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The Yellow Book

An Illustrated Quarterly

Volume VII October 1895



I. A Seventh-story Heaven . By Richard Le Gallienne . Page 11
II. The House Desolate . Rosamund Marriott Watson 23
III. The Queen’s Pleasure . Henry Harland . . 29
IV. A Few Notes upon Mr. James.. Lena Milman . . . 71
V. The Truce of the Bishop.. Harold Frederic . . 84
VI. The Pompeian Coelia . Leila Macdonald . . 117
VII. Books: a Letter to the Editor.. “The Yellow Dwarf” . 125
VIII. Passion . . . . Richard Garnett, LL.D., C.B. 149
IX. A Correspondence . . Netta Syrett . . . 150
X. Under Grey Skies . . S. Cornish Watkins . . 179
XI. Two Hours : Two Women Susan Christian . . 181
XII. A Sonnet . . . A. C. Benson . . . 191
XIII. The Iniquity of Oblivion . . . Kenneth Grahame . . . 192
XIV. The Poet’ s Picture . Olive Custance . . 203
XV. Stories Toto Told Me . Baron Corvo . . . 209
. XVI. Two Songs . . . Frances Nicholson . . 229
XVII. Bread and the Circus . Hubert Crackanthorpe . 235
XVIII. Last Fires . . . Lily Thicknesse . . 261
XIX. Life and Death . . Ellis J. Wynne . . 265
XX. Martha . . . . Mrs. Murray Hickson . 267
XXI. Voyages dans les Yeux Dauphin Meunier . . 283
XXII. The Web of Maya . Ella D’Arcy . . . 291
XXIII. A Fragment . . . Theo Marzials . . . 319


The Yellow Book—Vol. VII.—October, 1895


Front Cover, by J. D. Mackenzie
Title Page, by J. D. Mackenzie

I. The Bride . . .By Frank Bramley, A.R.A. . Page 7
II. Merlin and Vivien . . Henry R. Rheam . . 25
III. Marie . . . Elizabeth Stanhope Forbes 112
IV. Jonquil . . Elizabeth Stanhope Forbes 112
V. On the Seine . . Caroline Gotch . . 120
VI. Motherhood . . Caroline Gotch . . 120
VII. Their Daily Bread . Stanhope A. Forbes, A.R.A. . .144
VIII. By the Fireside . Stanhope A. Forbes, A.R.A. . .144
IX. Blue Hills Mine . T. C. Gotch . . . 174
X. Charcoal Study . T. C. Gotch . . . 174
XI. Seascape . . . . Percy R. Craft . . 187
XII. Solitude . . . . John Crooke . . . 200
XIII. Charcoal Study . . John da Costa . . 205
XIV. Fair Play . . . . Fred Hall . . . 225
XV. A Pastoral . . Frank Richards . . . 231
XVI. On the Loing . . . A. Tanner . . . 258
XVII. An Old Campaigner . Walter Langley . . 262
XVIII. On the Yealm . . . A. Chevallier Tayler . 280
XIX. Trengwainton . . Norman Garstin . . 286
XX. A Portrait . . Norman Garstin . . 286

Back Cover, by Patten Wilson


The Title-page and Front Cover (Newlyn
    Boat and Lighthouse and Evening Prim-
     rose) are by J. D. MACKENZIE.

The Pictures in this Volume are by Members
    of the NEWLYN SCHOOL.

The half-tone Blocks art by the Swan Electric
    Engraving Company.

The Editor of THE YELLOW BOOK can in no case
hold himself responsible for rejected manuscripts ;
when, however, they are accompanied by stamped
addressed envelopes, every effort will be made to
secure their prompt return. Manuscripts arriving un-
accompanied by stamped addressed envelopes will be neither
read nor returned.

The Bride

By Frank Bramley, A.R.A.

A Seventh-story Heaven

” Dans un grenier qu’on est bien à vingt ans ! “

AT one end of the city that I love there is a tall dingy pile of offices
that has evidently seen more prosperous fortunes. It is
not the aristocratic end. It is remote from the lordly street of the
fine shops of the fair women, where in the summer afternoons
the gay bank clerks parade arm-in-arm in the wake of the tempes-
tuous petticoat. It lies aside from the great exchange which looks
like a scene from Romeo and Juliet in the moonlight, from the
town-hall from whose clocked and gilded cupola ring sweet chimes
at midnight, and whence, throned above the city, a golden
Britannia, in the sight of all men, is seen visibly ruling the waves ;
while in the square below the death of Nelson is played all day in
stone, with a frieze of his noble words about the pedestal—
England expects ! What an influence that stirring challenge has
yet upon the hearts of men may be seen by any one who will
study the faces of the busy, imaginative cotton-brokers, who, in
the thronged and humming mornings, sell what they have never
seen to a customer they will never see.

In fact, the end I mean is just the very opposite end to that.
It is the end where the cotton that everybody sells and nobody
buys is seen, piled in great white stacks, or swinging in the air
from the necks of mighty cranes, that could nip up an elephant


                        12 A Seventh-story Heaven

with as little ado, and set him down on the wharf, with a box on
his ugly ears for his cowardly trumpeting. It is the end that
smells of tar, the domain of the harbour-masters, where the sailor
finds a ” home,”—not too sweet, and where the wild sea is tamed
in a maze of granite squares and basins ; the end where the riggings
and buildings rise side by side, and a clerk might swing himself
out upon the yards from his top-floor desk. Here is the Custom
House, and the conversation that shines is full of freightage and
dock dues ; here are the shops that sell nothing but oilskins, sex-
tants and parrots, and here the taverns do a mighty trade in rum.
It was in this quarter for a brief sweet time that Love and
Beauty made their strange home, as though a pair of halcyons should
choose to nest in the masthead of a cattleship. Love and Beauty
chose this quarter, as alas, Love and Beauty must choose so many
things—for its cheapness. Love and Beauty were poor, and office
rents in this quarter were exceptionally low. But what should
Love and Beauty do with an office ? Love was a poor poet in
need of a room for his bed and his rhymes, and Beauty was a
little blue-eyed girl who loved him.

It was a shabby forbidding place, gloomy and comfortless as
a warehouse on the banks of Styx. No one but Love and
Beauty would have dared to choose it for their home. But Love
and Beauty have a great confidence in themselves—a confidence
curiously supported by history—and they never had a moment’s
doubt that this place was as good as another for an earthly Para-
dise. So Love signed an agreement for one great room at the
very top, the very masthead of the building, and Beauty made it
pretty with muslin curtains, flowers, and dainty makeshifts of
furniture, but chiefly with the light of her own heavenly face.
A stroke of luck coming one day to the poet, the lovers, with that
extravagance which the poor alone have the courage to enjoy,


                        By Richard Le Gallienne 13

procured a piano on the kind-hearted hire-purchase system, a
system specially conceived for lovers. Then, indeed, for many a
wonderful night that room was not only on the seventh floor, but
in the seventh heaven ; and as Beauty would sit at the piano, with
her long hair flying loose, and her soul like a whirl of starlight
about her brows, a stranger peering in across the soft lamplight,
seeing her face, hearing her voice, would deem that the long
climb, flight after flight of dreary stair, had been appropriately
rewarded by a glimpse of Heaven.

Certainly it must have seemed a strange contrast from the life
about and below it. The foot of that infernal stair plunged in the
warm rum-and-thick-twist atmosphere of a sailors tavern—and
” The Jolly Shipmates ” was a house of entertainment by no means
to be despised. Often have I sat there with the poet, drinking
the whisky from which Scotland takes its name, among wondering
sea-boots and sou’-westers, who could make nothing of that wild
hair and that still wilder talk.

From the kingdom of rum and tar, you mounted into a zone
of commission agents and ship-brokers, a chill unoccupied region,
in which every small office-door bore the names of half-a-dozen
different firms, and yet somehow could not contrive to look
busy. Finally came an airy echoing landing, a region of empty
rooms, which the landlords in vain recommended as studios to a
city that loved not art. Here dwelt the keeper and his kind-
hearted little wife, and no one besides save Love and Beauty.
There was thus a feeling of rarefaction in the atmosphere, as
though at this height it was only the Alpine flora of humanity
that could find root and breathing. But once along the bare
passage and through a certain door, and what a sudden trans-
lation it was into a gracious world of books and flowers and the
peace they always bring.


                        14 A Seventh-story Heaven

Once upon a time, in that enchanted past where dwell all
the dreams we love best, precisely—with loving punctuality—at five
in the afternoon, a pretty girlish figure, like Persephone escaping
from the shades, stole through the rough sailors at the foot of
that sordid Jacob’s ladder and made her way to the little Heaven
at the top.

I shall not describe her, for the good reason that I cannot.
Leonardo, ever curious of the beauty that was most strangely
exquisite, once in an inspired hour painted such a face, a face
wrought of the porcelain of earth with the art of Heaven. But,
whoever should paint it, God certainly made it—must have been
the comment of any one who caught a glimpse of that little figure
vanishing heavenwards up that stair, like an Ascension of Fra
Angelico’s—that is any one interested in art and angels.

She had not long to wait outside the door she sought, for the
poet, who had listened all day for the sound, had ears for the
whisper of her skirts as she came down the corridor, and before
she had time to knock had already folded her in his arms. The
two babes in that thieves’ wood of commission agents and ship-
brokers stood silent together for a moment, in the deep security of
a kiss such as the richest millionaire could never buy—and then
they fell to comparing notes of their day’s work. The poet had
had one of his rare good days. He had made no money, his post
had been even more disappointing than usual,—but he had written
a poem, the best he had ever written, he said, as he always said of
his last new thing. He had been burning to read it to somebody
all afternoon—had with difficulty refrained from reading it to the
loquacious little keeper’s wife as she brought him some coals—so
it was not to be expected that he should wait a minute before
reading it to her whom indeed it strove to celebrate. With arms
round each other’s necks, they bent over the table littered with


                        By Richard Le Gallienne 15

the new-born poem, all blots and dashes like the first draft of
a composer’s score, and the poet, deftly picking his way among
the erasures and interlineations, read aloud the beautiful words—
with a full sense of their beauty !—to ears that deemed them more
beautiful even than they were. The owners of this now valuable
copyright allow me to irradiate my prose with three of the verses.

” Ah ! what,” half-chanted, half-crooned the poet—

     “Ah ! what a garden is your hair !—
    Such treasure as the kings of old,
    In coffers of the beaten gold,
    Laid up on earth—and left it there.”

So tender a reference to hair whose beauty others beside the
poet had loved must needs make a tender interruption—the only
kind of interruption the poet could have forgiven and—” Who,”
he continued—

    ” Who was the artist of your mouth ?
    What master out of old Japan
    Wrought it so dangerous to man . . . .”

And here it was but natural that laughter and kisses should once more interrupt—

    ” Those strange blue jewels of your eyes,
    Painting the lily of your face,
    What goldsmith set them in their place—
    Forget-me-nots of Paradise.

    ” And that blest river of your voice,
    Whose merry silver stirs the rest
    Of waterlilies in your breast . . . .”

At last, in spite of more interruptions, the poem came to an


                        16 A Seventh-story Heaven
end—whereupon, of course, the poet immediately read it through
once more from the beginning, its personal and emotional
elements, he felt, having been done more justice on a first reading
than its artistic excellencies.

” Why, darling, it is splendid,” was his little sweetheart’s
comment ; “you know how happy it makes me to think it was
written for me, don’t you ? ” And she took his hands and looked
up at him with eyes like the morning sky.

Romance in poetry is almost exclusively associated with very
refined ethereal matters, stars and flowers and such like—happily,
in actual life it is often associated with much humbler objects.
Lovers, like children, can make their paradises out of the quaintest
materials. Indeed, our paradises, if we only knew, are always
cheap enough ; it is our hells that are so expensive. Now these
lovers—like, if I mistake not, many other true lovers before and
since—when they were particularly happy, when some special
piece of good luck had befallen them, could think of no better
paradise than a little dinner together in their seventh-story heaven.
” Ah ! wilderness were Paradise enow ! ”

To-night was obviously such an occasion. But, alas ! where
was the money to come from ? They didn’t need much—for it
is wonderful how happy you can be on five shillings if you only
know how. At the same time it is difficult to be happy on nine-
pence—which was the entire fortune of the lovers at the moment.
Beauty laughingly suggested that her celebrated hair might prove
worth the price of their dinner. The poet thought a pawn-
broker might surely be found to advance ten shillings on his
poem—the original MS. too—else had they nothing to pawn, save
a few gold and silver dreams which they couldn’t spare. What
was to be done ? Sell some books, of course ! It made them
shudder to think how many poets they had eaten in this fashion.


                        By Richard Le Gallienne 17
It was sheer cannibalism—but what was to be done ! Their
slender stock of books had been reduced entirely to poetry. If
there had only been a philosopher or a modern novelist, the
sacrifice wouldn’t have seemed so unnatural. And then Beauty’s
eyes fell upon a very fat informing-looking volume on the poet’s

“Wouldn’t this do ? ” she said.

“Why, of course!” he exclaimed ; “the very thing. A new
history of socialism just sent me for review. Hang the review ;
we want our dinner, don’t we, little one ? And then I’ve read
the preface, and looked through the index—quite enough to make
a column of—with a plentiful supply of general principles thrown
in ! Why, of course, there’s our dinner, for certain, dull and in-
digestible as it looks. It’s worth fifty minor poets at old Moser’s.
Come along. . . .”

So off went the happy pair—ah ! how much happier was Beauty
than ever so many fine ladies one knows who have only, so to say,
to rub their wedding-rings for a banquet to rise out of the ground,
with the most distinguished guests around the table, champagne
of the best, and conversation of the worst.

Old Moser found histories of socialism profitable, more pro-
fitable perhaps than socialism, and he actually gave five-and-six-
pence for the volume. With the ninepence already in their
pockets, you will see that they were now possessors of quite a
small fortune. Six-and-threepence ! it wouldn’t pay for one’s
lunch nowadays. Ah! but that is because the poor alone know
the art of dining.

You needn’t wish to be much happier and merrier than those
two lovers, as they gaily hastened to that bright and cosy corner
of the town where those lovely ham-and-beef shops make glad the
faces of the passers-by. O those hams with their honest shining


                        18 A Seventh-story Heaven

faces, polished like mahogany—and the man inside so happy all
day slicing them with those wonderful long knives (which, of
course, the superior class of reader has never seen) worn away to
a veritable thread, a mere wire, but keen as Excalibur. Beauty
used to calculate in her quaint way how much steel was worn
away with each pound of ham, and how much therefore went to
the sandwich. And what an artist was the carver ! What a true
eye, what a firm flexible wrist—never a shaving of fat too much—
he was too great an artist for that. Then there were those dear
little cream cheeses and those little brown jugs of yellow cream,
come all the way from Devonshire—you could hear the cows
lowing across the rich pasture, and hear the milkmaids sing-
ing and the milk whizzing into the pail, as you looked at

And then those perfectly lovely sausages—I beg the reader’s
pardon ! I forgot that the very mention of the word smacks of
vulgarity. Yet, all the same, I venture to think that a secret
taste for sausages among the upper classes is more widespread
than we have any idea of. I confess that Beauty and her poet
were at first ashamed of admitting their vulgar frailty to each
other. They needed to know each other very well first. Yet
there is nothing, when once confessed, that brings two people so
close as—a taste for sausages !

” You darling ! ” exclaimed Beauty with something like tears
in her voice, when her poet first admitted this touch of nature—
and then next moment they were in fits of laughter that a common
taste for a very ” low ” food should bring tears to their eyes !
But such are the vagaries of love—as you will know, if you know
anything about it—” vulgar,” no doubt, though only the vulgar
would so describe them—for it is only vulgarity that is always


                        By Richard Le Gallienne 19

Then there was the florist’s to visit. What beautiful trades
some people ply ! To sell flowers is surely like dealing in fairies.
Beautiful must grow the hands that wire them, and sweet the
flower-girl’s every thought.

There remained but the wine-merchant’s, or, had we not better
say at once, the grocer’s, for our lovers could afford no rarer
vintages than Tintara or the golden burgundy of Australia ; and
it is wonderful to think what a sense of festivity those portly
colonial flagons lent to their little dining-table. Sometimes, I
may confide, when they wanted to feel very dissipated, and were
very rich, they would allow themselves a small bottle of Bene-
dictine—and you should have seen Beauty’s eyes as she luxuriously
sipped at her green little liqueur glass, for, like most innocent
people, she enjoyed to the full the delight of feeling occasionally
wicked. However, these were rare occasions, and this night was
not one of them.

Half a pound of black grapes completed their shopping, and
then, with their arms full of their purchases, they made their way
home again, the two happiest people in what is, after all, a not
unhappy world.

Then came the cooking and the laying of the table. For all
her Leonardo face, Beauty was a great cook—like all good
women, she was as earthly in some respects as she was heavenly in
others, which I hold to be a wise combination—and, indeed, both
were excellent cooks ; and the poet was unrivalled at ” washing
up,” which, I may say, is the only skeleton at these Bohemian

You should have seen the gusto with which Beauty pricked
those sausages—I had better explain to the un-Bohemian reader
that to attempt to cook a sausage without first pricking it
vigorously with a fork, to allow for the expansion of its juicy

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. B


                        20 A Seventh-story Heaven
gases, is like trying to smoke a cigar without first cutting off the
end—and O, to hear again their merry song as they writhed in
torment in the hissing pan, like Christian martyrs raising hymns
of praise from the very core of Smithfield fires.

Meanwhile, the poet would be surpassing himself in the setting-
out of the little table, cutting up the bread reverently as though
it were for an altar—as indeed it was—studying the effect of the
dish of tomatoes now at this corner, now at that, arranging the
flowers with even more care than he arranged the adjectives in his
sonnets, and making ever so sumptuous an effect with that half-a-
pound of grapes.

And then at last the little feast would begin, with a long grace
of eyes meeting and hands clasping ; true eyes that said “how
good it is to behold you, to be awake together in this dream of
life ” ; true hands that said ” I will hold you fast for ever—not
death even shall pluck you from my hand, shall loose this bond
of you and me ” ; true eyes, true hands, that had immortal mean-
ings far beyond the speech of mortal words.

And it had all come out of that dull history of socialism, and
had cost little more than a crown ! What lovely things can be
made out of money ! Strange to think that a little silver coin of
no possible use or beauty in itself can be exchanged for so much
tangible beautiful pleasure. A piece of money is like a piece of
opium, for in it lie locked up the most wonderful dreams—if you
have only the brains and hearts to dream them.

When at last the little feast grew near its end, Love and Beauty
would smoke their cigarettes together ; and it was a favourite
trick of theirs to lower the lamp a moment, so that they might
see the stars rush down upon them through the skylight which
hung above their table. It gave them a sense of great sentinels,
far away out in the lonely universe, standing guard over them,


                        By Richard Le Gallienne 21

that seemed to say their love was safe in the tender keeping of great
forces. They were poor, but then they had the stars and the
flowers and the great poets for their servants and friends—
and, best of all, they had each other. Do you call that being
poor ?

And then, in the corner, stood that magical box with the ivory
keys, whose strings waited ready night and day—strange media
through which the myriad voices, the inner-sweet thoughts, of the
great world-soul found speech, messengers of the stars to the
heart, and of the heart to the stars.

Beauty’s songs were very simple. She got little practice, for
her poet only cared to have her sing over and over again the same
sweet songs ; and perhaps if you had heard her sing ” Ask
nothing more of me, sweet,” or ” Darby and Joan,” you would
have understood his indifference to variety.

At last the little feast is quite, quite finished. Beauty has gone
home ; her lover still carries her face in his heart as she waved
and waved and waved to him from the rattling lighted tramcar ;
long he sits and sits thinking of her, gazing up at those lonely
ancient stars ; the air is still bright with her presence, sweet
with her thoughts, warm with her kisses, and as he turns to
the shut piano, he can still see her white hands on the keys and
her girlish face raised in an ecstasy—Beata Beatrix—above the

     “O love, my love ! if I no more should see
    Thyself, nor on the earth the shadow of thee,
    Nor image of thine eyes in any spring—
    How then should sound upon Life’s darkening slope
    The ground-whirl of the perished leaves of Hope,
    The wind of Death’s imperishable wing ? “


                        22 A Seventh-story Heaven

And then . . . . he would throw himself upon his bed, and
burst into tears.

                    *     *    *    *    *    *

    “And they are gone : ay, ages long ago
    These lovers fled away into the storm.”

That seventh-story heaven once more leads a dull life as the
office of a ship-chandler, and harsh voices grate the air where
Beauty sang. The books and the flowers and the lovers’ faces
are gone for ever. I suppose the stars are the same, and perhaps
they sometimes look down through that roof-window, and wonder
what has become of those two lovers who used to look up at them
so fearlessly long ago.

But friends of mine who believe in God say that He has given
His angels charge concerning that dingy old seventh-floor heaven,
and that, for those who have eyes to see, there is no place where
a great dream has been dreamed that is not thus watched over by
the guardian angels of memory.

For M. Le G., a Birthday Present ;
25 September, 1895.

The House Desolate

So still the old house lies, so dull, so grey,
    The dews of dawn forget to hallow it ;
Here come no sweet birds singing, night or day,
    From these bare eaves no building swallows flit.

Sunk in dim dreams it lies as in a swoon—
    Dreams of a distant city hid from sight,
The enchanted city of the sun and moon,
    The golden market of the world’s delight.

Pale as the dead are they that dwell herein,
    Worn with vain strife and wrung with vain regret ;
Theirs but to watch the world go by to win
    That glimmering goal their hearts remember yet.

They lean among the lilacs by the door,
    To watch the winding road with wistful eyes,
The long, white, dusty way that nevermore
    Shall bear them hope or wonder or surprise.


                        24 The House Desolate

Sometimes they call, but answer comes there none ;
    Sometimes they beckon—none will turn aside.
The long procession glitters in the sun ;
    With echoing tramp the motley pilgrims ride.

Some in the twilight chambers, wide and low,
    Around a cold hearth gather, murmuring
Vague, half-remembered tales of long ago,
    Songs, half forgot, of Travel and the Spring.

Wan faces peer from the uncurtained pane,
    Across the weedy garden, fain to see,
The wayfarers that pass in sun or rain,
    The blue, far-shining stream that threads the lea.

                    *     *    *    *    *

Here falls no word from any passer-by,
    None lifts the latch of this forgotten gate ;
Only faint winds about the lintel sigh
    ” Your house is left unto you desolate.”

Merlin and Vivien

By Henry R. Rheam

The Queen’s Pleasure

I AM writing to you from a lost corner of the far south-east of
Europe. The author of my guide-book, in his preface,
observes that a traveller in this part of the world, ” unless he has
some acquaintance with the local idioms, is liable to find himself
a good deal bewildered about the names of places.” On Thursday
of last week I booked from Charing Cross, by way of Dover,
Paris, and the Oriental Express, for Vescova, the capital of
Monterosso; and yesterday afternoon—having changed on Sunday,
at Belgrade, from land to water, and steamed for close upon forty-
eight hours down the Danube—I was put ashore at the town
of BCKOB, in the Principality of Tchermnogoria.

I certainly might well have found myself a good deal be-
wildered ; and if I did not for—Im afraid I can’t boast of much
acquaintance with the local idioms—it was no doubt because this
isn’t my first visit to the country. I was here some years ago, and
then I learned that BCKOB is pronounced as nearly as may be
Vscov, and that Tchermnogoria is Monterosso literally trans
lated—tchermnoe (the dictionaries certify) meaning red, and gora,
or goria, a hill, a mountain.

It is our fashion in England to speak of Monterosso, if we


                        30 The Queen’s Pleasure

speak of it at all, as I have just done : we say the Principality
of Monterosso. But if we were to enquire at the Foreign Office,
I think they would tell us that our fashion of speaking is not
strictly correct. In its own Constitution Monterosso describes
itself as a Basilestvo, and its Sovereign as the Basile ; and in all
treaties and diplomatic correspondence, Basile and Basilestvo are
recognised by those most authoritative lexicographers, the Powers,
as equivalent respectively to King and Kingdom. Anyhow,
call it what you will, Monterosso is geographically the smallest,
though politically the eldest, of the lower Danubian States. (It
is sometimes, by the bye, mentioned in the newspapers of Western
Europe as one of the Balkan States, which can scarcely be
accurate, since, as a glance at the map will show, the nearest
spurs of the Balkan Mountains are a good hundred miles distant
from its southern frontier.) Its area is under ten thousand square
miles, but its reigning family, the Pavelovitches, have contrived
to hold their throne, from generation to generation, through thick
and thin, ever since Peter the Great set them on it, at the
conclusion of his war with the Turks, in 1713.

Vescova is rarely visited by English folk, lying, as it does,
something like a two days journey off the beaten track, which
leads through Belgrade and Sofia, to Constantinople. But, should
you ever chance to come here, you would be surprised to see what
a fine town it is, with its population of upwards of a hundred
thousand souls, its broad, well-paved streets, its substantial yellow-
stone houses, its three theatres, its innumerable churches, its shops
and cafes, its gardens, quays, monuments, its government offices,
and its Royal Palace. I am speaking, of course, of the new
town, the modern town, which has virtually sprung into existence
since 1850, and which, the author of my guide-book says, “dis-
putes with Bukharest the title of the Paris of the South-East.”


                        By Henry Harland 31

The old town—the Turkish town, as they call it—is another
matter : a nightmare-region of filthy alleys, open sewers, crumb-
ling clay hovels, mud, stench, dogs, and dirty humanity, into
which a well-advised foreigner will penetrate as seldom as con-
venient. Yet it is in the centre of the old town that the
Cathedral stands, the Cathedral of Sankt Iakov, an interesting
specimen of Fifteenth Century Saracenic, having been erected
by the Sultan Mohammed II, as a mosque.

Of the Royal Palace I obtain a capital view from the window of my room in the Hôtel de Russie.

” A vast irregular pile,” in the language of my guide-book, ” it
is built on the summit of an eminence which dominates the town
from the West.” The “eminence” rises gradually from this
side to a height of perhaps a hundred feet, but breaks off abruptly
on the other in a sheer cliff overhanging the Danube. The
older portions of the Palace spring from the very brink of the
precipice, so that, leaning from their ramparts, you could drop
a pebble straight into the current, an appalling depth below.
And, still to speak by the book, these older portions ” vie with
the Cathedral in architectural interest.” What I see from my
bedroom is a formidable, murderous-looking Saracenic castle :
huge perpendicular quadrangles of blank, windowless, iron-grey
stone wall (curtains, are they technically called?), connecting
massive square towers ; and the towers are surmounted by battle-
ments and pierced by meurtrieres. It stands out very bold and
black, gloomy and impressive, when the sun sets behind it, in
the late afternoon. I could suppose the place quite impregnable,
if not inaccessible ; and it s a mystery to me how Peter the Great
ever succeeded in taking it, as History will have it that he did, by


                        32 The Queen’s Pleasure

The modern portions of the Palace are entirely commonplace
and cheerful. The east wing, visible from where I am seated
writing, might have been designed by Baron Haussmann : a
long stretch of yellow facade—dazzling to the sight just now,
in the morning sunshine—with a French roof, of slate, and a box
of gay-tinted flowers in each of its countless windows.

Behind the Palace there is a large and very lovely garden,
reserved to the uses of the Royal Household ; and beyond that,
the Dunayskiy Prospekt, a park that covers about sixty acres, and
is open to the public.

The first floor, the piano nobile, of that east wing is occupied by
the private apartments of the King and Oueen.

I look across the quarter-mile of red-tiled housetops that
separate me from their Majesties habitation, and I fancy the
life that is going on within. It is too early in the day for
either of them to be abroad, so they are certainly there, some-
where behind those gleaming windows : Theodore Basile, and
Aneli Basilitsa.

She, I would lay a wager, is in her music-room, at her piano,
practising a song with Florimond. She is dressed in white
(I always think of her as dressed in white—doubtless because
she wore a white frock the first time I saw her), and her brown
hair is curling loose about her forehead, her maids not having yet
imprisoned it. I declare, I can almost hear her voice : tra-la-lira-
la-la : mastering a trill ; while Florimond, pink, and
plump, and smiling, walks up and down the room, nodding his head to mark
the time, and every now and then interrupting her with a

The King, at this hour, will be in his study, in dressing-gown
and slippers—a tattered old dingy brown dressing-gown, out at


                        By Henry Harland 33

elbows — at his big, wildly-littered writing-table, producing
“copy,” …. to the accompaniment of endless cigarettes and
endless glasses of tea. (Monterossan cigarettes are excellent, and
Monterossan tea is always served in glasses.) The King has
literary aspirations, and—like Frederick the Great—coaxes his
muse in French. You will occasionally see a conte of his in
the Nouvelle Revue, signed by the artful pseudonym, Theodore

At one o clock to-day I am to present myself at the Palace, and
to be received by their Majesties in informal audience ; and then
I am to have the honour of lunching with them. If I were on
the point of lunching with any other royal family in Europe. . . .
But, thank goodness, I’m not ; and I needn’t pursue the dis-
tressing speculation. Oueen Aneli and King Theodore are—for
a multitude of reasons—a Oueen and King apart.

You see, when he began life, Theodore IV was simply Prince
Theodore Pavelovitch, the younger son of a nephew of the
reigning Basile, Paul III ; and nobody dimly dreamed that
he would ever ascend the throne. So he went to Paris, and
” made his studies ” in the Latin Quarter, like any commoner.

In those days as,—I dare say, it still is in these—the Latin
Quarter was crowded with students from the far south-east.
Servians, Roumanians, Monterossans, grew, as it were, on every
bush ; we even had a sprinkling of Bulgarians and Montenegrins ;
and those of them who were not (more or less vaguely) princes,
you could have numbered on your ringers. And, anyhow, in that
democratic and self-sufficient seat of learning, titles count for
little, and foreign countries are a matter of consummate ignorance
and jaunty unconcern. The Duke of Plaza-Toro, should he
venture in the classical Boul Miche, would have to cede the


                        34 The Queen’s Pleasure

pas to the latest hero of the Beaux-Arts, or buily from the School
of Medicine, even though the hero were the son of a village
apothecary, and the bully reeked to heaven of absinthe and to-
bacco ; while the Prime Minister of England would find his
name, it is more than to be feared, unknown, and himself re-
garded as a person of quite extraordinary unimportance.

So we accepted Prince Theodore Pavelovitch, and tried him by
his individual merits, for all the world as if he were made of the
same flesh and blood as Tom, Dick, and Harry ; and thee-and-
thou’d him, and hailed him as mon vieux as merrily as we did
everybody else. Indeed, I shouldn’t wonder if the majority of
those who knew him were serenely unaware that his origin was
royal (he would have been the last to apprise them of it), and
roughly classed him with our other princes valaques. For con-
venience sake, we lumped them all—the divers natives of the
lands between the Black Sea and the Adriatic under the generic
name, Valaques ; we couldn t be bothered with nicer ethnological

We tried Prince Theodore by his individual merits ; but, as his
individual merits happened to be signal, we liked him very much.
He hadn t a trace of ” side ; ” his pockets were full of money ; he
was exceedingly free-handed. No man was readier for a lark,
none more inventive or untiring in the prosecution of one. He
was a brilliant scholar, besides, and almost the best fencer in the
Quarter. And he was pleasantly good-looking—fair-haired, blue-
eyed, with a friendly humorous face, a pointed beard, and a
slight, agile, graceful figure. Everybody liked him, and every-
body was sorry when he had to leave us, and return to his ultra-
mundane birthplace. ” It can t be helped,” he said. ” I must
go home and do three years of military service. But then I shall
come back. I mean always to live in Paris.”


                        By Henry Harland 35

That was in 82. But he never came back. For, before his
three years of military service were completed, the half-dozen
cousins and the brother who stood between him and the throne,
had one by one died off, and Theodore himself had succeeded to
the dignity of Basilitch, as they call their Heir Presumptive. In
1886 he married. And, finally, in 88, his great-uncle Paul also
died at the age of ninety-seven, if you please—and Theodore was
duly proclaimed Basile.

He didn t forget his ancient cronies, though ; and I was only
one of those whom he invited to come and stay with him in his
Palace. I came, and staid …. eleven months ! That seems
egregious ; but what will you say of another of us, Arthur Fleet
(or Florimond, as their Majesties have nicknamed him), who
came at the same time, and has staid ever since ? The fact is,
the King is a tenacious as well as a delightful host ; if he once
gets you within his portals, he won t let you go without a
struggle. ” We do bore ourselves so improbably out here, you
know,” he explains. ” The society of a Christian is a thing we’d
commit a crime for.”

Theodore’s consort, Aneli Isabella, Basilitsa Tcbermnogory
vide the Almanach de Gotha—is the third daughter of the late
Prince Maximilian of Wittenburg ; sister, therefore, to that young
Prince Waldemar who comes almost every year to England, and
with whose name and exploits as a yachtsman all conscientious
students of the daily press will be familiar ; and cousin to the
reigning Grand Duke Ernest.

Theoretically German, she is, however, to all intents and
purposes, French ; for her mother, the Princess Celestine (of
Bourbon-Morbihan), was a Frenchwoman, and, until her marriage,
I fancy that more than half of Aneli’s life was passed between


                        36 The Queen’s Pleasure

Nice and Paris. She openly avows, moreover, that she ” detests
Germany, the German language, the German people, and all
things German, and adores France and the French.” And her
political sympathies are entirely with the Franco-Russ alliance.

She is a deliciously pretty little lady, with curling soft-brown
hair, a round, very young-looking face, a delicate rose-and-ivory
complexion, and big, bright, innocent brown eyes—innocent, yet
with plenty of potential archness, even potential mischief, lurking
in them. She has beautiful full red lips, besides, and exquisite
little white teeth. Florimond wrote a triolet about her once, in
which he described her as ” une fleur en porcelaine.” Her
Majesty repudiated the phrase indignantly. ” Why not say a
wax-doll, and be done with it ? ” she demanded. All the same,
” fleur en porcelaine ” does, in a manner, suggest the general
effect of her appearance, its daintiness, its finish, its crisp chisel-
ling, its clear, pure colour. Whereas, nothing could be more
misleading than ” wax-doll,” for there is character, character, in
every molecule of her person.

The Queen’s character, indeed, is what I wish I could give
some idea of. It is peculiar, it is distinctive ; to me, at any
rate, it is infinitely interesting and diverting ; but, by the same
token—if I may hazard so to qualify it—it is a trifle …. a
trifle …. difficult.

” You re such an arbitrary gent ! ” I heard Florimond complain
to her, one day. (I heard and trembled, but the Queen only
laughed.) And that will give you an inkling of what I mean.

If she likes you, if you amuse her, and if you never remotely
oppose or question her desire of the moment, she can be all that is
most gracious, most reasonable, most captivating : an inspiring
listener, an entertaining talker : mingling the naivete, the inex-


                        By Henry Harland 37

perience of evil, the half comical, half appealing unsophistication,
of a girl, of a child almost—of one who has always lived far aloof
from the struggle and uncleanness of the workaday world—with
the wit, the humour, the swift appreciation and responsiveness
of an exceedingly impressionable, clear-sighted, and accomplished

But …. but ….

Well, I suppose, the right way of putting it would be to say, in
the consecrated formula, that she has the defects of her qualities.
Having preserved something of a child s simplicity, she has not
entirely lost a child’s wilfulness, a child s instability of mood, a
child s trick of wearing its heart upon its sleeve. She has never
perfectly acquired a grown person s power of controlling or con-
cealing her emotions.

If you don’t happen to amuse her—if, by any chance, it is your
misfortune to bore her, no matter how slightly ; and, oh, she is so
easily bored !—the atmosphere changes in a twinkling : the sun
disappears, clouds gather, the temperature falls, and (unless you
speedily ” brisken up,” or fly her presence) you may prepare for
most uncomfortable weather. If you manifest the faintest hesita-
tion in complying with her momentary wishes, if you raise the
mildest objection to them—gare a vous ! Her face darkens,
ominous lightning flashes in her eyes, her under-lip swells danger-
ously ; she very likely stamps her foot imperiously ; and you are
to be accounted lucky if you don’t get a smart dab from the. barbed
end of her royal tongue. And if she doesn t like you, though she
may think she is trying with might and main to disguise the fact
and to treat you courteously, you know it directly, and you go
away with the persuasion that she has been, not merely cold and
abstracted, but downright uncivil.

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. C


                        38 The Queen’s Pleasure

In a word, Queen Aneli is hasty, she is impatient. And, in
addition to that, she is uncertain. You can never tell beforehand,
by any theory of probabilities based on past experience, what will
or will not, on any given occasion, cause her to smile or frown.
The thing she expressed a desire for yesterday, may offend her
to-day. The suggestion that put her in a temper yesterday, to-day
she may welcome with joyous enthusiasm. You must approach
her gingerly, tentatively ; you must feel your ground.

” Oh, most dread Sovereign,” said Florimond, ” if you won’t
fly out at me, I would submit, humbly, that you’d better not
drive this afternoon in your open carriage, in your sweet new
frock, for, unless all signs fail, it’s going to rain like everything.”
She didn’t fly out at him exactly ; but she retorted, succinctly,
with a peremptory gesture, ” No, it’s not going to rain,” as who
should say, ” It daren’t.” And she drove in her open carriage,
and spoiled her sweet new frock. “Not to speak of my sweet new
top-hat,” sighs Florimond, who attended her ; “the only Lincoln
and Bennett top-hat in the whole length and breadth of Monte-

She is hasty, she is uncertain ; and then …. she is intense.
She talks in italics, she feels in superlatives ; she admits no com-
parative degree, no emotional half-tones. When she is not ecstati
cally happy, she is desperately miserable ; wonders why she was
ever born into this worst of all possible worlds ; wishes she were
dead ; and even sometimes drops dark hints of meditated suicide.
When she is not in the brightest of affable humours, she is in the
blackest of cross ones. She either loves a thing, or she simply can’t
endure it ;—the thing may be a town, a musical composition, a
perfume, or a person. She either loves you, or she simply can’t
endure you ; and she s very apt to love you and to cease to love


                        By Henry Harland 39

you alternately—or, at least, to give you to understand as much—
three or four times a day. It is winter midnight or summer noon,
a climate of extremes.

” Do you like the smell of tangerine-skin ? “

Every evening for a week, when, at the end of dinner, the
fruit was handed round, the King asked her that question ; and
she, never suspecting his malice, answered invariably, as she
crushed a bit between her fingers, and fervidly inhaled its odour,
“Oh, do I like it ? I adore it. It’s perfect rapture.”

She is hasty, she is uncertain, she is intense. Will you be sur-
prised when I go on to insist that, down deep, she is altogether
well-meaning and excessively tender-hearted, and when I own that
among all the women I know I can think of none other who
seems to me so attractive, so fascinating, so sweetly feminine and
loveable ? (Oh, no, I am not in love with her, not in the least—
though I don’t say that I mightn’t be, if I were a king, or she
were not a queen.) If she realises that she has been unreasonable,
she is the first to confess it ; she repents honestly, and makes the
devoutest resolutions to amend. If she discovers that she has hurt
anybody’s feelings, her conscience will not give her a single second
of peace, until she has sought her victim out and heaped him with
benefits. If she believes that this or that distasteful task forms in
very truth a part of her duty, she will go to any length of
persevering self-sacrifice to accomplish it. She has a hundred
generous and kindly impulses, where she has one that is perverse
or inconsiderate. Bring any case of distress or sorrow to her
notice, and see how instantly her eyes soften, how eager she is to
be of help. And in her affections, however mercurial she may
appear on the surface, she is really constant, passionate, and, in
great things, forbearing. She and her husband, for example,


                        40 The Queen’s Pleasure

though they have been married for perilously near ten years, are
little better than a pair of sweethearts (and jealous sweethearts, at
that ; you should have been present on a certain evening when we
had been having a long talk and laugh over old days in the Latin
Quarter, and an evil spirit prompted one of us to regale her
Majesty with a highly-coloured account of Theodore’s youthful
infatuation for Nina Childe ! . . . . Oh, their faces ! Oh, the
silence!); and then, witness her devotion to her brother, to
her sisters ; her fondness for Florimond, for Madame Donarowska,
who was her governess when she was a girl, and now lives with
her in the Palace.

“I am writing a fairy-tale,” Florimond said to her, “about
Princess Gugglegoo and Princess Ragglesnag.”

“Oh ? ” questioned the Oueen. ” And who were they?

Princess Gugglegoo was all sweetness and pinkness, softness
and guilelessness, a rose full of honey, and without a thorn ; a
perfect little cherub ; oh, such a duck ! Princess Ragglesnag was
all corners and sharp edges, fire and fret, dark moods and quick
angers ; oh, such an intolerant, dictatorial, explosive, tempestuous
princess ! You could no more touch her than you could touch a
nettle, or a porcupine, or a live coal, or a Leyden jar, or any other
prickly, snaggy, knaggy, incandescent, electric thing. You did
have to mind your p’s and q’s with her ! But no matter how
carefully you minded them, she was sure to let you have it, sooner
or later ; you were sure to rile her, one way or another : she was
that cantankerous and tetchy, and changeable and unexpected.—
And then Well, what do you suppose ? ”

” I’m waiting to hear,” the Oueen replied, a little drily.

“Oh, there! If you re going to be grumpy, I won’t play,”
cried Florimond.


                        By Henry Harland 41

” I’m not grumpy—as you call it. Only, your characters are
rather conventionally drawn. However, go on, go on.”

” There was a distinct suggestion of menace in your tone. But
never mind. If you didn’t really mean it, we’ll pretend there
wasn’t. Well, my dears,” he went on, turning, so as to include
the King in his audience, ” you never will believe me, but it’s a
solemn, sober fact that these two princesses were twin sisters, and
that they looked so much alike that nobody, not even their own
born mother, could tell them apart. Now, wasn’t that surprising?
Only, Ragglesnag looked like Gugglegoo suddenly curdled and
gone sour, you know ; and Gugglegoo looked like Ragglesnag
suddenly wreathed out in smiles and graces. So that the courtiers
used to say, Hello ! What can have happened ? Here comes
dear Princess Gugglegoo looking as black as thunder. Or else—
‘ Bless us and save us ! What’s this miracle ? Here comes old
Ragglesnag looking as if butter wouldnt melt in her mouth.’—
Well, and then. . . . .”

“Oh, you needn’t continue,” the Oueen interrupted, bridling.

” You re tedious and obvious, and utterly unfair and unjust. I
hope I’m not an insipid little fool, like Gugglegoo ; but I don’t
think I’m quite a termagant, either, like your horrid exaggerated

“Oh, dear! Oh, dear!” wailed Florimond. “Why will
people go and make a personal application of everything a fellow
says ? If I had been even remotely thinking of your Majesty, I
should never have dreamed of calling her by either of those
ridiculous outlandish names. Gugglegoo and Ragglesnag, in-
deed ! ”

“What would you have called her ? ” the King asked, who was
chuckling inscrutably, in his arm-chair.

” Well, I might have called her Ragglegoo, and I might have


                        42 The Queen’s Pleasure

called her Gugglesnag. But I hope I’m much too discerning
ever to have applied such a sweeping generalisation to her
as Ragglesnag, or such a silly, sugary sort of barbarism as

“It s perfectly useless,” the Queen broke out, bitterly, “to
expect a man—even a comparatively intelligent and highly-developed
man, like Florimond—to understand the subtleties of a woman’s
nature, or to sympathise with the difficulties of her life. When
she isn t as crude, and as blunt, and as phlegmatic, and as insensi-
tive, and as transparent and commonplace and all-of-one-piece, as
themselves, men always think a woman;s unreasonable and capri-
cious and infantile. It’s a little too discouraging. Here I wear
myself to a shadow, and bore and worry myself to extermination,
with all the petty contemptible cares and bothers and pomps and
ceremonies of this tiresome little Court ; and that’s all the thanks
I get—to be laughed at by my husband, and lectured and ridiculed
in stupid allegories by Florimond ! It’s a little too hard. Oh, if
you’d only let me go away, and leave it all behind me ! I’d go to
Paris, and change my name, and become a concert-singer. It’s
the only thing I really care for—to sing and sing and sing. Oh,
if I could only go and make a career, as a concert-singer in Paris !
Will you let me ? Will you ? Will you ? ” she demanded vehe-
mently of her husband.

” That’s rather a radical measure to bring up for discussion at
this hour of the night, isn’t it ? ” the King suggested, laughing.

“But it s quite serious enough for you to afford to consider it.
And I don t see why one hour isn’t as good as another. Will you
let me go to Paris and become a concert-singer ? ”

“What ! And leave poor me alone and forlorn here in Ves-
cova ? Oh, my dear, you wouldn’t desert your own lawful spouse
in that regardless manner ! ”

                                                I don’t

                        By Henry Harland 43

” I don’t see what ‘lawful’ has to do with it. You don’t half
appreciate me. You think I’m childish, and capricious, and bad-
tempered, and everything that’s absurd and idiotic. I don’t see
why I should waste my life and my youth, stagnating in this out-
of-the-way corner of Nowhere, with a man who doesn’t appreciate
me, and who thinks I’m childish and idiotic, when I could go to
Paris, and have a life of my own, and a career, and do the only
thing in the world I really care for. Will you let me ? Answer.
Will you ? ”

But the King only laughed.

” And besides,” the Oueen went on, in a minute, “if you really
missed me, you could come too. You could abdicate. Why
shouldn t you ? Instead of staying here, and boring and worrying
ourselves to death as King and Oueen of this ungrateful, insuffer-
able, little unimportant ninth-rate country, why shouldn’t we
abdicate, and go to Paris, and be a Man and a Woman, and have
a little Life, instead of this dreary, artificial, cardboard sort of
puppet-show existence ? You could devote yourself to literature,
and I’d go on the concert-stage, and we’d have a delightful little
house in the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne, and be perfectly
happy. Of course Florimond would come with us. Why
shouldn t we ? Oh, if you only would ! Will you ? Will you,
Theo ? ” she pleaded earnestly.

The King looked at his watch. “It s nearly midnight, my
dear,” he said. ” High time, I should think, to adjourn the debate.
But if, when you wake up to-morrow morning, you wish to resume
it, Florimond and I will be at your disposal. Meanwhile we’re
losing our beauty-sleep ; and I, for one, am going to bed.”

“Oh, it’s always like that ! ” the Queen complained. “You
never do me the honour of taking seriously anything I say. It’s
intolerable. I don’t think any woman was ever so badly treated.”


                        44 The Queen’s Pleasure

She didn’t recur to the subject next day, however, but passed
the entire morning with Florimond, planning the details of a
garden-party, and editing the list of guests ; and she threw her
whole soul into it, too : so that, when the King looked in upon
them, a little before luncheon, Florimond smiled at him significantly
(indeed, I’m not sure he didn’t wink at him) and called out, “Oh,
we are enjoying of ourselves. Please don t interrupt. Go back
to your counting-house and count out your money, and leave us in
the parlour to eat our bread and honey.”

It is in the nature of things, doubtless, that a temperament such
as I have endeavoured to suggest, should find the intensity of its
own feelings reflected by those that it excites in others. One
would expect to hear that the people who like Oueen Aneli
like her tremendously, and that the people who don’t like her
tremendously don’t like her at all. And, in effect, that is precisely
the lady’s case. She is tremendously liked by those who are near
to her, and who are therefore in a position to understand her and
to make allowances. They love the woman in her ; they laugh
at and love the high-spirited, whimsical, impetuous, ingenuous
child. But those who are at a distance from her, or who meet
her only rarely and formally, necessarily fail to understand her, and
are apt, accordingly, neither to admire her greatly, nor to bear her
much good will. And, of course, while the people who are near
to her can be named by twos and threes, those who view her from
a distance must be reckoned with by thousands. And this brings
me to a painful circumstance, which I may as well mention with
out more ado. At Vescova—as you could scarcely spend a day
in the town, and not become aware—Queen Aneli is anything
you please but popular.

“The inhabitants of Monterosso,” says M. Boridov, in his


                        By Henry Harland 45

interesting history of that country, ” fall into three rigidly separated
castes : the nobility, a bare handful of tall, fair-haired, pure-
blooded Slavs ; the merchants and manufacturers, almost exclusively
Jews and Germans ; and the peasantry, the populace—a short,
thick-set, swarthy race, of Slavic origin, no doubt, and speaking a
Slavic tongue, but with most of the Slavic characteristics obliterated
by admixture with the Turk. . . . Your true Slav peasant, with
his mild blue eyes, and his trustful spirit, is as meek and as long-
suffering as a dumb beast of burden. But your black-browed
Monterossan, your Tchermnogorets, is fierce, lawless, resentful,
and vindictive, a Turk’s grandson, the Turk’s first cousin :
though no one detests the Turk more cordially than he.”

Well, at Vescova, and, with diminishing force, throughout all
Monterosso, Oueen Aneli is entirely misunderstood and sullenly
misliked. Her husband cannot be called precisely the idol of his
people, either ; but he is regarded with indulgence, even with
hopefulness ; he is a Monterossan, a Pavelovitch : he may turn
out well yet. Aneli, on the contrary, is an alien, a German, a
Niemkashka. The feeling against her begins with the nobility.
Save the half-dozen who are about her person, almost every
mother s son or daughter of them fancies that he or she has been
rudely treated by her, and quite frankly hates her. I am afraid,
indeed, they have some real cause of grievance ; for they are most
of them rather tedious, and provincial, and narrow-minded ; and
they bore her terribly when they come to Court ; and when she is
bored, as we have seen, she is likely to show it pretty plainly. So
they say she gives herself airs. They pretend that when she isn’t
absent-minded and monosyllabic, she is positively snappish. They
denounce her as vain, shallow-pated, and extravagant. They
twist and torture every word she speaks, and everything she
does, into subject-matter for unfriendly criticism ; and they quote


                        46 The Queen’s Pleasure

as from her lips a good many words that she has never spoken, and
they blame her savagely for innumerable things that she has never
thought of doing. But that’s the trouble with the fierce light
that beats upon a throne—it shows the gaping multitude so much
more than is really there. Why, I have been assured by at least
a score of Monterossan ladies that the Queen’s lovely brown hair
is a wig ; that her exquisite little teeth are the creation of Dr.
Evans, of Paris ; that whenever anything happens to annoy her,
she bursts out with torrents of the most awful French oaths ; that
she quite frequently slaps and pinches her maids-of-honour ; and
that, as for her poor husband, he gets his hair pulled and his face
scratched as often as he and she have the slightest difference of
opinion. Monterossan ladies have gravely asseverated these charges
to me (these, and others more outrageous, that I won’t repeat),
whilst their Monterossan lords nodded confirmation. It matters
little that the charges are preposterous. Give a Queen a bad
name, and nine people in ten will believe she merits it.

Anyhow, the nobility of Monterosso, quite frankly hating
Oueen Aneli, give her every bad name they can discover in their
vocabularies ; and the populace, the mob, without stopping to make
original investigations, have convicted her on faith, and watch her
with sullen captiousness and mislike. When she drives abroad,
scarcely a hat is doffed, never a cheer is raised. On the contrary,
one sometimes hears mutterings and muffled groans ; and the
glances the passers-by direct at her are, in the main, the very
reverse of affectionate glances. Members of the shop-keeping
class alone show a certain tendency to speak up for her, because
she spends her money pretty freely ; but the shop-keeping class are
aliens too, and don’t count—or, rather, they count against her,
” the dogs of Jews,” the zhudovskwy sobakwy !

But do you imagine Queen Aneli minds ? Do you imagine she


                        By Henry Harland 47

is hurt, depressed, disappointed ? Not she. She accepts her
unpopularity with the most superb indifference. ” What do you
suppose I care for the opinion of such riff-raff ? ” I recollect her
once crying out, with curling lip. ” Anyone who has the least
individuality, the least character, the least fineness, the least
originality—any one who is in the least degree natural, uncon-
ventional, spontaneous—is bound to be misconceived and
calumniated by the vulgar rank and file. It s the meanness and
stupidity of average human nature ; it s the proverbial injustice of
men. To be popular, you must either be utterly insignificant, a
complete nonentity, or else a time-server and a hypocrite. So long
as I have a clear conscience of my own, I don’t care a button
what strangers think and say about me. I don’t intend to allow
my conduct to be influenced in the tiniest particular by the
prejudices of outsiders. Meddlers, busybodies ! I will live my own
life, and those who don’t like it may do their worst. I will
be myself.”

” Yes, my dear; but after all,” the King reminded her, “one
has, in this imperfect world, to make certain compromises with
one’s environment, for comfort’s sake. One puts on extra clothing
in winter, for example, however much, on abstract principles, one
may despise such a gross, material, unintelligent thing as the
weather. Just so, don’t you think, one is by way of having a
smoother time of it, in the long run, if one takes a few simple
measures to conciliate the people amongst whom one is compelled
to live ? Now, for instance, if you would give an hour or two
every day to learning Monterossan. . . .”

” Oh, for Heaven’s sake, don’t begin that rengaine,” cried her
Majesty. ” I ve told you a hundred million times that I won’t
be bothered learning Monterossan.”

It is one of her subjects sorest points, by the bye, that she has


                        48 The Queen’s Pleasure

never condescended to learn their language. When she was first
married, indeed, she announced her intention of studying it.
Grammars and dictionaries were bought ; a Professor was
nominated ; and for almost a week the Crown Princess (Basilevna),
as she then was, did little else than grind at Monterossan. Her
Professor was delighted ; he had never known such a zealous pupil.
Her husband was a little anxious. ” You musn’t work too hard,
my dear. An hour or two a day should be quite enough.” But
she answered, ” Let me alone. It interests me.” And for almost
a week she was at it early and late, with hammer and tongs ;
poring over the endless declensions of Monterossan nouns, the
endless conjugations of Monterossan verbs ; wrestling, sotto voce,
with the tongue-tangling difficulties of Monterossan pronunciation ;
or, with dishevelled hair and inky fingers, copying long Monte-
rossan sentences into her exercise book. She is not the sort of
person who does things by halves.—And then, suddenly, she turned volte-face ; abandoned the enterprise forever. ” It’s
idiotic,” she exclaimed. ” A language with thirty-seven letters in
its alphabet, and no literature ! Why should I addle my brains
trying to learn it ? Ah, bien, merci ! I’ll content myself
with French and English. It’s bad enough, in one short life, to have
had to learn German, when I was a child.”

And neither argument nor entreaty could induce her to re-
commence it. The King, who has never altogether resigned him-
self to her determination, seizes from time to time an opportunity
to hark back to it ; but then he is silenced, as we have seen, with
a ” don’t begin that rengaine.” The disadvantages that result
from her ignorance, it must be noticed, are chiefly moral ; it
offends Monterossan amour-propre. Practically, she does perfectly
well with French, that being the Court language of the realm.

No, Oueen Aneli doesn t care a button. She tosses her head


                        By Henry Harland 49

and accepts ” the proverbial injustice of men ” with magnificent
unconcern. Only, sometimes, when the public sentiment against
her takes the form of aggressive disrespect, or when it interferes in
any way with her immediate convenience, it puts her a little out of
patience—when, for instance, the traffic in the street retards the
progress of her carriage, and a passage isn’t cleared for her as
rapidly as it might be for a Queen whom the rabble loved ; or
when, crossing the pavement on foot, to enter a church, or a shop,
or what not, the idlers that collect to look, glare at her sulkily,
without doing her the common courtesy of lifting their hats. In
such circumstances, I dare say, she is more or less angered. At
all events, a sudden fire will kindle in her eyes, a sudden colour in
her cheeks ; she will very likely tap nervously with her foot, and
murmur something about ” canaille.” Perhaps anger, though, is
the wrong word for her emotion ; perhaps it should be more
correctly called a kind of angry contempt.

When I first came to Vescova, some years ago, the Prime
Minister and virtual dictator of the country was still M.
Tsargradev, the terrible M. Tsargradev,—or Sargradeff, as most
English newspapers write his name,—and it was during my visit
here that his downfall occurred, his downfall and irretrievable

The character and career of M. Tsargradev would furnish the
subject for an extremely interesting study. The illegitimate son
of a Monterossan nobleman, by a peasant mother, he inherited the
unprepossessing physical peculiarities of his mother’s stock : the
sallow skin, the broad face, the flat features, the prominent cheek-
bones, the narrow, oblique-set, truculent black eyes, the squat,
heavy figure. But to these he united a cleverness, an energy, an
ambition, which are as foreign to simple as to gentle Monterossan


                        50 The Queen’s Pleasure

blood, and which he doubtless owed to the fusion of the two ; and
an unscrupulousness, a perfidy, a cruelty, and yet a surperficial
urbanity, that are perhaps not surprising in an ambitious politician,
half an Oriental, who has got to carry the double handicap of a
repulsive personal appearance and a bastard birth. Now, the
Government of Monterosso, as the King has sometimes been
heard to stigmatise it, is deplorably constitutional. By the
Constitution of 1869, practically the whole legislative power is
vested in the Soviete, a parliament elected by the votes of all male
subjects who have completed three years of military service. And,
in the early days of the reign of Theodore IV, M. Tsargradev
was leader of the Soviete, with a majority of three to one at his back.

This redoubtable personage stood foremost in the ranks of
those whom our fiery little Queen Aneli ” could not endure.”

” His horrible soapy smile ! His servile, insinuating manner !
It makes you feel as if he were plotting your assassination,” she
declared. ” His voice—ugh ! It’s exactly like lukewarm oil.
He makes my flesh creep, like some frightful, bloated reptile.”

“There was a Queen in Thule,” hummed Florimond, “who
had a marvellous command of invective. Eaving help your
reputation, if you fell under her illustrious displeasure.”

” I don’t see why you make fun of me. I’m sure you think as
I do—that he s a monster of low cunning, and cynicism, and
craft, and treachery, and everything that’s vile and revolting.
Don’t you ? ” the Queen demanded.

” To be sure I do. I think he’s a bold, bad, dreadful person.
I lie awake half the night, counting up his iniquities in my mind.
And if just now I laughed, it was only to keep from crying.”

” This sort of talk is all very well,” put in the King ; ” but the
fact remains that Tsargradev is the master of Monterosso. He


                        By Henry Harland 51

could do any one of us an evil turn at any moment. He could
cut down our Civil List to-morrow, or even send us packing, and
establish a republic. We’re dependent for everything upon his
pleasure. I think, really, my dear, you ought to try to be decent
to him—if only for prudence sake.”

” Decent to him ! ” echoed her Majesty. ” I like that ! As
if I didn’t treat him a hundred million times better than he
deserves ! I hope he can’t complain that I’m not decent
to him.”

“You’re not exactly effusive, do you think ? I don’t mean
that you stick your tongue out at him, or throw things at
his head. But trust him for understanding. It’s what you
leave unsaid and undone, rather than what you say or do. He’s
fully conscious of the sort of place he occupies in your heart, and
he resents it. He thinks you distrust him, suspect him, look down
upon him. . . .”

“Well, and so I do,” interrupted the Oueen. “And so do
you. And so does everybody who has any right feeling.”

” Yes ; but those of us who are wise in our generation keep
our private sentiments regarding him under lock and key. We
remember his power, and treat him respectfully to his face, how-
ever much we may despise him in secret. What s the use of
quarrelling with our bread and butter ? We should seek to
propitiate him, to rub him the right way.”

” Then you would actually like me to grovel, to toady, to a
disgusting little low-born, black-hearted cad like Tsargradev !
” cried the Queen, with scorn.

“Oh, dear me, no,” protested her husband. “But there’s a
vast difference between toadying, and being a little
tactful, a little diplomatic. I should like you to treat him with something more
than bare civility.”


                        52 The Queen’s Pleasure

” Well, what can I do that I don’t do ? “

” You never ask him to any but your general public functions,
your state receptions, and that sort of thing. Why don’t you
admit him to your private circle sometimes ? Why don’t you
invite him to your private parties, your dinners ? ”

” Ah, merci, non ! My private parties are my private parties.
I ask my friends, I ask the people I like. Nothing could induce
me to ask that horrid little underbred mongrel creature. He’d
be—he’d be like—like something unclean—something murky
and contaminating—in the room. He’d be like an animal, an
ape, a satyr.”

” Well, my dear,” the King submitted meekly, ” I only hope
we’ll never have cause to repent your exclusion of him. I know
he bears us a grudge for it, and he s not a person whose grudges
are to be made light of.”

” Bah ! I’m not afraid of him,” Aneli retorted. ” I know he
hates me. I see it every time he looks at me, with his snaky
little eyes, his forced little smile—that awful, complacent, in-
gratiating smirk of his, that shows his teeth, and isn’t even skin
deep ; a mere film spread over his face, like pomatum ! Oh,
I know he hates me. But it’s the nature of mean, false little
beasts like him to hate their betters; so it can’t be helped.
For the rest, he may do his worst. I’m not afraid,” she concluded

Not only would she take no steps to propitiate M. Tsargradev,
but she was constantly urging her husband to dismiss him.

” I’m perfectly certain he has all sorts of dreadful secret vices.
I haven’t the least doubt he’s murdered people. I’m sure he steals.
I’m sure he has a secret understanding with Berlin, and accepts
bribes to manage the affairs of Monterosso as Prince Bismarck
wishes. That’s why we’re more or less in disgrace with our


                        By Henry Harland 53

natural allies, Russia and France. Because Tsargradev is
paid to pursue an anti-Russian, a German, policy. If you would
take my advice, you’d dismiss him, and have him put in prison.
Then you could explain to the Soviete that he is a murderer, a
thief, a traitor, and a monster of secret immorality, and appoint a
decent person in his place.”

Her husband laughed with great amusement.

You don t appear quite yet to have mastered the principles of
constitutional government, my dear. I could no more dismiss
Tsargradev than you could dismiss the Pope of Rome.”

” Are you or are you not the King of Monterosso ? “

“I m Vice-King, perhaps. You re the King, you know. But
that has nothing to do with it. Tsargradev is leader of the
Soviete. The Soviete pays the bills, and its leader governs. The
King s a mere fifth-wheel. Some day they ll abolish him. Mean-
while they tolerate him, on the understanding that he’s not to

” You ought to be ashamed to say so. You ought to take the
law and the Constitution and everything into your own hands.
If you asserted yourself, they’d never dare to resist you. But
you always submit—submit—submit. Of course, everybody takes
advantage of a man who always submits. Show that you have
some spirit, some sense of your own dignity. Order Tsargradev’s
dismissal and arrest. You can do it now, at once, this evening.
Then to-morrow you can go down to the Soviete, and tell them
what a scoundrel he is—a thief, a murderer, a traitor, an impostor,
a libertine, everything that s foul and bad. And tell them that
henceforward you’re going to be really King, and not merely
nominally King ; and that you’re going to govern exactly as you
think best ; and that, if they don’t like that, they will have to
make the best of it. If they resist, you can dissolve them, and

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. D


                        54 The Queen’s Pleasure

order a general election. Or you can suspend the Constitution,
and govern without any Soviete at all.”

The King laughed again.

” I’m afraid the Soviete might ask for a little evidence, a few
proofs, in support of my sweeping charges. I could hardly satisfy
them by declaring that I had my wife s word for it. But,
seriously, you exaggerate. Tsargradev is anything you like from
the point of view of abstract ethics, but he’s not a criminal. He
hasn’t the faintest motive for doing anything that isn’t in accord-
ance with the law. He’s simply a vulgar, self-seeking politician,
with a touch of the Tartar. But he’s not a thief, and I imagine
his private life is no worse than most men’s.”

“Wait, wait, only wait!” cried the Oueen. “Time will
show. Some day he’ll come to grief, and then you’ll see that
he’s even worse than I have said. I feel, I know, he’s everything
that’s bad. Trust a woman’s intuitions. They’re much better
than what you call evidence.

And she had a nickname for him, which, as well as her general
criticisms of his character, had pretty certainly reached the
Premier s ear ; for, as subsequent events demonstrated, very nearly
every servant in the Palace was a spy in his pay. She called him
the nain jaune.

Subsequent events have also demonstrated that her woman’s
intuitions were indeed trustworthy. Perhaps you will remember
the revelations that were made at the time of M. Tsargradev’s
downfall ; fairly full reports of them appeared in the London
papers. Murder, peculation, and revolting secret debaucheries
were all, surely enough, proved against him. It was proved that
he was the paid agent of Berlin ; it was proved that he had had
recourse to torture in dealing with certain refractory witnesses in
his famous prosecution of Count Osareki. And then, there was


                        By Henry Harland 55

the case of Colonel Alexandrevitch. He and Tsargradev, at sun-
set, were strolling arm-in-arm in the Dunayskiy Prospekt, when
the Colonel was shot by some person concealed in the shrubberies,
who was never captured. Tsargradev and his friends broached
the theory, which gained pretty general acceptance, that the shot
had been intended for the Prime Minister himself, and that the
death of Colonel Alexandrevitch was an accident due to bad
aiming. It is now perfectly well established that the death of the
Colonel was due to very good aiming indeed ; that the assassin
was M. Tsargradev s own hireling ; and that perhaps the best
reason why the police could never lay hands on him had some
connection with the circumstance that the poor wretch, that very
night, was strangled and cast into the Danube.

Oh, they manage these things in a highly unlikely and
theatrical manner, in the far south-east of Europe !

But the particular circumstances of M. Tsargradev’s downfall
were amusingly illustrative of the character of the Oueen. Ce
que femme veult, Dleu le veult. And though her husband talked
of the Constitution, and pleaded the necessity of evidence, Aneli
was unconvinced. To get rid of Tsargradev, by one method or
another, was her fixed idea, her determined purpose ; she bided her
time, and in the end she accomplished it.

It befell, during the seventh month of my stay in the Palace,
that a certain great royal wedding was appointed to be celebrated
at Dresden : a festivity to which were bidden all the crowned
heads and most of the royal and semi-royal personages of
Christendom, and amongst them the Basile and Basilitsa of

” It will cost us a pretty sum of money,” Theodore grumbled,


                        56 The Queen’s Pleasure

when the summons first reached him. “We’ll have to travel
in state, with a full suite ; and the whole shot must be paid from
our private purse. There’s no expecting a penny for such a
purpose from the Soviete.”

” I hope,” exclaimed the Queen, looking up from a letter she
was writing, ” I hope you don’t for a moment intend to go ? ”

” We must go,” answered the King. “There’s no getting out
of it.”

” Nonsense ! ” said she. ” We’ll send a representative.”

” I only wish we could,” sighed the King. “But unfortunately
this is an occasion when etiquette requires that we should attend
in person.”

“Oh, bother etiquette,” said she. ” Etiquette was made for
slaves. We’ll send your Cousin Peter. One must find some
use for one’s Cousin Peters.”

” Yes ; but this is a business, alas, in which one’s Cousin
Peter won’t go down. I’m very sorry to say we’ll have to attend
in person.”

“Nonsense ! she repeated. “Attend in person ! How can
you think of such a thing ? We’d be bored and fatigued to death.
It will be unspeakable. Nothing but dull, stodgy, suffocating
German pomposity and bad taste. Oh, je m y connais ! Red
cloth, and military bands, and interminable banquets, and noise,
and confusion, and speeches (oh, the speeches !), until you re ready
to drop. And besides, we’d be herded with a crowd of ninth-rate
princelings and petty dukes, who smell of beer and cabbage and
brilliantine. We d be relegated to the fifth or sixth rank, behind
people who are all of them really our inferiors. Do you suppose I
mean to let myself be patronised by a lot of stupid Hohenzollerns
and GratzhofFens ? No, indeed ! You can send your cousin


                        By Henry Harland 57

“Ah, my dear, if I were the Tsar of Russia ! ” laughed her
husband. ” Then I could send a present and a poor relation, and
all would be well. But—you speak of ninth-rate princelings. A
ninth-rate princeling like the Basile of Tchermnogoria must make
act of presence in his proper skin. It’s de rigueur. There’s no
getting out of it. We must go.”

” Well, you may go, if you like,” her Majesty declared. ” As
for me, I won’t. If you choose to go and be patronised and bored,
and half killed by the fatigue, and half ruined by the expense, I
suppose I can’t prevent you. But, if you want my opinion, I
think it’s utter insane folly.”

And she re-absorbed herself in her letter, with the air of one
who had been distracted for a moment by a frivolous and tiresome

The King did not press the matter that evening, but the next
morning he mustered his courage, and returned to it.

“My dear,” he began, ” I beg you to listen to me patiently for
a moment, and not get angry. What I wish to say is really very

“Well, what is it? What is it ? ” she inquired, with antici-
patory weariness. ”

It’s about going to Dresden. I—I want to assure you that I
dislike the notion of going quite as much as you can. But it’s no
question of choice. There are certain things one has to do,
whether one will or not. I’m exceedingly sorry to have to insist,
but we positively must reconcile ourselves to the sacrifice,
and attend the wedding—both of us. It’s a necessity of our posi-
tion. If we should stay away, it would be a breach of international
good manners that people would never forgive us. We should be
the scandal, the by-word, of the Courts of Europe. We’d give
the direst offence in twenty different quarters. We really can’t


                        58 The Queen’s Pleasure

afford to make enemies of half the royal families of the civilised
world. You can’t imagine the unpleasantnesses, the complications,
our absence would store up for us ; the bad blood it would cause.
We’d be put in the black list of our order, and snubbed, and
embarrassed, and practically ostracised, for years to come. And
you know whether we need friends. But the case is so obvious,
it seems a waste of breath to argue it. You surely won’t let a
mere little matter of temporary personal inconvenience get us into
such an ocean of hot water. Come now—be reasonable, and say
you will go.”

The Queen’s eyes were burning ; her under-lip had swollen
portentously ; but she did not speak.

The King waited a moment. Then, ” Come, Aneli—don’t
be angry. Answer me. Say that you will go,” he urged, taking
her hand.

She snatched her hand away. I’m afraid she stamped her foot.
” No ! ” she cried. ” Let me alone. I tell you I won’t

” But, my dear . . . .” the King was re-commencing ….
” No, no, no ! And you needn’t call me your dear. If you
had the least love for me, the least common kindness, or considera-
tion for my health or comfort or happiness, you’d never dream of
proposing such a thing. To drag me half-way across the Con-
tinent of Europe, to be all but killed at the end of the journey by
a pack of horrid, coarse, beer- drinking Germans ! And tired out,
and irritated, and patronised, and humiliated by people like ——
and —— ! It’s perfectly heartless of you. And I when I
suggest such a simple natural pleasure as a trip to Paris, or to the
Italian lakes in autumn—you go and tell me we can t afford it !
You re ready to spend thousands on a stupid, utterly unnecessary
and futile absurdity, like this wedding, but you can’t afford to take
me to the Italian lakes ! And yet you pretend to love me ! Oh,


                        By Henry Harland 59

it’s awful, awful, awful ! ” And her voice failed her in a sob ; and
she hid her face in her hands, and wept. So the King had to
drop the subject again, and to devote his talents to the task of
drying her tears.

I don’t know how many times they renewed the discussion, but
I do know that the Queen stood firm in her original refusal, and
that at last it was decided that the King should go without her,
and excuse her absence as best he might on the plea of her preca-
rious state of health. It was only after this resolution was made
and registered, and her husband had brought himself to accept it
with some degree of resignation—it was only that her
Majesty began to waver and vacillate, and reconsider, and change
her mind. As the date approached for his departure, her alterna-
tions became an affair of hours. It was, ” Oh, after all, I can’t
let you go alone, poor Theo. And besides, I should die of heart-
break, here without you. So—there—I’ll make the best of a bad
business, and go with you “—it was either that, or else, ” No,
after all, I can’t. I really can’t. I’m awfully sorry. I shall miss
you horribly. But, when I think of what it means, I haven’t the
trength or courage. I simply can’t “—it was one thing or the
other, on and off”, all day.

” When you finally know your own mind, I shall be glad if
you’ll send for me,” said Theodore. ” Because I’ve got to name
a Regent. And if you’re coming with me, I shall name my uncle
Stephen. But if you’re stopping here, of course I shall name

There is a bothersome little provision in the Constitution of
Monterosso to the effect that the Sovereign may not cross the
frontiers of his dominions, no matter for how brief a sojourn,
without leaving a Regent in command. Under the good old
regime, before the revolution of 1868, the kings of Tcherm-


                        60 The Queen’s Pleasure

nogoria were a good deal inclined to spend the bulk of their time
—and money—in foreign parts. They found Paris, Monte Carlo,
St. Petersburg, Vienna, and even, if you can believe me, some-
times London, on the whole more agreeable as places of residence
than their hereditary capital. (There was the particularly flagrant
case of Paul II, our Theodore s great-grandfather, who lived for
twenty years on end in Rome. He fancied himself a statuary,
poor gentleman, and produced oh, such amazing Groups ! Tons
of them repose in the Royal Museum at Vescova ; a few brave
the sky here and there in lost corners of the Campagna he used to
present them to the Pope ! Perhaps you have seen his Fountain at
Acqu amarra ?) It was to discourage this sort of royal absenteeism
that the patriotic framers of the Constitution slyly slipped Sub-
Clause 18 into Clause ii, of Title 3, of Article XXXVI : Con
cerning the Appointment of a Regent.

” So,” said Theodore, ” when you have finally made up your
mind, I shall be glad if you will let me know ; for I’ve got to
name a Regent.”

But the Oueen continued to hesitate ; in the morning it was
Yes, in the evening No ; and the eleventh hour was drawing near
and nearer. The King was to leave on Monday. On the pre-
vious Tuesday, in a melting mood, Aneli had declared, ” There !
Once for all, to make an end of it, I ll go.” On Wednesday a
Commission of Regency, appointing Prince Stephen, was drawn
up. On Thursday it was brought to the Palace for the royal
signature. The King had actually got as far as the d in his
name, when the Oueen, faltering at sight of the irrevocable docu-
ment, laid her hand on his arm. She was very pale, and her
voice was weak. ” No, Theo, don t sign it. It’s like my death-
warrant. I I haven’t got the courage. You’ll have to let me
stay. You’ll have to go alone.” On Friday a new commission


                        By Henry Harland 61

was prepared, in which Aneli’s name had been substituted for
Stephen’s. On Saturday morning it was presented to the King.
” Shall I sign ? ” he asked. ” Yes, sign,” said she. And he

” Ouf ! ” she cried. ” That’s settled.”

And she hardly once changed her mind again until Sunday
night ; and even then she only half changed it.

“If it weren t too late,” she announced, “do you know, I
believe I’d decide to go with you, in spite of everything ? But of
course I never could get ready to start by to-morrow morning.
You couldn t wait till Tuesday ? ”

The King said he couldn’t.

” And now, my dears ” (as Florimond, who loves to tell
the story, is wont to begin it), ” no sooner was her poor confiding
husband’s back a-turned, than what do you suppose this deep,
designing, unprincipled, high-handed young woman up and
did ? ”

Almost the last words Theodore spoke to her were, ” Do, for
heaven’s sake, try to get on pleasantly with Tsargradev. Don’t
treat him too much as if he were the dust under your feet. All
you’ll have to do is to sign your name at the end of the bills he’ll
bring you. Sign and ask no questions, and all will be well.”

And the very first act of Aneli’s Regency was to degrade M.
Tsargardev from office and to place him under arrest.

We bade the King good-bye on the deck of the royal yacht
Nemisa, which was to bear him to Belgrade, the first stage of his
journey. Cannon bellowed from the citadel ; the bells of all the
churches in the town were clanging in jubilant discord ; the river
was gay with fluttering bunting, and the King resplendent in a
gold-laced uniform, with the stars and crosses of I don’t know how


                        62 The Queen’s Pleasure

many Orders glittering on his breast. We lingered at the landing-
stage, waving our pocket-handkerchiefs, till the Nemisa turned a
promontory and disappeared ; Aneli silent, with a white face, and
set, wistful eyes. And then we got into a great gilt-and-scarlet
state-coach, she and Madame Donarowska, Florimond and I, and
were driven back to the Palace ; and during the drive she never
once spoke, but leaned her cheek on Madame Donarowska’s
shoulder, and cried as if her heart would break.

The Palace reached, however as who should say, ” We’re not
here to amuse ourselves ” she promptly dried her tears.

” Do you know what I’m going to do ? ” she asked. And, on
our admitting that we didn t, she continued, blithely, ” It’s an ill
wind that blows no good. Theo’s absence will be very hard to
bear, but I must turn it to some profitable account. I must
improve the occasion to straighten out his affairs ; I must put his
house in order. I’m going to give Monsieur Tsargradev a taste of
retributive justice. I’m going to do what Theo himself ought to
have done long ago. It s intolerable that a miscreant like Tsargradev
should remain at large in a civilised country ; it’s a disgrace to
humanity that such a man should hold honourable office. I’m
going to dismiss him and put him in prison. And I shall keep
him there till a thorough investigation has been made of his official
acts, and the crimes I’m perfectly certain he’s committed have been
proved against him. I’m not going to be Regent for nothing.
I’m going to rule.”

We, her auditors, looked at each other in consternation. It was
a good minute before either of us could collect himself sufficiently to speak.

At last, ” Oh, lady, lady, august and gracious lady,” groaned
Florimond, ” please be nice, and relieve our minds by confessing
that you re only saying it to tease us. Tell us you re only joking.”

                                                ” I never

                        By Henry Harland 63

” I never was more serious in my life,” she answered.

” I defy you to look me in the eye and say so without
laughing,” he persisted. ” What is the fun of trying to frighten
us ? ”

“You needn’t be frightened. I know what I’m about,” said she.

” What you’re about ! ” he echoed. ” Oh me, oh my ! You’re
about to bring your house crashing round your ears. You’re about
to precipitate a revolution. You’ll lose your poor unfortunate
husband’s kingdom for him. You’ll goodness only can tell what
you won’t do. Your own bodily safety your very life will be in
danger. There’ll be mobs, there’ll be rioting. Oh, lady, sweet
lady, gentle lady, you mustn’t, you really mustn’t. You’d much
better come and sing a song, along o’ me. Don’t meddle with
politics. They’re nothing but sea, sand, and folly. Music’s the
only serious thing in the world. Come let’s too-tootle.”

” It’s all very well to try to turn what I say to jest,” the Queen
replied loftily, “but I assure you I mean every word of it. I’ve
studied the Constitution. I know my rights. The appointment
and revocation of Ministers rest absolutely with the Sovereign.
It’s not a matter of law, it’s merely a matter of custom, a matter
of convenience, that the Ministers should be chosen from the party
that has a majority in the Soviete. Well, when it comes to the
case of a ruffian like Tsargradev, custom and convenience must go
by the board, in favour of right and justice. I m going to revoke

” And within an hour of your doing so the whole town of
Vescova will be in revolt. We’ll all have to leave the Palace, and
fly for our precious skins. We ll be lucky if we get away with
them intact. A pretty piece of business ! Tsargradev, from
being Grand Vizier, will become Grand Mogul ; and farewell to


                        64 The Queen’s Pleasure

the illustrious dynasty of Pavelovitch ! Oh, lady, lady ! I call it
downright unfriendly, downright inhospitable of you. Where
shall my grey hairs find shelter ? I’m so comfortable here under
your royal roof-tree. You wouldn’t deprive the gentlest of God’s
creatures of a happy home ? Better that a thousand Tsargradevs
should flourish like a green bay tree, than that one upright man
should be turned out of comfortable quarters. There, now, be
kind. As a personal favour to me, won’t you please just leave
things as they are ? ”

The Queen laughed a little not very heartily, though, and not
at all acquiescently. ” Monsieur Tsargradev must go to prison,”
was her inexorable word.

We pleaded, we argued, we exhausted ourselves in warnings and
protestations, but to no purpose. And in the end she lost her
patience, and shut us up categorically.

” No ! Let me be ! ” she cried. ” I’ve heard enough. I know
my own mind. I won’t be bothered.”

It was with heavy spirits and the dismallest forebodings that we
assisted at her subsequent proceedings. We had an anxious time
of it for many days ; and it has never ceased to be a source of
astonishment to me that it all turned out as well as it did. But
ce que femme veult, le diable ne scaurait pas l’empecher.

She began operations by despatching an aide-de-camp to M.
Tsargradev’s house, with a note in which she commanded him to
wait upon her forthwith at the Palace, and to deliver up his seals
of office.

At the same time she summoned to her presence General
Michaïlov, the Military Governor of Vescova, and Prince
Vasiliev, the leader of the scant Conservative opposition in the


                        By Henry Harland 65

She awaited these gentlemen in the throne-room, surrounded by
the officers of the household in full uniform. Florimond and I
hovered uneasily in the background.

” By Jove, she does look her part, doesn’t she ? Florimond
whispered to me.

She wore a robe of black silk, with the yellow ribbon of the
Lion of Monterosso across her breast, and a tiara of diamonds in
her hair. Her eyes glowed with a fire of determination, and her
cheeks with a colour that those who knew her recognised for a
danger-signal. She stood on the steps of the throne, waiting, and
tapping nervously with her foot.

And then the great white-and-gold folding doors were thrown
open, and M. Tsargradev entered, followed by the aide-de-camp who had gone to fetch him.

He entered, bowing and smiling, grotesque in his ministerial
green and silver ; and the top of his bald head shone as if it had
been waxed and polished. Bowing and smirking, he advanced to
the foot of the throne, where he halted.

” I have sent for you to demand the return of your seals of
office,” said the Queen. She held her head high, and spoke
slowly, with superb haughtiness.

Tsargradev bowed low, and, always smiling, answered, in a voice
of honey, “If it please your Majesty, I don’t think I quite under-

” I have sent for you to demand the return of your seals of
office,” the Oueen repeated, her head higher, her inflection
haughtier than ever.

” Does your Majesty mean that I am to consider myself dis-
missed from her service ? ” he asked, with undiminished sweetness.
” It is my desire that you should deliver up your seals of office,”
said she.


                        66 The Queen’s Pleasure

Tsargradev’s lips puckered in an effort to suppress a little good-
humoured deprecatory laugh. ” But, your Majesty,” he protested,
in the tone of one reasoning with a wayward school-girl, “you
must surely know that you have no power to dismiss a constitu-
tional Minister.”

” I must decline to hold any discussion with you. I must
insist upon the immediate surrender of your seals of office.”

” I must remind your Majesty that I am the representative of
the majority of the Soviete.”

” I forbid you to answer me. I forbid you to speak in my
presence. You are not here to speak. You are here to restore
the seals of your office to your Sovereign.”

” That, your Majesty, I must, with all respect, decline to

“You refuse ? ” the Queen demanded, with terrific shortness.

” I cannot admit your Majesty’s right to demand such a thing
of me. It is unconstitutional.”

” In other words, you refuse to obey my commands ? Colonel
Karkov ! ” she called.

Her eyes were burning magnificently now ; her hands trembled
a little.

Colonel Karkov, the Marshal of the Palace, stepped forward.

“Arrest that man,” said the Queen, pointing to Tsargradev.

Colonel Karkov looked doubtful, hesitant.

” Do you also mean to disobey me ? ” the Oueen cried, with a
glance …. oh, a glance !

Colonel Karkov turned pale, but he hesitated no longer. He
bowed to Tsargradev. ” I must ask you to constitute yourself my
prisoner,” he said.

Tsargradev made a motion as if to speak ; but the Oueen raised
her hand, and he was silent.

                                                ” Take

                        By Henry Harland 67

“Take him away at once,” she said. “Lock him up. He
is to be absolutely prevented from holding any communication
with any one outside the Palace.”

And, somehow, Colonel Karkov managed to lead Tsargradev
from the presence-chamber.

And that ended the first act of our comical, precarious little

After Tsargradev’s departure there was a sudden buzz of con-
versation among the courtiers. The Queen sank back, in evident
exhaustion, upon the red velvet cushions of the throne. She closed
her eyes and breathed deeply, holding one of her hands pressed
hard against her heart.

By-and-bye she looked up. She was very pale.
“Now let General Michaïlov and Prince Vasiliev be intro
duced,” she said.

And when they stood before her, ” General Michaïlov,” she
began, ” I desire you to place the town of Vescova under martial
law. You will station troops about the Palace, about the Chamber
of the Soviete, about the Mint and Government offices, and in all
open squares and other places where crowds would be likely to
collect. I have just dismissed M. Tsargradev from office, and
there may be some disturbance. You will rigorously suppress every
sign of disorder. I shall hold you responsible for the peace of the
town and the protection of my person.”

General Michaïlov, a short, stout, purple-faced old soldier,
blinked and coughed, and was presumably on the point of offering
something in the nature of an objection.

” You have heard my wishes,” said the Oueen. ” I shall be
glad if you will see to their immediate execution.”

The General still seemed to have something on his mind.


                        68 The Queen’s Pleasure

The Oueen stamped her foot. ” Is everybody in a conspiracy to
disobey me ? ” she demanded. ” I am the representative of your
King, who is Commander-in-Chief of the Army. Are my orders
to be questioned ? ”

The General bowed, and backed from the room.

” Prince Vasiliev,” the Queen said, ” I have sent for you to ask
you to replace M. Tsargradev as Secretary of State for the Interior,
and President of the Council. You will at once enter into the
discharge of your duties, and proceed to the formation of a

Prince Vasiliev was a tall, spare, faded old man, with a pointed
face ending in a white imperial. He was a great personal favourite
of the Queen’s.

” It will be a little difficult,” said he.

” No doubt,” assented she. ” But it must be done.”

” I hardly see how I can form a Ministry to any purpose, with
an overwhelming majority against me in the Soviete.”

” You are to dissolve the Soviete and order a general election.”

” The general election can scarcely be expected to result in a
change of parties.”

” No ; but we shall have gained time. When the new deputies
are ready to take their seats, M. Tsargradev s case will have been
disposed of. I expect you will find among his papers at the Home
Office evidence sufficient to convict him of all sorts of crimes. If
I can deliver Monterosso from the Tsargradev superstition, my
intention will have been accomplished.”

” Now let’s lunch,” she said to Florimond and me, at the close
of this historic session. ” I m ravenously hungry.”

I dare say General Michaïlov did what he could, but his


                        By Henry Harland 69

troops weren’t numerous enough to prevent a good deal of dis-
turbance in the town ; and I suppose he didn’t want to come to
bloodshed. For three days and nights, the streets leading up to
the Palace were black with a howling mob, kept from crossing
the Palace courtyard by a guard of only about a hundred men.
Cries of ” Long live Tsargradev !” and “Death to the German
woman ! ” and worse cries still, were constantly audible from the
Palace windows.

“Canaille!” exclaimed the Oueen. “Let them shout them-
selves hoarse. Time will show.”

And she would step out upon her balcony, in full sight of the
enemy, and look down upon them calmly, contemptuously.

Still, the military did contrive to prevent an actual revolution,
and to maintain the status quo.

The news reached the King at Vienna. He turned straight
round and hurried home.

” Oh, my dear, my dear ! ” he groaned. ” You have made a
mess of things.”

” You think so ? Read this.”

It was a copy of the morning s Gazette, containing Prince
Vasiliev s report of the interesting discoveries he had made
amongst the papers Tsargradev had left behind him at the Home

There was an immediate revulsion of public feeling. The secret
understanding with Berlin was the thing that “did it.” The
Monterossans are hereditarily, temperamentally, and from motives
of policy, Russophils. They couldn t forgive Tsargradev his secret
treaty with Berlin ; and they promptly proceeded to execrate him
as much as they had loved him.

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. E


                        70 The Queen’s Pleasure

For State reasons, however, it was decided not to prosecute him.
On his release from prison, he asked for his passport, that he
might go abroad. He has remained an exile ever since, and
(according to Florimond, at any rate) ” is spending his declining
years colouring a meerschaum.”

” People talk of the ingratitude of princes,” said the Oueen,
last night. “But what of the ingratitude of nations? The
Monterossans hated me because I dismissed M. Tsargradev ; and
then, when they saw him revealed in his true colours, they still
hated me, in spite of it. They are quick to resent what they
imagine to be an injury ; but they never recognise a benefit. Oh,
the folly of universal suffrage ! The folly of constitutional
government ! I used to say, Surely a good despot is better
than a mob. But now I’m convinced that a bad despot, even, is
better. Come, Florimond, let us sing …. you know ….
that song. . . .”

” God save the best of despots ? ” suggested Florimond.

A Few Notes upon Mr. James

By Lena Milman


TO think of form as characteristic of emptiness, as though all
    spheres were bubbles, is an aesthetic heresy bequeathed to us
by the Puritans who, as surely as they added to our national
muscle, bereft us of a certain sensibility of touch. In their eyes,
art was a mere concession to the bauble-loving folly of the crowd,
and beauty itself was anathema to the wise few unless it clothed
some grave moral teaching, which could not otherwise be made
acceptable to the foolish many. Bunyan could not help but deck
his parable in the beautiful prose of his day, but he would have
scorned to bespangle it consciously with jewels of diction, and he
could only shudder if he realised that Mercy and Greatheart spoke
the same idiom as the players of Vanity Fair.

The contempt for the short story prevalent in England, but
unknown elsewhere, is surely as traceable to Puritan influence as
the mutilation of the Mary Altar at Ely, and of the shrine of
Saint Thomas ; for, insisting, as it has become our English bent
to do, upon some serious side-purpose in art, we are not content
with a beautiful suggestion, with a sketch be it never so masterly ;
the narrative must illustrate a principle, the picture, a fact. It is


                        72 A Few Notes upon Mr. James

not yet ours to realise how the most exquisite in life are just those
passing emotions, those elusive impressions which it behoves the
artist to go seeking, over them so cunningly to cast his net of
words or colour as to preserve the rapture of that emotion, that
impression, for the delight of mankind for ever. We are too apt
to regard the short story as the cartoon for a possible novel,
whereas any elaboration of it is as thankless a process as the
development of a fresco from an easel-painting. The treatment,
the pigment, the medium, the palette are other from the very
beginning. The rugged outline, which adds vigour to the fresco,
could not be tolerated on canvas, the gem-like tones of the easel-
painting would look blurred if transferred to the wall. Mr. James’s
pictures must be on the line ; sky them, and it is not worth while
to crane our necks for the modicum of pleasure they can afford.
He has indeed written several books in the form of novels, but his
method is too analytical, and we enjoy the stories much in the
way we enjoy travelling over a picture with a microscope. We
can detect no fault of technique; on the contrary, each movement
of the glass reveals some new beauty, some wonder of skill ; but
we are conscious all the while that, as a whole, the work is a
failure. The ” American ” is an example of this. The charac-
terisation is masterly, the observation unerring, and yet Newman’s
passion carries no conviction with it, although the story treats of
its dawn, its noon, its setting.

Distinction, of all qualities the one most rare in young writer’s,
brought Mr. James’s work instant recognition, and his personality
was from the very first so clearly stamped upon his writing that
it is nowhere more marked than in a story printed as early as
1871 : “A Passionate Pilgrim.” Not only does every page
reveal him as “enamoured of literary form,” (we quote
from “The Middle Years,”) but also as full of love, both for his own


                        By Lena Milman 73

countrymen and for England—a love none the less real because so
undemonstrative that superficial observers describe him as cosmo-
politan. In one so guiltless of Chauvinism as Mr. James, it is
surely not a little charming to find how rarely the exigencies of
narrative induce him to portray his own country-people in a light
altogether unamiable. Her innocence, her untimely death, forbid
us to think lightly even of that type of frivolity, Miss Annie P.
Miller ; and of all Mr. James’s portraits of women, surely the most
lovable is that of Euphemia Cleve, afterwards ” Madame de
Mauves.” So great, indeed, is his love for England, his appreci-
ation of things English, that he would fain persuade himself that
it is shared by his countrymen in general :

“The latent preparedness of the American mind for even the
most characteristic features of English life is a fact I never have
got to the bottom of. The roots of it are so deeply buried in the
soil of our early culture, that without some great upheaval of
experience it would be hard to say when and where and how it
begins. It makes an American’s enjoyment of England an
emotion more intimate, as the French say, than his enjoyment, for
instance, of Italy or Spain.”

With a delightful style, a facile invention, a wide culture, what
writer could be better equipped than Mr. James ?

Alas, that he must write for a generation upon whom two at
least of these qualities are as though they were not ! Alas, that it
should be the concurrence of illiterate opinion, (an opinion often
then most illiterate when most elegantly uttered,) that constitutes
popularity ! The select multitude that surges up Belgravian stair-
cases, that larger one that spends its holidays among the bowers of
Rosherville, agree in preferring “Claudian” to “Hamlet,” Mr.
Jerome’s humour to Elia’s, Mr. Ellis Roberts’s adaptations to
Mr. Watts’ portraits. There are certain elementary emotions,


                        74 A Few Notes upon Mr. James

there are certain melodramatic situations, of which they never
tire ; and a writer who prefers to tell of subtle emotions, of
bloodless situations, whose reputation, moreover, does not chiefly
rest upon one of those respectable monuments of British in-
dustry, novels in three volumes, will never see his works stacked
high upon the bookstalls. If, like Mr. James, he is further
hampered by a tender literary conscience, which makes him
reverent and temperate in the use of words, which hinders him
from writing even daintily of things foul, it will go even harder
with him, since he cannot hope for a place on that index which has
made so many reputations in the marring.

La qualité la plus rare chez la femme,” says Balzac, ” c’est une
certaine gaieté qui n’altère point la tendresse,” and surely the rarity
may be predicated of other than women, of whole communities
indeed. To steer between the Scylla of flippancy on the one
hand, and the Charybdis of sentimentality on the other, is given
to but few. It is such a perfection of taste, as one would
expect an ancient civilization to produce ; and, lo ! an example
of it, a very apostle of form, comes to us over the Atlantic,
beyond whose wave the forefathers of his race sought immunity
from form, civil and religious.


It is as difficult to express the charm of an individual style in
words other than the author’s own as to convey that of music
without a snatch of illustrative melody ; and this is especially true
of a style which, like that of Mr. James, expresses an exquisite
sense of fitness rather than a musical ear. It is not that his
epigram is ever discordant, but rather that his system of short,
closed sentences does not lend itself to flowing cadence.


                        By Lena Milman 75

He is the least self-conscious of writers, but surely when, in
“The Middle Years,” he describes Duncombe as “a passionate
corrector, a fingerer of style,” he lets slip an autobiographical detail ;
and, indeed, supposing all other sources of information to be
closed to us, we might construct a tolerably correct biography of
Mr. James from the evidence of his works. We might detect,
for instance, his American birth and education in his idiom, his
Celtic blood in his satire, his sympathy with English convention
in his dainty morality, his intimate knowledge of French in his
lapses of Gallicism.

With provincial France, indeed, where the poplars twinkle
beside the white ways, he is as familiar as are but two of our
English writers, Miss Thackeray and Mr. Wedmore ; and with
Paris too he is acquainted, not only in those her obvious aspects
which opulent but illiterate youth can learn superficially in a week
or so, but also as the Paris beyond Seine that lounges in the shade
of the Luxembourg chestnut-trees, that saunters through the book-
lined arcades of the Odéon, that hides its dignity in the bastion-
like palaces of the Faubourg Saint Germain ; the Paris that dis-
plays its wealth in the Parc Monceaux, that flaunts its poverty on
the Buttes Chaumont.

Occasionally Mr. James’s unremitting warfare against the
Obvious, whether of epithet or of incident, has misled him into
artificiality. He should remember that whereas the Obvious in
life is always the most easily attainable, in art, convention has so
fenced it round as to place it almost out of reach, and that some-
times startling effect is best produced by perfect simplicity of
phrase. We cannot recall any passage in Mr James’s stories as
poignant as poor wandering Clifford’s cry in the ” House of the
Seven Gables ” :

” I want my happiness ! Many, many years have I waited for


                        76 A Few Notes upon Mr. James

it ! It is late ! it is late ! I want my happiness.” And yet
Hawthorne worked within far narrower limits than does the author
of ” Washington Square.”

Mr. James’s descriptive passages are as vividly impressionist as his
characters are subtly analytical, and it is perhaps for this reason that
they best exhibit the charm of his style. It is no mere word-
painting. This cant-phrase but ill expresses the magic of words
able to convey not merely colour but the scent and sound and
movement which, welded together, form one idea. Who that
knows Paris will not testify to the accuracy of observation
displayed in this description of a characteristic scene at the
Comédie Franҫaise ?

” The foyer was not crowded ; only a dozen groups were
scattered over the polished floor, several others having passed out
to the balcony which overhangs the square of the Palais Royal.
The windows were open, the brilliant lights of Paris made the
dull summer evening look like an anniversary or a revolution ; a
murmur of voices seemed to come up from the streets, and even in
the foyer one heard the slow click of the horses and the rumble
of the crookedly-driven fiacres on the hard, smooth asphalt.”

But Mr. James has another manner, of which the following is a
sample. Surely Gautier himself never wrote more gracefully of
travel :

” In so far as beauty of structure is beauty of line and curve,
balance and harmony of masses and dimensions, I have seldom
relished it as deeply as on the grassy nave of some crumbling
church, before lonely columns and empty windows, where the
wild flowers were a cornice and the sailing clouds a roof. The
arts certainly have a common element. These hoary relics of
Glastonbury reminded me in their broken eloquence of one of the
other great ruins of the world—the Last Supper of Leonardo. A


                        By Lena Milman 77

beautiful shadow, in each case, is all that remains ; but that shadow is the artist’s thought.”


In one of Mr. James’s earlier stories we read of a young German
who has heard of the population of the United States as being “a
highly humorous people.” The author may or may not concur
in this opinion, but certainly his own vein of humour is as far
removed as possible from that usually regarded as typically
American, and it may be that, in crediting his countrymen with
an exclusive appreciation for the exaggerated burlesque of their
most popular writers, we do them the same injustice they do us
who conceive of our being moved to mirth by that humour known
as the ” New.”

Mr. James’s humour is like Miss Austen’s, in being so entirely a
part of the texture that it is almost as difficult to detach an
illustrative fragment as to cut a pattern from one of those fabrics
which we are advised to “see in the piece.” And, spite of what
we have said of his being chiefly successful as a short-story writer,
it is perhaps in one of his shorter novels, ” Washington Square,”
that his humour is best exemplified. The character indeed of
Aunt Penniman, always advising, but always ill-advised, is worthy
a place beside the immortal aunts who watched over Maggie
Tulliver and the thrifty Aunt Norris of ” Mansfield Park.”
We read of Aunt Penniman that ” Her manners were strange and
formidable, and her mourning robes—she dressed in black for
twenty years after her husband’s death, and then suddenly appeared
one morning with pink roses in her cap—were complicated in odd,
unexpected places with buckles, bugles, and pins, which discouraged


                        78 A Few Notes upon Mr. James

familiarity. She took children too hard both for good and evil,
and had an oppressive air of expecting subtle things of them, so
that going to see her was a good deal like being taken to church
and made to sit in a front pew.”

But Mrs. Penniman was as romantic as she was inaccurate (“it
must be delightful,” she said, “to think of those who love us
among the ruins of the Pantheon”), and it needed but the
attentions of an heiress-hunting young man to convert the poor
little heroine of the story, weak at every point save her affections,
unattractive, ungifted, into a heroine of romance in her aunt’s eyes,
the father’s opposition only making the situation more dramatic,
and—”Mrs. Penniman’s real hope was that the girl would make
a secret marriage, at which she should officiate as brideswoman or
duenna. She had a vision of this ceremony being performed in
some subterranean chapel—subterranean chapels in New York
were not frequent, but Mrs. Penniman’s imagination was not
chilled by trifles—and of the guilty couple—she liked to think of
poor Catherine and her suitor as the guilty couple—being shuffled
away in a fast whirling vehicle to some obscure lodging in the
suburbs, where she would pay them (in a thick veil) clandestine
visits, where they would endure a period of romantic privation,
and where ultimately, after she should have been their earthly
providence, their intercessor, their advocate, and their medium of
communication with the world, they should be reconciled to her
brother in an artistic tableau, in which she herself should be, some-
how, the central figure.”

But apart from the context, deprived of the contrast afforded
her by the matter-of-fact sincerity of her niece, the dry perspicuity
of her brother, Aunt Penniman’s figure cannot be made to stand
as firmly as in the novel. Indeed, humour is so volatile a thing,
the perception of it requires so delicate a sensibility, that the mood


                        By Lena Milman 79

cannot be maintained, except by that transition from grave to gay,
from gay to grave, which is the whole art of the story-teller as of
the dramatist.

The peculiar humour whose sparks are struck by the clash of
nationalities in European hotels and pensions has surely never been
so deftly distilled as in the ” Bundle of Letters.” Miss Miranda
Hope, of Bangor, Maine, ” decorated all over with beads and
bracelets and embroidered dandelions,” whose travelling ” for
general culture” obliges her to go to a Paris theatre unattended,
and who there sees “plenty of other ladies alone (mostly French);”
the aesthetic youth from Boston, who talks of a real “Corot Day,”
and who paints ” for the knowledge that leaves a trace—that
leaves strange scars and stains and reveries behind it;” the English
girl who describes the landlady as ” exceedingly foreign ; ” the land-
lady’s cousin, who enjoys free board and lodging so long as he
keeps “an eye on the grammatical eccentricities of the pension-
naires” are all equally typical, and yet none of them lack that
touch which makes them human as well as humorous.

To sustain humour as long as he is in the mood, without once
lapsing into caricature—this is what Mr. James has essayed to do,
and has done admirably.


There is another side to Mr. James’s genius—a side of whose
existence they never reck who are content to know him merely as
the social satirist of “Daisy Miller” and “A Bundle of Letters”
—a side which links him with his great compatriots Poe and
Hawthorne—a way, namely, of setting his characters in an atmo-
sphere of the supernatural with so admirable a skill as never by
over-statement to impel the reader to scepticism. The little


                        80 A Few Notes upon Mr. James

story, “Sir Edmund Orme,” is an example of this. The ghost of
Sir Edmund is invisible to all but two persons, and all that these
two have in common is a great love for one woman—a love so
great that, as we read, it seems almost natural that it should suffice
to rarefy mortal sense and extend its range beyond things of
matter. There is something, too, of this mystical element in
“The Madonna of the Future,” although here the question is not
of the dead appearing, but of one whose gaze is so constantly fixed
upon the ideal that the real becomes a shadow. It is the story of
Don Quixote over again, but, in place of the knight, we have
Theobald, the poor artist, in place of Dulcinea, his model Sera-
fina, whose virtue, whose beauty is as imaginary as was that of her
Spanish prototype. The scene is laid in the Florence of to-day—
that Florence whose hotel windows look out upon Arno’s bank,
where Dante’s gaze first lit upon Beatrice, where the shrine of
Our Lady of the Flower is thronged by a cosmopolitan crowd
who refuse her homage. And upon this background, mediaeval in
outline but modern in every detail, the little wan figure of the
artist stands out, imaginary no doubt as an individual, but typical
of how much pathos, of how much high endeavour ! There are
some to whom Quixote himself is merely a caricature ; there are
others to whom he recalls a singleness of aim, a tender sensibility,
an undaunted courage which was once theirs. They are wiser
now : they have seen how ridiculous is vain effort, how contempt-
ible a figure he cuts who sets himself a task beyond his strength,
and yet . . . But in this vein Mr. James has never done better
than in the “Altar of the Dead.” The many will never so much
as read it—the many who can only read stories which they can
imagine of the “people over the way ;” but to the few who grieve
when the Master is content to do merely well what he can do
exquisitely, this last story comes as a pledge of yet further possi-


                        By Lena Milman 81

bilities, a promise of further progress towards perfection. It tells
of one who “had entered that dark defile of our earthly descent in
which some one dies every day”—one, the keynote of whose
nature was constancy—one who could forgive all except betrayal.
So, in the recesses of his heart, he reared an altar to the memory
of “the Others,” as he called the dead. For a time this sufficed,
but one day he chanced to enter “a temple of the old persuasion,”
and the idea struck him of dedicating a material altar to those
with whose memory he would some day link his own. So it came
to be a great joy to him to see the faithful participating in his
devotion for the Others, although none but he knew what souls
they were in memory of whose mortal life the tapers burned, the
flowers bloomed. Soon his altar boasted a devotee even more
constant than himself—a woman came to kneel there whose
devotion to the others was more absorbing than his. The altar
grew more and more radiant as the founder’s friends grew fewer ;
the woman still came to kneel there, and one day the founder
learned that her thoughts were all of One, and that One the only
friend of his who, proving false, had never been commemorated by
flower or taper.


Again and again does Mr. James recur to the fatal effect of
importunate society upon talent, an effect not always the less
fatal when the claims of society are tempered by those of
domesticity. Neil Paraday, ” the Lion,” is hustled to his grave
by interviewers and ladies eager for prey as any Tartarin ; Henry
St. George, ” the Master,” squanders his talent by writing for
money with which to meet his wife’s housekeeping expenses and
his boys’ school-bills ; Mark Ambient, ” the author of ‘Bel-


                        82A Few Notes upon Mr. James

traffio,'” lives to see his wife prefer their only child should die
rather than live to read his father’s works. This last story, by
the way, is one of those in which the author has so far stepped
aside to avoid the Obvious as to stray into the Abnormal.
But be the stories what they may (and to our thinking two of
them are among Mr. James’s best), they have afforded the author
so many incidental opportunities for self-revelation as to be ex-
ceptionally interesting to the student of his work. Listen for
instance to Mark Ambient’s address to his young disciple :

“Polishing one’s plate—that is, the torment of execution, the
effort to arrive at a surface—if you think a surface necessary—
some people don’t, happily for them ! My dear fellow, if you
could see the surface I dream of— as compared with the one with
which I have to content myself. Life is really too short for art
—one hasn’t time to make one’s shell ideally hard. Firm and
bright—firm and bright !—the devilish thing has a way some-
times of being bright without being firm . . . . there are horrible
little flabby spots where I have taken the second-best word,
because I couldn’t for the life of me think of the best.”

Flaubert lay awake, the guilt of a double genitive lying heavy
upon his conscience. We can imagine Mr. James haunted by the
fear of an epithet misplaced. For to this longing for perfection of
form, there is also constant reference in ” The Lesson of the
Master.” ” The sense of having done the best,” says St. George,
” the sense which is the real life of the artist and the absence of
which is his death, of having drawn from his intellectual in-
strument the finest music that nature had hidden in it, of having
played it as it should be played.”

” In every son of woman,” says Mr. James, in one of his
early stories, ” there are two men—the practical man and the
dreamer. We live for our dreams—but meanwhile we live by


                        By Lena Milman 83

our wits. When the dreamer is a poet, the other fellow is an

English restricts the title of poet to writers of verse, but what
is poetry but a fusion of life with dream, of dream with life ?
And is not he who can supply the requisite heat a poet, be
his emotion expressed in stone or chord, colour or spoken
words ?

“The thing is to have made somebody care,” says Duncombe,
in ” The Middle Years.” There are many on either side of the
Atlantic to tell Mr. James that he has succeeded at least in

The Truce of the Bishop

By Harold Frederic


A PALLID and starved sunlight looked upon the shore-land, and
mocked it, because, now, in the fall of the harvest, there
was no yield of any kind for the blade, or any reaper to seek it.
On all the four fair ploughlands of the lords of Dunbeekin, stretch-
ing along the smooth valley of the bay, and pushing inward over
gently lifting slopes to the furze-lined granite barrier of Gabriel,
no ditch stood unbroken : the fields lay naked and blackened by
fire. The tall keep watched the deserted water with sightless eyes,
through which the daylight shone from wall across to wall, and at
its feet the crouching huts of its people were thatchless. It was
the desolation of conquest. The conquered were dead, or in
hiding among the hills. The spoilers, their havoc wrought, had
turned and gone away, with famine spreading wave-like at their

Far up on the flank of the mountain there fell the distant
lowing boom of a bittern. Some cattle, lost in the waste of
thicket at a further height, answered this call as if it came from
their kind.

Three men, sprawled on their bellies in a grassy crevice between


                        By Harold Frederic 85

the boulders, had been peering downward upon the picture of
ruin below. They glanced at one another now, with a flash of
comprehension. A little wiser than their kine, they knew that
the bittern cried only in the breeding spring-time, and this was the
tenth month of the year. One of them echoed the sound, and
when it was repeated, coming nearer, the three dragged them-
selves to their feet, and, stealing upward, stood forth on a ledge
of rock in plain view. There climbed towards them presently
another, a lean and agile man, whose bare legs brushed through
the spikes of furze and heather as if they were cased in hide, and
whose naked soles missed no footing on the stones as he bounded
from boulder to crag.

He stood panting before them, and without speech turned to
survey the prospect spread beneath, till his breath could be overtaken.
Looking thus, his rover eye caught something the others had already
seen—a small barque, with full sails limply hanging on the still
air, down in the misty distance where the great sea ends and
Dunmanus begins. He pointed to it, and nodded his head.

” It is to Turlogh, son of Fineen, I will be hastening now,” he
said, with abruptness. ” Show me the way.”

As the group turned, the foremost of them lifted his head and

” It is Turlogh who comes to you,” he said.

A few paces away, on the crown of the cliff, stood a man to
whom all four bent their heads. He regarded them with an eye
which asked them questions, yet shrank from hearing these if they
were to be not to his mind ; and they, knowing this well, held
their peace, and looked about them at their ease.

The Lord of Dunbeekin was an old man now, tall and slender
of frame, with much grey hair flowing upon his rounded shoulders.
His apparel of quilted jacket and cloak and tunic falling to the

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. F


                        86 The Truce of the Bishop

mid-thigh, were of fine cloth, but stained and torn by exposure in
these rude times that had befallen him. The face he bent upon
his tribesmen was long and thin, and marked with many lines.
They were skilled from years of use to see in this wrinkled
countenance sometimes the cunning of a fox, sometimes the
wistful enquiry of a puzzled child ; and they never feared him,
and would always die for him, and understood when they heard
men call him Turlogh of the Two Minds.

” I heard the bull of the bog,” he said, giving the bittern its
old name among the people. ” It was good to the ears.” His
voice was grave and lingering.

Goron the messenger nodded again. He saw that Turlogh
had noted the strange craft entering the bay, and waited for a
little more to be questioned. Then he motioned to the others
to leave him alone with his chief, and as they moved away he
clambered up on the rock.

” O’Mahony, there will be no help coming at all,” he said.
“Young Donogh, son of Murtogh, will not stir from Dunlogher,
for the reason that he is watching the O’Driscolls of the island,
to take a prey of cattle from them at the change of the moon.
The strong houses of Dunmanus and Ballydivlin and Leamcon
are like Dunbeekin there, with the sunlight shining through their
windows, and their people are dispersed and have no footing in
their country.”

“And Conogher of the Cross, in Ardintenant, the head of our
sept, the venerable and holy man ? ” asked Turlogh, with a
bitter little jest in his tone. ” And Teige of Rosbrin, whom I
saved from the MacCarthy, and from his own brother ? ”

Goron shook his head.

“The English lie between you and them. They will not be lifting their short finger for us.”


                        By Harold Frederic 87

” They will be making peace with the English ? ” the chief demanded.

” They will be keeping their tongues behind their teeth,” said the other briefly.

It was Turlogh’s turn to nod comprehension.

” So it will be the end, then ! ” he said, musing aloud. ” We
have been true to God, and He will not restrain the hand of our
heretic enemies. I have been all my days loyal to my family ; I
have withheld nothing in their service; I have made my Dun-
beekin a tower of refuge for all my kinsmen when troubles
assailed them, and when their own fathers and brothers sought their
lives—and now you do be seeing their gratitude. You have it
from me, Goron, son of Tiarnan, there is not in Heaven nor on
earth any thankfulness for good deeds rendered.”

Goron looked into his lord’s sad old face and smiled. In stature
and girth he might have been Turlogh’s twin, but his garments
were of the coarsest, and his skin was burnt and tanned by the
life of a low-born man. His face, lean and pointed like the other’s,
was shrewd and bluntly single-minded. He stood well enough
with his chief, these many years, to speak in freedom.

” I know only what I am told about Heaven,” he replied, ” but
the earth I observe with my own eyes. Men will get nothing
here but what they can take with their right arm. You have
made no one afraid of you, Turlogh, son of Fineen. You have
belonged to no man’s party, and marched with him to spoil and
waste all others. You speak the truth that your cousins found
refuge in Dunbeekin from the wrath of .their fathers. But it was
true as well that these fathers would be coming next year to be
protected from the fury of their sons. Your walls were a strong
shelter for them both, in their day of need, but they left when it
was safe to do so without thanks to you in their hearts. They


                        88 The Truce of the Bishop

have their own troubles now to weigh them down, but if they
had not— then all the same you would not be seeing the colour of
their blood. And, moreover—there are the books.”

The old chief laughed—a mirthless and melancholy laugh.

” They have the right of it,” he said, sighing. ” They speak
the true word—my father should have made a monk of me. I am
not a fit master of my people. I have never desolated any man’s
country, or put out his eyes, or held him sleepless for a single
night with terror of me. That is very bad for me. My cousins
have only contempt for one who reads in books, and does not
be riding out to sack some neighbour’s castle, and drive his herds
away. Their bards do well to make verses about my bloodless
hands.” He held out these hands, still unwithered by years, and
white and shapely, and viewed them with a gloomy smile. “If
they were stained red, my kinsmen would know me for a true
O’Mahony—a true son of the People of the Bridge. What will
you be thinking, Goron ? It will be too late for me to begin
now ? ”

Goron’s eyes sparkled.

“If my counsel is asked,” he said, promptly, “your people
would leap for joy to have one good fight before they die.”
Turlogh’s face clouded with doubt.

” Poor souls. What would they be doing in a battle ? I have
made them a mock and a byeword in Carbery, Goron. I have
taught them to till the land, and take fish from the sea, and make
nets and build ditches ; and these things they do very well. And
if there were some of a warlike nature, with weapons to guard the
bawns, all these my brother Donal has drawn with him to the
army of the Earl. You yourself were of those who advised to quit
Dunbeekin before the English came in sight, and bring hither the
women and children and cattle into a place of safety. You spoke


                        By Harold Frederic 89

no word of resistance when we lay here that night, and looked
down, and saw the thatches flame up like torches, and the fire roll
through the fields of corn. It was not in your mind to fight
then. We saw the black forms of these English against the
furnace they made of our corn and our roofs, and we were glad to
be at this distance. And why should we be talking otherwise
now ? ”

If his companion had some answer ready, Turlogh did not wait
for it. A lifting breath of air had filled the sails of the strange
vessel, and brought it along up the bay until now it hung in
view close to the opposite shore of Muinteravoira. The sight
raised new thoughts in the chief’s mind.

“Will that be English, too ? ” he wondered, aloud.

Goron had forgotten this part of his tidings.

” It is a ship from some unknown land,” he explained. ” I
hailed it from the rocks beyond Dunlogher at daybreak. It is a
sort of holy miracle, O’Mahony. Our Lord Bishop is in that
ship, coming all the way from his pilgrimage to the True Cross.
Two years gone he is, and we not knowing if he was alive, and
foe returning to us with grand relics and a train of priests. ‘Twas
with one of them I spoke—a young man walking the deck and
reading his prayers. I cried to the blackamoor at the helm to
beware the sunken rocks at the headland, and waved my arms to
force my meaning on him ; but the priest had the Irish, and
called out to me that it was God’s ship, with a Bishop in it, and
holy relics beside, and no harm could come to it or them. But he
told the helmsman, none the less, and the ship’s course was laid off.”

Turlogh stared at him.

“Is it your meaning that our Bishop, Laurence Malmoon
(Luirint Maol-Mughain), son of Ivar, will be in that ship?” he demanded.

                                                ” No

                        90 The Truce of the Bishop

” No other,” answered Goron.

” But what land will he be making ? ” pursued the chief,
knitting his brows in perplexity as he watched the craft drifting
inland. ” There is no foothold for him in all Muinteravoira.”

“‘Tis not Muinteravoira, or any land of the Dalys or Sullivans,
he will be touching. His Lordship will be coming to you. The
priest gave me that word.”

The Lord of Dunbeekin bent a stern, searching gaze upon his

” I will not think you have a trap laid for me, Goron shuileach,”
he said, gravely.

” You will not think it, O’Mahony,” responded the other, with
proud candour. ” It would put too much shame upon you, and
upon me also, to think that evil thought.”

” I will ask your forgiveness,” said Turlogh, hastily. ” There
is no sleep for me, here in the rocks, and I am very tired. Come
with me now, to the place where my people are gathered.”

The pale sunlight had lost itself before this in the veil of misty
haze drawn over the sky above the line of the distant western
peaks. The mountain-side lay in the shadowless, tranquil ap-
proaches of twilight ; silent for a long time, save that from point
to point, along its vast terraced expanse of cliffs and moorland,
there rose at intervals the trumpeting of an ox-horn—flat, yet
sonorous. Sounds of rustling through the heather and scrub-furze
began to make themselves heard. Then came louder and more
confident noises, the shouting of men above the rest.

The first stars, twinkling forth through the smoky residue
of sunset, saw a long cavalcade descending by a tortuous broken
path the rough face of Gabriel. They came on down through
the growing darkness—bareheaded men, wild-faced and savage of
attire, leading horses laden with household goods ; boys and youths,


                        By Harold Frederic 91

of unkempt, barbarous aspect, herding droves of swift-footed little
black cattle along the narrow defiles ; tall women, wholly muffled
from view in huge hooded cloaks of black or scarlet, bearing
burdens upon their heads, and dragging forward children by the
hands ; then more horses and cattle, moving under high bundles
of mountain grass and bracken freshly cut, and, at the tail, a score
or more of straggling men, with quilted jackets, and pikes upon
their shoulders.

In front of all walked Turlogh, with his doctor and his chaplain
at his side. The last vague glimmer of daylight in the evening
air fell upon these three, as they felt the burnt stubble of the
nearest field under their sandalled feet, and saw the black bulk of
Dunbeekin loom close before them. There was doubt on the
faces of the priest and the leech, but old Turlogh threw his head
back, and looked into the dusky finish of the day with a smile at
his lips and a resolute eye.


Hours later, in the shine of the harvest moon, the Lord of
Dunbeekin stood upon the strand with a moiety of his people, and
saw others of his men, wading waist-deep in the whitened waters,
bear towards him in their arms his great guest, the Bishop.

Already there had come to land, by means of the little boat,
some dozen priests and servants. These latter, subtle-faced and
proud like all menials of the tonsured folk, held aloof in silence.
Two of the younger priests, with the tails of their drenched gowns
under their arms, stood at Turlogh’s side, and spoke to him in
whispers of strange matters. The Bishop, they said, was in the
grasp of a mortal sickness. Nothing but the holy relics he


                        92 The Truce of the Bishop

brought with him from Syria had availed to serve his iron will,
and keep him alive to touch Irish land under his feet one more.
These priests had learned something in Spain, and more here
along their native coast in the past day, of the grievous burden of
woe and spoliation which had been laid upon Munster. They
gathered new knowledge now from Turlogh’s saddened answers
to their queries. All things westward from Cork had been put
to the torch and sword. The English had passed over the land
like a pestilence. The shadow they cast was death. Where
were the English now? Ah, who should say? Somewhere
across the hills. No one from Dunbeekin had followed them.
It was not credible that they should return to the desert they had

” We moved away to the mountain-side,” explained Turlogh.
” They plundered and burned what we left behind. They are
distant many miles now, and we have come to our own place
again, to welcome our Lord Bishop. It is a sad thing that he
would not be visiting me in the days of my strength and well-
being. Now, when at last he comes, we are in ruins, and scarcely
the poorest honours can be paid him. No man of our race was a
bishop before him. Here in Dunbeekin we would have lighted
his path with fires, and drained the sea for an offering of its
treasures to him. But he would never come to me. He turned
always instead to my cousin Conogher, the great man in the
White Castle, the head of our tribe, the Chief of the Pilgrimage.
We took grief to us because of that. And here now, at the
end, he comes to my gate, and I am in a hard plight, and cannot
receive him according to his high merits, and he, you say, is sick
unto death. I crave of his charity that he will think no evil
of our poverty and belittled powers.” The chief gave a rueful little
laugh. “For the matter of that,” he added, “we have each had


                        By Harold Frederic 93

our day. We are both poor men together. If my castle has been
broken, his abbey has no two stones resting one upon another. He
does well to come to me. We stood a long league apart in our good
days. We can sleep back to belly now, under the common cloak
of calamity. They would hang us together, on one limb of a tree,
those heretic English wolves.”

The more forward of the two priests held up a finger. ” He
knows nothing of it all,” he murmured. “We have held it from
him. No man of us dared to utter the smallest word of it to him.
It is you who must tell him. You are his kinsman, and he will
take it from you. He is a cold man with his priests, but he is
warm to his own blood.”

Turlogh laughed, then stared with round eyes at the speaker, and laughed again.

” He has no knowledge of it all, you say ? “

” Since we set sail with the Genoese captain in Rogation week,
from Cyprus, he has heard no word about Ireland. He has too
proud a stomach for bad tidings, and no other came to us at any

Four men, dripping out of the salt water, stood before Turlogh
now, as he would have spoken further. They bent and drew
short breaths under the stress of what they bore in their arms—a
swollen, black-swathed bulk, shapeless as a sack of corn. Turlogh
gazed at it in the deep shadows thrown by the men on the moon-
side, and was in doubt. Then outlines shaped themselves, and
he saw the gross, unwieldy figure of a short man grown unduly
fat, with cowled head tipped forward to hide the face. In its
hands this shrouded form held a small casket, laid with gold and
precious stones. The faint glimmer of these in the moonlight led
his eye to a blaze, as of a planet in the obscurity, emitted by a jewel
at the side of the box.


                        94 The Truce of the Bishop

The Lord of Dunbeekin crossed himself, and, kneeling on the
wet sand, kissed the ring of his Bishop.

Slowly, as he rose to his feet, the sunken head was lifted, and
he saw in the frame of the hood a mask of pallid, lifeless flesh,
bloated beyond human semblance. He shuddered as he gazed,
and found two strenuous eyes peering into his out of this monstrous

” Such as my poor Dunbeekin is, my lord,” he said, wonderingly,
” it puts itself with pride under your feet.”

” Its name shall be exalted above all others,” said the Bishop.
The voice came steady and clear-toned, as if informed by a spirit
which carnal decay could not shake. “It is privileged to hold
for a night the most priceless and inestimable of earth’s treasures
—the piece of the True Cross which I bear in my unworthy
hands.” He pushed the casket forward into the moonlight.

Turlogh knelt again, and with him every man on the

The priests in the Bishop’s train gave the signal for rising.
They looked up toward the keep, where passing lights in the
windows bespoke a flutter of preparation. They yawned and
moved their feet, like weary men impatient for food and sleep.
Turlogh placed himself by the side of the litter-men, still bearing
the Bishop in their arms, and with them led the way.

” Some small affection of the blood,” said the Bishop, as he was
borne along up the path, ” distorts and enfeebles my members for
the moment. When I have placed this holy relic fittingly upon
my high altar in Rosscarbery, and given orders for a shrine for it
to my chief builders and artificers, I will make a penitential
journey to St. Declan’s, in sainted Ardmore, and drink from his
well, and with his blessed intercession I shall come forth cleansed
and whole.”


                        By Harold Frederic 95

Turlogh looked sidewise across his guest to the faces of the
priests behind. Their glances answered his with significance.

” A fire has wrought some mischief in my house,” he replied,
haltingly ; ” I fear it is not all repaired as yet. It is the dry season
of the year, and the flames had their will. But I will be hoping
and praying that things are not so bad with me that your lordship
will be put to discomfort. And after the long voyage in the ship,
will you not be resting here two days, or three ? We are kinsmen,
my lord, and have grown to gray hairs without coming upon each
other, till this night, which I account the chief hour of my life.
And I will implore you to stay longer with me, Laurence, son of

” At a future time, Turlogh, son of Fineen,” returned the other.
“But I will be pressing forward to-morrow, with no delay. I
have been two years away from my See, and that is very long.
The affairs of the diocese rest anxiously upon me. I will ask you
to send a trusted man onward to-night, on your swiftest hobbie,
to find my Vicar-General at Rosscarbery, and bring him to meet
me to-morrow on the way, and render account of his stewardship.
And, moreover, I have with me day and night the great responsi-
bility of this peerless relic, this miracle of heavenly favour to us of
Ross. I cannot be idling on the road till that is suitably bestowed
in my cathedral. I will have you bear me company, Turlogh, son
of Fineen. You are by repute well known to me, and you are of
my blood. We O’Mahonys of Muskerry are better sons of the
Church, I fear, than you men here on the wild coast. Many evil
tales reach men’s ears of deeds ill done here, in this rude Ivehagh.
But you yourself have borne always a name for piety and docility
and some little layman’s learning. It was for this that I chose to
make my landing here, and let Dunbeekin shelter the blessed relic
first of all in Ireland. Besides, there were strange ships to be seen


                        96 The Truce of the Bishop

off Crookhaven and the Cape, which in those lawless waters
might signify nothing friendly. Has the country been more quiet
and better ordered in these later times ? ”

” It has never been more undisturbed than at this moment,”
replied Turlogh, stealing another furtive glance backward at the
priests. They smiled grimly at him, and nodded their heads.

The Bishop had closed his eyes, and his head drooped again
upon his breast. Thus he passed unheeding through the broken
postern, and saw nothing of the blackened havoc inside, where
once the pleasant grassy bawn had been.

In the castle urgent shift had been made to render certain
lower rooms once more habitable. The Bishop, when the tired
men placed him upon the chair drawn forth with cushions by his
servants, lacked the will to look about him. Turlogh, standing
behind those who bore the lights, gazed, marvelling, at the huge
girth of the man, whose trunk strained to bursting the black robe
with purple buttons in which it was encased. The swollen face,
hanging in the shadow, was more a death’s head than ever. Still
he held the casket upon his knees. The priest signed to Turlogh
to go out, and he did so. When he sent his physician to them,
they more curtly bade him also to leave them.

When the morrow came, no one in Dunbeekin found it strange
that the Bishop did not set forth on his journey. The most
simple had seen death writ large upon him. The story that he
knew nothing of the terrible devastation that had swept the land
bare, passed vaguely from mouth to mouth. It was not easy to
understand that so lofty and pious an ecclesiastic, standing at the
head of all men in the South for learning, should be in darkness in
this matter, which was known to the very horse-boys. They
dwelt curiously upon the thought of him—the high prelate
with the marvellous relic, coming to shattered and spoilt Dunbeekin to


                        By Harold Frederic 97

die, and never seeing the ruin about him, never learning that his
cathedral was destroyed, his palace in ashes, his Vicar-General
hanged in the Bandon forest, his priests and people dispersed. It
was all very strange and troubling to the mind.

After mid-day Turlogh went again, and the priests brought
him into the presence of the Bishop. Their faces had taken on a
new fright, and they spoke in scared whispers as they moved along
beside him.

” We know not how to tell him,” they said. ” He does be
dying, and he will not listen. His confessor strove to speak to him
of his end, but he drove him out with harsh words. At any hour
the change may fall like a stroke upon him, and he not prepared !
The crime of it would be resting like a mountain on our souls.”

Turlogh would not promise to speak, but when he stood alone
before Laurence, son of Ivar, who still sat bolstered in his chair,
still with the jewelled casket on his shapeless knees, the courage
came to him.

” My lord,” he said, ” you are not better. My physician has
no more than laid an eye on you, yet shakes his head and speaks
gravely. Will you not be having your chaplain come to you ? ”

The Bishop lifted his eyes, and they gazed sharply forth from
the dulled, misshapen visage at his host. Minutes of silence passed

” These frocked cowards of mine,” he said at last, ” they will
have prompted you to this.”

” They see what all see,” replied the other. ” It is high time
for you to take thought of your peace with God, and gain your
victory for the example of lesser people.”

The Bishop’s scrutiny of his kinsman’s face was not relaxed,
but the little eyes seemed to twinkle now, and a fugitive smile
passed over the shaven, bloated jowl.

                                                ” I will

                        98 The Truce of the Bishop

” I will not suffer my priests to be dictating to me,” he said.
” They have never dared give the law to me, living ; it is not for
them to be appointing a time for my death. I will choose my
own season and the hour that pleases me best. St. Kieran’s
bones ! Am I less a Bishop than I was ? ”

Turlogh smiled a little in turn. ” I would not be saying you
are less in any respect whatever,” he replied. He stole a glance
over the other’s unwieldy bulk to point his meaning, and the
Bishop laughed painfully.

” You are more after my heart than the others,” he sighed,
” and I come to you at the end, only for burial at your hands.
That is the way of life, Turlogh, son of Fineen, and the way of
death too. They speak a true word enough, these young men of
mine. I cannot be going any further. I know it well enough
that I shall die here in Dunbeekin. But it is not for them to
tell me so. I was Vicar-General for twenty years, and Lord
Bishop for eight, and no priest yet wagged his head before me, or
gave me the word what I was to do. They are not much, these
striplings of mine. They stand in good subjection to me, but
they have no invention in their minds. They would not be fit
to bury a bishop. It should be a great spectacle, with armed men
and fires and a blaze of jewels among the funeral hangings, and
the keening of trained women in companies, so that children
would remember it when they were palsied with old age. These
trivial boys I have with me are not capable of it. They would
not lay out the worth of ten cows on me. They have pure
hearts, but no proper sense of pageantry. Would you have been
seeing any great prelate buried ? ”

Turlogh shook his head.

“But you have some learning,” pursued the other. “It is
known to you from books what princes and chieftains have done


                        By Harold Frederic 99

before our time to honour Holy Church. All they did I will be
having done for me, and more too. Some bishops there were
who, in their last days, laid down their croziers and put on the
monk’s habit, and died on the ashes in what they called humility.
I am not one to crawl into Heaven that way. I will be borne
across my diocese with pomp, and the clashing of spears and
shields about me ; and I will be entering Rosscarbery with my
bells tolling and my priests chanting as they walk two by two, and
all the people wailing at the sides of the path—and kneeling, mind
you, as I pass on my way, with this great relic still in my hands.
And this is what you will do for me—and you will provide enter-
tainment and good places for the bards, and those who write
chronicles in the abbeys, so that my fame may not suffer for the
want of a supper or a stool by the fire, and you will administer
my will and my estate as I devise. I ask you to promise me
these things, Turlogh, son of Fineen, and you will swear it with
your hand on this casket.”

The old chief’s eyes shone with a prompt and welcome resolve.
He laid his hand, above the Bishop’s, on the casing of the relic,
and, kneeling to kiss the ring again, swore his oath.

“Send to me now my people,” the prelate said, closing his eyes
in weariness.

To the priests who came when his host had departed he gave
commands. His ordo should be brought to him, and parchment
or paper for writing, and pens and ink, and thereafter no one of
them, nor anybody save his oldest body-servant, should enter the
room for the space of three days. When they told him, perforce,
that the fire in the castle had swept away all writing materials, he
fell into a rage, until they made shift with quills fresh cut from a
fowl dead in the bawn, and with a violet dye of wild-cress com-
pounded by the herb-doctor. Then they left him alone with his ordo.


                        100 The Truce of the Bishop

For three days he sat in solitude, and all were forbidden his
presence. The old servant knew naught save that he wrote for
ever on the margins of his book, slowly and with sorry travail.
He touched no food or drink in that time, and at night, still
stretched half-seated in his chair, with the casket upon his
knees, he slumbered fitfully, eager always for the daylight and his
writing again.

All Dunbeekin heard of these things, and dwelt in thought on
nothing else. It was in no man’s mind to set one stone on
another in repair of the ruin the English had wrought. No net
was put into the bay, and the women lifted not a finger to the
task of making curds and white meats. Cattle were killed, and
their flesh seethed in new milk, for food ; but no cake was baked.
The strong meat put a stormy heart into the men. They ground
their spear-heads and javelins upon the stones, and cut from the
green hides of the slain cattle new covers, soaked and stretched in
sea-brine, for their round shields. When they looked one into
another’s face, a flash of expectant eyes passed, like a beam of sun-
light on a skene. Their words were few, though, for the Bishop
had a great name in all Carbery, and the shadow of his passing laid
a spell upon their tongues.

On the third day, a little after sunrise, a commotion stirred
among the priests and the strangers of the prelate’s household.
The chaplain had been summoned to the room of death, and the
Bishop was making his confession. Then doors were opened,
and Turlogh with those nearest him went in, until the chamber
was filled, and the passage thronged with men lifting themselves
on their toes to know what was to happen.

The Bishop, still in his chair, stared out of his eyes helplessly,
and drew breaths which fought their way in and out of his vast
girth of trunk. The mask which was his face was ashen-gray.


                        By Harold Frederic 101

The casket had been lifted from his knees, and a priest held it
beside him, so that his ringed hand might lie upon it. The
physician, bending on the other side, offered to loosen the robe
drawn with oppressive tightness across his breast.

The Bishop snarled an inarticulate dissent, and strove to lift
his free hand.

” Not any button ! ” he murmured, thickly. ” I abate no atom
of my dignity. I will be dying with my robe seemingly disposed.”

His eyes mounted above the pain to look at Turlogh.

” In my ordo,” he gasped out, laboriously ” all directions are
there. You will observe the least of them ! ”

The Lord of Dunbeekin bowed, and made to take the book
from the hand of the priest who held it. The Bishop interposed
with a hoarse call, and strove to shake his head. Those closest
round about gazed wonderingly into his troubled frowning face to
catch a hint of his meaning. The chaplain, bearing the viaticum,
stooped forward to listen for some whispered words.

“Open the book!” the slow, difficult command came.

” Search the rubric. Read aloud to me in what manner a Bishop
receives the viaticum ! ”

The priest with the book fumbled at its pages. He turned pale
as he did so, and cast a confused, appealing glance at the chaplain.
He went on, moving the leaves aimlessly, with a hanging lip.

” Read, read ! ” insisted the Bishop in stern monition.

The priest had the passage before him. He was a young man,
soft-faced and gentle of mien. The tears started in his eyes, and
his mouth quivered as he remained speechless.

The Bishop sought to rise in his chair. His lifeless face drew
itself into lines of wrath ; his eyes gleamed, and his voice gurgled
turbulently in his throat for a moment, then burst forth in loud,
unnatural tones.

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. G


                        102 The Truce of the Bishop

” Shrine of Fachnan ! Will you not be reading ? Read aloud
the words ! In precisely what manner will a Bishop, in the hour
of death, receive the body of our Lord ? I command you to
read it ! ”

In terror-stricken lispings the priest mumbled from the book
shaking under his eyes that the Bishop should kneel to receive
the Host.

Laurence, son of Ivar, raised his arms a little.

” Lift me then to my knees,” he ordered them, with authority.
They cried out at him in frightened entreaty :

” For Christ’s sake ! ” the chaplain, foremost among them,
pleaded. “You cannot kneel, my lord ! I implore you ! I have
the power—I omit the kneeling.”

The Bishop bent his brows angrily upon his confessor, and shook
his arms upward again with an imperious gesture.

” You have power, have you ! ” he called out in truculent
scorn. “You will be giving the law to me, will you ? Am I
your Bishop ? Tell me that, you cropped clown ! And will
you stand between God’s anointed and the rubric ? Here you,
Gilcreest ! you, Duarcan ! Lift me to my knees ! I command
it ! I will be dying as befits my rank and my station ! ”

Tremblingly the two servants moved to his side, and with
shoulders under his arms, raised the Bishop to his full height.
Then they bent to lower him forward. The clerics had turned
their brimming eyes away. Turlogh, and the armed men of his
sept behind him, who were unafraid yet looked to see a counten-
ance desolated by an anguish too great to gaze upon, beheld instead
a strange luminous softness spread over the Bishop’s swollen
lineaments, and bring them back to human likeness, and stamp
upon them the aspect of triumphant martyrdom. The face of the
Bishop was white as death now, and as he sank slowly to his


                        By Harold Frederic 103

knees, drops of water stood upon his brow. But a light of peace
subdued all torment in his calm eyes.

Thus Laurence, son of Ivar, gained the victory of pilgrimage and
devotion and penance. He seemed to the kneeling throng that
filled the room to draw no breath, as the tremulous chaplain,
bending down, anointed him for his entrance into the company of
the Saints. While the words of absolution quivered upon the
lips of the ministrant, the Bishop fell forward upon his face.

” A spirit of pure chastity has departed from among us,” said
Turlogh, solemnly blessing himself as he rose to his feet.

” A tower of magnanimity and a treasury of wisdom in these
parts,” responded the confessor.

” A bestower of rich presents and a chief conservator of the
canons of the Church,” added one of the priests.

The sound of the women’s lamentations without came into the
chamber of death. Turlogh put his hand upon his sword, and
drew it forth, and kissed the cross upon its hilt.

” His lightest wish for his burial will be a law to me and to the
people of my house.” He spoke the words slowly, and his armed
men, hearing. them, lifted their heads in the air.


In the noon hour Dunbeekin stood again under the grey sky,
deserted and soundless.

Old Turlogh, girt as no man had seen him before, with iron
upon his breast and a cap of shining steel drawn over his whitened
locks, had gathered all who belonged to him in the bawn, and
spoken to them from where he stood on the stone of the broken

                                                ” I will

                        104 The Truce of the Bishop

” I will be going hence,” he said, ” to bury the holy man, my
kinsman, my Lord Bishop. His commands rest upon me, and
they are welcome. No other such honour has fallen to me in all
my years. But honours that have no substance to the touch are
not alike in all eyes. Moreover, this transparent gem of pure
piety whom I will be laying in his appointed grave was not close
in blood to us. His people have our name, and they are Kian’s
sons as well as we, but their birthplace is strange to us. In
Muskerry of the Rushes they do not be giving us of the coast
much praise or affection. It is their custom to speak of us as
pirates and heathen, and even he who lies dead within was not
slow to utter that same word. The saint of his vows, too, the
holy maiden of the O’Driscolls—Mughain—is no friend to us of
Ivehagh. Our sea-forts are spattered with the blood of the
O’Driscolls, and my great father, Fineen, son of Conogher of
the Steeds, broke down their shrine of Mughain at Dunashad.
Therefore you are not bound by any near tie to give your
lives for this burial. I will not be laying it on any man for
his duty that he should come with me. Those with minds to
the contrary will be freely returning now to the hills, for
their greater safety, or holding this place till my brother comes
back from the army of the Earl. I will be taking with me
none but willing people, and I will have it known to them
that they are not like to see Dunbeekin again with any mortal

When Turlogh in another hour led forth from his gates the
funeral train of the Bishop, no breathing creature remained behind.
There went with him, to the last one, the robed men of his
household, and his galloglasses and kernes, and the hooded women
of years, who struck their hands together and screamed the death-
wail as they walked ; and the younger maidens with short veils,


                        By Harold Frederic 105

and even to the smallest of the children, clinging at their mothers’
skirts. And the spade-men and the horse-boys drove forward the
herds and led the horses not hearing riders, and on these were
fastened all the chattels and light possessions of Dunbeekin. In
the centre of the armed men walked the priests, and before them
proceeded eight servants, bearing upon sticks the pall of the
Bishop ; and all could see him lying there, under a seemly cover
of black cloth, with the casket of the holy relic rising sharp-
cornered above his breast.

There was no heat in the air, and they moved on over the
wasted country at a good speed. As twilight gathered, they
passed from the defiles of the hills into greener vales, where the
streams ran eastward, and no marks of ruin met the eye. Here
the beasts fed upon the harvest grass, while a heifer was slain and
seethed for human eating ; and here the righting men looked a
last time to their blades and spear-heads and their yew bows.
Darkness fell, and they went forward again, with Goron the
Quick-Eyed in front of all, calling the way, and the keening of the
weary elder women rising no higher than the moan of the sea-
wind they had left behind for ever.

In the night, further inland, lights began to gleam upon their
course, as if on beacon hills beyond. Then a small flame, borne
swiftly, crossed the path nearer at hand. The pale overcast moon-
light made visible only the dim rolling shape of the slope down
which they were making their way.

Goron ran back, and then, after hasty whispers of counsel, went
forth again into the darkness, with his hand on Turlogh’s bridle-
rein. They were well in advance of their train when the light
they had seen and then lost flashed again suddenly in their very
faces ; and they, halting, beheld crowded black shadows of men
straight in their path.


                        106 The Truce of the Bishop

“What is this all ? Who are you ? ” was sharply demanded out
of the obscurity, in a tongue strange to Goron.

Turlogh, the learned man, had the English.

“I am the Lord of Dunbeekin,” he made answer, in a cool
voice, ” and I will be proceeding with my people to Rosscarbery
to bury our Lord Bishop, as befits his station and great fame in
these parts.”

The voice of the unseen captain laughed, amid a sinister rattle
of steel on steel.

“There is no Rosscarbery left on the face of the earth. There
is no Bishop, alive or dead. There is no Lord of Dunbeekin, but
only an old thief of a rebel hiding in the mountains, who called
himself such among his native savages. Him we will hang when,
found, as we hung his kinsman, the barbarian Donal Grany, on the
lintel of his own castle in Kinalmeaky.”

” I am he of whom you speak,” returned Turlogh; “and when
I have buried my Bishop, and fulfilled to the last the commands,
of his testament, which I have here with me writ by his own
hand, we will talk further of this hanging. But now I will
be moving forward on my way.”

Other sounds of laughter rose about them in the darkness.

They are all mere Irish,” said a rough man’s voice, after a
moment. ” They bear with them a bier of some sort, true
enough, but they have their women and children and herds with
them as well. It is a strange game. Why should we not fall
upon them now, before they have wrought the mischief of their
conceit ? ”

“You are outside the law,” spoke the first voice, that of
authority. ” We may put you all to the sword, here where we
find you.”

” I know of no law but my Lord Bishop’s wish,” replied


                        By Harold Frederic 107

Turlogh. ” I am not outside that. I will be making a truce
with you until he has been buried as he desired. Thereafter
I ask no accommodation at your hands.”

” Saw any one ever such another land of holy men and
lunatics ? ” communed the English captain with the blackness.

” Nay,” one of his party urged, ” it is not holiness but empty
superstition, and to be a lunatic argues previous sound wit, which
these savages never yet possessed. Say rather an island of idol-
atrous idiots.”

The captain spoke again : ” If you are Turlogh Mahowne, as
you declare yourself, go forward then to Rosscarbery, if you can
find it by the smoke over its ashes, and bury your Papist carrion
wherever the ground is not baked too stiff for digging, and when
you have made an end of it, then will we have more talk.”

The day dawned, and showed to Turlogh and his caravan bodies
of armed men on either side, moving along at a distance, in even
progress with the funeral train. There were leaders in the saddle,
encased in metal to the thighs ; and the footmen, breeched in
buff leather and with iron caps, bore long pikes on their shoulders.
In numbers they were to the men of Dunbeekin as three to one ;
and in another four hours, upon the meeting of the high roads out-
side Rosscarbery, two score more joined them.

” They are fine men,” said Goron, walking at his master’s
bridle. ” I have never seen them in the open country before.
They are better than we are. They will make but one bite of us,
as a white trout with a May-fly.”

” The May-fly ! ” answered Turlogh, musingly. “Two years
does it be spending underground, preparing its wings. And then
—the portion of one day up above in the air and the sunlight,
and it ends in the beak of a bird or the jaws of a strong fish.
Your speech is always wise, Goron, son of Tiarnan. It is I


                        108 The Truce of the Bishop

who am the May-fly, and this is my one little morning in the

Where Rosscarbery had been, Turlogh and his people traced
through choked paths and streets blocked with stones of broken
houses the place of the cathedral. They moved about among its
blackened ruins, and lifting great blocks of masonry from the site
of the high altar, dug there a grave and shaped a rude coffin of
large stones, and laid Laurence, son of Ivar, to his rest. They
knelt uncovered while the chaplain said the funeral mass ; and the
singing priests chanted, and the elder women raised their voices in
the last wail over the grave.

Then Turlogh gave a sign to his people, and going out, led in
his own horse over the tumbled debris of the shattered transept.
He drew his sword, and the animal fell with a pierced throat upon
the place where they had buried the Bishop. The men of Dun-
beekin brought forward the other horses, neighing in their fright,
and slew them one by one ; and the cattle, driven in and leaping
wildly in terror over the despoiled floors, were beaten down with
the war-axes, and piled, smoking, on the high altar. At Turlogh’s
command, the jewels and fine cloths and books they had brought
were heaped here too, and with his own hand he struck a flame
and set them alight. The smoke curled thickly outward, and
forced the chieftain back. He led the way forth to the open air.
In the space beyond the west front he came upon a line of
English drawn close to bar his passage. Over his shoulders he
saw other lines guarding the sides against escape. His eye sought
out the captain, and he moved toward him.

” There will be a price on my head ? ” he asked, calmly—”on
me, Turlogh, son of Fineen, Lord in Dunbeekin ? ”

The other shook his head.
“You flatter yourself,” he said. ” You were not accounted of


                        By Harold Frederic 109

sufficient dignity for that. A trifle of drink-money, perhaps, to
the man who should run you down in the bog and cut your
throat : no more.”

“That is very bad news for me,” replied Turlogh. “If it
were otherwise, I would be asking you for that money, to place
it there in the fire I have built in offering to my Lord Bishop.
All that I had I have given, but it is not nearly enough. My
Lord Bishop was mercifully spared the knowledge of the ruin and
great calamities that have fallen upon us all. He died bequeathing
large moneys to the poor, and a sum of the value of sixty cows
for masses for his soul ; and other sums for a grand tomb, and for
needy scholars and the like ; and I am pledged to carry out his
will. His poor have been starved or murdered ; his students are
dispersed ; out of charity the masses will be said in Spain and
France, and other pious lands, whither our priests have fled. But
I would not that any penny should be spared to the enrichment
of his tomb. Yet if there be nothing more forthcoming, then
there is an end to my task. And now my truce with you will be
over, too.”

The young Englishman looked at the tall pale old man in
doubtful silence for a little.

” You are no better than a heathen, in your spiritual part,” he
said at last ; ” but I know not that you are a harmful rebel. Get
you back to your Dunbeacon, as you call it, and take your motley
ragamen with you, and swear an oath of loyal behaviour to Her
Most Splendid Majesty before you go ; and the truce—who shall
say—it may last your lifetime. At the worst, it was your brother
we wanted, not you.”

Turlogh straightened his thin form, and stepped out to face the

” They call me Turlogh of the Two Minds,” he said, with a


                        110 The Truce of the Bishop

greater calmness than before. ” All my life I have not shed any
man’s blood, because it did not seem to me to be wholly a good
thing to do, and I hesitated. But now, in my old age, my last
day, I have only one mind in me. You and your people have
come where no one asked you, and you have put massacre and
desolation of famine and destruction upon us, when we had not
deserved it. And I have told you that our truce is ended, and you
will not be believing it, and now I will prove it to you.”

Upon the word he smote the captain in the face with one
hand, and with the other plunged his skene into his neck. The
two men clutched each other, and as they toppled, writhing, to the
ground, rival cries of battle split the air. The English, with full-
mouthed oaths and shouts of wrath, hurled themselves forward.
The Irish, huddling backward to guard their unarmed folk, raised
a defiant answering yell, and fought in wild despair. They were
hewn down where they stood, and after them their priests and
women and children. Nothing that had come out of Dunbeekin
was left with a breath in it.

The English captain, chalk-faced, and with his throat swathed
in stained bandages, leant upon his sword while the straps of his
cuirass were unbuckled, and the cumbrous breastplate lifted from
him. He looked down with a rueful, musing half-smile at the
trampled form of an old man which had been dragged out from
a confused pile of bodies, and lay stretched at his feet. The head
was bruised and the white hair was torn and clotted, but the
withered upturned face, looking very small and waxen now, wore
an aspect of pride and sweetness which moved him. He gently
pushed the hair aside from the marble temples with his boot, and
sighed as he looked again.

” Shall we send the head to Cork ? ” asked another officer,
resting on one knee beside the body. ” After all, he was a


                        By Harold Frederic 111

lord in the eyes of the Irish, and he had a castle, such as it was.”

” No,” responded the captain, on reflection. ” He came a
long way to bury his Bishop, and he gave him a funeral of dis-
tinction to the full measure of his ability. Bear him inside, and
let him lie beside his Bishop. They have heads and to spare in
Cork without his.”

Then after a little pause he lifted his gaze and turned away.

” It may be that you are right,” he said again. ” It may be
they are idolatrous idiots and nothing better ; but when I looked
upon the old man lying there, the whimsy came to me. I should
have liked him to have been my father.”

A sharp exclamation of surprise came from the kneeling officer,
and the captain wheeled on his heel.

” I’ll be sworn I saw it ! ” the former cried, staring fixedly
down at the face on the ground. ” When you spoke those words,
the old rebel’s body stirred, and his death’s-head shook itself.”

The speaker had a knife out from his belt, and the captain bent
to lay a sharply restraining hand on his arm. Together they
scrutinized the body before them. It was plainly a corpse.

” My oath on it, he moved ! ” insisted the kneeling man.

“You dream ! ” said the captain, stoutly enough, but a little
shudder ran through the sigh with which he turned away.

Two Pictures

By Elizabeth Stanhope Forbes

 I. Marie
II. Jonquil

To the Bust of the Pompeian Cœlia

ALAS, my Cœlia, that your grace
    Could not prevail on ardent Death
    To spare your sweet perfumed breath,
The youthful glories of your face.
    But still you smile :
Your beauty, never conquered yet,
Disdains the tears of men’s regret.

Across your curved and rosy ears,
    How fair the curling ringlets fell,
    And kissed your bosom’s snowy swell—
Olympus to your lover’s tears.
    We wonder now,
Within your body’s rounded grace
What woman’s soul found resting-place?

And in what flowered path of bliss
    Did the stern Fates direct your feet ?
    Where only youth and beauty meet,
And every bower conceals a kiss ?
    Ah, happy maid !
That bowed your head to Love’s command,
The fairest mistress in the land.


                        118 To the Bust of the Pompeian Cœlia

What murmur in the summer air,
    What gentle tread of sandalled feet,
    What silken rustle through the street,
When maidens to the bath repair.
    They smiling stand,
Throw off the veilings of their grace,
And court the waters’ cool embrace.

At the fair banquet’s joyous hour,
    ‘Mid scent, and song, and whirling dance,
    You bought men’s worship with a glance ;
Like shaded fire, its languorous power.
    Ah, cruel eyes !
Hyperion, when his Sun arose,
No brighter glories could disclose.

Or, at the Goddess’ awful shrine,
    With shrouded head and trembling knees,
    The shuddering music of your pleas
Strove vainly for the ears divine.
    Pleas, who shall say,
For children’s smiles ; for lover’s kiss ;
For all that makes a woman’s bliss ?

The radiant waters rise and meet,
    And gather on the tideless shore ;
    But Cœlia’s footsteps sound no more,
And silence crowds the eager street.
    The widowed bay
Through glowing day and scented night
Mourns for her city of delight.


                        By Leila Macdonald 119

Alas, my Cœlia, you, whose grace
    Has perished with the silent Time,
    Accept this homage of a rhyme,
Paid to where stone reflects your face.
    For stone may show
Not all Vesuvius could eclipse
The sunshine of your smiling lips.

Two Pictures

By Caroline Gotch

 I. On the Seine
II. Motherhood

      A Letter to the Editor
      and an Offer of a Prize

From “The Yellow Dwarf

SIR : In London, if one is placed sufficiently low in the social
hierarchy—or if, high placed, one is sufficiently fond of low
life—to frequent houses in which Literature as a subject of conver-
sation is not inhibited, one may occasionally hear it said of this or
that recently published book that it has just been ” reviewed” in
the Athenaeum or “noticed” in the Academy, “praised” by the
Spectator or ” slated ” by the Saturday Review. I don’t know
whether you will agree with me in deeming it significant that one
almost never hears of a book nowadays that it has been criticised.
People who run as they talk are not commonly precisians in their
choice of words, but the fact that the verb to criticise, as governing
the accusative case of the substantive book, has virtually dropped
out of use, seems to me a happy example of right instinct. Books
(books in belles lettres, at any rate, novels, poems, essays, what you
will, not to include scientific, historical, or technical works), books
in belles lettres are almost never criticised in the professedly critical
journals of our period in England. They are reviewed, noticed,
praised, slated, but almost never criticised.

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. H

                                                I hasten

                        126 Books

I hasten to exempt from my indictment those journals that are
not professedly critical ; to exempt trade journals, for instance,
medical journals, journals of sport and fashion, and the daily news-
papers. The most one can fairly require of one’s daily newspaper
is that it should give one the news of the day. I’m not denying
that a craving for the news of the day is a morbid craving, but it
is to gratify it that the daily newspapers are daily born, daily to
die. We can’t with any sort of justice ask our penny daily for a
considered criticism of books. That were to ask for more than
our pennyworth ; and besides, the editor might reasonably retort
upon us, “You have come to the wrong shop.” We don’t go to
the ironmonger’s for a leg of mutton, nor to the stationer’s to get
our hair cut. Wherefore I in no wise reproach the penny dailies
(nor even the formidabler threepenny daily) for sedulously
eschewing anything remotely in the nature of considered literary
criticism.* Let me add, at once, that I don’t reproach them, on
the other hand, for their habits of printing long columns of idio-
matic Journalese, and heading the same NEW BOOKS. They
thereby give employment to the necessitous ; they encourage
publishers (poor dears!) to publish—and to advertise; they deceive
nobody within the four-mile radius ; they furnish the suburbs with
an article the suburbs could probably not distinguish from the real
thing if they saw the two together ; and (to crown all) it is the
inalienable privilege of the British reader to skip. I buy my
Morning Post, that I may follow, from my humble home in
Mayfair, the doings of the Great in Bayswater ; my Daily
News, that I may be informed of the fluctuations of Mr. Glad-
stone’s health ; my Telegraph, that I may learn what is happening

* But surely, in the Daily Chronicle, we have at least one notable exception.—ED. Y. B.


                        From “The Yellow Dwarf” 127

in Balham, watch the progress of the shilling testimonial to Dr.
Grace, savour the English of Mr. Clement Scott, and keep up my
Italian by studying the leaders of Mr. Sala ; my Pall Mall
Gazette . . . I really can’t think why, unless it be to enjoy the
prankful cubsomeness (not to mention the classical attainments)
of Mr. W. E. Henley’s truculent fifth form ; but it is certain
that I buy not one of these inexpensive sheets to the end of
getting a considered criticism of books.

The case of the professedly critical periodicals, however, is a differ-
ent and a graver case. They are professedly critical, and they do not
criticise. They review, they notice, they extol, they scold ; but
criticise, but weigh, discriminate, analyse, perceive, appreciate—
who will pretend that they do that ? They wield the bludgeon
and the butter-knife, they employ the copying-press and the
garbling-press ; but those fine instruments of precision which are
the indispensable tools of the true critic’s craft, they would appear
never to have heard of. For the sake of a modern instance, examine
for a moment the methods of the Saturday Review. There was
a time, and that not so long ago, when the Saturday Review,
though never critical, was at least diverting ; it was supercilious,
it was impertinent, it was crabbed and cross-grained, but it was
witty, it was diverting. I am speaking, however, of the present
Saturday Review, which is another matter. From week to week I
take it in, and read (or make some sort of an endeavour to read) its
” literary ” columns. And what do I find ? I find articles with
such felicitous headings as “Mr. So-and-So—Minor Poet ;” I find
perennial allusions to the length of another poet’s hair ; but—
criticism ? I find that where once the Saturday Review was
supercilious and diverting, it is now violent and provincial ; but
—criticism ? I find that where once it spoke to me with the
voice of a soured but well-bred and rather witty academic don, it


                        128 Books

now bellows at me in the tones of a bull of Bashan ; but—
criticism ? I find—I find anything you like but criticism. Yet,
surely, the Saturday Review is amongst the most notorious of
the professedly critical journals of Great Britain. The Spectator,
the Academy, the Athenaeum, are different, very different—with a
likeness. The likeness, I would submit, consists in the rigorous
exclusion of considered literary criticism from their columns.*

I am more concerned for the moment to mention and to deplore
this state of things than to inquire into its causes. But certain of
its causes invite no inquiry ; they are obvious, they “spring at our
eyes.” Foreigners, to be sure, pretend that our trouble is radical
and ineradicable ; that the British mind is essentially and hopelessly
uncritical ; that directly we attempt to criticise we begin to com-
pare. (“They can only communicate their opinion of Oranges
by translating it in terms of Onions,” says Varjine ; and he adds,
” The most critical Englishman I ever met was a clown in a circus
at Marseilles.”) That is a question I won’t go into here. What
is obvious and indisputable is this : that with the dissemination of
ignorance through the length and breadth of our island, by means
of the Board School, a mighty and terrible change has been
wrought in the characters both of the majority of readers and of
the majority of writers. The “gentleman and scholar” who still
flourished when I was young, has sunken into unimportance both
as a reader and as a writer. The bagman and the stockbroker’s clerk
(and their lady wives and daughters) ‘ave usurped his plyce and his
influence as readers ; and the pressman has picked up his fallen pen,
—the pressman, sir, or the presswoman ! Well, what, by the
operation of the law of cause and effect, what should we naturally

* THE YELLOW BOOK must note its dissent from the Yellow Dwarf’s observations, in so far, at least, as they affect the Spectator.—ED.

                                                expect ?

                        From “The Yellow Dwarf” 129

expect ? With an illiterate reading mob howling at our doors, and
a tribe of pressmen scribbling at our tables, what, in the name of
the universe, should we expect ? What we get ; not so ? And the
poor ” gentleman and scholar,” where he survives, is exposed to full
many risks and full many sorrows. If he reads his penny daily in
the morning, he is in danger of seeing his own critical vision
obscured or distorted for the rest of the day, as his palate would be
blunted should he breakfast off raw red herring. If he wants to
write a book, he knows that there is no public to buy or read or
understand it : and what’s the use of casting pearls before animals
that prefer acorns ? If he wants to read a book, he knows that the
entire output of decent literature in England during a year he
might easily learn by heart in a fortnight. So he must read a
foreign book or an old book, or else fall back, for fiction, upon our
Stanley Weymans and our J. M. Barries ; for poetry, upon our Sir
Lewis Morrises or our Sir Edwin Arnolds ; and for criticism . . .
shall I say upon our Mr. Harry Quilters ?

The critical periodicals of Great Britain make it a practice to
review, notice, praise, or slate almost everything in the guise of a
book or booklet which, by hook or crooklet, contrives to get itself
put forth in print. They manage these affairs better in furrin’
parts. In furrin’ parts, your critical periodical silently ignores
ninety-and-nine in every hundred of the books that are printed,
and then—criticises the hundredth.

The fact is, Mr. Editor, that in order to criticise you must
have certain endowments—you must have a certain equipment.
You must have eyes and ears, you must have taste ; you must
have the analytic faculty and the knack of nice expression ; you
must have the habit of getting at close quarters with your thought
and your emotion—you must be able to explain why, for what
qualities, for what defects, you cherish Mr. Henry James (for


                        130 Books

instance), regard Mr. Marriott Watson with expectant pleasure,
dread Mr. Anthony Hope, and flee from Miss Marie Corelli
as from the German measles. You must have knowledge—a
University education, indeed, would do you no harm, nor an ac-
quaintance with the literatures of France and Russia. You must
have a tradition of culture. And, above all, you must have leisure,
—for any sort of considered writing you must have leisure.

Well, how many of these endowments, how much of this
equipment is your Pressman, your Saturday Reviewer, likely to
have ? Taste ? The analytic faculty ? The instinct for the
just word ? Knowledge ? A University education ? An ac-
quaintance with the writings of de la Clos and Frontin, of Poush-
kine and Karamanzine ? A tradition of culture ? And leisure ?
Leisure. He is paid at the rate of so many shillings a column.
And he has his bread to earn ; and bread, my dear, is costly. One
does what one can. One glances hurriedly through the book that
has been sent one ” for review,” and then (provided one is honest,
and has no private spite to wreak upon the author, no private envy
to assuage, no private log to roll) one dashes off one’s ” thousand
words,” more or less, of unconsidered praise or unconsidered abuse,
as the case may be. One says the book is “good,” the book is
“bad.” Good—bad : with the variations upon them to be found
in his Dictionary of Synonyms : there are your Pressman-Critic’s,
alternative criticisms. Good—with greater or smaller emphasis :
bad—with greater or smaller virulence, and more or less frequent
references to the length of the author’s hair. There is your
Pressman-Critic’s ” terminology.” A novel by Mr. George
Meredith is—good ; a novel by Mr. Conan Doyle is—good. You
would hardly call that manner of criticism searching, enlighten-
ing, exhaustive ; you would hardly call it nuancé, I fancy, sir.
But you are wondering why I should take the matter so griev-


                        From “The Yellow Dwarf” 131

ously to heart. I will tell you. It is not, I confess, for patriotic
reasons ; not that I weep to see England the least among nations
in this particular. It is for reasons purely personal and selfish. I
love to read criticism. And to deprive me of the chance to do so
is to deprive me of a pleasure. I love to discover my own thoughts
and feelings about a book accurately expressed in elegant and
original sentences by another fellow. When I happen upon such
criticism I experience a glow of delight and a glow of pride,
almost as great as if I had written it myself ; and yet I have had
no trouble. Monsieur Anatole France has kindly taken the
trouble for me. Well, sir, we have no Monsieur Anatole France
in these islands ; or, if we have one, he doesn’t write for our pr-
fessedly critical journals. I ransack the serried columns of the
Saturday Review, and its contemporaries and rivals, in vain, from
week to week, to discover my own thoughts and feelings about
books accurately expressed in elegant and original sentences. I
discover pretty nearly everything except the thing I pine for. I
discover plenty of pedantry and plenty of ignorance, plenty of
feebleness and plenty of good stodgy “ability,” plenty of glitter
and plenty of dullness, plenty of fulsomeness and more than a
plenty of envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness ; but the
thing I seek is the one thing I never find.

When I went abroad for my holiday, in August, I took with
me a bagful of comparatively recent books, all of which I read, or
tried to read, while I was drinking the waters and being douched
and swindled at Aix-les-Bains. I yearn, sir, to see my thoughts
and feelings about these books set forth in elegant and original
phrases by another fellow. And herewith I offer a prize. I will
indicate very cursorily in a few rough paragraphs what my thoughts
and feelings about the books in question are ; and then I will offer
a prize of—well, of fifty shillings—say, £2 10s. od.—to any one,


                        132 Books

man or woman, who will, on or before the 31st day of December
in the present year, put into my hands a typewritten manuscript
containing what I shall admit to be a polished, a considered—in
one word, a satisfactory expression of my views. I make no
reservation as to the length of the manuscript. It may run to as
many thousand words as its writer wishes.

The first book I opened was not, after all, exactly a recent
book. It was Mr. Hall Caine’s Manxman. I confess I didn’t
open it with much hope of being able to read it, for past expe-
rience had taught me that to read a book by Mr. Hall Caine to
the far-glimmering end was apt to be an enterprise beyond my
powers of endurance. In early life I had begun his Shadow of a
Crime, and had broken down at the eightieth page ; when I was
older, I had begun The Deemster, and had broken down at the
eighth—the fearless energy of youth was mine no longer. How-
ever, I had been the owner of an uncut copy of the Manxman for
well-nigh a twelvemonth ; and I was in a Spartan temper ; and I
said—with some outward show of resolution, but with a secret
presentiment of failure—I said, “We’ll have a try.”

Alas, at page 41, where the curtain falls—I beg Mr. Hall
Caine’s pardon—where the curtain descends upon the seventh
scene, I saw myself beaten. ” The moon had come up in her
whiteness behind, and all was quiet and solemn around. Philip fell
back and turned away his face.” All was quiet and solemn araound!
It was the final, the crushing, blow. I too fell back and turned
away my face. I closed the Manxman, and gave it to my valet,
who, it may please Mr. Hall Caine to learn, said, ” Thenk you,
sir ; ” and, a week afterwards, the honest fellow told me he had
enjoyed it.

A talent for reading the works of Mr. Hall Caine is a talent


                        From “The Yellow Dwarf” 133

that Heaven has denied me : one can’t expect everything here
below. Their artificial simplicity, their clumsiness, their heavi-
ness, their dreary counterfeit of a kind of common humour, their
laborious strivings for a kind of shoddy pathos, their ignorance,
their vulgarity, their pretentiousness, and withal their unmitigated
insipidity—these are the qualities, no doubt, that make them
popular with the middle classes, that endear them to the Great
Heart of the People, but they are too much for the likes o’ me. I
don’t mind vulgarity when I can get it with a dash of spice,
as in the writings of Mr. Ally Sloper, or with a swagger, as
in the writings of Mr. Frank Harris. I don’t mind insipidity
when I can get it with a touch of cosmopolitan culture, as in the
writings of Mr. Karl Baedeker. But vulgarity and insipidity
mingled, as in the writings of Mr. Hall Caine, are more than my
weak flesh can bear. On the title-page of The Manxman Mr. Caine
prints this modest motto : “What shall it profit a man if he gain
the whole world and lose his own soul ? ” On page 6 he observes :
“In spite of everything he loved her. That was where the
bitterness of the evil lay.” On page 7, ” A man cannot fight
against himself for long. That deadly enemy is certain to slay.”
On page 11, “His first memory of Philip was of sleeping with
him, snuggled up by his side in the dark, hushed and still in a
narrow bed with iron ends to it, and of leaping up in the morning
and laughing.” And then, on page 41, “The moon had come
up in her whiteness behind, and all was quiet and solemn around.”
Note the subtle perceptions, the profound insight, the dainty
verbiage, the fresh images, the musical rhythm of these excerpts.
” That was where the bitterness of the evil lay ! ” “A man
cannot fight against himself!” “The moon had come up in
her whiteness beyind !” . . . . Faugh, sir, the gentleman writes
with his mouth full. Let us haste to an apothecary’s, and buy an


                        134 Books

ounce of civet, to sweeten our imagination. And all was quiet
and solemn araound ! *

At the forty-first page I closed the Manxman, and gave it to
my valet. It was as if for forty-one leaden minutes I had been
listening to the speech of Emptiness incarnate ; but a pompous
Emptiness, a rhetorical Emptiness, an Emptiness with the manner
of an Oracle and the accent of an Auctioneer : an Emptiness that
would have lulled me to slumber if it hadn’t sickened me. I
wonder how Mr. Hall Caine keeps awake as he writes.

Nature abhors a vacuum, but the British Public, it would
appear, loves an Emptiness. The Public, however, doesn’t matter.
The Great Heart of the People has warmed to bad literature in
all ages and in all countries. The disgraceful thing is that in
England bad literature is taken seriously by persons who profess to
be Critics. The critics of France don’t take Monsieur Georges
Ohnet seriously ; the critics of Russia don’t take Alexis Gorloff
seriously ; but the critics of England do take Mr. Hall Caine
seriously. Well, it only shows what a little pretentiousness in
this ingenuous land will accomplish.

The value of pretentiousness can scarcely be too highly com-
mended to young authors. If you are more desirous of impressing
the ignorant than of doing good work, if you would rather make
the multitude stare than make the remnant gaze—Be pretentious,
and let who will be clever. A young author who appears to have

* A friend assures me that if I had pursued my wanderings a little
further in Mr. Hall Caine’s garden of prose, I might have culled still
fairer blossoms ; and gives as a specimen this, from page 141 : “She
met him on the hill slope with a cry of joy, and kissed him. It came
into his mind to draw away, but he could not, and he kissed her back.”
How quaint Manx customs are. In London he would almost certainly
have kissed her lips.


                        From “The Yellow Dwarf” 135

taken this excellent maxim to heart is Mr. John Oliver Hobbes.
His was the next book I directed an attack upon, after I had
beaten my retreat from the impenetrable Manxman. But I
found myself confronted with Pretentiousness at the very draw-
bridge. There fluttered a flag—I daresay, on my unsupported
testimony, you could scarce believe it ; but I can refer you to the
book itself, or (it has been advertised like a patent medicine) to its
publishers advertisements, for corroboration—there fluttered a
flag bearing this device—

            THE GODS

            SOME MORTALS


            LORD WICKENHAM


            JOHN OLIVER


This, in Christian England ! And above it and below it were
wonderful drawings, drawings of gods and goddesses and mortals ;
and, at one side of it, another wonderful drawing, a drawing of an

When I recovered my breath I turned to Chapter I., An
Aristocratic Household, and before I had reached the bottom of
that short first page, here is the sort of sentence I had to face and
vanquish : ” The young girl who came forward seemed to have
been whipped up into a fragile existence from the very cream of
tenderness, love, and folly.” It is doubtless very pretty, but do
you know what it means ? Anyhow, it has the great merit of
being Pretentious. I can see the Pressman-Critic, as his eye
lights upon it. I can see him ” sit up.” I can hear him gasp,


                        136 Books

and murmur to himself, ” Ah ! This is a book to be treated with
respect. This is written.” Thus, by a discreet appreciation of
the value of Pretentiousness, Mr. Hobbes breaks his Pressman-
Critic’s spirit with his title-page, and has him entirely subjugated
about half-way down page I.

But do you imagine that the author’s pretentiousness begins
and ends here, at the threshold ? Far from it. His book is pre-
tentious in every line ; I might almost say in every dash and
comma. It is linked pretentiousness long drawn out. It is
packed with aphorisms, with reflections : it is diversified with
little essays, little shrieks, and philosophic sighs : all pretentious.
On page 135, for instance : “The weak mind is never weary of
recounting its failures.” On dirait the late Mr. Martin Tupper—
not ? On page 23 : ” O Science ! art thou not also sometimes
in error ? ” On dirait the late Mr. Thomas Carlyle. On
page 13:” Men should be careful how they wish.” On dirait
Monsieur de la Palisse. . . . . And then, what shall we say of
this ? In Chapter IV. Dr. Simon Warre writes a letter ; and
the author heads the chapter : In which Warre displays a for
gotten talent! Oddsfish, the letter one is justified in expecting,
after that ! What one gets is a quite ordinary, gossipy, rather
vulgar, rather snobbish, very pretentious letter ; and the only
talent Warre displays is the talent of the Reporter,
the Reporter for a Society paper ; and that talent is unfortunately not for-

Intending competitors for my prize will observe, furthermore,
that the story, the plot, of The Gods, Some Mortals, and Lord
Wickenham, is exactly the same dear old story that used to delight
our nursery governesses when we were children. A good husband
—oh, so good !—married to a horrid, wicked wife ; a lord ; a
villain ; an elopement. The same dear old conventional story,


                        From “The Yellow Dwarf” 137

the same dear old conventional personages. I can’t say characters,
for there isn’t a character, there isn’t an individual, there isn’t the
ghost of a human creature, in the book. Simon Warre, his wife,
his friend, his wife’s lover, Allegra—not one is a man or a woman
of flesh and blood, whom we can recognize, whom we can think
of as of people we have known : each is a formula, a shadow, a
conventional type. And then—Allegra ! Allegra carried me
back an appalling number of years into the past, to the time when
I was young and foolish. Everybody, when he was young and
foolish (and generally in the flush of enthusiasm that follows his
first visit to Italy for a fortnight, at Easter, say), everybody has
written a novel whereof the heroine was a pale mysterious Italian
girl, the daughter of a nobleman ; and wasn’t she almost always
named Allegra ? And then everybody who was prudent has
burned his manuscript. I burned mine, thank mercy ; but
Mr. John Oliver Hobbes has published his. Ah, weel, bairn, ye
maun just live and lurrun.

” Ah, but the style ! The style’s the thing ! ” cries the Press-
man. Quite so ; the style. Mr. Hobbes seems to be perpetually
straining in his style for the quality vaguely called distinction
(which, I lately read, in the Saturday Review, of all places, is as
easy as minor poetry), but, easy as it is, he never succeeds in
achieving it. What he does achieve is—sometimes a feeble echo
of Mr. George Meredith ; sometimes a flimsy imitation of Miss
Austen ; sometimes a bit that is Carlylean or Tupperesque ; and,
more often, gems of pure Journalese, so that one might wonder,
“Is Mr. Hobbes, too, a Pressman ? ” But style is personal, style
is the man. Here there is no style ; there is only a mechanical
mixture of the washings of many styles.

From the leaden pretentiousness of Mr. Hall Caine and
the glassy pretentiousness of Mr. John Oliver Hobbes, it was re-


                        138 Books

storative to turn to the naturalness, the honesty, and the simplicity
of Miss Menie Muriel Dowie’s Gallia, Miss Ella D’Arcy’s
Monochromes, and Mr. Kenneth Grahame’s Golden Age.

Of Miss D’Arcy’s book I will leave the would-be winners of
my prize full liberty to say what they like ; only, they must say
this : that the book gives its author at once a place among the
three masters (indulge the gender), the three masters of the short-
story form at present working in the English tongue ; and they
must add that Miss D’Arcy is by no means the smallest of the
three, and that she does not in the least resemble either of the
other two.

Again, of Mr. Grahame’s book, say what you will ; but be
careful also to say that a more melodious or mellow book you have
seldom read. Dwell upon the sweetness of the book’s voice, the
tenderness of its humour ; dwell upon its pathos, its sympathy, its
imagination ; upon the rich golden glow it has, which is like a
second justification of its title.

In Gallia, I own, I suffered one disappointment—nay, I suf-
fered two. First, I was all along haunted by a suspicion that the
book had a moral, that it had a purpose, that it was intended, in
some measure, as a tract for the times, and not as a mere frank
effort in the art of fiction. And secondly, I missed that brilliant
personal note, that vibration of the author’s living voice, which had
delighted me in the Girl in the Karpathians, and (still more) in
the marvellously clever and vivid little drama, Wladislaw’s Advent,
which you, sir, published some time back in the YELLOW BOOK.
But, all the same, though I could have wished Miss Dowie to
come nearer to the front in proper person, I enjoyed reading
Gallia as I have rarely enjoyed reading a latter-day English novel.
The style, if severely impersonal, is sincere, direct, effective ; the
story is new and interesting, the central idea, the motive, being


                        From “The Yellow Dwarf” 139

very daring and original indeed ; and the characters are distinctly
individualised. They are characters, they are human people, they
are persons, they aren’t mere personages, mere types. Had Gallia
been a roman-à-clef, I think I could have named Dark Essex ; I
think I could have named Gurdon, too ; I’m sure I could have
named Miss Essex. As for Bobbie Leighton, little as we see of
him, he is a creature of the warmest flesh and the reddest blood ;
and I, for my part, shall always remember him as a charming
fellow whom I met once or twice, but all too infrequently, in
Paris, in London, and whose present address I am very sorry not
to possess. But Gallia herself I could not have named, though
she is as real to me now as she could have been if I had actually
known her half my life. If Miss Dowie had, in this book, accom-
plished nothing more than her full-length portrait of Gallia, she
would have accomplished much, for a more difficult model than
Gallia a portraitist could hardly have selected. Gallia—so terribly
modern, so excessively unusual—a prophecy, rather than a present
fact—a girl, an English girl, who declares her love to a man, and
yet never ceases to be a fresh, innocent, modest, attractive girl,
never for an instant becomes masculine, and never loses her hold
upon the reader’s sympathy !

A writer of fiction could scarcely propose to himself a riskier
adventure than that which awaited Miss Dowie when she set out
to write the chapter in which Gallia roundly informs Dark
Essex that she loves him. Failure was almost a certainty ;
yet, so far from failing, Miss Dowie has succeeded with apparent
ease. The chapter begins with a very fine and delicate observa-
tion in psychology. The blankness, the vague pain, rhythmically
recurring, but for the specific cause of which Gallia has to pause
a little and seek—that is very finely and delicately observed. “‘I
remember ; there was something that has made me unhappy :


                        140 Books

what was it ?’ Thus her mind would go to work ; then suddenly
the sharpness of remembrance would lay hold of her nerves, and a
little inarticulate cry would escape her ; her hands would go up to
hide her face, and a shiver, not in her limbs, but in her body,
would shake and sicken her.” Presently Dark Essex is shown
into the room, and presently Gallia tells him that she loves him.
The chapter is restrained, the chapter is dignified, the chapter is
convincing, the chapter is moving ;—or, rather, the chapters (for
the scene is broken into two chapters, and so to break it was a
prudent measure; little conventional breaks like this doing wonders
to relieve the tension of the reader’s emotion). It must have been
difficult enough, in this crisis of the story, to make Gallia herself
move and speak convincingly ; it must have been a hundred times
more difficult to contrive the action and the speeches of the
man,—the man who found himself in so unprecedented a situa-
tion !

Gallia is a remarkable book, and Gallia is a remarkable young
lady. I have no prejudices in favour of the New Woman ; I
proclaim myself quite brazenly an Old Male. But I respect
Gallia, I admire her, I like her, and I am heartily sorry she made
the mistake of marrying Gurdon. It was a mistake, I am per-
suaded, though an inevitable mistake. But I shall owe a grudge
to Miss Menie Muriel Dowie if she doesn’t by-and-by write
another volume about Gallia, and let me know exactly, in detail,
how her mistaken, inevitable marriage turned out. I shall look
for a volume entitled Lady Gurdon—for Mark will of course by
this time have been created a baronet, at the lowest. And, mean-
while, I will ask competitors for my prize to be extremely careful
and exhaustive in their criticisms of Gallia.

Two more books I will ask the same young gentlemen and
ladies to consider, and then I will let them off. One is Mr.


                        From “The Yellow Dwarf” 141

Hubert Crackanthorpe’s Sentimental Studies, the other Mr. George
Moore’s Celibates.

In dealing with Mr. Crackanthorpe’s book, my prize-critics
will kindly give attention to the actuality of his subjects, the clear-
ness of his psychological insight, the intensity of his realisation,
the convincingness of his presentation, and the sincerity and
dignity of his manner. At the same time, they will point out
that Mr. Crackanthorpe often says too much, that he is reluctant
to leave anything to his reader’s imagination, his reader’s experi-
ence. He doesn’t make enough allowance for his reader’s native
intelligence. He forgets that the golden rule in writing is simply
a paraphrase of the other Golden Rule : Write as you would be
written to. Mr. Crackanthorpe strains a little too hard, a little
too visibly, for the mot juste. But the mot juste is sometimes not
the best word to use. One must know what the mot juste is, but
sometimes one should erase it and substitute the demi-mot. And
then isn’t Mr. Crackanthorpe handicapped as an artist by a trifle
too much moral earnestness ? Moral earnestness in life, I daresay,
does more good than harm ; but in Art, if present at all, it should
be concealed like a vice. Mr. Crackanthorpe hardly takes pains
enough to conceal his. If he won’t abandon it—if he won’t leave
it to such writers as the author of Trilby and Miss Annie S.
Swann—he should at least hide it under mountains of artistry.

And now for Celibates. Celibates is an important book ; I’m
not quite sure that Celibates isn’t a great book, but Celibates is
assuredly a most perplexing, a most exasperating book. How one
and the same man can write as ill and as well, as execrably and as
effectively, as Mr. George Moore writes, passes my comprehen-
sion. His style, for instance. His style is atrocious, and his style
is almost classical. His style is like chopped straw, and his style
is like architecture. In its material, in its words, phrases, sen-

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. I


                        142 Books

tences, his style is as bad as a Christian’s style can be. It is
harsh, it is slovenly, it is uncouth ; fluency, melody, distinction,
charm it lacks utterly; it is sometimes downright ungrammatical ;
it is very often common, banale, pressmanish ; and yet . . . .
Structurally, in its masses, it could scarcely be better. It has (as
Mr. Moore would say) line ; its drawing, its perspective, its values
are the drawing, the perspective, the values of a master. It is a
symmetrical temple built of soiled and broken bricks.

How could a writer who knows his Flaubert as Mr. Moore
knows his Flaubert, speak of “sleep pressing upon Mildred’s eye-
lids,” as Mr. Moore does on page 8 ? What of la phrase toute
faite? How could any one but a pressman say of his heroine that
there was “a little pathetic won’t-you-care-for-me expression” in
her face ? On page 33, Mildred Lawson looked at Ralph Hoskin
“in glad surprise.” On page 49 we have an epigram, a paradox :
something or other “is as insignificant as life.” On page 51
Ralph says, ” I had to make my living ever since I was sixteen.”
On page 56 Mr. Moore says, ” In the park they could talk
without fear of being overheard, and they took interest in the
changes that spring was effecting in this beautiful friendly nature.”
Shade of Stevenson, shade of Maupassant, what prose ! On page
75 : ” The roadway was full of fiacres plying for hire, or were
drawn up in lines three deep.” Shade of Lindley Murray, what
grammar ! And on the same page : ” Elsie wished that Walter
would present her with a fan.” It is almost enough to make one
agree with the old fogey who remarked, anent Esther Waters,
“Mr. Moore writes about servants, and should be read by them.”

But no, the old fogey was wrong. Bad as Mr. Moore’s style
is in its materials, it is very nearly perfect in its structure ; and,
what’s more, it’s personal. You feel that it is a living voice, an
individual’s voice, that it is Mr. George Moore’s voice, which is


                        From “The Yellow Dwarf” 143

addressing you. And surely a style ought to be personal, or else
style’s not the man.

The question of style apart, however, what makes Celibates an
impressive book, very nearly a great book, is its insight, its sin-
cerity, its vividness, its sympathy. If Mildred Lawson were only
decently written—if only some kind soul would do us a decent
rendering of it into English—Mildred Lawson would be a story
that one could speak of in the same breath with Madame Bovary.
Yes. The assertion is startling, but the assertion is an assertion
my prize-critic must boldly hazard and proceed to justify. Mildred
Lawson is one of the most interesting and one of the most com-
plex women I have ever met in fiction. Her selfishness, her
weakness, her strength, her vanity, her coldness, her hundred and
one qualities, traits, moods, are analysed with a minuteness that is
scientific, but synthesised with a vividness that is entirely artistic,
and therefore convincing, moving, memorable. John Norton,
structurally, is not quite so faultless as Mildred Lawson, but it is
still a very notable achievement, a very important contribution to
the English fiction of our day; and I don’t know whether, on the
whole, Agnes Lahens isn’t the best piece of work in the volume.

However, these are questions for my prize-critics to discuss at
length—Mr. Moore’s execrable, excellent style ; how, as it were,
one would imagine he wrote with his boot, not with his pen ; his
subtle lack of grace, of humour ; his deep, true, sympathetic
insight ; his sincerity, his impressiveness ; and what his place is
among the four or five considerable writers of fiction now living
in England.—I, sir, have already too far trespassed upon your
valuable space.

    I have the honour to be,

        Your obedient servant,

            THE YELLOW DWARF.

Two Pictures

By Stanhope A. Forbes, A.R.A.

 I. Their Daily Bread
II. By the Fireside


By Richard Garnett, LL.D., C.B.

THIS flame of Passion that so high in air,
        By spice and balsam of the spirit fed,
        With fire and fume vast Heaven hath overspread,
And blots the stars with smoke, or dims with glare :
Soon shall it droop, and radiance pure and fair
        Again from azure altitudes be shed ;
        And we the murky grime and embers red
Shall sift, if haply dust of Love be there.
Gather his ashes from the torrid mould,
        And, quenched with drops of Bacchic revelry,
        Yield to the Stygian powers to have and hold :
And urn Etrurian let his coffin be ;
        For this was made to store the dead and cold,
        And is a thing of much fragility.

A Correspondence


“I THINK she is perfectly lovely,” Mrs. Yeo exclaimed,

She made a slight indicative movement towards the far corner
of the drawing-room, where the folds of a white dress and the
feathery edges of a fan were just visible from her corner of the

“Ah, I thought you would be surprised.”

Mrs. Lockyer spoke in the proprietary tone of one who has
discovered some priceless treasure and for the first time displays it
to the gaze of the multitude.

” They are altogether an ideal couple, aren’t they ? ” she
continued. ” I always say he is quite ridiculously good-looking
too handsome for a mere man ! ”

” They met in Rome, you say ? “

” Yes, quite lately ; only a few weeks ago, in fact, when the
Armstrongs were travelling in Italy. He’d hardly known her a week
before he proposed, and it’s scarcely a fortnight now since the day
they met so—her mother says. This is his last evening. He’s
going back to-morrow to Rome ; he has some work to finish there,

                                                I understand

                        By Netta Syrett

I understand. He’s a sculptor, you know. Such a romantic
occupation, isn’t it ?—and so suitable. He has such classical
features himself—just like Apollo, or, well, all those Greeky-
Roman people. To me he has the air of being the least little bit
stand-off. What do you think ? I daresay that’s just my fancy
though, for I hear he is quite charming, but alarmingly clever.
He is more than ten years older than Miss Armstrong, they say,
and I believe there’s more difference than that even—don’t you
think so ? ” But Mrs. Yeo’s gaze had turned in the direction of
the white dress again.

” She is very lovely,” she repeated, ” but I don’t think she seems
quite happy.”

The girl under discussion had risen from her seat and was
standing at the corner of the mantelpiece, one hand resting
on the low shelf. From where Mrs. Yeo was sitting she caught a
glimpse of a very delicately tinted face ; the light from a rose-
shaded lamp above the girl’s head fell softly on masses of rippling
red-brown hair growing low on the forehead, and parted over the
brows, Clytie fashion. Her long trailing gown fell in white folds
to her feet.

Mrs. Yeo was young and imaginative. Her friend’s information
about the sculptor fiancé had doubtless something to do with the
fancifulness of the notion, yet, as she looked at the girl, her mind
was full of vague ideas of Galatea, the beautiful statue slowly
awakening to this distressful life.

” Not happy ? ” echoed Mrs. Lockyer. ” Oh, why not ? She
ought to be. It’s a most desirable match in every way. Mr.
Margrave is well connected and rich, I believe ; and ” —this in a
slightly lower key—” between ourselves, the Armstrongs are not
particularly well off. She’s a very quiet girl, I think ; not that I
know much of her. She s so very young, you know, only just


                        A Correspondence

out, in fact. This is the first dinner they’ve given since her engagement, and—”

There was a sound of laughter and voices outside, and the
usual little stir and flutter in the room as the men came in.

” Ah, he’s speaking to her. How splendid they look together,”
exclaimed Mrs. Yeo, who was taking more than her usual interest
in the engagement. The girl looked up with a quick start as the
door opened, and hastily withdrew her foot from the fender, as
though she had been guilty of some impropriety. She straightened
herself, and hurriedly smoothed her dress, while her hand tightened
mechanically on the fan she was holding.

A close observer might have thought the movement almost a
shrinking one, and in the little fleeting smile with which she
greeted her lover’s approach, there was perhaps as much nervousness
as pleasure.

She looked very young when she raised her eyes, which were
clear blue, and at first sight, singularly childlike. But their expres-
sion was puzzling ; it almost seemed—and Mrs. Yeo was more
interested than ever when she noticed this—as though a new
nature was struggling in them tentatively, and in a half frightened
way, for life and utterance. It was this uncertain air about the girl
altogether, which Mrs. Yeo felt, and which appealed to her as
pathetic. “She wants someone to be very kind to her just now,”
thought the tender-hearted little lady, as she watched the girl’s

The man lingered a few moments beside her, leaning over the
back of her chair, but at the first soft notes of a song, he
turned towards the piano, and in the girl’s attitude there was a
faint suggestion of relief, though her eyes followed him rather

The singer was a slim girl, with a somewhat striking face,


                        By Netta Syrett

and a cloud of dark wavy hair. She glanced up at Margrave
with a smile of thanks, as he turned over a leaf for her, and when
the song was ended he kept his place at her side. She did not
move from the piano, but began to look over a pile of music as
though searching for something.

There was a short silence.

” Cecily is lovelier than ever to-night,” she observed, abruptly.
Margrave smiled and glanced in the direction she was looking.
” Yes,” he assented. ” That Greek dress of hers is quite an

The girl—her name was Gretchen Verrol—bent to pick up a
stray leaf before she replied. ” Thank you ; don’t trouble,” she
said ; then, ” You are praising me unawares,” she added.

” You designed it then ? “

” And more, I made it, with these my proper hands,” with a
little gesture.

” I honour you equally for your inventive and creative faculties,”
he returned laughingly.

After a moment, with a sudden change of tone, ” Cecily is very
fortunate in having you with her,” he said. ” You read with her,
I think ? She is very young,” and then he hesitated a little, ” I
have seen so little of her, and scarcely ever alone, but I fancy she
needs—” he paused.

” She is beautiful enough to need nothing besides,” Gretchen
interrupted hastily. “Why don’t you go and talk to her now?
She is by herself, and I’m not her governess quite, Mr. Margrave,”
she added.

A young man came up to the piano at the moment, and she held
out a piece of music to him. ” Here is a song I know you sing,
Mr. Graham ! Shall I play it for you ? ” she asked almost in the
same breath.


                        A Correspondence

Margrave looked at her a moment with an expression which was
at first perplexed, and also a trifle disconcerted before he obediently
went back to Cecily.


Five years difference in the ages of two girls is not too much
to admit the possibility of intimate friendship. Not that this was
the term which could, with any appropriateness, describe the rela-
tion between Cecily and Gretchen Verrol, though they were
constantly together, and though Gretchen, and all that she did,
occupied, or at any rate till quite recently had occupied, nearly
the whole of Cecily’s mental horizon.

Gretchen Verrol was a distant cousin of Mrs. Armstrong, for
whom circumstances had rendered it unavoidable to do something
in the way of help.

Most fortunately, both for herself and for the Armstrongs, it
happened that Gretchen was clever and accomplished—” the very
companion we could have chosen for our dear Cecily,” as her
mother frequently observed. This being the case, matters were
easily arranged, and for a year previous to Cecily’s engagement,
Miss Verrol had lived with the Armstrongs, “reading” with Cecily,
helping her with her music, and generally “forming her taste,” as
Mrs. Armstrong again frequently, if somewhat vaguely, remarked.

Mrs. Armstrong was a slightly vague person altogether, but
kindly-natured and easy-going. Her one positive emotion being
admiration for her young cousin, who soon held a very important,
if not the most important, position in the household.

Whether her engagement had done anything towards lessening
the exalted opinion of Gretchen which Cecily shared with her
mother was a doubtful question.


                        By Netta Syrett

” Do you like that Miss Verrol ? ” some one asked her once
rather dubiously, and Cecily looked at her interrogator in a startled,
half-awed fashion.

” She is so clever, you know,” she replied, irrelevantly as it
seemed, glancing furtively behind her as she spoke.

Gretchen was still an object of as much wondering reverence to
Cecily a year afterwards as she had been during the first week of
their acquaintance, when Miss Verrol had already summed up her
impressions of the latter, once and for all.

She practically knew Cecily, as she remarked to herself, after
the first day, and at the end of the first week she proceeded to
recapitulate and to get her by heart. An easy task ! So easy
that she had to sit and look at her with an air of critical wonder.

They were reading German. That is, Gretchen was. She
had been pronouncing the words with great distinctness, and
Cecily, with laborious effort after imitation, had made strange and
weird sounds, unlike any language that was ever imagined, far less
spoken. Presently Gretchen’s voice stopped, and it was then that
Cecily began to move restlessly, raising apprehensive eyes to those
which her companion bent quietly upon her. The silence became
a little oppressive ; Cecily fidgeted, dropped her eyes, and began
to pull the blotting-paper to pieces with nervous fingers. Gretchen
laid a hand upon it, and quietly drew it away.

“It is no good for you to read this;” said Miss Verrol at last,

” No,” meekly assented Cecily.

“We’ve tried French—you don’t seem to understand anything
of that.”

” No,” she repeatedly hopelessly.

” Tell me—you don’t really care for music, reading, poetry,
pictures, do you ? ”


                        A Correspondence

This was practically an assertion, though put in the form of a question.
Cecily felt compelled to reply.

“No,” she acknowledged again, faintly.

Gretchen continued to look at her.

“It is very curious,” she remarked critically, as though she had
come upon a totally new species and was interested.

Cecily suddenly dropped her fair head upon her arms, and
burst into tears.

Miss Verrol waited silently till the storm was passed. There
was a glass opposite, and she looked across at it as the girl raised
her tear-stained face.

“It doesn’t matter,” she said in the same critical tone. ” You
are pretty enough to make it of no consequence. You even look
pretty when you cry. Now, I look hideous.”

This was the first and only spoken allusion to Cecily’s mental
deficiencies that Gretchen ever made. The reading and music
practising went on regularly as usual, and Cecily still persevered
in her frantic attempts at the German accent. If there was the
slightest trace of weariness in Gretchen’s tone as she corrected her
for the fourth or fifth time in one word, it was so faint as to be
only just appreciable, and when at the end of the hour Cecily
stole an apprehensive glance at her face, it was always calm and

” Now we will have the duet,” was what she usually said as she
closed the book. Indeed, her patience during the hours devoted
to “mental culture” was altogether admirable, and if signs of
Cecily’s lack of intelligence had been otherwise wanting, they
would have been supplied by the fact that, while humbly re-
cognising the goodness and wisdom of Gretchen, and striving
earnestly to be worthy of it, she would yet have found it a relief
if the latter had sometimes lost her temper.


                        By Netta Syrett

This absence of impatience or reproach paralysed her. Once
when Gretchen had been called away in the middle of the duet,
she sat vacantly staring at the keys for a moment.

All at once, with a sudden frantic movement, she half rose from
her seat at the piano, a look of positive terror in her eyes.

” If only she would say something—anything! I can’t breathe
when she looks at me,” she panted breathlessly.

When Gretchen came back she was patiently practising a bar
over and over again.

“Try it once more, Cecily,” Gretchen said, gazing straight
before her out of the window. ” It isn’t right.”

Mrs. Armstrong found her cousin really invaluable. She was
as clever with her fingers as with her brains, and when Cecily
began to go out, she not only designed, but also made most of her
charming gowns for evening wear.

She always helped her to dress for dances—dressed her, in fact—
for Cecily generally stood quite passive to have her hair arranged,
her flowers fastened in, or the folds of her gown artistically draped.

On these occasions Gretchen never failed to praise her beauty
openly and with an air of impartial criticism, and then Cecily
winced and trembled a little, but said nothing.

” I have a comfortable home, but I earn my living,” wrote
Gretchen to a friend, when she had been with the Armstrongs
about three months.

It was with real concern that a day or two after her daughter’s
engagement had been finally arranged Mrs. Armstrong learnt that
Gretchen was thinking of leaving her.

” Cecily will be broken-hearted,” she exclaimed plaintively ;
“and she won’t be married just yet, you know. Besides, why
should you go at all ? I shall want you more than ever then.”

But Gretchen was firm.


                        A Correspondence

“As long as I could be really of use to you, with Cecily, I did
not feel myself dependent,” she explained. “But now it will be
different. No, Cousin Mary, that is only your kindness. I
should not be happy in staying on.”

And Cousin Mary, though demurring, felt it selfish to stand in
the way of the girl’s prospects, especially as an acquaintance of
hers, who was about to sail for New Zealand and wanted a
governess, was overjoyed at securing such a charming person as
Miss Verrol for her two girls.

“But I’m sure I don’t know how to tell Cecily,” she lamented
again and again. ” I don’t know how she’ll take it.”

Cecily took it with a start, and an expression not easy to

“But she’s such a strange girl,” complained her mother, who
was not given to analysis of character to any great extent.


Gretchen’s departure had been finally arranged only the day
before Margrave’s return to Rome. He could hardly hope to
finish the work he was engaged upon very speedily ; it would pro-
bably be at least six months before he met Cecily again, and his
complaint of having seen very little of her during his brief visit was
by no means unfounded. It was difficult to tell how deeply the
girl felt his absence. Perhaps her manner was even quieter and
more subdued than usual, but that was the only noticeable differ-
ence in her behaviour. She very rarely mentioned his name.

There was a letter lying beside her plate on the breakfast table
the morning after her lover’s departure, and Gretchen, glancing
across from her opposite seat, saw her quickly cover it with her


                        By Netta Syrett

hand, which she withdrew, a second after, in confusion. Her
mother laughed.

” You are not going to read it now, then, Cecie ? “

“No, mother,” she replied, flushing hotly.

An hour or two later, Gretchen opened the door of Cecily’s
bedroom. She was pre-occupied, and entered without knocking ;
indeed, she had taken the dress she had come for out of the ward-
robe, and was leaving the room before she noticed that Cecily was

The girl sat in the corner of the window seat, trying to turn
her head so as to hide that she was crying—an open letter lay on
her lap.

Gretchen started. Instinctively her hand groped for the back
of a chair she was passing ; then she drew it away, and straight-
ened herself.

” What is the matter, Cecily ? ” she asked—her voice sounded
a little strained, but it was calm enough. ” You have not “—she
paused—” there is no bad news ?”

Cecily’s low sobs choked her voice. There was time for
Gretchen to glance at her own face in the glass and to turn back
to the light, before she replied.

” N—no,” she said at last ; ” but—” Gretchen crossed to
her side.

“Won’t you tell me ? ” she asked. There was a little tremble
in her tone now. Cecily heard it, and looked up gratefully.
Gretchen seemed sorry.

” I don’t like to,” she murmured. ” You’ll say—oh, it’s too
silly ! ” Her voice broke again in a half sob.

” Never mind. Tell me.”

” Only that—only—because—because I shall have to answer it.”


                        A Correspondence

The confession broke from Cecily’s lips hesitatingly, and then
she laid one arm hopelessly against the window frame, and hid her
wet eyes against it.

Gretchen did not speak for a minute.

” The letter, you mean ? ” she asked at length, quietly. ” Well
—there is nothing so dreadful about that, is there ?

” Oh, yes, there is—yes, there is—for me ! ” wailed Cecily.

“You may read it.” She held out the letter, looking up at
Gretchen despairingly. ” You’ll see. He asks what I thought of
some of those statues in Rome—and—and the pictures. And
—I didn’t think anything. Oh, Gretchen ! I know I’m very
stupid—but—I had no thoughts about them, except—I wondered
why they kept broken statues in such grand places. But I can’t
tell him that, can I ? because people, clever people, think they
are beautiful—without noses—or anything. And all that he says
about the scenery—and you know what my spelling is like—and
oh, Gretchen ! Don’t—don’t smile like that !”

Cecily shrank back into the corner of the window seat, and
covered her face with both hands. Perhaps she had never made
such a long speech before—but Gretchen had seemed sorry.

There was quite a long silence. The crisp paper crackled as
Miss Verrol turned the sheets ; still Cecily did not look up.

” Well, do you want me to answer it for you ? ” The question
was accompanied by a short laugh.

The girl’s hands dropped from her face in a second, and her
eyes sought Gretchen’s inquiringly—incredulously.

” Gretchen—do you mean it ? Would you ? Not really ? “

” Where is that silk gauze of yours?” asked Gretchen, crossing
the room and stooping over a drawer.

” In that box,” replied Cecily, sighing—the chance of relief
was gone then.


                        By Netta Syrett

” You see,” pursued Gretchen, still turning over things in the
drawer, “it’s not quite the same thing as doing your exercises.”

” No,” agreed Cecily, despondently. Then brightening, ” But,
Gretchen—if you would—you are so clever. You know all about
those statues—and the pictures—and the palaces. You could
write about them.” She paused breathlessly.

” Oh, yes,” replied Miss Verrol carelessly. ” I dare say I
could—I was considered good at composition—at school. Our
relative positions would be somewhat reversed, wouldn’t they ? I
should have to bring these exercises to you, for correction and
amendment, and—naturally you are so much better up in the

Another pause.

” No, I really don’t think I should dare to let you see my
work. There would be so many faults.”

She had found the scarf now, and was busy smoothing out its

” You have crushed this dreadfully,” she said, reproachfully.

” Oh, you don’t think it’s important enough to talk about,”
cried Cecily desperately ; ” but I can never do it alone. Can’t
you help me ? I shouldn’t want to see the letters you wrote, you
know,” she assured her eagerly. ” So——”

Gretchen stopped short in the midst of shaking out the filmy

” Not—you mean you would not want to see the letters I
wrote to your lover ? ” she asked incredulously, fixing her eyes on
the girl’s face.

Cecily blushed painfully.

” No,” she hesitated. ” Not if you’d rather not. I know it
is easier to do everything—if—if people are not watching you.
And you will do all the important part, about the statues, beauti-

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. K


                        A Correspondence

fully, Gretchen. The only thing I could do would be to—to
send my love.” Her voice faltered. ” Perhaps you wouldn’t
mind always putting that in, at the end, after the other things,
you know ? ”

” Yes. What am I to say ? “

“Just say “—the colour flamed in her cheeks again—”I love
you, Noel.” She turned her head away sharply, and looked out of
the window.

Gretchen still stood beside her, motionless.

” Cecily,” she said at last, in a low voice, ” think—do you
really want me to do this ? I won’t if you—”

“Yes,” she answered brokenly. ” If I could do it myself, of
course I—I would rather—but I can’t ! And after all, it won’t
matter so very much, will it, Gretchen ? ” She turned to her
like a child, imploring to be reassured by some wise and grown-
up person. ” I shall mean all the things you say.”

” What about the handwriting ? ” asked Gretchen. Her voice
sounded flat and wearied. ” Has he seen yours ? ”

” No. I have never written to him. There has been no
occasion, you see, and he doesn’t know yours.”

Miss Verrol went to the door. As she reached it, she paused
with her hand on the lock.

” Remember, you wish it,” she said, turning her head over her
shoulder to look at Cecily.

The girl rose from the window seat and came towards her.
Her soft hair was all disordered, her cheeks were flushed, and her
pretty blue eyes were still wet.

” Yes ; you are very good to me, Gretchen,” she began timidly,
putting out her arms. But Gretchen shrank away hastily.
” Mind you will crumple this again,” she said.


                        By Netta Syrett

Thus it happened that regularly every week a letter went to
Rome, beginning, at Cecily’s request (her own original contribu-
tion), “My dearest Noel,” and ending with “your very loving
Cecily.” The girl who wrote the letters sat up far into the night.
Not that she was writing all the time. She read and re-read sheets
of close writing on thin foreign paper. Every time she came to an
endearing word her colour came and went, and she drew in her
breath quickly. To be accurate, the words of love were not
many. The letters were perhaps a trifle wanting in colour for a
lover. They were the letters of a clever, cultivated man, a little
cold by nature. Perhaps too highly polished. But the reader did
not criticise. She changed colour when she read ” my love ; ” she
smiled triumphantly when he said how it gratified him to know
that in their tastes and feelings they were so fully in sympathy.
He had not been quite sure of this, he wrote—she had been so
silent, so shy—and he had had to learn from her letters that he
should have a wife as clever as she was beautiful. Once when
she read words to this effect, Gretchen crumpled the paper
fiercely in her hand, and sprang to her feet. With a smile of
self-mockery, she went to the glass and deliberately studied herself.
It reflected a little thin figure, with large, glittering eyes, irregular
features, and a mass of rough, wavy hair. A somewhat striking
apparition—picturesque, perhaps. But beautiful? A vision of
Cecily’s stately white loveliness swam before her eyes, and she
turned away impatiently.

But the letter must be answered, and she sat down to her
weekly task—a torture which she would not now forego if Cecily
begged it of her on her bended knees.


                        A Correspondence

She knew that Cecily already repented of her request. Every
time she handed Gretchen a letter from her lover, it was with a
more reluctant action, a more wistful and appealing look.

She saw, but would not heed. Cecily had decided—the act
was hers—let her abide by it !

In the meantime, every week she could write, with white lips
and shaking hand, ” I love you, Noel.” Had not Cecily herself
wished it ?

” Madness ! Of course, I know that,” she thought ; ” but if
I like to be mad just once before I go away to live out my dull,
highly respectable life, who is there to hinder me ? It’s an
inexpensive luxury. She’ll tell him, of course, when they’re
married—though there’ll be no occasion ; he’ll find it out quickly
enough.” She smiled scornfully. ” But what does that matter ?
I shall be thousands of miles away by that time. I shall never
know how he takes it, or what he thinks.” And then she sealed
the letter.

Even then, though it was early morning, she sat a long time at
the table, quite still, her face buried in her hands. When she
looked up, it was drawn and haggard.

“And I’ve come to be a thing like this,” she whispered, with
a slow self-scorn, ” about a man who has forgotten my existence.
And—I am Gretchen Verrol ! ”


As time went on, drawing nearer to the expiration of the three
months before her cousin’s departure, Mrs. Armstrong’s lamenta-
tions became more and more frequent.

“Cecily, poor child, feels it dreadfully,” she repeated. “She


                        By Netta Syrett

is really getting quite thin, and I think she looks ill, though her
father says it’s like my fidgetiness ! But I don’t care ; she shall
take a tonic in spite of what he says. I don’t like the look of her
at all sometimes. She has such a—I hardly know how to explain
what I mean—such a curious, frightened expression. Have you
noticed it ? You know, Gretchen ” (confidentially), “in spite of
a mother’s natural feelings, and all that, I shall be glad to have
her married. For my part, I don’t approve of long engagements,
but her father is so obstinate. The child feels unsettled, so of
course she’s miserable. I expect she misses Noel too, don’t you ?
But she says so little, I hardly know what to think.”

There was no doubt that Cecily was growing thin. Her eyes
were unnaturally large and bright ; they had a wistful, troubled
look, and lately she had taken to starting nervously when any one
spoke suddenly to her. Her mother talked of taking her away
somewhere for change of air, as soon as Miss Verrol had gone.

“And I hope the voyage will do you good, too,” she added,
looking at Gretchen critically. ” Do you know you are looking
quite ill ? Bless these young people, there’s always something
the matter with them now. I’m sure there never used to be, in
my young days.”

The last day at the Armstrongs, after all her boxes were ready,
Gretchen spent in paying farewell calls.

It was quite late in the afternoon before, the last good-bye said,
and the last polite good wish for her happiness expressed, she found
herself once more in front of the house she was so soon to leave.
It was some moments before the door was opened in answer to her
ring, and she stood on the top of the flight of steps and looked
drearily up and down the street. It was a wet night—the pave-
ments were all shining with rain, the gas lamps were reflected
waveringly in the puddles on the road. Only one person was in


                        A Correspondence

sight—a girl in a long shiny waterproof, picking her way carefully
through the mud from one pavement to the other. The rain
dripped steadily, drearily from the square portico overhead.

Gretchen shivered as she looked.

The door was opened and she stepped into the dazzle of the
brightly lighted hall, and began to take off her wet cloak. When
the bright mist cleared, she saw that there was a portmanteau on
the oak chest against the wall ; a bundle of rugs lay beside it ;
from the drawing-room came a distant murmur of voices.

“Has any one come, then, Price ? ” asked Gretchen, stopping
at the last button of her waterproof.

” Yes, miss ; Mr. Margrave. He came unexpected, about two
hours ago. I don’t know why James hasn’t taken up his things,
I’m sure. I’ve told him to, times enough.” Gretchen put her
cloak into the maid’s hands and turned to the stairs.

” Will you have some tea, miss ? “

” No, thank you,” she answered quietly.

Upstairs, the door of Cecily’s room stood half-open. She was
dressed for dinner already, and she stood before the fire, the tips
of her fingers touching the mantelpiece, her forehead resting upon

Gretchen hesitated a moment, then went in. ” This is a delight-
ful surprise for you, Cecily, isn’t it ? ”

” Yes,” said Cecily starting. She had raised her head quickly
when she heard Gretchen’s step, but she did not turn round.

Gretchen stood looking at her with an indescribable ex-

“Why did he come ? ” she asked after a moment.

” He has been working too hard. The doctor said he was to
rest a little, and take a holiday. So he made up his mind
suddenly to come and see us. He wrote, but the letter hasn’t


                        By Netta Syrett

come yet. We got a telegram just after you went out, about half-
an-hour before he came.”

Something in her voice, though she had not listened to what
she said, struck Gretchen as strange.

In spite of herself. ” You don’t seem very glad, Cecily ? You
don’t speak quite in the style of the orthodox engaged young
lady,” she said, laughing a little as she drew nearer the fire.

” I am not engaged,” murmured Cecily.

What ! ” Gretchen put her hand on the corner of the mantel-
piece to steady herself. ” What are you saying ? What do you
mean ? ”

Cecily turned a pair of frightened eyes towards her. Gretchen
was going to be angry. ” I—I have broken it off,” she whispered
in a scared way.

” Since when ? “

“Since he came here this afternoon.”

Gretchen broke into a shrill laugh. ” What a charming
reception ! ” she cried.

Then she recovered herself. ” Tell me about it ! ” she
exclaimed peremptorily.

Cecily glanced round the room despairingly, then at Gretchen,
who had taken a low chair by the fire and was waiting with a pale
face and that patient air she knew so well. There was no escape.
” May I shut the door ? ” she said meekly crossing the room, her
white dress trailing, a tall stately figure in spite of her girlishness.

She came back to her place, but did not speak.

“Well? “said Gretchen.

“I don’t know what you want me to tell you.”

” Why you broke it off.”

There was another long pause, then Cecily began to speak
low and rapidly.

                                                ” I shall

                        A Correspondence

” I shall never make you understand,” she cried hopelessly.
” I didn’t mean to do it, to-day. I—I didn’t even know that I
had made up my mind to do it at all—till just as I was going into
the drawing-room to see him. Then I seemed to see that it was
all no use.” Her voice sank to a whisper ; she was trembling
from head to foot.

” You musn’t cry. You have to go down, remember,” Gretchen
observed in even tones.

Cecily drew herself up, “What more shall I tell you ? ” she
cried passionately.

Gretchen had never heard this tone from her before ; it startled
her. She too rose, and they stood facing one another.

“Why do you ask me ? ” panted Cecily. ” You know—but if
you like I will tell you. I don’t mind now. Nothing matters
now. I knew almost from the first that I could not marry him.
He is so clever. And I—every moment I was afraid he would
ask me something I didn’t know. I didn’t understand the way he
talked. I didn’t understand half of what he said to me. I should
never have understood it ; ” she wailed, ” I was always afraid
when he came to talk to me, and yet when he was away—”
She checked herself. All the passion had died out of her tone now.
” If I hadn’t known it before, his letters would have shown me.
Oh, I did very wrong in asking you to write, Gretchen. I knew
it, the first time he answered your letter, and praised what he
thought I’d said.”

Gretchen suddenly caught her breath. ” You never—” she

” No, I was afraid to ask you not to go on with it when you’d
been so kind, and taken so much trouble,” Cecily said. ” I see
myself very plainly to-night. Just as though I was some one else
—I see that besides—other things—I am a coward.”


                        By Netta Syrett

Gretchen was silent.

” He would not listen at first.” It seemed that having begun
her confession she must speak now, though the words came
falteringly from her trembling lips. ” He said he didn’t understand
—he said there was no reason—I was playing with him. He
spoke of my letters.” She paused.

” Well ? ” gasped Gretchen breathlessly.

” Then I thought at any rate I would not deceive him any
longer—it was no good—so I told him you wrote them. . . . .
Gretchen !—don’t! you—you frighten me !” she whispered

Gretchen had seized her by the wrist. Her eyes were burning
in a face as white as death ; they seemed to scorch the girl cower-
ing down before her.

You little fool ! ” she exclaimed, her hands dropping heavily at
her sides. Each word stung like the sharp point of an icicle.

Cecily staggered back as though she had been struck.

It was out at last ! This was what Gretchen had been feeling
about her every minute for a whole year. The words expressed
her whole attitude towards her ; it was what Cecily had all the time
dumbly wished, yet dreaded to hear her say. It was almost a relief
—but she was dazed and confused—she did not yet understand what
had forced the words, what had impelled Gretchen, at last, to give
her spoken verdict. She still gazed at her bewildered, hopeless.

” What did he think of me ? ” inquired Gretchen mockingly.
Her tone was so careless and airy that Cecily half doubted for the
moment whether she could have said those words in that voice
a second before—then she looked again at her face, and knew that
her ears had not deceived her.

She stood for a second with parted lips, and then a great fear
crept up into her eyes, as she covered her face with both hands.

                                                ” Forgive

                        A Correspondence

” Forgive me, Gretchen ! ” she murmured. ” You—you—
know how stupid I am.”

It seemed a long time before Gretchen spoke. ” I shall not
come down to-night,” she answered calmly. ” It might complicate
matters perhaps. Say I have a headache, please. I shall arrange
to go by the first train to-morrow. If you think you can invent
any reason for this to Cousin Mary, it might be just as well. If
not—it doesn’t matter much.”

Cecily stood motionless till the door had opened, closed again,
and the room was empty.

Then with a helpless movement, she sank down on the floor
before the fire, her fair head buried in the cushions of the easy
chair, to stifle her sobs.

” I can’t think about Gretchen. I can’t think about any one
but him,” she whispered to herself brokenly. “What shall I do?
I didn’t make myself. It isn’t fair. I should have been wretched
if I’d ever been his wife. He would have been ashamed of me.
And yet—yet ! ”

Presently she rose wearily ; she poured out water and bathed
her eyes, and then arranged her hair carefully before the glass.

In a few minutes, except that she was terribly pale, all traces
of violent grief had vanished.

Yet to herself she looked so strange that she shuddered to see
her own reflection in the glass, there was something about it that
was so changed.

When she turned away, it seemed as though a mask had fallen
upon a trembling living face. The gong sounded, and she went
quietly downstairs ; it was not till the next morning that her
mother knew that the engagement was at an end.

* * * * *

Mrs. Yeo had come up to town from her country house, on


                        By Netta Syrett

her usual spring visit, which was always devoted to shopping and
incidental frivolities. She was at the theatre with her husband
one evening. The house was full, and between the acts she leant
forward on the red velvet cushion before her seat in the dress
circle and inspected the stalls with a view to seeing how the hair
was being worn this season, and whether the sleeves in the new
dinner-dress she had ordered were too outrageous. The buzz of
talk and the tuneful wail of the violins fell pleasantly on her ears,
as she scanned the rows of backs for a possible acquaintance.

” There’s a beautiful woman. In the second box—look,” her
husband turned to her to say, lowering his glasses. ” Do you
see ? In white—next to a good-looking fellow with a priggish nose.”

” Why, it’s Mrs. Margrave ! ” she exclaimed in surprise, after
a moment’s scrutiny. ” Yes, isn’t she lovely ? And—yes, that
wretched woman’s there too,” she added with a change of tone.

” Mrs. Margrave ? ” he repeated.

” Yes. You know, Jim. Cecily Armstrong. We dined at
the Armstrongs’ once, two or three years ago, don’t you
remember ? I thought her beautiful then. Fancy seeing her
here to-night. It must be quite two years since we met her. I
wonder if she would recognise me ? ”

“She married that fellow, then? I had some idea it was
all off? ”

” So it was for a time. There was some mysterious fuss, don’t
you remember ? But Mrs. Armstrong worked it. Cecily always
did what she was told. I don’t believe the poor child was even
consulted. Look ! ” she broke off to exclaim indignantly.
” He isn’t paying her the smallest attention. He talks all the
time to that horrid Miss Verrol. I always disliked her.”

Mrs. Margrave was leaning back listlessly in her chair. Her


                        A Correspondence

fan lay upon her lap. She was apparently gazing straight before
her, though her masses of rippling hair partly concealed her face
from the Yeos.

” Who is she ? “

” Why, you remember. That Miss Verrol who used to be
Cecily’s companion.”

” I thought she went to America, or New Zealand, or some
-where ?”

“So she did, but Lady Fairfield had to come home when her
father died, you know, and she brought Miss Verrol with her.
I believe she’s living in town with them now as governess, or
secretary, or something ; but she’s always at the Margraves’, I
hear.” Mrs. Yeo gave vent to an untranslatable little exclamation
of disgust.

” But why ? ” asked her husband. He alluded to the ejacu-

” My dear Jim ! Can’t you see ? Look at them ! ”

The lights were lowered at the moment, and the curtain rose on
the last act.

When it was over, and Mrs. Yeo had collected her wraps, she
turned to glance once more at the Margraves’ box, but it was

Down in the brightly lighted vestibule, however, when at length
they reached it, she saw Cecily again.

She was standing a little out of the crush, beside one of the
great doors. Her husband was wrapping a white cloak round
Miss Verrol. She said something to him, with an upward glance
as he did so, and they both laughed. Cecily, who stood patiently
waiting at her side, shivered a little at the moment, yet Mrs. Yeo
fancied she did not feel the cold. As she passed her in the door-
way, their eyes met.


                        By Netta Syrett

For a moment there was no recognition in the long wistful
gaze which Cecily unconsciously fixed upon her ; then, all at
once, she bent her head and smiled.

The crowd swept them apart, and in a few minutes Mrs. Yeo
was being whirled towards the Métropole in a hansom.

” You’re very quiet,” her husband remarked presently. ” Didn’t
you enjoy the play ? ”

She put her hand on his, impulsively, and, as she turned to him,
he saw there were tears in her eyes.

” You didn’t notice her face, Jim, as we passed ? I did. I
shall never forget it. Poor girl ! Poor child ! ”

Two Pictures

 I. Blue Hills Mine
II. Charcoal Study

Under Grey Skies

By S. Cornish Watkins

UNDER grey skies we stood that night,
    We two, and saw, below us there,
The city twinkling light on light.
    Behind, the long road glimmered bare
‘Twixt shadowy hedges, faint and white,
    And heavy hung the silent air.

Dimly I saw the fair pale face
    Uplifted, like a slender flower
In some forgotten garden-place,
    That, at the solemn twilight hour,
Through leaves that cross and interlace,
    Craves from the night her dewy dower.

And all my heart went out to thine,
    And the lips trembled, as to show
The fire of love that might not shine ;
    For, through the glamour and the glow,
I felt the clear eyes turned on mine,
    That knew not love, and could not know.


                        180 Under Grey Skies

Under grey skies I stand again,
    And far beneath me, down the hill,
The gas-lamps glimmer through the rain.
    As it was then, the night is chill,
And no one knows the secret pain
    That holds the sad heart lonely still.

Two Hours : Two Women

By Susan Christian

BETWEEN the Cotswold hills and the Severn river lies a widely-
spreading town, with innumerable church spires rising from
the midst of its glistening rows of white stucco villas and unimposing
terraces. The more ” fashionable ” parts of this town are, in
August, a great opportunity for the study of window-blinds, for
at the end of July one house after another looks down on an
agitation of departure in front of its door, and then seems with
fatigued relief to drop its faded eyelids and bask tranquilly in the
hot silence. In a month or six weeks time its pleasurable torpor
will be rudely disturbed by rattling brooms and buckets, and then,
with its stair carpets in new creases and its window-boxes run to
seed, it will stand ready to endure for another spell the life that
will presently pour back into it.

Number 50, however, was not entirely deserted ; it was com-
pletely noiseless, but the front door was open and the gas was
alight in the dining-room. On the stairs, at the top of the second
landing, there was sitting in the dusk a very tiny boy in his night-
shirt ; his small arms were clasped tightly round his spare knees,
and his little outstretched ears had the funny aspect of being
” cocked ” like those of a terrier ; he was tensely listening to the
profound stillness.

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. L


                        182 Two Hours : Two Women
He had tossed about in his bed, and then left it, for it was too
hot to go to sleep. He had no idea the house was so tall as it
seemed to-night ; the downward aspect from the very top landing
was abysmal. He crept down ; and down again a little further ;
no stair-board creaked beneath his elfin footfall.

A rudimentary spirit of adventure which attended his setting-
out had been quenched ; he called a halt ; he was certainly a little
frightened. Poking his head through the bannisters, he could see
in the passage below a streak of light, which lay across it from
the dining-room door ajar ; but there was no sound. Intangible
fears rocked his diminutive soul, his nervous fingers were tightly
interlaced, he was heroically nerving himself to meet calamity.

It was a long, long time ; but at last there came the noise of
chair legs scraping over a Brussels carpet.

His grown-up sister, then, was still alive, and presumably safe,
for presently there floated up to him, a little out of tune, a few
bars of a then fashionable song.

He moved down another flight of stairs, with an apprehension
that she perhaps was feeling solitary. She had begun to work the
sewing-machine, and its dull whirling, which seems always laden
with the weariness of a thousand women’s lives, was a harsh
accompaniment to his tragic thoughts.

A little dread was mixed with his admiration for his grown-up
sister. She was so upright and trim, the colour in her cheeks was
clear and bright, and there was a dimple in her chin ; but her grey
eyes always smiled above and beyond, and not at him, and this
never quite compensated for her indulgence at teatime, when she
would sometimes only laugh when she saw him surreptitiously
eating the forbidden combination of butter and jam. Even in
after-life he only partially realised what an entire sacrifice his
sister’s life had been to him and to his elder brothers. If the


                        By Susan Christian 183
slender education and narrow opportunities of small means,
inevitably, as years went on, contracted her mind to a degree
woefully incomprehensible to the brothers for whom she had thus
helped to make a wider life possible, we may be consoled to think
that she could successfully, for her part, bridge over the chasm
which lay between them by cheerful pride in their success. A
certain brisk cheerfulness was certainly the pivot of her life ; there
was neither self-consciousness nor wistfulness about her immola-
tion. She bent now as spiritedly over the machine as in the
morning hours, not sensitive to the incongruity of her employ-
ment with the magic of the summer twilight.

Alas ! she was not sensitive. She never quite understood. It
was one of the impossibilities of existence that any spiritual
suspicion should acquaint her of the little figure outside on the
stairs in the dark, with slow tears creeping down his cheeks.

For he was silently crying.

He was so very, very lonely, and there was no one in the world
who would come to him.

In future years a very strong sense of the ridiculous could never
make him smile at the remembrance of that hour, for he recog-
nised that, as he had at length gulped back his childish tears into
his aching throat, and sat on immovably in the gathering dark-
ness, he had there, timorously, but for evermore, set his feet in the
path that alone leads beyond sorrow ; the path— how shall we call
it ? —of accepted loneliness of soul.

It was not long ago that, after an interval of many years, he
walked once again through those streets, and past his childhood’s
home in the tall terrace. It must have been preconcerted that
there should be standing on the very steps just such another tiny
boy as he himself had once been, in the immaculately clean collar


                        184 Two Hours: Two Women
and red-and-white hat ribbon of the well-known school, which,
though it has long changed hands, still retains these distinguishing
marks. He passed by with a smile to visit other haunts, and it is
improbable that any one noticed him. He is a small man, as he
had been a small boy, and it must be confessed that his neckties
are not as piquant as they should be, and that he has no right feel-
ing on the question of boots. An insignificant figure perhaps,
but a face with a loveliness of its own, insensibly bringing back
some far, faint, fair sensation, as the clear singing of birds at dawn
in the stunted trees which border the silent streets of a great city.

It is impossible to trace the causes which have given him,
without any very obvious genius on his part, the position he holds
in the world of to-day ; where his friends sometimes realise that
he is more to them than they can ever be to him.

He possesses one of those old-world houses in James Street,
Buckingham Gate, which look over the end of Wellington
Barracks Square towards the Mall and the Green Park. It was
late in an afternoon towards the end of July, and there were
several people in the little drawing-rooms with their modelled
plaster ceilings. A very young girl in a crisp muslin dress stood
at a window in the front room, looking down on a number of
Guardsmen playing cricket beyond the tall iron railings and the
row of dusty plane-trees. There was an undulation of bonnets
and low-pitched voices behind her, and at a piano in the inner-
most room, which was much darker, and where conversation had
stilled, there sat a young man, reciting with unrivalled art :

    “Dear as remember’d kisses after death,
    And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feign’d
    On lips that are for others ; .deep as love,
    Deep as first love, and wild with all regret ;
    O death in life, the days that are no more . . . .”


                        By Susan Christian 185
and, adding to the pathos of the words, music which alone seemed
as if it must light up the flame of romance in cold or old burnt-
out hearts, but which roused no appreciable emotion only a little
tepid applause.

People were beginning to go away, and well-known men and
women passed down the twisted oak staircase. The fragile-look-
ing young man who had recited remained to the last, and, talking
with him, a slender woman, whose dark auburn hair was just
slightly turning grey. Her host went with her downstairs, and
across the pavement to her carriage.

” When do you leave town ? ” he said. ” You are looking com-
pletely done up.”

” Ah, well, it will be soon,” she answered. ” And you ? “

“I shall turn up again with the swallows.”

It was characteristic of him that he never directly answered
questions about himself.

They were holding one another’s hands above the closed door
of the tall barouche. The sunset, which was making splendid the
tree-tops in the Green Park, illumined for them each other’s pale
face. It was the highest tribute that was ever paid him, that she,
a very proud woman, did not mind that he should know she had
always loved him.

They had built between each other with respectful hands a
wall of silence, across which her eyes had long learnt not to
wander, but he saw to-night once more in the brown depths which
it was the vogue to call ” cold,” the gleam of bitter emotion.

He quietly withdrew his hand, and for the first time in their
long acquaintanceship she felt for him a slight contempt.

It was an ironical moment.

She wished him to know that in quite a short time she was to
die, and that this was truly a last good-bye.

                                                A bugle

                        186 Two Hours: Two Women
A bugle was sounding at the other end of the barrack square ;
people passed along the pavement where the tall footman stood
immovable ; the innumerable windows in the row of houses
gazed down unblinkingly. It all seemed to her so detached, so far
away, unreal ; and he the greatest unreality.

She did not look at him again, but signalled to the footman, and
bent her head as the horses sprang forward. She was not to be
unenvied. Her last disappointment on earth was over as she went
swiftly up the Buckingham Palace Road.

For himself, he returned to his dishevelled rooms, and, teased
by some vague half-misgiving, stood a few moments beside the
open piano, tapping gently with his fingers on the mirror-like
wood before sitting down to play.

Ah ! the inexplicable incapacities or the human soul !

Yet here, under his moving hands, was music—such music ;
perfect expression of immortal pain, immortal love.


By Percy R. Craft

Sic tu recoli merearis !

By A. C. Benson

O SOUL, my soul, before thou com’st to die,
    Set one deep mark upon the face of time,
    Let one absorbing laughter, one grave rhyme
Ring in the heedless wind that hurries by.

Yon smooth-limbed beech, that hangs upon the slope
    With branching spray, with firm and shapely arm,
    Hath, could’st thou write it, a bewildering charm
Would gild thy name beyond thy utmost hope !

O soul, my soul, be true, laborious, just,—
    And some chance word, some penetrating smile,
    Flashed with no purpose, no impulsive aim,
Shall live, and breed strong thoughts, when thou art dust ;
    And mount, and gather strength, and roll in flame
Beyond the utmost Orient’s utmost isle !

The Iniquity of Oblivion

A MAN I know is fond of asking the irritating question—and
in putting it he regards neither age nor sex, neither ancient
friendship nor the rawest nodding acquaintance—” Did you ever
forget an invitation to dinner ? ”

Of course the denial is prompt, passionate, and invariable.
There are few crimes of which one would not rather be accused
than this. He who cannot summon up the faintest blush at the
recollection of having once said ” Season,” when no money had
passed between him and the Railway Company whose guest he
was for the moment—of having under-stated his income for
purposes of taxation—or of having told his wife he was going
to church, and then furtively picked up a fishing-rod as he passed
through the hall—will colour angrily at the most innocent sugges-
tion of a single possible lapse of memory regarding an invitation
to dinner. But, none the less, every one finds it a little difficult
to meet the natural rejoinder : ” How do you know ? ”

Indeed, no other reply but painful silence is possible. To say,
” Because I do,” is natural enough, and frequently quite conclusive
of further argument ; still, it can hardly be called a reasoned
refutation. The fact is, you don’t know, and you cannot know.
Your conviction that you do is based, first, on some sort of idea


                        By Kenneth Grahame 193

that you are bound to recollect, sooner or later, anything that you
may have forgotten : an argument that only requires to be stated
to display its fallacy ; secondly, on a vague belief that a defection
of so flagrant a character must inevitably be brought home to you
by an incensed host or hostess—a theory that makes no allowance
for the blissful sense of injury and offended pride, the joy of brood-
ing over a wrong, which is one of the chief pleasures left to
humanity. No : one doesn’t know, and one can’t know : and the
past career of the most self-satisfied of us is doubtless littered with
the debris of forgotten invitations.

Of course invitations, being but a small part of life, and not—
as some would imply by their practice—its chief end, must be
taken to stand here for much besides. One has only to think of
the appalling amount of book-lore one has ” crammed ” in days
gone by, and of the pitiful fragments that survive, to realise that
facts, deeds, achievements, experiences numberless, may just as
well have been hurried along the dusty track to oblivion. And
once it has been fairly brought home to us that we have entirely
forgotten any one thing—why, the gate is open. It is clear we
may just as easily have forgotten hundreds.

This lamentable position of things was specially forced upon
me, some time ago, by a certain persistent dream that used to
wing its way to my bedside, not once or twice, but coming a
dozen times, and always (I felt sure at the time) from out the
Ivory Portal. First, there would be a sense of snugness, of
cushioned comfort, of home-coming. Next, a gradual awakening
to consciousness in a certain little room, very dear and familiar,
sequestered in some corner of the more populous and roaring part
of London : solitary, the world walled out, but full of a brooding
sense of peace and of possession. At times I would make my way
there, unerringly, through the wet and windy streets, climb the


                        194 The Iniquity of Oblivion

well-known staircase, open the ever-welcoming door. More often
I was there already, ensconced in the most comfortable chair in
the world, the lamp lit, the fire glowing ruddily. But always the
same feeling of a home-coming, of the world shut out, of the
ideal encasement. On the shelves were a few books— a very few
—but just the editions I had sighed for, the editions which refuse
to turn up, or which poverty glowers at on alien shelves. On the
walls were a print or two, a woodcut, an etching—not many.
Old loves, all of them, apparitions that had flashed across the field
of view in sale-rooms and vanished again in a blaze of three
figures ; but never possessed—until now. All was modest—O, so
very modest ! But all was my very own, and, what was more,
everything in that room was exactly right.

After three or four visits, the uncanniness of the repetition set
me thinking. Could it possibly be, that this was no dream at
all ? Had this chamber, perhaps, a real existence, and was I all the
time leading, somewhere, another life—a life within a life—a life
that I constantly forgot, within the life that I happened to
remember ? I tried my best to bring the thing to absolute proof.
First, there was that frequent sense of extreme physical weariness
with which I was wont to confront the inevitable up-rising of the
morning—might not that afford a clue ? Alas, no : I traced my
mornings back, far behind the beginnings of the dream. I could
not remember a day, since those rare white ones at school when
it was a whole holiday, and summer was boon and young, when I
had faced the problem of getting up with anything but a full
sense of disgust. Next I thought, I will consult my accounts.
Rooms must be paid for in London, however modest they may be ;
and the blessed figures can’t lie. Then I recollected that I did
not keep any accounts—never had kept any accounts—never in-
tended to keep any beastly accounts—and, on the whole, I confess

                                                I was

                        By Kenneth Grahame 195

I was rather glad. Statistics would have been a mean prosaic way
of plucking out the heart of this mystery. My only chance
seemed to lie in coming across the place by accident. Then
perhaps the extinguished torch would re-kindle, the darkened garret
of memory would be re-illumed, and it would be in my power at
last to handle those rare editions, not capriciously as now, but at
any hour I pleased. So I haunted Gray’s Inn, Staple Inn,
Clifford’s Inn ; hung about by-streets in Bloomsbury, even back-
waters in Chelsea ; but all to no result. It waits, that sequestered
chamber, it waits for the serene moment when the brain is in just
the apt condition, and ready to switch on the other memory even
as one switches on the electric light with a turn of the wrist.
Fantasy ? well— perhaps. But the worst of it is, one never can feel
quite sure. Only a dream, of course. And yet—the enchanting
possibility !

And this possibility, which (one feels convinced) the
wilful brain could make reality in a moment if it were only
in the right humour, might be easily brought about by some
accidental physical cause, some touch, scent, sound, gifted with
the magic power of recall. Could my ringers but pass over the
smooth surface of those oak balustrades so familiar to me, in a trice
I would stand at the enchanted door. Could I even see in some
casual shop-window one of those prints my other existence hoards
so safe and sure—but that is unlikely indeed. Those prints of
the dim land of dreams, ” they never are sold in the merchant’s
mart ! ” Still, if one were only to turn up, in twopenny box or
dusty portfolio, down in Southwark, off the roaring Strand, or
somewhere along the quaint unclassified Brompton Road, in a
flash the darkness would be day, the crooked would be made
straight, and no policeman would be called upon to point out the
joyous way.


                        The Iniquity of Oblivion 196

If I have special faith in this sort of divining-rod, it is because
of a certain strange case I once encountered and never quite
elucidated. There was a certain man, respectable enough in
every particular ; wore drab spats all the year round, lived in a
suburb, and did daily business on the ” Baltic.” When the
weather was fine, and a halcyon calm brooded o’er the surface of
the Baltic, instead of taking his suburban train at Cannon Street,
he used to walk as far as Charing Cross : and before departing, if
time allowed, he would turn into the National Gallery. Of a
catholic mind, for he had never strayed down the tortuous byways
of Art, he only went in to be amused, and was prepared to take
his entertainment from all schools alike, without any of the
narrow preferences of the cultured. From the very first, how-
ever, the Early Tuscans gripped him with a strange fascination,
so that he rarely penetrated any further. What it was precisely
that so detained him could never be ascertained. The man was
not apt in the expression of subtle emotion, and never succeeded
in defining the strong ” possession “—for such it seemed to be—
by which he was caught and held. The next phase in the case
was, that he took to disappearing. He disappeared literally and
absolutely—sometimes for a few days, sometimes for a fortnight
or more ; and on his return could tell nothing, explain nothing.
Indeed, he did not seem to be really conscious of any absence. It
was noted in time that his disappearances always coincided with
his visits to the National Gallery. Thither he could be tracked ;
there all trace of him would cease. His female relations—an
unimaginative, uneducated crew—surmised the unkindest things
in their narrow way. Still, even they found it difficult to fling a
stone at the Early Tuscans. For myself, I like to think that
there was some bit of another life hidden away in him—some
tranced memory of another far-away existence on Apennine slopes


                        By Kenneth Grahame 197

—which some quality in these pictures, and in these alone, had
power to evoke. And I love to think that, transformed by
this magic touch back into the other man of him, he passed,
dream-possessed, forth from the portico, through Trafalgar Square,
and into Charing Cross Station. That there, oblivious of all
suburbs, he purchased one of those little books of coupons so
much more romantic than your vulgar inland slip of pasteboard,
and in due course sped Southwards—irresistibly drawn,—took the
Alps in a series of whorls, burrowings, and breathless flights o’er
torrent and fall—till he basked at last, still speeding South, in
the full sunlight that steeps the Lombard plain. Arrived in time,
where his destiny (which was also his past) awaited him, I could
see him, avoiding clamour of piazza, shunning prim airlessness of
Galleria and Accademia, climbing the white road to where, in some
little village or red-tiled convent, lurked the creation, madonna or
saint, that held the other end of the subtle thread. The boy-
lover, had he been, of this prim-tressed model ? Or the St.
George or homely St. Roch who guarded her ? Or himself
the very painter ? Whatever the bond, here I could imagine him to
linger, steeping his soul in the picture and in the surroundings so
native both to it and to the man whose life for a brief minute he
lived again, till such time as that sullen devil within him—the
later memory of the man he also was— began to stir drowsily and
to urge him homewards, even as the other had urged him out.
Once back, old sights and sounds would develop the later man
into full being and consciousness, and as before he would tread
the floor of the Baltic, while oblivion swallowed the Tuscan
existence—until the next time !

These instances, it is true, are but “sports” in oblivion-lore.
But, putting aside such puzzle-fragments of memory, it is im-
possible not to realise, in sad seriousness, that of all our recollection


                        198 The Iniquity of Oblivion

has once held, by far the larger part must be by this time in the
realm of the forgot ; and that every day some fresh delightful
little entity pales, sickens, and passes over to the majority. Sir
Thomas Browne has quaintly written concerning the first days of
the young world, ” when the living might exceed the dead, and to
depart this world could not be properly said, to go unto the
greater number”; but in these days of crowded thought, of the
mind cultured and sensitised to receive such a swarm of impres-
sions, no memory that sighs its life out but joins a host far exceed-
ing what it leaves behind. ‘Tis but a scanty wallet that each of
us carries at his back. Few, indeed, and of a sorry mintage,
the thin coins that jingle therein. Our gold, lightly won, has been
as lightly scattered, along waysides left far behind. Oblivion,
slowly but surely stalking us, gathers it with a full arm, and
on the floor of his vast treasure-house stacks it in shining piles.

And if it is the larger part that has passed from us, why not
also the better part ? Indeed, logic almost requires it ; for to
select and eliminate, to hold fast and let go at will, is not given to
us. As we jog along life’s highroad, the knowledge of this
inability dogs each conscious enjoyment, till with every pleasant
experience comes also the annoying reflection, that it is a sheer
toss-up whether this is going to be a gain, a solid profit to carry
along with us, or fairy gold that shall turn to dust and nothing-
ness in a few short mornings at best. As we realise our helpless-
ness in the matter, we are almost ready to stamp and to swear.
Will no one discover the chemical which shall fix the fleeting
hue ? That other recollection, now—that humiliating, that dis-
gusting experience often years ago—that is safe enough, permanent,
indestructible, warranted not to fade. If in this rag-fair we were
only allowed to exchange and barter, to pick and choose !
Oblivion, looking on, smiles grimly. It is he that shall select,


                        By Kenneth Grahame 199

not we ; our part is but to look on helplessly, while—though he
may condescend to leave us a pearl or two—the bulk of our jewels
is swept into his pocket.

One hope alone remains to us, by way of consolation. These
memories whose passing we lament, they are torpid only, not
dead. They lie in a charmed sleep, whence a chance may awaken
them, a touch make the dry bones live ; though at present we
know not the waking spell. Like Arthur, they have not
perished, but only passed, and like him they may come again
from the Avalon where they slumber. The chance is small,
indeed. But the Merlin who controls these particular brain-cells,
fitful and capricious though he be, after the manner of magicians,
has powers to which we dare not assign limits. At any moment
the stop may be pulled out, the switch pressed, the key turned,
the Princess kissed. Then shall the spell-bound spring to life, the
floodgates rise, the baked arid canals gleam with the silver tide ;
and once more we shall be fulfilled of the old joys, the old thrills,
the old tears and laughter.

Better still—perhaps best of all—as those joyous old memories,
hale and fresh once more, troop out of the catacombs into the
light, these insistent ones of the present, this sullen host that be-
leaguers us day and night with such threatening obsession, may
vanish, may pass, may flee away utterly, gone in their turn to
lodge with Oblivion—and a good riddance !

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. M


By John Crooke

The Poet’s Picture

THE pent-up passion of her soul
    Deepens the pallor of her face,
Against her throbbing heart the whole
    Wide sorrow of the world finds place,
    And deep compassion and love’s grace.

The forehead ‘neath the cloudy hair
    Is like a child’s—so pure and white—
Sweet words have curved the rose-lips fair—
    And in the wistful eyes a flight
    Of fluctuant dreams pass, day and night.

Frail girl in whom God’s glories meet,
    Why was she so divinely made ?
Surely the angels, when complete
    Her radiant spirit stood arrayed
    In such fair flesh, felt half afraid !


                        204 The Poet’s Picture

The dust of earthly days and years
    Scarce dims her delicate loveliness—
Only the eyelids, tired of tears,
    Droop low—their flower-like pallidness
    Bruised faintly by pain’s bitterness.

Only her hands, like ivory,
    Are stained a little by the sun,
And roughed with constant use—for she
    Is careless of their beauty won
    From dawn of life so easily.

Alas ! that her slim feet should tread
    The world’s uneven stony ways !
That she should know dull cares and dread—
    Long lonely nights and sordid days,
    Being so fashioned for love’s praise.

Lest she should sin or faint from fear,
    Let one swift angel heed my prayer,
And straight descending to this sphere
    Spread wide wings o’er her everywhere,—
    Lest she should fall—who is so dear !

Charcoal Study

By John da Costa

Stories Toto Told Me

I—About San Pietro and San Paolo

ONCE upon a time, sir, the people in Rome were building two
churches, the one for San Pietro on the Monte Vaticano,
and the other for San Paolo outside the walls of the city. The
two Saints used to spend all their spare time sitting on one of the
balconies of heaven and watching the builders, for they were both
very anxious about their churches. San Pietro desired to have his
church finished before San Paolo’s, and so, every night after it was
dark, he used to leave the keys of heaven in the porch, and ask his
brother, Sant’ Andrea, to give an eye to the gate while he went
round the corner for a minute or two. Then he would slip down
to San Paolo’s church and take to pieces the work which the
builders had done during the day, and if there were any carvings
or pillars or things of that sort which took his fancy, he would
carry them away and build them into his own church, patching up
the part he had taken them from so well that no one could tell
the difference. And so, while the builders of the church of San
Pietro made a progress which was wonderful, the builders of the
church of San Paolo did not make any progress at all.

This went on for a long while, and San Paolo became more


                        210 Stories Toto Told Me
uneasy in his mind every day, and he could not take his food, and
nothing gave him any pleasure. Santa Cecilia tried to amuse him
with some new songs she had made, but this caused him to get
quite angry, and he said that a woman ought to learn in silence
with subjection.

One day while he was leaning over the balcony, he saw two
pillars taken into his church which were of yellow antique, most
rare and precious, and had been sent from some foreign country
(I do not know its name). He was altogether delighted, and he
went down to the gate and asked San Pietro to be so kind as to tell
him whether he had ever seen finer pillars. But San Pietro only
said they were rather pretty, and then he asked San Paolo to get
out of the way and let him shut the gate, in case some improper
souls should sneak in.

That night, sir, when it was dark, San Pietro went and robbed
those two pillars of yellow antique, and set them up in his own
church. But in the morning, San Paolo, who had thought of
nothing but his new pillars all through the night, said a black
mass because it was shorter, and then went on to the balcony to
have the pleasure of looking at his church with its beautiful
pillars of yellow antique. And when he saw that they were not
there he became disturbed in his mind, and he went and sat down
in a shady place to consider what he should do next. After much
thought it appeared to him that he had been robbed, and as he
knew that a person who has once committed a theft will continue
to steal as long as he remains free, he resolved to watch his church
at night, that he might discover who had stolen his pillars.

During the day the builders of San Paolo’s church put up two
fresh pillars of yellow antique, and two of porphyry, and two of
green antique as well. San Paolo gloated over these fine things
from his seat on the balcony, for he knew that they were so beau-


                        By Baron Corvo 211
tiful that they would tempt the thief to make another raid, and
then he would catch him.

After the Ave Maria he made friends with one of the angels who
was just putting on his armour in the guard-room before taking
his place in the line of sentries who encircle the city of God both
by day and night. These angels, sir, are at the least a hundred
feet high, and San Paolo asked one of them, whose post was near
the gate, to hide him under his wings so that he could watch for
the robber without being seen. The angel said that he was most
happy to oblige ; for San Paolo was a Roman of Rome, and very
well thought of in heaven ; so when the night came on San Paolo
hid in the shadow of his feathers.

Presently he saw San Pietro go out of the gate, and the light, of
which the bodies of the saints are made, went with him, so that,
though the earth was in darkness, San Paolo could see plainly all
that he did. And he picked up the two fresh pillars of yellow
antique, and the two of red porphyry, and also the two of green
antique in his hand, just as you, sir, would pick up six paint-
brushes, and he carried them to his own church on the Monte
Vaticano and set them up there. And when he had patched up
the place from which he had taken the pillars so that they could
not be missed, he came back into heaven.

San Paolo met him at the gate and accused him of thieving, but
San Pietro answered blusteringly that he was the Prince of the
Apostles, and that he had a right to all the best pillars for his
church. San Paolo replied that once before he had had occasion
to withstand San Pietro to the face because he was to be blamed
(and that was at Antioch, sir), and then high words arose, and
the two saints quarrelled so loudly that the Padre Eterno, sitting
upon His Sapphire Throne, sent San Michele Arcangiolo to bring
the disputants into His Presence.


                        212 Stories Toto Told Me
Then San Paolo said :

“O Maesta Onnipotente,—The citizens of Rome are build-
ing two churches, the one for me and the other for San Pietro;
and for some time I have noticed that while the builders of my
church do not seem to make any progress with their work, the
church of San Pietro is nearly finished. The day before yester-
day (and to-day is Saturday) two pillars of yellow antique were
set up in my church, most beautiful pillars, Maesta, but some-
body stole them away during the night. And yesterday six
pillars were set up, two of yellow antique, two of green antique,
and two of porphyry. To-night I watched to see if they would
be stolen, and I have seen San Pietro go down and take them to
his own church on the Monte Vaticano.”

Then the Padre Eterno turned to San Pietro, asking him if he
had anything to say.

And San Pietro answered :

” Domeniddio, I have long ago learnt the lesson that it is
not well to deny that which your Omniscience knows to be
true, and I acknowledge that I have taken the pillars, and many
other things too, from the church of San Paolo, and have set
them up in my own. Nevertheless, I desire to represent that
there is no question of robbery here. Altissimo, you have deigned
to make me the Prince of the Apostolic College, the Keeper of
the Keys of Heaven, and the Head of Your Church on earth,
and it is not fitting that the churches which men build in my
honour should be less magnificent than those which they build
for San Paolo. Therefore, in taking these pillars that San Paolo
makes such a ridiculous fuss about, I am simply within my right
—a right which belongs to the dignity of the rank which the
immortal splendour of your Majesty has been graciously pleased
to confer upon me.”


                        By Baron Corvo 213
But this defence did not content the Padre Eterno. He said
that the secret method on which San Pietro worked was a proof
that he knew he was doing what he ought not to do, and further,
that it was not fair to the men who were building San Paolo’s
church to take away the fine things for which they spent their
money for the honour of San Paolo. So he cautioned San Pietro
not to allow it to occur again.

On the next day there was a festa and the builders did not
work, but on the Monday they placed in the church of San Paolo
several slabs of lapis lazuli and malachite, and during the night
San Pietro, who was the most bold and daring of men, had the
hardihood to take them away and put them in his own church,
right before the very eyes of San Paolo, who stood at the gate
watching him. By the time he returned San Paolo had made a
complaint before the Padre Eterno, and San Pietro was most
severely spoken to, and warned that, if he persisted in his disobe-
dience, not even his exalted rank and general usefulness and good
conduct would save him from punishment.

The following day, which was Tuesday, a marvellous balda-
chino of jasper and violet marble, which was the gift of the Grand
Turk, was put up in the church of San Paolo, and at night San
Pietro went down as usual and robbed it. For the third time
San Paolo complained to the Padre Eterno, and then all the
Court of Heaven was summoned into the Presence
to hear judgment pronounced.

The Padre Eterno said—and His Voice, sir, was like rolling
thunder—that as San Pietro had been guilty of disobedience to the
Divine Decree, in that, urged on by vanity, he had taken the
property of San Paolo for his own church on the Monte Vaticano,
and by so doing had prevented the church of San Paolo from
being finished, it was an Order that until the end of time the


                        214 Stories Toto Told Me
great church of San Pietro in Rome should never be completed.
The Padre Eterno also added, that as He would give no en-
couragement to sneaks and tell-tale-tits, the church of San Paolo
outside the walls, though finished, should be subjected to destruc-
tion and demolition, and, as often as it was rebuilt, so often should
it be destroyed.

And you know, sir, that San Paolo’s church is always being
burnt down or blown up, and that San Pietro’s church has never
left the builders’ hands.

II—About the Lilies of San Luigi

You know, sir, that San Sebastiano and San Pancrazio were
always very friendly together. While they lived in this
world they used to get into mischief in each other’s company,
for they were extremely fond of playing tricks upon the pagans
who were putting the Christians to death.

Then, when their turn came, they gladly suffered martyrdom,
and San Pancrazio was killed by a wild beast in the Colosseo in
Rome, while San Sebastiano was shot as full of arrows as a hedge-
hog is of prickles, and when that did not kill him he was beaten
with a club until he died. And then they both went to live in
heaven for ever and the day after.

Now, I must tell you what they look like, so that you may
know them when you see them. First of all, you must under-
stand that the saints in heaven are always young ; that is to say,
if you are old when your life in this world comes to its end, you
just shut your eyes while your angel takes you to heaven, and
when you open them the next minute you are there, and you


                        By Baron Corvo 215
have gone back to the prime of your life, and so you are for
always ; but if you die while you are young you do not change
your age, but remain at the age at which you died. That is, if
you die a saint, or a martyr, which is better ; and, of course, you
can always do that if you like. And even supposing it is good
for you to have a little purgatory first, if you have kept good
friends with the Madonna she will go and take you out the
Saturday after you have died, and then you can go to heaven.

And your body, too, is changed, so that you cannot have any
more pains or illnesses. Oh, yes ; it is made of flesh, just the
same to look at as this ; but instead of the flesh being made of
the dust of the earth it is made of the Fire of God, and that is
why wherever the saints go they are all bright like the stars.

Ah, well, San Sebastiano was eighteen years old when he went
to heaven, and so he is always eighteen years old ; and San
Pancrazio was fourteen, and so he is always fourteen ; and they
are quite as cheerful and daring and mischievous as they were in
this world, so that when a joke has been played upon any of the
saints they always say, ” By Bacchus, there are those boys

There are, of course, very many boys in heaven, but now I am
only telling you of these two—San Sebastiano and San Pancrazio,
and the third, whose name is San Luigi, and the angel of San
Sebastiano, who is called Iriello.

You must know that San Luigi was altogether different to San
Sebastiano and San Pancrazio. Of course he had not been a
martyr like them, though he is a very great saint indeed, and I
suppose it is because he has only been in heaven a little while and
is new to the place that his manners are so stiff. He always goes
about with his eyes on the ground, you know, and there is not a
bit of fun in him. You see, he was a Jesuit, and there were no


                        216 Stories Toto Told Me
such things in the world for hundreds of years after San Sebastiano
and San Pancrazio had been saints in heaven. When he first
came, San Sebastiano and San Pancrazio thought there was another
boy like themselves to join in their games, and they were quite
eager to make his acquaintance and to give him a welcome. So
the moment the choir struck up the ” Iste Confessor,” they
rushed down to the gate to offer him their friendship. San Luigi
came slowly through the archway, dressed in a cassock and surplice,
carrying a lily in his hand, and his eyes were fixed upon the
ground ; but when San Sebastiano and San Pancrazio, with their
arms locked together, said how pleased they were to see him,
he looked up at them shyly and said, “Many thanks,” and then
the appearance of San Sebastiano so shocked him that he blushed
deeply and veiled his eyes again, and after that he kept out of
their way as much as possible.

You see, sir, San Sebastiano was quite naked. Indeed he had
nothing about him but his halo and an arrow; for when the
pagans made a target of him they stripped off all his clothes and
so he came to heaven like that. You can see his picture in the
Duomo whenever you choose, if you do not believe me.
But he was so beautiful and muscular, and straight and strong,
and his flesh so white and fine, and his hair like shining gold,
that no one had ever thought of him as naked before. San Luigi,
however, found him perfectly dreadful, and pretended to shiver
whenever he met him, which was not very often, because San
Luigi spent most of his time in the chapel saying the Little Office.

San Sebastiano did consider him slightly rude, perhaps, and, of
course, San Pancrazio agreed with his friend, and though they
were quite good-natured and unwilling to make any unpleasant-
ness, still they could not help feeling hurt when this newcomer—
and that was the worst name they ever called him—turned up his


                        By Baron Corvo 217
nose because their minds and their manners were more gay and
free than his.

One very hot afternoon in summer the two saints went to
practise their diving in a delicious pool of cool water under a
waterfall ; and when they were tired of that they lay down on the
bank and dangled their legs in the stream, while the sun was
drying their haloes.

Presently San Luigi came creeping along with an old surplice
in his hand, and he went up to San Sebastiano and offered it to
him, holding his lily up before his face all the time he was speak-
ing. San Sebastiano did not move, but lay there on the green
grass, looking at San Luigi with his merry laughing eyes, and
saying not a word ; and San Pancrazio did the same. San Luigi
repeated his offer from behind his lily, and implored San Sebastiano
to put on the surplice, just to cover up his poor legs, he said. San
Sebastiano replied that he didn’t think there was anything amiss
with his legs, which were good enough, as far as he could see,
because the Padre Eterno had made them like that, and He
always did all things well. Then San Luigi offered the surplice
to San Pancrazio, who was also naked, because he had been
bathing ; but he laughed as he answered, with many thanks, that
he had some very good clothes of his own, which he would put
on when he was dry ; and he pointed out his beautiful tunic
of white wool with a broad purple stripe down the front, and his
golden bulla, and his sandals of red leather, with the pearl crescent
on the toes, for he was noble, sir, and also a Roman of Rome.
San Luigi said that the tunic was rather short but it was better
than nothing, and then he turned to San Sebastiano and again
entreated him to put on the surplice.

Presently San Sebastiano stretched out his splendid arm from
the long grass where he lay, and grabbed the surplice so suddenly


                        218 Stories Toto Told Me
that San Luigi dropped down on his knees, aud his lily became
disarranged ; and while he was picking himself up San Sebastiano
rolled the surplice into a ball and tossed it over to San Pancrazio,
who threw it back to him ; and the two saints played ball with it
quite merrily for some minutes, and all the time San Luigi was
protesting that he had not brought it out for that purpose, and
beseeching them not to be so frivolous. But the game amused
them to such an extent that they were now running to and fro
upon the bank and taking long shots at each other. San
Sebastiano had just made a particularly clever catch, but in
returning the ball he over-balanced himself and tumbled splash
into the pool. This had a bad effect on his aim, and instead of
the ball going in the direction he intended—that is to say,
towards San Pancrazio—it flew straight in San Luigi’s face. He
was still holding up his lily for a screen, and consequently it was
crushed and broken and all the blooms destroyed ; and he seemed
so grieved at this that the two friends—for San Sebastiano
immediately swam to the side and climbed out of the pool—tried
to console him by telling him that they would get him another in
two winks of an eye.

But San Luigi said that was no good, because he always got
his lilies off his altars down in the world, and no others would suit
him ; and there were none there now because it was not his festa
till to-morrow, and nobody would offer him any lilies till then.

When they heard this San Sebastiano and San Pancrazio burst
into roars of laughter, and they made such a noise that the Padre
Eterno, who was walking in the garden in the cool of the day,
sent one of the Cherubim from His Aureola to know what it was
all about.

San Pancrazio jumped into his tunic and put his bulla round
his neck, while San Sebastiano laced his sandals for him, and then


                        By Baron Corvo 219
the two friends stood at ” Attention ! ” as the Suprema Maesta e
Grandezza came under the trees towards them. Of course, you
know, sir, that San Sebastiano was in the Emperor’s body-guard
when he lived in the world, and he had taught San Pancrazio all
the drill.

Then San Sebastiano looked boldly into the Face of the Padre
Eterno, and said:

” O Padre celeste e Domeniddio, we were laughing at Luigi
because he will not have the lilies of Paradise, and prefers the
nasty things they put upon his altars in the world.”

San Luigi got quite angry at hearing his lilies called nasty, and
the Padre Eterno said that the word certainly ought not to have
been used unless San Sebastiano had a very good reason.

Then San Pancrazio explained that he was sure San Sebastiano
did not mean to make any reflection upon the lilies themselves,
because it would not be becoming to speak against the handiwork
of the Padre Eterno; but it was because the people who offered
the lilies to San Luigi did not come by them in an honourable
manner, that he had said they were nasty ; and San Sebastiano
nodded his head and said that was just it.

These words made San Luigi still more angry ; and his wrath
was so righteous and unaffected that San Sebastiano saw he was in
ignorance of the dirty tricks of his clients, so he said that if
l’Altissima Maesta would deign to allow them, he and San Pan-
crazio would show San Luigi where his lilies came from. The
Padre Eterno was graciously pleased to grant permission, and
passed on His way, for He knew that San Sebastiano was a boy
whom you could trust anywhere.

Then San Sebastiano told San Luigi that if he could put up
with the company of San Pancrazio he proposed they should make
a little gita into the world that very night, because, as the next

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. N


                        220 Stories Toto Told Me
day was his festa, all the boys would be getting lilies for his
altars ; and in the meantime he invited him to come and look over
the ramparts.

So the three saints went and stood upon the wall of gold ; and
beneath their feet they could see the world whirling round in
space. San Sebastiano pointed out that by midnight they would
be just above a little white town which clustered up the side of a
distant mountain. He said that it was called Genzano, and that
the Prince Francesco Sforza Cesarini had there a palace with the
most beautiful gardens in the world, which were sure to be full of
lilies at that time of year.

San Luigi made answer that he would like to say his matin
and lauds, and to get his meditation ready for the morning, before
they started ; and he agreed to meet San Sebastiano and San
Pancrazio at a little before midnight.

You know, sir, that there is no night in heaven, or rather, I
should say, that it does not get dark there ; and so, when San Luigi
came to look for San Sebastiano and San Pancrazio, he found them
in the orchard near the gate, turning a skipping-rope for Sant’
Agnese and some of her friends ; but San Vito and San Venanzio,
who were tired of playing morra, were willing to take their places
at the rope ; and then they were all ready to start on their journey.

San Sebastiano called his angel, Iriello and told him where he
wanted to go.

I ought to have let you know that the appearance of Iriello
was exactly like that of San Sebastiano, only he did not carry an
arrow, and he had wings growing out of his arms of the same
colour as his body, but getting whiter towards the tips of the
feathers. And then, of course, he was as big as a giant, like all
the other angels—how many yards high I cannot say, because I
do not exactly know.


                        By Baron Corvo 221
The three saints mounted him in this manner:

San Pancrazio stood on his left instep and put one arm round
his leg to steady himself, and San Sebastiano stood on his right
instep and put one arm round his leg to steady himself too ; San
Luigi also stood on the right instep of Iriello, close to San
Sebastiano, who clasped him round the waist with his other arm.
When they were ready the angel, with a downward swoop of his
wings, rose from off the wall of gold, and then, spreading them
out to their full extent, remained motionless and dropped gently
but swiftly towards the earth.

I should tell you that they had all made themselves invisible, as the
saints do when they come down into the world, except when there
is some one present who is good enough to merit a vision of the
holy ones. And when they alighted in the garden by the magnolia
tree, they left the angel there and went to sit down near the lily-
beds. You understand that no one could see them, and they rested
against the edge of the fountain and waited, and San Luigi took
out his beads to while away the time.

Presently three or four men came into the garden very quietly,
and they stood under the shade of a blue hydrangia bush. The
eldest of them appeared to be giving directions to the others, and
then they separated and went each to a different part of the

“Who were those men ? ” asked San Luigi.

“Tell him, ‘Bastiano,” said San Pancrazio in a whisper.

” Gardeners,” murmured San Sebastiano ; ” they have to stay
up all the night between the twentieth and the twenty-first of

” And I suppose they will be going to cut the lilies for the
boys who are coming to fetch them ? ” said San Luigi.

San Sebastiano and San Pancrazio nearly choked with laughter,


                        222 Stories Toto Told Me
and then San Sebastiano said that if San Luigi would have the
goodness to be patient, he should see what he should see.

They watched the gardeners go and hide themselves in the
syringas, and for some time there was silence.

Then there came six ragamuffin boys, creeping cautiously
through the darkness, and they made their way towards the lily-
beds. As soon as they got there the men in the bushes jumped
out upon them with a loud yell, whereupon the boys took to their
heels and fled in a different direction to that from which they had
come. The men gave chase, but they ran so swiftly that they
were soon out of sight. Now, as soon as they were gone twenty
or thirty more ragamuffin boys rushed noiselessly out of the
darkness, and began to cut the lilies into sheaves as fast as they
could. In a short time there was not one left standing, and then
they made off with their spoils and disappeared.

The next minute the gardeners came back, loudly lamenting
that they had failed to catch the robbers ; but when they saw the
beds where the lilies once stood, they called for the Madonna to
have pity on them. And the chief gardener wept, for he said his
highness the Prince would surely send him to prison.

And the three saints sat still by the fountain.

San Luigi was trembling very greatly ; but because he is, as
you know, of such wonderful innocence, he did not understand what
he had seen, and he begged his companions to explain it to him.

So San Sebastiano told him that the boys of the world were
wicked little devils, and very clever, too. So they sent the six
best runners first, because they knew the gardeners would be
watching. And these six were to make the gardeners chase them
and lead them a long dance, so that the others could come as soon
as the place was clear and steal the lilies. All of which had been


                        By Baron Corvo 223
And then San Luigi was very grieved ; but most of all because
the gardeners would lose their places. So he asked San Sebastiano
if he could not do something for them.

Then San Sebastiano said that they would be very pleased and
quite happy if San Luigi would show himself to them, for they
were most respectable men, and pious into the bargain ; neither
had they sworn nor used bad words.

But San Luigi was so modest that he did not like to show him-
self alone, and he held out his hands, the one to San Sebastiano
and the other to San Pancrazio, saying :

” My friends—if you allow me to say so—dear ‘Bastiano—
dear Pancrazio—who have both been so kind to me, let us all
show ourselves, and then I will give them back the lilies.”

So they called Iriello and mounted upon his insteps again,
and then a silver light, more bright than the moon, beamed
from them, and the gardeners saw in the midst of the blaze the
great angel by the magnolia tree, and the three saints standing
in front of him San Luigi in the middle, with San Sebastiano on
his right hand and San Pancrazio on his left hand, with their arms
round each other. Then the gardeners fell on their knees and
returned thanks for this vision ; and, as the angel spread his
wings and rose from the ground, San Luigi made the sign of the
cross over the garden. And the men stood amazed and watched
till the brightness seemed to be only a tiny star ; and so the three
saints went back with Iriello into heaven.

And after they had disappeared the gardeners saw that the lily-
beds were full of flowers more beautiful than had ever been seen
before. But when the thieves brought their stolen flowers to the
Church of San Luigi in the Via Carolina they were nothing
but sticks and dirty weeds.

And the three saints are most friendly together now, because


                        224 Stories Toto Told Me
San Sebastiano and San Pancrazio cannot help admiring San Luigi
for his strange innocence, as well as for the strange penance with
which he gained his place in heaven; and they are always delighted
to do anything to oblige him, because they have been longer there
than he has and understand the ways of that blessed place so well ;
while San Luigi carries only the lilies of Paradise now, and is
never so happy as when he is choosing the best branches of
golden palm for his two martyr-friends ; nor is he ever shocked
at San Pancrazio because he is of a gay heart, nor at San Sebastiano
because he is naked and not ashamed.

How could he be ashamed, sir ?

Fair Play

By Fred Hall

Two Songs

By Frances Nicholson


OH, tender night !
    Lay my head on thy lap and dull me
With deep-drugged breath
Of sweet-lipped violet
Or heavy woodbine wreath,
That I may soon forget
How hope no more may lull me
To dreams of light.

Oh, pitying earth !
Bid thy far-wandering streamlets tell me
Some place of rest
‘Neath sedgy banks that yet
With yellow buds are drest,
    That I may soon forget
Such sorrow erst befell me
In true love’s dearth.


                        230 Two Songs
II—Before The Dawn

IN the weird stillness just before the dawn
    Low sang the waves, like murmuring tones that bless,
    Along the far, dim shore, by cape and ness,
And furtive winds blew soft across the lawn,
Touching with spirit-lips in faint caress
    The virgin-lilies, white and motionless,
In the weird stillness just before the dawn.

Was it a dream, or did you really come
    ‘Twixt the wan glimmer of my casement, where
    The sweet wind followed you ? Did I not hear
Your low voice, passion-thrilled, I, speechless, dumb?
    While in the tender gloom, near and more near,
    Your fond lips drew to mine and rested there—
Was it a rapturous dream, or did you come ?

A Pastoral

By Frank Richards

Bread and the Circus

THEY are the largest travelling circus in Europe. Their staff
numbers over two hundred and fifty ; they have a hundred
and seventy horses, seven elephants, eight lions, two tigers, three
camels, and a dromedary ; their cortege on the road is sixty-three
waggons long. I joined them at Dieppe : they had parted with
their interpreter, and I took his place.

* * *

Monday, 2 a.m.—There was no moon ; all night the wind had
been screaming, driving spasmodic showers before it ; overhead,
above the roofs, vague forms of tattered clouds were scudding.

In the market-place, flaring petroleum lights flitting to and fro ;
dim figures hurrying hither and thither through the darkness ;
loose horses neighing as they stampeded among the tent-ropes ;
incessant volleys of oaths echoing from wall to wall.

“Here,” Jim, the stud-groom, called to me, “hold this lot o’
‘orses, will yer ? ” He thrust a bundle of halter-ropes into my hand,
and disappeared into the darkness.

The big tent came down with a run, and lay before me bellying
and flapping in the wind, followed by the crashing of the poles, as
the men swung them into the tent-waggon. Close beside me, I


                        236 Bread and the Circus
caught a fitful glimpse of a drunken groom, muttering to himself
as he belaboured a horse with his fist ; then, of a sudden, Jim’s
voice bellowing behind me :

“Mind yerself. Shift them ‘orses. The elephants are comin ! “
And their black, monstrous forms loomed in front of me, moving
silently past, swinging their trunks from side to side.

” We always give ’em an hour’s start. They can’t do above
three mile an hour. Come, bring them ‘orses up to the band-
waggon. Here, boy, hold a light for ‘im. Look alive ; we’re
behind time as it is.”

Already, on all sides, the rumblings of heavy wheels, and
crackings of whips were starting up ; the waggons were moving to
their places. The nigger tent-men set a light to the soiled forage ;
the wind scattered the dense columns of smoke towards the sea,
and the great tongues of crimson flame flickered up, licking the
air, and revealing that the market-place had at last been cleared.

“All ready,” sang Jim’s swinging tones.

” All ready …. all ready,” floated back a dozen wavering,
distant answers.

” Into the buggy with yer. Pull the hay up round yer waist :
it’ll keep the cold out.”

Ahead, through the twilight, toiling up the hill, we could
perceive the long train of lumbering waggons, each with a ragged
petroleum flame swinging beneath the axle.

” Pull ov—er….. Pull ov—er,” and one by one they made
way for us as we cantered by them.

” Wake ’em up….. Wake ’em up,” and Jim, upright in
buggy, lashed each successive team into a hand gallop.

When we had reached the front living-waggon, and only the
wet, open road glimmering wanly in the sickly early morning
light, lay ahead of us, back we turned down the hill again, waking


                        By Hubert Crackanthorpe 237
up the stragglers, rousing the sleeping drivers with fine bursts of
the vernacular. And so, up and down the line, till we were hoarse
with shouting, and till the last waggon had left the outskirts of the

* * *

4 a.m.—For an hour we had been leading the way, jogging
along the straight, broad road. Jim had dropped to sleep, and was
swaying heavily from side to side, his battered face resting on my

Behind us the continuous, somnolent rumbling of the waggon
wheels, and the rhythmical tramp of the horses’ feet. Now and
then, a boy on a thoroughbred would gallop past us, cracking his
stock-whip, chasing a drove of foals. The treeless plain lay
around us, all dark and mysterious ; at intervals, we brutally broke
the silence of some sleeping village street.

By-and-by, a rift broke in the clouds ; a slab of dark-blue sky
appeared ; and the rain ceased to beat in our faces.

And a strange, drowsy sensation crept over me—a sensation that
I had been sitting there always, driving the cream-coloured mare,
endlessly journeying through the night, with the long line of
waggons lumbering behind.

* * *

6 a.m.—When I awoke, the sun had risen, and the great plain
of corn, stretching away and away to the horizon, was rippling in
the fresh morning breeze like a glittering golden lake. Crowds of
peasants were running from their harvesting to the road-side to watch
us go by. Moving ahead I could see a dark, shifting mass ; the
elephants were still some two miles away. I fell to wondering
curiously concerning this strange little world with whom I had


                        Bread and the Circus 238
thrown in my lot, and to envying them not a little their roving,
adventurous, free-living life.

* * *

St. Valery-en-Caux, 9 a.m.—We were encamped in the centre
of the town, in front of the Hôtel de Ville. In less than an hour
and a half every tent was in its place, and the horses, tethered in
droves, were clattering to water through the streets.

It was settled that I was to mess in the elephant tent with the
Armstrongs—Joe, the elephant-keeper, Maggie his wife, and
Lieutenant George, the lion-tamer, his brother, better known to
the public, as ” Himalayan Henry.”

They were both handsome, strapping fellows. George, the
“lieutenant,” had been in the show business all his life. He wore
a trailing, coal-black moustache, and his hat cocked jauntily on the
side of his head, and boasted himself a terrible chap with ladies.
Joe had been but three years in the show. Before that he had
been a tram-conductor in Birmingham. He was slow of speech,
hulking, and shy. Maggie was a Lancashire girl. She had big
blue eyes, a pale complexion, and rosy, sensitive mouth. She had
been married just six months. She bullied her husband ; George,
on the strength of his superior salary, bullied them both ; and they
all three bullied ” Scottie,” or “Jimmy Pimples,” the little under
elephant-keeper, a sandy-haired, crimson-faced, unshaven, unwashed
ruffian, who helped Maggie Armstrong to wash up the dishes, did
odd jobs for us, and rated the elephants in generous Glasgow.

” Scottie ” slept on a hay-bed beside the camels and messed with
the coons beneath the tack-waggon ; and we four lived in a small
double tent pitched in a corner of the large one that covered the

There were seven of them, as I have said.—”Jim,” the patriarch,


                        By Hubert Crackanthorpe 239
with his wizened, wrinkled forehead, his tattered, worn-out ears,
and weak, sunken eyes, for ever wearily winking with the fatigue
of his hundred and twenty summers, submitting without a murmur
to the buffetings of his coquettish granddaughter, “Ida”; “Rose,”
a fat, gluttonous, middle-aged dame, and ” Palm,” her husband,
with his great indolently humorous face—an entirely respectable
bourgeois menage ; ” Nick,” the youngster, always squealing and
stealing the hay ; ” Tim,” the monster elephant, restlessly rolling
his vicious white-rimmed eye (he had killed a man some six
months ago) ; impatient, irascible, and sullenly watchful of his
little wife ” Tiny,” the beauty of the band, jealously marching by
her side on the road, with his trunk around her neck, and in the
evenings, rumbling to himself with pride, as he scraped her down
with the jagged edge of an old condensed-milk tin.

* * *

Midday—The post had just come in. The manager, a freckled,
sandy-haired young man, was giving out the letters in the dressing-
room, sitting swinging his long legs on an elephant-tub, with his
hat jammed tight on the back of his head. One by one the men
came forward ; some sheepishly, some jauntily, some with tremu-
lous eagerness. And the more illiterate ones remained loitering
at the mouth of the tent, hesitatingly fingering their envelopes,
curiously revolving them, trying to decipher the post-marks.
Sam Giddens, the clown, a bald, thick-set, elderly gentleman,
adjusted his gold-rimmed spectacles, and plunged into a copy of the
Era. Quito, the jockey, and the two tumbling boys were dis-
cussing the incidents of the journey.

” ‘E got me doun, smashed my ‘at in, and tore my coat a’most
off my back,” Tommy was explaining.

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. o


                        240 Bread and the Circus
” What, the black horse ? ”

” Yes, that black swine.”

* * * * *

” I can’t stand this country. All the women look to me like
men, and all the men like women. I saw about thirty of them
loading a waggon of wheat this morning. It’s barbarous, that’s
what it is,” remarked Miss Lucile, the wire-walker.

” And the way the people bathe too, men and women all to-
gether; I call it disgustin’,” Quito declared.

” I niver see’d sich a country for rain. It’s Mister Tommy de
Lo all day long.”

” And d’ye mind how before we started they were all for telling
how the sun was always shining in la belle France ? ”

” It’s a dreary place, I call it, niver a Sunday from month end
to month end,” chimed in old Mrs. Chigwin, as she settled her
fringe. ” This ‘ull be the first year for nine years that I’ve missed
Bank Holiday at Portsmouth. You see no life here—no great
crowds trippin’ about, enjoyin’ of themselves. Oh dear, oh dear,
what would I jest give to be ‘ome agin—nice clean lodgings and a
bit of fresh steak,” she concluded mournfully.

” I reckon it ‘ud be a lot better if we could pick up the lingo-
I can’t get beyond ‘quatre sous cognac,'” broke in the vet.

“Ah ! you’d learn that quick enough in Chinese, doctor.”

” I only joined the show five months ago, when they came
tenting in France,” the old man remarked, turning to me. ” I’ve
had a proper college education, though you might’n’t think it, and
fine business down at Reading. Many’s the year, I tell you, that
I’ve turned over more than two thousand pounds. This has been a
terrible come-down for me.”

” What was the trouble ? ” I asked.

” Drink, young man, drink,” he answered warningly, ” and


                        By Hubert Crackanthorpe 241
for eighteen months before I joined them I hadn’t earned a

He looked it, bloated and aged and enfeebled before his time.

* * * * *

Meanwhile the ring-master went on :—

” And when we got to the bridge, the horses got frightened and
wouldn’t cross. All at once the waggon gives a great bump and
Sam begins calling out that we’d fallen into the river and swim-
ming for his life about the waggon floor. Didn’t you, Sam ? ”

But the clown, deep in his paper, made no answer.

* * * * *

” Hulloa, Sandow, who’s bin makin’ your face up this time?”
asked the manager, as the hulking saddler sauntered up for a news-
paper, with a bruised eye and an ugly, swollen nose.

” It be Jacko agin, sir. He were drunk agin at t’start, and
when I went fur to wake him, he sets on me, with the result what
you all kin see.”

“What did you do to him ? “

The big man lifted his heavy shoulders.

” I jest chucked him oot o’t’ waggon. That be the wirst o’
having my strength. If I was a mite o’ a chap like him” (point-
ing to Quito), “I’d have given him the grandest hiding he’d iver
experienced. Yes, that I would, yer damned little varmint,” he
added, as Jacko, a wizened, impish creature not five feet high,
appeared grinning behind him.

* * * * *

” Circus-life ! circus-life ! ” the old doctor philosophised to me
confidentially, wiping his beery eyes. ” It’s bin a terrible come-
down for me.”

* * *


                        242 Bread and the Circus
1.30 p.m.—”The parade’s better than the show. The show’s
right enough, you know ; but the parade’s AI,” Lieutenant
George had declared.

The band, in red coats and firemen’s helmets, led the way,
packed in a car all gilt and glittering glass, drawn by ten plumed
piebald horses. Next, on prancing, plum-coloured steeds, eighteen
ladies, sumptuously attired in plush and satin and heavy brocade.
Then the thoroughbreds, and the ten trick ponies, tight-reined,
arching their necks and tossing their silky manes, led by foot-
grooms in scarlet livery. Behind these, the four monumental
gilded cars—allegorical representations of England, Scotland,
Ireland, and Wales—each drawn by eight white horses, and
carrying on its pinnacle a golden-haired girl reclining in appro-
priate attitudes. Behind them followed the team of elephants
(with the coons dressed in tiger-skins sitting in scarlet howdahs
on their backs), dragging the lions’ cage with Lieutenant George
in full uniform, inside amongst the beasts, smoking and twirling
his freshly waxed moustache. Next, escorted by a cavalcade of
tent-men, dressed as Turkish grandees, the six tableaux—monster
paintings relating the appearance of the show before Her Gracious
Majesty the Queen in the midst of a tropical forest. And lastly
the tigers, the camels, the dromedary, and the three painted pay-

Every window was packed with faces : the streets were swarm-
ing with people. I rode through the town, perched on the box
of the gilded band-car (I had been ordered there in case of diffi-
culties with the local police), bowing to the crowd from side to
side, and feeling like an Eastern potentate at the head of his
triumphal progress.

* * *

8.30 p.m.—The afternoon show had done fair business ; but in


                        By Hubert Crackanthorpe 243
the evening the boss and the manager sat in their shirt-sleeves at
the windows of the pay-waggons, struggling in desperation to
keep pace with the demands of the surging crowd.

Inside, the flaring petroleum lights flickered over a dim, circular
wall of upturned faces. A dull, continuous hum of voices filled
the tent—over three thousand had been packed inside ; and when
the overture struck up, they were turning people away from the

I wandered away, in the face of the driving rain, through the
narrow, empty streets. Here and there, through a lighted window,
I caught a glimpse of a family group, sitting round a shaded lamp,
the women at their needlework, the fishermen smoking over a
crumpled newspaper. The muffled strains of the band, playing
” Nancy Lee,” carried past me on the wind, grew fainter and
fainter, and presently died away altogether.

And before me, all wrapped in darkness, the sea lay sullenly
lashing the shore ; to the east a lighthouse glimmered, and near
at hand, moving quite slowly through the night, passed the three
lights of a steamer.

We were to start at three to-morrow morning. The night
looked ugly ; out in the channel a heavy gale was blowing ; the
sky was starless and black as pitch.

* * *

11 p.m.—Maggie had spread us our supper on a table built of
piled forage, and round it we took our places, each sitting astride
a hay-truss. To-night she was busy with discreet attentions
towards the lieutenant ; for he had had a lot of trouble with one
of his lions, and it was the talk of all the tents.

” Yes, he was a bit obstinate, wasn’t he, Joe ? I had a job to
get inside the cage, him standing over the door pawing at me.


                        Bread and the Circus
That’s the way with lions,” he went on, turning to me, “as long
as you’re below them, they all make to jump on you, but once
get above them and they just slink and snarl at your feet.”

” I reckon there’s some human beings what isn’t much dif-
ferent,” remarked Maggie.

” No, there’s no life insurance in our trade. Pass the salt, Joe,
old man,” the lieutenant concluded.

Outside, the wind was hooting through the camp, banging
against the side of the tent, and at intervals lifting the side-poles
off the ground. And the huge, vague shapes of the elephants
swayed uneasily in the fitful flare of the hissing petroleum light,
their trunks, like black, hungry serpents, swinging incessantly
across the gangway.

After supper, Joe and Maggie wished us good-night. George
and I stayed drowsily chatting of the day’s gossip, and of the
storm that was raging without. By-and-bye we lay down on the
hay, to sleep till the watchman should come on his rounds. . . .

. . . Gradually I became conscious of Joe’s voice beside me ;
then a ringing peal of Maggie’s laughter. I opened my eyes : the
tent was still dark. I could hear the tramp of feet outside, and
the distant neighing of horses.

All at once the hay seemed to tremble beneath me, and some-
thing rough and wet and living touched my hand. I sprang up :
above me loomed a great black form.

” Hulloa, where’s his bed got to ? ” I heard Maggie laughing,
while Joe shouted :

” Rose, get back, yer greedy beast.”

She had got loose in the night, and whilst I slept had been
standing over me, craftily stealing the hay from beneath me, till
at length I was lying on the bare, dusty ground.

* * *


                        By Hubert Crackanthorpe 245
Tuesday, 2.30 a.m.—The rain was rattling against the sides of
the tent. Joe and “Scottie” were moving the elephants out.
Tim was trumpeting at the top of his voice, and trying to drag
the tent down about our ears.

The whole camp seemed a scene of hopeless, indescribable con-
fusion. The men were all shouting to one another in the dark-
ness. Every gust of the gale was extinguishing the petroleum
lights. I wandered about in search of Jim, stumbling over the
tent-ropes, splashing into pools of standing water, jostling against
huddled groups of men vainly endeavouring to rekindle their
lights. It was rumoured that half the show had already started,
and that the ” boss ” had been knocked on the head by a falling
tent-pole. The rain was falling in torrents. I caught a glimpse of
the ladies scurrying under their umbrellas to their omnibus, old Sam
Giddens among them, wrapped in a multitude of horse-blankets.

It was half-an-hour before I found the buggy, and could hear
Jim’s voice bellowing close at hand.

One of the leaders of the last tableau team lay kicking on the
ground, entangled in his traces. Jim was cursing the driver as he
had never cursed before. We all lent a hand. I sat on the horse’s
head, while the others worked at the straps. Of a sudden the
light went out. The horse started plunging : I was pitched into
a pool of water ; and when we could see again the animal had
kicked himself clear.

We were the last to leave. Drenched to the skin, with the
buggy-hood down, despite the rain, lest the wind should overturn
us, we crawled up the hill on to the cliffs. The trees were all
writhing in the gale ; below us, with a dull, continuous roar, the
surf was crashing against the rocks. Jim had been drinking
heavily ; before we had gone half-a-mile, he was rolling in his
sleep. The light behind the buggy was the only one still alight.


                        246 Bread and the Circus
At every turning, till we were clear of the town, I stood up, holding
it aloft, trying to decipher the sign-posts. And then, when I had
found the road, and we were out in the open country, I let the
mare jog along at her own pace, and sat helplessly shivering
and waiting for the sunrise.

About four it seemed to be growing lighter. I turned back
down the line, and found the last waggon lagging more than a
mile behind. I shouted to the driver, but he gave me no answer.
He was either dead drunk or numbed by the wet. I shook Jim
till my arms ached, and when I had waked him, told him the
trouble. We both sat bawling in concert, and at last extracted a
feeble, incoherent answer. We stopped the waggon, and shouted
to the man to come down ; he answered thickly that his arms
were stiff with cramp. I cantered back to the tack-waggon,
roused a couple of coons, and with their help we lifted the man
down. Then we battered at the door of a wayside cottage, till
the terrified inhabitants let us in. We lit a straw fire, and tried
with brandy and rubbing to bring him round. But he had been
badly drunk the night before, and the liquor had taken all the
warmth out of him. So we stowed him away on a hay bed in the
tack-waggon, set the boy who was driving the foals on the box of
the tableau, and I mounted the thoroughbred in his place.

The day was now breaking ; and we were at least four miles
behind. Jim lashed the tableau team into a hand-gallop, and I
followed behind in charge of the foals.

About six o’clock we came up with the elephants, slouching
silently along, and tearing up the corn by the roadside as they
went. . . . An hour later we rejoined the rest of the show, and
at half-past eight we could see the wet roofs of Fecamp twinkling
in the distance.

* * *


                        By Hubert Crackanthorpe 247
It was a regular ceremony; it took place every morning behind
the small horse-tent. The doctor sat on the steps of the harness
waggon, and the tent-men lounged round him in groups. He
would knock the ashes carefully from his pipe, wipe his beery
eyes, and clear his throat authoritatively before unfurling the
Standard. He would begin at the top right-hand column of the
inside page, reading mechanically almost right through the paper
—the political speeches, the police news, the foreign telegrams,
the theatrical notices, and the sporting intelligence—till he had
come again to the advertisements. No one made any comment ;
the tent-men just loitered and listened ; and when he had finished,
they strolled away silently, as they had come. The scene, in its
droll solemnity, struck me as curiously pathetic.

* * *

The “boss” was a podgy, thick-set little man ; he had a ruddy
moustache, and a merry twinkle in his small, round eyes. His
clothes were always ragged, and smeared with mud ; for a clean
shirt, I fancy, he professed a convinced contempt. With every
one, down to the youngest stable-boy, he was familiar and friendly ;
but, when he was roused, no one—not even Jim, the stud-groom
—could compete with him in the matter of swearing. This
“born gift” of his, as the men called it, had long ago won him
universal respect. He lived in a luxurious waggon, the fittings
of which had cost three hundred guineas. His father had been a
circus proprietor before him. It was said that he was worth two
hundred thousand pounds ; and every morning he would strip and
help the men hammer in the tent-pegs.

Mr. Henderson, the trick rider, shared the “boss’s” waggon. He
shaved every morning, wore clean cuffs, folded trousers, and


                        248 Bread and the Circus
glistening patent-leather boots, and carried a gold-topped malacca.
But the fact that his expletives began with the fourth instead of
the second letter of the alphabet, stamped him, so everyone
agreed, as a gentleman with a college education.

The men never mixed with the inhabitants of the towns, for
none of them knew any French. At Dieppe, twenty-five of them
had given notice ; at Havre half of the orchestra were to leave us.
Almost everyone was suffering from acute home-sickness ; after
the evening show the tent-men would sit round the petroleum
lights smoking and eternally chatting of England.

A few kept a perfunctory route-book ; but most of them, when
we set out in the morning, had never troubled to learn the name
of the town where we had spent the day. Their life was almost
entirely centred in the busy routine of the camp.

* * *

Wednesday, 5 a.m.—It was a short stage from Fecamp to
Etretat ; and as we got upon the road, the sun was already
flooding the sky with crimson light. Beneath us the sea lay
spread like a blue, wide, empty plain ; by the roadside the reapers
were hurrying to their work amid the corn-sheaves ; the crowds
were busy loading the long-bodied, four-wheeled Normandy

The wind had dropped, swelling milk-white clouds hung
overhead. Every village was thronged with peasants, waiting to
watch us go past. The fresh, warm rays of the morning sun
crept through me, bringing a keen, exquisite exhilaration. And
there returned my old instinctive affection for the terse picturesque-
ness of the so-called lower classes. And I remembered, with a
twinge of bitter regret, that at the Havre I must leave them to


                        By Hubert Crackanthorpe 249
journey on without me over the continent day after day and year
after year…. I felt I would be content to become one of
them, to share irrevocably their rough, roving life.

* * *

11 a.m.—The ” boss ” had promised ” Jacko ” a medal as
champion sleeper. He travelled in charge of the drove of hospital
horses, and slept the journey through, lying flat on his face on the
back of the old ring-mare, with a horse-rug thrown over his

When, this morning at the start, Jim hauled him uncere-
moniously to the ground, and set him to drive the last tableau-
team, he screwed up his tiny bloodshot eyes, and swore he would
be revenged.

He was supposed to be running after Maggie, and Joe, whenever
he found him hiding in the hay in the elephant-tent, used to thrash
him and throw him outside.

We were all sitting at breakfast, when, to our surprise, the
stunted, impish creature sauntered in, puffing ostentatiously at a

” Well, Jacko, did yer ‘ave a good sleep on the road ? ” Maggie
asked maliciously.

” What d’ye think I did ? ” he asked, his wizened face grinning
from side to side. “Why I’ve bin an’ knocked a bloomin’ ‘ouse

And so, it appeared, he had. They had bustled him down the
long hill into the town, and he had swung the waggon with a
crash into a cottage, built of rubble and mud, and had knocked a
huge hole in the wall.

” A lot of old women were sittin’ at breakfast. Lord ! ‘ow
they did jump and squeal,” Jacko continued, with pride.


                        250 Bread and the Circus
Then, catching Joe’s eyes, and moving warily to the tent-
mouth, he added, chuckling,

“The coves ‘ave sent in a claim for five hundred francs damages.
That’ll teach Mister Jim to set me drivin’ ‘is blasted tableaux.”

And off he swaggered to tell the tale of his prowess to the
coons and around the horse-tents.

* * *

6 p.m.—When we came in to tea, after the day-show, we found
Scottie, busy before a cracked mirror combing his sandy locks.
He looked more unkempt than ever ; his face was streaming, for
he had been helping to drag the lions’ cage out of the ring, and
the stubble of a three days’ beard covered his chin. When
Maggie asked him to build up a table for us, he retorted ex-
citedly : ” Can ye na see that I’m busy ? ” and recommenced
desperately the parting of his hair.

“What’s up, Pimples, going courtin’? ” asked the lieutenant.

” I’m engaged to conduct a party o’ ladies round the establish-
ment. I’ll be standin’ you boys drinks at the buffy when I git

He hurried off, clapping the “lieutenant’s” forage-cap on the
back of his head. Presently we heard him grandiloquently
pushing back the crowd of loafers, and at the tent-mouth we
caught a fluttering glimpse of white skirts and lace parasols.

” This, ladies,” Scottie began, stroking poor old Jim’s inoffensive
trunk, “this elephant be two hundred and thirty year of age.
He’s often very ferocious, as yer kin see by the red in his eye.
It takes fifty powerful men to hold him when he’s fashed. Over
there, ladies, the handsome gent with the moustache, sitting
on the hay, that’s Mr. Lieutenant George Armstrong, the cele-


                        By Hubert Crackanthorpe 251
brated wild-beast tamer, who’s performed before all the crowned
and uncrowned heads ‘o Europe. A remarkable shy man, ladies,
though his looks belie him. He started lion-tamin’ at the age of
twelve, and he’ll be eaten alive some day as sure as I’m standin’
here. This be ‘Tim’ the biggest elephant in any circus. He
killed the last under-keeper, an Irishman, and that’s why I’m here
now. There’s a tremendous lot o’ courage required in our trade,
ladies, as ye kin all see for yerselves,” Scottie continued, straighten-
ing himself with a spasmodic attempt at gravity. “Now, this
way, if you please. If ye’ll follow me, I show ye the horse-tents
and the seventeen Arabian horses that the Sultan of China gave
with his own hands to Mr. Henderson. . . .”

We had finished tea before he reappeared, ruefully displaying a
coin in the palm of his hand.

” Fivepence,” he burst out, “and I shewed ’em over the whole
bloomin’ show and told ’em many a thousand lies. . . . Fivepence,”
and he threw the coin ferociously into the hay.

* * *

Thursday, 3 a.m.—”You’re late, young man, very late,” said
the manager reprovingly. “Jim’s been gone this hour past. He
waited half an hour for you, and then had to take on Didon, the
Frenchman who drives the ‘bus, to help him find the road. We’re
dreadfully short of drivers. I don’t know how we’re going to

We stood watching the departure of the blacksmith’s waggon.
The sky was glittering with stars, a couple of petroleum lights
were swinging aimlessly in the distance ; the camp seemed almost

” Didn’t I tell you you’d oversleep yourself, if you didn’t get to


                        252 Bread and the Circus
bed, instead of sitting up playing poker with Silvado ? ” the manager
went on. ” Look here,” he added suddenly, ” you’d better take
the ‘bus. You’re accustomed to driving ? ”

” Yes, but not four horses,” I objected.

” Never mind, jump up. Keep your wheelers well in hand,
and the cream cob off the pole, or he’ll start kicking.”

Behind the blacksmith’s waggon, the ‘bus team was being
harnessed, while I could vaguely perceive the huddled forms of the
sleeping ladies. My heart was full of pity for them as I mounted
the box.

I had just steered out of the gateway, to my surprise, without a
spill, when through the darkness I heard the boss’s voice. ” Wake
’em up there, Didon. What’re yer up to. Shove ’em along.”
And, running alongside the team with his stock-whip, he set them
off at a hand-gallop.

We swung round the corner into the main road, the ‘bus
lurching heavily as we bumped over the kerb-stone. From within
floated a muffled series of feminine screams. . . .

And then, on we rattled through the night, through the dark
stillness of the sleeping country. . . .

* * *

6 a.m.—” Stop at the bottom of the hill ; you’ve got a shoe
loose,” shouted one of the boys, galloping alongside.

I listened, but I could hear no clinking of flapping steel ;
every horse was going as sound as a bell.

” No, they’re all right enough,” I called back.

” There’s a buffy at the bottom,” retorted the boy.

I remembered that there was a half-crown fine for stopping for
drinks on the road, and that a lame horse or a shoe loose was the


                        By Hubert Crackanthorpe 253
only excuse accepted. So when we reached the wayside inn I
pulled up.

” What’s up ? ” called a voice through the glass.

” Shoe loose, doctor,” I answered.

The next moment he was on the road beside the team.

” Where’s the buffy ? ” he asked.

I pointed with the whip to the house, and soon some half-dozen
of us were sitting in the kitchen, and they were standing me
coffee and cognac all round.

* * *

8 a.m.—The shipping of the Havre was in sight—a delicate
tracery against the sky, like a distant winter forest. Beyond,
across the river, wrapped in pale blue haze, stretched the cliffs of
Honfleur, and the offing, all shimmering in the sunlight, lay
studded with snow-white sails. . . .

With the skid on, we swung down the long hill into the city.

And as we pushed our way through the streets, tight-packed
with a staring crowd, and bawled unceremoniously at the local
police, and forced the irate tram-drivers to retreat till there was
space for us to pass them, and searched at every turning to the
right and to the left for the square where we were to camp, I
realised more than ever the exhilarating charm of this reckless,
adventurous life.

* * *

Havre, 9.30 a.m.—He was a little French cabin-boy. He had
deserted his ship, and had followed the show from Dieppe. He used
to explain to us with pride how, if he were caught, he would get
forty-eight days imprisonment. His clothes were a mass of filthy
rags. I gave him a pair of trousers, and he stole my cigarettes.


                        254 Bread and the Circus
He was always ravenously hungry, and would work till his face
was streaming for a crust of bread. His devotion to Joe was
untiring ; every day he ran the whole journey alongside the
elephants, belabouring “Rose” with an old bit of bamboo. And
all the afternoon he used to fight the town-urchins who came
swarming round the tent-edge to tease the elephants. He confided
to me his passion for the circus, and his longing to become a tamer
of lions, like George ; and I promised to ask the manager to give
him a start.

When this afternoon the police caught him and carried him off,
he cried very bitterly, and swore he would come back to us.

* * *

10.30 a.m.—”Scottie” sat by the tent-mouth with his head
between his hands. I bid him good morning ; he made no answer.
The others were at breakfast.

“What’s up with ‘Scottie’ ? ” I asked.

” He was drunk at the start this morning,” Joe replied, curtly.

“I wasna,” “Scottie” retorted sullenly. “I’d just had one
single cognac.”

” I felt downright sorry for that little French lad,” Joe went

” Dirty little runaway beast. It just served him right. I
couldn’t abide ‘im sneaking about the tent,” Maggie burst out.

” Come, don’t be funny,” growled Joe.

Maggie swung round on her hay-truss, turning her back on

” Joe’s that snappy,” she explained to me tearfully.

“Snappy ! so’d you be, if you’d seen the jeb I had to get
that big brute (indicating Tim) on to the road this morning, and
that darned Scotchman stumbling all over the shop half boozed.”

                                                “I wasna,

                        By Hubert Crackanthorpe 255
“I wasna, I tell yer. . . . It’s a blasted lie,” “Scottie ” protested
in a husky voice.

” Look yer here,” Joe interrupted, ” if yer can’t keep a civil
tongue in yer head, yer can jest clear out o’ the tent.”

The situation was growing strained. The heat was terrific;
we were encamped in a small dusty square in a low quarter of the
city, and before the first tent-peg had been driven in, the ground
was swarming with roughs. There had been a lot of fighting,
and the ” boss ” and Jim had been cursing themselves hoarse.
Everyone, as George mildly expressed it, was “just a bit put

“Ain’t it sickly, the ‘eat in this tent ? ” Maggie remarked. ” I
feel that upset—,” and she cast a sidelong glance in Joe’s
direction, but he went on scowling and munching his bread and

” No, you don’t care, you great selfish lout ; you think of
nothing but them stinkin’ elephants, and getting yer own break-
fast comfortable.”

The “lieutenant” winked at me from his corner, and helped
himself to some more bacon. Maggie was on the verge of tears,
and Joe was desperately gulping down his breakfast.

” Come, Maggie, have a bite o’ somethin’,” he began, sheepishly,
after a pause.

She shook her head violently.

” Give her time, Joe, old man,” advised the ” lieutenant.”

A few minutes later Joe asked again.

” Ain’t yer goin’ to have nothin’?”

She dissented faintly.

Joe rose, and putting on his coat, moved towards the tent-

“Well, I’m going out,” he exclaimed, with forced carelessness.

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. p


                        256 Bread and the Circus
“Because you’ve lost your temper with me, Joe, you needn’t
make yourself unsociable all round,” Maggie called after him.

” I was going to get yer some fresh water. I see yer can’s
empty,” he answered, reproachfully.

” Oh, there ain’t no ‘urry for that. Sit down and ‘ave a fresh
cup o’ tea.”

She faced round again, smiling through her tears, and filled up
his cup, while the “lieutenant” went on winking and rolling him-
self a cigarette.

“An’ Pimples,” Maggie asked presently, “shall ‘e ‘ave this bit
‘o bacon what’s left over ?”

Joe shrugged his broad shoulders with an assumption of con-
temptuous indifference.

“Scottie,” Maggie called, “‘ere’s a bit o’ bacon for yer.”

” I’m na goin’ to tak’ charity at my time o’ life,” the little man
shouted, and, rising, strode defiantly out of the tent.

* * *

5.30 p.m.—The show was packed. The band was playing
” Nancy Lee ; ” Quito, in his flesh-coloured tights, was cantering
round the ring, and the children were roaring with laughter as
Sam Giddens banged the boss over the head with a bladder.

For the last time I strolled through the tents. Outside the
dressing-room I found “Jacko” kneeling on the ground, busy
pasting the paper hoops ; beside the tableaux the coons were fight-
ing a gang of over-inquisitive dock-labourers, ousting them from the
camp with a heavy volley of broken British oaths ; and on the steps
of the harness waggon the old doctor sat watching them, moodily
puffing at his short black pipe. The ” lieutenant ” was waxing
his coal-black moustache ; Joe and ” Scottie ” were amicably


                        By Hubert Crackanthorpe 257
harnessing ” Tim ” to the lions’ cage; within the elephant tent
Maggie was boiling the water for tea, and laying the cloth on the
piled trusses of hay.

One after another I bid them good-bye, strangely reluctant to
leave them, childishly eager to prolong indefinitely this short
moment of departure. The ” lieutenant ” and I promised to write
regularly to one another, and we hurriedly arranged how we would
meet again next year in the South.

Then I pushed my way through the crowd of loungers that
surrounded the camp, and turned slowly away down the boulevard
towards the railway station.

Twenty minutes later, as my train steamed out of the city, I
could hear the distant wavering strains of the band, and I could
see the sunlight glinting on the white, bulging canvas of the big

HE was writing a letter, and, as his pen jerked over the paper,
he smiled with a fatuous softness. She had betrayed her-
self so helplessly—had cared so much. And he ? Well, yes, he
had cared, too, a little ; who could have been quite unresponsive to
that impetuous inquiring tenderness, that ardent generous admira-
tion ? He remembered it all, with amused regretful vanity—the
summer evenings by the window, the gay give-and-take of their
talk, the graver moments when their eyes met, and hers spoke
more eloquently than words. ” Eager tell-tales of her mind “—
how often he had quoted Matthew Arnold’s line when he thought
of her eyes ! It might have been written for her ; and when he
had told her so, she had not been angry. Little goose ! She ought
to have been, of course—but he might say anything, he knew.

Well ! they had been pretty days, those ; ” a fragrant memory “
—(she had taught him some of her phrases)—and now they were
over. Quite over ! The involuntariness of his sigh pleased him,
and the reluctance with which he took up his pen again seemed to
complete the romance of the moment.

She knew already. That was certain ; he had sent a telegram
on his wedding-day, thinking it might not be quite so bad if she
knew he had thought of her even then. And now he was writing.


                        By Frances E. Huntley 287

Not to her—dear, no ! he had too much tact, knowledge of the
world, for that, he hoped ; but to her father. They had been
” pals ” ; he was so much older than she, ” quite fatherly,” he used
to say, delighting in her conscious look. . . . . So it was natural,
quite natural, for him to write and tell him how it had happened.

For in some ways it was a queer business, not quite what had
been expected of him, and yet—what every one had expected.
That he knew, and it galled him sorely. It was hardly a mésal-
liance, but—a mistake ? He felt that it might be called one ; a
horrid saying jingled in his ears, ” There’s no fool like an old
fool “—and yet he had chosen it so, always guessed that it would
end so. Romantic ? No ! There was the sting—not even

But she ? Would she look at it in that way ? Would she
smile and think that he had made a mess of it, compare herself
mentally—her fastidious high-bred self—with his bride and—pity
him ? He moved restlessly. No, she wouldn’t ; he knew her
better. She would mind—mind horribly. Her mouth would set
itself, her eyes would look bright and pained—oh ! she was brave
enough ; but she would be silent, sadder than her wont, and—
envious ? His smile grew broader. Poor little dear !

Well, his letter would be some comfort. He had finished it ;
now to read it over. . . . . Yes ! all was admirably conveyed, the
regret, the remembrance, the veiled messages to her, the (he
rather liked this part)—the hinted depreciation of his choice, the
insinuated unhappiness and foreboding—and then the allusion to
” his wife ” . . . . in fancy he heard the sharp quick breath, saw
the darkening of the blue eyes, the pain of the firm little mouth.
. . . . But perhaps she might not read it at all ; men didn’t hand
letters round. He must provide for that. It was written for her,
she must see it. How should he manage ? Ah ! that was it !

                                                ” Your

                        288 A Pen-and-ink Effect

” Your daughter will help you to make out my scrawl ” in a
prominent postscript ; that was clear enough. Now to post it.

The end of the little episode, so delicate, so transient ! Men
were rather brutal, weren’t they ? Well, when girls fell in love
and were so charming ! It was a shame, though, he thought,
complacently. Poor little dear ! The letter slid into the

* * * * *

Everything was going on just the same—and he was married.
But then she had always known it must end so—every one had
known it. There were two sorts of knowing, though, she thought,

It all seemed quite natural ; even having no letter to expect
when the post came in seemed so natural, and it had been the
roseate moment of the day. Did everything happen so ? It was
odd. Browning’s poignant question came into her head : ” Does
truth sound bitter as one at first believes ?” She used to imagine
he had been wrong for once (” that omniscient Browning of
yours “), but now that she knew. . . . .

How was it ? She could laugh quite naturally, read and be
interested in her book. Stay, though ! Yesterday she had been
reading a story in which the heroine had reminded her of herself,
and had, of course, loved and been beloved. She had shut that
book hastily and taken up a volume of essays, but soon she had re-
opened and devoured it with envious, aching eyes.

That was the day after the telegram had come. It had stung her
a little, though it had pleased her too. So even at that moment he
had thought of her ; but how sure he had been ! . . . . It galled her ;
and, besides, it seemed to proclaim it all to the curious eyes around
her. They were her own people, and she loved them and they
her ; but their eyes were curious. She caught stolen glances, inter-


                        By Frances E. Huntley 289

change of looks, imagined them talking of her, ” Does she mind ? “
” Not so much as I expected ” ; oh, the torturing espionage of
family life. If she could only be quite alone ! She recalled the
scene. From her bedroom window she had seen the telegraph boy,
had thought nothing of it, telegrams were so frequent.” Effie !
Effie !” First her youngest brother, wide-eyed, observant, when
the room-door burst open ; then her father, half-understanding, but
innately unsympathetic for ” love-affairs,” gratified, too, at the
remembrance of him, careless or unconscious of the intolerable
under-meaning of the message. Something had told her what it
was, what the pink scrawl contained ; she had felt a burning rebel-
ion, a hard hatred of somebody or something.

” A telegram ? from whom ? Her voice was sharp and cold.
” From Luttrell ?” This was one of the things she loathed—
that she called him ” Luttrell,” tout court ; her morbid sense of
humour saw the painful absurdity of it—to speak so of a man you
cared for ! Incredible ! yet she did it. Was anything in life
what you had once fancied it ?

” From Luttrell ?” Bravado had forced the name from her—
and if it should not be from him ? Even now she could recall the
lash of the stinging thought.

” Yes—from Luttrell. Funny fellow ! fancy his thinking of
sending it ! Like to see it ?”

She had taken it with a laugh at the ” funny fellow,” had read
it . . . .

” So he’s really married. Well, she’s a pretty girl, and a clever
girl ; I daresay he’ll be very happy. A very clever girl.”

How often, in her wayward moments, she had laughed with
Luttrell over the “canonisation” of the newest fiancée or bride !
” She had fulfilled the whole duty of woman !” she used to
declare with ironic grandiosity, and he used to smile admiringly at


                        290 A Pen-and-ink Effect

her spirited nonsense—and now it was he himself ! But she must
say something.

” Yes, she’s pretty. Clever ? Well, I never had the pleasure
of her acquaintance.” The tiny thrust had relieved her a little.
” And where do they go for their honeymoon, I wonder ?”

It was said : ” they,” ” their honeymoon.” Had her voice
really sounded so thin and cold ? She had felt just like it, ” thin
and cold,” a meagre, desolate sort of creature. ” Meagre !” how
descriptive ! Her lips curled into a small morbid smile. She
remembered the odd sensation.

Well, that was over ; the telegram-scene was two days ago now,
and she was going down to lunch in that odd, dreamy sort of way,
as if she was walking on air—everything was so natural, yet so
unreal !…. ” The post just in ? What letters ?” she said,
carelessly, passing through the hall.

” One from Luttrell.”

” Why, Effie, Luttrell doesn’t seem absorbed in his bride,” her
eldest brother said, reading his own letters. ” Strikes me he’d

She could have struck him—but this must be answered in its
own vein. Would it never end ? ” Bored on the honeymoon, I
suppose ; they say every one is. “

” He wouldn’t be, though of course he’d pretend he was—”
her father laughed, opening the envelope. ” Dear, dear ! what a
scrawl ! I can’t read it . . . . Effie, you read it out.”

” No, indeed. I can’t bear reading things aloud.”

” Well, I can’t. Take it, and read it to yourself, then ?”

” You’d better both read it.”

” Over his shoulder,” one of the brothers said, mockingly.

Well, if it had to be done.

She stood and read it over her father’s shoulder.


                        By Frances E. Huntley 291

It was long, illegible ; she spelt it out slowly to her wondering,
faltering heart. This was what he had written—this ?

” A nice letter, very friendly. Eh, Effie ?”

” Yes, very—nice. Very—friendly.”

She escaped.

In her room at last. ” He wrote that ? That ?

Her eyes met the wide dark ones in the mirror.

” Poor girl ! oh, the poor, poor girl !” The mirror looked
clouded, vanished quite, grew clear again.

” To think I could ever have loved him !”

For a moment she hid her shamed, white face.

” Feel up for a game of tennis, Ronald, Sydney, Edith !” her
voice pealed out. One must do something to work off this mad
joyous thrill of freedom, liberty . . . . looking forward !

She dashed down the stairs with a wild whirl of frills and lace-

On the Loing

By A. Tanner

Last Fires

By Lily Thicknesse

    WHEN all the passion and the pain

    That forged our flesh and spirit one
Are past, and sweet desire is vain,
    And youth and hope and life are gone,

Will then our end be like the west,
    Where sunset fires have paled to gloom,
But give their gorgeous crimson’s best
    To light with splendour day’s long doom ?

Ah, then, when we must die, we two
    Claim the dear earth and solemn sky
As comrades in the way we go,
    From dawn to night’s dark mystery.

An Old Campaigner

By Walter Langley

Life and Death

By Ellis J. Wynne

    Life is a desert drear,
    A sandy plain ;
    A waste, a wild career
    For phantom forms of Fear,
    Sorrow and Pain.
    No guide hath man, no guide—
    Self must on self confide ;
    No hand to lead him on,
    No hope to rest upon—
    Nought but the grave !
Man veils his eyes, and lo, blind Phantasy
Sits at her loom and weaves a sacred mystery,
A magic woof of dreams—glad dreams of liberty—
    To mock a slave !

    And Death ? Ah Death’s a sage
    Who stills our fears ;
    Our doubts and faiths engage
    The wisdom of his age—
    And eke our tears.


                        266 Life and Death
    Hushed in expectancy
    We stake life’s paltry fee ;
    A last-drawn sigh, a sleep,
    And Death calls ” Laugh,” or “Weep,”—
    ‘Tis then we know
Thy form aright, O Master ! from the guise
Of Life’s prim pageant, Thee, with unsealed eyes—
Sum of our hopes or fears—we recognise
    For weal or woe !


By Mrs. Murray Hickson


FROM the first day that she came to Underwood Terrace Martha
interested me. She arrived, I remember, one dull November
afternoon. I saw her pass down the street, peering, in a short-
sighted fashion, at the numbers over the doors. She carried a large
bonnet-box in one hand and a neat brown paper parcel in the
other. She had no umbrella, and the rain dripped from the limp
brim of her large straw hat. Her skirt, shabby and worn, had
slipped from her overladen fingers and dragged upon the muddy
pavement. I don’t know why I noticed her, but, as I glanced up
from my book, my eyes fell upon her forlorn little figure, and I
felt that sudden, curious sensation of pity which sometimes, we
don’t know why, takes us by the throat and shakes us out of our
egotism and self-reflection. Very possibly my first interest in her
was merely a matter of mood. Perhaps, had I been happier
myself, I should not have taken much notice of her ; but my
own concerns appeared, just then, so dull and grey that it was a
relief to turn from them to the contemplation of somebody else’s.
For the present, however, the little figure in the draggled black


                        268 Martha
frock wandered down the street, and I, returning to my book, lost
sight and thought of her.

In the drawing-room, before dinner, Mrs. Norris explained to
me that, in consideration of the arrival of a new boarder, she had
engaged a girl as a sort of ” understudy ” for the other servants,
and to work between them in the capacity of general help and
factotum. The girl was young, she came from Surrey, and her
name was Martha. Mrs. Norris hoped that she would turn out
well, but the training of young girls was always an experiment ;
she had known few who repaid the trouble expended upon
them. This much she told me—the rest I supplied for myself.
Help, in our overworked household, was imperatively needed, and a
girl from the country (despite the drawbacks of her ignorance and
lack of training) would cost little in keep and less in wages. In
fact, properly managed, she should prove a good investment.

Late that evening I met a quaint little figure upon the stairs,
and instantly recognised the limp, broad-brimmed hat, and the
shabby jacket, frayed at collar and at cuffs. Our new maid-servant
and the girl who had that afternoon attracted my attention in the
street represented the same identity. She drew aside to let me pass,
shrinking timidly against the wall ; but, by a sudden impulse, I
stopped and spoke to her. The gas-light fell on the glasses of her
spectacles, so that I could not catch the expression of her large,
short-sighted eyes ; but I saw that the eyelids were red and swollen
and I guessed that she had been crying.

” So you found the house after all,” I said. ” You must have
got very wet out there in the rain.”

” Yes, m’m,” she answered, and saluted me with a quick, bobbing
curtesy. She expressed no curiosity as to how I came to know
that she had at first been unable, in the driving mist, to discover
number 127. To girls of her class, knowledge on every subject,


                        By Mrs. Murray Hickson 269
whether important or trivial, appears, in a lady, as a matter of
course. I looked at her again, and it struck me that, in the house,
she should wear a cap and apron. But her dress remained
unchanged since the afternoon.

” You are not going out now ? ” I said, ” so late ? And it is
still raining. Listen, you can hear it on the skylight.”

She listened obediently. The rain, blown by a gusty wind,
pattered upon the big skylight in the roof. Martha glanced at me
from behind her spectacles. ” Yes, m’m, but the mistress told me to post this letter. After
that I may go to bed.” She held a fat, square envelope in her ungloved fingers, and I
knew, without looking at it, that it contained the usual daily letter
from Amy Norris to her lover. I moved impatiently. Why
could not the girl have written earlier in the afternoon ?—this
going out to catch the late post was an old grievance with the
servants, and now I supposed both of them would thrust the dis-
tasteful duty upon Martha.

” But do you know the way ? ” I asked.

” Yes, thank you, m’m,” she answered, and slipped down the
stairs away from me.

Before I went to bed that night I ventured on a sketchy
remonstrance with Amy Norris upon this subject of the late post.

” The girl is young, and evidently country-bred,” I concluded.
” Don’t you think it’s a pity to send her out so late into the streets ?
Could we not all get our letters ready for the last post before
dinner ? ”

Amy looked at me in amazement. She was good-hearted
enough, but perfectly stolid and unapproachable when such small
matters as this were in question, and consideration for servants was
quite beyond her comprehension.


                        270 Martha
” The pillar-box is only three or four minutes walk from here,”
she said. ” Besides, one can’t plan things out like that, beforehand
—it would be a perfect nuisance. It won’t do the girl any harm ;
Eliza always used to go.”

Eliza was a former servant. She was pretty and feather-brained,
and when she left our house some few months earlier, Mrs. Norris
had refused to give her a character. The reason, no doubt, was
unanswerable, but the fault had appeared to me to lie with the
mistress as much as with the maid.

I thought of Eliza, looked at Amy’s plump, satisfied counten-
ance and laughed a little by way of reply. Long experience had
taught me that argument and explanation here—in Mrs. Norris’
boarding-house—were entirely useless weapons.

As I was preparing for bed, I wondered idly if Martha had
found her way safely back, and where she was to sleep. I knew
there was only one room available for the servants, and I supposed
that she was to share it with the cook and the housemaid. The
child interested me ; there was about her an unconscious earnestness
which appealed to me. Her face was stamped with that expression,
at once piteous and irritating, which is the result of a slow but
conscientious nature striving its utmost to keep level with the
demands made upon it by quicker minds. This first night away
from home and in the midst of new surroundings would be very
trying for the girl. My thoughts dwelt on her for a brief space
and then, turning inevitably towards my own affairs, they dropped
her out of their consideration. Presently, I lit a candle and went
up to the box-room, where, amongst other things, I had stored
away several books, one of which I particularly wanted to read.
The box-room was at the top of the house, and was reached by a
short staircase, so steep as to be almost a ladder. From the top
of this ladder, which was of bare deal, uncarpeted, you stepped


                        By Mrs. Murray Hickson 271
directly into the box-room itself, on one side of which was a dark
recess holding a large cistern for water. To-night as I came to
the foot of the stairs, I could hear the water gurgling through the
pipes into the great tank, and caught an intermittent sound of rain
upon the window in the sloping roof. A light shone from the
top of the staircase ; evidently somebody was there before me, and
I blew out my candle ere climbing the ladder. It was late, the
house was very still, and I wondered who had thus invaded my
territory, for, as my bedroom was small, I kept many things
stowed away in my big travelling trunk, and I often came up here
to fetch what, at the moment, I required. When my eyes were
level with the floor of the box-room I stopped suddenly, and I
understood. The room had been turned into a bedchamber.
Trunks and portmanteaus were piled along one side of the wall,
and a small—very small—truckle bedstead stood underneath the
skylight. One chair and a broken-down chest of drawers
completed the furniture. A small square of looking-glass
cracked across one corner, hung upon the wall. Martha herself
knelt beside the bed, her face hidden in the pillow. Her loosened
hair—crisp, and bright chestnut in colour—streamed over her
coarse white night-gown ; her bare feet, as she knelt, were thrust
out from beneath the hem. I stood a moment, and then, for the
girl had neither heard nor seen me, crept cautiously down the
steep stairs back to the landing below. I would go without my
book to-night, for Martha was saying her prayers, and, to judge by
the convulsive movement of her shoulders, Martha was also crying.


A week later our new lady-boarder arrived, and a very fine lady
she was. We, the older occupants of the establishment, shrank


                        272 Martha
into insignificance beside her ; her gowns were so smart, and her
requirements were so many. Now came the time of Martha’s
trial, and, poor child, a severe ordeal it proved to be. She was
called upon, without any previous training, and with no help
beyond her own native wits, to wait at the dinner-table. I must
say that Martha’s wits (being, though tenacious, somewhat slow)
at times failed her ; but, on the whole, it seemed to me that she
did very well indeed, especially as Mrs. Norris, during the dinner
hour, confiscated her spectacles, so that she was obliged to find
her way about the room in that semi-mist which blurs the vision
of very short-sighted people. Her appearance, however, as her
mistress justly observed, was enormously improved thereby ; and
her eyes, albeit often red and swollen with much weeping, were
so well-shaped and charmingly fringed with long lashes that one
could hardly regret the absence of the ugly, though useful,
glasses. Poor little Martha ! She used to hand the dishes,
I remember, with awkward haste and alacrity, born of an earnest
desire to give satisfaction and to succeed. Her cheeks were
flushed, her small hands a trifle tremulous ; her hair—usually
dragged back from her forehead and twisted into a tight knot
behind—had become, by this time in the evening, slightly
loosened : here and there a stray curl crept above her brow. She
was still very shabby ; and in consequence of much hard work
and little leisure, her hands, I noticed, had lost their first appear-
ance of cleanliness, and become permanently roughened and
begrimed. But, in spite of this, I began to look upon Martha as
quite a pretty girl.

She did not have a particularly good time of it, I am afraid ;
she was far too sweet-tempered and anxious to conciliate every-
body. Most of the hard words of the household, and a good deal
of its concentrated ill-temper, fell to her share, and was borne by


                        By Mrs. Murray Hickson 273
her with uncomplaining patience. Now and again—for Martha
was occasionally both slow and uncomprehending—I myself felt
tempted to speak sharply to her ; but something in the expression
of her earnest little face, some unconscious pathos in her person-
ality, restrained me. Gradually, as the weeks passed, I found
myself more and more interested in her—once or twice almost
painfully so.

One day in particular, I remember, things had gone awry with
Martha from morning until night. She let fall, and smashed to
atoms, a vegetable dish which she was handing to her mistress at
luncheon. Mrs. Norris was, naturally, much annoyed, and the
poor girl went through the rest of her duties with burning cheeks,
and an increased clumsiness of manner. Afterwards I heard one
of the other servants scolding her about a fire which had been
allowed to die out, and, later in the evening, I found her in the
hall, undergoing a severe reprimand from Amy Norris, whose
nightly letter she had dropped into the mud on her way to the

” It isn’t only that,” said Amy, with concentrated scorn and
annoyance. “Though such stupidity is bad enough, goodness
knows. But she must needs bring the letter back again, to show
to me—as if that would do any good ! And now she’s missed the
post from the pillar-box. Isn’t it inconceivable ? ”

As the last few words were addressed to me, I nodded in reply.
It certainly did appear inconceivable—I should have posted the
letter and said nothing about it.

Amy rubbed the envelope vigorously with her handkerchief.

” I thought, Miss, I’d better tell you about it, I thought
perhaps you’d like to write it over again,” said Martha, submis-

“You thought—you thought—you’ve no business to think,”


                        274 Martha
snapped Amy. She turned into the dining-room to re-write the
address. The front door was open, and the gas-light from the
hall streamed out into the night. The steps were shining with
wet ; because of the fog, one could hardly see beyond them. The
street, at this time, was almost deserted, but the throb and roar of
a big London thoroughfare close at hand came to us through the

I looked at Martha, who stood waiting beside me. She was
pale, and I noticed that she shifted wearily from one foot to the
other as though too tired to rest her weight upon either. Before,
however, I had time to say more than a hasty word to her, Amy
came back with the letter.

“You must go to the Post-office now,” she said. ” Be quick,
Martha, don’t lose a moment.”

The girl ran hastily down the steps, and Amy shut the door
behind her,

“Stupid little thing,” she said vexedly. “She seems always to
be doing something idiotic. I really don’t see how we are to
keep her.”

I should like to have represented the matter from my point of
view, but upon other people’s affairs, silence is presumably golden ;
therefore I held my peace.

Martha’s cup had been so full all day that, when she came to
my room with hot water at bed-time, a kindly word or two over-
came her completely. She set down the hot water can, and
mopped her streaming eyes with a crumpled pocket-handkerchief.
I waited till her sobs became less suffocating. Presently she
stammered an excuse and an explanation. The mistress, it
appeared, had called her into her room half an hour earlier, and,
complaining that her only black gown was too shabby for daily
wear, had commanded her to buy another with the least possible


                        Mrs. Murray Hickson 275
delay. Also the broken vegetable dish must be made good out of
her next month’s wages.

” I can’t do it, m’m, indeed I can’t,” she said, breathlessly ; ” I
don’t have but seven pound a year ; and I’ve got to help mother
all I can. Father died just before I came here, and mother has
four children besides me to look after ; she’s not strong either,
isn’t mother.”

” Your frock is shabby, Martha,” I said severely ; ” it’s shiny at
the seams and frayed at the hem. As for the vegetable dish—
well, you break a lot of things, you know, and Mrs. Norris is not
rich enough to replace them.”

Martha sniffed sadly.

” But white caps and aprons do run into money,” she remarked,
with apparent irrelevance, and turned towards the door to depart.
Her head drooped disconsolately, her tired feet dragged as she walked.

” Martha,” said I, ” stop a minute, and come here.”

She came back at once, standing before me with tear-stained
cheeks ; her breath, like that of a grieving child, caught now and
again in a vagrant, shivering sob.

I meant to give myself the luxury of a kindness, and Martha
the pleasure of a new gown.

“The vegetable dish,” said I, “you must replace yourself ; but
the frock I will give to you. I will buy the stuff, and we must
find somebody who can make it up for you nicely. But, if I do
this, you must promise me to be very careful in future, and to
break no more dishes.”

For a minute the girl made no reply, then the ready tears
brimmed again into her eyes.

” Oh ! m’m, you are good—you are good,” she said eagerly.
“And I will try; that I will. But I’m that stupid, I never
seem able to do right.”

The Yellow Book Vol. VII. Q


                        276 Martha
” Well, don’t cry—you’ve cried enough to-day. Go to bed,
now, and have a good night ; it’s long past eleven. By the way,
don’t I hear you up very early in the morning ?

Martha’s room was over mine.

” Yes m’m. Now it’s so cold I get up at a quarter to six to make
tea for the other servants. They like a cup in bed in the mornings.”

She said it in all simplicity, and I made no comment upon the
communication. If it had been my own house …. But it
wasn’t, and I had no excuse for interference.

* * * * *

I bought Martha a thick stuff gown—and she needed it.
Winter, which set in late that year, made up for its loitering by
an intense severity. I could barely keep myself warm, even with
the help of a big fire in my bedroom ; Martha’s little chamber
next to the great water-cistern must have been bitterly cold. It
contained no fireplace, and Mrs. Norris, whose fear of fire
amounted to a craze, would not allow the use of a gas-stove. In
all weathers, at all hours, Martha ran the errands of the household.
She was up early, she went to bed late ; how, when she got there,
she contrived to sleep at all, is a mystery to me, save that youth
and hopefulness are potent to achieve miracles. The bitter cold
froze our tempers below zero ; we were fractious and difficult to
please, and Martha, as usual, bore the brunt of everybody’s dissa-
tisfaction ; yet, in spite of her difficult lot, the girl seemed to
expand and flourish. She looked very neat in her new frock, and
I noticed that her hair was arranged more loosely, so that the
fluffy little curls about her forehead showed to advantage. This
was the result of a chance remark of mine—whether wise or not I
am now uncertain. When, at last, winter left us, and the streets
of London broke into an epidemic of violets and of primroses,
Martha had grown into a positively pretty girl.

                                                I had

                        By Mrs. Murray Hickson 277
I had a chat with her one morning in April, and I learnt the
reason of her altered looks. Martha had got a ” young man “—a
young man who, she believed, really cared for her, and wished to
marry her. Meantime they intended ” to keep company “
together. All this she confided to me shyly, with many blushes,
and I—whom love and youth seemed alike to have deserted—
I sighed a little as I listened to her.

Perhaps because I envied her somewhat, perhaps because (now
that the girl was comparatively happy) she no longer appealed to
my warmest sympathies, I did not, from this time, take so keen
an interest in her. And for this I have many times, especially
since my own life warmed under a new sunshine, reproached

Martha was much happier than she had been, but Martha
would have been glad of a little sympathy from me all the same.
She had grown accustomed to my interest in her ; but now, I
fear, she looked for it in vain. She used sometimes to linger
beside the door when she came into my bedroom, and once,
looking up quickly, I caught a wistful expression on her face
which it hurts me now to remember. But there was much to
occupy me just then, and Martha had her lover ; I did not consider
that she needed me.

I wonder how far, and how often, we are responsible for the
misfortunes of those who live under the same roof, and yet are
not upon the same level, with ourselves. I wonder how often a
frank word of warning, of sympathy, or of advice would save our
servant girls from the miserable marriages, or the still more cruel
abandonments, which so frequently become their portion. I don’t
know. Perhaps no one of us can stand between another and her
fate ; perhaps a hundred impalpable differences of thought,
custom, and education build a wall between us and our servants,


                        278 Martha
which only a very rare love and sympathy can overclimb. I can’t
be sure ; but—be that as it may—I never think of Martha, and
of Martha’s patient service and uncomplaining diligence, without
a pang of self-reproach. I was old enough to be her mother, and,
since her mistress would not dream of doing so, I ought to have
kept an eye upon her. But I grew accustomed to her coming
and going ; to her anxious, flushed little face as she handed the
dishes at meal times ; to the sound of her heavy feet as, when
everyone else had gone to bed, she climbed the carpetless ladder
to her attic under the roof, and I forgot how eagerly, in so
dreary a life, she must welcome a little freedom and a little love.

* * * * *

I was away for some time in the early summer, and, on my
return, I found that Martha’s place was filled by a stranger. I made
instant inquiries. Mrs. Norris answered, with full information.
Amy drew herself up in prim and conscious rectitude. She was
to be married in the autumn, and could afford to look with
severity upon the frailty of a servant maid.

Martha, it appeared, had got herself into trouble. Martha,
like Eliza, had been dismissed at once, without a character. She
and her meagre baggage—the same bonnet-box with which she
had arrived, and a rather larger brown-paper parcel—had been
turned out of the house at an hour’s notice. She had begged for
my address, but that, in order to save me from annoyance, had
been withheld from her.

I said very little—what was the use ?—but I found out the
name of the Surrey village from which she had come to us, and I
went down there in the course of the week. My memory of
the girl, as so often happens, was more pathetic than her actual
presence had been. I felt uneasy until I could get news of


                        By Mrs. Murray Hickson 279
It was June weather in the heart of Surrey—that still June
weather which is the essence of an English summer. The lanes
were sweet with dog-roses ; the vines on Martha’s cottage home
were already covered with many small bunches of quaint green
fruit. The air was soft and full of perfume ; the tiny garden was
ablaze with old-fashioned flowers.

Martha’s mother was at home—a tall, frail woman, aged pre-
maturely by poverty and the stress of early motherhood. She
received me, wondering ; but, when I explained my errand, she
burst into sudden tears. I do not know whether grief or anger
held the uppermost place in her heart ; certainly it never occurred
to her that she was to blame for sending her girl, unprepared, into
a world of danger and temptation.

She could give me no news of her daughter—there was no
news to give. Martha had never come home ; her mother evi-
dently did not expect her to do so. She had stepped over the
threshold of 127 Underwood Terrace, and had disappeared into
that outside world which, to such as she, shows little of mercy,
and even less of sympathy and comprehension.

Her mother hardly desires to see her again ; and I—though I
do not forget her—I recall her only as a pathetic memory which,
each year, grows less and less distinct.

On the Yealm

By A. Chevallier Tayler

Voyages dans les Yeux

Par Dauphin Meunier

VAISSEAUX, impatients à l’heure du départ
D’éployer 1’éventail de vos sillons de moire,
N’avez-vous pas de pauvres âmes sans histoire,
Des âmes comme nous éprises de hasard ?

Ne poursuivons-nous pas les mêmes rêves d’or ?
N’ai-je pas comme vous perdu la tramontane,
Interrogé le ciel et la mer océane,
Et touché terre hélas ! bien loin du Labrador. . . .

Mais aussi, loin des bords dont vous faisiez le tour,
J’aventurais alors mes périlleux voyages,
Voulant, pour découvrir le plus beau des rivages,
Des chemins qui n’aient pas ici-bas de retour.


Ainsi, j’ai vu des yeux s’entr’ouvrir plus troublants
Que le soulèvement de la mer courroucée,
Ou calmes et sur qui la paupière abaissée
Semblait en son repos 1’aile des goëlands ;


                        284 Voyages dans les Yeux

Des yeux noyés de nuit, opaques et profonds
Dans leur douleur muette ou leur obscure joie,
Comme 1’eau d’une mare insondée où tournoie
Parfois un ancien mort, surgi de ses bas-fonds ;

D’autres avaient si clairs leurs globes transparents !
D’autres, en leur couleur de pierre aventurine,
Comme on voit dans les flots la roche sous-marine,
Pour un visible écueil m’en cachaient de plus grands.

Sur ceux-là les sourcils recourbés doucement
Paraissaient 1’arc du ciel qui monte et puis décline,
Ou bien, épais et noirs, annonçaient la bruine,
Ou, rejoints et froncés, un long déchaìnement.

Et j’en ai vu, pareils à 1’anse d’un beau port,
Saluer mes couleurs d’éclatantes fanfares ;
J’apercevais de loin le feu certain des phares. . . .
Et je restai longtemps captif de leurs cils d’or.


Ainsi, tantôt en proie au calme décevant,
Tantôt frêle jouet de vaines étendues,
Revenant sans fortune et mes peines perdues,
O vaisseaux ! comme vous j’ai naufragé souvent.


                        Par Dauphin Meunier 285

Maintenant des yeux bleus dans leurs eaux m’ont ancré ;
Et si je voulais fuir, carène surannée,
Ces yeux d’un pur azur de Méditerranée,
Leurs digues retiendraient mon coeur désemparé.

Heureux vaisseaux, pressés de 1’heure du départ,
Eployez donc sans moi vos sillages de moire ;
Sans moi recommencez 1’aventureuse histoire
Des âmes vainement éprises de hasard.

Two Drawings

By Norman Garstin

 I. Trengwainton
II. A Portrait

The Web of Maya


Le Tas is the name of the land lying at the southern extremity
of the Isle of Saint Maclou. It would form a separate islet
by itself, but that it is joined to the larger one by an isthmus, a
wall of rock, of such dizzy height, of such sheer descent, that
the narrow road on top gropes falteringly its perilous way from
side to side.

The fishermen of Saint Maclou, who are also its farmers, its
field-labourers, its coachmen, when driving a party of trippers
over to Le Tas, get down at the beginning of the Coupée, as
this strange isthmus is called, and, in their courteous broken English,
invite their fares to get down too. Then, holding the horse by
the bridle, and walking backwards before him, the driver leads
him over the Coupée, turning an anxious eye this side and the
other, to see that the wheels keep within the meagre limits : for, a
careless movement here—a false step—and you would be precipitated
down a clear three hundred feet to the sea below. But it is only
an experienced fisherman who will take you over the Coupée at
all. If a young man happens to be driving, he will send you into


                        292 The Web of Maya
Le Tas on foot, while he smokes his cigar, as he waits for you in
safety at the Saint Maclou end.

Le Tas, as its name suggests, is just a mound or heap of rocks.
Flung up there by the sea, ages ago, the same sea has already so
undermined it, so under-tunnelled it, that with a few ages more
it must crumble in, and sink again to the ocean bed from which
it came.

There are very few houses on Saint Maclou ; besides the
Seigneurie, the Rectory, and the Belle Vue Hotel, perhaps only
some forty homesteads and cottages. On Le Tas there are
but five all told. You come upon four of these shortly after
crossing the Coupée. Grouped together in a hollow which
hides them from the road, they are still further hidden by
the trees planted to shelter them from the great westerly gales.
But, should you happen to make your way down to them, you
would discover a homely and genial picture : little gardens ablaze
with flowers, tethered cows munching the grass, fowls clacking,
pigeons preening themselves and cooing, children playing on the
thresholds, perhaps a woman, in the black sun-bonnet of the
Islands, hanging her linen out to dry, between the gnarled apple
trees of the little orchard on the right.

When you have left these cottages behind you, Le Tas
grows wilder and more barren with every step you take. At first
you walk through gorse and bracken ; patches of purple heather
contrast with straggling patches of golden ragwort. But, further
on, nothing grows from the thin layer of wind-carried soil, save a
short grass, spread out like a mantle of worn green velvet, through
which bare granite knees and elbows protrude at every point.
You see no sign of life, but a goat or two browsing on the steep
declivities, the rabbits scudding among the ferns, the rows of
cormorants standing in dark sedateness on the rocks below. You


                        By Ella D’Arcy 293
hear nothing but the strange complaining cry of the sea-gull, as
it floats above your head on wide-spreading motionless wings, and
draws, as by an invisible string, a swift-flying shadow far behind
it, over the sunny turf.

Here, at the very end of Le Tas, facing the sea, stands the
fifth house, a low squalid cottage, or rather a row of cottages, built
of wood, and tarred over, with a long, unbroken, shed-like roof of
slate. It has no garden, no yard, nor any sort of enclosure, but
stands set down barely there upon the grass, as a child sets down
a toy-house upon a table.

It was built to lodge the miners, when, forty years since, great
hopes were entertained of extracting silver from the granite of Le
Tas. Shafts were sunk, a plant imported, a row of half-a-dozen
one-roomed cottages run up on the summit of the rock. But the
little silver that was found never paid the expenses of working.
The mines were long ago abandoned, though the stone chimneys
of their shafts still raise their heads among the bracken, and, white-
washed over, serve as extra landmarks to the boatmen out at sea.

The cottages had been long disused, or only intermittently in-
habited, until, one day, Philip Le Mesurier, of Jersey, called upon
the Seigneur, and offered to rent them for himself. It was just
after Le Mesurier’s six years of unhappy married life had come to
an end. Mrs. Le Mesurier had, one night, without any warning,
left Rozaine Manor, taking her little son with her, and she had
absolutely refused to go back, or to live with her husband again.
There had been a great scandal. The noise of it had spread
through the islands. It had even reached Saint Maclou. Women
said that Le Mesurier had ill-used his wife shamefully, had beaten
her before the servants, had habitually permitted himself the most
disgusting language. He was known to have the Le Mesurier
violent temper ; he was suspected of having the Le Mesurier taste


                        294 The Web of Maya
for drink. Lily Le Mesurier, on the other hand, was spoken of
as the sweetest, the most long-suffering of God’s creatures, a
martyred angel, against whom, though she was young and pretty,
no worse fault could be alleged than that she was ” clever ” and
read ” deep ” books. A most devoted mother, it was only when
she at last realised that she must not expose her child to the daily
degradation of his father’s example, that she had finally deter-
mined upon a step so inexpressibly painful to her feelings as a

A few men shrugged their shoulders ; said they should like to
hear Le Mesurier’s side of the story ; but knew they would never
hear it, as he was much too proud to stoop to self-excusings.

The Seigneur of Saint Maclou was among those whose sym-
pathies went with Le Mesurier. They had a club acquaintance-
ship in Jersey. He welcomed him to Saint Maclou ; converted
the ” Barracks,” as the cottages on Le Tas were called, into a
single house, more or less convenient ; and hoped that during
the short time Le Mesurier would probably remain on the island,
he would come often to the Seigneurie.

The young man thanked him, sent over a little furniture, came
himself, with his guns and his fishing tackle, and took up his
residence in the Barracks. But he went very seldom to the
Seigneurie, where he ran the risk of meeting visitors from Jersey ;
and when this had happened a second time, he went there no more.
And he stayed on at Le Tas long after the reason he had given
for his presence—that he had come for a holiday, to sketch, to
shoot, to fish—had ceased to find credence. He stayed on
through the autumn, through the winter, through the spring ; he
neither fished, nor shot, nor painted ; he held no intercourse with
anyone ; he lived entirely alone. The only person with whom
he ever exchanged a word was Monsieur Chauchat, the French


                        By Ella D’Arcy 295
pastor. Sometimes, in the evening, Le Mesurier would walk over
to Saint Maclou, and smoke a pipe at the Rectory ; sometimes,
when the weather was tempting, the old clergyman, who liked
him and pitied him, would come up in the afternoon to pay a
visit to the Barracks ; but these meetings between them were
rare, and, as Le Mesurier grew more moody, and Chauchat more
feeble, they became rarer still.

But one day, in the dirty living-room of his cottage, Le
Mesurier sat and entertained an unexpected and most unwel-
come guest.

Outside the window nothing was visible but whiteness—an
opaque, luminous, sun-suffused whiteness, which obliterated earth
and sky and sea. For Le Tas, and Saint Maclou, and the whole
Island Archipelago, were enveloped in one of those wet and
hurrying mists so common here in August. It blew from the
north-east ; broke against the high cliffs of Saint Maclou, as a
river breaks against a boulder ; overflowed the top ; lay in every
valley like some still inland lake ; and, pouring down every head-
land on the south and west, swept out again to sea.

The cottage on Le Tas, at all times solitary, was this afternoon
completely cut off from the rest of the world.

Le Mesurier’s living-room, in its dirt and its disorder, showed
plainly that no woman ever came there. Unwashed cooking
utensils and crockery littered up the hearth and dresser ; the baize
cover and cushions of the jonquière, often lain upon, were never
shaken or cleaned ; rusting guns, disordered fishing tackle, can
-vases, a battered oil-paint box, spoke of occupations thrown
aside and tastes forgotten. On a table in the window were
writing-materials, a couple of dog-eared books, a tobacco-jar, a


                        296 The Web of Maya
pipe, and a bottle of whisky. These last, of all the articles in
the room, alone showed the lustre which comes from frequent use.

The host’s appearance matched his surroundings. He wore a
dirty flannel shirt, a ragged, paint-stained coat, burst canvas shoes.
His hands were unwashed ; his hair and beard were uncombed,
and neither had been touched by scissors for the last six months.

The guest, on the contrary, was clean, fragrant, irreproachable
at every point ; in a light grey summer suit, and brown boots ;
with glossy linen, and glossy, well-kept finger-nails. He had a
trick of drawing these together in an even row over the palm
of his hand, while he contemplated them admiringly, his head a
little on one side. The dabs of light reflected from their surface
made them look like a row of polished pink shells. Le Mesurier
remembered this trick of old, and hated Shergold for it, but not
more than he hated him for everything else.

Shergold, on his arrival, had asked for something to eat ; and
Le Mesurier had taken bread and cheese from the cupboard, and
flung them down on the table before him, and had filled a great
tin jug—one of the curious tin jugs never seen elsewhere than in
the Islands—with cider from the cask in the corner.

” Yes,” Shergold was saying, ” we were two hours late ; and,
but that old Hamon piloted us, we might never have got here at
all. I don’t believe any one but Hamon could have kept us off
the rocks to-day. I only hope we shall make better time going
back, or I shall lose the boat for Jersey. That would mean staying
in Jacques-le-Port until Monday, and I’m anxious to get to Lily
at once. She will be so glad to know I have seen you, to hear all
about you.”

Le Mesurier’s dull, quiescent hate sprang suddenly into activity.
He felt he could have throttled the man who sat so calmly on the
other side of the table, eating, and speaking between his mouthfuls


                        By Ella D’Arcy 297
of Le Mesurier’s wife. He could have throttled him for the
unctuous correctness of his appearance, for his conventional,
meaningless good looks, for those empty, showy eyes of his,
which the fools who believed in him called ” flashing ” and
” intellectual ; ” he could have throttled him for the air of self-
satisfaction, of complacency, breathed by his whole person ; he
could have throttled him for the amiable lie he had just told of
Lily’s anxiety for news of himself, her husband. All Lily was
anxious to hear, of course, was that Shergold had obtained Le
Mesurier’s consent to the business proposition over which they
had been corresponding for so long, and which to-day was the
occasion of Shergold’s visit.

But he concealed his rage, and only showed his surprise at
hearing that Lily was again in Jersey. For one of the many
subjects of disagreement between her and himself, one of their
many causes of quarrel, had been her persistent detestation of

Shergold explained : ” Yes. I hadn’t time to mention it in my
last letter ; but Lily left London on Monday, and has gone to
some very nice rooms I was able to secure for her at Beaumont.
In fact, my old rooms—you will remember them—when I was at
the College.”

“She might at least have gone home,” said Le Mesurier,
with bitterness, ” since I’m not there to contaminate the place.
Rozaine, as she knows, is always at her service.”

“Ah, yes—of course—thank you—you are very kind. But the
air at Rozaine is hardly sufficiently bracing. You see, it’s on
account of the boy. He has been overworking at his studies,
and needs sea-bathing, tonic, ozone.”

The impertinence of Shergold’s thanks might have stung
Le Mesurier to an angry retort, but that the mention of his little

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. R


                        298 The Web of Maya
son, whom he had not seen for more than a year, turned his
thoughts and feelings upon a different bent. He caught himself
wishing that he could have him out here on Le Tas. The keen
air, the free, out-of-door, wholesome life, would soon put health
into the body, and colour into the pale little face, that rose
so vividly before the father’s mind. Another of the causes of
dissension between Le Mesurier and Lily had been the system,
inspired by Shergold, which she had rigorously insisted upon
following in the training and education of the child. Every day
had its regular set programme of lessons and of play ; but the play
consisted of formal exercise—” Calisthenics,” as Shergold termed
it—which at stated hours the boy was obliged to accomplish ; so
that, to his constrained young spirit, it no doubt became as irk-
some as a task. And then, Shergold, though a hearty consumer
of butcher’s meat in practice, was, in theory, a convinced vege-
tarian ; and Lily, despite her husband’s most earnest, most violent
opposition, would allow little Phil no stronger nourishment than
such as might be contained in beans and lentils.

Le Mesurier spoke aloud, impulsively. ” Lily might send
Phil to me for a few weeks, I think. It would do him all the
good in the world. It is much healthier here than at Beaumont.”

Shergold raised his eyebrows, and took a comprehensive glance
round the unswept, uncleaned, undusted room.

” Oh, I’d have a woman in. I’d have all this set right,” said
the father, eagerly.

“You can hardly be serious,” answered Shergold. ” You know
Lily’s views. You could hardly expect her to let Phil stop here
alone with you.”

Le Mesurier flushed angrily.

” After all, he’s my own child. If I chose to assert my rights
—if I should insist on having him—”


                        By Ella D’Arcy 299
” Oh, your rights ! ” interrupted Shergold. ” Come, come.
You’re forgetting our agreement. The boy remains in his
mother’s care, and under her control, till he’s one-and-twenty,
and you’re not to interfere.”

“But it was understood that I could see him whenever I

“And so you can. But you must go to see him ; Lily can’t
let him leave her, to come to you. If you choose to exile your-
self to Le Tas, and lead this solitary, half-savage sort of life, you
can’t complain that you’re prevented from seeing Phil. It’s your
own fault. You ought to be living at Rozaine.”

“Tell my wife what she ought or ought not to do, since she’s
fool enough to listen to you,” broke out Le Mesurier hotly, ” and
be damned to you both ! I shall do as I please. What business
is it of yours where or how I live ? ”

Shergold shrugged his shoulders.

“You appear to be as violent in temper, and as unrestrained in
language, as ever,” he said calmly. ” A pretty example you’d set
your son ! But we’re straying from the point. Let’s give our
attention to the business that brought me here, and get it done
with.” He drew a large envelope from the inner breast-pocket of
his coat.

” You may save yourself the trouble of opening that,” Le
Mesurier informed him. ” Let Lily send me the boy for a month,
and I’ll consider the matter. Under present conditions, I refuse
even to discuss it with you.”

” Nonsense,” said Shergold. ” You know she won’t send you
the boy. The notion is preposterous. Now, as for these

“I refuse to discuss the matter,” Le Mesurier repeated. ” Send
me Phil, and we’ll see. But, until then, I refuse to discuss it


                        300 The Web of Maya
with you. If Lily hesitates, use your influence with her,” he
added sardonically. ” The notion’s preposterous, if you like, but
you’ve persuaded her to more preposterous courses still, before
now. You’ve persuaded her to leave her husband, to give up her
position, her duties ; you’ve persuaded her to go and live in
London, to be near you, to complete her education, to develop
her individuality, and a lot of damned rot of that sort. Well, now,
persuade her to this. Persuade her to let me have the boy for a
time. Persuade her that it’s for Phil’s own good. And tell her
roundly that I refuse absolutely to hold any kind of business
discussions with either her or her agent, until I’ve got the boy.”

“You’re mad, Le Mesurier. It is I, as you know, who have
consistently advised Lily, on the contrary, to remove the boy as
far as possible from your influence. If you are serious in asking
me now to urge her to let him come here, and live alone with
you, day in and day out, for a month—really, you must be

” Very good. Mad or not, you have heard my last word.
And if you cannot see your way to meeting my wishes in
the matter, I don’t know that there’s anything that need detain
you here longer.”

He looked significantly from Shergold to the door. The mist
was lifting a little. A pale sun was just visible behind it, a disc
of gold shining through a veil ; and here and there, through rifts,
one could catch glimpses of faint blue sky.

Shergold, vexed, hesitant, looked at his watch.

” You’re wasting precious time,” he said, impatiently.
” What’s the use of opening old sores ? You know our decision
about the child is irrevocably fixed. You yourself assented to it
long ago. What’s the sense of letting this new idea of yours—
this freak—this whim, to have him here—interfere with business


                        By Ella D’Arcy 301
of importance—business about which I’ve taken the trouble to
pay you this altogether distasteful visit ?”

But Le Mesurier merely opened the door, and with a gesture
invited Shergold to pass out. His expression was so menacing,
his gesture might so easily have transformed itself into the pre-
paration for a blow, that Shergold instinctively moved towards
the threshold.

” You refuse to consider the matter ? ” he asked.

“Let Lily send the boy, and I’ll consider it.”

” That’s your last word ?”

” No ! ” shouted Le Mesurier, suddenly losing all control of
himself. ” Go to Hell, you sneaking Jesuit ! That’s my last
word.” Then, finding a certain childish joy in the mere calling
of names—the mere utterance of his hate, his fury : ” You empty
wind-bag ! You low-bred pedant ! You bloated mass of self-
conceit ! Go to Hell ! ”

And he flung the door to, in Shergold’s astonished face.

Le Mesurier stood alone in the cottage, shaken by impotent
rage. His thoughts followed Shergold going away ; unsuccessful,
indeed, but superior, calm, self-satisfied ; full of a lofty contempt,
a Pharisaic pity, for Le Mesurier’s violence, for his childishness,
his ineffectual profanity, his miserable mode of life. Le Mesurier
could imagine Shergold telling Lily of her husband’s churlish
refusal to discuss the business that had taken him to Saint Maclou ;
of the impossible condition he had imposed ; of his dirty surround-
ings, his neglected appearance, his brutal language, his ungovern-
able temper. Le Mesurier saw the disgust such a narration would
inspire in his wife, the fresh justification she would find in it for
all her past conduct. And he imagined how, while Shergold and


                        302 The Web of Maya
Lily talked him over, Phil, the child, his son, would catch a word
here and there, as children do, and would unconsciously conceive
a prejudice against his father, which would influence him through
life. . . . God! it was unendurable. Was there no way? . . . .

Then, all at once, he laughed. An idea had begun to push its
head insidiously up from among the confusion of his thoughts.
The idea surprised him, pleased him, tempted him ; and, as he
contemplated it, he laughed. . . .

In a moment he opened the door and hurried out, after

The sun was again hidden, the blue rifts had closed, the mist
was thicker than before. But, a little distance ahead, a dark
form was silhouetted on the whiteness ; and, thrilling with ex-
citement, in a glow of irresponsible gaiety, Le Mesurier, following
noiselessly over the grass, kept this form in view.

Along the meandering foot-worn track, which leads from the
Barracks back over Le Tas ; down through the gorse and bracken ;
on through the lane that skirts the tree-sheltered cottages ; and so
to the beginning of the Coupée, where the land falls away, and
nothing is left but the narrow road that creeps tremulously over
the top of the rock wall, three hundred feet high, with a precipice
on either side, and the sea at the bottom : Le Mesurier stealthily
followed Shergold.

And when the middle of the Coupée was reached, Le Mesurier
knew that the moment had come. He acted promptly. Before there
was time for speech between the men, the thing was done, and he
stood there on the road alone—a startled broken cry still ringing
in his ears ; then, after what seemed a long interval of silence, a
splash, a far-away muffled splash, from deep below, as if he had
dropped a stone, wrapped in a blanket, into the water.

Le Mesurier waited till the silence grew round and complete


                        By Ella D’Arcy 303
again. And presently he turned away light-heartedly, and walked
back to the Barracks.


He was glad, very glad, that his enemy was dead.

This was the thought, this the feeling—a feeling of gladness,
a thought, “But I am glad, glad, glad!”—which kept him
company all the succeeding days.

The knowledge that he would never have to see him again—
never again look upon his fatuous, handsome face—never again
listen to his voice, his smooth, even, complacent voice—this
knowledge poured through him with warm comfort.

He would lie out on the grass, in the sun, revelling in a sensa-
sation of well-being that was almost physical, and rehearsing in
memory the events as they had happened : Shergold’s arrival,
their conversation, Shergold’s departure ; the great, good, satisfying
outburst of vituperation with which Le Mesurier had pursued him
from his threshold ; and then that brief moment of soul-filling
consummation, of tangible, ponderable joy, on the Coupée.

Remorse ? No, he did not feel the slightest remorse.
” Remorse ?—I thought a man who had killed another always
felt remorse,” he said to himself, with a vague sort of surprise, but
with very certain exultation. Hitherto, he had accepted tacitly
the conventional teachings on the subject. Bloodguiltiness must
be followed by remorse, as certainly as night by morning. The
slayer destroyed, along with his victim, his own peace for ever.
He could no more enjoy food, rest, or pleasant indolence. And sleep
—” Macbeth has murdered sleep ! ” He must always be haunted by
the reproachful phantom of the dead, and shaken by continual ague-
fits of terror, gnawed by perpetual dread, lest his crime should be


                        304 The Web of Maya
discovered and brought home to him. These were the ready-made
notions the truth of which Le Mesurier had taken for granted :
but now he had tested them ; he had tested them, and behold,
they were false. After all, he told himself, every man’s experience
is individual ; you can learn nothing from books, nothing from
the experience of others. Hearsay evidence is worthless. ” I am
a murderer, as it is called. I should inevitably be hanged if they
could prove the thing against me. And yet—remorse ? ” No ;
he felt himself to be a thousand times happier, a thousand times
easier in his mind, a thousand times more contented, more at
peace, than he had ever been in the days of his innocence. In killing
Shergold, he had simply removed an intolerable burden from his

He found himself singing, whistling, scraps of opera, snatches
of old ballads, as he went about the daily routine of preparing his
food, or as he wandered hither and thither over the scant sun-
burned grass of the islet. After all, Shergold had well-deserved
his fate. It was owing to him that Le Mesurier’s life was ruined,
his home broken up, his boy separated from him, his wife’s affec-
tions alienated. It was thanks to Shergold that he had come here,
more than a year ago, to lead the life of a misanthrope, alone in
this melancholy cottage on Le Tas.

And yet, Shergold was not his wife’s lover ; had never been her
lover ; never, Le Mesurier knew, had desired to be her lover. He
thought he could almost have forgiven Shergold more easily if he
had been her lover ; the situation would have seemed, somehow,
less abnormal than the actual one. But Shergold had got at her
intellectually, had seduced her mind, had subjugated her spiritually.
He had known her before her marriage, ever since she was a girl
of sixteen. He had given her lessons in Greek, in mathematics.
Possibly, had he not been a married man himself at the time, he


                        By Ella D’Arcy 305
might have thought of marrying her. But it was after her
marriage, and after his own wife’s death, about a year afterwards, that
his ascendancy over her became marked, that his constant presence
at Rozaine began vaguely to irritate Le Mesurier.

He was such a cold, self-righteous, solemn, pompous pedant,
and withal such an ass, so shallow, so empty, so null, Le Mesurier
felt. His pose of mental superiority was so unwarranted, so
odious. He betrayed in a hundred inflections of his voice, in
perpetual supercilious upliftings of his eyebrows, the contempt he
entertained for Lily’s husband, as for a mere eating, drinking,
sport-loving animal, without
culture, without fineness, without
acquirements, but unfairly endowed by Fortune with large estates
and a charming wife ; a wife who, in other hands, with a wise and
discerning helpmeet, might (to use one of Shergold’s own irrita-
ting catch-words), “have raised the pyramid of self-culture to the
highest point.” Shergold imagined himself to be like Goethe, to
resemble him physically, as well as temperamentally, and in the
character of his mind ; and he was constantly adopting, and adapting
to the exigencies of the moment, tag-ends of the poet’s phrases.
He had a deep-seated, intimate conviction—a conviction based
not on evidence, not on experience, not on work accomplished,
but born, full-fledged, of his own instinctive egotism—that he was,
not merely a clever man, not merely a man of uncommon parts,
but a Great Man, a Man of transcendent Genius. It was as
a Man of Genius that Lily Le Mesurier looked up to him ; it was
as a Man of Genius that he looked down upon Lily Le Mesurier’s
husband. And yet Philip, modest enough, and unpretentious,
could not help realising in his heart, that, of the two, he himself
was, in point of real native intelligence, the better man.

Shergold displayed a silent commiseration for Lily which in-
furiated Le Mesurier. He taught her to commiserate herself.


                        306 The Web of Maya
She turned to him for sympathy in all her imagined troubles ; she
sought his advice on every point. She put the management of
the child virtually into his hands. He was always at Rozaine.
He came up there every day, directly his duties at the College
left him free. Lily kept him to dinner three or four times a
week. If Le Mesurier grumbled, she complained that he grudged
her her only amusement—good conversation ; that, save Professor
Shergold, she never met any one worth listening to, worth talking
to. He was the only man who understood her. Life was dull
enough, Heaven knew, at Rozaine ; and, if Philip was going to
object to the Professor’s visits, she would not be able to live there at
all. It was an effective threat, the value of which Lily thoroughly
appreciated, a threat she did not scruple to employ as often as
occasion demanded, that she would “not be able to go on living
at Rozaine ; ” for Le Mesurier had a dumb passion for the place,
and an immense pride in it : it was his home, his birthplace, it had
been in his family for generations. His love for Lily was a
passion too. To live at Rozaine with her—with children possibly
—he had pictured to himself as the ideal of absolute happiness.
He could as little imagine himself living anywhere else, as he
could imagine himself living without Lily. So what could he do
but submit, and confirm Lily’s constant invitations to Shergold,
with such cordiality as he could feign, and sit silent at the head of
his table, while these two talked radicalism, agnosticism, blatant
futilities, cheap enthusiasms of all sorts ? The Emancipation of
Woman, the Abolition of Monarchy, State Socialism, Disestablish-
ment. . . . And Le Mesurier was conservative, as all the Islanders
are, and religious as men go. That is to say, he honoured the
Church in which he had been brought up, and in which all those
whom he had cared for had lived and died.

It troubled him, therefore, that, when little Phil began to talk,


                        By Ella D’Arcy 307
Lily protested against the child’s being taught any prayers. The
Professor, she said, held it criminal to fill a child’s mind with
discredited theologies. No mention of the Christian Myth
should be permitted in his presence till he was old enough to
judge, to discriminate for himself. ” It was just as criminal as it
would be to offer him innutritious or deleterious food for his physical
sustenance,” Shergold explained. When Phil was three years
old, Le Mesurier put his foot down, and declared that the child
must be brought up a Christian. There was a great scene, at the
end of which Le Mesurier’s anger exploded in curses ; and Lily
seized the opportunity for the appropriate sneer that ” if that sort
of language was Christian, she preferred the language of Atheists.”
Shergold urged, “But my dear fellow! Be reasonable. You
don’t want to teach your son demoralising superstitions. The exis-
tence of a God, the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth—I can prove to
you the absurdity of both in five minutes, if you will listen. It’s
monstrous to instil such unscientific and pernicious dogmas into
the brain of a three-year-old infant.” Le Mesurier took Phil on
his knee, alone in the nursery, and taught him the simple prayer
he himself had used as a child.

After their discussion, and Le Mesurier’s burst of profanity,
Shergold had left the house in injured dignity ; and Lily had
retired to her room, and remained there for forty-eight hours. At
the end of that time Le Mesurier was reduced to submission.
Lily insisted on his going down to the College, and bringing the
Professor back to dinner. The old footing was resumed, and
things went from bad to infinitely worse. Every periodic out-
break on Le Mesurier’s part was more violent than the last, and
every reparation exacted from him was more galling. The legend
of his violence, of his ill-conduct, began to spread about the
Island, and to form one of the chosen themes of gossip at the club,


                        308 The Web of Maya
and at St. Hélier’s tea-parties. The absolutely platonic nature of
the Professor’s relations with Lily seemed to be understood, for in
a place where scandal is peculiarly rife, their friendship never
excited any.

In the course of six years Le Mesurier had become a cipher in
his own house, and Shergold ruled by suggestion in small things
as well as in great. Le Mesurier covered an intolerable hatred
with a sullen and morose manner, and had endured with apparent
insensibility many keener mortifications than the one which
finally brought matters to a crisis.

He had come home tired one day from the golf links, and
found Shergold, as usual, discoursing to Lily in the drawing-
room. Le Mesurier threw himself into an easy chair, conscious
of no more than his habitual annoyance. The drawing-room tea
had been taken away, and it wanted about half-an-hour to dinner.
Shergold commented on his fagged appearance, and offered him

” Come now, do take a glass of wine,” he said, ” or some
brandy and soda ; ” with all the cordial civility of a man dispensing
hospitality from his own hearth-rug. ” Let me ring for it.”

But before he could touch the bell, Le Mesurier was on his
feet, his temper boiling over, his mouth spluttering forth indignant
protestations. The infernal insolence of the man, to play the
host to him in his own house ! ” By God,” he cried, ” I think
this really is the limit ! ”

The Professor, always coldly superior, and deaf to Lily’s
entreaties where his own dignity was at stake, took up his hat,
and left the room. A moment later he was passing before the
windows on his way to the lodge-gates.

Then came a scene with Lily, more shattering than anything
Le Mesurier could have imagined. In her cool little voice, she said


                        By Ella D’Arcy 309
the cruellest things. Her tongue cut like the lash of a cunningly
contrived whip, and she brought it down again and again on the
most sensitive places of his soul ; those secret places which no
mere enemy could have discovered, but which, because of his love
for her, he had exposed fearlessly to her mercy. His pain turned
to anger : his anger became really a brief madness. He had
suddenly found himself standing over her, holding her by the
shoulder, shaking her violently. ” Damn you, you little devil ! “
he had shouted, and his ringers had thrilled to strike her on her
pale provocative face ; but instinct, rather than deliberate forbear-
ance, had saved him from this, and he had gripped her shoulder
instead. Then at that very moment the door had opened, and
Harris had entered to announce dinner. She had stood and
looked at him with narrowing, malignant eyes—God, those eyes
he had so worshipped !—” You need not strike me before the
servants,” she had said, just as though he had been in the habit
of striking her, and she had raised her clear voice a little,
obviously that the man might hear. Le Mesurier had hastily
moved back a step, but his cuff-link had caught in the filmy stuff
that filled in the neck of her dress, and a portion of it had torn
away, and hung in a long fluttering strip from his sleeve. She
had made no movement to cover her bare neck ; on the contrary,
she pushed up her shoulder through the gap, and turned her eyes,
now tender, grieving eyes, to look at the five angry crimson
marks rising up on the white skin. Harris, of course, had seen
them plainly too. She had refused to go into dinner, she had
gone to her room ; when, later, Le Mesurier went there to ask
forgiveness, he could not find her. The boy’s crib in the next
room was empty. His wife had left Rozaine, and taken the child
with her. She had gone to an hotel in St. Hélier’s for the night,
and left for her father’s house in England the next morning.


                        310 The Web of Maya
She had steadfastly refused to return, and Shergold had
supported her in her refusal. He had shortly after this given
up his appointment at Saint Hélier’s for a better one in London,
where he had lived near Lily, influencing her as much as
ever, seeing her, doubtless, every day. In the few letters
which Lily had written her husband since the separation—
letters dealing always with points of business, with money
arrangements, rendered necessary by their altered relations—
Le Mesurier recognised, in the cold, judicial tone, the well-
arranged phrases, Shergold’s guiding hand. He at first had
answered them briefly, latterly not at all, and it was his final
persistent silence which had brought his enemy in person to
Le Tas, and delivered him into his hands.—Oh, he was glad he
had killed him ! Shergold had ruined his life, and he had taken
Shergold’s. They were quits at last. No, he felt no remorse.

But neither did he feel any fear ; and this surprised him, for
that the transgressor should fear discovery and retribution was
within every man’s experience. He began to ask himself how
this was, and he came to believe that it arose from the fact that
he had in reality no cause for fear. Discovery was practically an
impossibility. In the first place, no one knew that Shergold had
come to Saint Maclou at all. He had told Le Mesurier it was a
sudden idea which had occurred to him during dinner, on which
he had acted the same night. Then the boat had been so late,
that, to save time, he had not gone into the hotel, where he
might have been remembered, but had come up to Le Tas over
the cliffs, without notice or recognition from anybody. That he
should have been seen between leaving the cottage and reaching
the Coupée was impossible. Le Mesurier had followed him closely


                        By Ella D’Arcy 311
enough all the way to know that no one else had been at any
time in sight. So thick was the mist, that a third person, to have
seen him at all, must have passed within arm’s length. From all
danger of an eye-witness to his being in Shergold’s company, or
to the supreme moment on the Coupée, Le Mesurier felt secure.

But there was the chance that the body might be recovered.
It might be washed up on the Island or elsewhere. The body
of young Hamon, who had fallen from the cliffs the previous
summer, while searching for gulls eggs, had been found three
weeks later, so far away as the Isle of Wight. It had been
unrecognisable, for the face was completely destroyed, but it
had been identified by a pocket-knife with the lad’s name engraved
upon the haft. Le Mesurier wondered whether there was any-
thing on Shergold’s person to identify him. Letters? The water
would have reduced these to pulp. A ring? The hands and
fingers were always the parts first attacked by the fish.

He recalled the gruesome stories told by the boatmen as they
row you from point to point, or which the women repeat to
each other during the long winter evenings as they sit over the
peat fires : stories of the cave-crabs, of the voracious fish which
swarm round these coasts ; of the mackerel which come in shoals,
hundreds of thousands strong, roughening the calm sea like a wind,
making a noise like thunder or the engines of some great steamer,
as they cut through the surface of the water in pursuit of the
little fish that fly before them. One story goes that a man
swimming out from Grève de la Mauve unwittingly struck into
such a shoal, and in an instant was pulled down by a million
tenacious mouths and never seen again. . . . No, there was not
much fear that Shergold’s body would be found.

But even supposing the body were found and were recognised ;
even supposing Shergold’s movements could be traced to Saint


                        312 The Web of Maya
Maclou, that his visit to Le Mesurier could be proved : there was
no iota of evidence to connect Le Mesurier with his death.
Le Mesurier’s policy would be frankly to acknowledge the visit, to
describe how Shergold had left him, and to call to remembrance
the mist which had prevailed on that day. What more natural
than that Shergold should have met with a misadventure on the
way back, have walked over the cliff’s edge instead of keeping to
the path, have missed his footing and fallen from the Coupée ?
Such misadventures were constantly happening, even among the
fishermen. There was not a point on the Island which was not
already the scene of some such tragedy. Le Mesurier assured
himself he had no cause for fear.

But as the days and weeks went by, what did surprise him
exceedingly was that he received no communication from Lily to
acquaint him with the Professor’s disappearance. It had seemed
certain that she would write. For long ago Shergold must have
been missed ; first by his landlady, then by his friends. There
would have been much speculation, anxious enquiries, newspaper
paragraphs, in which his person would be described, a reward
offered. Then, as time went on, and nothing was heard of him,
the anxiety must have grown. There must have been an
immense noise, a tremendous amount of talk. For he was, in
his way, a well-known man, a person of consideration ; he held a
responsible post. Le Mesurier never saw a newspaper ; not more
than a dozen, perhaps, were read in the whole of Saint Maclou,
and these were chiefly local papers from Jacques-le-Port ; but
he could imagine the excitement of the London Press, the
articles which were being written on the subject, the letters, the
suggestions, which every day must be bringing forth.


                        By Ella D’Arcy 313
And nevertheless, Le Mesurier received no notification from
Lily ; no news of any sort, no rumour touching Shergold’s fate
was ever carried to Le Tas. The strangeness of such a silence
could only confirm him in the belief that Shergold had spoken to
no one of his intended journey to Saint Maclou, and he again told
himself he was absolutely safe. He turned to dismiss the subject
from his mind.

But he found to his astonishment that he could not dismiss it, that
it had become a fixed idea, an obsession, which overpowered his will.
He was as impotent to chase Shergold from his waking thoughts
as from his troubled nightly dreams. If he looked up suddenly
to the window, it was because he fancied he had seen Shergold’s
head passing rapidly by ; if he caught himself listening intently
in the stillness, he knew a moment later that it was because he
fancied Shergold had spoken, and that the vibrations of his voice
still shook the air. It was a horrible disappointment to learn that
instead of ridding himself of Shergold, as he had hoped, he seemed
to have bound himself up with him inseparably for ever. While
he had been alive, Le Mesurier, once out of his presence, had often
forgotten him for days at a time ; now that he was dead, Le
Mesurier could think of nothing else.

But a more curious development was, that as time went by, he
noticed that his old, hearty, satisfying hatred for the man was
fading away. Does not absence always weaken hatred ? And
when you realise the absence to be eternal, to be the immutable
absence of death, is not hatred extinguished ? Love is stronger
than death, for love is positive, affirmative. But hatred ? Hatred
is negative ; hatred is a manifestation of the transitory Nay, not
of the everlasting Yea. Is it possible to hate the dead ?

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. s

                                                Le Mesurier

                        314 The Web of Maya
Le Mesurier no longer hated the man he had killed. A faint,
hesitant sort of consideration, even of fellow-feeling for him, began
gradually to edge its way in among his thoughts. He would
sometimes try to put himself in Shergold’s place ; he would try
to reconstruct the past from Shergold’s point of view.

He found he could no longer persuade himself that Shergold
had been conscious of the evil he had wrought. On the contrary,
he recognised that the man had been honest according to his lights ;
that he had committed no crime against the accepted code. He
might have acquired his influence over Lily, through no wish, no
effort of his own. He had been one of those showy characters
whom women always worship ; he had possessed that superficial
glittering cleverness that always catches a woman’s fancy, he had
talked with the fluent self-assurance which always wins a woman’s
approval. Probably he had never realised how obnoxious his
presence at Rozaine was to Le Mesurier. He was sufficiently
proud to have withdrawn from a society where he was not wanted,
but his self-conceit was too magnificent for him ever to imagine
such a contingency possible. And then, no doubt, his sense of
conscious rectitude had rendered him particularly obtuse. Had
he been playing the role of lover, a guilty conscience would have
made him more sensitive to Le Mesurier’s uncordial attitude.
Looking back upon it all now, Le Mesurier could almost pity
him for such blindness.

One day, lying in a hollow of the cliff, hidden from every
eye but that of cormorant or sea-gull, playing abstractedly with a
pebble which found itself under his fingers, he saw a yard away
from him a sharp-nosed, grey-coated mole running from one point
to another across the grass. He shot the pebble from his hand,


                        By Ella D’Arcy 315
and the little beast rolled over dead. He took it up, and looked
at it curiously. He smoothed with his fingers its warm, velvety
coat. He was sorry he had killed it. A second ago it had been
enjoying the sunshine, the warm air, its own sense of well-being.
And now it was utterly destroyed, utterly annihilated, and no one
could restore to it the life which he had wantonly taken.

The thought of Shergold, always present at the back of his
mind, pressed forward imperatively. Shergold had not believed in
soul or immortality. He had believed that with death the life of
a man comes to an end, just as does the life of a mouse. Le
Mesurier had often listened, perforce, to his dogmatising on such
views to Lily ; to his proclaiming that each individual life is but a
flash of light between two eternities of darkness ; that just as
the body returns to the elements from which it came, so the spirit is
reabsorbed into the forces and energies which move the world.
And because Shergold had no belief in another life, he had set an
immense value upon this one. In his self-engrossed, pedantic way,
he had thoroughly enjoyed every hour, every moment of it. Sup-
posing his views were true, then the greatest injury one could
inflict on such a man would be to deprive him of this life which
he prized, suddenly to extinguish him like a candle, to annihilate
him like this poor little mole.

He laid the body of the mole down upon the turf, and walked
away. He no longer sang or whistled to himself. The monot-
onous days seemed intolerably long.


Three months had gone by. Le Mesurier, in the solitude of
Le Tas, had suffered every pang a guilty conscience can inflict,
had been through every phase of remorse and of despair.


                        316 The Web of Maya
The burden on his mind was growing intolerably heavy. Every
moment it cried out to him that he must share it with another,
or be crushed beneath its weight. He would have gone down to
see the Pastor, but that to do so he must cross the Coupée. He
had not the courage actually to pass the spot from which his
thoughts were never long absent. And while his mind tossed
distressfully this way and that, Monsieur Chauchat chanced to
come up to see him.

The sight of a real human face, the sound of a real human
voice, unlocked his heart, set his tongue going. In spite of the
old man’s many attempted interruptions, he poured out the whole
story ; all the injuries, real or fancied, he had received at Shergold’s
hands, his own hatred for him, the man’s fate, his own impotent
repentance. “And now,” he said, simply, when he had concluded,
” I wish to give myself up. Tell me what I am to do.”

Chauchat looked at him with infinite pity, and showed neither
horror nor surprise. Le Mesurier was even conscious of a certain
movement of indignation within his own bosom, that any one
should hear of the murder of a fellow-creature so composedly.

” You must give up this kind of life,” said the Pastor gently.
“It is terribly bad for you. You must have society, you must

Le Mesurier was amazed at such irrelevance. He looked at
Chauchat curiously. He thought him aged, whiter, feebler than
ever before. He wondered whether he still had all his faculties.
And he answered impatiently, ” But what has that to do with
what I have been telling you ? ”

” You must take care,” said the old man ; ” solitude brings delu-
sions, hallucinations ; to indulge in them is to shake the mind’s
stability. You must come back into the world. You must mix
with other men.”


                        By Ella D’Arcy 317
He divined that Chauchat believed him to be dreaming.
This was natural perhaps ; how could the good, simple-minded
old clergyman believe in the reality of such a crime? But he
must convince him of the miserable truth. He must begin again
and describe it all more circumstantially. He must go on until
he saw conviction dawn in the eyes that now looked at him with
such friendly pity, until he saw that pity change to aversion
and fear. He began over again.

But Chauchat laid a hand upon his arm.

” One moment ! You say you killed this man ? “

“Yes, I killed him.”

” You threw him over the Coupée ? “

” I followed him from the house, and threw him over the

” No, my poor boy ; no, no, no ! Thank God, you did not.
Thank God, you are dreaming. You have had some strange,
some horrible delusion. But Shergold is alive, is well, I have but
just now come from him. He, indeed, is the reason of my visit.
I come as a messenger from him, a mediator between him and

Le Mesurier sat there stunned, dazed, vacant. Was
Chauchat mad ? The old man’s voice buzzed in his ears ; he
was still talking, explaining how Shergold had come over by the
morning’s boat ; how he had called at the parsonage, and told the
story of his last visit to Le Mesurier, of the deed of assignment,
and of Le Mesurier’s refusal to sign it ; of the pressing need
there was that it should be signed ; how he had begged Chauchat
to use his influence with Le Mesurier, and so Chauchat was here,
while Shergold was staying till to-morrow at the Belle Vue
Hotel, and was quite prepared to meet Le Mesurier on amicable
terms, if he would go down there and see him.


                        318 The Web of Maya
Was Chauchat mad ? Yes, clearly. How otherwise could he
imagine that he had come from Shergold, that he had spoken with
a dead man ? Shergold’s death—that was the one certain fact in all
this bewildering world. He had sat there, at the table, just where
Chauchat was seated now. They had quarrelled. Le Mesurier
had followed him from that very door, out into the mist. . . .

But all at once a point of doubt pierced his soul. Had he
followed Shergold ? Had he in truth followed Shergold out into
the mist ?

Was Chauchat mad ? Or—or—was he mad himself? Something
inside his head throbbed so violently, he could not even
think. He sat stunned and dazed by the table holding his head in his
hands, while the old man talked on. But while he sat there in
dumb, inert confusion, his sub-conscious brain was at work,
rearranging the past, disentangling the threads of illusion from
those of reality, arranging these on this side, those on that, clearly,
unmistakably. And when all was ready, suddenly the web of
deception fell from before his eyes, and he saw clearly. Up to
the moment of Shergold’s leaving the cottage all had passed as he
remembered it : the rest had been a mere phantasmal creation of
his own brain.

His hands were clean of blood, he had committed no crime, he
might go where he chose, he was guiltless, he was free. . . . .
And—and during all the past months, when he had been tortured
with self-condemnations, Shergold had been living his usual
happy, respectable and respected life, seeing Lily every day, seeing
the child . . . . Oh ! . . . . Le Mesurier’s feelings underwent a
complete revulsion ; his remorse shrivelled up, his pity vanished,
his old hatred returned reinforced a thousandfold—and he was
filled with regret, a gnawing, an intolerable regret that his hand
had failed to accomplish the sin which his heart had desired.

A Fragment

By Theo Marzials

AND then it seem’d I was a bird
    That dipt along the silent street.
In that strange midnight nothing stir’d,
    And all was moonlight, still and sweet.

By lofty vane and roof and loft,
    Aloof, aloft, where shadows hung,
Down ghostly ways that wafted soft,
    Warm echoes where I sank and sung;

And lower yet by flower-set sill,
    And close against her window-bars,
And still the moonlight flowed, and still,
    The still dew lit the jessamine stars ;

And oh ! I beat against the pane,
    And oh ! I sang so sweet, so clear,—
I heard her wake, and pause again,
    Then nearer, nearer—killing near;

And back she flung the window-rod,
    The moonlight swept in, like a stream ;
She drew me to her neck—Oh ! God,
    ‘Twas then I knew it was a dream !


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                        The Yellow Book Advertisements 3


A New Series.

Messrs. CHAPMAN & HALL beg to announce they will commence
early in October the publication of

Of Adventure, Action, and Encident,

The size of the Volumes will be small crown 8vo, of about 216 pages in length, with
and will be issued in two styles of binding, viz:
In dark blue cloth, gilt top, 3s. 6d. I In dark blue paper wrapper, 2s. 6d.
A special design has been prepared for the cover, by J. WALTER WEST, and will be used
on each style of binding. The edges will be uncut.
THE FIRST VOLUME, to be ready on Oct. 12th, will be
THE LONG ARM, by MARY E. WILKINS, and other Detective Stories, by
by ADOLPH BIRKENRUTH. To be followed, on Oct. 21st, by
IN A HOLLOW OF THE HILLS. By BRET HARTE. With a Frontispiece by
Other Volumes by CHARLES JAMES, Author of “On Turnham Green,” OSWALD
CRAWFURD, and other well-known Writers will be issued at short intervals.


First Volume now ready, gilt top, price 4s.
Cases for Binding sold separately, 1s. 6d. each. A Volume is Completed every Four Months.

By VIOLET HUNT, Author of “A Maiden’s Progress.’
Crown 8vo, 6s.


                        4 The Yellow Book Advertisements

Ready with the November Magazines.

Price 2s. 6d. Cloth gilt, gilt edges, 5s.
Editor of “THE ART JOURNAL.”
Full-page Etching of “THE DOCTOR.”
Full-page Photogravure of “AN AL FRESCO TOILETTE.”
Full-page Line Engraving of “THE SWEET RIVER.”

Together with full-page Illustrations of

“Applicants for Admission to a Casual Ward,” “A Village Wedding,”
“An Italian Flower Girl,””The Return of the Penitent;” smaller blocks of
“Fair, Quiet, and Sweet Rest,” “Phyllis,” “Jessica,” “The Balcony,”

Price 2s. 6d., or Cloth gilt, gilt edges, 5s. each.
Sir Fred. Leighton, P.R.A., Sir J. E. Millais, R.A., L. Alma Tadema, R.A.,
J. C. Hook, R.A., J. L. E. Meissonier, Rosa Bonheur, Birket Foster,
Briton Riviere, R.A., Hubert Herkomer, R.A., W. Homan Hunt,
Sir Edward Burne-Jones.
The first seven may be had handsomely bound together, cloth gilt, gilt edges, 21s.

Special Number of THE ART JOURNAL for Easter, 1895. Price 1s. 6d., or cloth gilt,
gilt edges, 4s.

LONDON : J. S. VIRTUE & CO., LTD., 26 Ivy Lane, Paternoster Row, E.C.

                        The Yellow Book Advertisements 5




Crown 8vo, 3s. 6d. net.

“It would be difficult to say too much in praise of a book so fascinating as ‘The Golden Age’
Within the pages of this volume we have found a veritable mine of gold : and, since the treasure is
one whose resources are inexhaustible, we gladly proclaim its existence. The book brims over with
delightful humour. To be unreservedly recommended to every one who loves children and appreciates

“A bit of literature as sweet and distinguished as aught of the sort ever written. It is a book that
may be read many times with increasing pleasure at each perusal.”—Black and White.

“Delicious little sketches of a group of children. There could be no better entertainment for an idle
afternoon.”—Saturday Review.

“Sketches of child-life, with all its fancies and illusions. One of the freshest, most original, and most
charming pieces of literature which has issued from the press for some time.”—Dundee Advertiser.

“A record of the jolliest little set of boys and girls that can well be imagined. If any one desires an
hour of pure enjoyment, we advise him to purchase ‘The Golden Age.’”—Liverpool Mercury.

“There is a healthy, humorous, golden tone about the book that absolutely bears out the title.
Nothing cleverer, nothing more original, nothing more delightful has for many months come in the way
of the reviewer.”—Glasgow Herald.

“A perfectly delightful book.”—Yorkshire Herald.

“More delightful sketches of child-life have never come into our hands than those contained in this
volume. He transports the reader to the golden age of childhood, and with a subtle, indescribable skill,
pictures child character with infinite truth and matchless charm.”—Independent.

“No more fascinating book than this has been written for a long time.”—Christian World.

“A collection of delightful sketches of child-life, revealing keenness of observation and sympathy with
childhood expressed in a style of unfailing grace and charm.”—Liverpool Daily Post.

“No more charming picture of child-life has ever been produced. Through many delightful escapades
Mr. Grahame conducts his fascinating little band of marauders, telling their tale with rare simplicity, in
an unaffected, polished style.”—Sun.

“A charming study of child-life. Half-fanciful, half-real, this little collection of stories shows a deep
knowledge of children, their foibles, and their saving graces.”—Gentlewoman.

“There are not too many of those ‘eternal children’ in fiction whom it is a rare delight to know ; and
for Mr. Grahame to have added to the list is a fine achievement.”—Realm.

“Those parents who love their children will buy ‘The Golden Age’ and learn to understand them


                        6 The Yellow Book Advertisements




With Title-page and Cover designed by Patten Wilson.

Crown 8vo, 5s. net.

“Mr. Swettenham’s style is simple and direct and vigorous. Particularly good is his eye for colour,
and he has a fine sense of the brilliant melancholy of the East. To few falls the good fortune of introducing
us to a new people, and seldom have we the advantage of so admirable a guide.”—Pall Mall Gazette.

“Nothing approaching Mr. Swettenham’s intimate knowledge and illuminative analysis has yet seen
the light about that fascinating country which he well describes.”—Daily Chronicle.

“In his vivid pages we see, practically for the first time, the real Malay, and in these series of brilliant
pen-pictures, more thrilling than the fictionist could produce, one can get the key to the character of these
interesting people.”—Whitehall Review.

“If Mr. Swettenham has not written the ideal book about Malaya he has come very near it. The
whole book has a charm and reality that makes it as readable as any novel.”—Glasgow Herald.

“Graphic word-pictures of the Malaya and the Malays. Instructive and fascinating work.”
                     Daily Telegraph.

“Mr. Swettenham is gifted with considerable power of graphic description and that keen relish for
telling a story without which the most thrilling narrative loses half its interest.”—St. James’s Gazette.

“Its unconventional character is one of the most attractive points about this very attractive volume.
Mr. Swettenham succeeds in making the life and character of the Malays real to us in a way that so far
as we are aware no other writer has done.”—Publishers’ Circular.

“Mr. Swettenham is always lucid, always entertaining. His book is a vivid presentment of a vivid

“The book is very interesting throughout, and sheds a ray of light on one of the dark places of the earth.”—Liverpool Courier.

“It would be difficult to over-praise these sketches of men and manners in Malay. Wonderfully
interesting and instructive.”—Liverpool Mercury.

“A pleasant simplicity of style, a total lack of affectation, and a comparatively unkown land and
people for subject-matter, make ‘Malay Sketches’ entirely delightful. They are always vivid, always
convincing.”—St. James’s Budget.

“This is one of those books which exercise such a fascination upon the mind of the stay-at-home
traveler. Stay-at-home though he may be, he has no difficulty in distinguishing the work of a genuine
authority from the hasty and inexact impressions of the idle globe-trotter. ‘Malay Sketches’ will be
speedily recognized by him as belonging to the more reliable kind of his favourite literature.”—Spectator.


                        The Yellow Book Advertisements 7




Crown 8vo (Keynotes Series), 3s. 6d. net.

“If Miss D’Arcy can maintain this level, her future is secure. She has produced one story which
comes near to being a masterpiece.”—Daily Chronicle.

“We doubt if any other living woman-writer could have written quite so well.”—Saturday Review.

“It is rare indeed to meet, in English, with a number of short stories of such distinction from an
English pen.”—Graphic.

“She expresses herself with remarkable force and point, whilst her polished refinement of style gives
literary value to these clever sketches. ‘Monochromes’ is distinctly clever, and so well-written as to give
us strong hopes of its author’s future.”—Speaker.

“Thoroughly interesting, and in many respects strikingly original.”—Whitehall Review.

“Style, characterization, dramatic intensity, artistic sanity, pathos and imagination-all these Miss
D’Arcy has.”—Echo.

“Written with much skill, observation, and style. Very interesting and well told.”
                    Westminster Gazette.

“All the stories show keen observation and literary power.”—Independent.

“They are word-pictures of no little power, displaying an admirable technique in their design, treat-
ment of light and shade, and artistic finish.”—Daily Telegraph.

“Written with a powerful and masterly hand.”—Academy.




Crown 8vo (Keynotes Series), 3s. 6d. net.

“Exceedingly pleasant to read. You close the book with a feeling that you have met a host of
charming people. ‘Castles near Spain’ comes near to being a perfect thing of its kind.”
                    Pall Mall Gazette.

“They are charming stories, simple, full of freshness, with a good deal of delicate wit, both in the
imagining and in the telling. The last story of the book, in spite of improbabilities quite tremendous, is
a delightful story.”—Daily Chronicle.

“‘Castles near Spain’ as a fantastic love episode is simply inimitable, and ‘Mercedes’ is instinct with
a pretty humour and child-like tenderness that render it peculiarly-nay, uniquely- fascinating. ‘Grey
Roses’ are entitled to rank among the choiciest flowers of the realms of romance.”—Daily Telegraph.

“Never before has the strange, we might almost say the weird, fascination of the Bohemianism of the
Latin Quarter been so well depicted.”—Whitehall Review.

“‘Castles near Spain’ is an altogether charming and admirable bit of romance.”—Glasgow Herald.

“We envy Mr. Harland his beautiful story, ‘A Bohemian Girl.’”—Literary World.

“Mr. Harland is capital company. He is always entertaining.”—New Budget.

“They are gay and pathetic, and touched with the fantasy that gives to romance its finest flavour.
Each has a quaintness and a grace of its own.”—Daily News.

“‘Castles near Spain’ is a lovely idyll, in which young passion and a quaint humour are blended into
a rare harmony.”—Star.

“Really delightful. ‘Castles near Spain’ is as near perfection as it well could be.”—Spectator.




in BELLES LETTRES all at net prices

The Yellow Book—Vol. VII. T


List of Books
(Including some Transfers)
Published by John Lane
The Bodley Head
Vigo Street, London, W.

N.B.—The Authors and Publisher reserve the right of reprinting
any book in this list if a new edition is called for, except in cases
where a stipulation has been made to the contrary, and of printing a
separate edition of any of the books for America irrespective of the
numbers to which the English editions are limited. The numbers

mentioned do not include copies sent to the public libraries, nor those
sent for review.

Most of the books are published simultaneously in England and
America, and in many instances the names of the American
publishers are appended.

ESSAYS IN MODERNITY. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net. {Shortly.
Chicago: Stone & Kimball.


THE LOWER SLOPES : A Volume of Verse. With title-page
and cover design by J. ILLINGWORTH KAY. 600 copies,
cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
Chicago: Stone & Kimball.


                        THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE 3


forth an exact account of the Manner of State held by
Madam Venus, Goddess and Meretrix, under the famous
Horselberg, and containing the adventures of Tannhauser
in that place, his repentance, his journeying to Rome, and
return to the loving mountain. By AUBREY BEARDSLEY.
With 20 full-page illustrations, numerous ornaments, and
a cover from the same hand. Sq. i6mo. 10s. 6d. net.
                    [In preparation.


BEECHING (Rev. H. C.).
IN A GARDEN : Poems. With title-page and cover design by
ROGER FRY. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
New York : Macmillan & Co.

LYRICS. Fcap. 8vo, buckram. 5s. net.
New York: Macmillan & Co.

3s. 6d. net.
New York : Charles Scribner’s Sons.

ROSEMARY FOR REMEMBRANCE. With title-page and cover
design by WALTER WEST. Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.

MUSA PISCATRIX.             [In preparation.


                    [In preparation.


                        4 THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE


THE SACRIFICE OF FOOLS : A Novel. Cr. 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.
                    [In preparation.

TOY BOOKS. Re-issue. Each with new cover-design and end
papers, 9d. net. The three bound in one volume with a decorative cloth cover
end papers, and a newly-written and designed preface.
35. 6d. net. i. This Little Pig. ii. The Fairy Ship.
ili. King Luckieboy’s Party. Chicago: Stone & Kimball.


SONG FAVOURS. With a title-page designed by J. P. DONNE.
Sq. 16mo. 3s. 6d. net.
Chicago: Way & Williams.


PLAYS : An Unhistorical Pastoral ; A Romantic Farce ;
Bruce, a Chronicle Play ; Smith, a Tragic Farce ; Scara-
mouch in Naxos, a Pantomime. With a frontispiece and
cover design by AUBREY BEARDSLEY. Printed at the
Ballantyne Press. 500 copies, sm. 4to. 7s. 6d. net.
Chicago: Stone & Kimball.

FLEET STREET ECLOGUES. Fcap. 8vo, buckram. 5s. net.
                [Out cf print at present.
and title-page by LAURENCE HOUSMAN. 600 copies.
Fcap. 8vo, Irish Linen. 5s. net.
Boston : Copeland & Day.

BALLADS AND SONGS. With title-page designed by WALTER
WEST. Fourth Edition. Fcap. 8vo, buckram. 5s. net
Boston : Copeland & Day.


                        THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE 5

WARREN (Lord De Tabley). Illustrations and cover design
by C. S. RICKETTS. 2nd edition, cr. 8vo. 7s. 6d. net.
New York : Macmillan & Co.

POEMS, DRAMATIC AND LYRICAL. 2nd series, uniform in
binding with the former volume. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
New York : Macmillan & Co.




YOUNG OFEG’S DITTIES. A translation from the Swedish of
OLA HANSSON, with title-page and cover-design by
AUBREY BEARDSLEY. Cr. 8vo. y. 6d. net.
Boston: Roberts Bros.



With 18 full-page illustrations by J. A. SYMINGTON.
Cr. 8vo. 5s. 6d. net.
Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co.


ORCHARD SONGS. With title-page and cover design by J.
ILLINGWORTH KAY. Fcap. 8vo. Irish Linen. 5s. net.
Also a special edition limited in number on hand-made
paper bound in English vellum, £1 1s. net.
New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

                        6 THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE

POEMS. With title-page by J. ILLINGWORTH KAY. 350
copies, cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
Boston : Copeland & Day.

in English. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.         [In preparation.

A LAWYER’S WIFE : A Novel. Cr. 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.
                    [In preparation.

edited. Pott 8vo. 5s. net.
Also 25 copies large paper, 12s. 6d. net.
New York : Macmillan & Co.

by AUBREY BEARDSLEY. Fcap. 8vo. 5s. net.
Chicago : Stone & Kimball.

THE GOLDEN AGE. Cr. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.
Chicago : Stone & Kimball.

GREENE (G. A.). ITALIAN LYRISTS OF TO-DAY. Translations in the original
metres from about 35 living Italian poets with bibliographi-
cal and biographical notes. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
New York : Macmillan & Co.

IMAGINATION IN DREAMS. Crown 8vo. 5s. net.
New York : Macmillan & Co.

With a portrait after D. G. ROSSETTI, and a cover design
by GLEESON WHITE. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
Chicago : Stone & Kimball.

MODERN WOMEN : Six Psychological Sketches. [SOPHIA
LEFFLER.] Translated from the German by HERMIONE
RAMSDEN. Cr. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.     [In preparation.

                        THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE 7



page and cover design by E. H. NEW. Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d.

Also 25 copies large paper. 15s. net.

THE FIRST STEP : A Dramatic Moment. Sm. 410, y. 6d. net.

BALLADS IN PROSE. With a title-page and cover by
WALTER WEST. Sq. 16mo. 5s. net.
Boston : Roberts Bros.
A VOLUME OF POEMS. With title-page designed by PATTEN
WILSON. Sq. 16mo. 5s. net.         [In preparation.

THE WERE WOLF. With 6 full-page illustrations, title-page,
and cover-design by LAURENCE HOUSMAN. Sq. 16mo. 4s. net. [In preparation.

GREEN ARRAS : Poems. With illustrations by the Author.
Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.                 [In preparation.

GODEFROI AND YOLANDE : A Play. With 3 illustrations by
AUBREY BEARDSLEY. Sm. 4to. 5s. net.
                    [In preparation.

JAMES (W. P.).
ROMANTIC PROFESSIONS : A volume of Essays. With title-
page designed by J. ILLINGWORTH KAY. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
New York: Macmillan & Co.

THE ART OF THOMAS HARDY. Six Essays, with etched
portrait by WM. STRANG, and Bibliography by JOHN
LANE. Second edition, cr. 8vo. Buckram. 5s. 6d. net.
Also 150 copies, large paper, with proofs of the portrait.
1s. 1s. net.
New York : Dodd, Mead & Co.

                        8 THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE

THE WHITE WAMPUM : Poems. With title-page and cover
designs by E. H. NEW. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
Boston: Lamson, Wolffe & Co.

BALLADS OF BOY AND BEAK, with title-page designed by
F. H. TOWNSEND. Sq. 32mo. 2s. 6d. net.
                    [In preparation.

Each volume with specially designed title-page by AUBREY
BEARDSLEY. Cr. 8vo, cloth, 3s. 6d. net.
            [Seventh edition now ready.
Vol. III. POOR FOLK. Translated from the Russian of F.
DOSTOIEVSKY by LENA MILMAN, with a preface
                [Second edition now ready.
                [Fourth edition now ready.
                [Eighteenth edition now ready.
The following are in preparation :

                        THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE 9

Boston : Roberts Bros.

trations by LLCY KEMP- WELCH. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
                    [In preparation.

WEIGHED IN THE BALANCE : A Novel. Cr. 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.
                    [In preparation.


VERSES. 250 copies, fcap. 8vo.
Transferred by the Author to the present Publisher

PROSE FANCIES. With portrait of the Author by WILSON
STEER. Fourth edition, cr. 8vo, purple cloth. 5s. net.
Also a limited large paper edition. 12s. 6d. net.
New York : G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

THE BOOK BILLS OF NARCISSUS. An account rendered by
RICHARD LE GALLIENNE. Third edition, with a new
chapter and a frontispiece, cr. 8vo, purple cloth. 3s. 6d.
Also 50 copies on large paper. 8vo. 10s. 6d. net.
New York : G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

ENGLISH POEMS. Fourth edition, revised, cr. 8vo, purple cloth.
4s. 6d. net.
Boston : Copeland & Day.

GEORGE MEREDITH: some Characteristics; with a Biblio-
graphy (much enlarged) by JOHN LANE, portrait, &c.
Fourth edition, cr. 8vo, purple cloth. 5s. 6d. net.
THE RELIGION OF A LITERARY MAN. 5th thousand, cr. 8vo, purple cloth. 3s. 6d. net.
Also a special rubricated edition on hand-made paper, 8vo. l0s. 6d. net.
New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

                        10 THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON : An Elegy, and Other Poems,
mainly personal. With etched title-page by D. Y.
CAMERON. Cr. 8vo, purple cloth. 4s. 6d. net.
Also 75 copies on large paper. 8vo. 12s. 6d. net.
Boston : Copeland & Day.

RETROSPECTIVE REVIEWS : A Literary Log, 1891-1895. 2
vols., cr. 8vo, purple cloth. 9s. net. [In preparation.
New York: Dodd, Mead & Co.



A VOLUME OF POEMS. Fcap. 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.
                     [In preparation.

Plays, from the Spanish of JOSE ECHEGARAY, with an
Introduction. Sm. 4to. 5s. 6d. net.
Boston: Lamson, Wolffe & Co.




4s. 6d. net.             [ Very few remain.
Transferred by the Author to the present Publisher.

THE WOOD OF THE BRAMBLES : A Novel. Cr. 8vo. 4s. 6d.
net.                 [In preparation.

Each volume fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.
Vol. I. THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A BOY. Passages selected
by his friend G. S. STREET. With a title-page
designed by C. W. FURSE.
            [Fourth Edition now ready.

                        THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE 11

Monologue. By GERALD CAMPBELL. With a
title-page and 6 illustrations by F. H. TOWNSEND.
EXTINCT. By H. G. WELLS. With a title-page
The following are in preparation :
Vol. IV. THE FEASTS OF AUTOLYCUS : The Diary of a Greedy
Vol. V. MRS. ALBERT GRUNDY : Observations in Philistia.
New York: The Merriam Co.

on the wood by W. BISCOMBE GARDNER, after the painting
by G. F. WATTS. Proof copies on Japanese vellum,
signed by painter and engraver, 1 1s. net.

POEMS. Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net. (Out of print at present.) A
few of the 50 large paper copies (Ist edition) remain. 12s. 6d. net.
fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net. A few of the 50 large paper copies (1st edition) remain, 12s. 6d. net.
See also HAKE.

With a decorated cover. 5s. net.
Chicago: Stone & Kimball.


BORROW, IBSEN AND OTHERS. 400 copies, crown 8vo.
5s. net.
Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co.


A POMANDER OF VERSE. With a title-page and cover designed
by LAURENCE HOUSMAN. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co.


                        12 THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE

ROBERT BROWNING. Essays and Thoughts. Third edition,
with a portrait, cr. 8vo, 5s. 6d. net.
New York: Chas. Scribner’s Sons.

and cover design by AUSTIN YOUNG. 600 copies, cr. 8vo.
5s. net. Also 50 copies, large paper, 12s. 6d. net.

HIS LIFE AND HIS WORK. With selections from his Poems.
By LOUISE CHANDLER MOULTON. Portrait and cover design, fcap. 8vo. 5s. net.
Chicago: Stone & Kimball.

A series of lithographed portraits by WILL ROTHENSTElN, with
text by F. YORK POWELL and others. To be issued monthly
in term. Each number will contain two portraits, Parts I.
to VI. ready. 200 sets only, folio, wrapper, 5s. net per part ;
25 special large paper sets containing proof impressions of
the portraits signed by the artist, l0s. 6d. net per part.


POSIES OUT OF RINGS. Sq. 16mo. 3s. 6d. net.
                    [In preparation.

Each volume with title-page, cover-design, and end papers
designed by AUBREY BEARDSLEY. Sq. 16mo. 3s. 6d. net.
The following are in preparation :

Philadelphia : Henry Altemus.

THE QUEEN OF THE FISHES. A Story of the Valois, adapted
by MARGARET RUST, being a printed manuscript, decor-
ated with pictures and other ornaments, cut on the wood
by LUCIEN PISSARRO, and printed by him in divers
colours and in gold at his press in Epping. Edition
limited to 70 copies for England, each numbered and
signed. Crown 8vo, on Japanese hand-made paper, bound
in vellum, £1 net.

                        THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE 13

PLARR (VICTOR}. IN THE DORIAN MOOD : Poems. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
                    [In preparation.

PRICE (A. T. G.).

SONGS, AND OTHER VERSES. With title-page designed by
PATTEN WILSON. Fcap. 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.
Philadelphia : J. B. Lippincott Co.


GEORGE CHAPMAN. With borders, initials, and illus-
trations designed and engraved on the wood by C. S.
RICKETTS and C. H. SHANNON. Bound in English
vellum and gold. 200 copies only. 35s. net.
Boston : Copeland & Day.

designed by SELWYN IMAGE. 350 copies, cr. 8vo.
5s. net.
New York: Dodd, Mead & Co.

Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.             [In preparation.

THE VIOL OF LOVE. With ornaments and cover design by
LAURENCE HOUSMAN. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
Boston: Lamson, Wolffe & Co.

into English of the FIORETTI DI SAN FRANCESCO. Cr.
8vo. 5s. net.             [In preparation.


SHIEL (M. P.).


                        14 THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE


PRINCE OTTO : A Rendering in French by EGERTON CASTLE.
Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.             [In preparation.
Also 100 copies on large paper, uniform in size with the
Edinburgh Edition of the works. A CHILD’S GARDEN OF VERSES. With nearly 100 illustra-
tions by CHARLES ROBINSON. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.                     [In preparation.

THE DEATH WAKE. With an introduction by ANDREW
LANG. Fcap. 8vo. 5s. net.
Chicago: Way & Williams.

MINIATURES AND MOODS. Fcap. 8vo. 3s. net.
Transferred by the Author to the present Publisher.
New York: The Merriam Co.

MALAY SKETCHES. With title and cover designs by PATTEN
WILSON. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
New York; Macmillan & Co.


POEMS. Sq. 32mo. 4s. 6d. net.
Boston : Copeland & Day.


POEMS OF THE DAY AND YEAR. With a title-page designed
by PATTEN WILSON. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
Chicago: Stone & Kimball.

THIMM (C. A.).
DUELLING, &c. With illustrations. [In preparation.

                        THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE 15

POEMS. With frontispiece, title-page, and cover design by
LAURENCE HOUSMAN. Fourth edition, pott 4to. 5s. net.
Boston : Copeland & Day.

SISTER-SONGS : An Offering to Two Sisters. With frontis-
piece, title-page, and cover design by LAURENCE HOUS-
MAN. Pott 4to, buckram. 5s. net.
Boston : Copeland & Day.

POEMS OF NATURE. Selected and edited by HENRY S. SALT
and FRANK B. SANBORN, with a title-page designed by
PATTEN WILSON. Fcap. 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.
                    [In preparation.
Boston and New York : Houghton, Mifflin & Co.

CUCKOO SONGS. With title-page and cover design by LAUR-
ENCE HOUSMAN. Fcap. 8vo. 5s. net.
Boston : Copeland & Day.

With 6 illustrations and a title-page by PATTEN WILSON.
Fcap. 8vo. s. d. net.         [In preparation.
Chicago : Stone & Kimball.

VESPERTILIA, AND OTHER POEMS. With title-page designed
by R. ANNING BELL. Fcap. 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.
Chicago : Way & Williams.

a decorative title-page. Fcap. 8vo. 5s. net.
Chicago : Way & Williams.         [In preparation.

THE KING’S HIGHWAY. Cr. 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.
                    [In preparation.


WATSON (WILLIAM). ODES, AND OTHER POEMS. Fourth Edition. Fcap. 8vo.
4s. 6d. net.
New York : Macmillan & Co.

THE ELOPING ANGELS : A CAPRICE. Second edition, sq.
16mo, buckram. 3s. 6d. net.
New York : Macmillan & Co.

                        16 THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE

OF A RHYMER. Second edition, cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
New York; Macmillan & Co.

graphical note added. Second edition, fcap. 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.

THE LAW’S LUMBER ROOM. Fcap. 8vo. 3s.6d. net.
Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co.

POEMS. Crown 8vo. 5s. net.         [In preparation.
There will also be an. Edition de Luxe of tliis volume, printed
at the Kelmscott Press.

WELLS (H. G.).

SAPPHO. Memoir, text, selected renderings, and a literal trans-
lation by HENRY THORNTON WHARTON. With Three
Illustrations in photogravure and a cover design by AUBREY
BEARDSLEY. Fcap. 8vo. 7s. 6d. net.
Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co.

The Yellow Book

An Illustrated Quarterly. Pott 4to, 5s. net.

Volume I. April 1894, 272 pp., 15 Illustrations. [Out of print.
Volume II. July 1894, 364 pp., 23 Illustrations.
Volume III. October 1894, 280 pp., 15 Illustrations.
Volume IV. January 1895, 285 pp., 16 Illustrations.
Volume V. April 1895, 317 pp., 14 Illustrations.
Volume VI. July 1895, 335 pp., 16 Illustrations.
Boston : Copeland & Day.

MLA citation:

The Yellow Book, vol. 7, October 1895. Yellow Book Digital Edition, edited by Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2010-2014. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2021.