Page images
PDF
EPUB

me, why didn't you write me about it? he had not impressed upon them. Only I would have dressed differently, this one, so had he often thought to himold, faded dress! I would have" self, only one would entirely under

He suddenly stopped in all the rain, stand him, feel with him, think with and so that he protected her with the him, if he could only find her, a woumbrella, his arms outstretched, but manly being, who would conform to not beside her, but in front of her, eye him, who would receive only so much to eye.

of knowledge and of art as he would "Listen to me, Lisbeth. It makes no give her. difference what kind of a dress you But as he walked beside Lisbeth siwear, you are my bride. Be yourself lently in the rain, the old wish sunk and you will please her. And if you from sight. He thought no more about should not please her-it is all the same moulding her for himself. Still, he said to me; for you please me, do you under- to himself, I will not say too much to stand that? Me. I will try to explain her, will not waken her out of the half this to you so that you may know ex- sleep of consciousness, will leave her actly and have no more doubts about to time. Wherefore wish to perplex and it. I am nearly thirty years old, ten mould her, when it is this infinite years older than you. I am alone in nerve-resting peace which is so pleasant the world, alone, although my mother in her, that she might understand is still living. It is my way. Once, either the complex, tumultuous world more than ten years ago, I had an il- or even himself entirely. lusion about a woman who made me "Thou!" said the sweet, young voice mad-how that happened, I will tell near his shoulder, "do you know that you later. I do not know her present your overcoat smells good, even in all name and scarcely remember her face. the rain. It is so nice. It must be that But this first illusion clouded my mind, that suits me, that my bridegroom is embittered me. A second, I know such a gentleman!" well, I could not live through. And I “Is that why you love me?" meant never to love again-until I “Yes, that also. And in general—" found you! But I did not trust my- and she drew closer to him. “Thou! self this time and went to Paris in or- But it is really getting too vexing. How der to prove myself. And to-day I it pours. Are we not almost there? have returned at the appointed hour, to Where does your mother live?" meet you here. Do you understand me "Immediately; just around the now?"

corner." "Ah, but it is raining so, I am get- They turned, as he spoke, into a ting all wet," she said, plaintively. street whose houses all looked out on

He had to laugh. He took her hand to the water. The wind blew so fiercely again in his arm and they went for- here that they could not talk while ward quickly. Why should he tell all walking, and it was all that they could this to her, how for years he had do to keep the umbrella up over them. I looked upon all women as a foreign, And as he stepped into a house the hostile race. Even the one whom he storm blew the door from his hands had once loved was miles away from and slammed to, and Lisbeth screamed him. For every one, even his mother, out from terror. He had closed the all seemed to have their way for them- dripping umbrella, and he took off his selves, which was not his way, their hat, shook back his hair and turned his thoughts, which were not his thoughts, melancholy eyes on the laughing face their decided ideas of the world which of the girl.

"What ails you?" she asked.

with my betrothed. For years it has "You,” he answered. “I have done been her wish to see me married. But without you for four weeks"--and he she has prejudices, is old fashioned, seized her by both shoulders and narrow, if you will. If she sees you turned her head to him and kissed her. before she has heard much of you, she He had never before kissed her like can at least have no preconceived this or grasped her. She wanted to stop ideas and you will win her love as you him. There in the vestibule, in the are. Therefore-in general, sweet Lishalf darkness, behind the ground glass beth, I considered it for the best, and of the door, he held her fast and it so it will, I think, also seem so to you. seemed as if he could not kiss her Then he touched the bell. enough, on her lips and cheeks, her Is the Frau Geheimrath at home?” hair and her neck. When he let her go he asked of the old servant, who at last, there were tears in her eyes. opened the door, at the same time giv"But, Hubert!” she said. She trembled ing her his hat and overcoat. The quesand held his hand and caressed it. tion was quite superfluous. His mother "My Hubert,” she whispered softly, “I seldom went out, and certainly not in love you too."

the rain and never on Sunday. And “Yes," he asked, "really?" and as he had written from Paris that he laughed as one does to a child when he would be there at two oclock with his cannot explain to it just how he feels. bride, the old Grethe knew very well, He took her by the hand and they but she murmured something in reply went up the steps. But he stopped at and went before them through the dark the first story:

hall and opened the door to the room. "I have told my mother nothing "Frau Geheimrath, there they are!" further than that I would come to-day

Adalbert Meinhardt. Rundschau.

(To be continued.)

A LOVE LYRIC FROM THE GREEK.

THE FIRST KISS.
(AFTER STRATO.)

At the hour the long day ends, when our friends we bid good

night,
Mæris kissed me, if, ah! me, it was she and not her sprite.
For most clearly all the rest thrills my breast through and

through,
All she told me and besought, when I thought she kissed me

too.
But when, golden link on link, I would think remembrance

out,
Now I'm sure she kissed me then, now again I'm sore in

doubt,-
Since if into Paradise in such wise I e'er was borne,
How is this that here below still I go with steps forlorn?
The Spectator.

A. P. G.

HOW I DIDN'T BECOME AN AUTHOR.

I have some imagination, and a great them. I and my four sisters drift along many near relations. These two facts in our old country house, sewing and go far towards explaining why I nearly chatting and visiting our neighbors, as became an author, and did not quite. our aunts and great-aunts and great

As a child I was fond of imagining great-aunts have done before us for things, and for this reason was consid- generations. ered untruthful; but all the punish- When my friend Edith Marsden took ments and scoldings endured on this a studio, and turned from an elegant account from nurserymaids and gover- amateur into a professional painter, nesses failed to entirely crush my love who actually sent her pictures to exof inventing. Indeed, when I became hibitions and offered them for sale, the emancipated from their thraldom, I news was received by my family with found the early habit return in greater every expression of sympathy. force, and at last, some years after I "Sold her pictures!” cried my eldest had been "out," it occurred to me to try sister Marianne. "Poor girl! has she my hand at authorship. The reason really come to that?” while my Aunt that I had not done so before was not Sarah, who, with her sister Ellen, lives because I was entirely given up to in the dower-house on my father's gaieties. I went to dances more as a estate, said, in a shocked tone of voice, duty than a pleasure; and in my secret, that "it did not seem to her quite nice." very secret soul, I disliked dinners and "But it does to Edith," I could not loathed afternoon teas—as social func- refrain from saying. "She thinks it tions, be it understood, for I have a very nice indeed." very healthy appetite. No; the main "Well,” said Aunt Sarah, with a still reason why I did not seek this outlet more horrified expression, “all I can earlier lay in Family influence. I write say is that I don't know what can it with a capital, for in our household have possessed the girl. She bas a good Family reigns supreme. It is not so home and kind relations, what can she much a matter of pedigree—though I want more?" believe we go back to the Edwards. "Don't you think," said my gentle One of my brothers declared once that little Aunt Ellen, “that we ought to Edward V was an ancestor in the direct pity rather than blame her? It seems line. But I have never troubled to so sad to be reduced to really making hunt it up myself, though I suggested money for her pictures. She must be to Fred that it might be as well to very poor." study the history of England before But Aunt Sarah was not to be mollimaking statements, not thoroughly fied. "Ellen, my dear," she said secorroborated, about the history of the verely, “in our young days a gentleGwenlions.

woman would have preferred starvation However, to return to family influ- to remunerative work." ence. My people, I had, perhaps, bet- It would of course have been quite ter explain at once, are of the old- useless for me to attempt to explain fashioned type, and the idea of any that Edith had not even the excuse of female member of the Gwenlion family poverty and had sold her work from ever doing anything is undreamt of by choice not necessity, preferring to do

so, even if the returns did little more unfamiliar writing, and was greeted, than cover the outlying expenses, as to my great surprise, by my story in they at least gave her the means of print, with a note requesting me to pursuing her art. It was soon after correct the proof and return it immedithis, and probably as the result of ately. Edith Marsden's success, that it sud- About a fortnight later I received a denly occurred to me that I too might copy of the magazine containing the earn an honest penny, and add to my story, and by the same post a letter scanty supply of pocket-money by turn from the editor enclosing a cheque for ing my taste for imagining things to five pounds. account; so I wrote a story. It is not I don't believe that any one who has necessary to relate the plot in detail never earned a penny entirely by the here; perhaps it is better not to revive fruit of their own brains can imagine what has long since been forgotten; let the joy with which I beheld that little it suffice to say that it turned partly on piece of paper; but my spirits, were the idea of a woman giving her love slightly checked when, on opening the unknown to, and unreturned by, the magazine, I saw at the end of my man on whom it was bestowed. The story my name, Dora Gwenlion, in subject seemed to me serious enough, full. Of course I had signed it as I and I endeavored to treat it in a befit. should a letter, unthinkingly. The fact ting spirit. For weeks before I put pen of my name really appearing, to proto paper I thought of my characters, claim to all the world that I had writand tried to imagine how they would ten a story, never struck me, even act, and what they would say, until at when I saw it in proof. last I felt as if I was actually living However, the joy of being accepted, with them, and knew them far better and of having my five pounds, outthan the people really around me, weighed my momentary discomfiture; though at the same time I flattered and feeling that I must share my demyself that they were all entirely the light with some one, I made a confidante creatures of my imagination, and un- of Dolly, my youngest sister, the one of like any one whom I had ever met or us whose rôle was that of the family known.

beauty, as mine was of the family At last it was completed, and sent bookworm-if, indeed, any of us could up with much trepidation to the editor be said to be allowed enough individof Morris's Journal, which was the uality to have a rôle at all. only magazine I was in the habit of “Dolly," I said, “I have written a seeing and which was taken by most story in this month's Morris's." of the families in the neighborhood. It "Written a story!" cried Dolly, pauswas so characteristic of our neighbor- ing with a pair of curling-tongs in midhood that we all followed each other, air, for she was dressing for dinner at even to the matter of the magazine we the time. “What on earth have you took in, thereby losing the advantage done such a thing as that for? What we might have had from interchanging will papa say?" different ones! For a few days I was “I don't know,” I said. "Perhaps he in a state of feverish excitement every won't find out; but as the editor has intime the postman came; but after a serted my name after it, I am afraid little time this subsided, and I had, in- he will." deed, almost ceased to think about my "Dora," cried Dolly, "how could you? story, when one day, a few weeks after I thought it was only people likeit was sent up, I opened a packet in an well, the sort of people one doesn't

VOL. VIII. 442

LIVING AGE.

know, who really wrote and had their "You wrote it!" and "How could you names in print."

do such a thing! You have disgraced "I don't see that it matters much," I the family!" were the remarks which said. “I have done nothing to be greeted my announcement, though the ashamed of and I've got five pounds surprise displayed struck me as being for it."

a little too great to be natural, and I "Five pounds!” said Dolly, looking largely suspected that the authorship at me with rather more respect. "What had not been unguessed by my sisters. a joke! What shall you do with it? It This surmise on my part was strengthwould almost buy you a new evening ened by the inconsistency of the next gown."

remark I heard. I did not answer, for the idea of "It is in shockingly bad taste," said spending such precious earnings on a Adelaide. “Everyone will know that dress, that would be done for with a the old aunt is meant for Cousin Susan, few evenings' wear seemed to me al and the clergyman is, of course, Mr. most sacrilege, and I felt that Dolly Stopford.” would never understand such an atti "Indeed, it is nothing of the kind," I tude of mind.

exclaimed indignantly. "Shall you tell the others?” was her "And the sentiment is so false," next question.

chimed in Marianne; "one can tell at "They will soon find out," I replied. once that the writer is trying to de“Adelaide always reads Morris's on the scribe feelings she has never herself exfirst evening."

perienced. Look at this passage in eviThe next afternoon, when I came in dence," and taking the magazine from from a walk, I found my two elder sis Adelaide's lap, she opened it at a pasters seated in front of the fire, and on sage which, more than anything else Adelaide's lap was the copy of in the story, contained a little bit of my Morris's, containing my story.

own inner self, and which, on that ac"Oh, Dora,” she cried on seeing me, count, I had for some time hesitated "such an annoying thing has occurred; to include. "It has at once the touch some one has written a miserable story of unreality, my dear,” said Marianne. in Morris's, and they have taken your “If you must write stories you must at name! It must be some one who has least have felt a little more and lived heard it, for no one would ever have a little more first; but it is the fact that hit on such a name as Gwenlion of women of our position cannot see life their own accord."

from the point of view of the vulgar, “Yes, is it not dreadful?" echoed which should in itself debar us from Marianne. “Papa will be quite put out entering the professions of those who to see our name used like that. It is happen to be placed lower than ourvery impertinent of whoever has done selves in the social scale." it. You don't seem to mind much," At this point Louisa, the sister next she continued, as I made no reply; younger to myself, came in. She had "and surely you are the one who ought evidently read the story before the to resent it most, since it is your name others, and made no preamble about in full that appears."

the authorship. She took up the maga“But I can't resent it,” I said zine from the table upon which Marimeekly, “because you see the person anne had placed it, and with a witherwho wrote the story has every right ing glance at me said:to the use of my name since it was "Well, I little thought a sister of myself."

mine would prove so false a friend!"

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »