« VorigeDoorgaan »
far as lay in his power, to see them safely | without delay. “On what conditions ?” out of it.
Of such a duty he had no asked Belle-Isle. Frederic answered oracthought; for it he made no provision; ularly, “ Beatus est posedendi,” and, for but patched up the peace for himself fear of mistakes, wrote it afterwards with alone, with the utmost eagerness and pri. his own hand to Podewils. His friendly vacy. When Lord Hyndford appeared editors have converted the phrase into loth to have anything more to do with “ Beati possidentes,” the meaning of secret negotiations, he directed Count which can at least be guessed at, but Podewils to offer him a bribe of one seems to have no reference to the terms hundred thousand thalers (15,000l.) for of the actual treaty. Nothing was said his good offices. Hyndford - edacious about the Bavarians, nothing about the Scotchman that he was - disdainfully re. French. The Austrians were left free, fused it: “The king,” he said, “ does not with their whole force, to fall on the army know me, nor the English nobility,” — or in Bohemia, whilst the English and the words to that effect; and though he under. Dutch, or — as the worst might be appretook to transmit the proposals to Vienna, hended - even the Prussians, blocked its he was cautious not in any way to com. retreat. From its serious consequences mit himself to their acceptance or even to France, the treaty of Breslau neither to their recommendation. The business unnaturally nor unjustly calls down the thus dragged heavily, and no way an. Duke de Broglie's heaviest censure ; but swered to the impatience of Frederic, we can conceive that a zealous partisan who, rightly judging that the successes might excuse, or even defend it, on the and improved hopes of the Austrians grounds of political expediency; and were making the queen more obstinate, though we cannot accept such excuse or resolved to try the fortune of battle, and, defence, though we think that the bare as a simple measure of diplomacy, marched fact, without any consideration of results, into Bohemia, ranged his army near Cho-would warrant the severest judgment, we tusitz, across the path of the advancing may admit that, from the moral or abAustrians, fought with them on May 17, stract point of view, it was pure and hon. and defeated them. The Austrians re-orable in comparison with the invasion of treated and were not pursued. To the Silesia or the convention of Klein-SchnelFrench, the king spoke of his heavy lendorf. losses or of his want of supplies; but in That history is philosophy teaching by reality he considered that what he had examples has often been said, but seldom done was sufficient for his purpose; the acted on. There are many, even of those battle was not so much an incident of the charged with the conduct of affairs, who campaign as of the negotiations, and was would seem to think that history is a subdesigned, not to strengthen Charles Al-ject which ought to be confined to girls' bert, but to convince Maria Theresa. In boarding-schools; it is rather the subject this it was fully successful, and the pre- which, of all others, is the proper study liminaries of peace between Austria and of the politician and the statesman. This Prussia were signed at Breslau on June may be enunciated as a general proposi
tion, but it is emphatically true of this Not, however, till the 18th did Frederic, special instance. It is impossible to read with impudence and falsehood peculiarly these carefully written volumes without his own, announce this treaty to Fleury, tracing, with their author, the similarity Belle-Isle, and the emperor; to each lay. of the course of events in the middle of ing the blame on the inefficiency of the the last century and in the middle of this. French army and the ineptitude of the As in the year 1741 France aided and French commander-in-chief, which ex. abetted in the spoliation of Austria, so did posed him to such danger that, as in a she, tacitly, at least, in 1866 ; and as in shipwreck, he was compelled, by the nat. 1757 she paid the penalty for her mistake ural laws of self-preservation, to shift for at Rossbach, so did she in 1870 at Sedan. himself regardless of others. The news The alliance of Prussia has proved, in fell on them like a thunder-clap, for, though the long run, almost more fatal to her it had been proposed that negotiations for than even the enmity of that State. the common benefit should be set on foot, With the treaty of Breslau the Duke de nobody had suspected that they were Broglie closes his narrative being carried on for the common ruin. only for the present. It is a convenient Belle-Isle had even spoken on the subject haliing.place, but the tangled diplomacy to the king of Prussia, who had said that of the years that follow have, not only to be thought peace ought to be concluded every Frenchman, but to every student
A NORTHMAN'S STORY.
of history, a direct interest which can grey, his face lined, and his heavy figure scarcely fail to induce him to continue his slouched and bent down from the shoulwork. The policy of aggression and ders, Kroll's still youthful-looking face spoliation which Frederic inaugurated, met your gaze with a frank, cheery smile; which he carried to a successful issue as he was possessed of a fund of good huagainst Austria and Poland, which hemor, and his movements were quick and attempted against Sweden, has become active as becomes a smart sailor. traditional in the house of Hohenzollern, “What made you come here, Nils ? and a scandal in the face of Europe. What makes you stay?” were questions Even in our own days we have seen Ger. I had kept on my lips ever since I first many “unified,” and Denmark fleeced for saw him, and some years had gone by the aggrandizement of Prussia. Yet Ger. since then, each season bringing me to man writers and even English writers are Norway to the same neighborhood, when not ashamed to speak of such deeds as certainly once during my stay I contrived noble, as grand, as glorious. It is refresh- to pass a day - sometimes lengthened ing to step from the stilling and fætid into two or three — with my friends the atmosphere of adulation and pseudo hero- two lighthouse men. worship, into the clear air of the Duke de At first Larsen would only growl a reply Broglie's manly and vigorous denuncia- to me, but about the third year — seeing tion of rapine and falsehood.
that my determination not to leave without seeing them made me run a risk of considerable danger - his mood softened,
and, after his sombre fashion, he deigned From Longman's Magazine.
to bid me welcome. Nils's pleasure in my
company was very outspoken, and steadily BY MRS. PARR, AUTHOR OF “DOROTHY Fox,” better. In his early days he had spent
increased as we got to know each other ROBIN,” ETC.
some time in England, and though by
every opportunity I had, through magaOn the coast of Norway, half-way be- zines and newspapers, I tried to quench tween Stavanger and Bergen, among the his thirst for knowledge, much more satmany lighthouses which mark the spots isfactory to him than reading was my of especial danger, not one stands more presence and the intercourse we held toconspicuous than the Folgernaes, a little gether. north of that long, broken line of reef Larsen usually took advantage of my which stretches out from Voldö.
being there to have a fit of “the shivers,' Bare, wild, desolate, the sight of a hu- only a pretext for Nils enjoying my comman habitation on that lonely rock seems pany unrestrainedly, as whatever there to send through the beholder a shudder was to do he did it. Nothing would have
- there, on the very summit crowning its given him greater offence than for Nils pinnacle, stands the lighthouse, and by to disturb himself in any way. its side the low, white-painted dwelling of “ I talk it all over with him after,” Nils those whose duty it is to keep the light in would say; "and that's what he likes · order.
if he ever listens to what's going on it Except for the railed-round walk, lev. must be in his own way.” elled to keep watch from, every inch of I smiled. Time had taught me how ground must be scrambled over, and a attached to each other were these men; line of staples driven into the rock points the causes which bound them still re. the almost sheer descent to where a boat mained a mystery. lies sheltered below.
There are occasions when confidences Seldom do the elements favor the wishes seem begotten by the atmosphere; the of those who feel a curiosity to land here ; sun, the sky, the moaning wind each and it is mostly due to necessity or mis brings an influence to bear. Nils and I, adventure that the spot is ever visited by sheltered in a hollow — where, dropped a stranger. Should chance in either form in the rock, we could stand leaning our have carried one there, he would not long elbows on a ledge in front of us — ago have been brought face to face with watching the departing glories of a northtwo whose lives by a strange fatality ern sunset. It was late in the season. I seemed linked together, Henrik Larsen was homeward bound, the next day was and Nils Kroll.
the day of parting. I had seized the Though near of an age the one to the opportunity of unusually calm weather to other, while Larsen's hair was already pay an extra visit to Folgernaes while
waiting for the steamer which would put | mother's apron-string not loosened round in for me on its way to Stavanger. me, it became necessary that I should
A few hours before, when all around part from her. A shipmate of my father's was calm and still, Larsen - to whom came over from North Shields. He was croaking came as natural as a raven in want of a boy, and he made an offer predicted that there would be more wind, for me. To be turned into sailors seemed and now the clouds broken up in fleecy to me then the sole reason why boys were masses over the sky promised that the brought into the world. All my companmorrow would bear truth to his prophecy. ions, their fathers, the men we knew, ivere The edge of each cloud was a golden connected with the sea.
How was it possetting which deepened and spread out sible to have any other ambition ? My towards the fiery orb already slowly sink- heart was filled with joy to think I was ing
about to enter on this life. I knew of I do not know how long we had stood only two regrets: I had to part from my silent we were both smoking – when, mother, and Henrik was not going with as well as I can remember, for the first me. Old Larsen bad other views for time I beard Nils sigh heavily.
him; he meant to place him with a cousin, "I fear, my poor fellow," I said, “this who was a fish-salier. half imprisonment is often very irksome “ That first rough apprenticeship was to you."
the beginning of my picking up the En. He shook his head, but in a way that glish I know, and it served me in good did not quite answer me, and suddenly I stead when I got back again to Bergen fouod myself asking why he had come, and was looking about for something betwhat had brought him there, and he was ter to do. saying, “ I'll tell you. I should like you “Four years I had been absent, and it to know, what nobody else has ever heard, seemed as if it could not have been more my story – which means the story of us than a day, for all was as I left it. I knew two. Henrik," and he nodded back to the people I met in the streets, although the lighthouse, where Larsen was trim- not one of them remembered me; the ming the lamp, “and I were both born in wares in the shop-windows looked still Bergen, and from children there ran the familiar; and Mother Olsen, sitting in the streets together. What made us such Torv. Almendingen nder the steps of close chums I don't know, for his people Handelsmand Dybvad's house, had the were more well-to-do than mine; he had same horns of currants and tied-up sticks a father living, I but a widowed mother. of cherries, and was knitting away at the Besides this, he was three years older - long leg of a stocking just as I left her. something important that in the age of "I quickened my steps home, because boys; and then the difference in our dis- the tears would come into my eyes — all positions, nothing could be wider. He my life through they've played me that was shy and retiring, called sullen because pasty trick of getting suddenly watery. he did not speak, and obstinate when he My mother, I asked myself — would she would not give way. Somehow I could recognize me? generally manage him, and coax him out “One of the first questions I put after of any ill-humor; and not seeing his freeing myself from her embrace was, faults, as others named them, he obtained · And Henrik, where is he?? a great influence over me. I worshipped “Very little letter-writing had been kept his resolution and his courage to endure, up between us while I was away. Mother, and looked on him as a hero because, with four of them younger than me to though his father might thrash him
within work for, had too much to do, and I was a an inch of his life, he could not make him slave, kicked and driven by everybody. give in.
It was the usual fate of a collier-boy in “Old Larsen was an ill-conditioned, that day. violent man; and all the family, it seemed “ Henrik has left Bergen. . His father to me, except Henrik, were like him. is mad against bim. He has run away.' There was little peace in the house, so Where, she did not know, only he had Henrik took to spending his evenings gone to sea, to seek you,' she added, with me; my mother, because he was for he has never had another friend.' attached to me, making him welcome, “No more bad I; but then, a stranger although on a few occasions he drew on in a foreign land, I had no opportunity; himself her displeasure by betraying jeal. Henrik had many: His constancy flatousy:
tered my vanity, which, as I dare say you “While still a very young lad, with my I have seen, is a weak point with me.
“ That evening I set to work to find “At last, through hanging about the him out, and very soon I was put on bis port, we stumbled across a Norwegian track ; so that, having got a berth on board whose ship bailed from Nieuwediep. Its a Hamburger detained in Bergen for re. captain was a Dutchman, and having lispairs, at Haniburg I came upon him, and tened to our story, which we told him it was not long before he joined our ship's truly, he believed us, advanced mocey for company; and thus the intimacy of our our clothes, and took us aboard with him, boyhood was restored.
though she was a leaky old tub, and not By this time I could not help seeing the sort of craft we had been used to. that Henrik had grown into a queer kind Out of gratitude we stayed by her the of chap; not that I had anything to com- whole trip, returned in her, and soon plain of, excepting through his jealousy. found our way back to Norway. I went No matter who it might be - old, young, home, but Henrik didn't care to face man, dog (we had not the chance of its his family, so we parted at Cliristiania, being a woman in those days) if they where he entered on board a coaster, and liked me he hated them, and would go to I soon after found a similar berth in anwork at scheming how he could set us other. one against the other.
“I was very well satisfied with my posi“Lots of chaps wanted to chum with tion; but though we found opportunities
Not one cared for Larsen. I can to meet frequently, Henrik was discon. not quite tell why. If he was rough and tented. He made a grievance that I did surly, so were they; at least the most of not care to be with him, and so constantly them. Still, by common consent he was worried me, that at length one evening, treated as an outsider -seldom noticed, when we had met at Stavanger and were never confided in.
ashore there, I gave him a promise that I Strange as it seems, this did not ap- would look out for a foreign.going ship, in pear to give him so much pain as it gave which we could again be together. me; and, to my surprise, I soon noticed, Delighted that he had gained his that while they might slight or annoy him point, he became, for him, quite jovial. without rousing his anger, I had but to Nothing would do but we must have an show the most trivial preference for any extra glass to drink luck to the undertakbody to throw him into a fury. A slavish ing, and afterwards we strolled down to affection is certain to become irksome, the landing place and stood smoking. and I was beginning to fret under the gall “On an evening like this I can always of its fetter when, we having by this time bring that long past one back to me. reached Montevideo, I fell sick of the Again in my ears sound that voice : I fever.
strain them to catch its melody. “It was desperately hot weather, and - Listen !' I said to Henrik, “they are we were taking in hides for our cargo, the singing,' and I motioned him to go closer sun beating down on our heads, so that up to the house, through whose open winyou had to gasp with every breath. Stu-dows the music reached us. Two pere pid, foolhardy, with no knowledge of dan. sons were singing, the voices of a man ger, because precautions interfered with and a woman; one of them played an acmy pleasure, I refused to take them; and companiment on a guitar. Even now I being struck down senseless was the cannnot tell what spell fascinated me, but penalty. It was then Henrik showed his after the song had stopped, I pushed Hen. devotion. He deserted from the ship rik away: Wait,' I said, “perlaps she'll rather than leave me, and sold and spent sing again.'_'There are two of them,' was everything he had until he was left with his reply. There might have been a doznot much more than the shirt on his backen, I listened but to one, the notes of a in his endeavors to pull me through. It voice that had entranced me. was to his care I owed my life, and tears “At twelve o'clock that night vessel in great drops rolled down his cheeks the left Stavanger to continue on its journey; first time I was able to speak to him in and as we slowly steamed away I fixed my usual way. After I had once answered my eyes on the house, and made myself a the helm, I went along with my head to promise that on our return I would find wind, and was soon all right again; but, out who was the singer.
But some with no respectable clothes and our money months went by and I had not found my gone, the two of us had a roughish time. opportunity, though by that time I had We were forced to work at whatever came contrived to pick out the air, all but two or to hand — from serving liquor at a bar, to three bars which always baffled me. One doing the dirty bidding of a nigger-driver. I evening at Laurvig had gone into the
wood expecting to meet Henrik, whose “« I should if they had room for two,' he vessel started from there. The townsfolk said quietly. were flocking up to hear the band, I loi- " • But come, old fellow' – I stopped, tered among the trees expecting him to not quite knowing how to put what I overtake me. Suddenly all the blood in wanted to say. My love for Signe had my body rushed to my head — I heard the changed me completely, and I saw that I song, it was sung by the same singer. had no right to allow him to miss this Half-a-dozen steps brought me close be- chance, when I meant to seize the first hind the group
-three young girls; they opportunity. Knowing his temper I bewere walking hand in hand together. gan speaking in a roundabout way; he
6. Hush ! Signe,' said ope mischiev- anticipated me. ously, 'somebody is listening,' and turn- "I understand,' he said. You mean ing they were brought face to face so we needn't be so much together now? close to me that we all burst out laugh. All right!' and he was turning away ing. Among our class of life in this when he stopped. 'Look here,' he said, country our manners are free; those who do you care for the berth? If so, take have a fancy for each other need not be it,' and he wheeled himself round kept silent for lack of introduction. With brusquely. in half an hour of that moment we were “ But I was not going to let him part all the best friends. I had been told by with me that way; for a whole hour I tried them who they were, and in turn they to win him to a happier humor, and in knew what there was to hear about me. doing so opened out my heart and its deWhen the other two had paired off with sires, finally dealing a last fatal blow by young fellows whom we met on the way, saying, 'If I took your offer it would be Í found courage for I never felt so shy because of Signe.' with any one before — to tell Signe how “And it is because of her I make it to at Stavanger I had listened to her song, you.' and how ever since it had haunted me. "Ah!' I said, with a lover's stupidity; Yes, she had but lately returned from at last you are beginning to like her, Stavanger, where she had been staying I know, for my sake. But he stopped with a friend; her home was Laurvig. what I was saying by shaking me off She was an orphan, but her mother, just roughly. before dying, had married again, and she "*If it's settled that you'll go,' he said, was given a home by her step-father. 'we'd best look up Jansen, and ask him if Talking earnestly together we soon lost he'll take you.' ber companions, and did not meet them " And the result of this visit was that again; as for poor Henrik, I had forgot a month later I started for Valparaiso, the ten all about him.
betrothed of Signe.” Well, that night, the forerunner of many others, left but one thought in my head — when, how, where, should I meet “Never try to light a flame near a Signe? I loved her madly; the one ques- mine of gunpowder.' Signe, with that tion I was always asking myself was, desire for conquest which seems the thirst • Did she love me?' Henrik, to whom I of woman's nature, although her heart confided my fears, scoffed at my timidity. was given to me, began striving to make •Why don't you ask her?' he would say Henrik her prisoner. roughly. I did not for answer tell him “I was not without blame in this mat. how often I had tried, but that the words ter; for, seeing her interested, I had seemed to choke me. And so time went amused her by relating instances of his
I had to leave Laurvig - I came almost savage jealousy; and now, when back; again I went away. Sometimes ostensibly by virtue of his trust - for I Henrik and I met, sometimes I missed begged him to be a brother to her — he, him ; when I did so the fault was mine. in hopes of finding an occasion for slanWith Signe I wanted no other company. der, dogged her footsteps and followed
· Falling in with him at Christiansand, her everywhere, the thought came that be surprised me with the news that an she would try if she had the power to offer bad been made him of a good berth. make him love. A captain from Bergen, whom he knew, • People did not call Signe beautiful. I was going a voyage to Valparaiso, and if did not think her so myself, but her eyes, he liked to take it, the post of third mate like her voice, haunted you. They were would be given to him.
tender, deep, sad; they seemed to look "Well, of course you'll go?'
down into your heart and leave their light