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or less mixed up with with the phrase, “And don't horses, and used to drive us you mind as how?” out to various rivers in years At last there came to our when went fishing in rescue a fisherman friend from Cornwall.
London, keen on sport, dour
of nature, unsympathetic to a “ The way was long, the wind was
degree as an auditor of long cold, The minstrel was infirm and old ;"
yarns, wholly uneducated in
the art of suffering fools gladbut the minstrel had a keen ly. We put him to sit in
of duty, and clearly front of the dogcart and told thought that his duty lay in him that he would find the entertaining his fare. Possibly driver a most entertaining the readers of Maga' would companion. Rather to feel as much bored as we used surprise,
he, the to feel if we attempted to in- sympathetic man, being preflict upon them that intermin- occupied in making up
We will briefly cast, sat through one recisay it was the tale of a youth tation and grunted assent at who used to fish the Cornish proper
intervals. But the streams somewhere in the dark second reading he nipped in ages, who never failed to catch the bud in the most unfeeling the respectable total of three manner. dozen and a half, and gener- "I was a-wondering," began ally met with a series of mis- Jehu. adventures in the course of the “Well, I shouldn't if I was day. The story always com- you—it's a bad habit. But if menced in an interrogative you were wondering whether style.
I was the young gentleman "I was a-wondering, sir, if and so forth, as I told you as how you was the young yesterday, I was nothing of gen’man as used to come to the kind, and I don't want these parts," &c., &c.
to hear anything more about For three years, at the rate of him. You are paid to drive some five or six times per year, and not to talk, so just look we denied the imputation, and after your horse, and don't listened with resignation to the talk to me. yarn. But there came a limit The young man of the preto our patience, and, alas! to sent day may be forgiven if he our veracity. In an evil hour declines to listen with rapt we boldly tried the experiment attention to the lengthy tales of asserting our identity with of his seniors, and may earn the the mythical youth. The re- thanks of society at large if he sult was disastrous: not one
one invents a polite way of suppresjot or one tittle of the legend sing that common pest, the was suppressed, and we raconteur whose stock-in-trade furthermore pestered by a series consists of a fixed number of of conundrums all commencing stories to be told with varia
tions. This particular type of Let us postpone the evil day story-teller should be condemned for weaving romances of our to bear in a future state the past prowess till we penalty of the evil thoughts and them to our grandchildren, who wicked words which he has may appreciate that form of evoked from others in this fairy-tale. It will hardly enworld. Kindly affectioned as hance the satisfaction of the we feel that the rising genera- youngster who has done a thing tion is inclined to be towards well himself to be told that those of maturer age, let us for- there was a time when we could bear while in their company to have done it better, nor shall prematurely usurp the office of we gain advantage in the preNestor and to prose of doughty sent by investing our past with deeds by others unrecorded and an imaginative halo. unsung, “ quorum pars magna Rather let us take the good fui."
things that the gods have be“I wonder what the old man's stowed on this latter-day generahandicap at golf is,” we can tion—the bicycle, the golf-club, hear them say. For they may
For they may the hammerless gun—and try know—as what golfer does not to hold our own with the youngknow?—that there is a really old sters in the present; and in the man at St Andrews who can future let us hope there may be still cut the combs of many a "a something ere the end." youngster, and who, instead of
some work not unbecoming the talking of what he could do in humblest of the contributors the years that are past, is ready to the pages of the ever-vigorto show us what he is capable ous, though now octogenarian, of to-day.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A CHILD.1
CHAPTER XX-HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
HOME for the holidays! crimson to pink. Is it an exWhat a joyous sound the aggeration of imagination, or words have for little ears! were the Lysterby lanes and Holidays—home! Two irides- gardens rivers of red, like the cent words of rainbow-promise, torrent-beds of the Greek isles expectation in all its
when the oleander is a-bloom ? witchery of dream and en
en- For, looking back to the sumchantment, of indolence and
mers of Lysterby, I see notheager activityof impulses ing on earth but roses, mulunrestrained, and of constant tiplied like the daisies of the caresses. For me, alas ! how field, a whole county waving much less they meant than perfumed red in memory of for happier children; but even the great historic house whose to me the change was delight- emblem in a memorable war ful, and I welcomed the hopes was the red rose of Lysterby. it contained with all the lively Of my mother's stay at the emotions of imaginative child- Ivies, though she stayed there hood. First there was the ex- several days, I remember little citement of the voyage, then definite but two characteristic the fresh acquaintance with
Walking across the the land I had left two years lawn toward where she stood ago, my own quaint and mel- in the sunshine talking to ancholy land I was about to Sister Esmeralda, I behold again through foreign still as vividly now as then. glasses ; then the captivation She made so superb a picture of my importance in the family that even I, who saw her circle, the wonderful things to through a hostile and embittell, the revelations, the sur- tered glance, stopped and asked prises, embroidered fact so myself if that imperial creature close upon the hidden heels really were my mother. The of invention !
word mother is so close, so My mother came to take familiar, so everyday an image, me home. She stayed at the and this magnificent woman Ivies.
summer - time, looked as remote as a queen and all the rose - bushes were of legend Her very beauty blood-red with blossom, and
nature to inspire one breathed the fragrance of terror, as if the mere dropping as if one were living a of her white gold-fringed lids
Not a white meant the sentence of death rose anywhere, but red upon to the beholder. My companred, through every tone from ions round about
1 Copyright, 1898, by Dodd, Mead & Co. in the United States of America.
prone in abject admiration, grace, of the most wonderful and of their state I took note fairness I have ever seen, and with some measure of pride. also the most surprising harshNot so had Polly Evans's ness of expression. I have all
. I mother been regarded; not so my life been hearing of my was even Lady Adelaide, the mother's beauty, and have heard Catholic peeress who came to that when the Empress Eubenediction Sunday, re- genie's bust was exposed at the garded, though she had the Dublin Exhibition, the general haughty upper lip and inscrut- cry was that my mother had able gaze of sensational fiction. been the sculptor's model, so
How to paint her, as she singular and striking was the stood thus valorously free to the resemblance between these two raking sunbeams that showed women of Scottish blood. But out the mild white bloom and then and then only, in one brief rose-leaf pink of her long, full flash, did I seize the insistent visage ? She wore
her claim of that beauty always abundant fair hair a black lace closed to my hostile glance. bonnet, trimmed with mauve Then and then only was I comflowers and a white aigrette, pelled, by the sheer splendour and the long train of her white of the vision, to own that the alpaca gown lay upon the grass mother who did not love me was like a queen's robe. I remember the handsomest creature I had my admiration of the thousand ever beheld. little flounces, black-edged, that The other episode connected ran in shimmering lines up to with her visit that has stamped her rounded waist. She was itself upon memory is typical of in half mourning for my grand- her rare method of imparting mother, whose existence I had knowledge to the infant mind. forgotten all about, and brave We were driving in a fly through and becoming, it must be ad- the rose-smelling country, and mitted, were those weeds of it transpired, as we approached mitigated grief. As I ap- a railway-station, that we were proached, she turned her fine going to visit Shakespeare's and finished visage, with the grave. “Who is Shakespeare ?” long delicate and cruel nostrils, I flippantly asked, looking at and the thin delicate red lips, my sister, who sat beside my to me, and her cold blue glance, mother. falling upon my anxious and Pif-paf! a blow on the ear distrustful face, turned my heart sent sparks flying before my to stone. I felt as Amy Robsart, eyes, and rolled my hat to the my favourite heroine, must have ground. Two years inhabiting felt when she encountered the a sacred county and not to have gaze of royal Elizabeth. Eliza- heard of the poet's name! beth, handsome, tall, and stately, child of hers, the most learned with long sloping shoulders and of women, so ignorant and so full bust, not the Elizabeth of unlettered! Thus was I made history; an Empress Eugenie acquainted with the name of without her feminine charm and Shakespeare, and with stinging
cheek and humiliated and stif- are kissed and cried over after a fened little heart, is it surpris- week's absence. I am stunned ing that I remember nothing by an unmerited blow when I else of that visit to his tomb? rashly open my lips after a two Indeed it was part of my pride years' separation. And yet I to look at nothing, to note noth- preserve my belief in maternal ing, but walk about that day love as a blessing that exists in full-eyed sullen silence. for others, born under a more My mother had not seen me fortunate star,
star, though the for two years.
This was the bounty of nature did not remeasure of maternal tenderness serve a stray beam to brighten she had treasured up for me in the way for that miserable little that interval, and so royally waif I was those long, long meted out to me. Other children years ago.
CHAPTER XXI.-OLD ACQUAINTANCE.
The most vivid remembrance a reassuring smile, nods, and of my first return to Ireland drawls out cheerily : is the sharp sensation of ugly now, aisy. Sure an’ 'twill be sound conveyed in the flat Dub- all the same in a hundred years.' lin drawl. I have never since When at last your trunks are been able to surmount this un- discovered in the disorderly heap, just antipathy to the accent he volunteers, with the same of my native town. The in- suggestion of indifferent indultolerable length of the syllables, gence : “I suppose 'twill be a the exaggerated roundness of cab or a cyar you'll be wanting the vowel sounds, the weight next." By implication you are and roll of the eternal r's—it is made to understand that the all like the garlic of Provence, cab or the cyar is another exmore seizing than captivating. orbitant demand on your part,
And then the squalor, the and that properly speaking you mysterious ugliness of the North should shoulder your trunk yourWall ! The air of affronted self and march off contentedly leisure that greets you on all to your inn or lodging or palace. sides. A filthy porter slouches “If ye loike, I'll lift it on to the over to you, with an indulgent, cab for you,” he adds, goodquizzical look in his kindly eyes. naturedly. “Is it a porther ye'll be want- There are travellers whom ing?” he asks, in suppressed these odd ways of Erin amuse; wonderment at any such un- others there are who are exreasonable need on your part. asperated to the verge of inWhen he has sufficiently re- sanity by them.
But they covered from the shock, he amply explain the lamentable lounges in among the boxes, condition of the island and the heroically resolved to make a imperturbable good-humour of joke of his martyrdom. He the least troubled and least meets your irritated glance with ambitious of races. The porter's