. She had been sent to school long 
enough to learn to read, and she devoured everything that 
came in her way. Her knowledge, therefore, was of a very 
miscellaneous kind. Such periodicals as Paradise Grove 



JN PARADISE. 91 

affected were always read by lier, for she borrowed every 
scrap that she saw, and until lately no girl more loved to 
shock the sensibilities of the Christian girls working beside 
her with impudent and blasphemoiis assertions than Fanny 
Burton. But, thanks to the Basket "Woman, Fanny had cer- 
tainly been growing more quiet and less confident lately. 
Instead of glorying in her surroundings she was sickened 
by them, and there had sprung up within her a great scorn 
of herself and her own people, and an awakening desire after 
better things. 

And here was the girl on a beautiful Sunday afternoon 
away from the dirt and the heat of Paradise Grove, and face 
to face with Nature. Every step that she took drew her 
farther from the town and closer to the heart of the green 
forest. The flowers grew in the hedge, the daisies kissed 
her feet, the soft air fanned her face, and the tall grasses 
thrust themselves caressingly into her ungloved hands. It 
seemed that a great hush settled down upon her, and a new 
refinement of feeling, and then a strange hunger after God. 
The unbelievers' words and works, the clamour of the court 
where she lived, the riotous behaviour and noisy talk of com- 
panions, seemed to be like things she had known in a bad 
dream ; and now she was living in a new life. Was it earth 
or heaven ? And would the great God^ — in whom, after all, 
she did ho^je — take notice of poor Fan Burton ? I do not 
think that the feelings which so moved this girl would have 
been called into existence had she gone to the woods in com- 
pany with her associates, or had the occasion been the annual 
picnic of the factory where she worked, or even a Sunday- 
school treat, where she was one of several hundreds. But she 
was alone with Nature and with God ; and perhaps if we 
could make this possible to those for whom we build mission- 
halls, and provide crowded meetings, others would be 
similarly affected. 

The girl walked or rested, with some new beauty to arrest 
her at every step, and with peaceful, purifying thoughts 
floating in her mind, until presently there came through the 
trees the sweet sound of church bells chiming their invitation 
to prayer. For a few moments, with clasped hands, and 
eyes that dared to look earnestly up to the blue skies, she 
stood and listened ; and then, impelled by she knew not what, 
she knelt on the grass and offered her first prayer — a prayer 
odd enough to i-aise a smile if there had been any one to hear 
it, but sincere enough to win its way to heaven. 

" Our Father which art in heaven, if You can hear me, and 
if You can help me, please do. I am so hard and so wrong, 



92 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

and such a fool, tliat I don't know nothing, but I want to 
know, and I want to be better ; please make me want it more. 
If You will help me I'll try to be good, for Thine is the king- 
dom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen. 
There, now, I've prayed ; I really have prayed ; and if there 
is Anything to hear, something will come of it. Anyway, it 
has done me good to pray, and I will go back home and see 
what is to be done next." 

Sweeter than ever seemed the flowers, and greener the 
trees, as the girl walked quietly and reluctantly away fi'om 
the wood, feeling almost as if something new was going to 
happen. Nothing did happen until she had nearly reached 
Paradise Grove, and then she saw a crowd. 

" What is it, Bet ? " she asked of one of the girls who was 
standing near. 

" Only the Salvation Army, as usual, come to convei-t us 
all," was the reply. 

Fanny did not laugh, as her custom was, but she went 
toward the crowd, and pushed her way in and listened. A 
man was talking of the love of God and somehow Fanny un- 
derstood it, for her mind was full of the beautiful sights and 
sounds of the wood, which seemed to make the fact of God's 
love not only possible, but most likely to her. She had heard 
it all before, but did not understand the whole of the address. 
The words which the speaker, in common with all evangelists, 
iised bewildered her. " Come to Jesus ! Will yon not come 
now and be saved ? " 

After the address a hymn was sung, " How Sweet the 
Name of Jesus Sounds ! " and then there was a prayer, and 
the meeting was over. 

Fanny had been watching her opportunity, and as the 
speaker moved away she laid a hand on his arm. " Tell me," 
she said, " tell me quietly what you mean. How am I to come 
to Jesus P " 

" In prayer," said the man. " Jesus can hear every word 
you say just as well as when He was on earth ; and He 
says, ' Come unto Me.' Tou ask Him to save and forgive you, 
and He will." 

A girl with a Salvation Army bonnet on came up, and was 
about to take possession of Fanny, but she, looking up, saw 
the Basket Woman, who had no basket, as it was Sunday, 
and who was regarding the scene with interest. She saw 
something in Fanny's eyes as they met hers ; and this 
friend of the people understood, and was at the girl's side 
in a moment. 

" What is it ? " she asked, gently. " Can I do anything for 



IN PARADISE. 93 

you ? Tour name is Fanny Burton, isn't it ? Will you come 
into my room, and liave a talk with me ? " 

Fanny looked rather frightened, but she turned her 
face toward the home of the Basket Woman, who shook 
hands with the Salvation Army girl as if she were her 
friend. 

" I know Miss Burton — she lives near me, and I should like 
to help her if I may." she said courteously ; and the other, 
with equal good feeling, quitted the court and joined her 
friends. 

" You have never been to my home, have you, Fanny ? I 
am glad you are coming now." 

The room into which Fanny went was plainly furnished 
and was scrupulously clean. On the table were a snowy cloth 
and shining glasses, and two or three knives and forks, which 
Fanny thought looked like silver. There was a delicious 
scent of coffee, too, in the place, and, as the girl looked around, 
she thought, " This is too good for me." 

" I will not stay now, thank you," she said aloud. " Perhaps 
I will come again another time, when you have had your 
supper, or whatever it is." 

" Oh, don't say so. I do not like to eat alone. You do not 
know how dull it is to be quite lonely, especially on Simday," 
said the Basket Woman, and Fanny saw that there were tears 
in her eyes. Fanny yielded instantly ; and while they had 
the simple meal together the Basket Woman talked to her on 
all sorts of things. When the meal was over, and the coffee 
drunk, they sat together in the pleasant room, and Fanny 
told her friend where she had been, and some of the things 
she had seen. 

" Oh, Fanny, I wish I had been with you ! I love the 
country so much. You went by tram, I suppose ? " 

" Yes ; and then I walked a long way. I think it was the 
beautiful fields that made me feel queer." 

" Queer ? How do you mean, Fanny ? " 

" They made me sorry I am so bad, and they made me feel 
as if I want to be better." 

" Yes ; that is just how they make me feel. Some day, 
Fanny, not on Sunday though — perhaps next Saturday after- 
noon, if you can spare the time — I should like so much to go 
into the country with you. Would you be willing P " 

" Yes ; I should like it ever so much." 

" Then we will go together, if nothing happens to prevent. 
I was glad to see you listening to the Salvation Army. Did 
you ever go to Sunday-school ? " 

" Yes ; when I was a little thing I used to go sometimes. 



94 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

There is a Mission- school, you know, jnst round the corner, 
where me and the others went." 

" And why did you leave ? " 

" Oh, we didn't like the teacher for one thing ; and, for 
another, it was hot and close ; and I like to walk about the 
streets much better. I wish I hadn't left, though, now." 

" You can go back again ; I am sure they would be glad to 
see you. Why do you wish you had not left ? " 

"Because, perhaps, if I had stayed I should have known 
more. I want to know things. I know nothing. I could not 
even understand what the Salvation man said." She paused 
a moment, and then her eyes suddenly flashed into the grave, 
kind face before her, and she said impetuously, " Oh, do tell 
me if it is all real^religion.I mean, and God, and Jesus Christ, 
and heaven, and all that they talk so much about ! " 

" Oh, yes, Fanny ! It is quite real. I am more sure of that 
than ever." 

" Then please will you tell me all about it ? " 

The lady thus appealed to had surprised herself by the 
dogmatic manner in which she had asserted the reality of 
the Christian faith. The truth was that she had often 
doubted, and sometimes been inclined to believe nothing ; yet 
now that a soul looked to her for light all the doubts seemed 
strangely to vanish, and all the old lessons came back to her, 
as she told the story of the Christ, and His beautiful life, and 
the great kingdom which He came to set up. It was longer than 
a sermon, but Fanny listened, with her eyes on the face that 
kindled with joyous earnestness, and it never occurred to her 
to yawn' or feel tired. 

" And I am sure," she said at last, "that if only we do what 
He wants us to do, and are not selfish and wicked, but are 
true and kind, that is the best way to be happy. And He 
will show us all the rest." 

And then a warm impulse moved her, and she put her 
arm suddenly around Fan's waist and drew her to her knees, 
and spoke softly to the Father in heaven for both of them, 
and asked the living, loving Saviour to reveal His grace to 
the girl by her side. It was done in the most natural manner, 
and only occupied one or two minutes ; but when they arose, 
Fan was seciired as a loyal disciple for ever. 

" And I will never forget it," she said, through her tears. 
"I love you ; I know you are a lady, and not used to this sort 
of thing, and only come to do us good ; and it was my fault 
that you were set on that time ; but you don't know how I will 
love you ! " 

" And you will really be my friend, Fanny, and help me ? 



OUR PARISH 95 

Ah, then we will make our Grove more like Paradise than it 
has ever been before ! Do you think you could joersuade 
the boys of the Grove to come and spend their evenings with 
me. and will you help me entertain them, and see that they 
have a real good time ? I want to get them out of the streets, 
and teach them how to enjoy better things than pitch-and- 
toss, and swearing and cheating. But, of course, they will not 
come if my evenings are dull. I mean them to be very lively ; 
and as you know what sort of things they like, your aid will 
be invaluable." 

■' Tes, I will come with pleasure. I know all the boys in the 
court, and believe I could persuade them, one and all, to spend 
their evenings with us; that is, if we make it worth their 
while. I won't quite exactly promise every evening until I 
have talked it over with my mother. I didn't use to think so 
much of my mother as I do now ; but I've thought a deal 
about her lately, and I'm going to make things better for 
mother. There ain't no sense in trying to do other people 
good, and neglecting your own mother, is there ? " 

What made the Basket Woman blush and look conscience- 
smitten and uncomfortable ? She did not speak for a moment 
or two, and then, in a faltering voice, she said : "Ton are quite 
right, Fanny ; ask your mother, and I will ask mine." 



CHAPTER XI. 

OUR PARISH. 



THE harvest was over, and it had been a good one. The 
usual festivities were held, and were more really joyous 
than such occasions frequently are. Already in many parts 
of the country the true leaders of the people were looking 
foi'ward to the winter, not only in preparation, but with 
resolution, and were manfully determined that, if they could 
not prevent the usual sin, they would prevent some of the 
attendant misei-y of the days of cold and gloom. Arthirr 
Knight was doing the work of two or three men. His brain 
was busy in regard to his own people ; but whenever and 
wherever it was possible he was preaching his Gospel of 
Christian unity for the world's good. By the seaside, in the 
mission-hall, in drawing-rooms, in chapels by the dozen he 



NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

, 4. Kv fpelin<^, that the 

„as entreating, in wovAs m^de e^;>-?litlt the world 

g^-jr;?t«^^^^^^^^^ 

them And. happily, J^ni^^^^^-' same thing. 

^Svest festival tl- occ-ion J oi^^^^^^^^ T ^^ "^^''^'forno 

::rthT;Teason," the people ^-^^^ iU was what 
reasoSasall knew who were an the sec ^^^.^. i ^oney 
IvSyhodyeoiild appreciate, and dxci. ^ ^^ 

W'tba? it would not find its way ^-t*. th^J^^ ^heir families 
nofdid it, for the eveiit made ^le jn^^^^ -^ the fact that it 
?o share it. The beauty of the^^^^^^^^ ^.^.^^t any threat of 

of' i"j ^' ., . 11 There were a few loafers in tlie parish, 
Nor was this all. ^^^""^IZ^l^^ the same day an offei ot 
and every one of these I'^cei^ed on tne ^^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ 

W^ work at good wages The.e we^e ^^^^^^^^. ^ 
iftheircharacters and eac of^hese^^^ ^^^^ 

men's home the next Sunday. ^o;^J{g ^1,0 could do very 

S,Tld wovk, and even ^^ ^^U feef'^e^^^^^^ 
little, so that they ^^fj^^^e In connection with each of the 
and not fear the workhouse in ^^^ pxirpose of a 

Xirches a room -f, ^° ,^^^3fatg-i?om.'' An i-fff ^.^^^ 
o-irls' parlour," era ^'o^^. '^^^Tcoffee, was signed by Mai- 
an " At Homo," with ^^^f « ^^^^,?.f ^^n who was known to 
taret and Tom, and sent ^o eveiy m ^ ^.-e steady, and 
Went the public-House ; ^^^^^^^^^.^ Members of Christian 
es^^ecially those of the people who^w^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^.^^ their 
churches, were urged to i^ome ^ 

xnates with tbem." ^^^ ^H arranged quietly 

So Darentdale led the "^^J- . • j^^t was accomphsliea 
^nd without ostentation, and this ^sw^^^ ^^^^^ ^^ f,. d- 
!^Siere was no POor person m the Pa^^J^^^^^^t day the p ace 
ship and help was f^'ll-J'^rno ^oj so great as tha^oj 
^-Z S^J'' tb^which we iave to men for Christ 



nau. cYCi --.- . 
"offering willingly 



OUR PARISH. 97 

-sake. " It is more blessed to give than to receive." 
*' There is that scattereth and yet increaseth." There was no 
man ^\o took the extra money (which was not given as a 
favour, but yielded as if it were a right — as, indeed, in most 
cases it was) who did not resolve that he would put in a 
better week's work for the better week's wage ; but it was no 
shrewd anticipation of this which gave to such men as 
Whitwell, Dallington, and others the exuberance of that 
never-to-be-forgotten-day. It would mean more work and 
self-denial for themselves, they knew; but they faced most 
joyously all that was involved in the effort which they were 
making. 

Of course there were a few people who shut themselves out 
of the feast, and sneered at the music and dancing, all the 
more angrily because they knew that they were not sharers 
in some strange joy which they could not understand. Mrs. 
Hunter and her step-son were among the number. William 
smoked more cigars in that one day than he had ever con- 
sumed in the same space of time before, for his nerves needed 
soothing. 

" It is more than a sane fellow can comprehend — madness, 
I call it," he said, between thewhifBs; "thi'owing money away 
on the lower orders. I told John so this morning ; and what 
do you think he said P " 

" I cannot tell, indeed ; something about universal brother- 
hood or other nonsense of the same kind," said John's 
mother. 

"He said there were no lower orders ! " 

" Indeed ? " 

" Yes ; he said there must always be masters and men — 
persons who represented property and persons who repre- 
sented labour : those who worked with the head and those 
who worked with the hands ; but no Christian man had a 
right to selfishly keep his riches to himself ; and that in this 
country, with all the money that is going, no one ought to 
know the meaning of the word ' poverty ' ; and that it was 
adding insult to injury to speak of lower orders." 

" And what did you say P " 

" ' Bosh ! ' and he said ' Perhaps,' and then I said ' Rot ! ' 
and he laughed. And I told him he was going dead against 
the Bible, and casting pearls before swine ; and that, instead 
of thanking him, they would turn again and rend him. And 
he said he was not doing it in the hope of getting thanks, and 
was paid as he went on, whatever that might mean ; and I 
called him a fool." 

" You did P " 



98 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

"Yes, I did; but I thought it better not to let him hear me.'" 

" He will bring ruin upon us all with these stupid, new- 
fangled noti(ms." 

" He says they are not new-fangled, but as old as the Gospel 
and the Sermon on the Mount." 

" I cannot understand it. Somebody has got hold of him. 
I siippose Margaret Miller and Arthur Knight have between 
them turned his brain." 

" A set of hypocrites, pretending to be so much better than 
their neighbours ! I have no patience with them. But it 
won't last." 

" No ; it won't last." 

There wei*e four or five other houses in Darentdale where 
those who stood aloof from the new movement tried to com- 
fort themselves also, as well as they could, by declaring that 
it would not last, and no good woxild come of it. 

Margaret Miller and Tom Whit well had a royal time, 
assisted by the other young ladies of the village. " Margaret, 
can you find out what they do at ' the public,' " asked Tom, 
" because I am going to compete with the publican for the 
favour of the men of our parish ? " 

" There is. first of all, the drink." 

" Yes ; but my sisters are clever in the matter of eating and 
drinking. They have coached me up in a few facts, the most 
important of which is that the way to a man's soul, as well as 
his heart, lies throiTgh his stomach. We have acted accord- 
ingly, and I really think that our viands are appetising 
enough to insure any man's reform." 

" And the men like to be amused, you know ; they cannot 
get on without that." 

"Well, Margaret, you must sing your sweetest, and I will 
talk to them. They liked to be talked to, don't they ? 
especially about politics." 

" Most of all, I think a man likes to spend his evenings in 
an armchair in a warm, well-lighted room, with a pipe in his 
mouth, something to drink at his elbow, and a newspaper in 
his hand." 

" If they could but do without the pipe ! But I suppose 
that would be too great a sacrifice. And it is no use to try 
to ' wind them iip too high for mortal man beneath the sky ' ; 
we must take them as they are. Old Benham once said to 
me, ' I ham as I ham, and I can't be no hammer ! ' There is a 
profound truth in that remark, don't you think so, Margai'et ? 
But I am glad we have made up our minds to do something 
for our brothers and sisters. The inequalities of life have 
often made me bitter." 



OUR PARISH. 99 

" And liow must poor women have felt wlio have struggled 
to bring up respectably a family of children on the money 
that it has cost us for dress ! " 

The " At Home " was a great success. Two better persons 
to manage it could not have been found than Margaret and 
Tom. They had the rare gift of always being natural. 
Many a philanthropic endeavour fails because the ladies 
and gentlemen, though striving to do their best, and longing 
to be useful, cannot feel jjerfectly at home among the poor, 
and make them feel the same. The latter often mistake the 
stiffness, which is more the result of nervousness than any- 
thing else, for patronage and condescension, and they are 
very quick to resent anything of that kind. It was greatly 
because Margaret and Tom were already respected and 
beloved that their invitation was so almost universally 
accepted. They had some fu.n, both with the men and the 
women." 

"Christmas comes early this year, Miss Tom, don't it?" 
one asked, with a wink at the men who sat opposite to 
him. 

" Does it. Nelson ? I think it is about the same time as 
usual. My almanack declares it to be on the 25th of December, 
as it was last year, if you remember rightly." 

" Oh ! I thought tea-fights and such things only corned at 
Christmas. What's all this mean, miss ? Are religious people 
more religious than usual, or what ? " 

" It only means that they are more friendly than usual." 
" They want to get us, don't they ? " The man's eyes were 
twinkling ; but Tom answered quite seriously, •' Yes, Nelson, 
they want very much indeed to get you." 

" And they are willing to bid for us in tea-fights, and 
coffee, and even fires and newspapers ? " 

" Yes ; and anything else that they can think of." 
" Ah ! that's just what I says to my mate. I says, ' It's 
like the 'lections used to be.' I've had many a glass of 
whisky for a vote ; and I ain't much of a hand at politics, so I 
voted honest for the man as treated me most liberal ; and so 
I will now. I ain't much of a hand at sermons and prayers 
neither, but I wouldn't mind obliging either church or chapel 
for once in a way, if they're after bidding for us ; but, of 
course, Miss Tom, I values myself at the highest price, as is 
only natural." 

" Quite natural. Nelson. But you are mistaken this time. 
The churches and chapels are not bidding against each other ; 
the people who " — Tom hesitated — " who are good, you know, 
are joining together to try and make things a little better and 



100 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

more happy for those who are not as well off as themselves. 
That is all it means." 

" And ain't we a-going to be persuaded to go neither to 
chui'ch nor to chapel ? " 

" No ; though we should all be glad if you went somewhere 
— we don't care where. You would have a welcome in either 
case, of course." 

" Well, that beats all ! " said Nelson. " And is this 'ere 
room to be lighted up comfortably every night for us ? " 

" Tes, it is ; and we shall be glad if you will all come every 
ziight and enjoy it." 

" What's this stuff I'm a-driuking, Miss Tom ? " 

" Beer." 

" What sort o' beer ? " 

" Very nice beer, isn't it ? " 

'• Tes, it's Al, and I've had four glasses; but it ain't reg'lar 
Taeer, cause, however niiicli you drinks, you don't get any for- 
rader with it It won't make you drunk, will it, now ? " 

" You surely do not want it to make you drunk, do you ? " 

"Well — no — not as I knows on," said Nelson, slowly; and 
the men around him laughed. 

" I used to go to church when I were a boy," said another 
man, Benham ; "but if I go anywhere now, I goes to the 
Methodists when they has the open-air service. It don't 
agree with my health to be shiit up in a close church or 
chapel." 

" I suppose you find a bar-room better ventilated ? " said 
'Tom ; and this time the laugh was against Benham. 

" I used to go to church when I were a boy," echoed another 
man. " My father were one of the singers, and he left all 
through a quarrel about a anthem. He wanted ' All people 
that on eai'th do dwell ' ; but another man wanted ' I will 
ai'ise ' ; my father wouldn't give way, nor the other man 
neither. Father says, ' It shall be " All people that on earth 
do dwell," and the t'other says, *Cuss "All people that on 
earth do dwell " ' ; and my father put on his hat, and walked 
out of the church forthwith, and he never entered it again till 
he were carried thei*e; and that is the truth, and I do not 
■deceive you." 

The last words were spoken so solemnly that Tom had to 
beat a retreat. But the evening passed pleasantly enough, 
and Margaret's singing was greatly appreciated. 

The next night the attendance was less, for some of the 

men spent the evening at the public-houses, talking the 

matter over ; but our friends were not discouraged. They 

resolved to keep on — and wait. They were trying to feel their 



OUR PARISH. 101 

way, and by a wise judiciousness overcome the suspicion and 
opposition which they would probably encounter. 

But from that seed-sowing harvest day could be dated a 
most beneficent change in Darentdale. The homes of the 
people put on a more comfortable appearance, and the spirit- 
less women, feeling that something was expected of them in 
return for the sympathy and help which they received, began 
to be more sprightly, and to take some pride in making their 
rooms not only clean but pretty. By the end of the year but 
few had grown weary in well-doing, and in many hearts that 
had been hopeless before new hopes were springing up. 

No one more approved this effort for the i-eople than Mr. 
Harris. He contributed nothing to the cakes and tea, but he 
had done a kindness on his own account that was very accept- 
able, for he had presented every poor person with an arm- 
chair ! And this he did as a sort of thank-offering for the 
pleasure it was to him to know that a good man cared for his 
Margaret. 

But a few days after the harvest festival Margaret's mind 
was considerably disturbed by an anonymous letter. It ran 
thus : — " A friend sends you this word of warning. Why do 
you try to tempt a gentleman from his duty and fealty to 
another ? Ali-eady you and yours have wrongful possession 
of a house and money that by right belong to him. Will you 
rob him also of his good name, and cast a blight over his 
life ? If you care for him you will not do this ; unless, 
indeed, you are false and fast. Two hearts will break if he 
be drawn into your meshes ; for who and what are you, and 
voho were your parents ? Has he come back to his native land 
to be beguiled by one who will but try to drag him down to 
her own level ? His friends are determined to j)revent this 
sacrifice ; so]you will but cause him and them the more trouble 
by your guile. A stigma attaches to you, which God forbid 
that he should share." 

To the last sentence Margaret breathed a fervent Amen. 
But it will Ije readily imagined that this letter caused her a 
very bad half-hour. Had she really an enemy — she who was 
used to seeing nothing but kindness in every face ? And, if 
so, what was the enemy's name ? She could not tell. 

But the pain had a greater sting in it when the thought 
suggested itself that perhaps this letter was not the work of 
an enemy, but of a friend. For, after all, there was some truth 
in it. Who and what was she, and who were her people ? 
She really could not answer the question, for she did not 
know. And that was the reason why she had hesitated to 
accept John Dallington. 



102 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

*' The time lias surely come fov me to know," she said. " I 
have had vague fears, but they must be either dispelled ov 
confirmed now. It is not fair to me or any one else that I 
should be left in any uncertainty." 

Mr. Harris had a cosy little room opening out of the shop, 
and here he usually sat during eight hours of every day in 
case a customer should come and require books, papers, or 
stationery. " I am for the eight-hour movement," he used to 
say, with a significant smile at Margaret. " Eight hours are 
long enough for any man to work." 

And she always agreed with him. " Especially when it is 
such arduous work as yours, Graf, requiring such close 
attention to detail, so exhausting for the brain and the arms, 
as indeed all work is in these days of fierce competition. How 
much did you take over the counter yesterday — fourpence 
halfpenny ? " 

" Oh, i had a good day ! I sold a copy of Browning's 
poems, and the purchaser appeared much pleased with it." 
The purchaser in almost every case would be himself, for few 
Darentdalers bought books or read them, and those who did 
sent to London or ordered them through a bookseller in 
Scourby. But Margaret and her grandfather had much quiet 
fun over the shop, and were decidedly its best customers. 

Margaret loved the old man, and was as tender as a 
daughter could be toward him ; and how much he cared for 
her all the years of her life had told. It was, nevertheless, 
difficult for her to broach the subject that was uppermost in 
her mind. 

" Has there been a great rush of customei's to-day, Graf P " 

" Well, I have been quite busy enough for the greater part 
of the day. Newspapers have sold well ; they are very inter- 
esting, for Parliament was last night discussing the question 
of adopting that new gun — a noiseless, smokeless weapon 
which can kill at the distance of a mile and fire three 
hundred shots in succession. Other nations are adopting it, 
and Christian England must not be behind. One good thing 
about it is that any number of armies could be annihilated 
in a day ; so if the battles are fierce they will not be long." 

" Dreadful ! Surely they will never tight again now that 
killing is so easy and so certain ? " 

" I don't know ; I hope not. I think not, if England would 
lead the way. as she ought, and would be always for peace." 

" I am feeling very warlike this evening, Graf." 

" Are you, Margaret ? You are young to suffer fi-om 
nervous irritability. Do you feel as if you want to bang 
something ? " 



OUR PARISH, 103 

" Yes, I do." 

" Go up the house and down the house and bang all the 
doors. No ? You want something human ? I am quite at 
your service, my dear — bang me I I am substantial enough 
for anything." 

" Graf, you are generally young and frivolous when I want 
you to be staid and serious. Something has happened to me, 
and I need help and advice." 

" Really and truly, my child ? " 

" Yes; very really and truly, indeed. I have had an anony- 
mous letter." 

" Don't read it, Margaret. I have had many such in my 
time, denouncing me as a sceptic and an atheist, and con- 
signing me to the lowest regions. They don't hurt you much 
when you are used to them. Put your letter in the fire 
tmread, and forget all about it." 

'• But I have read it, grandfather ; I could not help that, and 
I want you to read it, too." 

"I think it would be better not." 

" Please, because I wish it." 

The old man read it through twice, and then looked at 
Margaret, with a curious smile. '" You need not mind this in 
the least," he said. " I suppose you know who wrote it ? " 

" I have not the slightest idea." 

" No ? It was Mrs. Hunter, John Dallington's mother." 

" Mrs. Hunter ! Oh ! surely not ? What can make you 
think that ? 

"I do not think it; I am sm-e of it. There has been an 
attempt to disguise the writing, but it is certainly Mrs. 
Hunter's. Now, my dear, never tell any one that you have 
had it as long as you live. Burn it, and forget all about it. 
That is the only thing to do." 

" Graf, you must be mistaken ; it could not be Mrs. 
Hunter." 

"■ Very well, my dear. Settle it so, and welcome. But I 
do not believe there is any one else in Darentdale who would 
have done it, unless her stepson did it, and I am sure he did 
not. Never mind who wrote it, Margaret, nor what is in it. 
Somebody is afraid that Dallington has fallen in love with 
you. It is a proof of his great good sense and intelligence 
that the suspicion is correct." 

'"Grandfather," said Margaret, in grave tones and with 
trembling lips, " you have seen what this letter says. Please 
tell me, who am I ? " 

Mr. Harris began to look troubled, but he answered, " You 
are Margaret Miller. I can tell you no more than that." 



104 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" Ob, but yon must ! " said tbe girl, pleadingly. " It is not 
kind to me ; it is not rigbt to witbbold anything from me 
that toucbes me so closely." 

" Margaret, I can tell you one fact. You are fit to mate 
"witb Jobn Dallington or any otber man. Your parents were 
good people, and occupied a bigb position. Tbey were married 
in Spain, and I was present at their wedding." 

" Which of them was your child, grandfather? " 

Harris hesitated, but Margaret was urgent. 

" The time has surely come for j^ou to be open with me," 
she said. " Dear old Graf, I cannot bear to trouble you ; I 
hate myself for doing it. If you think I ought not to ask 
you, I will try to be silent ; but it is hard to have a stigma 
resting upon me." 

"Child," he said, angrily, "there is no stigma of any kind 
attaching to you ! Have I not told you so already P " 

" Graf, do not be angry Avith me. Which of my parents 
was your child ? " Margaret repeated. 

"Neither," said Harris, and he looked white and pained; 
" but if you had been my own child I could not have cared 
more for you, and you could not have given me more joy 
through all these years. Your parents both died of cholera 
in Spain — one two days after the other. There were perils 
that beset their only child ; and from these you were rescued 
by Mr. Dallington, who was under an obligation to your 
father, and who, in order to pay it, adopted you ; and whose 
will provided for you by leaving this house and all that is in 
it to you after me." 

" And is my name Margaret Miller, really ? " 

" Yes, that is your name." 

" But there is a secret somewhere ? " 

" There is ; but the secret belongs to the dead. No jaerson 
living is affected by it ; and it will die with me, for I swore 
not to reveal it ; nor will I, neither at the bidding of hate, 
nor of love. You know enough, Margaret. Be content." 

Margaret bowed her head. " Thank you for telling me so 
much," she said ; " and for the years of love and kindness 
which have made my life so happy that I have scarcely 
missed my father and mother." 

" I have but done my dvity and kept my promise. And you 
see that you owe] me nothing, Margaret, not even the obedi- 
ence and love of a granddaughter." 

" Dear Graf, I owe you everything — all the gratitude, 
goodwill, and affection of which I am capable. And I will 
never forget it. We will be just as happy together now as 
we have always been, and forget the anonymous letter. I am 



OUR PARISH. 105 

sure that there is not a grain of truth in the insinuation that 
we are enjoying money that ought to belong to others." 

" You know quite well, Margaret, that a man has a right to 
leave his property to whomsoever he pleases. Mr. Dallington 
was an eccentric man ; but he was only right and just when 
he took care that you shoiild want for nothing. It was his 
duty to do this — mark what I am saying, Margaret — Ms duty. 
He would have been culpable if he had not done it. But he 
did it in a curious, unusual way. Some day I will tell you 
where you will find, on these premises, enough hard cash to 
maintain you in the comfort you have been used to, and, at 
the rate at which it is spent now, until you are eighty years 
old. Now, Madge, my child, you know all that I can tell you ; 
and it is nobody's business but ours. I want to talk to you 
on another subject. We have al] our troubles, my dear " — ■ 
the old man sighed as he said it — " and they are not very big 
ones either, for they give us more worry than pain. But a 
very little worry is large enough to spoil a life if we will let 
it. You will not let this thing overshadow your life^f I 
know you, I am sure you will not — for you are a believer in 
the Christ " 

" And so are you, Graf," interpolated Margaret. 

" And it seems plain to me, though, as everybody knows, I 
am a sceptic and an unbeliever, that He meant all His 
followers to live the same kind of life as He lived. There- 
fore, my child, you will put yourself on one side in this 
matter. Such petty things as anonymous letters are beneath 
you now ; you must be invulnerable to the little stings which 
would force your thoughts upon yourself. Be a large- 
minded, large-hearted Christian, or none at all, Margaret. 
Christianity is not a creed ; it is a life. Don't you think so ? ' 

" I do, indeed, thanks to your teaching." 

" Oh, no ! I am a very irreligious person ; but I do not 
want you to be." 

Margaret was right in saying that she owed everything to 
this old man, whom so many denounced. " He is perishing 
in his sins," a man had said of him once, because, when he 
had been invited to a special service, he had replied with a 
laugh that he would rather have one to himself by the i-iver. 
But Margaret, whom none ever heard say an imkind thing 
of another, whose very presence raised the tone of a garden 
party, who was the champion of the absent, whose loving 
nature made itself felt everywhere, had formed her opinions 
and habits after those of her guardian, and was much the 
better for it. 

" Graf," said Margaret, " a young woman has no right to 



106 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

come between a mother and a son, has she ? If Mrs. Hunter 
regards me in this way I am sure Mr. Dallington must be 
unhapijy about it." 

" I advise you not to mention this letter to him. He gave 
me to understand that he was not in a position to marry im- 
mediately ; and while you are waiting things may right them- 
selves. In any case, he is of age, and has a right to choose 
his own wife. I am glad he has chosen my child. He took 
me by surprise, though, because I thought he would marry 
Miss Tom Whitwell — for I have fancied many times since his 
return that she cared for him. But everything is as it should 
be. Hear what Browning says, ' God's in His heaven, all's 
right with the world.' " 

Bvat the talk and the letter caused Margaret a sleepless 
night, though it was not so much the letter as the suggestion 
about her friend, Tom Whitwell. Can it be true ? she asked 
herself many times ; and she was half afraid it was, now that 
she thoughtthings through. But she did not keejithe trouble 
to herself ; and her cry, " Show me the right, and give me 
-strengtli to do it ! " was certain of an answer. 



CHAPTER XII. 

A NEW ORDER. 

MARGARET MILLER and Tom Whitwell read together 
an account of some meetings at which Arthur Knight 
had been speaking, and they confided to each other their own 
ideas on the subject. As the reader knows, each had her own 
reason for anxiety and trouble ; but each felt that this was a 
time for laying all personal affairs and feelings on one side, 
and doing her part in the New Crusade which was being 
fought. 

" We ought to do so, Margaret," said Tom, '• because I 
believe that for the existing state of things women must bear 
much of the blame. We have left oif sending our knights to 
battle for God and the right, and we encourage them instead 
to take to money-grubbing in the city." 

" A good deal of heroism of a certain kind is practised, 
though, even thus," rej)lied Margaret. " Many a man who 
raises himself from a lowly position to a lofty one does it 



A NEW ORDER, 107 

much more for the sake of his wife and children than for his 
■own." 

" Oh, yes ! And dies on the field, content to have won a 
carriage for his widow, and funds for the gambling puriDOses 
of his sons. What astonishes me is that women can accept 
such heroic sacrifices for such small ends. But I am afraid 
that we are all becoming about as mean as mice ; at least, if 
we are to be measured by the topics of our talk at afternoon 
tea." 

" Ah ! but we are not. We are so foolishly and wickedly 
afraid of revealing our best to one another that we j)retend 
to be as frivolous and heartless as we possibly can. It is a 
great fraud, and some of us have eyes keen enough to see 
through it. I always find it difficult to keep from laughing 
when you, Tom, make believe to be interested in the edifying 
tales that are told about your neighbours.": 

"It is abominable, Margaret, and I hate it. Fine com- 
panions for true men are we, if we are to be judged by our 
own representations of ourselves ! And we might do so much; 
for we really have a good deal of power over men." 

Margaret smiled significantly. 

'• ' All ! wasteful woman,' " she quoted. " And yet, you 
know, there is nothing a woman really cares so much about 
as the good opinion of her male friends." 

" Oh, I know it is the men's fault in the first place ; but we 
are to be their helpers, not their slaves." 

" I will tell you where I think our help might come in. 
You rememlser when we were in London last we saw quite a 
crowd of girls coming out of a low-looking public-house, some 
of them half -tipsy ? " 

"I should think I do remember it. Who that had once 
seen such a sight could ever forget it ? " 

" But the girls would never have gone in of themselves. _ It 
was because of the young men who were there. The girls 
would be easily dealt with if once they could understand that 
that sort of thing disgusts men." 

" All ! but it doesn't." 

" I am not quite sure of that. I believe it does — for every 
man has a better and a worse self, and everything depends 
upon which part of the man's nature is influenced by the 
woman whom he loves." 

At this j)oint of the conversation Tom asked a very jieculiar 
and personal question, which brought the colour to her friend's 
face. 

" Margaret, have you any money ? " 

" I have a little, enough for my needs." 



108 MNETEEN HUNDRED? 

"What I have been wondering is whether yon and I 
together could spare some for the rent of a drawing-room in 
London near that particular public-house, where we could try 
our Darentdale plan with those creatures who are neither 
boys nor men. People say that almost any lad, even the 
roughest, will treat a gentlewoman with courtesy. We could 
invite them, before they go into that place, to come into ours, 
and there you might talk to them in your own way, and 
perhaps I in mine. We might give two evenings in a week. 
Our people would not mind if wt; were together, and we could 
get home easily, though a little late, for the trains are so 
good. If we can only succeed in a small way it is worth while 
to try." 

" Oh, Tom, how brave you are ! Something of the kind has 
been floating in my own mind, bi;t I should never have had 
the courage to try without you." 

When the true history of the world comes to be written it 
will be seen how much in this remarkably formative period in 
England war. commenced in just such a simple manner as this 
talk between our two friends. 

It was on a cold, drizzling night, when the London streets 
were as uncomfortable as only London streets can be, that two 
well-dressed young ladies went up to a group of boys, all some- 
where in their teens, and invited them to come in and have a 
cup of hot coffee and some buttered toast. The fair, smiling 
faces of the girls and their friendly and gracious manners 
forced the boys to courtesy, and eight of them— about half 
the number — consented. They looked at their dirty hands 
and boots when they were taken into the drawing-room with 
comical seriovisness. 

" Oh, never mind!" said Tom. "Look at my boots; you 
cannot keep clean on such a night as this. Have the cofEee 
while it is hot. And here are some potted beef sandwiches. 
Perhaps you have not yet had your teas ? " 

The boys laughed. "We have had our teas," said one. " A 
hextra meal don't make no difference to the likes of us." 

And so, indeed, it seemed ; for the coffee and eatables 
disappeared in almost no time. 

The boys were not as much surprised as boys would have 
been twenty years before, at the invitation. 

" They are trying another dodge on us, that's all," whispered 
one to his mates ; but they looked with a little curiosity when 
the plates and cups had been collected; and when, for a 
moment or two, the ladies had left the room, a brisk bit of 
betting went on. 



A NEW ORDER. 109 

"Ten to one ou Music!" "Thirteen to one on Sign the 
Pledge !" " Twenty to one agin Gambling — look out ! " 

" We cannot tell how glad we are to see you," said Tom, 
rather nervously, as she took her seat. " Tou can spare time 
to stop a little while, cannot you ? " 

" That depends," said one. " I've got a pressing engage- 
ment — very pressing, indeed ; but I'm always ready to oblige 
a lady, specially such a stunner as you, miss." 

" Thank you ; much obliged for the compliment. Well, we 
are going to tell you a story. You like tales, don't you ? " 

" Yes ; but not true ones, mind." 

"Very well. Miss Miller will tell the first and I the 
second." 

No one guessed the ti-ouble to which the narrators had 
gone to prepare these stories, nor the numbers of dreadful 
boys' books through which they had waded in order to 
get some idea of the style which would be acceptable. 
Some hair-breadth escapes there were, and a few things 
to laugh at, especially in Margaret's, which she told so 
effectively that her audience was spell-bound. It was the 
story of A poor boy, dreadfully tried and tempted, who, by 
his self-control, and because, though he sometimes did the 
wrong, he loved the right, made his way in the world, and 
won the gratitude and respect of all who knew him. It was a 
good story, well told, and the boys applauded it vigorously. 

" That is a story of up, up, up," s.iid one. 

" It is," replied Tom. " That is a clever title for ic, and 
mine is a story of down, down, down ! " 

" Of course, the fellow was a religious cove." 

" Certainly ; he would not have done as he did if he had not 
had Some One to help him." 

" Ah, but we ain't religious — not much ! " 

" No ? AJi ! that accounts for some things," said Tom, 
glancing at the rags and the dirt and the unkempt hair 
of the speaker — a glance so eloquent that every one under- 
stood it. 

" Now let's have yourn, miss ; my engagements is a-pressing 
me like any think." 

Tom was not herself prepared for the effect upon the boys 
which her recital had, and Margaret listened in amazement. 
She made the boy in the story live before her listeners, so 
that they seemed to know him. and were entirely in sympathy 
with him. They knew all about his uncomfortable home, and 
his tobacco money, and his bets. He was a nice fellow, too, 
and good-natured to his "pals " at first; but just because he 
was selfish and weak, and could not say No at the ri^-ht time, 



110 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

and because he never called upon God except to blaspheme 
Him, and because he wouldn't be a teetotaller, and was so- 
altogether mistaken m his ideas about manliness and honour, 
his end was full of misery. Tom's eyes filled with tears, and 
her voice trembled as she described the downward progress of 
this boy and his death ; and when she finished with a little 
prayer. " O Lord ! for Jesus Christ's sake, save these boys 
from all that ! " she could not repress a sob, which awoke an 
answer in the hearts of almost all the boys. 

The boys were subdued as they went away, and two or 
three, at least, resolved to make their lives from that night a 
story of " Up, up, up." Most of them came on the next 
appointed evening, and brought others with them. Of course, 
all meetings were not successes ; nor did the boys invariably 
continue to be interested. All workers have some dissapoint- 
ments, and Margaret and Tom had many. The habits 
ab-eady formed by the boys were not suddenly broken, nor 
was the evil in them readily subdued. But the effort was 
yet a remarkably prosperous one ; and, though small in its 
beginning, it was the commencement of a very great thing 
indeed. It was not quite at first evangelistic, in the usual 
sense of the word, biit it soon became so in the largest and 
fullest sense. Oiir friends would not easily forget the first 
devotional ten minxites they spent with the boys, nor did 
they. 

" They was the realest prayers I ever heered, and they 
fairly knocked me down," said one of the boys. 

" But we mustn't have the ladies knocked down, and some 
of the chaps, and the gals, too. are mad about this thing ; sa 
we'll conduct them to the station." 

And when that evening was over Tom said, admiringly, 
" What gentlemen they are ! " 

After a time they saw that the thing would be too big for 
them to cope with alone. They needed some one older, who 
i-esided in London, to help and advise them. And at this 
juncture Tom remembered that she had heard her cousin 
speak of a lady who would probably be interested in this 
movement. 

"Margaret," she said,*" My cousin John has told me of a 
Miss Wentworth, whom he met on board-ship, who is very 
tind and philanthropic. I will get a letter of introduction 
from him, and we will call and see her to-morrow." 

This was done, and the older worker welcomed the young 
ones with great cordiality, and listened full of sympathy to 
the tale they had to tell. 

" The thought has been given to yoiT by God," she said. 



A NEW ORDER. Ill 

" All oiir hopes for the future are in the young, and especially 
in the boys. I have myself thought how well it would pay for 
Christian women to give up all other work, and devote them- 
selves to mothers and the children alone. My house is 
entirely at your service ; I shall consider it most honoured to 
be used in any way for the promotion of this enterprise. As 
for myself, I am an old woman, and cannot do much ; but 
anything and everything which I can do will be most gladly 
done. Do not scruple to ask me for money, or service, or 
room. If only for Mr. Dallington's sake, I should like to 
prove myself your friend." 

The girls were fortunate in having found so able a helper, 
and they promised that Miss Wentworth should at once be 
taken into their complete confidence. 

The first result of this was that that lady invited by letter 
all the gentlemen's boys whom she knew, and Margaret a,nd 
Tom had a drawing-room meeting of a different kind. They 
were boys such as Ai-nold would have loved and Thring 
believed in — sons, for the most part, of Christian parents, 
fine specimens of young England, the statesmen and mer- 
chants and professional men of the future. And these boys, 
full of fun and ready for mischief, but generous and manly, 
hating lies and cowardice as only English boys can, became 
the nucleus of a grand army destined to save the nation and 
lift it into a glory such as it had never known before. 

Margaret's gentle voice and beautiful face won their way 
immediately to the boys' hearts. She told the same story as 
before, but in different words and with a different signifi- 
cance, leaving them to see how they might help those who were 
down to rise ; and that their education and position put upon 
them the responsibility of doing so. Next, in glowing terms 
she reminded them of the old Crusaders, and the Knights of 
Chivah-y, and besought these modern boys of England to 
enter upon the new crusade, and drive out from their native 
land the drmakenness and gambling, the impurity and misery 
which were crowding round its holy places. She reminded 
them that theij must bring alsout the great reformation ; that 
theij must acknowledge Christ, and for His sake the brother- 
hood of man ; it would be their sin and shame if poor women 
were still to work for starvation wages, and wretched men 
lose their manliness because they had lost their hope. She 
took it for granted, she said, that they were Christian boys, 
and that they would be ti-ue to the faith of their fathers, 
which faith was not simply a belief in Christ as a Saviour, 
though it was that first of all, but an obedience to Christ as 
a law-giver, and that the command to love one another, to 



112 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

care for the poor, to acknowledge the equality of man, to be 
strictly fair and honourable, were simple everyday duties in- 
cumbent upon all who bore the name of Christ. She spoke 
of the waste of God-given power in war, and urged them in 
glowing words to pledge themselves never to uphold those 
who pressed a national quarrel to murder ; and she asked 
them, now in their youth, and afterwards in their manhood, 
to suspend for a while even the strife of political parties 
until the wrongs of the poor and the ignorant were righted ; 
and to accomplish a grand mastery of self that they might 
become the masters of the world. And then she bade them 
win the love and reverence of women by being such brave, 
high-minded, clean-souled men as they dreamed all English- 
men should be. 

After this Tom told her story, showing at every step how 
if the boy who went down into the lowest depths of degra- 
dation had had a strong man — a gentleman — to help him, it 
would have been different. " But the young gentlemen," 
said Tom, "were smoking and drinking, and so busy in 
robbing themselves of their own strength and manhood that 
they took no notice of the poor wretches who were dying by 
their side, and Noblesse oblige had no meaning for them." 

'• But it has for us," said a boyish voice, its owner rising 
in the middle of the room ; and Margai-et was delighted 
as she looked at him ; a tall, straight, good-looking boy with 
his brown curls tossed back from his forehead, and his blue 
eyes flashing with fearless determination. " Let me tell the 
ladies who have spoken that there are hosts of us quite ready 
to form a new army of Volunteer Crusaders. But we want 
a little help and encouragement ; we are so cowardly, afraid 
and ashamed of appearing as good as we are. Could not 
another word for good be invented ? We would rather face a 
lion than the stigma of being called goody-goody ; but let 
nobody on that account suppose that our hatred of wrong, 
and our indignation against the wrong-doer, is any less hot 
in us than in our fathers. We have been born with con- 
sciences, and we have energy enough to battle with anything. 
Tou fellows, what do you say ? Shall we, here in London, 
and to-night, form a regiment of Soldiers of Peace ? I 
believe the idea would be taken up all over England ; for the 
boys I know — most of them, at all events — do not want to 
disgi'ace their names. If we could really believe that we are 
called to be heroes there is that in us which would help us to 
rise to the name. Yes, and let us wear a rosette of the red, 
white, and blue of Old England, which no boy shall wear 
except worthily ; the blue for temperance, the white for 



A NEW ORDER. 113 

purity, aud the red for battle or endeavour. Tliese colours 
have won renown in the jjast ; they shall win higher renown 
still in the new days for our country, for — ". and the young^ 
voice rang out like a bugle call — " we swear to God that 
we will do our part to make our nation exalted by its 
righteousness." 

The boys shouted " Hurrali ! " they could not help it; they 
were wonderfidly moved by the short harangue of their com- 
rade, Ned Northcote, a favourite of all who knew him. And 
Tom trembled with excitement as she put her hand on the 
arm of her hostess. 

"We must take this holy enthusiasm at its flow," she said. 
" Miss Wentworth, will jow let your house Ijb the rallying* 
gi'ouud for this grand new army ? " 

And the older woman replied with quivering lips, " Only 
too gladly ! Never before was the house so conseci'ated as it 
is to-night." 

She might well say so ; for at that moment a boy's voice, 
in simple Ijoyish language, was vowing for himself and his 
fellows, all of them standing, with bowed heads and swiftly- 
Ijeating hearts, that they would live for the kingdom of 
Christ, and be the King's soldiers. 

■• Here is a book. I think we should have a roll-call," said 
Tom. '• I am not a boy ; I almost wish I were to-night : but 
I shall belong to the regiment. It is late now ; will you 
enrol youi- names in your own handwriting, and come again 
to-mori'ow ? " 

The movement became known through the Press. Thei-e 
were several flourishing weekly journals and one daily 
devoted to the interests of women, the columns of which 
were chiefly occupied with the fashions aud tit-bits of news 
about "Society People." A letter was addressed to each of 
these describing the meetings here referred to, and appealing 
to the ladies of England to help, by drawing-room meetings 
and any other means that should oft'er, in the formation of a 
national army of Volunteer Boy Crusaders, pledged to the 
extirpation of evil and the uplifting of the standard of 
righteousness. 

Most of the editors of these papers inserted the letters 
(and those who did not wished afterward they had done so), 
and the response to them was marvelloxis. The religious 
papers, of course, most willingly gave their assistance, and so 
it came about that in a comparatively short time after the 
meeting in Miss Wentworth's room thousands of meetings 
were being held in connection with churches of all denomina- 
tions in all parts of the country ; for the idea had everywhere 

8 



114 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

caught the imaginations and consciences of Christian women, 
and God iciJlx it was borne in npon them. 

And then it became evident what a wonderful preparation 
for this had been going on during the past years. All sorts 
of societies were ab-eady in existence, ready to be amal- 
gamated. There was the " Society of Christian Ende.i-vour." 
which numliered thousands of young people ; and it was easy 
and natui-al to show how their endeavour, which was, firstly, 
for their own religious advancement, should be, secondly, 
definitely on behalf of other Isoys and girls less favoured 
than they. Then there was " The Boys' Brigade," which had 
made fine, soldierly lads of some of the roughest street boys 
of the large towns, but which was regarded with suspicion by 
some who feared that the organisation might be used as a 
recruiting agency for military purposes. But it was found 
that these boys were as ready, and even eager, to take the 
Pledge of Peace as the rest; and so well disciplined were 
they, so used to obey the officers under whom already they 
served, that they were invaluable in the new army of young 
ciiisaders. The Bands of Hope, too, had their thousands 
already engaged in negative work, but thirsting to become 
aggressive, who signed the new pledge, " We will," after the 
old one, '• "We will not." 

As to the Sunday-school, it renewed its youth. " Why, 
this is what we have Vieeu trying to do all along ; this is our 
work," said the teachers : and they were right, for there coidd 
have been no such abundant harvest ready for reaping but 
for the patient tilling and sowang which had been accomp- 
lished in the Sunday-school. 

" Where are the headquarters of this great movement ? " 
was a qiTCstion frequently asked. And the answer seemed a 
strange one : " In the houses of a few women." 

" It is growing too much for us," said Tom. But on the 
day when she said it more than a dozen ladies asked to be 
allowed to do the clerical work of the endeavour. 

" What put it in your minds ? " one asked, and a bright 
girl replied with a smile. " You should put your question dif- 
ferently, and ask, ' Who put it into our minds ? ' " 

But, after all, every district, town, and village had to pro- 
vide its owm headquarters. Nor was this difficult ; for that 
had happened for which devout souls had agonised in prayer 
for many a weary year, and at last the Church was awake. 

And it found everything ready for the new work, which was 
yet not new. but as old as Christianity. A conviction forced 
itself into many minds, as it might be. simultaneously, that 
no new organisation, but the old-established ones, were called 



A NE]]' ORDER. 115 

:fco make the Great Endeavour, and that they had all the 
necessary power and means, and especially they had what 
was of greater importance than all else put together — they 
■had the boys. 

One town after another, and villages by dozens, gathei-ed 
the boys into the new organisation ; and it was officered by 
the finest men of the district. 

" This miist not be left to uneducated, unequipped men ; 
you and I must take it up, or prove ourselves traitors to our 
consciences." Such words as these were spoken at many a 
club. And the recruiting sergeants were the boys them- 
selves. " Father, you must come ; you are clever ; the boys 
would obey you ; and you know how to govern. Don't leave 
US to any duffers who like to take us in hand. We want real 
men to manage and direct us." So pleaded the boys; and 
real men responded. 

And yet it was very much a woman's movement. It was 
always a lady's hand who pinned tlie rosette of significance 
upon the boy's breast when he enlisted. The sweet tones of 
Avomen's voices commended the young soldiers to God when 
they went forth to fight the peace-battles. They were wel- 
comed once every week when they came for counsel and en- 
coiu-agement by motherly hands and sisterly commendation. 
Every boy knew that some good woman held him in her 
heart and mentioned him in her pi'ayers. and would be glad 
or sorry according to whether he proved faithful or the 
reverse. For at the very foundation of tbis movement was 
the principle of woman's influence. Every lady-member of 
the Christian Church with which the Branch was connected 
was expected to take the oversight of some of the l)oys — not 
less than two nor more than twenty being the number decided 
upon. And these women, who, as might have been expected, 
entered very heartily into the scheme, had to help and inspire 
the boys in their uphill endeavour ; and especially set them 
to work upon those other boys who, at present, were their 
opponents. One or two of these ladies, wlioni we know, 
bi'ought the old history of the Knights Templai's to bear on 
these modern times. Nor could anytliing better for their 
purpose be conceived than the oatli taken by this order — " I 
swear to consecrate my words, my arms, niy strength, and 
my life to the defence of the mysteries of faith and that of 
the unity of God. I also promise to be sul^missive and 
obedient to the Grand Master of the Order. Whenever it is 
needful I will cross the seas to fight ; I will give help against 
all infidel kings and princes, and in the presence of three 
^enemies I v'tU not fly, but fight if they are infidels." 



116 NINETEEN HUNDRED.' 

It was not far from Ai'thiir Knight's factories that 
Margaret and Tom commenced these operations. He had 
not seen these hxdies. Isnt he heard of what they were doing 
from Dallington and Miss Wentworth, and between him and 
them his idea was in a fair way of being accomplished, for 
almost every young person was svirronnded by an atmosphere- 
of kindness and good infliiences. By every means he was 
endeavouring to prepare his people, and especially the young 
ones, for a better life under happier conditions in his Land of 
Promise, which was being got ready for them. It was a great 
satisfaction to him to find how much of the work which he 
considered his was being done for him by others. He had 
heard of the Basket Woman, and was curious about her. But 
among the helpers doing Christian work for his people there 
was one of whom he thought more frequently than of all the 
others, and that was the young lady who had spoken with 
such vehement condemnation of the wretched houses that 
belonged to him. Only once since had he seen her. and it was 
when, hearing that the woman whom she visited was dying, 
he went to the house to see if he co\ild render assistance. 
But the young lady was before him. As he jDushed open the' 
door he saw a sight which he would never forget. By the 
side of the couch which had been provided the girl knelt in 
prayer, and he heard her soft voice pleading, " Oh. take Thy 
servant, who has so long borne the burden and heat of the 
day. into Thy Paradise above, where they hunger no more, 
neither thirst any more, where the Lamb who is in the midst 
of the throne shall feed them, and lead them unto living 
fountains of waters, and God shall wipe away all tears from 
their eyes." He closed the door softly, and passed the little 
window of that room bareheaded and with a reverent heart. 
And he understood, as never before, when he walked over the 
dusty stones, through the close court, what such words must 
be to the poor, and how natural it was that Christ should have 
thought of them first. " To the poor the Gospel is preached," 
and those who receive it are thereby lifted out of the greatest 
depths of their misery. A wave of compassion passed over 
Arthur Knight, and the resolutions he had formed grew 
stronger than ever within him. He passed the house again 
(it was strange what an attraction it held for him), hoping 
that he might meet the young lady ; Init. instead, he heard 
her voice singing sweetly the well-known strains, " I know 
that my Redeemer liveth." He waited a moment or two. 
and then, realising the impertinence of such conduct, he 
walked slowly away, hoping, however, that an opportunity of 
making the acquaintance of the singer might be granted him.. 



THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE. 117 

'Could she be " the Basket Woman," of whom he heard so 
much ? Or were there two hidies who had taken his poor 
people into their compassion, besides those who originated 
the Young Crusaders' movement P Among all his engage- 
ments Arthur Knight found time to wonder about this 
mystery, for he could not help being vividly interested. 
"It is absurd," he said to himself; "but I cannot get that 
young lady who lectured me out of my thouglits. Surely I 
am not going to fall in love. That is the last thing I ought 
to do. But I must see her again, somehow." 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE. 

EVEN in small towns events follow each other so rapidly 
that one subject of gossip soon pushes another into the 
background, and in Scourby Mai-y Wythbuvn would have 
been forgotten, excej)t by a few of her own personal friends, 
but for the fact that her name had been coupled with 
that of Dr. Stapleton in a suspicious rejDort which did 
him great damage in the opinion of his fellow-towns- 
men. The doctor was a young medical man who 
was rapidly making his way in the town, and had many 
friends. He was especially good to the poor, and for several 
years attended them free of charge at their own homes, and 
he also held at his house a medical mission. Twice a week his 
consulting-room was almost like a small " Pool of Bethesda," 
for the number of halt and maimed who came to it for advice 
and medicine. He always made them pay for these by their 
attendance at a ten minutes' talk which preceded the regular 
business on which they came. But the doctor did not tisually 
address these people on religious topics. His faith in the 
power of Christ to redeem them was strong and un- 
•questioning, but he knew that in the streets, through the 
efforts of the Salvation Army and other evangelists, they 
were at their own doors continually hearing of the way of 
salvation. It was rather a gospel of self-help that Dr. 
Stapleton preached to them. He wanted them to love God, 
but since they could not do that because they did not as yet 
love their fellow-men, he sought to make them at least love 



118 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

themselves, which they were a long way from doing. So' 
he discoursed to them, in rousing words, on cleanliness and 
health, on language and character, on habits and opinions, 
and especially on the delight and the dignity of work. There 
were some strange ideas among these peoj)le in regard to this 
last subject ; they actually talked of themselves as the work- 
ing-classes, while many of them were as idle as they could be. 
Public movement was in the direction of shortening the 
hours of labour for men ; and it was hoped, therefore, that 
since many of them only worked eight hours, the professional 
classes might presently rest when they had been engaged for 
twelve, and that women would not be expected to work for 
more than sixteen. But these women who were helped by 
Dr. Stapleton, whose homes were dirty and wretched, and whose 
persons were untidy, did very little real work at all; and he 
knew that if they could be persuaded to love, instead of hate, 
it, a vast difference would at once be made to their lives. So 
he did what he could, and very sympathetically, since he 
knew under what terrible conditions many of them lived, and 
how hard it is to keep a very little home entirely clean and 
tidy. 

Dr. Stapleton one morning noticed that the people appeared 
to be offended with him. This vexed and made him irritable, 
and it must be confessed that he had not a good temper 
at the best of times. Just now, indeed, he was overwhelmed 
with troubles of which few people guessed, thoiigh some were 
evident enough. For one thing, a Parliamentary election 
was impending, and a section of the Scourby men had decided 
to lead the way in a new departure. There was to be a gi-and 
fight for principle. Every one said that, though exactly 
what the principle was remained undefined, only one thing 
seemed clear, that the tight would be between the classes 
who had property and character and those who had neither. 
For a change had come into the political world, although 
both the Government and the Opposition were slow to see it. 
For several years Christianity had been aggressive to an 
extent not previously known. The churches had become 
iconoclastic ; they had shut up public-houses by the score ; 
they had put gamblers into prison ; they had insisted that 
brutal husbands and fathers should be flogged; they had 
suspended races, and closed music-halls, and cleared the 
streets of evil houses, and altogether rendered themselves 
so obnoxious that through the land there were risings of the 
dangerous classes, who were everywhere choosing men after 
their own hearts to represent them in Parliament. 

In Scourby this section of the people had chosen Mr. 



THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE. 119 

Richard Lavender. He was an open reviler of religion and 
morality, but he was bold as well as bad ; he was clever at 
invective, and perfectly unscrupulous in his words and deeds, 
and therefore he was a favourite with too many of the people. 
They loved to hear him call names ; they applauded his sneers 
at religion and respectability ; he was no " bloated aristocrat," 
he was an outcast, as many of them were, and they were going 
to stand by him, and send him to Westminster to be a thorn 
in the sides of the respectables. 

He appealed to the worst joassions of the people, and told 
them that both the aristocracy and the middle classes were 
tyrants and oppressors of the poor; and the curious thing 
was that some of them seemed to believe him. He roused 
their antagonism by reminding them of the Bills that had 
been passed— that now a man could not claim his wife's 
wages, or enjoy them unless she chose to give him them; 
that he could not send his children out to work, and, indeed, 
a man coiild no longer do what he liked with his own ; 
besides which he did not find a public-house in every street, 
and often had a ten minutes' walk before he could get his 
drink. The liberty of the subject was in danger, and a stop 
must be put to this sort of thing. 

Mr. Lavender was one of three men who aspired to the 
vacant seat. There was, of course, to be the usual fight 
between the Conservatives and the Radicals. But the can- 
didates rej)resenting the two great parties were strangers, and 
had Ijeen selected and sent down by the wire-pullers in 
London, while Lavender was well-known, and hail-fellow- 
well-met to many of the people in Scourby. This gave hmi a 
great advantage over Mr. Smith, the Conservative, and Mr. 
Jones, the Liberal. On the evening of the day in question 
there was to be a meeting of the supporters of the latter, and 
those who were interested looked forward to it with some mis- 
giving. Lavender gloried in mob-law ; and although there was 
no society in the town that would have anything to do with him, 
not the socialists, nor trades-unionists, nor any distinct organi- 
sation of the people, it was yet known that he could count 
upon a considerable following. 

Many people feared that Lavender would be returned, and 
among them was Dr. Stapleton. 

In the midst of his ill-humour Miss Whitwell called to 
consult him about one or two poor patients to whom he had 
been kind. 

" I am looking after some of Miss Wythburn's pet women," 
she said. " I am so bad tempered this morning, that I thought 
I would go to them as a sort of diversion ; and I feel more 



120 NINETEEA HUNDRED.' 

wretched than ever now. I think there must be a ha^jpy 
hereafter for the very poor, they are so joyless here." 

"But tliey do not wish to leave the world. Every patient 
wants to get well." 

" I could take you to a woman who is praying to die, but I 
may not. There are plenty of them, though. Is not this a 
wretched world P " 

" I do not think so, neither do you. Miss Whitwell." 

" Oh, yes. I do ! Why, everything is wrong. And men who 
have power and strength and ability are droning away their 
lives doing nothing — absolutely nothing. Why do you not 
lift up your voice against the cruelty that is practised in this 
town?" 

" I haven't a very strong voice. It would not make much 
noise if I lifted it up all day." 

" Dr. Stapleton. you are brutal ! " 

" I beg your pardon. Miss Whitwell. What do you want me 
to do ? I am sure the world is better than it ever was before." 

" I am glad I did not live in it before, then. Things seem 
to me dreadfully bad now." 

"All great growths are slow. But I believe that the right 
is winning its way more rapidly than slowly, and in the long 
run it is sure to conquer." 

Tom Whitwell laughed. " You are repeating your creed, 
doctor. It is very proper of you ; but you don't believe it 
this morning, do you now ? One of your patients is ill 
because she has had to stand twelve hours a day selling 
flowers and ribbons over a draper's counter. Another is ill 
because a drunken husband brutally assaulted her ; another 
because her landlord did not keep his house in projaer repair, 
and the stairs gave way under her. A little child is dying 
because he has never been properly fed ; another because he 
has been poisoned by foul drains ; and yet anotlier because 
some men treated him to several drinks of gin. And we are 
sending to represent us in the House of Commons Mr. Richard 
Lavender." 

Dr. Stapleton passed his hand across his brow wearily. 
" Did you say you had a case on whicli you wished to consiilt 
me ? " he asked. " Where is this woman who will not see a 
doctor ? " 

"In Sloane-street, No. 40. But it is of no use for you to 
go to her. for she will not see you. Cannot you prescribe for 
her without ? " 

" Certain Iv not. Canyon describe her symptoms?" 

" No ; only she is in great pain, and seems feverish, and 
has no appetite, and cannot sleep." 



«^ ^ 



THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE. 121 

" Not uncommon symptoms these. Most patients have 
'them. Is she poor ? " 

"Very, and in dreadful trouble about Mary Wythl>urn, 
who was always good to her." 

" 1 have a little money to give away. 1 will call with it, 
and perhaps I shall find some way of helping her. Excuse 
me if I advise you to retui-n. The town will be neither 
pleasant nor safe later. What is this woman's name ? " 

" Robinson. She says a doctor's mistake made her a 
widow, and that she never knew one yet who properly under- 
stood his business. Good-bye, Dr. Stapleton." 

Tom's smile was full of pleasant mischief, but it soon 
vanished. " Poor fellow, I am really afraid he did care for 
Mary," she said. " Certainly something is the matter with 
him." 

The next moment she met her cousin. " Tom," he said, 
' " Scourby will be no place for you to-day." 

" That is what Dr. Stapleton has been telling me, and I am 
• obediently making my way home already." 

" Have you asked Stapleton to prescribe for you ? " 

" No ; why should I ? I am perfectly well. He ought to 
prescribe for himself, he is looking miserably ill. Are you 
going to the meeting ? 1 wish you would call for him and 
take him with you." 

A few hours later Dallington and the doctor were making 
their way to the hall. The people were thronging the streets 
and shouting " Lavender and Liberty for ever ! " Every 
election cry has the word liberty in it. 

" Where do all these people come from ? " asked Dal- 
lington. " I did not think there were so many of this sort in 
the town." 

" They do not often show themselves, but these are the 
people we have to reckon with. They have been left too 
much to themselves, and only tolerated for the use we can 
make of them. They will turn upon us some day and pay oft 
old scores." 

" I should not wonder if they do. Take care ! Here is an 
ugly rush ! Can we get out of it ? " 

Before the words had left his lijis the crowd was on the 
two men. The doctor was well known as a friend of the 
poor, and he thought that he was rather liked by the women, 
who had been often helped through their troubles by him. 
Bxit there wei-e a good many women in the crowd, and there 
was no mistaking tlieir hostile intentions towards him. He 
was severely hustled, and when he turned and faced them 
he looked into countenances full of malice. His hat was 



122 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

knocked oft", his coat, was torn. ami. as ho was only one man 
against two hundred, he was not at all sure that his life was- 
not in danger. He had got sej^arated from his friend, and 
was wondering if he could find a way of escape, when a door 
was opened, and he was drawn in by a man who had watched 
the scene and resolved to help the doctor. Soon a loud 
knocking was heard at the street door, and Stapleton's name 
was called. The door was cautiously opened, and a woman, 
half-drunk and badly cut, was thrust in. Dr. Stapleton 
boiind up her wounds, the woman cursing him all the while. 
At length the street grew more quiet, and he reached the hall 
where the meeting was to be held, and found it a scene of the 
greatest confusion. The chairman's appearance and that of 
the speakers called forth a storm of hisses and groans. He 
tried to speak, but the people would not hear him ; neither 
would they allow the candidate to be heard. Evidently it 
was a packed meeting of Lavender's supporters. But there 
was strange irony in their making themselves hoarse by 
shouting, " Liberty ! Liberty ! " though, after all, it was no 
new thing that the liberty they wanted was liberty to think 
and do as they pleased, and compel everybody else to do the 
same. 

Somebody uttered in a lull the name of Stapleton. " Try 
what you can do," said the chairman. " I am sure they will 
not hear me," said the doctor, " since they will not listen to 
you." 

And he was correct. There was a perfect yell when he 
rose to his feet, and he sat down, as the others had done, 
without being heard. There were a few remarks made for 
the benefit of the reporters, and then the meeting concluded 
in an u^Droar, as it had commenced. Dr. Stapleton noticed, 
as he went home, a little heap of stones, which he did not 
remember to have seen before. He understood its meaning 
later. His servants had retired, and he was reading, when he 
received a shock. A shower of stones came crashing through 
the windows of his house, smashing glass and breaking 
lamps, mirrors, and vases. One stone that, fortunately, fell 
on the table instead of the person of the doctor, had a label 
affixed to it, on which was written " Good-night, doctor, and 
pleasant dreams to you ! " Stapleton was rather comforted 
by this when, having examined the house and discovered the 
damage done to it, he i-ead the inscription. " After all," he 
said, ■' this looks more like fun than fury." 

John Dallington's home-going was not much more satis- 
factory than Dr. Stapleton's. He entered the door of his- 
house with a sigh. He expected to find the chair in the most 



THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE. 123 

comfortable corner of the room occupied by William Hunter, 
and to see his mother looking anything but happy ; and he 
was agreeably surprised to find Mrs. Hunter alone. She was 
in an affectionate mood, and took his arm as they went 
together to the dining-room. "' You must need some supper 
after your drive, for I heard the sound of wheels. Why did 
you not ride ? " 

" Oh, I knew uncle would give me a lift ; and, if not, I 
should have enjoyed the walk." 

" Tom has been in. She is a dear girl, and very fond of you, 
John." 

" Yes ; she is most kind and cousinly." 

Mrs. Hunter laughed softly. *' I feel sui-e," she said, sig- 
nificantly, " that there is much more than a cousinly feeling 
in Tom's heart fo7- you. But men are proverbially blind, and 
cannot see what is plainly before them." 

" Mother, what a fanciful little woman you are ! I believe 
you will never give up dreaming dreams until you become a 
really old lady." 

" That is no dream, John, but very sober reality. And it is 
the great hope of my life that you should marry Tom. So it 
is of hers." 

" I never shall, mother ; so I trust you will at once disabuse 
your mind of the thought." 

" Do not say so. You could never have a more loving and 
capable wife than Tom would make. And — John — cannot 
you see that that would be the way out of all your diffi- 
culties ? " 

John's colour rose. " That is a way I cannot take," he said. 
" That will never, never be." 

Mrs. Hunter persisted. " It would undo the harm that I 
have done," she said, "and make me feel happy and forgiven." 
"Mother," said John — and though he tried to be gentle his 
voice was stern— "have I rej)roached you ? There is nothing 
to forgive ! I am sure you only did what you felt you were 
obliged to do, and that you did it for the best. I am young 
and strong. I shall win back every yard of my father's 
estate in a few years, if work and thought can do it. But 
the trouble and the difficulty are mine, not yours, and they 
will not hurt me." 

'• John, why should you keep them when you can blow them 
away with a word of love to Tom ? " 

" Simply because I cannot speak the word. What do you 
take me for ? " 

'* John — I must say it, even if you are angry with me — it 
will break my heart if that which I hear is true." 



124 NINETEEN HUNDRED ^ 

'■ What have you lieard ? " 

" That you are courting Margaret Miller. Who is she that 
she clai-e look at you ? " Mrs. Hunter laughed unpleasantly. 
'' Why, nobody knows what she is, nor where she came from. ; 
slie may be the scum of the earth for all " 

"Mother," John's voice trembled, "you are my mother, and 
I love you, and I will not be angry with you, but please never 
speak in that way again of Miss Miller." He paused a 
minute to steady his voice, and for debate with himself as 
to whether or not he should confide in his mother, and 
decided to do so. "There ought to be no secrets between 
us two, little mother, for whom have we but each other ? 
And so I will at once tell you the truth. I have chosen Miss 
Miller to be my wife, and have asked her to accept my love. 
I have plenty to think of besides marrying for some years to 
come, but if I ever do marry, Margaret Miller will be my 
bride." J'' = 

Mrs. Hunter's eyes blazed with fury ; but her son would 
not let her speak. He had seen his mother in a passion 
before, and for her own sake as much as his he I'esolved that 
he would not listen to her torrents of angry words. 

" Wait a moment, mother. All that I can be to you as 
ii son I will be ; but I am a man now, and I must be allowed 
to choose my own friends and, above all, my own wife." 

He left her after these words, and perhaps his heart was as 
heavy as his mother's. He was sorry to vex her ; but he was 
himself vexed, too. It was too bad to bring his cousin Tom 
into this discussion, and to suggest that most absurd idea ! 
There could not be a particle of truth in the suggestion that 
Tom cared for him, except as a cousin ; of that he was 
iibsolutely certain. It was a jjain. that was not without 
shame, that her father held a mortgage on his land, but he 
would never redeem it in that fashion. He knew that his 
uncle had obliged his mother to arrange with him instead of 
a stranger, and he knew, too. that she had almost exceeded 
the terms of his father's will in what she did. It was well 
that he was in the hands of an honourable relative ; but the 
thing was a trouble to him, for the thought of a debt was 
hard to beai-. His case was an exceedingly common one. 
How to be just as well as generous is a problem given to 
many to solve. 

But what troubled John Dallington more than anything 
was a doul)t that had crept into his mind about Margaret. 
He did not know what it meant, but he felt tliat she was not 
happy with him. She appeared anxioiis and afraid, and even 
his love could not melt away a certain coldness which seemed 



THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE. 125 

to be creeping over her. Poor Margaret was fighting a battle 
with herself in regard to her duty. She was uncertain as to 
what she ought to do. Mrs. Hunter had been more successful 
with Margaret than with John when she set herself to in- 
sinuate into the mind of each the suspicion of Tom Whit- 
well's love for her cousin. The two friends spent much time 
together in London, as well as in their homes ; and Margaret's 
fear that the suspicion was correct grew rather than decreased. 

We hare seen how busy the two girls were ; but they had 
each plenty of time for thought, and Margaret, after observing 
her friend closely, felt convinced that she had some secret 
sorrow. And having made up her mind to that, she had 
no difficulty in deciding what the sorrow was, nor how it 
could be cured. 

But Margaret had quite as miich sense as sentiment. She 
was not a good heroine for a novel, because she was so very 
much an all-i-ound person. She thought of John first, and 
then she thought of Tom, and. lastly, of herself; and she 
meant to consider well before she placed her friend irre- 
vocably between herself and her lover. But the uncertainty 
was trying; and when Mr. Dallington asked that he might 
declare their engagement, Margaret said they wei-e not really 
engaged, and that it was her wish that they should not be. 

"I cannot understand you, Margaret." he replied. "I do 
not believe that you are fickle, or that you did not know your 
own mind ; and it seems to me that since we love each other, 
the most honourable thing is for us to be openly engaged. 
But I cannot urge you further ; it would be unmanly to do 
so ; and if 1 could I wo^^ld not wring from you a reluctant 
consent. But I will not at present believe that you finally 
reject me. Do not be alarmed ; I am not going to persecute 
you with unwelcome attentions ; but I shall ask you again, 
for I cannot give up the hoi^e of years even at your bidding ; 
and some day, perhaps, you will explain to me the reasons for 
this change. Pardon me, I am sure there is something which 
you are keeping from me to-day, and that you would not 
quite treat me as you are doing if the reasons which you 
have stated were the only ones." 

John Dallington had reached the Old House in excellent 
spirits, but Margaret had astounded and pained him beyond 
measure. He little guessed how diflicult had been the task 
to Margaret ; but how could she tell him either that his 
mother had written an anonymous letter to her, or that she 
felt warranted in believing that his cousin's happiness would 
be jeopardised if she agreed to his wishes ? Since her talk 
with Harris she did not dare to lay quite the same stress 



126 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

upon the old doubt as to lier parentage, but she hinted at it 
again and Dallington would not allow her to proceed. " You 
are yourself and that is enough for me." he said; but 
Margaret was very resolute, and he was leaving her, if not in- 
anger, in keen and sorrowful displeasure. 

And then, woman-like, her heart failed her. 

" Let us be friends," she said. " And do believe that I 
care more for your happiness than my own." 

He was very gentle ; but he held her hands, and compelled 
her to lift her eyes to his face. 

"I do believe," he said, "that you are not doing this for 
your happiness. For some inexplicable cause you think it 
your duty ; but you are mistaken. Friends ? Yes, certainly, 
let us be friends, and very uear and dear ones." 

" That is not what I mean," said Margaret. But her 
strength seemed suddenly to fail her, and she left him 
abruptly. 

Ann Johnson watched her as she hastened to her own 
room, and she thought she heard a sob as the door closed. 
She wondered what it meant. She liked the young Squire 
of Darentdale, and thotight him almost good enough for 
Margaret; but there was no knowing, and she resolved to 
fortify her against him in case he was not all he seemed ; she 
therefore took an opportunity to relate one of her stories. 

" I shouldn't like to travel. I should be afraid it would 
hurt my morals. I knowed a man who lived abroad, and a 
nicer man before he went there couldn't l)e. nor a kinder. I 
seen him the day afore he went, and I seen him the day after 
he come back. He were altered then, for he had a scar on 
his face. I says to him, ' How come them beauty spots on 
you ? ' and he says, ' Oh, it were a bird that scratted me with 
her sharp tallions ' ; but whether it were the truth I don't 
know. He didn't always tell the truth ; for he pretended to 
fall in love with a lady as I knows, and he proposed to her, 
and then he set to work to steal her heart away. And he 
stole it, too ; and they was going to be married — it was 
almost as close as Miss Wythburn's wedding — and then a 
woman come as proved as she were his lawful wedded wife. 
And all the while he had been that proper— not a bit frivial, 
nor nothing of that, but pious enough to deceive a saint. My 
opinion is as few men can stand them foreign parts; so you 
be careful, dearie." 

Ann Johnson's stories always made Margaret laugh, and 
they did now, though she was sadly wondering where John 
was, and what he was thinking of her. 



DEFEAT OR VICTORY.^ 127 



CHAPTER XIV. 

DEFEAT OR VICTOBY ? 

ON the morning of the day of the election Scourby was 
fairly quiet, although many of the people had taken a 
holiday, and were spending it in the public-houses and the 
streets. The noise . would come later, when the votes had 
been counted and the result was known. The greatest enthu- 
siasm was evinced whenever Mr. Lavender appeared on the 
scene. If only the enthusiasm had been for a better man, 
how good this feeling of exultation and loyalty would have 
proved ! Alas, for the nation that is not enthusiastic ! Few 
sights in England have been more pleasant than the rapture 
with which the men have welcomed their Parliamentary re- 
presentative, when the man has been worthy. Such elections, 
even when they have been stormy, have been among the 
glories of our land. It was new for such men as Lavender 
to be " the chosen of the people," and because it was new 
the steady, stable middle-classes could not believe in it. But 
much had been going on of which they had little idea. Un- 
fortunately, it had long been the case that many of the best 
men of the Churches had altogether held aloof from politics, 
when they ought to have been in the very forefront of the 
battle. The reason they gave was that Christianity and 
politics seemed ti have little in common. Many a party 
had had its birth in some public-house, and many a seat 
had been won by exaggerations and lies told of the opposite 
side, and by broadcast promises that had never been kept, 
nor were ever intended to be. To buy the more ignorant 
part of the working men by flattering their vanity, by setting 
class against class, by misrepresentations, and the stirring iip 
of their worst passions of hate and selfishness — these had 
been the policy of more than a few who had by these means 
won the highest honours in the land ; but men with con- 
sciences educated at the Cross could not stoop to these things; 
if they tried, they generally failed ; and, in the end, far too 
many withdrew from politics altogether, thereby exhibiting 
a pusillanimity which was little creditable to themselves or 
their Church, since, together, they were well able to insist 
that political contests should be fought on quite other lines, 
and with different weapons. 



128 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

In the meantime strong efforts were made by the op- 
ponents of the Churches. The l>ar-room in many in- 
stances was the canvassing gronnd, and one notable feature 
in the case was that hundreds of young men were 
Lavender's adherents. When they grew older they might 
become wiser ; but at present a very large proportion of 
young householders voted for him. The fact was that he 
and his party had helped them to their votes, for certain 
men who had cheap house-property had been careful 
to encourage young men to become occupiers that they 
might exercise the franchise ; and these men had been 
well looked after, not only on the eve of the contest, but for 
more than a year, and had by this means Ijeen secured by 
these far-seeing men of the world. 

It was these facts which gave to the new party its hopes ; 
and the party, not only in Scourby, but throughout the 
country, was dangerous because of its numbers. It soiight to 
pose as " the Laboiir Party," and whichever side can j^ersuade 
the multitude to believe it to be that is pretty certain of 
success. But there wei-e himdreds of honourable, high- 
souled working-men in Scourby who were as much humiliated 
as the wealthiest, when the state of the jsoll was declared at 
night. 

For the figures proved the stubborn fact that, though 
by only a small majority, Richard Lavender was duly 
elected. 

From the yells of delight, and the groans of disgust that 
followed, two astute working-men turned away with hot anger 
and indignation in their hearts. " There will be a reckoning 
for somebody or other over this," said one. " What have all 
the parsons been doing that they could not save the town 
from such disgrace ? " 

"Smoking their pipes in their studies, I suppose. We 
have been perfectly sold ! Isn't it a pity that none but fools 
can be found to manage affairs ? We ought to have had a 
local man. Both the Tory and the Radical are complete 
strangers to us. How is it that a man seldom represents his 
own town, but nearly always comes seeking the suffrages of 
some place that knows nothing about him, except what he and 
the newspapers say ? " 

'■ Oh, they are too well known in their own town. But 
this shows that they are not of the best. If a man has lived 
an honourable life, and served the interests of the town, he 
ousiht to be chosen and sent to Parliament by the men who- 
know him. It is a disgrace if we cannot grow our own 
members." 



DEFEAT OR VICTORY? 129 

" So I think. If this had happened a year ago, and Dr. 
Stapleton had been a candidate, he would have gone in." 

" Do you believe all they are saying about him ? It is 
very sbrange that he has scarcely put in an appearance over 
this election. It is really most mysterious." 

It was less mysterious than it seemed ; and, perhaps, it will 
be as well to let ovir readers into the secret, such as it is, 
while we give the Scourby men a little breathing time. 
Really, this election proved to be for the salvation of the town, 
and the sting of shame was for the healing of the people ; 
but all this could not be accomplished in a day. 

The truth is that Dr. Stapleton had cared for Mary Wyth- 
burn, and, though he had never said so, she had guessed it, 
and he feared she had. He did not believe that he had 
awakened the slightest feeling in her toward him, nor that it 
had influenced her decision in regard to Mr. Greenliolme. 
But when she disappeared he was overwhelmed with trouble 
and anxiety, and he had been to London several times in the 
vain hope of finding her. 

Indeed, worry had made him so ill, that he resolved to take 
a few days for a holiday, and see his brother, Mr. Felix 
Stapleton, of Gi'anchester. He was ten years older than the 
Doctor. Their mother died when they were both young, and 
their father when Felix was twenty-nine and Frederick nine- 
teen. He left a small fortune to be equally divided ; but 
Felix needed money more than Fred, for he was married and 
settled, while liis younger brother was at college, preparing 
for his future. His own share of his father's money and part 
of his brother's enabled Felix to take full advantage of the 
tide that led to fortune. He was a builder and contractor, as 
his father liad been before him, and a keen man of business. 
He saw that Granchester was destined to a rapid increase, so 
he bought up land and built houses upon it. His foresight 
was abundantly rewarded ; odd fields and acres and pieces of 
land that had come into his possession were one after another 
wanted, and he sold some of them at a considerable profit, 
others he covered with houses. Several building societies 
existed in the town, and hundreds of working men were pay- 
ing by degrees the money which would make the houses 
in which they lived their own. This praiseworthy ambition 
on their part had been a great financial benefit to Mr. Felix 
Stapleton. He lived in a fine new house in one of the out- 
skirts of Granchester. It stood on a hill which commanded 
the best view in the neighbourhood, and was itself — with its 
bright red bricks, its towers and pinnacles and glass-houses 
— a striking object, visible for many miles around. It goes 



130 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

"without saying that Mr. Stapleton, having rapidly accumu- 
lated wealth, had also rapidly accumulated honours, both 
municipal and religious, and that his wife and daughters 
were among the acknowledged leaders of Granchester 
society. 

Dr. Stapleton was very pi'oud of his brother and all his 
successes, and there was a glow at his heart when he stepped 
from the train and saw his nieces on the platform, and beyond 
them, outside the station, the carriage with the handsome 
horses and smart livery servants, which told so pleasant a 
story. 

" Here we are, Uncle Fred," exclaimed two girlish voices 
together. " Father could not come to meet you, so he sent us. 
How are you ? You don't look well ; you need doctoring 
yourself. Doctor. You must get married, or have one of us 
to keep house for you." 

The girls took possession of him, and beamed upon him 
with their bright eyes, and one of them at once offered to 
prescribe for him. His sister-in-law gave him a sisterly 
welcome, and half an hour afterward the strong grasp of his 
brother's hand brought a flush of joy to the Doctor's face. 

" It is good to see you, old fellow. I thought you never 
meant to come again." 

" I have been sticking pi'etty closely to work. And so have 
you, I should say. Why, how grey you have gi-own ! " 

" Grey ? Yes. Quite the old man. You must blame these 
romping, rollicking boys and girls for that. A man with 
such a family can scai-cely keep his youthful appearance." 

The Doctor thought there could not be a more delightful, 
well-appointed home in all England than this. The house 
had every modern convenience that science could devise, and 
it was artistic, as well as comfortable, in all its arrange- 
ments. Mrs. Stapleton had proved herself equal to their 
change of fortune, and the house had a very gracious lady at 
the head of its domestic affairs. There had been no stint of 
money anywhere. The young people had their own rooms, 
simply but not cheaply furnished. The pictures were some 
of the most beautiful and costly of modern times. All the 
latest books were in the library, and all the latest fashions in 
the drawing-room. Servants, with perfect manners, moved 
about the place, forestalling the wishes of the household and 
their guests. Dr. Stapleton had never dined before as he 
dined at his brother's table, nor listened to finer music than 
that which was provided for him afterwards, nor slept in 
svich a sumptuous chamber. The next morning it seemed to 
him that the proofs of immense wealth were even more- 



DEFEAT OR VICTORY? 131 

abundaut than had been apparent the night before. The 
stables and coach-houses were buildings that might have 
served a poor man for his home, and were fiUed with ex- 
pensive carriages and horses. And the gardens were fit for a 
nobleman. 

At the breakfast-table the members of the family appeared 
dressed in exquisite taste. Not a bit of vulgar finery was to 
be seen upon any of them. The children, not particularly 
pretty, perhaps, had been made to look so by the careful 
arrangement of hair and clothes. Stapleton was sure that 
more than money was expended in order to produce the har- 
monious whole which proved so attractive ; and that thouo-ht, 
care, culture, and talent had been summoned to the aid of his 
brother and his sister-in-law in order to make their home what 
it was. 

A very merry party partook of the morning meal ; for there 
is always plenty of fim where young people live; and the 
Doctor was glad to observe how clever and refined were even 
the jokes. But he noticed something else which qualified his 
pleasure, and this was a look of care and harassment which 
sat like a black shadow upon the brow of his brother, who 
took little food, and scarcely joined in the conversation. At 
first this seemed to escape the notice of all but himself ; but 
at last his eldest daughter, Matilda, remarked upon it. 

" Is there anything you could eat, father ? We will get it 
from the ends of the earth if you will name it." 

Mr. Stapleton laughed. " My appetite has not come yet, 
Mat ; but perhaps it will later." 

" Toil are worried as usual about those horrible men. I 
-ivish you would retire from business altogether, and let the 
wretched creatures find work somewhere else, or starve, as 
they deserve to do." 

" I wish I could retire," said her father. " But, Mat, you 
must not forget that the wretched creatures, as you call them, 
have a right to live which equals your own." 

" Is there another labour dispute on ? " asked the eldest son, 
a lad of sixteen. 

" Yes, the usual thing. These labour strikes are constantly 
occurring with us, Fred. I suppose you know a little about 
them at Scourby ? " 

" Oh, yes ; we have had our troubles there, and the victories 
have usually gone ^vitli the men." 

" The men are often very unreasonable. They ought not to 
expect to be paid in bad times the wages which they receive 
when trade is at its best ; but they do." 

"And they seldom save anything for a rainy day," 



132 NINETEEN HUNDRED f 

remarked Mrs. Stapleton, " but live up to their income 
every week, whatever it may be." 

" And they are awfully extravagant," said Matilda. *' I 
had the curiosity to ascertain how many of the girls in my 
Sunday-school class were learning to play the piano, and 
found that eight out of fourteen are taking lessons. And 
their parents are buying pianos on the hire system — so much 
a week for three years. Eight girls ! And I believe that, 
without exception, their parents are artisans. Is it not 
absurd ? I laughed at the idea, and this so offended one child 
that she left the class. I told her it would be more to her 
credit if she learned to scrub floors and mend stockings. 
She became saucy, and said she knew already how to do those 
things, and should not ask my leave to learn the piano or 
anything else her parents pleased." 

" You are most partial to the violin yourself, Mat, are you 
not ? " asked the Doctor. 

" Oh yes," said her brother, answering for her. " Mat is 
wild on the violin, and she has a little beauty." 

" I heard you playing it this morning, I think ? " 

" Yes ; I am as lazy as any of my set, but my dear violin 
■can draw me out of bed in the dead of the night, we are such 
great friends." 

" Do you think it right to keep that pleasure to yourself ? " 

" To myself ? Why, Uncle Fred, I am willing to play for 
any one. I will play to you all day if you like." 

" Thank you very much. But what I mean to suggest is, 
that your Sunday- scholars maybe musically inclined, too, and 
can get as much real pleasui-e out of a cheap harmonium or 
piano as you out of your harp and violin. Why, then, should 
they not ? " 

Matilda coloured partly with vexation. " I think the cases 
are different," she said. 

" Yes, they are. You get your instruments without trouble, 
and pay for them with a ' thank you ' or a kiss ; they have to 
practise self-denial, and part from the weekly payments with 
difficulty ; but if they are willing to do this, why in the world 
should they not ? A working man has as much i-ight to a 
piano in his home, if he can pay for it, as you have. Surely it 
is better to spend money on pianos than on beer." 

" Why, uncle, I declare you are a rabid socialist. I had no 
idea you were such a dangerous character ! " 

" And you forget one little consideration," added Mrs. 
Stapleton. " The money with which these are bought has 
all to come out of our pockets." 

" Indeed ! I had certainly not looked at the matter in that 



DEFEAT OR VICTORY? 133 

light," replied the Doctor, and he could not altogether repress 
the ring of irony in his voice. 

But the mistress of the house adroitly introduced a happier 
subject of conversation, and " Uncle Fred" resolved that he 
would no more give utterance to sentiments that brought a 
frown to his brother's face. He enjoyed his visit very much, 
and especially appreciated the attention paid him by his 
sister-in-law, who drove a pair of beautiful ponies every day 
for his especial benefit. 

But he could not get rid of the feeling that all was not well 
with Felix, who, however, vouchsafed no confix lence until the 
last evening of Fred's stay. 

When dinner was over the master of the house playfully 
observed that no one would be invited to the library that 
night but Dr. Stapleton. It was a hint which all understood 
and respected. 

Mr. Stapleton appeared nervous and ill at ease, first draw- 
ing his brother's attention to one thing and then to another, 
and all the time pacing the room as if he could settle to 
nothing. At last the Doctor broke the ice. 

" If you were a patient of mine, Felix, I should say that 
you had something on your mind." 

" And so I have, old fellow. And I am afraid it is likely 
to remain there. Fred, do you ever feel the need of confes- 
sion ? I think it must be an immense relief to a man some- 
times to tell out his troubles and his sins." 

" I cannot say that I have myself ever experienced the 
longing ; but I can imagine that in some cases, when a man 
is borne down by a secret burden, it does him good to talk it 
over with another." 

" I will try it. In whom should a man confide if not in 
his brother ? And if I keep it much longer to myself it will 
kill me. Mine is a very common trouble. Fred, I am in dire 
need of money." 

The Doctor had felt that something terrible was 
coming, and the end of his brother's sentence seemed so 
tame that he laughed outright. " Tou want money ? " 
he cried, incredulously ; " then, my dear fellow, what must 
J do?" 

The tone and the laugh hurt Mr. Stapleton, and caused 
him actual pain. "Ah! you do not . tmderstand," he said; 
" how should you ? But it is true nevertheless." 

" Of course I . have heard before of large businesses, with 
plenty of capital at the back of them, coming to a standstill 
for lack of ready-money. I remember one or two failures 
where there was enough to pay everybody twenty shillings 



134 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

in the pound when affairs were loolced into. Is it sometliing 
of the same kind witli you, Felix ? " 

" I could not pay everybody twenty shillings in the pound, 
and that is not the worst of it." 

" Really ! You amaze me ! But," and the Doctor gave a 
glance at the books and the pictures, "you could realise 
some money if it became necessary, for, of course, a man, 
and esi^ecially a Christian man. must i^ay his debts." 

" Am I a Christian P Sometimes I doubt it," said Mr. 
Stapleton, bitterly. "You know, Fred, I have had nearly 
twenty years of commercial success. And at first I deserved 
it. Every bit of work that I did at the beginning was well 
done ; the houses that I built during the first ten years of my 
business life will stand as long as houses of the kind ever do 
or can. And chances flowed in iipon me ; and profits, honestly 
gained, too, grew and increased year by year until it seemed 
to me that my wealth was so enormous it would last for ever. 
When this place and the things on it were bought I was jus- 
tified, or believed that I was, in spending the money ; and 
trade was so good that I had no difficulties whatever then. 
But a change has taken place during the last few years, the 
building trade has been slack, the cost of labour has been 
great, and materials have been costly. Profits have fallen; 
I have had some bad debts to contend with ; and all the time 
my owai expenses have been increasing. It is not easy for a 
man of my position to retrench, and I have been constantly 

hoping for better times, and now " He stojjped, and 

paced the room three or four minutes before he pro- 
ceeded. 

" It is a pity you cut such a dash, old fellow," said the 
Doctor ; " but I am sure your intentions were right enough." 

" If I had only myself I would not care. It is my wife and 
children of whom I think. It has been my one great joy to 
see how they have delighted in the beautiful things which 
I have been able to give them ; and how naturally the children 
especially have taken to the new manner of life. How can I 
now drag them down from the position in which I have placed 
them P I cannot do it, God help me ! " 

■' It is very hai-d for you — harder, perhaps, than it would be 
for them," said the Doctor. " But things may right them- 
selves in time. Let me lend you my money. I have a couple 
of thousands." 

" I have not told you the worst. A drowning man will clutch 
at straws. Fred, I have lost my own self-respect and I am 
going to foi'feit yours." He hesitated, and finally said, " No, 
it is no use ; I cannot tell you." 



DEFEAT OR VICTORY? 135 

" Oh, tell me the worst, old man. Make a clean breast 
of it ; you will feel better afterward. I will find some way 
of helping you." 

" The fact is that I am ashamed, and have reason to be, o£ 
much of my later work. I have built houses that cannoi? 
stand, without foundations and with thin walls, and green 
wood, and everything of the cheapest. I have been in haste 
to sell them, and they have sold all the more readily because, 
as I had built them, people took them on trust — and now the 
time of retribution is at hand. One house collapsed last 
night in a high wind. I am afraid others will follow. Two 
evenings ago a little mission-room which I built, and poor 
people paid for with coppers hardly spai'ed, and which is 
packed on Sundays and many evenings beside, was pro- 
nounced unsafe for occupation." 

The builder groaned, and the Doctor buried his face in his 
hands. He would rather have given all that he had, and ten 
years of his life into the bargain, than have listened to such a 
confession from the brother whom he had loved and 
honoured. He knew that all this was common enough in 
those days, but Dr. Stapleton held it a crime, nevertheless, 
and that his brother should have committed it nearly broke 
his heart. 

'■ Did they pass a vote of censure upon you at the mission 
hall ? " he asked, presently. 

" Oh, no ! I have not heard that they blamed me ; and I 
have the usual excuses about dry rot and all that to offer." 
" But — you know ! " 
" Yes, alas ! I know." 

" Felix, there is one thing, at least, that you can do. 
Rebuild this little mission chapel as it ought to be done. I 
will pay for it, and the prayers of the grateful people may 
help you." 

" Yes. I have thought of that myself. Thank you, Fred. 
I can do that, and I will, withoiit your help. It will be like 
an acknowledgment of my fault ; but that I must not mind, 
it is only justice. O God, I wish I could be just ! That is 
what I have not been. I cannot think how I could have done 
some of the things which I have done. I think my conscience 
has been asleep, and is awake now with a vengeance. But 
competition is ruining many beside me. The little men do 
some of the mischief. They work themselves for workmen's 
wages, and get a few to help them who are unskilled, and 
therefore take less ; and I suppose they get some profit, for 
they go on for a few years, and then, having cheapened 
things for evei-y one else and having nothing to lose them- 



136 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

selves, tliey fail — while the men of capital have to suffer for 
their folly and ambition." 

" Yes ; perhaps some trades are being ruined in this way. 
But if any i^eople are able to prevent it, the big men, as you 
call them, are ; for they might make a stand, and insist on 
having none but good work done, or giving up business 
altogether. And, of course, capital ought not to monopolise 
the trades. Other men, as well as you, have tried and hoped 
for success." 

" Certainly ; and deserved it more than I. I have been too 
grasping and ambitious. I am t)-uly sorry now that I did not 
find some plan of making my workmen sharers in my 
prosperity. I have not trusted them, nor they me. Excepting 
at first there has been no friendliness or goodwill between us, 
and this has cost us both dear. I have lost thousands of 
pounds through strikes, and more than a few through specu- 
lation. Ah ! if I could have my time over again, how 
differently I would order my life ! But I am afraid the crash 
must come, though I am not qviite sure even now that if I 
had, say, seven or eight thousand poimds of ready-money, I 
could not tide over the worst and wait for better times. For- 
give me, old fellow, I have put my burden on your shoulders, 
though it still rests upon my own. Pray for me, as you iised 
to do. I cannot pray myself ; and yet I am uttering words 
of verity when I say that now, as never before in my life, my 
one desire is to do the right, if I only could be sure what 
it is." 

The words came brokenly, and the speaker threw himself 
wearily into a chair. The Doctor put his arm over his 
shoulder. 

" You may count on me, you know, without my saying it. 
I will go home to-morrow and think all this over, and come 
and see you again soon. You must reduce your expenditure 
in the meantime — that is certainly necessary and right ; but 
we will avert the craish if it can be done. Go to bed now, 
Felix ; you looked tired to death." And the brothers parted. 

The Scourby people were perfectly correct in their opinion 
that Dr. Stapleton had a secret trouble on his mind. After 
his return he was a very much sadder man than they had 
ever known him. He gave offence to his patients by raising 
his fees, and soon became conscious that his practice was 
leaving him. 

And on the eve of the Scourby election a temptation 
assailed him. Dr. Stapleton late at night was asked to 
receive a visitor. At first the two men spoke on ordinary 
subjects in ordinary tones, but afterwards they were lowered. 



A NEW EMIGRATION. 137 

Once only Stapleton's voice rang out, indignantly, " Am I a 
dog that I should do this thing P " and the two men, with 
white faces, glared in each other's eyes ; but after awhile they 
calmed down, and when, an hour later, the stranger left, 
Stapleton himself let him out, neither lifting his eyes to the 
other's face. 

The Doctor fastened the door after his guest, and then 
returned to his study, and locked himself into it. He did not 
stand with his back to the fire, as is an Englishman's wont, 
but he stood with his back to the table and his face to the 
fire for half-an-hour, thinking all the time of his brother, and 
going over again the trouble which had been confided to him. 
Presently one little sentence he had uttered came back to his 
mind, and he repeated it aloud, " Am I a Christian ? Am I a 
Christian ? Am I a Christian ? " He clasped his hands 
together on the mantelpiece, and leaned his head upon them, 
and so stood, as if oblivious of time. At last he turned with 
a sigh, and forced his eyes to the table which he had avoided, 
and, as though it had been some venomous beast, he looked 
at the only thing that lay upon it. It was a cheque for a 
thousand pounds ! 



CHAPTER XV. 

A NEW EMIGRATION. 

" /^H, Mr. Arthur Knight, I do b'lieve you listened, because 
\J you were so close to the door when it came open ! " 
" Yes, Miss Sissie Hancourt, I did. The singing was so 
beautiful ; who could have helped it ? " 

Arthur Knight had tapped at the door of a room in which 
an old blind servant, whom he had pensioned, was living ; but 
the tap had made so little noise that it was not heard, and he 
■waited a few moments to listen. A sweet, tender voice, which 
he recognised with a throb of pleasure, was preaching that 
wonderful sermon in song from the text, " Oh, rest in the 
Lord, wait patiently for Him," which few can hear without 
being hushed into quietness. He wanted to make the 
acquaintance of the singer, and to know who she was and 
all about her, so he stood outside the door until the sweet solo 
was ended ; but from some cause the door opened almost 



138 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

before the last word had died away, and his entrance was 
precipitate. He apologised for it, and was sorry to disturb 
the little party of three, who looked the picture of content- 
ment. The old servant was listening with a smile iipon her 
white face, and the singer, who was evidently getting as 
much pleasure as she gave, held on her knees the little 
talkative child, who looked for once entirely happy to be 
silent. 

The young lady rose to leave, after courteously responding 
to Arthiu-'s greeting, and could not be persuaded to remain, 
although Sissie pleaded earnestly enough. '• It's only Mr. 
Knight ; he doesn't matter, you know. Do sing again. He 
will be sure to go directly." 

" Yes, indeed." said Arthur ; "please do not let me interfei'e 
in the least. How came you here, Sissie ? " 

" I am only here till mother calls for me. Geoff was 
coming, too, but he could not make haste to get ready. He 
was sweeping his teeth such a long while." 

" What was he doing, Sissie .f* " 

" Sweeping his teeth, don't you know, with a brush. 
Everybody does it. Mother says we must take care of our 
teeth, so Geoff is nearly always sweeping his to make them 
quite clean. What are you all laughing at ? " 

" Oh, Sissie Hancourt, you are a rich treat," said the young 
lady, kissing her. " Now, be good, and wait with Mrs. Smith 
until your mother comes for you." 

'' Don't go, I like you. Mr. Knight, please go away your- 
self, and then my nice young lady will stay." 

"Do not be unkind to Mr. Knight. Sissie. My cab is 
waiting, I heard it stop at the door. Good-bye, Mrs. Smith, I 
shall come again soon." 

" Do, dearie, it is such a comfort to see you." The poor 
woman often spoke as if she saw, though she was quite blind. 
Her young visitor shook hands with her, and touched her 
shoulder caressingly, and then Knight conducted her to the 
cab, looking rather wistfully into the pleasant face, and 
wondering if he dare ask her name. 

" May I tell you something ? " he asked. " You spoke to 
me some time ago about the dwellings of my people — do you 
remember ? " 

" It was impertinent of me to do so ; but I was feeling very 
strongly for that poor woman, and, of course, I did not know 
that you meant to do anything for your en^doyes." 

*' How could you know ? It is good of you to take so much 
interest in the people ; and because you do I should like to 
tell you that I am preparing to take my works and workers 



A NEW EMIGRATION. 139 

away togetlier. I have bought some land in Wales, and am 
building such dwellings as I think you would approve. Next 
sj)ring I hope the place will be ready, for there is a colony of , 
builders hard at work there. I could not do what I would 
hex'e, and it seemed to me that this would be the better way." 

" "What a good idea ! Do yon say that the place is already 
in course of preparation? I see yonr name often in the 
papers, but I have never read of this project." 

" No; we have managed to keep it out of the papers, for a 
wonder ; but the place is being rapidly completed." 

" Have you told the people ? " 

"Not yet. I have been wondering whether it would be 
wiser to do so. Do you advise me to tell them soon ? " 

" I do, partly that it may comfort them, and partly that 
they may familiarise themselves with the idea. You have 
not the elite of the working classes in your employment, and 
the change which is needed is more in themselves than in 
their circumstances, though when one thinks of the environ- 
ment of the people it is little wonder that some of them are 
bad. I am glad they are to have a chance." 

She drove away with a pleasant smile, and Arthur Knight 
wished he could have talked with her for hours instead of 
minutes. He was determined to find out who she was, if 
possible, so he retui-ned to Mrs. Smith and Sissie. 

"I am sorry I frightened your friend away," he said. 
*' What is the lady's name P " 

" She is Miss Grace. She lives in the country, and some- 
times she brings me fruit and flowers and vegetables, and 
she reads and sings to me. She has a beautiful voice," said 
Mrs. Smith. 

'* She is a pretty lady," added Sissie, " and I shall go and 
see her when I know where she lives." 

" Miss Grace ? Is that her only name ? " asked Knight. 

" That was what she said we were to call her, and her home 
is in Kent, but I don't know where." 

And that was all the information which Arthur Knight 
could gain. 

In the evening of that day, after he had visited the classes, 
where, under the best tuition that he could provide for them, 
the boys and girls in his factories were being trained for 
their future lives, his thoughts recurred to the remark which 
Miss Gi-ace had made respecting his people. It was quite 
true ; he had not the elite of the working classes in his 
employment. The low wages, and the general system on 
which the works had been carried on, had not secured many 
of those men and women, who, because of their nobility of 



liO NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

soiil, their spotless cliaractei- and high ability, belong truly 
to the upper classes of this country, although they are but 
artisans and labourers. There were a few of these, and 
Knight knew and honoured them ; but most of his men and 
women were of the lower sort. He was not sorry for that, 
for he and his helpers, including Miss Wentworth, who 
superintended all sorts of pleasant endeavours for the girls, 
believed that these same people could, by kindness and fii-m- 
ness, be so brought under good influences that a change for 
the better would be effected. And much had already been 
accomplished. The language of the people had been purified 
(though not until several had been dismissed for swearing), 
and their behaviour and appearance had been greatly im- 
proved. Every Sunday afternoon Mr. Knight held a service 
for his own j^eople in a tent which he had erected in his own 
grounds, and he was greatly encouraged because this effort 
helped considerably to bring master and men into more 
intimate relationship with each other. His pleasant, hearty 
addresses were appreciated, and as soon as the men under- 
stood that his life in all its bearings was in full accord with 
his words, many of them were prepared to give him a 
respectful hearing. He had not convinced all that he was 
their friend, but he was certainly going the right way to 
do so. 

And he decided that now he would take the people into his 
confidence, and tell them about the places that were being 
made ready for them, and of which he often thought with 
pride. Accordingly, he invited them, one Saturday after- 
noon, to assemble in his grounds ; and they came — men, 
women, and children — and filled the space before the old 
house. 

" My friends," he said, " I want to explain to you my plans 
for the future, and make a proposition. In the first jjlace, let 
me tell you that I have determined to close all my works in 
London, and I have to place before you a scheme of emigra- 
tion." 

This announcement filled some of the people with dismay, 
though others saw the twinkle in the master's eyes, and 
more than a few had an inkling of what was coming, 
and waited with interest the development of their employer's 
idea. 

" I know what sort of places many of you live in, and they 
are not the houses I should like you to have," he said. " I 
know the rents you pay, and that without a great addition to 
your wages it is impossible for you to find better ones ; and, 
therefore, I say you must emigrate. Bvit, knowing how dear 



A NEW EMIGRATION. 141 

to most of yoii this old England is, I do not pro^DOse to ship 
jou off to other and foreign lands." 

Loud cheers greeted this assurance. 

*^ You know that my father left me a large sum of money, 
and much of it is already spent ; so that it is quite possible, 
unless you will help ine, that I shall become a poor man. I 
have spent the money in the purchase of an estate, on which I 
am having built a model town, in a beaiitiful district in 
Wales. You will find there friends to welcome you, who are 
going to spend their lives in helping you, having already 
taken up their abodes in these places. There is in course of 
erection a church, a technical school, an elementary school, a 
building which in time is to be a free library and reading- 
room, and there is also a people's park and recreation ground. 
In neither of them is there a public-house, and I do not intend 
that there ever shall be ; but in connection with the library 
and reading-room there are a refreshment and dining room. 
There are numbers of working men's homes, comfortable, and 
as pretty as one could make them, each with a piece of garden 
attached to it, and each so built that it will be possible for a 
man and his family to live in it in decency and comfort at the 
lowest rent that will pay. The workshops and factories and 
the whole place will be lighted by electricity, for plenty of 
light is a necessity ; and in each of them there will be an 
abundance of those other necessities which God intended 
should be free to all His children — plenty of beautiful, health- 
giving, fresh air, and pure, good water. Now it rests with 
you to make my plan a grand success, or a miserable failure ; 
for what I propose to do is to remove my business bodily, and 
you with it." 

The excitement, which had been growing, here became 
intense, and a deafening cheer rang through the crowd. 

" My great wish is that you should be able to live under 
very different conditions from the old ones — that you should 
get fair wages for your work, and your money's worth for 
your money. If you ai'e willing to agree to my stipulations, 
then I will advance you the money which you require for 
jour travelling and other necessary expenses. You know that 
this is an age of great competition. You know, too already, 
that I have resolved not to have bad materials used or manu- 
factured in any business of mine. ' Knight's goods ' shall be 
good, and worth the price that is charged for them, whatever 
comes ; on that I am quite determined, even if the determination 
should mean ruin. But if you will help me it shall mean 
honour, and the highest kind of prosperity to us all. I pro- 
pose, therefore, to pay you the wages which your trades 



142 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

unions have decided are fair, but I want you. by extra in- 
dustry and skill, to earn more than your wages. I propose 
that you should one and all become partners in the concern, 
and share the profits according to the labour and skill which 
you invest, so that if it be made a paying concern we shall all 
get some benefit from it. and if a losing business we shall all 
lose together You know how to render it a success. Care, 
ability, industry, and enthusiasm will make the thing go, and 
the lack of these will bring everything to a standstill. If 
you are men enough and women enough to carry this idea 
forward, then I hope you will come with me. And bring 
your children too. After receiving a good education, such as 
will make them able to compete as artisans with Germans, or 
Frenchmen, or any other nation under the sun, they shall be 
taught also the trades of their fathers. But if any of you 
love your bad habits better than this new idea, then do not 
come with me, for 1 do not want you. If you mean to do as 
little as you possibly can for yovir money, if you mean to be 
loafers, and spend your wages in drink, we will not waste any 
money in travelling expenses for you, because I shall not 
employ you, nor allow you to live in any of my houses. If 
there are any wives here in love with thriftlessness and idle- 
ness, who will let the new houses get as untidy and uncom- 
fortable as the old ones, they may stay in London, for there 
ai-e no pawnshops in my new places, nor any room for waste- 
ful, idle jjeople of any kind. But if you are willing to leave 
the bad habits with the old life, and turn your faces to the 
new, then you shall be assisted by all joossible means. I want 
you to be my friends, as I am yours ; but it is only right to 
tell you that you are not going to serve an easy, good-natured 
sort of master if you serve me. Whoever breaks my rules 
will leave my employment, so let none say that I have not 
given due notice of my intention. To let a man or woman 
off who is found lazy or drunken, or even incompetent, since 
I am willing to provide instruction, is not to be really merciful 
to him or her, and is to be unjust to the others. No gam- 
bling, drinking, or dishonesty ; but plenty of pleasure of the 
best sort ; plenty of music, entertainment, lovely scenery, 
o-ood wages, and as much real happiness as one can provide 
for another — these are to be the accompaniments of your new 
life. But happiness and well-being are not for others to 
secure for us ; we have to decide each for himself in regard 
to these things. I appeal especially to the young, whose 
lives are before them, if they will not resolve to make the 
most of this opportunity. I now leave you all to make your 
choice. A month from to-day you must hand in your decision 



A NEW EMIGRATION. 143 

in writing to tlie foreman of your department, each writing 
tlie word ' Yes ' or ' No,' and signing his or her name ; and 
the head of each liousehold must also write the names and 
ages of the family wishing to go. And some time in the 
spring we will have our new emigration." 

More than a few went away to dream of the future, and 
prepare for it. Brit Mr. Knight was mistaken if he thought 
that his action would be universally appreciated and approved 
by his employes ; and if he could have overheard the remarks 
which some made as they filed out into the streets, he would 
have been considerably enlightened. 

" What do you think of that, then ? " 

" I call it the crackling of thorns under a pot." 

"What I want to know is, where's a fellow's liberty to come 
in?" 

" That's v/hat I says ; I ain't agoing to be made a teetotaler 
willy-nilly, and give up my beer for no young jackanapes like 
him. Not I ! I be a bit too old for that sort of thing. No, 
no, says I, you don't catch old birds with chaff, not a bit 
on it." 

" And I says ditto. None of your buttercups and daisies, 
and no publics for me. I am a man, I am, and I ain't agoing 
to be a child, nor yet a slave. I shan't go." 

" No, Jim, I guessed you wouldn't as soon as I heard what 
he said. You couldn't be happy if you mightn't get drunk 
twice a week, could you ? " 

" You mind your own business, and let me mind mine. I 
shall do as I like, and you may do the same." 

" Thank you ; as for me. I shall try the new life. There 
isn't much to be got out of the old one, I'm thinking." 

" What nonsense it is for him to talk about sharing the 
profits ! As if he would ! A fine lot will come to your 
share ! " 

" I'm not sure aboiit that. A good many masters are trying 
that on ; and it answers, too ! The men put better work in, 
and more of it, if they think all the reward doesn't go to 
somebody else." 

" I'd sell my chance for a pot of ale." 

" Yes, I dare say. A friend of mine down at Hull was in 
just such a thing as this, and a feUow sold him his chance for 
a shilling. But when the end of the year came he wished he 
hadn't, for his chance told up to seven pounds ten." 

" Ah ! a likely tale that." 

" It is a true one, any way." 

" I shall make my man go, because of Polly's eyes," said a 
woman. " Polly's eyes are dreadful bad." 



144 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" What is the matter with them ? Is it inflammation ? " 

" No, its ulsters. The doctor says its her health fell in 'em, 
and she wants fresh air. That settles the matter for us. 
Fresh air she wants, and fresh air she shall have, now there is 
a chance." 

" The fresh air will make a man of Polly," said a person, 
who was dressed in better clothes than most of the men. 

" Does the gentleman mean," asked a young woman, timidly, 
of the last speaker, " that we are all to go and live in the 
country ? " 

" Yes, that's his idea. How would you like it ? " 

" I should love it. I go every summer for one half-day. 
Oh, it must be beautiful to be always ther«, and see the green. 
grass and all the daisies and primroses." 

" Oh, yes, my gal ! All very pretty while the summer lasts, 
but when the winter comes where would you be?" said the 
man who had been called Jim. 

" Out of the London fog, ' was the reply, and there was a 
general laugh at that. 

" But how about my father ? I couldn't leave him behind ; 
he's only got me to work for him." 

" Very well, then ; you must put on your paper ' Tes,' and 
your name, and then say, ' I must take my family with me — 
that is, my dad,' and I bet something will be done for you." 

" What'll you bet. Jack P There ain't got to be no gambling 
down there, yoii know." 

" And a jolly good job, too," said a young man who had 
heard the last remark. " I lost a pretty penny on yesterday's 
horse, and where the money is to come from to pay up I 
don't know. I expect we shall be fools if we don't take this 
offer." 

This opinion was decidedly in the majority. And, indeed, 
the more the matter was talked over and commented upon 
the more attractive did it become. And, as may be imagined, 
there was a vast amount of talk during the rest of the day 
and the Sunday. Pai-adise Grove was a most lively place for 
once, and nobody wanted to be in his or her own house, but 
evei-ybody wanted a chat with the neighbours. Some of 
the remarks were doleful enough, for most of the women 
of Paradise Grove took a dislike to Mr. Knight's idea, and 
it is doubtful whether, but for the efforts of "the Basket 
Woman." they would have agreed to it. But she spent the 
whole of that Saturday with them, and by her cheery con- 
gratulations and hopeful words heartened everybody up. 
The poor things, who had known nothing but grinding 
poverty all their lives, shrank from the strangeness into 



A NEW EMIGRATION. 145 

whicli tliey were going, and believed beforehand that they 
"were certain to be, as one girl expressed it, " deadly dull." 
They did not want life to become strenuous. There was no 
ambition in them. They would rather be as they were — in 
the old familiar places, within reach of a gin-shop, and where 
they might be lazy and untidy to their heart's content, and be 
free to do as they liked — than nerve themselves up to this new 
life. They did not want to be better off, they said, they were 
satisfied as they were, if people would only mind their own 
business and leave them alone. 

Their friend laughed at them, and drew the picture of their 
future in glowing colours. She was not surprised at the 
apathy of the poor ; the rich are apathetic, too, with less than 
half the reason. The dwellers in Paradise Grove were what 
they were because of generations of neglect and suffering. 
It was not their fault that they had no ambition, and no hope, 
and she pitied and did not blame them. But she had made 
up her mind that Paradise Grove should be left comfortably 
vacant, and that the little company she had taken into her 
care, and put down safely into her very heart, should enjoy to 
the full the good things that had been offered. 

" Are you going down there. Basket Woman ? " 

" Of course I am. I should not like to be out of that. 
Besides, I shall want to know how you will be getting on. 
And you will want me just as much there as here." 

" And how about the parish doctor ? What are we to do 
without him ? 

" You won't want him. I expect you will all pay your own 
doctor, or have a club doctor, or something of that sort." 

" And do you think Mr. Knight will allow any fun ? " 

"What nonsense! Of course he will want you to be as 
merry as possible. Do you suppose he wants to make you 
miserable ? Does he look like it now P " 

" Will he allow dancing ? " 

" He will allow everything that is right. Why, you haven't 
begun to dream of the good times that are in store for you." 

But the people, even those who were willing, were anxious 
about ways and means. 

"What are we to do for furniture. Basket Woman? Ours 
looks a deal better since you've 'namelled it, or whatever 'tis 
you've done. But most on 'em are poor bits of things, and 
can't be made naught else. They do very well when we've 
only got a room, or, at most, two, to put 'em in ; but they 
won't look nothing at all in a house ; and I should be ashamed 
to turn mine out for all the neighbours to see how poor they 
be, and how few there is on 'em — I'd sooner not go at all." 

10 



146 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

'* Yes, so would I," said another. " And, besides, most of the 
furniture in this Grove ain't none too clean, and he won't like 
it, I reckon, if we takes all sorts of things down therewith us." 

"No; that I am sure he will not." replied the Basket 
Woman, who wondered if Mr. Knight had the least idea of 
half of the details involved in his scheme. "Shall I see Mr. 
Knight for you, and explain your difficulties, and discover 
what he can suggest P "Will you send me to him as your 
deputation ? " 

" Yes, we will send you." 

" And I will take Fanny Burton with me. You will send 
her, too, won't you ? " 

" Yes, yes ! hands up. There ! we all agree." 

" I don't know whether it will be better to have a man or 
two in the deputation." 

" No, no ! Yovi go and settle everything for us. You don't 
want no man. I won't say that they haven't their rights, but 
they're poor fish whenever there's anything got to be done. 
You go. Basket Woman ? " 

" But you must all tell me this ! Will you abide by what 
I settle for you P Do you trust me enough for that ? " 

They looked at her, and then at one another, and then back 
again at her ; and next a man took his pipe from his mouth, 
and clearing his throat, delivered himself of the following 
sentences : — " I ain't no speaker, I ain't, but I say for one as 
I'd trust that there Basket Lady any lengths. She's the best 
friend we've ever had in this 'ere Grove, and she knows us, 
and what we like, and what we won't stand ; and she won't 
prove no sneak, I'll lay my life on that. This Grove ain't 
been the same place since she come round a-basketing; nor 
our homes ain't been the same neither, and we've most of us 
fell in love with our old women over again, all through her ; 
and I say, here's our duty to her, and what she says is right 
as between Mr. Knight and us, I'll stand by." 

" Hear ! hear ! So we will all. Hooray for the Basket 
Lady ! " said another, and a hearty cheer was raised, in which 
both men and women joined. 

For a moment or two the recipient of all this piiblic honour 
could not speak. Her lips trembled, and her eyes filled with 
tears. It was a grand time for her ; how grand only those 
can know who stake their happiness and very life on the good 
of others. Two lines of a hymn rang through her soul — 

Oh, happy if ye labour. 
As Jesus did for men. 

It will seem strange to many who read these words, but it 



CHRISTMAS DAY. 147 

is the trutli, that never before, and never after, in her whole 
life did she know such a rush and ecstacy of gladness as she 
knew then. 

"Dear friends," she said at last, "I thank you very much. 
As long as I live I will be your friend ; and I hope you will 
not_ be afraid to go with me into this new life that Mr. 
Knight has made possible for us. I will see him on Monday 
morning, and on Monday evening, after work-time, I will let 
you know what he says." 



CHAPTER XYI. 

CHRISTMAS DAY. 

" "VT'OU are not like most women, my daughter Tom ; you 
I can keep a secret P " 

" But not from you, dear. I will tell you what you want to 
know, really, if you put it in that way." 

Mr. Whitwell and his favourite daughter were spending a 
cosy evening together in the library at Hornby Hall. The 
lamps which lighted the room were shaded, the curtains were 
drawn, and the fire burned brightly. Tom sat on a low chair 
by her father's side, and he laid his hand lovingly on the 
short curls of her closely-cropped head. " Now, tell me if I 
understand you rightly, Tom," he said. " Instead of the 
usual pocket-money which has been your share — a Benjamin's 
portion always, you know, because you are my youngest — you 
want me to give you a pound a month. Next, you wish me to 
forget that I have a mortgage on John's land, which, indeed, 
as you say, I no longer hold since you have it. I am not 
going to ask you to tell me what is in your heart to do, Tom ; 
but you are too sensible not to remember that business is 
business and right is right. I cannot afford to make John a 
present of that deed, and he would not accept it if I did." 

" But he is dreadfully in want of money, isn't he, father ? " 

" Yes, he is ; and so will you be soon if you try to make 
twelve pounds a year do for your necessities. Does it not 
cost you half-a-crown each time you go to London, even 
travelling by third class .^ And you would not be content to 
go up less frequently than once a week ; for what would your 
young Crusaders do if they did not see you, and what would 



148 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

happen to your old and sick people here if you never had a 
shilling to give them ? " 

" But a pound a month would not be all I should have. I 
have learnt how to earn money by my own talents and 
industry. Has not that a grand sound ? " 

" What do you mean, dear ? " 

" I have become a contributor of pictures to the daily 
papers. You did not know that you had an artist in the 
family, did you P" 

" No, and I do not know it now." 

" That is too bad of you. Really, 1 have been earning a 
little money in that way for some time past. There, you see, 
I cannot keep a secret after all. But, seriously, father, I 
feel so sorry for Cousin John. He looks most anxious and 
miserable, excepting when he is doing something for others, 
and then he brightens up. I know you are not rich, nor as 
comfortably off as you might be if you would let that scape- 
grace heir shift as he can by-and-by ; but do you not think 
that you could strain a point, and let me send that parchment 
to Cousin John as a Christmas-box ? " 

" No, Tom. It is very unreasonable of you to expect such a 
thing. Besides, John wants more than a hundred and fifty 
pounds a year to lift him out of his troubles. I have generally 
credited you with a fair amount of good sense. Do not dis- 
appoint me now." 

But Tom was very persevering, and persistence generally 
wins. 

She was con-ect in saying that John Dallington looked full 
of care. Indeed, neither he nor Margaret Miller would have 
been able to bear the worries of that time equably, but for the 
vivid interest which each was taking in the new life that was 
developing around them. 

Margaret was discovering how bitter one woman can render 
the existence of another. Mrs. Hunter made her hatred of 
the girl felt in a hundred ways. The village of Darentdale 
was small, and it seemed that the tAvo must frequently cross 
each other. The glances of the lady's eyes were always 
vindictive and her words were barbed arrows. She was not 
careful to hide her feelings, and everybody in the place knew 
how heartily she hated the girl whom her son loved. 
Margaret was constantly hearing, although she begged her 
friends to keep silence, what Mrs. Hunter had said ; and other 
letters, unsigned, followed the first, and made her angry as 
well as wretched. Every action of hers seeuaed to be mis- 
understood and misrepresented, and the state of things be- 
came intolerable. 



CHRISTMAS DAY. 149 

John Dallington, iipon whose youug head some grey hairs 
were ah-eady to be seen, was often vexed as well as unhappy ; 
and a conviction began to force itself npon his mind that he 
and Margaret would do well to end the present unsatisfactory 
state of affairs by a speedy marriage. He would leave his 
mother in undistvirbed possession of the old home, and he 
would take one of the better cottages on the estate, where he 
and his bride would begin life together in a small way, and 
work and economise, and love one another until more 
prosperous times came. It was a very alluring prospect — if 
he could only get Margaret to adopt it ! He resolved that he 
would at least compel her to think of it, and decided that on 
Christmas Day, which was approaching, he would lay his 
project before her. 

In Darentdale there were to be no special spasmodic gifts 
of dinners and flannels on the occasion. For more than a 
month two vestries belonging to the chapels and the church 
schoolroom had been the scene of happy evenings of industry, 
where young people had been busying themselves in all sorts 
of ways, and especially in manufacturing pretty little 
Christmas gifts, which had been disposed of at a sale, the 
pi'oceeds being divided among the workers. The superin- 
tendents — the ladies and gentlemen who were trying to help 
the people to independence, instead of demoralising them, 
with alms — were exceedingly gratified at the result ; and it 
was -with a ring of exultation in her voice that Mai-garet 
Miller said : " We have not in the whole of Darentdale a 
single able person whose hands have not been busy for more 
than a month." 

There was, accordingly, very great happiness in the village 
on Christmas Day. John Dallington heard the bells ring 
out their peal of gladness early in the morning, and experi- 
enced for a few miniites the sort of joy which had filled him 
in the spring when he first returned to England. 

The post brought him several cards and congratulations, 
and among the rest a large envelope addressed in the hand- 
writing of Tom Whitwell, which he opened before the others. 
As soon as he saw the nature of its contents the swift colour 
dyed his face and his pulse quickened. The envelope con- 
tained the deed to wliich his thoughts had often referred. 
and a note, which read thus : " Dear John, — There need be 
no ceremony between cousins, and so I hope yon will let me 
ask your acceptance of the accompanying Christmas gift, 
with my love and best wishes. This is a day, you know, 
when nobody fills vexed with anybody else, and Christian 
humility fills all hearts, _ even those of young men. I re- 



150 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

joice, and so does father, in the s^^lendid things you are doing 
on your farm, and we want to have a little share in them. 
Dear old John, you will be good, and let us have our hearts' 
desire, because of all the gracious associations of the season, 
and because of the love of your two friends, Tom and her 
father." 

John Dallington went to church in the morning with his 
mother, and had early dinner with her and Mr. William 
Hunter afterward. Then he wrote a cheque which was due 
to Mr. Whitwell on that day, and sealed it up together with 
the deed. 

" Mother," he said, " I shall ride over to uncle's and take 
tea at Hornby this afternoon, if you have no objection." 

" None whatever, Jolm. Give my love to them all. And 
perhaps the girls will come over and spend to-morrow with 
us." 

*' I will ask them." 

Tom expected her cousin, but she could scarcely be quit^ 
her old natural self. Mr. Whitwell at once gave John to 
understand that anything special which he might have to say 
must be said to Tom and not to him. Tom gave him no 
opportunity. She soon i-allied her powers of merriment, and 
by the aid of her sisters a pleasant afternoon was spent. 
John did not wish to prolong his stay, for, however delightful 
the company of his cousins might be, he was hungering for 
the few minutes which he had promised himself should be 
passed with Margaret as the crowning joy of the day. But 
neither did he intend to leave until he had put that deed 
safely back into Tom's hands. About seven o'clock he said, 
in desperation, " Tom, may I have the honour of a five 
minutes' serious talk with you ? " 

" Cei-tainly ; it will give me great pleasure to be as serious 
as even you can desire." 

" Where can it be ? May we go into the library, uncle ? " 
" Oh, no ! " said Tom, in frightened tones, " please let it be 
here, so that my people can sympathise with me if the 
seriousness should deepen into solemnity." 

But John offered his arm and led her away, amid the 
significant glances of her sisters. 

She was the first to speak when the door closed upon them, 
and they stood facing each other before the fire. 

" Ton are not going to make a fuss, John, are you ? Please 
don't ! There is nothing whatever to be said." 

" Yes, indeed, Tom, there is much for me to say. Do sit 
down." He saw that she was trembling, and thought it best 
to go at once to the point. " Never had man such a kind 



CHRISTMAS DAY. 151 

little cousin as I liave ; but, of course, it must not be. I 
should never respect myself again if I did not meet and 
discharge my liabilities, as other men do. I know you are 
your father's man of business, Tom dear, so I hand you this 
cheque, due to-day, as well as the deed. And I think you had 
better kiss me, and let us feel that we ai-e now and always 
the best of friends." 

" John, do have it. I shall feel so bad if you will not. 
And father will like to do it just as much as I. He does not 
need this cheque. If you should become a rich man some 
day you can make it all right then ; but for the present do 
let it be as if this had never been. There, it is a good thing 
that I have not to parse that last sentence, isn't it ? " 

" Tom, my mother sends her love ; and will you all come 
and spend the day with us to-morrow ? " 

" No, John, I will do nothing until you put back that letter 
into your pocket." 

*■ It will be a hard experience for you, my little cousin, to 
do nothing for the rest of your natural life." 

At this juncture, I am sorry to say that Tom Whitwell 
disgraced herself by beginning to cry, and John Dallington 
was genuinely distressed. 

" Oh ! pray don't do that, Tom. Try to be your own sen- 
sible self. Why, you would never respect me again if I did 
this thing ; and I should be sorry indeed to forfeit your good 
opinion. Try to look at this matter from a man's point of 
view, dear. Tour kindness to me has blinded you ; but sup- 
pose I were William Hunter instead of John Dallington, 
what would you think ? I shall get over my difficulties. 
They are not unusual ones, and I am strong enough to cope 
with them. I shall buy back this paper which you so gene- 
rously wish to give me, and that will be so much the better 
for us all round. Tom, do tell me that you think as I do ! " 

Tom's eyes, usually so merry, were suffused when she lifted 
them to his face, and his mother's suggestion flashed into his 
mind. He was sure that Tom only cared for him as a cousin, 
and yet if he could have taken her into his arms, and told her 
that he loved her, he could see that it would be an easy way 
out of the difficulty ; and what good news it would be to take 
home to his mother. And Tom could be made to care for him 
in time, he really felt sure of that. Dear little Tom, she 
looked very limp at that minute, and she was hating herself 
heartily, too. 

She struggled bravely for a moment or two, and then con- 
quered her weakness. 

'' I am a nice cheerful fellow for Christmas Day," she said. 



152 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" Excuse me, Jolin, I am miserably disappointed ; I think you 
might give in, and let father and me have a little pleasure 
for once. But you are so wilful. Come and look at this 
picture. My sister Clara painted it, and gave it to father 
this morning. He is very pleased with it, and Clara is really 
clever." 

John admired it, and several other new things which had 
been given to his uncle on that day. 

"I wish I might be just such a man as he when I am 
his age." said John. " There is no man whom I honour as I 
do my imcle. I hope I shall never give him reason to think 
other than well of me." 

" Dear old dad ! " said Tom. " There is no man like him 
in the whole wide world ; he is a king among men — a high, 
august, imperial emperor, and, compared with him, all other 
men are mice, especially some ! " 

She felt better after the outburst, and presently the two 
went together into the drawing-room, where they were 
enjoying some music. Tom Hushed at the look of her sisters, 
but she knew that they knew better than to qxiestion her, for 
she often boasted that she had brought her sisters up in the 
way they should go, although they were all older than she. 
Presently John left, and for the rest of the evening Tom 
gave herself entirely to the entei-tainment of her father. 
They were such good friends that he did not need to ask any 
questions but one, " Have you left it in the library ? " and she 
said " Yes ; shall it be chess ? " 

John's horse carried him swiftly along the way, which his 
desire travelled before him. He knew what he should see, 
and his heart longed for a glimpse of the beautiful lighted 
face on which he would like to gaze for ever. The roads were 
hard, and the moon shone brightly. It was a peaceful wintry 
scene, and John's heart was full of peace and goodwill. It is 
true that he gave a few half-troiibled thoughts to his cousin, 
but he would not let himself suppose that more than 
ordinary relationship had indiiced her to make the attempt 
she had made. " Dear little Tom, she meant it kindly," he 
said, " but I am sorry to see her so weak. She never would 
have cried if she had been quite well ; it is not in the least like 
her ; " and then all his attention was centred upon that which 
was before, not that which was behind him. 

Ann Johnson opened the door directly he knocked. 

" A beautiful night. Mr. Dallington, indeed. Yes, they are 
at home, thej' haven't been out since the morning. Oh, no ; 
it is not too late to wish me a merry Christmas, which it is, 
though we don't keep late hours in the country. Why, dear 



CHRISTMAS DAY. 153 

me, there's lots of houses in the ^reat metrollops where they 
are, as you may say, just about to commence their ioviali- 
ties, but I don't care for that style : no great metrolloios for 
me, thank you." 

Ann commenced one of her stories; but John stej)ped 
toward the room whence he could hear the sound of the voice 
he loved ; and Ann let him pass into it without amiouncing 
him. 

To the eyes of Dallington there was no scene so exquisitely 
home-like as that which he scarcely saw more clearly now 
than his imagination had seen it as he rode through the 
night. The room was old, and not large ; it was furnished 
with perfect taste ; there was not a showy thing in the whole 
apartment, but everything that was comfortable and cosy, 
soft and bright seemed gathered there;. Mr. Harris sat on 
one side of the fire, nursing a cat, and Margaret on the 
other, with her hand on the head of a dog. A lamj) was near 
on a small table, and the volume of Browning from which 
she had been reading was laid beside it when John entered. 
She glanced at him half shyly ; she must not let him see how 
very glad she was, but he did see, and his heart leaped for 
joy. He took the hand she held toward him, and then, 
yielding to the hunger of love which impelled him, he 
gathered her in his arms for one moment, and kissed her 
tenderly, twice. Afterward, he turned to Mr. Harris with an 
apologetic remark, " See ; I have some mistletoe, and it is 
Christmas time, you know." 

" Very well ; if you consider that these give you the right, 
well and good," was the reply. 

" I have a right, established on a better basis than that," 
he said. And Margaret, who was about to contradict him,, 
held her peace. She could not say that he had no right when 
her heart was filled with such glad music at the very sight of 
him. All day she had been asking herself, " Will he come P " 
and it was of no i;se for her to try to disguise the fact that 
an hour spent with him held a year of happiness for her. 

They had some fruit, and then, at the urgent request of 
Mr. Dallington, Margaret went on with the reading, John 
feasting his eyes upon her bright head and graceful form, 
and watching the expressive face and sweet lips with a joy 
that had much resolution in it. " Mine, my darling, my very 
own, mine you are and must be ; I would give the whole world 
for you, and feel that it was too little." So his thoughts ran 
as he listened to the inflections of her beautiful voice, and 
saw the light on her face. She left oft" occasionally to discuss 
the passages she had read. "I am obliged to question Graf 



154 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

now and then, to be sui'e tliat he understands," she said, "and 
he and I do not always agree as to the meaning. It is well to 
have another opinion." 

Dallington gave his in a most hap-hazard way, and when 
he was rebuked had the efirrontery to confess that he had 
thought less of the reading than the reader. Yet even he 
could not do other than listen again to the well-known lines 
of Rabbi Ben Ezra, and especially the closing stanzas — 

" But I need, now as then. 

Thee, God, who niouldest men ! 
And since, not even while the whirl was worst 

Did I — to the wheel of life. 

With shapes and coloiirs rife. 
Bound dizzily — mistake my end, to slake Thy thirst. 

" So, take and use Thy work. 

Amend what flaws may lurk. 
What strain o' the stuff, what warpings past the aim! 

My times be in Thy hand I 

Perfect the cup as planned ! 
Let age approve of youth, and death complete the same." 

So the time passed, and an hour seemed no time. They 
moved to the piano, and sang Browning's songs, after his 
poetry. Dallington had a good voice, and he sang one after 
another, concluding with 

" So the year's done with ! 

(Love me for ever !) 
All March began with 

April's endeavoiir ; 
May-wreaths that bound me 

June needs must sever ; 
Now snows fall round me 

Quenching June's fever. 

(Love me fox\ever!)" 

Then Margaret sang a song from "James Lee's Wife"; 
and so the hours flew by, and Dallington arose to leave. 

" Ann Johnson will be angry with me, and think that I 
belong more to what she calls ' the great Metrollops ' than to 
the counti-y, if I keep such late hours," he said. But Mr. 
Harris wanted some music of another kind, and an hour was 
spent in sacred songs and solos. At last John wondered what 
his mother would say to him, and felt that he must not 
linger longer. The old man, whose dreams were of long ago, 
enjoyed the evening almost as much as the young folks did; 



CHRISTMAS DAY. 155 

and he discreetly gave them a few minutes alone after supper; 
and this was John's opportunity. 

'• Margaret," he said, " I think you care for me a little, but 
perhaps not enough to give me the answer that I want. It is 
a very unsatisfactory state of things that exists between us 
now : surely you feel it as I do. Why should we not end it 
by being married at once ? " 

The suddenness of the proposal took Margaret's breath 
away ; and as she did not reply John continued : "I am ask- 
ing you to share my poverty with me. My mother must 
remain undisturbed, and I should not like her income to be 
less than it is ; but we might begin life in a small way, and 
be very happy together if you love me, Margaret. You do 
not care for a great house and extravagant expenditure any 
more than I do — not that any place would be too good for you, 
my queen " 

" Oh, John ; you know it is not a question of money ; but I 
cannot marry you now, and you must see that for yourself. 
There are several reasons, but one will suffice. I shall never 
be married to you while your mother dislikes me as she does 
now. I could not consent to come between you two. She has 
no one to think of but you, and it would be too hard, after 
being separated from you for so many years by the ocean, to 
be estranged by something else." 

" How do you know that my mother dislikes you ? She is 
civil to you when you meet." 

Margaret smiled. " Yes — in a way — but it is impossible 
for me to mistake the feeling with which she regards me. I 
am very sorry, for my own sake as well as yours ; but I could 
never be happy if I made your mother miserable — because 
she is your mother." 

" I wish she knew you, really." 

" I am afraid it would make no difference." 

" She knows that I love you, and hope to marry you, because 
I have told her myself. She will relent after a time ; but it 
is hard to wait. At least grant me one favour, my darling. 
Let me know from your own lips that you accept me, and 
give me your promise, as I give you mine, that you will not 
marry another." 

Margaret's face paled a little. '" I will give the promise, but 
not accept it," she said. 

"And I give it and accept it, too," answered John, promptly 

The thought that kept repeating itself to Margaret was, 
" If I could only be sure about Tom ! " and she was wondering 
all the time whether it would not be better to ask her friend 
a direct question, and so get at the truth. 



156 MNETEEN HUNDRED? 

" And for the rest we must wait," she said aloud. 

" We need not wait an hour before we are pledged to each 
other. Do grant me at least this, my dearest, so that I can 
feel sure of you." 

" Wait a week for that," she said. 

" Very well ; but you are not going to send me away with- 
out a crumb of comfort, to-night of all other times. Tell me 
in so many words that you love me." 

" Oh, John, you know — you must know ! I love you better, 
I think, than even my 0"svn happiness. Be content, my dear 
one." 

And he was. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

A BEPORT OF PKOGRESS. 

" 11 /r AY the New Tear bring in better times for the people ! " 
±\_L This was the wish of the thousands. 

" May the New Tear bring in better people for the times ! " 
This was the wish of the tens. 

As is often the case, the tens were more wise than the 
thousands, for the times do not make the people, but the 
people make the times ; and if the makers are good, that 
which is made is certain to be good also. 

That year was a most wonderfully progressive year in 
England : there had never been anything like it before. 
There were forces at work to make it so. which, though they 
were as old as Chi-istianity itself, seemed to be more mighty 
than ever, and the strongest of them all was love. People 
said that there was a revival among the churches, but it 
resolved itself into one fact — the members of the chui'ches 
were honestly trying to love one another more, not in word, 
but m deed and in truth. 

There was, perhaps, not a town nor a hamlet in which no 
special effort was made to place things on a more satisfactory 
basis than before. It could not be said that any one man 
was instrumental in bringing this about, but Arthur Knight 
certainly had a large share in it, and an indication of what 
was done in one town will show how the whole country was 
being affected. 

In the fascination of his own personal work among his 



A REPORT OF PROGRESS. 157 

people, for whom a strange, strong love was in his heart, he 
hesitated sometimes as to that other work which he also 
loved. Whieli was his duty — that which lay the nearest, or 
that which was the clearest ? He had made his resolve : he 
would do both. He was young and strong, and he would 
most gladly yield his strength, ay, and his life itself, to this 
service. It is never the men of leisure who do the great 
things, it is those who have not an hour to spare who add 
new duties to old ones ; and Arthur Knight was a man of 
singular energy. 

Of course, it goes without saying, that he was constantly 
told that the time was inojiportune for his particular crusade, 
and that the poverty and wickedness of the people was not the 
burning question of the day. But what he pleaded for was a 
truce, and that all sorts of hostilities should cease while the 
Christian men of England exerted their combined powers to 
make England Christian. And the people were much more 
ready for this than their leaders were. 

As far as he could, therefore, he accepted all invitations, 
and, thanks to the newspapers, he always had a good hearing. 
But it was at G-ranchester — a city certain to be at the front 
in such an enterprise — that he was made most to rejoice. An 
invitation was, in the first place, sent to about two hundred 
prominent men, irrespective of party or denomination. 
Ai-thnr Knight had not spoken to them for ten minutes 
before all who were in the room became influenced by that 
strong and vivid personality, which was the secret of his 
power. His heart was on fire with his subject, and his lan- 
guage was expressive, and as he spoke, first in indignation, 
and then in pleading accents, he won over to his side almost 
•every man who listened. Shortly, he touched upon those 
specific evils of the day which were filling men with shame 
and indignation ; and then, in terse, strong words, he de- 
nounced the lethargy and cowardice of those who allowed 
these things to exist. He declared that all things were ready 
but the Church itself ; and in words which burnt their way 
into their hearts he called upon his hearers to show some 
heroism for Christ, to give up their own ease, to share their 
wealth — not always gotten Christianly — with the poor, tc 
be honest in their payments of wages, to come forth, like 
St. George of old, and kill the dragon of indifference, selfish- 
ness and wickedness, which was doing England such deadly 
wrong. 

" We have had such a sublime history," he said. " "We 
used to grow such brave and patriotic men ! Do we belong 
to another race than they P Is our country less dear to our 



158 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

hearts than to theirs ? It is svich a beautiful hiud, ' a land of 
hills and valleys, that drink water of the rain of heaven, a 
land which the Lord seeketh and careth for, and His eyes are 
always upon it from the beginning of the year even unto the 
end of the year.' But in this land — this land of blessing, 
this little land — and because it is little so manageable — there 
are scarcely unchecked powers of evil lifting their brazen 
faces to oiir blue skies and pure air — greed, cruelty, lust, 
di'unkenness, slavery, hypocrisy, fraud. Do you know that 
in this land of ours there are nearly five millions of people in 
destitution and misery ? But there are more than seven and 
a half millions in our Sunday Schools. Of the thirty-six 
millions who make up the population of Great Britain and 
Ireland the churches claim a constitiiency of more than half. 
Indeed, it is said that five-sevenths of our people ^jrofess and 
call themselves Christians. Then, why, in the name of all 
that is sacred and responsible, is it possible for these things 
to flourish in our midst ? Are we hypocrites, or are we 
cowards ? All the real strength of the nation is with those 
who say they are on the side of the Christ. Most of the 
power, most of the culture, most of the intelligence, yes, and 
most of the money is on this side also. Then why do we weep 
and whine over the sin and the misery of the world, since, if 
for only one year the spirit of Christ were truly in us, and 
we were content with one accord to stand together under the 
white flag of Truce, we are well able to bring about that for 
which wepi'etend to long and pray. There are subjects which 
divide Christendom ; let them wait while you set yourselves 
to this work. You are not called to sacrifice any principle, 
but to adopt a new one — the principle which keeps the 
unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. Retain, if you must, 
your different forms of church government, but, in the name 
of Christ, unless you regard your sect and political party 
more highly than you regard Him, put them behind you 
while you do the work that presses. Study for a month or 
two, side by side with the New Testament, the words of the 
great teachers specially given to this generation and this 
land — Carlyle, Riiskin, Browning, and Tennyson. They tell 
you how to do this work, to which they have been urging you 
with all their powers. "We have had a magnificent inheritance 
in these teachers, whom God sent to make us great ; and yet 
so craven are we that we are afraid to use our power to 
compel a man to be clean-lipped and moral, and so powerless 
that we cannot help him to help himself to be fed and 
clothed. To-day there are women and girls drinking them- 
selves drunken by scores in every town, and selling them- 



A REPORT OF PROGRESS. 159 

selves as if no spark of God were in them ; to-day there are 
men the personification of cruel brutality and loathesome 
vice ; thei'e are little children dying for bread, and old people 
as wicked as they are wretched ; man is hating his brother 
man, and crushing him down that he may make money by 
him, and there is a seething mass of misery and sin at our 
very doors. And the saints are folding their hands and 
sighing, ' Oh, Lord ! how long ! ' Shame, shame, shame ! 
Surely the Lord sends back the qviestion in indignant 
answer. How long, indeed, before those who are sent to 
the world as He was sent, awaken to a consciousness of their 
high calling ? Let him that nameth the name of the Lord 
depart from iniquity ; or if he will not, let him stand aside 
with the brand of the hypocrite iipon him. Let no one say. 
Lord, Lord, and do not the things which He says. Let those 
who are, on the whole, on the side of Christ join those who 
are whole-hearted ; let them swell the numbers of the heroes 
and heroines, for there are hosts of them. Above all. let the 
Church universal come together, and forgetting, at least for 
awhile, the dividing lines, swear in the name of Christ to wipe 
out the dark red blots that lie upon Christian England. Oh ! 
believe me, we have been too long and too utterly living for 
self instead of God. We have thought that Christianity was 
a creed only, instead of life and service. The time is surely 
come for us to choose sides afresh — and there are only two 
sides from which to choose, that of Christ, and that of 
unrighteousness. I call upon you to divest yourselves of all 
encumbrances. (Think of the man with the muck-rake calling 
himself a Christian !) Come and arrange yourselves under 
the Flag of Truce. Do you not know yet, after all these 
years, what our Lord has been teaching all along, that the 
world will never believe that God sent Jesus until His 
disciples are one ? It is the Church, and not the world that 
hinders the coming of His Kingdom. But the Church will 
follow its leading men. Let the remnant that has not bowed 
the knee to Baal come forth and lead." 

The address produced a profound impression, and there was 
a solemn time of re-dedication of many lives. A subsequent 
meeting was held, which was of a very practical character. 

" I think I shall speak for many," said one. " I know that 
I do for myself, when I say that it has only been by keejjing 
down the voice of God's Spirit within me that I have waited 
for these words before acting. I am one of those who 
thirsted for riches, and got them ; but they have not satisfied 
me. I for one pledge myself to give all that I have and am 
for Christ." 



160 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" And I pledge myself also," said another. " We must 
make some change if we would save our own sons. Many of us 
are what we are because of the need to work which was upon 
us in our youth. But our sons are content that the work was 
done for them. Gentlemen, hoxo are they spending the 
wealth which loe (jained .<* I speak to many fathers, who know 
that the money which they gave the best years of their life 
to secure, is nothing but a curse to their sons. Many of the 
young men of to-day are too idle to keep the positions which 
we have won for them, and are spending what we have given 
them, to ^vork their own ruin." 

The speaker's voice died away in a sob, and everybody uuder- 
stood what the trouble was which had made him prematurely 
old and grey. 

And then Mr. Felix Stapleton arose, and everybody 
looked at him with interest. " I am sorry for the fathers 
whose sons bring trouble to them," he said, "and I am also 
a little sorry for those whose sons condemn them. What 
many a man dreads more than anything in these days, when, 
thank God, the boys of England are enlisting by thousands 
in the army of the Young Crusaders, is the calm, clear- 
sighted judgment of his own children. What would they 
think of us if they knew all the secrets of our business 
transactions ? How would they rate our pious talk about 
Christian brotherhood if they knew precisely our treatment 
of those who work for xis ? Mr. Knight's rousing words are 
like a summons to arms ; but the soldiers in Christ's army 
must be men without reproach. And who among us is ? We 
need grace to be true, and courage to do the right. We are 
called to rule the world for the world's good, and to stem the 
tide of sin and misery ; but first of all we must rule our- 
selves, and our hands can only be strong if they are clean. 
God pity me ; I am speaking of myself." 

There were a few who looked puzzled when Mr. Stapleton 
thus concluded his short address, but his words would have 
awakened more curiosity at another time. On the present 
occasion most men were busily searching their own hearts, 
and were, therefore, less disposed to criticise others. 

When he left the hall, Arthur Knight left with him, and 
the few miniites which they spent together in conversation 
helped Stapleton at this turning-point in his life to take the 
right course. 

^' Let us concentrate our thoughts upon two points," said 
another speaker. "What ought to be done, and how shall 
we do it ? We must not infringe upon the liberty of the 
subject — no Englishman will stand that ; neither must 



A REPORT OF PROGRESS. 161 

we constitute ourselves a company of private detectives- 
But every man must bring his personal knowledge of 
the world of human nature to bear upon any new work which 
he may undertake. We all believe that the best way to aid 
men is to help them to help themselves. This cannot be done 
in the mass, but by one individual influencing another. 
Before we go farther, let us resolve upon this one thing — let 
none of us become beggars for money ; there has been far too 
much of that already. Let us use the means that we have for 
the development of our own idea. And let us each begin at 
home. Let every man amongst us who is an employer of 
labour ask himself whether he is fair and honest in the 
matter of wages. Is there any man, woman, or child working 
for us at starvation prices ? If so, our first duty is to remedy 
that. No Christian man who is making money can grind 
down his servants — no matter how unskilled may be their 
work, nor how overstocked the market — without disgracing 
his religion. Some of us have done this without knowing it, 
because we let all these things be settled by middlemen ; but 
the responsibility is ours, and this ought to be seen to first." 

Another speaker said : " Every church or chaj)el must be 
the centre of all sorts of helj)ful ministries for the poor who 
are around us. There is a great outcry l^ecause some of us 
have moved away into the suburbs ; but the people are around 
these buildings in large numbers. Let us use some of 
these places every day for the social work of the churches. 
Many of us are looking out for good investments. Cannot 
we find our opportunity here ? I will take or buy one of the 
cottages in the street nearest my own chapel, and make a 
workshop for the unemployed of the bottom story, and an 
evening recreation room of the top. At the chapel we have 
particularly good arrangements for teas ; I will see if we 
cannot provide cheap and good dinners for the people there. 
We must care more for the peoj)le and less for the buildings." 

It will be seen how ready for immediate action these men 
were, and indeed the need was then very pressing, both at 
Granchester and everywhere else, for the winter had brought 
more than the usual misery. 

In some towns there was formed what was called " The 
Committee of Helpfulness," and it had abundant work on its 
hands. An account of one will serve for all. Anything and 
everything that love and thought could do was to be done ; 
but the main idea and aim before it was to secure the young. 
The members of the committee could themselves only feel 
their way to the full development of the new ministry, and 
they called for volunteers. 

11 



162 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" We will begin with the smallest," said a lady. " I will 
belong to the Needlework Guild, because there is nothing else 
I can do. There are poor women in the parish who are over- 
worked with their large families, and who will feel it a very 
neighbourly thing if we send strong shirts for the boys and 
dresses for the girls. I will try and enlist others who, like 
myself, have been do-nothings ; and we will utilise such odds 
and ends of materials as we can find in our own houses, or 
that may be given to us. If we have more than we need, we 
will send some to London. Many children would attend both 
the Sunday and day school more regularly but for the diffi- 
culty of dress. This is only a little thing ; but it will be 
a relief to some of the mothers, which they will greatly 
appreciate." 

" I ask to be put upon the committee of the Neighbours' 
Union," said another member of the conference — a man of 
fair means. " There are old persons and poor widows who 
have appealed to oui- Poor Law Guardians in vain. They, in 
order to keep down the rates, and to stamp out pauperism, 
refuse outdoor relief, and offer the hospitality of the union 
workhouse. But we can do better than that. Every parish 
is probably able to take care of its very poor, and also to 
become sufficiently accpiainted with the people to know who 
could be wisely helped, and who ought not to be helped at all. 
Certainly we can undertake this. In twenty or thirty years' 
time there may be some national system of insm-ance against 
sickness and old age ; but we need not wait for that. The 
strong and the active will have to help the sick and the old. 
We have been doing it all along. Ordy now, let it be under- 
stood, that the Neighbours' Union exists in obedience to the 
example of the Good Samaritan. It has been a disgrace to 
the church organisations of any place, where life has been 
rendered miserable, through poverty, to the sick and the 
old." 

" I ask to be allowed to work at the other extreme of 
our social life," said a young man, " and be on the Children's 
Play Committee. We ought to have every child of the 
parish in one or other of our Sunday-schools. There are 
some who are not, but I think we shall find no difficulty 
in getting every child into oiu* play-places. First of all, we 
must see that they have good times ; and, secondly, we must, 
while giving them the utmost liberty, endeavour to influence 
them. And we must not rest until we get all our lads 
enrolled among the Boy Crusaders. 

In this way, and others, the idea of brotherly kindness was 
spreading; indeed, there was scarcely a church or chapel 



A REPORT OF PROGRESS. 163 

in connection with wliicli there was not some new activity ; 
and, what was better still, that New Tear's Day was, by 
common consent, devoted to self-examination on the part of 
those who professed to be the servants and followers of Jesus 
Christ ; and not only where men and women were assembled 
together, but in the quietude of their own rooms thousands 
were asking and answering, as in the presence of God, 
the question which had haunted Dr. Stapleton, " Am I a 
Christian?" 

For the Doctor himself the answer had been found by 
many people in Scourby, who had decided in the negative. 
He was so woefully altered, he looked so miserable and ill, 
he had aged so greatly in a few months, he was so utterly 
unlike his former self, that, forgetful of the charity which 
thinketh no evil, some who had been his friends had con- 
vinced themselves that only a guilty conscience could account 
for the change in him, and had treated him accordingly. 

Quite how the scandal grew no one could tell ; but Stapleton 
had the bitterness of knowing liimseK entirely unpopular and 
disregarded. Ladies passed him in the public ways without 
recognition. Men, if they saw him coming, turned into side 
streets ; and things came to such a pass with him that at 
last he wondered if he had a real and staiinch friend left 
in the town where, less than a year ago, he could have 
counted them by hundreds. 

The iDeople of Scourby were feeling bad-tempered with 
everything and every one, because they considered themselves 
disgraced. The example set by the town had been followed 
in other places, and Mr. Richard Lavender had three men 
likeminded with himself to keep him in countenance, since 
they also had been sent to "Westminster, not as either Con- 
servatives or Liberals, but, as they themselves said, as 
Anarchists, and in opposition to Religion and Respectability. 
These four men unwittingly did more for their country 
than they intended. 

At Scourby there was much bickering between Churchmen 
and Dissenters, who each blamed the other for what had 
happened. But they were united in declaring that something 
must be done, so that at the next general election that which 
was intolerable to them should be avoided. 

Mr. Whitwell came to the rescue. It occurred to him 
that this might be an opportunity for a common ground of 
meeting between all sections of the Church of Scourby. He, 
therefore, called on the Nonconformist ministers and the 
clergymen, and succeeded in getting from them a promise 
that for once they would sink their differences, and meet 



164 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

together in the intei-ests of the town. What he had to go 
through that day, what arguments he found it necessary to 
iise before he could accomplish his object, he never told any 
one ; but his favourite daughter guessed it when he threw 
himself into a chair on his return, and said, " Tom, play me 
something soothing, for I have never had such a day's work 
in my life." 

Tom was an excellent musician, and knew well what her 
father liked, so she gave him one exquisite strain after 
another until at last he was ready to talk. " The ministers 
of Scourby," he said, " have agreed to call their people 
together to consider the present crisis, and to suggest plans. 
First of all they are to have a meeting among themselves. 
The vicar of the parish church wanted it in his schoolroom, 
but the Congregational minister objected ; he said his people 
would not go to the church school, they would not trust the 
vicar enough for that, and he suggested his own schoolroom. 
The vicar did not think his people would go there, and even- 
tually it was settled to have the preliminary meeting here, so 
you and I are to drive into Scourby to-morrow, and fetch 
them all to luncheon." 

" Hornby Hall is acknowledged to be neutral ground, then ? 
How glad I am. Will the parsons let me be present at the 
meeting ? " 

"I wish they would. I believe you could make a very good 
speech on Christian union, Tom." 

It is gratefully recorded, as one of the most hopeful signs 
of the times, that this meeting of ministers was a success. 
For two whole hours they elected to believe in one another, 
and each man endeavoured, to the best of his ability, to give 
his brother ministers, whether of the Episcopal or the Free 
Churches, credit for being actuated by the same high motives 
as those which governed himself. They did not, therefore — 
as they so easily might have done — frustrate the endeavours 
of the layman-peaceniaker, but loyally seconded them. 

Mr. Whitwell, as the host, was also the president. He 
proposed, after luncheon, that they should open their confer- 
ence by prayer, aud called upon a young Primitive Methodist 
minister to lead them. This gave the right tone to the con- 
versation, and a few words from Mr. Whitwell, expressing 
the hope that there would be a concerted action on the part of 
the Church to wipe out the stain which had been put upon 
the town, were well received. Then the vicar proposed that a 
meeting of Christian townsmen should be called to arrange 
some method of procedure. This was seconded by the 
Wesleyan superintendent, and cordially carried. They then 



A REPORT OF PROGRESS. 165 

proceeded to details, first settling upon the jjlace of meeting, 
and then upon the speakei-s. There were in all fourteen 
buildings in Scourby erected for the worship of God, and in 
the name of Him whose great wish for His disciples was that 
they might all be one ; but it was decided that neither of 
these would serve their purpose, it was safer to hold the 
meeting in the town hall. It was to be called by letter, 
which each man undertook to send to the members of his own 
church. Mr. Whitwell was to preside over that meeting 
also, and the least political of the ministers was to move a 
resolution of regret at what had occurred, and determination 
to prevent a repetition of it. 

A large number of men i-esponded to the invitation ; many 
who took no active part in politics feeling that they ought to 
be present on this occasion. After the chief speeches had 
been made, the meeting was thrown open for discussion, and 
it was at this juncture that some of the most forcible words 
were uttered. Each speaker was allowed five minutes ; and 
several crisp little addresses were worthy of being remem- 
bered. 

" Sir," said one, " let us petition Parliament to declai-e the 
election void, because it is an insult to our Lord more than 
to us. And yet I think it would not have happened if 
we had not been caught napping. Here are all our ministers 
sitting on the platform together. How is it that such a 
sight in Scourby was never witnessed before in the memory 
of living man ? If, as soon as the vacancy occurred, you 
gentlemen had called us together, there might now be repre- 
senting us in Parliament a man of whom we might all be 
proud, instead of one of whom we are all ashamed. Gentle- 
men, are you not supposed to be our leaders ? Why, then, 
did you leave us to ourselves in the late emergency ? " 

" What we have always wanted is union," said another. 
" The time has surely come for it now. There are plenty of 
other men like Mr. Lavender, ready to declare themselves 
haters of what we love. I hope other towns will profit by our 
mistake. This is a meeting to be thankful for. We are 
forgetting, for this one night, whether we are Radicals or Con- 
servatives, and only remembering that we are Christians. For 
God's sake, let us work shoulder to shoulder in the future." 

John Dallington had invited Arthur Knight to come down 
and speak at that meeting ; and though he only had five 
minutes, he managed to make one of his characteristic 
speeches. " Why," he asked pertinently, " did the men of 
this town believe in Richard Lavender instead of in you ? Is 
the British working-man a fool, that he does not know his 



166 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

friends ? What have you, the representative Christian men 
of Scourby, called to be rulers o£ men for their good, been 
doing that this thing should have happened to you P " 

Mr. Whitwell was so delighted with Arthur Knight that he 
told his nephew he must have him for his guest. " Come, 
too, John," he said, "and let us talk these things over. My 
wife and daughters will be glad to make your acquaintance, 
Mr. Knight. Here is the youngest. Tom ! Let me introduce 
you to each other. Mr. Knight, of London — Miss Grace 
Thomasine Whitwell." 

Tom blushed vividly ; and as for Arthur Knight, he was so 
astonished that he did not know what to say, for he suddenly 
became conscious that he was looking into the bright face of 
the lady whom he longed to know, and holding the hand that 
had rendered such kind service to some of his people. He 
was going to exclaim, but Tom greeted him as a stranger, and 
though her eyes were sparkling with fun, they said, as plainly 
as any words could have done, " Do not dare to say that we 
have met before ! " 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

DISCOVERED. 

THE alacrity wdth which Arthur Knight accepted Mr. 
Whitwell's invitation to spend the night after the 
Scourby political meeting at Hornby Hall, and the readiness 
which he exhibited to prolong his visit, puzzled his friend, 
John Dallington, exceedingly. It was as if Knight, one of 
the busiest men in the land, had nothing whatever to occupy 
him, so entirely did he yield himself to the passing plea- 
sure of the time. John could not guess what the cir- 
cumstances were which gave to the incident an irresistible 
charm, but Arthiir felt as if he had found unexpectedly a 
mine of treasure for which he had been willing to search the 
world over. And Dallington was forced to acknowledge to 
himself that from some reason or other his cousin Tom was 
more delightful, and his friend Knight more happy than he 
had ever seen them. 

Naturally the talk at the supper-table was of Scourby and 



DISCO VERED. 167 

its troubles, and of the other places where bye-elections had 
resulted in similar returns. 

" It will be a lesson to us," said Mr. Whitwell, " and I hope 
that in time politics may assume a new aspect. After all, 
both parties are agreed upon main points, for Conservatives 
and Liberals alike have, or are supposed to have, the best in- 
terests of the nation at heart. Our divisions are caused by 
our divergence of opinion as to the means by which the same 
ends are to be secured." 

" Exactly ; and this may be said of our religious differences. 
We all, or nearly all, believe that salvation is through faith 
in Jesus Christ, and that to be a Christian is to be a believer 
in and a follower of Him. We believe, too, that the peace and 
well-being of peoples is to be secured through allegiance to 
Him. Is it not wonderful, then, that both in Christianity 
and politics we often seem as far apart as the poles ? " 

" Not at all wonderful," said Tom, " seeing that man is 
always a combative and disagreeable creature, and that the 
more civilised he is the more stubborn is the animosity which 
he cherishes towards every one but himself. Did you ever 
know a body of men in committee who did not waste the time 
in discussion and disagreement ? " 

" Tes, I have frequently observed the phenomenon, Miss 
Grace ; and are not most things the better for being threshed 
out in discussion ? Many men means many minds ; and in 
' the multitude of counsellors there is safety.' There is not 
necessarily antagonism beca^^se there is difference of method ; 
but no oae more regrets than I that these differences should 
be accentuated until they actvially create a division among 
those who ought to be heart and soul together." 

" What names do you j^ropose to give the new parties, 
Mr. Knight? " asked Miss Whitwell. 

" No names at all. We will try and get the things and 
name them afterward. We want the party of righteousness 
to oppose tke party of wrong, that is all." 

" But, of course, that is exactly what we have now," said 
Dallington. " Every man believes that his own party is for 
the right and the other is not. It is a question of standpoint." 

" Yes ; but making allowances for that sort of thing, there 
is some common ground upon which we can all meet, and 
men who have consciences ought to occupy it while they 
make one grand united effort on behalf of those whose 
existence is little more than a struggle." 

" All life is a struggle, though," said Dallington, " and 
working men must have their share." 

" I have been much interested in hearing of your plan in 



168 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

regard to your own workpeople," said Mr. Whitwell. "I 
hope it will succeed. You are spendinc^ an immense sum of 
money on the new town which you are founding. I know 
that because of the little I have tried to do on my own farm. 
I hope you are not doomed to disappointment." 

" I am not afraid of that. I am spending all that I have at 
present ; but my Loudon places occupy valuable sites, which 
I shall have no difficulty in selling. My hopes are sanguine 
in regard to my people, although I know that human nature 
is a very difficult thing to deal with. The people need new 
natures more than anything, but I believe that we are all 
greatly influenced by our environments, and my men shall 
have a chance." 

" All sorts of good influences are being exerted upon young 
people to-day," remarked Mr. Whitwell, " and therein lies my 
hope for the future." 

'■ Yes ; and the wisdom and patience of those home mis- 
sionaries who have taken London in hand appear unfailing," 
said Knight, glancing at Tom, who returned the glance with 
a comical smile. " Several educated men are giving all their 
leisure to the boys belonging to my establishment, and there 
are some ladies who are bringing about very happy changes 
in the homes of the people." 

"Miss Wentworth has not gone to Madeira this winter, 
Arthur, has she ? " asked Dallington. 

" No ; and she spends all her days in doing good. There is 
a yoimg lady, too, who is occasionally seen by the bedside 
of the sick, who is like an angel of light " — Tom flushed 
violently, and shook her head warningly — " but," proceeded 
Knight, " perhaps the best work of all is that which is accom- 
plished by an individual who seems to have no name, but is 
known as ' the Basket Woman,' because she carries to the 
doors of the people all sorts of necessary articles in a basket 
and sells them. She is a lady of culture and refinement, very 
good and sympathetic, and most sensible too, and she has 
brought about quite a change in one of the worst courts of 
London. She appears to be alone ; and at first I wondered 
what her friends could be thinking of to let her be there in 
the midst of so much that is degrading ; but now the men of 
the neighbourhood would not let a hair of her head be hurt, 
so entirely has she won their confidence and affection. The 
Basket Woman is prejiaring nearly five hundred people for 
their new home in Wales as I think no one else could. She 
heartens up the women, and looks well after the children, 
especially the boys. She has a large number of tlie young 
criisaders under her care." 



DISCO VERED. 169 

■" "What a wonderful movement that is ! " commenced Mr. 
Whitwell ; but Tom interrupted him. 

" Excuse me, father. I must ask Mr. Knight to tell us 
more of this Basket Woman. What is she like ? Is she 
young or old ? " 

" She is young and fairly good-looking, and quite devoted 
to her work. But she gives me the impression of an in- 
dividual who has had trouble, and is even now undergoing 
considerable anxiety of some kind. She must have private 
means, though she lives economically in cheap lodgings in 
the neighbourhood of the people for whom she works, but she 
is able to relieve distress when it is genuine." 

" It cannot be Mary Wytliburn ! I must surely have met 
her sometimes if it had been she ! " exclaimed Tom, forgetting 
herself for a moment. 

" But you do not know Mr. Knight's place or people, do 
you, Tom P " inquired one of her sisters. 

" I do a little — that is, one or two of them. I went to see 
a poor woman I heard of who was ill near that neighboui"- 
hood. But Mary Wytliburn ! Is it possible ? " 

" We had better tell Mr. Knight about Mary," suggested 
Mr. Whitwell, and John Dallington related the incident of 
the frustrated wedding. When his friend had heard the 
story he was very doubtful as to Miss Wythburn and the 
Basket Woman being the same individual. 

" My Paradise Grove friend is far too sensible to have 
acted in that manner," he said. 

" But I have a feeling that it is she," said Tom. '• I wish 
we had Mary's poi-trait that we might show it to Mr. Knight. 
Margaret Miller has one, I will borrow it in the morning." 

" You will be able to spend to-morrow with us, Mr. 
Knight ? " queried Mrs. Whitwell. " I am sure you will be 
intez'ested in what my husband is doing for his tenants." 

" I shall have to leave about midday, unfortunately," he 
said. " I have made an appointment with the Basket 
Woman, who has been vainly trying to waylay me for some 
time. She wishes to make a suggestion to me on behalf 
of the people. The next day I have to be in Granchester 
again." 

'' That is where Dr. Stapleton's rich brother lives. I wonder 
if the doctor will go to your meeting, Mr. Knight ? " Then 
followed a little account of the doctor's doings as far as they 
were known. 

The time passed all too quickly, although they talked far 
into the night. Next morning John Dallington left early, 
and Arthur Knight had a country ride with his host over the 



170 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

farm and alonf:; the roads. Tom was a good horsewoman, and 
she accompanied them. Arthur enjoyed a long talk with 
her ; but she was determined not to give him the chance o£ 
seeing her alone. He was intensely interested. He found 
her so pleasantly piquant, so merry and entertaining, that 
sometimes he wondered if she had two natures ; for there was 
little to remind him of the sweet singer who had comforted 
the blind woman only a short time before. He had no oppor- 
tunity to refer to the incident, or to say a word of their past 
meetings, only as he was leaving Tom said, softly, " Give my 
love to Sissie when next you see her, and also to the Basket 
Woman, if she should prove to be Mary Wythburn." 

He had a pressing invitation from Mr. and Mrs. Whitwell to 
repeat his visit, and this he promised to do at no distant 
date ; but for a little time he was full of engagements. He 
wished, very sincerely, that be might become better acquainted 
with the youngest daughter of his host, who puzzled as much 
as she j)leased him. 

Of com-se, he did not forget the commission which she 
had given him. 

"When ai-e you going to tell me your name ?"' asked Arthur 
Knight, when the lady in grey presented herself before him 
as a deputation from Paradise Grove. 

The question disconcerted his visitor, whose cheeks flushed, 
while her eyes sought the floor. 

" Excuse me, Mr. Knight," she said, " the name does not 
matter. Please call me the Basket Woman, as usual." 

She stole a glance into his face, and saw that he was 
looking at her intently ; but she would not allow anything 
to interfere with the task that she had on hand, and hastily 
proceeded to explain the caiise of her visit. 

" I come as a deputation from Paradise Grove," she said. 
" Fanny Burton was to have come with me ; but, unfortu- 
nately, one of the children in the Grove was seized with 
crouj) in the night, so that we could not both be spared. 
Tour astonishingly kind proposition has been the subject of 
much talk among the people, but I am afraid you will find 
the scheme more costly and troublesome than you have 
imagined." 

" I suppose they are not enthusiastic, are they ? " 

" Perhaps it cannot be said that on the whole they are. 
Tears of dull poverty and hopelessness have taken all the 
spirit of enterprise out of some of them ; but many quite 
appreciate the offer, and are looking forward with interest 
and expectation. I think the idea magnificent. And I do 
not mean a single individual of my people to be out of it." 



DISCOVERED. 171 

" That is riglit. Yoii will no doubt get your own way ; 
and I am much obliged to you." 

" But, Mr. Knight, they are in trouble about their fui-ni- 
ture. What are they to do with that ? " 

" Will they not take it with them P They will want it in 
the new place as much as in the old." 

" But you do not forget what the old places are like, do 
you ? If you remember, there is very little fui-niture to 
speak of in Paradise Grove. The beds and tables and chairs 
are all old, and most of them broken. The houses, since we 
tore down the dirty paper and had all the walls freshly 
whitewashed, are much cleaner than they were, and there has 
been a considerable quantity of soap and water brought to 
bear, not only iipon the walls, but upon the furniture also. 
But still, I think it would be a great pity if these old things 
were put into your new houses. It would be a great ex- 
pense, too — almost as much as they are worth to take them 
down." 

" But what is to be done P They cannot do with absolutely 
empty houses, and I am afraid very few of them have money 
to buy new tables and chairs." 

" Certainly they have not. How should they have ? " 

" Do you propose that they should sell their old things and 
buy new with part of the money ? " 

" I think, if it is not an impossible thing, for you to have 
the houses — those for the poorest people, at all events — 
furnished for them, with a few plain things which are 
absolutely necessary; it will go a long way to make your 
idea a success." 

" Yes. And is the furniture to be mine or theirs ? " 

" Tours, until they have paid for it." 

" I suppose it might be possible, but it would be rather an 
undertaking added to all the rest." 

"Yes, I know it would, and am not surprised that you 
hesitate. But you could get so large an order completed for 
the whole at much less cost than the people could individu- 
ally ; and if you undertake the furnishing as well as the 
building of these houses, you will be doing it all very com- 
pletely, and can fairly make better terms for the people than 
they could for themselves. Many of the better class of work- 
men have made their homes comfortable, and will probably 
prefer to take their furniture with them. It is the very poor 
who would be helped. If I may, I would suggest that those 
who have goods to sell should prepare a list of them, and then 
arrange to have them sold at public auction. There will be 
plenty of buyers among the poor who are to be left behind if 



172 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

tlie things are sold clieaply, as, of course, they must be, and 
then whatever they fetch, after paying expenses, might be put 
downtothe credit of the persons who were owners of the goods." 

" Yes ; some arrangement of the kind can no doubt be 
made. We will do the best we can." 

" Thank you. I was sure you would. I often try to picture 
their delight when they are really settled in their new homes, 
with their friends about them, and so much of joy and com- 
fort which they never expected added to their lot." 

" It will be good to know that they all start comfortably in 
their new homes. You have taken a great interest in them. 
I hope they will repay your kindness." 

" They have done that already. They need to be cai'efuUy 
dealt with ; they must not be demoralised with gifts, but 
helped to make themselves comfortable by their own earnings, 
and then they will be all right. I am delighted with the 
change in the Paradise boys and girls." 

" Yes, so am I. You have dealt wisely with them, and gone 
far to prove what an educated woman can do among those 
who, notwithstanding oiu' so-called system of education, are 
deplorably ignorant. I suppose you had no idea, when you 
were graduating at the University, that you would spend 
these months in slum-work." 

" No, indeed, I had not," she said, and suddenly stopped, 
and looked at Arthur Knight in amazement. " Why do you 
suppose that I have had a University training ? " 

" I have heard so." 

" But who could have told you ? No one knows anything 
about me." 

" Pardon me. Miss Wythburn. I was at Scourby yesterday, 
and I spent last night at Mrs. WhitwelFs bouse near Darent- 
dale. Your friend. Miss Tom Whitwell, showed me your 
portrait. I had mentioned the Paradise- grove Basket 
Woman, and she cleverly jumped to the conclusion that you 
are yourself." 

" It was like Tom," she said, and hid her blushing face in 
her hands, overcome with emotion. Knight considerately 
allowed her a few minutes in which to recover herself, which 
she speedily did, and said, trying to laugh, " So I am found 
out at last. How are all my people. Mr. Knight ? " 

"I suppose you know that your father and mother are not 
now in Scourby ? " he asked, gravely. 

" Yes, I know," she said, " for I have been to see. I had no 
answer to two letters, although I gave my address in them, 
so one day I went down to find my home shut up. Do you 
know where my father and mother are, Mr. Knight ? " 



DISCOVERED. 173 

" You have been wrong, Miss Wythbnrn," said Knight, 
gently, " so far as your parents are concerned. They have 
been in London looking for you. I am glad to be able to 
give you their present address." 

" Oh, thank yoti, so much." The Basket Woman could 
scarcely repress her tears. 

" It is not my place to lecture you, and I apologise for doing 
so ; but I cannot help pointing out to you that you owe a 
greater duty to yoiir parents than you can possibly owe to 
strangers, even though the strangers are the very poor, who 
greatly needed a friend. I quite appreciate the real good you 
have been doing in Paradise Grove, but you know as well as 
I that it ought not to have been done at the expense of the 
happiness of your own father and mother." 

" Yes, you are right," she said, humbly ; " but I think you 
do not know all the facts of the case." 

" I know some of them," he said ; " for instance, that you 
have the right to wear the graduate's cap and gown instead 
of the grey cloak." 

" I prefer the grey," she said, brightly, rapidly recovering 
herself ; " and although my conscience has not been at rest, 
I have spent the happiest months of all my life in Paradise 
Grove. But I am glad you have seen Darentdale. Is it not 
lovely ? " 

" It is, indeed ; it is almost as beautiful as our new place in 
Wales. Ai*e you going there with our people ? " 

" Oh, yes ; unless my father and mother object. I will 
always take them into my confidence in future. I need not 
tell you, Mr. Knight, that the thought of them and what I 
have done to pain them has made me constantly unhappy." 

"I can well believe that. I hope you will still be able to 
help ,the people for whom you have made Paradise a real 
thing-." 

" Nay, that is what you are going to do, if you do not spoil 
your lovely valley with houses and factories." 

"I hope not; I think not. There are no tall, smoky 
chimneys, you know, and there will be no noisy machines ; 
all will work cleanly and silently, thanks to the benign inven- 
tions of the age. And every house has a garden attached 
to it." 

" Oh, it will be delightful," she said, rising to leave. "And 
I will lose no time in going to see my dear ones now." 

She coiild scarcely wait until evening, but as she had pro- 
mised, she did so. The talk with Mr. Knight had disturbed 
her considerably, and her thoughts had flown back to her 
happy home life, and her pleasant college days. She would 



174 NINETEEN HUNDRED ? 

not give up lier work, slie resolved nothing should cause her 
to do that ; but she was glad, indeed, to be going to live, 
though only for a few days, the old calm, restful life. 

" It is all right," she said, as soon as the people gathered 
in the evening. " Tour cottages will be plainly furnished for 
you, and you will pay for the furniture, and add to it after- 
wards. And, oh ! it is a most lovely place to which you are 
going. The sea is like silver and the woods are like Para- 
dise — ah, not such a Paradise as you know here ! Now, I am 
going to take holiday for a week ; you will grant me that, 
will you not ? " 

" Oh, yes, but mind you don't stop longer than your 
time ! " 

" No, I will not. And now I must say good-bye, for I 
shall be off before any one is up in the morning. I must 
make the most of my time, you know ; a week is not long." 

" She looks mighty glad about it," said one to another, as 
soon as she turned to go to her house. 

"Tes, she does that. I think it's right what they say ; and 
she ain't really no Basket Woman ! " 

" Not she ! She's a lady, if ever there was one, and that 
I've said all along." 

Befoi*e she could close her door a man presented himself. 

"I want to send to my wife, ma'am," he said. " I'm going 
to send her some money, and tell her to get ready to go with 
me to this new place; but it stands to sense as I don't 
want all the neighbourhood, so to speak, to know my affairs; 
and if so be as you're too busy to help me, I don't rightly see 
what's to be done." 

" What do you want me to do ? " The manner of the 
speaker was patient and sweet as ever, and the tumult in her 
own heart was made to subside as she rendered the service 
which the man required. 

" Well, I want a letter to go with the money, and I can't 
write." 

" Oh, I see. Here is some paper. Now tell me what you 
wish to say, and I will write it. First, take a seat, and make 
yourself comfortable. Now, are you ready P Tell me how to 
begin, then." 

" My dear wife." 

" Tes." 

" I wi-ite these few lines to you, hoping to findl you quite 
well, as it leaves me at present ; thank God for it." 

" I've had the skyattiker very bad, indeed, lately " 

" The what ? " 



A NEW MINISTER. 175 

" Sky-attic-ker ! " 

" Oh ! all ! yes ; sciatica. Tliank you ; go on." 

" The skyattiker all down one side ; but it is better now, 
through a Basket "Woman as give me some Holloway's 
ointment. Beg pardon, ma'am." 

"Not at all! Basket Woman — ointment — yes; what next, 
please ? " 

" I hope the children are all right, bless their little hearts." 

" Yes." 

" I've got fiome news for you." 

"Yes?" 

"Me and my mates are going out of town to live and to 
work, and I want you to join me." 

" Yes P " 

" So get things ship-shape with the post-office order what I 
send, and be I'eady to come to me as soon as I send for you." 

" What next ? " 

" So no moi'e at present from your affectionate husband, 
John Sturman." 

" Affectionate husband, John Sturman. There it is, then," 
and the wi-iter proceeded to blot the page and fold the sheet. 
But the man looked very dissatisfied. 

" Stop a nimute," he said ; " you had better put at the 
end of the letter : ' P.S. — Excuse bad writing and bad 
spelling.' " 

The letter- writer's laugh rang out merrily, but she faith- 
fully added the postscript. 

" Now for the address," she said. " Have you a stamp ? " 

The man afterwards confided to a mate that the thought of 
going out of town seemed to have been " too much for the 
Basket Woman," for he had caught her " giggling like any- 
thing." 



CHAPTER XIX. 

A NEW MINISTER. 

A CHURCH and congregation in Granchester were with- 
out a minister, and had been for some time. If there 
were not many of them, there were many minds among them, 
so that it was not quite easy to find a pastor who met the 
wishes of them all. It was unfortunate. 



176 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

The congregation became smaller and smaller, the week- 
night service was so neglected that there seemed little use in 
keeping it on at all, until at length it dwindled into a prayer- 
meeting held by half-a-dozen men, whose one cry was, " Send 
us a man," one good brother on one occasion solemnly 
adding, " and let him come clothed and in his right mind." 

And at length he did. 

Every one was surprised that the Rev. George Collinson 
accepted the invitation, for there was no doubt that he was a 
very superior man. He preached one Sunday, and everybody 
was so delighted that they gave him a imanimous invitation 
that same evening to become their pastor. And he, without 
asking for time to consider, took them at their word and 
accepted at once. 

Mr. Collinson knew very well what he was doing. He was 
young and full of vigour, and desired earnestly the work of a 
minister. He enjoyed the idea of occupying a difficult post, 
and coveted anything rather than ease or inactivity. He 
foresaw the chances for work there were in Broad-street, and 
he was ready and even eager for the fray. The church that 
had secured him was no longer to be considered unfortunate. 
He was a man with a purpose, and this purpose was to live 
and work almost entirely for the yoiing. His few years of 
ministry had convinced him that this was the future work of 
the Church. He had entered the profession with his heart 
full of enthusiasm, and already he had been disappointed 
almost to despair. But the formation of this Society of 
Young Crusaders had reawakened his youthful interest, 
and now he meant to devote all his powers to the service of 
the young, and he began as he meant to go on. The adult 
population of Granchester had many preachers, the young 
should at least have one. So he told the men of Broad Street 
who had invited him, and they at once saw that he was a man 
of independent spirit, who formed his own plans, and executed 
them without consulting others. He accepted the salai-y that 
was offered him ; but he had private means, and was, there- 
fore, not entirely dependent for support iipon the church. 
This fact, perhaps, at first contributed to his popularity, and 
it certainly made it impossible for capricioiis people to starve 
him oiit if they should ever desire to get rid of him, which he 
hoped they would not do. The " welcome home " which he 
received was a hearty one, and he commenced his work 
auspiciously. 

He was a ready speaker, and his sermons were short and 
practical. " There is always something to do you good, 
though," said the brotlier who had prayed that he might 



A NEW MINISTER. 177 

come clothed ; " and I find it helps you through the week to 
have something to think of." Whether his sermons cost him 
much or little effort, no one knew ; but there was one part of 
his work about which there was no doubt. 

Mr. Collinson told them at the outset that he would live 
and work for the young. 

" You begin too late," he said to those who sought his aid 
for missions and refuges, and other efforts to save the adults. 
" There is no hope for England excepting in the salvation of 
her children." 

" Well, there are the Simday-schools," was, of course, the 
answer, but this always brought a peculiar smile to the face 
of the young minister. 

He spent the whole of the afternoon of his first Sunday 
at Broad Street in the Sunday-school. The teachers were 
gratified, and they thanked him for his presence. 

" Oh, do not thank me," he said ; " the Sunday-school is, 
of course, a part of the church. This is, therefore, my 
school, and I intend to be present at it every morning and 
afternoon." 

Now this was quite a new idea ; and the teachers were not 
sure that they would like it. It had been a pet grievance 
with them that their old minister was never seen in theschool, 
excepting on special occasions and by personal invitation. 
They were never tired of speaking about this at teachers' 
meetings, when he was absent, and sometimes even in his 
presence. They often hinted, too, at the lack of sympathy 
manifested by the church, as if they were not themselves the 
church, or at least the most important part of it. They 
frequently declared that a minister's place was in the Sunday- 
school, and that his duty in this resj)ect was too often 
neglected. But all the same, when they were informed that 
the minister intended always to be at the school, most of the 
teachers felt embarrassed, not a few heads were shaken, and 
there were many muttered hopes that he would not interfere. 

But he did, and that very speedily. 

At first he offered to take any class from which the teacher 
was absent ; and whenever he did so the children were very 
candid and unceremonious in their expression of the wish that 
their teacher would remain absent always. But the absentee 
was invariably visited the next day; and if he had not 
provided a substitute, or had only a trivial reason to give for 
his absence, that teacher was sure to have a bad quarter of an 
hour with the minister. 

Then he adopted the plan of giving an address at the close 
of the school, and the address was exceedingly like a lesson, 

12 



178 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

for he had a large blackboard on which he wi-ote points to be 
committed to memory ; and he asked many questions, which 
hajDpened to be mostly addressed to the classes that knew the 
least. After this had gone on for a few Sundays he called 
a teachers' meeting, and astonished the teachers by the 
directness of his words to them. 

" The most important part of the work of the church," he 
said, " is the Sunday-school, which ought, therefore, to be in 
the hands of those whose whole hearts are in it. It is so 
great, and of such infinite moment, that it deserves to occupy 
the men and women of highest culture and talent ; but it is 
work which is best done by those who love it, for without 
enthusiasm in the teachers Sunday-schools are a failure. I 
hope you will not be offended — but in any case I dare not 
hold my peace — when I say that in all departments of our 
own schools thei'e are some classes which gi-eatly need 
reform. There is a lack of discipline which is fatal; and I 
fear that sometimes whole classes are dismissed which have 
not had any real teaching at all. Now, my friends, this work 
must not be left in incompetent hands. For my own part, I 
tell you frankly that I dare not be a party to anything so 
disastrous to the futui-e well-being of this church. Let no 
earnest teacher be discouraged ; but let all who are not in 
earnest reconsider their position. The first thing for us to 
do is to form a Teachers' Training Class, and let us also meet 
together for mutual preparation of the lesson. "What times 
will be most convenient to you ? " 

The teachers, as a whole, did not approve of the minister 
taking things into his own hands in this fashion, and some of 
them ventured to say so. 

" We've took this school ourselves heretofore, and we'i'e 
masters here," said a man, his face flushing with anger. " If 
the minister likes to come and visit us sometimes, and say an 
encouraging word to us, why, we shall be glad to see him ; 
but I, for one, ain't agoing to be dictated to." 

Mr. Collinson made no reply to this, and another spoke. 
" It is all very well to talk about training and preparation 
classes, but few of us have time to attend them, for what 
with our two week-night services, and all the things going on 
in the town, it is not easy to take up two new subjects. I 
think we do enough if we come to school Sunday after Sunday 
and take a class, for the children are so bad that it is dread- 
fully hard work to do that." 

But the new minister had his own way. 
" It is my school as well as yours," he said. " I am at the 
head of it, and while I wish to dwell in harmony with you all, 



A TRICOLOUR CRUSADER. 179 

yet, as I place a liigliev estimate on Sunday-sciiool work than 
any other, I am extremely anxious that only teachers whose 
heai'ts are devoted shall attempt to perform it. We must 
raise the whole character of this school ; who will stand by 
me in my endeavour to do this ? " 

" I will," said a voice ; and every one looked in amazement 
at the speaker, whose name was Stapleton. 



CHAPTER XX. 

A TRICOLOUE, CRUSADER. 

ERNEST STAPLETON blushed when Mr. Collinson 
looked at him, and all the teachers of the Broad Street 
School followed the minister's example. For he was only a 
boy, not yet seventeen years old, and he was not even an 
acknowledged teacher, since he only helped with the library, 
and occasionally took a class for its aljsent president. He 
had been attracted to Broad Street by Mr. Collinson himself, 
who was already known in Granchester as " The Friend of 
aU the Boys." When they looked at Ernest this is what they 
saw : A straight boy, rather tall, with well- developed limbs, 
and a strong face, whose brown hair curled over a thoughtful 
brow, and whose grey eyes met the gaze of the teachers with 
frankness and fearlessness. 

" How that boy is changed ! " was the thought in the minds 
of several persons who had known him all his life. And, 
indeed, he was ; and the secret of the change was declaimed to 
all by the little badge of ribbon which he wore on his breast 
— the red, white and blue of Old England ; the blue for 
temperance, the white for purity, and the red for l>attle, oi- 
endeavour. 

The very first thing which the Rev. George Collinson had 
done on his settlement was to establish a branch of The 
Young Volunteer Crusaders. It can scarcely be said that 
Ernest Stapleton was a volunteer, for he had cost Mr. Col- 
linson some trouble and solicitude before he was finally 
em-oUed ; but the n(!w minister had loved the boy, and 
prayed for him and sought him with wisdom and patience, 



180 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

until at length lie was won altogether and entirely. The 
effort had been made only just in time. The boy had been 
fast sinking into bad habits that would have weakened and 
debased him ; already his sisters used his name in irony, and 
declared that " Ernest had not a bit of earnestness in him," 
for he cared for nothing but smoking and drinking, and other 
discreditable self-indulgences ; but now, happily, he was saved, 
and was showing brave qiialities of alertness, endurance, and 
good sense, such as delighted every one who cared for him, 
and won from his friends the declaration that " No boy had 
in him the making of a finer man than Ernest Stapleton." 

Mr. Collinson looked at him admiringly when his " I will '* 
rang out in the teachers' meeting. 

" Yes, Ernest," he replied, " I am glad to believe that you 
will, indeed, stand by me, and help to raise the character of 
this school." 

" But, sir, I am not a teacher," he said, " I am only a boy, 
and I am almost afraid to speak before those who are so 
much older and wiser than I am ; and yet, because I am 
young, and can look at all this from the children's standpoint, 
I should like, if I may, to express the hope that all the teachers 
will agree with you, and have the training and the preparation 
classes, and anything else that will make the Sunday-school 
more helpful. You do not know how hard it is for boys and 
girls to be right. Some fellows that I know, who belong to 
the Crusaders, had a prayer meeting last night, and we all 
prayed to God to give us covirage not to pretend to be worse 
than we are. "We are bad enough, I know that " 

The young speaker hesitated, and broke down, and the 
most prejudiced old teacher in the room felt some sympathy 
for him. 

" Go on, Ernest," said the minister gently, and the rest 
cheered the boy with an encouraging clap. Presently he 
recovered himself. " We are not good ; we need a Savioiu- ; 
but many of us would scorn to be as bad as we make ourselves 
out to be, and there are some of the ' boys' ways ' which 
those who teach us ought to know something about. But 
boys — the boys of Broad-street — will be as bad and black as 
— because it is supposed to be the thing — some of them make 
themselves out to be — unless they are helped ; and what I 
want to say — and I hope you will not think me too presump- 
tuous — is this, that the old Sunday-school, as it is now carried 
on, is not equal to the needs of new boys in these new 
times." 

" Well, to be sure ! What next ! " exclaimed a lady 
teacher ; and one or two men felt as if a good horsewhipping 



A TRICOLOUR CRUSADER. 181 

■would do the young upstai't good ; but for the most part the 
teachers knew that Ernest had spoken the truth, and though 
his words had given them pain, yet they were glad that he had 
uttered them, and hopeful that the result would prove 
beneficial. 

" I, too, will stand by Mr. Collinson," said the superinten- 
dent, " and by right of the office wdth which you have invested 
me, I venture to repeat Gideon's words to his army, ' "Whoso- 
ever is fearful and afraid let him return and depart.' It is quite 
true that the usual Sunday-school, though it has done splendid 
work in the past, is quite inadequate to the needs of the 
children to-day, and if we are not willing to do anything and 
everything to bring ourselves up to date, we had better stand 
aside and yield the work to those who will." 

The scene which followed could not be other than painful. 
One after another of the teachers resigned ; and the resigna- 
tion of a few was accepted, while the discriminating superin- 
tendent advised some to try the new plans before they quite 
gave up. 

It was with an anxious heart that Ernest Stapleton went 
home after the meeting. He was not at all sure that he had 
not been wrong, and the author of much mischief ; although 
with the usual confidence of youth he had great faith in his 
own opinions. Still, he thought that Mr. Collinson had 
approved of him, and if so, there was not much to fear, for 
though he doubted himself a little, he doubted the minister 
not at all; so his courage rose as he passed through the gates 
of his father's residence. 

He ran up the steps, whistling as he went; but on the top 
one he sighed, and a fear which he had known before came 
back to him. He was afraid that there was something wrong 
in his home. His father looked dreadfully worried, and 
although he knew that among his men another strike was 
impending, yet even that was not sufficient, he thought, to 
quite account for so much anxiety. And his mother — his 
beautiful mother, whom he loved so dearly — looked sometimes 
pale, and as if she had been crying. Ernest wondered what it 
all meant, and feared that trouble was impending. 

When he stepped into the hall he heard his uncle's voice, 
and that, too, he thought a little strange. Dr. Stapleton 
had visited them very rarely until quite lately, but now it 
was no unusual thing for him to be there once or twice in a 
week. 

The Doctor came forward to greet him. He was looking 
wretchedly ill and worn, but he had always a cheery word for 
his nephew, whom he cordially approved. 



182 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

"Well, Ernest, old boy, how are you? How are the 
Crusaders going on ? Is there much fighting at present P " 

" Plenty of fighting, uncle, though we do not have a big 
gun to accompany us. How are you ? Have you come to stay a 
few weeks, or will you run away directly, as you generally doP" 

" I think my patients consider that 1 usually stay quite 
long enough. I must try to get back by to-morrow evening. 
How many boys do you number now in your regiment ? 
Three hundred P That is splendid. I hope they will all be 
faithful." 

"Certainly something has improved the boys of Gran- 
chester," said Miss Stapleton " They are not nearly as rude 
and coarse as they were. Mother and I were remarking it 
the last time we went through the streets. Although it was 
evening we did not hear a single boy swear. And that is a 
thing that ought to be written in red ink among the chronicles 
of Granchester. 

" You see, Mat, that these fellows are all capable of being 
taught and persuaded, only the wrong teachers get hold of 
them. The best lessons are not to be got in the streets ; but 
it is in the streets that most boys get their lessons. They are 
a little mistaken as to what manliness is ; but that is not 
their fault. How should they know if they are not taught ? 
They judge by the men whom they see. They seldom have 
the best types exhibited to them." 

" They know something of their fathers' masters, I 
suppose P " 

" Yes ; but all their fathers' masters are not like our father. 
Many of them do not treat their men properly." 

" You see, Uncle Fred, what Ernest's tendencies are ! He 
is a Socialist. And he is a poet of the people ! Think of it ! 
Ernest, you will let Uncle Fred see your last attempt. Here 
it is, uncle. I made him give me a copy." 

Dr. Stapleton took the paper, and read — 

"The Lower Orders." 

Who are the " lower orders," 

Not those who toil all day. 
And for fair wages give good work. 

As honest workmen may. 
Svich men are of the noblest 

Who life's rough paths have trod ; 
Faithful to wife, and kind to child. 

And true to self and Uod. 

These are the higher orders, 
The self-restrained and strong. 



A TRICOLOUR CRUSADER. 183 

Too great to yield to selfishness. 

Too proud to do the wrong ; 
Who copy Christ of Nazareth, 

And live and toil as He, 
And claim their right as freemen, 

Since He has made them free. 

Men talk about " the masses," 

And call them " lowly born," 
But many are more worthy 

Of reverence than of scorn. 
Ah ! some of wealth and place might learn 

Of these heroic ones ; 
And well for dear old England 

Were such her only sons ! 

But of " the lower orders," 

Enough and hosts to spare 
Has England for her sorrow. 

And have we all for care. 
The idle and the dissolute. 

The cowardly and base; 
Alas ! for countries and for home? 

That have to give them space ! 

They are " the lower orders," 

Who practise low deceit ; 
The drones in hives of industry. 

The loungers in the street. 
The self-indulgent sons of vice. 

The sullen and untrue. 
Whose useless hands are stretched to take. 

But are not skilled to do. 

There are no lower orders 

But these— the self-made low. 
Men are despised and scorned because 

They choose to have it so. 
TJnworthiness, not poverty. 

Alone supplies the ban 
Which keeps the hand of fellowship 

Of man from brother man. 

Cannot we lift the low ones 

Up to a fairer height ? 
! Love shall be the teacher. 

And God will speed the right. 
Let us go down in loving quest 

These lowest ones to reach ; 
God's heaven has room enough for all. 

And His grace is for each. 



184 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

Dr. Stapleton said very little after reading the verses ; lie 
simply congratulated his nephew, and advised him to con- 
tinne doing that sort of work ; but when, after supper, the 
household had retired, and the two brothers were consulting 
together in the library, the Doctor spoke of the boy to his 
father. 

" It is a fine thing to have such a son," he said ; " he will be 
a help and comfort to you, Felix." 

" Perhaps," was the reply ; " but I aui afraid of the boy's 
judgment. When he comes to know the truth about my 
circumstances I am afraid he will turn against me. He has 
strict notions of honour and truth, and I am glad that he 
should have. But what will he think of me ? " 

" When are you going to tell him ? " 

" I cannot tell him at all — and yet he must know soon." 

" If I were you, Felix, I would take him into confidence at 
once. He is a good boy and sensible, and his counsel may be 
as worth having and following as that of any man of the 
world." 

" But he believes himself the heir to a fortune. It will be a 
terrible disappointment and come-down for him." 

" Oh, no ! I think not. The young do not care for money 
as the old do. And it is too bad to deceive him longer. Let 
us tell him the truth in the morning. Who knows but that 
he may be able to thi-ow a little light upon the darkness P " 

" Will you help me to break the news to him before you 
leave ? " 

" Yes, I will, and I cannot help hoping that good rather 
than harm will come of it." 

Ernest slept soundly, as a healthy boy should, whose con- 
science is at peace, and he awoke the next morning in a most 
merry mood. He opened the letter-bag, and made his sister 
chase him for a letter addi-essed to herself, and then he 
tossed his youngest sister into the air and caught her like a 
ball, after which he took her for a ride on his bicycle, until 
she screamed with delight. 

He remembered all this years afterward; for it always 
seemed to him that this was the morning when he suddenly 
grew out of boyhood into youth. 

When breakfast was finished his father sent for him into 
the library ; and as the boy entered the room, he knew that 
he was going to learn something about the shadow which had 
so long hung above his home. 

" Ernest, my lad," said Dr. Stapleton, gently, " your father 
has some bad news for you, which it is harder for him to tell 
than for you to hear, though it will trouble you greatly. You 



A TRICOLOUR CRUSADER. 185 

are young, but you are the oldest son he has, and he has a 
right to look to you for sympathy and help. Tou will not 
fail him, I know." 

The boy looked pale — it was such a solemn address for his 
uncle to make — but he left his seat, and went to his father's 
side and stood with his hand on his shoulder. 

" What is it, father ? " he said. " Please tell me quickly. 
I have known for some time that there was a trouble, though 
I cannot imagine what it is." 

" Do you find your pocket-money enough for youi* needs, 
Ernest ? " Mr. Stapleton's voice trembled a little, but he 
tried to speak as cheerfully as he could. The boy looked 
surprised at the question. 

" It is now, father," he said, " because I am more careful 
than I used to be. Why ? Has any one spoken to you 
about me ? Indeed, father, I assure you that I have no debts 
now." 

" No, my son, it is I who have the debts. I am sorry to 
tell you that I have had heavy losses, and that my riches have 
taken to themselves wings and flown away." 

" You mean that jou are not as well off as you used to be, 
father? I have guessed that lately. But there might be 
worse troubles than that, don't you think so ? " 

" Tes, my son, and there are. I cannot pay my debts." 

" Then let us part with some of the things we have. I will 
sell my pony and my bicycle, and anything else that I have. 
We can sell this house and our carriages, and go into a small 
place in the country, for, of course, we must not live on other 
people's property. If we cannot pay for things, they do not 
belong to us, and we have no right to them." 

" But, Ernest, think of your poor mother." 

" It is of my beautiful mother that I am thinking all the 
time. Father, we could not let any disgrace touch her, could 
we P There is no disgrace in being poor, unless we pretend to 
be rich. Tou were rich once, so you had a right to seem so ; 
but now if the riches are gone, we shall be just as happy. Do 
not doubt us, father ; mother. Mat and I will not add to your 
trouble. Be sure of that. Don't become a bankrupt, father. 
Sell everything, and let the money go as far as it will, and 
then after a time we will pay the rest." 

It was all easy and natural and simple to the boy ; and Mr. 
Stapleton was half convinced as he listened to him. " Perhaps 
it will be best," he said ; " indeed, it is the more honourable 
way, but for the disgrace of it." 

Ernest opened his eyes widely. " Disgrace ! " he cried. 
" There is no disgrace if we pay people." 



186 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

*' Ah, Ernest," said Dr. Stapleton, " you do not know what 
temptations there are in such a crisis as this. I will tell you 
what happened to me soon after I knew of your father's 
troubles. Naturally, I would give all that I have and more 
to save my brother. One night, when I was wondering how 
I could get money, a man came to me and offered me a 
thousand pounds as a fee for doing something which both he 
and I knew to be wrong. I hesitated ; for I have always 
endeavoured to act honourably in my profession ; but I 
thought of the xise that thousand pounds would be in our 
present dijQficulty to your father, and seeing me waver, he 
placed the cheque on my table, and left me." 

" Oh, Uncle Fred, I am so sorry ; and I am sure father 
would not wish you to do wrong for him, would you, father ? " 

" No, Ernest, not when I am in my right mind, but a 
drowning man will catch at any straw, and I don't know what 
I might have said if your uncle had asked me just then. But 
that was before Mr. Knight's visit. I do thank God for that 
man's faithful talk to me." 

" I thank God for him also," said the Doctor. " I kept that 
cheque for about thirty hours, Ernest, and then, I am glad to 
say, I sent it back. Had I not have done so I never could 
have looked Arthur Knight in the face again, and what would 
have been worse, my nephew would not have respected me 
more." 

" But you never could have done it, Uncle Fred, if it was 
really wrong," said Ernest. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

A HAPPY EXODUS. 

" IV/F OTHER, are you really sure that you can forgive me ? 

xix. It is so good to have a mother, that I feel as if I can 
never be grateful enough." 

" You are fully and freely forgiven, Mary. I have always 
known that my child's heart is right — it is her head that is 
wrong." 

Mary Wythburn had found her parents, thanks to Arthur 
Knight's assistance, and she was supremely happy. It was 



A HAPPY EXODUS. 187 

wonderful that they had not met before; but there is no 
place where it is so possible to lose one's self as London, and 
they had been within a few miles of each other without once 
coming into contact. Mary had learnt many salutary lessons 
during her voluntary absence from her parents. She felt 
herself more than a year older, though less than that time 
had elapsed since she disappeared from her home on the day 
fixed for her marriage. That the marriage had not become 
an accomplished fact she never regi-etted ; but she would ever 
feel sorrow and humiliation as she thought of her own 
cowardice in not facing the situation earlier. But that was 
all over now, and the new life, with all its vivid interests, was 
that which of all others she would have chosen. 

" Mr. Knight will not let me go with his people unless 
you give your consent," she said ; " and, indeed, I could 
not myself go without it, for I have never been really 
happy, knowing that I must be causing you pain and 
anxiety." 

" You never ought to have set yourself up as a teacher of 
others when you were so failing in your own duty," her 
father said ; but it was the only stern sentence that fell from 
his lips. "You shall go with these people," he added; "and 
if Mr. Knight will let us come too and help, as far as we are 
able, in the good work, we will be very glad." 

So Mary, who wept first for home and sorrow, afterward 
cried for joy, and when the party of English folk went away 
to settle in one of the loveliest parts of the north of mid- 
Wales, the Wythburns all accompanied them. 

Arthur Knight had found the very place he wanted — a large 
space of moorland and waste miles of land unoccupied, ex- 
cepting for a few farmhouses. The land was not in a very 
high state of cultivation ; but when, for the first time, he 
stood and gazed upon it, his imagination covered it, as it was 
to-day, with bright and pleasant homes and long bits o£ 
garden-land, in which the people might learn the joy of 
growing their own flowers and vegetables. The place chosen 
was at the head of a glen, which led down to Afon Wen, a 
small village on the shore. The place itself —five miles from 
Afon Wen — was called Craighelbyl. There was a large old 
house on the top of the hill standing in its own grounds, which 
wore a very neglected and dejected appearance. It had been 
left to itself for nearly a hundred years, and all sorts of inter- 
esting and dreadful tales were told about it. It had belonged to 
" one of the great families " years and years ago, and the old 
sailors could spin as good a yarn about it as of the 
sea itself. The owner of the Hall had kept a smuggling 



188 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

cellar on the coast; and it was said tliat a long imder- 
ground passage led from the Hall to the sea. This man 
had 1)een an irreligious Englishman, who had married a 
Welsh lady and treated her badly ; and there were dark 
stories of a crime once committed in the house, which had in 
consequence stood tenantless for a long period. There were 
not many things left in it ; there was a little furniture, but it 
had disappeared, nobody knew how ; and if there did happen 
to be a table or a chair in some of the cottages thereabouts 
which looked as if it did not quite belong to the cottages, 
nobody knew how it came to be there, certainly nobody 
belonging to this generation. The last person who had occupied 
the house was a farmer, but he and his wife had died there. 
Another farmer thought of taking it, but there was no land 
to be farmed, little but moors and rocks and sea, and this 
man only spent a week there, and it was such a stormy week 
as only this part of our country knows. So he soon had 
enough of it, and he declared that the rooms were so dismal 
that all the wealth of the Indies would not be payment 
enough for him to stay. So, as there was no one to tempt 
him by oifering him siich wealth, he left, and since then it 
had been empty. Some stone had been taken away from the 
place and used to make walls ; and, indeed, sometimes they 
had talked of pulling the huuse down altogether, for the sake 
of the materials. 

It was a happy thing for Arthur Knight and his people 
that this had not been done, for of all his purchases this old 
house, perhaps, pleased hmi the best. The ancient mansion 
was to be jDut to highest uses, and every room in it was to 
echo with the joj'ous voices of the young people who were 
learning to be good citizens, and Christian men and women. 
For educational and social purposes no better place could 
have been discovered. It was its^ a lesson in Welsh his- 
tory ; and Mr. Knight had expended a large sum of money 
in providing it with a good library, pictures, and a museum, 
in keeping with its traditions. Round about this house the 
new village had been planted. 

Mr. Knight hoped that there would be good fellowship 
between his English and the Welsh, to the ultimate advan- 
tage of both. He could not tell what the natives of Craig- 
helbyl said about him and his people, because he did not 
understand Welsh ; but he found them quite willing to work 
for him, and it was very much through them, and because 
any number of labourers could be secured to unite in friendly 
rivalry with Englishmen, that the to^vnship rose so rapidly to 
completion. It was fortunate for him that the building trade 



A HAPPY EXODUS. 189 

was bad generally, and he had, therefore, no difficulty in 
securing a colony of builders. 

One evening some young "Welshmen were talking over the 
affairs of the nation. " We are on the eve of a change," 
said one, " when every man will have what is right and true. 
It is coming." 

" And soon — forthwith, as you may say. At least, that is 
my creed." 

" Well, we are going to have a change anyhow, for Mr. 
Knight will bring his people down to the top of the hill next 
Thursday." 

" Thursday, is it ? They have soon got the place ready. 
Shall you take his offer ? " 

" And move up there to work ? Yes, I think I shall." 

" I shall stay here. Three of us are going shares in a boat 
or two. It is certain that the folk on Saturday half -holidays 
and so on will come down here and want some rows on the 
sea, and we shall make a very good thing of it." 

The distance from the " large house " to the shore was four 
miles. The hamlet by the sea had only about a dozen houses, 
and at first Mr. Knight was half inclined to buy them all up, 
but even a millionaire has to be careful in regard to his 
expenditure when he attempts such things as Arthur Knight 
had done, so he left the place alone. The few inhabitants 
were prepared to give the strangers on the hill top a kind 
welcome, though, with true Welsh prudence, they would not 
commit themselves to anything until time had been given 
to judge the Londoners and see of what stuff they were 
made. 

Mr. Knight chartered a special train for the use of his 
people, and there was a great crowd at Euston Station to see 
them off. The poor have many friends, and there were some 
pathetic leave-takings among them. Wales was " them 
furren parts " to those who, most of them, had never been 
five miles away from London. The journey was a great 
event in their lives, but a pleasant one, too ; and this new 
emigration had much of the novelty and excitement of ex- 
pectation, with very little of the pain of an emigration of the 
ordinary kind. 

When they had travelled rather more than half way the 
train stopped at a small station, and the people were told to 
alight. 

" The master has thought of everything. At this place 
is a substantial meal of sandwiches, bread and butter, and 
tea and coffee, all at his expense," they were told. 

The born leader of men knew how wearisome the journey 



190 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

Diiglit appear to some of the women and cliildren to whom 
the experience was the most novel, and that when then- heads 
and backs ached, and they got hungry, their courage would 
begin to ooze away, and they would be half-afraid of the new 
life and regretful of the old ; but this break in the journey 
would cheer and refresh them all, and help them to complete 
the remaining miles in better condition and spirits. It was 
but a little thing, perhaps, but it was worth thinking of, and 
it was like Arthur Knight to have arranged it. 

He himself met them at the station, with two or three 
friends who were already domiciled, and who had each his 
special part to perform in the new village. First, there was 
the Rev. James Davies, the minister of the church, who was 
entering upon his work with as much enthusiasm as Arthur 
Knight himself ; who would be the friend and brother as well 
as the preacher, and who deeply felt the solemnity of his 
position, for to him the care of the souls of these people had 
been given. Next, there was Dr. Armitt, whose duty it would 
be to keep the community in health, as far as in him lay, who 
was to administer advice and medicine without charge, and 
who was to perform the duties of a sanitary inspector, with 
the right to prevent everything likely to affect the health of 
the community. There was another important person, Mr. 
Freeman, the manager of the trade department, at whose 
handsome store-rooms the people could purchase all neces- 
sities of food and clothing, and whose business was to be 
reo-ulated on co-operative principles. Besides these there 
were a few men and women helpers who had prepared the 
homes. By the help of Mr. and Mrs. Hancourt, the Basket 
Woman, and Fanny Burton, the head of each family had a 
card with the name or number of his house, for they had been 
located beforehand so as to prevent confusion on their 
arrival. It was evening when they arrived, and Mr. Knight 
had a fire burning and a table spread in every house to give 
it a home-like aj)pearance ; and, full of happy expectations, 
he awaited the result. 

Nor was he disappointed. When the train steamed in, 
and the people sprang out of the carriages and looked around 
on the scene of beauty before them, the j)retty houses in the 
little town, the fair sunset light on the hills, and the kind 
look upon the face of their master, they raised a ringing 
cheer, and the boys began to sing " For he's a jolly good 
fellow " as boys only can sing. 

They were soon streaniing down, and up toward their 
homes, each party following their guide, and each naturally 
somewhat curious. Yery soon there were exclamations of 



A HAPPY EXODUS. 191 

delight and satisfaction — " Well, I never ! " " Did you ever ! " 
■" Ain't it grand! " " "We sha'n't know ourselves liere in these 
fine places." 

The men, a little incredulous, and half afraid that " things 
were not what they seemed," but that, somehow or other, 
Mr. Knight meant " having " them over it, were sober in 
their praises and cautious in their joy. And so were some of 
the women, though most of theru were in raptures. 

"N^ow rub your shoes," cried one mother to her children. 
" Don't you know what a mat is for ? " 

Another turned to her husband with quivering lips (which 
he kissed) and said, " Jim, here's a chance for us ; we've never 
had one before ; " and Jim i-eplied, " Please God, we'll make 
the best of it, old woman." 

" Here's a lovely home, father ; scrumptious, isn't it ? And 
tea ready for us ! Why, here's a loaf and everything we 
want to begin on. Isn't it a splendid kitchen ? " 

" Mother, here's a bath. Well, I never ! I thought ordy 
gentlefolks' houses had baths in 'em. The poor wasn't sup- 
posed to get dirty." 

" Ain't Mr. Knight a brick ? " 
" He is the brickiost brick in the world." 
" I'll have a bath this very night. I wouldn't go into that 
lovely bed without being clean." 

"And look at the cupboards and the nails." 
" And, oh, what a lovely cooking-stove ! If ever a man 
deserved to be sent straight to heaven the master does ! " 
Mr. Knight happened to hear this last remark and was much 
amused by it. 

" But I don't want to be sent to heaven yet," he said. '' I 
want to see how jou get on in your new homes, and to take 
care that you are able to earn something to put in the lovely 
stove." 

" Law, yes. sir. I hopes you'll live to be a 'undered, and 
so we does all ; but we've all got to die sometime, you know, 
and you wouldn't object to heaven at last, I suppose." 

There were two days for the people to enjoy before work 
commenced on Monday ; and the men and women had 
time to visit each other, and offer congratulations, especially 
in regard to the new factories in which they were to work. 
There was no heart of them all so full of joy and gratitude 
as that of Arthur Knight; but when Sunday morning dawned 
over the little place, he felt, as never before, the great 
responsibihty which rested upon him. That which he had 
been able to do for his people had been done for humanity's 
sake ; but behind that motive was another and a stronger 



192 NINETEEN HUNDRED.? 

one ; and he knew, if no one else did, that it was all fo\ 
Chrisfs sahe. • He was extremely anxious now that the peoph 
should come to understand that, and should give the credit o: 
all that was good in his scheme, where it was due, to tht 
Christianity which some of them despised, and only a fev 
rightly apprehended. 

They had been happily busy about their homes and ii 
their gardens, and had visited their future work-places with i 
good deal of interest and curiosity, and they had swai-mec 
into the Old House, and examined their treasures there witl 
the greatest delight ; but the church had not yet been open 
excepting to a very few. It stood on the side of the hill, i 
conspicuous and beautiful object, bearing its name on its 
front in letters which might be read at a distance — 

" OUR father's house," 

and the people knew that on the Sunday morning it was t( 
be consecrated. Word had also been sent to every houst 
that Mr. Knight asked, as a great favour to himself, that al 
the people— men, women, and children — would, for that on< 
morning, at least, go to church. Many of them wished ht 
had not ; thei'e was the inevitable question of clothes still tc 
be considered, and the men especially declared that they hac 
not the least idea " how to go on " ; but good influences were 
brought to bear upon them, Hancourt and his wife especially 
putting it to them whether it was not worth while to endure 
even a little awkwardness rather than treat Mr. Knight witl 
ingratitude and unkindness, and so, at length, consent was 
won all round. 

It was an ideal morning. The sun lighted up the blue sea 
in the distance, and rested lovingly on sloping hills and greer 
fields. A fresh breeze blew across the space, and fanned the 
faces of the people as they stood in little groups, each in theii 
own doorway and garden. The men and women were sc 
proud of their new possessions, and so glad in the nev, 
possibilities of their lives, that a touching tenderness, seldon 
seen among them, was everywhere visible. Women stooc 
with their hands on the shoulders of their husbands and a 
strange light in their eyes, and men, usually so rough thai 
the children crept out of their way, looked so kind because 
they were so happy, that the boys challenged them to a 
game and the girls lifted up their faces to be kissed. 

And then the air was filled with exquisite music, for up the 
hills and through the valley came the sounds of the Sabbath 
bells. They had not rung before, and they came with a 



A HAPPY EXODUS. 193 

surprise to the people, who for a few minutes hushed their 
voices and listened in quiet pleasure. And then, for a little 
while, the homes were filled with the bustle of preparation, 
and soon the green hill was dotted with ascending figures of 
" young men and maidens, old men and children," on their 
way to " praise the name of the Lord, whose name alone is 
excellent." 

One of the last to go was Fanny'Burton, who had lingered 
in case any laggards among the people needed shepherding. 
She found several, and took them to church with her. " I 
will wait for you," she said; "we must not disappoint 
Mr. Knight to-day. It is his birthday — don't you know ? — 
and such a little thing as he asks in return for all the great 
things he has done for us, we couldn't be so base as to deny 
him, not if we tried ever so." 

And all the people found a home in the Father's House. 
The best places, if there were any best, were allotted to those 
who had come in their working attire, because they had no 
other. The children were not put away in the gallery by 
themselves, but sat with their parents. The church was light 
and bright and comfortable ; the colours were harmonious, 
and the arrangements simple and artistic. 

A great hush fell upon the congregation, and then the organ 
sounded softly, and the choir began to sing the first public 
words heard in the new sanctuary, " I will arise and go to my 
Father." Next they knelt, and repeated together the prayer 
which Christ taiight His disciples ; and lips quivered and 
hearts throbbed as the old words, " Thy kingdom come, Thy 
will be done on earth as it is in Heaven," seemed to take new 
meanings. Then the grand Te Deum rang exultingly through 
the building, and linked it to the sacred edifices of all the cen- 
turies, and the minister offered a, short dedicatory prayer: — 
" Let the glory of the Lord fill the house of God. Let Thine 
eyes be open and Thine ears attend unto the prayer that 
is made in this place. Choose and sanctify this house that 
Thy name may be here for ever, and Thine eyes and Thy 
heart be here perpetually. Here may Thy wandering children 
come home to Thee, their Father ; and here may they learn 
to love and to keep Thy statutes and Thy commandments. 
And hei'e may Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Saviour, see of the 
travail of His soul and be satisfied, because through Him 
Thy children turn to Thee and are reconciled. Here let the 
little ones call His name blessed. Here may the old men 
find rest and peace in Him. And here may men and women 
come to have all that is good in them strengthened, and all 
that is evil cast out. From this place let us all go forth to do 

13 



194 NINE TEEN HUNDRED ? 

our work and live our lives in the way that is pleasing in 
Thy sight. And so let this our Father's House be the dear 
home of all this people." 

The service throughout was bright and attractive and con- 
ducted with great reverence. The organ was a good one, and 
the hymns were sung to well-known tunes. The sermon was 
short and very practical, and the children wei'e not forgotten. 
There was no inattention, no weariness anywhere ; and Mr. 
Davies was resolved that there never should be. He had his 
chance now, for all the people were there, and he meant them 
all to come again, not because Mr. Knight wished it, but 
because they chose to come. The minister was not one to 
talk about himself, and therefore no one knew how he had 
agonised in prayer to God for some souls to be given him on 
that day, spending a whole night in prayer asking for Divine 
light and guidance, so that this great oj^portunity might be 
used to its fullest extent. It was a rousing little sermon, 
which called forth a feeling of gratitude among the people. 
At its close there was silence for a few minutes, in order that 
souls might be offered in secret to the Lord, whose presence 
in His sanctuary so many people felt. 

And then Arthur Knight stepped upon the platform, and 
gazed upon the faces, eager with intei-est, and beautiful with 
feeling, of these people who belonged to him, and for whose 
welfare he was passionately solicitoiis. 

" My friends," he said, and there was a tremor in his voice 
which instantly awoke a response. " I thank you for giving 
me the joy of welcoming you one and all to our Father's 
House, a building which by prayer we have this day con- 
secrated to our highest welfare, and one which will be open 
every day, so that any of you may at any time come in for 
quiet and rest, in which you may make known to Him your 
wants. I am not afraid of desecrating either the church or 
the day, though I speak to you on some subjects which, per- 
haps, hitherto we have not considered religious ; but I know 
it will not be easy to get you all together again, and I cannot 
let sHi3 the chance which has been given me. Mr. Davies 
uttered a sentence which, if I had to preach a sermon, I 
would almost take as my text — ' Every social reform that 
starts at Calvary will be successful.' I hope his words are 
true, though, indeed, I am sure of it, for that is where this 
started. Several years ago, in a foreign land where I knew 
no one but the two friends with whom I travelled, one was 
taken ill. He knew that he had to die, and he was afraid, for 
death opened his eyes, and he saw a Beyond, a Hereafter, of 
which he had been sceptical before. Neither of us knew 



A HAPPY EXODUS. 195 

anything of religion, but we had all heard of Jesus, and I 
remembered His death on Calvary, and the story of His 
resurrection. So I prayed to Him, and asked Him, if He 
were really living and able to save, to save my friend, and 
make it easy for him to die. And we remembered some 
words of His : ' Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise 
cast out ' ; and my friend asked Him to take him, and to give 
him some assurance of His pardon and peace. And a most 
wonderful change then came over the dying man ; I think 
that his eyes saw the King in His beauty, for his face grew 
radiant, and his voice triumphant, and he said several times, 
* He loved me, and gave Himself for ??ie,' and he told us that 
he was glad to depart and be with Christ, and so he died. I 
think you will not be surprised to hear that I have never been 
the same since. The Lord Jesus Christ has been a great deal 
more to me than a person in history, or a great reformer, or 
anything of that kind ; He has been to me a living per- 
sonal Saviour and Friend. I started from Calvary, and 
because He had died there for my sins, I felt that I 
must give my whole life to pleasing Him; so I studied 
the New Testament, which is the revelation of Him ; 
and I soon saw that the most acceptable thanks I. 
could offer Him would be to imitate Him as far as I could. 
You know how, soon after my return home, my father died, 
and his business came into my hands, and with it you, my 
people. And my prayer became one you have all heard before, 
' Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do ? ' I think that by 
degrees He has shown me. Because you were my own people 
I wanted you to be good and happy. I could not bear to live 
in my own large house with every luxui-y, and think of you, 
in miserable courts, cramped for space, and denied most of 
the things which I liked. I was grieved, but not at all surprised 
to find that many of you had left off caring about doing the 
right ; that men and women drank beer and gin to make them 
forget for awhile their woes and wi-ongs ; and that only those 
chiefly who knew the love of God, or who were gifted with 
great strength of character, had power to resist the demo- 
ralising influences that were around you. I soon began to 
see that my duty was to make things better for you, and I 
have tried to do it in the way that seemed to me the best. 
Many of jo\i have not had a cbance, but you have one now, to 
make your life a different thing altogether. The future is in 
your own hands ; for me I can do no more. I was a rich man> 
bvit I am a poor man now. If this venture is to be made 
a success, it is you, not I, who must do it. If you choose to 
be idle, and careless of the interests of the firm, we shall all 



196 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

be ruined together. To-morrow you will begin work. You 
know all that I can tell you of the great competition in tlie 
markets of the world, and how articles that are badly 
made or expensive will be returned on our hands. At my 
father's dying request I have made a change in our pro- 
ductions, and henceforth Knight's goods are to be of the first 
class only. I am told that I shall end my days in the work- 
house. I am not afraid of it, because I trust you. And this 
I declare, on this Sabbath morning, in God's house — you shall 
have a rightful share in all the profits that accrue from your 
labour. Tour houses can be in time bought by you, and so 
can the business itself ; and very glad shall I be if, on honour- 
able and just terms, we are able eventually to turn it into 
a co-operative concern. There are two matters in regard to 
you respecting which I am most anxious — one is work, and 
the other is character, the latter being by far the more 
important. There are certain things in regard to the mani- 
festations of character which are in my power, and this 
power I shall exert to the utmost. I will not have swearing, 
or drinking, or gambling, or immorality carried on in any 
Ijuilding or space that belongs to me. This is a law, and the 
breaking of the law will be followed by instant dismissal. Of 
that I am determined. But I pray you help me in this, by 
voluntarily giving up habits which you know to be wrong. 
And if you cannot hate sin, ask my Helper to help you ; for 
Christ knows what temptations are, and it is He only who 
can cleanse us at the source of all our actions, the heai-t and 
the will. We have no police ; you must be your own police- 
men. I trust to the public opinion of our little community, 
and to the efforts of all good men among you, to keep 
the peace. At present — and I hope we shall remain so — we 
are simply a private family, with whom no one outside has 
a right to interfere ; and the affairs of the village will be 
managed by a board chosen by you all. 

" No provision has been made here for three institutions, 
which we all admit to be good where they are necessary ; but 
which, I hope, will not be necessary in our own village of 
Craighelbyl — they are the poor-house, the hospital, and the 
Sunday-school. There is no poor-house, because we do not 
mean to have any poor. There is to be a compulsory system 
of insurance, by which an income for the sick and the aged 
will be provided, and which will be supplemented by a scale 
of pensions to be paid out of the profits of the business. 
I want every one to enjoy the blessings of independence. In 
regard to the hospital, that is a splendid thing for people 
Avho have not comfortable homes. But when we are sick it 



A HAPPY EXODUS. 197 

would surely be better for us to remain witli those wlio care 
for us rather than be taken away among strangers. Dr. 
Armitt and Miss Wytliburn will be glad to train some of 
you young women who wish to be nurses, so that to any 
home where sickness should unfortunately come a nurse can 
come also if she be needed, and luring with her the requisites 
for a sick room. Of course, if a fever should break out, other 
arrangements would have to be made ; but we will not anti- 
cipate this. An ambulance-class will be at once formed, 
and one of the rooms of the gymnasium is to be set apart 
for its use. 

" What I have next to say to you will, I am sure, surprise 
you. Our day-schools are to be as excellent as they can 
possibly be made ; but at present there is no Sunday-school, 
though that is not exactly what T mean, for I hope tliere will 
be quite a universal Sunday-school, but there is as yet no 
special building set apart for it. If you desire a Sunday- 
school on the old lines I will not oppose it. How can I when 
I know how much of that which is best in England is the out- 
come of the Sunday-school system? And; our day-school 
buildings will be the best that could, be imagined for the 
piu'poses of the Sunday-school, if such an institution should 
be required. BiTt if I were a father I would trust the reli- 
gious teachings of my children to no one but myself. The 
home is the true Sunday-school ; mothers and fathers are the 
best teachers; it is in the family that the childi'en should 
learn that which is most important for them to know. 
And I hope thei-e will be little gatherings of neighbours 
this afternoon, in which the right sort of schools will be 
inaugurated. At the same time I am glad to give notice- 
that in our church there will be, every Sunday afternoon, 
a young people's service, to which all over thirteen are 
invited. 

" In regard to the church itself, will you bear with me 
while I say a few words ? Those of you who are Christians 
— and I am most thankful that you are so many — represent, 
no doubt, every denomination of the one great Universal 
Church. Divided upon some points though we are, we know 
that there is for us all but one Saviour, that one God is our 
Father, and our great hope is that at the last we shall live 
together as one family in one heaven. It is surely possible, 
therefore, for us to worship together in one building now. 
As you know, there is but one building provided in Craig- 
helbyl, and I hope that we shall never furnish material for a 
division among Christians in this place. I am myself a Non- 
conformist, as my father was before me. At the same 



198 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

time, I honour and revere tlie Cluirch of England. Ours is, 
of course, a Free Olmrch. Personally, I should like the 
beautiful Litany to be used here, and much of the ordinary 
service ; but this I leave to be decided by the majority of 
members of the church. I hope that you all — Chui'chmen, 
Wesleyans, Congregationalists, Baptists, Methodists, or vvhat- 
ever you are — will resolve, for the credit of our common 
Christianity, to keep the peace among yourselves, and that 
you will worship and work together for the kingdom of God. 
The time has surely come for the establishment of one great 
united Chm-ch, the members of which are resolved, if not 
to end all strife and competition among themselves — which 
God grant ! — at least, to suspend all differences, and beneath 
the flag of ti'uce to labour for the suppression of the evil and 
misery of the Avorld. My dear friends, I congratulate you 
and myself on the fact that we are leading the way, and that 
the multitudes of Christ's disciples will surely follow. AVe 
are doing what we can, but we need help and guidance lest 
we spoil our endeavour by mistakes and failures. This is 
a day of gi*eat joy and thankfulness ; let us make it also 
a day of great prayer, that the spirit of wisdom and un- 
derstanding may be given to us. And may God bless us, 
and make us blessings to each other. Amen." 

" Amen ! " heartily responded the people. 

There was a sedateness upon the faces of the people as they 
filed out of the Church ; but hope and resoluteness were 
visible there also. Many of them were beginning a new life, 
indeed ; and some remained behind to pray ; and others went 
to their homes with such joyful hearts that God must have 
heard their song, if no one else did. 

As soon as Ai-thur Knight reached the road, a young man, 
who took off his hat and stood bareheaded, addressed 
him. 

" You have forgotten me, sir, no doubt; but my name is 
Jones. It was I who threw the stone at you on the first 
Sunday after your return to England." 

" Yes ; I remember yoxi. I am glad to find you are here." 

" Sir, I want to give my life to you. I suppose you ai-e not 
going to settle down with us here, because you have your 
great work in the world to do. We do not like you to go out 
as you do, alone. Oh, we know that God will take care of 
you, and no harm will come to you ; but sometimes you must 
want a servant to do an odd thing for you, or some one you 
know to speak to you." 

" My dear fellow, no ; I do not want a servant in the least. 
My habits are far too simple, and my portmanteau is too small 



" GET ON, GET HONOUR, GET HONEST" 199 

for that. I cany it in my baud, and I stay with friends, so 
that there is no expense." 

" Yes ; we know. But a dozen young men are going to 
keep me and pay my expenses. I am just to follow you about, 
but not to interfere with you in any way. You won't know 
that I am there unless you happen to want me. But I shall 
be where you are, and I can let them know at home, here, 
how you are and all about you. I shall be in the same train 
and the same town. I shall hear you speak, and be near you 
all the time. Don't say No, please, sir; for we have all set 
our hearts upon it. I am to do it for a year. I, who deserve 
it least, am to have the honour first, then I shall go back to 
work,_and the others each take a turn, sir; please do give way 
on this thmg, and let us have our own will in the matter." 

Arthur Knight was much touched. 

"I do not know how it will answer, but since you desire it 
so much, we will try this plan." 

''_ Thank you, sir ; thank you ! All the fellows will be much 
obbged to you. As for me, the fact is, sir, I— I— I love the 
very ground you tread upon ! " 



CHAPTER XXII. 

"GET ON, GET HONOUR, GET HONEST." 

GEOFF and Sissie Hancourt were staying at Hornby Hall, 
and Miss Tom Whitwell was having a splendid time 
with them. She had been introduced to the parents of the 
children, and when she heard of the projected emigration 
into Wales, she begged that during the time of the removal 
the children might be her guests. 

"I will take as much care of them as their own mother 
could," she said, " and bring them to you when you are 
settled. We have already an invitation to visit the place 
with the horrible name— what is it? Craighelbyl. For Mrs 
Wythburn has invited Margaret Miller and me to see for 
ourselves the working of the millennium which the new Don 
Quixote is bringing about ; so if you will lend me the children, 
Mrs. Hancourt, I promise not to keep them or run away with 
them, but to return them to you, whole, and in CTood 
condition." ° 



200 NINETEEN HUNDRED f 

The little whicli Mrs. Hancourt knew of Tom was enough 
to assure her that her darlings would be quite safe in her 
care, and she felt that it would really be a relief to be free 
from the worry of them during that busy time ; though she 
found it difficult to part from them even for a week or two. 
Tom, however, carried her point, and took the children with 
her. 

" It is a trying thing to be a mother, Margaret," she said 
to her friend, '"and very bad for the emotional part of a 
woman's nature. Poor Mrs. Hancourt embraced those chil- 
dren and wept over them vxntil her hands trembled, and her 
eyes were swollen, and she looked ready to faint with grief. 
She kissed their hands and their faces, and I think she would 
have kissed their feet if she could conveniently have got at 
them. It is a mysterious sort of love which a mother has, 
Margaret, but these children are darlings. They are asleep 
now ; come and look at them." 

The friends were walking in the Hornby grounds, and as 
Tom uttered the last words she lifted her eyes to the window 
of the room where she had left Sissie comfortably tucked 
into the dainty little bed which she and her sisters had pre- 
pared for her reception. 

The next moment a low cry of anguish broke from her, 
and Margaret, looking in the same direction, felt as if her 
heart froze with horror. The window had been pushed up, 
and standing outside on the sill was the little figure in white 
which Tom had promised to restore to her mother. 

The child's nightdress floated in the breeze, and she was 
looking up to a swallow's nest built in the roof, while 
clapping her tiny hands to see if she could make a bird fly 
from it. 

" Oh, God, have mercy ! " groaned Margaret, with white 
lips. "Don't let the child see us, Tom. Run upstairs; but 
do not startle her. Go into the room quietly, and hold out 
your arms." 

Tom flew up the stairs, and Margaret stood below under 
the window, holding out the skirt of her dress to catch the 
child if she should fall. 

There were three flights of stairs, and it appeared to Tom 
that it took her an age to ascend them. She thoiight she 
could not pray ; but body, soul, and sjDii'it seemed to go 
up to God in one voiceless but impassioned cry of entreaty. 

She could scarcely breathe when she reached the door ; but 
she opened it gently, and said softly, " Sissie ! Sissie ! " 

The child was too much interested in the nest to hear Jier, 
and Tom felt suddenly as if she had lost her voice. 



" GET ON, GET HONOUR, GET HONEST." 201 

A chair stood by the window ; the little one had evidently- 
stood on it to gain access to the sill. Would she step back 
to the chair now ? 

"Sissie! Sissie, darling !" said Tom. But she was afraid 
to go too near the window, for fear of frightening the little 
one. What should she do ? Had she better ring the bell 
and rouse the house ? Or fetch Geoff to call his sister ? 

Presently it occurred to her that if she went softly round 
by the wall she could manage to suddenly clutch the little 
form. And she tried ; but Sissie saw her, and Tom's heart 
sank with dismay, 

" Tou can't catch me, Miss Tom ! " she said. 
And Tom opened her arms, and said, " Come to me, 
darling ; I have something for you." 

The next moment Tom sank to the floor with the little one 
in her arms ; Sissie murmuring, in tones of contrition, " Poor 
auntie ! Naughty, naughty Sissie ! " 

Almost directly there were steps on the stairs, and sobs in 
the voices of those who tried to ask questions. 

But when Tom sat up, looking dazed, and Mr. and Mrs. 
Whitwell came into the room with white faces, Sissie Han- 
court was lying quietly in the little bed, with her eyes closed 
as peacefully as if nothing had happened. 

Margaret lifted her out and wrapped her in a shawl. " I 
am afraid you are a very, very naughty little girl," she said ; 
" and I am sure you must be scolded ; indeed, I think you 
must be punished as well." 

"I only wanted to look at the nest," she said, "and I 
holded tight nearly all the while. Geoff says there are some 
young ones in the nest." 

" But you might have fallen down and killed yourself." 
"Well, I don't want you to scold me. I love my Auntie 
Tom the best." 

Tom tried to take her, but she was feeling so weak and 
giddy that she could not hold her. 

"I think," said Mrs. Whitwell, "that we shall have to whip 
you, Sissie. See how white Auntie Tom looks Ijecause you 
frightened her so much." 

" Don't be fi-ightened. Auntie Tom ; I won't hurt you." 
" You had better take her in hand," said Mrs. Whitwell to 
her husband. It was not the first time that she had passed a 
refractory and difficult child over to the same management. 

" Go downstairs, all of you," he said, " and leave Tom and 
me to deal with her." When they had left he sat with 
the child on his knee, and in grave tones began to talk to her. 
" You do not want to be naughty, dear child, but you will 



202 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

make us all very unhappy if you do such things as that. 
You are only a little girl, but I am sure you know what is 
right and wrong, and that getting out of a bedroom window 
is very wrong indeed. If you want to see a nest, I will try to 
find one for you in a hedge to-morrow ; but you must not go 
and do what you like in this way withoiit saying a word to 
anybody. What would your father say if his little girl were 
to fall from a window and be killed, and he should never see 
you any more ? And what would your mother do if there 
were no longer any little Sissie ? I shall be afraid to keep 
you in my house unless you promise me to be good. When 
you are j)ut to bed you must lie still, and go to sleep, as other 
little girls do, because, you know, you say your prayers, and 
ask God to bless you ; but how can you expect Him to do it 
if you are so naughty P He looks at you all the time, and 
takes notice of what you do ; so you must always try to be 
good and obedient. And you will in future, won't you, 
Sissie P Say you will ; now promise me, there's a dear little 
girl." 

There was a beautiful expression of thoughtfulness on the 
sweet little face that was upturned to his, and the child 
passed her soft, cool hands to and fro over the bald part 
of his head while he waited for the promise. She did not 
speak for a moment or two, and then she said : " What a 
big forehead you have got ! It goes all over behind." 

Tom took the child from her father with a hysterical 
laugh, which soon changed to weejiing. Then the little one 
began to cry, too, softly and pitifully. " I will be good," 
she said, "dear Auntie Tom. Put me to bed, and I will 
be a little mousie, so still, and never, never do it again." 

Tom's nerves had been dreadfully shaken, and for some 
hours that night sleep was out of the question ; so she and 
Margaret had a long talk together of that which was really 
uppermost in the minds of each. Margai'et had been ear- 
nestly desiring to confide in her friend, but had not 
ventured to do so because she could not be certain of Tom's 
feelings. On this night, however, Tom herself introduced 
the subject. 

" Margaret," she said, " you have not told me, as yon ought 
to have done, considering what good friends we have always 
been, that you are engaged to my Cousin John ; but I know 
you are, because he has told me so, and I want you to 
accept my congratulations. Nobody in the world will be 
more pleased than I to see you two happy together." 

" It is most good of you, Tom. Thank you very much. 
I have told no one; indeed, I am not sure that we are 



""GET ON, GET HONOUR, GET HONEST:' 203 

reallj engaged ; but it is true that lie cares for me, and 
I — he wishes us to be engaged, and perhaps there is no 
reason why we should not be. Do you know of any, Tom ? " 

" Not any, Madge," said Tom, demui'ely, " because I know 
you care for him too. Poor fellow ! " 

" Why is he a poor fellow, Tom ? Because tivo young 
women care for him P " 

" Oh, no ! He is to be congratulated on that account. I 
love him very much in a cousinly way ; but if he wanted 
me to marry him, which he never has done, I would not, 
for I think it would not be right, since we are cousins. 
But I call him a poor fellow because I know how worried and 
troubled he is." 

" Is he, Tom ? I expect he confides in you more than in 
me." 

"I am sure he does; but you need not therefore be jealous, 
Margaret. Some things he could not tell you." 

" But you can, Tom, and I shall be most thankful if you 
will. Does his mother hate me as much as she did ? That is 
a great trouble to me also. "What would I not give if I could 
win Mrs. Hunter's good opinion ! But I have no chance. She 
avoids me as much as possible, and when we happen to meet 
she will not look at me or speak to me if she can help it. 
Sometimes I think I will break through all reserve, and tell 
her that I will not marry her son until she wishes it, for I do 
not mean to do so." 

" You had better not say that, Margaret. Aunt is very one- 
sided and narrow in many of her notions, and as stubborn as 
only a woman can be. John's happiness ought to be of far 
more consequence to you than his mother's good opinion. The 
■one you can insure ; the other you may deserve, but it is 
doubtful if you will get it." 

" Ton ai-e not very encouraging, Tom ; but I do not despair, 
notwithstanding all that you say, and I know, of Mrs. Hunter. 
She will, perhaj)s, receive me yet as a daughter some day, if I 
am patient. My grandfather often says that all things come 
to those who wait, and I am only in a hurry for John's sake." 

Margaret spoke the last three words with such tender 
emphasis that the colour came into Tom's face. She would 
never tell any one of the battle which she had fought with 
herself over her cousin ; but she thought the victory Avas com- 
pletely won, and had spoken quite sincerely when she con- 
gratulated her friend. The two talked together of John, and 
when one was not sounding his praises the other was. They 
both knew, though Tom more than Margaret, of the many 
troubles that made him look grave, and caused him — and 



204 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

them, too, for the matter of that — many an anxious hour. He- 
was doing the right thing by his men ; he was cultivating his 
hind to its fullest extent and farming on the most scientific 
principles ; but at present he had been able to do nothing 
toward paying off the mortgage, which pressed heavily upon 
his mind. 

Margaret's dreams were often of what she would do if she 
had a legacy — how she would help John without his knowing 
who did it, and change his losses into successes. But her love 
was able to do so little to express itself ; and her faith was 
so sorely tried when she saw that he was not happy, that fre- 
quently she was not the bright Margaret which she knew she 
ought to be. 

"When she returned from her visit to Hornby Hall she found 
her grandfather had been thinking of John Dallington also. 

"Tou will not be a penniless wife, Margaret," he said ; " and 
that reminds me that I have never shown you our treasure 
trove, or, to put it as I ought, your treasure trove, for really 
it all belongs to you. Yoii will not be surprised to hear that 
our bank is in the house, for I have told you so already. That 
was one of the promises which I had to make to Captain 
Dallington — namely, that I would keep in the house a certain 
iron box which he gave into my charge. I often wonder why 
he did this ; he was a sensible man in many respects, but he 
had some of the most peculiar and eccentric ideas. And the 
money which I was to use for your wants, and in order to 
keep a comfortable home for you, is in the hoiise. Woiild 
you like to look at it ? " 

" I should very much, indeed, Graf. Is it a heap of shining 
sovereigns, such as you read of in books ? " 

" Come with me, and you shall see. I wish we could give 
some of it to Mr. Dallington ; but he would not take it, of 
course, unless he had to take you with it ; and even then, 
though there is enough for you and yovir children, there is not 
enough to buy back a farm or an estate, and I am afraid there 
is nothing we can do." 

As he was speaking, Mr. Harris led the way to his own 
room, and with a key which he took from his pocket he opened 
a drawer, from which he took another key. Then he removed 
a table and inserted this second key — a very small one — into 
a hole in the wall. A door flew open, and all that Margaret 
saw was another key, and a plaster wall in front. Mr. Harris 
touched a spring, and the wall slid back, and then a box was 
discovered. The opening of this box was watched with con- 
siderable interest by Margaret, for she, who wanted nothing 
for herself, wanted much for the man whom she loved. It 



''GET ON, GET HONOUR, GET HONEST." 205 

was a deep iron box, and when it liad in its turn been 
unlocked she saw the gold she had dreamed of — a great pile 
of it, and of notes, at the sight of which she burst into a low 
laugh. 

" Here is enough for John's needs," she said. " Oh, Graf, 
dear, we must contrive for him to have some of it, because, 
you know, it belongs by right to him ; for if Captain 
Dallington had not made that will, John, who is heir, must 
have had it all." 

Margaret took some of the shining pieces almost caress- 
ingly, for she thought of the beneficent power there might be 
in them, and was resolved that she would get Mr. Harris to 
set his mind to the problem which often troubled her— how to 
help John without offending him. 

"How much of this do we use every year, Graf?" she 
asked. 

"Yery little, indeed," was the reply, " for I have a source 
of income which prevents me from using a penny of this 
money on myself. All this you will know of some day, for 
my will is made, and all that I have, as well as all that Mr. 
Dallington had, is left to you. You will never be a rich 
woman, though, Margaret ; and I hoj^e you will be content to 
let Mr. Dallington fight this battle of limited means 
himself. I am an old man now, and I have learnt a few things 
in my life, and one is that if a battle be fought nobly, even 
though one's antagonist he ignoble, the result is beneficial to 
a real, true man. John Dallington's great trouble is that he 
wants more money than he has. He must learn either to do 
without it or to get it. That is the daily worry which is 
spoiling many men's lives ; but John is made of stuff too 
good sui'ely to let it spoil his. Why does he not sell some of 
the land, and live on what is left ? '" 

" Sell the land, Graf P Sell it, when it belonged to his 
father, and his father before him ? " 

" Yes, sell it ; why not ? " 

" Well, of course, if you cannot see why not, I can scarcely 
hope to make you," said Margaret, in tones which showed that 
she was offended. 

Mr. Harris smiled as he went into the shop to serve a 
customer ; but he believed that Margaret felt, as he did, that 
lack of money, so long as the absolute necessaries of life 
could be secured, ought not to be considered the great 
affliction which many people seemed to consider it. 

The customer proved to be Dr. Stapleton. It was a strange 
thing that the only person taken into the doctor's confidence 
was this man, whom he often heard spoken of as an irre- 



206 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

ligious man who had " never been converted." He had been 
thus spoken of on this very day, and the doctor had irritably 
replied that he hoped he never wonld be, for it would be a 
great pity for Harris to be changed into the sort of thing 
that many were who believed themselves undoubtedly con- 
verted. 

The shopkeeper threw open the door of his little sanctum, 
and the doctor passed through. 

" I have not much time to spare," he said, " but I wanted 
to tell you that my brother will do the thing which you 
advised — not because you advised it, though, but because he 
has a son. Do you know anything of the Young Crusaders P " 

" Of course I do. My Margaret and Miss Tom Whitwell 
had the honour of originating that movement." 

" Well, my brother's eldest boy, Ernest, is one of them. 
He is the finest boy, handsome to look at, and grand to trust 
in. There was a scene to be remembered the other day. 
Felix told the lad of his trouble, and he at once seemed to 
comprehend it all. He told his mother and his sisters more 
than they had guessed before, and then — it was the strangest 
thing — he knelt down and prayed to God to give them all 
courage to do the right. I would have called him a prig, 
but he isn't one ; he is a real, frank, manly Christian, such 
as we all ought to be. It seems a i:)ity that the young are s o 
much better than the old. But Ernest Stapleton is splendid. 
He said that he had seen a pretty little cottage, large 
enough to hold them all and one young servant, in a village 
two miles from Granchester, which was to be had for £20 a 
year. He asked them where would be the hardship, really, 
if they went there to live, and he and his father did the best 
they could with the business, and made it firm by the simple 
means of reducing the family expenditure and taking nothing 
out of it. He said that if they could fearlessly state the 
reason for the change, all whose opinion was worth having' 
wo;Tld think well of them ; and that if they did not, their 
consciences would be at rest, for they would defraud no man ; 
and that, with God's smile on them, they would not only get 
on, but they would get honour, and get honest, too. And 
that boy is actually to have his way. The beautiful home 
and estate, with all the pictures and carriages and the rest, 
are to be sold ; and my brother hopes that he can not only 
save himself from bankruptcy, bi;t pay everybody fifteen 
shillings in the pound now, and the other five shillings in a 
vear. Ernest says, and no doubt he is right, that the 
threatened sti'ike will collapse, since the men will work for 
the wages which he is able to offer them, for a master who is 



A CITY OF HOMES. 207 

honest enoiigli to act in such a way as that. What do you 
think of that for a Twentieth Century boy, Harris ? " 

" I should like to shake hands with him, doctor." 

" And so you shall." 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

A CITY OF HOMES. 



IT was Saturday afternoon at Craighelbyl. The sun shone 
on the woods and the mountains and lighted the beauti- 
ful blue sea, while the birds sang in the trees, and the flowers 
smiled upon the banks as if they all cared for the London 
settlers and were doing their best to make them happy. It 
was an ideal day for a holiday, not too hot to be pleasant, 
but sunny and breezy together ; and the people, as they stood 
in the doorways of their homes felt themselves drawn away 
to the objects of beauty on which their eyes were resting ; 
and many who had never thoiight of walking long distances 
in London were preparing to go down to the sea, or up to the 
highest point, in order to see the view. 

The first working-week was past, and the freshness of the 
new conditions had gone with it. Everything that occurred 
in those few days would for ever stand forth with crisp dis- 
tinctness in the memories of the people, to whom such ex- 
periences were so new as to have been previously even 
undreamed of. Such a week no one had known before ; and, 
the best of it all was, that it was not merely one week in a 
life given as a great treat, and never repeated : it was the 
beginning of a new life for them all. 

" It is a pleasure to work in such a factory, and I will put in 
for the master the best week's work I have ever done in my 
life." One of the girls said this at the breakfast-table on 
Monday morning, and her father repeated it to his fellow- 
workmen )ater in the day. It expressed what every one felt. 
There was a unanimous resolve that Mr. Knight should not 
suffer in his circumstances for all the good which he had done 
for his people. 

" Bless him ! " said a woman, who had worked for Mr. 
Knight, senior, nearly fifty years. " Bless him ! He will die 
as rich as Creasote, or else I ain't no prophet. Such a man 



208 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

as gives liis goods to feed tlie poor, aud tlirowed up his 
London places 'cause they was dens, and don't mount no 
ladder hisself without trying to drag us all up arter him ; 
why it stands to sense as he have a reglar gold-mine in this 
world, and the cattle upon a thousand hills hereafter. As 
for me I wish I had fifty pairs of hands, they should all rattle 
along at railway speed before he should lose a penny for all 
he has done for me." 

"I wish I was cleverer at it," rejoined a girl, who was 
working near this woman. "I've never troubled to make 
myself a first-class worker, nor I ain't cared a bit about the 
work except for the pay ; but now I shall go to those evening 
classes, aud learn all I can, and see whether I can't do credit 
to Mr. Knight. I've never took pains before, but I'll take 
jjains now, as sure as my name is ISai-ann." 

Many other '' Saranns " made the same resolution, and 
Arthur Knight was touched to see how gentle all his people 
seemed to become ; and how they continued to manifest their 
gratitude in a dozen ways, though many were too shy to 
endeavour to express it in words. 

He was himself profoundly thankful for all that had been 
accomplished. 

But he was exceedingly solicitous as to the future. He 
took into his confidence some of his helpers, and consulted 
them as to the best means of meeting certain emergencies 
which he feared would arise. 

" The men will work in their gardens or go down to the 
shore, and perhaps be quite hapjjy for a time," he said; 
" but afterward there may be a reaction, and I am afraid 
their thoughts may go back a little regretfully to the public- 
house bar where they sat and smoked and drank and swore 
in perfect freedom. Perhaps if we cannot let th^m have the 
beer they must have the skittles and the smoking. It is no 
use to try to wind them up too high. You must help me to 
find some waj^s in which they can all be amused." 

" I am going to try to get them interested in gardening," 
said Mr. Wythburn. " Coming as I do from the country, I 
have been able to bring with me a quantity of splendid peas 
and beans, as well as cabbages and potatoes: and I have 
talked to a lot of the fellows this week about what they can 
do with their bits of ground. The soil isn't bad, and in a 
fortnight's time there will be some home-grown cress at the 
family tea-tables, which will be a sort of first-fruits, and will 
encourage them to get on with the planting or sowing of 
other things. I have undertaken to give practical advice on 
the subject of crops to the community, and am not without 



A CITY OF HOMES. 209 

hope that digging will — for the present, at all events — quite 
take the place of drinking." 

" I am very much obliged to you, Mr. Wythburn," said Mr. 
Knight, " and to you all, for what you are doing for me. It 
will, I think, l^e a good plan to call in the aid of those who 
happen to have been born in villages, and get them to lend a 
hand to their more inexperienced neighbours." 

" I have some creeping plants which will grow rapidly. 
We shall put them outside the houses, and in a little time 
they will cover the new walls with beauty. A word of com- 
mendation from you, Mr. Knight, will go a long way to 
encourage the men." 

" It shall certainly be spoken," said Arthur Knight. 

But the men were even less interested in the outside of 
their homes than were the women in the inside. It was the 
first time that they had ever had a real home in the lives of 
many. And every woman took a pride in making the best of 
what she had. The houses were plainly furnished — there 
was nothing answering to a drawing-room so far as Mr. 
Knight's arrangements went; but there were two rooms 
besides the scullery, and one of them, intended to be the 
living room of the family, was large, light, and comfortable. 
There was plenty to be done still in order to beautify the 
places, and add to their convenience ; and the women, especi- 
ally the young ones, were eager to use up their Satui-day 
half-holiday for this purpose. 

The love of home is born with every Englishman, and the 
women in whose hearts it does not live are untrue to the 
traditions of their race. These women, who had been 
brought into Wales by Mr. Knight, had forgotten many 
things; but few there were who did not honestly try to 
remember the old lessons of their girlhood, when the word 
was passed round to them : " The places are clean and com- 
fortable, and you are expected to keep them so." And, 
therefore, on this Saturday there was an immense amount of 
scrubbing and rubbing, of making dainty curtains and pretty 
rosettes, of hanging up pictures and ornaments, and of 
showing in a dozen ways how dear the new homes were 
becoming to the hearts of those who dwelt in them. 

" Craighelbyl must have another name," said Mary Wyth- 
biirn ; " something that means a city of homes ; for that is 
what our place will become." 

"It is that already, thanks to Mr. Knight and to you, dear 
Basket Woman," said a girl, looking with loving eyes at her 
friend. " My father is delighted at the thought that the 
rent which he pays is to be really purchase-money, and that 

14 



210 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

in ten years the Louse will be his own. Mr. Knight does not 
know how he has saved father. Every Saturday he used to 
sit and drink, and then come to our wretched home cross with 
himself and evei-y one else. To-day he is gone with Mr. 
Wythburn to get two trees to plant in his own garden. Mr. 
Wythburn said he could take the men where they could find 
young saplings which they might transplant. Father is 
looking for a sycamore and an elder tree." 

" The elder tree grows rapidly," said Mary, " and perhaps 
that is the reason why your father has chosen it." 

" No, the reason is that there was an elder tree in the 
garden of the house in which he was born, for my father was 
a country boy. I should prefer a birch ; but perhaps that 
would not grow, and the elder will. Miss Wythburn, please, 
I am sent to you as a deputation. Some of the girls want to 
know whether they may come and look through your house 
to see if they can imitate the pretty things which they are 
sure are in it." 

" Oh, no ! Of course not. What impudence ! " The ex- 
clamations were not Mary Wyth burn's but Fanny Burton's, 
whose face flushed with anger, and whose tones were those 
of indignation. Mary laid a restraining hand upon Fanny's 
shoulder, and answered the request very differently. 

" I will ask my mother ; and I am sure that she will be 
happy to show you the clever contrivances about which she 
has been busy all the week. There is nobody like my mother 
for the fancy-work which beautifies a home. I beHeve that 
if she had nothing but an underground kitchen to live in she 
would contrive to make it look pretty." 

" But. of course, she does not want everybody to copy her 
ideas ; it isn't very likely," said Fanny, grudgingly. 

"Yes, Fanny; it is not only likely, but certain, that she 
will be glad to see her plans rei^eated in any number of 
homes. My mother is a very large-hearted woman indeed ; 
it is worth while for you to know her better than you do." 

Fanny was silenced, and Mary Wythburn went away to 
arrange with her mother for the object-lesson in housekeeping 
which some of the girls wanted. Mrs. Wythburn was ex- 
ceedingly amused. She was living in most simple style, 
having taken very little furniture into the new home. But 
Maiy was right. No place could be other than pretty and 
homelike where her mother was, and, though the house was 
new and the furniture plain, there was something which made 
it look altogether different from all the other houses in 
Craighelbyl. All the girls who wished passed through the 
rooms and admired or criticised their arrangements, and the 



A CITY OF HOMES. 211 

gentle hostess not only allowed them to examine the objects 
which interested them, but explained how they were made. 
This was greatly appreciated by the young housekeepers, 
who were anxious to improve themselves and their homes. 

Later in the season there would be introduced at 
Craighelbyl some Saturday occupations and amusements for 
the people if it should be found necessary ; but at present 
they all — men, women, and children — were too much 
interested in making their homes to care for anything else. 

The conveniences and beauties of the factory buildings, 
where most of them had worked for ten hours a day during 
the week, had delighted and encouraged them greatly, but it 
was each man's home that made him feel independent and 
glad. 

When the day was waning Mary Wythburn was sitting in 
her own little room, when there came a tap at the door, and 
Fanny Burton entered in response to the cheery " Come in" 
for which she listened. A close friendship existed between 
the two girls, who had been so differently educated but who 
were now brought together in constant intercourse. 

It was a beautiful evening. The setting sun dyed the 
mountains and the sea, and lighted the stone houses of the 
new settlement. Birds sang on the branches of tlie trees, and 
the scent of some wild flowers which had been gathered in 
the woods filled the room. 

" What a change from Paradise Grove ! " said Fanny. " It 
is not like the same world. To be here, with all one's own 
people, so near London, and yet so far away from its misery, 
seems wonderful." 

" Do you think the people regret any pai't of the old life, 
Fanny ? " 

" Not yet. Perhaps they will, though ; but surely not very 
much, nor for long." 

" Listen ! There is singing." 

" Oh, yes ! There are to be all sorts of little gatherings 
this evening in the homes of some of the men. They are so 
ready for Sunday that they wish to begin it overnight. There 
will be no vacant places at church to-morrow. Everybody 
who went last Sunday wishes to go again." 

" I am glad of that, for Mr. Knight's sake." 

" And the people's sake also. This has been the most 
beautiful week ! People's hearts are full of joy and grati- 
tude, and there have been a hundred home missionaries 
among them, seeking to lead them to Jesus, and so make the 
happiness more real and lasting. I don't think there has 
been a Christian man who dared to hold his toncrue. I know 



212 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

of many for whom the new life has become an accomplished 
thing this week." 

"I am very glad. And to-morrow afternoon we are to 
have a Bible-class under the beech-tree here. I hope it"_will 
be a class of women only, or chiefly." 

" It will be, because Mr. Knight has a meeting for men, 
and they will all go. The life of the master is more 
eloquent than his words ; but it is a treat to listen to !_hi8 
addresses." 

" I hope the desires of his heart will be fully gratified, and 
that he will never be disappointed in this place." 

"Oh, he never will be, surely! for God's blessing will be 
upon such an enterprise. How many changed lives there 
are among us ! And my otvti is the most changed of all. I 
have been thinking of the Sunday when you first took me 
into your room, and talked with me, after I had offered up 
my first prayer. I sometimes can scarcely think that I am I, 
so wonderfully diiferent is my whole life. And how much I 
owe to yoii, my own dear friend. You have taught me what 
real religion is ; and I am so happy that no words can express 
^^1 joy and thankfulness." 

Miss Wythburn caressed the girl, whose voice faltered 
with emotion, and her eyes grew dim with tears. 

" God has been very gracious to us both, and all," she said, 
" and we must show our gratitude by making other people 
as happy as we ai-e. I wish we could have all the East-end 
of London here with us." 

" I am afraid I am glad we cannot," said Fanny ; " but I 
will not be selfish. That would be too wicked." 

Fanny thought of her own words half an hour later. She 
had said good-night to Mary, and had tux-ned at her own 
door, to take a last look at the fading sunset, when a hand 
was laid upon her arm, and a voice that seemed to bring 
Paradise-grove back upon the scene said, " Is there any room 
for me here ? " 

Fanny turned, with a flush of anger on her face, and looked 
into the eyes of Andromeda Jones. " No," she said. " You 
have no right hei'e. You are not one of Mr. Knight's work- 
people. Go away ! " 

" Don't send me away, Fan. Think of what you used to 
be, and have some pity for me. I am sick of the old life. I 
have walked all the way from London because I want to ]>e 
good, and have a home, and be saved like you are." And poor 
Drom's voice died away in a sob. 

" There is no room here for you," said Fanny, endeavouring 
to disregard the words which still lingered in her ears. She 



A CITY OF HOMES. 213 

DrZ''''°T^ '^* ^^.^ wide place, and not crowded," said 
^1 om. I am very tired, for the way was long and dreary 
You cannot mean that you will not take me in afte? all ? You 
have not been served so yourself, Fanny " 

.u? S' ^T ^'T- ^\^ -""^ °^ *^« «^"ms had become -entle 
and refined, and very happy, all because some one had taken 
her into a loving heart, and she had been dealt with tenderly 
and graciously by the Divine Friend and the human ones 

tiietc, aua sjiuuld still be so persistent. 

., i.°" ''fvenot brought any clothes with you, I sunoose ? " 

*],. °-} ^'i^ """'^ '° ''""S- There was but 1 ttle work all 
the winter for me, and I have been only able to keLrvl^f 

you help '/e°?o a°lncTj " ^" =° "'"' °' «« "'^ '"- °™'' 

for °i r;e\re'l^lT^-i?-,„f- ^^ -=«" ^P^^'' 

Ihe colour flashed into Fanny's face. 

thief or whether a home can be sparedfor me here Iny way 
Im.vt^ir '^^^^'^ than twenty miles to-day, I sSpS 
1 may take a seat on your doorstep for ten minutes " ^ 

"C^meln D^W? s^Tel ''^^'^^^'^ ^' ^^^^ -l^ospitable mood, 
for tSe ni^ht K vn^f . ' T '?'''^' P"* ^^'^ ^^P somewhere 
a??^ Vi ^ r ^°'i S'^ ''^^^ *o London it must be Jw train 

tTcbl^fit'^Brf"" ^"'^\^ r^^^^^y- We-illmTe 

tnc Destotit. But I must report the case to Mr Knight 

of course ; it is for him to decide it " -f^nignt, 

Fanny led the way into her own bedroom, which was plainly, 



214 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

bvit comfortably, fiirnislied. The ouly thing in it that was 
not absolutely for use was a text, framed, and hung upon the 
wall. Mary Wythburn had given it to her, and Fanny won- 
dered sometimes whether the woi'ds had been selected that 
they might pi'each a constant sermon. They were : " Freely 
ye have received, freely give," and they seemed fairly to stare 
at her on this evening when she took her unwelcome guest 
into her room. " I cannot feel glad to see her," her thought 
replied to the text ; " but I will be good to her, because I have 
myself received so very much." 

" This is too fine for me," said Andromeda, as she looked 
at the white bed and the clean aspect of the little chamber. 
" I can sleep anywhere, Fan, for I am so dead beat." 

"The more reason why you should be comfortable," was the 
reply. " I can make you up a little bed here while you have 
some supper. And you would like a bath, wouldn't you P " 

The poor overwearied girl cried a little, and Fanny relented 
and became kind ; but she was almost too tired to eat or 
think, and very soon she was fast asleep. 

When she awoke the next moraing the light was streaming 
into the room, the soft winds were stirring the leaves into 
whispers, and the larks were pouring down their music upon 
the ha]3py earth. Fanny was kneeling by the side of the bed, 
with an open Bible before her, and a look of quiet happiness 
upon her face. Presently she closed the book, and her eyes 
and her li^Js moved as if in prayer. Andromeda watched her 
most curiously, lying very quietly the while, and wondering 
what it was that Fanny was saying, and whether there was 
really a God who cared to listen, and who could answer 
prayer. 

The eyes of the two girls met as Fanny arose from her 
kneeling posture, and seeing that Drom was awake, she went 
swiftly toward her, and kissed her. 

" Why do you do that ? You know you don't like me," said 
Drom, but her face lighted with pleasure, and her heart beat 
more quickly. 

" Yes, I do like you — a little," said Fanny. "I am not a 
very affectionate girl, but I have been reading aboiit Jesus, 
and talking to Him, and after that I always feel as if I love 
everybody." 

" Even me ? " 

" I was not good to you last night, Drom. I am sorry for 
it now. I am not natui-aliy good and kind, like Miss Wyth- 
burn, but I try to be. I am sure what you have done, in 
following us down here, will please her, and I am not going to 
be cross any longer. Will you let me lend you some clean 



A CITY OF HOMES. 215 

things P Tou and I are about the same height and size, so 
you will manage nicely. See, I have laid out a dress." 

Andromeda did not know what to say, so she said nothing 
in response to the surprising kindness of Fanny, who went 
down to make things right with her mother. This was not 
difficult, as Fanny was quite the ruling spirit in the home, 
and when their visitor presently appeared at the breakfast 
table she was greeted kindly, and a plate and cup and 
saucer were set before her. Indeed, Mrs. Burton was much 
more pleased to exorcise her hospitality than Fanny was, and 
it was a real pleasure to her to take the stranger under her 
protection, and show her the wonders of the new place. 

" Come to church," said Fanny's mother, " and I will intro- 
duce you to Miss Wythbarn outside. She will have a kind 
word for you, I know. She has for everybody." 

" But I have not been to church for a long time." 

"Tou will enjoy it all the more for that. Come out and 
look at the view from our house. It is beautiful." 

Indeed it was. Drom shaded her eyes, not more to keep 
out the light than to hide her tears, which, for some reason 
that she could not understand, were very near the surface. 
As she stood thus, a pleasant voice spoke to her : " Good 
morning! How did you get here? I saw you arrive last 
night." 

" I walked." 

"Why?" 

" BecaiTse I wanted a chance and a home." 

" And you shall have both," said Mary Wythburn, placing 
a kind hand upon the girl's shoulders. " For Christ's 
sake I welcome you, Andromeda, and will find yoii some 
work to do." 

" Oh! are you sure that I shall not be sent back ? I have 
no home anywhere now." 

" You shall have one here." said Mary, confidently. " This 
is a city of homes, and there is certainly room for one 
stranger who desires to live a better life." 

"I do desire it," said Drom. And Mary took her to 
church. 



216 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 



CHAPTER XXIY. 

A CHURCH IN CONFERENCE. 

THE second rest-day at Craighelbyl was even more peace- 
ful and happy than the first, for there was less excite- 
ment and a greater feeling of at-homeness in the hearts of the 
people. Arthur Knight and his friends wondered very much 
whether the response to the invitation of the church bells 
would be as universal as before; but it was. At the 
appointed time grouj^s of neighbours, with their families, 
were seen wending their way to the Father's House with one 
accord. The people did not go, perhaps, from the highest 
motives. Can it be said that all the members of any con- 
gregation do ? But so much were they impressed with the 
great kindness and good feeling of the master, that they, one 
and all, were trying to keep as right as they could, and many 
of them, knowing their own weaknesses, were thankful for 
the strength and help which they received from joining in the 
hymns and listening to the sermon. 

This notable Sunday was commenced with a communion 
service. The invitation was given to "all members of 
churches who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, and 
consider His laws of life and conduct binding upon them." 
And a large proportion of those who filled the building went 
forward. This service was short and solemn ; it was a time 
of reconsecration to many, and it prepared them for what 
was to follow at the close of the day. 

After the evening service those who had joined in the 
comnmnion service in the morning were requested to remain 
behind in order to attend the first church meeting, and, 
indeed, to form the church itself. The church was formed 
accordingly, and on a very simple basis. The following was 
the creed : — 

" I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven 
and earth. 

" I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ the Redeemer of the 
world, as my Saviour and Law- Giver. 

" I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Revealer, the Enlightener, 
and the Comforter. 

" I take as my rule of life the teachings of the Lord Jesus 



A CHURCH IN CONFERENCE. 217 

Christ, believing that His laws are binding upon His disciples, 
and assured that He who lived for thirty -three years among 
men has raised no impossible standard of excellence and 
brotherly love in the Sermon on the Mount, and the other 
words of His placed on record in the gospels." 

This confession was inscribed in a book, and those who 
were prepared to subscribe to it wrote their names beneath. 

At the close of this ceremony the minister, the Rev. 
James Davies, offered a dedicatory prayer, and the j)eople 
sang, on their knees, the solemn and significant hymn, — fit 
to voice the faith and feelings of tliose who are resolved to 
consecrate themselves entirely to God, and to do His will, 
" the Lord being their Helper " — the hymn composed by 
Gregory the Great, somewhere between the years 540 and 
604, and translated in 1627 — and as good for the new time 
as the old — 

"Come, Holy Ghost, our souls insijire. 
And lighten with celestial fire." 

After the hymn, Mr. Davies gave a short address on the 
creed to which they had given their adhesion, and the reso- 
lution contained in the last clause of it. 

But the people would not leave until Mr. Knight had 
spoken, and he was ready with a few words. 

" Dear Friends, you know, and I am sure many of you 
share, my belief, that Christianity is a life, and that all real 
discipleship is eminently practical. You have declared, by 
adding your siguatui-es to this book, that you mean to live 
Tip to your faith. I think you understand that my heart's 
desire and prayer to God is that our little commi;nity shall 
be strictly governed on New Testament Principles, and, 
according to the laws of the New Kingdom which Christ came 
to set up in the world. I believe that those who have entered 
this kingdom, and who live in communion with its Head, do 
receive daily enlightenment from Him who is the Light of 
the "World, and therefore I believe that the triie rulers of men 
must be those who are ruled by Jesus. Now, I ask you, the 
members of Christ's Church, to take upon yourselves the 
responsibility of the management of this community, and to 
govern it according to the will of your Master, as revealed in 
the New Testament, and in the events and progress of these 
times. You surely know the right ; do it, and, as far as you 
can, see that others do it also. I invite you to become during 
the next week a church in council ; to consider certain things 
which i-elate to the well-being of the community ; to decide 
what, if any, by-laws shall be made and enforced ; to appoint 



218 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

an executive committee ; to settle certain sanitary, educa- 
tional, and other matters ; and generally to undertake tlie 
responsibilities of our little State. You can govern in your 
own right, which I hereby commit to you ; or you can, if you 
prefer to do so, submit your suggestions to the whole society. 
In a little while, perhaps, we shall discover that the best way 
to rule will be to have a number of men and women chosen 
and elected by the people; but at present I ask you to 
appoint a committee of, say, twenty men and women, who 
shall prepare and propose, not to the community, but to 
the Church, certain resolutions touching the interests of 
us all. This will be your first work to-morrow. I do not 
propose to be on this committee, nor to intei-fere with it 
unless it should become absolutely necessary, but to leave the 
management of affairs in your own hands. You know better 
than I who are the wisest among you. I hope you will 
choose these, and ask them to serve you, and that they will 
gladly do so to the best of their ability. But, dear friends, 
do not forget that you can legislate for our little world 
as well as our own small church ; and that it will depend very 
much upon your treatment of those outside the church 
whether or not they are attracted to Christianity. May you, 
therefore, be guided in all things by the spirit of love, fair- 
ness, and i-ighteoiisness ; and may God give you the wisdom 
which you require ! It is for you to show yourselves discij)les 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to win others to Him by your 
unselfishness, your consideration of others, and your good- 
ness of heart and life. If you are true to your Master we 
shall have reason to rejoice in our Oraighelbyl life. This is 
a great trial place ; it is a test of the real worth of Christian 
principles ; everything depends iipon your faithfulness to 
Him. I hope you will hold your deliberations here, iu 
this sacred place, and that no spirit will be exhibited con- 
trary to His Spirit, and no laws enacted but those which He 
would sanction." 

The next evening the church again assembled. 

The first thing was to appoint an executive committee, 
numbering about twenty. Mr. Knight and the minister 
asked to be allowed to stand aside excepting as they were 
needed. Dr. Armitt, a Christian man of great ability and 
kindliness, was first elected ; then Mr. and Mrs. Wythburn 
and their daughter ; next Mr. and Mrs. Hancourt, but the 
latter excused herself on account of her domestic duties. 
Fanny Burton was asked to become a member, and she con- 
sented ; and then a dozen of the working-men of the 
community, who were known to be wise and honourable men, 



A CHURCH IN CONFERENCE. 219 

in equal proportions of young men and old, were asked to 
serve ; and the business before them was at once commenced. 

The first question which was settled affected the age at 
which the children of the town should leave school. Two 
evenings were occupied in discussing this; but it was even- 
tually decided that the children were to remain in the 
ordinary school until they were twelve, and that two 
supplementai-y years were to be added, during which half 
the school day — which was to be extended to seven hours — 
should be spent in the ordinary and half in the technical 
school. 

This involved considerable self-denial on behalf of the 
parents; but one man enthusiastically declared that at 
Craighelbyl the heroes and heroines of the future were to be 
born and trained, and then sent forth into the world to take 
the highest places everywhere, and teach other men to copy 
the example of Knight's own town. It was worth while, he 
argued, for fathers to manage withoiit the earnings of their 
children when such issues as the reformation of the world 
depended upon it. And although some of his neighbours 
laughed at his " tall talk," they decided that fourteen school 
years were none too many for the children of Craighelbyl. 

The next matter settled was a law that all young people 
should pay into a fund to provide them with an income in 
old age, and that a savings bank belonging to Knight's 
business should be at once established, in order that some 
provision should be made for sickness. 

And yet another law was passed, that if any man or woman 
should tempt a child to take intoxicating drink, he or she 
should be asked to at once quit Craighelbyl. 

Another excellent resolution was passed afEecting the 
women who wei'e employed in the factories. A young 
Crusader introduced the subject in words that went directly 
to the point. "Most men," he said, "are jealous of the 
positions that women are making for themselves, and this 
feeling renders us unjust. They work as many hours as men, 
and always for less wages. If they do the same work why. do 
they not have the same money ? Many masters would 
probably give them the same, but for the knowledge that in 
so doing they would displease their men, who have always 
been content that women should labour under this dis- 
advantage. They do work often that men might do, we say, 
and they are not to be encouraged in it. But how many 
factory lads are there who are chivalrous enough to prefer to 
keep their sisters ? How many fathers who object to the 
money which their daughters earn and bring home to pay for 



220 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

their board and lodging ? Tet we are full of complaints that 
factory girls do not make good wives. How in the world are 
they to make good wives when they are at work all day ? They 
ought not to be expected to work as many hours as we do ; 
and I beg to propose that all who are willing shall sign a 
petition to Mr. Knight, asking him to make a woman's 
working day in Craighelbyl two hours less than a man's. 
(Murmurs of dissent were heard.) Nay, with such helpers of 
womanhood as Miss Wythburn and her assistants we may be 
quite sure that the women and girls would turn those two 
hours to good account, and that in the end, we, the men of 
the place, will be better olf for the change. Of course it is 
all very well for us to pass this resolution ; you say Mr. 
Knight will be the only loser by it. But the women would 
not be willing for him to lose, neither would a man among us. 
What I mean is that we should offer to work one hour a day 
longer for the same wages, and also that heads of households 
shoidd be willing to take a little less money for the ' keep ' of 
daughters or sisters ; or, if that does not answer, that every 
man, who is a man and deserves the name, should pay into a 
fund in order to make this matter straight. Why, you know 
it is only of late years that women have been expected to 
earn their own living, and it is only because the men have 
grown more feeble and less gallant, less chivalrous, less 
manly. Here at Craighelbyl we have a chance to show that 
we at least are made of different stuff from raany of our 
fellows. Let us set the example of piitting this women's 
question iTpon another basis." 

In consequence of this resolution the meeting had to be 
adjourned, and two evenings were given to the discussion of 
the subject. Eventually, however, it was agreed to ask Mr. 
Knight to make the women's day an hour less than the men's, 
and to keep their wages at the same rate as before, and to 
assure him that in Craighelbyl there would be enough 
volunteers among the men to prevent his having any loss 
from the change. 

And it may be safely said that no action of the Craighelbyl 
Church in conference created such a sensation throughout 
Eno-land and Wales as this. 



THISTLES OR GRAPES? 221 



CHAPTER XXY. 

THISTLES OR GKAPES? 

" A RE there any lodgings to let in Daventdale ? " 

j\_ The village post-office closed early ; and the postman 
had just called, in his curious red cart, dra^vn by a gaunt 
horse that was celebrated for getting over the ground 
quickly, and, having received the bag, was hastening away to 
the nearest town. The postmistress, an active woman who, 
having a paralysed husband, needed all her activity, had 
come to the door to look after him, when a stranger arrived 
with a letter. " Too late ?" he asked; and she replied "Too 
late ! " and was about to go in and close the door, when his 
other question arrested her. 

Now, it happened that Mrs. Orley had been thinking only 
that afternoon how well she could spare her best parlou.r and 
the bedroom over it, if by doing so she could earn an honest 
pound or two. She knew that in many villages there had 
been inquiries for lodgings, and wondered that none of the 
inquirers came her way — and here stood one before her, as if 
in answer to her thoughts. 

But Mrs. Orley was a wary woman, and the very coinci- 
dence of hei' thought and his appearance created a doubt in 
her mind. 

"Lodgings?" she said. "No, I never heard of anybody 
who lets lodgings in this village." 

" No P Now, that is a pity, for a prettier village does not 
exist in England." 

" Maybe you've seen all the others. I haven't, so I don't 
pretend to say. 'Tis pretty enough for us." 

" And healthy, I suppose ? " 

" Yes ; we live as long as most folks, especially in these 
days, when the houses are better than they used to be." 

" Well, I should like to stay here for a week or two, and I 
wouldn't mind paying fairly. I have taken a fancy to the 
place. I like the undulations and the woods ; and I think the 
squire's house is very pretty. But I suppose it is no use to 
stay longer. Tou know everybody. I have always found 
that a postmaster is the best person in a place of whom to 
make inquiries, so if you say there are no lodgings, I must go 
on to the next village." 



222 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" How mucli did you want to pay ? I have a sitting-room 
and a bedroom. I wouldn't mind obliging you if we can 
come to terms. Would you like to look at the rooms ? " 

" I should," said the stranger, with alacrity ; and no sooner 
had he seen them than he declared that they were exactly 
what he wanted. 

" Make me an offer," said Mrs. Orley. 

" I shall not give much trouble," said the stranger. 
" "Would a pound a week satisfy you ? " 

" I don't want to hurt you," said Mrs. Orley ; " I will oblige 
you if you like for a pound a week." 

If she had mentioned a sum, it would have been half that 
amount. But the stranger appeared pleased, and soon 
settled down, giving his name as Samuel Smart. Mrs. Orley 
decided that he was an author, for he was always writing. 
She was not surprised at his coming to Darentdale, for she 
knew that a good deal had been written about the place, and 
no doubt this man was making up a story in which Darent- 
dale would figure to advantage. So, being a kind-hearted 
woman and very fond of an innocent bit of gossip, she told 
her lodger many interesting things about the inhabitants of 
the village. She offered to introduce him to the parson and 
the squire, but he declined her services in this respect, and 
only made a few acquaintances on his own account. He 
bought a good many books during his stay. He had a list of 
those which he wanted, and asked for them one at a time of 
Mr. Harris. He had none in stock, but could always get the 
volume in a day or two; so there was much coming and 
going between the bookseller and the customer, and however 
busy with his pen the stranger might be, he had plenty of 
time to spare for a talk with him. 

" He interests me exceedingly," he said to Mrs. Orley; and 
she told him all she knew of Margaret and her grandfather. 
" Miss Miller is much more interesting than the old man," 
said the postmistress ; but Mr. Smart did not seem to think 
so, and she set him down as a confirmed old bachelor, with 
very poor tastes and little knowledge of beauty. Margaret 
was a great favourite of hers, and she was never tired of 
talking of her ; but only once did she succeed in arousing 
anything like feeling in Mr. Smart. And that was when 
she had done something which she certainly ought not to 
have done. 

For, of course, Mrs. Orley had sworn before a magistrate 
that she would regard as sacred all letters that passed 
through her hands, and she did not doubt that letters in- 
cluded postcards ; and yet one morning she not only read 



THISTLES OR GRAPES? 223 

ilie whole contents of a postcard herself, but actually took 
the card to her lodger, and he read it too. 

It was a very insulting postcard, wi-itten anonymously, 
and addressed to Margaret Miller. 

" Read this, sir," she said, handing it to him with the 
contents side up, and he read it before he turned it and saw 
the address. 

Mrs. Orley was frightened; she did not think her lodger 
could exhibit so much passion. " A coward ! " he said, 
between his teeth, " and, of course, a woman. Men are bad 
enough, but no man could do such a mean thing as that. It 
takes a jealous, spiteful woman to insult another woman by 
means of an anonymous postcard. Let us throw the thing 
on the fire." 

Mrs. Orley snatched it away in alarm. " It is as much as 
my place is worth not to deliver it," she said, " and I've just 
bethought myself that I ought not to have shown it to you ; 
not that the envious thing who wi-ote it cares how many 
people see it ; it is put on a postcard on purpose. But I don't 
think it will hurt Miss Miller very much. Her lips will 
tremble a little when she reads it, and she will ask herself if 
it contains a lesson that she ought to learn and benefit by, 
and will read it again to see, and then she will burn it and 
try to forget the unkindness of it. That is her way." 

" And a very good way, too," said Mr. Smart, more gently, 
as he put on his hat and went out. 

Mrs. Orley watched him a little after that ; but she could 
never discover that he took the slightest interest in Margaret 
Miller, or ever spoke to her, or even looked at her if she 
happened to pass him in the street. 

He stayed at Darentdale three weeks, and when he left he 
asked his hostess to accept an extra pound, which he declared 
was only her due, because he had been so much more com- 
fortable than he expected. 

He had appeared much interested in the scenery, the place 
and people, as well he might be, for there was another village 
beside Craighelbyl in which the summer passed ideally ; and 
it was Darentdale, where all were trying to make life as joyous 
as God intended it should be. It is one thing to make a great 
eifort of good work in order to float a scheme, it is quite 
another to keep it going when the first enthusiasm has died 
out. The little homes among the green were inhabited by no 
stronger people than the rest of the world ; but their friends 
were far-seeing and patient, and exceedingly solicitous that 
there should be no failures. It was known that many towns 
and villages had followed when Darentdale led the way; and 



224 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

it could be said of more than a few places that all that man 
could do to prevent sin and misery was being done in their 
locality. Some complaints, indeed, were made that there was 
danger of a narrowing of interests ; bvit this was scarcely 
true. A farmer who puts forth all his powers to keep every 
inch of his own land in good condition is yet quite able to 
look at his neighbours' farms, and even, by means of the 
Press, to cast a glance over the whole wide world. The 
Darentdale Church, united, for the sake of those who Avere 
outside, had j)lenty of work on its hands, and a great solici- 
tude in its heart. 

And there was a " revival " in Darentdale. There had to 
be — first, in the church, where it was most needed ; and, 
secondly, outside — among those whom it was necessary to 
bring in. For those who worked the most earnestly were not 
able to do, of themselves, that which they most desired to do, 
and the more entii-ely they felt their own helplessness the 
more entirely were they thrown upon God. 

They were disappointed again and again. One woman, 
who had been helped and who had seemed grateful, relapsed 
into driuikenness, and was quite candid. " I have been a 
fool," she said, " to sign the pledge and pretend that I want 
to be goody. But never again ! A short life and a merry 
one foi" me ! " 

The way was too narrow, the fight too strenuous, for them. 
They needed a Helper stronger than the human, and until 
they sought Him, the immoral could not become moral, or the 
evil good. 

" We must pray more ! Let us give an hour a day to in- 
tercessory wTestling with God, that He will save the people, 
for they cannot save themselves ; neither can we save them ; 
but we are sure that, if it be God's will, they must be saved, ' 
said one. 

" And I am sure," replied Mr. Harris, " that it is most cer- 
tainly God's will that they should be saved." But he prayed 
with the rest, for, although he did not even now attend the 
ordinary religious service at church or chapel, he was always 
present at the united meetings that were public. 

The whole church, indeed, gave itself up to prayer, both 
private and united ; and, as is always the case, there were 
some remarkable incidents proving that prayers were heard 
and answers abundant; one man, Benham, declaring that 
after what he had seen he would never doubt again. " Since 
that woman is changed," he added, " I am sure that any one 
can be. There is an alteration in this place, sure enough." 

" There is," said Nelson, who was the recipient of Benham's 



THISTLES OR GRAPES? 225 

confidences ; " but it is because good people mean it all 
mucli more than tliey used." 

" Yes ; and things will never be the same again, for now 
they know how to look after the boys and girls. And this is 
the most promising thing of all." 

And indeed it was. The Darentdale Committee of Help- 
fulness set a very high value on every young person living in 
the village. If he or she should show vicious tendencies the 
best and ablest person among them undertook the case. All 
the ingenuity and watchful love of wise parents were brought 
to bear, and at present there had been no case that proved 
invulnei-able to these benign powers and influenceg. It soon 
became an extraordinary thing to the Darentdale people that 
there could ever have been a time when a child was of small ac- 
count in the place. " We shall make moioutof these," was a 
consideration never overlooked now in regard to the children. 

A very merry place was Darentdale during those summer 
evenings. There were a dozen tennis-courts, and as many 
cricket- grounds, each presenting a scene of most complete 
enjoyment. The young ladies played with the poor girls. 
Mr. Dallington, the clergyman, and the Baptist minister, each 
superintended some recreations, and all sorts of delightful 
games were organised, in which lads and girls joined and 
their teachers assisted. There were botany classes held in 
the fields and woods ; there were the sounds of sweet songs in 
the meadows, and open-air concerts in the groves ; there were 
gymnastic feats in the orchards, and races in the lanes ; but 
everything was under the supervision of Christian men and 
women, who guided the conversation, and helped with the 
jokes, and made it impossible for gambling or bad language 
to be mixed up with the play, and who believed that in all 
this they were doing the Lord's work as certainly as when 
they were teaching in the Sunday-school. 

Margaret Miller and John Dallington were quietly waiting. 
The look of youthfulness had passed from John's face and 
form, but Margaret was as sweet as ever. John shouldered his 
cross of care manfully, and Margaret daily laid hers down at 
the feet of Him who is as able to bear our sorrows as our sins ; 
and both helped in the efEorts that were being made for the 
betterment of the people who had been, as they believed, 
committed to their care. 

One thing had greatly delighted Margaret, and it was that 
her grandfather, as she still called him, had undertaken the 
care of a dozen of her Young Crusaders. At first, though 
neither he nor she knew it, there had been a demur among 
some of the committee. 

15 



226 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" This must be kept in the hands of Christians," one said 
" and we have no proof that Mr. Harris believes in Christ." 

But another replied, " Let us judge him by the Master's 
rule, ' By their fruits ye shall know them.' We cannot doubt 
that He would deal very tolerantly with sucli a man as Henry 
Harris if He were here now. No one has ever heard him say 
a word against Christ in all the years we liave known him." 

" And now he never says a word against anybody, he has 
become wonderfully gentle and good. He will do no harm to 
the boys." 

And this was certainly the feeling of the majority. As for 
Margaret, she almost envied the boys, for sbe knew how wisely 
and lovingly they would be trained. 

For two bours each evening Mr. Miller's house and garden 
were open to them, and for the first hour he gave them some- 
thing to do with their bodies — gardening, or quoits, or foot- 
ball, or cricket — and for the second be was at their service 
to tell them tales or read to them, or take walks witb them, 
or anything else they pleased. Before they had been a week 
with him they all loved him, and would liave done anything 
or given up anything fur him. And he loved them greatly. 
He believed that every boy had the making of a hero in him, 
and he sought to find out how to develop the best of his 
nature and his powers. He liked to set the eleven to some 
work or play which they liked, and take the twelfth away 
whei'e the two could talk confidentially to each other. The 
boy would pour out his very soul to his friend, telling him 
his ambitions, his troubles, his sins, and his hopes, as he had 
never told any one before. And what wise counsel he 
received in return, what good words to be treasured in the 
boy's heart even after he became a man, no one knew but 
God, not even the man or the boy himself. 

Mr. Harris was always very tired after the boys had gone. 
It was really a bit of his very life that he gave them. If the 
heart be not i^ut into work of this kind very little is accom- 
l^lished ; but if it be heai-t work it can only be done at great 
personal cost to the worker. But he was always very happy, 
too, and had usually something to tell Margaret which she 
was glad to hear. 

One evening Mr. Harris was walking over the fields with a 
lad called Dick Nelson, a bright, mischievous boy, " worth 
saving at any price," Harris said to himself, when a question 
was put to him of a more direct character than any which he 
had ever before been called to answer. They were talking 
about men who had made England, especially the warriors 
and the statesmen, and at length they mentioned General 



THISTLES OR GRAPES? 227 

Gordon. " He would have done more lasting work if he had 
been less general and more Gordon," said Harris. " He was 
a very fine man, but I have always wished that he had not 
been a soldier. You know, Dick, that is one of my fads. I 
don't like war, but I like Gordon ; he was a splendid Chris- 
tian fellow, true as steel." 

" You don't like him any better because he was a Christian, 
though, Mr. Harris, do you ? " asked the boy, looking 
curiously into the grey eyes beneath the shaggy brows. 

" Don't I ? Indeed, I do," said Harris, with a kindly 
smile. 

The lad was thoughtful for a moment too, and then an 
exciting incident occurred ; for they saw a fox running across 
a meadow, and of course the boy must needs chase it. What 
boy could resist such a chance as that ? He came back hot, 
but pleased, and ready to endure the banter of his friend, 
who had been watching with an indulgent look upon his 
benevolent face, and thinking of his own boyhood as if it 
were but yesterday. After that they had a talk about 
amusements ; but when that subject had been dropped, and 
a silence had fallen between them, the boy suddenly asked, 
" Mr. Harris, what do you think about Jesus Christ ? " 

Harris replied vei-y gently, " I think He was the greatest 
and best Man that ever lived." 

" But don't you think, sir," said his questioner, wistfully, 
" that He must have been more than a man to do all the 
things He did — that is, if He ever did do them — I supjiose we 
cannot be sure of that." 

Harris detected the tones of regret in the boy's voice. 
" Why cannot we be sure ? " he said. " The writers of the 
biographies of Jesus Christ are certainly as much to be be- 
lieved as any other writers, to say the least of it ; and for my 
pai-t I have not any doubt that they told the truth about Him. 
Dick, my boy, you cannot do without Jesus Christ. He is 
the best Friend a man ever had — don't doubt that ; and as for 
a poor, hard-working lad like you, why, you will find the world 
a very dark place if you try to shut Him out of it." 

"But I don't want to," said Dick. "I like to read about 
Him. There is nothing sham about Him, is there, sir ? " 

" Sham ! There is nothing half so real as Jesus Christ," 
and Harris took off his hat. 

" I am glad you think so," the boy said gently, putting his 
hand affectionately on the arm of his master. 

Yoimg Nelson never forgot this talk, and it influenced 
his whole life. 

Mr. Harris was half touched, half amused at the incident 



228 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

He spoke of it to Margaret tliat evening, for she kept all his- 
confidences, and thoronglily understood him. " 1 am not 
quite the sceptic I think myself, I suppose," he said. " Cer- 
tainly, the longer I live the more am I impressed by the strong 
personality of the marvellous Man of Nazareth. I think His 
time is coming nearer ; and it will be a happy time, indeed, 
for the world. Do you see the signs, Margaret ? " 

So they talked together ; and presently he asked her to 
sing "one of the old, old hymns," and she sang " Jesus, the 
very thought of Thee," and he joined in as if he felt it. 
Indeed, that night, after Margaret had left him, sitting as he 
loved to sit, with the blinds up, and the moonlight tilling the 
room, she heard him sing softly the words, which for so many 
generations loyal lips have sung to Jesus ; and she said to 
herself, " Dear Graf ! Why does he call himself an un- 
believer ? " 

In Darentdale those who were joined together in Christian 
love and helpfulness had instituted a communion service 
which was for their mutual comfort and editication. It was 
held usually in the house of the clergyman, but although 
many church people attended, the number of Nonconf orniiftts 
was still larger. They did not call it a sacrament, but " a 
breaking of bread together," and " all who loved the Lord 
Jesus in sincerity " were invited to be present. A few 
evenings after the boy's question to Mr. Harris the friends 
were together as usual. The door of the Vicarage was open, 
and they were singing a hymn of praise, the sound of which 
floated through the garden, and reached the high road. Along 
the road Mr. Harris was walking, and he stopped at the gate 
to listen. Then he went noiselessly to the room where the 
meeting was held, and took his seat at the door. Of course 
he was at once recognised. After the hymn was sung a chap- 
ter was read, prayer was offered by any who wished to pray, 
and the chairman asked any friend who could to speak. 

Mr. Harris rose and said a few words, which came from his 
heart, and went to the hearts of others. He told them that 
he had not been quite sincere in his profession of lack of 
faith in Christianity, that he had believed always in Christ, 
but only lately in Christians. He said that he had long ago 
put his trust in Jesus as the living Saviour, and could say, 
" I know in whom I have believed " — although he had not 
thought it necessary to join any part of the Church. " But 
now," he said, " I have a great hunger for the communion of 
saints ! Unworthy as I feel myself, yet, because I love our 
Lord, I ask you to let me join you in this service. Will you 
receive me as one of yourselves F I love my Master, and I 



''HIS OWN way: 229 

love His brethren, and I crave your prayers and your help. 
I want to be taught and strengthened. Let me take the 
lowest place among you, but do not shut me out, for I believe 
that Jesus is the Christ, and that He loved me, and gave 
Himself for me." 

His voice grew rather unsteady — perhaps it was because 
he saw Margaret weeping — and he i-esumed his seat. But 
the little company stood, and with one accord they sang, 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. 



CHAPTER XXYI. 

" HIS OWN W^AY." 

THE reason why Mr. Samuel Smart spent that short 
holiday in Darentdale became apparent a few weeks 
afterward when Margaret Miller received a letter. The 
letter was as follows : — 

''Dear Miss Miller, — Pardon the presumption of an old 
man, who is a stranger to you. I knew Captain Dallington, 
and I once saw you when you were a little child of three, and 
since then I have heard of you, and of the great host of 
Young Crusaders who, in all parts of the country, are learn- 
ing to be good citizens because they are trying to be good 
Christians. 

"I am sorry that I have come to the end of my life, 
because life was never so well worth living as now, when it 
is quite the fashion for a man to give what he has got for 
the good of his fellows. I have something which I also wish 
to give ; but every man gives in his own way, and I know — 
for I have dreamed of it by day and night — exactly how I 
wish my gift to be administered. And I wi-ite to you 
because I have a great hope that you will help me. 

" Let me tell you a little of myself. I was born in a narrow 
street in Bristol, and my childhood's home was a house of 
four small rooms. My father was a bricklayer's labourer, 
who earned eighteen shillings a week. He married early, 
and there were seven children. My father was a decent 
man, who did the best he could, and gave all his earnings 



230 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

to his wife ; but my mother was a poor, incapable creature, 
wlio had been a factory girl from the time when she was 
ten years old until she was married, and who had not the 
least idea how to make the best of the small means she 
had. I can remember her as a joung woman, with dirty 
face and ragged dress and untidy hair, sitting for the most 
part of the day on the doorstep or by the fire, gossiping 
with the neighbours or reading cheap papers while the 
breakfast-things were still on the table, and no dinner was 
ready for my father when he came home. We lived on 
bread bought at the baker's ; we were all dirty and ragged ; 
there was always a baby, and my mother never seemed 
anything but miserable and cross. She used to beat us 
savagely at times, and though I have often tried, I do not 
remember any time when she took me into her arms, or 
taught me a useful lesson. And yet she was not what is 
generally called a bad woman; she was ignorant and in- 
capable; she had been vain and uncontrolled, she had 
married without serious thoughts, and had not the energy to 
meet the circumstances of her life, or fulfil its tasks 

" Our father was kind to us, and I do not think that he 
quarrelled with my mother oftener than he could help ; he 
never spent much money in the public-house ; he made his 
small wages go as far as they coiild without his wife's help, 
but she never seconded his endeavours, and our home was as 
miserable as thousands of other working-men's homes are, 
and which are made a thousand times more so by the hope- 
lessness and idleness and incapacity of the conscienceless 
women who are in them. 

" We children went very irregularly to school, but began 
to earn a few coppers, or to pick up odds and ends of food 
for oui'selves in any way that offered. I liked the quay better 
than any ijlace, and used to spend whole days there, and at 
last a captain who was going to sea offered to take me. I 
ran home to ask my father and mother if I might go. ' I 
don t care where you go,' said my mother ; ' go where you like, 
only don't bother me.' My father went back with me to the 
captain, and talked with him. telling him I had no clothes 
excepting those I wore, and that my mother was not very 
strong and could not see to me, and asking the man to treat 
me well ; then he patted my head and told me to be a good 
boy, and gave me a penny. 

" That was the last I saw of them for several years. Then 
I came back with the ship, and went to see my people. Two 
of my brothers and a sister had died, and my mother looked 
more miserable and dirty than ever. I gave her some money 



''HIS OWN way:' 231 

but was sorry afterward, for the money was worse than 
wasted, and my father was angry, and l3ade me, when I came 
home again, give the money to him and not to my mother. 
I stayed a few days at home, but there was no room for me, 
and after the first day I felt that no one wanted me ; and 
when the ship sailed again my heart was hard and bitter, 
and I had resolved never to trouble my people with my 
presence again. 

" That is more than fifty years ago. I am not going to 
inflict upon you a detailed biography, nor to tell you how it 
has come about that the son of a Bristol bricklayer's labourer 
has become a rich man, and is alone in the world without a 
single living relative. But so it is. I have been in England 
five years ; but though I have spared no pains or endeavours, 
I can find no trace of my brothers or sisters other than the 
registers of their deaths. They seem to have left no children 
behind them. 

" I am, therefore, free to do as I will with my money ; and, 
naturally, I should like it to benefit my native land. I have 
looked at the different methods of doing good which others 
have adopted ; but I do not quite like any of them. I could 
leave a large legacy to a hospital ; but it seems to me better 
to nurse the poor in their own homes than in big places 
where all are strangers. I could buy a peoj)le's park, and 
present it to some town which has none : but I have a hope 
that the future will bring the people back to the villages. I 
could give my money to some grand scheme for providing 
employment for the unemployed ; but the worst of the un- 
emj)loyed do not want work, and would not do it if they 
might. So many benevolences commence at the wrong end 
of life. It is with the children that Hope dwells. Tour own 
Young Crusaders are the great makers of the future, sucli 
as we wish it to be. But they are — most of them — working 
lads. In a few years they will be falling in love with pretty 
faces, and man-ying them. And what then ? Many girls are 
still in factories, as vain and frivolous as girls ever were. 
What sort of wives will they make for your Tri-colour 
Crusaders ? How many years will it take for thriftless, 
soulless women to undo what you are trying to do ? 

"I think if you had wanted money for your Crusade I 
would have given you some of mine. I am, however, greatly 
rejoiced that you do not flood the country with appeals and 
begging letters, but that this vast and most important 
organisation is, like the great Sunday-school system, 
carried on at small cost, which is met by local voluntary 
contributions. 



232 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" But that w'liicli I desire to see accomplislied cannot well 
be done by existing institiitions, or without extra money. 

" My wish is to provide a Training Home for young women 
who are about to be mai-ried, w^here they may stay, free of 
cost, for six months, and be under the influence of Christian 
women at the same time that they are practising such house- 
hold duties and economies as pertain to the wives of the poor: 
and for such only as have no mothers to teach them, or those 
flighty young girls who are not willing to be taught. Plenty 
of such cases must be known to city missionaries, district 
visitors, and all the other kindly souls who look after the 
poor and take an interest in girls. 

" Personally, I rejoice in the better wages now paid to the 
working man. Whoever helps to make the prosperity of a 
nation shoiild share in it. But wages have less to do with 
the well-being of a family than most people imagine. Two 
men ai"e neighbours, they earn the same wages, pay the same 
rent, have the same number of children ; but in one case the 
people are respectable and respected, in the other they are 
dejected, suspected, and miserable. What makes the differ- 
ence P A little bill announcing a Band of Hope meeting is in 
the window of one, and a broken pane of glass in the other. 
In the one case the man is steady and the woman is indus- 
trious and thrifty, in the other, both man and woman are 
failures in life and character. I know that human nature is 
exceedingly stubborn and intractable, and that only the 
Spirit of God can change the heart ; but is not the Spirit 
always working ? Have we not the right to hope that many 
giddy young things, who would otherwise rush into married 
life quite unprepared for its duties, may, under the influences 
of love and happiness, be brought to take more serious views 
of their responsibilities ? I cannot imagine any better way 
of serving our country than by helping to raise the character 
of the young mothers among the people. I am casting no 
slur on the women of England as a whole ; no one has any- 
thing but praise for the hosts of loyal, loving, enlightened, 
working mothers who are training their sons and daughters 
for high and noble futures; but oiu- great weakness and 
danger are in the multitudes of other women, and it is the 
lowest class that is laid upon my thought. 

"But nothing can be done in this matter except by women 
of courage, tact, and strong character and goodxiess. I can 
find the house and the money ; can you find the organisers 
and the workers ? Will you, dear Miss Miller, for the love 
of Christ and your poor miserable young sisters who do not 
know Him, undertake the management of the home ? and 



''HIS OWN WAVr 233 

will you love them and care for them, and teach them what 
goodness is ? I ask you, partly because you are yourself 
young, and can therefore understand and sympathise with 
girls, and partly because, from all I know of you, I am assured 
that you can carry this idea forward to success, and mostly 
for another roason, which is my own alone. My friend 
Smart has told me all about your private life and character. 
And I have no hesitation in saying that if you will do your 
part I will do mine, and with all possible speed. A large, sub- 
stantial homestead near the coast, in the north-east of 
Yorkshire, has lately come into my possession. It could be 
ready for you in a month. It will accommodate forty 
persons ; and I will not only pay all the bills, but will give a 
present of five pounds' worth of household utensils to every 
girl who stays with you six months, and satisfies you. I have 
an idea that this bribe may win some who would not 
otherwise submit to any process of improvement, however 
kindly performed. 

"I am only like many other men of my day in my wish to 
remain unknown, and to do this thing anonymously. Tou 
may call me ' Friend Philip ' if you will ; and all our com- 
munications had better pass through the hands of my 
solicitors — Messrs. Smart, Watkin, and Smart. I cannot 
but hope that your reply may be in the affirmative. Think 
of the lives you may influence, the homes you may bless; 
and I pray you help me in this important work. We shall be 
the pioneers of the movement. Before many years are passed 
all the big cities — London, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, and 
my own Bristol — will consider a Training Home for Mothers 
as great a necessity as a workhouse or a gaol, and will support 
one out of the rates. This is surely a crusade for women ; 
and it is worthy of your best powers. But if you will not 
undertake it I must find some other means of disposing of 
my money.— Believe me, with great respect, yours faithfully, 
Friend Philip." 

Margaret might have been disposed to question the validity 
of this letter but for one from Mr. Smart which accom- 
panied it, and which stated that the necessary funds for 
commencing the enterprise had already been lodged with 
phis firm, subject to her consent to act. She was, naturally, 
greatly disturbed by the incident. How could she take up 
this work when her hands were full already ? And it was 
not of such a life that she dreamed. No woman does. She 
may accept it, when God sends it, and find it full of won- 
derful content and exquisite joy ; but her early dreams are 
of something very different from this. 



234 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

Margaret's thoughts were of John. She hoped to prove 
that one young woman was capable of making one yonng- 
man a good wife — when the time came. Her pleasantest 
occupations had to do with economical housekeeping, and her 
imaginings were of a bright little home where hands that love 
made clever were instead of gold. But in that home, in her 
dreams, there was always a seat for John's mother, who 
had at last taken to her arms the Margaret whom she once 
despised and hated, and a pang shot through the girl's heart 
as she acknowledged that this dream was as far from realisa- 
tion as ever. She had declared that she would not marry 
John without his mother's consent, and his mother had shown 
no sign of relenting. 

" Perhaps I am not to be happy, and God has sent me this 
work instead," she thought. 

John was to call uiDon her that evening, but she scarcely 
knew how to wait until then. She must show him this letter 
even before Mr. Harris saw it, for John had the greater right. 
And what would he say but what she had said already, that 
this strange man who had written to her must find some one 
else to use his money and do his work ? 

And yet, as Margaret thoiight the words she corrected 
herself. " It is God's work, I am sure of that," she said ; 
" but I cannot think He mshes me to do it." 

Margaret did with her letter as, many years before. 
King Hezekiah did with his. And then she tried to wait 
patiently. 

In the afternoon it occurred to her that it woitld be a good 
plan to compel Mrs. Hunter to see her and talk to her openly. 
Naturally Margaret shrank from the ordeal, but she thought 
it quite possible that good might come of it. She would try 
to tell Mrs. Hunter that she need have no fear that she would 
marry her son if that would be to separate him fi'om his 
mother, but she would point out to her that she had come 
to the parting of the ways, and needed to decide on some 
action, and then she would appeal to the mother's love and 
see if the proud woman would not yield a little. 

Poor Margaret ! After nerving herself to the effort she 
entered the garden of John's house, and saw Mrs. Hunter 
at the window. But the servant informed her that Mrs. 
Hunter bade her say that she was not at home. 

So Margaret swallowed her disappointment and returned 
home. Happily for her peace of mind, John came early 
enough to take tea with her. 

"Margaret, my darling," he said, "I am hungry for your 
love. I must see you oftener than once a week, or I shall 



''HIS OWN WAY." 235 

become a very disagreeable fellow. What is the matter ? " 
His eyes were searching her face, and love made them keen. 
He saw that she was labouring under some excitement. 

She thought she would not tell him quite at first about her 
visit to his mother, if at all, for it would only give him pain. 

" I want my tea," she said ; " let us have it cosily together. 
Even Graf is out, and I do not expect any one to call. I want 
to ask you something ? " 

" What is it, my Madge ? " 

" The name of this wild flower. It is new to me." 

" Nonsense ! It is not at all an uncommon flower. Tou 
must be blinded by love, or you would have seen it before." 

" Perhaps I am," said Margaret, demurely. " Another cup ?" 

But when the tea was drunk she could wait no longer. 

" I have a letter to show you. It is from a gentleman," 
she said, lightly. 

His brow clouded. " Who is he ? " 

" Ah ! that is what I do not know. But you need not be 
angry. He has made me a proposal ; but he is a very old man." 

They read the letter together. At first John was pleased. 

" It is a capital idea," he said. " It is just what is wanted. 
Does not everybody say that the great design of the Zenana 
work in India is to train mothers ? And there is not a town 
of any size in England but has hundreds of mothers such as 
this man had." 

But as he read further he was not so satisfied. 

" What does the fellow mean ? " he said. " How perfectly 
absurd ! He asks you to do it. A pretty thing, indeed ! 
Tou have something else to do with your life, Margaret. I 
want you." But he was very pale, and a fear had taken 
possession of liim. 

" The letter has disturbed me a little," she said; "but the 
writer surely cannot mean that the scheme hangs upon my 
accepting or rejecting the management of it. I am too young 
and inexperienced." 

" Of course you are," John rejoined, hastily. " But oh, my 
darling, we must not wait longer. Why should we ? I am 
of age. I can please myself. I am not under my mother's 
control, and she is wi-ong to try to thwart me. We should 
have to be economical, for I am getting poorer every day, and 
the lack of money tries and troubles me greatly ; but you 
would not mind that. Say you will marry me, and will not 
let my mother come between us." 

" John, dear, I dare not come between you and your 
mother. Tou are all she has. There is no change for the 
better, is there ? I tried to see her to-day." 



236 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" You did ? " 

" Yes, for I think if she would talk things over with me. 
she would feel differently ; but the servant told me that she 
was not at home." 

" We will see her together, Margaret, and she shall talk 
with you." 

" Ajid, perhaps, it will be right for me to let her decide 
whether or not I shall tmdertake this work ? " 

" Nay, my darling, why shoiild she decide? It is for you 
and me to decide, and we have done it already." 

But though he spoke confidently there was a great doubt 
at his heai-t all the time, and Margaret had a curious feeling 
that she would have to go to that old homestead in York- 
shire — if not willingly, then against her will. 

" Talk to my cousin Tom about it," said John, " and also to 
Arthur Knight's friend, Miss Wentworth. It is she who 
ought to undertake this thing. She is just the person for it." 

'^ Yes, I will see Tom to-morrow, and if she can spare 
the time we will go to Miss Wentworth and lay the 
matter before her." 

The next day Margaret and Tom had a long talk about it, 
and Tom was most enthusiastic. 

" Margaret, I scarcely like to say it, because of John, 
for I do not know what he could do without you ; but you 
were made for this work. There is nothing that so badly 
needs to be done just now, and God has given you a very 
motherly nature on purpose for it. Do not hastily refuse 
this call. I think it is from God." 

" I have not told my grandfather yet, and I must. And we 
shall hear what Miss Wentworth says about it. But, Tom, 
most of all I want to know whether there is any hope of 
John's mother receiving me kindly." 

" Margaret, I am afraid there is not the very least chance 
of it. Aunt is really dreadful about John's love for you ; 
and it is only right that I should tell you." 

" Then, Tom," said Margaret, slowly, " I think I must 
do tliis thing that I am asked ; not that I am able or worthy, 
but because it is given me to do. I dare not separate John's 
mother from him, and the state of things that exists at 
present is really injuring him ; so, for his sake — yes, and 
for another reason — I feel as if I must say Yes. It is such 
a splendid mission to be engaged in." 

" It is. And if I may help you, Margaret, I will. But we 
must not be hasty. We have others to think of." 

"■ Yes," said Margaret ; " and I think John's mother shall 
decide it for me." 



A VISIT OF INQUIRY. 237 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

A VISIT OF INQUIRY. 

MANY troubles are worse in anticipation tlian in reality. 
Mr. Felix Stapleton had cut the difficult knot of his 
affairs in the only right and direct way ; and all the haunting 
spectres that had filled his days with care, and made his 
nights hideous, vanished at once. 

He had rebuilt the little mission chapel, which had been 
pronounced unsafe ; he had made atonement in some way 
to every man who had paid him more for a house than 
it was worth ; and he had met his liabilities like a man and 
a Christian. 

Of course all this had not been done at small cost to 
himself. Much time and thought had been given to his 
affairs, and competent advice sought by him. It goes with- 
out saying that there had been many consultations at which 
his brother and his son assisted, and they were frequently 
joined by Mrs. Stapleton and her eldest daughter. In one 
point they were decided and imited, once for all : whatever 
came they would not forfeit their own self-respect, and 
that of each other ; nor would they do what their con- 
sciences, cultivated by Christianity, declared to be wi'ong 
in -God's sight, and dishonourable in the sight of the best 
men. And having thus decided it was wonderful how easy 
and practicable all the rest became. 

The Gi'anchester folk were considerably surprised, and 
almost filled with consternation, when they discovered that 
Mr. Stapleton's house and estate, and even his horses, car- 
riages, and furniture, were for sale ; but he gained immensely 
from the fact that he was himself selling them, and not 
his creditors. His place was so convenient and beautiful, 
and in such excellent condition, that it sold exceedingly 
well, and with little delay ; and the wonder of it all scarcely 
lasted the proverbial nine days. The greatest trouble Mr. 
Stapleton had was to get the money at once, and pay it 
away as quickly ; for this is not the way in which business is 
done in these days ; but he was a very determined man, 
and even the lawyers had for once to be in a hurry. For 
a few days he had much to endure — since it took that time 
for the people to make up their minds whether he was 



238 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

a rogue or a liero — and one or tAvo acquaintances became 
less genial in their greetings and more cautious in their 
dealings with him. But after the meeting of the creditors, 
when it was understood what the man had really done, and 
how he had vindicated his honour and Christian principle, he 
was treated with a respect which almost amounted to vene- 
ration. One of the happiest memories of his life, henceforth, 
was that of the testimony which the chairman bore to his 
uprightness and sustained honour, and of the emphatic 
approval and handshakings of the other men. 

And now himself and family were safely ensconced in their 
pretty country cottage, and had entered upon their new life. 
Mr. Stapleton went ofE every morning on the outside of the 
tram, and enjoyed his twopenny ride. He was always accom- 
panied by his son, and generally by his eldest daughter, who 
now gave lessons on the violin, and had several pupils. Mrs. 
Stapleton spent an hour in the garden daily, and was assisted 
by some of the younger children. The girls were taking 
lessons in housekeeping of their mother. The troubles of 
the family had broiight them all more closely together, 
and there was more love and brightness among them than 
before. 

" Do you feel as if you have come down in the social scale, 
mother ? " asked Ernest one day. 

" Not in the least," was the prompt reply. " My friends 
seem to have settled in the affirmative the question, ' Ought 
we to visit her ? ' and many of them have taken the trouble 
to come over and call. But they quite understand that I am 
too busy now to give much time to social civilities ; and I am 
prepared to spend the rest of my days in the bosom of my 
family." 

As for Mr. Stapleton, the cloud had been lifted from him, 
and his step became once more buoyant and free. And the 
best of it was that his courageous example was followed 
by many other men, who would not have had strength to be 
honest if he had not shown them the way. 

Before many weeks had passed an incident occurred which 
rendered it possible that he might once more win his way 
to fortune, although, as he often declared, if he were a 
millionaire he would never again live as extravagantly as he 
had done ; and, indeed, simple life was becoming fashionable 
in many quarters. 

The story of Arthur Knight's removal to Craighelbyl had 
been frequently told in the illustrated and other newspapers, 
and it had excited great interest. Some manufacturers who 
were finding the expenses of their location in London and 



A VISIT OF INQUIRl. 239 

other large cities almost too heavy to be borne were 
fascinated by the idea of getting away into some country 
district, where the cost of living and production would be 
so much less as to cover in time that of removal. Before 
long several firms had resolved upon making a similar 
venture, and one or two limited liability companies were 
formed for the same purpose. 

At a meeting of the managers of some of these companies 
it was resolved to ask Felix Stapleton to undertake the 
requisite buildings ; and, as may be imagined, there was 
great i-ejoicing in his home at the news, as also at the home 
of Dr. Stapleton ; fur his brother hastened to inform him 
and to ask his help and advice. " It could not come at a 
better time for me," he said. " Most of my men will o-q with 
me anywhere, and will work for fair wages. The buildino- 
trade is slack here so I shall have no difficulty. I am advised 
to go to Craighelbyl, and see the place for myself." 

" Certainly, and I will go with you," said the doctor. " I 
was wishing for just such an opportunity. A daughter of a 
friend of mine is going there — Miss Tom Whitwell — and I 
shall be glad to offer to be her escort. How soon can you 
go P There is nothing like seeing for yourself, and I would 
lose no time about it if I were you ; for Knight's idea is 
certain to j)rove fruitful seed in moi-e directionsthan one." 

" Yes, there is no doubt of it. The day of the big cities is 
over, at least in one respect. It has always been a mistake 
to plant new works in the metropolis ; London is for other 
purposes than to make kettles, or shoes, or blankets in. It 
has been growing more beautiful and healthy every year. 
And there are plenty of other places where the common 
work of the factory can be better and more cheaply done 
than in her streets. It is waste of many kinds to continue 
immense black works within the sound of Big Ben. The 
laws of England will always be made in Westminster, and 
her books within a two-mile radius of Paternoster Row 
while round aboiit the Bank and the Exchange Kino- Com- 
merce will reign for ever ; and from the Thames will still o-q 
the ships that are to conqiier the world, not with their bio- 
guns but with their cargo." ° 

" Ah ! A cargo of rum and whisky ! " 

" No, indeed. Do you suppose that England is goino- to 
stand that sort of thing much longer ? I am sure she will 
not, for, Fred, the Church is waking up at last ! " 

" Yes ; I really believe she is." 

■' And, in the meantime, the denizens of ' darkest London ' 
are being taken out by thousands into the light of broad fields 



240 NINETEEN HUNDRED?- 

and green spaces, and are being educated to love work \>j 
enterprising Englishmen who will actually inake it jxiy." 
" They are sure to do that if it is to be done." 
" I believe it is. There are great capacities for work in the 
ordinary working man of England, and now. when so often 
he is given a share in the profits which he helps to make, we 
shall be able to hold our own, no matter who tries to block 
the T^ay." 

" Bravo, Felix ! I congratulate you on the change of heart 
and head which has taken place in yovi. And when will you 
go to Craighelbyl ? " 

" On Monday. I shoiild like to be at home on Sunday. 
They have asked me to preach in our little village in the 
evening. Of course, I cannot preach a sermon ; but a man 
oiaght to have learnt something by his prosperities and 
adversities, and all the ways in which God deals with his 
soul, and I will gladly tell the people that which has been 
taught to me. And, after all, they like that sort of thing. 
Even the parsons are the more successful the more they 
let life teach them, and the more of the real teachings 
of life which they put in their sermons. Too many of them 
really do not understand the fierce temptations which beset 
men who are doing the world's business, and 1 suppose 
that is how it is that a man may so often attend two ser- 
vices, and yet fail to gi-asp anything which will help to keep 
him steady^and true on the Monday." 

" That is so. And although all congregations like to get 
from their ministers what is called an intellectual treat 
— or, better still, a spiritual treat — every one needs and 
appreciates the dii-ect talk of a practical man. But, Felix, 
we must keep to business now. Can yoi; spare a few hours 
to go over to Mr. Whitwell's ? " 

"Can you .^" 

" Yes ; I will drive across at once if you like. I shall 
be back in time to see two patients this evening. It is 
always a pleasure to go to Hornby Hall." 

The master of the Hall was delighted to make the acquaint- 
ance of Felix Stapleton, since he honoured the man, as many 
others did, for the fidelity to Christian principles which he 
had exhibited. The two men had much in common, and 
the tirae tiew rapidly while they were together. 

" I shall be gi-eatly indebted to you for taking my daughter 
under your charge during her joiu-ney," he said. " And I 
am sure you will enjoy youi- visit. I shoi;ld like to accom- 
pany you, too. But you will not find the man who is 
the life and soul of the place there. I see from the papers 



A VISIT OF INQUIRY. 241 

that Mr. Knight is trying to be in lialf-a-dozen places at once. 
He is endeavouring to i^repare for the next political battle, 
and there is no time to lose, for a dissolution is imnainent. 

" Do you think so ? That is my own opinion also." 

" Oh, yes. The Government is in great straits. There 
must be an appeal to the country, and that soon." 

" It will be a big fight." 

" It will, indeed, and fought on altogether new lines ; for 
the conflict will be between the Church and the world, and 
not, as before, between two parties who themselves make half 
the difficulties that are supposed to separate them." 

"Are the churches ready ?" 

"I think they are more nearly ready than ever before. 
They have made their influence more surely felt during 
the last twenty years than at any other time since the 
formation of the present British Constitution. And this 
has naturally aroused the antagonism of the opposing 
powers, who do nothing but sneer at the develoj)ment of 
the Christian conscience in politics ; but the result will be 
that those who are for righteoiisness will ignore their minor 
differences, and stand together in this contest." 

" If they do, the right will be victorious. Scourby means 
to lead the way," said Dr. Stapleton. " There is not, I think, 
the least fear that Mr. Lavender will be returned again. 
The peoj^le have learned their lesson thoroughly." 

" I think so, though it remains to be seen." 

" I did not tell you, Felix," said the doctor, addi-essing his 
brother, " that I had the pleasure of making one of a depu- 
tation from all the religious societies of the town, to urge Mr. 
Whitwell to allow himself to be nominated." 

" I am glad to hear it. I need not ask whether you were 
successful, because the feeling is strong that no man who is 
solicited by the united churches can do other than accept the 
honour and responsibility." 

"That is my own feeling," said Mr. Whitwell. "But for 
this I should certainly have declined, for I have no wish 
whatever to enter Parliament ; but I think in the present 
crisis every man should put his patriotism before his own 
wishes or convenience." 

" And in your case there can be no doubt of victory." 

" I am not sure. I believe it will certainly be a hard fight." 

" I hope every man will vote. There ought to be a law to 
compel him to do so," said Dr. Stapleton. 

" What ! " cried his brother, " do you want to still further 
curtail the liberty of the subject ? " 

"I believe," said Mr. Whitwell, "that Arthur Knight will 

16 



242 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

have done a great deal to bring about a better state of things 
in England. Have you heard him speak, Mr. Stapleton ? " 

" Yes ; several times. He is a man of marvellous power 
and eloquence. What he says goes directly to the hearts of 
his hearers. His personality is so vivid, and his words and 
gestures are so telling, that it is difficult to resist him. He 
sways an audience as few have been able to do. I am sorry 
he is not at Craighelbyl." 

"I should think he will probably be there during your 
visit," said Tom — and then she stopped, as if confused. 

" But he is quite on the other side of the country," objected 
her father. 

" Yes ? But the country is not a very broad one, and Mr. 
Knight is a good traveller. I am sure he would wish to see 
you. Dr. Stapleton, and would return, if possible, in time to 
do the honours of his own place." 

Mr. Whitwell shook his head. " He is engaged just now 
on grave business," he said. 

" I suppose we are to have another eloquent man in our 
midst directly — the young clergyman from Canada ? " 

"Macdonald? Yes; I undeistand that he will rival 
Knight. It is another case of Wesley and Whitfield. Only 
Macdonald is a very staunch Churchman, and speaks in the 
interests of the English Church." 

" What a good thing it is that the Chiii'ch will hear him ! " 
remarked the doctor. 

" Dr. Staj)leton, I wish you could persuade my friend, Mar- 
garet Miller, to accompany us to Craighelbyl," said Tom. 

" I could not urge her to do so now, for, although she does 
not yet know it, I am afraid that her grandfather is ill." 

" Mr. Harris ill ! " 

" He is not well, certainly, and I am rather anxious about 
him. I want him to consult a specialist." 

" It would be a sad thing for us all if Mr. Harris were ill. 
We could not spare him just now." 

" I hope I may be mistaken. He is a fine man, and my 
best friend," said the doctor. " Felix, my time is up. I 
shall call for you, Miss Tom, at nine o'clock on Monday 
morning. Our train leaves Euston at eleven." 

Three of the passengers who travelled into Wales by that 
train, although they had as pleasant a journey as any of the 
rest, and were quite as talkative, had each some thoughts 
which were kept entirely to the thinker, and a profound 
secret from the others. They were going, as more than a few 
other people had gone, in order to see for themselves the new 



A VISIT OF INQUIRY. 243 

departure which created so much interest everywhere, and 
their conversation was chiefly on this theme. Tom, too, was 
eager to see her friend Mary Wythburn, and renew the 
friendship of the old school days, and hear all that Mary 
would tell of her strange experiences since that morning 
which she never liked to think about, when she had fled from 
her friends rather than be married. Tom was very desu'ous, 
too, to introduce to Mr. Stapleton the two children, Geoff 
and Sis, and discover how they liked the new life. Tom's 
stories of these prodigies were very amusing, and helped to 
while away the tedium of the journey. But that which she 
was thinking of the most frequently she told to no one ; and 
perhaps Dr. Stapleton and his brother were as little con- 
fidential as she. 

It was evening when they neared Af on Wen, and saw the 
beautiful blue sea spread before them ; but Craighelbyl looks 
its loveliest and best in the evening lights, and the travellers 
agreed that a more charming situation could scarcely have 
been found. 

Miss Wythburn and her father stood on the platform, and 
the two children were beside them. As the train drew up, 
Sissy shouted, " Aunty Tom, what have you brought me ? I 
am such a great, good girl now." 

The child was exceedingly iiseful, for the meeting might 
have had some elements of awkwardness in it if she had not 
created a diversion. 

Mary hastened forward to greet her friend. " Oh, Tom ! 
how good it is to see you. But how pale and tired you are ! 
The Welsh air will soon change all that though. If you had 
but brought Margaret with you my joy would have been 
perfect. How do you do, Dr. Staj^leton ? " 

The doctor looked so intently into the face that had seldom 
been absent from his thoughts that Mai-y was obliged to 
turn from his keen gaze in some confusion. Mr. Wythburn's 
pleasure was veiy great ; he had longed for the sight of an 
old friend, and he had always liked the doctor. He wished he 
might have come to stay for a month; and he promised 
himself the greatest possible pleasure in showing him the 
features of the new place in which Mr. Wythburn almost felt 
that he had a share. 

The two gii-ls walked together to talk as girls will ; and 
Tom was soon in ecstasies about everything. " But I wish 
very much that Mr. Knight were at home," said Mary ; " for 
the place never seems complete without him." 



244 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

" FOR CHRIST AND THE PEOPLE ! " 

" A ND yoii are really happy, Mary ? " 
XA. " As happy as it is possible to be in this world." 

" And you do not require any one but these people to fill 
your heart and life ? Tou are sure that you have never 
regretted Alfred Greenholme ? " 

Mary laughed merrily at the suggestion. " I do regret 
acting as I did, Tom ; but I thank God every day that 
instead of being Alfred Greenholme's wife I am at work 
among my dear people in this most beautiful place." 

" And no doubt Mr. Knight fully appreciates your 
services P " 

" Mr. Knight appreciates everything that is done to help 
to make Craighelbyl what he has set his heart vipon its 
becoming — a model town occupied by model people. It is not 
all easy, jow know, Tom. We have some obstreperous ones 
among us ; but there is every inducement to the people to 
behave well, because everything is done that can be thought 
of to make them comfortable and happy." 

" And they are certainly a merry set, if one may judge 
from last night." 

" Tes ; they have developed a capacity for enjoying them- 
selves which is remarkable when one remembers how they 
looked when they lived in Paradise Grove." 

" I really must congi-atulate you, Mary, on being able to 
assist in so good and great a thing as this. I should have 
liked the chance myself." 

" I am sure you would have, Tom. But now tell me of 
Margaret, and this new idea of a training home for young 
housewives." 

The two friends were together on the shore, with a long 
afternoon before them, and much to talk about. Mary 
wanted to know all that Tom could tell of Scourby and 
Darentdale, of old and mutual friends, and of the success of 
the new plans for helping the poor to help themselves, which 
had been tried for a longer time in the places adjacent to 
Tom's home than onywhere else. "When she heard the 
particulars of the suggestions contained in the letter which 



"FOR CHRIST AND THE PEOPLE.'" 245 

-Margaret liad received she was delighted, and almost wished 
herself back again that she might help. 

" Margaret must tmdertake the management, and she will 
do it splendidly," she said. " Nothing must stand in the 
way. It is, of all other missions, the one that is most needed 
in England." 

■' I am not at all sure that my Cousin John ought not to 
stand in the way. There are always private interests to be 
considered, and it is not right that they should be ignored. 
But if Margaret abides by her resolution not to marry him 
until my aunt consents, I quite think she may count upon 
several years for this work. But whoever shall attempt it 
will find the task bristling with difficulties. Those girls who 
most need to be made to think do not wish to ; and they will 
not voluntarily go into exile during the time of courtship — it 
is not likely." 

" But the bribe of five pounds' worth of furniture will 
secure many. And I am sure there must be hosts of gii'ls 
whose hearts and consciences are made tender by love, and 
who would most thankfully embrace such an opportunity of 
making themselves more worthy to be wives." 

" Oh, yes ! And it will be a great thing to help these ; but 
I am afraid tbe lowest of the low will not be reached." 

" Even if it be so, it will be much to prevent the class just 
above the lowest of the low from sinking down into it. 
What ai'e you going to do yourself, Tom ? Will you help 
Margaret P " 

" Yes ; I think so," said Tom. " We have pulled together 
well, Margaret and I ; biit I have not as much of the mis- 
sionary spirit as she." 

Mary laughed. " The real truth is, I think, that you will 
have to be married. I am sure that in your secret soul you 
have a great love for 'quiet household joys,' shared by 
somebody." 

" Shared by whom ? " 

" Ah ! we shall all know some day." 

"When?" 

" How can I tell when ? Perhaps soon. Certainly at the 
right time." 

The days of Tom's holiday passed very pleasantly in 
gambols and rambles with the children, in walks over the 
hills with Mary and Dr. Stapleton, and at the different 
classes which were vigorously carried on in the delightful 
" Town of Progress." Everything which they saw charmed 
the visitors, and compelled the Doctor to remark that 
if Craighelbyls could be multiplied England would at 



246 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

once deserve the name of Christian, which years ago she 
claimed. 

Tom felt all the time that if only Mr. Knight were at 
home the thing would he perfect. Since the place owed 
everything to him, he ought really to have been there. She 
wondered many times whether he knew of her visit, and 
whether it would make any difference to him if he did ; and, 
after much thought, she concluded that it would not. He 
was the one man in England in whom the hopes of the 
people were centred ; he had been most kind and pleasant 
during those days when she had met him in London and the 
short visit which he had paid at her father's house, but it 
was not likely that he, of all men, should give a second 
thought to her. 

And yet she rather resented one little circumstance, She 
had not felt the slightest possible interest in the man until 
he had made her ! Why had he piit that something into his 
manner, and then niade no further sign ? 

Still, it was, of course, an indisputable fact that no one 
could see Craighelbyl without feeling the keenest interest in 
Arthur Knight, so that was, no doubt, the reason why Tom 
thought of him, not only every day, but many times during 
the day. 

In the meantime Mr. Stapleton had been making the most 
of his time, and had been assisted by the officials to the 
information which he desired. That which he saw he most 
heartily approved. The buildings were not for a year's wear 
only, but were meant to last, and Mr. Knight had not put 
the work into the hands of a contractor that it might be 
done cheaply, but he had only cared to have it well done ; 
and, consequently, all that modern science had established in 
regard to public buildings, factories, and the homes of the 
people had been used in the erection of Craighelbyl. Mr. 
Felix Stapleton had his dreams. If he should ever be able 
he would himself be the founder of a similar place. 

Neither he nor his brother could spare many days, even for 
the study of so interesting a place as Craighelbyl, thotigh 
the Doctor was particularly charmed with some matters, and 
especially with the experiences of Dr. Armitt, with whom he 
had many conversations. Mr. Knight had placed Dr. Armitt 
at Craighelbyl, not so much that he might cure the people 
when they were ill, as keep them well ; and, understanding 
this, the latter was trying varioiis plans. Once a week he 
gave a medical lecture ; but his audience was a different one 
on each of the foiir Thursdays of the month. One lecture 
was to men only, another was to mothers, one was to children. 



''FOR CHRIST AND THE PEOPLE/" 247 

and the fourth was an ambulance lecture open to all. The 
Doctor knew how to make his talks chatty and humorous ; 
he had always some story to tell which raised a laugh, and 
he was listened to the more regularly for that. Then, 
besides, there were examinations, and competitions for 
prizes ; and by these means he got together the majority of 
the residents. He was also the Sanitary Inspector of the 
place, and a merciless examiner he made; so that all careless 
occupants of houses had a bad half -hour whenever he visited 
them, for he was, as one woman said, '" awfully masterful and 
tyrant-like." He was ; and, what was more, he could keep it 
up, so that it was really less trouble for the men and women 
to be regularly particular and attentive to their duties than 
to clean and turn out j^laces while the Doctor stood fuming 
and storming by. And the Doctor did this part of the work 
all the more thoroughly because the community was at 
present in an entirely healthy condition. 

Dr. Stapleton would have liked to change places with him ; 
and the two men parted with the understanding that if a 
second doctor were required Stapleton should be told of the 
circumstance. 

He was loth to leave Craighelbyl without that which he had 
really come for — a talk with Miss Wythburn ; and the time 
for his departure came before he had the opportunity. But 
on the last night of his stay he spoke to Mary's father of that 
which was in his heart. 

" She is so much occupied with Miss Whitwell and with her 
work that I have tried in vain to see her alone even for five 
minutes," he said. 

" Perhaps Mary has intentionally contrived that it should 
be so," said Mr. Wythburn. " Women are curious creatures, 
Doctoi-, and they read men like a book — or think they do. I 
don't think Mary cares to get married to any one. But you 
shall have a chance to ask her." 

Tom Whitwell was not nearly ready to return, and neither 
coxild her friend spare her so soon. It was, therefore, easily 
managed for the Doctor to have his opportunity. 

"There need be no beating about the bush," he said. "I 
think you must know what brought me here. Miss Wythburn." 

" Everybody knows that," said Mary. " You came to see 
Craighelbyl." 

" Tes ; but, most of all, I came to see you. I am not vain 
enough or stupid enough to suppose that you have ever 
thought of me since you left Scourby." 

" Oh. yes ; I have thought of you often, Dr. Stapleton." 
said Mary, gently. 



248 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" But I have thought of yoii every day, and in spite of 
myself. I have tried to forget you, because I have feared 
that you could not return my love ; but I cannot help myself 
— there is no other woman in the world for me." 

Mary's eyes filled with tears, for she was so sorry for him. 
She had feared this all along, and yet had hoped she might 
te mistaken. She liked the Doctor so much too — but that 
was all. 

" It is very good of you to care for me," she said, " after 
all that has happened ; but I am sorry you do, because I can 
never be married. It would not be right." 

The Doctor misunderstood her, and answered angrily, 
" Why is it not right, when Greenholme has been married all 
this time P " 

" I was not thinking of him, bi;t of myself. I have my 
work liere, and am quite content. It is not every woman who 
desires to be married, or who ought to take upon herself the 
responsibilities of a home. I have chosen a diiferent lot from 
many, but it is my own deliberate choice, and I cannot go 
tack from it." 

" Pardon me," said the Doctor, " it is a very unuatm-al 
choice. I think the i-eal truth must be, not that you cannot 
love, but that you do not care for me. Your occupation is a 
noble one, but you would not be prevented from doing the 
same kind of work if you were happily married. Is not much 
of the philanthropic work of the time done by women whose 
hearts are lai-ge enough to take in the whole world, and yet 
are true to one ? " 

But Mary did not wish to pursue that inquiry. 

"It is of no use, Doctor," she said, ''you must accept my 
decision as final." 

Dr. ytapleton did not feel that he could do so, but he 
judged it better to say no more. He had still his work, and 
since the burden of his brother's affairs had been lifted from 
his shoulders, he was much more happy than before. More- 
over, he was trying to live down the unreasonable prejudice 
of the people, who quite believed that there was something 
wrong about him. Considering all the circumstances of his 
life, he was not in a despairing mood when the train that 
carried him moved out of the station, and he smiled back 
pleasantly into the merry face of Miss Tom Whitwell, and 
waved her a farewell, which was also a congratulation upon 
her extended holiday. 

" I am sori-y they have not seen Mr. Knight," said Tom ; 
" it would have made their visit much more pleasant." 

" And yours too," agreed Mary, glancing at the brown face 



"FOR CHRIST AND THE PEOPLE/" 249 

of liei- friend ; perliaps he will return before you leave, Tom. 
I wish he may, but he is vei'y busy just now. Father had a 
letter from, him this morning ; but it was only a short one, 
and full of his hopes about the new General Election, which 
is coming. He did not say when he would be back, but we 
may hope it will be soon." 

It was scarcely likely to be ; for although Arthui* Knight's 
personal interest in his people and their well-being was great, 
he was even more solicitous in regard to his country. He 
rejoiced to know that from a thousand pulpits and platforms 
the imperative duty of the Church was being announced, 
and the need of Christian union insisted upon. To a great 
extent, he knew, and deplored the knowledge, that the 
Church had lost her hold upon the masses ; and he thought 
that the coming contest would be a life and death struggle 
in more respects than one. Would she awake and put on her 
strength, and do the work to which God had appointed her in 
the emergency that was at hand ? He did not know ; but he 
hoped. 

If England would send to Westminster a body of picked 
men, pledged not to party or to politics, but to Christ and 
His kingdom, determined to make short work of even high 
positions and vested interests if they stood in the way of 
righteousness and the people's good, a body of men of high 
character and sound sense and iron resolution, who were 
afraid of nothing but the sin that disgraced the nation, a 
body of men chosen by the united churches, and well-tested 
in the places they were to represent, who would fight 
together under one banner, " For Christ and for the People" 
then, indeed, there was hope for the world and for the 
Church. 

But if not ? 

During that time of stress it was noticed that Arthur 
Knight's voice rang like a clarion. He spoken as he never 
had spoken before, and his urgent thought and impassioned 
speech roused many thousands of men. There was coming 
to be a look of stern determination on the faces of the people 
that had seldom been seen during many years ; and they were 
making a promise — which they meant to keep — to themselves 
and one another, and even to God. This is what it was : 
That they would not rest until dishonesty and cruelty, 
drunkenness and impurity, were put away from the high 
places and the low places in England. 

Many sneeringly asked, '" Do you hope to convert the 
world by Acts of Parliament ? " and the reply was " No ; we 
do not ! Conversion is another matter ; but we will so punish 



250 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

the perpetrators of these wrongs, and so restrict their power 
and influence, that they shall not insult the better sense of 
the English people as they have so long done in past years." 

Committees were formed everywhere, and meetings were 
held in vestries and in chapels, for the Church at last 
realised what her business was, and meant to do it. 

In the very raidst of the rush of meetings Ai-thur Knight 
stood aside for two days and let them go on without him. 
He disappointed many people ; but he believed that he was 
doing something of the utmost importance while absenting 
himself from the meetings. 

He spent those two days in listening to and talking with 
the Rev. Peter Macdonald. 

Mr. Macdonald was the son of a Canadian farmer ; and he 
was himself, to use his own words, " a priest of the Church 
of England." His ancestors were Scotch, but they had 
settled in Canada before he was born. They were nearly 
all members of the English Episcopal Church, and young 
Peter early evinced a marvellous love of Church history. 
The result of his study was that he dreamed day and 
night of what the Church might become in England if 
only she were as great and as faithful as she might be. He 
grew into a young man of fervid imagination and impas- 
sioned speech ; and conducted a mission in Canada which 
was productive of great good. Then he longed to visit 
England, and at length his bishop sent him over with many 
letters of introduction, which secured him a welcome in high 
places. He was " of the Church Churchy," as some one told 
Knight ; but he spoke as few of her sons have been gifted to 
speak. And the burden of his speech was this : — 

" You have lost too many of the people ! Get the people 
back. Our Church is theirs, and they must come home. 
They threaten us with disestablishment ; let us disestablish 
ourselves. Let the endowments and the positions go. They 
are as nothing in value compared with the j)eople." 

Knight resolved that he would know this man. He found 
him at first rather suspicious of the Dissenter, for such 
Arthur declared himself to be, and Knight foiind some dis- 
tasteful things in Macdonald ; but neither man was hard to 
win, and, when they had spent two days together, they were 
fast friends, and had resolved to drop all differences, and 
fight side by side for Christian unity. 

Instead, therefore, of ignoring each other, or laying plans 
to thwart one another, these two young men of many gifts, 
who had also much sanctified common-sense between them, 
resolved to work into each other's hands. Each, therefore. 



''FOR CHRIST AND THE PEOPLE!" 251 

revealed his designs for the future in perfect assurance that 
his confidence would not be abused. 

At last Macdonald said, " Knight, I am going to introduce 
you to one who is a silent spectator of our work — a young 
man, but the greatest man in England." 

Knight rose from his seat in excitement. " The Prince ? " 
he cried ; and the answer was, " Yes, the Prince." 

Arthur Knight and Peter Macdonald both believed more in 
peoples than in princes ; but there was at this time in England 
a young man who had won great respect and aifection for 
his nobility of character and goodness of life. He was not a 
Prince by title, though one of his parents was of the Royal 
family ; but the people called him " the Prince," because he 
was princely. It was known that he loved the people, as they 
loved him. His tastes led him away from the pursuits and 
pleasures commonly adopted by his peers, and he was fore- 
most in every enterjDrise that had for its end the ameliora- 
tion of the conditions of the poor. He lived as quietly as 
was possible, for rumour declared that some of his relatives 
were a little jealous of his growing popularity ; but it was 
impossible for him to remain in obsciirity, for he could not 
but have a share in the best things of his time. 

" Do you know the Prince ? How have you. managed to 
make his acquaintance ? " inquired Knight. 

" In a very simple fashion. He came to a church in which 
I was preaching, and after the service he invited me to his 
house. If only he had no Royal blood in him, what a sublime 
work that man might do in England ! " 

" The little Royal blood that he has in him will not hurt 
him, but do him good," said Knight. " You are honoured in 
having an acquaintance with him; and do you really mean 
that he is coming here ? " 

" No, I am to take you to him. He wants you to speak 
freely to him of all your work, and you will find that his 
suggestions are worth their weight in gold, for Solomon's 
wisdom has been given to him." 

A little later the three young men were seated together in 
a large room, substantially, but not luxuriously, furnished. 
There was hope for the countiy in such a trio — a descendant 
of the Royal Family, a son of a Canadian farmer and a 
clergyman, and a layman, the son of a rich manufacturer. 
That the three should have anything in common was one of 
the wonderful signs of those wonderful times ; but that they 
had in common everything which each held dearest was 
more remarkable still. 

They conversed together, as young patriots must needs do» 



252 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

of tlieir country and the services whiclithey desired to render 
her ; and when they parted, with a strong clasp of the hands 
and a " God speed you," each felt that he had received 
strength which would nerve him for his future life whatever 
duties it misht brinsr. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

YOUNG ENGLAND. 

AS soon as the dissolution of Parliament was declared, 
more than the ordinary activity was disj)layed, and 
everywhei'e for a few days the usual tactics were observed. 
The two " great parties," as they were called, sent repre- 
sentatives to the various towns, and these issued their ad- 
di-esses, put in various forms of expression, but all meaning 
the samejthing: "Send me. I am for progress. Tour interests 
will be supported, and the Millennium will come, if only you 
do your dvity and plumj) for me ; " or, " Send me. I am a 
patriot of the true colour, and all that is most desirable for 
the Empire will be secured, with peace and prosperity, if you 
obey your consciences and plump for me." 

The immediate occasion of the dissolution was that Parlia- 
ment was not sufficiently united in regard to the age at 
wliich children should be allowed to leave school and 
commence work. The Government and its supporters said 
thirteen, the Opposition said fourteen, and got the larger 
number of votes. 

In almost all the Parliamentary boroughs the work of the 
wirepullers in London, who tried to dictate to the voters as 
to the men who were to be their rej)resentatives, was in vain. 
The towns had already chosen their men. Almost without 
exception they were local men, well known to the people, 
among whom they bore unblemished characters, and by 
whom they were pronoimced men of knowledge and ability. 
In the country, in more than a few cases, the squire was the 
favourite candidate because he was the squire ; but the rule 
evei-y where was not for the man to choose the people, but the 
people to choose the man. For once in the history of England 
the man did not solicit the suffrages of the voters, but they 



YOUNG ENGLAND. 253 

requested him to allow them to place liim iu Westminster, in 
order that he might serve them. 

It was agreed that there should be no canvassing, and 
there was therefore less need than usual of workers and con- 
veyances and all the old-fashioned methods of impelling men 
to the poll. 

But there was an organisation, alert and active, which 
served the good cause in a way so efPective as to astonish the 
world. It was the society of the Young Crusaders who came 
forward at this crisis and showed their power, not only in their 
vast numbers, but in their complete discipline. They took the 
country by stoimi. To every political meeting they sent a 
representative who could speak, and who asked to be allowed 
to place the wishes of the voters of the future before the 
voters of to-day. "The laws you make now," said they, 
" will affect us much more than they will you. Ought 
we not. therefore, to have a voice in the matter ? " And the 
voice they raised moved men, and made them stand to their 
princii)les, and gave them courage for the conflict. 

They succeeded in getting their colours adopted — "the 
red, white and blue of Old England: the red for Battle, the 
white for Purity, and the blue for Temperance." The 
Cmsaders were themselves seen everywhere during the fray; 
their fresh young voices cheered and sang; they cried 
" Shame ! " whenever unfairness, or slander, or untruthful- 
ness characterised a speech, and shouted God-speed when 
they knew and honoured the speaker. It was a great change. 
For many years women had taken some part in the political 
battles that had been fought ; they had addressed meetings, 
and canvassed householders, and driven in their carriages to 
the scene of action ; but it was a new thing for the lads to 
take iDart in an election. They were at present without votes, 
but they were learning the duties of citizens as thoroughly 
as they were learning their trades, and the real questions that 
were at issue were questions in regard to which they were 
often less ignorant than their fathers, because they had the 
advantage of good, clear-headed, and impai'tial teachers. 

Of course, many of the newspapers published satirical 
articles every day. Were the men of England so fallen, so 
lost to the sense of their own manliness, as to be dictated to 
by a lot of little Sunday-school boys ? The producers of 
caricature and illustrators of all the comic papers had a fine 
time. Christian Society and other journals of a similar type 
were more scurrilous than ever, and there was no end to the 
sneers at religion and religionists which were produced. 

But, for the most part, those whom they were intended to 



254 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

hurt and irritate were too busy to take any notice of them, 
and so went calmly on their way. The constituencies were 
most earnestly appealed to not to send men who were not 
altogether, as to their pi'ivate life and character, the up- 
holders of purity, honesty, and iiprightness. And the greater 
number of the constituencies responded. A man might be 
rich, but if he paid his workmen poorly it would be vain for 
him to seek the suffrages of the people. Or he might be 
clever, and be able to talk persuasively ; but unless his life 
had been speaking in his favour he need not hope to repre- 
sent his fellow-men in Parliament. For there was a new 
patriotism for the new times — a patriotism which placed in 
the forefront of its political battle a banner, with the old 
device : " Righteousness exalteth a nation ; but sin is a 
reproach to any people." 

There were other banners with other legends, but they 
meant much the same thing — " No More Working for Starva- 
tion Wages," "No More Unemployed," " Send Clean Men to 
Make Clean Cities," " For the Women and the Children's 
Sake," "No More Brute Force," "A True Man for True 
Men." 

Arthur Knight declined the invitations of several cities to 
repi'esent them. He thought he could serve his country 
better outside than inside of Parliament ; and he was probably 
right, for it was not in him to be in any sense a political man. 
But it needs no saying that he was intensely interested in 
regard to this election. 

And he was one of the few men who do not mind being 
laughed at. He laughed with the laughers when in the daily 
papers there were articles intended to be funny with such 
headings as " A Government of Grandmothers," or " Old 
Maids in Office," or " The Childishness of Chivalry." 

Among the meetings was one that was addressed by a 
young Crusader already known to us. 

" Let young Mr. Stapleton talk to us," shouted a workman, 
and the suggestion was so heartily applauded that the lad 
was called upon by the Chairman to say a few words. 

He was very nervous, as a boy in such a position ought to 
be ; but his voice was clear and distinct, and it rang through 
the meeting, touching all hearts. 

" One of the rules of our order is that of obedience," said 
Ernest, " and since I am asked to try to speak I must do the 
best I can, only beggiu g you to be patient with me, since I 
am but a boy. The Young Crusaders are all taking part in 
this election, because we believe that no previous Parliament 
has had such grave issues depending upon it as this which is 



YOUNG ENGLAND. 255 

now being elected. And we are encouraged, as all tlie world 
must be, by the knowledge that, for the first time, Christian 
men of all denominations occupy the same platform. The 
chosen of the Church will surely be the chosen of the people. 
And therefore we pray you to choose wisely. You are pre- 
paring an inheritance for us ; let it be one that shall not 
bring us shame. We ask of our leaders that they will prove 
their power by making England better. We love our 
country, and, if necessary, we will fight for her ; but we want 
a Hercules to clean out all the dark places and lead the 
peojjle into the light. Help us, for we are not all strong, by 
removing from us the temptations which might cause us to 
fall. Send men to Parliament everywhere who will care 
more for the good name of England and the future well-being 
■of her sons than for their own riches. You are our fathers. 
Oh ! be great that we may be proud of you and copy you. 
Let the cause you espouse be the people's cause, and 
especially the cause of the young people. Is it not more 
important for you to secure us than wealth ? Keep us on 
your side, and make for us only such laws as shall tend for 
our good. And in return we will honour you, and work for 
you, and love you. But my time to talk is not yet come, and 
so I will cease trying, only I ask you to remember the boys 
when you are making up youi" next legislature." 

The young orator had made some long halts between his 
sentences, and sometimes it had seemed as if he were reciting 
from some book which he had studied ; but on the whole he 
made an excellent impression. 

" There's a good time coming when a youngster in a jacket 
can talk like that," said a man. 

" Yes," I'eplied another with a sigh ; " the next generation 
will be better than we are." 

"If we do our duty by them! We were left too much to 
ourselves, yoix know. Our grandfathers believed in the stick, 
•and had their boys well in hand. Our fathers went too much 
the other way, and didn't care what became of us, so long as 
we got out of their way. But our boys don't want to be let 
alone ; they want to be looked after and helped ; and if we 
do it there will be a fine time to follow ours. I wish I could 
live to see it." 

" Well, anyway, we will put our man in, for he is one of the 
right sort." 

"■ Oh, we shall do that, sui-e enough." 

And so they did. 

There was no more bitter struggle anywhere than at 
^courby, where Mr. Whitwell and his friends had resolved 



256 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

upon wi-esting the seat from Mr. Richard Lavender, though 
there -were several other places in which the battle was 
fought on the same lines. 

In Scourby, since the churches had decided to unite in 
Christian and philanthropic endeavour of nil kinds, there 
had been a marked change. Every building consecrated 
to the worship of God had been a centre round which all 
sorts of plans for ameliorating the condition of the poor had 
been tried. One man, at his own expense, had rented a couple 
of cottages, and there provided occupations of different 
kinds for those who were out of work. Another cottage 
had been taken by a lady, who kept it for the use of mothers 
who might come there to be helped in their cooking, sewing, 
or anything else that they had in hand. The committee of 
Helpfiilness had been so successful that the whole town had 
been canvassed, and there was no one in the place who had 
been overlooked or disregarded. And, best of all, the children 
were under control in their times of play as well as during 
their school hours. And all this told upon the working men, 
on whose votes the election depended ; so that, although it 
could not even yet be said that they could be got to flock 
into the different places of worship, they did not all flock 
to public-houses ; and they were permeated with the idea that 
their best friends and staiinchest helpers and supporters were 
Chi'istians. 

It was strange that they had ever believed otherwise ; but 
many of them had, and the fact that at last they were being 
convinced of the truth was an unspeakable gain. 

There were some lively scenes in Scom-by. Mr. Richard 
Lavender was every evening in some public-house or other, 
drinking with the voters, smoking with them, and promising 
them everything which they liked to ask. But the public- 
house business was not what it used to be. There were so 
many other comfortable meeting-places for men in those 
days, and so many men meant business of another kind, that 
the number of votes secured over the pot and the glass were 
fewer than ever before. 

Still, there were enough of Lavender's supporters to have 
interfered with the right of free speech if the populace had 
permitted it. There was one public meeting called in sup- 
port of Mr. Whitwell which was the scene of a disturbance. 
Men had been primed with beer, and sent on purpose to 
disturb the proceedings, though as soon as Mr. Whitwell 
appeared a most enthusiastic welcome was accorded him, 
and the cheers quite drowned the hootings and the groans. 
But when the fii'st speaker commenced it was found that 



YOUNG ENGLAND. 257 

interruptions were to be the order of tlie day; and tlien 
it was proved that an indignant working man cannot be 
insulted with impunity. There were no cries of " Turn him 
out ! " but whenever in the audience a man endeavoured 
to prevent a speaker from being heard, two men quietly 
seized him, and three or four others surrounded him, and he 
was ejected with very little ceremony. Still, even that was 
so unpleasant that Mr. Whitwell decided that his election 
-should not be won by talk at ixiblic meetings, and his spoken 
address was a very short one. 

"At formsr political meetings," he said, " the interrupters 
have been lads and young men. Gentlemen, all is well now, 
for the youth of England is with «s. (Cries of "Hurrah!" 
" Thank God ! " and " Don't be too sure of that ! " ) I cannot 
be too sure ! I know. The Coming Race will sat many 
wrong things right. As for me, I am here not by ray own 
wish, but yours. Unless you think I am able to carry 
out your wishes you will not send me to Westminster ' 
.as your representative. Tou know me, for my life has bean 
before you many years. I do not believe that all men can be 
equal ; but I believe that no man ought to be poor. I do 
not think that my farm ought to be cut up into allotuients ; 
but I think that every man who wants a bit of ground for his 
own cultivation ought to be able to hire or purchase it on 
easy terms, and that the men whom I employ should get a 
fair share of the increase. I do not think that labour ought 
to tyrannise over capital, or capital over labour, for neither 
can do without the other ; but I think that capital is for the 
many rather than the few. I am sure that every man who is 
willing to work ought to have work to do, and that his wages 
should be sufficient to keep in comfort. But I also believe 
that every man ought to work ; and if he is lazy, and will 
not, then he should be starved until he does. I believe that 
it is the duty, as it ought to be pleasure, of every father of a 
family to work for his wife and children, and that he should 
be compelled to do it. I believe that evezy brutal husband 
or father should be dealt with according to the old law — 
' With the measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you 
again,' and that any selfish drunkard who ill-treats a woman 
or a child should be made to feel the same pain he has 
inflicted, to hunger if he has made another hunger, and to be 
beaten if he has beaten another." Here there was an inter- 
ruption, and Mr. Whitwell said distinctly, " Yes, I would 
have the whip invariably punish cruelty." Some one cried, 
" It unmans a man to thrash him ! " and the speaker replied, 
""Any man who strikes a woman or a child is unmanned 

17 



258 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

already ; he is not a man, but a coward." " But," he con- 
tinued, " I would make it penal for a landlord to receive rent 
for an insanitary house, or for a master to compel his hands 
to work in unhealthy conditions ; and I woidd have eveiy 
man, woman, and child enjoy some leisin*e as well as work, 
some pleasm-e as well as duty. And, gentlemen, if a 
rich English merchant sends out an imseaworthy ship, or 
a cargo deliberately intended to ruin a race of savages, I 
would have him imprisoned. If a magistrate should take the 
part of the rich against the poor, I would have him deposed. 
In a word, what I long for, and will do my best to jDromote, 
is justice! Down with hypocrisy, whatever garb it wears! 
Let us have real men, for the times demand them. I do not 
say to you that I am one of these ; I only say that I will try 
to be ; and, if I cannot hasten on the right, at least I will 
not hinder it. Gentlemen, I shall say no more at any other 
time or in any other place dtiring this contest. The issue 
shall be as you desire ! " 

Dr. Stapleton and Mr. Dallington walked away fj'om the 
meeting together. 

" The streets are much more quiet than at the last election," 
remarked John ; " but that is because the public-houses are 
now closed at ten, and night is not made hideous by the shouts 
of half-di-imken men and women." 

" And the election will be as we wish it, for the same 
reason," said the Doctor. " I am not as advanced as some 
people in regard to total abstinence, you know; but this 
Local Option arrangement is splendid." 

" Ah ! there has been a vote to-day, has there not, to decide 
whether the piiblic-houses shall be open or closed on the day 
of the election ? " 

" Yes ; and it is decided that they are to be closed." 

" Really ! The majority has it ? " 

" Tes ; and a very respectable majority it is. The figures 
were handed to me as I left the hall. It was not a large vote 
— a good many abstained from recording their wishes ; but 
there is no mistake as to the desii'es of the community that 
this issue shall not be befogged by drink." 

" I am exceedingly glad to hear it. Then there is not a 
shade of doubt but that our man will win ? " 

" Not a shade ! " 



PEACE! 259 



CHAPTER XXX. 

PEACE ! 

VICTORY all along the lines ! " 
This was the triumphant report made from a thousand 
pulpits on the Sunday following the elections, and the Te 
Dewni was sung in the churches with increased fervour. 

" So political ! " said the objectors ; but since politics had 
now become a part of Christianity, why not ? 

There was great rejoicing at Scourby and Darentdale and 
its neighbourhood, for Mr. Whitwell was duly elected by a 
majority of imdreamed of magnitude. 

And if they could have understood it, there would have 
been still greater gladness in the hearts of a million of the 
children of the nation, for the first duty to which the mem- 
bers of the new Parliament were pledged to address them- 
selves was the amelioration of their condition. Henceforth, 
every child's life was to be considered sacred, and of priceless 
value to the State. There were to be no more little lives sacri- 
ficed to the passion of brutal men and women, for it was at last 
recognised that every child born in England had a soul, had 
its rights, its powers also, and possibilities ; and if there were 
parents who did not desire to own it and care for it, the 
country did. How it was to be paid for, and who was to pay 
— whether it was to be housed, fed, and trained by the State, 
which would recoup itself by certain services rendered in the 
future ; or whether unwilling parents should be compelled to 
work for their own children ; also, whether it would be more 
easy to secure for the child the love and motherly ministra- 
tions which are absolutely essential to its well-being in the 
home of its parents — or in other homes, from parently, but 
childless, people, were details for the Government to settle. 
" It is your duty to solve these and other problems which are 
waiting," said the j)eople to their representatives. " It is our 
will that every abuse which is a national disgrace shall be 
swept away ; and if you have not the ability to do it, or do 
not care to take the necessary trouble, we have made a mis- 
take in our choice, and shall call upon jow to vacate the seats 
which others can more worthily fill." 
So it was perfectly understood that there were to be no 



260 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

more days weakly and wickedly wasted by the stupid talk 
of obstructives, many of whom had s^one to Westminster 
hitherto for the expressed purpose of preventing the opposite 
pai'ty from doing anything, since they were not strong 
enough to do anything themselves. It had been prophesied 
years before that when the Church '' meant business " there 
would be change in many things, and the Church meant 
business now, and was determined that henceforth in 
England the Houses of Legislature should be composed 
of real men, with not one idiot among them. And it will 
be readily understood that there were, therefore, great re- 
joicings among all men and women who were the true 
patriots of the land. 

But while these changes, for which, during many years, 
a silent preparation had been going on, began to be accom- 
plished, there were the usual joys and sorrows in the domestic 
lives of the people. 

Henry Harris recorded his vote early, as did also Dr. 
Stapleton, and then they both went away to London, the 
former to consult the greatest physician of the day, and the 
latter to accompany him, and give him such support as 
friendship could if he should need it. 

Persons in search of the dramatic elements of our life 
in its reality would scarcely find them more developed than 
in the house of an eminent doctor. In the waiting-room, 
whore patients gather and await their turn, what striking 
contrasts and vivid harmonies there are ! Here is an un- 
loved wife, who yet desperately clings to the life that has so 
little to offer here; and there is one so deeply loved that her 
husband would part with his all to buy one little year longer 
which they might sjDend together. Hei-e is a man who might 
drop out of Society at once and never be missed ; and 
there is another, of whom it is said in the town of his I'e- 
sidence that he cannot i^ossibly be spared, for there is no 
one, and even no dozen of men, who could fill his place. 
Yonder is one for whom his mother prays : " Oh, take him 
that he may do no more evil ! " And here another for whom 
ten thousand people pray, " Ob, sj^are him that he may yet 
further bless us and glorify Thee ! " And what breathless 
susjDense there is in the consulting-room of the great man ! 
No prisoner at the bar waits for the verdict of the jury with 
more consuming anxiety than does the innocent man, whose 
heart is fiill of his wife and children, as the perspiration 
stands in great drops on his forehead, while the sentence of 
hope or of doom is pronounced by the oracle. He may be 
wrong, and often is, this man whose fiat has such terrible 



PEACE! 261 

power ; but if he has a heart it must often know the acute st 
pangs of sympathy. 

Mr. Harris was pale but calm when Dr. Stapleton intro- 
duced him. Really, he did not share his friend's fears. It 
was true that he had suffered much, but not enough to 
indicate any disease that might prove fatal. Of that he 
felt siu-e, or thought he did ; but his eyes had read the faces 
of the men and women who had waited as he had, and 
his feelings had been greatly touched. It was more of them 
than of himself he thought while he answered the physician's 
questions and submitted to his examination. He was sur- 
prised when the Doctor at last said, "If you can spare 
the time to wait I should like to call a friend who under- 
stands these cases even better than I." 

" Certainly I can wait," replied Harris ; " I have no other 
errand in London but this." 

" Then I will see if he can be summoned," said the Doctor, 
as he went towards his telephone. 

" You are not quite sure whether there is anything the 
matter with me ? " asked Harris. 

" Perfectly sure," was the reply ; " but there may be some- 
thing that can be done." 

The other doctor arrived, and Harris was not kept long in 
suspense. " I am sorry to tell you that yours is a hopeless 
case." It was put bluntly, and yet the tones of the man's 
voice were as gentle as he could make them. 

" There is no cure for me ? " 

" I am afraid none ; at least, we do not know of any." 

Harris's face became white to the lips, and he did not 
speak for a few seconds. Presently he said, " Yery well. 
Other men have had to bear pain for many years ; what they 
have done I must do. I suppose it will be years ? " 

" Do yoiT positively wish me to tell you ? " 

" Most certainly ; the exact truth, as far as you know it." 

" I am afraid it will not even be months." 

The doctor considerately left his patient for a few minutes 
after he had thus pronounced sentence upon him. Stapleton 
was waiting anxiously. He was almost certain there was no 
hope, and yet it was a keen disappointment to him when he 
found his worst fears confirmed. 

" He will bear it like a man," he said, " for there are few 
better and braver men in the world than Harris. I am truly 
sorry. I shall lose a friend whom I greatly respect. You can 
have no idea what a fine fellow he is ! " 

" Has he a wife and children ? " 

" No ; he has a granddaughter, or a ward, I do not know 



262 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

whicli — a young lady who loves and honours him ; but all the 
village in which he lives will mourn him." 

" The worst of it is the horrible suffering he must bear." 

" All, yes ! It is terrible to think of what it must be before 
release comes. How long will it be P " 

" Three or four weeks probably, not more, though he is a 
strong man, and I should judge that he has not played fast 
and loose with his constitution." 

When Stapleton joined his friend he was met with the 
kind smile which always had a wonderful tenderness and 
sweetness in it, quite characteristic of the man. It almost 
brought tears to Stapleton's eyes now, and he silently 
grasped the hand that was quite firm, and whose clasp was 
as true as friendship itself. " It is all right, Stapleton," he 
said. " Do not grieve for me ; and let vis get home as soon as 
we can." 

The short railway ride between London and Darentdale 
was through a pretty well-wooded country. It had never 
appeared so beautiful as now to the eyes that would soon be 
closed to it all. The man had loved Nature in all her moods, 
and she seemed to put on her most beautiful garments in 
which to receive the farewells of her friend. His eyes swam 
with tears several times as they looked out at the cool wood- 
land ways, the green meadows, and the bright blue skies. 
When the train stopped at one of the village stations a lark 
was pouring down a shower of song upon them. Harris was 
glad it was so happy, but the whispering leaves seemed to 
have more sympathy with him. It was as if they knew that 
his life was as transient as theirs, and they were sorry for 
him as for themselves. " We shall probably pass away 
together," said his thought. "They will fall to the ground, 
and so shall I. But I am no leaf, to perish when my body 
withers. There is a future for me. Where P I shall soon 
know. I am not afraid, for God is love." 

" I suppose you would rather not talk," said Dr. Stapleton. 

" Thank you. I have much to think of. I must put my 
house in order, you know, since I shall surely die," he 
answered. 

And then he thought of Margaret. He must make her 
future more sure. He must indeed tell her everything now, 
and he would see Dallington first of all. They must be mar- 
ried at once ; there was really no reason why they should not 
be ; and if they were, and they both knew all, he would have 
no misgivings in regard to his dear child to make his death 
the harder. " Presently," he reminded himself, " it will be 
too late to do ; I shall only be able to bear." 



PEACE! 263 

Margaret's heart sank with dismay when she saw him. He 
looked like a man who, though habitually calm, had been 
forced into a conflict so bitter that it had taken his very life 
from him. She tlirew her arms around him, and drew him 
to a chair, and put his head upon her breast, and kissed him 
with the fervour and tenderness of a daughter. He had 
not told her that he was ill ; but she had feared, and now she 
knew. 

" Dear, darling, how tired you are ! " she said " I shall 
fetch a sponge and bathe your face, and you must have some 
tea at once. Rest a little first." 

He did not speak, but lifted his hand caressingly to her 
face, and felt that, but for distressing her, he must have 
sobbed. 

After partaking of some refreshment, however, he revived, 
and they both tried to be cheerful. 

" How have you got on without me to-day P " he asked. 
" Has there been a crowd of customers ? Have you sold any 
more of the poets P " 

" At one time the shop was very full," she answered. " There 
were three jDeople in it together, and all talking at once." 

" How did you manage without assistance P Did you call 
Ann to help you ? " 

" I could not, for Ann was in the midst of one of her most 
thrilling stories, which she was recounting to the baker, and 
I knew that genius does not like to be interrupted. But I 
was as adroit as I could be, and my customers were patient ; 
so we managed fairly. And I have such news for you — James 
Peters is engaged." 

" Really P Well, he's a nice boy, and deserves a good wife. 
Who is it that he lias chosen ? " 

" Guess ! " 

" Nancy Jones P Emma Swift P Louisa Mellars P No ? 
I give it up." 

" I think it is very ungallant of you not to guess me. Why 
should it not be me P I am tall enough and young enough 
and all the rest enough for him, I hope." 

" He knows better than to choose you, Madge. Tell me, 
now — Jennie Swain P Well, I never ! " 

" But so it is ; Jennie has the pi-ize, and a dozen of us have 
nothing but the power and privilege of tearing our hair if we 
23lease." 

" Tou respect your hair, Madge, far too highly to tear it." 

So they talked on, while a great burden of fear was on 
Margaret's heart, and it seemed to Harris that the shadowy 
man with the scythe stood behind his chair. 



264 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

There was presently a pause in the conversation ' and 
afterward Harris resolved to prepare Margaret a little for 
what was coming. 

" What do you think took me to London this morning,. 
Madge ? " he asked. 

" The train, dear." 

" How clever a guesser you are ! And the train wa» 
punctual. I went to see the great Doctor Fiilton." 

" I am glad you did, for Dr. Stapleton is young, and has 
had comjaratively little experience. Have you brought home 
some medicine .'' It must be time for yoii to take it." 

" It is no use to take the medicine. He says that nothing 
can cure me." 

" Oh, Graf ! Graf ! You must not say such a thing as 
that to me." 

'' But you must know it, my darling, some time, and soon, 
for it is not going to be long ; and if you love me you will be 
glad of that, for the pain of the disease which I have is 
terrible to bear, and it would be hard for yoii to see me 
suffer." 

" Oh, my dear, it cannot be ! There is surely some other 
doctor who can do something. What becomes of all this 
modern science that boasts itself so much if it cannot help one 
in an emergency like this ? " 

" It is all right, Madge, dear ; a man must die some time. 
Of course, he does not want to, and never would, but we all 
have to, you know. Life is very short here, but it is con- 
tinued somewhere — of that I am increasingly stire." 

A great darkness came over Margaret. What could she do 
if this best friend of hers were to be taken now, when it 
seemed he could the least be spared ? 

" I will tell you all you ought to know, dear, about your- 
self, and give you the keys so that you may find the money 
you will need, and " 

A faintness came over him, and he gasped for breath. 

" Oh, not now." cried Margaret. "Do not distress yourself. 
I will not hear anything to-night." 

" To-morrow, then." 

" Yes, to-morrow, or next week, or any time. It does not 
matter about me." 

"Margaret, sing to me that hymn of Faber's — 

" I worship Thee, sweet Will of God, ' 
And all Thy ways adore. 

It will do us both good just now ; if we sing the words we 
shall be able to feel the sentiment." 



PEACE! 265' 

But Margaret was on her knees by his side, sobbing ont 
her grief. She soon was ashamed of herself, however. She 
must bear up for his sake, who had so much more to bear. 
" " I cannot sing, dear," she said ; " but we will each have the 
book open before us, and I will play it through." 

She did so, and then he asked her to read to him. 

" The prayer of Jesus for His disciples, Margaret, and His 
words to them — they are for you and for me, dear, as much 
as for any one else." 

" Surely." 

And Margaret read the wonderful words to which we all 
turn, quite naturally, in the supreme moments of our lives, 
and which comfort us as nothing else can do when death or 
trouble has forced itself into our houses and will not be 
turned out. Margaret knew them by heart, and so did Henry 
Harris, and yet they seemed to have new power and graceon 
that evening, for the face of Harris was lighted with joy 
as he listened. 

"'Never man spake like this Man,'" he said. "His Ser- 
mon on the Mount is for every-day life, and this. His last 
address, is for the evening, when the working day is over and 
rest is near. I have not done all that I might have done ; 
but I am really tired, and shall be as glad of my rest as if I 
had deserved it. I will both lay me down in peace and sleep, 
for Thou, Lord, only makest me to dwell in safety. Mar- 
garet, what a marvellous conqueror of men is this Jesus 
Christ ! " 

" Ah. yes ! " said Margaret, with glowing eyes ; " and all the 
world must surely call Him Lord some day." 

" Some day. Tes. I wonder which day it will be, Mar- 
garet. I think we could sing now, dear. Let it be, ' Jesu, 
lover of my soul.' " 

They sang it together — there is no hymn like it for such a 
time. Harris had a good bass voice and Margaret a sweet 
mezzo-soprano ; and the hymn rose softly but melodiously 
to heaven. It is a fine prayer, and at the same time a grand 
ascription of praise. When it was ended, Harris repeated the 
collect, " Lighten our darkness," and Margaret the Lord's 
Prayer, and both hearts were calmed. 

"It is time you were in bed, dear," Margaret said; "you 
are so tired." 

" Yes. I think I shall sleep well to-night. Hark ! the boys 
in the street are crying the state of the poll ! See if Whit- 
well is all right, dear." 

"A magnificent majority," said Margaret, holding the 
paper towards him. 



266 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

'• Hm-rah ! I am very glad ! The old bad times are past. 
The new aristocracy of character takes its proper place. 
The best men, the true kings, whom God will crown, will be 
henceforth the rulers of men. I hope you will live long to 
enjoy it all, Margaret. As for me I shall be satisfied 
when " 

He fell back, and Margaret thought he had fainted. She 
called Ann Johnson to open all the doors, while she tried to 
restore him. 

John Dallington and Dr. Stapleton at that moment came 
to bring the news of the election, and, seeing the door open, 
entered. 

" He is faint ! " cried Margaret, in agony. 

But Dr. Stapleton said, gently, "' It is more than faintness. 
It is perfect peace." 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

FROM DAKENTDALE TO HIGH SEATHORPE. 

ALL was peace. It was impossible to look upon the stately 
face and form of the dead man and not feel that Christ 
had laid His hand upon the white brow, and said, '"Peace, be 
still." The doubts and impatience which had characterised 
liim in bis earlier years were set at rest once for all. The 
strife was over, the misgivings were quieted, and if the 
questions were not yet answered, the questioner was asleep 
in deep repose. 

Margaret could not at first believe that the kind heart 
which bad loved her, and the lips which had blessed her, were 
still for ever. 

" Dr. Stapleton, surely you can revive bim," she said, " and 
bring him back again to life, if only for a few weeks." 

"I would if I could, perhaps," he said; "but no mortal 
power could do it, and you should be thankful that he is 
spared the sufEering which we feared." 

" For his sake, my darling, you must not mourn," said 
John Dallington tenderly, as he took her in his arms, and 
tears were in his eyes for her sorrow. 

" Not mourn ! " Had any one else uttered the words 
Margaret must have felt that she was being mocked. She 



FROM DARENTDALE TO HIGH SEATHORPE. 267 

■would mourn for him through, the rest of her life, for was he 
not the only father whom she had ever known, the friend and 
protector of her infancy and girlhood ? Oh, that she had 
loved him more, that she had expressed her gratitude more 
earnestly ! And yet she was sure that he had understood, 
and was satisfied. 

The inhabitants of Darentdale were greatly shocked by the 
news of his death. The familiar figure, the genial voice, 
the friendly hand had seemed to belong to the place for ever. 

"Mr. Han-is dead ! "Who will care for us now P " said the 
children. " There is no one to take his place," said the men. 
" He had a good word for us all — he understood us," said the 
women. There was no home which was not darkened by the 
shadow that had fallen, and very few individuals who did not 
sympathise with Margaret. 

But there was one person who laughed cruelly at that 
which brought sadness to so many. John Dallington took 
the news to his mother. " He died suddenly," he told her, 
" but the doctors had only that day pronounced him incura- 
bly diseased ; so the sudden death was a blessing to him." 

" Did the doctors frighten him to death, then ? " asked 
Mrs. Hunter. 

" I do not think he was afraid to die ; he was too brave a 
man for that ; but his heart must have been very weak." 

" And so my enemy is dead ! " said Mrs. Hunter. •' I can 
scarcely believe it." 

" He was not your enemy, mother. He was everybody's 
friend. If you had known him you must have known that." 

" How I hated him ! " said Mrs. Hunter. 

" Yes, and it was most absurd of you, mother, for he never 
injured you in the least thing." 

" Oh, yes, indeed, he did ! He had my money. What will 
become of it now ? If he had been a just man he would have 
bequeathed it to me." 

John was fast losing patience. This idea which had 
possessed his mother was nothing less than a craze. 

" The money was not yours, and never could have been," he 
said. " Do be reasonable ! How can you talk of justice, 
when you are so unjust in your judgment of him ? Oh, 
little mother, how much happier you would be if you would 
only be kind ! Do cast out the evil spirit of jealousy which 
has poisoned so many years of your life, and see things as 
they are. There will come a day when you, too, will need 
mercy " 

" As Henry Harris does now." 

" Tes ; and as we shall soon. Be yourself merciful there- 



268 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

fore now. He has gone home to God. He is the Judge, and' 
He only knew all about Mr. Harris." 

" Is there a God ? He did not believe in one." 
" How can you say so, mother ? " 
" I am not the only one who says so." 

" No one says so who knew the man. He certainly had 
what many of us have not, the Christian spirit of love and 
helpfubiess, which made him the friend of everybody. But, 
mother, even if he was as wrong as you think him, it is time 
to forgive him now. I wish you would do a kind thing for 
me. Do you care for me in the least, my mother ? " 
" You know that I care for no one but you, John." 
" Then do me this kindness. Everybody will be calling on 
Miss Miller in this her time of trouble. Will you not call 
too?" 

" That girl ! How dare you ask me ! " Mrs. Hunter 
started up in her fury, and her eyes blazed forth on her 
son. Then followed a string of invectives, and even of 
curses, such as made John shudder. As he looked and 
listened, a great fear entered his heart. Surely his mother 
must be going mad ! It was impossible in any other way to 
account for her rage and hate. She was in a frightful 
passion ; her face was ghastly, her hands clutched each other,. 
and there was such a baleful light in her eyes that John was 
grieved beyond expression. He tried to quiet her, but it was 
of no use, and presently he forced her into her own room that 
the servants might not hear her ravings. 

Poor John ! " There is more trouble coming to me," he 
said, and he was right. 

It is only natural that there should be sorrow when a good 
man dies ; the world cannot aiford to lose him, and the people 
feel in a sense orphaned. At Darentdale they had never seen 
such a day in the memory of the oldest inhabitant as that of 
the funeral of Henry Harris. Every shop was closed, every 
window had its blind down. No arrangement was made for 
a public funeral ; biit the peoj)le obeyed the impulses of their 
own hearts, and the highest and the lowest showed their 
sorrow in every possible way. The whole village stood 
around the grave, and sobbed forth its grief. Positively 
the only persons who held aloof were Mrs. Hiinter and 
Mr. William Hunter. 

The Yicar held a service in the church ; he was visibly 
affected as it proceeded, for he felt that he had lost a friend. 
At the grave the service was most impressive ; and there was 
a ring of certainty in the Vicar's voice as he pronounced the 
words which seemed to him to carry more meaning than ever* 



FROM DARENTDALE TO HIGH SEATHORPE. 269 

now. " Forasmucli as it hath, pleased Almighty God of His 
great mercy to take unto Himself the soul of our dear 
hrother here departed, we therefore commit his body to 
the ground ; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, 
in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal 
life, through our Lord Jesus Christ ; who shall change oiu- 
vile body, that it may be like unto His glorious body, 
according to the mighty working, whereby He is able to 
subdue all tilings unto Himself." The service did not close 
without earnest words to those who felt themselves bereaved, 
urging them to carry on the good work which Harris had 
begun, and to copy his character — a character which, the 
Yicar declared, must have been founded on the religion of 
the Lord Jesus Christ. 

It was not during the funeral, nor even for a day or two 
afterwards, that the desolateness of her position forced itself 
upon Margaret, for it is never while the body of the beloved 
one is in the house, and the mind is forced to lend itself to 
the customary preparations for the signs of mourning (stupid 
enough in themselves, but serviceable in that they compel the 
thought from the acute woe of the first terrible daysj — it is 
never then that the loss is realised in its greatness. "When 
the last caller has spoken the condolences which he meant to 
be kind, and the door is shut, enclosing the empty house, it is 
then that the weight of the loss is most crushing. To 
Margaret everything seemed to have gone with that presence 
which had pervaded the house. The shutters had not been 
taken down from the windows of the little shop, but Mar- 
garet knew without looking for them where the books were 
which he loved, and the papers he had handled. The 
animals that he had fed looked at her with wistful eyes that 
made Margaret weej) afresh. The chair in which he had sat 
seemed to hold a shadowy form, and Margaret could not but 
thi'ow herself beside it and cry — 

" O, for the touch of a vanished hand^ 
And the sound of a voice that is still ! " 

It was not the time for her lover to speak of his love, or to 
urge its claims. John felt that all that he could do was to sit 
sometimes by her side, that she might get what comfort she 
coitld from his presence. She was so entirely alone in the 
world that he thought she must consent to marry him. 
What else should she do ? And as he said this to himself a 
great joy of hope filled him. He loved her so greatly — his 
own beautiful darling, that he would gladly live with her in 
this little home, and leave his own to his mother ; or he 



270 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

would take lier beyond the seas, and work for her as a 
common emigrant, and feel himself a crowned king when she 
rewarded him with her love. There was nothing — nothing 
that he would not do to possess her ; and surely the time was 
nearer than ever now. 

But a few days afterward a terrible thing happened, which 
put that for which he longed even farther away than it had 
seemed before, and which would have made a weaker woman 
than Margaret really ill. 

It was evening, and Ann Johnson had gone to visit some 
friends, so that Margaret was left in the house alone. Her 
thoughts Avere very sad ones. She was trying to face her 
future and arrange her course of action, but it was very 
difficult. She shrank from a lonely lot, as every woman does. 
And what was she to do ? The new work that was waiting 
for her seemed less attractive now. The poor girls who 
needed care and love and training became less interesting to 
her mind as she thought of her own position, and felt that 
she was herself a poor girl, needing everything. And, 
besides, how could she give up the Old House, which her 
grandfather had loved, and which belonged to her now ? 
And, on the other hand, how could she live in it without him ? 
She was not obliged to remain there, even if she did not 
accept the other engagement which had been ofBered her, for 
Mr. Harris had property, and had left her with a competency. 
But how could she go away and leave John ? He had become 
unutterably dear to her in this time of her sorrow, for he had 
been most thoiightful and kind and strong for her, and she 
felt that she would have given much if she might have laid 
her head upon his shoulder and said, " John, take me any- 
where you please, only do not leave me." And might she not 
do this ? Was it right to let Mrs. Himter keep them aj)art, 
and spoil both their lives ? She did not love John as 
Margaret did. or she would not have made him unhappy. 
Surely she must give way at last. Why not now? If only 
she could see her and talk to her ! 

The front door was oi^ened when Margaret's thoughts had 
reached this point. " Ann is back soon," she said to herself, 
and then it was borne in upon her that it was not Ann who 
was approaching. Neither was it John. Who could it be 
that came so unceremoniously into the house P A nameless 
fear possessed her, and she arose to meet her visitor. It 
was nearly dark, and the lamps wei-e not yet lighted ; but- 
she saw at a glance that Mrs. Hunter stood before her. 

Mrs. Hvmter in that house, unaccompanied, and at that 
hour ! What could it mean ? Margaret held out her hand, 



FROM DARENTDALE TO HIGH SEA THORPE. 271 

and looked her full in the face, and at that moment the swift 
conviction that had passed through John's mind passed 
through hers also — Mrs. Hunter had become insane. Hate 
had made her mad. 

" Will you take a seat, Mrs. Hunter ? " said Margaret, 
trying not to be nervous. " I am afraid you must be tired 
after walking so far. It is a beautiful night — at least — no — 
it rains, and I see you are wet. May I help you to remove 
your cloak P " 

Mrs. Hunter answered not a word. She sat dovm wearily 
in the chair, and i^assed her hand over her face ; but the next 
instant she sprang up, and to Margaret's surprise — and, it 
must be confessed, to her terror also — she seized her by the 
shoulders. 

" I have you now, you Margaret Miller," she said in dread- 
ful tones, " and I shall make you do as I wish, for I will kill 
you — I will kill you if you do not ! Show me now, instantly, 
before any one comes, whei-e is the hidden treasure, the 
gold that belongs to me and mine, which you have in this 
house ? " 

Margaret was a strong young woman, with a considerable 
amount of physical power, for which at the moment she felt 
thankful; but the grip of Mrs. Hunter's hands upon her was 
so violent that it was almost certain that, small as she was, 
compared with Margaret, she could win a victory over her 
opponent if it came to a struggle in deadly eai-nest. 

" What is there in this house which belongs to yoii ? " said 
Margaret. " I do not want to keep anything that is not 
mine." 

" But yoiT and that bad man have kept it — ah ! I am glad 
he is dead ; and there is only you now — only you — and you 
are nothing ! Give me my own ! Where is it P 1 want it for 
my son — the gold that his uncle had gained, and which is his 
by right. The lack of it has ruined us ! It has made a 
wicked woman of me, and it will make me mad ! Give it to 
me now ! Show me its hiding-place, and I will take it. Do as 
I tell you, or you shall die ! " 

Margaret said that she did not really know whether she 
could find it. And in truth she felt that she would only too 
gladly give up every coin there was. It was true, she sup- 
posed, that this gold, for which she cared so little, was the 
thing which brought so much hate and misery, and was the 
real cause of separation between John and his mother, and 
also was the secret of her hatred. She would give it to the 
woman who wanted it, and then, perhaps, the trouble would 
be over. 



272 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" Let me get a light," said Mai'garet, " and see if I can do 
«,s you wish. It is nearly dark." 

But Mrs. Hunter held her, and laughed wildly. 

" Ah ! you think to escape me, but you shall not. I will go 
with you while you get a light. But you do not need a light. 
I know the chest. Where is it ? Give me the keys. I will 
hold you till you do." 

" If you hold me how can I get you the keys ? " cried Mar- 
garet ; and then she felt herself turn cold with fear, for Mrs. 
Hunter began screaming terribly. 

Margaret wondered what she could do. Her nerves had 
already been very much shaken, and this seemed really more 
than she could bear. She would like to have rushed into the 
street and summoned help, but she would not do that for 
John's sake ; she must pacify and satisfy his mother in some 
way, and get her home, and into John's care before any one 
knew what had occurred. As for the money 

At that moment Ann Johnson came in. She stared at 
Mrs. Hunter, and saw what was the matter. Margaret 
signed to her to be quiet, but before she could speak Ann 
rushed out of the house again, gi-eatly to Margaret's 
vexation. But Ann had seen Mr. Dallington in the village, 
and had decided that the right thing was to fetch him. 
She had the good sense to speak quietly. 

" Your mother is ill," she said. " She is at our house. 
Come directly, but say nothing about it — we must keep it to 
ourselves." 

There is no need to describe the scene which followed — a 
very painful one, which the three persons who witnessed it 
never forgot. Ann showed herself invaluable in the emer- 
gency, and John succeeded at last in getting his mother 
home. 

Ann could not quite make up her mind whether Mrs. 
Hunter was insane or intoxicated, but she had not much 
time to consider the question, for Margaret had borne all 
that she could bear, and Ann's hands were full for the 
present. 

The next morning Margaret wrote accepting the manage- 
ment of the home for training young girls for their future 
life. 

John called in the afternoon, looking so ill that Margaret's 
heart ached for him. She put her arms around him, and 
touched his forehead with her lips. 

" Oh, my dear, I wish I could help you," she said. " Yoiirs 
is a worse trouble than mine." 

" Were you not frightened last night, Margaret ? " 



FROM DARENTDALE TO HIGH SEATHORPE. 273 

" Tes, I was, and terribly surprised ; but I saw at once that 
Mrs. Hunter was ill. Is she better to-day ? " 

" She is quiet and exhausted. Margaret, what am I to do ? " 

" Ton must take care of her, and nurse her. Let Ann 
, Johnson come and help you. Mrs. Hunter seemed to like 
her. I cannot stay here, John, and you must take this house, 
and all that is in it. I do not want the money. I have no 
use for it, and I think your mother will get better, and look 
at things differently, if I am no longer here to irritate her." 

" I shall want some one to help me." 

" Yes, you will, dear ; but I must not come. It would make 
her worse if I were near. Oh, John ! John ! I wonder why 
such trouble is allowed to come to you. I would give my life 
to help you if I might; but yovi must bear it all alone. 
Perhaps Mrs. Hunter is not really as ill as we fear." 

"She is worse' than I thought her. I am afraid of the 
future. Is there hope anywhere ? Margaret, you will always 
love me whatever comes ? " 

" Always, always ; be very sure of it ; and when I may I 
will come to you. But for the present you must take this 
house and the money, and let your mother do as she likes 
with it." 

" Tou are not exactly a woman of business, my dear," said 
John. " You cannot give up your house and money like this, 
you know. Neither must you go away." 

" Yes, John, I must — for the present, at all events. There 
is no other way out of the difficulty."' 

John considered gravely. Love ought to be first, he 
thought ; did not every one say it was the greatest force in 
the world ? But Duty ? John Dallington and Margaret 
Miller gave Duty the highest place in their lives, and both 
knew that neither could be happy by trying to put even love 
itself before it. 

" I can scarcely tell, I do not really know what is right," 
said John. " I could not put my mother into an asylum, unless 
it should become absolutely necessary ; and neither could I 
let her be a prisoner in her own liouse. And just now 
I think that she is not in a fit state to be left without my 
oversight, and, therefore, it seems necessary for me to 
remain at home with her. As for you, my darling, I 
am afraid it would not be safe to bring you to my home at 
present. And yet, how can I let you go far from me ? 
Cannot you remain here for awhile ? " 

"No, John, I will go to High Seathorpe and commence this 
new work which has been given me to do. I shall be the 
better for such an occupation. It will absorb my thoughts 

18 



274 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

and fill my days with congenial laboiir. I wt-ote this morning 
accepting the position, and Ann posted the letter." 

" Very well," said John, with a sigh. " I suppose we must 
take life as we find it. Perhaps things will right themselves, 
and bring us happiness by the time that we are too old to 
enjoy it." 

Margaret laughed gently. " We are both young," she said, 
" and we shall be faithful to each other. Nor shall we have 
long to wait. Let us do the right and leave it. But, John, I 
must show you that money which your mother thinks, and I 
think, ought to be yours. Come and see where it is ; and 
I hope you will agree with me as to what should be done with 
it. You do not want to see it ? But you mvist, please." 

But John would not be persuaded ; and his face flushed 
with anger. " I will not see it," he said. " I want to know 
nothing whatever about it. I am sick of it. You ought to 
put it away in a bank ; it is absurd of you to keep it in the 
house. If it became known that you had it on the premises 
you might be robbed or miwdered on account of it. But I 
don't care what becomes of it so long as I never hear of 
it again. Sometimes it seems that the only reason why yoii 
consent to marry me at all is that that destestable money 
may be forced upon me." 

Margaret turned away with tears in her eyes. John had 
never spoken to her so angrily before ; and at that moment 
she felt also as if she did not care what became of the money. 
" Since we have to part so soon you might be kind to me," 
she said ; and, of course, John called himself a brute, and 
Ijegged her pardon. 

A few days later, Margaret and Ann Johnson locked up the 
house, and went into Yorkshire to open the Home which was 
already prepared for its purpose. 

Mr. Smart met them at High Seathorpe, a station between 
Scarborough and Whitby, and took them to the house. It 
stood upon the moors, in a sheltered hollow, with a few brave 
trees surrounding it, and from its grounds, as well as from its 
windows, magnificent sea- views were to be obtained. 

" I am glad to welcome you, for my client's sake. Miss 
Miller," said Mr. Smart. " I am afraid he will never be able 
to see for himself how the work on which he has set his heart 
progresses, for he is ill ; but it is a comfort to him that you 
have consented to come. I think you will like your sur- 
roundings, and High Seathorpe is exceedingly bracing." 

But Margaret was weary from her journey, and the place 
looked bleak and cold in the grey of the evening. Her 
thoughts went back regretfully to John, and also to her own 



FROM DARENTDALE TO HIGH SEATHORPE.'in^ 

cosy little liome at Darentdale, so that for a time slie felt sad 
and fearful of the future, and lier powers to endure it. But 
"when she reached the house a pleasant surprise awaited her. 

Mr. Smart ushered her into a large room, well warmed and 
lighted, and a lady came forward, with both hands extended 
in greeting. 

" Miss Wentworth ! " cried Margaret, in surprise. " Is it 
possible that you are here ! How can that have been brought 
about ? " 

" Ah, my dear, you did not expect to see me. I have 
brought thirteen of my girls to start this establishment. 
Tou will need me, I know, and I shall need you too ; for girls 
are much more difficult to manage than boys. Come to your 
room, and let me make you feel at home at once." 

It was a great relief to Margaret to find that not only 
was Miss Wentworth at High Seathorpe, but that the work 
which she had come to commence was already successfully 
inaugurated. She looked in at the girls that night, and saw 
at a glance that the right ones were there. When she opened 
the door one of them was saying : " I don't care ! It isn't 
nice to miss the courting, but my young man is a good 
fellow, and I mean to make the most of this chance and learn 
how to be a real good wife to him." 

That little sentence was like a tonic to Margaret ; for her 
sympathy and interest were at once aroused, and she went 
away to dream once more of pleasant hours spent in the 
service of others. 

The next morning she was i-eady for work, and before the 
day had passed the girls had decided that she was trust- 
worthy, and that they would like her. One girl confided her 
love story to her also, and begged that she would teach her 
how to cut out and make some shirt collars with her own 
hands as a present for limi. "There's only one him in the 
world, you know, miss," she said ; " though I suppose it is a 
hymn that may be sung to the tune of the Old Hundi-ed." 



276 NINETEEN HUNDRED f 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

A LETTER. 

TN the meantime tte new Parliament had got to work, and 
the first thing it did was to make an appeal to the 
Churches. This appeal reminded the followers of Christ that 
it really rested with them, and not with Parliament, to 
bring aboiit the social reforms for which the nation was 
crying. Parliament would do the Churches' will, and make 
such laws as they unanimously asked for ; but if the 
Churches were not united everything would be hindered. 
Everywhere the country was called upon to send to those 
lesser parliaments, town councils, county councils, local 
boards, school boards, and all representative bodies, only 
such men as were known to uphold and to illustrate in their 
own lives the principles and practices of Christianity. The 
flag of truce, therefore, was generally uplifted, and beneath 
it the men of Chi'ist stood side by side without reference to 
name or party. 

Proofs were abundant that the Churches were keenly alive 
to their powers and possibilities. A great revival had espe- 
cially taken place in the Episcopal Chiirch, and it was as 
much a revival of brotherhood as of anything. Its clergymen 
appealed to Nonconformists to help them, and the response 
was general. Mr. Macdonald was rousing the people to 
fever-heat. At the close of his addresses, when the collec- 
tion was taken, it was not unusual to find jewellei'y on the 
plates, put there by ladies whose consciences had been 
aroused. But this was not the sort of thing he wanted. 
Both he and Arthur Knight were seeking not so much to 
alleviate the present sorrows of the poor, as to bring about 
an entire change in Society ; and they scorned this giving of 
conscience money by those who, in their eagerness after 
cheap things or riches for themselves, had brought the 
poverty about. Tears before, a lady had wi-itten a small 
booklet entitled, " Only a Factory Girl," in which she showed 
how, in the East-end of London, young people live. " Each 
house in these crowded streets contains several families, and 
in many cases six or eight people occupy a single room. One 
of our girls sleeps with a family of six in one small room, 
that is let in the daytime to two women, who are out on the 



A LETTER 277 

streets all niglit." This wi-iter had gone on to say : — " Fac- 
tory girls by nature are like other girls ; they crave a little 
pleasurable excitement, and aspire to personal improvement. 
Can anything be done to furnish them with what they need ? 
Easily, if Christian women will only do it. The need is a 
great one, but, happily, it is one far more easily met than 
many others. All that is necessary is that there shall be in 
every neighbourhood where these girls reside an institute 
to which they may resort, where they will find instruction 
and sympathy, innocent amusement, the society of their com- 
panions, and food at a moderate price. Is it right that when 
their long and weary day's work is done, and they turn out 
into the streets at night, they should find nothing open to 
them but the theatres, the music-halls, and the dancing 
saloons, in which they are ever welcome ? Is it not sad that, 
besides these, the only other places to which they have the 
entree are the ' sing-song' rooms connected with the larger 
public-houses — snares and traps of the evil one to ruin both 
body and soul? The haunts of vice and folly are open 
nightly to our factory girls, but should the Church of Christ 
leave it to the world, the flesh, and the devil to care for 
them P " 

The Churches and Parliament together answered that 
qiaestion now, as it had not been answered before, with an 
emphatic No. They were not going to allow these mothers 
of the future to be tempted thus. The outcome of this 
pamphlet had been the excellent Shaftesbm-y Institute ; for 
the writer had pleaded : " We have quite a sufficient niunber 
of volunteers to make the effort a success, and nothing 
hinders our entering on it except the lack of premises." 
These had been long ago supplied, and excellent work was 
cai-ried on within them. But the plea of " lack of premises " 
was not now anywhere to be allowed ; so men sternly deter- 
mined. Lack of premises, when there were churches and 
chapels with vestries and school-rooms, which the people's 
money had paid for, shut up all the week ? It would have 
fared ill with any one in the new times who kept the good 
work of rescue waiting, while complaining of lack of pre- 
mises. But it was such endeavours as those of the author of 
" Only a Factory Girl " which had brought the happy change 
about. 

And the new Parliament passed two short and simple rules 
which had an immediate effect. The first provided that no 
one was to employ a girl in work of any kind who did not 
pay her for her labour wages enough to enable her to live 
respectably. And the second made it actionable for any one 



278 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

to take rent without being assured that the rooms were only 
occupied by the right number and the right kind of 
persons. 

Of coiirse, there was a terrific howl from the quarters of 
vested interests. But this Parliament was as strong and 
sturdy as that of Oliver Cromwell, and a great deal more 
enlightened ; so it simply closed its ears to all noises, and 
went straight on, doing its duty. 

Its courage was in nothing more evident than in the very 
stringent liquor law which was speedily passed, and which 
attacked drunkenness as a deadly disease, and punished 
those who had been accessories. It also insisted that for a 
third offence a drunkard could be taken to a Home for 
Inebriates, and kept there until cured 

Mr. Whitwell was able to meet his new responsibilities. 
Darentdale was so near to London, and the rules of the latest 
House of Commons were so sensible, that a man was not 
compelled to spend all the nights in talking or listening to 
the talk of others ; it was therefore possible for the Member 
for Scourby to attend to his duties in Westminster, and yet 
not altogether neglect those of his own farm and home. 
Tom always met her father on Friday night, and his two 
leisure days were happy ones for her as for the rest of his 
family. Quiet, self-effacing Mrs. Whitwell could not bring 
herself to be glad that her husband was a Member of 
Parliament, but her daughters were unfeignedly so ; and it 
was a pleasant sight to see them hovering around him, and 
questioning him as to his votes and general conduct in the 
House. He electrified them one day with news that they did 
not expect. 

" Have you read to-day's paper ? " he asked. " Did you see 
the account of my speech ? " 

" Your speech P Have you been speaking in the House ? " 

" Yes ; I have, indeed, and my speech was very well 
received, too. A man has not much chance to be eloquent 
now, you know. I had not a new Bill to bring in, or, of 
course, I should have been allowed to speak for half -an-hour ; 
it is not much one can say in ten minutes, but I said all 
there was time to say as torcibly as possible. Some day I 
mean to introduce the subject of these Retreats for Girls, 
and then what a chance I shall have to make my powers of 
elocution known ! " 

" You will be quite carried away by your own eloquence, 
dear ; but that will not matter if no one else is," said Tom, 
soothingly, moving a little from her father lest he should 
punish her for that saucy remark. 



A LETTER. 279 

" What did you talk about yesterday ? " asked Mrs. 
Whitwell. 

" The railways. There are men who think they should all 
belong to the State. I say they do, since any man may get 
shares in them, and since they are managed by a part of the 
nation for the nation's good. A railway that does not serve 
the public cannot exist, you know ; and the companies are 
not as rich as they were, now that rates and fares are 
lower ; but if they were, I have no objection if they do 
honestly what they undertake to do." 

" You are an old Tory, father, whether they call you so or 
not. Tou must know that the railway companies exist for 
the sole purpose of making themselves rich. They are 
nothing but firms in business. All they do for the j^eople 
they do because they are compelled, in order to make the 
thing pay." 

" Very well. We are to judge by actions, since we cannot 
understand motives. If the companies pay fair wages to 
their men, and keep faith with the public, we have no right 
whatever to interfere with them. Besides which, we have our 
hands too full of far more important things than trying to 
get money out of the railway business ; and that is what I 
said yesterday. We do not exist for the purpose of inter- 
fering with any business that is not injurious to the people." 

" And did the other honourable gentlemen agree with you?" 

" Most of them did. Of course, we need money, since we 
are anxious to benefit the people and tax them as little as 
possible ; but we are not going to be unwise enough to 
interfere with private interests unless these clash with the 
welfare of the commonwealth." 

" But did not any man get xip and declare that railway 
interests do this, since they make a few rich at the expense 
of the many P " asked Tom. 

" No ; such a remark was not made." 

" Tou are, indeed, a model Parliament." 

" We are, at least, resolved not to waste time. Who do 
you think congratulated me, and expressed his approval of 
what I had said ? " 

" The Prince P " 

" No ; almost as great a man as he — Mr. Macdonald." 

There was a general smile at the mention of his name. 

" Of course that principle of yours would meet with his 
approbation," said Tom, " because of its bearing on other 
things than railways, and especially those which touch him 
most closely. But I am glad Mr. Macdonald has spoken to 
you. He must be a man worth knowing." 



280 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" He is a splendid fellow. I heard him a day or two ago. 
He addressed those reverend Church dignitaries at the Con- 
ference in words that made them feel. He besought them to 
disestablish the Church from the State for the sake of re- 
establishing it in the hearts of the people. He believes that 
if this were done the Dissenters would come over in whole 
congregations." 

" Does he P He may be a good talker, but he cannot have 
much knowledge of human nature," said Tom, " if he really 
believes that. Only think of the numbers of people who 
would find their occupation gone if they were not permitted 
to take part in the management of the affairs of their own 
chapel. Life would lose half its interests for them." 

" But they would be able to help in the management of 
their own church, which would come to the same thing." 

" No ; it could not be the same. There would not be space 
nor opportunity for half of them ; and they would not like to 
be nobodies after being important leaders in their own re- 
ligious communities." 

" But it is a grand idea," said Mrs. Whitwell. " One 
Church, one people." 

" Too grand for the English constitution," said one of her 
daughters. 

" Mr. Macdonald does not think so. And he has been con- 
sidering this all his life. It may come, even if we do not live to 
see it, this one united Church which is the dream of so many 
faithful hearts. I should like to see our own beautiful old 
place crowded every Sunday, as it would be if that which 
Macdonald hopes for should become an accomplished fact." 

" I say, God grant it ! " said Mrs. Whitwell. 

" And we all say Amen," added her husband. " Yoii will 
be able to hear for yourselves what Macdonald thinks, for I 
have asked him to come and see us, and sj)eak to the people 
here; and he says he will." 

" Oh, father, how could you ? He must have invitations 
to all the best houses in the land. I believe you think our old 
hall is a good-enough place for the entertainment of any one." 

" Yes, I do ; and every one who comes appears satisfied 
and pleased. I thought we should have had Mr. Knight with 
lis again before this." 

Tom did not mention a letter which she had in her pocket 
at that moment, and which had given her some pleasure as 
"well as amusement. This was the letter — 

" Dear Miss Tom, — As you said I must rite a leter to you 
all by meself I will, and Sissy helps me. We like what you 



A LETTER, 281 

sent us verry mucli, and Sissy says the appels are nicest of 
all, and the pares and filbuts too. Mother thort we should 
be ill, but we wasn't, not a bit, nor we sharnt be if you send 
us some more. We mist you when you went away, and it 
wasnt nice without you ; so plees come back as soon as you 
you can. Mister Nite come to-day. He brort me a book, 
and Sissy a nedlkase, but she likes my book best, and says I 
may have the nedlkase because she pricks her fingers ; but I 
don't warnt it. Mother says Mister Nite looks tired ; and 
I heard her say to Miss Margrit that he expekted to find 
you here. I told Sissy, and she arsked him was he sorry 
you gone, and he said ' Tes ' ; but he says he is com to see 
you, only she must not tell, because it is a secrut. Sissy 
loves Mr. Nite, so she give him that prutty pictyer you made, 
and Mister Nite says he shall keep it for ever-never. It 
rained that day, so praps the pictyer got wet ; but Sissy says 
Mister Nite wuddent let it. I speld that word rong. I carnt 
spel verry well, so pleese xkuse it ; com agan to see us soon. — 
Your fekshnut, 

" Geoff." 

Mr. Knight did not go to Darentdale as soon as Geoff's 
letter led Tom to expect. But they were all very greatly 
stirred by the visit of Mr. Macdonald. He went to Darent- 
dale and to Scourby, and addressed the people, who were only 
too glad to have the opportunity of seeing and hearing him. 
His mission was the means of a spiritual revival in England, 
and Scoiu-by and Darentdale shared in it. His appeals to 
those who already professed to hold the Christian faith and 
live the Christian life were exceedingly impressive. His cry 
everywhere was to the Church, " Arise, shine, for thy light 
is come, and the glory of the Lord hath risen upon thee." In 
his own way, and to the members of his own Church, he 
delivered much the same message as that of Arthur Knight; 
and the two were evidently sent of God to meet the great 
need of the time. There is a picture in that unique collection 
of pictures, all by the hand of one painter, Wirtz, in 
Brussels, which frequently served him as a sort of text. It 
represents the Man of the Future curiously contemplating 
the things that interest the people of the present. He is a 
big man, and there is nothing little about him, but he holds 
in his hand a flag, a cannon, a pile of money, and a few other 
things which represent the poor little aims of so many of the 
men and women of to-day. He cannot understand where 
their power and charm lay. So, said Mr. Macdonald, will it 
be with those who realise Christ's ideal; and he pleaded that 



282 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

it was not worth while for the Christian to trouble himself 
about any of those things. 

For a week he stayed at the Whitwells, every day speaking 
at some meeting. Tom was profoundly impressed. Day 
after day she accompanied him and her father, and she 
listened to him with the deepening conviction that she was 
herself living on too low a level. He stirred the very depths 
of her nature, and it was as if she experienced a new con- 
version. She had the opportunity of frequently talking with 
him, and she learned to revere the man as if he were a 
prophet. He seemed to know so much and to understand 
her so thoroughly that she half shrank from him even while 
she was attracted to him. Among the members of her 
chiu'ch religious things were seldom talked about. She could 
not remember, since her confirmation, that the clergyman, 
whom she yet ti-vxsted greatly, had asked her any personal 
questions, or had any direct conversation with her respecting 
her Christian life and experience ; but Mr. Macdouald could 
not talk with any one for ten minutes without bringing in 
the subject of personal consecration. Tora felt sometimes 
as if her soul were bared before him, and he knew all about 
her. He was a good guide — for there was nothing of the 
priest about him — and he had an intense realisation — as all 
must have who can arouse others — of the power of the living 
Christ; so that his visit to Darentdale was the means of lasting 
good. 

" It is as if the veiy house has been consecrated by his 
prayers," said Mrs. Whitwell. " We have never had as good 
a man within the walls before." 

And, indeed, all the members of the family were the same. 
Mr. Whitwell, as he parted from his guest, expressed what 
the others felt when he said : " You have brought a spiritual 
blessing to us all. It is good of you to visit our small place 
when you are wanted in all the big towns." 

" It has been a pleasure to me to visit you, Mr. Whitwell," 
he said. " I had heard of your family from my friend, 
Ai'thur Knight, and you have given me a time of peace 
in the midst of strenuous labour. I am glad to know your 
family too." 

" They are well worth knowing, especially my youngest, 
with the masculine name. She is not by any means a 
Tomboy, is she ? 

"She is very sweet and womanly," said Macdonald. "She 
is, indeed, an ideal woman. She must be an immense help 
and comfort to you." 

"Yes, she is. I cannot tell what I should do without Tom. 



ALVS WELL THAT ENDS WELL. 283: 

And she will be better than ever now, for I think she has 
heard every sermon you have preached in the neighbourhood. 
I am sorry they have been so few. Come to us again when 
you can. Like Arthur Knight, you make us think, and do 
us good." 

The two men went to London together, and separated at 
the railway terminus, each bent on his work. 

A fortnight later, Mr. Whitwell, with a very grave face, 
called his youngest daughter into his study. " Tom, my 
dear," he said, " I have a letter from Mr. Macdonald which 
has greatly surprised me, and he has enclosed one for you 
in it." 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

all's w^ell that ends well. 

MISS THOMASINE GRACE WHITWELL locked 
herself in her room, and read twice over the letter 
which she had received from the Rev. Peter Macdonald. The 
letter — a very short one, but one which went directly to its 
purpose — was a manly declaration of the love of its writer. 
" I have known you only a short time," it said, " but I know 
you well enough to feel that the greatest joy I could have 
would be in the knowledge that you cared for me — a know- 
ledge that would fill me with inspiration for my life and 
work. I am not of those who think that a clergyman can 
better fulfil his mission by debarring himself from the sweet 
domestic ties of home and wife and children. He can, 
certainly, unless his wife be a real heli^meet ; but if she be, 
surely he will be the better fitted to help and sympathise 
with the dwellers in the multitudes of homes which 
Christianity has made possible for the people. I do not pre- 
tend that it is entirely because I have seen your ministry of 
mercy among your people that I ask you to come to my help ; 
it is because I love you, and because it is only since I have 
known you that the alluring picture of a home of affection, 
with a gracious woman at its head, has formed itself in my 
mind. It is frequently there now, and always it is of your- 
self that I think in connection with it. Will you be good to 
me, and make the picture a reality, not because I am worthy, 
but because you are kind ? " 



284 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

It goes without saying that Tom was profoundly moved 
and impressed by this letter, and equally surprised by it 
also. " What can such a man as he see in me that he should 
care for me ? " she asked herself, and the answer was not 
forthcoming. She admired and revered Mr. Macdonald ex- 
ceedingly. It seemed to Tom that she had never been con- 
verted, or experienced any real religion until she knew him, 
and listened to his teachings ; but it had never occurred to 
her that he could be like other men, or that human love 
could be essential to his happiness. Tom was a little dis- 
appointed as well as greatly astonished and flattered. 

She knew what her answer must be ; and she also knew, 
though it filled her with shame to acknowledge it to herself, 
that the ti-ue reason was because another knight had won 
her fealty. Why lie was silent when she had expected him 
to speak she could not tell. She felt sure now, since months 
passed and brought neither Arthur Knight nor a word from 
him, that her lot would be that of so many other women of 
her time — a lot which contained great joy, if not the bliss 
of which almost every woman dreams, and the larger ministry 
of love which embraces many instead of one. And Tom 
delibei-ately chose it for herself now. There was only one 
possible person for her ; and if he did not wish to share her 
life, no one else should. 

We are not going to tell any tales of Tom. She was a 
sensible girl — too sensible, pei-haps, to waste time and shed 
tears in iiseless regrets. And, moreover, as she often said 
to herself, "No woman can have everything." She would not 
have liked to give up her share of philanthropic work which 
was occupying the best energies of so many of the women of 
the day ; and she had only to do from compulsion what they 
did from choice. Hundreds of educated women deliberately 
chose to be patriots instead of parents ; and they pr6ved in 
their own experience that love is not everything. They 
wisely saw what — happily for England and the Church— was 
being increasingly realised, that fathers and mothers of 
children are culpably unfaithful to their trust and duty who 
are busily engaged in their endeavour to save other people's 
children while their own are unsaved ; and now men and 
women who had families, instead of being besieged with 
requests that they would leave their hoiiies and preach in 
the Sunday-school, or help in the Band of Hope, were left to 
meet the responsibilities of their state, or, at the most, were 
asked to receive and instruct, with the members of their own 
family, a few other boys and girls who were not amenable to 
ordinary efforts. As for Tom, she knew that it was a 



ALDS WELL THAT ENDS WELL. 285 

pleasure to her to be in the thick of the grand work of the 
times, and this self-knowledge came to her aid. 

Her letter to Mr. Macdonald left no doubt as to its 
sincerity. Tom showed it to her father before she sent it. 

" Are you sure that this is what you mean, Tom ? There 
is no woman in England who would not be proud of the 
honour which you are refusing to accept," he said. 

" I know that, father, quite well. Indeed, the honour lies 
upon me, and afflicts me night and morn — the burden of this 
honour unto which I was not boi-n." 

" Do not be flippant, my dear ; this certainly should be 
considered gravely." 

"Father, don't you know that I am really grave enough 
even to satisfy you? I am not doing this thing hastily. 
Nothing would induce me to marry Mr. Macdonald — because 
I do not care for him, and never could. I respect him with 
all my heart, so, you see, there is no room left for love. Read 
this letter, please, and see if it will do." 

Mr. Whitwell drew his daughter to his side, and looked at 
her with the anxiety of tenderness. Sometimes he had 
thought that Tom was not quite her own merry self, and 
that there must be a reason for the change. He told her so ; 
and that little sentence spoken by her father was the most 
powerful tonic she could have had. Tom became from that 
day as mischievous and merry as ever. 

If Mr. Macdonald received her letter with great disappoint, 
ment no one ever knew it. He read it as final ; and. after 
replying to it in a kindly letter, which Tom kept as one of 
her treasures, he dismissed the thought of marriage fi'om his 
mind, and threw himself unreservedly into his work. 

As Arthur Knight was doing also. 

Mary Wythburn had shared with several other persons the 
belief that Tom cared for her cousin, John Dallington, with 
a regard that was more than cousinly, and she had impai'ted 
this belief to Mr. Knight in all good faith. 

" But he is engaged," he had objected. 

" Yes," said Mary ; " but it is doubtful if he and Margaret 
Miller are ever married, for the opposition of his mother is 
very strong, and Margaret's life is full of other and larger 
interests. Mr. Dallington will be faithful to her if she will 
let him be ; but if she should really break off the engagement 
I should expect to see him and Tom married speedily." 

It was like Mary Wythburn. No one made fewer mistakes 
in the one great work among the poor to which she gave her 
life, and few could have blundered more in regard to other 
matters. 



286 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

John had more and more trouble with his mother, for 
hatred had made her mad. Is not all hatred a species of 
insanity ? Certainly the hatred that is fed by jealousy and 
nourished by envy is well calculated to produce it. Mrs. 
Hunter made no attempt to hide the disgusting truth. " I 
hate her ! I hate her ! " she said a dozen times every day. 
John had terrible misgivings. At present she was not often 
violent ; but her son was afraid to trust her. And he did 
for her all that a good son could do ; he neglected his love for 
her sake; he spent all the time with her that he could spare 
from his farm ; he read to her, sang to her, played games with 
her ; and there were times when he hoped that she would at 
last become clothed with kindliness, and in her right mind. 

But one night an event occurred which robbed him of 
that hope. 

He was sleeping soundly, as a tired man who had passed a 
long day in the open air ought to do, when he was suddenly 
awaked by shouts of " Fire ! " He sprang from his bed, and 
threw up the window. 

" Where is it ? " he cried. 

" It is in the village — in the street — will you lend me a 
horse that I may fetch the firemen and engine from Scourby p" 

" Certainly. I will be with you in a minute." 

He hurried down, and found one or two of the men already 
on the spot ; and in a few moments two horses were carrying 
men as rapidly as possible in the direction of Scourby. 

" Whose house can it be, I wonder ? But, perhaps, it is no 
house at all," he thought, as he returned to his room and 
dressed hastily. It was a bad fire evidently, for the flames 
were lighting up his place, although the farm was some 
distance from the village. He felt that he must go and see 
for himself. He went to the door of his mother's room. It 
was locked, and although he listened he could hear no sound, 
so he concluded she was sleeping. He asked the housekeeper 
to be at hand in case Mrs. Hunter should want anything ; 
and, promising to return early, he started at a rapid pace 
for Darentdale. 

•• What place is it ? " he asked the man whom he left ; 
and the man hesitated before replying : " It is Mr. Harris's 
old house." 

When John reached it he saw at a glance that the old place 
was doomed — there was so much dry wood in it ; the floors 
and wainscots, and in some of the rooms even the ceilings 
were all of wood, and it was blazing most fiercely. " How 
did it happen ? " cried John. 

" Is there any one inside, sir ? " asked a dozen persons at 



ALUS WELL THAT ENDS WELL. 287 

■once. " We can find no one. It is too late for rescue if 
there is." 

Before John could reply his arm was grasped by a woman 
whose head and face were wrapped in a shawl ; and he was 
horrified to recognise his mother. 

" I hate her ! I have burnt her to death in her bed ! I hate 
her ! " she said, first in a whisper and then in a shriek. John 
seized her, and he shouted to the people, " There is no one in 
the hovise ; Miss Miller and her servant are in Yorkshire. Is 
it too late to save anything? There are some valuables 
there ! " 

" We must wait till the engines come," was the answer. 
" The house seems to have been set on fire in several places, 
and paraffin or spirit of some kind must have been used." 

Mrs. Hunter broke into a fiendish laugh. " Tes, I did it," 
she said ; " and I have burnt her to death. She was there ; I 
heard her breathe. I have burnt her to death in her bed. I 
hate her ! I hate her ! " 

It was a terriljle scene ; John dragged his mother away, 
and one of his men helped him to get her home, raving 
mad. 

He heard the engines rattling to the spot. He would like 
to have remained, to protect Margaret's interests, if neces- 
sai-y, bvit he could not. He was sick with horror and dread, 
but he knew that he alone would be able to manage the mad 
woman without violence. 

" She will never be sane again," he said to himself that 
night. And his foreboding was correct. She never was. 
Medical opinion pronounced her hopelessly insane, and he was 
■obliged, for her own self-preservation, to allow her to be put 
under restraint at once, without the delay that would have 
been extremely dangerous. 

Margaret was telegraphed for before the fire was out, and 
she hurried back to find her home in ruins. 

Everything was gone but the walls. They stood firmly 
enough at present, and none but Margaret knew what was 
concealed in one of them. 

She and Ann Johnson walked about among the ruins, 
thinking of aU the memories that were associated with them, 
and their hearts were full of sorrow. 

" I am glad he died before this happened," said Ann ; " it 
would have broken his dear heart, and killed him into the 
bargain." 

Margaret felt very desolate as she stood among the ruins. 
John was not there ; he did not know that she had been sent 
for ; he had not been able to give a thought even to his love. 



288 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

She could have cried out, not for him, but for her grandfather,, 
as she always lovingly called him in her thoughts. 

As soon as it was known in the village that she had arrived, 
a dozen offers of hospitality reached her. But best of all Tom 
Whitwell hastened down, thinking it possible that she might 
have arrived. Margaret was unfeignedly thankful to see her 
friend. 

" You can do nothing. Come home with me," said Tom. 

"I must see a magistrate. I have something to tell him," 
answered Margaret. " It is very important, and must be told 
at once." 

" There is no magistrate nearer than my father, and he is at 
Scourby to-day. What is it, Margaret P " 

"Do you think the walls are safe? There is something 
inside one of them, something that belongs to your Cousin 
John ; and I am afraid that if that wall comes down, all these 
people would be tempted to take it." 

Tom looked at her friend as if she thought Margaret must 
be going mad too. 

" John also is in great distress," she said, " for my aunt is 
— very ill." 

"Will you drive me to Scourby first, Tom, and let us find 
your father ? I must have some one to act for me now, for 
John's sake," said Margaret. 

It was well for her that Mr. Whitwell happened not to be 
in London that day. Margaret told him her strange story 
in a few words. It was like bringing an old-time romance 
into modern prosaic days. 

" I must not act alone ; I must get a brother-magistrate to 
come with me and a few policemen," he said. " Will you go 
home with Tom, Margaret, and leave it to me ? " 

Margaret was very willing to do that ; she had much to 
hear from Tom, and much to tell her too ; and their con- 
fidences were more lengthened than their drive. 

" Poor John ! what a terrible thing it is for him ! " she said. 
" And poor Mrs. Hunter, too ! I think it must have been her 
mental deficiency which caused her so to dislike nae." 

Tom could not help smiling, but Margaret did not see the 
joke, until Tom said, " I agree with you, dear, that no one in 
his or her sober senses could help liking you." 

" Oh, Tom, how can you joke at such a time ? " 

"Indeed, I do not know, Madge, unless it is because of my 
inherent wickedness. But I assure you that I do not feel 
very merry. It is a sad enough time for us all. You must 
marry John now, Margaret. You cannot do otherwise if you 
have a woman's heart, or indeed a heart of any sort." 



ALVS WELL THAT ENDS WELL. 289 

" How can I ? "We have only just commenced our home in 
Yorkshire, and the man, whoever he is, will hold me to my 
agreement. Not that I am necessary there, for the real, 
moving spirit of the thing is Miss Wentworth. And as for 
that Andromeda Jones, whom Mary sent, she is invaluable. 
She will make a most clever woman ; she can influence those 
girls as none of us can ; she knows them and their ways so 
thoroughly ; and she loves them, and they love her." 

" I expect she is what she is in consequence of the 
Craighelbyl ti-aining. That is the place in which good 
characters are made." 

"It is one of the places; and our High Seathorpe is 
another." 

" How is your enterprise there going to answer, really ? " 

" It will do much good to many young women, but it cannot 
do all. The girls who are sent are yoiing, but they are not 
young enough. It is already too late to do all that we wish. 
The time to influence girls is before they become engaged. I 
should like to hand over the engaged girls to Miss Wentworth 
and Drom, with the other valuable assistants whom we have, 
and myself to form a home for neglected girls between the 
ages of twelve and fourteen ; for that is the important 
age." 

" Tes, it is ; but, you know, Margaret, that girls as well as 
boys are to be kept at the ordinary and the technical school 
now until they are fourteen. And they are no longer to be 
trusted to anybody who likes to take up the teaching profes- 
sion for a livelihood; some of the best, and ablest, and highest 
people of the land are undertaking the work of the iipper 
standards in the schools." 

" Yes; I do not forget that, and I am most thankful for it. 
In a few years such a place as that at High Seathorpe will 
surely not be required. In the meantime, it is needed very 
greatly, only the worst of it is that those who need it most 
will not come to share its advantages." 

" I wish they could be compelled. But I do not myself 
think so highly of these big Homes, as they are called ; they 
are very different from real homes, you know, Margaret. If I 
ever have a home of my own — which I suppose I never shall 
have — I should like to keep two rooms for the use of poor 
little girls who have come to the turning-point in their lives, 
and need a friend." 

" Yes, I shovild like that, too," said Margaret. 

" Very well," rejoined Tom, " you can have the privilege 
at once. There are several unused rooms in the Manor 
House." 

19 



290 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

It was late at night before Mr. Whitwell reached home. 

" We found your treasure-trove, Margaret," he said, " and 
have placed the contents in safe keeping at my London bank. 
It was a most astonishing find. I had no idea that it would 
px'ove so valiiable. You are a lady of fortune." 

" I do not feel that the money is mine, Mr. Whitwell. It 
belongs to Mr. Dallington." 

" No ; that it certainly does not. It belongs to yoii. John's 
uncle had every right to do what he pleased with his own, and 
the terms of his will could not have been moi-e explicit than 
they were. Toii are his heiress after Mr. Harris, the house 
and all that was in it being left absolutely to you. I am glad 
that wall was not destroyed ; but the thing that puzzles me is 
where Captain Dallington got all that money, foreign and 
English, and why he chose to hide it in a wall, instead of put- 
ting it in a bank, or investing it in some way, as any other 
man would have done. But he was always eccentric. I 
have been told that even as a boy he was considered strange, 
and only a little better than an idiot ; and I think he must have 
remained so. But whatever may have been his reason, he was 
evidently very fond of you. Do not answer me unless you 
please, Margaret ; but I have often wondered whether you 
know the secret of his life and of yoiirs." 

" No, I do not, and I expect that now I never shall," said 
Margaret. " For some reason — and I am sure it was a good 
one — my grandfather — Mr. Harris — never told me. Only on 
the evening on which he died he promised that he would ; but 
he was so weak and ill that I begged him to wait until the 
next day, and the next day he was gone." 

" It cannot be helped, my dear, and it does not matter. 
You are whatever your life and character make you." 

" And they could not be better," said Tom, affectionately. 

" And it will not matter who you were when you are happily 
married to my nephew," continued Mr. Whitwell. " He is 
so good a fellow that it will be too bad if you keep him 
waiting longer. His mother is quite out of the question now, 
I am sure of that. And the best medical authority of the 
land has declared it to-day, for I met Dr. Stapleton, who told 
me so. That will be the way out of the difficulty. If you 
think this money ovight to be his, what is yours may be made 
his, in spite of the Married Women's Property Act." 

Margaret returned to Yorkshire the next day without 
seeing John. She rightly judged that it was better so. It 
was doubtful if John would ask her again to marry him after 
all his trouble, and especially when he knew the amount of 
her possessions. But the long railway ride gave her time to 



ALLS WELL THAT ENDS WELL. 291 

think ; and by the time she reached the Home her mind was 
fully made up. 

The place had been speedily got into good working con- 
dition, and already there were thirty girls who had been 
sent down from London, in order that they might be pre- 
pared for the work that was before them. And there were 
as many helpers as could possibly be needed. Miss Went- 
wortli, who knew London well, and who had spent her life 
and her money chiefly in work among women and girls, knew 
exactly where to find the right women to help, and the girls 
who would be the most benefited by their ministrations. 
She had entered into the scheme with enthusiasm, and it 
was she who was making it a success. 

Her large motherly nature made her very sympathetic. If 
the truth must be told, she already loved every inmate in the 
Home ; but she loved Margaret the most of all, and when 
the girl laid her head upon her shoulder, and told her all the 
history of her life, and confided the secret about John, she 
was most tender and kind. 

" My dear child," she said, "you must mai'ry your lover, and 
at once. Love is not everything. I do not say it is ; but it 
was meant to occupy the first place where it has been given 
at all. This work is beautiful, but it can go on without you ; 
and no one else can take your place in that other empty home 
which needs you so greatly. Now, you must write, and tell 
all your story to our eccentric friend — Friend Philip, and I 
am very much mistaken if he does not say as I do. I feel 
sure he will trust in me, because his lawyer and I are such 
good friends, and he has seen for himself how we go on with 
the work here. Write your letter as simply as you like ; 
when your story is known the rest will follow," 

And so it did. The owner of High Seathorpe was ill ; and 
it seemed to him as he read Margaret's letter that it was a 
great thing that she should make the man whom she loved 
happy. He had discovered that there were many other 
women longing to do the work which he most wished to see 
done, and since they were well able to carry out his wishes, 
he was perfectly willing to release Margaret, only stipu- 
lating that she should occasionally visit and supervise the 
institution. 

But Margai'et had not waited for his answer before she 
wrote to John. 

" We are both so lonely and desolate withou.t each other," 
she said, " that if you still wish me to come to you, I will 
come at any time. Let me try to comfort you a little ; and 
perhaps we shall both find that we can still do something 



292 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

for tlie great world thougli we live in a little one of our 
o'mi." 

John was not slow in responding to that letter ; and a few 
weeks after its receipt the two were married quietly front 
Mr. Whitwell's home, and in the old church at Darentdale. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

WAS IT A DREAM ? 

IT must not be forgotten that this is a forecast, as well as a 
story, and the following is a dream if you prefer to think 
it so. 

It was about this time that an event occurred which showed 
the immense strides upward which the conscience of some 
of the people had accomplished. All the British world was 
electrified by the news that war was imminent. An insult 
had been offered to the British flag, and of course it was said 
that the honour of the nation was at stake. Some of the 
newspapers hastened to magnify the occasion, and fierce 
articles called upon the Government to demand satisfaction, 
unless, indeed, as the wi-iters declared they half-feared, all 
the manliness and pluck of the British nature had died 
out. Men looked and felt very angry, and not a few were 
eager for the fray — especially of those who knew that, how- 
ever fiercely the battle raged, they would themselves not be 
called away from their own firesides. 

Thex'e were many peacemakers ; but against them old accu- 
sations were made, and they were scorned as the "Peace-at- 
any-price party." They held their own, and pleaded for un- 
impassioned considtations and temporising delays ; but they 
found that the Jingo spirit had been revivified. It was true 
that England had the men who, at the expense of the nation, 
had been kept in idleness for many years, in case— perhaps in 
the hope — that war would break out. She had guns, too ; but 
grave scandals about them had been whispered, and though 
many thousands of pounds had lately been spent upon " the 
last sweet things " in cannons and torpedoes, it was not at all 
certain that these would not fail in the day of trouble 
because of bad workmanship and inferior materials. As to 
the money, she certainly had not got that. England was 
painfully paying off year by year what she could of the enor. 



WAS IT A BREAM f 293 

moiis debt whicli she owed on account of former wars, and 
i;he real fact was that she had not a penny which could be 
honestly afforded for new ones. But, as usual, many wished 
to withhold this truth from the nation's ears at this moment, 
and much was done to make the people forget everything 
excepting that there was a stain on the national honour 
which could only be washed out in a sea of blood. 

Tet there was one circumstance that made thoughtful men 
pause. 

Germany had invented a new gun, which was more awful 
in its power than anything which had previously been 
dreamed of. Germany had tried to keep its own secret, but 
there was an uneasy feeling abroad that it had been sold by 
a money-loving traitor, and more than one other nation was 
in possession of it. England did not yet know all that she 
wished of the " patented " gun, and the Government was told 
that the secret must be purchased at any price. 

But the Government hesitated. The members of this 
House of Commons were not for war, but very strongly 
against it. The men now at the head of affairs could not 
bear the thought of the slaughter of thousands of their 
brothers. They had been sent to Westminster to govern 
men, not to order them to be killed ; and, though they could 
not close their ears to the clamour of the war-party, they 
maintained an attitude of firmness that, while it gave great 
liope to the peaceable, irritated their opponents. 

Moreovei-, England's quarrel was with her neighbour, 
France. 

Some Frenchmen had gone over a boundary and taken to 
themselves a bit of land, which the English had stolen a 
thousand years ago. They were ordered off, and refused to 
go, and had been so very impertinent and consequential that 
the English who held the bit of land had appealed for help 
and sworn to be revenged. 

It was unfortunate that just at that time, in a little matter 
of trade and commerce, France was feeling irritated. Other- 
Avise it is possible that an apology might have been offered 
and graciously accej)ted, and so the peace have been kept. 
But France was silent, and English Ministers were unhappy 
and anxious. 

" This is a case for arbitration ! " said the Government. 
And so it might have been if they could have induced the 
nation to keep quiet and cool for a little time. But that 
curious general irritability of temper which in the world's 
history has so often been the cause of mischief, made the 
multitude impatient and impassioned at this crisis. The cry 



294 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

for Arbitration was loiid, but the cry for War was louder. 
And it gathered in force, day by day, until it seemed over- 
powering. 

It is liuniiliating to have to make tlie confession that even 
the Church was not rmitedly and entirely for peace. A 
large section was overwhelmed with sorrow and disappoint- 
ment on this account, and most earnestly seconded the 
endeavovir of the Government ; but the men of peace had 
less power than they thought they had. They made pathetic 
appeals to the nation, but a large part of the nation refused 
to be moved by them. The peace-people had soft voices, but 
the war-sowers were noisy and clamorous, and drowned the 
pacific suggestions of the others. The Government proposed 
that a council of arbitration should sit in Germany, and that 
other nations should be asked to come between the two 
angered peoples. But the English war party was in haste, 
and would not consent to the delay. " Let us pray," became 
the biu'den of many a sermon ; but " Let us fight ! " was the 
suggestion more in keeping with the popiilar temper of the 
times. 

Public pressure began to be increased. "A war would be 
good for trade," some said. Religion was all very well, but 
it would not always do to abide by it. Besides, did not reli- 
gion uphold war ? Of course it did, for the Bible was a book 
of battles. The new leaders of the people might be deposed 
unless they proved themselves capable of responding to the 
popular wish. Some of the newspapers were to blaiue for 
the agitation. There were bloodthirsty leader-writers who 
were nothing less than traitors to their country at this junc- 
ture. And there were agitators who still further inflamed 
the passions of the people, until at last it was proposed that 
the " Patriotic Party " — for such the war-makers impudently 
called themselves- — should form processions in the streets, 
and even storm the Houses of Parliament, and compel the 
Government to obey their will. 

And then the Prince came forward. 

There was no telling what might have happened by this 
time, but for the sake of this one relative of the Royal 
family, who. because of the true nobility of his character and 
great lovableness of his disposition, had been singled out 
from all the rest and designated significantly " The Prince." 
Wherever he appeared the hearts of the people turned to 
him. They called him " The Good and the Great " ; for he 
was strangely gifted in person and ability, and was, more- 
over, a born ruler of men. He was certain to occupy the 
first position in the nation by right of his singular powers,. 



IVAS IT A DREAM? 295 

and thougli he kept in the background as much as possible, 
far-seeing men knew that, not because he was of the Royal 
House, but because of the kingly nature, which was God's 
gift and not man's, he was one of the lights that could not 
be hid. Everybody loved him, but mostly the poor, because 
whenever he had lifted up bis voice to plead it was for them, 
and because he had taken the trouble to understand them. It 
was little wonder that he was beloved by all classes in Eng- 
land, for, in truth, a princely prince had arisen. 

The Houses of Legislature received a request from the 
Prince that he might be permitted to lay before them a 
suggestion. 

The Upper House, composed now of the new aristocracy, 
among whom were the best representatives of the old 
nobility of- England, immediately decided to send a courteous 
assurance of welcome to the Prince, and the Lower House 
added their response to that of their co-workers. 

"When the Prince arrived both Houses united to give him 
audience. The scene was indeed worthy of the time, and 
there is nothing better in the whole history of England to 
be perpetuated, in the best way possible to Art, than that 
which was enacted then. 

The whole assembly arose as the Prince entered and took 
his place beside the Speaker's chair, deferentially bowing to 
its occupant. The light of earnest purpose shone in his eyes, 
and his voice was clear and strong as he addressed the 
assembly. 

" Sir. my lords and gentlemen, — It is known to you that the 
wisdom of the ancients is a treasure-trove for modern 
seekers; and the thought that is in my heart to-day is one 
that has passed down to me through a long line of heroes. I 
sorrow with my countrymen for the misunderstanding which 
has arisen between ourselves and France, and which seems 
to be developing into a quarrel that can only be healed by 
blood. But, sirs, if war were declared between the two 
nations, as things are now it would not be battle, but murder. 
We want our men for other things than that. And so does 
fair France, with her broad fields spread out to the sun. and 
her chivalrous men and women with their new ideas of life. 
In this quarrel we are the aggrieved, and therefore have the 
right to declare war. May we not also choose our mode of 
battle ? Is it necessary — can it possibly be right — to call 
out our soldiers, who have no part whatever in this quarrel, 
and bid them go over and fight with French soldiers, who 
are by no means imfriendly — nay. I will not call it 
fighting — shall we allow them to kill each other 



296 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

in cold blood by thousands ? It cannot be right, 
und it is not necessary. Sir, I have to proj)Ose 
that England should take the initiative, and request 
Trance to allow this dispute to be settled by single combat 
of arms, so that one life should suffice and the many be 
spared. And I hereby offer myself to you as the representa- 
tive of this nation, and declare my willingness and most 
earnest desire to meet any man whom France may appoint, 
and to fight with him to the death, in the cause of Old 
England, my own beloved country, which may God bless and 
preserve ! I make this entreaty because I know that if I am 
allowed to have my will, and if I should die for the nation, 
the blow that kills me will be also the death-blow to war. 
Toil have not been able to get this quarrel settled by arbitra- 
tion, but it is the last time that such a suggestion will be 
powerless. Gentlemen, the world needs an object-lesson ; let 
it have it. Here am I, send me ; and I declare to you that by 
God's help I will make it impossible that there should ever 
again be a European war." 

The Prince bowed first to the Speaker and then to the 
members, and before the latter could recover from their 
astonishment he sat down. Then a murmur filled the house, 
first of applause and next of demur. 

It was noble and brave of him, but it could never be allowed. 
The Prince was too dear to the nation — better a thousand 
lesser men be sacrificed than he. And, besides, this would be 
such an antiquated form of warfare ; it would make England 
ridiculous in the eyes of the world. Nor would France agree 
to it. And who had she that was the peer of the Prince 
whom England loved ? Such things, as soon as the speakers 
had found their tongues, were said one after the other, with- 
out in the least abating the resolution of the Prince. He 
would not be convinced, and he prayed them not to hinder 
him. The Republic of France, he was sure, had been growing 
to hate war more and more during the last few years ; and if 
Frenchmen wished to fight, it was certainly not with Eng- 
land. Moreover, the times were new, and new ideas had taken 
possession of the people in all civilised countries. If some, 
still uncivilised, chose to laugh, what did it matter, since the 
quarrel was none of theirs ? Let England and France be 
satisfied, and nothing more was needed. So said the Prince, 
and more than a few agreed with him ; and when the time for 
closing the debate came a resolution was unanimously passed, 
thanking the Prince for his magnanimous offer, and begging 
him to attend the meeting of the House on that day week in 
order to receive the reply of England. 



WAS IT A DREAM? 297 

Next moruiug the whole country was in a state of ferment. 
A good many people tried to laugh off the whole circumstance 
as if it were something too absurd to be worthy of sober con- 
sideration. But it was soberly considered none the less ; and 
it was soon apparent that a very large proportion of the 
English people came to feel that the Prince's offer ought to 
be accepted. Not at first. At first there was a universal 
howl against it. There were many men whose names were 
mentioned as far more suitable for the sacrifice than he. 
But though the nation could compel fifty thousand people to 
fight at its command, it was quite impossible for them to 
compel any one man to do so ; and though volunteers were 
not wanting, the Prince would not yield. 

The New Party was unanimous in the opinion that the 
Prince should be allowed to have his will, if France were 
willing. They loved the Prince as dearly as the rest, but they 
saw that because his life was so precious, it was the one to be 
forfeited. Its value would make it acceptable to the French 
nation, and the fact that the Prince would fight any man 
France might send would go far to pacify that high-spirited 
people. Moreover, if the Prince were killed, his death would 
be more mighty than any other force could possibly be toward 
that on which their hearts were set, the abolition and exter- 
mination of war. 

That week seemed to fly by. At its expiration the Prince 
duly presented himself to receive the nation's reply to his 
proposition. Never was a vote more solemnly taken than 
that which decided the issue at stake. It was not a unanimous 
vote; but that the Prince should fight this battle of his 
country was decided by an overwhelming majority. 

The subject had been rigorously excluded from the French 
Parliament until it was formally laid before it in official 
despatches from England, but naturally it had been well 
discussed in every other gathering, small or large, of the 
French people. There was, therefore, little need of delay ; 
but a week was asked and given before a final answer was 
decided upon. At length it was sent, and the whole world 
knew that the quarrel of two great nations was to be decided 
by two of their grea;test sons. 

A request was sent in that the number should be augmented, 
and that ten persons on each side should fight, but that was 
■overruled, and the two nations proceeded to fix the date of the 
most memorable duel that had ever been fought. 

The Prince asked for a week, but the French proposed that 
it should be a month, in order to give each man time to 
become perfect in the use of the sword ; for both the Prince 



298 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

and his antagonist declared the sword {to he the only weapon 
for the occasion. It had been easy to find a man in chivab'ous 
France. Indeed, there were so many volunteers that it was 
necessary to decide the matter by lot. And, strangely 
enough, the lot fell to Bayard, a descendant of the noble man 
whom even to-day France delights to honoiu-. 

The two young men spent the month in strict retirement, 
each setting his own affairs in order. There was a great wish 
that the Prince might be seen by the people, but this he re- 
fused. Also the date on which he would set out on his journey 
was kept a secret ; for there was a fear that the populace 
would prevent by force the consummation of the idea. It 
had been settled that the fight was to be on French soil, and 
in some spot as far as possible removed from human habita- 
tions. It was to take place in the morning of a day, the 
date of which, with all other details, was settled by the two 
nations. 

Of course the papers were full of it. Every little scrap of 
information that could be gained was printed in large type 
and eagerly read by the people. As the time di-ew near the 
whole thing was felt by many to be intolerable. Thei-e was 
something so cold-blooded about it that it appeared a much 
more awful thing for these two lives to be lost than for twa 
armies to be annihilated. Foreign newspapers were especially 
severe, and many a comic sketch of the two nations gone 
mad came to England and went to France. Most foreigners 
appeared to regard it as a fiasco, and declared that the battle 
of two would never occur. But, on the other hand, a gi-eat 
many people were determined that it should, if only to save 
the two peoples from being ridiculous in the eyes of each 
other ; and there were some spirited articles written to show 
up the absurdity of the false sentiment of pity which could 
have borne a wholesale massacre, but coiild not endure a 
single duel. 

The month seemed as long as two, but it wore away, though 
slowly ; indeed, the last few days were all too short. The 
people were determined that their Prince should not go 
quietly oiitfrom their midst, and for several days Buckingham 
Palace was watched by crowds that refused to be dis- 
persed, and stood quietly through the days and nights 
to wait their chance. The multitude was augmented every 
day. At last it grew so enormous that fears were entertained 
by the authorities of a catastrophe of some kind. The police 
was insufficient, and the soldiers were told to lie in readiness. 

On the evening before his departure the Prince caused the 
time to be made kno's\Ti, and it was decided to form a trium- 



WAS IT A DREAM? 299' 

plial procession to escort liim to the coast, the like o£ which 
had never been seen before. It conld not be allowed that all 
the pomp and glitter of battle should be omitted, and the 
Prince consented to the martial music and the guard. 

The best regiments were chosen, and it was in the midst of 
the finest English soldiers that the Prince rode through 
London. He looked every inch a hero, full of courage and 
life. The crowds grew wild with enthusiasm as they saw 
him, and their shouts rent the air. The band played the 
National Anthem and " Rule Britannia," and there was a 
great cry, which was taken up by tens of thousands — Come 
back safely, and we will make you king ! In front of St. 
Paul's a halt was made, and from the steps the Prince spoke 
to the people. 

" I am going glad of heart to fight this battle for you," he 
said. " I do not believe what is told me, that if I fall you 
will hate the French people more than ever. God forbid ! 
Hate war, and make up your minds that this shall be the 
last blood shed in the cause of any quarrel between the two- 
nations. Take away the sting of death from me by giving 
me a pledge, I pray you, that you will not revenge my death,, 
and that hereafter England will set the example of arbitra- 
tion, as she has now done of single combat." 

A shout of approbation rent the air. Then there was a 
cry, " Into the Cathedral ! " and the Prince entered, and all 
else who could. There was no rioting among the people — the 
occasion was too solemn for that — and they waited patiently. 
"Was it by accident that it was the time for the morning ser- 
vice P A great hush fell upon the throng, and never before 
was there so imposing a scene as then, all the more so. 
because it was unpremeditated. When the anthem was sung 
a thrill went through the assembly, for the clear notes of a 
boy's voice rang out the significant words, " I know that my 
Redeemer liveth ! " Men were not ashamed of their tears 
that day. Who could help shedding them ? 

But the Prince was not one of the weepers. His eyes 
shone with a lustre that told of the high thoughts that filled 
his soul, and his steadfast heart feared nothing. When he 
came out of the cathedral, and cast his eyes over its propor- 
tions, there was a smile upon his lips, though he knew how 
probable it was that he had seen the building for the last 
time. 

All the way to Dover crowds of jjeople attended him or 
flocked near to get a glimpse of his benignant face. When 
at last the sea was in sight he was glad, for the lengthened 
strain was beginning to tell upon him. 



300 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

The ship was decorated with flags, and some girls came 
forward to strew flowers in his path. 

The Prince thanked the soldiers for their escort, and urged 
them to give the weight of their influence to the peace party. 
*' Men are wanted," he said, " for other things than to slay 
and be slain. If the armies were disbanded, and the soldiers 
would learn the arts of peace, a better day would dawn for 
the world. You could go home. God bless the homes of 
England ! " 

Never was vessel watched by so many eyes as this, which 
seemed to fly aci-oss the Channel. Other ships hastened after 
it, and a thousand prayers went up that the Prince might 
come again to the people who loved him, and that the battle 
might be decided in his favour. 

They were asking the same in France for their Bayard, 
who had suddenly become their hero. 

But is not this prayer, " God be on my side," characteristic 
of every fight ? 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

WAS IT EXPEDIENT THAT ONE SHOULD DIE ? 

OUR story has dealt with the people rather than with the 
upper classes ; but when a detailed history of these 
times shall be written, one of the foremost places will 
certainly be given to the Prince. He had worked- quietly 
(the Society journals had kindly left him very much alone), 
and he was, besides, only a young man, but his influence 
amongst the aristocratic classes of England had been im- 
measurably great. His mother was of the Royal family, 1nit 
his father was a commoner, and he seemed to have been bm-n 
to such a heritage of sympathy as could not be confined to 
any class. He had a passion for philanthropy, but his love 
of justice was even stronger still. He regarded the rights of 
others, as he did his own ; and nothing could make him 
believe that England ought, or was obliged, to have within 
her borders a million of people in poverty. But the way out 
was by the gate of work and wages, and not alms ; and so 
sure was he of this that it was frequently remarked of him, 



WAS IT EXPEDIENT? 301 

" The Prince gives nothing away." What he gave, how he 
gave it, and to whom, were his own secrets, and he kept them; 
but every one knew that in the length and breadth of the 
land none was more really a friend to the poor than he. Nor 
had any done more to convince his class that they who owned 
much of the wealth of the land had no right to satisfy their 
consciences by gifts of soup and coals to the poor, but that 
it was their duty to find work and pay wages. He was a 
doughty champion who was always ready to fight for the 
lowest ; and his own people loved him the more because he 
spoke the truth to them in tones that there was no mistaking. 
The age, that was rich in valiant young men, had none 
more true, and honourable, and kingly than this man who 
had craved so earnestly to be allowed to die for his country. 

It is needless to say that the New Tournament occupied 
both public and private attention, to the exclusion of all 
other topics ; until, if only for the sake of relieving the 
strain, which every day became more intolerable, everybody 
hoped that the matter would be decided speedily. And, 
indeed, there was little reason for delay, excepting in the 
circumstance that the two young men had asked for a week 
in which to become better acquainted with each other. 

What passed between them was never known ; only a 
written document, signed by both of them, and containing 
reasons why the two nations should trust each other, gave 
some indication of the themes on which they conversed. 

It was a lovely sjjot among the hills that had been chosen 
for the fight; and thither on a bright morning a great 
multitude repaired. Medical men were on the spot, and 
several of the most eminent Jiidges of the two countries. 
Many people went with the hope still in their hearts that the 
contest would not really be to the death ; but no such hope 
or wash was in the mind of either of the brave knights who 
had come to fight for his country. 

" Let the arrangements be as simple as possible," the 
Englishman had said. But no pomp or show could have 
added to the awful solemnity of the occasion. As the two 
men faced each other, looking so resolute and brave, and yet 
so gentle, a thousand eyes grew dim. They shook hands 
cordially with each other, and spent a few moments in 
private conversation. It was hoj)ed that they would address 
the assembly, which, indeed, consisted of the greatest men 
of all nations, and the hope was not disappointed. 

" It is no time for words," said the English Prince, " but 
the occasion is a marked one, and perhaps words, however 
poor, may prove to be seeds which shall hereafter grow into 



302 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

a harvest. The brave knight of France has become my dear 
friend, and therefore there is no enmity, but only love to each 
other in oui- hearts this morning ; and our friendship is none 
the less strong because one of us will certainly kill the other. 
We are both more %villing to-day than ever to sacrifice our 
lives in the cause of peace and in the interests of our coun- 
try. I am for England with all my heart, and to the very 
backbone — brave, heroic, Christian Eaigland. She has been 
spoilt by some faults, but the morning of her regeneration 
has arrived, and I call upon you Englishmen, in God's name, 
to be worthy of her traditions, and arise to the demands of 
the new era which is upon us." Then, in a voice that pierced 
to the outer edge of the crowd, he cried, " Never more shall 
war mean the slaying of thousands ! And God bless 
England .'" 

The Frenchman's speech was longer, and it called upon his 
countrymen to live and die for fair France. 

Then the trumpeters gave the signal for the contest to 
begin, and men held their breath — watching with their souls 
in their eyes. There was a little play and parrying at first ; 
but presently the men fought in deadly earnest, and their 
flashing swords became stained with blood. Suddenly there 
was a halt — the Prince's sword had snapped, and a new one 
was required. Then there was a cry for intervention. " Let 
the contest cease ! Enough ! Enough ! " But the young 
men would not yield to that cry, and again there was a clash- 
ing of swords. The moments seemed ages to those who 
looked on, and several fainted and could gaze no longer; 
indeed, the excitement proved too great to be endured. But 
the contest was not to be prolonged. Presently one fell 
from his horse, wounded fatally. 

It was the English Prince. 

The doctors were at his side in a moment. He could still 
speak a few words. 

" The wound is fatal, I know," he said. " Bayard, where 
are you ? " The Frenchman took the Prince in his arms and 
put his head on his shoulder. 

'■ Forgive me," he said, hastily. 

" Oh, do not ask that ! We have no quarrel — the real 
fio-hters in a real war seldom have. God bless you. Bayard, 
and your country — Vive la France ! But God bless my 
country too — old England ! destined to be the leader in peace 
and righteousness yet. God bless England ! Bayard, say 
it, too." And the Frenjchman repeated the words. Then 
the Prince whispered, " Better I than you. To be -with 
Christ." 



IVAS IT EXPEDIENT? 303 

And so lie died. 

^ :!(• 4£- 4C* Jf; 4^ 

A sense of infinite loss fell upon England, in which the 
whole world had some share. Aid with the loss came not 
only pain, but anger. 

The Prince's family had the worst of the sorrow to bear. 
And the upper classes were loud in their execration. " Better 
a host were slain than he," they said. And the masses for 
once felt with them. So did the army, which was likely, 
everybody thought, to give trouble in the future. The time 
was altogether a dangerous one, and a terrible revolvition 
might have been brought in with blood but for those leaders 
of the people who were able in the emergency to possess 
their souls in quietness. America was saved once by the 
voice of a man who cried, " God is not dead, though Lincoln 
is ! " And now in England there wei'e ten thousand men 
who, in pulpits, on platforms, and through the Press, said 
the same thing. And they earnestly besought their hearers 
to help in the great work of preventing the Prince's sacrifice 
from being non-eifective. He had been willing to die, as 
everybody knew ; but only because he hoped that a better 
life would come to many through his death. And now, if 
the people were actuated by revenge and hatred, not only to 
France, but also to the new English Government as well — as 
seemed likely to be the case — then, indeed, the best blood of 
the land would have been shed in vain. And so universal 
among Christian men was the adoption of this speech that 
the people were quieted, and wise counsels prevailed, together 
with a profound conviction that the Prince's pi-ophecy would 
be fulfilled, and England become " the leader in peace and 
righteousness." 

They brought the body of the beloved Prince home to 
England, and in that sepulchre of kings, Westminster Abbey, 
they buried him. 

The publication of the Prince's will created a profound 
sensation. 

The little which had been given to him by the nation was 
to go back to whom it belonged. But that which had been 
given to him for his own use and distribution, by private in- 
dividuals, and which constituted a most surprisingly large 
sum, was, he considered, entirely at his disposal. The times 
had seen many gifts of enormous sums to the poor, not a few 
of which had come from anonymous donors ; but it was not 
before known that so great had been the love of the people 
for their Prince, and so absolute their confidence in him, that 
many had preferred to ti-ust him with their money, assured 



304 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

that he -would use it wisely. It was to this wealth that the- 
will written by his own hand chiefly referred. It set forth 
his faith that soon after his death the Government of Eng- 
land would set an example of peace to the nations of the 
world by permitting those who chose to withdraw from 'the 
British army, after making all necessary arrangements for 
the calling together of volunteers from among them in case 
of an emergency. The Prince declared that he had found 
constant solace and strength from the thought of the joy 
with which these men, now kept in idleness at the expense of 
the country, with no rights as citizens, and unable for the 
most part to secure domestic joys, would go home to their 
friends and take their rightful places in the world. But he 
recognised the fact that at first they would be at a dis- 
advantage with their fellows because they had forgotten how 
to till the ground, or choose and sell the merchandise, or 
guide the machine. And he therefore directed that his money 
should be kept in trust until required, and then used for the 
purpose of instructing the soldiers in the arts of peace ; and, 
if necessary, for providing for them in the meantime, and 
until they could become engaged in remunerative occu- 
pations. And he asked as a favour to himself that t)ie 'piece 
of land which was the original cause of the quarrel should be set 
apart for the free use of discharged English and French soldiers. 
He knew that the money which had been entrusted to him 
— miich as it was — would be all too little for so large a 
purpose, though he prayed that it might be wisely managed 
by able and honest men, and so he left, as his dying bequest 
to all who loved him, an importunate prayer that they would 
of their riches add to the sum until it should answer the end 
designed. And the Prince appointed as his executors his 
sister, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Peter Macdonald, and 
Arthur Knight, whom he trusted to see that the terms of his 
will were duly carried out. 

A committee was at once appointed to consider this re- 
markable will, and work with the executors. And this com- 
mittee proved itself to be composed of men who had un- 
derstanding of the spirit of the Prince, and determination 
to give effect to his wishes. They lost no hours in fruitless 
debate; nor did they cavil with one another in regard to 
phrases, nor multiply difficulties which might never exist. 
They met every day for a time, and as soon as possible were 
ready with their report. 

The first fact which they made public was the gratifying 
one that the money left by the Prince had already been 
doubled by the contributions of rich men who had been 



IVAS IT EXPEDIENT? 305 

waiting for some opportunity to dispose of part of their 
wealth for the good of their country. This was the fruit of a 
conviction that had been for many past years growing, that 
a Christian man has no right to keep to himself the wealth 
which has been entrusted to him. 

Another fact, which for the first time was put into words 
for the public information, was the somewhat disquieting 
one, for the war party, that it had now become exceedingly 
difficult to secure men for the British Army. The youth of 
the nation of these times had no taste for swords, and guns, 
and red coats. The veterans of the army often wondered 
what England could possibly do if she had to engage in a 
big war while so short of men. And although Englishmen 
believed still that their nation was destined to lead the 
world, it was evident to all thoughtful minds that it must be 
by other means than war, for even now she could not cope 
with other nations in regard to military power. 

But, all the same, the Government was asked to reduce the 
standing army, since it would be wiser to do that than to let 
it die out gradually and ignominiously ; and it was absolutely 
certain that this would be the case in the near future, since 
the Christian Churches of England had enlisted the youth 
of the nation in the grand army of the Young Crusaders, 
every member of which had solemnly sworn to preserve 
peace. 

The committee, therefore, recommended the Government 
to give immediate effect to the Prince's will ; to allow men 
who had already served ten years in the army to leave it if 
they chose ; and to give them, under certain conditions, a 
lump sum, instead of a pension, so that they might commence 
business or emigrate, or provide themselves with tools and 
equipments for labour. Had all this happened before, there 
would have been a great outcry that the already overstocked 
laboui* market would become congested by the turning into 
it of thousa^nds of new men ; but people were really wise 
enoiigh now to see that it would be cheaper for these men 
to work than to be kept in idleness at the expense of the 
State, and they were learning to solve the problem of the 
over-production of commodities by the industrial classes by 
making it possible for the industrial classes themselves to 
enjoy the commodities which they were producing. 

So the siiggestions of the committee were accepted. 

" Ovir Quixotic Government can no further go," said one of 
the papers next morning ; but its small light was snuffed out 
during the day, for the journals that were of consequence 
took the other side, and it became evident that the life and 

20 



306 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

death of the Prince had converted an euormons number o£ 
thinkers. 

Still, it was decided that such a drastic measure could not 
be carried out till after an appeal to the people, and the 
House of Commons first adopted the suggestion of the 
committee and then resigned. The step was at once proved 
to have been unnecessary. The people were in advance of 
their leaders, and had come to be their friends, and sup- 
porters of these good measures. The world looked on in 
wonder as one after another of the constituencies decided to 
return without opposition their present representatives to 
the new Parliament. In only a few cases was there a 
contested election, and in nearly every one of these there was 
returned a man more strongly on the side of the people, and 
for peace, than the one who had been deposed. The G-ovei'n- 
ment, therefore, went back to its work with its hands greatly 
strengthened. 

And the first thing it did was to ask that a Council might 
be elected, consisting of the same number as the House of 
Commons, and elected in the same way, each constituency to 
send one man as the representative of the united churches of 
the locality, whose duty it would be to act for the churches 
in the direction of the social and domestic affairs of the 
nation. This Council was to sit in London for ten days of 
each quarter ; and it was to take into consideration more than 
a few changes which were now admitted to be within the range 
of practical politics. 

One of these was a new poor law. There was to be no 
more separation of the aged poor from their friends. No more 
was the answer to an appeal for help in the last extremity 
to be " The House or Nothing ! " If an old man or woman, 
or both, had sons and daughters, or grandchildren willing 
to undertake the care of the failing life, if only a little peci^niary 
assistance were given, the assistance was to be at once 
vouchsafed. Young men who had become absolutely penniless 
through afiiiction. or loss, or through no fault of their own 
were to be henceforth helped into some sphere of work where 
they could live by their own earnings. If they were ill, they 
were to l)e nursed back into health, or sent into a convalescent 
home ; if they were idiots, to an asylum ; or, if incapable, to a 
place where kindly patient teachers wovild foster the little 
spark of intelligence within them. The children were to be 
taken away from the workhouse into a home — or, rather, the 
great uncomfortable building was, in some cases, to be itself 
altered and made homelike. But, for the most part, the work- 
house was to be true to its name. If a man refused to work 



FOR EVER AFTER? 307 

-for his wife and children, lie was to be captured and brought 
there with them, and compelled to support himself and them, 
xmless he preferred to starve. If he treated them cruelly, he 
-was to be, for the second offence, punished with the lash ; 
■and it was wonderful how soon this treatment made cowardly 
brutes civil in their treatment of those who were weak. But, 
<it the same time, everything was done that could be to make 
the workhouse a city of refuge, where those who had made 
themselves and one another wretched learned to love one 
another and be happy. 

And over these buildings were painted the words which 
Christendom was bent upon obeying, with shame that the 
obedience came so late: "All things whatsoever ye would 
that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." 



CHAPTER XXXYI. 

FOR EVER AFTER ? 

TWELVE months later an old year was passing away in 
perfect calm. If it had been memorable for no other 
reason, the weather would have made it so, for no year had 
heen more stormy or wi-ought more violently than this ; now, 
however, as if it knew a late repentance, and had grown 
ashamed and sorry for the excesses of its hot youth, it seemed 
to be caring for nothing but to take and give the kiss of 
peace before it died. Nature was in a mood of profound 
sympathy. Enough snow had fallen to beautify all rugged 
and unlovely things ; the wind had ceased its loud tones, and 
only spoke in whispers ; the moon spread its light over the 
restful world, and the stars shone in the blue heavens like 
lamps of gold. 

There were thousands of people waiting in the expectancy 
of faith and hope, who felt that an augury of good had come 
to them with that night. 

There was a gathering of notable people in John Balling- 
ton's house at Darentdale, who intended together to see the 
old year out and the new year in. Arthur Knight had issued 
an invitation to them all to meet at Brent House in London, 



308 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

tlie Lome of liis boyhood, but if tliey had done so the meeting- 
must have been without Margaret, for she declared that not 
for all the friends she had would she leave her baby, or run 
the risk of his taking cold on a journey, and therefore the 
meeting was at Darentdale, since Margaret's absence was not 
to be tolerated. 

It was a representative gathering, and Arthur Knight 
called it a " stock-taking supper," for they had met, not only 
to see one another, but to consider their gains and losses. 
He was the first to arrive, and Dr. Stapleton came next. Then 
followed Mr. Collinson, known all over England now as the 
Children's Pastor, because he had insisted that a minister's 
first duty was to the yoiuig of the congregation. Mr. Staple- 
ton, the builder, was also there ; so was Mr. Emerson, the 
vicar of Darentdale ; and also Miss Wentworth and Mary 
Wythburn, besides Mr. Whitwell and his daughter Tom, with 
several other friends and helpers, among them a man who 
was ready to give his life for Arthur Knight, a servant and 
companion, who always spoke of himself as "the boy who 
threw the stone at the Knight." There were also one visitor 
from America and one from Germany. 

Darentdale presented a different appearance from that 
which it revealed on the morning after its master had 
returned from his travels. There were now no leaves on the 
trees nor primroses in the woods ; and yet, as he glanced over 
the scene, he thought it more lovely than ever. One reason 
was that he had kept his resolution and redeemed the land. 
It was a happy day to him, as well as to his uncle and cousin, 
when he paid ofE the mortgage which had always been a 
trouble to him. And the means by which he had been 
enabled to do this had in themselves been reasons of rejoicing. 
He had been quite determined not to iise a penny of his wife's 
money, even for so good an end. Equally determined was he 
that the labourers on his farm should not suffer because he 
had a debt to pay. The way out of his difficvilty had been 
one proposed by his friend Knight, who had come to him one 
day with a proposition. " Since your land is so dear to you," 
he said, " I do not ask you to sell it ; but will you let me have 
a few fields on a long lease that I may plant a factory and 
some workmen's houses upon it ? " 

Dallington was only too glad to do this. There was a 
waste piece of land that only gi-ew gorse and bushes, and 
that land was now covered with pretty houses, of which 
Dallington was as proud as Knight. 

The latter had conducted the American visitor over this 
place in the morning, and he wanted to talk of nothing else. 



FOR EVER AFTER? 309 

" Will you explain to me, Mr. Kniglit, wliat you mean by 
■calling this new colony of yours a Missionary Settlement ? " 
lie asked. 

" Certainly. It lias been built wholly at tbe request of 
•some of my Craiglielbyl people, whose money is invested in 
it. They are men who have made the Welsh place a success, 
;and who, happy in their new life, have not forgotten their old 
companions in London. They petitioned me to advance the 
money, and allow them to take it up in shares and manage it. 
It is really a co-oj)erative concern, as the Craighelbyl place is 
fast becoming now. The factory is to produce second-class 
goods — that is, articles which are to be worth every penny 
asked for them, and warranted to wear, but without the 
finish, the polish, for which our other goods are — if you 
will excuse the egotism of a manufacturer — known all over 
the world. These men of mine are themselves conducting 
this factory, and every man whom they employ is one who 
has been rescued from drunkenness or some other wrong- 
doing. So, you see, it is more than a factory — it is a mission 
of usefulness. Every foreman or manager is pledged to 
j)atience and watchfulness. No one has been allowed to help 
in this matter who is not known to be a strong and consistent 
Christian man. Of course, they have had some disappoint- 
ments. They told me to-day that already they have had to 
send to the Asylum for druukeniiess as incurable six men and 
seven women ; but they are hopeful that these will prove the 
only ones who need go ; and that the workpeople, brought 
away from the temptations of London, will live sober and 
godly lives." 

" You have greatly solved the problem of the poor by 
taking them from the crowded centres of great cities." 

" Yes ; I do not think we could have accomplished all that 
has been done excepting in this way. I know of more than 
four hundred manufacturers who have taken their people and 
■their work away from big towns to little villages — where land 
is cheaper and the air is fresh — and there have helped them 
to begin life again under new conditions. In this way num- 
bers become quite manageable. Every man, woman, and 
child is known to the master and the mistress, who are now 
.awake to their responsibility, and understand that if they 
employ people it is their duty to look after them and care for 
them. I believe there is not a Christian man in England 
to-day who regards his employes merely as hands to earn 
money for him." 

" Thank God ! " 

" Yes, indeed, we have reason to thank God. There has 



310 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

been a great awakening of the individual conscience in tlie> 
Clinrcii." 

"We in America consider your latest liquor law rather 
severe." 

" We have had to be severe in order to be kind," said Dr. 
Stapleton. " The Legislature was resolved to stamp out 
drunkenness at any cost ; and I believe it is in a fair way to 
be accomplished now. We never required so few prisons as 
we do now; and it was a good idea toiise them as refuges for 
drunkards, and compel every man or woman who had been 
thrice convicted of drunkenness to live in them." 

" This has been a marvellously executive year," said Mr.. 
Emerson. " It has been like a dream. Only a few years ago,. 
and at every Christmas time there were numbers of men out 
of woi'k, and some nearly starving, and now there is work for 
every man who likes to do it." 

" And, what is almost better still, every man has to work 
whether he likes it or not," said Mr. Stapleton. 

" You nearly had a revolution over that thing, though," 
said the American. " The liberty of the subject was in 
danger." 

" Tes ; only a Government that knew its own strength 
could have given such an excellent definition of liberty as 
ours has," replied Mr. Whitwell. " Every man has liberty to 
do right, but no one has licence to do that which is evil." 

" But the haj)py change which has been brought about is 
not the work of the Government. It is the work of a united 
Church," said Mr. Emerson. " That which has been accom- 
plished might have been done long ago if the Church had 
known its power and done its duty." 

" You might have said if the Church had been Christian,"' 
suggested Tom Whitwell. 

" But no new thing has happened, nor has any new doctrine 
been preached," said Knight. " The only reason of all the 
change is that we have come to believe that what was said in 
Nazareth eighteen centuries ago is true and possible. We 
were told all along that the merciful were blessed, that the 
pui-e in heart should see God, that those who hungered and 
thirsted after righteousness should be filled, and we have 
simply discovered that when Jesus gave His few plain direc- 
tions regarding His kingdom He did not make impossible 
regulations. That is all." 

" Yes, that is all. But it is not a little." 

" The best of it is that the light is flooding Germany and 
America as well as England," said the German guest. 

"And," replied Arthur Knight, '" Canada has been blessed 



FOR EVER AFTER? 311 

that it lias sucli a son as Macdonald. How I wish he could 
have been with ns to-night ! He has been invited to deliver 
his message in all the States of America. What he has done 
for and in the Church of England only God knows. He has 
been a second Wesley, or a Church Spurgeon, or a modern 
St. Francis of Assisi. If he has not taught the people to 
love poverty, he has made them ashamed of being afraid of 
it ; and the young men of the Church are being convinced 
that there are more desirable things than luxury, wealth, 
and idleness, and they are proving that there are no such 
noble men in the world as Englishmen who are Christians. 
Macdonald, too, has done miich to bring about that Christian 
union to which we owe everything. A united Church has 
done what nothing else coiild do, and completely lifted the 
poor and the degraded out of their former position." 

" One wonders now," said Mr. Collinson, "how it could be 
that so many of the best people never seemed to give any 
thought to their social and relative duties." 

" It is sti'ange, iiadeed ; but it can scarcely ever be the case 
again." 

" Oh, surely not, for very shame ! So many have come to 
realise that their birth, and education, and wealth are given 
to them in trust for others, that they will not dare to use 
them entirely for themselves in the future." 

" It is something that at last goodness and kindness are 
fashionable," said Miss Wentworth. 

" Do yoiT think there is any hope of a general disarma- 
ment P " inquired the German. 

" There is a hope, certainly. The events of the past months 
have made a profound impression all over Europe and 
America. At present there is assuredly no nation with suffi- 
cient courage to. declare war." 

"The people are disgusted with it; and now, as always, 
they form the final Court of Appeal, in Germany as every- 
where else." 

" The best of it is that, so far as England is concerned, 
we have the boys on our side," said Mr. Collinson. "There 
is no sign so hopeful as this. Your appeal, Mr. Knight, is 
bringing an abundant harvest of good." 

" Tes ; our hope is in the boys. I watched a number of 
them in the gymnasium the other day, and a fine time they 
were having ; but the difference that a year or two has made 
in their language and behaviour is very marked." 

" Mr. Collinson, the children's minister of Granchester, has 
had much to do with that," said Dr. Stapleton, " for he set 
the example, which other ministers have followed." 



312 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

"All, no!" said Mr. Collinson. "The originators of the 
Society of the Young Crusaders have accomplished the 
gi-eatest thing of the generation. What fine fellows those 
boys are ! They are the saviours of the nation ! I declare to 
you, Stapleton, that I never see your nephew without feeling 
that I must take off my hat to him." 

" Tes ; if the Society goes on manufacturing men of this 
kind we need have no fear for the future. They will finish 
what we begin. I am glad that the girls are being well 
looked after, too," said Miss Wentwoi-th. 

" The great effort of the day on their behalf," said Arthur 
Knight, " must be to make them domesticated and home- 
loving, for our young Crusaders are growing up with the 
ided; that it is a disgrace to men to let their sisters a7id 
daughters work for a living. That is the duty and privilege 
of the male." 

" The boys of England are having a splendid training now," 
said Mr. Whitwell. " Our plan — to put every boy that is 
born under the care of a good Christian woman (his mother, 
if possible, and, if not, some other) — is having excellent 
results." 

" It is only going back to the old idea of the Church," 
said Mr. Emerson. " Every child is to have a godmother and 
godfather. All that is best in these modern improvements 
has come from our section of the Church." 

An amused silence which followed this remark was broken 
by a question, put by the German, in regard to Craighelbyl, 
which Mr. Knight answered. 

" The cure for strikes everywhere is to give the people a 
direct share in the business. Craighelbyl has adopted this 
plan from the first. The people are buying their homes with 
the rent they pay. I gave them twenty years in which to do 
it ; but they got dissatisfied, and considered that too long a 
time. Perhaps it was. I am getting recouped more quickly 
than I expected ; and the time is short yet. So I gave in. 
We talked the matter over together, and I altered the term 
to fifteen years, at the end of which time, supposing the 
rents to be faithfully paid, every man's house will be his 
own. But all men are not alike ; some save money more 
quickly than others, even though they earn but little more ; 
so I have had a sura fixed for every house, and if a man can 
pay it off in ten years, or even less, I have no objection. 
Some will le their own landlords in less than ten years, I 
believe." 

"And what will you do with the business ? ' 

" If they are willing to unite together, and buy it as a co- 



FOR EVER AFTER? 313 

operative affair, I shall sell it to them. I think they will, 
for the old jealoiisy which they used to feel towards each 
other, and the suspicion with which they regarded any 
man who seemed to be doing well, are less than they 
were." 

"Everybody who serves in any capacity is chosen by vote, 
is he not P " asked the American. 

" Excepting myself, the minister, the schoolmaster, and 
the doctor. Eventually, perhaps," said Knight with a smile, 
" they may choose individuals to fill our places, but at present 
we have been given to them, whether they liked us or not. 
In Craighelbyl the people are veiy keen and critical. We 
have fine men there. Hancourt has been a splendid manager 
of the business. I am sure he will always be triumphantly 
put back in his place, whatever new candidates are forth- 
coming. We have an Irishman for a doctor. The people pay 
no fees ; they are doctored at my expense, because it is very 
much to my advantage that I should have healthy work- 
people ; and we have very little sickness, because the sanitary 
arrangements are good, and the first symptoms of disease are 
promptly seen and met." 

" Do they all go to church P " inquired the German. 
" No ; but a very large majority may be found there. 
They nearly all go to the Sunday-evening concert, held from 
eight to nine in the lecture-hall, where high-class sacred 
music is performed and sacred songs are sung.'' 
'•Do you pay these musicians and singers P " 
" No ; they give their services very willingly, for they are 
our own people. Those who have musical taste and talent 
receive an education iii music, as do those who are scientifi- 
cally inclined in science." 

" I suppose all education is free ? " 

" Most certainly ! You see, my point is that I shall be best 
served by an educated, contented, and healthy set of people. 
It is all a matter of self-interest." 

During the laugh that greeted this assertion Mrs. Dalling- 
ton arose, and the ladies followed her into the drawing-room. 
Mary Yfythbiu-n sat before the organ with a book of Men- 
delssohn before her, and the other gviests made themselves 
comfortable, to listen or think, as they pleased ; but Margaret 
and Miss Whitwell sought a quiet corner for talk. 
"Madge, how well and happy you look." 
" And I look as I am ! Dear old Tom, I hoj)e you will stay 
a long time now, for you do not know half the delightful 
things my baby can do. Your father must spare you. To 
liave you hei'e is just the crown to my joy." 



314 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

Margaret's dark eyes were looking full into the face of her 
friend. 

" I suppose you are quite busy again, Margaret," asked 
Tom. 

" Yes. There is plenty of work close at hand, and, you 
know, Tom, we always said that the thing that was neai-est 
was the right thing to do." 

" But I am not so sure about that now as I used to be." 

" Oh, you may be certain it is right in the main ! We are 
going to have ' At Homes ' every Saturday afternoon and 
evening for the youths and the girls on the farm. I want the 
girls to copy my home as well as my dress. We shall make 
them welcome, and see that they have good times — in the 
drawing-room in the winter, and the garden in the summer ; 
and we hope they will be having an object lesson all the time. 
I used to think this sort of thing not altogether kind, and 
to be afraid that after experiencing the comfort and refine- 
ment of such a home as ours they would go back to their own 
abodes more discontented than ever. But I am not afraid of 
that now, for the contrasts are not so great; they can all 
have comfortable homes too." 

" Ah ! Darentdale led the way." 

" It did ; and I cannot tell you how thankful I am. It used 
to be shameful that people were compelled to live in such 
utter, hopeless misery as they did only a few years ago." 

"Are you going to have the youths and the girls at the 
same time, and together, at these ' At Homes ' of yours ? " 

" Certainly ; why not ? Were they not intended to be 
together ? " 

" Tour house will become a paradise of lovers, Margaret." 

" I only hope it may. I promise myself all sorts of plea- 
sui'es in watching my friends making the discovery that they 
love and are beloved. Do you know. Miss Thomasine Grace 
Wbitwell, that there is nothing in all the world half so well 
worth winning and having as that ?" 

"That? What?" 

" You do not need me to tell you, I am sui'e." 

" You were always romantic, Margaret. Our friend, Mary 
Wythburn, does not agree with you." 

" I am afraid not." And she glanced significantly towards 
Mary, and Dr. Stapleton, who had been the first to join her, 
and who had gone at once to turn over the leaves of the 
music-book. " You know, Tom, we are all committed to the 
task of securing the greatest happiness for the greatest 
number ; and whoever makes herself and one other individual 
happy is doing something towards it." 



FOR EVER AFTER? 315 

" Margaret, you are getting most disgracefully frivolous^ 
I shall move to tlie piano. I am in danger here of being 
corrupted." 

Mary had left the instrmnent, and some one was asking, 
•' Will not Miss Whitwell sing for us P " 

" Miss Whitwell is not at all in a singing mood," she said ;. 
but John Dallington added his request, and she was too 
good-natured to refuse. At first she played a sonata, then a 
march ; but " A song ! a song ! " cried her friends, and she 
gave them a ditty of her own :" 

"There was, amonof the fields of earth, 

A little patch of ground, 
Which loving hearts held priceless. 

And tender hands hedged round, — 
A small brown patch, with naught to show. 

Save a weed here and there ; 
But it jjroved a triumi^b -trophy, won 

By kindliness and care. 

" Frosts sealed it down in safe, close warmth 

Till the cold passed away ; 
Then genial showers fell softly. 

Then the sun shone all day. 
And deft hands turned it over. 

And treasures green and gold 
With lavish generosity 

Were given for it to hold. 

" And through the summer, beautiful 

Was that same jiatch of grovmd, 
For fragrant flowers, and rich, ripe fruits. 

And golden corn wex-e found. 
And over it the glad birds sang 

Their merry hymns and lays. 
And near to it the hearts of men 

Poured forth their Master's praise. 

"And, best of all, He came to see 

The patch of ground prepared. 
And His eyes noted the green spot. 

And knew how it had fared ; 
And smiled the gentle Master then. 

For He saw what love had won. 
And crowned the workers with the words : 

' My faithful ones, well done ! ' " 

"Now, Margaret, it is your turn," said the singer. " Give 
us something merry." 

" The Doctor will do that," said John ; and Stapleton gave 



316 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

" Rule, Britaimia ! " witli variations, that were very varied 
indeed. 

After a time, " Will not Mr. Knight favour us with a 
song .f* " asked Margaret. " 1 know he does sing." 

"Not often," replied Arthur, as he took his seat at the 
piano, and prepared to accompany himself. 

All eyes in the room turned affectionately towards him. 

" He is a man, take him for all in all. 
We ne'er shall look upon his like again." 

John Dallington made the quotation softly, so that only 
those nearest to him heard it ; but they realised its aptness as 
they looked at the truest knight of the century. What a brave 
battle he had fought, and how little he regarded himself as 
a hero ! How unswervingly he had run his course, turning 
neither to the right nor the left, but reaching the goal of his 
desire only to lay his victor's crown on the altar of his faith. 
A man of remarkable talents, indeed, and thankful for every 
one of them ; for the high thoughts which he knew had been 
given to him, not made by him, for the power to speak so 
that men were persuaded, for the health which had enabled 
him to endure fatigue, and the wealth which he might use as 
he pleased, and for the courage of his convictions, which had 
made him do where others had but ventured to dream ! He 
could not ignore it all on this, the last day of the year, any 
more than others did, but he had many misgivings and 
regrets to keep him humble. Strange to say, he was feeling 
very lonely, though in the midst of his dearest friends ; and 
perhaps the sight of Dallington's happiness made him realise 
more than ever before that, however much he had gained, he 
had missed something without which no man's life is com- 
plete. His thoughts were with his father. Some one a few 
minutes before had asked him whether he ever took up a 
newspaper nowadays withovit seeing his own name in it ; 
and he answered half irritably, " Yes, very often," for that 
was not a particularly interesting item to him ; then he won- 
dered what his father would think of it all if he could know ; 
and a shadow of self-reproach stole over him, and a fear, lest, 
after all, he had not done wisely and well. But they were 
waiting for his song, and presently his voice, to which he 
owed so much, rang out clearly, though in subdued tones : — 

" Give pardon to-night, 
O God of the light ! 
For we are like children wiio wail in the shade. 
Half afraid ; 



FOR EVER AFTER? 317 

And look up to Thy face 
For love, comfort, and grace. 
Around Thee we gather — 
Forgive us, our Father ! 

" The day breaks at last. 
The shadows are jjast. 
And we must go forward, pursuing our way 
Through the day ; 
Go Thou where we go. 
Thy will make us know. 
And, all danger scorning. 
Go forth to the morning." 

" Tlie morning is almost liere," said Dallington. 

" Would you not like to meet the year outside ? It is a 
glorioiis niglit." 

Tlie scene in tlie garden was so beautiful that few v/ords 
were spoken. It was as if tlie very world held its breath and 
listened. A silence fell on every one, for every heart was 
full of prayer. Margaret forgot all her guests for a few- 
minutes, and slipiDed her hand within the arm of her hus- 
band. Miss Whitwell stood a little apart from the rest, 
thinking her own thoughts. Dr. Stapleton whispered to 
Miss Wythburn an old wish from Shakespeare — 

" God give thee many days of happy years." 

Arthur Knight repeated his own words : 

" Give pardon to-night, O God of the light ! " 

Then the silence was so deep that it seemed almost as 
if their thoughts could be heard. Perhaps they were ! 
Miss Whitwell softly whispered hers — " The Lord hear thee 
in the day of trouble, the name of the God of Jacob defend 
thee ; send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen 
thee out of Zion ; remember all thy offerings, and accept 
thy bm-nt sacrifice ; grant thee thy heart's desire, and fulfil 
all thy mind." Some irresistible power drew her eyes to 
where Arthur Knight was standing, looking perhaps the 
most sorrowfully of any of the party. He met her look, and 
a thought flashed into his mind that electrified him. 

" Can it be j)ossible ! Did she really only care for Dal- 
lington as a cousin ! What does it mean P Can it be ? " 

With a sudden impulse of hope he stepped to her side. 

" Grace," he said, " the old house in London is very soli- 
tary ; and so is the heart of its owner, in Craighelbyl as well 
as in London." 



318 NINETEEN HUNDRED? 

"Oil, no, no !" she said. "How can you be solitary when 
you have been so honoured ? " 

" Grace, do you know that I love you, that I have loved 
you all the time, ever since I first knew you ? " 

Again she whispered, '• Oh, no, no !" scarcely knowing what 
she said. But Arthur had put his arm around her, and could 
feel the beating of her heart. " Oh, my darling," he said, " is 
it possible that you can care for me ? I had not dared to 
hope it ! Is it really true that we may begin the year 
together — together ? " 

The first stroke of the Darentdale church clock struck 
through the silence of the night. Arthur drew the trembling 
girl more closely to him, and held her fast while the slow 
bell sounded twelve times. She tried to be perfectly still, 
and not even sigh forth the gladness that was almost 
breaking her heart; but when the clock ceased, and the 
bells i^ealed out, she lifted her eyes to his face for a moment, 
and he stooped and kissed her. 

Then they remembered their friends, but no one seemed 
to have observed them. The old formula, "A Happy New 
Year ! " was on the lips of all ; but before it coidd be uttered 
some one began to sing the oj)ening words of the Te Deum, 
and everybody sang with a full heart : " We i^raise Thee, O 
God ; we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord. All the earth 
doth worship Thee, the Father everlasting." Then dark 
forms were seen coming quietly towards them ; and pre 
sently Dallington said to Knight, " They are the people 
from the village ; they have come over the hill to wish you 
a Happy New Year. Ah ! the thousands who would like to 
do the same thing ! How well they sing ! " And indeed they 
did sing, joining in the anthem, as if every one was con- 
trasting the joy of this New Year with the soitows of past 
days, and feeling such joy and thankfulness as could only be 
expressed in praise to the Great Father. And that old 
grand psalm of the ages, sung in many an august scene, 
never thrilled with fuller meaning than now, when the stars 
looked down upon the singers, and the very air of the night 
seemed alive with human emotion. So the anthem swelled to 
its close — " O Lord, in Thee have I trusted ; let me never be 
confounded ! " 



THE END. 



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