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A HUNGARIAN LOVE-STORY,
THE gipsies were playing at the Star Café, and everybody was listening enchanted: that is so delightful about the gipsies; they satisfy every one, because every one can read his own interpretation from their music.
Only Béla Katkoff sat apart and scowled, and never cried "Brava!" His legs were stretched straight out in front of him; his fists were plunged deep in his trouserpockets; and his hat was tilted so far over his nose that you could barely see the gleam of his hazel eyes. If you had seen them, they would almost have scorched you.
Some of the men from the club passed him as he sat with his chair half-turned from the crowd on the edge of the pavement.
"Poor devil!" they said. "It is plain to see what he suffers from. Little Irén is to be married to-morrow to old Lipik, and after Béla and she have considered themselves engaged for years, it is a trifle hard!
"Why don't they make a stand?" somebody asked.
"No good! Irén has gone over to the enemy. Her mother has persuaded her, and old Lipik is ever so rich. Girls are like that," added Dezső, the cavalry lieutenant, who was twenty-two, and knew the sex.
"She has left off answering Béla's letters, and the marriage is being rushed on at Siofok, where they have gone for the summer.
Béla can only grin and bear it, now that Irén has given in.”
"He is not grinning much, however he is bearing it," concluded the others, and they sat down at a distant table.
The conductor of the gipsy band knew Béla Katkoff well: he had often played for him alone. The young man was in love, and the musician knew how to deal with such people.1 Presently behind Béla's head, close to his left ear, there began a soft singing noise like the humming of bees in a hayfield, where the heavy heads of flowering grass knock together in the sunshine: it was out in the country that Béla had first met Irén, and the miserable young fellow lifted his face a little and stared across the gaslit street, half expecting to see swinging fields of grass stretched before him: then the soft hum of insects changed to the far-away clear song of a lark, that shook and trembled, and fell close beside him in a rain of sweetness, and from that again, Irén's voice detached itself and cried, "Béla ! Béla ! are you coming? as if she were waiting among the roses in the tangled old towngarden of the Gopal-utcza, where she lived with her parents when Béla courted her.
All this, and more, the gipsy played at his ear, for fiddlers have mostly warm hearts, and this one was sorry for the poor young lover who had often emptied his pockets of all their silver to pay the band
1 When a gipsy player wishes to pay a special compliment to any one, he leaves his orchestra, and coming close behind the chosen person plays for him alone, in a tone inaudible to the rest of the company. The effect of this on the emotional Hungarian temperament is almost overpowering.
for his pleasure. This time the musician did not wait to be rewarded, but stepped back to his orchestra, and began to play the Rákóczy March, with which all Hungarian concerts begin and end. He left his music to filter into Béla's brain, and by the time it had done so, the café crowd had dispersed, and the waiters, in a sleepy group, came and stared at the young man in the corner,—as a hint that they, at least, were ready for their beds.
"Béla ! Béla ! are you coming?" that is what the fiddle had sung in his ear. He jumped up, knocking over his chair in his sudden hurry of decision, and scattering the sleepy waiters right and left. Yes! he was coming, to confront her on her wedding-day, to fling back her fair words and smiles and kisses in her false face, to make her his deepest bow, such as he made to the law examiners when they granted him his degree, and say, "Farewell, Miss Irén. I return you the heart that you once gave me; pray offer it to Arpad Lipik with the compliments of Béla Katkoff!" Something of that sort he would say to her on her wedding morning at Siofok: she deserved it for leaving him without a word. He stumbled homewards across the rough stones and wide deserted places of the sleeping city. Even Budapest was asleep at last, for the stars were paling above the Danube and the dawn was nigh at hand. Ah! that lark, that lark! How it sang! dropping down from the heights of heaven into the heart of the dark city, a strange hour for a lark to be abroad before the sun, and to call "Come, Béla, come!" in shrill, clear tones like a girl!
sunny, smiling watering-place that basks on the shore of Lake Balaton, two hours' railway journey from Budapest. The smart people of the capital go there for change; and thither went Irén's parents for the summer months, when the heat in the Gopal-utcza and the attentions of Béla Katkoff began to cause them inconvenience. They hired a villa on the lake-side, a stone's throw from the handsome new hotel where old Lipik had established himself. Every day the family and the rich old widower met a dozen times, and Béla's letters had stopped unaccountably after the first week.
"What did you expect?" said Irén's mother, in answer to the girl's downcast air and sad questioning eyes, rather than to any words that she spoke. "You are gone, the house is closed, there are no dinners or suppers to be gained by philandering,-you cannot look for sincerity from a hungry lawstudent, eh? But you are only eighteen after all, and cannot know everything. Look at Lipik," the matron continued, waxing warm, for here was a subject she could dilate on; "what a man-generous, well-to-do Yesterday at the restaurant he put down a gold piece for the music, and-"
"And Gyargyvics left it on the table. He would not touch it," interrupted Irén, hotly; "the gipsies will not take money from those they do not love, and Lipik called them all vagabonds the other day after supper. I remember when Béla Katkoff gave them all his silver, one night that they played for me in the Park, they kissed his hands and told him he was their brother and their friend, and they were glad to benefit from him." And at the recollection, Irén, who had no proper pride,
you know Siofok? It is the began to cry.
"Ah, wasting money with vagrants and worse, in all the cafés in the town," said her mother, who was nothing if not illogical.
This sort of thing went on day by day, and Béla did not answer Irén's letter: naturally, in a few weeks her marriage with Lipik was announced.
The morning train came bustling into Siofok, while half the world was still drinking its coffee. Béla got out, and strode along the dusty road towards the villa of Irén's parents he had never visited there before, and he asked the way of a peasant who sat munching by the wayside.
"The third white house on the left where the flag flies," answered the man, with his mouth full of cold sausage. "There is a marriage there to-day,-here's to the bride!" and he lifted the kulacs that hung across his waist, with a flourish to his lips.
Béla sped on. The lark had ceased singing in his ears now, albeit the meadows on either hand were full of them; he only heard, repeated over and over again, the smart speech that he meant to make to his false love: "I return you the heart that you once gave me; pray offer it to Arpad Lipik with the compliments of Béla Katkoff!" It sounded very cutting and to the point, and exactly as if some one else spoke it.
veil. She stood instead by the window-her bedroom was on the ground-floor, and just a yard above the garden; she leaned her forehead against the glass door, one side of which stood open, and thought of Béla's treachery and her unanswered letters, of how unworthy he was, and how dear! There were rose-bushes below the window— heavy Maréchal Niels that drooped their yellow balls awry, crimsonvelvet Jacqueminots, and creamwhite Princes de Galles - hundreds had been cut for the wedding, but hundreds bloomed still, and their scent went up like incense in the warm sunshine, reminding the girl of the rosewalk, so sweet and still, at the back of the old family house in the Gopal-utcza. The roses in the town-garden were old-fashioned, uncared-for, and poor, not perfect. and proud as their Siofok sisters; but the scent of roses is the same everywhere, especially when one is young and in love! And there, among the rose-bushes before her, not a yard apart, stood Béla Katkoff.
"Jó reggelt!1 Irén; I have come to make a wedding present to Arpad Lipik," he began, "to return you the heart that you once gave
At the villa every one was busy, and the bride, with her white face, was dreadfully in the way. "Go to your room and stay there—lie down till I come for you," said her mother, and Irén was glad to obey, though she could not lie down, for all her little narrow bed was covered with the folds and flounces of the wedding dress and
"O Béla, Béla! why did you leave me? why did you not answer my letters?" sobbed Irén, who was taken by surprise, and had not prepared any sarcastic speeches. And then, somehow, Béla could not recollect a word more of what he intended to say, but had jumped over the low window-sill, and held her, shrinking and shivering in her little white dressing-gown, in his strong eager arms. What is the good of concocting sarcastic speeches for one side of the conversation only?
1 Good morning.
ing towards the station. reggelt! Are you for the train?" shouted the driver, and they jumped in, glad to shelter in its stuffy depths from the bare white road and the staring villa windows. The engine of the train was puffing little spurts of smoke as they reached Siofok station, and in two minutes more they were off. They ran alongside of the blue Balaton water for a while, whose curling little waves in the sun were mimicking the sea: then the train turned off at a swift curve, and plunged into the wide, empty greenness of the great Hungarian plain.
"O Béla !"
Outside the garden wall a onehorse omnibus passed them, jolt
"The air is full of larks," said Irén: she turned her face up to look for them, but her eyes met Béla's, and got no farther.
At the station at Budapest every one was buzzing about, starting on country excursions by early trains, before the midday heat. A heavy rapide was just being packed for Siofok and Balaton. Irén shrank back, for, despite the disguise of her long cloak and wide hat and veil, she dreaded to encounter some chance acquaintance on the platform. They loitered among the crowd of third-class folks till the better class passengers had taken their seats; then, as they passed hurriedly towards the exit, they heard one woman call to her daughter, "There is a smart wedding at Siofok to-day; all the world seems going to it."
"Are you sure you do not want to go, too?" Béla asked Irén.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF FEMINISM.
THE Soul of Woman, its Sphinxlike ambiguities and complexities, its manifold contradictions, its sorrows and joys, its vagrant fancies and never-to-be-satisfied longings, furnish the literary analyst of these days with inexhaustible material. Above all do the sex-problem novelist and the introspective biographer and essayist revel in the theme. Psychology-word more blessed than Mesopotamia-is their neverending delight; and modern woman, who, if we may believe those who claim to know most about her, is a sort of walking enigma, is their chief subject of investigation. Her ego, that mysterious entity of which she is now only just becoming conscious, is said to remain a terra incognita even to herself; but they are determined to explore its inmost recesses. The pioneers of this formidable undertaking must of necessity be women. Man, great, clumsy, comical creature that he is, knows nothing of the inner springs of the modern Eve's complicated nature. He sees everything in her, we are told, without comprehending anything, and the worst of it is that often he cannot even express his ignorance in good English. Man possesses brute force, woman divine influence, and her nature is in closer relation with the infinite than the masculine mind. He is an "utter failure," while her womanhood "almost guarantees to her a knowledge of the eternal verities," which he can only hope partially to attain to through woman.
Obviously, therefore, it is to women writers that we must look for the solution of what is termed
the "feminine enigma," and more especially to their more recently published works. It is only lately that woman has really begun to turn herself inside out, as it were, and to put herself into her books. A German authoress, whose interesting work I shall deal with presently, observes that the great feminine intellects of former years simply followed in man's footsteps, and philosophised and preached after the manner of the leading male thinkers of the day. A wellknown authoress of our time, Mrs Humphry Ward, may be said to do the same. It is quite different with modern women's books of the introspective type. No man, were he the greatest genius alive, could write them, and in them the true spirit of feminism dwells. And yet, in spite of their multitude, the subject of the sex's psychology is so far only scratched. As Mrs Roy Devereux tells us in her book, 'The Ascent of Woman,' "the first loyal luminous word is still to write about woman"; and even this talented authoress has exhausted her energies in framing a few syllables of the message which must be left to some future seer to deliver. Nevertheless it may be hoped that this fascinating science of feminine psychology is now approaching the stage of rapid and continuous development.
In olden days woman was less troubled about the nature of her soul, possibly for the sufficient reason that it was then considered doubtful if she possessed such a thing. Mohammedans, for instance, used to be credited with a disbelief in the existence of the
feminine soul. Their Prophet, however, cannot be accused of