The Yellow Book: An Illustrated Quarterly, Volume 10 July 1896 Black ink on yellow boards Image is of a calla lily taking up 2/3 of                        the picture space The stem is split into three with each stem growing away                        from each other At the end of each stem is a large cone shaped petal with a                        dark pistil and several stamens There is a plethora of long leaves growing                        off the stem these leaves curl in In the background behind the leaves are                        small many-petaled flowers in a decorative pattern In the top right and left                        hand corners are large dark iris flowers

Contents

Literature

I. Dogs, Cats, Books, and the Average Man) By "The Yellow Dwarf"Page 11
II. An Idyll in Millinery . Ménie Muriel Dowie . 24.
III. D'Outre tombe . . Rosamund Marriott-Watson . . . . 54
IV. The Invisible Prince . Henry Harland . . 59
V. An Emblem of Translation Richard Garnett, C.B., LL.D. . . . 88
VI. La Goya : a Passion of the Peruvian Desert Samuel Mathewson Scott 95
VII. Lady Loved a Rose . Renée de Coutans . .167
VIII. Our River. . . Mrs. Murray Hickson . 169
IX. Kathy . . . . Oswald Sickert . . 179
X. Sub Tegmine Fagi . . Marie Clothilde Balfour . 199
XI. Finger-Posts . . . Eva Gore-Booth . . 214
XII. Lucretia . . . . K. Douglas King . . 223
XIII. The Serjeant-at-Law . Francis Watt . . . 245
XIV. Night and Love . . Ernest Wentworth . . 259
XV. Two Stories . . . Ella D'Arcy . . . 265
XVI. Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady Vernon Lee . . . 289

The Yellow Book—Vol. X—July, 1896

Art

Art

I. A Dutch Woman . . By Mrs. Stanhope Forbes Page 7
II. Babies and Brambles . Katharine Cameron . 55
III. The Dew . .
IV. Ysighlu . J. Herbert McNair . . 89
V. A Dream
VI. Mother and Child . Margaret Macdonald . 162
VII. Ill Omen
VIII. The Sleeping Princess Frances Macdonald . 173
IX. Dieppe Castle . .
X. The Butterflies D. Y. Cameron . . 218
XI. The Five Sweet Symphonies Nellie Syrett . . . 256
XII. Barren Life . . . Laurence Housman . 261
XIII. Windermere . . . Charles Conder . . 286



The Title-page and Front Cover Design are
by J. ILLINGWORTH KAY.

The Yellow Book
Volume X July, 1896

The Editor of THE YELLOW BOOK advises all persons
sending manuscripts to keep copies, as, for the future,
unsolicited contributions cannot be returned. To this
rule no exception will be made.

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A Dutch Woman

By

Image is of a woman shown from the waist up She is shown in ¾ face Her                        dress is high-necked and dark with a floral pattern across the chest She is                        wearing a light-coloured Dutch lace bonnet with two wings She is looking to                        the right of the image She is holding a large brass kettle in her hands Her                        left hand is supporting the base while her right hand is resting on the                        handle In the background there is a hanging plate To her left is a large                        window Image has a thick patterned frame Image is vertically displayed

Dogs, Cats, Books, and the Average Man A Letter to the Editor

From

"The Yellow Dwarf"

SIR :

I hope you will not suspect me of making a bid for his
affection, when I remark that the Average Man loves the Obvious.
By consequence (for, like all unthinking creatures, the duffer's
logical), by consequence, his attitude towards the Subtle, the
Elusive, when not an attitude of mere torpid indifference, is an
attitude of positive distrust and dislike.

Of this ignoble fact, pretty nearly everything—from the
popularity of beer and skittles, to the popularity of Mr. Hall
Caine's novels ; from the general's distaste for caviare, to the
general's neglect of Mr. Henry James's tales—pretty nearly every-
thing is a reminder. But, to go no further afield, for the moment,
than his own hearthrug, may I ask you to consider a little the
relative positions occupied in the Average Man's regard by the
Dog and the Cat ?

The Average Man ostentatiously loves the Dog.

The Average Man, when he is not torpidly indifferent to that
princely animal, positively distrusts and dislikes the Cat.

I have used the epithet "princely" with intention, in speaking

of

12 A Letter to the Editor

of the near relative of the King of Beasts. The Cat is a Princess
of the Blood. Yes, my dear, always a Princess, though the
Average Man, with his unerring instinct for the malappropriate
word, sometimes names her Thomas. The Cat is always a
Princess, because everything nice in this world, everything fine,
sensitive, distinguished, everything beautiful, everything worth
while, is of essence Feminine, though it may be male by the
accident of sex ;—and that's as true as gospel, let Mr. W. E.
Henley's lusty young disciples shout their loudest in celebration
of the Virile.—The Cat is a Princess.

The Dog, on the contrary, is not even a gentleman. Far
otherwise. His admirers may do what they will to forget it, the
circumstance remains, writ large in every Natural History, that
the Dog is sprung from quite the meanest family of the Quad-
rupeds. That coward thief the wolf is his bastard brother ; the
carrion hyena is his cousin-german. And in his person, as in his
character, bears he not an hundred marks of his base descent ? In
his rough coat (contrast it with the silken mantle of the Cat) ; in
his harsh, monotonous voice (contrast it with the flexible organ of
the Cat, her versatile mewings, chirrupings, and purrings, and
their innumerable shades and modulations) ; in the stiff-jointed
clumsiness of his movements (compare them to the inexpressible
grace and suppleness of the Cat's) ; briefly, in the all-pervading
plebeian commonness that hangs about him like an atmosphere
(compare it to the high-bred reserve and dignity that invest the
Cat). The wolf's brother, is the Dog not himself a coward ?
Watch him when, emulating the ruffian who insults an un-
protected lady, he puts a Cat to flight in the streets : watch him
when the lady halts and turns. Faugh, the craven ! with his
wild show of savagery so long as there is not the slightest danger
—and his sudden chopfallen drawing back when the lady halts and

turns !

From "The Yellow Dwarf" 13

turns ! The hyena's cousin, is he not himself of carrion an
impassioned amateur ? At Constantinople he serves ( 'tis a labour
of love ; he receives no stipend) he serves as Public Scavenger,
swallowing with greed the ordures cast by the Turk. Scripture
tells us to what he returneth : who has failed to observe that he
returneth not to his own alone ? And the other day, strolling
upon the sands by the illimitable sea, I came upon a friend and
her pet terrier. She was holding the little beggar by the scruff of
his neck, and giving him repeated sousings in a pool. I stood a
pleased spectator of this exercise, for the terrier kicked and
spluttered and appeared to be unhappy. "He found a decaying
jelly-fish below there, and rolled in it," my friend pathetically
explained. I should like to see the Cat who could be induced to
roll in a decaying jelly-fish. The Cat's fastidiousness, her
meticulous cleanliness, the time and the pains she bestows upon
her toilet, and her almost morbid delicacy about certain more
private errands, are among the material indications of her patrician
nature. It were needless to allude to the vile habits and impudicity
of the Dog.

Have you ever met a Dog who wasn't a bounder ? Have you
ever met a Dog who wasn't a bully, a sycophant, and a snob ?
Have you ever met a Cat who was ? Have you ever met a Cat
who would half frighten a timid little girl to death, by rushing at
her and barking ? Have you ever met a Cat who, left alone with
a visitor in your drawing-room, would truculently growl and show
her teeth, as often as that visitor ventured to stir in his chair ?
Have you ever met a Cat who would snarl and snap at the
servants, Mawster's back being turned ? Have you ever met a
Cat who would cringe to you and fawn to you, and kiss the hand
that smote her ?

Conscious of her high lineage, the Cat understands and accepts

the

14 A Letter to the Editor

the responsibilities that attach to it. She knows what she owes to
herself, to her rank, to the Royal Idea. Therefore, it is you who
must be the courtier. The Dog, poor-spirited toady, will study
your eye to divine your mood, and slavishly adapt his own mood
and his behaviour to it. Not so the Cat. As between you and
her, it is you who must do the toadying. A guest in the house,
never a dependent, she remembers always the courtesy and the
consideration that are her due. You must respect her pleasure.
Is it her pleasure to slumber, and do you disturb her : note the
disdainful melancholy with which she silently comments your
rudeness. Is it her pleasure to be grave : tempt her to frolic, you
will tempt in vain. Is it her pleasure to be cold : nothing in
human possibility can win a caress from her. Is it her pleasure to
be rid of your presence : only the physical influence of a closed
door will persuade her to remain in the room with you. It is
you who must be the courtier, and wait upon her desire.

But then !

When, in her own good time, she chooses to unbend, how
graciously, how entrancingly, she does it ! Oh, the thousand
wonderful lovelinesses and surprises of her play ! The wit, the
humour, the imagination, that inform it ! Her ruses, her false
leads, her sudden triumphs, her feigned despairs ! And the
topazes and emeralds that sparkle in her eyes ; the satiny lustre of
her apparel ; the delicious sinuosities of her body ! And her
parenthetic interruptions of the game : to stride in regal progress
round the apartment, flourishing her tail like a banner : or
coquettishly to throw herself in some enravishing posture at
length upon the carpet at your feet : or (if she loves you) to leap
upon your shoulder, and press her cheek to yours, and murmur
rapturous assurances of her passion ! To be loved by a Princess !
Whosoever, from the Marquis de Carabas down, has been loved

by

From "The Yellow Dwarf" 15

by a Cat, has savoured that felicity. My own particular treasure
of a Cat, at this particular moment is lying wreathed about my
neck, watching my pen as it moves along the paper, and purring
approbation of my views. But when, from time to time, I
chance to use a word that doesn't strike her altogether as the
fittest, she reaches down her little velvet paw, and dabs it out. I
should like to see the Dog who could do that.

But—the Cat is subtle, the Cat is elusive, the Cat is not to be
read at a glance, the Cat is not a simple equation. And so the
Average Man, gross mutton-devouring, money-grubbing mechan-
ism that he is, when he doesn't just torpidly tolerate her, distrusts
her and dislikes her. A great soul, misappreciated, misunderstood,
she sits neglected in his chimney-corner ; and the fatuous idgit
never guesses how she scorns him.

But—the Dog is obvious. Any fool can grasp the meaning of
the Dog. And the Average Man, accordingly, recreant for once
to the snobbism which is his religion, hugs the hyena's cousin to his
bosom.

What of it ?

Only this : that in the Average Man's sentimental attitude
towards the Dog and the Cat, we have a formula, a symbol, for
his sentimental attitude towards many things, especially for his
sentimental attitude towards Books.

Some books, in their uncouthness, their awkwardness, their
boisterousness, in their violation of the decencies of art, in their
low truckling to the tastes of the purchaser, in their commonness,
their vulgarity, in their total lack of suppleness and distinction,
are the very Dogs of Bookland. The Average Man loves 'em.
Such as they are, they're obvious.

And other books, by reason of their beauties and their virtues,

their

16 A Letter to the Editor

their graces and refinements ; because they are considered
finished ; because they are delicate, distinguished, aristocratic ;
because their touch is light, their movement deft and fleet ;
because they proceed by omission, by implication and suggestion ;
because they employ the demi-mot and the nuance; because, in
fine, they are Subtle—other books are the Cats of Bookland.
And the Average Man hates them or ignores them.

Yes. Literature broadly divides itself into Cat-Literature,
despised and rejected of the Average Man, and Dog-Literature,
adopted and petted by him. What is more like the ponderous,
slow-strutting, dull-witted Mastiff, than the writing of our
tedious friend Mr. Caine ? What more like a formless, undipped
white Poodle, with pink eyes, than the gushing of Miss Corelli ?
In the lucubrations of Mr. J. K. Jerome and his School, do we
not recognise the Dog of the Public House, grinning and
wagging his tail and performing his round of inexpensive tricks
for whoso will chuck him a biscuit ? And in the long-drawn
bellowings of Dr. Nordau, hear we not the distempered Hound
complaining to the moon ? The books of Mr. Conan Doyle are
as a litter of assorted Mongrels, going cheap—regardez moi leurs
pattes ! Mr. Anthony Hope produces the smart Fox Terrier ;
Mr. George Moore, the laborious Dachshund ; whilst Messrs.
Crockett and MacLaren breed you the sanctimonious Collie.
To cross the Channel, for an instant, we find the works of Mons.
Crapule Mendès, poking their noses into whatever nastiness is
going, and doing the other usual canine thing. And then, to
come back to England, and to turn our attention upon Journal-
ism, we mustn't forget Mr. Punch's collaborator Toby ; nor
Lo-Ben, the former ruling spirit of the Pall Mall Gazette;
nor the Jackals and Pariahs of Lower Grubb Street ; nor the
Butcher's Dog, whose carnivorous yawling is the predominant

note

From "The Yellow Dwarf" 17

note of a certain sixpenny weekly, which I will not advertise by
naming.

Cat-Literature, in the nature of things, it is less easy to put
one's finger on. Good books have such an unpleasant way of
being rare. Still, in Paris, there are MM. France, Bourget, and
Pierre Loti (oh, that sweet Pierre Loti, with his Moumoutte
Blanche and his Moumoutte Chinoise!); and, in England, at
least two or three Literary Cats are born every year. There are
many sorts of Cats, to be sure ; and some Cats are not so nice as
other Cats ; but even the shabbiest, drabbiest Cat, lurking in the
area, is interesting to those who have learned the Cat language,
and so can commune with her. That is one of the prettiest
differences between the Dog and the Cat :—the Dog will learn
your language, but you must learn the Cat's. Dog-Literature is
written in the language of the Average Man, a crude, unlovely
language, necessarily. Cat-Literature is written in a complex
shaded language all its own, which the Average Man is too stupid
or too indolent to learn.

Yes, even in poor old England, we may be thankful, a Literary
Cat is born two or three times a year. Miss Dowie and Miss
D'Arcy, Mr. Grahame, Mrs. Meynell, Mr. Crackanthorpe—they
are among the most careful and successful of our native breeders.
Mr. Harland has given us some very pretty Grey Kittens ; and
for the artificially educated Cat, in green apron and periwig, we
naturally turn to Mr. Beerbohm — whose collected works, by
the bye, I am glad to see have at last been published, accompanied
by a charming Cat-like bibliography and preface from the hand of
Mr. Lane. But of course, in any proper Cat Show, the Cats of
Mr. Henry James would carry off the special grand prix d'honneur.
And now, Mr. Editor, these philosophical reflections may be
not inappositely punctuated by a piece of news.

I beg

18 A Letter to the Editor

I beg to announce to you the recent appearance in Cat-Literature
of a highly curious and diverting sport or variation. Perhaps your
attention has already been directed to it ? Have you seen March
Hares ?

March Hares, by George Forth, is a most spirited, lithe-limbed,
and surprising Cat. It will mystify and irritate the Average Man,
as much as it will rejoice his betters. He will discover that he
has been made a fool of, at the end of every bout ; for it is Cat's
play perpetually—a malicious sequence of ruses and false leads.
He will declare that it is madder even than its name, for the
method that governs its capricious pirouettings is a method much
too subtle for his coarse senses to apprehend. Indeed, I can almost
hope that March Hares was conceived and brought to parturition,
for the deliberate purpose of giving the Average Man a headache.
If it were frank Opéra-bouffe, he wouldn't mind ; but it is Opéra-
bouffe masquerading as legitimate drama. The Average Man will
take it seriously—and presently begin to stare and swear. He will
feel as if Harlequin were circling round him, jeering at him and
flouting him, making disrespectful gestures in his face, whacking
his skull with wooden sword, and throwing his sluggish intellects
promiscuously into a whirl of bewilderment and anger.

Mr. David Mosscrop, self-defined as an habitual criminal, is a
dissipated young Scottish Professor of Culdees, who draws a salary
of four-hundred odd pounds per annum, and, for forty-nine weeks
out of the fifty-two, renders no equivalent of service. Accordingly,
he lives in chambers, at Dunstan's Inn, and lounges at seven
o'clock in the morning of his thirtieth birthday, against the low
stone parapet of Westminster Bridge, nursing a bad attack of
vapours, and wondering vaguely whether a chap "who does not
know enough to keep sober over-night, should not be thrown like
garbage into the river."

What

From "The Yellow Dwarf" 19

What more natural than that he should here encounter a young
lady "almost tall," with "butter-coloured hair," and treat her to
an outfit of silk stockings and a pair of patent-leather boots "of
the best Parisian make" ? Inevitably, after that, he invites her to
breakfast at an Italian ordinary, where she drinks freely of Chianti
and Maraschino, and lies to him like fun about her identity and
her extraction. "My name is Vestalia Peaussier. My father
was a French gentleman—an officer, and a man of position. He
died—killed in a duel—when I was very young. . . . . My
mother was the daughter of a very old Scottish house." And
Vestalia has just been turned out of her lodgings for non-payment
of rent, and insinuates that she is looking to the streets for a
career.

Mosscrop, properly enough shocked at this, hurries her away
upon his arm to the British Museum, where he entertains her
with his ideas about Nero, Richard Cœur de Lion, King John,
the Monkish Chroniclers, and the lions of Assur-Banipal. She
listens, with her shoulder against his—" but now he has other
auditors as well."

" Excuse me, sir," the urgent and anxious voice of a stranger
says close behind him, " but you seem to be extraordinarily well
posted indeed on these sculptures here. I hope you will not object
to my daughter and me standing where we can hear your re-
marks."

The stranger is Mr. Skinner, from Paris, Kentucky, U.S.A.
His daughter, Adele, is a handsome girl with "coal-black tresses,"
who looks askance at the "butter-coloured" locks of Vestalia
Peaussier.

Skinner persists in his advances. "I should delight, sir, to have
my daughter be privileged to profit by your remarks." David
speaks somewhat abruptly : "You are certainly welcome, but it

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. B

happens

20 A Letter to the Editor

happens that I have finished my remarks, as you call them."
Skinner observes, and the reader will agree with him, that "that's
too bad ;" for David's remarks were lively and instructive. And
Skinner, with a view to mutual intellectual improvement, asks
David to call upon him at the Savoy Hotel.

Then David and Vestalia lunch together at the Café Royal,
drinking a bottle of 34A, cooled to 48. And then they go to
Greenwich and eat fish. And at last David conducts her to his
chambers, and sends her to bed in the room of his absent neigh-
bour Linkhaw, supposed to be seeking recreation in Uganda, or
"maybe in the Hudson Bay Territory." And Linkhaw, in-
opportune villain, chooses, of course, this night of all nights for
playing the god from the machine. Footsteps come echoing up
the staircase. A key rattles in Linkhaw's lock. "Stop that, you
idiot !" David commands fiercely. "Ah, Davie, Davie, still at
the bottle," replies a well known voice from out of the obscurity ;
and Linkhaw is dragged by Davie into Davie's den.

From the advent of Linkhaw the plot thickens terribly, the
Cat's play becomes fast and furious. First of all, Linkhaw isn't
Linkhaw, but the Earl of Drumpipes, in the Peerage of Scotland.
And secondly, Vestalia isn't Vestalia, but Linkhaw's thoroughly
bad lot of a wife, whom he imagines "dead as a mackerel, thank
God." And thirdly, she isn't either, but the entirely virtuous
niece of Mr. Skinner, who turns out to be a renegade Englishman
himself. And Peaussier was only Skinner Gallicised ! Then the
question rises, Is Mosscrop a gentleman ? Drumpipes, with
northern caution, admits that he is "a professional man, a person
of education." It is certain, anyhow, that Drumpipes would be
blithe to make a Countess of Miss Skinner : she is rich, and she
is pleasing. Her Popper is in Standard oil. But there are
democratic prejudices against his title, though David reminds him

that

From "The Yellow Dwarf" 21

that it is "nothing better than a Scottish title," and Drainpipes
retorts that the Pilliewillies were great lords in Slug-Angus
"before the Campbells were ever heard of, or the Gordons had
learned not to eat their cattle raw." Whereupon they almost
come to blows about the compensation to be paid for a ruined
"moosie." After some persuasion, however, Mosscrop good-
naturedly consents to assume his friend's embarrassment, and
while Drumpipes, as Linkhaw, makes love to the dark Adele,
Mosscrop, as Drumpipes, arranges a coaching-party, a luncheon,
and a tableau—whereof he and Vestalia are the central figures.
Then the waiter comes in with the tureen ; and the Cat's play is
ended. Voilà as the French say, tout.

March Hares, by George Forth. Who is George Forth ?
I'll bet half-a-sovereign that "George Forth" is a pseudonym,
and that it covers at least two personalities, perhaps three or four.
If March Hares is not the child of a collaboration, then my eye-
sight is beginning to fail. Who are the collaborators ? Oddly
enough, they are quite manifestly members of a group I have
never professed to love—they are manifestly pupils of Mr. W. E.
Henley. I can only gratefully suppose either that the Master's
influence is waning, or that the Publisher's Adviser pruned their
manuscript, and the Printer's Reader put the finishing touches to
their proofs ; for Brutality is absent. I saw it stated in a daily
paper, a week or so ago, that George Forth was Mr. Harold
Frederic ; but that's a rank impossibility. Mr. Harold Frederic
has proved that he can cross Bulldogs with Newfoundlands, that
he can write able, unreadable Illuminations in choice Americanese.
He could no more flitter and flutter and coruscate, and turn
somersaults in mid-air, and fall lightly on his feet, in the Cat-
fashion of George Forth, than he could dance a hornpipe on the
point of a needle. It is barely conceivable that Mr. Harold

Frederic

22 A Letter to the Editor

Frederic may have been one of the collaborators, but, in that case,
I'll eat my wig if the others didn't mightily revise his "copy."
Nenni-da ! George Forth were far more likely to be, in some
degree, Mr. George Steevens—late of the P.M.G., much chastened
and improved. Perhaps he is also, in some degree, Mr. Marriott
Watson ? And (cherchez la femme) who knows that a lady may
not supply an element of his composition ? But these are mere
conjectures. The long of it is and the short of it is that I'm
devoured by curiosity ; and I'll offer a bottle of his favourite wine
to any fellow who'll provide me with an authenic version of George
Forth's "real names."


You will remember, Mr. Editor, the magnificent retort of the
French King to the malapert counsellor who ventured to remind
him of that silly old Latin saw about vox populi and vox Dei.
With the same splendid and conclusive scorn might you and I
dismiss the opinions of the Average Man—especially his opinions
about Dogs, Cats, and Books. So long as they remain his own,
and are not shared by his superiors, they import as little as the
opinions of the Average Dugong. But the tiresome thing is,
they are infectious ; and his superiors are constantly exposed to
the danger of catching them. When he speaks as an individual,
the Average Man only bores without convincing you. But when
he speaks by the thousand, somehow or other, he is as like as not
to set a fashion, or even to establish a tradition. He has already
established a tradition about Dogs and Cats ; and nowadays he is
beginning to set the fashion about Books. Nice people are begin-
ning to accept his opinions upon this, the one subject above all
subjects which he is least qualified to touch. I actually know
nice people who have read Mr. Conan Doyle ! And I have
actually met nice people who do not read Mr. Henry James !

And

From "The Yellow Dwarf" 23

And that is all the fault of the Average Man. Why can't the
dunce be gagged ? Mr. James, for instance, has just published
a new volume of his incomparable tales. Embarrassments 'tis
called. Of course, it must be as a volume composed in Coptic
for the Average Man ; but nice people would find it a casket of
inexpressible delights, if only the Average Man could be silenced
long enough to let them hear of it. For my part, I do what I
can. I remember the example of Martin Luther, and I hurl my
ink-pot. But the Devil is still abroad in the world, seeking
whom he may devour ; and the Average Man will no doubt go
on gabbling—the Devil take him !

I have the honour, dear Mr. Editor, to subscribe myself, as
ever,

        Your obedient servant,
            THE YELLOW DWARF.

An Idyll in Millinery

By

Ménie Muriel Dowie

            I


THE actual reason why Liphook was there does not matter :
he was there, and he was there for the second time within
a fortnight, and on each occasion, as it happened, he was the only
man in the place—the only man-customer in the place. A pale,
shaven young Jew passed sometimes about the rooms, in the
background.

Liphook could not stand still ; the earliest sign of mental
excitement, this ; if he paused for a moment in front of one of
the two console tables and glanced into the big mirror, it was
only to turn the next second and make a step or two this way
or that upon the spacious-sized, vicious-patterned Axminster
carpet. His eye wandered, but not without a mark of resolution
in its wandering—resolution not to wander persistently in one
direction. First the partings in the curtains which ran before
the windows seemed to attract him, and he glanced into the gay
grove of millinery that blossomed before the hungry eyes of
female passers-by in the street. Sometimes he looked through
the archways that led upon each hand to further salons in which
little groups of women, customers and saleswomen, were collected.

sometimes

By Ménie Muriel Dowie 25

Sometimes his eye rested upon the seven or eight unemployed
shop-ladies who stood behind the curtains, like spiders, and looked
with an almost malevolent contemptuousness upon the street
starers who came not in to buy, but lingered long, and seemed to
con the details of attractive models. More than once, a group
in either of the rooms fascinated him for full a minute. One
particularly, because its component parts declared themselves so
quickly to his apprehension.

A young woman, with fringe carefully ordered to complete
formlessness and fuzz, who now sat upon a chair and now rose
to regard herself in a glass as she poised a confection of the toque
breed upon her head. With her, a friend, older, of identical
type, but less serious mien, whose face pringled into vivacious
comment upon each venture ; comment which of course Liphook
could not overhear. With them both, an elder lady, to whom
the shopwoman, a person of clever dégagé manner and primrose
hair, principally addressed herself; appealingly, confirmatively,.
rapturously, critically—according to her ideas upon the hat in
question. In and out of their neighbourhood moved a middle-
aged woman of French appearance, short-necked, square-
shouldered, high-busted, with a keen face of chamois leather
colour and a head to which the black hair seemed to have been
permanently glued—Madame Félise herself. When she threw
a word into the momentous discussion the eyes of the party
turned respectfully upon her ; each woman hearkened. Even
Liphook divined that the girl was buying her trousseau millinery ;
the older sister, or married friend, advising in crisp, humorous
fashion, the elder lady controlling, deciding, voicing the great
essential laws of order, obligation and convention ; the shop-
woman playing the pipes, the dulcimer, the sackbut, the tabor or
the viol—Madame Félise the while commanding with invisible

bâton

26 An Idyll in Millinery

bâton her intangible orchestra ; directing distantly, but with
ineludable authority, the very players upon the stage. At this
moment She turned to him and his attention necessarily left the
group. How did he find this ? Did he care for the immense
breadth in front ? Every one in Paris was doing it. Wasn't he
on the whole a little bit sick of hydrangeas—every one, positively
every one, had hydrangeas just now, and hydrangeas the size
of cauliflowers. He made replies; he assumed a quiet interest,
not too strong to be in character ; he steered her away from the
Parisian breadth in front, away from the hydrangeas, into a con-
sideration of something that rose very originally at the back and
had a ruche of watercresses to lie upon the hair, and three
dahlias, and four distinct colours of tulle in aniline shades, one over
the other, and an osprey, and a bird of Paradise, and a few paste
ornaments; and a convincing degree of chicin its abandoned
hideousness. Then he took a turn down the room towards the
group aforesaid.

"It looks so fearfully married to have that tinsel crown, don't
you know !" the elder sister or youthful matron was saying. "I
mean, it suggests dull calls, doesn't it ? Dull people always have
tinsel crowns, haven't you noticed ? I don't want to influence
you, but as I said before, I liked you in the Paris model."

Every hat over which you conspicuously hover at Félise's,
becomes, on the instant, a Paris model.

"So smart, Madam," cut in the shop-lady. "And you can't
have anything newer than that rustic brim in shot straw with
just the little knot of gardenias at the side. Oh I do think it
suits you !"

Liphook turned away. After all, he didn't want to hear what
these poor, silly, feeble people were saying ; he wanted to
look. . . .

"But

By Ménie Muriel Dowie 27

"But Jim always likes me so much in pale blue, that I think
—" began the girl.

"Why not have just a little tiny knot of forget-me nots with
the gardenia. Oh, I'm shaw you'd like it."

Thus flowed the oily current of the shop-lady, reaching his ear
as Liphook returned down the room. He could look again in the
only direction that won his eyes and his thoughts ; five minutes
had been killed ; there was time left him yet, for She had just
been seized with the idea that something with a little more brim
was really her style. After all, She craved no more than to be
loose at Félise's, amid the Spring models lit by a palely ardent
town sun, and Harold's cheque-book looming in the comfortable
shadow of his pocket.

At the back of each gilt and mirrored saloon was placed a
work-table—in the manner of all hat-shops—surrounded by chairs
in which, mostly with their backs to the shops sat the girls who
were making up millinery ; their ages anywhere from sixteen to
twenty-one. Seldom did the construction of a masterpiece appear
to concern them ; but they were spangling things ; deftly turning
loops into bows, curling feathers, binding ospreys into close sheaves;
their heads all bent over their work, their neat aprons tied with
tape bows at the back, their dull hair half flowing and half coiled—
the inimitable manner of the London work girl—their pale faces
dimly perceived as they turned and whispered not too noisily: the
whole thing recalling the soft, quietly murmurous groups of
pigeons in the streets gathered about the scatterings of a cab-
horse's nose-bag. Sometimes shop-girls with elaborately distorted
hair came up and gave them disdainful-seeming orders ; but the
flock of sober little pigeons murmured and pecked at its work and
ruffled no plumage of tan-colour or slate. And one of them,
different from the others—how Liphook's eyes, in the brief looks

he

28 An Idyll in Millinery

he allowed himself, ate up the details of her guise. Dressed in
something—dark-blue, it might have been—that fitted with a
difference over her plump little figure; a fine and wide lawn collar
spread over breast and shoulders ; a smooth head, with no tags and
ends upon the pale, yellow-tinted brow ; a head as sleek and as
sweetly-coloured as the coat of the cupboard-mouse ; a face so
softly indented by its features, so fleckless, so mat in its flat tones,
so mignon in its delicate lack of prettiness as to be irresistible.
Lips, a dull greyish-pink, but tenderly curved at the pouting bow
and faithfully compressed at the dusk-downy corners—terribly
conscientious little lips that seemed as if never could they be kissed
to lighter humour. Eyes, with pale ash-coloured fringes, neither
long nor greatly curved, but so shy-shaped as ever eyes were ; eyes
that could only be imagined by Liphook, and he was sometimes
of mind that they were that vaporous Autumn blue ; and at other
times that they were liquid, brook-coloured hazel.

But this was the maddest obsession that was riding him ! A
London workgirl in a West-end hat shop, a girl whose voice he had
never heard, near whom he had never, could never, come. And
Heaven forbid he should come near her; what did he want with
her ? Before Heaven, and all these hats and mirrors, Viscount
Liphook could have sworn he wanted nothing of her. Yet he loved
her completely, desperately, exclusively. What name was there for
this feeling other than the name of love ? Soiled with all ignoble
use, this name of love ; though to do him justice, Liphook was not
greatly to blame in that matter. He was but little acquainted
with the word ; he left it out of his affaires de cœur, and very
properly, for it did not enter into them. Still, his feeling for this
girl, his craving for the sound of her voice, his eye fascinated by
her smallest movement, his yearning for the sense of her nearer
presence—novel, inexplicable as this all was, might it not be love?

He

By Ménie Muriel Dowie 29

He stood there ; quiet, inexpressive of face, in jealous hope of—
what next ? And then She claimed his attention—in a whisper
which brought her head with its mahogany hair, and her face with
its ground-rice surface, close to his ear. She said :

"You don't mind five, eh? It's a model—and—don't you
think it becomes me ? I do think this mushroom-coloured velvet
and just the three green orchids divine—and it's really very
quiet !"

He assented, careful to look critically at the hat—a clever mass
of evilly-imagined, ill-assorted absurdities. He had looked too
long at that work-table, at that figure, at that face—he dropped
into a chair—let his stick fall between his knees and cast his eyes
to the mirror-empanelled ceiling ; there the heads, and feet of the
passers-by were seething grotesquely in a fashion that recalled the
Inferno of an old engraving.

Well, it would be time to look again soon—ah ! she had risen ;
thank goodness, not a tall woman—(She was five foot nine)—
small, and indolent of outline.

"I'll take it to the French milliner now, Madam, and she'll pin
a pink rose in for you to see !"

It was a shop-woman speaking to some customer, who with a
hat in her hand, approached the work-table.

"If you please, Mam'zelle Mélanie," she began, in a voice
meant to impress the customer, " would you pin in a rose for
Madam to try ? Madam thinks the pansy rather old-looking—"
&c., &c., &c."

The French milliner ; French, then ! And what a dear
innocent, young, crusty little face ! what delicious surliness : the
little brown bear that she was, growling and grumbling to do a
favour. Well, bless that woman—and the pansy that looked old—
he knew her name ; enough to recognise her by, enough to address

a note

30 An Idyll in Millinery

a note to her—and it should be a note ! A note that would bring
out a star in each grey eye—they were grey—after all. (The
grey of a lingering, promising, but unbestowing twilight.)
Reflecting, but unobservant, his glance left her face and focussed
the pale, fair, young Jew, who was seated, in frock coat and hat,
gloating over a pocket-book that had scraps of coloured silk
and velvet pinned in it. He recalled his wandering senses.

" How much ? Eight ten?"

" Well, I've taken a little black thing as well ; it happens to be
very reasonable. There, you don't mind ?" Mrs. Percival always
went upon the principle of appearing to be careful of other
people's money ; she found she got more of it that way.

"My dear !—as long as you are pleased ! " It was weeks
since this tone had been possible to him. He scribbled a cheque
and they got away.

" I know I've been an awful time, old boy," said the mahogany-
haired one, with rough good humour—the good humour of a vain
woman whose vanity has been fed. "Are you coming ?"

"Er—no ; in fact, I'm going out of town, I shan't see you for
a bit—Oh, I wasn't very badly bored, thanks."

She made no comment on his reply to her question ; her coarsely
pretty face hardly showed lines of relief, for it was not a mobile
face ; but she was pleased.

"Glad you didn't fret. I'd never dreamt you'd be so good
about shopping. Yes, I'll take a cab. There is a call for 12.30,
and I see it is nearly one now."

He put her into a nice-looking hansom, lifted his hat and
watched her drive away. Then he turned and looked into the
gaudy windows. His feelings were his own somehow, now that
She had left him. He smiled ; love warmed in him. Was the
old pansy gone and the pink rose in its place ? Had she pricked

those

By Ménie Muriel Dowie 31

those creamy yellow fingers in the doing of it ? No, she was
too deft. Tired, flaccid little fingers ! Was he never to think
of anything or anyone again, except Mam'zelle Mélanie ?



            II


Now the mahogany-haired lady was not an actress : she was
nothing so common as an actress ; she belonged to a mysterious
class, but little understood, even if clearly realised, by the public. It
was not because she could not that she did not act ; she had never
tried to, there had been no question of capability—but she con-
sented to appear at a famous West-end burlesque theatre, to
oblige the manager who was a personal friend of long-standing.
She "went on" in the ball-room scene of a hoary but ever-
popular "musical comedy," because there was—not a part—but
a pretty gown to be filled, and because she was surprisingly
handsome, and of very fine figure, and filled that gown amazingly
well. The two guineas a week that came her way at "Treasury"
went a certain distance in gloves and cab-fares, and the neces-
saries of life she had a different means of supplying. Let her
position be understood : she was a very respectable person : there
are degrees in respectability as in other things ; there was no fear
of vulgar unpleasantnesses with her and her admirers—if she had
them. Mr. John Holditch, the popular manager of several
theatres had a real regard for her ; in private she called him
"Jock, old boy," and he called her "Mill"—because he recollected
her début; but the public knew her as Miss Mildred Metcalf, and
her lady comrades in the dressing-room as Mrs. Percival, and it
was generally admitted by all concerned that she was equally
satisfactory under any of these styles. Oh, it will have been

noticed

32 An Idyll in Millinery

noticed and need not be insisted on, that Liphook called her
"my dear," and if it be not pushing the thing too far, I may add
that her mother spoke of her as "our Florrie."

Liphook was a rich man whose occupation, when he was in
town, was the dividing of days between the club, his rooms in
Half Moon Street, his mother's house in Belgrave Square, and
Mrs. Percival's abode in Manfield Gardens, Kensington. The
only respect in which he differed from a thousand men of his
class was, that he had visited the hat shop of Madame Félise, in
the company of Mrs. Percival, and had conceived a genuine
passion for a little French milliner who sewed spangles on to
snippets of nothingness at a table in the back of the shop.

The note had been written, had been answered. This answer,
in fine, sloping, uneducated French handwriting, upon thin,
lined, pink paper of the foreign character, had given Liphook a
ridiculous amount of pleasure. The club waiters, his mother's
butler, his man in Half Moon Street, these unimportant people
chiefly noted the uncontrollable bubbles of happiness that floated
to the surface of his impassive English face during the days that
followed the arrival of that answer. He didn't think anything in
particular about it ; few men so open to the attractions of women
as this incident proves him, think anything in particular at all,
least of all, at so early a stage. He was not—for the sake of his
judges it must be urged—meaning badly any more than he was
definitely meaning well. He wasn't meaning at all. He cannot
be blamed, either. The world is responsible for this sense of
irresponsibility in men of the world—who are the world's sole
making. Herein he was true to type ; in so far as he did not think
what the girl meant by her answer, type was supported by
individual character. Liphook was not clever, and did not think
much or with any success, on any subject. And if he had he

wouldn't

By Ménie Muriel Dowie 33

wouldn't have hit the real reason ; only experience would have
told him that a French workgirl, from a love of pleasure and the
national measure of shrewd practicality combined, never refuses
the chance of a nice outing. She does not, like her English
sister, drag her virtue into the question at all.

Never in his life, so it chanced, had Liphook gone forth to an
interview in such a frame of mind as on the day he was to meet
Mélanie outside the Argyll Baths in Great Marlboro' Street at
ten minutes past seven. Apart from the intoxicating perfume
that London seemed to breathe for him, and the gold motes that
danced in the dull air, there was the unmistakable resistant pres-
sure of the pavement against his feet (thus it seemed) which is
seldom experienced twice in a lifetime ; in the lifetime of such a
man as Liphook, usually never. The Argyll Baths, Great
Marlboro' Street : what a curious place for the child to have
chosen, and she would be standing there, pretending to look into
a shop window. Oh, of course, there were no shop windows to
speak of in Great Marlboro' Street. (He had paced its whole
length several times since the arrival of the pink glazed note).
What would she say ? What would she look like ? Her eyes,
drooped or raised frankly to his, for instance ? That she would
not greet him with bold, meaning smile and common phrase he
knew—he felt. Dreaming and speculating, but wearing the
calm leisured air of a gentleman walking from one point to
another, he approached and—yes ! there she was ! A scoop-
shaped hat rose above the cream-yellow brow ; a big dotted veil
was loosely—was wonderfully—bound about it ; a little black
cape covered the demure lawn collar; quite French bottines peeped
below the dark-blue skirt. But—she was not alone, a man was
with her. A man whom, even at some distance, he could discern
to be unwelcome and unexpected, the pale fair young Jew

in

34 An Idyll in Millinery

in dapper frock-coat and extravagantly curved over-shiny hat.
Loathsome-looking reptile he was, too, so thought Liphook as he
turned abruptly with savage scrape of his veering foot upon the
pavement, up Argyll Street. Perhaps she was getting rid of him;
it was only nine minutes past seven, anyhow ; perhaps he would
be gone in a moment. Odious beast ! In love with her, no
doubt ; how came it he had the wit to recognise her indescribable
charm ? (Liphook never paused to wonder how himself had
recognised it, though this was, in the circumstances, even more
remarkable). Anyway, judging by that look he remembered, she
would not be unequal to rebuffing unwelcome attention.

Liphook walked as far as Hengler's Circus and read the bills ;
the place was in occupation, it being early in March. He studied
the bill from top to bottom, then he turned slowly and retraced
his steps to the corner. Joy ! she was there and alone. His pace
quickened, his heart rose ; his face, a handsome face, was strung to
lines of pride, of passionate anticipation.

He had greeted her ; he had heard her voice ; so soft—dear
Heaven ! so soft—in reply ; they had turned and were walking
towards Soho, and he knew no word of what had passed.

"We will have a cab ; you will give me the pleasure of dining
with me. I have arranged it. Allow me." Perhaps these were
the first coherent words that he said. Then they drove along and
he said inevitable, valueless things in quick order, conscious of the
lovely interludes when her smooth tones, now wood-sweet, now
with a harp-like thrilling timbre in them, again with the viol—or
was it the lute-note?—a sharp dulcidity that made answer in him as
certainly as the tuning-fork compels its octave from the rosewood
board. The folds of the blue gown fell beside him ; the French
pointed feet, miraculously short-toed, rested on the atrocious straw
mat of the wretched hansom his blindness had brought him ; the

scoop-hat

By Ménie Muriel Dowie 35

scoop-hat knocked the wicked reeking lamp in the centre of the
cab ; the dotted veil, tied as only a French hand can tie a veil,
made more delectable the creams and twine-shades of the monoto-
nous-coloured kitten face. They drove, they arrived somewhere,
they dined, and then of all things, they went into a church, which
being open and permitting organ music to exude from its smut-
blackened walls, seemed less like London than any place they
might have sought.

And it happened to be a Catholic Church, and he—yes, he
actually followed the pretty ways of her, near the grease-smeared
pecten shell with its holy water, that stuck from a pillar : some
Church oyster not uprooted from its ancient bed. And they sat
on prie-dieus, in the dim incense-savoured gloom ; little un-
aspiring lights seemed to be burning in dim places beyond ; and
sometimes there were voices, and sometimes these ceased again
and music filled the dream-swept world in which Liphook was
wrapped and veiled away. And they talked—at least she talked,
low murmurous recital about herself and her life, and every detail
sunk and expanded wondrously in the hot-bed of Liphook's abnor-
mally affected mind. The evening passed to night, and people
stepped about, and doors closed with a hollow warning sound that
hinted at the end of lovely things, and they went out and he
left her at a door which was the back entrance to Madame
Félise's establishment ; but he had rolled back a grey lisle-thread
glove, and gathered an inexpressibly precious memory from the
touch of that small hand that posed roses instead of pansies all the
day.

And of course he was to see her again. He had heard all
about her. How a year since she had been fetched from Paris at
the instance of Goldenmuth. Goldenmuth was the fair young
Jewish man in the frock-coat and supremely curved hat. He was

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. C

a "relative"

36 An Idyll in Millinery

a "relative" of Madame Félise, and travelled for her, in a certain
sense, in Paris. He had seen Mélanie in an obscure corner of the
Petit St. Thomas when paying an airy visit to a lady in charge of
some department there. An idea had occurred to him ; in three
days he arrived and made a proposition. He had conceived the
plan of transplanting this ideally French work-flower to the
London shop, and his plan had been a success. Her simple,
shrewd, much-defined little character clung to Mélanie in London,
as in Paris ; she had clever fingers, but beyond all, her appearance
which Goldenmuth had the art to appreciate, soft but marked and
unassailable by influence, told infinitely at that unobtrusive but
conspicuous work-table.

Half mouse, half dove ; never to be vulgarised, never to be
destroyed.

Mélanie had a family, worthy épicier of Nantes, her father ;
her mother, his invaluable book-keeper. Her sister Hortense,
cashier at the Restaurant des Trois Epées ; her sister Albertine,
in the millinery like herself. Every detail delighted Liphook,
every word of her rapid incorrect London English sank into his
mind ; in the extraordinarily narrow circumscribed life that
Liphook had lived—that all the Liphooks of the world usually
do live—a little, naïvely-simple description of some quite different
life is apt to sound surprisingly interesting, and if it comes from
the lips of your Mélanie, why . . . . .

But previous to the glazed pink note, if Liphook had crystal-
lised any floating ideas he might have had as to the nature
of the intimacy he expected, they would have tallied in no
particular with the reality. In his first letter had been certain
warmly-worded sentences ; at their first interview when he had
interred two kisses below the lisle-thread glove, he had incohe-
rently murmured something lover-like. It had been too dark to

see

By Ménie Muriel Dowie 37

see Mélanie's face at the moment ; but when since, more than
once, he had attempted similar avowals she had put her head on
one side, raised her face, crinkled up the corners of the grey eyes,
and twisted quite alarmingly the lilac-pink lips. So there wasn't
much said about love or any such thing. After all, he could see
her three or four times a week ; on Sunday they often spent the
whole day together ; he could listen to her prattle ; he was a
silent fellow himself, having never learnt to talk and having
nothing to talk about ; he could, in hansoms and quiet places,
tuck her hand within his arm and beam affectionately into her
face, and they grew always closer and closer to each other ; as
camarades, still only as camarades. She never spoke of Goldenmuth
except incidentally, and then very briefly ; and Liphook, who had
since seen the man with her in the street on two occasions, felt
very unanxious to introduce the subject ; after all he knew more
than he wanted to about it, he said to himself. It was obvious
enough. He had bought her two hats at Félise's ; he had begged
to do as much, and she had advised him which he should purchase,
and on evenings together she had looked ravishing beneath them.
He knew many secrets of the hat trade ; he knew and delightedly
laughed over half a hundred fictions Mélanie exploded ; he was in
a fair way to become a man-milliner ; even Goldenmuth could not
have talked more trippingly of the concomitants of capotes.

One Sunday, when the sunniest of days had tempted them
down the river, he came suddenly into the private room where
they were to lunch and found her coquetting with her veil in
front of a big ugly mirror ; a mad sort of impulse took him, he
gripped her arms to her side, nipped her easily off the floor, bent
his head round the prickly fence of hat-brim and kissed her several
times ; she laughed with the low, fluent gurgle of water pushing
through a narrow passage. She said nothing, she only laughed.

Somehow

38 An Idyll in Millinery

Somehow, it disorganised Liphook.

"Do you love me ? Do you love me ?" he asked rapidly, even
roughly, in the only voice he could command, and he shook her a
little.

She put her head on one side and made that same sweet
crinkled-up kind of moue moquante, then she spread her palms out
and shook them and laughed and ran away round the table.
"Est-ce que je sais, moi ?" she cried in French. Liphook didn't
speak. Oh, he understood her all right, but he was getting him-
self a little in hand first. A man like Liphook has none of the
art of life ; he can't do figure-skating among his emotions like
your nervous, artistic-minded, intellectually trained man. After
that one outburst and the puzzlement that succeeded it, he was
silent, until he remarked upon the waiter's slowness in bringing up
luncheon. But he had one thing quite clear in his thick English
head, through which the blood was still whizzing and singing.
He wanted to kiss her again badly ; he was going to kiss her
again at the first opportunity.

But, of course, when he wasn't with her his mind varied in its
reflections. For instance, he had come home one night from
dining at Aldershot—a farewell dinner to his Colonel it was—
and he had actually caught himself saying : "I must get out of
it," meaning his affair with Mélanie. That was pretty early on,
when it had still seemed, particularly after being in the society
of worldly-wise friends who rarely, if ever, did anything foolish,
much less emotional, that he was making an ass of himself, or
was likely to if he didn't "get out of it." Now the thing had
assumed a different aspect. He could not give her up ; under no
circumstances could he contemplate giving her up ; well then,
why give her up ? She was only a little thing in a hat shop, she
would do very much better—yes, but, somehow he had a certain

feeling

By Ménie Muriel Dowie 39

feeling about her, he couldn't—well, in point of fact, he loved
her ; hang it, he respected her ; he'd sooner be kicked out of his
Club than say one word to her that he'd mind a fellow saying to
his sister.

Thus the Liphook of March, '95, argued with the Liphook of
the past two and thirty years !



            III


Liphook's position was awkward—all the other Liphooks in the
world have said it was beastly awkward, supposing they could have
been made to understand it. To many another kind of man this
little love story might not have been inappropriate ; occurring in
the case of Liphook it was nothing less than melancholy. Not that
he felt melancholy about it, no indeed ; just sometimes, when he
happened to think how it was all going to end, he had rather a
bad moment, but thanks to his nature and training he did not
think often.

Meantime, he had sent a diamond heart to Mrs. Percival ; there
was more sentiment about a heart than a horse-shoe ; women
looked at that kind of thing, and she would feel that he wasn't
cooling off ; so it had been a heart. That secured him several more
weeks of freedom at any rate, and he wouldn't have the trouble of
putting notes in the fire. For on receiving the diamond heart
Mrs. Percival behaved like a python after swallowing an antelope ;
she was torpid in satiety, and no sign came from her.

But one morning Liphook got home to Half Moon Street after
his Turkish bath, and heard that a gentleman was waiting to see
him.

"At least, hardly a gentleman, my lord ; I didn't put him in
the library," explained the intuitive Sims.

Some

40 An Idyll in Millinery

Some one from his tailor's with so-called "new" patterns, no
doubt ; well—

He walked straight into the room, never thinking, and he saw
Goldenmuth. The man had an offensive orchid in his buttonhole.
To say that Liphook was surprised is nothing ; he was astounded,
and too angry to call up any expression whatever to his face ; he
was rigid with rage. What in hell had Sims let the fellow in for ?
However, this was the last of Sims ; Sims would go.

The oily little brute, with his odious hat in his hand, was speak-
ing ; was saying something about being fortunate in finding his
lordship, &c.

"Be good enough to tell me your business with me," said
Liphook, with undisguised savagery. Though he had asked him
to speak, he thought that when her name was mentioned he would
have to choke him. His rival—by gad, this little Jew beggar
was Liphook's rival. Goldenmuth hitched his sallow neck, as
leathery as a turtle's, in his high, burnished collar, and took his
pocket-book from his breast pocket—which meant that he was
nervous, and forgot that he was not calling upon a "wholesale
buyer," to whom he would presently show a pattern. He pressed
the book in both hands, and swayed forward on his toes—swayed
into hurried speech.

"Being interested in a young lady whom your lordship has
honoured with your attentions lately, I called to 'ave a little
talk." The man had an indescribable accent, a detestable fluency,
a smile which nearly warranted you in poisoning him, a manner
—! There was silence. Liphook waited ; the snap with
which he bit off four tough orange-coloured hairs from his mous-
tache, sounded to him like the stroke of a hammer in the street.
Then an idea struck him. He put a question :

"What has it got to do with you ?"

"I am

By Ménie Muriel Dowie 41

"I am interested—"

"So am I. But I fail to see why you should mix yourself up
with my affairs."

"Madame Félise feels—"

"What's she got to do with it?" Liphook tossed out his
remarks with the nakedest brutality.

"The lady is in her employment and—"

"Look here ; say what you've got to say, or go," burst from
Liphook, with the rough bark of passion. He had his hands be-
hind his back ; he was holding one with the other in the fear that
they might get away from him, as it were. His face was still im-
mobile, but the crooks of two veins between the temples and the
eye corners stood up upon the skin ; his impassive blue eyes
harboured sullen hatred. He saw the whole thing. That old
woman had sent her dirty messenger to corner him, to "ask his
intentions," to get him to give himself away, to make some pro-
mise. It was a kind of blackmail they had in view. The very
idea of such creatures about Mélanie would have made him sick at
another time ; now he felt only disgust, and the rising obstinacy
about committing himself at the unsavory instance of Goldenmuth.
After all, they couldn't take Mélanie from him ; she was free, she
could go into another shop ; he could marry . . . . Stop—
madness !

"Mademoiselle Mélanie is admitted to be most attractive—
others have observed it—"

"You mean you have," sneered Liphook ; in the most un-
gentlemanly manner, it must be allowed.

"I must bring to the notice of your lordship," said the Jew,
with the deference of a man who knows he is getting his point,
"that so young as Mademoiselle is, and so innocent, she is not
fitted to understand business questions ; and her parents being at

a distance

42 An Idyll in Millinery

a distance it falls to Madame Félise and myself to see that—
excuse me, my lord, but we know what London is !—that her
youth is not misled."

"Who's misleading her youth ?" Liphook burst out ; and his
schoolboy language detracted nothing from the energy with which
he spoke. "You can take my word here and now that she is in
every respect as innocent as I found her. And now," with a
sudden reining in of his voice, "we have had enough of this talk.
If you are the lady's guardians you may reassure yourselves : I am
no more to her than a friend : I have not sought to be any more."
Liphook moved in conclusion of the interview.

"Your lordship is very obliging ; but I must point out that a
young and ardent girl is likely, in the warmth of her affection, to
be precipitate—that we would protect her from herself."

"About this I have nothing to say, and will hear nothing,"
exclaimed Liphook, hurriedly.

Goldenmuth used the national gesture ; he bent his right
elbow, turned his right hand palm upwards and shook it softly to
and fro.

"Perhaps even I have noticed it. I am not insensible !"

Liphook had never heard a famous passage—he neither read nor
looked at Shakespeare, so this remark merely incensed him.
"But," went on the Jew, "since she came to England—for I
brought her—I have made myself her protector—"

"You're a liar !" said Liphook, who was a very literal person.

"Oh, my lord !—I mean in the sense of being kind to her and
looking after her, with Madame Félise's entire approval ; so
when I noticed the marked attentions of a gentleman like your
lordship—"

"You're jealous," put in Liphook, again quite inexcusably.
But it would be impossible to over-estimate his contempt for this

man.

By Ménie Muriel Dowie 43

man. Belonging to the uneducated section of the upper class he
was a man of the toughest prejudices on some points. One of
these was that all Jews were mean, scurvy devils at bottom and
that no kind of consideration need be shown them. Avoid them
as you would a serpent ; when you meet them, crush them as you
would a serpent. He'd never put it into words ; but that is
actually what poor Liphook thought, or at any rate it was the
dim idea on which he acted.

"Your lordship is making a mistake," said Goldenmuth with a
flush. "I am not here in my own interest ; I am here to act on
behalf of the young lady." Had the heavens fallen ? In her
interest ? Then Mélanie ? Never ! As if a Thing like this
could speak the truth !

"Who sent you ?" Liphook always went to the point.

"Madame Félise and I talked it over and agreed that I should
make it convenient to call. We have both a great regard for
Mademoiselle ; we feel a responsibility—a responsibility to her
parents."

What was all this about ? Liphook was too bewildered to
interrupt even.

"Naturally, we should like to see Mademoiselle in a position,
an assured position for which she is every way suited."

So it was as he thought. They wanted to rush a proposal.
Must he chaffer with them at all ?

"I can tell you that if I had anything to propose I should
write it to the lady herself," he said.

"We are not anxious to come between you. I may say I have
enquired—my interest in Mademoiselle has led me to enquire—
and Madame Félise and I think it would be in every way a
suitable connection for her. Your lordship must feel that we
regard her as no common girl ; she deserves to be lancéein the

right

44 An Idyll in Millinery

right manner ; a settlement—an establishment—some indication
that the connection will be fairly permanent, or if not, that
suitable—

"Is that what you are driving at, you dog, you?" cried
Liphook, illuminated at length and boiling with passion. "So
you want to sell her to me and take your blasted commission ?
Get out of my house !" He grew suddenly quiet ; it was an
ominous change. "Get out, this instant, before—

Goldenmuth was gone, the street door banged.

"God ! God !" breathed Liphook with his hand to his wet
brow, "what a hellish business !"

    *    *    *    *    *

It was nine o'clock when Liphook came in that night. He
did not know where he had been, he believed he had had
something in the nature of dinner, but he could not have said
exactly where he had had it.

Sims handed him a note.

He recognised a friend's hand and read the four lines it
contained.

"When did Captain Throgmorton come, then ?"

"Came in about three to 'alf past, my lord ; he asked me if
your lordship had any engagement to-night, and said he would
wait at the Club till quarter past eight and that he should dine at
the Blue Posts after that."

"I see; well," he reflected a moment, "Sims, pack my
hunting things, have everything at St. Pancras in time for the ten
o'clock express, and," he reflected again, " Sims, I want you to
take a note—no, never mind. That'll do."

"V'ry good, my lord."

Yes, he'd go. Jack Throgmorton was the most companionable
man in the world—he was so silent. Liphook and he had been

at

By Ménie Muriel Dowie 45

at Sandhurst together, they had joined the same regiment. Lip-
hook had sent in his papers rather than stand the fag of India ;
Throgmorton had "taken his twelve hundred" rather than stand
the fag of anywhere. He was a big heavy fellow with a marked
difficulty in breathing, also there was fifteen stone of him. His
round eyes, like "bulls'-eyes," the village children's best-loved
goodies, stuck out of a face rased to an even red resentment.
He had the hounds somewhere in Bedfordshire. His friends liked
him enormously, so did his enemies. To say that he was stupid
does not touch the fringe of a description of him. He had never
had a thought of his own, nor an idea ; all the same, in any Club
quarrel, or in regard to a point of procedure, his was an opinion
other men would willingly stand by. At this moment in his
life, a blind instinct taught Liphook to seek such society ; no one
could be said to sum up more completely—perhaps because so
unconsciously—the outlook of Liphook's world, which of late he
had positively begun to forget. The thing was bred into
Throgmorton by sheer, persistent sticking to the strain, and it came
out of him again mechanically, automatically, distilled through
his dim brain a triple essence. The kind of man clever people
have found it quite useless to run down, for it has been proved
again and again that if he can only be propped up in the right
place at the right moment, you'll never find his equal inthat
place. Altogether, a handsome share in "the secret of England's
greatness" belongs to him. The two men met on the platform
beside a pile of kit-bags and suit cases, all with Viscount Liphook's
name upon them in careful uniformity. Sims might have had
the administration of an empire's affairs upon his mind, whereas
he was merely chaperoning more boots and shirts than any one
man has a right to possess.

"You didn't come last night," said Captain Throgmorton, as

though

46 An Idyll in Millinery

though he had only just realised the fact. He prefaced the re-
mark by his favourite ejaculation which was "Harr-rr"— he pre-
faced every remark with "Harr-rr"—on a cold day it was not
uninspiriting if accompanied by a sharp stroke of the palms ; in
April it was felt to be somewhat out of season. But Captain
Throgmorton merely used it as a means of getting his breath and
his voice under way. "Pity," he went on, without noticing
Liphook's silence ; "good bone." This summed up the dinner
with its famous marrow-bones, at the Blue Posts.

They got in. Each opened a Morning Post. Over the top of
this fascinating sheet they flung friendly brevities from time to
time.

"Shan't have more than a couple more days to rattle 'em
about," Captain Throgmorton remarked, after half an hour's
silence, and a glance at the flying hedges.

Liphook began to come back into his world. After all it was
a comfortable world. Yet had an angel for a time transfigured it,
ah dear ! how soft that angel's wings, if he might be folded within
them . . . . old world, dear, bad old world, you might roll by.

They were coming home from hunting next day. Each man
bent ungainly in his saddle ; their cords were splashed ; the going
had been heavy, and once it had been hot as well, but only for a
while. Then they had hung about a lot, and though they found
three times, they hadn't killed. Liphook was weary. When
Throgmorton stuck his crop under his thigh, hung his reins on
it, and lit a cigar, Liphook was looking up at the sky, where
dolorous clouds of solid purple splotched a background of orange,
flame-colour and rose. Throgmorton's peppermint eye rolled
slowly round when it left his cigar-tip ; he knew that when a
man—that is, a man of Liphook's sort is found staring at a thing
like the sunset there is a screw loose somewhere.

"Wha'

By Ménie Muriel Dowie 47

"Wha' is it, Harold ?" he said, on one side of his cigar.

Liphook made frank answer.

"What's she done then?"

"Oh, Lord, it isn't her."

"'Nother ?" said Jack, without any show of surprise, and got
his answer again.

"What sort ?" This was very difficult, but Liphook shut his
eyes and flew it.

"How old ?"

"Twenty," said Liphook, and felt a rapture rising.

"Jack, man," he exclaimed, under the influence or the flame
and rose, no doubt, "what if I were to marry ?"

Throgmorton was not, as has been indicated, a person of fine
fibre. "Do, and be done with 'em," said he. And after all, as
far as it went, it was sound enough advice.

"I mean marry her," Liphook explained, and the explanation
cost him a considerable expenditure of pluck.

An emotional man would have fallen off his horse—if the horse
would have let him. Jack's horse never would have let him.
Jack said nothing for a moment ; his eye merely seemed to swell ;
then he put another question :

"Earl know about it ?"

"By George, I should say not!"

"Harr-rr."

That meant that the point would be resolved in the curiously
composed brain of Captain Throgmorton, and by common con-
sent not another word was said on the matter.





Two

48 An Idyll in Millinery

            IV


Two days had gone by. Liphook's comfortable sense of having
acted wisely in coming out of town to think the thing over still
supported him, ridiculous though it seems. For of course he was
no more able to think anything over than a Hottentot. Think-
ing is not a natural process at all ; savage men never knew of it,
and many people think it quite as dangerous as it is unnatural. It
has become fashionable to learn thinking, and some forms of
education undertake to teach it ; but Liphook had never gone
through those forms of education. After all, to understand Lip-
hook, one must admit that he approximated quite as nearly to the
savage as to the civilised and thinking man, if not more nearly.
His appetites and his habits were mainly savage, and had he lived
in savage times he would not have been touched by a kind of love
for which he was never intended, and his trouble would not have
existed. However, he was as he was, and he was thinking things
over ; that is, he was waiting and listening for the most forceful of
his instincts to make itself heard, and he had crept like a dumb
unreasoning animal into the burrow of his kind, making one last
effort to be of them. At the end of the week his loudest instinct
was setting up a roar ; there could be no mistaking it. He loved
her. He could not part from her ; he must get back to her ; he
must make her his and carry her off.

"Sorry to be leaving you, Jack," he said one morning at the
end of the week. They were standing looking out of the hall door
together and it was raining. "But I find I must go up this
morning."

Throgmorton rolled a glance at him, then armed him into the
library and shut the door.

"What

By Ménie Muriel Dowie 49

"What are you going to do ?"

"Marry her."

There was a silence. They stood there, the closest feeling of
friendship between them, not saying a word.

"My dear Harold," said Throgmorton at length, with much
visible and more invisible effort ; he put a hand heavily on
Liphook's shoulder and blew hard in his mute emotion. Then he
put his other hand on Liphook's other shoulder. Liphook kept
his eyes down ; he was richly conscious of all Jack was mutely
saying ; he felt the weight of every unspoken argument ; the
moment was a long one, but for both these slow-moving minds a
very crowded moment.

"Come to the Big Horn Mountains with me," Throgmorton
remarked suddenly, "—and—har-rr write to her from
there."

He was proud of this suggestion ; he knew the value of a really
remote point to write from. It was always one of the first things
to give your mind to, the choice of a geographically well-nigh
inaccessible point to write from. First you found it, then you
went to it, and when you got there, by Jove, you didn't need to
write at all. Liphook smiled in impartial recognition of his
friend's wisdom, but shook his head.

"Thanks," he said. "I've thought it all over"—he genuinely
believed he had—"and I'm going to marry her. Jack, old man, I
love her like the very devil !"

In spite of the grotesqueness of the phrase, the spirit in it was
worth having.

Throgmorton's hands came slowly off his friend's shoulders.
He walked to the window, took out a very big handkerchief and
dried his head. He seemed to look out at the dull rain battering
on the gravel and digging yellow holes.

"I'll

50 An Idyll in Millinery

"I'll drive you to meet the 11.15," he said at last and went out
of the room.

Liphook put up his arms and drew a deep breath ; it had been
a stiff engagement. He felt tired. But no, not tired. Roll by,
O bad old world—he has chosen the angel's wing !

Not one word had passed about Goldenmuth, Madame Félise,
or the astounding interview ; a man like Liphook can always hold
his tongue ; one of his greatest virtues. Besides, why should he
ever think or breathe the names of those wretches again ? Jack
Throgmorton, in his splendid ignorance, would have been unable
to throw light upon the real motive of these simple, practical
French people. Liphook to his dying day would believe they had
given proof of hideous iniquity, while in reality they were actuated
by a very general belief of the bourgeoise, that to be "established,"
with settlements, as the mistress of a viscount, is quite as good as
becoming the wife of a grocer. They had been, perhaps, wicked,
but innocently wicked ; for they acted according to their belief,
in the girl's best interest. Unfortunately they had had an im-
practicable Anglais to deal with and had had to submit to insult ;
in their first encounter, they had been worsted by British brute
stupidity.

With a constant dull seething of impulses that quite possessed
him, he got through the time that had to elapse before he could
hear from her in reply to his short letter. He had done with
thinking. A chance meeting with his father on the sunny side
of Pall Mall one morning did not even disquiet him. His every
faculty, every fibre was in thrall to his great passion. The rest
of life seemed minute, unimportant, fatuous, a mass of trivial
futilities.

There were two things in the world, and two only. There
was Mélanie, and there was love. Ah, yes, and there was time !

"Why

By Ménie Muriel Dowie 51

Why did she not answer ?

A note from the bonnet-shop, re-enclosing his own, offered an
explanation that entered like a frozen knife-blade into Liphook's
heart. She had left. She was gone. Gone altogether, for good.

Absurd ! Did they suppose they could—oh, a higher price
was what they wanted. He'd go; by God he'd give it. Was he
not going to marry her ? He hurried to the hat-shop ; he dropped
into the chair he had occupied when last in the shop, let his stick
fall between his knees and stared before him into the mirrored
walls. All the same tangled scene of passing people, customers,
shop-women and brilliant millinery was reflected in them ; only
the bright hats islanded and steady among this ugly fluctuation.
Pools of fretful life, these circular mirrors ; garish, discomfiting
to gaze at ; stirred surely by no angel unless the reflection of the
mouse-maiden should ever cross their surfaces.

Fifteen minutes later he was standing gazing at the horrid clock
and ornaments in ormolu that stood on the mantel-piece of the red
velvet salon where he waited for Madame Félise.

She came. Her bow was admirable.

"I wrote to Mademoiselle, and my letter has been returned.
The note says she has gone." Liphook's schoolboy bluntness
came out most when he was angry. "Where has she gone ?
And why ?"

"Aha ! Little Mademoiselle ! Yes, indeed, she has left us
and how sorry we are ! Chère petite! But what could we do ?
We would have kept her, but her parents—" A shrug and a
smile punctuated the sentence.

"What about her parents ?"

"They had arranged for her an alliance—what would you
have ?—we had to let her go. And the rezponsibility—after
all—"

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. D

"What

52 An Idyll in Millinery

"What sort of an alliance ?" The dog-like note was in his voice
again.

"But—an alliance ! I believe very good ; a charpentier—a
charcutier, I forget—but bien solide!"

"Do you mean you have sold her to some French—

"Ah, my lord ! how can you speak such things ? Her parents
are most rezpectable, she has always been most rezpectable—
naturally we had more than once felt anxious here in
London—"

"I wish to marry her," said Liphook curtly, and he said it
still, though he believed her to have been thrust upon a less
reputable road. It was his last, his greatest triumph over his
world. It fitted him nobly for the shelter of the angel's wing.
He had learned the worst—and—

"I wish to marry her," said Liphook.

"Hélas !—but she is married !" shrieked Madame Félise in a
mock agony of regret, but with surprise twinkling in her little
black eyes.

"Married !" shouted Liphook. "Impossible !"

"Ask Mr. Goldenmuth, he was at the wedding." Madame
laughed ; the true explanation of my lord's remarkable statement
had just struck her. It was a ruse; an English ruse. She
laughed very much, and it sounded and looked most unpleasant.

"His lordship was—a little unfriendly—a little too—too
reserved—not to tell us, not even to tell Mademoiselle herself
that he desired to marry her," she said with villainous archness.

Liphook strode to the door. Yes, why, why had he not ?

"I will find her ; I know where her relatives live." If it is a
lie— I'll make you sorry—"

Fi donc, what a word ! The ceremony at the Mairiewas
on Thursday last."

They

By Ménie Muriel Dowie 53

They were going downstairs and had to pass through the
showrooms—quite near—ah, quite near—the table where the
little grey and brown pigeons sat clustered, where the one ring-
dove had sat too.

"It is sometimes the fate of a lover who thinks too long,"
Madame was saying, with an air of much philosophy. "But see
now, if my lord would care to send a little souvenir"—Madame
reached hastily to a model on a stand—"comme cadeau de noce here
is something quite exquis!" She kissed the tips of her brown
fingers—inimitably, it must be allowed. "So simple, so young,
so innocent—I could pose a little noeud of myosotis. Coming from
my lord, it would be so delicate !"

Liphook was in a shop. There were people about. He was a
lover, he was a fool, he was a gentleman.

"Er—thank you—not to-day," he said ; the air of the world
he had repudiated came back to him. And a man like Liphook
doesn't let you see when he is hit. That is the beauty of him.
He knew it was true, but he would go to Paris ; yes, though he
knew it was true. He would not, could not see her. But he
would go.

He stood a moment in the sun outside the shop, its windows
like gardens behind him ; its shop-ladies like evil-eyed reptiles in
these gardens. The carpets, the mirrors on the wall, the tables
at the back—and it was here he had first seen the tip and heard
the flutter of an angel's wing !

"Lord Liphook," said a voice, "what an age . . . ."

He turned and lifted his hat.

His world had claimed him.

D'Outre tombe

By

Rosamund Marriott-Watson

BESIDE my grave, if chance should ever bring you,
    You, peradventure, on some dim Spring day,
What song of welcome could my blackbird sing you,
    As once in May ?

As once in May, when all the birds were calling,
    Calling and crying through the soft Spring rain,
As once in Autumn with the dead leaves falling
    In wood and lane.

I, in my grave, and you, above, remember—
    And yet between us what is there to say?—
In Death's disseverance, wider than December
    Disparts from May.

I with the dead, and you among the living,
    In separate camps we sojourn, unallied ;
Life is unkind and Death is unforgiving,
    And both divide.

Babies and Brambles

By

Image is of an unclothed cherub with light-coloured hair and sparkling                        wings The figure is floating over a patch of brambles and flowers The cherub                        is shown in profile with his right arm partially extended The cherub                        occupies the upper left quadrant The cherub is looking down at another baby                        who is lying amongst the bramble and flower patch Plants and flowers obscure                        some of the baby’s body This baby is also shown in profile looking up to the                        angel/cherub The image is vertically displayed

The Invisible Prince

By

Henry Harland

AT a masked ball given by the Countess Wohenhoffen, in
Vienna, during carnival week, a year ago, a man draped in
the embroidered silks of a Chinese mandarin, his features entirely
concealed by an enormous Chinese head in cardboard, was standing
in the Wintergarten, the big, dimly lighted conservatory, near the
door of one of the gilt-and-white reception rooms, rather a stolid-
seeming witness of the multi-coloured romp within, when a voice
behind him said, "How do you do, Mr. Field ?"—a woman's
voice, an English voice.

The mandarin turned round.

From a black mask, a pair of blue-grey eyes looked into his
broad, bland Chinese visage ; and a black domino dropped him an
extravagant little courtesy.

"How do you do ?" he responded. "I'm afraid I'm not Mr.
Field ; but I'll gladly pretend I am, if you'll stop and talk with
me. I was dying for a little human conversation."

"Oh, you're afraid you're not Mr. Field, are you ?" the mask
replied derisively. "Then why did you turn when I called his
name ?"

"You mustn't hope to disconcert me with questions like that,"
said he. "I turned because I liked your voice."

He

60 The Invisible Prince

He might quite reasonably have liked her voice, a delicate, clear,
soft voice, somewhat high in register, with an accent, crisp,
chiselled, concise, that suggested wit as well as distinction. She
was rather tall, for a woman ; one could divine her slender and
graceful, under the voluminous folds of her domino.

She moved a little away from the door, deeper into the con-
servatory. The mandarin kept beside her. There, amongst the
palms, a fontaine lumineuse was playing, rhythmically changing
colour. Now it was a shower of rubies ; now of emeralds or
amethysts, of sapphires, topazes, of opals.

"How pretty," she said, "and how frightfully ingenious. I am
wondering whether this wouldn't be a good place to sit down.
What do you think ?" And she pointed with her fan to a rustic
bench.

"I think it would be no more than fair to give it a trial," he
assented.

So they sat down on the rustic bench, by the fontaine
lumineuse .

"In view of your fear that you're not Mr. Field, it's rather a
coincidence that at a masked ball in Vienna you should just
happen to be English, isn't it ?" she asked.

"Oh, everybody's more or less English, in these days, you know,"
said he.

"There's some truth in that," she admitted, with a laugh.
"What a diverting piece of artifice this Wintergarten is, to be
sure. Fancy arranging the electric lights to shine through a
dome of purple glass, and look like stars. They do look like stars,
don't they ? Slightly over-dressed, showy stars, indeed ; stars in
the German taste ; but stars, all the same. Then, by day, you
know, the purple glass is removed, and you get the sun—the real
sun. Do you notice the delicious fragrance of lilac ? If one

hadn't

By Henry Harland 61

hadn't too exacting an imagination, one might almost persuade
oneself that one was in a proper open-air garden, on a night in
May. . . . Yes, everybody is more or less English, in these days.
That's precisely the sort of thing I should have expected Victor
Field to say."

"By-the-bye," questioned the mandarin, "if you don't mind
increasing my stores of knowledge, who is this fellow Field ? "

"This fellow Field ? Ah, who indeed?" said she. "That's
just what I wish you'd tell me."

"I'll tell you with pleasure, after you've supplied me with the
necessary data."

"Well, by some accounts, he's a little literary man in London."

"Oh, come ! You never imagined that I was a little literary
man in London."

"You might be worse. However, if the phrase offends you, I'll
say a rising young literary man, instead. He writes things, you
know."

"Poor chap, does he ? But then, that's a way they have, rising
young literary persons ?"

"Doubtless. Poems and stories and things. And book re-
views, I suspect. And even, perhaps, leading articles in the
newspapers."

"Toute la lyre enfin ? What they call a penny-a-liner ?"

"I'm sure I'don t know what he's paid. I should think he'd
get rather more than a penny. He's fairly successful. The things
he does aren't bad."

"I must look 'em up. But meantime, will you tell me how
you came to mistake me for him ? Has he the Chinese type ?
Besides, what on earth should a little London literary man be doing
at the Countess Wohenhoffen's ?"

"He was standing near the door, over there, dying for a little

human

62 The Invisible Prince

human conversation, till I took pity on him. No, he hasn't
exactly the Chinese type, but he's wearing a Chinese costume,
and I should suppose he'd feel uncommonly hot in that exasperat-
ingly placid Chinese head. I'm nearly suffocated, and I'm only
wearing a loup. For the rest, why shouldn't he be here ?

"If your loup bothers you, pray take it off. Don't mind
me."

"You're extremely good. But if I should take off my loup ,
you'd be sorry. Of course, manlike, you're hoping that I'm young
and pretty."

"Well, and aren't you?"

"I'm a perfect fright. I'm an old maid."

"Thank you. Manlike, I confess, I was hoping you'd be
young and pretty. Now my hope has received the strongest
confirmation. I'm sure you are."

"Your argument, with a meretricious air of subtlety, is facile
and superficial. Don't pin your faith to it. "Why shouldn't Victor
Field be here ?"

"The Countess only receives tremendous swells. It's the most
exclusive house in Europe."

"Are you a tremendous swell ?"

"Rather ! Aren't you ?"

She laughed a little, and stroked her fan, a big fan of fluffy black
feathers.

"That's very jolly," said he.

"What ?" said she.

"That thing in your lap."

"My fan ?"

"I expect you'd call it a fan."

"For goodness' sake, what would you call it ?"

"I should call it a fan."

She

By Henry Harland 63

She gave another little laugh. "You have a nice instinct for
the mot juste," she informed him.

"Oh, no," he disclaimed, modestly. "But I can call a fan
a fan, when I think it won't shock the sensibilities of my
hearer."

"If the Countess only receives tremendous swells," said she,
"you must remember that Victor Field belongs to the Aristocracy
of Talent."

"Oh,quant à ça , so, from the Wohenhoffen's point of view, do
the barber and the horse-leech. In this house, the Aristocracy of
Talent dines with the butler."

"Is the Countess such a snob ?"

"No ; she's an Austrian. They draw the line so absurdly
tight in Austria."

"Well, then, you leave me no alternative but to conclude that
Victor Field is a tremendous swell. Didn't you notice, I bobbed
him a courtesy ?"

"I took the courtesy as a tribute to my Oriental magnificence.
Field doesn't sound like an especially patrician name. I'd give
anything to discover who you are. Can't you be induced to tell
me ? I'll bribe, entreat, threaten—I'll do anything you think
might persuade you."

"I'll tell you at once, if you'll own up that you're Victor
Field."

"Oh, I'll own up that I'm Queen Elizabeth if you'll tell me
who you are. The end justifies the means."

"Then you are Victor Field ?"

"If you don't mind suborning perjury, why should I mind
committing it ? Yes. And now, who are you ?"

"No ; I must have an unequivocal avowal. Are you or are
you not Victor Field ?"

"Let

64 The Invisible Prince

"Let us put it at this, that I'm a good serviceable imitation ;
an excellent substitute when the genuine article is not procur-
able."

"Of course, your real name isn't anything like Victor Field,"
she declared pensively.

"I never said it was. But I admire the way in which you give
with one hand and take back with the other."

"Your real name is .... Wait a moment .... Yes,
now I have it. Your real name .... It's rather long. You
don't think it will bore you ?"

"Oh, if it's really my real name, I daresay I'm hardened to it."

"Your real name is Louis Charles Ferdinand Stanislas John
Joseph Emmanuel Maria Anna."

"Mercy upon me," he cried, "what a name ! You ought to
have broken it to me in instalments. And it's all Christian name
at that. Can't you spare me just a little rag of a surname, for
decency's sake ?"

"The surnames of royalties don't matter, Monseigneur."

"Royalties ? What ? Dear me, here's rapid promotion ! I
am royal now ? And a moment ago I was a little penny-a-liner
in London."

"L'un n'empéche pas l'autre. Have you never heard the story
of the Invisible Prince ?"

"I adore irrelevancy. I seem to have read something about an
invisible prince when I was young. A fairy tale, wasn't it ?"

"The irrelevancy is only apparent. The story I mean is a
story of real life. Have you ever heard of the Duke of Zeln ?"

"Zeln ? Zeln ?" he repeated, reflectively. "No, I don't
think so."

She clapped her hands. "Really, you do it admirably. If I
weren't perfectly sure of my facts, I believe I should be taken in.

Zeln,

By Henry Harland 65

Zeln, as any history would tell you, as any old atlas would show
you, was a little independent duchy in the centre of Germany."

"Poor, dear thing ! Like Jonah in the centre of the whale,"
he murmured, sympathetically.

"Hush. Don't interrupt. Zeln was a little independent
German duchy, and the Duke of Zeln was its sovereign. After
the war with France it was absorbed by Prussia. But the ducal
family still rank as royal highnesses. Of course, you've heard of
the Leczinskis ?"

"Lecz——what ?"

"Leczinski."

"How do you spell it ?"

"L—e—c—z—i—n—s—k—i."

"Good. Capital. You have a real gift for spelling."

"Will you be quiet," she said, severely, "and answer my
question ? Are you familiar with the name ?"

"I should never venture to be familiar with a name I didn't
know."

"Ah, you don't know it ? You have never heard of Stanislas
Leczinski, who was king of Poland ? Of Marie Leczinska, who
married Louis XV. ?"

"Oh, to be sure. I remember. The lady whose portrait one
sees at Versailles."

"Quite so. Very well ; the last representative of the Lec-
zinskis, in the elder line, was the Princess Anna Leczinska, who,
in 1858, married the Duke of Zeln. She was the daughter of
John Leczinski, Duke of Grodnia, and governor of Galicia, and
of the Archduchess Henrietta d'Este, a cousin of the Emperor of
Austria. She was also a great heiress, and an extremely hand-
some woman. But the Duke of Zeln was a bad lot, a viveur, a
gambler, a spendthrift. His wife, like a fool, made her entire

fortune

66 The Invisible Prince

fortune over to him, and he proceeded to play ducks and drakes
with it. By the time their son was born he'd got rid of the last
farthing. Their son wasn't born till '63, five years after their
marriage. Well, and then, what do you suppose the duke did ? "

"Reformed, of course. The wicked husband always reforms
when a child is born—and there's no more money."

"You know perfectly well what he did. He petitioned the
German Diet to annul the marriage. You see, having exhausted
the dowry of the Princess Anna, it occurred to him that if she
could only be got out of the way, he might marry another heiress,
and have the spending of another fortune."

"Clever dodge. Did it come off? "

"It came off, all too well. He based his petition on the ground
that the marriage had never been—I forget what the technical
term is. Anyhow, he pretended that the princess had never been
his wife except in name, and that the child couldn't possibly be
his. The Emperor of Austria stood by his connection, like the
loyal gentleman he is ; used every scrap of influence he possessed
to help her. But the duke, who was a Protestant (the princess
was of course a Catholic), persuaded all the Protestant States in
the Diet to vote in his favour. The Emperor of Austria was
powerless, the Pope was powerless. And the Diet annulled the
marriage."

"Ah," said the mandarin.

"Yes. The marriage was annulled, and the child declared
illegitimate. Ernest Augustus, as the duke was somewhat incon-
sequently named, married again, and had other children, the eldest
of whom is the present bearer of the title—the same Duke of
Zeln one hears of, quarrelling with the croupiers at Monte Carlo.
The Princess Anna, with her baby, came to Austria. The
Emperor gave her a pension, and lent her one of his country

houses

By Henry Harland 67

houses to live in—Schloss Sanct Andreas. Our hostess, by-the-
bye, the Countess Wohenhoffen, was her intimate friend and her
première dame d'honneur ."

" Ah," said the mandarin.

"But the poor princess had suffered more than she could bear.
She died when her child was four years old. The Countess
Wohenhoffen took the infant, by the Emperor's desire, and
brought him up with her own son Peter. He was called Prince
Louis Leczinski. Of course, in all moral right, he was the
Hereditary Prince of Zeln. His legitimacy, for the rest, and his
mother's innocence, are perfectly well established, in every sense
but a legal sense, by the fact that he has all the physical charac-
teristics of the Zeln stock. He has the Zeln nose and the Zeln
chin, which are as distinctive as the Hapsburg lip."

"I hope, for the poor young man's sake, though, that they're
not so unbecoming ?"

"They're not exactly pretty. The nose is a thought too long,
the chin is a trifle short. However, I daresay the poor young
man is satisfied. As I was about to tell you, the Countess
Wohenhoffen brought him up, and the Emperor destined him for
the Church. He even went to Rome and entered the Austrian
College. He'd have been on the high road to a cardinalate by
this time, if he'd stuck to the priesthood, for he had strong interest.
But, lo and behold, when he was about twenty, he chucked the
whole thing up."

"Ah ? Histoire de femme ?"

"Very likely, though I've never heard any one say so. At all
events, he left Rome, and started upon his travels. He had no
money of his own, but the Emperor made him an allowance. He
started upon his travels, and he went to India, and he went to
America, and he went to South Africa, and then, finally, in '87

or

68 The Invisible Prince

or '88, he went—no one knows where. He totally disappeared,
vanished into space. He's not been heard of since. Some people
think he's dead. But the greater number suppose that he tired
of his false position in the world, and one fine day determined to
escape from it, by sinking his identity, changing his name, and
going in for a new life under new conditions. They call him the
Invisible Prince. His position was rather an ambiguous one,
wasn't it ? You see, he was neither one thing nor the other.
He had no état-civil . In the eyes of the law he was a bastard,
yet he knew himself to be the legitimate son of the Duke of
Zeln. He was a citizen of no country, yet he was the rightful
heir to a throne. He was the last descendant of Stanislas
Leczinski, yet it was without authority that he bore his name.
And then, of course, the rights and wrongs of the matter were
only known to a few. The majority of people simply remem-
bered that there had been a scandal. And (as a wag once said of
him) wherever he went, he left his mother's reputation behind
him. No wonder he found the situation irksome. Well, there
is the story of the Invisible Prince."

"And a very exciting, melodramatic little story, too. For my
part, I suspect your Prince met a boojum. I love to listen to
stories. Won't you tell me another ? Do, please."

"No, he didn't meet a boojum. He went to England, and set
up for an author. The Invisible Prince and Victor Field are one
and the same person."

"Oh, I say! Not really ?"

"Yes, really."

"What makes you think so ?"

"I'm sure of it. To begin with, I must confide to you that
Victor Field is a man I've never met."

"Never met . . . . ? But, by the blithe way in which you

were

By Henry Harland 69

were laying his sins at my door, a little while ago, I supposed you
were sworn confederates."

"What's the good of masked balls, if you can't talk to people
you've never met ? I've never met him, but I'm one of his
admirers. I like his little poems. And I'm the happy possessor
of a portrait of him. It's a print after a photograph. I cut it
from an illustrated paper."

"I really almost wish I was Victor Field. I should feel such
a glow of gratified vanity."

"And the Countess Wohenhoffen has at least twenty portraits
of the Invisible Prince—photographs, miniatures, life-size paint-
ings, taken from the time he was born, almost, to the time of his
disappearance. Victor Field and Louis Leczinski have counten-
ances as like each other as two halfpence."

"An accidental resemblance, doubtless."

"No, it isn't an accidental resemblance."

"Oh, then you think it's intentional ?"

"Don't be absurd. I might have thought it accidental, except
for one or two odd little circumstances. Primo , Victor Field is a
guest at the Wohenhoffens' ball."

"Oh, he is a guest here ?"

"Yes, he is. You are wondering how I know. Nothing
simpler. The same costumier who made my domino, supplied
his Chinese dress. I noticed it at his shop. It struck me as
rather nice, and I asked whom it was for. The costumier said,
for an Englishman at the Hôtel de Bade. Then he looked in his
book, and told me the Englishman's name. It was Victor Field,
So, when I saw the same Chinese dress here to-night, I knew it
covered the person of one of my favourite authors. But I own,
like you, I was a good deal surprised. What on earth should a
little London literary man be doing at the Countess Wohen-

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. E

hoffen's?

70 The Invisible Prince

hoffen's ? And then I remembered the astonishing resemblance
between Victor Field and Louis Leczinski ; and I remembered
that to Louis Leczinski the Countess Wohenhoffen had been a
second mother ; and I reflected that though he chose to be as one
dead and buried for the rest of the world, Louis Leczinski might very
probably keep up private relations with the Countess. He might
very probably come to her ball, incognito, and safely masked. I
observed also that the Countess's rooms were decorated through-
out with white lilac. But the white lilac is the emblematic flower
of the Leczinskis ; green and white are their family colours.
Wasn't the choice of white lilac on this occasion perhaps designed
as a secret compliment to the Prince ? I was taught in the
schoolroom that two and two make four."

"Oh, one can see that you've enjoyed a liberal education. But
where were you taught to jump to conclusions ? You do it with a
grace, an assurance. I too have heard that two and two make
four ; but first you must catch your two and two. Really, as if
there couldn't be more than one Chinese costume knocking
about Vienna, during carnival week ! Dear, good, sweet lady,
it's of all disguises the disguise they're driving hardest, this
particular season. And then to build up an elaborate theory of
identities upon the mere chance resemblance of a pair of photo-
graphs ! Photographs indeed ! Photographs don't give the com-
plexion. Say that your Invisible Prince is dark, what's to prevent
your literary man from being fair or sandy ? Or vice versâ ?
And then, how is a little German Polish princeling to write poems
and things in English ? No, no, no ; your reasoning hasn't a leg
to stand on."

"Oh, I don't mind its not having legs, so long as it convinces
me. As for writing poems and things in English, you yourself
said that everybody is more or less English, in these days.

German

By Henry Harland 71

German princes are especially so. They all learn English, as a
second mother-tongue. You see, like Circassian beauties, they
are mostly bred up for the marriage market ; and nothing is a
greater help towards a good sound remunerative English marriage,
than a knowledge of the language. However, don t be frightened.
I must take it for granted that Victor Field would prefer not to
let the world know who he is. I happen to have discovered his
secret. He may trust to my discretion."

"You still persist in imagining that I'm Victor Field ?"

"I should have to be extremely simple-minded to imagine
anything else. You wouldn't be a male human being if you had
sat here for half an hour patiently talking about another man."

"Your argument, with a meretricious air of subtlety, is facile
and superficial. I thank you for teaching me that word. I'd sit
here till doomsday talking about my worst enemy, for the pleasure
of talking with you."

"Perhaps we have been talking of your worst enemy. Whom
do the moralists pretend a man's worst enemy is wont to be ?"

"I wish you would tell me the name of the person the moralists
would consider your worst enemy."

"I'll tell you directly, as I said before, if you'll own up."

"Your price is prohibitive. I've nothing to own up to."

"Well then—good night."

Lightly, swiftly, she fled from the conservatory, and was soon
irrecoverable in the crowd.

*

**

The next morning Victor Field left Vienna for London ; but
before he left he wrote a letter to Peter Wohenhoffen. In the
course of it he said : "There was an Englishwoman at your ball
last night with the reasoning powers of a detective in a novel.

By

72 The Invisible Prince

By divers processes of elimination and induction, she had formed
all sorts of theories about no end of things. Among others, for
instance, she was willing to bet her halidome that a certain Prince
Louis Leczinski, who seems to have gone on the spree some
years ago, and never to have come home again—she was willing
to bet anything you like that Leczinski and I—moi qui vous parle
—were to all intents and purposes the same. Who was she,
please ? Rather a tall woman, in a black domino, with grey eyes,
or greyish blue, and a nice voice."

In the answer which he received from Peter Wohenhoffen
towards the end of the week, Peter said : " There were nineteen
Englishwomen at my mother's party, all of them rather tall, with
nice voices, and grey or blue-grey eyes. I don't know what
colours their dominoes were. Here is a list of them."

The names that followed were names of people whom Victor
Field almost certainly would never meet. The people Victor
knew in London were the sort of people a little literary man
might be expected to know. Most of them were respectable ; some
of them even deemed themselves rather smart—and patronised him
right Britishly. But the nineteen names in Peter Wohenhoffen's
list ("Oh, me ! Oh, my !" cried Victor) were names to make
you gasp.

All the same, he went a good deal to Hyde Park during the
season, and watched the driving.

"Which of all those haughty high-born beauties is she ?" he
wondered futilely.

And then the season passed, and then the year ; and little by
little, of course, he ceased to think about her.

*

**

One afternoon last May, a man habited in accordance with

the

By Henry Harland 73

the fashion of the period, stopped before a hairdresser's shop in
Knightsbridge somewhere, and, raising his hat, bowed to the
three waxen ladies who simpered from the window.

"Oh ! It's Mr. Field !" a voice behind him cried. "What
are these cryptic rites that you're performing ? What on earth
are you bowing into a hairdresser's window for ? "—a smooth,
melodious voice, tinged by an inflection that was half ironical,
half bewildered.

"I was saluting the type of English beauty," he answered,
turning. "Fortunately, there are divergencies from it," he
added, as he met the puzzled smile of his interlocutrice ; a puzzled
smile indeed, but, like the voice, by no means without its touch
of irony.

She gave a little laugh ; and then, examining the models
critically, "Oh ?" she questioned. "Would you call that the
type ? You place the type high. Their features are quite fault-
less, and who ever saw such complexions ?"

"It's the type, all the same," said he. "Just as the imitation
marionette is the type of English breeding."

"The imitation marionette ? I'm afraid I don't follow," she
confessed.

"The imitation marionettes. You've seen them at little
theatres in Italy. They're actors who imitate puppets. Men and
women who try to behave as if they weren't human, as if they
were made of starch and whalebone instead of flesh and blood."

"Ah, yes," she assented, with another little laugh. "That
would be rather typical of our insular methods. But do you
know what an engaging, what a reviving spectacle you presented,
as you stood there flourishing your hat ? What do you imagine
people thought ? And what would have happened to you if I
had just chanced to be a policeman, instead of a friend ?"

"Would

74 The Invisible Prince

"Would you have clapped your handcuffs on me ? I suppose
my conduct did seem rather suspicious. I was in the deepest
depths of dejection. One must give some expression to one's
sorrow,"

"Are you going towards Kensington ?" she asked, preparing
to move on.

"Before I commit myself, I should like to be sure whether you
are," he replied.

"You can easily discover with a little perseverance."

He placed himself beside her, and together they walked towards
Kensington.

She was rather taller than the usual woman, and slender. She
was exceedingly well-dressed ; smartly, becomingly : a jaunty
little hat of strangely twisted straw, with an aigrette springing
defiantly from it ; a jacket covered with mazes and labyrinths of
embroidery ; at her throat a big knot of white lace, the ends of
which fell winding in a creamy cascade to her waist (do they call
the thing a jabot?) ; and then. . . . . But what can a man
trust himself to write of these esoteric matters ? She carried
herself extremely well, too : with grace, with distinction, her
head held high, even thrown back a little, superciliously. She
had an immense quantity of very lovely hair. Red hair ? Yellow
hair ? Red hair with yellow lights burning in it ? Yellow hair
with red fires shimmering through it ? In a single loose, full
billow it swept away from her forehead, and then flowed into
half-a-thousand rippling, crinkling, capricious undulations. And
her skin had the sensitive colouring, the fineness of texture, that
are apt to accompany red hair when it's yellow, yellow hair when
it's red. Her face, with its pensive, quizzical eyes, its tip-tilted
nose, its rather large mouth, and the little mocking quirks and
curves the lips took, was an alert, arch, witty face, a delicate

high-bred

By Henry Harland 75

high-bred face, and withal a somewhat sensuous, emotional face ;
the face of a woman with a vast deal of humour in her soul, a vast
deal of mischief, of a woman who would love to tease you and
mystify you, and lead you on, and put you off, and yet who, in
her own way, at her own time, would know supremely well how
to be kind.

But it was mischief rather than kindness that glimmered in her
eyes at present, as she asked, "You were in the deepest depths of
dejection ? Poor man ! Why ?"

"I can't precisely determine," said he, "whether the sym-
pathy that seems to vibrate in your voice is genuine or counter-
feit."

"Perhaps it's half and half. But my curiosity is unmixed.
Tell me your troubles."

"The catalogue is long. I've sixteen hundred million. The
weather, for example. The shameless beauty of this radiant
spring day. It's enough to stir all manner of wild pangs and
longings in the heart of an octogenarian. But, anyhow, when
one's life is passed in a dungeon, one can't perpetually be singing
and dancing from mere exuberance of joy, can one ?"

"Is your life passed in a dungeon ?"

"Indeed, indeed, it is. Isn't yours ?"

"It had never occurred to me that it was."

"You're lucky. Mine is passed in the dungeons of Castle
Ennui."

"Oh, Castle Ennui. Ah, yes. You mean you're bored ?"

"At this particular moment I'm savouring the most exquisite
excitement. But in general, when I am not working or sleeping,
I'm bored to extermination—incomparably bored. If only one
could work and sleep alternately, twenty-four hours a day, the
year round ! There's no use trying to play in London. It's so

hard

76 The Invisible Prince

hard to find a playmate. The English people take their pleasures
without salt."

"The dungeons of Castle Ennui," she repeated meditatively.
"Yes, we are fellow-prisoners. I'm bored to extermination too.
Still," she added, " one is allowed out on parole, now and again.
And sometimes one has really quite delightful little experiences."

"It would ill become me, in the present circumstances, to
dispute that."

"But the Castle waits to reclaim us afterwards, doesn't it?
That's rather a happy image, Castle Ennui."

"I'm extremely glad you approve of it ; Castle Ennui is the
Bastille of modern life. It is built of prunes and prisms ; it has
its outer court of Convention, and its inner court of Propriety ;
it is moated round by Respectability; and the shackles its inmates
wear are forged of dull little duties and arbitrary little rules. You
can only escape from it at the risk of breaking your social neck,
or remaining a fugitive from social justice to the end of your
days. Yes, it is a fairly decent little image."

"A bit out of something you're preparing for the press ?" she
suggested.

"Oh, how unkind of you!" he cried. "It was absolutely
extemporaneous."

"One can never tell, with vous autres gens-de-lettres"

"It would be friendlier to say nous autres gens d'esprit"

"Aren't we proving to what degree nous autres gens d'esprit
sont bêtes," she remarked, by continuing to walk along this
narrow pavement, when we can get into Kensington Gardens by
merely crossing the street ? Would it take you out of your
way ?"

"I have no way. I was sauntering for pleasure, if you can
believe me. I wish I could hope that you have no way either.

Then

By Henry Harland 77

Then we could stop here, and crack little jokes together the
livelong afternoon," he said, as they entered the Gardens.

"Alas, my way leads straight back to the Castle. I've pro-
mised to call on an old woman in Campden Hill."

"Disappoint her. It's good for old women to be disappointed.
It whips up their circulation."

"I shouldn't much regret disappointing the old woman, and I
should rather like an hour or two of stolen freedom. I don't
mind owning that I've generally found you, as men go, a moder-
ately interesting man to talk with. But the deuce of it is. . . . .
You permit the expression ?"

"I'm devoted to the expression."

"The deuce of it is, I'm supposed to be driving."

"Oh, that doesn't matter. So many suppositions in this world
are baseless."

"But there's the prison-van. It's one of the tiresome rules in
the female wing of Castle Ennui that you're always supposed,
more or less, to be driving. And though you may cheat the
authorities by slipping out of the prison-van directly it's turned
the corner, and sending it on ahead, there it remains, a factor
that can't be eliminated. The prison-van will relentlessly await
my arrival in the old woman's street."

"That only adds to the sport. Let it wait. When a factor
can't be eliminated, it should be haughtily ignored. Besides,
there are higher considerations. If you leave me, what shall I do
with the rest of this weary day ?"

"You can go to your club."

"Merciful lady ! What sin have I committed ? I never go
to my club, except when I've been wicked, as a penance. If you
will permit me to employ a metaphor—oh, but a tried and trusty
metaphor—when one ship on the sea meets another in distress, it

stops

78 The Invisible Prince

stops and comforts it, and forgets all about its previous engage-
ments and the prison-van and everything. Shall we cross to the
north, and see whether the Serpentine is in its place ? Or would
you prefer to inspect the eastern front of the Palace ? Or may I
offer you a penny chair ?"

"I think a penny chair would be the maddest of the three
dissipations."

And they sat down in penny chairs.

"It's rather jolly here, isn't it?" said he. "The trees, with
their black trunks, and their leaves, and things. Have you ever seen
such sumptuous foliage ? And the greensward, and the shadows,
and the sunlight, and the atmosphere, and the mistiness—isn't it
like pearl-dust and gold-dust floating in the air ? It's all got up
to imitate the background of a Watteau. We must do our best
to be frivolous and ribald, and supply a proper foreground. How
big and fleecy and white the clouds are. Do you think they're
made of cotton-wool ? And what do you suppose they paint the
sky with ? There never was such a brilliant, breath-taking blue.
It's much too nice to be natural. And they've sprinkled the
whole place with scent, haven't they ? You notice how fresh and
sweet it smells. If only one could get rid of the sparrows—the
cynical little beasts ! hear how they're chortling—and the people,
and the nursemaids and children. I have never been able to under-
stand why they admit the public to the parks."

"Go on," she encouraged him. "You're succeeding admirably
in your effort to be ribald."

"But that last remark wasn't ribald in the least—it was
desperately sincere. I do think it's inconsiderate of them to admit
the public to the parks. They ought to exclude all the lower
classes, the People, at one fell swoop, and then to discriminate
tremendously amongst the others."

"Mercy,

By Henry Harland 79

"Mercy, what undemocratic sentiments ! The People, the
poor dear People—what have they done ?"

"Everything. What haven't they done ? One could forgive
their being dirty and stupid and noisy and rude ; one could forgive
their ugliness, the ineffable banality of their faces, their goggle-eyes,
their protruding teeth, their ungainly motions ; but the trait one
can't forgive is their venality. They're so mercenary. They're
always thinking how much they can get out of you—everlastingly
touching their hats and expecting you to put your hand in your
pocket. Oh, no, believe me, there's no health in the People.
Ground down under the iron heel of despotism, reduced to a
condition of hopeless serfdom, I don't say that they might not
develop redeeming virtues. But free, but sovereign, as they are
in these days, they're everything that is squalid and sordid and
offensive. Besides, they read such abominably bad literature."

"In that particular they're curiously like the aristocracy, aren't
they ?" said she. "By-the-bye, when are you going to publish
another book of poems ?"

"Apropos of bad literature ?"

"Not altogether bad. I rather like your poems."

"So do I," said he. "It's useless to pretend that we haven't
tastes in common."

They were both silent for a bit. She looked at him oddly, an
inscrutable little light flickering in her eyes. All at once she
broke out with a merry trill of laughter.

"What are you laughing at ?" he demanded.

"I'm hugely amused," she answered.

"I wasn't aware that I'd said anything especially good."

"You're building better than you know. But if I am amused,
youlook ripe for tears. What is the matter ?"

"Every heart knows its own bitterness. Don't pay the least

attention

80 The Invisible Prince

attention to me. You mustn't let moodiness of mine cast a blight
upon your high spirits."

"No fear. There are pleasures that nothing can rob of their
sweetness. Life is not all dust and ashes. There are bright
spots."

"Yes, I've no doubt there are."

"And thrilling little adventures—no ? "

"For the bold, I dare say."

"None but the bold deserve them. Sometimes it's one thing,
and sometimes it's another."

"That's very certain."

"Sometimes, for instance, one meets a man one knows, and
speaks to him. And he answers with a glibness ! And then,
almost directly, what do you suppose one discovers ? "

"What ?"

"One discovers that the wretch hasn't the ghost of a notion who
one is—that he's totally and absolutely forgotten one !"

"Oh, I say ! Really ?"

"Yes, really. You can't deny that that's an exhilarating little
adventure."

"I should think it might be. One could enjoy the man's
embarrassment."

"Or his lack of embarrassment. Some men are of an assurance,
of a sanf froid !They'll place themselves beside you, and walk
with you, and talk with you, and even propose that you should
pass the livelong afternoon cracking jokes with them in a garden,
and never breathe a hint of their perplexity. They'll brazen it
out."

"That's distinctly heroic, Spartan, of them, don't you think ?
Internally, poor dears, they're very likely suffering agonies of
discomfiture."

"We'll

By Henry Harland 81

"We'll hope they are. Could they decently do less ?"

"And fancy the mental struggles that must be going on in
their brains. If I were a man in such a situation I'd throw
myself upon the woman's mercy. I'd say, 'Beautiful, sweet lady,
I know I know you. Your name, your entirely charming and
appropriate name, is trembling on the tip of my tongue. But, for
some unaccountable reason, my brute of a memory chooses to play
the fool. If you've a spark of Christian kindness in your soul,
you'll come to my rescue with a little clue.'"

"If the woman had a Christian sense of the ridiculous in her
soul, I fear you'd throw yourself on her mercy in vain."

"What is the good of tantalising people ?"

"Besides, the woman might reasonably feel slightly humiliated
to find herself forgotten in that bare-faced manner."

"The humiliation surely would be all the man's. Have you
heard from the Wohenhoffens lately ?"

"The—what ? The—who ?"

"The Wohenhoffens."

"What are the Wohenhoffens ? Are they persons ? Are they
things ?"

"Oh, nothing. My enquiry was merely dictated by a thirst
for knowledge. It occurred to me vaguely that you might have
worn a black domino at a masked ball they gave, the Wohen-
hoffens. Are you sure you didn't."

"I've a great mind to punish your forgetfulness by pretending
that I did."

"She was rather tall, like you, and she had grey eyes, and a
nice voice, and a laugh that was sweeter than the singing of
nightingales. She was monstrously clever, too, with a flow of
language that would have made her a leader in any sphere. She
was also a perfect fiend. I have always been anxious to meet her

again,

82 The Invisible Prince

again, in order that I might ask her to marry me. I'm strongly
disposed to believe that she was you. Was she ?"

"If I say yes, will you at once proceed to ask me to marry
you ?"

"Try it and see."

"Ce n'est pas la peine. It occasionally happens that a woman's
already got a husband."

"She said she was an old maid."

"Do you dare to insinuate that I look like an old maid ?"

"Yes."

"Upon my word !"

"Would you wish me to insinuate that you look like anything
so insipid as a young girl ? Were you the woman of the black
domino ?"

"I should need further information, before being able to make
up my mind. Are the—what's their name ?—Wohenheimer ?—
are the Wohenheimers people one can safely confess to knowing ?
Oh, you're a man, and don't count. But a woman ? It sounds
a trifle Jewish, Wohenheimer. But of course there are Jews and
Jews."

"You're playing with me like the cat in the adage. It's too
cruel. No one is responsible for his memory."

"And to think that this man took me down to dinner not two
months ago !" she murmured in her veil.

"You're as hard as nails. In whose house ? Or—stay.
Prompt me a little. Tell me the first syllable of your name.
Then the rest will come with a rush."

"My name is Matilda Muggins."

"I've a great mind to punish your untruthfulness by pretending
to believe you," said he. "Have you really got a husband ?"

"Why do you doubt it ?"

I don't

By Henry Harland 83

"I don't doubt it. Have you ?"

"I don't know what to answer."

"Don't you know whether you've got a husband ?"

"I don't know what I'd better let you believe. Yes, on the
whole, I think you may as well assume that I've got a husband."

"And a lover, too ?"

"Really ! I like your impertinence !"

"I only asked to show a polite interest. I knew the answer
would be an indignant negative. You're an Englishwoman, and
you're nice. Oh, one can see with half an eye that you're nice.
But that a nice Englishwoman should have a lover is as
inconceivable as that she should smoke a pipe. It's only the
reg'lar bad-uns in England who have lovers. There's nothing
between the family pew and the divorce court. One nice
Englishwoman is a match for the whole Eleven Thousand
Virgins of Cologne."

"To hear you talk, one might fancy you were not English
yourself. For a man of the name of Field, you're uncommonly
foreign. You look rather foreign too, you know, by-the-bye.
You haven't at all an English cast of countenance."

"I've enjoyed the advantages of a foreign education. I was
brought up abroad."

"Where your features unconsciously assimilated themselves to
a foreign type ? Where you learned a hundred thousand strange
little foreign things, no doubt ? And imbibed a hundred
thousand unprincipled little foreign notions ? And all the
ingenuous little foreign prejudices and misconceptions concerning
England ?"

" Most of them."

"Perfide Albion ? English hypocrisy ?"

"Oh, yes, the English are consummate hypocrites. But there's

only

84 The Invisible Prince

only one objection to their hypocrisy—it so rarely covers any
wickedness. It's such a disappointment to see a creature stalking
towards you, laboriously draped in sheep's clothing, and then to
discover that it's only a sheep. You, for instance, as I took the
liberty of intimating a moment ago, in spite of your perfectly
respectable appearance, are a perfectly respectable woman. If
you weren't, wouldn't I be making furious love to you, though !

"As I am, I can see no reason why you shouldn't make furious
love to me, if it would amuse you. There's no harm in firing
your pistol at a person who's bullet-proof."

"No ; it's merely a wanton waste of powder and shot.
However, I shouldn't stick at that. The deuce of it is. . . .
You permit the expression ?"

"I'm devoted to the expression."

"The deuce of it is, you profess to be married."

"Do you mean to say that you, with your unprincipled foreign
notions, would be restrained by any such consideration as that ?"

"I shouldn't be for an instant—if I weren't in love with
you."

"Comment donc? Déjà ?" she cried with a laugh.

"Oh, déjà ! Why not ? Consider the weather—consider the
scene. Is the air soft, is it fragrant ? Look at the sky—good
heavens !—and the clouds, and the shadows on the grass, and the
sunshine between the trees. The world is made of light to-day,
of light and colour, and perfume and music. Tutt' intorno canta
amor , amor , amore ! What would you have ? One recognises one's
affinity. One doesn't need a lifetime. You began the business
at the Wohenhoffens' ball. To-day you've merely put on the
finishing touches."

"Oh, then I am the woman you met at the masked ball ?"

"Look me in the eye, and tell me you're not."

I haven't

By Henry Harland 85

"I haven't the faintest interest in telling you I'm not. On
the contrary, it rather pleases me to let you imagine that I am."

"She owed me a grudge, you know. I hoodwinked her like
everything."

"Oh, did you ? Then, as a sister woman, I should be glad to
serve as her instrument of vengeance. Do you happen to have
such a thing as a watch about you ?"

"Yes."

"Will you be good enough to tell me what o'clock it is ?"

"What are your motives for asking ?"

"I'm expected at home at five."

"Where do you live ?"

"What are your motives for asking ?"

"I want to call upon you."

"You might wait till you're invited."

"Well, invite me—quick !"

"Never."

"Never ?"

"Never, never, never. A man who's forgotten me as you
have !"

"But if I've only met you once at a masked ball. . . . ."

"Can't you be brought to realise that every time you mistake
me for that woman of the masked ball you turn the dagger in
the wound ?"

"But if you won't invite me to call upon you, how and when
am I to see you again ?"

"I haven't an idea," she answered, cheerfully. "I must go
now. Good bye." She rose.

"One moment. Before you go will you allow me to look at
the palm of your left hand ?"

"What for ?"

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. F

"I can

86 The Invisible Prince

"I can tell fortunes. I'm extremely good at it. I'll tell you
yours."

"Oh, very well," she assented, sitting down again : and guile-
lessly she pulled off her glove.

He took her hand, a beautifully slender, nervous hand, warm
and soft, with rosy, tapering ringers.

"Oho ! you are an old maid after all," he cried. "There's no
wedding ring."

"You villain !" she gasped, snatching the hand away.

"I promised to tell your fortune. Haven't I told it correctly ?"

"You needn't rub it in, though. Eccentric old maids don't
like to be reminded of their condition."

"Will you marry me?"

"Why do you ask ?"

"Partly from curiosity. Partly because it's the only way I can
think of, to make sure of seeing you again. And then, I like
your hair. Will you ?"

"I can't."

"Why not ?"

"The stars forbid. And I'm ambitious. In my horoscope it
is written that I shall either never marry at all, or—marry royalty."

"Oh, bother ambition ! Cheat your horoscope. Marry me.
Will you ?"

"If you care to follow me," she said, rising again, "you can
come and help me to commit a little theft."

He followed her to an obscure and sheltered corner of a flowery
path, where she stopped before a bush of white lilac.

"There are no keepers in sight, are there ?" she questioned.

"I don't see any," said he.

"Then allow me to make you a receiver of stolen goods," said
she, breaking off a spray, and handing it to him.

"Thank

By Henry Harland 87

"Thank you. But I'd rather have an answer to my question."

"Isn't that an answer ?"

"Is it ?"

"White lilac to the Invisible Prince ?"

"The Invisible Prince . . . . Then you are the black
domino !"

"Oh, I suppose so."

"And you will marry me ?"

"I'll tell the aunt I live with to ask you to dinner."

"But will you marry me ?"

"I thought you wished me to cheat my horoscope ?"

"How could you find a better means of doing so ?"

"What ! if I should marry Louis Leczinski . . . . ?"

"Oh, to be sure. You would have it that I was Louis Lec-
zinski. But, on that subject, I must warn you seriously—"

"One instant," she interrupted. "People must look other
people straight in the face when they're giving serious warnings.
Look straight into my eyes, and continue your serious warning."

"I must really warn you seriously," said he, biting his lip,
"that if you persist in that preposterous delusion about my being
Louis Leczinski, you'll be most awfully sold. I have nothing on
earth to do with Louis Leczinski. Your ingenious little theories,
as I tried to convince you at the time, were absolute romance."

Her eyebrows raised a little, she kept her eyes fixed steadily on
his—oh, in the drollest fashion, with a gaze that seemed to say
"How admirably you do it ! I wonder whether you imagine I
believe you. Oh, you fibber ! Aren't you ashamed to tell me
such abominable fibs ?". . . .

They stood still, eyeing each other thus, for something like
twenty seconds, and then they both laughed and walked on.

An Emblem of Translation

By

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

NOT of one growth the solemn forests are ;
    Not solely is the stately alley made
    Of towers of foliage and tents of shade,
Sturdy, deep-rooted, massy, secular :

But briar astray, and bines that ramble far,
    And cup and crown of Bacchus blend and braid
    With all that creeps disabled and afraid
To mount by its own might toward sun and star.

A lowly birth ! yet lovely even so,
    Through bush and brake it serpenting doth wend,
    Vagrant with baffled rovings to and fro,
Till soaring stem or stooping bough befriend :
    Then high the vine shall as the cedar grow,
    And from his summit shall her fruit depend.

I. The Dew

II. Yshighlu

By

Image is of four women possibly deities The tallest woman is in the                        upper middle ground looking over the others She has her eyes closed She                        holds an unidentifiable object which may be an owl in her hands She is                        wearing a long veil A smaller woman who is also wearing a long veil is                        standing in front of her shown in full face She is unclothed from the waist                        up The hands of this woman are reaching up to hold onto the object as well                        Two veiled women are on either side of her standing in profile Their hands                        are reaching above the smaller woman’s head Neither of them are wearing                        clothes from the waist up There are several lit torches in the background                        The artist’s signature is in the lower right hand corner but it is mostly                        illegible The image has a double ruling of thin black lines The image is                        vertically displayedImage is of a woman shown full frontal She has dark hair a veil covers                        much of it She has two long ornaments that hang from her hair She is wearing                        dark clothing which has pleats around the waist Her breasts and arms are                        unclothed Below her bust is an ornately patterned belt She is barefoot Her                        eyes are closed Her left and right arms are held slightly away from her body                        Several kneeling figures surround her they are praying to her At the top of                        the image is a stylized owl with extended wings On the left and right of the                        woman are two figures in long robes shown in profile Taller than the woman                        they are slightly hunched as they lean towards the central woman The image                        has a double ruling of thin black lines The image is vertically                        displayed

La Goya

A Passion of the Peruvian Desert

By

Samuel Mathewson Scott


October.

YES, you are right. It is a queer existence for a civilised man
to lead ; but habit subdues us to all things. Here I have
lived for two years on this barren rock, overlooking the little bay
where the desert meets the sea. A lonely life, too, for there are
only three of us, myself and the two young Peruvians, Manuel
and Francisco, who share the duties of the hacienda with me.
The estate is so vast, and needs so much attention, that there are
rarely more than two of us together at a time. They were
educated in England in the days before the Chilian War, when
all Peru was rich, and they are the best of companions for a
moody man. Like all their race, they know none of our gloomy
introspection. Life for them is pleasure and laughter : and if
they indulge more effusively in affection and more emphatically in
hatred than we do, one soon grows accustomed to demonstrations.
Had you told me, once upon a time, that I could have endured
such a life, I should have laughed at you ; now it is a delight to
me. It is free as no other life could be. We are lords of all
about us ; we make our own laws, set our own fashions, deter-

mine

96 La Goya

mine our own conventions; we have no one to envy, no one to
imitate.

The whole of this northern coast of Peru, from Ecuador for
many a weary league south to beyond Sechura, and back to the
sun-baked outpost of Andes, is a waste of desert broken only
here and there by fertile valleys and quebrades where the scanty
waters of the western slopes of the mountains find outlets to the
sea. It is the ideal land of eternal sunshine. Rain falls but once
in seven years. It is the wild torrential rain of the tropics, and
after it is over the desert becomes a garden of green grass and
flowers. The sun turns this verduer to natural hay, which
endures through the long years of drought, and with the bean-
like fruit of the algarroba trees in the quebradas, affords pastorage
for great herds of goats and horses and cattle. The year is one
long summer. It is October already, but who would dream it?
Here in this realm of wind and sand and sunlight and sea,
it might be June or January or any other month. There
is a fascination in this monotony of climate. It provokes us
to laziness, interness, insouciance. It makes us dread the land
where seasons change, where rain and snows and storms chal-
lenge resistance, and where no to-morrow is like to-day. Here
there is Lotus in the air, even though the dreams that come are
but stupid lapses of common sense. Why should we struggle
when life can be so easy?

Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay? You
may think so, but I doubt it. There is a beauty in the ceaseless
roaring of the wind and the beating of the surf. Habit, habit,
what slaves it makes of us! Treeless deserts and shifting sands,
blistering suns and icy midnights, even the low-browed Indians
become a part of ourselves, and change would seem like exile.
Where days glide onto days, and cares are as flies that we can

brush

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 97

brush away, it's hard to muster courage for seriousness. Even
the basis of those cares is simple enough—our cotton, our cattle,
and the charcoal, nothing more.

I said there were only three of us, but I must not foret the
fourth, old Juan, our major-domo, the intermediary between our-
selves and the peons, or Indian labourers. Unfortunately, fate has
made him a friend rather than a servant. He is a full-blooded
Indian, and he cannot be less than sixty. He was born on this
haciena, and was a factor in it long before we ever came here.
His whole experience of life is limited by its boundaries. Yet he
is a born ruler of men ; with iron will, fluent tongue, and a
physical energy that is marvellous, he wields an unquestioned
authority over the people. In spite of his years he never knows
fatigue. He has a grand body and Herculean shoulders, but life
on horseback has stunted and bowed his legs. The head is
massive and powerful, with a face as wrinkled, brown, and gro-
tesque as a Japanese mask. His anger would make even a Salvini
envious. The clenched fists, the blazing eyes, the trembling body
towering to its height, and the rolling voice full of a thousand
terrible modulations, make up a picture that recalls our dreams of
patriarchal grandeur. The peons cower like curs before it. Then
he has a slave-like, inborn submission and devotion to his masters,
coupled with the more modern, but still instinctive, sense that those
who would rule must learn to obey. With it all, he is a cynic
of the first water. He knows no illusions, his laugh is a master-
piece of amused contempt. In the old days of his youth he took
all that his narrow life offered. Now the oracle of the country
side, he can rival La Rochefoucald in his sneers at women, and he
could have enjoyed Voltaire. His one occational weakness is
drink, the native weakness ; and sometimes, in a maudlin mood,
after listening humbly to my reproaches, he will tell me of the

gay

98 La Goya

gay days that are gone, and of the joys life has for him even now,
and finish with a sigh—"O Patroncito, what a pity it is that I
must die!"

I don't suppose the world contains a happier race than the
Cholos—the Indians who form the great bulk of the coast
population of Peru. They gather in little communities or
villages, cultivate small chacras or farms along the rivers, and work
as labourers on the haciendas during the cotton season ; or else
they become the half-serflike tenantry of the large estates, live
among the quebradas of the desert, wherever water is found,
breed herds of goats, and do such work for their patron, or master,
as the needs of the hacienda require. They are a kindly,
listless, gentle people ; not exactly lazy, but slow, and without
much energy. They have no ambitions or torturing aspirations.
Their wants are easily met, the chacras and the herds supply most
of them ; the proceeds of their labour are sufficient for the
purchase of the little fineries with which they deck themselves
for a fiesta. And is life anything more than food and satisfied
vanity ?

But don't from this conclude that they are dull and besotted ;
far from it. Win their confidence and you will find them full of
gay chatter, light jests and pretty sentiments, and their hospitality
is spontaneous and boundless to those whom they like and who
treat them with kindness. Naturally those who dwell together in
villages are cleverer and more civilised than those who are isolated
in the desert ; almost all of them can read and write.

The morals of the community are a study ; they are singularly
like no morals at all. Such a conclusion, however, would be
superficial. They are very punctilious in the observance or
the conventions sanctioned by their point of view. I suppose
that not five per cent, of the Cholo population are legally

married;

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 99

married ; yet prostitution, in our sense, is unknown. Their
union is a mutual agreement, without many conditions. A
woman reaches maturity when she is between fourteen and
fifteen. During all her girlhood she has lived in a house where
privacy, as we know it, is unthought of. She has heard every
part of the human body spoken of, as the most natural thing
in the world. She cannot imagine why a moral or formal
distinction should be drawn between them. For all that she is as
innocent as a baby. It is only the awakening of her passions
through the development of her physical nature that gives her an
instinctive knowledge of the relation of the sexes. At one of the
everlasting fandangoes, she meets some man who shows a
preference for her ; later on he proves his love by making her
small presents and paying her small attentions. Wooings are brief
in this land of the sun. If her parents agree, she is his ; if they
oppose, he settles the difficulty with a coup and runs away with
her to his home. Thus she becomes his wife, and his dominion
over her is supreme. He may ill treat her and neglect her, he
may have four or five other women scattered about the country,
either at their homes or with some of his relatives, it makes no
difference ; so long as she is with him and he supports her, she
will be faithful. This is an almost invariable rule, and it is the
basis of her respectability. He may grow tired of her before a
year is over and send her back to her people perhaps with a very
lively reminder of her hard luck to keep her company ; her
father's house will be freely open to her and no shame of any sort
will attach to her. As the months go by another lover may
appear who cares little about the past. They know nothing of
our sentimental yesterdays. As a rule though, the men are kind
and good to their compromisas and remain with them all their
lives.

When

100 La Goya

When young, the women are very attractive, with gorgeous
eyes and perfect teeth, glossy raven hair and graceful voluptuous
figures. They soon grow stout and fade, however, but the
beauty of the eyes always remains.

Religion is only a name among the natives. True they call
their children after all the saints in the calendar—and they duly
celebrate all the feasts of the church, but there is more of form
than of faith in their devotion. It is fear not love that moves
them. Wherever a village is able to maintain a cura, a church
adorns one side of the principal plaza. From the belfry, bells
jangle discordantly all day long, and black robed women flock to
masses and prayers ; but superstition has more place than piety in
their hearts. The priests are ignorant and corrupt, debauched
and licentious. They think little of the value of example as a
teacher. With them, religion is a business that has its set hours ;
those over, playtime comes. So religion rests with equal lightness
on the people. Children must be baptized, confession must be
made now and then, an Ave Maria and the sign of the cross are
a sure protection in danger, a candle burned before a saint brings
the fulfilment of wishes, scapulas ward off the devil, the good
see heaven, the bad are burned ; but Mary and the church are
indulgent with human frailty ; all this they know and believe, and
feel secure. I must confess that there are occasions when they
show a marked aptitude for mendacity, and they do not always
respect the laws of property ; yet their kindly hearts keep them
out of any serious mischief. Docile and obedient, they respect
authority and endure even oppression without complaint. Were
it not for the taxes and the excisemen they would never know a
trouble.

Such are my people, such is the halcyon placidity of their lives
—as level as the desert but as full of sunshine. Do you wonder

that

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 101

that the spirit is contagious and that I say I am content ? It is a
purely physical existence, always on horseback and out of doors,
but health such as ours amply repays all the sacrifices that seem to
bewilder you. Ennui comes of excess, not of simplicity.

Well, the night is running away. Over the reef, at the mouth
of the harbour, the waves are howling like drunken men in a
quarrel. The wind is full of ghostly suggestions. The halyards
of the flag-poles on the verandah are tapping like woodpeckers
against a tree. In the great reaches of the rushing tide the balsa
at the buoy tugs on its chain like an impatient captive. Across
the bay, the lights of the native villages twinkle like fallen stars.
A hazy moonlight makes the world mysterious. The rhythm of
the sea is quick, like the heart-beats of desire. While the world
sleeps, Nature is astir. Good-night.


November.

I did not think when I last wrote you that my next letter
would be a confession, but it seems that it must be.

Forty miles to the south of us, across the desert, lies the valley
of the Chira, the principal river of this northern region, crowded
with little villages and towns, to one of which I had despatched
old Juan on a commission. The other morning, while I was sit-
ting at my lonely breakfast, I heard the jingle of the unmistakable
silver spurs on the verandah, and the old man entered, still wrapped
in his poncho after his long night ride—for here most journeys are
made at night with a brief bivouac for rest, to escape the merciless
sun.

He made his report and paused.

"Well, what's the news on the river, Juan ?" I asked him.

"Patron," he said, tentatively ; "next week there is to be a
great fandango at Amotape. Wouldn't you like to go ?"

" O pshaw !

102 La Goya

"O pshaw ! what's the use, Juan ? It's always the same old
story : nothing but a long ride, no sleep, and less fun."

My indifference to such pleasures, which, to his mind, are all
the reward life gives us for the trouble of living, is Juan's greatest
trial.

"But, señor, the prettiest Cholitas from all along the river are
to be there ; you can't fail to enjoy it."

I laughed.

"O well, Juan, mi amigo, we'll see when the time comes."

The poor old fellow sighed, for the answer, which he had heard
so often before, seemed hopeless ; and so the matter dropped.

When, however, a few days later, Manuel came in from the
cotton-fields in one of our valleys, where he had been slaving for
a week, and heard of the approaching fiesta, he would listen to
none of my objections ; go we must. So one afternoon we set
out ; he, Juan and I, and our boys, for the river.

The desert is truly trackless ; there is not a road across it, only
narrow trails, which the shifting sands are for ever obliterating ;
but the boys are unerring guides. Even on the darkest night,
some instinct keeps them to the faint silver line that to our eyes is
imperceptible. We sped along over sandy tracts and rocky
stretches, dotted with withered thorn bushes. Touches of green
relieved the glaring expanse as we crossed the little quebradas,
where the algarroba trees send down their long tap roots, some-
times fifty feet, to the retentive sub-soil, where the water still
lingers. The sun blazed fiercely, but the air was dry and elastic.
The wind blows always from the southward ; from the sea by
day, from the shore by night, heaping the sand into great crescent-
shaped, moving hills or medenas, that creep stealthily over the level
waste, growing hour by hour, and burying all things that lie in their
path. It was night when we descended the steep cliffs into the

valley,

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 103

valley, and rode along the silent chacras into the town—scattered
suburbs of cane huts, a few rows of more pretentious mud-covered
houses, then the white plastered dwellings of the plaza.

The narrow, dusty streets were alight with lamps and thronged
with merrymakers wending their way to the picantes and dances.
Some of the men awkwardly sported the cheap ready-made raiment
that is beginning to invade even this country, but most of them
adhered to the more graceful old costume of stiffly starched shirts,
white trousers, and coloured sashes. The women wore gay prints
of every hue, ribbons and flowers, and trinkets ; while over the
head and shoulders was wrapped the soft black manta, or the
more festive pale blue and white scarf of Guadalupe with its deep
fringes of native lace.

Juan, who is nothing if not an epicure, readily discovered the best
picante, and soon we were at supper. A picante might be called
in English the native gala day restaurant. Throughout the fiesta
food may be had day and night ; all the world dines there, for the
women are too busy holidaying to waste the time in household
duties. Seco, or dry stew of goat's meat with rice and sweet
potatoes, slightly flavoured ; churasco, fried steak with onions and
an egg ; Chicharones, or the small pieces of pork that separate
from the fat in rendering lard—a popular delicacy with the
Indians ; salchichones, or sausages ; and last, and best of all, the
tamales—a highly-seasoned stew of pork and chicken, steamed in
an outer paste of ground maize, wrapped in thick pudding-cloths
of maize leaves. The dust of the road that filled our throats
and the aji, or the hot red pepper, with which the dishes were
plentifully sprinkled, made very welcome the great gourdfuls of
chicha with which they served us. Chicha was the royal beverage
of the Inca long before the conquest ; the native beer, brewed
from maize. It is the favourite still, in spite of all modern

innovations.

104 La Goya

innovations. Gourds serve for everything, plates and cups, and
bowls and platters, work-baskets, water-bottles, and even bath-
tubs, and the service is apt to be a wooden spoon, although
crockery and pewter are now common enough.

While we were feasting, Juan had been scouting for the most
promising fandango. Half an hour later I found myself comfort-
ably stretched on a bench in a large bare room, puffing at my
pipe, and yielding to the pleasant languor that follows a long ride
and a hearty supper. The bancos, or seats, built around the lime-
whitened walls, were crowded with guests. Juan's promise had
been fulfilled, for certainly the prettiest girls of the river were
around us ; a fact which had instantly impressed Manuel, for he
was passing from group to group, scattering gay nothings and
laughter everywhere. Fortunately we were too well known for
our presence to be an embarrassment to our simpler friends. The
natural abandon of such a gathering is its only charm to a civilized
man—yet, had we been the greatest strangers, old Juan's diplomacy
would soon have set every one at ease. He has a marvellous
mastery over awkward situations.

The mirth was a little subdued, although bottles and glasses
were circulating and healths were being drunk. It is a gross
breach of etiquette to toast back to the person who has toasted
you ; that each may have his share you must pay your salutations
to another. Every one, men and women alike, were smoking the
little yellow papered cigarettes, in unconscious emulation of the
open petroleum lamps that lighted up the scene and made swaying
shadows of the corners. The dancing was only beginning, in
spite of the fact that at one side of the room the orchestra was
bravely striving to stir up some excitement. In unison with a
rather metallic guitar, a blind harpist tugged at the strings of a
strangely shaped instrument with an enormous sounding board.

On

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 105

On either side of him sat two men, who emphasised the broken
time of the dance by pounding on the sounding board with their
hands, while the harpist sang the familiar words of the song, or
improvised with considerable cleverness new verses for the
occasion. The whole orchestra joined in the chorus in a high
nasal key. Noise was more important than melody.

The dance is always the same, and is performed by couples as
many as the floor will accommodate ; all present mark time by
the clapping of hands. In these diversions old and young
participate ; they have known the dance from childhood. The
women far surpass the men in grace, they show less self-con-
sciousness and effort. With the most expert, the movement is
from the hips entirely, and a woman has reached perfection when
she can go through the measures with a bottle balanced on her
head. I have never seen a man who was able to perform this
feat. There are three figures ; in the first, the pair advance and
retire and turn, waving their handkerchiefs while their feet move
to the rhythm of the music. During a pause the man approaches
a large table covered with bottles, where the hostess is dispensing
Anizado, a fiery liquor distilled from aniseed and alcohol, and
purchases a large tumbler-full, which he and his companion sip
alternately. The second figure runs more quickly. The song
and the music are louder. With knees bent in an attitude of
supplication, the man hovers about the woman who spins
coquettishly before him. There is much of liberty but little of
license, still the suggestion remains. Again a pause. Amidst
bravos and handclapping, the third figure begins. Feet speed in
and out, the bodies whirl and sway to the flash of the handker-
chiefs. The song and the music wax louder and faster in half
barbaric excitement. Shouts and cries encourage and applaud the
dancers. The tumult is deafening, the dance delirious. Squibs

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. G

sputter

106 La Goya

sputter beneath the flying feet. As if possessed they advance
and turn and retreat, until, through sheer exhaustion, they are
forced to stop.

Perhaps you think it a vulgar scene—yet I enjoyed it. After
all, physical pleasure is our real joy. To lie there indolently and
watch the lamplight gleam on dusky bosoms ; to see the dark
eyes flash in the excitement of noise and movement ; to forget to-
morrow, and to recall half forgotten yesterdays ; to think of
whiter breasts and nimbler tongues ; of the life that is over and
gone, all in a sensuous thoughtless way, is a pleasant enough
sensation. For what is the use of pondering over life and of
trying to find something in it that is really worth the trouble ?
We know it is only the drift of years, the desire of youth, the
regret of age and then the eternal silence. It is better to let our
pulses throb while they can ; to give over the wondering and the
idealising, and to take such joy of life as our senses give us.
There may be a morning of sermons and soda water somewhere,
but who cares ? So I lay there and smoked.

The crowd gathered about the door jostled and swayed, and as
it finally parted, an old woman and a young girl entered and took
seats across the room directly opposite me. The girl threw back
her scarf and revealed a face that at once brought me back to
realities. As usual, philosophy surrendered to life, and I watched
her intently. Her beauty was thrilling. She was about sixteen,
just in the prime of her womanhood, for after that age these
women grow stout. Her face was perfect in type. A flush of
rose gave life to the faint duskiness of her cheeks where two
dimples played at hide and seek with their twin brothers lurking
at the corners of her full mouth. From some forgotten strain,
she had inherited the Inca nose with its broad base, its exquisite
aquiline curve, and its fine nostrils ; to my mind, in its purity,

the

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 107

the most perfect of human features. Like all her race, she had
teeth of ivory. Don't think I am raving when I tell you that I
have never seen eyes in which so many emotions seemed to lurk.
They were dark, of course, in a setting of high arched brows and
long sweeping lashes, otherwise they defy description. Her fore-
head was low, but broader than is usual, though the waves of her
black glossy hair sent out a faint ripple or two of down upon her
temples.

There was an unmistakable superiority about her which her
companions seemed to recognise, for they approached her with
deference. Even her dress displayed more taste than that of the
women about her, yet she was arrayed according to the same
simple rules.

There was no use trying to be indifferent before such a
picture. I crossed over to where she was sitting and bowed
elaborately.

"Good evening, Señorita," and in the Spanish fashion, I told
her my name and assured her I was at her orders.

"Your servant, Gregoria Paz," she replied with perfect com-
posure.

"Señorita Goya," I said, using the pretty diminutive of her
name, "I am sorry to confess that I do not dance, but will you
not permit me to sit here and talk to you ?"

Most of the women would have been shy and awkward at first,
but she made way for me most courteously. A natural coquetry
gave grace to every movement she made ; yet she tempered it
with an air of dignity and reserve that put even me upon my best
behaviour. The sensation was certainly amusing. My attentions
pleased her, that was evident ; but whenever I ventured upon
even conversational liberties she had a way of tossing back her
head and looking at me out of the corners of her great flashing

eyes,

108 La Goya

eyes, as she blew the smoke of her cigarette ceilingward, that was
inscrutable. When had she learned it all? That was the question.
I wondered if one of Pizarro's haughty dons had wooed and won
some great-great-grandmother of hers in the long ago.

Nobody dared to disturb us, and time flew along as we laughed
and chatted. She lived in the village across the river, where her
father owned some small gardens, she said. Would she let me
come to see her? Their house was too humble for such a guest
as I, but it was always at my disposal.

The dance was growing uproarious. I had noticed that Manuel,
in the midst of his own flirtations, had been keeping an amused
eye upon my occupation. I saw him walk over to the old harpist,
and soon after I became conscoius that we were the centre of
observation, for the old man was improvising verses in praise of
myself complimenting the Goya on her good fortune. This
naturally prompted a response from me, in the shape of refresh-
ments for the devoted and perspiring orchestra.

A little later, Manuel and I withdrew to snatch what sleep we
could before setting out on our ride under the morning stars.
Even old Juan discreetly joined in the chaff with which Manuel
pelted me as we galloped home.

And—would you believe it?—yesterday I sent the good old fellow
off to the Goya with a little trinket and a letter that would, in its
fervent flourishes, remind you most ludicrously of the valentines
of your youth; and I am awaiting her reply as impatiently as the
most orthodox of lovers.

December.

To-day is like anything but your idea of the last one of
December; warm and bright, with a bustling, noisy, dusty wind
from the desert to make a field of daisies out of the deep green

stretches

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 109

stretches of the ocean; and the way in which I spent Christmas
was quite as wide a departure from your conventions.

For a week before the festival I had been busy with my men at
the far end of the hacienda. I won't tell you about the blazing
heat of the summer desert, our little bivouacs behind the sandhills,
our haphazard meals, and all the other commonplaces of this life
of ours. Although I was anxious to conclude the work, I couldn't
deny my good fellows their holiday; but we laboured on until
the last light had faded out of the west. A hasty dinner in a
little hut, a few stern injunctions to the peons as to prompt
return, and I found myself confronted with Christmas Eve.
However, I was not without resources. Amotape was only six
miles away, and the festivities promised there were attracting the
whole country-side. For two or threee days previous, little donkey-
borne parties of holiday-makers had passed us on the trails bound
for that centre of delight. then I felt sure the Goya would be
there. I had not been able to see her since our first meeting, but
I had given old Juan and my messengers many a long ride through
the night to carry her my hyperbolical letters, laden with sighs,
reproaches, and protestations. Juan assured me that her parents
gladly favoured my suit, while her little answers, that needed
many a re-reading before I could fathom their scrawled, mis-spelt
lines, had not left me hopeless. At first they had been stiff and
formal, condescending thanks, and nothing more; but latterly
they had taken on a more sympathetic tone. So I turned my
horse toward Amotape.

The stars twinkled here and there; far in the east a line of
clouds over the hills still hid the rising moon. Every now and
then a rocket burst and added to the splendour of the heavens.
The town was en fête when I arrived; every house was lighted
up; from every croner cam the clatter and the song of a fandango.

Through

110 La Goya

Through wide open doorways I caught sight of gaily illuminated
nacimientos, altar-like structures, adorned with the most fantastic
and incongruous assortment of trifles, which in a measure take the
place of our Christmas-trees. The plaza was thronged. Happy
groups squatted on the ground or sauntered about, watching the
fireworks that were being discharged from a temporary stand.
The exhibition was really very creditable. Even the blasé I found
a pleasure in the flaming wheels and constellated bombs. Would
you believe it, the poor creatures, who have little more than baked
camotes to live on, spent over a thousand soles on that display ?

Acquaintances greeted me everywhere, and I speedily learned
that the Goya was present. Soon I came across them all, a family
party, seated in a circle, gazing with the silence of a year's
accumulated wonder at the blaze of sparks and fire. Yes, she was
there. The moon showed me a pretty picture, truly. Round
her shoulders was drawn a light scarf; flowers intensified the
blackness of her heavy hair. Her face seemed very fair ; her eyes
were as deep as the night.

After the usual round of salutations I sat down beside her.

"How finely we are dressed to-night, Goyita."

"Una pobre, como yo ?" she replied disparagingly.

"A poor girl like you, Goyita ? That's more your fault than
mine. What a fool you are not to care for me."

"Fool, indeed !" she replied with a toss of her head, "You'd
never have let me come to see these fireworks."

"And since when have I had the reputation of a tyrant,
querida ? Pshaw, you might have fireworks every day if you
wished. Why do you treat me so cruelly ? You know that I
adore you. Is it the custom of your countrywomen to reward
devotion with disdain ?"

And so we set to whispering. She was anxious to know if we

observed

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 111

observed Christmas in my country. She readily understood when
I told her of Santa Claus and the Christmas trees and even the
mistletoe, but the story of the snow puzzled her. I could only
describe it to her as a feathery rain that fell and lingered, and
when it was over, left the world silent and white like the desert
under the moonlight.

But I knew that the wonderland of conversation would hardly
take the place of the tangible delights about us, in the Goya's
mind. So, accompanied by the whole family, we made the round
of the dances and nacimientos. I fancy the youngster was not at
all displeased at the sensation created by her appearance under the
escort of the big Gringo, as they call us foreigners.

The nacimiento is a common form of Christmas celebration in
all Spanish American countries. Along the side of a room, a
stage is erected and covered with fancy cloth. The centre of
this is so arranged as to represent the Manger with the Babe.
Round about, on a setting of artificial rockwork interspersed
with lakes of looking-glass and waterfalls of threads, are placed
groups of plaster puppets depicting the principal Biblical scenes
from the Creation to the birth of Christ. Candles light up
every point. Among the poor, to whom puppets and rockwork
are impossible, the ornaments are a most inappropriate assortment
of dolls, toys, coloured pictures, and even playing cards.

The great street door is wide open. All are welcome to the
Christmas cheer. Music and dancing are continuous, and
servants move among the guests with trays laden with copitas of
pisco, anizado and coiiac. Whatever their faults, these people are
never lacking in the virtue of hospitality.

At about half past eleven, the Goya and many of the other
women departed to change their gay attire for more devotional
garments in order that they might attend the midnight mass. I

had

112 La Goya

had promised to meet her after the mass was over, but a sense of
curiosity tempted me to join the crowds that hurried churchward
at the insistent clanging of the bells in the tower.

The bare body of the building was in darkness. Huddled on
the floor were all the women of the pueblo, hooded in their black
mantas ; men filled the side aisles and the spaces around the door.
There was scarcely a point of colour. The altar blazed with
hundreds of candles. The priest was an imposing personage in
spite of his coarse sensual face. The service was a string of
unintelligible mummeries, yet it was not without dignity although
the rustic trousers of the assistants that dangled beneath their
laced vestments, and the nasal nondescript responses of the choir
threatened momentary disillusion. There was, in a gallery,
something that pretended to be an orchestra, very reedy, very
noisy and very energetic. Near where I stood, an old man from
time to time beat drowsy and irrelevant rattles on a small drum.
Stray candles in front of special altars made heavy shadows of the
pillars. Now and then a dog wandered in, searching for a lost
master. The cloud of incense intensified the heat, without
perceptibly diminishing the pungent human odours. Yet there
was something religious in it all, if it were only the heavy
drag of time. I couldn't distinguish the Goya among the
kneeling figures, and the novelty of the spectacle soon wore
off ; I don't know how often I adjourned to the square for a
cigarette.

It must have been half past one before the mass was over.
Then began a quaint ceremony, the Pastoras. A canopy was
brought out and held above the priest who advanced towards the
body of the church. Six little girls, dressed in white, and two
boys, attired and disguised as old men, appeared before him. The
piccolo of the orchestra began to shriek a ballad-tune. The little

voices

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 113

voices tried to follow while the little feet performed an awkward
dance. I could catch only a few of the words :

Hermanas pastoras,
Vamos à adorar
Al recien nacido—

Shepherd sisters, let us go to worship the new born child.

Then a procession was formed which marched slowly round
the church between two lines of worshippers. The singing
children walked in front. The priest carried in his arms a figure
of the infant Christ. When the altar was regained, he again
seated himself beneath the canopy and each of the little girls
repeated the song in turn, followed by a chorus of all. The
scene was ended by the two boys, who during the whole
ceremony had performed pantomimic buffooneries while the
orchestra piped, and the little girls circled in the dance. Then the
procession reformed and left the church to repeat the performance
at each house in which was a nacimiento. The congregation
dispersed.

I hurried to the plaza and waited. Soon the Goya came out
and we all sat down on the stone benches, there in the moonlit
square with its soft white walls of houses. They all clamoured
for "Pascuas," Christmas presents. I sent for a bottle of
anizado. I don't know why, but it was pleasant to sit there at
her feet and pay her compliments which her lips pretended to
misunderstand, although her eyes responded : the stilted extrava-
gant Spanish compliments which lay tribute on all the stars and
flowers in the universe, and which sound so absurd in our reserved
English. Indian, savage, what you will, she was still a pretty
woman, and I—I asked no more.

The bottle finished they went to bed, while I roved about

among

114 La Goya

among the fandangos, drinking everything from beer to bitters
with the same Christian goodwill. The moon was paling when I
took a cup of coffee at a little Chinese stall ; in the East were the
streaks of white that betokened day ; and so in the balmy morn of
the equator, under much the same sky as that which shone upon
its first birth, dawned Christmas; that Christmas which, no doubt,
you at the same moment were saluting with all the accessories of
civilisation in an atmosphere of ennui, away in the land of snows.

I awoke about ten. The heat was numbing. It seemed as if
there were nothing in life that could justify exertion. Still I
remembered that her mother had asked me to breakfast, or more
truthfully, I had invited myself, and I knew they would be mak-
ing great preparations for me. So, followed by my boy, I crossed
the river.

I found that she lives in a little addition of two rooms that
adjoins her father's house ; a rambling structure of cane and mud,
with a low, heavily thatched-roof, bare walls, and the naked earth
for a floor. In front, faced with a half wall, which contains the
door or gate, is a large covered space, surrounded by wide benches
of board, which serve as beds for as many weary travellers as care
to ask the hospitality of the house. Next, behind, is the living-
room of the family, hung with hammocks. Upon the walls are
saddles, bridles, lassos, coils of rope and raw-hide, long sword-like
machetas for cutting cane, alforjas, or saddle bags woven of cotton,
and all the paraphernalia of the road. In the corners stood shovels
and other implements, rude tables, benches, and chairs of home
manufacture ; boxes for clothing and stores filled up the inter-
vening spaces. To the rear of the apartment opened bedrooms
and passages that led to kitchens and enclosures. To the left of
the main building, with a door of its own in front, was the
sanctuary of the Goya.

I was

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 115

I was received with great cordiality, a spontaneous kindness
mingled with respect, such as you would never find among a
similar class in Europe. Her father is a Serrano, an Indian of
the mountains. Like many of those people, he wears his hair
closely cropped, with the exception of a wide shock in front that
hangs like a thick fringe over his forehead. Besides cultivating
his gardens, he carries on a trade with the interior, whence he
brings back dulcesand chancaca—a paste of raw sugar. The
dulces are conserves of fruits and sugar similar to Guava jelly,
and almost sickeningly sweet. The people are very fond of
them.

If the Goya's mother ever possessed any of her daughter's
beauty she must have lost it long ago, for no trace of it remains.
But what she lacks in grace she makes up in virtue, for she is
the jolliest, happiest, most gossipy old dame I have met for many a
day. She has several children, all of whom, with the exception of
a young sister, are older than the Goya.

They gave me a great feast at which I sat alone, while all the
rest waited upon me. The Goya was very quiet ; she seemed to
be watching me intently, as if she were trying to penetrate the
screen of manners and compliments to discover the real effect of
their efforts to please me. All through the afternoon, even until
I left, she kept up her pondering. I wish I knew what her final
impression was. It would be interesting to know just what was
going on in that little brain, which is separated from mine by all
the forces of the universe save that of human sympathy. And,
after all, what is it that we are always seeking up and down the
world but that one quality that knows no law of intellect, race, or
station ?

Well, such was my Christmas. It might fairly be called a
merry one. I trust yours was no worse.

rend="italic"January.

116 La Goya

January.

My Christmas visit was not thrown away, for the Goya is
mine ! Taking advantage of the festival of Los Reyes, or
Twelfth Night, which is observed here as in all Catholic
countries, I sent the Goya a present and a letter, of which the
ardour was not all insincere. She returned a quaint answer to
my prayers : "Perhaps what I asked might happen, perhaps it
might never be." But this was foundation enough for my old
oracle Juan to declare the omens favourable. So, having des-
patched a messenger ahead to announce our coming, he and I set
out with our saddle bags stuffed with the elements of a grand
supper. It was dark when we reached the house. The Goya
came to meet us as we dismounted and, for the first time, she
shyly, but unresistingly, allowed me to kiss her. A table was
prepared for me in one corner, where I supped, attended by my
lady love. Juan, in his element, presided at the spread which
loaded the great table. Amid the general mirth we two were for-
gotten.

It was a gorgeous scene that met my eyes next morning,
dreamy as my own lazy mood, as I lay smoking in the hammock
of her sitting-room, looking out through the open door. The
house has a beautiful situation on a high, sandy eminence, over-
looking the spreading, winding valley of the river, which is shut in
by steep water-scored cliffs that mark the limits of the desert.
Below, quivering in the glaring light, a thousand shades of green,
dimmed by the hazy smoke of charcoal fires, mingled with the
golden flashes of the river. Waving clumps of palm hedged in
the darker stretches of cotton plantations. Feathery algarroba
woods held in their clearings the brighter greens of gardens and
banana groves. Far away inland rose the first hills of the Andes,

so

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 117

so faintly seen they seemed a part of the cloudless sky itself. At
the foot of the slope the sun shone on little patches of colour,
where women were washing clothes in the water. Near by,
making its pendulum-like voyages from shore to shore, was the
long dug-out canoe of the ferry by which I had crossed the night
before. There is no ford, and horses and mules have to be towed,
swimming behind the little craft to the accompaniment of cease-
less shouts and splashing. At the landing-places bustling groups
were busy unsaddling and resaddling. The bright dresses of the
women beneath their black mantas, the ponchos and white hats of
the men, the gay saddle cloths spread on the sand, and the many
coloured alforjas thrown together in heaps, looked in the distance
like an old-fashioned nosegay. With a chorus of laughter, some
boys were swimming ; as they rested for a moment in the
shallows, the sun lit up their dark wet bodies with a glitter of
bronze. Over all the landscape hung the gauzy curtains of the
heat-waves—just like the dissolving tableaux in a pantomime.

The light grew blinding, and with a wide swing of the ham-
mock, I kicked the door half shut. She had left me after serving
my coffee, turning her head as she passed the threshold to whisper
the assurance that she would come back soon again. Certainly
she is different from the rest of them. I looked round the room.
She has managed to give an individuality even to it. The dull
walls were not to her fancy, it seemed, for she had endeavoured to
hide them under strips of coloured paper and pictures of every
sort, from the roughest woodcuts of a newspaper, to the gaudy
circulars of patent medicines. She had even secured a yard or
two of real wall-paper somewhere, and had spent much pains in
distributing it to advantage. On the floor she had spread here
and there an empty sack in the manner of a rug. Under a tiny
but most unflattering mirror at one end of the chamber, stood her

table

118 La Goya

table with her sewing machine and work, an earthen water cooler,
a little clock that seemed to have forgotten that its principal pur-
pose in life was to note the flight of time ; a box and a trinket or
two, all in the daintiest order ; while in the centre rose the greatest
of all her treasures, a huge glass lamp, which she had lighted with
great ceremony on my arrival the previous evening.

Ere long she returned, radiant from her bath, and took a seat
on a small stool near me. She wore a simple gown, open at the
throat ; around the polished ebony of her hair she had tied a bright
red ribbon, which secured a single flower. In her eyes still
lingered the languor of passion. I had never before realised how
beautiful she was. She held up her seductive mouth provokingly,
but as I rose to kiss her she drew back quickly, and placing her
little tapered hand upon her lips, laughed at me roguishly with
her dark eyes. The Goyita needs no flatterer to tell her of her
charms ; she knows them only too well.

The day flew by as if the hours were minutes. I soon found
out her weakness, and I told her stories of my own country ; of
balls, and jewels, and flowers ; of pretty women and gay dresses,
and of all the pageants I could remember ; she listened as a child
to a fairy tale. At the noontide breakfast she had still another
fascination in store for me. From the depths of her clothes-chest
she brought out her four silver spoons, and from a cupboard on
the wall, her plates with the flowered border. She waited upon
me with thoughtful attentions, that might have flattered a prince.
The instinct of service resisted all my coaxings, however ; she
did not know me well enough yet to sit at the table beside me.

In the evening, hand in hand, we wandered through the cha-
cras by the river, past hedges of tangled vines and flowers, and
under the rustling fronds of the banana trees. I told her I wanted
to build her a house near that of old Juan, in a quebrada

some

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 119

some miles from my own habitation. She slowly shook her
head.

"You will not come ? What nonsense ; you don't know how
happy you will be ; I will give you everything you can think of."

"Oh, no, no, no ; not that !"

"Why not ?"

"Oh, I know what it means. After I have given you all the
love of my heart and soul, you will go away to your own country,
and I shall never be able to love again."

"And do you want to love again ?" I asked, coldly.

She paused, and looked at me for a moment, then threw her
arms about my neck, and kissed me in savage abandonment.

Still, I could not shake her resolution.

"Here, yes, for ever and for ever, if you will ; this has always
been my home, and if you leave me I shall still have known no
other. But there, no. If, after I had become accustomed to a
life with you, you should deceive me, how could I come back, and
ever be happy here again ?"

"But, Goyita mia," I declared, "I have no intention of re-
turning to my home."

"Would you think of me when the occasion came ?" she
replied, as sadly as if she had already fathomed woman's fate.

But I must stop writing. I am sick for sleep. It was two
this morning when I started back. The long ride through the
desert, under the voluptuous moon that drew across it the light
bars of cloud, as a woman in the shame of her passion throws her
white arm over her eyes ; the long, long ride, in which my
thoughts flew back, false to my latest love, to the old, old life, and
the days that are no more. To you, the whole adventure may
appear a disgrace to my intelligence ; yet it was not all debased ;
it had much of beauty. A hundred miles for a woman ! and

that

120 La Goya

that a woman three hundred years behind the world I once knew
—yet I mention it. Well, it was worth the telling, if you are
not so bound up in your century that you can see nothing human
outside of it.


March.

Again and again I visited the Goya ; she never wearied me.
She had learned the secret many a more brilliant woman has
failed to discover, she never let me feel sure. I could not induce
her to consent to leave her father's house—she seemed to have a
vague fear of such a change. I was beginning to despair, so I
consulted old Juan.

"Patron," said this authority, "order the house to be built at
once ; send me the men, and I will attend to it for you. Don't
fear, she will come as soon as it is finished. I know these
women ; their no always means yes. But I am afraid you are
spoiling her. When you are wooing a woman, it is all very well
to promise her everything ; that is part of the game. But once
she has yielded she is yours and she has to obey you—if she
doesn't, beat her. Never beg a woman to do anything, just tell
her she must do it. Let her always see that you are in authority ;
that is the only attitude she will understand. Patron mio, you
know perfectly well that you cannot ride a mule without your
spurs, and there isn't much difference between women and
mules."

If I did not quite share Juan's philosophy, I nevertheless
accepted his advice—I ordered the house to be built and said
nothing to the Goya about it.

Meanwhile the carnival arrived, and Manuel, Francisco and I
went to Amotape to celebrate it. I think that of all their
festivals, the natives enjoy this one most. Indeed the enthusiasm

pervades

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 121

pervades every class, even to the aristocratic Spaniards of the large
cities. All formality is set aside and good-natured licence reigns.
The Indians inaugurate the sports several days before the carnival
really begins. With their pockets full of red, green and blue
powders, egg shells filled with coloured water, and chisguetes or
squirts charged with eau-de-cologne, the men go from house to
house and attack all the women of the family with this holiday
ammunition. With screams and laughter, the fire is vigorously
returned ; pretty faces are streaked with powder, and clothes are
drenched with the coloured waters until both sides are tired out.

We arrived on Shrove Tuesday, the last day of the feast when
the fun is at its height. I found the Goya sadly disarrayed but
glowing with enjoyment. She was so disappointed when I declined
to join in the sport that to appease her I had to submit to having
my face daintily smeared with a powder puff. I was then
permitted to become a spectator, while she and my two
companions gave themselves up to the spirit of the day. The
Goya was the leader of the girls against Manuel and Francisco.
These two enthusiasts fully armed for the fray sped down the
village street in pursuit of the first maiden who showed herself—
perhaps to be met at the next corner or doorway by an ambushed
volley that brought them to a standstill or forced them into
ignominious retreat. Showers of water were poured from
balconies and windows. The wetter and dirtier they became, the
happier they seemed to be. The Goya was breathless with
laughter. Her stratagems were masterly, and during the entire
afternoon she outwitted the enemy at every point.

At nightfall, I was host at a grand dinner at the Chinese
Fonda, to which I invited all her friends. Here new pranks
suggested themselves, and the scene became so hilarious that even
I had to yield, much to the detriment of my raiment if not of my

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. H

dignity.

122 La Goya

dignity. One cannot be Anglo-Saxon in such surroundings.
Finally, having exhausted our powders and ourselves as well, we
gave up the sport.

Some weeks later I had occasion to go to Payta, the principal
seaport of this region, a wretched dirty little town that clusters
along the base of the wrinkled cliffs like an eruption of toadstools
under an ant hill, and quite as brown and ugly. My road led
past the Goya's house. She was seated on the floor, cutting out a
dress, but on seeing me she bundled the work into a heap and
jumped up clapping her hands.

"I am so glad you have come," she cried, "I was just going to
send you a message to tell you of the grand fiesta that will take
place at La Huaca on Saturday, and to beg you to take me. You
will, won't you ?"

"I am very sorry, my Goya, but it is impossible. I am going
to Payta, and I cannot return before Sunday morning."

Her face fell, for to her gay little soul a fiesta was the breath of
life. She was silent for a moment, then she looked at me beseech-
ingly.

"But everybody is going, Señor ; may not my mother take
me ?"

The Goya knew as well as I did that it was impossible to con-
cede such a request. For my young bride to appear at a fandango
under any other escort than that of her lord and master would
have elevated the eyebrows of the world to an alarming height.
Her spirits rose again, however, when I spoke of presents from
Payta.

I returned on the promised morning, but much to my amaze-
ment I found the house locked up. Where could the family be ?
My boy descried some people down in the chacras. I told him
to go and see who they were and ask them where the Goya was.

The

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 123

The boy returned. "It is her mother, Señor."

"What does she say?"

"She says the Doña Goya went to La Huaca yesterday with
some friends and will not return till to-morrow. The mother is
coming up to speak to you."

I could hardly believe my ears.

"What nonsense you are talking," I said indignantly ; "such a
thing is impossible."

"Yes, Señor," he answered, "it is strange, but a Señora in the
house behind there told me to ask you to wait for a moment ; she
has a letter for you from the Doña Goya."

"The devil ! Why didn't she say so before ?"

"Who knows, Señor ?"

So I waited, but no Señora with a letter appeared.

At length the Goya's mother came, and as she unlocked the
door, greeted me with the customary salutations that must
precede all conversation however important. I returned them
impatiently.

"Where is the Goya ?" I demanded.

"In La Huaca, Señor."

"What on earth possessed you to allow her to go ?"

"Who knows, Señor ?" she replied with exasperating meekness.

"Where is the letter she left for me ?"

"She left no letter, Señor."

"What's the use of telling me that? Boy, go and call that
woman who spoke to you."

"Señor," answered the youth, "she is in this very house."

"Where ?" I shouted, growing more angry as I grew more
perplexed at every reply.

"In that room behind, Señor. She spoke to me through the
cane wall."

I turned

124 La Goya

I turned to the mother. "What trick is this ?" I cried, and
brushing past her, I rushed through the passages to the rooms
beyond. In one of these I discovered the Goya sitting serenely.

"What do you mean by this, Goya ?" I said sternly.

"Oh, I knew you were there all the time."

"Why didn't you let me in, then ?"

"I wanted to see what you would say."

"When did you return from La Huaca ?"

"Of course I never went," and she mockingly held up her lips.

She had planned the whole performance just to tease me. The
part played by her mother was no doubt one that pleased her.
These Indians can lie to your face with more innocent com-
posure and ingenuity than any race I ever met.

I thought, with a view to my own future comfort, that I might
as well draw the Goya's attention to what might have been the
consequences of her joke.

"Supposing I had grown angry and had gone away ? " I asked
her.

"Do you think I should have let you go far ? I should have
called you."

"Yes ; but I might have been so angry that I would have
refused to listen," I suggested as haughtily as I could.

" I wasn't afraid of that," she returned archly, and I had to give
up, although I still pretended to feel hurt.

The room in which I had found her faced upon the open patio.
She made me sit down beside her in the shadow of the wall.
Opposite to us, on a high perch out of the reach of scratching
fowls, in a composite jardinière of old boxes and broken water-jars,
grew the flowers with which she was accustomed to deck her hair.
A light roof of thatch over one corner of the enclosure formed
the kitchen, where, squatted upon the ground before a fireplace of

four

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 125

four stones, her mother was preparing my breakfast with an
unpretentious equipment of earthern pots, wooden spoons, and her
own dexterous fingers. A fastidious man might have found the
sight of such preparations trying to his appetite ; but I had proved
the pudding too often by the eating to quarrel with the making
of it. Hot tamales, rice stained red with powdered achote and
beef stewed in a salsa picante with aji, made a breakfast which I
was far from despising, especially as the Goya, perhaps to atone
for her cruelty, was more graceful than ever in her attentions.

After breakfast was over, I resolved to put to the proof a portion
at least of old Juan's philosophy of femininity. During the weeks
that had passed, we had completed and furnished the house. So
in a matter-of-course way I announced to the Goya that it was
finished, and that I intended to send for her shortly. She looked
at me in amazement, seemingly more astounded by the way in
which I spoke than by the news I related. Hitherto my manner
towards her had always been beseeching. The expression of her
face amused me quite as much as the altered tone I had just
assumed had surprised her. I nearly spoiled everything by laugh-
ing and catching her in my arms to assure her that I had not
meant the dictatorial part of it at all. Fortunately I resisted the
temptation.

She ventured to demur.

"No, no ; I cannot, I cannot. Who knows how soon you will
go back to your own land ? You must go some day. Do you
think it makes it easier to tell me it will not be for years and
years ? The time will come, and how could I bear it ?"

"Now, Goya," I said, as severely as I was able, "it is both
useless and silly to talk to me in that way. I have made up my
mind, and there's an end of the matter. You seem to have a very
strange notion of a woman's duty."

She

126 La Goya

She sat for some time toying nervously with her dress. Sud-
denly she looked up eagerly.

"Then tell me about the house."

I didn't hesitate to describe it. As much for my own comfort
as for hers, I had sent to Lima for the furniture, and I knew that
to her the place would seem palatial.

I told her that it was in the quebrada, close to Juan's house,
that she might have his daughters for companions, in addition to
the old woman who was to cook for her and wait upon her.
"There were three rooms and a kitchen ; a bedroom, a dining-
room, and a little sitting-room for herself. There was a real bed,
with a mosquito-net instead of the print curtains to which she was
accustomed ; moreover, there were rugs on the floors. The
dining-room had everything imaginable. But her own little room
was the gem of all. There were pictures on the walls, there was
a stand for her sewing-machine, and I had ordered a box full
of materials for dresses that it would take her for ever to make up.
Then, on one side, there was a little dressing-table, with brushes
and combs and everything she could wish, and over it hung a
great, big mirror, in which she could see not merely her pretty
face, but the whole of herself at once.

Her eyes were sparkling.

"When will you send for me ?"

"As soon as I go back."

She threw her arms around me and nestled her head on my
shoulder.

"But it will be soon, soon, soon, won't it ?" she implored.

I had succeeded beyond my hopes. Yet, somewhat at the
expense of my vanity, for it was clearly the house, and not I, that
had overcome her reluctance.

A few days ago, a small caravan of peons, marshalled by Juan,

escorted

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 127

escorted her to her new abode. Although he had ridden all night,
the devoted fellow came over early in the morning to tell me of
her safe arrival, and as soon as I could I galloped away to welcome
her.

I found her alone, seated at the table in her sitting-room,
amusing herself by feeding a clamorous young blackbird, which
one of Juan's daughters had just given her. Owing to the heat
she had thrown off her bodice, and her breast was but lightly
covered by the snowy white sleeveless chemise of her people. In
her hair-ribbon she had tucked the familiar red flower, while
around her neck she wore a little chain with a golden medallion
of her patron saint which I had given her. I shall never forget
the picture she made, as in a half-embarrassed way she turned her
head over her shoulder to look at me, as I paused for a moment
on the threshold to watch her.

She did not say very much about the house. She was quiet,
perhaps a little tired ; but I could see she was content. And
so my new domestic life has begun.


April.

Perhaps it is the strangeness and half romance of this new life
that most delight me. There is the gallop across the desert in
the splendour of the sunset or in the moonlight to the little
suppers at which she has learned to preside with so much dignity,
while she tells me, with the greatest seriousness, all the trifles of
the day—so diffidently, so appealingly. Then the early ride,
brightened by the nameless colours of morning, while the magic
kiss of the princely sun is warming and waking the sleeping
beauty of the night ; the still valley with its little river ; the
stunted feathery trees where the white herons perch as in the
pictures on a fan ; the blue hills, the desert, and at last the

flashing

128 La Goya

flashing sea. It's all well worth the trouble—will it soon
begin to pall, I wonder ? But why let the demon of doubt and
distrust come to rob our sunshine of its sparkle ?

Since she became established as sole mistress of the mansion, the
Goya's whole manner has changed. A new feeling of responsi-
bility seems to have taken hold of her, and she has abandoned her
old waywardness for a quaintly subdued and matronly air. When
from my silence she probably fancies my thoughts are far away, I
often lie in the hammock and watch her flutter through the
tiny apartments busy with endless arranging and rearranging.
Nothing pleases her so much as when I praise her housekeeping.
Even her utter ignorance is a pleasure ; it is part of her nature.
It is only the vast contrast between us that makes the illusion
possible.

Sometimes on Sunday Manuel and Francisco come over as our
guests. In the quebrada, near the water, the algarroba trees
grow into heavy woods, with clear shaded aisles among the
gnarled trunks. There we all go, accompanied by Juan's
daughters—two jolly little companions who chatter incessantly,
sometimes with an unconscious latitude that might startle a
French novelist. All things are natural to them ; they are
like the birds that chirp above us, to which love has but one
meaning.

In a quaint, high-pitched key the three girls sing us the love
songs of their race : of hard hearts and broken vows, disdainful
ladies and neglectful swains, and of kisses and longings and tears.
Then they teach me the names of the animals and flowers, or,
tired of lessons, try to guess the words that fit into the notes of
the birds.

They tell us in awed voices of the animas or ghosts that make
the strange noises of the night—a class of spirit that seems to be

more

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 129

more sprite than spectre. They have many stories also of the
witches who have power to trace thieves and reveal the hiding-
place of things that have been stolen.

At noon our boys arrive with alforjas and hampers, and we
breakfast together in a circle on the ground. It is amusing to
see the deferential way in which the Goya is treated by the two
girls and the boys. Although she is of their people and kin,
her relations with me seem to have exalted her in their eyes.
This voluntary recognition of the superiority of the white race
is one of the most marked characteristics of these Indians.

The algarroba woods are full of wild pigeons. Toward even-
ing, as they fly to the river for water, my two friends and I take
our guns, and skirting along the bank enjoy an hour or two of
sport.

We made a gala day of Easter. On the southern side of Cape
Blanco, which is one of the most westerly points of the Continent,
the sea in some past age burrowed great caves and arches in the
cliff. One of these caverns, into the mouth of which the surf
still dashes when the tide is high, winds in a labyrinth for many
hundred feet to the very heart of the rock. The other cave, now
remote from the waves, is a great circular dome almost two
hundred feet in diameter. These imposing dimensions are mag-
nified by the insignificant passage that forms the entrance.
Many mysterious stories of buried treasure are told about it.
Some say that after the murder of their Emperor Atahualpa by
the Spaniards, the Inca priests used this huge natural vault as
a secret depository for the rich and sacred ornaments of their
temples. Others relate how the English pirates found it a safe
place of concealment for the superabundant wealth gained from
the Panama galleys ; and in confirmation of this story there is a
legend that on every Easter morning a great white brig sails

bravely

130 La Goya

bravely away from the cave's mouth, and no one ever sees her
return. It was to verify, if possible, this wild tale of the phantom
brig that we planned an expedition for Easter. It was arranged
that Juan should take the Goya and his daughters to the Cape at
daybreak, when we would ride over to meet them. Unfortu-
nately we were not so prompt in starting, and day had well begun
before we set out, so we missed the sailing of the pirate, much to
our disappointment. But such a morning was a charm against
all regrets. The cliffs were in heavy shadow as we rode along
the sand. Although the breeze was cool, the sun kept us warm.
The sky and its light clouds were of faintest tints, and the sea
had that intense blue which sets off to such advantage the dazzling
white of the breakers. As the tide was ebbing thousands of red
crabs skirmished like cavalry troops along the beach. Solitary
frigate birds hovered aloft, manœuvring lines of pelicans skimmed
the surf, and dusky groups of vultures squabbled over derelict
scraps. The sails of three or four little fishing-boats sparkled in
the still slanting light. The very soul of freedom enfolded this
sun-loved land of brown and azure.

We found them all awaiting us in their usual resigned and un-
complaining way. It is instinctive in these people to regard our
pleasure as theirs. Old Juan's pride would have received a severe
shock had one of his daughters, or even the Goya, ventured to
reproach us for being two hours behind our tryst. Their chief
wonder, which Juan more than half shared, was that they who
had arrived in time had failed to see the phantom. I have some
doubts myself whether the old fellow really reached the place before
the sun had come to remove all uncanny suggestions.

While the old man and our boys were looking after the animals
and preparing our breakfast, we lighted our candles and took the
girls off to explore the twisting galleries of the seaward cave.

They

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 131

They followed us in awed silence as we went deeper and deeper
into the darkness. Something besides the damp chill air made
them shiver and clutch our hands convulsively. The noise of the
surf came faintly to us, although we could feel the great walls
pulse to its beating. More than shadows seemed to lurk in the
roof and crannies. I think we all felt a sudden shudder as
Manuel playfully uttered a scream that was answered to us again
and again as if the old pirates were rallying to the alarm. The sand
of the floor was heavy with dampness. The walls and the roof
crowded closer and closer upon us ; we went on crouching almost
to the ground. Finally only a low black tunnel confronted us—
there our courage gave out, and we hurried back to the daylight,
hearing in our own footfalls the sounds of ghostly pursuit. As
we stood under the great arch of the entrance watching the surf
about the rocks, the girls grew very brave again.

Old Juan laughed contemptuously when they told him of their
terrors, but he didn't attempt any explorations on his own
account. As it was too early for breakfast, we three men decided
to take a bath in the sea. I was well in the lead, just as we
were making for the third line of breakers, when a frantic shout
from the shore reached me. Turning my head I saw old Juan
and the rest running up and down the beach screaming and
gesticulating. Some were beckoning us to return ; others were
pointing seaward in evident alarm. I looked ahead, and there
just beyond the great white line that was subsiding before me
moved the slowly swaying fin of a monster shark. I confess that
for a moment my heart stood still. We must all have caught
sight of the danger at the same moment, for without a word we
turned : there certainly was excitement in the breathless scurry
for the shore, where the Goya quite forgot to be dignified in her
joy at our safe return.

After

132 La Goya

After breakfast we entered the cave of the great dome. Ages
must have elapsed since the sea seethed round its walls, for the
floor was dry and thickly covered with powdered saltpetre that had
crystallised on the roof above, and fallen flake by flake. In the
centre rose a great pile of rock which the waves had once
tumbled together. Signs of hurried excavation in the sand at one
side of the vault showed that the tradition of the treasure had
gained one believer at least. On examining the hole I was
surprised to find portions of human bones rapidly crumbling to
dust. This reminded Juan that many years before, some men
had come in search of the buried wealth, but they had only
unearthed a few old skeletons and a little golden ornament in the
shape of a fish. Perhaps the bones had frightened the diggers
away. The cavern must have been an ancient burial place ; the
twilight and the silence and the far off murmur of the sea were a
fitting atmosphere for a tomb.

Then the Goya remembered that all along the foot of the cliffs
in the valley of her old home, many graves of the antiguos had
been found filled with strangely formed pieces of pottery called
huacos. To these places the natives were accustomed to repair on
Good Friday to dig. From the way she spoke it was evident
that these huacoings or grave opening parties were a popular form
of amusement on the holiday in question.

"But why do they dig only on Good Friday, Goya?" I asked her.

"Señor, do you not know that the pottery is enchanted ?
During all the rest of the year it sinks deep down into the ground,
and it is impossible to find it, but on Good Friday it comes near
to the surface again. Besides the pottery, there are sometimes
little things of gold and silver, and sometimes coral beads. A man
once gave my sister a necklace of these which she wears as a
charm against chill."

This

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 133

This account of the old graves excited my curiosity, and rather
than wait a year till the lucky day comes again, I have resolved to
risk the spells and do some unorthodox excavating. Often in
riding to Amotape I have noticed along the road on the desert a
long double row of mounds covered with white shells, and
regularly placed as if to line a royal avenue. This avenue which
has an artificial appearance is wide and straight for several miles,
and may have formed a portion of the lost Inca highway along
the coast. About Amotape also, the Goya says, there are many
adobe ruins of aboriginal temples or forts. At the first opportunity
I have, I shall visit these places, and unless the enchantments
prevail against me I may soon be able to tell you of something
more novel than love making.

We were all so absorbed in our antiquarian discussions that we
would have forgotten the present entirely had not Juan brought
us back to realities by telling us that the tide was rising fast, and
we would not have time to pass the rocks of one of the cliffs
unless we set off at once. As their road lay inland while ours
was along the beach, we hurriedly bade our little friends good-bye,
and so the holiday ended.

May.

The Goya has suddenly conceived a great fondness for all her
relatives, in the hacienda and beyond it, and she is constantly
begging to be allowed to make them brief visits under the guar-
dianship of her old Dueña. I very much fear, however, that her
vanity is deeper than her affection in most cases, for she dearly
loves the wonder and envy that her little fineries evoke. Dressed
in the riding habit she has so quickly learned to wear, she is
becoming a very superior young person with her guide and her
attendant. Her joy is complete whenever I find time to ride out
to accompany her home.

These

134 La Goya

These relationships of hers extend far beyond the common
confines of blood. She has sisters and cousins and aunts in
abundance, but in addition to these, almost every tenant on the
estate is in some way or other related to her spiritually. This is
the result of the ceremonies with which her religion has sur-
rounded her life. She has of course a godfather and a god-
mother. On two occasions she herself has stood sponsor and
thereby gained a pair of comadres and compadres with whom she is
spiritually co-parent of the children. Among the Indians this
relationship is in many cases accounted superior to the ties of
kindred ; moreover there are her compañeros, the men who were
godfathers when she was godmother, and so on through infinite
shadings. Occasionally my journeys in search of her ladyship
bring me into strange adventures. The dark lonely night rides !
What glories are in the depths of that star-sown sky, what sounds
rush on the breeze ! What heart-spurring shadows lurk among
the sand heaps as I gallop along the treacherous line of the
trail. Even I whose brain has little room for spectral fears can
recognise the fatherland of ghosts and goblins. Darkness,
solitude, and silence, the playground of fancies ; it was amid such
scenes that man first learned to shudder. Even in the moonlight
when drowsiness comes on, a weirdness fills the world. I've sat
up in the saddle with a start to see a herd of cattle rushing before
me as noiselessly as shadows—only some desert shrubs. Then a
great fantastic mottled monster has writhed across the path in
desperate fashion—a patch of sand tufted with waving grass.
The night birds sing a fiendish song that rattles down the wind
like spirit laughter. Often and often I've put my hand on my
revolver to find that I had jumped at a thorn bush.

Not long since, the Goya's whims took her to a remote part of
the estate. I had promised to bring her back. As I had never

been

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 135

been to the place where she was visiting I asked old Juan to go
with me. Poor fellow, he isn't much of a guide on unfamiliar
roads at night as his eyesight is failing. In the quebrada where
the trail we should have taken separates from the main road, we
missed the way and were obliged to ride up the ravine to the
house of a tenant in search of a guide. While the man was
getting ready I chatted with his wife.

"Where are you going?" she asked me. In this country no
honest traveller should resent such a question. I felt in a
mood for romancing.

"We are going to a witch's dance at the salt marshes."

"What!" she exclaimed.

"Yes. One night Juan and I were returning from Amotape ;
suddenly near the marshes we heard strange music ; in the distance
were fantastic lights ; on reaching the place what did we find ? a
fandango of the Brujas."

"Ave Maria !" I could almost see the woman's flesh creep.

"Yes, the Brujas. We joined them. They gave us strange
liquors. At dawn they all vanished, but before they left they
told us that on every dark Saturday night they held a rout. So
now we are going again. The women were very beautiful."

Luckily the guide appeared at this moment, or the poor woman
would have fainted. She must have said many a prayer that night
to save her husband from the witches' spell. I suppose the joke
was heartless, but then most jokes are.

Rocky stretches and sandy hollows, gallop, gallop, gallop. We
arrived about ten o'clock.

There was a long building with a great veranda that opened
upon a corral. The veranda was lighted up, and as we approached
I heard those sounds of revelry by night that betoken a fandango.
A large crowd filled the benches and listened to a wheezy strident

concertina.

136 La Goya

concertina. The Goya ran out to meet us, as I got off my horse
and looked about. Something unusual was going on certainly.
Upon a table draped with cloth at the far end of the veranda, a
small open coffin with the body of a baby stood set on end,
against a background of flaring red and white calico ; the lid
painted black with a double white cross rested at one side. In
front flickered two candles stuck in old beer bottles. The Goya
told me that I was at the funeral of her hostess's child. As we
entered, the bereaved mother came forward and greeted me with
a smile. She received my expressions of sympathy as if they were
something foreign to the occasion. Some of the women, led by
the Dueña, gathered round the Goya and whispered to her, gig-
gling ; but they hastened away as soon as the music called for a
dance. I sat apart with the Goya to watch.

And what a scene ! There amid its gaudy trappings, glancing
back the flame of the sputtering candles, stood an enshrouded
mystery. In a little box of blackened wood was all life knows of
life ; a ghastly nothingness ; a thing of terror yet of fascination, a
question and an answer both in one ! And around it, shouting in
a drunken dance, with laughter and ribald song, moved creatures
whom it was almost flattery to call savages. The living seemed
to be carousing over the dead like cannibals about a boiling
cauldron. The Goya's chatter was unheeded as I sat there
looking on, indifferent. Did not disgust sicken me, horror choke
me, loathing overpower me ? No ; just one feeling stirred me,
the feeblest our soul can know, the indolent supercilious curiosity
of a woman's uplifted lorgnettes. I seemed dead to every civilised
prejudice I had ever possessed.

But when the dance ended a vague sense of annoyance took
possession of me. Hurriedly telling the Goya to prepare at once
for her return, I ordered Juan to get the animals ready. While I

waited

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 137

waited by the gate on horseback some women and men passed in.
Suddenly the music grew weird and mournful. I heard the sound
of lamentation, and looked toward the veranda. In front of the
little coffin were collected all the women who had just arrived,
and all those who had been present before. They were rocking
their bodies to and fro, and wailing and mourning, while the men
sat calmly talking and drinking on the benches.

"What are they doing, Juan ?" I asked.

"Weeping for the dead, Señor."

"Is it the custom of your people ?"

The old man seemed to feel, from something in my manner,
that I was not entirely in sympathy with the scene.

"Only among the people of the Campo, patron, when their
children die," he answered.

"And the dancing and the drinking ? "

"Yes, that too ; they weep a while, then dance and drink
again."

All night ?"

"Oh, yes ; sometimes for two or three days."

I laughed. The girl returned. What was this thing called
death ? Bah ! Who cared ? And under its very eyes I carried
her away. It was life that I had come for.

Without a word we hurried through the night.


June.

I have been riding all the afternoon along the edge of the
Tablaza, where a maze of fantastic quebradas runs riot to the
shore. A desert of greys and browns and dying greens below, a
silvery film over a golden bowl above. Sometimes, on crossing a
ridge, we caught sight of the busy sea, where the waves rushed
along like a hunting pack ; on its far horizon low clouds lay in

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. I

shadowless

138 La Goya

shadowless mountain—ranges the unreachable land of our dreams,
the dwelling-place of happiness, the vague valleys where grows
that sweetest of flowers, content. A typical Peruvian day framed
in a sky of golden blue, whose threads of cloud are like the wires
in a cloisonné vase.

But in Peru we never think of talking about the weather, for
it is always the same.

You may remember that, during our Easter picnic to the caves,
the Goya's story of the ancient graves near her old home made
me anxious to explore in that neighbourhood. Recently I made
a little expedition which yielded me rare booty.

There are vast aboriginal burial grounds all along the coast, but
of course I can speak only of the small tract on the north bank of
the Chira River, between Amotape and the sea. Here great walls
of cliff, wrinkled deep by centuries of rain, ward off the desert
from the valley's fertility. Every slope along the base of these
cliffs is the grave of thousands, perhaps millions, of a race whose
very name is forgotten. I say of a race, but there are many indica-
tions that not one, but many races are buried there. Almost all
these slopes are artificially sprinkled with small white shells ;
shreds of pottery litter the ground, ruins of old adobe temples and
pyramids rise from the plain ; remains of ancient walls and build-
ings crown every elevation. Was ever the home of the dead more
fitly placed ? In front, the rich rank greens of the river, like the
teeming years of life ; behind, the trackless waste like the mean-
ingless stretch of eternity. They rest where they fell, those
nameless dead, on the dividing line of that grim antithesis. Or,
in a simpler human sense, what pathos there is in the solicitude
that laid them, composed for their long sleep, in those little silent
valleys, which the bend of a quebrada has encircled with guardian
hills, and where loneliness and desolation and immutability warn

off

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 139

off the noisy restless world. There is a tragedy in a faith like
theirs that checks a cynic's sneers. But our love of novelty, our
cruel curiosity, knows no reverence. Let's go a-huacoing.

Though all the slopes undoubtedly contain graves, all are not
equally rich. In many places the rains have soaked the soil, con-
sumed the bones, and packed the earth until it has crushed and
broken the pottery. But suppose we have lighted upon a favour-
able site. On top, the sand is mingled with little white shells.
About two feet from the surface we are sure to come upon a
child's grave. If the drainage of the slope kept out the water, we
will find the little skeleton complete, wrapped in clothes as good
as if they had been made yesterday. Seemingly the children
counted for little in that old time : a sleeveless shirt, a string of
coral beads, and a coarse shroud, were enough to fit the poor wee
body for its cradle in the sands. It needed no pottery, but some-
times a small stick was placed beside it, perhaps as a charm,
perhaps as a plaything. So unimportant was its burial, that its
grave was always made in some part of the field already used for
its elders ; for if we dig several feet below these small bundles of
bones—we meet with the carefully built tombs of adults. These
are cavities hollowed in the tough sand or clay, and topped with
great flat stones and adobes to support the earth above. Within
these holes the body, swathed in many shrouds, was placed upon
its back, instead of being trussed up in sitting posture, as is usual
in other parts of Peru. Arranged about the feet of the mummy
are several coarse cooking pots, still full of the provisions of corn
and beans and meat that were to nourish the departed on his long,
mysterious journey. Near the hands, in the case of men, lie
bundles of copper and stone tools, wooden weapons, shovels and
walking staves—with handles skilfully carved into human or
animal shapes. Beside the women, are all their weaving and

spinning

140 La Goya

spinning utensils and gourd work-boxes filled with shuttles,
spindles, and balls of thread. Sometimes there are also water-
bottles, with graceful curves, and netted travelling bags con-
taining extra clothing. It is always at the head of the body that
we find the fanciful pieces of pottery known as huacos. They are
of infinite variety : I have never seen two exactly alike. Some
are round, long-necked vases, surmounted by very natural figures
of birds and animals. Every vegetable is imitated ; there are
gourds, melons, bananas, and other fruits ; there are clusters of
eggs ; there are jars shaped like fish and alligators, and there are
conventional forms, with double handles and double spouts, all of
the finest burnt clay, some black, some red. The old potters
evidently believed that shrill noises were efficacious in warning off
evil spirits, for they often made these huacos with two bodies
connected by a tube ; one body held the spout while an opening
in the other, concealed by a grotesque monkey or bird, was so
contrived as to emit a sharp whistle when the jar was being
filled.

As the mummy within the shroud is usually well preserved,
except that the eyes and nose are sunken, it is clear that some
process of embalming was employed. Unfortunately the prepara-
tions used for this purpose have destroyed the fabrics that came in
contact with them ; still enough of the inner wrappings and of the
clothing remains to enable us to form some idea of the general
attire. Evidently great pains were taken in arraying the dead
one in the richest garments possible. A turban of finely-woven
cotton or gaily-coloured tapestry was wound around the head.
The men wore white tunics embroidered with flowers and figures ;
the women had a more ample flowing dress of brown or blue or
white, usually without ornamentation of needle work, and bound
at the waist with a long fine scarf or sash. The quality of the

garments

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 141

garments varies greatly, probably with the wealth and station of
the deceased. Men and women alike were adorned with neck-
laces and bracelets of coral beads and rings of gold—sometimes
the women have wooden earrings inlaid with coral and mother-of-
pearl ; often the arms have traces of tattooing.

I can't tell you how many of these graves I opened ; we dug
for several days from the first light until sunset. It was hard
work for the men in the hot, dusty sand under the fierce sun.

The Goya had begged hard to be allowed to join the expedi-
tion and, as she had relatives in the village where I made my
headquarters, I had taken her with me. Every day about noon
she and some of the women came to seek us with alforjas full of
provisions for our lunch. They took a great interest in the
antique wonders I was unearthing.

Most of the women know how to weave and spin, but their
skill is inferior to that of the ancients ; for to-day they cannot
produce anything equal in fineness and beauty to the fabrics and
tapestries I found in the graves. The bundles of weaving tools,
therefore, which are identical in form with those used to-day, though
far superior in finish, aroused their envy, and I had to resist many
a prayer for presents. They clamoured especially for the orquetas,
used to hold the "copo," or roll of carded cotton, while spinning.
The orqueta is a long crotched stick, sharpened at one end that
it may be stuck into the ground. To-day a natural fork is
taken from a tree for this purpose, but the orquetas of the
graves were cut out of solid wood, and beautifully carved and
polished.

All the Indian women are in the habit of plaiting thick skeins
of brown spun cotton into the braids of their hair to prevent the
ends from splitting, and it astonished the Goya and her friends
greatly to learn from the skeins we found packed in little gourd

toilet

142 La Goya

toilet boxes, that the custom had come down to them from so
remote a time.

There is a certain vein of sentiment in these women that is
entirely human, and once they burst into a chorus of sympathetic
ejaculations, when, on opening a mummy, I picked from among
the wrappings a tress of hair carefully tied with a coloured string.
Some lover, they were sure, had placed it there as a pledge of un-
dying remembrance. For half an hour they discussed the incident
pityingly, and during the whole evening I heard them relate it to
each acquaintance who came. Trifles make up their lives.

One custom which the graves revealed, however, puzzled them
as much as it did me. Protruding through the lower lip of almost
every one of the female mummies we discovered a conical cylinder
of silver about an inch long. As a rule, these were badly corroded,
but by good fortune we found a perfect one stowed away in one
of the little boxes with the skeins of cotton. It is in the shape of
a thimble, though slightly larger in size, and closed at both ends.
In the crown is set a blood-stone, surrounded by small balls of
red coral. It is an excellent piece of work, and would do credit
to a modern jeweller. It may be that these ornaments were used
as a badge of marriage.

I had naturally supposed that there was but one series of graves ;
one day, however, one of my men noticed that the soil that formed
the floor of a tomb we had just opened was softer than usual ; so
he continued to dig, and a few feet below his shovel struck the
stone capping of another sepulchre. This led us to continue
work in some of the holes we had abandoned, and we soon dis-
covered that there were in some instances three or four layers of
graves. While the arrangement of these graves is similar to that
of the upper ones, the pottery is of inferior artistic quality and
appears to be of much greater antiquity. It may even be that of

a different

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 143

a different race ; for ages may have elapsed before the sands could
cover the graves so deeply that they were forgotten and new ones
made above them.

You can have no idea how absorbedly interested I became in
my excavations among these poor old bones ; only it saddened me
to find in their trinket-filled graves another confirmation of that
awful truth—futility ! If their cast into the darkness flew so wide
the mark, what hope have we ? Their faith was as strong as ours.
Was its betrayal any greater than ours will be ? And even to a
sceptic there is something crushing in being brought face to face
with the ghastly inevitability of the future. No matter how
hateful life may be, it is beautiful compared with the crumbling
darkness of that chill, lonely cell, where even the sunlight is dead.
The thought came to me like an agony once, as I rested on a
mound, watching my men dig : "Some day I must lie thus for
ever. No more of love and life and longing ! Only that ! " and
I kicked aside a skull and nearly drained my whisky-flask. But
in that moment I almost felt the worms crawl through my brain !
And the sunlight—how I loved it ! If we could ever for a second
realise the truth, we would never know another hour of sanity.


July.

Not long ago, I passed through a terrible illness, which, but for
the luck that has always smiled from my natal star, might easily
have ended fatally. Fortunately, I was not informed of the deadly
nature of the attack until the danger was over, or I might pardon-
ably have died of fright.

I had been riding all day in the hot sun, and was both heated
and tired when I reached the Goya. I found her as usual playing
with the little blackbird, which has been her dearest friend ever
since the day she came to her new home. I carelessly threw off

my

144 La Goya

my coat, and must have put myself in a draught, for I was suddenly
seized with a violent cramp—the common result of a chill under
such circumstances. I took a few drops of chlorodyne, and lay
down on the bed until relief should come.

The matter seemed simple enough to me, but the Goya was
panic-stricken. She clasped her hands together and looked at me
in an agony of fear.

"Oh, Señor, Señor, it may be chucaque it may be chucaque.
What shall I do ? What shall I do ? Where can I find a curadora ?
Oh you will die ; you will die ! What shall I do ; what shall
I do ?"

She was nearly hysterical ; then an idea came to her.

"Perhaps the peddlers will know," she cried, and she flew out
of the house.

Soon she returned with a wizened old woman who carried
several small gourds in her arms. The Goya ran to a cupboard
and brought out a large cloth and a bowl, which she filled with
water. In spite of the pain, I was curious to see what would
happen. The old woman hurriedly threw into the bowl a portion
of the contents of each of the gourds. Among these I
recognised powdered mustard and tobacco flakes. When the
mixture was ready, she spread it upon the cloth ; and uncere-
moniously tearing open my clothing she placed the plaster across
my stomach. Upon this, starting from the centre she began to
inscribe a widening spiral with her forefinger ; all the while
muttering a sort of incantation of which I could distinguish only
the words "Ave Maria" reiterated from time to time. The
Goya stood anxiously near me with her hands raised as if in
prayer. After making the sign of the cross over my body, the
woman again traced the spiral and repeated the mystic formula.
Gradually the pain subsided and before long I was able to say

truthfully

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 145

truthfully that I was better ; after a final sign of the cross, the
plaster was removed and I was allowed to stand up.

Naturally I was eager to know what had happened to me.
Then I learned of a disease that would sadly puzzle a Jenner. If
any one, even in jest, causes you to feel shame or humiliation or
as we would say "to feel cheap," you are at once exposed to the
most insidious of maladies—chucaque ; you will be seized with a
severe internal cramp, and unless you take the proper precautions
you will forthwith die. And these precautions, what are they ?
You must find a curadora, an old woman who understands the
secret of the cure, and she must treat you at once just as I had
been treated. The worst of it is, you need not be present while
your neighbour is holding you up to ridicule in order to
experience this dire complaint. It will attack you unawares if
some ungentlemanly friend is taking advantage of your absence.
Think of the awful suspicions a plain old touch of colic may
arouse in the Indian mind. Of course, in my case, the chlorodyne
was science thrown away.

I offered the woman some money for her professional services,
but she seemed hurt to think that I suspected her of mercenary
motives, and she declined to accept it. I learned that she was
one of a party of peddlers who had arrived at Juan's house most
opportunely that very afternoon. As I saw a means of rewarding
the old woman's kindness without offence I took the Goya over
to inspect her wares. These peddlers are an interesting feature of
the native life. In companies of twos and threes and fours, with
donkeys laden with stores, they penetrate to all parts of the
wilderness in search of trade. They have a marvellous assortment
of things for sale from pins and needles and cheap jewellery to
the finest cashmere mantas and the richest Guadalupe scarfs—
which are often very costly. Their patience is inexhaustible.

They

146 La Goya

They will sit down in the most unpromising abode and unpack
every bag and basket in their equipment, display to the longing
eyes of the women the ribbons and laces and stuffs and fineries
one after another, and be content if they succeed in selling
even ten centavos' worth. If money is lacking they resort to
barter and wheedle away goat skins and other products in
exchange for the much coveted finery. Time has no place in
their calculations. They will sit all day chatting if they think
there is a chance of a bargain in the end. They are learned in
all the gossip of the region and their advent is a delight to the
lonely country people. They might be called the newspapers of
the desert, for it is through them that the dwellers in the waste
keep in touch with the outside world.

While the Goya tossed and tumbled everything about, sneering
at this necessity, going into raptures over that luxury, and
threatening me with financial ruin, I engaged my preserver in
conversation. Her mother and her grandmother had been
curadoras before her. Where they had learned the art she could
not say. Did she know any other cures, I asked.

"O yes, Señor, I can cure ojo."

"And what is ojo, Señora ? " I inquired ; my ignorance would
not have surprised her more, had I asked her what the sun
was.

" Ojo " means the " eye " and from the rambling account she
gave me, I gathered that the superstition is analogous to the evil
eye of southern Europe. You are the happy father of a new born
heir or the equally elated owner of a superior horse. A friend
comes along and begins to praise either one or other of your
valued possessions, your treasure is at once " ojeado " and unless
you seek a curadora skilled in the lore of crosses and Ave Marias
to avert the spell, your child, or horse, or whatever it may be,

must

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 147

must die. What was the formula before they ever heard of Mary
and the cross, I wonder ?

On the day following a fandango, when the fumes of the
anizado are filling their brains with torments, it is common to see
half the village wandering dully about, with a circular disc or
paper stuck on each temple. This they regard as a sure remedy
or cure for headache, but why it should be so nobody can tell.

A lingering belief in witchcraft still flavours many of their ideas.
One day a woman amazed me by asking for one of my mummy
skulls. As the people usually look upon these ghastly tokens with
awe, I was curious to know why she wanted it.

"I want to put it in my clothes-box, Señor," she said.

"In your clothes-box ? What good will it do there ?" I asked
her.

"Señor, I will place it on the top of my clothes, and if thieves
break open the box, the sight of the skull will enchant them,
and they will not be able to move until I come and catch
them."

Such superstition is part of the people's life and blood, and must
have existed since the race began.

Why, just this evening I was reading Garselasso de la Vega. I
know he is rather sneered at as an authority, but I can say with
confidence that, so far as my observation goes, his accounts of the
manners and customs of the Indians are singularly appreciative and
unexaggerated. I myself have seen not only one but many of the
ceremonies and observances he describes. In the chapter I was
reading he was speaking of the balsas, or great sea-going sailing
rafts of the old Peruvians, which you must have seen mentioned in
Prescott. I suppose it must have occurred to de la Vega that
his European readers would be apt to conclude that the Conquest
had wrought great changes in these nautical contrivances and that

there

148 La Goya

there was therefore an element of ancient history in his narrative,
for at the end of the chapter he adds :

"These things were in use when I left, and are no doubt in
use to-day ; for the common people, as they are a poor, miserable
lot, do not aspire to things higher than those to which they have
been accustomed."

He wrote about fifty years after the Spanish occupation. To-
day three centuries have elapsed, and although the world has
grown to battle-ships, the Cholo is still content with his balsa.

In de la Vega I have also found the explanation of an extra-
ordinary custom which the people observe. When a child is
about two years of age its hair is cut for the first time. A fandango
is held at the house of the parents, and during the dancing the
child is passed about among the guests, each one of whom pays ten or
twenty centavos, according to his means, for the privilege of nip-
ping off a small lock of the hair, which is preserved for luck. This
ceremony has come to the modern Indians directly from the Incas.
According to the account in de la Vega, the Inca children were
not weaned until they had attained the age of two years ; then,
with feasting and rejoicing, the hair was cut for the first time.
He gives no reason for the custom, and to-day it seems to be
followed without reference to the time of weaning. So you see
these people are essentially the same as when the Spaniards found
them. Under the gloss of Christianity and Manchester prints
they are as barbaric as the oldest of my mummies.


August.

Not long ago I witnessed a ceremony in the little village of
Vichayal which proved that among these Indians the outward
form long survives the inward spirit. Ever since I undertook my
excavations, which were carried on near this spot, the people have

sent

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 149

sent me notice of all their fiestas. The place is a scattering of
cane huts, on the edge of an algarroba wood ; the most beautiful
scene the moonlight ever shone upon. A tangle of feathered
leaves overhead make lace-like shadows on a silver floor of sand ;
while the night birds fill the air with a cry that is like the wail
of one who seeks eternally and vainly. It is a virgin picture no
pencil has ever violated. Those piles of darkness are the desert
cliffs ; those firefly flashes are the lights of homes. There is no
order of streets and squares ; a clearing serves for a plaza. That
break among the trees is avenue enough for a simple world like
this. The tinkling notes of a guitar mean human happiness,
content with what the moment brings. I have delved in the
philosophies of three thousand years of thought, and they have
brought me no deeper wisdom.

There cannot be more than fifty huts in the village. As the
people are too poor to maintain a chapel, they decided to erect a
great cross in the centre of an open space, magnificently de-
nominated the plaza. It was to the consecration, which gave
these poor creatures an excuse for a two days' fiesta, that the
Goya and I had been invited. I sent her on ahead one afternoon
with Juan, the Dueña, and the blackbird. I followed early the
next morning.

A heavy, thatched roof and three sides of a square of cane had
been built like a niche about the cross, which was made of
plastered adobes. At one end of the plaza stood a triumphal arch,
constructed of three poles, covered and tricked out with puffed
white paper and flowers. A grand avenue of approach, improvised
of tree branches set in the ground, reached from the arch to the
cross ; while several temporary booths, called altars, lent their
colours to adorn the sides and corners of the square.

On Saturday night the plaza was a veritable blaze of glory. All

the

150 La Goya

the ingenuity of the people had been expended in decorating the
tabernacle ; bed-quilts of gaudy hues formed tapestries for the
interior ; from the cross itself depended hundreds of coloured
pictures of the most heterogeneous subjects, tiny mirrors, toys,
dolls, and flowers. Above the open side or entrance of the
shelter hung festoons of fruit and branches, pictures, mirrors, dolls,
and lanterns, and most marvellous of all, a series of ginger-bread
men, an offering from the children to the village schoolmaster.
Everywhere candles fluttered in bright profusion, while the scented
clouds of incense blended the whole picture into a unity. At each
of the little altars, as if they formed a necklace for the glorious
jewel in the centre—in truth, they were only drinking-stalls in
disguise—the image of some saint was illuminated with equal
splendour. A perpetual fusilade of squibs gave an accent to the
pious and pervading joy.

Amid all this spiritual enthusiasm, however, the fleshly man
was not forgotten. Summoned by an impatient bell, excited
groups were clustered about a gambling game, in which miniature
horses, set in motion by a spring, ran races around a circular
board. Just behind the shrine of the cross, an enterprising catch-
penny had spread his wares, and was driving a great trade in little
nothings. Small peddlers, and coffee and cake vendors, strove
emulously, but with the best good humour, for what spoil there
was to gain. In half-a-dozen houses there were dances, picantes
and chicharias—the shops for the native beer.

The moon was full and glaringly, electrically bright. It
tempted one into the mood of the hour. With the Goya and a
troop of her little, laughing friends, I visited all the sights, and
stood treats to everything. My luck at a wheel of fortune filled
their pockets with ribbons and necklaces, earrings and bottles of
scent. We really enjoyed ourselves, although they did seem to

feel

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 151

feel uneasy now and then, when I passed the cross and neglected
to bow.

These wheels of fortune are their delight. A peseta a chance,
and an arrow is spun upon a numbered dial. There are about a
hundred numbers, each one of which, according as the arrow
stops, calls for some article, usually a worthless trifle. Four or
five of the numbers, however, had prizes that seemed most valu-
able in the girls' eyes ; and it was most of these I succeeded in
winning after a breath-taking outlay. Whether this excitement
wore me out, or I wore out the excitement, I cannot say ; per-
haps the fifty-mile ride and the two hours' sleep of the night
before, had something to do with it ; at any rate, by ten o'clock
I was longing for bed. Juan had considerately borrowed a house,
and prepared me a couch as remote as possible from the noise ;
and I withdrew ; but don't for a moment fancy that any of my
neighbours followed my example. Whenever I woke during the
night, the harp, and the song, and the hand-clapping were as
blithe and vigorous as ever, and when I jumped up at the first
peep of the sun, there they were at it still, though certain pros-
trate forms under the trees showed that the pace was beginning
to tell.

There had been a hope that the cura of the next town would
come on Sunday morning to bless the cross. Word arrived early,
however, that he could not make the journey. This chance had
been foreseen, and a small cross arranged on a stand, in such a
way that it could be carried with poles, had been provided to act
as proxy for the permanent structure. Under the hottest of
noons, about a dozen men mounted this emblem upon their
shoulders and cheerfully started on their six miles walk through
the scorching sand to receive the benediction.

During the morning the anditas began to circulate. In English

they

152 La Goya

they might be called reliquaries. They are boxes, or cases of
wood, about twenty inches long, a little less in width, and a few
inches deep, with a glass front. They are variously ornamented,
often with incrustations of heavy, but crude, silver work. Under
the glass is the picture or image of a saint, belaced and bespangled ;
below the image is a small drawer. These anditas are received
from the churches (in reality they are probably hired as a specu-
lation), and carried all over the country in pursuit of alms. On this
occasion they served also as images for the altars in the square.
Of course they have been duly blessed and endowed with powers
of absolution and indulgence. Wherever one of them goes it is
received with great perfunctory veneration. Everybody bends
the knee, with head uncovered, and kisses a spot on the glass.
To gain the full benefit, however, it is necessary to give largess
to the person who carries it. These offerings are not fixed in
amount, but vary, I presume, with the eagerness of the giver to
secure a favourable answer to his prayer. Still, as a tangible
return for his charity, he receives from the little drawer a scapu-
lary—a tiny ball of raw cotton on a bit of coloured string. All
Cholodom wears one of these charms about its neck. This itine-
rant box of benisons takes one back to some of the scenes old
Chaucer laughed at, doesn't it ?

I began to find the day a little hard to kill. A languor seemed
to have fallen over the place, as if the gaieties of the night before
had left a headache or two behind. I sought a quiet shady corner,
and stretched myself to read. The afternoon was very warm and
the world was very still. I fear I fell a-nodding.

The sun was not far from the tree tops when a great commo-
tion roused me. All the village was hastening toward the plaza,
whence the sound of a drum and fife told that the cross-bearers
were returning. They were just nearing the arch when I arrived.

A concourse

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 153

A concourse of women lined the avenue of boughs ; behind the
bearers came a crowd of cheering, chattering men ; leading the
procession was the most fantastic group I ever beheld. Five men,
dressed in tight-fitting clothes of flaming red, with little aprons
hanging in front, and wearing grotesque masks that entirely
covered their heads, were dancing madly before the advancing
symbol of their faith, to the barbaric and tuneless music of a small
drum and pipe, both played by one man, who walked beside the
cross. Round and round they whirled and leaped and pranced ;
the dance evidently had a meaning. The mask of one of the
men was in the shape of a bull's head. He was the principal
person in the figure ; the rest jumped about and teased him by
waving little flags in his face, or by trying to lasso him with a
small rope. From time to time he lowered his head and rushed
at them wildly, while they scattered or fell down before him in
sembled fright ; but through it all they never ceased to move to
the cadence of the music. Of course it is easy to see that in its
present form the dance aims at representing a bull fight ; it is even
called el toro, or the bull, but I am convinced that it had a very
different purpose in the forgotten period from which it is un-
questionably derived.

The now sanctified cross was safely deposited in the tabernacle
beside the one for which it had laboured thus vicariously ; so, after
a few hurried adorations, the crowds scurried off to the ring that
had been erected for the cock-fighting. With patron and peon
alike this is the favourite sport of Peru. Here pandemonium
reigned until dusk, while the publicans (and presumably sinners)
reaped a harvest. The mains over, all turned homeward.

An hour or so later, with the Goya, I was sitting smoking in
the corner of a picante watching the hubbub around us, and
struggling in vain to throw off the after-dinner laziness that pre-

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. K

vented

154 La Goya

vented me from calling for my horse to take me over the miles
that lay between me and my morning duties, when I again heard
the summons of the drum and beheld a general exodus for the
plaza.

"What on earth is up now, Goya ?" I enquired.

"The procession, Señor, the procession."

The excitement was catching, and we followed the throng.

The moon was just clearing the desert hills ; not a breath
stirred. In two long lines, on either side of the avenue of branches,
stood the bare-headed villagers, each carrying a lighted candle.
Borne on men's shoulders, as before, in a blazing haze of incense,
the cross was very slowly passing between these lines, while near
the tabernacle heavy rocket bombs were exploding, and squibs
snapped everywhere. Away in advance walked the major-domos,
or marshals of the procession, with bags full of candles, which
they distributed to all comers. Immediately in front, with their
faces to the cross, two of the men in red now unmasked, danced
reverentially to and fro. The musician with his drum and pipe,
puffing and pounding, strode patiently beside them. Lines and
all moved forward at a snail's pace. At the arch the lines bent
toward one of the altars. This reached, a halt was made, and the
cross set down. Many, undoubtedly, feeling that they had ful-
filled their devotional obligations, returned their candles to the
major-domos and sought refreshment at the booth. Still the lines
were well maintained, for others came to join them. When the
march was resumed, a dozen or more women and girls, dressed in
white and decked with flowers, took the places of the men as
carriers. The two tireless dancers continued their solemn antics :
they were like the women of Israel dancing before the ark. At
the next altar the two lines knelt down in silence for a long time ;
the drum and fife, and the squibs and bombs, never ceased.

When

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 155

When I left about eleven, after consigning the Goya to old Juan,
they had not made half the circuit of the square. Heaven knows
how it ended.

This is certain, eliminating the element of the cross from these
scenes, I was, during those two days, looking on at customs and
ceremonies as truly relics of the Prehistoric Peruvians as the
pottery I dig out of their graves. If I could only fathom the
meaning it all had for them ! It is useless to seek explanations
from the living ; they do not understand half of it themselves.
They can only shrug their shoulders, and assure you, "It is the
custom, Señor." Yes, but how much is custom and how much is
modern interpolation ?

I rode home in six hours that night ; not bad time when you
remember the sand. I was up again before eight. One thing
you will be able to appreciate, whatever injury my life in Peru
may have done me, it has not been in the direction of my con-
stitution.


October.

I hardly know how to tell you what must be told ; it sounds so
sudden, so coarse, so abrupt, but life from beginning to end is
brutality. The Goya is dead. It seems a confirmation of our
sneers to say so. Why should we worry through the years ; why
should we dally with love or struggle with ambition—when the
end of all is a hideous silence ? Beauty and youth with their
irresponsibility—fortune and fame with their envied power, have
but one conclusion. Is it fear that makes us continue the
folly ?

After the fiesta of the cross, she and I were very happy—she
had forgotten her old restlessness, even her old vanity. She
wanted to be with me always. We lived an ideal month. With

her

156 La Goya

her I had always to be the lover ; she never allowed life to become
a reality. Yet it was instinct not calculation that guided her ;
she was one of those women who appeal to our strength ; who
must always be protected and caressed ; whom we love for their
weakness and their womanhood. One day she told me she would
like to go home for a few days, she had not been feeling well, and
I concluded that the request came from nervousness ; still as
months had passed since she had seen her parents I had to yield.
She set out in the old way, with her guide and her Dueña. I
remember how I lifted her into the saddle and how she leaned
down to kiss me before they started off in the cool soft air of the
morning.

I missed her greatly during the week that followed. With old
Juan I rode away to see her. She met me with a loving gentle-
ness, that now in the after-light, must have been significant.
She begged me to let her remain at home a week or two more.
How could I refuse ?

Then a messenger came to tell me she was very ill. I laughed
at the serious note, it could only be a woman's whim ; still, as I
was busy, I sent old Juan to her with orders to engage all the
doctors he could secure if he considered the case urgent. One
morning he came back and told me she was dead. Somehow I
didn't care. I felt annoyance, not sorrow. Yes, she was very
ill when he arrived, but the curadoras were treating her and he
had had no fear. I upbraided him as I might have done had he
neglected to do a piece of work I had set for him among the
cotton fields. He understood me better than I understood myself
and was silent. All I could learn was that she had been very
weak, when a hæmorrhage of some sort seized her. They had
given her the usual remedios without result ; she never recovered.

I knew she must be buried, but I could not face the duty. I

hate

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 157

hate death almost as much as I hate life. What a ghastly thing
is that final resolution into our natal clay. I could not see them
put her into the merciless grave. The thought of my mummies
came to me ; would it ever happen that she would make a vandal's
holiday ? After the long years would someone touch her hair in
idle curiosity ? I could not endure the suggestion. It was
better to remember her as a dream that had vanished with the
dawn. I sent old Juan to do what I should have done myself
perhaps.

They buried her in the village pantheon on the hill that over-
looks the valley. I ordered them to set a cross to mark the spot,
a cross that was inscribed with her name and nothing more.
What did the years matter ? She had lived and she had died as
the world had done and must do for ever. The episode had ended
for her and for me.

Some days later her father and her little sister came to see me.
They brought me a huaco tied with a blue ribbon, and in a gourd
cage the little blackbird which, they said, she asked them, just
before she died, to take to me. In the doleful tones of ostentatious
grief, the old man told me of her illness. After several days of
great weakness a hæmorrhage came—it was from the throat or
lungs, he did not know exactly which. It is this feature of her
illness that puzzles me. I know she was more delicately fashioned
than these women usually are, still she seemed quite as robust and
as full of health. I remember now that there was a little cough
occasionally, but who could have dreamed that it was serious.

Then he spoke about the funeral, of the crowds, and of the
Mass. He thanked me effusively for my generosity in the matter
of the candles. The people had been greatly impressed ; I had
the sympathy of all who had attended. He dwelt especially upon
the magnificence of the coffin ; nothing so fine had ever been

seen

158 La Goya

seen in the village before. It was a great pity that I myself had
not been able to go.

I tried to be patient, but his voice irritated me. One grows so
tired of seeing these people fingering their hats and patroning and
señoring every three words. As kindly, but as hurriedly, as I
could I sent them away.

And now the huaco, with its incongruous blue ribbon, adorns
my desk, while outside in its cage the blackbird is singing the
folly of regret.


December.

More than a year has passed since she died. Sometimes I have
to cross the river ; there are the same little scenes at the ferry, the
same early clouds hang over the valley, and there is the little house
half way up the hill towards which I used to look so anxiously to
see the light in her room. Why do such visits make me feel sad
and restless, I wonder ? Did I really love her, or did she only
stir my imagination ? Who can say ?

On my desk is the huaco with its wilted ribbon still untouched.
Now and then, as I rummage among drawers and pigeon-holes, I
find one of her old letters. Always, even in the days of our
deepest intimacy, they began with the same stiff, copy-book
formula : "Esteemed Señor,—I take my pen in my hand to write
you these four words," although there were sure to be as many
pages. Some of them coax me to come and bring her back from
one of her innumerable visits ; some of them tell me of approach-
ing fandangos in such terms that I might almost fancy that my
happiness alone was being considered ; some of them beg irresistibly
for something without which existence might become impossible ;
others thank me rapturously for a present that has made her joy
complete. Poor little Goya, how she gloried in the externals !

A new

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 159

A new dress, a pair of earrings, a glittering ring, and she couldn't
have loved me more.

I don't know why the world changed after she had gone.
Manuel and Francisco dragged me into all the festivities. There
were baptisms and haircuttings and carnivals to divert me ; but
they all palled. It seemed as if it had been the Goya who
gave the enthusiasm and the happiness to those old scenes of
revelry. I dropped back into my former indifference, yet it
was not the same, for resentment lay behind it, a resentment
that never found expression ; perhaps it never knew its own
meaning.

As the months vanished old Juan spoke enticingly of new
beauties that were worth a Gringo's wooing, but they never
roused a moment's interest. The Goya's eyes laughed mockingly
behind the fairest face. How awkward the women seemed when
I remembered her coquetries. Juan could not understand ;
women were women—what made me so capricious ? All the
beauty in the world had not vanished with the Goya. It was
madness to allow the past to shadow the present. Why, many a
woman had died when he was young. He had been sorry—yes,
but it was better to forget. When feasts were approaching which
we had celebrated together, he has come to remind me of the
pleasures of the year before.

"Come, Patron, do you not remember how much you enjoyed
it ? Let us go again. Who knows who will be there—you will
find another much better than the Goya, never fear. Had we
not urged you, you would never have gone to the fandango at
which you met her. If she were chance, may not chance bring
something more delightful still ? She was only a Cholita, Patron ;
there are many more."

But if I went or if I stayed, it made no difference. There

was

160 La Goya

was no excitement in the noise, no spontaneity in the gladness. I
could see only creatures unworthy—uninteresting.

I grew very restless. I devoted myself to antiquities. I
worked among the ruins and the graves. I read the old
authorities. I even travelled all over Peru to visit the relics of
the ancient time ; but contentment has never come to me.

I listen while my two companions tell me how light loves
make light hearts. Often in the early dawn, they awaken me
with their jingling spurs and sit on the edge of my bed to recount
the delights of the fiesta from which they have just returned. It
all seems gay enough, but somehow it never arouses me. Better
indifference than disappointment. Those long rides had a
meaning once, but now they only bring fatigue and discontent.
The desert is not so beautiful as I once imagined.

Even the physical world seems to be betraying me. I thought
that at least I was secure of the sunlight, but it too is dimmed.
It has glittered through the seven years allotted to it, and now
the time of the great torrents is approaching. We rarely see the
sun until ten o'clock ; a chilling hurricane blows all day long.
At evening great misty hosts come out of the sea, storm the
headlands, and swarm over the plains like an invasion ; the night
shuts black and cold, often with a drizzling cheerless rain. The
brightness has gone out of the air just as comfort and peace of
mind seem to have gone out of my life.

Do you remember the little blackbird ? It became a great
pet. It woke us in the morning with its melody, came to the
table with us, ate from our plates, sat on our shoulders and sang
in our ears. It was happy and busy always. It seemed to have
lost all sense of the need of any companionship save ours. A few
weeks ago, Francisco, who had taken a great fancy to the little
fellow, bought a pair of the same breed to send to some woman in

Lima.

By Samuel Mathewson Scott 161

Lima. We had them here in a cage for a week. One of them
was very young and chirped all day for food. Ours, which
proved to be a female, spent hours in feeding it. She seemed
beside herself with pleasure in the new labour. One night a boat
came and the new birds were sent away. Next day our pet was
disconsolate. She sought high and low for her nursling, and
came to us as if asking help. The morning after, she was
missing, and she has never come back again. The instinct of
home had been awakened, and she had started off across the
desert to rejoin her long forgotten kin. Somehow her departure
seemed to me to be an omen. My homing instincts, too, have
begun to stir, and I am going back to you across the desert of the
sea.

I. A Dream

II. Mother and Child

By

Image is of a woman shown as a full frontal figure She is wearing a                        light-coloured dress with a dark short sleeve jacket over top Her arms are                        straight extending away from her body She is wearing a headpiece There are                        several large white flowers surrounding her Trees drawn with strong vertical                        lines and a river can be seen in the background The image has a double                        ruling of thin black lines The image is vertically displayedImage is of a woman and child The woman is shown in ¾ face from the                        waist up Her hair is secured in a low bun at the nape of her neck Her nose                        is quite pointed She is wearing a light-coloured dress with a low neckline                        She is holding an unclothed baby and the string for two balloons in her left                        hand In her right hand she is holding two more balloons The baby shown in                        profile is resting against her chest with his/her left hand reaching towards                        the balloons The year and artist’s signature MARGARET MACDONALD 1895 are in                        the middle left side of the image The image is vertically                        displayed

A Lady Loved a Rose

By

Renée de Coutans

HER heart o'erbrimming with much love unsought,
A lady loved a rose.
    . . . . . . . . . .
Through sun-flecked paths she wandered dreamily,
By greeny lawns, and trees, and singing birds
(Her heart o'erbrimming with much love unsought).

And passed she by a rose-bush, bearing graciously
A flowered burden, lovely, sweet
(Her own heart burdened with its love unsought).

She plucked an offering, fair bud,
And pressed it fondly to her lips
    (Her heart distraught),
When lo ! the tender penetrating scent
Deep nestled to her heart
    (Unsought).

And

168 A Lady Loved a Rose

And stirred that Love a longing there,
Which leapt to the soft purple leaves,
And fainted in a kiss,
A kiss of joy full satisfied at last
(Her heart was brimming with such love unsought).

Our River

By

Mrs. Murray Hickson

IN these wonderful days of late September—hot as August, yet
filled with the finality and sadness of Autumn—there come
to me, beside the river, many imaginings, quaint, grotesque, and
pathetic. Here, where the sunshine falls in quivering patches
between closely-growing leaves, where the water rests, without
stir or ripple, under the shadows ; here, where the current is so
slow that my boat, tied bow and stern to hazel boughs, moves not,
neither swings one inch from her moorings—here I lie and, as
befits the height of such an Indian summer, dream the hours
away, in company with my own thoughts and the soft stir and
rustle of insect life around me. Beneath the spell of this golden
weather one learns the great lesson of tranquillity. Now, if never
before, do I realise that the best thing in life (and beyond it for
aught we know) is peace—peace profound, warm and unruffled—
peace so touched with knowledge and accustomed sadness that
sorrow has no power to disturb it—peace such as one finds any
afternoon during the last few weeks, upon the banks, or on the
bosom of this deep-set stream of ours. For nothing disturbs its
still flow ; not even the floods which, at times, sweep down its
course from the higher lands above. It swells, and rises—true.
But the current runs only more full, not less quietly ; the move-

ment

170 Our River

ment towards the sea is just as smooth and imperceptible ; the
surface remains impenetrable and dark as ever.

Lately, day after day, under hot sunshine, the river has lain
placid as a lake. Slowly past my boat, leaves and twigs drift
downward with the stream ; so slowly that they seem to move of
their own accord, unpropelled by any force greater than a fragile
volition. Now and again a daddy-longlegs, caught in the
miniature débris of twigs and grasses, struggles vainly for liberty
—a discordant note in the universal acquiescence. One sees
nothing, one feels nothing, save rest ; rest absolute and uncon-
ditional ; rest accentuated by the lazy hum of gnats, undisturbed
by the occasional soft plop and gurgle of a fish as he rises to the
glassy surface. As yet the trees have hardly begun to turn, but,
here and there, a mass of yellow outlines itself against the dusky
green of deeper woods beyond. The leaves which strew the river,
a gently moving carpet, are unfaded, though now and again one
notices two or three more shrivelled than the rest—Autumn is
upon us but Summer lingers still. I wonder could any young man
or woman appreciate such a place in such weather ? Surely one
needs the experience of middle age to understand and value the
tranquillity of these loitering hours.

Up and down the banks at far distances are stationed fisher-
men, dozing through long days from early morning till the sun
sets and mists begin to gather. No one of them is near enough
to be disturbed by his neighbour ; each stands alone, isolated and
apart, content with his own company and the occasional capture
of an unwary pike or roach. The struggles and death of the
victim are blots upon Nature's tranquillity ; yet they pass swiftly
and leave behind them a calm deepened by contrast with the
momentary turmoil. Rings in the water ; splashes ; a plunging
fish—then gasping silence, and hot sunshine on silver scales, half

hidden

By Mrs. Murray Hickson 171

hidden in lush-growing grass. After that, once again spells of
dreaming, and the lazy waiting for a bite, longed for, yet partly
to be deprecated. No one under these cloudless skies of Autumn
wishes to bestir himself and, for my part, fishing appears to me a
sheer barbarity, for which I am at once too indolent and too
humane.

Yet, without marring her quietude, our river also gathers in
her toll. Only last week a boat was found floating, bottom up-
wards, near the place where we are wont to bathe. The water
just there is deep ; one cannot see the bottom. Close beside the
difficult banks is standing-place indeed ; but a standing-place of
mud so soft that the straining feet are drawn into its slimy depths.
This upturned boat puzzled us, but, on such a day, danger seemed
infinitely distant, and I, for one, gave the derelict craft no second
thought until, as we sculled homewards through gathering twilight,
we came upon men dragging the quiet river for drowned bodies.
Even so the thing appeared monstrous, impossible ; and we drifted
onwards, deeming it an ugly, baseless scare.

Do you remember the lines which preface one of Rudyard
Kipling's tales ?

Tweed said tae Till,
"What gaes ye rin sae still ?"
Till said tae Tweed,
" Though ye rin wi' speed,
And I rin slaw,
For each man ye droon,
I droon twa."

Well, our river is like that ; just so gentle and remorseless. They
found the poor bodies next day—quiet enough now, and still for
evermore ; unable to tell us one word of that fight for life which
had taken place under the hot, bright sunshine ; unable to say

whether

172 Our River

whether—at the last—the river gave to them its own unfathomable
calm.

I have felt, since this episode, a certain awe mingled with my
love for the restful river ; that awe with which any force, at once
placid and resistless, must always inspire us. A few days ago I
saw two girls out alone, high up the stream, just where thick
woodlands slope to the water's edge. Here, in a narrow cliff,
nestled amidst close-growing trees, the sand-martins build ; and
here long tangled trails of blackberry dangle and dip beneath the
current. Here too it is exceedingly difficult to effect a landing
and, if one be not a strong swimmer, the task is well nigh hope-
less.

I looked at the girls, and I looked at the boat. It was the very
boat out of which those two poor lads last week had lost their lives.
The girls were laughing and light-hearted ; the busy birds flew
hither and thither : above our heads a golden sun blazed in a
sapphire sky, and sky and birds and girls were all mirrored, clear
as life, in the still waters on which we rested. At that moment
the river seemed to me like Death—resistless, cruel, inevitable,
yet with a beauty which I could neither gainsay nor comprehend.
I wonder, when we really know, whether Death too may prove a
Great Tranquillity.

I. Ill Omen

II. The Sleeping Princess

By

Image is of a woman standing in profile among four branchless leafless                        trees Her posture is quite straight though her head is tilted downward Her                        eyebrows are arched severely and her eyes are closed She is wearing a long                        light-coloured dress Her hands are clasped in front of her resting below her                        waist Her long light-coloured hair is blowing behind her She is barefoot and                        her body is androgynous Five dark birds are flying by two are in front of                        her and three are behind her In the background the full bright large moon                        has set low in the sky The artist’s signature is in the lower right corner                        but it is barely visible and illegible The image is double ruled with thin                        black lines and vertically displayed Image is of a woman sleeping She is wearing a patterned gown with a                        décolleté neckline Her hands are clasped resting on her lap She has long                        black hair parted down the middle the hair rests on either side of her bust                        The background is dark and undefined The artist’s signature FRANCES E                        MACDONALD is in the upper left corner The image is double ruled with thin                        black lines and vertically displayed

Kathy

By

Oswald Sickert

AT a little after nine o'clock one evening towards the end of
August, Mrs. Lee-Martin, her daughters Eva and Clara, her
niece, Katharine Shinner, and a kind of cousin, Huddleston, were
all sitting in the vestibule attached to the ball-room of the Dieppe
Casino. A waltz had just been played, and the next dance was
the "Berline," an invention of the dancing master's which the
Lee-Martins did not know, so they had an interval for watching
and discussing the people.

They had been in Dieppe a week, and the chief object of their
discussions was a young man of twenty, a Mr. Reynolds, whom
they all disliked. He was not tall, he had dark brown curly hair
which parted well in the middle, a taking face with clear complexion
and clean features ; he dived and danced admirably ; he was
always exquisitely dressed, his manners were easy, and he was a
great favourite with his partners. Eva and Clara had quarrelled
with everything about him, including his long brown overcoat
with a waist, which was so effeminate. Huddleston, who dressed
very quietly, generously defended him. Mrs. Lee-Martin did not
fancy the style of some of the girls with whom Reynolds danced,
and she was just as well pleased her girls did not like him.

Kathy exceeded the rest of the party in her objection to

Reynolds;

180 Kathy

Reynolds ; indeed she felt so strongly on the subject that she
could not bring herself to join in the perpetual discussions of his
faults, vexed that her two grown-up cousins should talk so much
of him—he was so very far removed from her ideal of what a man
should be. And now she talked to her aunt rather than watch
him dancing the "Berline." She was an orphan and just sixteen,
very sensitive, sometimes a little oppressed by her position as
guest of the Lee-Martins, a poor relation with no particular
prospects ; though she was wise enough to see that they gave her
no reason for this feeling, probably never thought about her
position except with the wish to help freely and gaily. But she
was altogether sensitive and troubled by a pride which had come
upon her early.

Meanwhile Reynolds was saying to himself every five minutes :
"I really must dance with the younger Miss Lee-Martin to-night."

He had been settled in Dieppe a good fortnight when the Lee-
Martins arrived, and so he had not thought it his duty to dance
with the girls after his first introduction at the tennis-club.
They were to his mind unnecessarily English : they walked about
all day in men's straw hats, the eternal shirt or blouse and serge
skirt. However, he had played in a set with Clara that afternoon,
so he really would have to dance with her.

He was thoroughly enjoying his stay in Dieppe ; it was his
first independent outing, and everything, including his overcoat,
had been successful. The first time he went out in it he had felt
shy : it was just the latest thing, and he hardly knew yet whether
he was the kind of person who could afford to dress fashionably.
However, it had turned out all right. He especially liked the
way in which the brown sleeve sat over the white shirt cuff, and
contrasted with the dress gloves when he wore the coat in the
evening. He had been in Dieppe many times before ; but he

had

By Oswald Sickert 181

had not done the whole business properly, and he was delighted to
find that he had fallen on his feet, that he could do all that was
wanted as well as or better than any one else, and that therefore
he was in request everywhere. He had never been so unreservedly
light-hearted, so filled with the joy of existence.

He had danced the first dances with his usual partners, for he
always put off" a change ; but at last he came round to the Lee-
Martins' corner, and asked Clara for a dance. Kathy was sitting
behind her, intensely interested ; Clara had a good chance now of
being distant to him.

"I'm sorry I'm engaged for the next, and after that comes the
entr acte, and we don t stay for the second part."

Kathy was filled with glee at the answer ; but she did not
think Clara looked very happy as Reynolds walked away and her
partner came to fetch her, and she was decidedly silent walking
back to the hotel.

At the next ball, Clara bowed and smiled so charmingly to
Reynolds right at the beginning of the evening that he
immediately asked her for a dance, and Kathy was shocked to see
her start off with him in evident delight. She watched them
dancing. Reynolds had conquered.

When the waltz was over and Reynolds brought Clara to her
seat again, he was begging her to stay after the entr'acte—then
was the best time. Towards the end of the evening the room
became empty, and only the superior people stayed. Clara turned
round and looked at her mother while Reynolds stood in front of
her.

"I don't know whether mother would care to stay."

"Oh, I think we had better go back, dear ; we shall be so
late."

But Kathy knew the opposition would not last for ever, and at

the

182 Kathy

the next ball the party stayed on till the end. Kathy, thinking
she might be an obstacle—her aunt would certainly wish her to go
to bed before eleven—suggested of her own accord that Huddleston
should see her back to the hotel after the first part. She felt as if
Huddleston were being wronged by Clara's sudden conversion
to Reynolds. Till now he had been the mainstay of the three
girls at the balls, dancing regularly with them all ; he had not
even troubled to be introduced to any other partners, although
there were plenty to be had. It was true he did not dance well,
but he was such a good honest fellow, unselfish and simple. He
had always been about with them, and they were grateful, for it is
agreeable to have a cavalier. He was well-intentioned and equally
polite to all four ladies ; but Clara was the more charming of the
two sisters, and it was evidently she who made their company
pleasant to him. Now Kathy saw that he would continue to do
everything he could for them ; but that Reynolds might step in at
any moment and perform the pleasanter duties. So she talked
cheerfully to Huddleston during their walk back to the hotel,
making him tell her about his plans and the kind of work he would
like to do when he was ordained.

Reynolds had been surprised to find that Clara Lee-Martin
danced well, better than any of his former partners ; and instead
of being bored with his duty, he danced with her more and more,
found that she was pretty, and that she liked his company. So
he saw a great deal of her, bathed with her, and made her come to
the end of the wooden pier and dive off instead of going into the
water from the beach, sat near the Lee-Martins at concerts, and
went with them to eat cakes at all the confectioners down the
Grande Rue. They still talked of Reynolds a good deal, but
no longer with disapproval. Clara would repeat his good stories,
and they would wonder what his people were like: his father

and

By Oswald Sickert 183

and mother were at Carlsbad, two elder brothers fishing in
Norway, and they were all to meet in Paris towards the end of
September.

On the Sunday, ten days after their first dance, Reynolds was
wondering at lunch-time whether he should be able to find Clara
Lee-Martin anywhere in the afternoon. She would probably be
going out for a walk, and he might join her. Sunday managed to
be rather a blank day, even in Dieppe, chiefly because most of the
English colony would not dance in the evening, and as Reynolds
did not go to either of the churches, he never knew where the
people had got to. He felt shy of walking into the hotel to ask
for her ; but she was often on the balcony outside her window,
and anyhow, if she were going out, he could watch for her.
After waiting about near the hotel for a quarter of an hour,
thinking what a fool he was to cling to so small a chance, she
appeared at her window. He walked back quickly towards the
hotel and saluted her, and then came up close under the balcony.

"Are you going for a walk this afternoon ?"

"Yes, we're going to Pourville."

"Might I come with you ? "

She nodded her head, smiling, and went in. Reynolds moved
away and looked at a bicycle shop further on. That was a piece
of good luck ! He imagined how empty he would have felt all
the afternoon if chance had not turned so well and given him the
occupation he wished for. After a few minutes Huddleston
appeared from the hotel and sat down at one of the little iron
tables. Reynolds was doubtful what to do ; he thought Huddle-
ston probably did not approve of him, and probably too he would
not be over pleased to know that he was going to join them ; but
it seemed too silly to roam about close to him and say nothing,
and he was in good spirits and well-intentioned towards everyone,

so

184 Kathy

so he went up to him and began talking pleasantly. Soon he saw
Clara coming downstairs, she was turning her head back, calling
out something to her sister. She smiled when she saw Reynolds,
went to the edge of the pavement to look at the sky, and asked
Huddleston his opinion on the weather, which he gave as an
authority. Her mother was going to call on the English curate's
wife. Eva and Kathy came out together. Kathy was disgusted
to see that Reynolds had calmly made himself one of the party.

Through the town and up the Faubourg they walked all pretty
evenly together ; but when they reached the division in the road,
where the houses stop, and the short cut goes straight up, narrow
and overhung with trees, the party divided naturally; Huddleston
walked in front with Eva and Kathy, and Reynolds a few feet
behind with Clara. Kathy was angrier than ever ; poor, manly,
honest Huddleston had only two more days in Dieppe and this fop
had appropriated Clara. Reynolds was chattering and Clara
laughing incessantly. He talked of parents and their ways till
Clara had to stand still for laughing ; then of schoolmasters, and
Kathy would have laughed herself as she overheard him, if she
had not been so angry and so sorry for Huddleston—he was talk-
ing with Eva about the train service between London and
Haslemere. Reynolds evidently overhead them, for he began an
absurd description of Waterloo station and its difficulties ; there
seemed no end to his drivel—indeed Reynolds was in very good
spirits.

They reached the top of the hill and walked on the high road a
few hundred yards till Reynolds said from behind that they must
go by the cliff, so they turned off the road to the right. Reynolds
declared that it was one of the most exhilarating and inspiring
spots in the world, and made Clara stand still and look about her.
Of course every one knew that the cliff path to Pourville was

lovely,

By Oswald Sickert 185

lovely, and it was just like Reynolds' impertinence to pose before
Clara as a discoverer. Kathy wondered how Clara could be so
easily satisfied with this man's conversation and dictatorial ways of
amusing her.

Huddleston stopped to show Eva a pretty and rare kind of
butterfly on their path—he was learned in science, and the butter-
fly was one of his strong points. Before, Clara had always shown
interest in Huddleston s explanations ; but now she passed by
talking to Reynolds.

Kathy now had Reynolds in front of her as they began to go
down hill into the valley, and she was acutely sensible of the
differences between Reynolds' and Huddleston's appearance. She
noticed how Reynolds' coat sat well round the collar, Huddleston's
came up too far behind in a point so as almost to hide it ;
Reynolds black straw hat made a successful angle on his head,
Huddleston was wearing an old yellow straw trimmed with the
colours of some out-of-the-way school ; the crisp curls of
Reynolds' dark hair left off clean at the neck, Huddleston's
short fair hair had no definite ending ; Huddleston's nose reached
some way beyond the shade of his hat, hence it was scarlet
with the sun ; Reynolds' complexion was deliciously clean and
pale—in fact he was a dark man, and she came to the conclusion
that a fair man, however good looking, could never look smart.
The comparison made her angrier still.

Reynolds and Clara raced laughing down the last few yards,
which ran very steep : Huddleston began trotting in a feeble way,
and Eva followed. Kathy would not run, make a fool of herself
just because Reynolds had chosen to set the example.

When they reached the road again which crossed the valley
parallel to the beach, Kathy was some way behind the two
couples. She saw Reynolds and Clara stand on the little iron

bridge

186 Kathy

bridge and watch the stream, and then turn to the right and
clamber over the high shelf of shingle which hid the sea from
view. Eva and Huddleston stood for a moment uncertain whether
to follow them ; finally they did. Kathy came up to the bridge
and leant over, fascinated by the rush of the stream into the tunnel
under the shingle ; she would wait till the others came back.
However they were longer than she had expected, and as they
were hidden by the shingle bank, she thought they might be
walking along the beach, so she scrambled up the shifting
mountain of pebbles and found them all four standing on the end
of a long wooden box which enclosed the stream for someway
after its reappearance. She walked along the slippery uneven
planks ; it certainly was a fascinating place, with the water rush-
ing below her feet. They were discussing tea.

"Of course there s only one possible place," Reynolds was say-
ing. "You can't go anywhere else but the Casino—surely you've
been there ? Oh, but it's immense, you must see it ! The pro-
prietor is a famous cook, and has a telephone to Dieppe, so that
people may order dinner and lunch and then come out to eat it.
And the big room is a sort of picture gallery ; there are two
magnificent Monets there, portraits of the proprietor and his wife.
You must come ; it's one of the sights of Normandy."

They walked on to the Casino. Kathy admitted to herself that
it was strange, but very ugly and stupidly arranged. You could
not see the sea at all ; the Casino, which was really a restaurant,
faced another building which evidently contained the kitchen ; a
few carriages stood in the yard at the end of the space between
the two buildings, and people were sitting about at tables. The
famous picture-gallery was a ridiculously ugly room with dreadful
pictures on the walls, little tables all the way up on each side, an
old and dusty petits-chevaux machine at the top ; and the two

magnificent

By Oswald Sickert 187

magnificent portraits were absurd. As they turned to walk out
again, Reynolds pointed to a group of people playing cards in a
little side room ; the old man sitting with his wife at the head of
the green baize table, he said, was the proprietor, and Kathy had
to own to herself that the portraits were wonderfully like. They
took a table outside and ordered tea, Reynolds insisting on having
a galette you—couldn't come to Pourville and not have a galette,
it was the proper thing to do—and he explained that it was
no question of whether you liked galette or not, you had to
have it.

"My dear, you ll have to do many things in life which you
don't like."

During tea, Kathy noticed more than ever on what easy terms
Reynolds and Clara stood after so short an acquaintance. He
had taken to calling her "Miss Claire," in imitation of a French-
man whom he had overheard asking her for a dance ; and the
name suited so well, besides overcoming the confusion between
the sisters, that all her partners, even Huddleston, had caught
up the habit. But Kathy was most shocked at this sign of
familiarity.

Miss Claire had a way of yawning, when she was bored, in
a subdued fashion, without opening her mouth. Reynolds had
noticed this at once at a concert, and had caught her eye and
made her smile, and this had grown to be a joke between them.
Reynolds was always catching her eye during a yawn, and made
her smile every time. He was certainly very quick, and was so
gay and polite that he did not appear exactly impertinent. But
Kathy did not like this secret understanding between them, and
wished he had come across a girl who would have made things a
little more difficult for him.

After tea they started back again, walking abreast along

the

188 Kathy

the road. Huddleston gave them mathematical puzzles, guessing
numbers :

"Odd or even ? How many sevens in it ?"

Or else :

"Reverse the order of the pounds shillings and pence, subtract,
add ... ."

Climbing the cliff, the party divided as before. When the
three reached the top, Huddleston stopped and said he would try
the height of the cliff. He took out his watch and let a stone drop
upon the beach below. He had done it before. Clara and
Reynolds came up and stood by, Reynolds pretending interest in
the operation, though Kathy felt that he thought it stupid.
Huddleston, as usual, found some difficulty in his trick, because
he could not tell when the stone reached the bottom, so he
made Eva watch for it and call out "Now." After he had worked
out the sum, and Reynolds had said it was very clever, they
walked on again all together. Clara and Reynolds had evidently
been discussing pictures on their way up. Clara had no particular
opinions of her own in this matter ; but Reynolds' admiration for
the ugly old lady s portrait at Pourville had led her to the usual
statement about ugly subjects. Reynolds, of course, had begun by
arguing that because a face was, humanly speaking, ugly, that did
not prevent its being a beautiful subject for a picture; and he went
on to the more general statement that the painter was not in the
least concerned with the ordinary human meaning of his subject.

"A painter I know was making a sketch in the Brompton
Road ; a man watched him for a moment, and then said : 'Why,
you re drawing Tattersall's !' Without stopping work the painter
answered in a vague, innocent voice : 'Oh, am I ?' The man
almost shrieked with amazement and indignation : 'What ! You
don't even know what you re drawing ?'"

Clara

By Oswald Sickert 189

Clara laughed, Kathy laughed too ; she saw it was a good
illustration ; she looked at Huddleston's face—perhaps he had not
quite followed.

"And if you enlarge upon the story, it comes out very well.
The old critics are standing in front of a picture ; 'How dis-
gusting ! The man s painted a dung-heap !' One of them adds :
'Ah, but there s a flower on it ; that redeems the picture.'
People think that s good. The young critics come up and say :
'Of course a dung-heap, why not ? A dung-heap is delight-
ful, just as good as a bed of roses. Everybody cheers and repeats
the discovery. At last the painter comes and looks at it, and says
to himself, 'Yes, I suppose it is a dung-heap ; I never thought
of that before. How clever people are !'"

But Kathy found a way out of the difficulty. What Reynolds
had said was clever, of course. It would do well in an article. But
it wasn't original ; he had picked it up somewhere. That settled
it. Huddleston was not amusing ; but at any rate he was manly
and not a humbug, pretending to know about all sorts of things of
which he was ignorant. But was Huddleston s trick with the
stone and the cliff original, she suddenly thought. He hadn't
discovered that ; some one must have taught him. Was the only
difference then really that he was dull and Reynolds was amusing?
She gave up the argument ; but only felt the more indignant with
Reynolds.

The morning after Huddleston had left, Mrs. Lee-Martin,
Clara and Kathy were sitting on the terrace. Eva had stayed at
home to write letters. Reynolds had a cold and was not going
to bathe ; he was standing between Clara and her mother
talking. After some discussion Clara decided to bathe, and she
walked off to get her ticket ; she turned back and said to her
cousin :

"Perhaps

190 Kathy

"Perhaps I'd better leave you my watch and things. Do you
mind taking them ?"

Kathy laid her book on the parapet, and Clara pulled out her
watch and gave it into her hands and then threw two gold
bracelets and a ring into her lap and went off. Kathy laid the
watch on her lap, took up the ring and slowly put it on her finger.
Reynolds was looking at her. How was it he'd never noticed
before that she was very pretty ? He watched her face as she pushed
the first bangle over her hand ; her colour had risen, her eyes
were sparkling with delight and her lips were parted in a smile.
She did look lovely. Just because she had her hair down and wore
a simple black dress, he had taken no notice of her, and how
handsome her yellow hair looked all about her shoulders with one
curl coming across her flushed cheek. It was pretty to see the
girl's delight, and Reynolds was smiling too out of pure pleasure.
When Kathy was just slipping the second bracelet over the
knuckles of her left hand, she became aware that Reynolds had
been watching her j she stopped and looked up at him quickly
and found sure enough that he was watching and smiling. She
twisted the bracelet for a second upon her hand as if she were in
no hurry, and then drew it off and then the other and the ring.
She was furious, she could have thrown the things over the parapet;
but she let them lie on her lap and took up her book. Reynolds,
of all people in the world, that detestable fop, was smiling at the
childishness of the poor girl who had no trinkets.

Reynolds saw her blush ; she was shy, perhaps he had been rude
to stare so. He spoke a few words to Mrs. Lee-Martin and went
down to the beach, thinking how pretty the niece was—prettier
than anyone there. It showed how boyishly stupid he was ; because
she wasn't grown up and still had her hair down, he'd never
looked at her attentively. And now there was so little time left—

they

By Oswald Sickert 191

they were going on the morrow. The days had passed so easily,
spent in pleasant intercourse with pleasant people ; and now just
at the end was he going to be tormented by the regret that he
had neglected this beautiful girl, and by the sudden desire to talk
to her, when he had had the opportunity a dozen times a day for the
last weeks ? That evening there was a ball ; it was his only
chance, for he was engaged for a tennis-party all the available part
of the afternoon. Instead of being light-hearted he would leave
Dieppe with a sting in his mind.

Kathy had felt the necessity of taking up arms against Reynolds
and vindicating her sex. A fop vain of his fashionable clothes,
contented with his looks, always dangling about with ladies,
evidently thinking of nothing else, he was all a man should not
be. It was a duty to crush this odious type of man, and as others
did not do it, the duty fell upon her. Sometimes she was oppressed
because an opportunity did not come ; surely it would be her own
fault if she did not find one. It was a duty ; but it would be
sweet too, sweet and exciting to rise to the height of her scorn for
him and show him that though she was only a girl of sixteen, and
he had never asked her for a dance, had hardly even spoken to her,
she was the one with a clear idea of what a man should be. This
would pay for the eternal conversation her party had carried on
about Reynolds. The consideration of possible occasions when
she might crush him weighed on her mind; she was always either
making herself indignant against him or acting her part at some
splendid opportunity. But that morning's incident had given her
an acute personal feeling against Reynolds.

In the evening Reynolds got out of an engagement to dinner,
and came early to the Casino. He knew the ball would not begin
for half an hour, and that it was no use being there, and yet he
could not have kept away any longer. He was troubled by the

peculiar

192 Kathy

peculiar restlessness attaching to the hope of meeting and talking
to one particular person in an assembly. He had wandered in and
out of the rooms and corridors, and he finally sat down on one of
the leather sofas in the petits-chevaux room, whence he could see
into the vestibule of the ball-room every time a person passed
through the swing-doors. He had determined not to look again
until twenty people had passed through. The twenty-first showed
him the Lee-Martins walking into the ball-room. They evidently
were not going to occupy their usual row of chairs in the vestibule ;
it was no longer very hot and the dances were not crowded, so
they were going inside. But he had not seen Kathy. He jumped
up and pushed open the doors, and found her in the corner on his
left hand talking across the counter of the cloak-room. She was
explaining in charming French about an umbrella she had lost.
She did not turn round, and Reynolds waited till the woman left
the counter and dived into a remote corner of her little place. He
had thought over his sudden liking for Kathy, the obvious question
which would arise in her mind was, "Why didn't he ask me
before ?" and she might well be offended. He had tried to
defend his neglect of her ; but it was plain that if he had wanted,
he would have asked her long ago. He said humbly :

"Miss Shinner, could you give me a dance this evening ?"
Kathy had glanced to the side when the door swung open, and
had seen Reynolds. She took no notice of him and went on explain
ing her business, pleased that her French was so superior. She was
surprised when she felt that he stopped beside her ; she thought
of course he would go on into the ball room. When she heard
her name she felt a great leap in her throat, she turned to him—

"Thanks, no—" and looked him down, from top to bottom.
He was wearing his fine long coat and white evening gloves, his

right

By Oswald Sickert 193

right hand rested on a silver-headed stick and held his soft black
hat. The poor boy bowed his head, murmured "Thank you"
and went back through the swing doors into the petits-chevaux
room. When Kathy was sitting in her seat next to her aunt she
recognised how excited she had been ; her hands were trembling
and her knees felt weak ; the excitement continued for a long
time. The music began and she wondered how Reynolds would
look when he came in—he always danced the first dance with
Miss Claire. He had told her that he liked to begin the evening
well, for then he came on to the less satisfactory partners in good
spirits, and ever since that compliment Clara had never been late.
Kathy became uneasy as the waltz drew to a close and Reynolds
did not appear. They were all talking as if nothing were the
matter ; but Kathy knew how disappointed Clara must be at the
unexpected breach of one of those little arrangements which are
so precious and give such an intimate excitement to life.
Two more dances passed and still Reynolds was not there. Eva
said :

"Mr. Reynolds' cold must be worse."

"He was playing tennis with the Sandeman party this after-
noon," Clara added ; "perhaps that made it worse."

Kathy was relieved ; she had not known whether the Lee-
Martins had seen Reynolds with her or not.

"It isn't like Mr. Reynolds to stay away from a dance for a
cold," Clara went on, " and I know he specially wanted to come
to-night. He said yesterday evening that the last ball wasn't such
a melancholy occasion when all the party were leaving on the same
day ; and he s going to Paris to-morrow."

Kathy's astonishment had changed to an uncomfortable guilty
feeling, and finally to indignation. The fop was offended because
she would not dance with him, and so his lordship in a huff would

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. M

not

194 Kathy

not dance with her sweet cousin, though he must know that she
depended on him for the enjoyment of her last evening. He
simply had no right to behave so ; it was scandalous. No doubt
he did it on purpose, knowing that she would be vexed and feel
guilty if he did not come and dance with Clara. That would be
like Reynolds—always catching on to girls weaknesses, no doubt
flattering himself upon his insight.

The Lee-Martins left at the entr'acte. Only two of their
partners were still dancing, and they were chiefly engaged with
another party ; besides, they were of no account in Clara's eyes.
Kathy felt deeply for Clara's disappointment as the little party
walked silently back to the hotel ; she knew better than any one
how much such a thing as a last ball meant to her.

When he left Kathy, Reynolds had dropped into his sofa again,
with a pain across his chest. He did not remember ever to have
been so hurt as he was by her refusal ; he had asked so humbly.
She had a perfect right to be offended with him for having put off
asking her until the very last day. What could he do to make
amends ? How pretty she had looked. The music began, but
he could not make up his mind to go into the ball-room. It was
Miss Claire's dance ; she would be disappointed. It was shame-
ful not to go in and dance with her ; and yet, if he could bring
himself to do so, Kathy would think he was callous and did not
mind. He was tormented with doubt. He went outside and
looked through a window into the ball-room and saw the girls
sitting. He wondered whether they had seen him talking to
Kathy ; at any rate, Kathy would probably say that she had spoken
to him. What right had he to disappoint Miss Claire because he
was sulky ? He would go and dance the second dance. He went
and looked round the door and came back. It was not sulkiness ;
he was so hurt at Kathy's refusal. The second dance finished.

Now

By Oswald Sickert 195

Now it would really be awkward for him to go in, and yet he
knew he ought. The third dance passed. How dreary it was
wandering about ! Each time a dance began he made up his
mind to get the better of his mood ; but they all passed, and he
was too weak to overcome his discomfiture. And it was the last
day.

He saw them leave after the first part, and he knew he had
behaved abominably to his gracious companion of the last weeks.
He wandered about inconsolably until the end of the ball, and then
went miserably to bed.

The next morning he hardly knew how he could face the Lee-
Martins ; yet he must go to the Casino and see them. They were
leaving at one o'clock, and he at four.

It was a wonderfully still day, sunny and misty. The lazy flag
near the bathing-place drooped motionless at the masthead. That
flag, the first point to which his eye was always directed on enter-
ing the Casino, was the symbol of numberless happy mornings ;
but never had he enjoyed Dieppe so much as this year. The
morning air was sweet with the scent from the thickly packed
flower-beds. He leant in at one of the open windows of the hall,
and listened to M. Anschütz playing. The piano rang out with
bell tones in the empty room. The music and the sight of
the artist wrapped up in his work, playing alone in the cool, dimly
lighted hall (for the blinds were drawn all along the sunny side),
brought tears to his eyes ; and he wished his stay in Dieppe could
have ended well, and sighed as he took his arms ofF the window-
sill. He walked round the building, and stood for some time
looking at the terrace. Only a thin line of people were sitting in
the shade of the long awning. Everything was still. A little
fleet of fishing-boats lay motionless outside the harbour ; they
might have been floating in the sky, for there was no horizon. He

had

196 Kathy

had never seen the sea so calm. It was early yet, and the Lee-
Martins would be still packing. He hoped they would come ;
and yet why should he be tormented in his mind, prevented from
enjoying the melancholy sweetness of his last morning ?

It was a quarter to twelve before they appeared, and Reynolds
had been growing anxious. The three girls were alone ; Mrs.
Lee-Martin had evidently not thought it worth while to come
down for a quarter of an hour.

" How are you this morning, Mr. Reynolds ? " Clara asked as
he came towards them, " I was so sorry you didn't come to the
dance last night."

" Oh thanks, I think I'm all right again. I didn't feel at all fit
for dancing yesterday evening."

Then they stood against the parapet looking at the sea.
Reynolds felt very humble and penitent and so kindly disposed
towards the three girls, he would have liked to do something to
show them his warm feelings ; but they talked of the calm
passage to Newhaven, and when he would come back from Paris,
and of such matters. Eva and Clara had to fetch their things
from the bathing-woman, so Reynolds followed the two girls down
the steps, and stood about at some distance from the woman's
cabin. Then he wondered whether he could go up again and
just have a word with Kathy ; he was longing to speak to her.
He moved back slowly, then ran up the steps and came towards
her. She stood still, taking no notice of his approach ; she
simply detested him, and his behaviour the night before had
completed her scorn for him. He said very humbly :

"Miss Shinner, I'm so sorry if I've offended you. I wish you'd
tell me what I ve done."

"You owe me no apologies. You weren't in a position to
offend me," she began hotly ; then she stopped, she was trembling

so

By Oswald Sickert 197

so violently with excitement and her head began to whirl ; but
she distinctly felt vexed that her cousins came up just at that
moment and put an end to the scene. The boy felt a great lump
in his throat ; he couldn't think of anything to say in the short
time left for him, only in a thick voice "You judge very hardly ;
I suppose you have the right to. . ."

He turned to Clara and Eva and told them he was waiting to
see some one, so he would say good-bye there. Kathy had hardly
noticed his answer, she was so indignant and excited ; but she
could scarcely believe her senses when she saw that his eyes looked
dim.

*                *                *                *                *

A week afterwards, on the morning of September 22nd, Kathy
was standing in the dormitory near the chest of drawers at her
bed-side. She had never been away to a boarding-school before.
She had arrived the previous afternoon, leaving the Lee-Martins
happily settled in their home in London, engrossed in shopping
and other interesting occupations, and she did envy them their
happiness. Every one else had such exciting lives. Here she was,
at school in Eastbourne, among all these strange girls who knew
the place so well and had laughed and chatted contentedly. And
her coming to this school forced her to look forward to no
comforting prospect ; she would have to work very hard and fit
herself for earning her livelihood. What a drop from the free
careless life she had led with her cousins ! And all the regret for
the exciting holiday with its golden glamour centred in Reynolds.
A week ago she had been in a position to crush a universal
favourite ; now she was one of forty school girls with nothing but
dreariness before her. It had seemed quite natural then to be on
such a pinnacle ; now she was here and of no account in any one's
eyes. How was that possible ? The more she thought over her

behaviour

198 Kathy

behaviour the more incredible it seemed. How could she have
dared to sit in judgment and feel fully entitled to tell him she
disapproved of him? "You judge very hardly. I suppose you
have the right to." She had not noticed his answer at the time ;
but since that day it had always been in her mind.

And in her present lowliness she felt ashamed of her impertinent
righteousness yes, and pride and excitement at feeling herself
at last in power. Her cheeks burned to think of it. But happily
he had not seen it so. She really had possessed the power and
had humbled him and made his voice come thick and brought
the tears to his eyes, and he had thought she had a right to do so.
And she pictured Reynolds in Paris, in brilliant society, enjoying
himself, driving in carriages, going to balls and the opera and
she leant over the open drawer, and a sudden great fit of crying
seized her, just as the desolate sound of the unhomely bell came
to her ears, ringing the girls to breakfast.

"Sub Tegmine Fagi"

By

Marie Clothilde Balfour

THE sun strikes full upon a hillside sloping to the east, and
backed by long, swelling moorlands ; there are firs on the
western edge of the path, that guard a fragrant silence in their
brown, cool shadow ; but here one can catch the rustle of their
quivering needles aloft, where the breeze from the sea whispers to
them and brings gossip from their cousins in far countries. And
below there is grass, stretching widely, and falling to a little wood
of oaks and beeches, and an up-thrust cliff, along whose face
young foxes gambol and scamper ; and again an undulation of
young grass, and a swaying corner of green corn, and woods, and
further cliffs, till the land ends abruptly in a line of amethyst sea
that itself fades into the pearl and primrose of the far horizon,
and there is not a house to break the beauty of it—not a house,
though out of those further trees there is a faint line of smoke
rising, that is dimly white against the green; and round the
corner, behind the edge of the hill, there is a little sleepy town
huddled in the hollow ; but here there is not a house anywhere
set as a pock-mark upon the summer face of nature. There are
birds, busy below us; amid the trees and round the tufts of gorse,
plovers are calling to each other; and behind, on the moor, one
hears sometimes the shrill, sad cry of the curlew; and from the

sky,

200 "Sub Tegime Fagi"

sky, like falling drops of water, comes the song of a lark. Now
it is loud, and if one has good eyes, one may see the small black
thing poised not far above us ; and then it rises suddenly, and the
sound fades suddenly into the thin, blue distance, like an echo far
amid the mountains.

Everywhere the bees are loud ; amid the gorse bloom, and occa-
sional clover heads, and the small, exquisite flowers that hide in
the short grass, the pimpernel, and the tiniest vetches, the bird's-
eye, and a microscopic forget-me-not, mauve, and blue, and yellow,
white and scarlet—a world of bloom and colour blent into the
green, and trampled, unseen, under foot. And a thousand winged
things poise, and hover, and dart in the indolent air ; the sheep
come near us, so that we hear them nibbling, and look at us out
of wisely foolish eyes.

It is morning and it is June ; and one of those few days when
it is well to be alive, when the feeling of one's flesh is a compli-
cated delight, and the wholesomeness of the world is pre-eminent.
One wonders when that approaching century arrives, when our
passions will be regulated, like our possession, to an equal smooth-
ness, and all of us will be mild anarchical dynamiters; one won-
ders whether the grey days of winter and the golden mornings of
summer will be mingled also into a dull, drab sameness. And
whether those who are young then will ever say, when they look
out upon the wide loveliness of land and water: "To-day it is good
to be alive"? Perhaps, after all, they will be too wise and have
too much work to do.

Down in the hollow, in the little town, people do not look out
of window and greet the day with acclamation. The time is
gone by when Strephon sat below the beeches and piped his pretty
loves to Lesbia and Chloe ; and when Dresden china shepherdesses
in high-heeled shoes herded sugar-candy sheep on green and lovely

uplands.

By Marie Clothilde Balfour 201

uplands. Strephon now wears moleskins, odorous and uncleanly,
and a sleeveless waistcoat, of a forgotten colour, hanging open
over a dirty shirt ; and instead of piping his love upon a flute, he
tickles Lesbia, invitingly, and spits out a jest or two, mixed with
tobacco juice, and she does not blush ; while Chloe, in a mush-
room hat and kerchief about her throat and head, and a tight apron
outlining every protuberance of her figure, is weeding in the next
held, and cursing the sun and the sea air for burning the white
anaemic skin of her, and wondering whether Strephon will meet
her behind the hedge to-night, and whether he is just now
"making up" to Lesbia—which he is. That is the pastoral life
of to-day. It is pretty no longer; but it is human. There are no
piping shepherds to set the pink and white maids a-dancing, or to
sing when love goes awry with them: "Oh, blow the winds,
heigho!" as in the old Northumbrian ballad. It is only the
green trees and the grass, and the waters, and the eternal hills,
and the song of birds, and the nibbling sheep, that are the same;
and surely, even the sheep are blacker than they used to be.
The dainty china figures have become men and women—not too
clean, perhaps, of life or lip ; not lovely in their habits or in their
passions; taking their pleasures rudely, and their sorrows with
reviling; and loose-minded from the promiscuity of existence.
Their joys are as those of the beasts that couple in the fields, and
their leisure is replete with an unvirtuous indolence.

Yet they are men and women—flesh and blood; cursed with
the passions and the pains of humanity, and tasting thereof but
the cheaper pleasures. And humanity is something greater, if
less lovely, than a puppet-play: and in the blackest of truth there
is always the white line of eternity. Strephon and Chloe, the
pretty piping lovers, have fled the stage; and their place is taken
by Bill and Mary Ann; who are clad in the warm encumbrance

of

202 "Sub Tegime Fagi"

of living flesh, and play the old drama—"the tragedy, Man"—
wearing their sex with a difference; for "male and female created
He them."

No, Strephon no longer sits and pipes beneath the beeches;
nor does Tityrus lie dreaming of the joys of a pastoral life.
Strephon is washing sheep, yonder in the foul smelling pond by
the stunted hawthorn-trees ; and Tityrus is cursing the weather
and the irreconcilable desires of his crops, or trotting home
titubant from market.

Along the white road that crosses the plantation grounds like
an uncoiled ribbon, a lumbering cart proceeds, and a dim echo
reaches us of the thud of the horse's slow feet, and the rumble of
the heavy wheels ; probably the driver is dozing on the shaft,
where by long habit, he can perch even when asleep. Old John
the carter travelled thus, trusting to his meditative mare, who
reflected over every step she took with her ponderous feet : and
thus they found him that drenching wet day, when they brought
him home in his own cart stiffened into a horribly undignified
bent thing beneath a wet cover that clung unkindly to his out-
lines . . .

It was a hopelessly wet day. In North Street—which is the
road leading to the northern moors from the small grey town in
the hollow—everyone was within doors; not even the children
put out their noses into the grim unceasing downpour. The
road was spread with a continuous surface of water, which leapt
in a million tiny fountains to meet the lashing of the descending
rain, and gathering streams clashed and gurgled about the gutters,
and swirled round the overflowing drains. Down the open
chimneys and spluttering into the fires beneath; battering upon
the roofs and against the small windows, and creeping in at every
hole and cranny ; entering in an insolent pool beneath the doors;

the

By Marie Clothilde Balfour 203

the rain was everywhere, and the low sky frowned in a black
promise of continuance.

But at the cottage of John the carter the door stood wide, and
the water took its way in without hindrance and lay comfortably
upon the floor, reflecting the red glow of the spluttering fire,
with the kettle singing cheerfully on the hob, and the tea-things
set out upon the little table at the side where the armchair stood.
It stole into the very flounce of the bed that hid itself modestly
behind curtains and woodwork, and only opened a wide black
mouth behind a hanging full of gaudy cotton. Hannah stood
outside—out in the rain—and stared up the road in a blasphemous
silence. John was out yonder in the wettest of the wet weather
—he who was so old and so frail and newly from a sick bed;
John who had married her—sometimes she wondered why—only
a few months ago; that he might have some one to nurse him
and cook his dinner, the neighbours said—but Hannah thought
differently. There were others who could have done that for
him ; but she, Hannah, who had trailed herself through the
mire of the town and had spent her youth in the bearing of
chance-got children and the bestiality of drunkenness; she at
whom the not overnice neighbours had looked askance, and whose
grey hairs had not brought her dignity, why had John, the
carter, who was sober and well to do, ever looked at her?
Hannah did not know, but she thought dimly that God had been
sorry for her, and she remembered the wild unspoken rage of
gratitude and devotion that had filled her, when John asked her
to come to his fireside, and to come there by way of the Church
door. She would have gone without that; but her simple un-
developed mind had its yearnings for paradise—a paradise where
she would know what it was to be "an honest woman" before
she died ; where she could be as others were, who had once never-

theless

204 "Sub Tegime Fagi"

theless been—not quite what she was, but still mothers of
nameless children also in forgotten years. And she left behind
her, for ever she hoped, the life that had been hers, and the misery
and the want, and the shame of it ; and like a little child that
turns smiling from its tears, she smoothed the wisps of grey hairs
upon her brow, and followed John the carter to his home, silent,
obedient, and consumed with an exceeding devotion. And John,
rough John, who had taken her none knew why, had done well
for himself, and was aware of it, too; though he swore at her
and grumbled after the manner of man, and his hand was heavy.
But Hannah had known worse than that... and now John was
out in the rain—out yonder; and she stood in the street, her
dress clinging to her gaunt haunches and shrunken breast, and
the water streaming from her scant grey hairs, to see "how wet
he would get"; and to recall the hideous words of the doctor
when he bade her "keep your man warm and out of the cold—if
you want him to live." If she wanted him to live! God! And
Hannah looked at the black sky and blasphemed and shivered, as
she felt the rain beating—beating down upon him. And presently
the familiar cart turned into the street from the market-place and
came slowly towards her. But there were strange men leading
the old white mare, and women that gathered upon the doorsteps
as they passed. And Hannah looked, and the world stood still and
waited and waited with her, as the thud of the mare's hoofs and
the rumble of the wheels and the splash of men's feet through the
water, came up the street . . . it had never—never sounded like
that before. Then they reached the door, which was standing
open, and they went in carrying the bent distorted thing under
the clinging cover, and laid it in the black gulf of the bed; and
the water on the floor reflected the red glow of the fire, where the
kettle still sang, and touched the legs of the table which was set

out

By Marie Clothilde Balfour 205

out for tea for John the carter. But he did not want it now.
And that night Hannah, who had not looked at whisky since she
had known what it was to be an "honest woman," rolled on the
wet floor drunken, and dabbled her grey head in the cold pool of
entering rain. It did not matter, for there was no one to care;
John—the thing within the darkness of the bed—could not see
her any more ; there was nothing left now but whisky. It did
not matter. John the carter was buried two days later, but
Hannah did not go to the funeral; she was drunk still; and she
went drunk to her pauper's coffin, in a little while. There was
nobody to care and it did not matter at all.

One thinks of it now, seeing yonder cart cross the stillness ;
and the lives of a pastoral people are, it seems to one, so strangely
sad—even their crimes and their brutalities are such as gods weep
over.

There is a gentle dove-voiced woman in one of the cottages,
whose eyes are fixed always on the invisible. One morning her
little son, one of a crowd of children, for she was the mother of
many, ran out and called to her gleefully that he was going for a
ride ; and she looked after him lovingly, and saw that the sun
glinted on his hair and turned it to gold. Presently a whisper
ran up the street that there had been an accident, and Mr. Main's
little son had been hurt—was insensible—was dead; and Martha
ran, cooing, down the sidewalk to comfort the mourning mother.
And she met the little procession of men carrying the small
figure, and the doctor came to her and spoke—but she did not
understand. How could it be her Jacky, that thing covered over,
when Jacky had but just gone for a ride? And she followed
them home, her lips pouting with unspoken questions and a horrid
comprehension dazing her eyes. For three long days the small
coffin lay upon the bed, with flowers about it, and yellow hair

curling

206 "Sub Tegime Fagi"

curling on a white forehead, and eyelids that trembled when you
looked at them, but were never lifted; and flowers lay over the
mouth and chin that had met the horse's hoof. . . . And the
mother moved about the room, and cooked at the fireside, and set
meals on the small table for the others of them; and the children
ate and lived and some of them slept, within the same four walls
as the open coffin on the white bed. And their father sat on the
settle, with tears glittering in the tangle of his grey beard, and
whispered to them hoarsely, "Be canny noo!" when he saw his
wife's dull sad eyes, and the unspeakable sorrows hanging on her
lips.

When they took the coffin away, and all the town followed
Jacky to the churchyard, Martha wandered aimlessly about the
empty room and sought, sought, for something that she missed;
and at last, when the groping fingers touched the edge of madness,
they closed on a whistle—a sugar whistle that had been Jacky's,
and which was half sucked and dirty, as it had been taken from
his pocket when they brought him home. And Martha found
her tears, and the seal upon her eyes was lifted, and she came
back to a whole mind and a broken heart. But often now, in the
midst of her stalwart boys and her pretty hard-working daughters,
if you ask her which is the best of them, she smiles and says
softly, "The one that does not grow any older and never leave?
my side," and her eyes look over their shoulders to the yellow
head she sees always near her, and the father whispers hoarsely to
the others, "Be canny noo."

It was he I remember and big Tom Jamieson who told us of
the Macara affair—a small thing which none troubled much about.
Big Tom and decent, gentle John Elliott were coming home one
night from the slakes, where they had been shooting wild duck
together; and as they came up North Street, they heard loud

noises

By Marie Clothilde Balfour 207

from the miserable hut where Pete Macara lived, since he
came to the town a month or two back to work—when it pleased
him—in the quarry. Pete Macara was a perfectly lovely villain,
whose face was the colour of ancient ivory, carved into a mask of
the vilest sort of wisdom. From the top of his curly black head
to the tips of his slender fingers, he was beautiful as a black
panther and as vicious, and the eyes of him were limpid pools of
iniquity. He had a wife, whom we saw but seldom, till the latter
days, and whom we found perplexing ; a small, frail, white thing,
with a gentle frightened face, who sometimes forgot to speak
vulgarly, and whose soft hands were but newly roughened by
work.

Pete swore at her, we knew, and beat her we suspected; and
therefore John and Big Tom stopped uneasily when they heard a
cry rising from the hut, and glued their eyes to the narrow slit of
bare window-pane beneath the rag that served as curtain. They
did not look long before the cry sharpened to a shriek, and there
was a dull thud, and a loud curse, which came from gentle John
Elliott's mouth, that was wont to whisper hoarsely "Be canny."
And big Tom Jamieson hurled his great shoulders at the door,
whereat the lock, as was to be expected, gave way obediently.
Pete Macara leapt to the threshold, and instantly met with a
shaking that made his bones rattle and his skin crack; while John
pushed past them, and bent over the bundle of clothes that was
huddled upon the floor, and whence there came a small crawling
worm of something red and sticky. . . . .

Tom went on shaking Pete at intervals, till he dropped him on
the floor, and swore at him comfortably. It took a good deal of
plain speech to ease big Tom when once his huge body woke up
to anger. The other gathered himself together, and surveyed the
scene sulkily, but with a wicked satisfaction twitching at his lips ;

and

208 "Sub Tegime Fagi"

and John stood anxiously by the dirty bed, where he had lifted the
woman whom we called Peter Macara's wife.

Tom went over and stood beside him.

"A'll go fur tha doctor, if ye reckon a'd better," he said,
meditatively; "an' bring 'un back wi' me. Till'un it's a maitter
o' life an' death—an' maistly death."

"Wull a goo?"

John shook his head. " A think she's comin' roun'," he
answered hoarsely, "a think so. It s mebbe more a matter for the
polis than the docter—

"The polis sure 'nuff. It's 'tempted manslaughter—hear that
noo?" and he glanced over his shoulder at Pete, who smiled, and
the stained ivory of his skin carved itself into wrinkles and made
of him a malicious Eastern god.

"Ax her," was all he deigned to reply.

John and big Tom surveyed her as she sat up and looked about
her composedly, and touched the red wound on her forehead with
dazed wondering fingers ; and they said to each other some of the
things we had all been saying recently, when we looked from her
white sorrowful little face to the evil bestial brows of Pete
Macara. But she heard what they said, and it roused her. She
got off the bed and stood by it dizzily, and spoke—to the point.

" It's none o' your business," she said, "what I am, or who I
am, or where I come from. All you need to know is that I
belong to Pete Macara—and he can do what he likes with me.
And if it pleases him to knock me down—or to kill me—I tell
you it's none of your business, and I say he shall do it if he
chooses! And—this is his house—what are you doing here?—
go!" and she staggered forward and fell dizzily on her knees in
the middle of the stain upon the floor. There she groped for
Pete's hand, laying her face against it, and he spurned her with his

foot.

By Marie Clothilde Balfour 209

foot. "You see?" she said, and laughed, a little wildly. "I
belong to Pete Macara—and you—you can go!"

Big Tom Jamieson and John Elliott went away without further
argument, and walked up the street together, thinking hard and
saying nothing. It was only when they came to John's door,
that they looked at each other uncomfortably. "God!" said big
Tom; "she spoke like—like a lady—and he—he kicked her off
like a fawning bitch." John looked away and moved his lips
uneasily. Then he turned to his own door, and muttered very
low. "Pah! she—she licked his hand."

People did not meddle much with Pete Macara or his wife after
that. But he forced her—so we supposed—to support him by the
vilest traffic, and he lived in happy indolence till the Squire got
tired of waiting for his rent and kicked him out. Then they left
us, unregretted ; but not before there were many other tales
whispered about the small pale woman who was Pete Macara's
possession. . . .

When strangers came to the little grey town in the hollow,
they wondered at its uneventfulness, and pitied us for the long
monotonous months that slowly filled the years; but beneath the
surface, it seems, on looking back, that for those who had eyes to
see there was a constant succession of small tragedies, the tragi-
comedies that build up the commonplaceness of life. Not the
dainty operettas of Strephon and Chloe, as I said before, but
little melodramas, where one only did not weep because one was
too hopelessly wretched. For the pathos is apt to be so miserably
hideous, that the onlooker feels sick and turns away with a sigh ;
and yet it is but the setting and the mask; the actual passions are,
after all, the great simple underplan of life in all of us, and in such
as these they lie nearer the surface. And the innermost soul is
the same, when you reach it—or perhaps it is a little more

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. N

childlike

210 "Sub Tegime Fagi"

childlike, and unharmed by the mire in which it is plunged.
Bobby Stobbs, for instance, I conceive had a soul that was as
lovely as in the flesh he was—otherwise. And since Bobby
Stobbs, like Hannah, and Martha, and like Pete Macara s miserable
wife, loved much. . . .

Bobby took a house in our street, and we stared in surprise;
for it was so ruinous and tumble-down that it did not
seem fit for pigs to litter in. We supposed he got it cheap;
but a penny would have been a fair rent to pay for it, and we
told him so. Bobby smiled at us superiorly. "Ah," he said,
"Tusky will make it that smart an' comf'able." We were
interested, for we did not know he had female belongings; but he
went on to explain he was going to fetch home his wife and
children, and that Tusky would make the house all that it should
be. He went off with a borrowed cart and pony to fetch them.
It rained that day so heavily that he was already soaking as he
went down the street ; and when he returned with his precious
load, it was raining still, and Bobby sat on the shaft dripping and
shivering, his only coat wrapped round the baby in the cart. If
Bobby could have faced us naked, he would have given them the
small remainder of his garments too. We watched a small black
woman crawl out from beneath a table and help him to haul the
soaking bedding and the few broken chairs and a box of cracked
pottery in at the door ; and then three bundles tumbled into the
mud, shook down legs and followed their mother, while Bobby
led the lame pony back to its stable in the Watsons' wash-house,
with his white face looking, so they told us afterwards, extremely
happy and well content, though his shoulders shook ominously.
Dinah Green went in late to see how they were getting on,
being of a neighbourly turn of mind.

"The beddin' was afore the fire," she told us next day, "an'

you

By Marie Clothilde Balfour 211

you could smell it acrost the street; and when you came in you
could see 'em a jumpin' and a crahlin' from the very doorstep."
(Dinah was a clean woman and apt to see things to which other
people shut their eyes). Tusky was running about the room,
talking to the children, who crawled over the floor, amid a sea of
rags, potsherds and other things—which it is not necessary to
particularise. She was sticking a few gaudy pictures on the walls,
but had not thought of stopping the rain from drifting in at the
broken window ; and she was hampered in her work by having
with one hand to hold her garments together at the waist.
There was already a considerable piece of dirty skin visible.
There was also a whisky-bottle on the table, which was propped
up against the wall ; and it was half empty. Consequently
Tusky was cheerful and talkative.

Dinah listened to her awhile in grim silence.

"Where's yer man?" she asked suddenly.
Tusky added another smear to her face by passing her free
hand over it." He's—here—I reckon," she said vaguely. "Ha'
ye got a pin?"

Dinah passed her one at arm's-length, and Tusky performed a
short toilet.

"Where's yer man?" repeated the tall, gaunt woman in the
sun-bonnet, as the other conveyed the whisky-bottle to her
mouth ; but this time Tusky looked silly, and did not trouble
to answer. Then a voice came feebly from the depths of the
box-bed.

"I'm here—Dinah," it said. "Get ye doon, my woman.
Tusky's—that busy—she can't—see t'ye."

The words came in gasps, and Dinah peered into the darkness.

Bobby lay in his wet clothes in a pool of water. The bedding
was at the fire, so he lay upon the bare boards. He was not com-

fortable

212 "Sub Tegime Fagi"

fortable. "My word," said Dinah, "what'll I do wi' ye? Ye
can't be took anywhere else, ye're that dirty; and here"—.
She sniffed.

"I'm—cleaner—than or nar," he murmured feebly; "come—
o' bein'—in—the rain," and his face looked strangely white in
the darkness of the bed.

Dinah came and went many times that evening, while Tusky
snored in the corner, and the children whimpered on the wet
floor. On her last journey the rain had turned to snow, and the
air had grown terribly cold. The poultice she carried between
hot plates was already tepid. But Bobby was grateful for it,
nevertheless, as he lay amid the blankets she had brought him,
breathing fast, and talking softly to himself, while Tusky snored,
and the candle and the fire were both nearly burned out. Dinah
did what she could for him, and turned him upon his side.

"I'll bring the doctor first thing to-mara," she said cheerily,
"an' I reckon he'll mak' ye weel. He's a terrible clever chap, our
doctor is, an' a real decent man, too. He'll mak' ye weel."

Bobby looked up composedly. "Ay, it'll be a vera sore ex-
pense," he murmured, "an' that hard on Tusky—poor Tusky—
an' she so handy—an' goin' to make the house that smart an
comf'able—Tusky—ah!—she's a smart 'un—Tusky," and he
looked across at the dirty, drunken little figure huddled in the
corner, with wisps of hair straggling across her grimy and vixenish
face. Dinah looked that way, too, and snorted: "Ye maun?
keep warm, an' sleep, an' wait for the doctor," she said, restraining
herself with energy, and preparing to depart. "Ye're doin' fine,
and ye've on'y got to wait for the doctor. I'll gat 'un fine'n
yarly."

She let herself out into the snow, and saw that Bobby lay with,
his loving eyes fixed on his wife.

"Tusky

By Marie Clothilde Balfour 213

"Tusky smart—'un," he murmured, and Dinah shut the
door.

Bobby did not wait for the doctor, so his bill was saved, as
Tusky remarked, when she was sober enough to understand
about it.

"An'," she added, "there'll be an inquess, an' the jurymen'll
give me their shillin's—they allus do," and she tried the effect of a
black rag that she had found in the gutter, pinned about her
throat. Tusky thought that, some day, she would marry again.
But Bobby Stobbs had loved much.

Down yonder, under the beeches, upon a knoll, the sheep have
clustered prettily, and there are lambs in the lower field that bleat
and gambol in the sunshine. I can almost fancy that I see
Strephon a-piping where the shadow of the leaves flings a golden
tracery on the soft green grass; and surely Lesbia is dancing, and
under her feet the smell of the fallen pine needles rises pungently
sweet and pervading from the cool brown ground.

But Lesbia is sadly besmirched, and all her playmates are apt to
be unbeautiful nowadays, and in the flock she tends there are too
many black sheep.

The grass and the beeches below us, the firs behind; the
trimmed carpet of flowers and the song of the birds; the silver-
spangled sea beyond and the gladness of the eternal hills—only
these are the same; and so, after all, is humanity.

Finger-Posts

By

Eva Gore-Booth

            I

THIS is the way of Heaven : you may kneel
And beat your breast for hours in futile prayer;
No faint light flickers on the golden stair,
No spirit hearkens to your soul's appeal ;
No hand draws back the curtains that conceal
The land of shadows men imagine fair ;
And the belovèd shade who wanders there
Invisible, no magic may reveal.
Men talk of all the strength of love and faith—
Vain words ! and false it is as idle boast
To dream you hold communion with a ghost,
And bring to earth again a vanished wraith.
No shadow answers to a shadow's call—
This is the way of all things spiritual.

            II

This is the way of Nature : as of old
When from the primal darkness first there grew
Flowers, and the sun shone and the sky was blue,

And

By Eva Gore-Booth215

And life's bright promises were manifold—
Her hidden wealth is now as then untold.
He who digs deep enough shall find her true ;
Each miner gains at last his honest due
Of her great buried store of gems and gold.
This is the way of Earth : she hears the call
Of every ploughman's prayer ; the labourer,
If he be worthy, has his will of her ;
From the rich furrows where the good seeds fall
She brings forth life, and all the hope that clings
Round the strong patience of material things.

            III

This is the way of Sorrow : wearily
Should one set out with such a weary guide ;
The path is narrow, and the world is wide,
And no man knoweth any reason why
And yet 'tis foolishness to strive or cry ;
The doom must fall on whom the gods decide
They walk with pain for ever at their side,
Through her long wilderness of mystery.
Yet though sweet Sorrow hath few words to say,
A dull companion on a lonely road,
Yea, though she hath not strength enough to pray,
And on life's shoulders binds a heavy load,
Her heart is true, her footsteps shall not stray,
She leads at last unto the gods' abode.

This

Finger-Posts216

            IV

This is the way of Joy : the artist knows
The secret that makes all things fresh and fair.
She gives a fragrance to the summer air,
And, flashing by where life's dull river flows,
She shakes the languor of its slow repose,
And drives it, scattering music everywhere,
Up to the foot of Heaven's golden stair,
Through the wild tangles of the mystic rose ;
There in the shade beside the river's bed
She rests awhile, and dabbles in the stream—
Till down the giddy mazes of her dream
She finds the little peaceful hour has fled.
Then forth into the startled sky she springs
With swift wet feet and shining golden wings.

            V

This is the way of Life when Joy has fled :
She passes through a wilderness of cloud,
And, wrapped in music for a mimic shroud,
She comes unto the dwellings of the Dead.
No river now, a mournful nymph instead,
By Joy's short sojourn with a soul endowed,
She seeks for her among the nameless crowd
That throng the gateway of the Halls of Dread—
Seeks for the long lost Joy, the light divine,
The Paradise that she shall never win—
Content at last, and glad to enter in
Despair's abode, and rest with Proserpine,
Sorrow, whose eyes are dark with unshed tears,
And all the ghostly company of fears.

This

By Eva Gore-Booth217

            VI

This is the way of Love : a ray of light
In the mid forest through the foliage shines,
And makes green shadows of the serried pines,
Bringing a secret pathway into sight,
Where two may walk alone in their delight,
And half in darkness; for the thick set lines
Of mighty trees their narrow road confines
With the black limits of enshrouding night.
Yet has the forest fortress failed in strength,
Swift windy beams split through the leafy screen,
And pierce the heavy shroud of waving green,
Until the narrow pathway feels at length
The strength of sunshine and the light of rain,
And broadens out into the open plain.

            VII

This is the road of Hope, that some men call
The way of Love, far out of human sight,
Amid strange mansions of austere delight :
A way of shadows, pale, æthereal,
High among stars and storm, outsoaring all
The silent glories of each lonely height,
Above the tumult of the windy night,
Beyond the bounds of Heaven's cloudy wall
Still God's calm splendour shineth overhead,
The great white way where light and gladness are—
This is the Joy of earth transfigurèd,
Set high in heaven, very faint and far,
The glorious Highway of the holy Dead,
The path of Love from star to scattered star.

I. Dieppe Castle

II. Butterflies

By

Image is of a castle with a moat on a hilly landscape A round tower is                        in the centre of the image dividing it in half horizontally It has two                        arched windows There is a smoking chimney to the right of the tower To the                        left there is another round tower it is at the back of the building In the                        left background are the outlines of several smaller buildings Most of the                        castle has arched windows though a few are rectangular There are some                        noticeable cracks and paint chipping on the castle walls To the right of the                        centre tower is a bridge with three arches In the foreground are three                        figures wearing military regalia The figure in the centre foreground also                        has a weapon The background is open and undefined The name and artist of the                        image The Castle of Dieppe DYC are in the bottom right corner The engraver’s                        initials C H Sc are in the middle left The image is horizontally                        displayedImage is of a woman in full profile She is facing the left with her                        eyes closed Her dark hair is secured in a bun at the nape of her neck by a                        piece of jewellery or flower Her dress is full with patterned ¾ off the                        shoulder sleeves There are dark bows at the woman’s elbow and wrist and at                        the back of her skirt The neckline of the dress is low and ruffled The woman                        is holding her skirt and a bouquet in her right hand There are four                        butterflies flying around the woman The image title and artist signature are                        in the upper right hand corner the engraver’s name is in the lower right                        hand corner beneath the woman’s hemline The image is open and undefined The                        image is vertically displayed

Lucretia

By

K. Douglas King

            I


IN his life John Burnett suffered no distinction in any circles
beyond that immediate one of his acquaintances and friends. He
was an insignificant man in appearance, in moral force, in intellect,
and in rank—which was that of a navvy. Such fame as was his
in Eastown-by-Line (the mushroom town wherein he lived, and
on whose railroads he worked) came solely through his domestic
troubles. Naturally, the source of these troubles was a woman;
his wife, Lucretia—Luce, for short.

So far as looks went there could not have been a worse assorted
couple than the navvy and his wife. Luce was a splendidly
formed woman, with straight features, level brows, and a
penetrating way of looking out of a pair of very handsome eyes;
but with a screw loose somewhere in the complex machinery of
her moral being. This was the reason why her mouth, which
should have been large and generous, to match her eyes, was
curved to a foolish, little droop, at the corners; and why her lips,
when they were not giving vent to absurd and impossible
aspirations, were pursed up in a thin martyr-shape.

She had a twin sister, who hardly belongs to this story, but

who

224 Lucretia

who told her once that this martyr-expression completely spoilt her
natural good looks. Luce did not discontinue to assume it, even
then.

She was a good workwoman, and had been employed as a
forewoman in a large dressmaking establishment, before John
Burnett (as much to his own as to others astonishment) carried
her off as his wife to Eastown-by-Line. Her married life
(including the bearing of Burnett s children, the rearing of them,
and looking after her husband and the house) entailed on her
sufficient work to keep her mind, as well as body, fully occupied
from sunrise to midnight. In the pursuance of her wifely and
motherly duties she allowed her mind to run woefully astray.
That was the fatal crook in her soul; and, in consequence, her
husband s dinners, the home comfort, and the six Burnett children
(who were a disgrace to their town, so ill-kept were their
persons) suffered severely. If she had been "born a lady" she
would have read "advanced" books, and become an "advanced"
woman. Also, she would have refused the John Burnetts of her
own station who sought her hand in marriage. She would have
known she had a higher duty to perform than to marry a mere
man, and would have acted, generally, according to her convictions
—which were of a subjective nature.

As she had neither the leisure nor the means wherewith to
cultivate the abnormal in her soul, she asserted her independent
womanhood by an intrigue with another man. This other man
lived alone, in a large, ugly ten-roomed villa, part of whose
garden wall formed the eastern boundary of the Burnett backyard.
The navvy lived in the last of a tiny, frail row of four-roomed
houses, on the outskirts of central Eastown-by-Line. The name
of their street was Aspect Road, most felicitously named since
it overlooked a brickfield at its upper end and the gasworks at

the

By K. Douglas King 225

the lower. The new line in course of construction ran, in an
animated streak, between this "view" and Aspect Road, which
was separated from the railway by a low, sloping bank. The
Burnett children, from behind their front garden hedge, used to
throw stones at their father and his mates working on the line,
so short was the distance from the houses to the railroad. The
eastern part of the town was composed of villas and small shops,
and one long, straight avenue, lined with chestnut-trees. There
were six of these trees on either side of the street, and they were
the only trees in the town, except two others—also chestnuts—in
the other man's garden. From west to east, and from the canal
on the south to the railroad on the north, the entire town was a
ghastly blot on the face of the earth.

Life's ironical ruling ordained that the other man should be the
assistant superintending engineer of that part of the line on whose
construction Burnett was engaged. His name was Caldwell, and
he first saw Luce when she was airing the Burnett linen on
her little line that stretched across the whole area of her back-
yard.

Luce's manner whilst hanging out the clothes, that memorable
day, was fraught with a mixture of indolence (which was
characteristic) and impatience, born of intense distaste for the
work in hand. It received presentment in her languid movements
and smouldering eyes. She had been at work since five in the
morning, and it was now six in the evening, and she had still five
more hours' work before her. Of course the woman was tired in
body and sick in soul. It never entered John Burnett's mind (he
being a man, and a mediocre one at that) that the commonplace
drudgery of existence is sheer bondage to the woman who has
sufficient imagination to realise freedom, but not enough to
idealise duty ; and whose household tasks, commencing at

marriage

226 Lucretia

marriage and ending with death, imprison her from dawn to dusk
within four tiny walls.

Luce was in a tense state, and only a match was needed to set a
volcano ablaze. Caldwell watched her as she moved from line to
basket and back again, her fine eyes alight with unsatisfied
desire; her thin lips pouting; a tired flush on her curved cheeks;
her hair falling untidily over her handsome, heavy brow. Watch-
ing her, the assistant superintendent coveted her.

It was not Caldwell's habit to lose time in advancing towards
the attainment of his desires. Between the first attack and the
first conditional surrender, the flame of that desire spread and
intensified until it became a passion that penetrated to the deepest
recesses of his being. Luce was in the most dangerous state of
mind that a woman can possibly be in. She wanted something.
She did not know what she wanted. Moreover, she did not care
any longer about the opinions of her little world. This
recklessness of mood brings shipwreck in its train more surely
than the most deliberately planned wrongdoing. The first
advances came from Caldwell. Luce responded to them with
such doubtful eyes and such a passionately wistful mouth that
the assistant superintendent, connoisseur as he was in his way, lost
his head. He recovered it almost immediately; but then the
mischief was done.

Burnett had broad, stunted features, a slouching bearing, deeply
sunken, almost invisible eyes, a slow-moving intellect, and no social
or conversational gifts whatever. Caldwell, on the contrary, was
a fluent talker, and as flashy in intellect as in appearance. His
prominent lips were shaded by a handsome moustache, and his
eyes were bold, blue and bright. Also, he was a fine, tall fellow,
and, without conceit, could lay claim to a knowledge of women
and their inscrutable ways above that of the average man. This

was

By K. Douglas King 227

was almost as powerful a factor in his success as Luce's own
unfortunate mood. Such love as she had ever felt for John Burnett
was already worn thin by interminable toil for him, his house, and
his children.

When a woman speaks of her offspring as "his children" one
of two things is in process. Either she is meditating a desperate
leap into the dark, or she is digesting the discovery of a new,
hitherto undreamt-of virtue in her husband. Now Burnett had
no special virtues whatever; at least, such as Luce could appre-
ciate. When she began to think of the children as "his children,"
she was already far on the road that leads to dishonour.

That evening when she hung out her washing, and Caldwell
had first seen her, was one far advanced in April. It was
now late in May, and Scandal was very loud and busy up
Aspect Road. Tremulous-mouthed Lucretia did not care. She
was living a double existence, and Burnett and the children
had only the hollow crust of her attentions. After the first
resistance, Caldwell did not find it difficult to persuade her that
Desire was Duty differently spelt, and that her present duty was
to minister to his. A strong man, or a very selfish man, might
have saved Luce yet. But Burnett was neither strong nor selfish.
He loved his wife and was fond of his children; but was as weak
in the management of one as of the other.

He submitted to his home discomfort like a lamb, instead of
roaring like a lion when half-raw or burnt-up food was set before
him. Of course, this complaisance completed the woman's
demoralisation; just as much as his easy-going, indulgent ways
with his children caused them to develop into veritable demons of
juvenile wickedness. When he first heard from the neighbours'
idle talk that his wife was going wrong with another man, and
that man was his own superintendent, he simply did not believe it,

and

228 Lucretia

and went his daily ways without care or perturbation. He loved
his wife, and he still believed in her honesty, although he was
aware, at last, after ten years' vain delusion, that she was no cook.

Scandal, as usual, was premature in its assertions. It spoke as
early as April, while May had passed before Lucretia really fell.
It was on the third of June that Caldwell had said to her, as she
stood by her cottage door, shading her lovely, sad, wild eyes from
the setting sun: "Lucy, are you going to be cruel, still?"

The assistant superintendent had just left the line and was
going to his temporary villa home. His way home always took
him past Burnett's cottage. For weeks past he had not ceased
urging the woman to sin; and last night she had faltered out to
him, when he upbraided her, bitterly, for her cruel coquetry, that
"To-morrow—perhaps—she would—do—what—he wished."

Against the sunset, his eyes flashing inquiry, reproach, and
expectation upon her, he appeared as the representation of all
manly and persuasive power. Luce changed colour, and her eyes
dropped. Her eldest little daughter, Molly, standing by her side,
glanced at the man with calm, splendid eyes of cold disfavour.
She was neither fascinated by his glittering personality nor over-
awed by his position.

Caldwell struck his foot, impatiently, on the ground. "Well,
Luce?" he cried, his eyes burning through her lowered eyelids,
into her very soul; his whole attitude a fierce interrogation.
"Well, Luce?"

Mrs. Burnett raised her eyes, quickly. They were unnaturally
large and bright, and her face was very pale. She nodded, once
or twice, and then turned round, hastily, and went indoors.
Caldwell laughed; a slight flush rose to his cheeks.

His fiery, amorous eyes, travelling back from the sharply closed
door, rested, one second, on Molly Burnett, as she continued to

lean

By K. Douglas King 229

lean against the gatepost, apparently unconscious of her surround-
ings. Molly detested Caldwell. It was this lovely, dirty, pic-
turesque child who used to set her small brothers and sisters,
armed with stones and dirt, on the assistant superintendent. Tiny
arms and the strict necessity of cloaking their tactics by a stout
hedge made the stones of no effect. Molly had the supreme
pleasure, once, of seeing a piece of mud, aimed by her with
feminine precision, stick to the back of his coat. She tried to
bully her little brother, "Jack Spratt" Burnett, into piping rude
remarks at him when they used to go down to the line, with the
other East-town children, to watch operations there. To these
heroic heights, however, Jack Spratt could not ascend. He had
the pacific spirit; and when Molly called him a "bloomin' sheep,"
neither resented the slur on his manhood with retort nor sought
to efface it by action.

Molly's large shining eyes were fixed on the crimson cloudland
on the northern horizon. She looked inexpressibly lovely. Cald-
well shot a keener glance at her.

"Good-night, Molly," he called down, to the slim, motionless,
little figure.

Mrs. Burnett's nine-year-old daughter stonily turned her eyes
upon the man. There was a magnificent disdain in their pellucid
depths. She raised her shoulders ever so slightly; beyond the
cold movement and that colder stare she made no response.

"By Jove!" muttered Caldwell, genuine admiration leaping
hotly out of his eyes. "What a lovely woman the hussy will be
in ten years' time!"

With a gay laugh, he bent forward, of a sudden, and thrust his
moustached lips upon Molly's. Although she was taken com-
pletely by surprise, her defensive action was swifter than his
attack. She ducked, and his mouth barely avoided sharp contact

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. O

with

230 Lucretia

with the top of the gatepost. The next second Molly had sprung
up and struck him a resounding blow on the face.

Man as he was, Caldwell staggered back. Molly's eyes flashed
fire from the other side of the gate. Her bosom heaved.

"Well, I'm damned!" gasped Caldwell at last, with a not
unkindly laugh. "You—little vixen!"

He did not attempt to repeat the experiment, but applied his
handkerchief to his cheek, where a red mark showed. Fortunately
for the dignity of the assistant superintendent's reputation, both
the thickness of the hedge and the sunset hour, when most of the
workmen had gone home, had deprived the scene of spectators.

"Don't you think you can kiss everybody!" cried Molly, in a
choked, passionate whisper, over the gate.

Molly had seen the assistant superintendent kiss her mother
more than once. This action of his, and her mother's complete
acquiescence therein, troubled her—though she could not have
told why. It intensified her dislike of Caldwell into a positive
loathing. She had told Jack Spratt he was to call the assistant
superintendent a "toad" whenever he passed; and used to beat
him when he tearfully refused.

Caldwell took off his hat, and made Molly a sweeping bow
before he passed on.

"In five years, pretty Molly," he said, blandly, "I'll wager you
won't refuse a man's kiss. You'll be as eager for kisses then, my
girl, as any of 'em. They all are, you know, pretty Molly!
There's not a petticoated creature made that isn't!"

"You're a lie," returned Molly, promptly. "You're a great,
fat lie!"

Caldwell laughed again pleasantly, and turned on his heel. He
was not angry, now that the first shock of his discomfiture was
over; even though his cheek was still smartly stinging. When

he

By K. Douglas King 231

he had swung his garden gate to behind him, he had forgotten all
about his late misadventure. Lucretia's splendid eyes, with their
vague longing and alternate melancholy and fire, possessed his
vision. The exultation caused by her promise burned up again in
his soul. He had made communication both easy and secret
between the two households; the last barrier was broken down
between them.



            II


Burnett's domestic troubles were the common talk of Aspect
Road. The matrons loudly expressed their disgust with Luce's
share in the scandal. They reserved an opinion on the super-
intendent's part until the doors were closed. The husbands of
most were working under Caldwell and his chief. The men on
the line blamed Burnett for being a fool more than they con-
demned the assistant superintendent, in their hearts, for a knave.
Though they gossiped freely among themselves, they forbore to
offer any opinion on the case to Burnett himself. The women
were not so considerate. Burnett's behaviour in allowing Luce
(whose guilt was established beyond a doubt) to continue to live
in his house, as if the sanctity of their marriage tie had never been
violated, exasperated the women into shrill taunts, which were
fearlessly and freely hurled at the unfortunate navvy.

Caldwell was not prepared at first that Lucretia should lire
entirely in his house; and Burnett, when the truth of the matter
was at last borne in upon his stubborn, unreceptive brain, received
from this fact some sort of faint comfort in the midst of his misery.
His love for his wife was of unsuspected magnitude, and of a
magnanimity beyond chivalry. It was not only for the sake of
the six lovely, dirty little children, who rioted, now without shadow

of

232 Lucretia

of restraint, about the road, that he was still willing to forgive
Luce, and that he hoped against hope to win her back to him.

Luce went about her daily duties with little outward change.
Perhaps there was more of dreamy haphazard in her method of
work than before Caldwell came to possess her thoughts; but
there had been always so much left to Providence in the internal
ordering of the Burnett household, that a little additional disorder
was hardly noticeable. She grew to look more like a restless,
untamed spirit every day. By turns she was passionately attentive
to the children and completely neglectful of them. But her
manner with them was always kind. Burnett, swayed by the
twin spirits of his steadfast hope and his great affection, met her
indifference to him with a phlegm that concealed, almost too
successfully, the deadly wound her conduct was inflicting.

It was on June the third that Luce gave her fatal promise.
The month of roses was drawing to an end before the navvy spoke
to his wife of what lay up heavily on the hearts of each. Mrs.
Burnett was lazily stirring porridge for the children's supper
before the kitchen fire. Burnett had come in from work on the
line two hours before. Ever since his entrance he had been
watching her flitting dreamily to and fro—he moodily sitting in a
corner, no word, good or bad, passing between the pair. It had
been pay night, and it was one of the assistant superintendent's
duties to pay the men their weekly wage. Burnett, whose innate
sensitiveness was largely increased by the suspense and anguish of
the last month, fancied Caldwell shot a look of triumph on him as
he went up to receive his money at the superintendent's hand.
AJ, a matter of fact, Caldwell had done nothing of the sort. He
hardly knew Burnett by sight, and he certainly did not wish to
provoke Lucretia's husband into any manifestation of anger before
the other men.

That

By K. Douglas King 233

That fancied look, rankling in his heart, impelled the navvy at
last to speak. But what he did and what he said were very
different from that which he had intended to do or say.

"Oh, Luce, dear," he began, moving quickly forward and
throwing his arms round the woman. "Oh, my dear, dear wife!
Do come back to me, an' be as you was before this trouble
began!"

Lucretia was thoroughly taken aback by this impetuous appeal,
and by the violent exhibition of his feelings. The next minute,
however, she rallied her forces, and slipped from his embrace.
Turning, she faced him, with heightened colour and sparkling
eyes. She held the spoon that she had hastily withdrawn from
the saucepan when he had first seized her, and porridge dropped
from it unheeded in great splashes on the floor.

"I—I haven't left you!" she cried, defiantly, the scarlet spot
deepening in her cheeks. "And so how can I come back,
pray?"

She cast a triumphant look on him, as if to ask how he thought
he was going to answer that unanswerable question. Burnett's
eyes were fixed on the largest porridge splash at his feet, and he
only sighed heavily.

There was a short pause. Then Burnett in a hurried, stifled,
voice:

"'Tis true—for all the same!"

"What's true?" asked the woman, with a toss of her head,
and another flash of her eyes.

"What they're sayin' o' ye an'—an' that feller Caldwell,"
mumbled her husband. A savage glow lit up his downcast eyes
one minute; the next, all the light was out, and they reassumed
their normal dulness of appearance.

Mrs. Burnett made no reply, but resumed operations in her

porridge

234 Lucretia

porridge saucepan. The spoon clattered loudly against its metal
sides, and Luce's hand trembled. Burnett shifted from one foot
to the other. At last he burst out into speech again.

"I've never ill-treated ye, nor come home boozy, nor knocked
the children about," said the navvy. "Ye've had my weekly
wages reg'lar an' full always ! and I've let ye go yer own way in
the 'ouse an' never put in my oar in nothink, but let ye 'ave yer
own way in everythink," he repeated, doggedly. "An' I can't
think"—he choked—"I can't think why ye're treatin' me
so!"

Mrs. Burnett poured out porridge into six chipped plates. Her
hands were shaking, and some of the scalding stuff splashed on to
them. She bit her lips and spoke never a word.

"Lucy!"

She started; Burnett's voice was so soft and tremulous, and
full of pleading love. Since the early days of their marriage, ten
years ago, he had not called her anything but Luce. Now
another man called her Lucy, whose voice was like music to her
weary soul.

"Lucy," said Burnett, huskily, "oh, my girl, do come back,
an'—an' love me as you used!"

As his sad voice died away there came from without the sound
of many little footsteps and voices. A look of extreme relief
passed over the woman's face. The Burnett children, in spite of
the irregular ways of the household, showed a remarkable genius
for coming up to time, so far as the hours of the meals were con-
cerned. The difficulty often was that they were ready for the
meal before it was ready for them. Burnett slunk back to his
corner at sound of their approach; something like despair flitted
across his stubbly, inexpressive face.

"You—you don't understand me!" cried Mrs. Burnett,

hurriedly,

By K. Douglas King 235

hurriedly, over her shoulder, as her husband moved heavily away.
There was the suspicion of a sob in her voice. "You never have
understood me—never! And talking of ill-treatment and all
that shows you don't and can't understand me!"

Burnett showed a face of blank, mystified despair at the eternal
feminine wail. It was as incomprehensible to him as if it had
been uttered in a foreign language of which he was entirely
ignorant. It was the navvy's loss that Caldwell understood it as
completely as man ever can.

The day after Burnett ventured his appeal, a momentous thing
happened. It occurred at noon, and was nothing less than the
breathless descent on the Burnett fold of Mrs. Burnett's twin
sister.

Mrs. Burnett's sister was also a wife of ten years' experience;
but she was not a mother. It was her one bitter sorrow.
Tidings of the Burnett-Caldwell scandal had reached her in
her little Northamptonshire village, and her unexpected visit was
the result. It occurred at the midday dinner hour, which, strange
to say, was up to time that day. The Burnett flock were des-
patching slabs of suet pudding and treacle, carved and ladled out
by Mrs. Burnett, at the kitchen dresser, when the cloaked and
bonnetted apparition, omitting the formality of knocking, appeared
in the doorway. Burnett was eating a solitary dinner on the
bank overlooking the line in course of construction.

"Annie!" cried Mrs. Burnett. She fell back a step; her
face, dyed suddenly scarlet at sight of her visitor, rapidly changed
to a deadly pallor.

"Luce," said the other woman.

"Not before the children!" cried Lucretia, putting out her
hands, as if warding off a blow. "Oh, not a word before the
children, Annie!" she cried, passionately.

The

236 Lucretia

The other woman had Lucretia's splendid, slightly scornful
eyes. Molly had her aunt's large, full mouth.

"I wasn't goin' to say a word," returned Annie; her sad lips
trembled. "'Tisn't no use; I knew that afore I came. I know
you, Luce! No! an' I won't sit down an' eat anythink, Luce;
I've a back train to catch, an' time's short. I came to ask, Luce,
if—"

She faltered here, and changed colour. Lucretia bit her lips.

"Well," she said, sullenly, "if what?"

"I came to ask if I could take the children home with me for
a spell, Luce," said her sister, softly.

An indescribable tumult took possession of Lucretia's soul.
Many conflicting voices clamoured for a hearing. Luce, con-
founded, taken by surprise, and dismayed to death at heart, listened,
with difficulty, to the loudest and most importunate.

"Yes," she said, heavily, at last; "you can, if you like."

Mrs. Burnett's sister had come, primed with the best intention
in the world. She had not for a moment expected that her de-
liberately planned request would be granted. When Luce mut-
tered out her slow "Yes," she was amazed, but not dismayed.
She thought she was acting for the best in removing the Burnett
children from the immediate scene of their mother's sin ; but the
wisdom of her act may be questioned. In less than half an hour
the entire flock was ready to start, baggage, such as it was, and
all.

The parting was brief, and without undue expression of senti-
ment. The eleven months old baby was asleep when it changed
hands. The childless woman received it with a most motherly,
caressing movement; Luce's face was hard and rigid. The
younger children were jubilant at the thought of the journey, but
cried at having to leave their home, as they went down the little

garden

By K. Douglas King 237

garden path into the road. Jack Spratt neither cried nor laughed.
He was awed by Molly's proud, pale face.

"Leave me—her," whispered Lucretia, with a little catch of
her breath, and nodding, feverishly, in the direction of her eldest
daughter, now occupied in nursing the youngest boy but one.

"God's sake not her—out of any of 'em!" cried back Molly's
aunt, in a fierce, incoherent undertone; and Molly was swept off
in the general exodus.

Mrs. Burnett watched them as they went down the dusty road.
Molly carried the youngest baby, and her aunt had her late burden,
a sturdy two-year-old. The two younger girls clasped hands,
and walked demurely in front of the hen-in-charge. Jack Spratt
walked alone, a few paces in front, as became the man of the
party. Mrs. Burnett watched them, with dry eyes and burning
eyeballs, until they were out of sight. Then she went indoors,
and fell into a chair, sobbing and weeping, till her emotions
seemed as if they would tear her thin frame asunder.

"Oh, if she had only left me Molly!" she moaned, in the
intervals of her heavy sobbing. "If she had only left me my
pretty Molly—my pretty, pretty girl!"

She had not recovered herself till four o'clock chimed out,
unevenly, from the dilapidated kitchen clock. At that moment
a man's footstep was heard to approach from without; and a
man's voice called her name, softly, through the half-opened
doorway.

He called her Lucy, and Mrs. Burnett leaped to her feet, and
with a little, strangled cry, threw herself upon his breast. His
arms met tightly round her, and he held her thus pressed to him,
for a minute, without speaking. He could see her nerves were
shattered, and that she was in a more desperate state even than
when she had given him her first promise. "Oh, they've taken

away

238 Lucretia

away my children, Jamie!" she sobbed out, at last. "Take me
home with you! don't leave me here in my empty home, Jamie!
I can't bear it!"

Caldwell held her closer to him. He had come, fearing for
once a possible refusal, on purpose to ask her that to which her own
beseeching words to him now gave the affirmatory answer.

Five minutes later Luce left her home on his arm. "I'll take
you right away from this one-horse place, Lucy," Caldwell said
to her, as they went out. " My work is done here, with the
doing of the line's."

He referred to the completion of the line, the last detail of
whose construction would be an accomplished fact by sunset.
With the running of the first train, thereon, on the morrow,
Caldwell's duties, as assistant superintendent of the men at work
on it, would be over.

"I'll belong to you now, Jamie, for ever and ever," Lucretia
whispered up to him, as they gained his front door. She did not
mind now if all the world saw her enter Caldwell's house.
"They've taken my children away, and I'll only belong to you
now, for ever and ever, Jamie," she repeated, as he led her into
her new home. He bent and kissed her quivering lips.

When Burnett was going home that night, a neighbour,
overflowing with news, darted out, from the next house. She
had been waiting three hours for his advent, although she knew
he could not be due in Aspect Road till past six. She was
consumed with fear lest another neighbour should tell him the
news before she had the chance.

She followed Burnett up his garden plot, in order to drive the
bits of information deeper down into his dull, clouded brain.

"Their aunt came, Burnett, sure as I'm a livin' woman, and
took 'em all away—the baby an' that limb, Molly, herself!"

reiterated

By K. Douglas King 239

reiterated the shrill-voiced informant. "How you stare, man!
I tell you they're gone, the whole lot o' them; at half-past one
they went past our windys, and says I, 'Lawks, that's Burnett's
lot!'"

Burnett turned on his threshold and faced her with working
jaws. She was not overcome at sight of his distress. Her mind
flew off on a fresh tangent.

"An' Caldwell took her off, Burnett," went on the shrill tale-
bearer. "In bare daylight, as bold as brass, she went off on his
arm! these eyes o' mine saw it! 'twas like a theayter piece! and
thinks I, oh, that poor soul, Burnett, who—"

The navvy waved her back, and she retired, somewhat awed at
last, by his expression and his speechlessness. Burnett entered his
empty home.

"I don't believe her," he muttered, staring vacantly around.
"It's a damned lie!"

Nevertheless, the rooms were empty of wife, of children, and
of children's clothes and broken toys. Burnett fell to thinking
that perhaps the neighbour had not lied, after all.

A headless rag doll, lying under a chair, caught his eye. He
remembered, with the first thrill of pain, recognised as such, that
he had left his baby sucking it, contentedly, in its cradle when he
went out that morning to put the finishing touches to the line.
He stooped and picked it up, and stood, stroking it, mechanically,
with his grimy hand. Burnett had not an ounce of sentiment
about him, though he had a greater capacity for affection than
Luce had ever discovered. After a while he ceased stroking the
headless doll, and put it in his breast-pocket. He was not an
heroic figure, in his far from clean working suit, and with his
broad, undeveloped features and stubbly hair and beard; but, as
he awkwardly shovelled the rag doll to his breast, his lower lip

trembling

240 Lucretia

trembling the while, he seemed to be invested with a pathetic
majesty that was far above any physical grandeur.

"The childern's gone," thought Burnett, rousing himself with
a heavy sigh. "But their aunt 'ull take care of 'em till—till the
home's ready for 'em ag'in."

He went out, swiftly closing the door behind him. Twilight
was falling, and a sense of great loneliness caught him for the first
time, as if two hands had clutched him by the throat. He
wheeled sharply towards Caldwell's house.

"She must come back if she thinks o' the childern, and knows
I'm mor'n willing to have her back ag'in," he said to himself with
a tearless sob. "She must do that!"

A bell hung to his hand by Caldwell's front door, and he pulled
it. Though he was quite calm and composed to all outward
appearances, he was, in reality, labouring under a violent excite-
ment that made him feel sick and giddy. There was no response
of any kind to his ring, and his eye caught the knocker on the
door. He wondered, dully, why he had not seen it before, and
struck it loudly several times on the metal plate.

There was a dreadful silence. Burnett s throat contracted.
Then there came the sound of footsteps, and Caldwell himself
threw the door open. He did not recognise his visitor at first,
and met him with an impatient exclamation.

Burnett moved doggedly forward over the threshold, and a
hanging lamp in the hall revealed his identity. Caldwell gave
vent to a little low whistle of astonishment.

"I—I want to see my wife," stammered the navvy. He found
it difficult to speak, owing to the dry condition of his lips. As
Caldwell continued to preserve silence, he cried again, striking
his nailed boot sharply on the hall floor, "I tell you I want to see
the woman who's my wife!"

"Oh,

By K. Douglas King 241

"Oh, come in, come in," said the assistant superintendent,
blandly. "Only no violence before the lady, you know, and no
threats."

"I'm not such a fool as to threaten," cried out Burnett,
shaking from head to foot in his violent excitement. "I know
I'm a fool and can't understand women like her," he added,
bitterly. "But I'm not such a fool as to threaten her or any
woman!"

"Oh, come in," repeated Caldwell, opening a door at the end
of the passage. He passed in himself, and Burnett followed
heavily. Lucretia was within; she had heard voices and had
risen. As Caldwell entered she ran to him and clasped his arm.
Burnett faced them.

"Well," said Caldwell, at last, breaking a momentous silence.
"Here is the lady you wanted to see. Say what you have to say,
please, and have done with it. We are particularly engaged to-
night."

The outrageous nature of this last remark was apparently lost
upon the navvy. He-was looking at Lucretia intently. He had
never ceased looking at her since he had entered the room.
Lucretia looked only at her lover.

Suddenly Burnett ran forward with extended arms. "Oh, my
lass!" he cried; "my dear, own lass! come home with me
again, an' we'll forget all this! Come home with me, Lucy!
come home, my poor dear! Oh, do come home!"

Two scalding tears slowly trickled down the navvy's weather-
beaten cheeks. Lucretia shot a glance towards him. There was
no relenting in her eyes.

"You see she won't come," began Caldwell, lightly, after
another pause. "She doesn't want—"

"Let her speak herself," broke in Burnett, hoarsely. "You've

spoke

242 Lucretia

spoke too much for her, as well as to her, damn you! Now
don't interfere now between man and wife!"

"Don't you coerce her," retorted Caldwell, blandly. "She
knows her own mind, I should hope! If she doesn't want to
come back to you, she doesn't!"

"Well, let her speak for herself, for God Almighty's sake,"
cried Burnett. "An' don't put your words into her mouth."

"Answer him, dear," said Caldwell, turning his face towards
Lucretia. "And in your own words, as your heart dictates.
Choose, Lucy! will you have him or me?"

"Oh! Jamie, Jamie!"

"You see," said Caldwell, holding Lucretia to his heart, as he
faced the speechless man, a few paces in front of him. "She
chooses me."

Burnett's mouth opened and shut. He said nothing.

"She made a mistake when she married you," said Caldwell,
coolly. "She found it out when she saw me, and now she's
rectifying it. It's quite natural, you know, and an event of every
day occurrence."

"I don't know about no ev'ry day 'vents," sobbed the navvy.
"But I know you've broke my heart, an' I hope you'll burn in
hell fires!"

Lucretia's flaming face looked up above Caldwell's caressing
arms.

"And if he does," she cried back, "by God Almighty, John
Burnett! I'll burn with him too!"

Her fierce, adoring eyes devoured her lover's face. Caldwell
bent his head till his lips met hers.

Burnett heard their kiss as he went heavily out.

He crossed the threshold and drew the door sharply to
behind him. Then he turned, swiftly, impulsively. Lucretia's

name

By K. Douglas King 243

name choked in his throat. The hard, unyielding door reminded
him of the futility of his effort, and he laughed, mocking, in his
anguish, his own bitter mistake. There was no moon; the
twilight had passed, leaving the darker night behind. A tear
stood out on his worn, whitened cheeks and his teeth clenched
on a sob, when he lifted the latch of his house door and passed
into his dishonoured home.

"The childern's gone, too," he said again, gazing round the
empty room, in dreary, vacant misery. "But this aunt'll bring
'em back ag'in some day, when Molly's grown more handylike, to
shift for me an' the little uns alone. An' I'll stay on 'ere till they
comes. I'll not go too. An' p'raps—p'raps—she'll come back
too, some day. . . ."

He stumbled, slowly and awkwardly, up and down his kitchen,
painfully working out his scheme of the future in his dull, heavy
brain. "I don't understand her," he muttered, again, his future
revolving round his wife as its sole, eternal pivot. He had not
yet realised that Lucretia was lost to him for ever. "I don't
understand her," he groaned, "nor any woman ; but p'raps she'll
grow tired and 'ave no place to lay her tired 'ead in—my poor
lass!—an' p'raps she'll remember our only home we ever 'ad
together, she an' me, an' so p'raps she'll come back to it at last.
If I goes on livin' 'ere, same as ever, p'raps she ll come back at
last."

Dawn broke over the grey wilderness of slate roofs, over the
railroad, where it circled round the eastern suburb of the town,
over the dreary brickfields.

"I'll light a fire, so as she'll see there's no change 'ere,"
thought Burnett, setting, awkwardly enough, to his unwonted
task. A fitful eagerness flashed over his stolid face.

There was a slight breeze from the west. The pale, twisted

smoke

244 Lucretia

smoke column from Burnett's chimney overtook the larger
volume that was gaily spouting from the big chimney on the
assistant superintendent's house. Both were mingled together as
they were blown, eastwards, over the town. At his usual time
Burnett went down to his work on the line.

"If so be as she gives a thought to—to what she's left be'ind,"
he thought, "she'll see me goin' an' think I'm the same as usual.
'Twill make 'er comin' back the easier."

He clung to the one remaining hope that Lucretia's faithlessness
had not uprooted and cast out of his life. Without that anchor
to his miserable soul he would have been like a ship adrift on an
open sea, and shipwreck would speedily have followed. Contrary
to habit, he went home at midday, to eat his dinner in his own
house.

"'Twill seem more—more homelike," he thought. "An'
'twill be another chanst for 'er to see I'm not meanin' to leave my
home."

The long, hot afternoon of toil dragged to a weary close on the
line.

Burnett sat by his cottage door, staring, steadily, across the
railroad. The sun went slowly down beyond the deserted
brickfields; the twilight drew closer around him, and shut him
in, alone. A board with "To Let" written across it, in bright
black letters had been set up above the fence in front of the
assistant superintendent's late home, since midday.

"But she'll come back some day," thought Burnett. His dry,
miserable eyes looked, blankly, into the growing darkness. "She
must—she must do that! She must know—she looked at my
chimney as she . . . as she went . . . an' she must know how I
love her. . . ."

Night fell slowly over the town.

The Serjeant-at-Law

By

Francis Watt

YOU have no doubt, at some time or other, walked through
the Royal Courts of Justice and admired the judges in their
scarlet or other bravery. One odd little detail may have caught
your eye : the wigs of three seniors are differenced from those
of their brethren by a black patch on the top. It signifies that
the wearers are serjeants-at-law, and when the last of them goes
to return no more, with him, it seems, will vanish the Order of
the Coif. Verily, it will be the "end o' an auld sang," of a
record stretching back to the beginning of English jurisprudence,
of an order whose passing had at one time seemed the passing ot
the law itself. Here, in bare outline, I set forth its ancient and
famous history. And, first, as to the name. Under the feudal
system land was held from the Crown upon various tenures.
Sometimes special services were required from the holders ; these
were called Serjeants, and the tenure was said to be by serjeanty.
Special services, though usually military, now and again had to
do with the administration of justice. A man enjoyed his plot
because he was coroner, keeper of the peace, summoner, or what
not ; and, over and above the land, he had the fees of the office.
A few offices, chiefly legal, came to have no land attached—were
only paid in fees. Such a business was a serjeanty in gross, or at

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. p

large,

246 The Serjeant-at-Law

large, as one might say. Again, after the Conquest, whilst the
records of our law courts were Latin, the spoken language was
Norman-French—a fearful and wondrous tongue that grew to
be ; "as ill an hearing in the mouth as law-French," says Milton
scornfully, and indeed Babel had scarce matched it. But from
the first it must have been a sore vexation to the thick-witted
Saxon haled before the tribunal of his conqueror. He needs
must employ a counter, or man skilled in the conte, as the plead-
ing was called. The business was a lucrative one, so the
Crown assumed the right of regulation and appointment. It was
held for a serjeanty in gross, and its holders were servientes regis
ad legem. The word regis was soon omitted except as regards
those specially retained for the royal service. The literal trans-
lation of the other words is serjeants-at-law, still the designation
of the surviving fellows of the order. The serjeant-at-law was
appointed, or in form at least, commanded to take office by writ
under the Great Seal. He was courteously addressed as "you,"
whilst the sheriff was commonly plain "thou " or "thee." The
King's or Queen's Serjeants were appointed by letters patent; and
though this official is extinct as the dodo he is mentioned after the
Queen's Attorney-General as public prosecutor in the proclamation
still mumbled at the opening of Courts like the Old Bailey.

Now, in early Norman times the aula regis, or Supreme Court,
was simply the king acting as judge with the assistance of his
great officers of state. In time there developed therefrom among
much else the three old common law courts ; whereof the
Common Pleas settled the disputes of subjects, the King's Bench
suits concerning the king and the realm, the Exchequer revenue
matters. Though the two last by means of quaint fictions
afterwards acquired a share of private litigation, yet such was
more properly for the Court of Common Pleas. It was peculiarly

the

By Francis Watt 247

the Serjeants' court, and for many centuries, up to fifty years ago,
they had the right to exclusive audience. Until the Judicature
Acts they were the body of men next to the judges, each being
addressed from the bench as brother, and from them the judges
must be chosen ; also until 1850 the assizes must be held before a
judge or a serjeant of the coif.

A clause in Magna Charta provided that the Common Pleas
should not follow the king's wanderings but sit in a fixed place ;
this "fixed place" came to be near the great door of the Hall at
Westminster. When the wind was in the north, the spot was
cold and draughty, so after the Restoration some daring innovator
proposed "to let it (the Court) in through the wall into a back
room which they called the treasury." Sir Orlando Bridgeman,
the chief justice, would on no account hear of this. It was a
flagrant violation of Magna Charta to move it an inch. Might
not, he darkly hinted, all its writs be thus rendered null and void ?
Was legal pedantry ever carried further ? one wonders. In a
later age the change was made without comment, and in our own
time the Common Pleas itself has gone to the lumber-room. No
doubt this early fixing of the Court helped to develop a bar
attendant on it. Other species of practitioners, barristers, attorneys,
solicitors in time arose, and the appointment of Queen's Counsel,
of whom Lord Bacon was the earliest, struck the first real blow
at the Order of the Coif, but the detail of such things is not for
this page. In later days every serjeant was a more fully developed
barrister, and then and now, as is well known, every barrister
must belong to one of the four Inns of Court—the two temples,
Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn to wit, whose history cannot be
told here ; suffice it to say they were voluntary associations of
lawyers, which gradually acquired the right of calling to the bar
those who wished to practise.

Now

248 The Serjeant-at-Law

Now the method of appointment of Serjeants was as follows :
The judges, headed by the chief justice of the Common Pleas,
picked out certain eminent barristers as worthy of the dignity,
their names were given in to the Lord Chancellor, and in due
time each had his writ whereof he formally gave his Inn notice.
His House entertained him at a public breakfast, presented him
with a gold or silver net purse with ten guineas or so as a retain-
ing fee, the chapel bell was tolled, and he was solemnly rung out
of the bounds. On the day of his call he was harangued (often at
preposterous length) by the chief justice of the King's Bench, he
knelt down, and the white coif of the order was fitted on his head ;
he went in procession to Westminster and "counted" in a real
action in the Court of Common Pleas. For centuries he did so
in law-French. Lord Hardwicke was the first serjeant who
"counted" in English. The new-comer was admitted a member
of Serjeants Inn, in Chancery Lane, in ancient times called
Farringdon Inn, whereof all the members were Serjeants. Here
they dined together on the first and last days of term : their
clerks also dined in hall, though at a separate table—a survival, no
doubt, from the days when the retainer feasted, albeit "below the
salt," with his master. Dinner done and the napery removed,
the board of green cloth was constituted, and under the presidency
of the chief judge the business of the House was transacted.
There was a second Serjeants' Inn in Fleet Street, but in 1758 its
members joined the older institution in Chancery Lane. When
the Judicature Acts practically abolished the order, the Inn was
sold and its property divided among the members, a scandalous
proceeding and poor result of "the wisdom of an heep of lernede
men !"

The Serjeant's feast on his appointment was a magnificent affair,
instar corcnationis,as Fortescue has it. In old times it lasted seven

days;

By Francis Watt 249

days , one of the largest palaces in the metropolis was selected,
and kings and queens graced its quaint ceremonial. Stow
chronicles one such celebration at the call of eleven Serjeants in
1531. There were consumed "twenty- four great beefes, one
hundred fat muttons, fifty-one great veales, thirty-four porkes,"
not to mention the swans, the larkes, the "capons of Kent," the
"carcase of an ox from the shambles," and so forth. One fancies
these solids were washed down by potations proportionately long
and deep. And there were other attractions and other expenses.
At the feast in October 1552, "a standing dish of wax represent-
ing the Court of Common Pleas" was the admiration of the
guests ; again, a year or two later, it is noted that each serjeant
was attended by three gentlemen selected by him from among the
members of his own Inn to act as his sewer, his carver, and his
cup-bearer. These Gargantuan banquets must have proved a
sore burden : they were cut down to one day, and, on the union
of the Inns in 1758, given up as unsuited to the newer time.

One expense remained. Serjeants on their call must give gold
rings to the sovereign, the lord chancellor, the judges, and many
others. From about the time of Elizabeth mottoes or "posies"
were engraved thereon. Sometimes each serjeant had his own
device, more commonly the whole call adopted the same motto,
which was usually a compliment to the reigning monarch or an
allusion to some public event. Thus, after the Restoration the
words ran : Adeste Carolus Magnus. With a good deal of elision
and twisting the Roman numerals for 1660 were extracted from
this, to the huge delight of the learned triflers. Imperlum et
libertas was the word for 1700, and plus quam speravlmus that of
1714, which was as neat as any. The rings were presented to
the judges by the serjeant's "colt," as the barrister attendant on
him through the ceremony was called (probably from colt, an

apprentice) ;

250 The Serjeant-at-Law

apprentice) ; he also had a ring. In the ninth of Geo. II. the
fourteen new Serjeants gave as of duty 1409 rings, valued at
£773- That call cost each serjeant nearly £200. This ring-
giving continued to the end ; another custom, that of giving
liveries to relatives and friends, was discontinued in 1759.


In mediaeval times the new Serjeants went in procession to
St. Paul's, and worshipped at the shrine of Thomas à Becket ; then
to each was allotted a pillar so that his clients might know where
to find him. The Reformation put a summary end to the wor-
ship of St. Thomas, but the formality of the pillar lingered on till
Old St. Paul's and Old London blazed in the Great Fire of 1666.

The mediaeval lawyer lives for us to-day in Chaucer's famous
picture :

"A Sergeant of Lawe, war and wys,
That often hadde ben atte parvys,
Ther was also, ful riche of excellence.
Discret he was, and of great reverence :
He semede such, his wordes weren so wise,
Justice he was ful often in assise,
By patente, and by pleyn commissioun ;
For his science, and for his heih renoun,
Of fees and robes hadde he many oon.
So gret a purchasour was nowher noon.
Al was fee symple to him in effecte,
His purchasyng mighte nought ben enfecte.
Nowher so besy a man as he ther nas,
And yit he seemede besier than he was.
In termes hadde he caas and domes alle ;
That fro the tyme of kyng William were falle.
Therto he couthe endite, and make a thing,
Ther couthe no wight pynche at his writyng ;
And every statute couthe he pleyn by roote.

He

By Francis Watt 251

He rood but hoomly in a medlé coote,
Gird with a seynt of silk, with barres smale ;
Of his array telle I no lenger tale."

How lifelike that touch of the fussy man, who "seemede besier
than he was !" But each line might serve as text for a long dis-
sertation ! The old court hours were early : the judges sat from
eight till eleven, when your busy serjeant would, after bolting his
dinner, hie him to his pillar where he would hear his client's
story, "and take notes thereof upon his knee." The parvys or
pervyse of Paul's—properly, only the church door—had come to
mean the nave of the cathedral, called also "Paul's Walk," or
"Duke Humphrey's Walk," from the supposed tomb of Duke
Humphrey that stood there. In Tudor times it was the great
lounge and common newsroom of London. Here the needy ad-
venturer "dined with Duke Humphrey," as the quaint euphemism
ran ; here spies garnered in the popular opinion for the authorities.
It was the very place for the lawyer to meet his client, yet had he
other resorts : the round of the Temple Church and Westminster
are noted as in use for consultations.

Chaucer's serjeant "rood but hoomly" because he was travel-
ling ; in court he had a long priest-like robe, with a furred cape
about his shoulders and a scarlet hood. The gowns were various,
and sometimes parti-coloured. Thus in 1555 we find each new
serjeant possessed of one robe of scarlet, one of violet, one of
brown and blue, one of mustard and murrey, with tabards (short
sleeveless coats) of cloths of the same colours. The cape was
edged, first with lambskin, afterwards with more precious stuff.
In Langland's Vision of Piers Plowman (1362) there is mention
of this dress of the Serjeants, they are jibed at for their love of
fees and so forth, after a fashion that is not yet extinct ! But
the distinctive feature in the dress was the coif, a close-fitting head

covering

252 The Serjeant-at-Law

covering made of white lawn or silk. A badge of honour, it was
worn on all professional occasions, nor was it doffed even in the
king's presence. In monumentnl effigies it is ever clearly shown.
When a serjeant resigned his dignity he was formally discharged
from the obligation of wearing it. To discuss its exact origin
were fruitless, yet one ingenious if mistaken conjecture may be
noticed. Our first lawyers were churchmen, but in 1217 these
were finally debarred from general practice in the courts. Many
were unwilling to abandon so lucrative a calling, but what about
the tonsure ? "They were for decency and comeliness allowed
to cover their bald pates with a coif, which has been ever since
retained." Thus the learned Serjeant Wynne in his tract on the
antiquity and dignity of the order (1765). In Tudor times, if
not before, fashion required the serjeant to wear a small skull-cap
of black silk or velvet on the top of the coif. This is very clearly
shown in one of Lord Coke's portraits. Under Charles II.
lawyers, like other folk, began to wear wigs, the higher they were
the bigger their perukes. It was wittily said that bench and bar
went into mourning on Queen Anne's death, and so remained,
since their present dress is that then adopted. Serjeants were un-
willing to lose sight of their coifs altogether, and it was suggested
on the wig by a round patch of black and white, representing the
white coif and the cap which had covered it. The limp cap of
black cloth known as the "black cap" which the judge assumes
when about to pass sentence of death was, it seems, put on to veil
the coif, and as a sign of sorrow. It was also carried in the hand
when attending divine service, and was possibly assumed in pre-
Reformation times when prayers were said for the dead.

A few words will tell of the fall of the order. As far back as
1755 Sir John Willis, chief justice of the Common Pleas, pro-
posed to throw open that Court as well as the office of judge to

barristers

By Francis Watt 253

barristers who were not Serjeants, but the suggestion came to
nothing. In 1834, the bill for the establishment of a Central
Criminal Court contained a clause to open the Common Pleas ;
this was dropped, but the same object was attained by a royal
warrant, 25th April 1834. The legality of this was soon
questioned and, after solemn argument before the Privy Council,
it was declared invalid. In 1846 a statute (the 9 & 10 Viet.
c. 54) to the same effect settled the matter, and the Judicature Act
of 1873 provided that no judge need in future be a serjeant. On
the dissolution of Serjeants' Inn its members were received back
into the Houses whence they had come.

As for centuries all the judges were Serjeants, the history of the
order is that of the bench and bar of England ; yet some famous
men rose no higher, or for one reason or other became representa-
tive members. Such a one was Sir John Maynard (1602-1690).
In his last years William III. commented on his venerable appear-
ance : "He must have outlived all the lawyers of his time." "If
your Highness had not come I should have outlived the law itself,"
was the old man's happy compliment. Pleading in a Chancery
case, he remarked that he had been counsel in the same case half
a century before ; he had steered a middle course in those troubled
times, but he had leant to the side of freedom against King
and Protector alike. His share in the impeachment of Stafford
procured him a jibe in Butler's Hudibras, yet it was said that
all parties seemed willing to employ him, and that he seemed
willing to be employed by all. Jeffreys, who usually deferred to
him, once blustered out, "You are so old as to forget your law,
Brother Maynard." "True, Sir George, I have forgotten more
law than ever you knew," was the crushing retort. Macaulay
has justly praised his conduct at the Revolution for that he urged
his party to disregard legal technicalities and adopt new methods

for

254 The Serjeant-at-Law

for new and unheard-of circumstances. Edmund Plowden (1518-
1585) deserves at least equally high praise. He was so determined
a student that "for three years he went not once out of the
Temple." He is said to have refused the chancellorship offered
him by Elizabeth as he would not desert the old faith. He was
attacked again and again for nonconformity, but his profound
knowledge of legal technicalities enabled him on each occasion to
escape the net spread for him. He was an Englishman loyal to
the core, and, Catholic as he was, opposed in 1555 the violent
proceedings of Queen Mary's parliament. The attorney-general
filed a bill against him for contempt, but "Mr. Plowden traversed
fully, and the matter was never decided." "A traverse full of
pregnancy," is Lord Coke's enthusiastic comment. On his death
in 1585 they buried him in that Temple Church whose soil
must have seemed twice sacred to this oracle of the law. An
alabaster monument whereon his effigy reposes remains to this
day. A less distinguished contemporary was William Bendloes
(1516-1584), Old Bendloes men called him. A quaint legend
reports him the only serjeant at the Common Pleas bar in the
first year of Elizabeth's reign. Whether there was no business,
or merely half-guinea motions of course, or the one man argued
on both sides, or whether the whole story be a fabrication, 'tis scarce
worth while to inquire.

I pass to more modern times. William Davy was made serjeant-
at-law in 1754. His wit combats with Lord Mansfield are still
remembered. His lordship was credited with a desire to sit on
Good Friday ; our serjeant hinted that he would be the first
judge that had done so since Pontius Pilate ! Mansfield scouted
one of Davy's legal propositions. "If that be law I must
burn all my books." "Better read them first," was the quiet
answer.

In

By Francis Watt 255

In recent days two of the best known Serjeants were Parry and
Ballantine, the first a profound lawyer, the second a great advocate,
but both are vanished from the scene. Three Serjeants yet
remain : Lord Esher (Master of the Rolls), Lord Justice Lindley,
and Mr. Baron Pollock.

The Five Sweet Symphonies

By

Image is of five women in a yard All of the women are wearing dresses                        with a high neckline and long sleeves They all have voluminous hair The                        woman in the centre is standing and shown in full profile She is holding her                        skirt below the waist Her hair is parted down the middle The woman to her                        right is sitting on the ground she is also shown in full profile Her right                        hand is raised halfway between her face and her body her left hand is also                        raised though it is hidden under an article of clothing Her hair is also                        parted down the middle Shadows fall slightly over her eyes Beside her is a                        woman standing in profile Her dress is dark with a patterned petticoat Her                        dark hair is done up and secured by a snood She is lifting her head slightly                        Her left and right hands are raised up toward her chest in her right hand is                        a sewing needle Across from her are two kneeling women shown in profile The                        woman in the foreground has shoulder-length hair and has her head tilted                        toward the ground Her right hand is raised and has a sewing needle and                        thread in it Her left hand is clutching some patterned fabric on which she                        is stitching Behind her is a woman with curly hair with her head tilted                        upward She is holding a dark fabric in her hands In the background is a low                        wall and a trellis with roses growing on it There is a tree with a slender                        trunk and a triangular-shaped canopy in the left background of the image                        There is a bird flying above it The sky is cloudy The image is horizontally                        displayed

Night and Love

By

Ernest Wentworth

"Ma belle nuit, oh ! sois plus lente . . ."

O NIGHT of June, sweet Night, be long !
    Look with thy million burning eyes—
    See where my Love beside me lies ;
So Night of Joy, Night of my Song,
    Be kind, dear Night, and long.

The Night like wild wind speedeth past ;
    My Love will leave me with the Night.
    Let me forget, in my delight,
Nor Night can dure, nor Love can last,
    That like wild wind speed past.

My Night was here, my Night is gone ;
    The Day begins his weary flight
    After the ever-fleeing Night ;
And oh, the weary, weary Dawn—
    My Love, my Love is gone.

My

260 Night and Love

My Night, my Love, have left me here ;
    They will not come to me again.
    Let me remember, in my pain,
How sweet they were, dear God, how dear,
    That once were really here.

Barren Life

By

Image is of a man chained to a doorframe He has long curly hair He is                        unclothed and shown full frontal His head is slightly tilted and his eyes                        are looking upward Several branches obscure his genitalia There are two                        figures sitting on either side of him The figure to the left of the man is                        of an unidentifiable gender with long hair The figure’s legs are pulled up                        to his/her chest The figure’s face is tilted upward with eyes closed In the                        figure’s right hand is a goblet in the left hand is a long staff with an                        artichoke or flower on the end of it The figure to the right of the chained                        man is a woman completely exposed save for some flowers covering her                        genitalia Her hair is long and flows around her To the right of the woman is                        a deer shown in profile Behind the deer amongst the flowers that cover the                        wall is a dark cross To the left of the deer is a pair of flying birds A                        light shines from above The artist’s signature LH is in the bottom left                        corner The image is displayed vertically

Two Stories

By

Ella D'Arcy

        I—The Death Mask

THE Master was dead; and Peschi, who had come round to
the studio to see about some repairs—part of the ceiling had
fallen owing to the too lively proceedings of Dubourg and his
eternal visitors overhead—Peschi displayed a natural pride that it
was he who had been selected from among the many mouleurs of
the Quarter, to take a mask of the dead man.

All Paris was talking of the Master, although not, assuredly,
under that title. All Paris was talking of his life, of his genius,
of his misery, and of his death. Peschi, for the moment, was sole
possessor of valuable unedited details, to the narration of which
Hiram P. Corner, who had dropped in to pass the evening with
me, listened with keenly attentive ears.

Corner was a recent addition to the American Art Colony;
ingenuous as befitted his eighteen years, and of a more than
improbable innocence. Paris, to him, represented the Holiest of
Holies; the dead Master, by the adorable impeccability of his
writings, figuring therein as one of the High Priests. Needless
to say, he had never come in contact with that High Priest, had
never even seen him; while the Simian caricatures which so

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. Q

frequently

266 Two Stories

frequently embellished the newspapers, made as little impression
on the lad's mind as did the unequivocal allusions, jests, and
epigrams, for ever flung up like sea-spray against the rock of his
unrevered name.

The absorbing interest Corner felt glowed visibly on his fresh
young western face, and it was this, I imagine, which led Peschi
to propose that we should go back with him to his atelier and see
the mask for ourselves.

Peschi is a Genoese; small, lithe, very handsome; a skilled
workman, a little demon of industry ; full of enthusiasms, with
the real artist-soul. He works for Felon the sculptor, and it was
Felon who had been commissioned to do the bust for which the
death mask would serve as model.

It is always pleasant to hear Peschi talk; and to-night, as we
walked from the Rue Fleurus to the Rue Notre-Dame-des-
Champs he told us something of mask-taking in general, with
illustrations from this particular case.

On the preceding day, barely two hours after death had taken
place, Rivereau, one of the dead man's intimates, had rushed into
Peschi's workroom, and carried him off, with the necessary
materials, to the Rue Monsieur, in a cab. Rivereau, though
barely twenty, is perhaps the most notorious of the bande. Peschi
described him to Corner as having dark, evil, narrow eyes set too
close together in a perfectly white face, framed by falling, lustre-
less black hair; and with the stooping shoulders, the troubled
walk, the attenuated hands common to his class.

Arrived at the house, Rivereau led the way up the dark and
dirty staircase to the topmost landing, and as they paused there an
instant, Peschi could hear the long-drawn, hopeless sobs of a
woman within the door.

On being admitted he found himself in an apartment

consisting

267 By Ella D'Arcy

consisting of two small, inconceivably squalid rooms, opening one
from the other.

In the outer room, five or six figures, the disciples, friends, and
lovers of the dead poet, conversed together; a curious group in a
medley of costumes. One in an opera-hat, shirt-sleeves, and
soiled grey trousers tied up with a bit of stout string; another in
a black coat buttoned high to conceal the fact that he wore no shirt
at all; a third in clothes crisp from the tailor, with an immense
bunch of Parma violets in his buttonhole. But all were alike in
the strangeness of their eyes, their voices, their gestures.

Seen through the open door of the further room, lay the corpse
under a sheet, and by the bedside knelt the stout, middle-aged
mistress, whose sobs had reached the stairs.

Madame Germaine, as she was called in the Quarter, had
loved the Master with that complete, self-abnegating, sublime
love of which certain women are capable—a love uniting that of
the mother, the wife, and the nurse all in one. For years she
had cooked for him, washed for him, mended for him; had
watched through whole nights by his bedside when he was ill;
had suffered passively his blows, his reproaches, and his neglect,
when, thanks to her care, he was well again. She adored him
dumbly, closed her eyes to his vices, and magnified his gifts,
without in the least comprehending them. She belonged to the
ouvrière class, could not read, could not write her own name; but
with a characteristic which is as French as it is un-British, she
paid her homage to intellect, where an Englishwoman only
gives it to inches and muscle. Madame Germaine was prouder
perhaps of the Master's greatness, worshipped him more devoutly,
than any one of the super-cultivated, ultra-corrupt group, who by
their flatteries and complaisances had assisted him to his ruin.

It was with the utmost difficulty, Peschi said, that Rivereau

and

268 Two Stories

and the rest had succeeded in persuading the poor creature to
leave the bedside and go into the other room while the mask was.
being taken.

The operation, it seems, is a sufficiently horrible one, and no
relative is permitted to be present. As you cover the dead face
over with the plaster, a little air is necessarily forced back again into
the lungs, and this air as it passes along the windpipe causes strange
rattlings, sinister noises, so that you might swear that the corpse
was returned to life. Then, as the mould is removed, the muscles
of the face drag and twitch, the mouth opens, the tongue lolls out - T
and Peschi declared that this always remains for him a gruesome
moment. He has never accustomed himself to it; on every
recurring occasion it fills him with the same repugnance ; and
this, although he has taken so many masks, is so deservedly
celebrated for them, that la bande had instantly selected him to
perpetuate the Master's lineaments.

"But it's an excellent likeness," said Peschi; "you see they sent
for me so promptly that he had not changed at all. He does
not look as though he were dead, but just asleep."

Meanwhile we had reached the unshuttered shop-front, where
Peschi displays, on Sundays and week-days alike, his finished works
of plastic art to the gamins and filles of the Quarter.

Looking past the statuary, we could see into the living-room
beyond, it being separated from the shop only by a glass partition.
It was lighted by a lamp set in the centre of the table, and in the
circle of light thrown from beneath its green shade, we saw a
charming picture: the young head of Madame Peschi bent over
her baby, whom she was feeding at the breast. She is eighteen,
pretty as a rose, and her story and Peschi's is an idyllic one; to
be told, perhaps, another time. She greeted us with the smiling,
cordial, unaffected kindliness which in France warms your blood

with

By Ella D'Arcy 269

with the constant sense of brotherhood; and, giving the boy to his
father—a delicious opalescent trace of milk hanging about the little
mouth—she got up to see about another lamp which Peschi had
asked for.

Holding this lamp to guide our steps, he preceded us now across
a dark yard to his workshop at the further end, and while we
went we heard the young mother's exquisite nonsense-talk
addressed to the child, as she settled back in her place again to her
nursing.

Peschi, unlocking a door, flashed the light down a long room,
the walls of which, the trestle-tables, the very floor, were hung,
laden, and encumbered with a thousand heterogeneous objects.
Casts of every description and dimension, finished, unfinished,
broken; scrolls for ceilings; caryatides for chimney-pieces;
cornucopias for the entablatures of buildings; chubby Cupids
jostling emaciated Christs; broken columns for Père Lachaise, or
consolatory upward-pointing angels; hands, feet, and noses for the
Schools of Art; a pensively posed échorché contemplating a Venus
of Milo fallen upon her back; these, and a crowd of nameless,
formless things, seemed to spring at our eyes, as Peschi raised or
lowered the lamp, moved it this way or the other.

"There it is," said he, pointing forwards; and I saw lying flat
upon a modelling-board, with upturned features, a grey, immobile
simulacrum of the curiously mobile face I remembered so well.

"Of course you must understand," said Paschi, "it's only in
the rough, just exactly as it came from the creux. Fifty copies
are to be cast altogether, and this is the first one. But I must
prop it up for you. You can't judge of it as it is."

He looked about him for a free place on which to set the lamp.
Not finding any, he put it down on the floor. For a few moments
lie stood busied over the mask with his back to us.

"Now

270 Two Stories

"Now you can see it properly," said he, and stepped aside.

The lamp threw its rays upwards, illuminating strongly the
lower portion of the cast, throwing the upper portion into deepest
shadow, with the effect that the inanimate mask was become
suddenly a living face, but a face so unutterably repulsive, so
hideously bestial, that I grew cold to the roots of my hair. . . .

A fat, loose throat, a retreating chinless chin, smeared and bleared
with the impressions of the meagre beard; a vile mouth, lustful,
flaccid, the lower lip disproportionately great; ignoble lines;
hateful puffinesses ; something inhuman and yet worse than in-
human in its travesty of humanity ; something that made you
hate the world and your fellows, that made you hate yourself for
being ever so little in this image. A more abhorrent spectacle I
have never seen. . . .

So soon as I could turn my eyes from the ghastly thing, I
looked at Corner. He was white as the plaster faces about him.
His immensely opened eyes showed his astonishment and his
terror. For what I experienced was intensified in his case by
the unexpected and complete disillusionment. He had opened the
door of the tabernacle, and out had crawled a noisome spider; he
had lifted to his lips the communion cup, and therein squatted a
toad. A sort of murmur of frantic protestation began to rise in
his throat; but Peschi, unconscious of our agitation, now lifted the
lamp, passed round with it behind the mask, held it high, and let
the rays stream downwards from above.

The astounding way the face changed must have been seen to
be believed in. It was exactly as though, by some cunning
sleight of hand, the mask of a god had been substituted for that of
a satyr. . . . You saw a splendid dome-like head, Shakespearean
in contour; a broad, smooth, finely-modelled brow; thick, regular,
horizontal eyebrows, casting a shadow which diminished the too


great

By Ella D'Arcy271

great distance separating them from the eyes; while the deeper
shadow thrown below the nose altered its character entirely. Its
snout-like appearance was gone, its deep, wide-open, upturned
nostrils were hidden, but you noticed the well-marked transition
from forehead to nose-base, the broad ridge denoting extraordinary
mental power. Over the eyeballs the lids had slidden down
smooth and creaseless; the little tell-tale palpebral wrinkles
which had given such libidinous lassitude to the eye had vanished
away. The lips no longer looked gross, and they closed together
in a beautiful, sinuous line, now first revealed by the shadow on
the upper one. The prominence of the jaws, the muscularity of
the lower part of the face, which gave it so painfully microcephalous
an appearance, were now unnoticeable; on the contrary, the whole
face looked small beneath the noble head and brow. You
remarked the medium-sized and well-formed ears, with the
"swan" distinct in each, the gently-swelling breadth of head
above them, the full development of the forehead over the orbits of
the eyes. You discerned the presence of those higher qualities
which might have rendered him an ascetic or a saint; which
led him to understand the beauty of self-denial, to appreciate
the wisdom of self-restraint: and you did not see how these
qualities remained inoperative in him, being completely over-
balanced by the size of the lower brain, the thick, bull throat,
and the immense length from the ear to the base of the skull at
the back.

I had often seen the Master in life: I had seen him sipping
absinthe at the d'Harcourt; reeling, a Silemus-like figure, among
the nocturnal Bacchantes of the Boul' Miche; lying in the gutter
outside his house, until his mistress should come to pick him up
and take him in. I had seen in the living man more traces than
a few of the bestiality which the death-mask had completely

verified;

272 Two Stories

verified; but never in the living man had I suspected anything of
the beauty, of the splendour, that I now saw.

For that the Master had somewhere a beautiful soul you
divined from his works; from the exquisite melody of all of them,
from the pure, the ecstatic, the religious altitude of some few.
But in actual daily life, his loose and violent will-power, his insane
passions, held that soul bound down so close a captive, that those
who knew him best were the last to admit its existence.

And here, a mere accident of lighting displayed not only that
existence, but its visible, outward expression as well. In these
magnificent lines and arches of head and brow, you saw what the
man might have been, what God had intended him to be; what
his mother had foreseen in him, when, a tiny infant like Peschi's
yonder, she had cradled the warm, downy, sweet-smelling little
head upon her bosom, and dreamed day-dreams of all the high, the
great, the wonderful things her boy later on was to do. You saw
what the poor, purblind, middle-aged mistress was the only one to
see in the seamed and ravaged face she kissed so tenderly for the
last time before the coffin-lid was closed.

You saw the head of gold; you could forget the feet of clay, or,
remembering them, you found for the first time some explanation
of the anomalies of his career.

You understood how he who could pour out passionate
protestations of love and devotion to God in the morning, offering
up body and soul, flesh and blood in his service; dedicating his
brow as a footstool for the Sacred Feet; his hands as censers for
the glowing coals, the precious incense; condemning his eyes,
misleading lights, to be extinguished by the tears of prayer; you
understood how, nevertheless, before evening was come, he would
set every law of God and decency at defiance, use every member,
every faculty, in the service of sin.

It

By Ella D'Arcy 273

It was given to him, as it is given to few, to see the Best, to
reverence it, to love it; and the blind, groping hesitatingly
forward in the darkness, do not stray as far as he strayed.

He knew the value of work, its imperative necessity; that in
the sweat of his brow the artist, like the day-labourer, must
produce, must produce: and he spent his slothful days shambling
from café to café.

He never denied his vices; he recognised them and found
excuses for them, high moral reasons even, as the intellectual man
can always do. To indulge them was but to follow out the
dictates of Nature, who in herself is holy; cynically to expose
them to the world was but to be absolutely sincere.

And his disciples, going further, taught with a vague poetic
mysticism that he was a fresh Incarnation of the Godhead; that
what was called his immorality was merely his scorn of truckling
to the base conventions of the world. But in his saner moments
he described himself more accurately as a man blown hither and
thither by the winds of evil chance, just as a withered leaf is
blown in autumn; and having received great and exceptional
gifts, with Shakespeare's length of years in which to turn them to
account, he had chosen instead to wallow in such vileness that his
very name was anathema among honourable men.

Chosen? Did he choose? Can one say after all that he
chose to resemble the leaf rather than the tree? The gates of
gifts close on the child with the womb, and all we possess comes
to us from afar, and is collected from a thousand diverging
sources.

If that splendid head and brow were contained in the seed, so
also were the retreating chin, the debased jaw, the animal mouth.
One as much as the other was the direct inheritance of former
generations. Considered in a certain aspect, it seems that a man

by

274 Two Stories

by taking thought, may as little hope to thwart the implanted
propensities of his character, as to alter the shape of his skull or
the size of his jawbone.

I lost myself in mazes of predestination and free-will. Life
appeared to me as a huge kaleidoscope turned by the hand of Fate.
The atoms of glass coalesce into patterns, fall apart, unite together
again, are always the same, but always different, and, shake the
glass never so slightly, the precise combination you have just been
looking at is broken up for ever. It can never be repeated.
This particular man, with his faults and his virtues, his unconscious
brutalities, his unexpected gentlenesses, his furies of remorse; this
man with the lofty brain, the perverted tastes, the weak, irresolute,
indulgent heart, will never again be met with to the end of time;
in all the endless combinations to come, this precise combination
will never be found. Just as of all the faces the world will see, a
face like the mask there will never again exchange glances
with it. . . . .

I looked at Corner, and saw his countenance once more aglow
with the joy of a recovered Ideal; while Peschi's voice broke in
on my reverie, speaking with the happy pride of the artist in a
good and conscientious piece of work.

"Eh bien, how do you find it?" said he; "it is beautiful, is it
not?"




        II—The Villa Lucienne


MADAME COETLEGON told the story, and told it so well, that
her audience seemed to know the sombre alley, the neglected
garden, the shuttered house, as intimately as though they had
visited it themselves; seemed to feel a faint reverberation of the

incommunicable

By Ella D'Arcy 275

incommunicable thrill which she had felt,—which the surly
guardian, the torn rag of lace, the closed pavilion had made her
feel. And yet, as you will see, there is in reality no story at all;
it is merely an account of how, when in the Riviera two winters
ago, she went with some friends to look over a furnished villa,
which one of them thought of taking.




It was afternoon when we started on our expedition, Madame
de M—, Cécile her widowed daughter-in-law, and I. Cécile's
little girl Renée, the nurse, and Médor, the boarhound of which
poor Guy had been so inordinately fond, dawdled after us up the
steep and sunny road.

The December day was deliciously blue and warm. Cécile
took off her furs and carried them over her arm. We only put
down our sunshades when a screen of olive-trees on the left inter-
posed their grey-green foliage between the sunshine and us.

Up in these trees barefooted men armed with bamboos were
beating the branches to knock down the fruit; and three genera-
tions of women, grandmothers, wives, and children, knelt in the
grass, gathering up the little purplish olives into baskets. All
paused to follow us with black persistent eyes, as we passed by;
only the men went on working unmoved. The tap-tapping,
swish-swishing, of their light sticks against the boughs played
a characteristically southern accompaniment to our desultory
talk.

We were reasonably happy, pleasantly exhilarated by the beauty
of the weather and the scene. Renée and Médor, with shrill
laughter and deep-mouthed joy-notes, played together the whole
way. And when the garden wall, which now replaced the olive-
trees upon our right, gave place to a couple of iron gates standing

open

276 Two Stories

open upon a broad straight drive, and we, looking up between
the overarching palm-trees and cocoanuts, saw a white, elegant,
sun-bathed house at the end, Cecile jumped to the con-
clusion that here was the Villa Lucienne, and that nowhere else
could she find a house which on the face of it would suit her
better.

But the woman who came to greet us, the jocund, brown-faced
young woman, with the superb abundance of bosom beneath her
crossed neckkerchief of orange-coloured wool, told us no; this
was the Villa Soleil (appropriate name!) and belonged to
Monsieur Morgera, the deputy who was now in Paris. The
Villa Lucienne was higher up; she pointed vaguely behind her
through the house: a long walk round by the road. But if these
ladies did not mind a path which was a trifle damp perhaps,
owing to Monday's rain, they would find themselves in five
minutes at the Villa, for the two houses in reality were not more
than a stone's-throw apart.

She conducted us across a spacious garden golden with sunshine,
lyric with bird-song, brilliant with flowers, where eucalyptus,
mimosa, and tea-roses interwove their strong and subtle perfumes
through the air, to an angle in a remote laurel hedge. Here she
stooped to pull aside some ancient pine-boughs which ineffectually
closed the entrance to a dark and trellised walk. Peering up it, it
seemed to stretch away interminably into green gloom, the ground
rising a little all the while, and the steepness of the ascent being
modified every here and there by a couple of rotting wooden steps.

We were to go up this alley, our guide told us, and we would
be sure to find Laurent at the top. Laurent, she explained to us,
was the gardener who lived at the Villa Lucienne and showed it
to visitors. But there were not many who came, although it had
been to let an immense time, ever since the death of old Madame

Gray,

By Ella D'Arcy 277

Gray, and that had occurred before she, the speaker, had come
south with the Morgeras. We were to explain to Laurent that
we had been sent up from the Villa Soleil, and then it would be all
right. For he sometimes used the alley himself, as it gave him a
short cut into Antibes; but the passage had been blocked up many
years ago, to prevent the Morgera children running into it.

Oh, Madame was very kind, it was no trouble at all, and of
course if these ladies liked they could return by the alley also;
but once they found themselves at the Villa they would be close
to the upper road, which they would probably prefer. Then
came her cordial voice calling after Cécile, "Madame had best
put on her furs again, it is cold in there."

It was cold, and damp, too, with the damp coldness of places
where sun and wind never penetrate. It was so narrow that we
had to walk in single file. The walls close on either hand, the low
roof above our heads, were formed of trellised woodwork now
dropping into complete decay. But these might have been
removed altogether, and the alley would still have retained its
form; for the creepers which overgrew it had with time
developed gnarled trunks and branches, which formed a second
natural tunnelling outside. Through the broken places in the
woodwork we could see the thick, inextricably twisted stems;
and outside again was a tangled matting of greenery that suffered
no drop of sunlight to trickle through. The ground was covered
with lichens, deathstool, and a spongy moss exuding water
beneath the foot, and one had the consciousness that the whole
place, floor, walls, and roof, must creep with the repulsive, slimy,
running life which pullulates in dark and solitary places.

The change from the gay and scented garden to this dark alley,
heavy with the smells of moisture and decay, was curiously
depressing. We followed each other in silence; first Cécile;

then,

278 Two Stories

then Renée clinging to her nurse's hand, with Médor pressing
close against them; Madame de M—next; and I brought up
the rear.

One would have pronounced it impossible to find in any
southern garden so sombre a place, but that, after all, it is only in
the south that such extraordinary contrasts of gaiety and gloom
ever present themselves.

The sudden tearing away of a portion of one of the wooden
steps beneath my tread startled us all, and the circular scatter of
an immense colony of wood-lice that had formed its habitat in
the crevices of the wood filled me with shivering disgust. I was
exceedingly glad when we emerged from the tunnel upon daylight
again and the Villa.

Upon daylight, but not upon sunlight, for the small garden in
which we found ourselves was ringed round by the compact tops
of the umbrella-pines which climbed the hill on every side. The
site had been chosen of course on account of the magnificent view
which we knew must be obtainable from the Villa windows,
though from where we stood we could see nothing but the dark
trees, the wild garden, the overshadowed house. And we saw
none of these things very distinctly, for our attention was focussed
on the man standing stolidly there in the middle of the garden,
and evidently knee-deep in the grass, awaiting us.

He was a short, thick-set peasant, dressed in the immensely
wide blue velveteen trousers, the broad crimson sash, and the
flannel shirt, open at the throat, which are customary in these
parts. He was strong-necked as a bull, dark as a mulatto, and his
curling, grizzled hair was thickly matted over head and face and
breast. He wore a flat knitted cap, and held the inevitable
cigarette between his lips, but he made no attempt to remove one
or the other at our approach. He stood motionless, silent, his

hands

By Ella D'Arcy 279

hands thrust deep into his pockets, staring at us, and shifting from
one to another his suspicious and truculent little eyes.

So far as I was concerned, and though the Villa had proved a
palace, I should have preferred abandoning the quest at once to
going over it in his company ; but Cécile addressed him with
intrepid politeness.

"We had been permitted to come up from the Villa Soleil.
We understood that the Villa Lucienne was to let furnished; if
so, might we look over it?"

From his heavy, expressionless expression, one might have
supposed that the very last thing he expected or desired was to
find a tenant for the Villa, and I thought with relief that he was
going to refuse Cécile's request. But, after a longish pause:

"Yes, you can see it," he said, grudgingly, and turned from us,
to disappear into the lower part of the house.

We looked into each other's disconcerted faces, then round the
grey and shadowy garden in which we stood: a garden long
since gone to ruin, with paths and flower-beds inextricably
mingled, with docks and nettles choking up the rose-trees run
wild, with wind-planted weeds growing from the stone vases on
the terrace, with grasses pushing between the marble steps leading
up to the hall door.

In the middle of the garden a terra-cotta faun, tumbled from
his pedestal, grinned sardonically up from amidst the tangled
greenery, and Madame de M— began to quote:

    "Un vieux faune en terre-cuite
    Rit au centre des boulingrins,
    Présageant sans doute une fuite
    De ces instants sereins
    Qui m'ont conduit et t'ont conduite . . ."

The

280 Two Stories

The Villa itself was as dilapidated, as mournful-looking as the
garden. The ground-floor alone gave signs of occupation, in a
checked shirt spread out upon a window-ledge to dry, in a worn
besom, an earthenware pipkin, and a pewter jug, ranged against
the wall. But the upper part, with the yellow plaster crumbling
from the walls, the grey-painted persiennes all monotonously
closed, said with a thousand voices it was never opened, never
entered, had not been lived in for years.

Our surly gardener reappeared, carrying some keys. He led
the way up the steps. We exchanged mute questions; all desire
to inspect the Villa was gone. But Cécile is a woman of character:
she devoted herself.

"I'll just run up and see what it is like," she said; "it's not
worth while you should tire yourself too, Mamma. You, all, wait
here."

We stood at the foot of the steps; Laurent was already at the
top. Cécile began to mount lightly towards him, but before she
was half-way she turned, and to our surprise, "I wish you would
come up all of you," she said, and stopped there until we joined
her.

Laurent fitted a key to the door, and it opened with a shriek of
rusty hinges. As he followed us, pulling it to behind him,
we found ourselves in total darkness. I assure you I went
through a bad quarter of a minute. Then we heard the turning
of a handle, an inner door was opened, and in the semi-daylight of
closed shutters we saw the man's squat figure going from us down
a long, old-fashioned, vacant drawing-room towards two windows
at the further end.

At the same instant Renee burst into tears:

"Oh, I don't like it. Oh, I'm frightened!" she sobbed.

"Little goosie!" said her grandmother, "see, it's quite light

now!"

By Ella D'Arcy 281

now!" for Laurent had pushed back the persiennes, and a magical
panorama had sprung into view; the whole range of the mountains
behind Nice, their snow-caps suffused with a heavenly rose colour
by the setting sun.

But Renée only clutched tighter at Madame de M—'s
gown, and wept:

"Oh, I don't like it, Bonnemaman! She is looking at me
still. I want to go home!"

No one is looking at you," her grandmother told her, "talk
to your friend Médor. He'll take care of you."

But Renée whispered:

"He wouldn't come in; he's frightened too."

And, listening, we heard the dog's impatient and complaining
bark calling to us from the garden.

Cécile sent Renée and the nurse to join him, and while Laurent
let them out, we stepped on to the terrace, and for a moment our
hearts were eased by the incomparable beauty of the view, for
raised now above the tree-tops, we looked over the admirable bay,
the illimitable sky; we feasted our eyes upon unimaginable colour,
upon matchless form. We were almost prepared to declare that
the possession of the Villa was a piece of good fortune not to be
let slip, when we heard a step behind us, and turned to see
Laurent surveying us morosely from the window threshold, and
again to experience the oppression of his ungenial personality.

Under his guidance we now inspected the century-old
furniture, the faded silks, the tarnished gilt, the ragged brocades,
which had once embellished the room. The oval mirrors were
dim with mildew, the parquet floor might have been a mere piece
of grey drugget, so thick was the overlying dust. Curtains,
yellowish, ropey, of undeterminable material, hung forlornly
where once they had draped windows and doors. Originally they

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. R

may

282 Two Stories

may have been of rose satin, for there were traces of rose colour
still on the walls and the ceiling, painted in gay southern fashion
with loves and doves, festoons of flowers, and knots of ribbons.
But these paintings were all fragmentary, indistinct, seeming to
lose sequence and outline the more diligently you tried to decipher
them.

Yet you could not fail to see that when first furnished the
room must have been charming and coquettish. I wondered for
whom it had been thus arranged, why it had been thus abandoned.
For there grew upon me, I cannot tell you why, the curious
conviction that the last inhabitant of the room having casually
left it, had, from some unexpected obstacle, never again re-
turned. They were but the merest trifles that created this idea;
the tiny heaps of brown ash which lay on a marble gueridon, the
few withered twigs in the vase beside it, spoke of the last rose
plucked from the garden; the big berceuse chair drawn out
beside the sculptured mantelpiece seemed to retain the impression
of the last occupant; and in the dark recesses of the unclosed
hearth my fancy detected smouldering heat in the half-charred
logs of wood.

The other rooms in the villa resembled the salon , each time
our surly guide opened the shutters we saw a repetition of the
ancient furniture, of the faded decoration; everything dust-
covered and time-decayed. Nor in these other rooms was any
sign of former occupation to be seen, until, caught upon the
girandole of a pier-glass, a long ragged fragment of lace seized my
eye; an exquisitely fine and cobwebby piece of lace, as though
caught and torn from some gala shawl or flounce, as the wearer
had hurried by.

It was odd perhaps to see this piece of lace caught thus, but
not odd enough surely to account for the strange emotion which

seized

By Ella D'Arcy 283

seized hold of me: an overwhelming pity, succeeded by an over-
whelming fear. I had had a momentary intention to point the
lace out to the others, but a glance at Laurent froze the words on
my lips. Never in my life have I experienced such a paralysing
fear. I was filled with an intense desire to get away from the
man and from the Villa.

But Madame de M— looking from the window, had noticed
a pavilion standing isolated in the garden. She inquired if it were
to be let with the house. Then she supposed we could visit it.
No, said the man, that was impossible. But she insisted it was
only right that tenants should see the whole of the premises
for which they would have to pay, but he refused this time with
such rudeness, his little brutish eyes narrowed with such malig-
nancy, that the panic which I had just experienced now seized the
others, and it was a sauve-qui-peut.

We gathered up Renée, nurse, and Médor in our hasty passage
through the garden, and found our way unguided to the gate upon
the upper road.

And once at large beneath the serene evening sky, winding
slowly westward down the olive bordered ways: "What an odious
old ruffian!" said one; "What an eerie, uncanny place!" said
another. We compared notes. We found that each of us had
been conscious of the same immense, the same inexplicable sense
of fear.

Cécile, the least nervous of women, had felt it the first. It had
laid hold of her when going up the steps to the door, and it had
been so real a terror, she explained to us, that if we had not joined
her she would have turned back. Nothing could have induced
her to enter the Villa alone.

Madame de M—'s account was that her mind had been
more or less troubled from the first moment of entering the

garden,

284 Two Stories

garden, but that when the man refused us access to the pavilion,
it had been suddenly invaded by a most intolerable sense of some-
thing wrong. Being very imaginative (poor Guy undoubtedly
derived his extraordinary gifts from her), Madame de M— was
convinced that the gardener had murdered some one and buried
the body inside the pavilion.

But for me it was not so much the personality of the man—
although I admitted he was unprepossessing enough—as the Villa
itself which inspired fear. Fear seemed to exude from the walls,
to dim the mirrors with its clammy breath, to stir shudderingly
among the tattered draperies, to impregnate the whole atmosphere
as with an essence, a gas, a contagious disease. You fought it off
for a shorter or longer time, according to your powers of resistance,
but you were bound to succumb to it at last. The oppressive
and invisible fumes had laid hold of us one after the other, and the
incident of the closed pavilion had raised our terrors to a ludicrous
pitch.

Nurse's experiences, which she gave us a day or two later,
supported this view. For she told us that when Renée began to
cry, and she took her hand to lead her out, all at once she felt
quite nervous and uncomfortable too, as though the little one's
trouble had passed by touch into her.

"And what is strange too," said she, "when we reached the
garden, there was Médor, his forepaws planted firmly on the
ground, his whole body rigid, and his hair bristling all along his
backbone from end to end."

Nurse was convinced that both the child and the dog had seen
something we others could not see.

This reminded us of a word of Renée's, a very curious word:

"I don't like it, she is looking at me still,"—and Cecile under-
took to question her.

"You

By Ella D'Arcy 285

You remember, Renée, when mother took you the other day
to look over the pretty Villa—"

Renée opened wide, mute eyes.

"Why did you cry?"

"I was frightened of the lady," she whispered.

"Where was the lady?" asked Cécile.

"She was in the drawing-room, sitting in the big chair."

"Was she an old lady like grandmamma, or a young lady like
mother?"

"She was like Bonnemaman," said Renée, and her little mouth
began to quiver.

"And what did she do?"

"She got up and began to—to come—

But here Renée burst into tears again. And as she is a very
nervous, excitable child, we had to drop the subject.

But what it all meant, whether there was anything in the
history of the house or of its guardian which could account for
our sensations, we never knew. We made inquiries of course
concerning Laurent and the Villa Lucienne, but we learned very
little, and that little was so vague, so remote, so irrelevant, that it
does not seem worth while repeating.

The indisputable fact is the overwhelming fear which the
adventure awoke in each and all of us; and this effect is impossible
to describe, being just the crystallisation of one of those subtle,
unformulated emotions in which only poor Guy himself could
have hoped to succeed.

Windermere

By

Image is of two women view from the back They are both wearing hats and                        gowns The dark-haired woman on the right is shown in profile looking to her                        left Her left arm is extended toward the other woman her right arm is                        holding on to her dress To the right there is a tree in the middle ground                        casting a shadow on the woman The sky is cloudy The women are sitting in                        front of water and in the background on the left there is a sail boat on the                        water The image is vertically displayed

Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

By

Vernon Lee

        [To H.H. the Ranee Brooke of Saràwak]

IN the year 1701, the Duchy of Luna became united to the
Italian dominions of the Holy Roman Empire, owing to
the extinction of its famous ducal house in the persons of
Duke Balthasar Maria and of his grandson Alberic, who should
have been third of the name. Under this dry historical fact lies
hidden the strange story of Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady.



            I


The first act of hostility of old Duke Balthasar towards the
Snake Lady, in whose existence he did not, of course, believe,
was connected with the arrival at Luna of certain tapestries after
the designs of the famous Monsieur Le Brun, a present from his
most Christian Majesty King Lewis the XIV. These Gobelins,
which represented the marriage of Alexander and Roxana, were
placed in the throne room, and in the most gallant suit of
chambers overlooking the great rockery garden, all of which had
been completed by Duke Balthasar Maria in 1680 ; and, as a

consequence,

290 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

consequence, the already existing tapestries, silk hangings and
mirrors painted by Marius of the Flowers, were transferred into
other apartments, thus occasioning a general re-hanging of the
Red Palace at Luna. These magnificent operations, in which,
as the court poets sang, Apollo and the Graces lent their ser-
vices to their beloved patron, aroused in Duke Balthasar's mind
a sudden curiosity to see what might be made of the rooms
occupied by his grandson and heir, and which he had not entered
since Prince Alberic's christening. He found the apartments in
a shocking state of neglect, and the youthful prince unspeakably
shy and rustic ; and he determined to give him at once an
establishment befitting his age, to look out presently for a princess
worthy to be his wife, and, somewhat earlier, for a less illustrious
but more agreeable lady to fashion his manners. Meanwhile,
Duke Balthasar Maria gave orders to change the tapestry in
Prince Alberic's chamber. This tapestry was of old and Gothic
taste, extremely worn, and represented Alberic the Blond and the
Snake Lady Oriana, alluded to in the poems of Boiardo and the
chronicles of the Crusaders. Duke Balthasar Maria was a
prince of enlightened mind and delicate taste ; the literature as
well as the art of the dark ages found no grace in his sight ; he
reproved the folly of feeding the thoughts of youth on improbable
events ; besides, he disliked snakes and was afraid of the devil.
So he ordered the tapestry to be removed and another, representing
Susanna and the Elders, to be put in its stead. But when Prince
Alberic discovered the change, he cut Susanna and the Elders into
strips with a knife he had stolen out of the ducal kitchens (no
dangerous instruments being allowed to young princes before they
were of an age to learn to fence) and refused to touch his food for
three days.

The tapestry over which little Prince Alberic mourned so

greatly

By Vernon Lee 291

greatly had indeed been both tattered and Gothic. But for the
boy it possessed an inexhaustible charm. It was quite full of
things, and they were all delightful. The sorely frayed borders
consisted of wonderful garlands of leaves, and fruits, and flowers,
tied at intervals with ribbons, although they seemed all to grow,
like tall, narrow bushes, each from a big vase in the bottom
corner; and made of all manner of different plants. There were
bunches of spiky bays, and of acorned oakleaves, sheaves of lilies
and heads of poppies, gourds, and apples and pears, and hazelnuts
and mulberries, wheat ears, and beans, and pine tufts. And in
each of these plants, of which those above named are only a very
few, there were curious live creatures of some sort—various birds,
big and little, butterflies on the lilies, snails, squirrels, and mice,
and rabbits, and even a hare, with such pointed ears, darting
among the spruce fir. Alberic learned the names of most of these
plants and creatures from his nurse, who had been a peasant, and
spent much ingenuity seeking for them in the palace gardens and
terraces; but there were no live creatures there, except snails and
toads, which the gardeners killed, and carp swimming about in
the big tank, whom Alberic did not like, and who were not in the
tapestry; and he had to supplement his nurse's information by
that of the grooms and scullions, when he could visit them secretly.
He was even promised a sight, one day, of a dead rabbit—the
rabbit was the most fascinating of the inhabitants of the tapestry
border—but he came to the kitchen too late, and saw it with its
pretty fur pulled off, and looking so sad and naked that it made
him cry. But Alberic had grown so accustomed to never quitting
the Red Palace and its gardens, that he was usually satisfied with
seeing the plants and animals in the tapestry, and looked forward
to seeing the real things when he should be grown up. "When
I am a man," he would say to himself—for his nurse scolded

him

292 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

him for saying it to her "I will have a live rabbit of my
own."

The border of the tapestry interested Prince Alberic most when
he was very little—indeed, his remembrance of it was older than
that of the Red Palace, its terraces and gardens—but gradually he
began to care more and more for the pictures in the middle.

There were mountains, and the sea with ships; and these first
made him care to go on to the topmost palace terrace and look at
the real mountains and the sea beyond the roofs and gardens; and
there were woods of all manner of tall trees, with clover and wild
strawberries growing beneath them, and roads, and paths, and rivers,
in and out—these were rather confused with the places where the
tapestry was worn out, and with the patches and mendings thereof,
but Alberic, in the course of time, contrived to make them all out,
and knew exactly whence the river came which turned the big
mill wheel, and how many bends it made before coming to the
fishing nets; and how the horsemen must cross over the bridge,
then wind behind the cliff with the chapel, and pass through the
wood of firs in order to get from the castle in the left hand corner
nearest the bottom to the town, over which the sun was shining
with all its beams, and a wind blowing with inflated cheeks on
the right hand close to the top.

The centre of the tapestry was the most worn and discoloured ;
and it was for this reason perhaps that little Alberic scarcely
noticed it for some years, his eye and mind led away by the bright
red and yellow of the border of fruit and flowers, and the still
vivid green and orange of the background landscape. Red, yellow
and orange, even green, had faded in the centre into pale blue and
lilac; even the green had grown an odd dusky tint; and the figures
seemed like ghosts, sometimes emerging and then receding again
into vagueness. Indeed, it was only as he grew bigger that Alberic

began

By Vernon Lee 293

began to see any figures at all; and then, for a long time he
would lose sight of them. But little by little, when the light was
strong, he could see them always; and even in the dark make
them out with a little attention. Among the spruce firs and pines,
and against a hedge of roses, on which there still lingered a rem-
nant of redness, a knight had reined in his big white horse, and
was putting one arm round the shoulder of a lady, who was leaning
against the horse's flank. The knight was all dressed in armour—
not at all like that of the equestrian statue of Duke Balthasar
Maria in the square, but all made of plates, with plates also on the
legs, instead of having them bare like Duke Balthasar's statue;
and on his head he had no wig, but a helmet with big plumes. It
seemed a more reasonable dress than the other, but probably Duke
Balthasar was right to go to battle with bare legs and a kilt and a
wig, since he did so. The lady who was looking up into his face
was dressed with a high collar and long sleeves, and on her head
she wore a thick circular garland, from under which the hair fell
about her shoulders. She was very lovely, Alberic got to think,
particularly when, having climbed upon a chest of drawers, he saw
that her hair was still full of threads of gold, some of them quite
loose because the tapestry was so rubbed. The knight and his
horse were of course very beautiful, and he liked the way in which
the knight reined in the horse with one hand, and embraced the
lady with the other arm. But Alberic got to love the lady most,
although she was so very pale and faded, and almost the colour of
the moonbeams through the palace windows in summer. Her
dress also was so beautiful and unlike those of the ladies who got
out of the coaches in the Court of Honour, and who had on hoops
and no clothes at all on their upper part. This lady, on the con-
trary, had that collar like a lily, and a beautiful gold chain, and
patterns in gold (Alberic made them out little by little) all over

her

294 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

her bodice. He got to want so much to see her skirt ; it was
probably very beautiful too, but it so happened that the inlaid
chest of drawers before mentioned stood against the wall in that
place, and on it a large ebony and ivory crucifix, which covered
the lower part of the lady's body. Alberic often tried to lift off
the crucifix, but it was a great deal too heavy, and there was not
room on the chest of drawers to push it aside; so the lady's skirt
and feet remained invisible. But one day, when Alberic was eleven,
his nurse suddenly took a fancy to having all the furniture shifted.
It was time that the child should cease to sleep in her room, and
plague her with his loud talking in his dreams. And she might
as well have the handsome inlaid chest of drawers, and that nice
pious crucifix for herself next door, in place of Alberic's little bed.
So one morning there was a great shifting and dusting, and when
Alberic came in from his walk on the terrace, there hung the
tapestry entirely uncovered. He stood for a few minutes before
it, riveted to the ground. Then he ran to his nurse, exclaiming,
"Oh, nurse, dear nurse, look—the lady—!"

For where the big crucifix had stood, the lower part of the
beautiful pale lady with the gold thread hair was now exposed.
But instead of a skirt, she ended off in a big snake's tail, with
scales of still most vivid (the tapestry not having faded there)
green and gold.

The nurse turned round.

"Holy Virgin," she cried, "why she's a serpent!" Then notic-
ing the boy's violent excitement, she added, "You little ninny, it's
only Duke Alberic the Blond, who was your ancestor, and the
Snake Lady."

Little Prince Alberic asked no questions, feeling that he must
not. Very strange it was, but he loved the beautiful lady with
the thread of gold hair only the more because she ended off in the

longconsequence,

By Vernon Lee 295

long twisting body of a snake. And that, no doubt, was why the
knight was so very good to her.



            II


For want of that tapestry, poor Alberic, having cut its successor
to pieces, began to pine away. It had been his whole world;
and now it was gone he discovered that he had no other. No
one had ever cared for him except his nurse, who was very cross.
Nothing had ever been taught him except the Latin catechism;
he had had nothing to make a pet of except the fat carp, supposed
to be four hundred years old, in the tank; he had nothing to play
with except a gala coral with bells by Benvenuto Cellini, which
Duke Balthasar Maria had sent him on his eighth birthday. He
had never had anything except a grandfather, and had never been
outside the Red Palace.

Now, after the loss of the tapestry, the disappearance of the
plants and flowers and birds and beasts on its borders, and the
departure of the kind knight on the horse and the dear golden-
haired Snake Lady, Alberic became aware that he had always
hated both his grandfather and the Red Palace.

The whole world, indeed, were agreed that Duke Balthasar was
the most magnanimous and fascinating of monarchs; and that the
Red Palace of Luna was the most magnificent and delectable of
residences. But the knowledge of this universal opinion, and the
consequent sense of his own extreme unworthiness, merely
exasperated Alberic's detestation, which, as it grew, came to
identify the Duke and the Palace as the personification and
visible manifestation of each other. He knew now—oh how well
—every time that he walked on the terrace or in the garden (at
the hours when no one else ever entered them) that he had always

abominated

296 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

abominated the brilliant tomato-coloured plaster which gave the
palace its name: such a pleasant, gay colour, people would
remark, particularly against the blue of the sky. Then there
were the Twelve Cssars—they were the Twelve Caesars, but
multiplied over and over again—busts with flying draperies and
spiky garlands, one over every first floor window, hundreds of
them, all fluttering and grimacing round the place. Alberic had
always thought them uncanny; but now he positively avoided
looking out of the window, lest his eye should catch the stucco
eyeball of one of those Caesars in the opposite wing of the
building. But there was one thing more especially in the Red
Palace, of which a bare glimpse had always filled the youthful
Prince with terror, and which now kept recurring to his mind
like a nightmare. This was no other than the famous grotto of
the Court of Honour. Its roof was ingeniously inlaid with oyster
shells, forming elegant patterns, among which you could plainly
distinguish some colossal satyrs ; the sides were built of rockery,
and in its depths, disposed in a most natural and tasteful manner,
was a herd of lifesize animals all carved out of various precious
marbles. On holidays the water was turned on, and spurted
about in a gallant fashion. On such occasions persons of taste
would flock to Luna from all parts of the world to enjoy the
spectacle. But ever since his earliest infancy Prince Alberic had
held this grotto in abhorrence. The oyster shell satyrs on the
roof frightened him into fits, particularly when the fountains were
playing; and his terror of the marble animals was such that a bare
allusion to the Porphyry Rhinoceros, the Giraffe of Cipollino, and
the Verde Antique Monkeys, set him screaming for an hour.
The grotto, moreover, had become associated in his mind with the
other great glory of the Red Palace, to wit, the domed chapel in
which Duke Balthasar Maria intended erecting monuments to

his

By Vernon Lee 297

his immediate ancestors, and in which he had already prepared a
monument for himself. And the whole magnificent palace,
grotto, chapel and all, had become mysteriously connected with
Alberic's grandfather, owing to a particularly terrible dream.
When the boy was eight years old, he was taken one day to see
his grandfather. It was the feast of St. Balthasar, one of the
Three Wise Kings from the East, as is well known. There had
been firing of mortars and ringing of bells ever since daybreak.
Alberic had his hair curled, was put into new clothes (his usual
raiment was somewhat tattered), a large nosegay was put in his
hand, and he and his nurse were conveyed by complicated relays
of lackeys and of pages up to the Ducal apartments. Here, in a
crowded outer room, he was separated from his nurse and received
by a gaunt person in a long black robe like a sheath, and a long
shovel hat, whom Alberic identified many years later as his grand-
father's Jesuit confessor. He smiled a long smile, discovering a
prodigious number of teeth, in a manner which froze the child's
blood; and lifting an embroidered curtain, pushed Alberic into
his grandfather's presence. Duke Balthasar Maria, known as the
Ever Young Prince in all Italy, was at his toilet. He was
wrapped in a green Chinese wrapper, embroidered with gold
pagodas, and round his head was tied an orange scarf of delicate
fabric. He was listening to the performance of some fiddlers, and
of a lady dressed as a nymph, who was singing the birthday ode
with many shrill trills and quavers; and meanwhile his face, in
the hands of a valet, was being plastered with a variety of brilliant
colours. In his green and gold wrapper and orange head-dress, with
the strange patches of vermilion and white on his cheeks, Duke
Balthasar looked to the diseased fancy of his grandson as if he had
been made of various precious metals, like the celebrated effigy he
had erected of himself in the great burial chapel. But, just as

Alberic

298 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

Alberic was mustering up courage and approaching his magnificent
grandparent, his eye fell upon a sight so mysterious and terrible
that he fled wildly out of the Ducal presence. For through an
open door he could see in an adjacent closet a man dressed in
white, combing the long flowing locks of what he recognised as
his grandfather's head, stuck on a short pole in the light of a
window.

That night Alberic had seen in his dreams the ever young
Duke Balthasar Maria descend from his niche in the burial-chapel;
and, with his Roman lappets and corslet visible beneath the green
bronze cloak embroidered with gold pagodas, march down the
great staircase into the Court of Honour, and ascend to the empty
place at the end of the rockery grotto (where, as a matter of fact,
a statue of Neptune, by a pupil of Bernini, was placed some
months later), and there, raising his sceptre, receive the obeisance
of all the marble animals—the giraffe, the rhinoceros, the stag, the
peacock, and the monkeys. And behold! suddenly his well-known
features waxed dim, and beneath the great curly peruke there was
a round blank thing—a barber's block!

Alberic, who was an intelligent child, had gradually learned to
disentangle this dream from reality; but its grotesque terror never
vanished from his mind, and became the core of all his feelings
towards Duke Balthasar Maria and the Red Palace.



            III


The news—which was kept back as long as possible—of the
destruction of Susanna and the Elders threw Duke Balthasar
Maria into a most violent rage with his grandson. The boy should
be punished by exile, and exile to a terrible place; above all, to a

place

By Vernon Lee 299

place where there was no furniture to destroy. Taking due
counsel with his Jesuit, his Jester, and his Dwarf, Duke Balthasar
decided that in the whole Duchy of Luna there was no place more
fitted for the purpose than the Castle of Sparkling Waters.

For the Castle of Sparkling Waters was little better than a ruin,
and its sole inhabitants were a family of peasants. The original
cradle of the House of Luna, and its principal bulwark against
invasion, the castle had been ignominiously discarded and forsaken
a couple of centuries before, when the dukes had built the
rectangular town in the plain; after which it had been used as a
quarry for ready cut stone, and the greater part carted off to
rebuild the city of Luna, and even the central portion of the Red
Palace. The castle was therefore reduced to its outer circuit of
walls, enclosing vineyards and orange-gardens, instead of moats
and yards and towers, and to the large gate tower, which had been
kept, with one or two smaller buildings, for the housing of the
farmer, his cattle, and his stores.

Thither the misguided young prince was conveyed in a care-
fully shuttered coach and at a late hour of the evening, as was
proper in the case of an offender at once so illustrious and so
criminal. Nature, moreover, had clearly shared Duke Balthasar
Maria s legitimate anger, and had done her best to increase the
horror of this just though terrible sentence. For that particular
night the long summer broke up in a storm of fearful violence;
and Alberic entered the ruined castle amid the howling of wind,
the rumble of thunder, and the rush of torrents of rain.

But the young prince showed no fear or reluctance; he saluted
with dignity and sweetness the farmer and his wife and family,
and took possession of his attic, where the curtains of an antique
and crazy four-poster shook in the draught of the unglazed
windows, as if he were taking possession of the gala chambers of

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. S

a great

300 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

a great palace. "And so," he merely remarked, looking round
him with reserved satisfaction, "I am now in the castle which
was built by my ancestor and namesake, Alberic the Blond."

He looked not unworthy of such illustrious lineage, as he stood
there in the flickering light of the pine torch: tall for his age,
slender and strong, with abundant golden hair falling about his
very white face.

That first night at the Castle of Sparkling Waters, Alberic
dreamed without end about his dear, lost tapestry. And when, in
the radiant autumn morning, he descended to explore the place of
his banishment and captivity, it seemed as if those dreams were
still going on. Or had the tapestry been removed to this
spot, and become a reality in which he himself was running
about ?

The guard tower in which he had slept was still intact and
chivalrous. It had battlements, a drawbridge, a great escutcheon
with the arms of Luna, just like the castle in the tapestry. Some
vines, quite loaded with grapes, rose on the strong cords of their
fibrous wood from the ground to the very roof of the tower,
exactly like those borders of leaves and fruit which Alberic had
loved so much. And, between the vines, all along the masonry,
were strung long narrow ropes of maize, like garlands of gold. A
plantation of orange trees filled what had once been the moat ;
lemons were spalliered against the delicate pink brickwork.
There were no lilies, but big carnations hung down from the
tower windows, and a tall oleander, which Alberic mistook for a
special sort of rose-tree, shed its blossoms on to the drawbridge.
After the storm of the night, birds were singing all round ; not
indeed as they sang in spring, which Alberic, of course, did not
know, but in a manner quite different from the canaries in the
ducal aviaries at Luna. Moreover other birds, wonderful white

and

By Vernon Lee 301

and gold creatures, some of them with brilliant tails and scarlet
crests, were pecking and strutting and making curious noises in
the yard. And—could it be true?—a little way further up the
hill, for the castle walls climbed steeply from the seaboard, in
the grass beneath the olive trees, white creatures were running in
and out—white creatures with pinkish lining to their ears, un-
doubtedly—as Alberic's nurse had taught him on the tapestry—
undoubtedly rabbits.

Thus Alberic rambled on, from discovery to discovery, with the
growing sense that he was in the tapestry, but that the tapestry
had become the whole world. He climbed from terrace to
terrace of the steep olive yard, among the sage and the fennel tufts,
the long red walls of the castle winding ever higher on the hill.
And, on the very top of the hill was a high terrace surrounded by
towers, and a white shining house with columns and windows,
which seemed to drag him upwards.

It was, indeed, the citadel of the place, the very centre of the
castle.

Alberic's heart beat strangely as he passed beneath the wide
arch of delicate ivy-grown brick, and clambered up the rough
paved path to the topmost terrace. And there he actually forgot
the tapestry. The terrace was laid out as a vineyard, the vines
trellised on the top of stone columns ; at one end stood a clump
of trees, pines, and a big ilex and a walnut, whose shrivelled leaves
already strewed the grass. To the back stood a tiny little house
all built of shining marble, with two large rounded windows
divided by delicate pillars, of the sort (as Alberic later learned)
which people built in the barbarous days of the Goths. Among
the vines, which formed a vast arbour, were growing, in open
spaces, large orange and lemon trees, and flowering bushes of
rosemary, and pale pink roses. And in front of the house, under

a great

302 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

a great umbrella pine, was a well, with an arch over it and a
bucket hanging to a chain.

Alberic wandered about in the vineyard, and then slowly
mounted the marble staircase which flanked the white house.
There was no one in it. The two or three small upper chambers
stood open, and on their blackened floor were heaped sacks, and
faggots, and fodder, and all manner of coloured seeds. The un-
glazed windows stood open, framing in between their white pillars
a piece of deep blue sea. For there, below, but seen over the
tops of the olive trees and the green leaves of the oranges and
lemons, stretched the sea, deep blue, speckled with white sails,
bounded by pale blue capes and arched over by a dazzling pale
blue sky. From the lower story there rose faint sounds of cattle,
and a fresh, sweet smell as of cut grass and herbs and cool
ness, which Alberic had never known before.

How long did Alberic stand at that window ? He was startled by
what he took to be steps close behind him, and a rustle as of silk.
But the rooms were empty, and he could see nothing moving among
the stacked up fodder and seeds. Still, the sounds seemed to recur,
but now outside, and he thought he heard someone in a very low
voice call his name. He descended into the vineyard ; he walked
round every tree and every shrub, and climbed upon the broken
masses of rose-coloured masonry, crushing the scented rag-wort
and peppermint with which they were overgrown. But all was
still and empty. Only, from far, far below, there rose a stave of
peasant's song.

The great gold balls of oranges, and the delicate yellow
lemons, stood out among their glossy green against the deep
blue of the sea ; the long bunches of grapes, hung, filled with
sunshine, like clusters of rubies and jacinths and topazes, from the
trellis which patterned the pale blue sky. But Alberic felt not

hunger

Vernon Lee 303

hunger, but sudden thirst, and mounted the three broken marble
steps of the well. By its side was a long narrow trough of
marble, such as stood in the court at Luna, and which,
Alberic had been told, people had used as coffins in pagan times.
This one was evidently intended to receive water from the well,
for it had a mask in the middle, with a spout ; but it was quite
dry and full of wild herbs and even of pale, prickly roses. There
were garlands carved upon it, and people twisting snakes about
them ; and the carving was picked out with golden brown minute
mosses. Alberic looked at it, for it pleased him greatly ; and then
he lowered the bucket into the deep well, and drank. The well was
very, very deep. Its inner sides were covered, as far as you could
see, with long delicate weeds like pale green hair, but this faded
away in the darkness. At the bottom was a bright space,
reflecting the sky, but looking like some subterranean country.
Alberic, as he bent over, was startled by suddenly seeing what
seemed a face filling up part of that shining circle ; but he
remembered it must be his own reflection, and felt ashamed. So,
to give himself courage, he bent over again, and sang his own
name to the image. But instead of his own boyish voice he was
answered by wonderful tones, high and deep alternately, running
through the notes of a long, long cadence, as he had heard them
on holidays at the Ducal Chapel at Luna.

When he had slaked his thirst, Alberic was about to unchain
the bucket, when there was a rustle hard by, and a sort of little
hiss, and there rose from the carved trough, from among the
weeds and roses, and glided on to the brick of the well, a long,
green, glittering thing. Alberic recognised it to be a snake ;
only, he had no idea it had such a flat, strange little head and such
a long forked tongue, for the lady on the tapestry was a woman
from the waist upwards. It sat on the opposite side of the well,

moving

304 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

moving its long neck in his direction, and fixing him with its
small golden eyes. Then, slowly, it began to glide round the well
circle towards him. Perhaps it wants to drink, thought Alberic,
and tipped the bronze pitcher in its direction. But the creature
glided past, and came around and rubbed itself against Alberic's
hand. The boy was not afraid, for he knew nothing about
snakes ; but he started, for, on this hot day, the creature was icy
cold. But then he felt sorry. "It must be dreadful to be always
so cold," he said, "come, try and get warm in my pocket."

But the snake merely rubbed itself against his coat, and then
disappeared back into the carved sarcophagus.



            IV


Duke Balthasar Maria, as we have seen, was famous for his
unfading youth, and much of his happiness and pride was due to
this delightful peculiarity. Any comparison, therefore, which
might diminish it was distasteful to the ever young sovereign of
Luna ; and when his son had died with mysterious suddenness,
Duke Balthasar Maria's grief had been tempered by the consolatory
fact that he was now the youngest man at his own court. This
very natural feeling explains why the Duke of Luna had put
behind him for several years the fact of having a grandson, painful
because implying that he was of an age to be a grandfather. He
had done his best, and succeeded not badly, to forget Alberic
while the latter abode under his own roof; and now that the boy
had been sent away to a distance, he forgot him entirely for the
space of several years.

But Balthasar Maria's three chief counsellors had no such
reason for forgetfulness ; and so in turn, each unknown to the

other,

By Vernon Lee 305

other, the Jesuit, the Dwarf, and the Jester, sent spies to the
Castle of Sparkling Waters, and even secretly visited that place in
person. For by the coincidence of genius, the mind of each of
these profound politicians, had been illuminated by the same
remarkable thought, to wit : that Duke Balthasar Maria, unnatural
as it seemed, would some day have to die, and Prince Alberic,
if still alive, become duke in his stead. Those were the times of
subtle statecraft ; and the Jesuit, the Dwarf, and the Jester were
notable statemen even in their day. So each of them had
provided himself with a scheme, which, in order to be thoroughly
artistic, was twofold, and so to speak, double-barrelled. Alberic
might live or he might die, and therefore Alberic must be turned
to profit in either case. If, to invert the chances, Alberic should
die before coming to the throne, the Jesuit, the Dwarf, and the
Jester had each privately determined to represent this death as
purposely brought about by himself for the benefit of one of three
Powers which would claim the Duchy in case of extinction of the
male line. The Jesuit had chosen to attribute the murder to
devotion to the Holy See ; the Dwarf had preferred to appear
active in favour of the King of Spain, and the Jester had decided
that he would lay claim to the gratitude of the Emperor ; the
very means which each would pretend to have used had been
thought out : poison in each case ; only while the Dwarf had
selected arsenic, taken through a pair of perfumed gloves, and the
Jester pounded diamonds mixed in champagne, the Jesuit had
modestly adhered to the humble cup of chocolate, which whether
real or fictitious, had always stood his order in such good stead.
Thus had each of these wily courtiers disposed of Alberic in case
that he should die.

There remained the alternative of Alberic continuing to live ;
and for this the three rival statesmen were also prepared. If

Alberic

306 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

Alberic lived, it was obvious that he must be made to select one
of the three as his sole minister ; and banish, imprison, or put to
death the other two. For this purpose it was necessary to secure
his affection by gifts, until he should be old enough to understand
that he had actually owed his life to the passionate loyalty of the
Jesuit, or the Dwarf, or the Jester, each of whom had saved him
from the atrocious enterprises of the other two counsellors of
Balthasar Maria,—nay, who knows? perhaps from the malignity
of Balthasar Maria himself.

In accordance with these subtle machinations, each of the three
statesmen determined to outwit his rivals by sending young
Alberic such things as would appeal most strongly to a poor
young prince living in banishment among peasants, and wholly
unsupplied with pocket-money. The Jesuit expended a consider-
able sum on books, magnificently bound with the arms of Luna ;
the Dwarf prepared several suits of tasteful clothes ; and the
Jester selected, with infinite care, a horse of equal and perfect
gentleness and mettle. And, unknown to one another, but much
about the same period, each of the statesmen sent his present
most secretly to Alberic. Imagine the astonishment and wrath
of the Jesuit, the Dwarf, and the Jester, when each saw his
messenger come back from Sparkling Waters, with his gift
returned, and the news that Prince Alberic was already supplied
with a complete library, a handsome wardrobe and not one, but
two horses of the finest breed and training ; nay, more unexpected
still, that while returning the gifts to their respective donors, he
had rewarded the messengers with splendid liberality.

The result of this amazing discovery was much the same in the
mind of the Jesuit, the Dwarf, and the Jester. Each instantly
suspected one or both of his rivals ; then, on second thoughts,
determined to change the present to one of the other items (horse,

clothes,

By Vernon Lee 307

clothes, or books, as the case might be) little suspecting that each
of them had been supplied already ; and, on further reflection,
began to doubt the reality of the whole business, to suspect
connivance of the messengers, intended insult on the part of the
prince, and decided to trust only to the evidence of his own eyes
in the matter.

Accordingly, within the same few months, the Jesuit, the
Dwarf, and the Jester, feigned grievous illness to their Ducal
Master, and while everybody thought them safe in bed in the
Red Palace at Luna, hurried, on horseback, or in a litter, or in a
coach, to the Castle of Sparkling Waters.

The scene with the peasant and his family, young Alberic's
host, was identical on the three occasions ; and, as the farmer saw
that these personages were equally willing to pay liberally for
absolute secrecy, he very consistently swore to supply that
desideratum to each of the three great functionaries. And
similarly, in all three cases, it was deemed preferable to see the
young prince first from a hiding place, before asking leave to pay
their respects.

The Dwarf, who was the first in the field, was able to hide
very conveniently in one of the cut velvet plumes which sur-
mounted Alberic's four-post bedstead, and to observe the young
prince as he changed his apparel. But he scarcely recognised the
Duke's grandson. Alberic was sixteen, but far taller and stronger
than his age would warrant. His figure was at once manly and
delicate, and full of grace and vigour of movement. His long
hair, the colour of floss silk, fell in wavy curls, which seemed to
imply almost a woman's care and coquetry. His hands also,
though powerful, were, as the Dwarf took note, of princely form
and whiteness. As to his garments, the open doors of his ward-
robe displayed every variety that a young prince could need ; and,

while

308 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

while the Dwarf was watching, he was exchanging a russet and
purple hunting dress, cut after the Hungarian fashion with cape and
hood, and accompanied by a cap crowned with peacock's feathers,
for a habit of white and silver, trimmed with Venetian lace, in
which he intended to honour the wedding of one of the farmer's
daughters. Never, in his most genuine youth, had Balthasar
Maria, the ever young and handsome, been one quarter as beautiful
in person or as delicate in apparel as his grandson in exile among
poor country folk.

The Jesuit, in his turn, came to verify his messenger's extra-
ordinary statements. Through the gap between two rafters he
was enabled to look down on to Prince Alberic in his study.
Magnificently bound books lined the walls of the closet, and
in this gap hung valuable maps and prints. On the table were
heaped several open volumes, among globes both terrestrial and
celestial, and Alberic himself was leaning on the arm of a great
chair, reciting the verses of Virgil in a most graceful chant.
Never had the Jesuit seen a better-appointed study nor a more
precocious young scholar.

As regards the Jester, he came at the very moment that Alberic
was returning from a ride ; and, having begun life as an acrobat,
he was able to climb into a large ilex which commanded an excel-
lent view of the Castle yard. Alberic was mounted on a splendid jet-
black barb, magnificently caparisoned in crimson and gold Spanish
trappings. His groom—for he even had a groom—was riding a horse
only a shade less perfect : it was white and he was black—a splendid
negro such as great princes only own. When Alberic came in
sight of the farmer's wife, who stood shelling peas on the door-
step, he waved his hat with infinite grace, caused his horse to
caracole and rear three times in salutation, picked an apple up
while cantering round the Castle yard, threw it in the air with

his

By Vernon Lee 309

his sword and cut it in two as it descended, and did a number of
-similar feats such as are taught only to the most brilliant cavaliers.
Now, as he was going to dismount, a branch of the ilex cracked,
the black barb reared, and Alberic, looking up, perceived the
Jester moving in the tree.

"A wonderful parti-coloured bird!" he exclaimed, and seized
the fowling-piece that hung by his saddle. But before he had
time to fire the Jester had thrown himself down and alighted,
making three somersaults, on the ground.

"My Lord," said the Jester, "you see before you a faithful
subject who, braving the threats and traps of your enemies, and,
I am bound to add, risking also your Highness's sovereign dis-
pleasure, has been determined to see his Prince once more, to
have the supreme happiness of seeing him at last clad and equipped
and mounted . . . ."

"Enough !" interrupted Alberic sternly. "Say no more.
You would have me believe that it is to you I owe my
horses and books and clothes, even as the Dwarf and the Jesuit
tried to make me believe about themselves last month. Know,
then, that Alberic of Luna requires gifts from none of you.
And now, most miserable councillor of my unhappy grandfather,
begone !"

The Jester checked his rage, and tried, all the way back to
Luna, to get at some solution of this intolerable riddle. The
Jesuit and the Dwarf—the scoundrels—had been trying their hand
then ! Perhaps, indeed, it was their blundering which had ruined
his own perfectly concocted scheme. But for their having come
and claimed gratitude for gifts they had not made, Alberic would
perhaps have believed that the Jester had not merely offered the
horse which was refused, but had actually given the two which
had been accepted, and the books and clothes (since there had been

books

Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady310

books and clothes given) into the bargain. But then, had not
Alberic spoken as if he were perfectly sure from what quarter all
his possessions had come ? This reminded the Jester of the allusion
to the Duke Balthasar Maria ; Alberic had spoken of him as
unhappy. Was it, could it be, possible that the treacherous old
wretch had been keeping up relations with his grandson in secret,
afraid—for he was a miserable coward at bottom—both of the
wrath of his three counsellors, and of the hatred of his grandson ?
Was it possible, thought the Jester, that not only the Jesuit and
the Dwarf, but the Duke of Luna also, had been intriguing
against him round young Prince Alberic ? Balthasar Maria was
quite capable of it ; he might be enjoying the trick he was playing
to his three masters—for they were his masters ; he might be
preparing to turn suddenly upon them with his long neglected
grandson like a sword to smite them. On the other hand, might
this not be a mere mistake and supposition on the part of Prince
Alberic, who, in his silly dignity, preferred to believe in the liber-
ality of his ducal grandfather than in that of his grandfather's
servants ? Might the horses, and all the rest, not really be the
gift of either the Dwarf or the Jesuit, although neither had got
the credit for it ? "No, no," exclaimed the Jester, for he hated
his fellow servants worse than his master, "anything better than
that ! Rather a thousand times that it were the Duke himself
who had outwitted them."

Then, in his bitterness, having gone over the old arguments
again and again, some additional circumstances returned to his
memory. The black groom was deaf and dumb, and the peasants
it appeared, had been quite unable to extract any information from
him. But he had arrived with those particular horses only a few
months ago ; a gift, the peasants had thought, from the old Duke
of Luna. But Alberic, they had said, had possessed other horses

before,

By Vernon Lee 311

before, which they had also thus taken for granted, must have come
from the Red Palace. And the clothes and books had been
accumulating, it appeared, ever since the Prince's arrival in his place
of banishment. Since this was the case, the plot, whether on the part
of the Jesuit or the Dwarf, or on that of the Duke himself, had been
going on for years before the Jester had bestirred himself! More-
over, the Prince not only possessed horses, but he had learned to
ride ; he not only had books, but he had learned to read, and even to
read various tongues ; and finally, the Prince was not only clad
in princely garments, but he was every inch of him a Prince. He
had then been consorting with other people than the peasants at
Sparkling Waters. He must have been away—or—someone
must have come. He had not been living in solitude.

But when—how—and above all, who ?

And again the baffled Jester revolved the probabilities concerning
the Dwarf, the Jesuit, and the Duke. It must be—it could be no
other—it evidently could only be. . . .

"Ah!" exclaimed the unhappy diplomatist ; "if only one
could believe in magic !"

And it suddenly struck him, with terror and mingled relief,
"Was it magic ?"

But the Jester, like the Dwarf and the Jesuit, and the Duke of
Luna himself, was altogether superior to such foolish beliefs.



            V


The young Prince of Luna had never attempted to learn the
story of Alberic the Blond and the Snake Lady. Children some-
times conceive an inexplicable shyness, almost a dread, of knowing
more on subjects which are uppermost in their thoughts ; and

such

312 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

such had been the case of Duke Balthasar Maria's grandson.
Ever since the memorable morning when the ebony crucifix had
been removed from in front of the faded tapestry, and the whole
figure of the Snake Lady had been for the first time revealed,
scarcely a day had passed without there coming to the boy's mind
his nurse's words about his ancestor Alberic and the Snake Lady
Oriana. But, even as he had asked no questions then, so he had
asked no questions since ; shrinking more and more from all
further knowledge of the matter. He had never questioned his
nurse, he had never questioned the peasants of Sparkling Waters,
although the story, he felt quite sure, must be well known among
the ruins of Alberic the Blond's own castle. Nay, stranger
still, he had never mentioned the subject to his dear Godmother,
to whom he had learned to open his heart about all things, and
who had taught him all that he knew.

For the Duke's Jester had guessed rightly that, during these
years at Sparkling Waters, the young Prince had not consorted
solely with peasants. The very evening after his arrival, as he
was sitting by the marble well in the vineyard, looking towards
the sea, he had felt a hand placed lightly on his shoulder, and
looked up into the face of a beautiful lady veiled in green.

"Do not be afraid," she had said, smiling at his terror. "I am
not a ghost, but alive like you ; and I am, though you do not
know it, your Godmother. My dwelling is close to this castle,
and I shall come every evening to play and talk with you, here by
the little white palace with the pillars, where the fodder is stacked.
Only, you must remember that I do so against the wishes of your
grandfather and all his friends, and that if ever you mention me
to anyone, or allude in any way to our meetings, I shall be
obliged to leave the neighbourhood, and you will never see
me again. Some day when you are big you will learn why ;

till

By Vernon Lee 313

till then you must take me on trust. And now what shall we
play at ?"

And thus his Godmother had come every evening at sunset ;
just for an hour and no more, and had taught the poor solitary
little prince to play (for he had never played) and to read, and to
manage a horse, and, above all, to love : for, except the old
tapestry in the Red Palace, he had never loved anything in the
world.

Alberic told his dear Godmother everything, beginning with
the story of the two pieces of tapestry, the one they had taken
away and the one he had cut to pieces ; and he asked her about
all the things he ever wanted to know, and she was always able to
answer. Only, about two things they were silent : she never told
him her name nor where she lived, nor whether Duke Balthasar
Maria knew her (the boy guessed that she had been a friend of his
father's); and Alberic never revealed the fact that the tapestry
had represented his ancestor and the beautiful Oriana ; for, even
to his dear Godmother, and most perhaps to her, he found it
impossible even to mention Alberic the Blond and the Snake
Lady.

But the story, or rather the name of the story he did not know,
never loosened its hold on Alberic's mind. Little by little, as he
grew up, it came to add to his life two friends, of whom he never
told his Godmother. They were, to be sure, of such sort,
however different, that a boy might find it difficult to speak about
without feeling foolish. The first of the two friends was his own
ancestor, Alberic the Blond; and the second that large tame grass
snake whose acquaintance he had made the day after his arrival at
the castle. About Alberic the Blond he knew indeed but little,
save that he had reigned in Luna many hundreds of years ago, and
that he had been a very brave and glorious prince indeed, who had

helped

314 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

helped to conquer the Holy Sepulchre with Godfrey and Tancred
and the other heroes of Tasso. But, perhaps in proportion to this
vagueness, Alberic the Blond served to personify all the notions of
chivalry which the boy had learned from his Godmother, and
those which bubbled up in his own breast. Nay, little by little
the young Prince began to take his unknown ancestor as a model,
and in a confused way, to identify himself with him. For was
he not fair-haired too, and Prince of Luna, Alberic, third of the
name, as the other had been first ? Perhaps for this reason he
could never speak of this ancestor with his Godmother. She
might think it presumptuous and foolish ; besides, she might
perhaps tell him things about Alberic the Blond which might hurt
him ; the poor young Prince, who had compared the splendid
reputation of his own grandfather with the miserable reality, had
grown up precociously sceptical. As to the Snake, with whom he
played everyday in the grass, and who was his only companion
during the many hours of his Godmother's absence, he would
willingly have spoken of her, and had once been on the point of
doing so, but he had noticed that the mere name of such creatures
seemed to be odious to his Godmother. Whenever, in their
readings, they came across any mention of serpents, his Godmother
would exclaim, "Let us skip that," with a look of intense pain
in her usually cheerful countenance. It was a pity, Alberic
thought, that so lovely and dear a lady should feel such hatred
towards any living creature, particularly towards a kind, which
like his own tame grass snake, was perfectly harmless. But he
loved her too much to dream of thwarting her ; and he was very
grateful to his tame snake for having the tact never to show
herself at the hour of his Godmother's visits.

But to return to the story represented on the dear, faded
tapestry in the Red Palace.

When

By Vernon Lee 315

When Prince Alberic, unconscious to himself, was beginning
to turn into a full-grown and gallant-looking youth, a change
began to take place in him, and it was about the story of his an-
cestor and the Lady Oriana. He thought of it more than ever,
and it began to haunt his dreams ; only it was now a vaguely
painful thought, and, while dreading still to know more, he began
to experience a restless, miserable, craving to know all. His
curiosity was like a thorn in his flesh, working its way in and in ;
and it seemed something almost more than curiosity. And yet,
he was still shy and frightened of the subject ; nay, the greater
his craving to know, the greater grew a strange certainty that
the knowing would be accompanied by evil. So, although many
people could have answered—the very peasants,the fishermen of
the coast, and first, and foremost, his Godmother—he let months
pass before he asked the question.

It, and the answer, came of a sudden.


There occasionally came to Sparkling Waters an old man, who
united in his tattered person the trades of mending crockery and
reciting fairy tales. He would seat himself, in summer, under
the spreading fig tree in the castle yard, and in winter, by the
peasants deep, black chimney, alternately boring holes in pipkins,
or gluing plate edges, and singing, in a cracked, nasal voice, but
not without dignity and charm of manner, the stories of the King
of Portugal's Cowherd, of the Feathers of the Griffin, or some
of the many stanzas of Orlando or Jerusalem Delivered, which he
knew by heart. Our young Prince had always avoided him, partly
from a vague fear of a mention of his ancestor and the Snake Lady,
and partly because of something vaguely sinister in the old man's
eye. But now he awaited with impatience the vagrant's periodical
return, and on one occasion, summoned him to his own chamber.

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. T

"Sing

316 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

"Sing me," he commanded, "the story of Alberic the Blond
and the Snake Lady."

The old man hesitated, and answered with a strange look :—

"My lord, I do not know it."

A sudden feeling, such as the youth had never experienced
before, seized hold of Alberic. He did not recognise himself.
He saw and heard himself, as if it were some one else, nod first at
some pieces of gold, of those his godmother had given him, and
then at his fowling piece hung on the wall ; and as he did so, he
had a strange thought : "I must be mad." But he merely said,
sternly :—

"Old man, that is not true. Sing that story at once, if you
value my money and your safety."

The vagrant took his white-bearded chin in his hand, mused,
and then, fumbling among the files and drills and pieces of wire
in his tool basket, which made a faint metallic accompaniment,
he slowly began to chant the following stanzas :—



            VI


Now listen, courteous Prince, to what befel your ancestor, the
valorous Alberic, returning from the Holy Land.

Already a year had passed since the strongholds of Jerusalem had
fallen beneath the blows of the faithful, and since the sepulchre of
Christ had been delivered from the worshippers of Macomet. The
great Godfrey was enthroned as its guardian, and the mighty
barons, his companions, were wending their way homewards :
Tancred, and Bohemund, and Reynold, and the rest.

The valorous Alberic, the honour of Luna, after many perilous
adventures, brought by the anger of the Wizard Macomet,

was

By Vernon Lee 317

was shipwrecked on his homeward way, and cast, alone of
all his great following, upon the rocky shore of an unknown
island. He wandered long about, among woods and pleasant
pastures, but without ever seeing any signs of habitation ;
nourishing himself solely on the berries and clear water, and taking
his rest in the green grass beneath the trees. At length, after
some days of wandering, he came to a dense forest, the like of
which he had never seen before, so deep was its shade and so
tangled were its boughs. He broke the branches with his iron-
gloved hand, and the air became filled with the croaking and
screeching of dreadful night-birds. He pushed his way with
shoulder and knee, trampling the broken leafage under foot, and
the air was filled with the roaring of monstrous lions and tigers.
He grasped his sharp double-edged sword and hewed through the
interlaced branches, and the air was filled with the shrieks and
sobs of a vanquished city. But the Knight of Luna went on,
undaunted, cutting his way through the enchanted wood. And
behold ! as he issued thence, there rose before him a lordly castle,
as of some great prince, situate in a pleasant meadow among
running streams. And as Alberic approached the portcullis was
raised, and the drawbridge lowered ; and there arose sounds of fifes
and bugles, but nowhere could he descry any living creature around.
And Alberic entered the castle, and found therein guardrooms full
of shining arms, and chambers spread with rich stuffs, and a
banquetting hall, with a great table laid and a chair of state at the
end. And as he entered a concert of invisible voices and instru-
ments greeted him sweetly, and called him by name, and bid him
be welcome ; but not a living soul did he see. So he sat him down
at the table, and as he did so, invisible hands filled his cup and his
plate, and ministered to him with delicacies of all sorts. Now,
when the good knight had eaten and drunken his fill, he drank to

the

318 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

the health of his unknown host, declaring himself the servant
thereof with his sword and heart. After which, weary with
wandering, he prepared to take rest on the carpets which strewed
the ground ; but invisible hands unbuckled his armour, and clad
him in silken robes, and led him to a couch all covered with rose-
leaves. And when he had laid himself down, the concert of
invisible singers and players put him to sleep with their melodies.

It was the hour of sunset when the valorous Baron awoke, and
buckled on his armour, and hung on his thigh his great sword
Brillamorte ; and the invisible hands helped him once more.

And the Knight of Luna went all over the enchanted castle,
and found all manner of rarities, treasures of precious stones, such
as great kings possess, and store of gold and silver vessels, and
rich stuffs, and stables full of fiery coursers ready caparisoned;
but never a human creature anywhere. And, wondering more
and more, he went forth into the orchard, which lay within the
walls of the castle. And such another orchard, sure, was never
seen, since that in which the hero Hercules found the three golden
apples and slew the great dragon. For you might see in this
place fruit trees of all kinds, apples and pears, and peaches and
plums, and the goodly orange, which bore at the same time fruit
and delicate and scented blossom. And all around were set
hedges of roses, whose scent was even like heaven ; and there
were other flowers of all kinds, those into which the vain Narcissus
turned through love of himself, and those which grew, they tell
us, from the blood-drops of fair Venus's minion ; and lilies of
which that Messenger carried a sheaf who saluted the Meek
Damsel, glorious above all womankind. And in the trees sang
innumerable birds ; and others, of unknown breed, joined melody
in hanging cages and aviaries. And in the orchard's midst was
set a fountain, the most wonderful ever made, its waters running

in

By Vernon Lee 319

in green channels among the flowered grass. For that fountain
was made in the likeness of twin naked maidens, dancing together,
and pouring water out of pitchers as they did so ; and the maidens
were of fine silver, and the pitchers of wrought gold, and the
whole so cunningly contrived by magic art that the maidens really
moved and danced with the waters they were pouring out : a
wonderful work, most truly. And when the Knight of Luna had
feasted his eyes upon this marvel, he saw among the grass, beneath
a flowering almond tree, a sepulchre of marble, cunningly carved
and gilded, on which was written, "Here is imprisoned the Fairy
Oriana, most miserable of all fairies, condemned for no fault, but
by envious powers, to a dreadful fate,"—and as he read, the in-
scription changed, and the sepulchre showed these words : "O
Knight of Luna, valorous Alberic, if thou wouldst show thy
gratitude to the hapless mistress of this castle, summon up thy
redoubtable courage, and, whatsoever creature issue from my
marble heart, swear thou to kiss it three times on the mouth, that
Oriana may be released."

And Alberic drew his great sword, and on its hilt, shaped like a
cross, he swore.

Then wouldst thou have heard a terrible sound of thunder, and
seen the castle walls rock. But Alberic, nothing daunted, repeats
in a loud voice, "I swear," and instantly that sepulchre's lid up-
heaves, and there issues thence and rises up a great green snake,
wearing a golden crown, and raises itself and fawns towards the
valorous Knight of Luna. And Alberic starts and recoils in
terror. For rather, a thousand times, confront alone the armed
hosts of all the heathen, than put his lips to that cold, creeping
beast ! And the serpent looks at Alberic with great gold eyes,
and big tears issue thence, and it drops prostrate on the grass, and
Alberic summons courage and approaches ; but when the serpent

glides

320 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

glides along his arm, a horror takes him, and he falls back unable.
And the tears stream from the snake's golden eyes, and moans
come from its mouth.

And Alberic runs forward, and seizes the serpent in both
hands, and lifts it up, and three times presses his hot lips against
its cold and slippery skin, shutting his eyes in horror, and when
the Knight of Luna opens them again, behold! O wonder! in
his arms no longer a dreadful snake, but a damsel, richly dressed
and beautiful beyond comparison.



            VII


Young Alberic sickened that very night, and lay for many days
with raging fever. The peasant's wife and a good neighbouring
priest nursed him unhelped, for when the messenger they sent
arrived at Luna, Duke Balthasar was busy rehearsing a grand
ballet in which he himself danced the part of Phoebus Apollo;
and the ducal physician was therefore despatched to Sparkling
Waters only when the young prince was already recovering.

Prince Alberic undoubtedly passed through a very bad illness,
and went fairly out of his mind for fever and ague.

He raved so dreadfully in his delirium about enchanted
tapestries and terrible grottoes, Twelve Caesars with rolling eye-
balls, barbers' blocks with perukes on them, monkeys of verde
antique, and porphyry rhinoceroses, and all manner of hellish
creatures, that the good priest began to suspect a case of demoniac
possession, and caused candles to be kept lighted all day and all
night, and holy water to be sprinkled, and a printed form of
exorcism, absolutely sovereign in such trouble, to be nailed
against the bed-post. On the fourth day the young prince fell

into

By Vernon Lee 321

into a profound sleep, from which he awaked in apparent pos-
session of his faculties.

"Then you are not the porphyry rhinoceros?" he said, very
slowly as his eye fell upon the priest ; "and this is my own dear
little room at Sparkling Waters, though I do not understand all
those candles. I thought it was the great hall in the Red
Palace, and that all those animals of precious marbles, and my
grandfather, the duke, in his bronze and gold robes, were beating
me and my tame snake to death with Harlequin's laths. It was
terrible. But now I see it was all fancy and delirium."

The poor youth gave a sigh of relief, and feebly caressed the
rugged old hand of the priest, which lay on his counterpane.
The prince lay for a long while motionless, but gradually a
strange light came into his eyes, and a smile on to his lips.
Presently he made a sign that the peasants should leave the room,
and taking once more the good priest's hand, he looked solemnly
in his eyes, and spoke in an earnest voice. "My father," he said,
"I have seen and heard strange things in my sickness, and I
cannot tell for certain now what belongs to the reality of my
previous life, and what is merely the remembrance of delirium.
On this I would fain be enlightened. Promise me, my father,
to answer my questions truly, for this is a matter of the welfare of
my soul, and therefore of your own."

The priest nearly jumped on his chair. So he had been right.
The demons had been trying to tamper with the poor young
prince, and now he was going to have a fine account of it all.

"My son," he murmured, "as I hope for the spiritual welfare
of both of us, I promise to answer all your interrogations to the
best of my powers. Speak them without hesitation."

Alberic hesitated for a moment, and his eyes glanced from one
long lit taper to the other.

"In

322 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

"In that case," he said, slowly, "let me conjure you, my
father, to tell me whether or not there exists a certain tradition in
my family, of the loves of my ancestor, Alberic the Blond, with a
certain Snake Lady, and how he was unfaithful to her, and failed
to disenchant her, and how a second Alberic, also my ancestor,
loved this same Snake Lady, but failed before the ten years of
fidelity were over, and became a monk. . . . Does such a story
exist, or have I imagined it all during my sickness?"

"My son," replied the good priest, testily, for he was most
horribly disappointed by this speech, "it is scarce fitting that a
young prince but just escaped from the jaws of death—and,
perhaps, even from the insidious onslaught of the Evil One—
should give his mind to idle tales like these."

"Call them what you choose," answered the prince, gravely,
"but remember your promise, father. Answer me truly, and
presume not to question my reasons."

The priest started. What a hasty ass he had been ! Why
these were probably the demons talking out of Alberic's mouth,
causing him to ask silly irrelevant questions in order to prevent a
good confession. Such were notoriously among their stock
tricks ! But he would outwit them. If only it were possible to
summon up St. Paschal Baylon, that new fashionable saint who
had been doing such wonders with devils lately ! But St.
Paschal Baylon required not only that you should say several
rosaries, but that you should light four candles on a table and lay
a supper for two ; after that there was nothing he would not do.
So the priest hastily seized two candlesticks from the foot of the
bed, and called to the peasant's wife to bring a clean napkin and
plates and glasses ; and meanwhile endeavoured to detain the
demons by answering the poor prince's foolish chatter, "Your
ancestors, the two Alberics—a tradition in your Serene family—

yes,

By Vernon Lee 323

yes, my Lord—there is such—let me see, how does the story go ?
—ah yes—this demon, I mean this Snake Lady was a—what
they call a fairy or—witch, malefica or stryx is, I believe, the
proper Latin expression—who had been turned into a snake for
her sins—good woman, woman, is it possible you cannot be a
little quicker in bringing those plates for his Highness's supper ?
The Snake Lady—let me see—was to cease altogether being a
snake if a cavalier remained faithful to her for ten years ; and at
any rate turned into a woman every time a cavalier was found
who had the courage to give her a kiss as if she were not a snake
—a disagreeable thing, besides being mortal sin. As I said just
now, this enabled her to resume temporarily her human shape,
which is said to have been fair enough ; but how can one tell ? I
believe she was allowed to change into a woman for an hour at
sunset, in any case and without anybody kissing her, but only for
an hour. A very unlikely story, my Lord, and not a very moral
one to my thinking !"

And the good priest spread the table-cloth over the table,
wondering secretly when the plates and glasses for St. Paschal
Baylon would make their appearance. If only the demon could
be prevented from beating a retreat before all was ready ! "To
return to the story about which your Highness is pleased to
inquire," he continued, trying to gain time by pretending to
humour the demon who was asking questions through the poor
Prince's mouth, "I can remember hearing a poem before I took
orders—a foolish poem too, in a very poor style, if my memory is
correct—that related the manner in which Alberic the Blond met
this Snake Lady, and disenchanted her by performing the
ceremony I have alluded to. The poem was frequently sung at fairs
and similar resorts of the uneducated, and, as remarked, was a
very inferior composition indeed. Alberic the Blond afterwards

came

324 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

came to his senses, it appears, and after abandoning the Snake
Lady fulfilled his duty as a prince, and married the princess. . . .
I cannot exactly remember what princess, but it was a very
suitable marriage, no doubt, from which your Highness is of course
descended.

"As regards the Marquis Alberic, second of the name, of whom
it is accounted that he died in the odour of sanctity, (and indeed
it is said that the facts concerning his beatification are being
studied in the proper quarters), there is a mention in a life of
Saint Fredevaldus, bishop and patron of Luna, printed at the
beginning of the present century at Venice, with approbation and
license of the authorities and inquisition, a mention of the fact
that this Marquis Alberic the second had contracted, having
abandoned his lawful wife, a left-handed marriage with this same
Snake Lady (such evil creatures not being subject to natural death),
she having induced him thereunto in hope of his proving faithful
ten years, and by this means restoring her altogether to human
shape. But a certain holy hermit, having got wind of this
scandal, prayed to St. Fredevaldus as patron of Luna, whereupon
St. Fredevaldus, took pity on the Marquis Alberic's sins, and
appeared to him in a vision at the end of the ninth year of his
irregular connection with the Snake Lady, and touched his heart
so thoroughly that he instantly forswore her company, and
handing the Marquisate over to his mother, abandoned the world
and entered the order of St. Romuald, in which he died, as
remarked, in odour of sanctity, in consequence of which the
present Duke, your Highness's magnificent grandfather, is at this
moment, as befits so pious a prince, employing his influence with
the Holy Father for the beatification of so glorious an ancestor.
And now, my son," added the good priest, suddenly changing his
tone, for he had got the table ready, and lighted the candles, and

only

By Vernon Lee 325

only required to go through the preliminary invocation of St.
Paschal Baylon—"and now, my son, let your curiosity trouble
you no more, but endeavour to obtain some rest, and if pos-
sible—"

But the prince interrupted him.

"One word more, good father," he begged, fixing him with
earnest eyes, "is it known what has been the fate of the Snake
Lady ?"

The impudence of the demons made the priest quite angry, but
he must not scare them before the arrival of St. Paschal, so he
controlled himself, and answered slowly by gulps, between the
lines of the invocation he was mumbling under his breath :

"My Lord—it results from the same life of St. Fredevaldus,
that . . . (in case of property lost, fire, flood, earthquake, plague)
. . . that the Snake Lady (thee we invoke, most holy Paschal
Baylon !). The Snake Lady being of the nature of fairies, cannot
die unless her head be severed from her trunk, and is still haunting
the world, together with other evil spirits, in hopes that another
member of the house of Luna (thee we invoke, most holy
Paschal Baylon !)—may succumb to her arts and be faithful to
her for the ten years needful to her disenchantments—(most holy
Paschal Baylon !—and most of all—on thee we call—for aid
against the . . . )—"

But before the priest could finish his invocation, a terrible
shout came from the bed where the sick prince was lying :

"O Oriana, Oriana !" cried Prince Alberic, sitting up in his
bed with a look which terrified the priest as much as his voice.
"O Oriana, Oriana !" he repeated, and then fell back exhausted
and broken.

"Bless my soul !" cried the priest, almost upsetting the table ;
"why the demon has already issued out of him ! Who would

have

326 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

guessed that St. Paschal Baylon performed his miracles as
quick as that !"



            VIII


Prince Alberic was awakened by the loud trill of a nightingale.
The room was bathed in moonlight, in which the tapers, left
burning round the bed to ward off evil spirits, flickered yellow
and ineffectual. Through the open casement came, with the
scent of freshly cut grass, a faint concert of nocturnal sounds :
the silvery vibration of the cricket, the reedlike quavering notes
of the leaf frogs, and, every now and then, the soft note of an
owlet, seeming to stroke the silence as the downy wings growing
out of the temples of the Sleep god might stroke the air. The
nightingale had paused ; and Alberic listened breathless for its
next burst of song. At last, and when he expected it least, it
came, liquid, loud and triumphant ; so near that it filled the room
and thrilled through his marrow like an unison of Cremona viols.
He was singing in the pomegranate close outside, whose first
buds must be opening into flame-coloured petals. For it was
May. Alberic listened ; and collected his thoughts, and under-
stood. He arose and dressed, and his limbs seemed suddenly
strong, and his mind strangely clear, as if his sickness had been
but a dream. Again the nightingale trilled out, and again stopped.
Alberic crept noiselessly out of his chamber, down the stairs and
into the open. Opposite, the moon had just risen, immense and
golden, and the pines and the cypresses of the hill, the furthest
battlements of the castle walls, were printed upon her like
delicate lace. It was so light that the roses were pink, and the
pomegranate flower scarlet, and the lemons pale yellow, and the grass
bright green, only differently coloured from how they looked by

day,

By Vernon Lee 327

day, and as if washed over with silver. The orchard spread up-
hill, its twigs and separate leaves all glittering as if made of
diamonds, and its tree trunks and spalliers weaving strange black
patterns of shadow. A little breeze shuddered up from the sea,
bringing the scent of the irises grown for their root among the
cornfields below. The nightingale was silent. But Prince
Alberic did not stand waiting for its song. A spiral dance of
fire-flies, rising and falling like a thin gold fountain, beckoned
him upwards through the dewy grass. The circuit of castle
walls, jagged and battlemented, and with tufts of trees profiled
here and there against the resplendent blue pallor of the moon-
light, seemed turned and knotted like huge snakes around the
world.

Suddenly, again, the nightingale sang ; a throbbing, silver song.
It was the same bird, Alberic felt sure ; but it was in front of him
now, and was calling him onwards. The fire-flies wove their
golden dance a few steps in front, always a few steps in front, and
drew him up-hill through the orchard.

As the ground became steeper, the long trellises, black and
crooked, seemed to twist and glide through the blue moonlight
grass like black gliding snakes, and, at the top, its marble pillarets,
clear in the moonlight, slumbered the little Gothic palace of white
marble. From the solitary sentinel pine broke the song of the
nightingale. This was the place. A breeze had risen, and from
the shining moonlit sea, broken into causeways and flotillas of
smooth and of fretted silver, came a faint briny smell, mingling
with that of the irises and blossoming lemons, with the scent of
vague ripeness and freshness. The moon hung like a silver lantern
over the orchard ; the wood of the trellises patterned the blue
luminous heaven, the vine leaves seemed to swim, transparent, in
the shining air. Over the circular well, in the high grass, the

fire-flies

328 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

fire-flies rose and fell like a thin fountain of gold. And, from the
sentinel pine, the nightingale sang.

Prince Alberic leant against the brink of the well, by the trough
carved with antique designs of serpent-bearing maenads. He was
wonderfully calm, and his heart sang within him. It was, he
knew, the hour and place of his fate.

The nightingale ceased : and the shrill songs of the crickets
was suspended. The silvery luminous world was silent.

A quiver came through the grass by the well ; a rustle through
the roses. And, on the well's brink, encircling its central black-
ness, glided the Snake.

"Oriana !" whispered Alberic. "Oriana !" She paused, and
stood almost erect. The Prince put out his hand, and she twisted
round his arm, extending slowly her chilly coil to his wrist and
fingers.

"Oriana !" whispered Prince Alberic again. And raising his
hand to his face, he leaned down and pressed his lips on the little
flat head of the serpent. And the nightingale sang. But a
coldness seized his heart, the moon seemed suddenly extinguished,
and he slipped away in unconsciousness.

When he awoke the moon was still high. The nightingale
was singing its loudest. He lay in the grass by the well, and his
head rested on the knees of the most beautiful of ladies. She was
dressed in cloth of silver which seemed woven of moon mists, and
shimmering moonlit green grass. It was his own dear God-
mother.



            IX


When Duke Balthasar Maria had got through the rehearsals of
the ballet called Daphne Transformed, and finally danced his

part

By Vernon Lee 329

part of Phoebus Apollo to the infinite delight and glory of his
subjects, he was greatly concerned, being benignly humoured, on
learning that he had very nearly lost his grandson and heir. The
Dwarf, the Jesuit, and the Jester, whom he delighted in pitting
against one another, had severely accused each other of disrespectful
remarks about the dancing of that ballet; so Duke Balthasar
determined to disgrace all three together and inflict upon them
the hated presence of Prince Alberic. It was, after all, very
pleasant to possess a young grandson, whom one could take to
one's bosom and employ in being insolent to one's own favourites.
It was time, said Duke Balthasar, that Alberic should learn the
habits of a court and take unto himself a suitable princess.

The young prince accordingly was sent for from Sparkling
Waters, and installed at Luna in a wing of the Red Palace, over-
looking the Court of Honour, and commanding an excellent view
of the great rockery, with the verde antique apes and the
porphyry rhinoceros. He found awaiting him on the great stair-
case a magnificent staff of servants, a master of the horse, a grand
cook, a barber, a hairdresser and assistant, a fencing master, and
four fiddlers. Several lovely ladies of the Court, the principal
ministers of the Crown and the Jesuit, the Dwarf and the Jester,
were also ready to pay their respects. Prince Alberic threw him-
self out of the glass coach before they had time to open the door,
and bowing coldly, ascended the staircase, carrying under his
cloak what appeared to be a small wicker cage. The Jesuit, who
was the soul of politeness, sprang forward and signed to an officer
of the household to relieve his highness of this burden. But
Alberic waved the man off; and the rumour went abroad that a
hissing noise had issued from under the prince's cloak, and, like
lightning, the head and forked tongue of a serpent.

Half-an-hour later the official spies had informed Duke

Balthasar

330 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

Balthasar that his grandson and heir had brought from Sparkling
Waters no apparent luggage save two swords, a fowling piece, a
volume of Virgil, a branch of pomegranate blossom, and a tame
grass snake.

Duke Balthasar did not like the idea of the grass snake; but
wishing to annoy the Jester, the Dwarf, and the Jesuit, he merely
smiled when they told him of it, and said: "The dear boy!
What a child he is ! He probably, also, has a pet lamb, white
as snow, and gentle as spring, mourning for him in his old
home! How touching is the innocence of childhood! Heigho ! I
was just like that myself not so very long ago." Whereupon the
three favourites and the whole Court of Luna smiled and bowed
and sighed: "How lovely is the innocence of youth!" while
the Duke fell to humming the well-known air, "Thrysis was a
shepherd boy," of which the ducal fiddlers instantly struck up the
ritornel.

"But," added Balthasar Maria, with that subtle blending of
majesty and archness in which he excelled all living princes, "but
it is now time that the prince, my grandson, should learn "—here
he put his hand on his sword and threw back slightly one curl of
his jet black peruke—" the stern exercises of Mars; and, also, let
us hope, the freaks and frolics of Venus."

Saying which, the old sinner pinched the cheek of a lady of the
very highest quality, whose husband and father were instantly
congratulated by all the court on this honour.

Prince Alberic was displayed next day to the people of Luna,
standing on the balcony among a tremendous banging of mortars ;
while Duke Balthasar explained that he felt towards this youth
all the fondness and responsibility of an elder brother. There
was a grand ball, a gala opera, a review, a very high mass in the
cathedral; the Dwarf, the Jesuit, and the Jester each separately

offered

By Vernon Lee 331

offered his services to Alberic in case he wanted a loan of money,
a love letter carried, or in case even (expressed in more delicate
terms) he might wish to poison his grandfather. Duke Balthasar
Maria, on his side,- summoned his ministers, and sent couriers,
booted and liveried, to three great dukes of Italy, carrying each of
these in a morocco wallet emblazoned with the arms of Luna, an
account of Prince Alberic's lineage and person, and a request for
particulars of any marriageable princesses and dowries to be
disposed of.



            X


Prince Alberic did not give his grandfather that warm satis-
faction which the old duke had expected. Balthasar Maria,
entirely bent upon annoying the three favourites, had said, and had
finally believed, that he intended to introduce his grandson to the
delight and duties of life, and in the company of this beloved
stripling to dream that he, too, was a youth once more : a
statement which the court took with due deprecatory rever-
ence, as the duke was well known never to have ceased to be
young.

But Alberic did not lend himself to so touching an idyll. He
behaved, indeed, with the greatest decorum, and manifested the
utmost respect for his grandfather. He was marvellously
assiduous in the council chamber, and still more so in following
the military exercises and learning the trade of a soldier. He
surprised every one by his interest and intelligence in all affairs of
state ; he more than surprised the Court by his readiness to seek
knowledge about the administration of the country and the con-
dition of the people. He was a youth of excellent morals,
courage and diligence ; but, there was no denying it, he had

The Yellow Book—Vol. X. U

positively

332 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

positively no conception of sacrificing to the Graces. He sat out,
as if he had been watching a review, the delicious operas and
superb ballets which absorbed half the revenue of the duchy. He
listened, without a smile of comprehension, to the witty innuendoes
of the ducal table. But worst of all, he had absolutely no eyes,
let alone a heart, for the fair sex. Now Balthasar Maria had
assembled at Luna a perfect bevy of lovely nymphs, both ladies of
the greatest birth, whose husbands received most honourable posts
military and civil, and young females of humbler extraction,
though not less expressive habits, ranging from singers and
dancers to slave-girls of various colours, all dressed in their ap-
propriate costume: a galaxy of beauty which was duly represented
by the skill of celebrated painters on all the walls of the Red
Palace, where you may still see their fading charms, habited as
Diana, or Pallas, or in the spangles of Columbine, or the turban
of Sibyls. These ladies were the object of Duke Balthasar's most
munificently divided attentions ; and in the delight of his new-
born family affection, he had promised himself much tender interest
in guiding the taste of his heir among such of these nymphs as had
already received his own exquisite appreciation. Great, therefore,
was the disappointment of the affectionate grandfather when his
dream of companionship was dispelled, and it became hopeless to
interest young Alberic in anything at Luna, save despatches and
cannons.

The Court, indeed, found the means of consoling Duke
Balthasar for this bitterness, by extracting therefrom a brilliant
comparison between the unfading grace, the vivacious, though
majestic, character of the grandfather, and the gloomy and
pedantic personality of the grandson. But, although Balthasar
Maria would only smile at every new proof of Alberic's bearish
obtuseness, and ejaculate in French, "Poor child ! he was born

old

By Vernon Lee 333

old, and I shall die young !" the reigning Prince of Luna grew
vaguely to resent the peculiarities of his heir.

In this fashion things proceeded in the Red Palace at Luna,
until Prince Alberic had attained his twenty-first year.

He was sent, in the interval, to visit the principal Courts of
Italy, and to inspect its chief curiosities, natural and historical, as
befitted the heir to an illustrious state. He received the golden
rose from the Pope in Rome ; he witnessed the festivities of
Ascension Day from the Doge's barge at Venice; he accompanied
the Marquis of Montferrat to the camp under Turin ; he witnessed
the launching of a galley against the Barbary corsairs by the
Knights of St. Stephen in the port of Leghorn, and a grand bull-
fight and burning of heretics given by the Spanish Viceroy at
Palermo ; and he was allowed to be present when the celebrated
Dr. Borri turned two brass buckles into pure gold before the Arch-
duke at Milan. On all of which occasions the heir-apparent of
Luna bore himself with a dignity and discretion most singular in one
so young. In the course of these journeys he was presented to
several of the most promising heiresses in Italy, some of whom
were of so tender age as to be displayed in jewelled swaddling-clothes
on brocade cushions ; and a great many possible marriages were
discussed behind his back. But Prince Alberic declared for his
part that he had decided to lead a single life until the age of
twenty-eight or thirty, and that he would then require the assist-
ance of no ambassadors or chancellors, but find for himself the
future Duchess of Luna.

All this did not please Balthasar Maria, as indeed nothing else
about his grandson did please him much. But, as the old duke
did not really relish the idea of a daughter-in-law at Luna, and as
young Alberic's whimsicalities entailed no expense, and left him
entirely free in his business and pleasure, he turned a deaf ear to

the

334 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

the criticisms of his councillors, and letting his grandson inspect
fortifications, drill soldiers, pore over parchments, and mope in his
wing of the palace, with no amusement save his repulsive tame
snake, Balthasar Maria composed and practised various ballets, and
began to turn his attention very seriously to the completion of the
rockery grotto and of the sepulchral chapel, which, besides the
Red Palace itself, were the chief monuments of his glorious
reign.

It was this growing desire to witness the fulfilment of these
magnanimous projects which led the Duke of Luna into un-
expected conflict with his grandson. The wonderful enterprises
above mentioned involved immense expenses, and had periodically
been suspended for lack of funds. The collection of animals in
the rockery was very far from complete. A camelopard of spotted
alabaster, an elephant of Sardinian jasper, and the entire families of
a cow and sheep, all of correspondingly rich marbles, were urgently
required to fill up the corners. Moreover, the supply of water
was at present so small that the fountains were dry save for a
couple of hours on the very greatest holidays ; and it was necessary
for the perfect naturalness of this ingenious work that an aqueduct
twenty miles long should pour perennial streams from a high
mountain lake into the grotto of the Red Palace.

The question of the sepulchral chapel was, if possible, even
worse ; for, after every new ballet, Duke Balthasar went through
a fit of contrition, during which he fixed his thoughts on death ;
and the possibilities of untimely release, and of burial in an unfinished
mausoleum, filled him with terrors. It is true that Duke Balthasar
had, immediately after building the vast domed chapel, secured
an effigy of his own person before taking thought for the monu-
ments of his already buried ancestors ; and the statue, twelve feet
high, representing himself in coronation robes of green bronze

brocaded

By Vernon Lee 335

brocaded with gold, holding a sceptre and bearing on his head, of
purest silver, a spiky coronet set with diamonds, was one of the
curiosities which travellers admired most in Italy. But this statue
was unsymmetrical, and moreover had a dismal suggestiveness, so
long as surrounded by empty niches ; and the fact that only one
half of the pavement was inlaid with discs of sardonyx, jasper and
cornelian, and that the larger part of the walls were rough brick
without a vestige of the mosaic pattern of lapis-lazuli, malachite,
pearl, and coral, which had been begun round the one finished
tomb, rendered the chapel as poverty-stricken in one aspect as it
was magnificent in another. The finishing of the chapel was
therefore urgent, and two more bronze statues were actually cast,
those to wit of the duke's father and grandfather, and mosaic
workmen called from the Medicean works in Florence. But, all
of a sudden the ducal treasury was discovered to be empty, and
the ducal credit to be exploded.

State lotteries, taxes on salt, even a sham crusade against the
Dey of Algiers, all failed to produce any money. The alliance,
the right to pass troops through the duchy, the letting out of the
ducal army to the highest bidder, had long since ceased to be a
source of revenue either from the Emperor, the King of Spain, or
the Most Christian One. The Serene Republics of Venice and
Genoa publicly warned their subjects against lending a single
sequin to the Duke of Luna ; the Dukes of Parma and Modena
began to worry about bad debts ; the Pope himself had the
atrocious bad taste to make complaints about suppression of church
dues and interception of Peter's pence. There remained to the
bankrupt Duke Balthasar Maria only one hope in the world—the
marriage of his grandson.

There happened to exist at that moment a sovereign of incal-
culable wealth, with an only daughter of marriageable age. But

this

336 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

this potentate, although the nephew of a recent Pope, by whose
confiscations his fortunes were founded, had originally been a
dealer in such goods as are comprehensively known as drysaltery ;
and, rapacious as were the princes of the Empire, each was too
much ashamed of his neighbours to venture upon alliance with a
family of so obtrusive an origin. Here was Balthasar Maria's
opportunity ; the drvsalter prince's ducats should complete the
rockery, the aqueduct and the chapel ; the drysalter's daughter
should be wedded to Alberic of Luna, that was to be third of the
name.



            XI


Prince Alberic sternly declined. He expressed his dutiful wish
that the grotto and the chapel, like all other enterprises undertaken
by his grandparent, might be brought to an end worthy of him.
He declared that the aversion to drysalters was a prejudice unshared
by himself. He even went so far as to suggest that the eligible
princess should marry not the heir-apparent, but the reigning
Duke of Luna. But, as regarded himself, he intended, as stated,
to remain for many years single. Duke Balthasar had never in
his life before seen a man who was determined to oppose him. He
felt terrified and became speechless in the presence of young
Alberic.

Direct influence having proved useless, the duke and his
councillors, among whom the Jesuit, the Dwarf and the Jester
had been duly re-instated, looked round for means of indirect
persuasion or coercion. A celebrated Venetian beauty was sent
for to Luna—a lady frequently employed in diplomatic missions,
which she carried through by her unparalleled grace in dancing. But
Prince Alberic, having watched her for half an hour, merely

remarked

By Vernon Lee 337

remarked to his equerry that his own tame grass snake made the
same movements as the lady, infinitely better and more modestly.
Whereupon this means was abandoned. The Dwarf then sug-
gested a new method of acting on the young Prince's feelings.
This, which he remembered to have been employed very success-
fully in the case of a certain Duchess of Malfi, who had given her
family much trouble some generations back, consisted in dressing
up a certain number of lacqueys as ghosts and devils, hiring some
genuine lunatics from a neighbouring establishment, and introduc-
ing them at dead of night into Prince Alberic's chamber. But
the Prince, who was busy at his orisons, merely threw a heavy
stool and two candlesticks at the apparitions ; and, as he did so,
the tame snake suddenly rose up from the floor, growing colossal
in the act, and hissed so terrifically that the whole party fled down
the corridor. The most likely advice was given by the Jesuit.
This truly subtle diplomatist averred that it was useless trying to
act upon the Prince by means which did not already affect him ;
instead of clumsily constructing a lever for which there was no
fulcrum in the youth's soul, it was necessary to find out whatever
leverage there might already exist.

Now, on careful inquiry, there was discovered a fact which the
official spies, who always acted by precedent and pursued their
inquiries according to the rules of the human heart as taught by
the Secret Inquisition of the Republic of Venice, had naturally
failed to perceive. This fact consisted in a rumour, very vague
but very persistent, that Prince Alberic did not inhabit his wing
of the palace in absolute solitude. Some of the pages attending
on his person affirmed to have heard whispered conversations in
the Prince's study, on entering which they had invariably found
him alone ; others maintained that, during the absence of the
Prince from the palace, they had heard the sound of his private

harpsicord

338 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

harpsichord, the one with the story of Orpheus and the view of
Soracte on the cover, although he always kept its key on his person.
A footman declared that he had found in the Prince's study, and
among his books and maps, a piece of embroidery certainly not
belonging to the Prince's furniture and apparel, moreover, half
finished, and with a needle sticking in the canvas ; which piece of
embroidery the Prince had thrust into his pocket. But, as none
-of the attendants had ever seen any visitor entering or issuing
from the Prince's apartments, and the professional spies had
ransacked all possible hiding-places and modes of exit in vain,
these curious indications had been neglected, and the opinion had
been formed that Alberic, being, as every one could judge, some-
what insane, had a gift of ventriloquism, a taste for musical-boxes,
and a proficiency in unmanly handicrafts which he carefully
dissimulated.

These rumours had at one time caused great delight to Duke
Balthasar ; but he had got tired of sitting in a dark cupboard in
his grandson's chamber, and had caught a bad chill looking through
his keyhole ; so he had stopped all further inquiries as officious
fooling on the part of impudent lacqueys.

But the Jesuit foolishly adhered to the rumour. "Discover
her" he said, "and work through her on Prince Alberic." But
Duke Balthasar, after listening twenty times to this remark with
the most delighted interest, turned round on the twenty-first
time and gave the Jesuit a look of Jove-like thunder ; "My
father," he said, "I am surprised—I may say more than surprised
—at a person of your cloth descending so low as to make asper-
sions upon the virtue of a young Prince reared in my palace and
born of my blood. Never let me hear another word about ladies
of light manners being secreted within these walls." Whereupon
the Jesuit retired, and was in disgrace for a fortnight, till Duke

Balthasar

Vernon Lee 339

Balthasar woke up one morning with a strong apprehension of
dying.

But no more was said of the mysterious female friend of Prince
Alberic, still less was any attempt made to gain her intervention
in the matter of the drysalter Princess's marriage.



            XII


More desperate measures were soon resorted to. It was given
out that Prince Alberic was engrossed in study, and he was
forbidden to leave his wing of the Red Palace, with no other
view than the famous grotto with the verde antique apes and the
porphyry rhinoceros. It was published that Prince Alberic was
sick, and he was confined very rigorously to a less agreeable apart-
ment in the rear of the palace, where he could catch sight of the
plaster laurels and draperies, and the rolling plaster eyeball of one
of the Twelve Caesars under the cornice. It was judiciously
hinted that the Prince had entered into religious retreat, and he
was locked and bolted into the State prison, alongside of the
unfinished sepulchral chapel, whence a lugubrious hammering
came as the only sound of life. In each of these places the recal-
citrant vouth was duly argued with by some of his grandfather's
familiars, and even received a visit from the old duke in person.
But threats and blandishments were all in vain, and Alberic per-
sisted in his refusal to marry.

It was six months now since he had seen the outer world, and
six weeks since he had inhabited the State prispn, every stage in
his confinement, almost every day thereof, having systema-
tically deprived him of some luxury, some comfort, or some mode of
passing his time. His harpsichord and foils had remained in the

gala

340 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

gala wing overlooking the grotto. His maps and books had not
followed him beyond the higher story with the view of the
Twelfth Caesar. And now they had taken away from him his
Virgil, his inkstand and paper, and left him only a book of
Hours.

Balthasar Maria and his councillors felt intolerably baffled.
There remained nothing further to do ; for if Prince Alberic
were publicly beheaded, or privately poisoned, or merely left to die
of want and sadness, it was obvious that Prince Alberic could no
longer conclude the marriage with the drysalter Princess, and that
no money to finish the grotto and the chapel, or to carry on
Court expenses, would be forthcoming.

It was a burning day of August, a Friday, thirteenth of that
month, and after a long prevalence of enervating sirocco, when
the old duke determined to make one last appeal to the obedience
of his grandson. The sun, setting among ominous clouds, sent a
lurid orange beam into Prince Alberic's prison chamber, at the
moment that his ducal grandfather, accompanied by the Jester,
the Dwarf and the Jesuit, appeared on its threshold after prodigious
clanking of keys and clattering of bolts. The unhappy youth
rose as they entered, and making a profound bow, motioned his
grandparent to the only chair in the place.

Balthasar Maria had never visited him before in this, his worst
place of confinement ; and the bareness of the room, the dust and
cobwebs, the excessive hardness of the chair, affected his sensitive
heart, and, joined with irritation at his grandson's obstinacy and
utter depression about the marriage, the grotto and the chapel,
actually caused this magnanimous sovereign to burst into tears
and bitter lamentations.

"It would indeed melt the heart of a stone," remarked the
Jester sternly, while his two companions attempted to soothe the

weeping

By Vernon Lee 241

weeping duke—"to see one of the greatest, wisest, and most
valorous princes in Europe reduced to tears by the undutifulness
of his child."

"Princes, nay, kings' and emperors' sons," exclaimed the Dwarf,
who was administering Melissa water to the duke, "have perished
miserably for much less."

"Some of the most remarkable personages of sacred history are
stated to have incurred eternal perdition for far slighter offences,"
added the Jesuit.

Alberic had sat down on the bed. The tawny sunshine fell
upon his figure. He had grown very thin, and his garments were
inexpressibly threadbare. But he was spotlessly neat, his lace
band was perfectly folded, his beautiful blond hair flowed in
exquisite curls about his pale face, and his whole aspect was
serene and even cheerful. He might be twenty-two years old,
and was of consummate beauty and stature.

"My lord," he answered slowly, "I entreat your Serene High-
ness to believe that no one could regret more deeply than I do
such a spectacle as is offered by the tears of a Duke of Luna.
At the same time, I can only reiterate that I accept no responsi-
bility . . ."

A distant growling of thunder caused the old duke to start,
and interrupted Alberic's speech.

"Your obstinacy, my lord," exclaimed the Dwarf, who was an
excessively choleric person, "betrays the existence of a hidden
conspiracy most dangerous to the state."

"It is an indication," added the Jester, "of a highly deranged
mind."

"It seems to me," whispered the Jesuit, "to savour most
undoubtedly of devilry."

Alberic shrugged his shoulders. He had risen from the bed to

close

242 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

close the grated window, into which a shower of hail was suddenly
blowing with unparalleled violence, when the old duke jumped
on his seat, and, with eyeballs starting with terror, exclaimed, as
he tottered convulsively, "The serpent ! the serpent !"

For there, in a corner, the tame grass snake was placidly coiled
up, sleeping.

" The snake ! the devil ! Prince Alberic's pet companion !"
exclaimed the three favourites, and rushed towards that corner.

Alberic threw himself forward. But he was too late. The
Jester, with a blow of his harlequin's lath, had crushed the head
of the startled creature ; and, even while he was struggling with
him and the Jesuit, the Dwarf had given it two cuts with his
Turkish scimitar.

"The snake ! the snake!" shrieked Duke Balthasar, heedless
of the desperate struggle.

The warders and equerries, waiting outside, thought that Prince
Alberic must be murdering his grandfather, and burst into prison
and separated the combatants.

"Chain the rebel ! the wizard ! the madman !" cried the three
favourites.

Alberic had thrown himself on the dead snake, which lay
crushed and bleeding on the floor, and he moaned piteously.

But the Prince was unarmed and overpowered in a moment.
Three times he broke loose, but three times he was recaptured,
and finally bound and gagged, and dragged away. The old duke
recovered from his fright, and was helped up from the bed on to
which he had sunk. As he prepared to leave, he approached
the dead snake, and looked at it for some time. He kicked its
mangled head with his ribboned shoe, and turned away laughing.

"Who knows," he said, "whether you were not the Snake
Lady ? That foolish boy made a great fuss, I remember, when

he

By Vernon Lee 343

he was scarcely out of long clothes, about a tattered old tapestry
representing that repulsive story."
And he departed to supper.



            XIII


Prince Alberic of Luna, who should have been third of his
name, died a fortnight later, it was stated, insane. But those who
approached him maintained that he had been in perfect possession
of his faculties ; and that if he refused all nourishment during his
second imprisonment, it was from set purpose. He was removed
at night from his apartments facing the grotto with the verde
antique monkeys and the porphyry rhinoceros, and hastily buried
under a slab, which remained without any name or date, in the
famous mosaic sepulchral chapel.

Duke Balthasar Maria survived him only a few months. The
old duke had plunged into excesses of debauchery with a view,
apparently, to dismissing certain terrible thoughts and images
which seemed to haunt him day and night, and against which no
religious practices or medical prescription were of any avail. The
origin of these painful delusions was probably connected with a
very strange rumour, which grew to a tradition at Luna, to the
effect that when the prison room, occupied by Prince Alberic,
was cleaned, after that terrible storm of the I3th August of the
year 1700, the persons employed found in a corner, not the dead
grass-snake, which they had been ordered to cast into the palace
drains, but the body of a woman, naked, and miserably disfigured
with blows and sabre cuts.

Be this as it may, history records as certain, that the house of
Luna became extinct in 1701, the duchy lapsing to the Empire.
Moreover, that the mosaic chapel remained for ever unfinished, with

no

344 Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady

no statue save the green bronze and gold one of Balthasar Maria
above the nameless slab covering Prince Alberic ; and that the
rockery also was never completed ; only a few marble animals adorn-
ing it besides the porphyry rhinoceros and the verde antique apes,
and the water supply being sufficient only for the greatest holidays.
These things the traveller can confirm ; also, that certain chairs
and curtains in the porter's lodge of the now long deserted Red
Palace are made of the various pieces of an extremely damaged
arras, having represented the story of Alberic the Blond and the
Snake Lady.

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THE NORTHMAN'S LAND. Travel, Sport, and Folk-Lore in the Hard-
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THE LAND OF GOLD : being the Narrative of a Visit to the Western Australian
Gold Fields in the Autumn of 1895. By JULIUS M. PRICE, Special Artist Correspondent of the
Illustrated London News, and Author of "From the Arctic Ocean to the Yellow Sea." With
Map and numerous Illustrations reproduced from the Author s sketches. Crown Svo, cloth extra,
7s. 6d. net.
"A vivid picture of rough life in the bush, and a rapid development of a new Eldorado." Times.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES'S LIFE AND LETTERS. By JOHN T. MORSE,
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ANNALS OF CRICKET: a Record of the Game, compiled from Authentic Sources
and My own Experiences during the last Twenty-three years. By W. W. READ, for many years
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County Eleven. With nearly 30 Illustrations, including a Portrait of the Author. Post Svo,
picture boards, 3s. 6d.
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Demy Svo, 10s. 6d. net.

GUNS AND CAVALRY : their Performances in the Past and their Prospects for the
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A FEDERAL SOUTH AFRICA: A Comparison of the Critical Period of American
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By Dr. YORKE DAVIES.

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BRESIES.
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LONDON: SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & COMPANY, LTD.,

ST. DUNSTAN'S HOUSE, FETTER LANE, FLEET STREET, E.G.

The Yellow Book Vol. X. x

4 The Yellow Book Advertisements

THE ART JOURNAL

Monthly, Is. 6d.

(A Proof of this Etching is exhibited in the Royal Academy. Catalogue No. 1466.)

The Proprietors of THE ART JOURNAL have arranged

TO GIVE

A LARGE PRESENTATION ETCHING

(About double the size of a page of "THE GRAPHIC")

By C. O. MURRAY,

of

"THE CONVALESCENT,"

AFTER

L. ALMA TADEIVIA, R.A.,

To all Subscribers or Purchasers of THE ART JOURNAL for 1896, on receipt of the Twelve Monthly
Vouchers, and payment of a small charge of as. to cover cost of packing and postage.
Price 2s. 6d.; or cloth gilt, gilt edges, 5s.

THE LIFE AND WORK OF

G. F. WATTS, R.A.

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(Mrs. ADY).

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and about Sixty other Illustrations, including

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Now Ready, Price Is., or cloth gilt, Price 2s.

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The Yellow Book Advertisements 5

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JOHN LANE, The Bodley Head, VIGO STREET, W.

The image is of the front façade of The Bodley Head Publishers building                        on Vigo Street W London The building is a light coloured brick The door is                        surrounded by two long windows on either side and three smaller windows                        directly above the door and long windows The door and windows curve out in a                        bay away from the building The door has a detailed decorative frame around                        its edges and has nine window panes on its upper half and a mail slot                        directly below The surrounding windows also have small panes There is a long                        light coloured drape hanging inside the long window pane on the left side                        Above the topmost centre window hangs a detailed escutcheon that frames an                        oval plaque with a male figures face Above a rectangular plaque with the                        inscription JOHN LANE PUBLISHER BELLES LETTRES BODLEY HEAD Two ornate                        wrought iron railings in front of the brick building on either side of the                        doorway On the right side gate hangs a light coloured rectangular sign with                        the words JOHN LANE THE BODLEY HEAD VIGO STREET There is a paved sidewalk                        running parallel to the building in front of the railings On the left side                        of the building appears to be the side of a dark building with one long                        window pane The artists initials E H New appear in the left hand corner of                        the image Another set of initials C H Sc appears in the right corner of the                        image On the upper right hand corner of the image appears a floating light                        coloured rectangular box that reads THE BODLEY HEAD VIGO ST W Telegrams                        BODLEIAN LONDON Among the words there are four identical decorative leaves                        The image is framed by a decorative header and footer The header reads JOHN                        LANE with a decorative pattern on either side of the words The footer reads                        CATALOGUE of PUBLICATIONS in BELLES LETTRES all at net prices The image is                        bordered by a thin black line The image is vertically displayed
The Yellow Book Vol. X Y

                        1896.

List of Books

IN

BELLES LETTERS

(Including some Transfers)

Published by John Lane

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.

ADAMS (FRANCIS).
ESSAYS IN MODERNITY. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net. [Shortly.
A CHILD OF THE AGE. (See KEYNOTES SERIES.)

A. E.
HOMEWARD SONGS BY THE WAY. Sq. 16mo. Wrappers.
18. 6d. net. [Second Edition.
Transferred to the present Publisher.

ALLEN (GRANT).
THE LOWER SLOPES : A Volume of Verse. With title-page
and cover design by J. ILLINGWORTH KAY. Cr Ao.
5s. net.
THE WOMAN WHO DID. (See KEYNOTES SERIES.)
THE BRITISH BARBARIANS. (See KEYNOTES SERIES.)

THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE 3

ARCADY LIBRARY (THE).
A Series of Open-Air Books. Edited by J. S. FLETCHER.
With cover designs by PATTEN WILSON. Crown 8vo. 5s.
net.
Vol. I. ROUND ABOUT A BRIGHTON COACH OFFICE. By
MAUDE EGERTON KING. With over 30 Illustra-
tions by LUCY KEMP-WELCH.
Vol. II. LIFE IN ARCADIA. By J. S. FLETCHER. Illustrated
by PATTEN WILSON.
Vol. III. SCHOLAR-GIPSIES. By JOHN BUCHAN. With 7 full-
page Etchings by D. Y. CAMERON.
The following is in preparation:
Vol. IV. IN THE GARDEN OF PEACE. By HELEN MILMAN.
With Illustrations by EDMUND H. NEW.

BEECHING (Rev. H. C.).
IN A GARDEN : Poems. With title-page and cover design by
ROGER FRY. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
ST. AUGUSTINE AT OSTIA : Oxford Sacred Poem. Crown
8vo. Wrappers, Is. net.

BEERBOHM (MAX).
THE WORKS OF MAX BEERBOHM. With a Bibliography by
JOHN LANE. Sq. 16mo. 4s. 6d. net.

BENSON (ARTHUR CHRISTOPHER).
LYRICS. Fcap. 8vo, buckram. 5s. net.

BODLEY HEAD ANTHOLOGIES.
Edited by ROBERT H. CASE. With title-page and cover
designs by WALTER WEST. Each volume, crown 8vo.
5s. net.
Vol. I. ENGLISH EPITHALAMIES. By ROBERT H. CASE.
Vol. II. MUSA PISCATRIX. By JOHN BUCHAN. With 6
Etchings by E. PHILIP PlMLOTT.
Vol. III. ENGLISH ELEGIES. By JOHN C. BAILEY.
Vol. IV. ENGLISH SATIRES. By CHARLES HILL DICK.

BRIDGES (ROBERT).
SUPPRESSED CHAPTERS, AND OTHER BOOKISHNESS. Cr. 8vo.
3s. 6d. net. [Second Edition.

4 THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE

BROTHERTON (MARY).
ROSEMARY FOR REMEMBRANCE. With title-page and cover
design by WALTER WEST. Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.

CRACKANTHORPE (HUBERT).
VIGNETTES : a Miniature Journal of Whim and Sentiment.
Fcap. 8vo. Boards. 2s. net.

CRANE (WALTER).
TOY BOOKS. Re-issue. Each with new cover-design and end
papers, 9d. net.
I. THIS LITTLE PIG.
II. THE FAIRY SHIP.
III. KING LUCKIEBOY'S PARTY.
The three bound in one volume with a decorative cloth cover,
end papers, and a newly-written and designed title-page
and preface, 3s. 6d. net.

DALMON (C. W.).
SONG FAVOURS. With a title-page designed by J. P. DONNE.
Sq. 16mo. 3s. 6d. net.

DAVIDSON (JOHN).
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. Sm. 410. 7s. 6d.
net.
FLEET STREET ECLOGUES. Fcap. 8vo, buckram, 4s. 6d. net.
[Third Edition.
FLEET STREET ECLOGUES. Second Series. Fcap. 8vo, buck
ram. 4s. 6d. net. [Second Edition.
A RANDOM ITINERARY AND A BALLAD. With a frontispiece
and title-page by LAURENCE HOUSMAN. Fcap. 8vo,
Irish Linen. 5s. net.
BALLADS AND SONGS. With title-page designed by WALTER
WEST. Fcap. 8vo, buckram. 5s. net. [Fourth Edition.

DE TABLEY (LORD).
POEMS, DRAMATIC AND LYRICAL. By JOHN LEICESTER
WARREN (Lord De Tabley). Illustrations and cover design
by C. S. RICKETTS. Cr. 8vo. 7s. 6d. net. [Third Edition.
POEMS, DRAMATIC AND LYRICAL, and series, uniform in
binding with the former volume. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.

EGERTON (GEORGE).
KEYNOTES. (See KEYNOTES SERIES.)
DISCORDS. (See KEYNOTES SERIES.)
YOUNG OFEG'S DITTIES. A translation from the Swedish of
OLA HANSSON, with title-page and cover-design by
AUBREY BEARDSLEY. Cr, 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.

THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE 5

EGLINTON (JOHN).
Two ESSAYS ON THE REMNANT. Post 8vo. Wrappers.
Is. 6d. net.
Transferred to the present Publisher.

EVE'S LIBRARY.
Each volume, crown 8vo, buckram, 3s. 6d. net.
Vol. I. MODERN WOMEN : an English rendering of Laura
Marholm Hansson's "Das Euch der Frauen," by Hermione
Ramsden. Subjects: Sonia Kovalevsky; George Egerton;
Eleonora Duse; Amalie Skram ; Marie Bashkirtseff; A,
Ch. Edgren Leffler.
Vol. II. THE ASCENT OF WOMAN. By ROY DEVEREUX.
Vol. III. MARRIAGE QUESTIONS IN MODERN FICTION. By
ELIZABETH RACHEL CHAPMAN.

FIELD (EUGENE).
THE LOVE AFFAIRS OF A BIBLIOMANIAC. Post 8vo. 3s. 6d.
net.

FLETCHER (J. S.).
THE WONDERFUL WAPENTAKE. By "A SON OF THE SOIL."
With 18 full-page illustrations by J. A. SYMINGTON.
Cr. 8vo. 5s. 6d. net.

FOUR AND SIXPENNY NOVELS.
Each volume with title-page and cover design by PATTEN
WILSON. Cr. 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.
GALLOPING DICK. By H. B. MARRIOTT WATSON.
THE WOOD OF THE BRAMBLES. By FRANK MATHEW.
THE SACRIFICE OF FOOLS. By R. MANIFOLD CRAIG.
A LAWYER S WIFE. By SIR NEVILL GEARY, Bart.
The following are in preparation:
WEIGHED IN THE BALANCE. By HARRY LANDER.
GLAMOUR. By META ORRED.
PATIENCE SPARHAWK AND HER TIMES. By GERTRUDE
ATHERTON.
THE CAREER OF DELIA HASTINGS. By H. B. MARRIOTT
WATSON.

FULLER (H. B.).
THE PUPPET BOOTH. Twelve Plays. Crown 8vo, 4s. 6d.
net.

GALE (NORMAN).
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, Lx Xs. net.

6 THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE

GARNETT (RICHARD).
POEMS. With title-page by J. ILLINGWORTH KAY. Cr. 8vo.
5s. net.
DANTE, PETRARCH, CAMOENS. CXXIV Sonnets rendered
in English. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.

GIBSON (CHARLES DANA).
PICTURES : Nearly One Hundred Large Cartoons. Oblong
Folio. 15s. net.

GOSSE (EDMUND).
THE LETTERS OF THOMAS LOVELL BEDDOES. Now first
edited. Pott 8vo. 5s. net.
Also 25 copies large paper. I2s. 6d. net.

GRAHAME (KENNETH).
PAGAN PAPERS : A VOLUME OF ESSAYS. With title-page
by AUBREY BEARDSLEY. Fcap. 8vo. 55. net.
[Out of print at present.
THE GOLDEN AGE. With cover design by CHARLES ROBIN
SON. Cr. 8vo. 35. 6d. net. [Fourth Edition.

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. 55. net.

GREENWOOD (FREDERICK).
IMAGINATION IN DREAMS. Crown 8vo. 5s. net.

HAKE (T. GORDON).
A SELECTION FROM HIS POEMS. Edited by Mrs. MEYNELL.
With a portrait after D. G. ROSSETTI, and a cover design
by GLEESON WHITE. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.

HAYES (ALFRED).
THE VALE OF ARDEN, AND OTHER POEMS. With a title-
page and cover design by E. H. NEW. Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d.
net.
Also 25 copies large paper. 15s. net.

THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE 7

HAZLITT (WILLIAM).
LIBER AMORIS; OR, THE NEW PYGMALION. Edited, with an
Introduction, by RICHARD LE GALLIENNE. To which is
added an exact transcript of the original MS. , Mrs. Hazlitt's
diary in Scotland, and letters never before published.
Portrait after BEWICK, and facsimile letters. 400 copies
only. 410, 364 pp., buckram. 21s. net.

HEINMANN (WILLIAM}.
THE FIRST STEP : A Dramatic Moment. Sm. 410, y. 6d. net.

HOPPER (NORA).
BALLADS IN PROSE. With a title-page and cover by
WALTER WEST. Sq. 16mo. 5s. net.
UNDER QUICKEN BOUGHS. With title-page designed by
PATTEN WILSON. Crown 8vo. 5s. net.

HOUSMAN (CLEMENCE).
THE WERE WOLF. With 6 full-page illustrations, title-page,
and cover-design by LAURENCE HOUSMAN. Sq. 16mo.
3s. 6d. net.

HOUSMAN (LAURENCE).
GREEN ARRAS : Poems. With 6 illustrations, title-page, and
cover-design by the Author. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
[In preparation.

IRVING (LAURENCE).
GODEFROI AND YOLANDE : A Play. Sm. 410. 3s. 6d. net.
[In preparation.

JAMES (W. P.).
ROMANTIC PROFESSIONS: A volume of Essays With title-
page designed by J. ILLINGWORTH KAY. Ci. 8vo. 5s. net.

JOHNSON (LIONEL).
THE ART OF THOMAS HARDY. Six Essays, with etched
portrait by WM. STRANG, and Bibliography by JOHN
LANE. Cr. 8vo. Buckram. 5s. 6d. net. [Second Edition.
Also 150 copies, large paper, with proofs of the portrait.
L1s. 1s. net.

8 THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE

JOHNSON (PAULINE}.
THE WHITE WAMPUM : Poems. With title-page and cover
designs by E. H. NEW. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.

JOHN STONE (C. E.).
BALLADS OF BOY AND BEAK, with title-page designed by
F. H. TOWNSEND. Sq. 32010. 2s. net.

KEYNOTES SERIES.
Each volume with specially designed title-page by AUBREY
BEARDSLEY. Cr. 8vo, cloth. 35. 6d. net.
Vol. I. KEYNOTES. By GEORGE EGERTON.
[Eighth Edition.
Vol. II. THE DANCING FAUN. By FLORENCE FARR.
Vol. III. POOR FOLK. Translated from the Russian of F.
DOSTOIEVSKY by LENA MILMAN, with a preface
by GEORGE MOORE.
Vol. IV. A CHILD OF THE AGE. By FRANCIS ADAMS.
Vol. V. THE GREAT GOD PAN AND THE INMOST LIGHT.
By ARTHUR MACHEN.
[Second Edition.
Vol. VI. DISCORDS. By GEORGE EGERTON.
[Fifth Edition.
Vol. VII. PRINCE ZALESKI. By M. P. SHIEL.
Vol. VIII. THE WOMAN WHO DID. By GRANT ALLEN.
[Twenty-sccond Edition.
Vol. IX. WOMEN'S TRAGEDIES. By H. D. LOWKY.
Vol. X. GREY ROSES. By HENRY HARLAND.
Vol. XI. AT THE FIRST CORNER, AND OTHER STORIES.
By H. B. MARRIOTT WATSON.
Vol. XII. MONOCHROMES. By ELLA D'ARCY.
Vol. XIII. AT THE RELTON ARMS. By EVELYN SHARP.
Vol. XIV. THE GIRL FROM THE FARM. By GERTRUDE
DlX. [Second Edition.
Vol. XV. THE MIRROR OF Music. By STANLEY V.
MAKOWER.
Vol. XVI. YELLOW AND WHITE. By W. CARLTON DAWE.
Vol. XVII. THE MOUNTAIN LOVERS. By FIONA MACLEOD.

THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE 9

KEYNOTES SERIES.
Vol. XVIII. THE WOMAN WHO DIDN T. By VICTORIA
CROSSE. [Third Edition.
Vol. XIX. THE THREE IMPOSTORS. By ARTHUR MACHEN.
Vol. XX. NOBODY'S FAULT. By NETTA SYRETT.
[Second Edition.
Vol. XXI. THE BRITISH BARBARTANS. By GRANT ALLEN.
[Second Edition.
Each volume with specially-designed title page by Patten Wilson.
Vol. XXII. PLATONIC AFFECTIONS. By JOHN SMITH.
Vol. XXIII. IN HOMESPUN. By E. NESBIT.
Vol. XXIV. NETS FOR THE WIND. By UNA TAYLOR.
Vol. XXV. WHERE THE ATLANTIC MEETS THE LAND. By
CALDWELL LIPSETT.
Vol. XXVI. IN SCARLET AND GREY. By the Hon. Mrs.
ARTHUR HENNIKER. (With a Story "THE
SPECTRE OF THE REAL," written in collabor-
ation with THOMAS HARDY).
The following are in preparation:
Vol. XXVII. DAY-BOOKS. By MABEL E. WOTTON.
Vol. XXVIII. MARIS STELLA. By MARIE CLOTHILDE BAL-
FOUR.
Vol. XXVIX. SHAPES IN THE FIRE. By M. P. SHIEL.
Vol. xxx. UGLY IDOL. By CLAUD NICHOLSON.

LANE'S LIBRARY.
Each volume, cr. 8vo, 3s. 6d. net.
Vol. I. MARCH HARES. By GEORGE FORTH.
[Second Edition.
Vol. II. THE SENTIMENTAL SEX. By GERTRUDE WARDEN.
Vol. III. GOLD. By ANNIE LINDEN.
Vol. IV. THE SENTIMENTAL VIKINGS. By R. V. RISLEY.

LEATHER (R. K.).
VERSES. 250 copies, fcap. 8vo.3s. net.
Transferred by the Author to the present Publisher.

LE GALLIENNE (RICHARD).
PROSE FANCIES. With portrait of the Author by WILSON
STEER. Cr. 8vo, purple cloth. 5s. net. [Fourth Edition.
Also a limited large paper edition. I2s. 6d. net.

10 THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE

LE GALLIENNE (RICHARD).
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.
net. Also 50 copies on large paper. 8vo. 10s. 6d. net.
ENGLISH POEMS. Fourth edition, revised, cr. 8vo, purple cloth.
4s. 6d. net. 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. sth thousand, cr. 8vo,
purple cloth, 3s. 6d. net.
Also a special rubricated edition on hand-made paper, 8vo.
l0s. 6d. net.
ROBERT Louis STEVENSON : An Elegy, and Other Poems,
mainly personal. With etched title-page by D. Y.
CAMERON. Cr. 8vo, purple cloth. 45. 6d. net.
Also 75 copies on large paper. 8vo. 12s. 6d. net.
RETROSPECTIVE REVIEWS : A Literary Log, 1891-1895. 2
vols. , cr. 8vo, purple cloth. 9s. net.
PROSE FANCIES. (Second Series.) Cr. 8vo, purple cloth.
5s. net.
See also HAZLITT, LIBER AMORIS, p. 7.

LUCAS (WINIFRED).
UNITS : Poems. Fcap. 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.
[In preparation.

LYNCH (HANNAH).
THE GREAT GALEOTO AND FOLLY OR SAINTLINESS. Two
Plays, from the Spanish of Josf: ECHEGARAY, with an
Introduction. Sm. 410. 5s. 6d. net.

MARZIALS (THEO.).
THE GALLERY OF PIGEONS, AND OTHER POEMS. Post 8vo.
4s. 6d. net.
Transferred by the Author to the present Publisher.

THE MAYFAIR SET.
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. [Fifth Edition.

THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE 11

THE MAY FAIR SET.
Vol. II. THE JONESES AND THE ASTERISKS : A Story in
Monologue. By GERALD CAMPBELL. With a
title-page and 6 illustrations by F. H. TOWNSEND.
[Second Edition.
Vol. III. SELECT CONVERSATIONS WITH AN UNCLE, NOW
EXTINCT. By H. G. WELLS. With a title-page
by F. H. TOWNSEND.
Vol. IV. FOR PLAIN WOMEN ONLY By GEORGE FLEMING.
With a title-page by PATTEN WILSON.
Vol. V. THE FEASTS OF AUTOLYCUS : The Diary of a Greedy
Woman. Edited by ELIZABETH ROBINS PENNELL.
With a title-page by PATTEN WILSON.
Vol. VI. MRS. ALBERT GRUNDY : Observations in Philistia.
By HAROLD FREDERIC. With a title-page by
PATTEN WILSON.

MEREDITH (GEORGE).
THE FIRST PUBLISHED PORTRAIT OF THIS AUTHOR, engraved
on the wood by W. BISCOMBE GARDNER, after the painting
by G. F. WATTS. Proof copies on Japanese vellum,
signed by painter and engraver, Lx 3s. net.

MEYNELL (MRS.), (ALICE C. THOMPSON).
POEMS. Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net. [Third Edition.
A few of the 50 large paper copies (ist edition) remain.
I2s. 6d. net.
THE RHYTHM OF LIFE, AND OTHER ESSAYS. Fcap. 8vo.
3s. 6d. net. [Third Edition.
A few of the 50 large paper copies (1st edition) remain,
12s. 6d. net.
THE COLOUR OF LIFE AND OTHER ESSAYS. Fcap. 8vo.
3s. 6d. net. [Second Edition.
See also HAKE.

MILLER (JOAQUIN).
THE BUILDING OF THE CITY BEAUTIFUL. Fcap. 8vo.
With a decorated cover. 5s. net.

MONKHOUSE (ALLAN).
BOOKS AND PLAYS : A VOLUME OF ESSAYS ON MEREDITH,
BORROW, IBSEN AND OTHERS. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.

12 THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE

NESBIT (E.).
A POMANDER OF VERSE. With a title-page and cover designed
by LAURENCE HOUSMAN. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
IN HOMESPUN. (See KEYNOTES SERIES.)

NETTLESHIP (J. T.).
ROBERT BROWNING. Essays and /Thoughts. With a por-
trait, cr. 8vo. 5s. 6d. net. [Third Edition.

NOBLE (JAS. ASHCROFT).
THE SONNET IN ENGLAND, AND OTHER ESSAYS. Title-page
and cover design by AUSTIN YOUNG. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.
Also 50 copies, large paper, 12s. 6d. net.

O'SHAUGHNESSY (ARTHUR) .
His LIFE AND His WORK. With selections from his Poems.
By LOUISE CHANDLER MOULTON. Portrait and cover
design, fcap. 8vo. 5s. net.

OXFORD CHARACTERS.
A series of 24 lithographed portraits by WILL ROTHENSTEIN,
with text by F. YORK POWELL and others. 200 copies
folio, buckram, L3 3s. net.
25 special large paper copies containing proof impres-
sions of portraits signed by the artist, L6 6s. net.

PETERS (WM. THEODORE).
POSIES OUT OF RINGS. With title-page by PATTEN WILSON.
Sq. 16mo. 2s. net. [In preparation.

PIERROT'S LIBRARY.
Each volume with title-page, cover-design, and end papers
designed by AUBREY BEARDSLEY. Sq. 16mo. 2s. net.
Vol. I. PIERROT. By H. DE VERE STACPOOLE.
Vol. II. MY LITTLE LADY ANNE. By MRS. EGERTON
CASTLE.
The following are in preparation:
Vol. III. DEATH, THE KNIGHT, AND THE LADY. By H.
DE VERE STACPOOLE.
Vol. IV. SIMPLICITY. By A. T. G. PRICE.
Vol. V. MY BROTHER. By VINCENT BROWN.

THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE 13

PLARR (VICTOR}.
IN THE DORIAN MOOD : Poems. With title-page designed
by PATTEN WILSON. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net. [In preparation.

RADFORD (DOLLIE).
SONGS, AND OTHER VERSES. With title-page designed by
PATTEN WILSON. Fcap. 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.

RHYS (ERNEST).
A LONDON ROSE, AND OTHER RHYMES. With title-page
designed by SELWYN IMAGE. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.

RICKETTS (C. S.) AND C. H. SHANNON.
HERO AND LEANDER. By CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE and
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.

ROBERTSON (JOHN M.).
ESSAYS TOWARDS A CRITICAL METHOD. (New Series.)
Cr. 8vo. 5s. net. [In preparation.

ST. CYRES (LORD).
THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF ST. FRANCIS. A new rendering
into English of the FIORET.TI DI SAN FRANCESCO. Cr.
8vo. 5s. net. [In preparation.

SHORE (LOUISA).
POEMS. With a Memoir by FREDERIC HARRISON. Fcap.
8vo. 5s. net. [In preparation.

STEVENSON (ROBERT LOUIS).
PRINCE OTTO: A Rendering in French by EGERTON CASTLE.
Cr. 8vo. With frontispiece, title-page and cover design by
D. Y. CAMERON. 7s. 6d. net.
Also 50 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.
[Second Edition.

14 THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE

STODDART (THOMAS TOD).
THE DEATH WAKE. With an introduction by ANDREW
LANG. Fcap. 8vo. 5s. net.

STREET (G. S.}.
MINIATURES AND MOODS. Fcap. 8vo. 3s. net.
EPISODES. Cr. 8vo. 3s. net.
Transferred by the Author to the present Publisher.
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A BOY. (See MAYFAIR SET.)
QUALES EGO : a few remarks, in particular and at large.
Fcap. 8vo, 3s. 6d, net.

SWETTENHAM (F. A.}.
MALAY SKETCHES. With title and cover designs by PATTEN
WILSON. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net. [Second Edition.

TABB (JOHN B.).
POEMS. Sq. 32010. 4s. 6d. net.

TENNYSON (FREDERICK).
POEMS OF THE DAY AND YEAR. With a title-page designed
by PATTEN WILSON. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.

THIMM (CARL A.).
A COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF FENCING AND DUELLING,
AS PRACTISED BY ALL EUROPEAN NATIONS FROM
THE MIDDLE AGES TO THE PRESENT DAY. With a
Classified Index, arranged Chronologically according to
Languages. Illustrated with numerous Portraits of Ancient
and Modern Masters of the Art, title-pages and frontis-
pieces of some of the earliest works. Portrait of the
Author by WILSON STEER, and title-page designed by
PATTEN WILSON. 4to. 21s. net. [In preparation.

THOMPSON (FRANCIS).
POEMS. With frontispiece, title-page, and cover design by
LAURENCE HOUSMAN. Pott 4to. 5s. net.
[Fourth Edition.
SISTER-SONGS : An Offering to Two Sisters. With frontis-
piece, title-page, and cover design by LAURENCE HOUS-
MAN. Pott 4to, buckram. 5s. net.

THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE 15

THOREAU (HENRY DAVID).
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.

TRAILL (H. D.)
THE BARBAROUS BRITISHERS : A Tip-top Novel. With Title
and Cover Design by AUBREY BEARDSLEY. Crown 8vo.
Wrapper, Is. net.
FROM CAIRO TO THE SOUDAN FRONTIER. With cover
design by PATTEN WILSON. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net.

TYNAN HINKSON (KATHARINE).
CUCKOO SONGS. With title-page and cover design by LAUR-
ENCE HOUSMAN. Fcap. 8vo. 5s. net.
MIRACLE PLAYS : OUR LORD S COMING AND CHILDHOOD.
With 6 illustrations, title-page and cover design by
PATTEN WILSON. Fcap. 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.

WALTON AND COTTON.
THE COMPLEAT ANGLER. A New Edition. Edited by
RICHARD LE GALLIENNE. With about 200 illustrations
by EDMUND H. NEW. To be issued in 12 monthly
parts, each is. net. [Now being published.

WATSON (ROSAMUND MARRIOTT).
VESPERTILIA, AND OTHER POEMS. With title-page designed
by R. ANNING BELL. Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.
A SUMMER NIGHT, AND OTHER POEMS. New Edition, with
a decorative title-page. Fcap. 8vo. 3s. net.

WATSON (WILLIAM).
THE FATHER OF THE FOREST : AND OTHER POEMS. With
new photogravure portrait of the author. Fcap. 8vo.
3s. 6d. net. [Fifth Thousand.
ODES, AND OTHER POEMS. Fcap. 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.
[Fourth Edition.
THE ELOPING ANGELS : A CAPRICE. Sq. 16mo, buckram.
3s. 6d. net. [Second Edition.

16 THE PUBLICATIONS OF JOHN LANE

WATSON (WILLIAM).
EXCURSIONS IN CRITICISM; BEING SOME PROSE RECREATIONS
OF A RHYMER. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net. [Second Edition.
THE PRINCE'S QUEST, AND OTHER POEMS. With a biblio-
graphical note added. Fcap. 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.
[Third Edition.
THE PURPLE EAST: A SERIES OF SONNETS ON ENGLAND'S
DESERTION OF ARMENIA. With a frontispiece by G. F.
WATTS, R.A. Wrappers, Is. net. [Fourth Edition.

WATT (FRANCIS).
THE LAW S LUMBER ROOM. Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.
[Second Edition.

WATTS (THEODORE).
POEMS. Crown 8vo. 5s. net. [In preparation.
There will also be an Edition de Luxe of this volume, printed
at the Kelmscott Press.

WHARTON (H. T.).
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. [Third Edition.

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.
Volume VII. October 1895, 320 pp., 20 Illustrations.
Volume VIII. January 1896, 406 pp., 26 Illustrations.
Volume IX. April 1896, 256 pp.. 17 Illustrations.

Back cover is divided vertically into two sections by the chain of an                        anchor The anchor separates the Literature list on the left from Art list on                        the right The cover is divided horizontally into three sections by a sailing                        ship at the top and by a pane of lilies at the bottom The image is displayed                        vertically The headpiece is a pen and ink illustration 4.5 cm x 15.3 cm The                        image is of two figures manning a masted wooden sailing vessel In the middle                        of the image a man with a moustache wearing striped pants is cranking to                        raise the anchor. To his right, a man with a checkered shirt is bent over                        working on something The ship spans the entire frame of the image its                        bowsprit is on the left side and the stern is on the right Above the                        bowsprit there is a masthead of an aggressive dog Below the masthead a large                        fish is halfway out of water Cattails can be seen behind the fish in front                        of a stone wall with a ring to lash the ship A single black line divides the                        headpiece image from the contents The Contents area is printed in double                        columns separated by a chain connecting the ship with the anchor Contents                        are distinguished as follows Literature XXIII Art XXVI A single black line                        divides the contents from the tailpiece image The tailpiece is a pen and ink                        illustration 1.8 cm x 15.3 cm The image is of the anchor on the sea bottom                        surrounded by water lilies The anchor divides the image in half



MLA citation: The Yellow Book 10 (July 1896). The Yellow Nineties Online. Ed. Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra. Ryerson University. Web. [Date of access]. http://1890s.ca/HTML.aspx?s=YBV10_all.html