Page images

arranged and carried out by the First when the desired spot was writer in the manner now to be thought to be reached a bearer of explained.

despatches (this for safety's sake being Obviously the problem remained à dummy) was dropped in a parathe same whether (as in the case of chute, and shortly after the balloon Paris) the goal was fixed and the itself was made to descend in ground starting point was chosen according more carefully chosen, when in point to the direction of the wind, or of fact it was found that both descents whether the starting-point was fixed had been accomplished within a two and the goal chosen to suit the wind. mile limit from the prescribed goal. Thus for convenience it was arranged This supplied but another demon. that an ascent should be made from stration of the fitness of a free balloon the Crystal Palace and a certain area for purposes of war where its special (a radius of five miles round Black- utility has not hitherto been fairly heath station being determined on) tested. It is not only when captive was for the nonce to be chosen to that the balloon as an aerial scout can represent Paris.

Into this area it be turned to account, but there can was the task of the aeronaut to convey be small doubt that it will be found one or more passengers carrying des- capable of rendering service, invaluable patches, and this was satisfactorily and all its own, when suffered to make accomplished with the odds of a

its free and proper flight across the double chance in favour of the venture.

open sky.

John M. Bacon.


(A Legend of Ghostly Japan.)

[ocr errors]

HERE by the reddening maple-trees I lie,
And see the sun slow climbing down, and pray:
“Sink, sun, into the wide mysterious West,

That I may pass into my mystery,
Die, die, bright day, for weary 'tis to wait.”
The years, the yearning years, not patiently,
Oh love, not patiently, I lived alone !
Ah, you that have sweet lips to kiss at morn,
And every night lie still in clasping arms,
Who speak in happy, common, household phrase,
With children innocent about your knees,
Whose loves are set on something tangible,
I am apart,-for I have loved a Shade.

The falling night, the moors, and I alone,
The mountain black before me on the sky,
That paled from gold to green like asphodels,
Growing amid the myrtles of a marsh,
And from the mountain flashed long flames of fire
To guide the wandering souls upon their ways.'
For now it was the season and the night
When, from the dimness that we know not of,
The poor unrestful shades may come and go,
Borne by the kind wind wheresoe'er they will.
Like sighing of the strings upon a lute,
When the sweet music's ended, so the sound
They made in calling as they lightly passed,
And vague their forms as shadows on the mist.

There was a lady in the night, whose face
I cannot see, though I have prayed to all
The gods in Heaven, this only prayer until
I had no other sense in me but this,
Desire to look upon thy face, my bride.
Forever with me are indifferent eyes,
The smiles of children I knew long ago,
And strangers seen, unseeing, yesterday;
But never thou, oh first love and my last !

· Japanese of the Shinto religion believe that on a certain day of the year the spirits of the dead are allowed to return to earth,


She came to me, her feet two lotus-buds,
And she was clothed as with the foam of seas.
She spoke : “So thou hast come my lord, at last
To comfort me. And I said, “I have come.”
Then knew I that I loved her, and had loved
Since love was : time is not for such as we.
There was a silence on the moor, and yet
A harmony so exquisite, it seemed
My heart was still to hear it. So we stood.
Tall were the lilies in a ring about,
And all night long we stood without a word,
Not touching one another. At the dawn
She sighed as if awaking, and I cried :

Who art thou, love? Tell me thy name.” But she :
"Love what have you and I to do with names ?
And took her golden girdle, and unclasped,
(A scaled dragon with translucent eyes),
And wound it round about my arm nine times,
And kissed each circle as she wound and said :
“These are the years until we meet again :
A little time, oh but a little time
To me; but long for thee, poor mortal love !
I go to mine own people on the plain,
Seek not to find me there, but wait for me."
She spoke, and speaking grew ethereal
Like to a mist. I saw the standing lilies,
Behind where she had been, and crying out,
I fell upon the ground to hold her sleeve
That trailed; but I had nothing in my hand
Though it grew cold. And then I saw no more,
But lay as one dead, still in the grey


Her golden token wound about my arm
I fled the haunted moors and turned my face
To the low plain; for I cried to myself,
In the clear living air of early day,
“She is gone down into the plain and I
Will find her there." With winged feet I ran
Down, down, until I saw the river flow,
Bright in the red rays of the rising sun.
And drifting on the stream were boats of flowers,
The red dianthus and campanula,
With hair bells and a rosy meadow-sweet
That loves the East.1 One took my hand and said :

Stay here awhile with us and bid God-speed
To the returning souls.” And I said : “Nay,–


· It is a custom in the country to send off boats of flowers at sunrise, after the night of souls.

[ocr errors]

Sweet passage may their's be into the vague,
And fadeless all their flowers—I cannot stay.”
So came I to the plain and sought her there,
And found her not, nor any human face,
But only graves-old, grey, forgotten graves.

Where is the sun? A little sun and dim
And far, so far away! How strange a mist
Dark, dark and cold! Why am I lying still?
Nine years—it is the season and the night,
And soon the time—then why do I lie here?
The world is whirling round so fast, and all
The mountains sail


limbs fail : I cannot keep my feet. I'll say to her, When she shall come again upon the wind : “Sweet love, forgive me that I faint and fail, And, love, forgive me, I forgot thy face : For pity, count it not unfaithfulness.”

G. J.

away, and



[ocr errors]


An enterprising publisher has lately from Little Bethel and the Smart Set attempted a resurrection of Forgotten from Peckham. But it calls aloud for Books. Is it a task of the same kind what it fondly imagines to be Actuality, that one attempts in speaking of and it shuts the door on Romance. George Sand, or is it rather that she Now nothing can be less actual, has come definitely to rank in the reporter's sense, than the novels Classic ? As we all know, the doom of George Sand.

That is not to say of the Classic is to be praised and not that they are not true to life. A read. Still there are a few eccentric very great deal of close and careful persons here and there who read their observation is woven into them; much Classics, who, when a new book is knowledge of human nature, a full recommended to them, take down an and varied experience goes to make old one.

Years ago, on the advice of them. But with all this she was a some elder, or perhaps stimulated by poet and dreamer from her babyhood. Matthew Arnold's graceful apprecia- Just as Scott went about his sheriff's tion, we spent half-a-crown on work, or his business as a landowner, edition of Consuelo in green paper

with the novel of the hour taking covers, and to this day we are grate- shape at the back of his brain, so she ful for the hours of enchantment lived in dreamland, “ with visions for procured us by that delightful romance, her company,”-visions which are such and by others from the same hand. good company for us because they Surely the world will never wholly were so real to her. forget the creator of VALENTINE and Her own career was as strange as LA PETITE FADETTE, the kindly and the wildest of her romances. Part inexhaustible story-teller.

of it has been discussed more than There are signs across the Channel enough ; gossip about Musset, gossip that George Sand's work, neglected about Chopin, the world can afford to and decried during the high-day of let die. There is more to be gained Realism, is claiming its own again by studying her girlhood, as we may from critics and lovers of literature. do in the frank and detailed record Here in England we are by no means that she has left of it. For what she out of the realistic wood. We still

a child, that she was as a demand of our novelists that they woman, and the whole bent of her shall tell us something of actual life, genius was conditioned by the circum--something about corners in wheat, stances of her birth and training. or the wickedness of the Smart Set, Her revolutionary theories and her or the machinations of the Ritualists, aristocratic tastes, her piety and anti-the ways of Cardinals or of Hooli- clericalism, her astonishing moral lapses gans,-it does not much matter what. and her persistent magnanimity and Neither does the public enquire too rectitude,-her bad and good, in short, curiously into the competence of the become less paradoxical and puzzling novelist to instruct it. It is quite when we learn how she came to be ready to take the Cardinals on trust what she was.

was as

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »