Page images


Faces began to peer from black Antonio shrugged his shoulders. alleys between the houses, a glimmer "My Lord is a fine swordsman," he of cautious lanthorns pierced the said ; and little Simon Toste, his darkness. Two parties were approach- smiling face quite pale and drawn, ing, with noiseless feet on the snow. stepped forward with Timothy at his One came up from the street, where elbow. Dame Kate, crying and wringing her

“ Therefore unarmed men are the hands, had drawn together both fittest to deal with him," he said with townspeople and those of the castle dignity.

"Stand back, young people. who heard her complaints. Among My brother and I will follow Mistress these Antonio, who hurried Margaret down the lane. Come, down, eager yet prudent, ready to Timothy, you have your lanthorn. take command yet very conscious Notice, friends, the effect of Sir that this crazy lord might not be William's obstinacy. He would not good to approach. However, it was listen to our worthy Vicar, who quite certain that he could not be warned him to avoid these same allowed to carry off Mistress Margaret Marlowes like the pestilence. Ay, Roden as though she were a peasant- Nurse, come along with us, and you lass who had taken his fancy. Who , too, Mistress Tilney, if you will. would dare tell Sir William ? And You are better out of the


Master even now he was waiting to see his

Antony. Moral measures are best, granddaughter on her return from and you might whip out a weapon, the midnight mass.

with all the respect you have for his The little group

was joined by Lordship's sword." those two worthy men, Simon and Antonio showed his teeth ; but the Timothy Toste, whose house was not little apothecary's malice was not far from the town-gate of the castle. worth resenting.

“ Moral

fiddleThen Alice Tilney hurried up, fushed sticks !” he muttered.


Lord and frightened, having somehow will give her up to you pompous pair missed the servants, and hoping to of asses, he is idiot as' well as madovertake Margaret before she went

Then he gave the low whistle with Christmas greetings to her that always brought Alice Tilney grandfather. Alice screamed, wring- to his side. “Let them go," he ing her hands as wildly as the nurse whispered. “We'll do better"; and herself, and was going to rush alone he kept her standing still a moment, in pursuit of her lady, but a word while the two worthies and Dame from Antonio brought her back. Kate, with a few gaping hangers-on “Patience, Mistress Alice, you will from street and

castle gateway, make a scandal," he said.

hurried away along the lane. 'What! and leave Mistress Meg Alice

very close to the in the hands of a madman ?" Alice Italian. He took her two hands cried. “Scandal! 'Tis made already. and squeezed them hard, till she He went that way, Nurse? Why, winced with the pain.


His face he may have carried her away into looked very white and his eyes shone the forest. He's raving mad, and in the darkness. “Where is Jasper ?" you know it, Antonio ; Sir William he said. knows it too. To see him burn those “Not far off. I left him this letters! On my life, you are moment, swearing to stop

the coward, if you will not follow me and marriage, by fair means or foul.” rescue her!"

" Any with him ?"




[ocr errors]


“Four or five."

chosen bride was to her even more “ Go back to him, Tell him to beautiful than amazing. Her passion take the other street, and fall upon was ready to rise to the height of his them from behind. He will under- own; she was his, without an afterstand; a madman ought not to be at thought; even conscience bad ceased

to trouble her now. They knew and "Tonio,-I fear- he might kill agreed that the golden moment, when my Lord, and carry her away!” The she leaned radiant from the castle winwords were breathed in Antonio's dow to watch him riding wearily across ear, as if the girl was afraid to speak the bridge, was the supreme moment them.

that decided all their future lives. “Ab! He will not touch him till And yet Margaret Roden was no we have her safe, or else my dagger fool. She knew, and told herself shall find his heart, Alice. I shall plainly, that in some indescribable be there."

way this Harry of hers was different " He will not take orders from from other men. And she had not you. Tonio, how angry he would forgotten old Kate's words,—"a fine be! But you are cold and cruel man, but they say he's crazy.” If sometimes. I could even fancy” there was anything in the absurd

“Get you gone with your fancies ! accusation, she could only add: “Then Is this a time for kissing, little fool? give me a crazy lover, for I might There, if you will have it,-now be not feel this trust and safety with gone!”

any reasonable man. And if he's “But you are

so cold," Alice crazy, why, he wants my love the murmured, as she ran laughing away. more, for he must be unhappy, and

Antonio waited a moment, listen- I'll comfort him. In his senses or ing, then stole with light feet down out of them, I am yours and you are the lane.

mine, Harry!” Harry Marlowe and his young love They had now agreed that Sir had lost count of time and conscious- William must be persuaded to consent ness of place; there, standing to- to an immediate marriage, -it would gether in the snow, they vowed not be very hard, Meg thought, knowbetween kisses never again to being her grandfather-and then, she parted. Perhaps for any sober, was very sure that Harry should not ordinary English lass of gentle birth, leave her behind, for she was not hedged in, as such usually were, by afraid of a long journey on horseback, all kinds of stiff restrictions, the and she would ride with him to join passion of so wild and romantic &

the Queen. lover would have meant as much fear “Nay, nay, love,” he murmured, as joy. But Margaret was a child you will be safer at my house. of the South : the sun of Venice had There may be hardships on the road, warmed the blood of her ancestors; and thenand the girl who owed her stately “But I want to see the Queen; you young dignity to English training know she is my godmother, she

gave had a nature of Italian fire under- me my name.

She will be glad to neath, which the foreign life and have two servants instead of one. If habits of her English father had done you are her man, I will be her woman, little or nothing to nullify. Thus and we will both fight and work for the world of new feeling into which her; will we not, Harry? No, inHarry Marlowe brought his suddenly- deed, you shall not leave me behind.

No. 535.-VOL. XC.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

You would have to tell her Highness, lights came nearer, and the faces and she would be angry, I know.” peered through the dimness, and the

Harry laughed to himself. “Angry? low chatter of well-known voices reTrust a child for guessing right !” he minded her of the world she had muttered, and then he pretended to forgotten. be stern, and told Meg that his wife “Do not shame me before these must obey him.

good people," she said imploringly in "In everything, except in living her lover's ear. without you,” she said. “But for- So, when Simon and Timothy, two sooth, if you mean to leave me behind, quaint black figures in high hats, and I will not marry you."

Kate the nurse, and a few towns“Forsooth, will you not, fair lady?" people in the rear, paced up reproachand the argument had to end in kisses. fully to these lovers in the lane, they

Suddenly Meg tried to escape from were received by a gentleman and the arms that held her, but they only lady with mild surprise and perfect tightened their grasp, till the stealing dignity.

(To be continued.)



A MINGLING of East and West, of friends to bring these marvels within Oriental phlegm and European pro- the monarch's ken. An American gress,-the Land of the Morning company built the railway to the Calm or the Realm of Dawning Civil- capital. An American engineer inisation? Which shall more fittingly stalled the electric light in the royal describe Corea? Omniscient European palace,--and strange are the tales journalists entitle it the Hermit King. he can tell of what he saw there ! dom, where electric cars flash through In other respects the country still the streets of Seoul and an excellent remains sunk in semi-barbarism. railway brings the traveller in comfort Tyrannical officials still cruelly from the seaport of Chemulpo to the oppress the lower classes : manufaccapital. The day of isolation, of tures and trade still remain altogether sluggish apathy in the face of modern in the hands of the foreigner; but progress, is past for Corea. Already the thin edge of the wedge has been Japanese engineersmark the nation introduced. Corea will not go back ; ality !-are busy on a railway pro- Japan will see to that. jected from Seoul right across the I was on my way to Japan from kingdom to Fusan, a tiny seaport North China. An opportunity offered nestling beside a splendid natural of making a voyage in a steamer of harbour on the south-east coast. The the Nippon Yusen Kaisha (the excelelectric light, already installed in the lent Japanese Mailship Company) palace, is finding its way into the from Taku to Newchwang in Manstreets of the capital; and through churia, thence to Chifu in North a city as quaint and old-world as China, then back across the Gulf of Pekin itself electric tram-cars run Pe-chi-li to Corea and along its coast, everywhere.

touching at Chemulpo and Fusan. These changes are certainly of very Such a chance was not to be lost. recent date and owe their origin to Japan is in these days as common the King's love of novelty rather as Egypt. The fabled city of Pekin than to any far-sighted policy. A was as well known to the officers of late Minister to Washington, on his the Allied Armies as London, Paris, return to Corea, informed his monarch or Berlin. Corea alone remained, of the marvels he had seen in the comparatively, a terra incognita. At strange land of America.

Lights Tientsin, barely two days' steam froiu that burned not; carriages that ran it, no one seemed aware that such a without the aid of horses ; magic thing as a railway existed in the wires which enabled friends, far Hermit Kingdom. At the British separated, to hear the sound of each Consul-General's office there, when other's familiar voices,--all this ap- seeking to learn if it were possible to pealed to the wonder-loving ruler of march overland through Corea from the Hermit Kingdom. He made this Chemulpo on the west to Gensan, or ex-Minister Governor of Seoul and Wensan, on the east coast, I was inbade him arrange with his foreign formed that they knew little


nothing about that country. This the Inland Sea of Japan. In between promised well ; even in these days of these innumerable islands large and widespread civilisation, I was at last small, our vessel threaded her way, to catch a glimpse of a still barbarous and my respect for her officers (all and unprogressive land. The sole Japanese) rose high when I saw how thing that troubled me about it was skilfully they brought her through the that our steamer was to stop only tortuous channel on a dark night with two days at Chemulpo; and I wanted never a beacon light to guide them. to visit Seoul, which is forty miles The large steamers of the Japaneseinland. How in forty-eight hours owned lines which ply to Europe, was I to manage to go to the capital America, and Australia have to be and return? I knew nothing of the provided with white commanders, existence of a railway; and I came to officers, and chief engineers, as Eurothe conclusion that I must secure

pean passengers fear to trust their ponies at Chemulpo and ride.

lives to a purely native ship's comBut, to my surprise, on going on pany. Yet the navigation of the board the comfortable little Japanese Chinese, Corean, Siberian, and Japasteamer, GENKAI MARU, at Taku, I nese coasts, in these narrow typhoon. found in the saloon a time-table of scourged seas, calls for far more skill the Seoul-Chemulpo railway, which than is required to take a ship along showed that trains ran to the capital the broad, well-defined ocean routes; every two hours during the day, and all the steamers which ply from taking about an hour and a quarter Taku and Vladivostok to Nagasaki over the journey. It was a relief to and Yokohama are commanded by learn that a railway existed; but of Japanese officers. course, I thought, it could only be a ,

Soon after daybreak I was on deck dilapidated, ramshackle concern, and to catch the first glimpse of Cheone would be jolted in wretched mulpo. In and out through the carriages over a badly-laid line. Still

narrow passages our

vessel swung. that would be better than riding Here, on one hand, lay a long, hilly eighty miles on rough Corean ponies. island, its steep slopes clad with grass, To add to my astonishment there the white beach fringed with foam. were advertisements, also hung up in On the other a cluster of gigantic the saloon, of two hotels in Seoul. rocks rose sheer and threatening from One, kept by an Englishman, was the sea, their black sides glistening called the Station Hotel and claimed with the spray flung up by the waves among its attractions the advantage which rolled heavily against them, of being “far from the blare of only to be hurled back in masses of military display." The rival estab- broken water. Suddenly the GENKAI lishment was evidently French and Maru doubled a bluff, rocky shoulder, bore the name Hôtel du Palais. and ahead of us lay the mainland. Railways and hotels! Corea did not On the face of a long, undulating seem quite so benighted as I had hill stood the city, the houses climbthought.

ing up the steep side to the summit. Newchwang and Chifu visited, our No mere cluster of Eastern hovels is steamer headed for Chemulpo. The Chemulpo. Near the sea tall factory entrance to the harbour lies through chimneys rose up above Europeana bewildering maze of countless islets, like buildings. Long, regular streets far more wonderful and picturesque of well-built houses ascended the hill. than the much lauded archipelago of Here and there in spacious grounds

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »