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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 be 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. 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 bim. 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 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 gir"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 be 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.
At the hour the long day ends, when our friends we bid good
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 molli. making 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 than cover the outlying expenses, as they at least gave her the means of pursuing her art. It was soon after this, and probably as the result of Edith Marsden's success, that it suddenly occurred to me that I too might earn an honest penny, and add to my scanty supply of pocket-money by turning my taste for imagining things to account; so I wrote a story. It is not necessary to relate the plot in detail here; perhaps it is better not to revive what has long since been forgotten; let it suffice to say that it turned partly on the idea of a woman giving her love unknown to, and unreturned by, the man on whom it was bestowed.
The subject seemed to me serious enough, and I endeavored to treat it in a befit. ting spirit. For weeks before I put pen to paper I thought of my characters, and tried to imagine how they would act, and what they would say, until at last I felt as if I was actually living with them, and knew them far better than the people really around me, though at the same time I flattered myself that they were all entirely the creatures of my imagination, and unlike any one whom I had ever met or known.
At last it was completed, and sent up with much trepidation to the editor of Morris's Journal, which was the only magazine I was in the habit of seeing and which was taken by most of the families in the neighborhood. It was so characteristic of our neighborhood that we all followed each other, even to the matter of the magazine we took in, thereby losing the advantage we might have had from interchanging different ones! For a few days I was in a state of feverish excitement every time the postman came; but after a little time this subsided, and I had, indeed, almost ceased to think about my story, when one day, a few weeks after it was sent up, I opened a packet in an
LIVING AGE. VOL. VIII. 442
unfamiliar writing, and was greeted, to my great surprise, by my story in print, with a note requesting me to correct the proof and return it immediately.
About a fortnight later I received a copy of the magazine containing the story, and by the same post a letter from the editor enclosing a cheque for five pounds.
I don't believe that any one who has never earned a penny entirely by the fruit of their own brains can imagine the joy with which I beheld that little piece of paper; but my spirits were slightly checked when, on opening the magazine, I saw at the end of my story my name, Dora Gwenlion, in full. Of course I had signed it as I should a letter, unthinkingly. The fact of my name really appearing, to proclaim to all the world that I had written a story, never struck me, even when I saw it in proof.
However, the joy of being accepted, and of having my five pounds, outweighed my momentary discomfiture; and feeling that I must share my delight with some one, I made a confidante of Dolly, my youngest sister, the one of us whose rôle was that of the family beauty, as mine was of the family bookworm-if, indeed, any of us could be said to be allowed enough individ. uality to have a rôle at all.
“Dolly," I said, "I have written a story in this month's Morris's."
"Written a story!" cried Dolly, paus. ing with a pair of curling-tongs in midair, for she was dressing for dinner at the time. “What on earth have you done such a thing as that for? What will papa say?"
"I don't know," I said. "Perhaps he won't find out; but as the editor has inserted my name after it, I am afraid he will."
"Dora,” cried Dolly, "how could you? I thought it was only people likewell, the sort of people one doesn't
know, who really wrote and had their names in print."
"I don't see that it matters much," I said. “I have done nothing to be ashamed of and I've got five pounds for it."
"Five pounds!" said Dolly, looking at me with rather more respect. "What a joke! What shall you do with it? It would almost buy you a new evening gown.”
I did not answerfor the idea of spending such precious earnings on a dress, that would be done for with a few evenings' wear seemed to me almost sacrilege, and I felt that Dolly would never understand such an attitude of mind.
"Shall you tell the others?" was her next question.
"They will soon find out," I replied. “Adelaide always reads Morris's on the first evening."
The next afternoon, when I came in from a walk, I found my two elder sisters seated in front of the fire, and on Adelaide's lap was
copy of Morris's, containing my story.
“Oh, Dora,” she cried on seeing me, "such an annoying thing has occurred; some one has written a miserable story in Morris's, and they have taken your name! It must be some one who has heard it, for no one would ever have hit on such a name as Gwenlion of their own accord.”
“Yes, is it not dreadful?" echoed Marianne. “Papa will be quite put out to see our name used like that. It is very impertinent of whoever has done it. You don't seem to mind much,” she continued, as I made no reply; "and surely you are the one who ought to resent it most, since it is your name in full that appears."
“But I can't resent it,” I said meekly, “because you see the person who wrote the story has every right to the use of my name since it was myself.”
“You wrote it!” and “How could you do such a thing! You have disgraced the family!" were the remarks which greeted my announcement, though the surprise displayed struck me as being a little too great to be natural, and I largely suspected that the authorship had not been unguessed by my sisters. This surmise on my part was strengthened by the inconsistency of the next remark I heard.
"It is in shockingly bad taste," said Adelaide. “Everyone will know that the old aunt is meant for Cousin Susan, and the clergyman is, of course, Mr. Stopford.”
"Indeed, it is nothing of the kind," I exclaimed indignantly.
"And the sentiment is so false," chimed in Marianne; "one can tell at once that the writer is trying to describe feelings she has never herself es. perienced. Look at this passage in evidence," and taking the magazine from Adelaide's lap, she opened it at a passage which, more than anything else in the story, contained a little bit of my own inner self, and which, on that account, I had for some time hesitated to include. "It has at once the touch of unreality, my dear," said Marianne. "If you must write stories you must at least have felt a little more and lived a little more first; but it is the fact that women of our position cannot see life from the point of view of the vulgar, which should in itself debar us from entering the professions of those who happen to be placed lower than ourselves in the social scale."
At this point Louisa, the sister next younger to myself, came in. She had evidently read the story before the others, and made no preamble about the authorship. She took up the magazine from the table upon which Marianne had placed it, and with a withering glance at me said:
"Well, I little thought a sister of mine would prove so false a friend!"