Imatges de pÓgina

her eyes.

her head. We had walked a good deal, “ • They have quarrelled,' I thought. and she was tired, showing it in that deli- About what, about whom?' I was now cate paleness which sometimes spiritualises all alive to hear more about Camlough. her face, and in an unusual tenderness and "Who were your company ?' I asked, duskiness of the eyes. It strikes me as a 'and had you a very gay time? Had you sample of that egotism which is a part of anything or any one to interest you ?' myself, that I then and there for the first ‘Not quite a gay time, and yet I had a time thought of asking her about the great deal to interest me, enough for events of her life. I had claimed her · Enough for what ?' I asked, becomwonder, her sympathy, and she had seemed ing savagely impatient, yet dreading in to give it all willingly, so willingly that I my jealousy to hear mention of a third had poured out more and more of the rub- name. bish of my own mind and experience into “But she blushed ruby red, and would her ears.

But I had been content to say nothing more. It may be that she was gather from her comments, her longings, displeased, and thought me brutally rude, and puzzles, and fancies, and beliefs. I had but there was something more than anger not asked what she had seen, what she had under that blush. heard, whom she had met.

· Were there

any other visitors besides “I said as we sat there, 'I have told yourself?' I asked again. you a great deal about myself. Will you “ There was a gentleman called Mr. now tell me a history of your life; your Christopher Lee,' she said, and the colour life from the date of the grey pelisse ?? which paled from her face rushed back

“She laughed; with that little sob of again. We had come to the point at last. ecstatic glee at the climax of her laugh. Mr. Christopher Lee.

6. As well ask to hear the history of a " A young gentleman ?' I said. squirrel or a rabbit,' she said. “I have been A young gentleman.' as wild and as happy as one or the other, ". And you and he probably became very and my life has been as monotonous and un- good friends ?' interesting as theirs. It is years since there “Very good friends,' she said, drooping was an event in my life; until

But that does not hinder me “ Until when ?' I asked eagerly, as she from pitying you.' hesitated, hoping that she would say 'until “This was said with tender, deprecating,

half-raised eyes. The waterfall seemed to "Until my visit to Camlough,' she said, gather itself out of the rocks and fling with a slight contraction of embarrass- itself in my face. Pitying me! So she not ment in her eyes, which were averted from only knew my secret, but she could speak mine as she spoke. She gazed before her to me of it. And by your leave, fair lady, with that effort not to look at me but to I thought, you might have waited until look at something else, which seemed to I mentioned it to yon. I felt scornful, plead not to be questioned, and yet which wrathful, desperate. urged me intolerably to question. A. sense “Thank you,' I said, fiercely. And of unshaped trouble darkened my mind, a | then I am afraid I commanded her to shadow of uneasy, incredulous bewilder- come home out of the wet. She looked ment, such as I remember to have felt pale and proud, and a little wistful, but she before when there was a vague, cruel obeyed. “As I handed her over a stile, I rumour about the failure of our bank; our saw the tears big in her eyes.

We walked bank which held our credit between its home in silence. Now I reflect upon finger and thumb.

these things: the world is as black as a 6. Ah!' said I, with a sudden jealous cave, but my rage is gone away. Had she interest in the subject, “I should like to been safe at Monasterlea, I had disappeared hear of Camlough. You have never told during the night-time, never to excite her me one word of the things that happened pity any more. But I must stay by her till there. Is Miss Archbold still as beautiful I bring her home, whence I brought her. as a Greek goddess? You see I also know And now I am going to wait until I hear her. And are you and she the tenderest more of this Christopher Lee. My love has of friends ?'

cut down my pride, and I have forgiven “ Miss Archbold told me of your meet her for her pity. I have swallowed the ing,' said she, in a hurried way; "and I tender insult, and overlooked the gentle don't think we could ever be called friends,' boldness. she added, with a sudden flash of fire “I will cling to her little hand till another dancing across her sweet eyes.

comes to claim it. Then I shall go away."

you arrived."



murmur of music through the place night Paul wrote later :-“I was reading to and day. her aloud in a safe green refuge which we “If I were in his place I would scorn to had sought out of the heat. I had chosen a write them to her!" May opened her shut volume of very sweet old-fashioned poetry, hand and flung a little ball of crumpled which treats of the passion of love, with paper fiercely to the other end of the room; more delicacy, and not less fervour, than and then followed a long silence in the some of our modern poets think well to use. chamber, except for the music that was We stopped to laugh at a squirrel, who coming in through the window. She was had put his nose out of a tree; and she kneeling at the open sash, with her head said, as if the squirrel had reminded her crushed up for coolness against the broad, of something, or she had not been thinking clustered leaves of the passion-flower; and of the squirrel after all :

the silence was to her a long fevered space of “I have heard that you are a poet. confused reflection, into which we have no Will you show me some of your rhymes ?' more right to pry than into a private letter,

"I did not stop to ask who had told her a of the contents of which even the owner thing so monstrous. Some verses I had just has not yet possessed himself. The music written lay in the book I held in my hand. from without was led by a haymaking I had not thought of showing them to her, woman down in the meadows below the nor anything of their kind. She would inn, who, in a round, supple voice, was pity me again. Yet some wild whim singing a winding Irish tune, ripe with seized me, and I put the paper in her melody. She had been singing it every hand.

day, and all day long, for a week, and each “There is a secret in this,' I said. If time she sang it, it had seemed to become you find it, be tender with it.''

sweeter and softer, growing familiar to “She was taken by surprise, and the May's listening ears. Now the words of paper fluttered as she opened it. I stood Paul's song wandered down into the meaa little aloof while she read my crazy lines. dows there, from the corner where they I don't know what I had hoped for as had been so ignominiously flung, and set I watched her read. A blush,'a confusion, a themselves to the tune as if by magic. They look of consciousness without displeasure. matched with the measure, and they What right had I to look for these, after a wound themselves into the melody; and former rebuff? Had I seen them I should the waterfall made an accompaniment as have spoken, and learned the truth, and it drummed, and crashed, and tinkled into the whole truth; but nothing of the kind the tarn. met my eyes. Her face got a little paler At this time Aunt Martha had quite lost as she read, and there was a look of patience with the son of her adoption. grief on it when she had done; her arm Why should he look so gloomy? What dropped down by her side, and she crushed cause had he for grief of any kind? Was the paper into the heart of her folded not all the world shining on him ? An inhand.

heritance in prospect-and-and— Miss ". Such love ought to be returned,' she Martha could go no further. She was too said, coldly. 'I am very sorry.' And we loyal to her niece to declare even to her parted like two people made of ice. I own thoughts that a young man here hope I am sufficiently snubbed now; I amongst them might have May for a wife. shall return to Australia as soon as I have It was different from building castles while brought her safely to Monasterlea.” he was at the other side of the world; but

it was not for this ending, she was forced "She was right to think that he is a to confess, that Aunt Martha had left her poet," said May “At least, he can write nest under the belfry of Monasterlea, and love-songs."

taken to gipsy ways at her stay-at-home She was talking to herself in a cer- time of life. She had hoped that in giving tain little inn chamber, her own for the up her own comfort she was at least doing time, where of late she had given herself something towards uniting

two young up to many grave dreams and reveries. It hearts. Now it seemed that she had been was a chamber very fit for a young maid doing no such thing. After pondering to dream in, with a passion-flower running over this matter very deeply, she shifted all round the window; it looked out upon the blame from Paul, and persuaded hera waterfall descending with swift gleams self that May must be in the wrong. of light into a melancholy tarn, and whose Thinking over this, her anxiety got the perpetual plash and drip made a restless better of her discretion.

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“Aunt Martha,” said May one evening to return to their own land, many still in the twilight, when Paul was absent, and remain among us.

Some of them are Miss Martha fidgety, but knitting in ap- yet proscribed by the law, some have parent peace, “I am terribly tired of this lost families and friends, and even hope, place. Let us go home!”

and, not caring to disturb the embers of the “Sit down here, child, and let me speak past, are content to live on here, find.

You move about the room so, you ing some small excitement in the study make me dizzy. If I speak to you in of fresh scenes and fresh people. So, one corner you are in another before I have left behind by the great wave of political done, and I can't tell where my answer is revolution which cast them on our shore, coming from. I want to ask you a question." they have remained among us, and have

Here I am then, Aunty; as steady as a gradually settled down among their prerock !"

cursors, the men of '48, the followers of “You have seen more of Paul than I Barbes and Albert, of Ledru Rollin and of have done, lately. Do you think he has Louis Blanc; the singers of Freiligrath's any intention of marrying and settling songs or the mourners over Robert Blum's down in his country? In his grave. Though there are hundreds of mother's place—I should like to see him these men, with their families, who have settled; for many reasons."

been sojourners amongst us for more than May knew too well what was passing twenty years, and who are, many of them, in her aunt's mind. The humiliating well known by sight to regular Londoners folly must be driven out wholly and with (surely everybody must know the tall, out delay; even if Paul's secret must be thin, elderly French gentleman, with the dragged out for the purpose.

high hat and the short coat with the fur "I thing nothing is more unlikely,” she collar, who is apparently always in a said, with emphasis. “Indeed—it is not hurry, but whose slip-shod feet prevent his fair—we must not speak of it—but he has making much way), they do not yet appear met with a disappointment which it seems to be acclimatised, they do not speak our he cannot get over. He will return to Aus- language, nor fall into our ways. They tralia before long.”

dwell apart in a little colony, which they May announced this from a vantage have established for themselves, into which ground at the back of her aunt's chair. they welcome the newly - arrived exiles, But she need not have been so cunning. whom we have just described. Other Miss Martha's failing eyes were no way exiles there are who arrived a few weeks keen in the shifting dusk.

previously, but who would have received a “A disappointment!” The old lady sat very different kind of welcome from their erect in her chair, and an afflicting idea compatriots : Imperialists these, servants went whirling through her head. " I hope of M. Rouher, hangers-on of M. Mocquard, - May !--you have not refused him ?” varlets in the employ of M. Pietri, pique

“No, no, no !” said May, breathlessly. assiettes at the Imperial lackeys' table ; Oh, Aunty! you make a very great mis- journalists and swash-bucklers, bullies and take!”

spies. Where are they, these dead leaves “Do I ?” said Miss Martha, meekly, in stripped from the great tree of Imperialism, sad bewilderment at this proof of the per- which itself has since been snapped short by versity of the heart of man. "Have I the fury of the blast? Are they in England really made such a mistake as that? And at all, or, rather, have they not gone to

America, waiting for the good time coming, But May was gone; and it was of no when the golden bees shall once more flaunt use to go on talking to the empty walls. on the Imperial purple, and the golden

drones once more shall batten in luxury and STRANGERS WITHIN OUR GATES. the Leicester-square and Soho quarters, or

riot ? Certainly we shall not find them in Although the close of the war and the whom we now purpose to visit.

amongst these strangers within our gates, restoration of order on the cessation of the

So, for a beginning, let us plunge up a Communistic reign of terror has enabled a vast proportion of those who, in the time of Leicester-square, and enter upon that

court at right angles with the north side of trouble, found in this island a refuge labyrinthine mass of devious ways and and a sanctuary (a few of whom we took crooked streets which forms a portion of occasion to describe on their first arrival), *

Soho. Evidences of its foreign population * See ALL THE YEAR Round, New Series, vol. v. p. 133. / meet you at once. The houses are common


and dingy, but many of the windows are mand. Look at the menu and mark the set off with long muslin blinds, omnipresent prices! A portion of soup, with the choice of in our neighbours' dwellings, never seen in three or four different kinds, for threepence; our own; “chambres garnies a louer, a similar variety in fish for sixpenceand “ moblierte Zimmer zu vermiethen," entrées such as you never see on a British are announcements constantly catching the bill of fare; croquettes, rognons à la vin de eye; the illuminated lamp of the tavern Sauterne, cotelettes à la soubise, for a shilat the corner of the street bears the words ling; a vegetable salad, unknown to British Deutscher Gasthof, and the sign of the cookery, for sixpence; and an omelette, dreary-looking house, which you would sweet or savoury, made with lightest hand never take to be an hotel, were it not and with best materials, for the same price. for the announcement, “table d'hôte à In short, we dine sumptuously with greater cinq heures," in its windows, is A la Boule variety and infinitely more wholesomely d'Or. Here, with the front window of than we could have done at any English his shop taken out, and himself exposed eating-house for double the money, for to the gaze of the clustering children, who, three shillings, and drink with our dinner however, are growing accustomed to him, a bottle of St. Julien, which costs the is the vender of fried potatoes, which he same sum, and which is decidedly sounder, shreds and cooks coram publico, and dis- better, and more palatable wine than that penses in pennyworths, done np in neat for which our family wine merchants, little paper cornets. Here are bakers' shops, Messrs. Binney, charge us two guineas a filled with long, crisp, foreign rolls; coffee dozen. shops, over the blinds of which hang fiery And the company is pleasantly fresh and little democratie broad-sheets in French, strange. At the table next to us sits German, and Italian ; restaurants of various a family party, consisting of papa and kinds. Let us enter one of these and glance mamma and little girl; French, and well at the company assembled.

to do; papa forty, fat, not to say greasy, A well-looking and well-to-do restaurant bald, with stray locks of hair brought up this, as one may judge from its external from the nape of his neck and from underappearance ; the back of the fat bow win- neath his ear, and combed and flattened dow is covered by a red blind, through over the nude places on his skull. Papa is which the gaslight within gleams cheerily. voluble, and has no hesitation in telling the Before the curtain stands in either corner waiter that this is a fête day with him, and a gigantic hock bottle, flanking a framed that he is going in for what the Americans and printed extract from a daily news- call a “big lick.” Potage and poisson, paper recommendatory of the establish- entrées and hors d'oeuvres, rôts, compotes, ment. Pushing aside the swinging glass- glaces, and fromage de Brie, all these door and entering the narrow little pas- enter into his category of delicacies to be sage, we see at the far end the presiding devoured, while a bottle of champagne du genius of the establishment, bald, stout, pr-r-remier r-r-ang is ordered for his drink. middle-aged, standing in the glow of a Madame, tastefully attired in a tight-fitting brilliant, flameless, smokeless fire, which silk dress, with simple linen collar and is reflected on every side from the bright cuffs, but showing chignon enough for copper stew-pans above and around him. three, as she coolly takes off her bonnet After a distant glance at this maestro and and hangs it with her shawl above her his attendant imps, we open a door on the head, smiles benignly as the order is given; left, and find ourselves in the public room and mademoiselle, who is eight years of of the establishment; small tables are age, stands on tip-toe to look in the glass ranged here and there, table-clothed and to see if her two little gummy accrocheset after the usual fashion, save that the cour curls are properly fixed on each napery is essentially foreign, as are the cheek-bone, and forthwith commences an white china plates and dishes, the light eye flirtation with the waiter. glass, the good-looking unserviceable cut- Just beyond this happy family sits solilery. In a corner facing us on the left tary a tall, thin, melancholy-looking man, hand sits the dame du comptoir, at a high whose worn frock-coat is buttoned to the raised desk, greeting our arrival, strangers throat, and whose thin, well-bred hands though we be, with a gracious bow and a are set off by no scrap of wristband. An pleasant smile. To us hurries at once a Italian this, a man of birth and breeding, quick, active waiter, French in his lan- a man of education, and accustomed to guage, but German in his accent, bringing society twenty years ago, before the desothe menu of the day and asking our com- | lation of Novara and the defence of Rome. He had a wife then and two children, but a Belgian, he has a very German soundall three, tender plants as they were, col. ing name), has been too long in Englapsed under the effects of our brumous land to pernit any disturbance to take climate and our bitter spring winds, of the place in his house; a word and a smile scanty living and the wretched lodging, of from madame put the discomfited Frenchthe want of means and the lack of courage, men at their ease; a joke from their counto bear them out in fighting the great tryman, the head-waiter, causes the Ger. battle of life. And so the Marchese-such mans to modify their mirth, and by the is his rank in his native country-is left time M. Wetter, clothed and in his right alone. He gains a livelihood, such as it is, mind, has left his stew-pans and appeared by teaching music, by composing songs and amongst them, they are ready to mix busidedicating them to the young ladies his ness with pleasure by naming new bevepupils; by" making himself generally use- rages, and suggesting fresh orders, over the ful” at the evening parties, where his title coffee just brought into them. It is time and his button-hole ribbon, and his grand for our coffee too; but we will take it not air, procure for him an invitation and a here, but at Tutti's. good supper.

When he first came over Twenty years ago, when the Suspension here, he was proud, ambitious, touchy. Bridge, which now spans the Avon at None of these bad qualities any longer Clifton, spanned the Thames at Hungerhinder his career; the man's heart is ford, a portion of the plot of ground now broken, that is all; he is really far more occupied by the magnificent shed, passages, happy than he was. To-day is a jour approaches, and hotel of the Charing Cross maigre with him, as he is dependent on his Railway, was covered by a very mangy own resources. He has dined for nine- block of buildings known as Hungerford pence on soup and fish, and now lights up Market. A tenth - rate Billingsgate, a the blackened stump of an old cigar, which fiftieth-rate Covent Garden, a wretchedly he takes from his breast-pocket prepara- bad market in every possible way; in its tory to adjourning to another resort of his situation and shape, in the manner of its countrymen. Peace go with him! tradespeople, and in the quality of their

The three young fellows at the next wares, in the style of its customers, their table are of a very different class ; light- tastes and their looks; was Hungerford. bearded, blue-eyed, curly-haired, dressed It pretended to sell fresh fish, and you in parodies of English garments made by could nose them in the lobby of the Adelphi foreign tailors, with short little feet almost Theatre; it pretended to sell fresh vegecovered by their rounded trousers, and tables, but, like certain eccentric modern with heavy, family signet-rings on their artists, all its greens were browns; its forefingers. They are unmistakably Ger- potatoes were flaccid and watery; and its man representatives of Rhenish wine- peas were of the colour of those immortal growers; perhaps, erst old comrades in vegetables which, according to the unMainz or Frankfurt, accidentally met to- dying joke, ought to have been sent gether in London, and cracking a bottle to Knightsbridge. Hungerford, too, atin remembrance of Deutschland, and in tempted a poor and colourless imitation of honour of Bruderschaft. These gentry are Leadenhall, by offering for sale poultry both thrifty and well paid, and there is no much too large for the coops in which occasion for them, at a meeting like this, they were confined, toy terriers, rabbits, to spare their prices. So the dinner is ex- guinea-pigs, and such small deer, uncomcellent, the wine-the landlord knows his fortable in appearance and unpleasant in customers, and, indeed, is a customer of odour. Many of the shops in the long, theirs-of the very best, and the conversa- dismal, dank arcades were untenanted, tion, in a singular mélange of English and abortive attempts to obtain a livelihood in German, rattles unceasingly. There are them being constantly made, and as conseveral other guests in the room; two or stantly failing. The voyagers then by the three English, who look up with a half- penny steam-boats, who took the arcade on amazed, half-amused air ; two or three their way from the pier to the Strand, splenetic Frenchmen, who twirl their scarcely exhibited any surprise when they moustaches angrily as the hated German saw one of these doleful tenements under language breaks into their ears, and seem going regeneration at the builder's hands. inclined to take notice of the intolerant But as day by day revealed to them the assumption of the Teutonic commis voy- progress of an erection of quite an unacageurs. But M. Wetter, the host (though customed character, as they saw the ground

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