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Ivy gazed at him, thunderstruck. In
was to die that night. He knew it. Ho her innocence, she hardly knew what the was sure of it. man even meant. But she saw her romance He knelt down and confessed. He had toppled over to its base, and shattered would brook no refusal.
The country itself to nothing. Slowly she rose, and priest, all amazed, sat and listened to took his hand across the rocks to steady him, breathless. Once or twice he drew her. They reached the track in silence. his sleek hand over his full fat face doubtAs they gained it, the Abbé raised his fully. The strange things this hot Breton hat for the last time, and turned away bit- said to him were beyond his comprehenterly. He took the path to the right. sion. They spoke different languages. Obedient to his gesture, Ivy went to the How could he, good easy soul, with his left. Back to the hotel sbe went, linger. cut-and-dried theology, farbom the fiery ing, with a heart like a stone, locked her- depths of that volcanic bosom ? He nursed self up in ber own room, and cried long his chin in suspense, and marvelled. Other and silently.
priests had gone astray. Why this wild But as for Guy de Kermadec, all on fire fever of repentance ? Other women had with his remorse, he walked fast along the been tempted. Why this passionate tensea-shore, over the jagged rock path, tow- derness for the sensibilities of a mere Engard the town of Antibes.
lish heretic ? Other girls had sinned outThrough the narrow streets of the old right. Why this horror at the harın done city he made his
like a blind man, to her in intention only ? to the house of a priest whom he knew. But to Guy de Kermadec himself it His heart was seething now with regret was a crime of lèse - majesté against a and sbame and horror. What vile thing young girl's purity. A crime whose rery was this wherewith he, a priest of God, nature it would be criminal to explain to had ventured to affront the
innocence her. A crime that he could only atone of a maiden ? What unchastity had he with his life. Apology was impossible. forced on the chaste eyes of girlhood ? Explanation was treason. Nothing. reIvy had struck him dumb by her very mained for it now but the one resource of freedom from all guile. And it was she, silence. the heretic, for whose soul he had wrestled In an orgy of penitence, the young in prayer with Our Lady, who had brought priest confessed, and received absolution : him back with a bound to the conscious. he took the viaticum, trembling : he obness of sin, and the knowledge of purity, tained extreme unction. Then, with a from the very brink of a precipice. terrible light in his eyes, he went into a
He knocked at the door of his friend's stationer's shop, and in tremulous lines house like a moral leper.
wrote a note, which he posted to Ivy. His brother priest received him kindly. " Très chère dame," it said simply, Guy de Kermadec was pale, but his man. you will see me no more.
This mornner was wild, like one mad with frenzy. ing, I offered, half unawares, a very great “Mon père,” he said straight out, "I wrong to you. Your own words, and Our have come to confess, in articulo mortis. Lady's intervention, brought me back to I feel I shall die to-night. I have a warn- myself. Thank Heaven, it was in time. ing from Our Lady. I ask you for abso- I might have wronged you more. My last lution, a blessing, the holy sacrament, ex- prayers are for your pure soul. Pray for treme unction. If you refuse them, I mine, and forgive me. die. Give me God at your peril.”
" Adieu ! The elder priest hesitated. How could
“ GUY DE KERMADEC. be give the host otherwise than to a per- After that, he strode out to the Cape son fasting ? How administer extreme
It was growing dark by that unction save to a dying inan? But Guy time, for he was long at Antibes. He de Kermadec, in his fiery haste, overbore walked with fiery eagerness to the edge of all scrupulous ecclesiastical objections. the cliff, where he had sat with joy that He was a dying man, he cried : Our morning-where he had sat before so Lady's own warning was surely more cer- often. The brink of the rocks was wet with tain than the guess or conjecture of a mere salt spray, very smooth and slippery. The earthly doctor. The viaticum be demand- Abbé stood up, and looked over at the ed, and the viaticum he must have. He black water. The Church makes suicide
With a pen.
a sin, and he would obey the Church. But and stiffer. It was quite dark now, and no canon prevents one from leaning over the sea was rising. Yet still he prayed the edge of a cliff, to admire the dark on, and still the spray dashed upward. waves. They rolled in with a thud, and At last, as he prayed in the dim night, broke in sheets of white spray against the erect, with bare head, a great wave broke honeycombed base of the rock, invisible higher than ever over the rocks below beneath him.
him. With a fierce joy, Guy de Kerma“Si dextra tua tibi offenderit,” they dec felt it thrill through the thickness of said, in their long slow chantą“ si dextra the cliff : then it rose in a head, and burst tua tibi offenderit." If thy right hand upon him with a roar like the noise of offend thee, cut it off. And Ivy was thunder. He lost his footing, and fell, dearer to him than his own right hand. clutching at the jagged pinnacles for supYet not for that, oh, Mary, Star of the port, into the deep trough below. There, Sea, not for that ; nor yet for his own the billows caught hin up, and pounded salvation ;-let him burn, if need were, in him on the sharp crags.
Thank Heaven nethermost hell, to atone this error- -but for that mercy
y! Our Lady had heard his for that pure maid's sake, and for the last prayer. Mary, full of grace, had cruel wrong he had put upon ber. Oh, been pleased to succor him. Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows,” he ance of blood, from torn hands and feet, cried, wringing his hands in his agony, was he expiating his sin against heaven “who wert a virgin thyself, help and suc- and against Ivy. cor this virgin in her own great sorrow. Next morning, the douanier, pacing the Thou knowest her innocence, her guile- shore alone, saw a dead body entangled lessness, her simplicity, and the harm be- among the sharp rocks by the precipice. yond healing that I wrought her unawares. Climbing down on hands and knees, he Oh, blot it out of her pure white soul and fished it out with difficulty, and ran to bless her. Thou knowest that for her fetch a gendarme. The face was beaten sake alone, and to undo this sin to her, I to a jelly, past all recognition, and the stand here to-night, on the brink of the body was mangled in a hideous fashion. precipice. Queen of the Waves, Our But it wore a rent soutane, all in ribbons Lady of the Look-out, if the sacrifice on the rocks ; and the left tbird finger please thee, take me thus to thine own bore a signet-ring with a coat of arins and bosom. Let thy billows rise up and blot the motto,
Foy d’un Kermadec.'' out my black sin. Oh, Mary, hear me ! Ivy is still unwed. No eye but hers Stella maris, adesto!"
has ever seen Guy de Kermadec's last letHe stood there for hours, growing colder ter. — Contemporary Review.
IMPRESSIONS OF ENGLAND.
BY A SON OF ADAM,
My first impression of England was sudden shock. The impression of quict formed in the railway station at Dover. orderliness and practical efficience was, at I was struck by the quietude, the order, every moment, deepened. Yet the carand politeness of the oflicials. No one riages did not seem to me to be either as seemed to raise his voice, there was no well built or as comfortable as those in confusion, and yet but little directing. use on the Continent, and this gave me Travelling from France to England, I pause. My third impression came from could not but notice the contrast in these the Custom-house officials at Charing particulars between Dover and Calais. Cross. I was astonished by their polite. My second impression was a delightful I say “ astonished.” because I had one, and it came to me from the rapidity never heard that politeness was a charand smoothness with which the train acteristic of the English. Travellers of all swept forward through a landscape of nationalities have descanted on their wondrous pastoral beauty, When the brusqueness amounting almost to rudetrain pulled up at the station there was no ness, and the Englishman when he travels abroad is not noted, to say the least of it, I am utterly unable to classify ; it was for his courtesy. Yet the porters and the something so unnaturally bad, so monCustom-house officials struck me by their strously unlike any cotfee I had ever bepoliteness and by their readiness to be fore seen, that I thought some mistake serviceable. Having bad but little sleep must have been made, and that the waiter on the train or on the boat, I was wearied had brought me a mixture of coffee and out and sleepy on reaching London. My stout. I asked for another cup. I got temper was not at its best, and yet the it. I did not taste it. By the look and Custom-house officials, in spite of the ex- emell I recognized my former enemy, and ceeding strictness of their supervision, gave myself up cheerfully to abstinence. soothed instead of angering me. They I only mention these incidents because evidently tried to do their work with they prepared me for the disappointments thoroughness and yet as rapidly as possi- of ordinary English living. The rich, of ble. And this seemed to me to be the course, live well in all countries. But the truest courtesy they could show to tired English middle and lower classes live upon travellers.
food which can scarcely be called appetizThe next impression was borne in upon ing, in spite of the fact that English beef me from English hotel-life. I did not go and mutton is notoriously the best in the to one of the more modern caravansaries world. Few arts come naturally to the in Northumberland Avenue, but the hotel Anglo-Saxon race. is supposed to be an excellent one ; and To be rightly appreciated, the Englishafter I had slept for a couple of hours in man must be seen at work. In London a comfortable bed, I asked for my bath. the policeman directs you, with unfailing Naturally enough I expected to find it ex- courtesy ; with a wave of his hand he ceedingly good. England is the country stops the traffic of the most crowded of the tub. The English have made of thoroughfare, and then calmly conducts personal cleanliness a fetich which has im- an old lady, or an old gentleman, or a posed its worship on all civilized peoples. group of children, across the street in Here, if anywhere, I thought, I shall have safety. The policeman is an autocrat, a perfect bath. Alas for my expectations ! there is no appeal against his authority, The bath was of the most primitive de. and yet he is always serviceable and polite. scription. To
I was astonished is to No orders from above would make him say but little-I was dumbfounded. Since the willing servant of the people if good then, of course, I have heard various ex- qualities were not innate in bim. Čonplanations of this strange fact. I have trast bis conduct with the bebavior of a been told that in the newer hotels the sergent de ville in Paris, and my appreciaarrangements for batbing are more com- tion will at once be justified. Again, plete and better equipped ; but, as these take the hansom cab-driver, who is conhotels are notoriously frequented by for- tent with his simple fare, and who, as a eigners, this evasion does not completely rule, is a wonderfully good " whip. I satisfy me. The true explanation may lie have seldom suffered from rudeness at the in the fact that the Englishman is, above hands of any cab driver in London ; but all beings, practical. He wishes to be in Paris, if your “ tip” does not come up clean, he takes a bath, whether it is a to the expectations of the cocher—and if pleasurable or an uncomfortable process he happens to be in an ill-temper, or matters to him but little. The English
The English- drunk, bis expectations are usually fanman is seldom a sensualist.
tastic-he will slang you in the vilest lanstrange, however, that the English, who guage, without let or hindrance. I, therewere the first to elevate bodily comfort to fore, infer that punishment for such the dignity of a religion (perhaps the only offences is more easily secured in London cult possible in a materialistic civilization), than in Paris. The English democracy, should allow theinselves to be outstripped it appears, is not yet educated to the point in devotion. Or is it that they hate in of confounding civility with servility. everything counsels of perfection, and I must now give a few instances of uncomplacently content themselves with the favorable impressions. The public buildmediocre ? Like most foreigners, I make ings in London, and also the private no real breakfast. After my bath I asked houses, did not seem to me to be nearly for coffee, and got-a strange brew, which so fine, or so imposing, as are the corresponding edifices in Paris and Vienna. Vienna, or even Milan, seem to be almost As regards the private houses, this may be unknown. The small extent to which explained by the Continental custom of electric-lighting is employed in London is, living in flats : but as regards the public I understand, due to the insane restrictions buildings, no such explanation can be devised by a Radical Minister who, in his offered. There seems to be something hatred of monopolies, throttled an infant mesquin in everything undertaken by Gov- industry, and deprived Londoners of an ernment or public authorities in England. almost inestimable benefit. But his unwisWhether this arises from a fault in the dom in this matter did not, I believe, national character, from the severity of a diminish Mr. Chamberlain's popularity. practical judgment, which ignores the Germans and Frenchmen, indeed all forornamental, and has even but little feeling eigners, often wonder why Englishmen turn for the beautiful, I am not prepared to up their trousers at the bottoms even in say. Compare, for instance, the Bank of fine weather ; they do so simply by reaEngland with the Bank of France, or the son of unbroken habit-a habit born of Quai d'Orsay with Whiteball, and you necessity. Never have I seen streets in will admit the fact, however you may seek Vienna or in Paris in such a dirty state, to explain it.
in such an impassable condition, as the On my first visit to England, I asked streets of London exhibited for weeks tomyself, one morning, where I should go, gether last winter. The streets are as and of course decided first to visit West- well made and almost as well kept up as minster Abbey. The building itself is a the boulevards of Paris, but in Paris snow beautiful one : it seems to me that enough has scarcely ceased to fall when it is swept has not been said in praise of it. But the off every boulevard and every chief artery monuments inside are—again my English of commerce. In London the snow is fails me. Things of such grotesque ugli- allowed to freeze on the streets, and is ness are not to be seen elsewhere in the civ- then tardily, painfully, and in piecemcal ilized world. The sense of artistic beauty fashion shovelled into embankments of seems to be lacking in the modern English- frozen mud, which are hideous and unman, and this is a most terrible short comfortable, to say the least of them. coming. The offensive ugliness of those Here the English practical sense is mani. monuments in the Abbey oppresses me, festly at fault. I understand from my when I think of them, like a nigbtinare. friends that the disgraceful condition of The English are not an art-loving people, the London streets in winter-time or durand temples to the beautiful are not likely ing rain is due to the fact that in London to be erected within these four seas. there is no competent municipal authority
Other unfavorable impressions live with as there is in every other European capime. Of course, on the very first day I tal. In London, they tell me, the parish was struck with the immensity of London, system still obtains, and the various parish with the ceaseless traffic, and the order authorities are not adequately supervised. which controls it. But then, some of the As a witty Conservative friend said to me chief business thoroughfares are narrow, one day, “The streets of London afford winding streets, and this entails loss of an object-lesson in the blessings of local valuable time. I wonder how much the self-government.” But fancy such a conperpetual blocking of traffic-say at New- dition of streets in London! London is togate Street or Cheapside--costs yearly, day the business centre of the world ; it and whether this sum capitalized would is the banking-house, the mart and exnot pay for the widening of the streets. change of the world ; it is the richest of It should be taken into account, too, that cities ; and yet for months together the this evil is certain to increase in a sort of inhabitants of this great capital put up geometrical progression with the growth with a condition of the streets and squares of London. The individual Englishman such as cannot be found elsewhere west of is pre-eminently practical and efficient, but Constantinople. The English must be a when Englishmen act in bodies they leave very patient people ; they must expect lit. much to be desired. The streets in the tle from constituted authorities, for they world's capital are insufficiently lit with get little. what is evidently a low quality of gas, and Numberless instances of bad government electric-lights such as delight one in Paris, recur to memory. For example, no one
would compare the postal arrangements in of Mr. Gladstone than in good adminisGermany with those which obtain in Great tration. Seriously, one asks one's self, Britain. The German postal system affords are they becoming unpractical! Whatever every convenience known here—and how the reason may be, the fact seems to be many more.
Let us take but one. You undeniable that, even in the practical deal. can telegraph money from one end of the ings of life, the English no longer lead the German Empire to the other. You pay, would as they did half a century ago. let us suppose, a thousand marks into the Let us now take another instance of Post Office in Berlin, and in half an hour what seems bad government. One evenit is paid across the counter to your son's ing, I remember, a friend from one of the demand in Heidelberg or Hamburg. The embassies came to my hotel to take me to petit bleu of the Paris Post Office, too, is his Club; it was about half past eleven unknown in London. Of course, I refer o'clock, or perhaps a quarter to twelve, to the Télégramme Postale. In Paris you the time at which people return home can write a letter on a sort of stiff blue from theatres or evening entertainments. paper with adhesive edges, which you fold I wanted to take a hansom ; he assured and direct, and which then reaches its ad- me the club was only a few minutes' walk dress within the city limits in about half distant, and so we set forth on foot. an hour, at a cost of fivepence. These Never had I undergone such an expericonveniences and many more of the same Loose women crowded the pavesort are totally unknown in London. And ments of Piccadilly, setting law, order, yet I understand that the Post Office in and common decency at defiance ; these Great Britain is a source of immenso rev- women were not content with soliciting enue to the State. Again, the telephone you, they laid hands upon you, forcible service in London is so execrably bad that hands, vengeful hands, and remedy there one cannot be surprised at the slight prog
The policeman, so serviceable ress it has made in public favor. It can- in the daytime, seemed now,
when he was not be compared in efficiency with that most needed, to be non-existent. I conoffered in half a dozen Continental capi- fess that after being stopped forcibly three tals. Such examples of inefficiency and or four times, I took a cab to avoid the backwardness in great institutions cannot, nuisance. This evil scarcely admits of I imagine, be referred with justice to the explanation or of excuse, and the apathy innate Conservatism of the English peo- shown by the authorities and by the people. Forty years ago the English postal ple is altogether unaccountable. Various service was the best in the world ; to-day explanations of this fact have been offered it has been outstripped, apparently be to me by ny English friends. cause Governinent Departinents in Eng- been told that the Puritans object to land are badly administered. Whether houses of ill-fame, and have them all this in turn is due to the Party system of closed by the police authorities ; but to Government, which places orators and not turn thousands of prostitutes loose upon specialists at the head of great departments the most frequented thoroughfares, to of State, I am unable to decide. This allow them all license, elsewhere unheard explanation has more than once been of, in public, and to the discomfort and offered to me in England, but it scarcely disgust of every decent citizen, is someseems to be satisfactory. The democratic thing worse than puritanical, it is irrasystem of government obtains in France, tional, disgraceful. In this sea of vice the and yet the postal arrangements in Paris policeman, whom in daytime I so much are better than those of London. No. honor, is submerged. So far as I have Everything in Great Britain ordered by seen, European civilization offers no specGovernment seems mesquin and ineffi- tacle so heartrending as the streets of Loncient, but the reason of this lies, it seems don exhibit about inidnight. Ladies canto ine, in some defect in the character of not go home from the theatre on foot, the the people.
The national business, I streets are impassable, delivered over to understand, is shockingly badly managed the lawlessness of the vile. Decidedly the by Parliament. Business men complain English are patient of misgovernment ; of private-bill legislation as costly in the perbaps centuries of liberty have taught extreme and very slow. The English, it ihem to be patient—but they are patient, appears, are more interested in the rhetoric patient as Issachar.