Imatges de pÓgina

her into the garden. In it he walked up self-evident in the weather, to which and down a rugged path with her. Dorothy listened, and at intervals re

Dorothy was accustomed to be taken sponded with a courtesy born of habit. into confidence by the men and boys Meanwhile events in the parlor were who formed her family. She was the taking a course which, by one of life's only female person not an bireling at little ironies, Jasper England had himBucklands, and was a grave and wise self made it possible for them to take.. damsel for her years. If he had had In other words, John was enjoying a a wife Jasper England would have dis- monopoly of Alce which it would not cussed with her the matter at this time have been possible for him to enjoy if occupying his thoughts. It was a thing her admirer Dorothy had been nearer: for a woman to carry to a successful at hand. issue. As it was the woman in little Dorothy was bringing her intluence to

IV. bear upon it. Jasper looked at his little daughter, and she returned his look A MARRIAGE PROPOSAL. as who should say:

"Speak, sir, and as the only woman Propinquity is so great a factor in. of your family, hold me ready to re- love that it was not without much ply."

justification that Jasper England conJasper then spoke.

cluded that his son John would not sue “Thy brother John mightily affections in vain for the hand of Penelope Stepan empty purse, Doll," he said.

toe. He and she had grown up in the John, as his sister knew him, was same countryside, and while she was happier with a full purse than an emp

on all hands allowed to be vastly ty one. The little girl's soul was not handsome, opinion was equally unania clod, but, on the other hand so far was mous concerning him as a very pretty Dorothy from being made of moonshine fellow. It was not in the nature of that this feature in her brother did not things, as they presented themselves to seem to her to redound to his discredit. even the least conventional minds in She replied to this effect, and her father rural England of Georgian days, that noticed that the allusion to Alce Step- the friendship existing between such a toe contained in his speech had passed couple should not some springtide deepunobserved. He stopped in his walk, en into love; and while no surprise was Dorothy followed suit, and the man and felt that Penelope Steptoe refused suitchild looked at one another.

or after suitor, John England not hav. The strong light of early afternoon ing yet made an offer for her hand, it flooded the little girl's face. It was a was quite as little deemed strange that good face rather than a pretty one; the John England took things leisurely, well-shaped features were somewhat there being no ground evident for him too large, and the child's fair skin was to deem haste necessary. densely freckled. The goodness in the In a word, prior to the coming upon face was especially noticeable in the the scene of Alce, the marriage between eyes which, while bravely opened, had John and Penelope had been a forestill a young dreamfulness in them gone conclusion with every one--themwhich explained the circumstance that selves not excepted. Contrary-wise, innuendo, even of the broadest, was when ultimately it did not take place, wasted upon Dorothy England.

every one with the exception of themJasper grunted, half with pleasure, selves experienced poignant disappointthen he made some remarks on the ment. John who, had events taken a



slightly different course, would have irony, had long ceased to be inwillingly led Penelope to the altar, felt vested with that attribute, and it entirethe elatement natural to one who, hav. ly accorded with the gentle face of the ing known a good thing, has come to bearer of it. know a better. Penelope, the while, A striking diffidence in Parson emwho would have cheerfuly cast in her phasized the fact that he was lot with John, thus obliging a number younger son, and a rumor had it that of persons, and not disobliging herself, even his little brother George patronwas so far from seeing in him "all the ized the theologian. Be that as it may, gentlemen in the world” (to cite her own it certainly seldom fell to Parson's spirited expression) that, on its becom- share to be employed in any important ing manifest that John loved her cousin function when John was at home. His Alce, she very gracefully played the great affection for his brother robbed де part assigned to her.

this thing of bitterness, and made him It has been said that the parlor at truly thankful when, as now and again, Bucklands, even subsequent to the


honorable employment Was withdrawal from it of Jasper England signed to him. Shy as he was, he and his daughter, presented a well-filled would not have presumed to offer his appearance.

After a few moments' escort to the kennels to Penelope Stepsojourn there, it was borne in on Pene- toe, and when that young gentlewoman lope that there were five persons too honored him by desiring it, he was simmany present, being herself and four ple fellow enough to look as happy as of the family England. She forthwith he felt. proposed to Ralph England that he With a spring in his step he led the should make her acquainted with “the way to the stables, conscious that his southern hound.”

three young brothers in the rear (they This was the newest canine acquisi- followed to watch the play of feature tion at Bucklands, and the fame of it in Penelope when she should be made under the name applied to it by Pene- acquainted with the southern hound) lope was great.

were burlesquing his mien and step, The face of Ralph England became but consoled by the belief that Penelope an illumination. He was the junior by was unaware of this. He did not speak, only one year of John, but was so curi- because he had nothing to say which ously youthful-looking that he might he deemed worth saying, in this rehave passed for a seventeen-year-old spect differing from his brother George, lad. This appearance was, in part, the whose critical standard was lower, and result of his frail build, which contrast- who, encouraged to speak by having ed oddly with the sturdy make of his observed that there was mirth in a five brothers and his sister; in part it glance of protest which Penelope had had connection with the circumstance found an opportunity of directing at that his face was of a girlish beauty, him, said in shrill, young treble: and extraordinarily ingenuous.

Do you notice, Miss Penelope, that Time out of mind the second son at a mustachio is growing on Parson's Bucklands had adopted the calling of lip?" a clerk in holy orders, and Ralph, the “Indeed I do, George,” Penelope anperiod of whose ordination was now swered, “and though it is not large, 'tis near at hand, was about to become with larger, I am sure, than the mustachio his true title what he had been since of the cricket." childhood by his nickname_"Parson." This addendum silenced the wag in This name, at first used with

some George, who was profoundly interested

in zoology, and he said what resolved itself into a statement that it was new to 'him to hear that an idea prevailed that a cricket had a mustachio.

“So 'tis to me,” Penelope said, drily, “but there is a book I have read in which 'tis written that this insect has upper and lower lips, with all the other parts of the mouth, and many of them hairy, which I judge to be the learned way of saying that it has a mustachio."

George lapsed into a deeper gravity, then a lively conversation took place between him and his brothers, and by the time that the kennels were reached it became manifest that these three members of the party had fallen away. They had gone in search of a cricket.

Thus did ingenious Penelope contrive that Parson's pleasure in showing off the southern hound should not be spoilt by those unsparing commentators, his brothers.

John and Alce, the while, in a blissful téte-a-tête, were laboriously making conversation. It began by Alce's saying, with a rather disingenuous dubiousness in her tone, considering that she had certain knowledge on the point at issue:

"My cousin Penelope is gone away, I think, Mr. England."

"I think she is, Miss Steptoe,” John England replied, peering round the room to give color to an answer which took the form of a surmise.

Alce showed no intention of taking again the initiative, so John was fain to do so.

"You are come to the Quay,” he said the reference being to Bridlington Quay-"for the purpose of sea-bathing, are you not, Miss Steptoe?"

Alce had not come to Bridlington Quay for this purpose, but had come because her cousin was spending the summer season there, and had invited her. Penelope had from her childhood's days spent the summer season at Bridlington Quay; hence her close

intimacy with the England family, to whom she had never been Miss Steptoe. It was to compensate her for the fact that her grandmother was unable to enter into her pursuits with the zest of former days, that Alce had been invited to make a sojourn with her, on the understanding that if friendly relations established themselves between the girls, they should continue to reside together.

Alce answered John to this effect.

"I judge the Quay pleases you," he blundered on. " 'Tis an agreeable and healthful place, and there is now a considerable resort to it of genteel company."

This style of phrasing was not accounted so execrable at the end of the eighteenth century, as it should be at the end of the nineteenth, and it did not jar upon Alice Steptoe, though the place thus eulogized was so far from pleasing her that she answered:

“I have when at Bridlington Quay the feeling which I believe I should have in the metropolis, where, even if you meet your old acquaintances, I am told, they behave very cool and distant, and in some respects unfriendly. This, I suppose, is always so where too many persons are together busied in business or in pleasure.”

As Alce ventilated this idea, her face, at most times earnest, expressed a depth of thoughtfulness which greatly increased its beauty.

"I think your cousin Penelope, Miss Steptoe, does not subscribe to these opinions,” said John, tentatively.

I am sure she does not," was answered. “It is for this that we are sworn friends."

John, who perfectly understood this speech, requested a clearer statement of the theory involved in it.

"Why, sure you know, Mr. England," Alce said, quietly, “that love delights in opposites?"

"'I have heard the adage which says

so, Miss Steptoe," John replied, “but I upon his knees and vowed that he believe that love is that which looks for would not rise until Alce gave him anits identical, as near as identical can be, swer-yea or nay—to a proposal which, between a man and a woman."

as he worded it, ran: Alce blushed vividly.

“Will you, Miss Steptoe, consent to "I spoke, Mr. England, of two cous- become the wife of a gentleman enins-young ladies," she said, in a note tirely and only your lover?” of protest.

Alce said neither yea nor nay to this, "You did so, Miss Steptoe," John not from hardness of heart, but from England conceded, and then he did a surprise induced by the appearance thing which a young Georgian gentle- upon the threshold, at this moment, of man under given conditions could do, Jasper England, by whom the door bad and bate none of his dignity. He fell been opened noiselessly. The Leisure Hour.

Elsa D'Esterre-Keeling. (To be continued.)


The recent speeches delivered by Lord Rosebery in the House of Lords have created in the country a more profound impression than the utterances of any public man since the outbreak of the war. The circumstances of his position, the fact that he has filled the highest office in the state, and that he was a successful foreign minister at a time when he had to encounter exceptional difficulties, rendered all the greater by the apathy of the country and the perilous ignorance of European affairs which was the distinguishing mark of many of his leading colleagues, lend ex. ceptional authority to his warnings and counsels. Any one acquainted with European politics and with the real claims of continental statesmen, will not be inclined to assert that Lord Rosebery exaggerated the gravity of the crisis in which England now stands. The large number of persons who are not habitual observers of the movement of opinion in Europe, but who have a general view that England is surrounded by envious and hostile neighbors, have observed that some of the most serious and weighty of his arguments are corroborated by admisLIVING AOL.


sions and statements which have fallen from the lips of more than one responsible minister of the crown. Every one knows that at the present moment the country is almost denuded of troops; almost every available man and gun has been sent to South Africa, or is about to be conveyed there. Most men realize that it is, at least, possible that an attempt at interference with the policy of England in South Africa, and with the setlement which her interests in that region demand, may be made by a combination of European powers. That any such interference should be resisted at all risks and hazards, and with the utmost firmness, is the settled conviction of nine out of every ten men who desire that England should maintain her position amongst the nations of the earth and carry on her Imperial mission. How this interference is to be resisted, or how it is to be effectually prevented, is the pressing question of the hour.

There are only two possible ways by which the danger may be averted, for I can hardly consider the advice that England should practically withdraw from her position in South Africa, and


conclude a peace which would preserve ately lost heart, and completely sacrithe practical independence of the two ficed the interests of his ally, for whom South African Republics, as one that he did not stipulate even respectcan be followed. Such a course would ful consideration. The real or supposed obviously lead to consequences so far- interests of a country must be considreaching in mischief, that the deplora- ered, as the forces which will determine ble results which were the outcome of its action when real pressure is brought the disgraceful arrangements of 1881 to bear. And from this it follows, that and the feeble concessions of 1884 would no nation can ever hold a great position be insignificant in comparison. It in the world except by its own energy seems most unlikely that it would be and its capacity for war. It can never tolerated by the country, and it is hard- reckon on assistance in an hour of diffily within the domain of practical poli- culty or danger from the magnanimity tics. But if that advice has no chance and goodwill of its neighbors, nor has of being listened to, Great Britain must it any protection for riches or possesbe prepared, in order to resist interna- sions, except its fighting strength. The tional pressure, either to enter into al- law of antagonism is as universal in liances of various kinds, or to follow politics as in nature. If, then, a statesthe more manly policy, and the one man contemplates an alliance with a which will surely commend itself to the foreign country, his first consideration political instinct of the nation, of pre- should be, what interest the country in serving complete independence of ac- question has to form such an alliance, tion, and so arming as to be able to and how far the alliance would stand maintain that independence against the the strain of adverse circumstances. At world.

the present moment, it is hard to see The days during which it might have what interest any continental state, exbeen possible to obtain alliances on the cept Italy, has to conclude an alliance Continent, which would have stood the with England, though it is easy to imstrain of reverse or of incompatibility agine a state of things arising, should of interests, are past. I am inclined to

England take efficient steps to organize doubt whether they ever were really her military resources, which would present. History teaches us the light- soon force Germany, and, perhaps, ness and ease with which nations aban- other powers as well, to seek her gooddon allies if they can thereby serve will and even make sacrifices to obtheir own immediate interests. The tain it. Peace of Basel and the arrangement of I have always myself held that a Tilsit, will at once occur to the minds good understanding between Germany of every one. The latter especially is and England is desirable in the intera striking instance in point. On the ests of both countries; but I am firmly 26th of April, 1807, Russia and Prussia convinced that this will never be concluded the Convention of Barten- brought about by pursuing the lines of stein. The high contracting parties policy in regard to Germany which solemnly agreed that neither would lay have been followed by successive govdown their arms till the power of Na- ernments in England for some years. poleon was broken in Germany, and the There is no country in the world where French driven across the Rhine. A few so much hostile feeling exists to Engshort weeks passed over, and, on the land as in Germany, and wherever Ger14th of June, the anniversary of Mar- mans have been gathered together in engo, Napoleon won Friedland. The any part of the world the news of what Emperor Alexander of Russia immedi- they describe with the exaggeration of

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