« VorigeDoorgaan »
erous things, your eyes have filled and yield and struggle again, like those that your countenance changed. You have bave gone before me, and then, like them. forgotten by times, and been turned away pass away, and leave it to somebody else from the right way; but you will not tell who will be hunted out from the corners of me that, looking it in the face, you prefer the earth as I was. And so, for all I can what is wrong. Ob no, Lord Erradeen, tell, it will go on forever.”
Here he made a pause, and another Perhaps,” he said, “I never look any- tide of feeling stole over him. “If I were thing in the face; that may be the reason a better nian,” he said with a changed or part of the reason ; but the fact is that look, " I think I know where - the other I do not prefer good because it is good. – might be found.” Oh, no, I cannot deceive you. To be Miss Milnathort's soft, aged, childish fully convinced that one is wrong is very countenance cleared, the wisilul look van. little argument against one's habits, and ished from her eyes, her smile came back. the lise that one likes. It does not seem She raised herself up among her pillows worth while to test small matters by such as if she would have sat upright. a big standard, and, indeed, one does not “Oh, my young lord ! and does she love test them at all, but does what happens you like that?" she cried. to come in one's way at the moment." Walter felt the blood rush to his face ;
A shade of trouble came over the soft he put up his hands as if to stop the injulitile face. She looked up wondering and rious thought. • Love me!” he cried. disturbed at the young man who sat smil. To do him justice, the idea was altoiny upon her, with a smile that was half gether new to him. He had thought of scorn, half sympathy: The scorn, per. Dona often, and wondered what was the haps, was for himself; he made no pre- meaning of that softness in her eyes as tence to himself of meaning better, or she looked after him; but his thoughts wishing to do better than his perform- had never ventured so far as this. He
And Miss Milnathort's distress grew red, and then he grew pale. was great.
“It is a profanity,” he said. "I thought,” she said, faltering," that could she think of me at all? I was a the truth had but to be seen, how good stranger, and she was sorry for me. She it is, and every heart would own it. Oh,gave me her hand, and strength came out my young lord, you have no call to be of it. But if such a woman as that like one of the careless that never think stood by a true man — pah! I am not a at all. You are forced to think: and true man; I am a wretched duffer, and when you see that your weirdless way good for nothing. And Oona thinks as leads to nothing but subjection and bond much of me, as little of me as
as little age, and that the good is your salvation, as -- she thinks of any pitiful, unworthy as well for this world as the world to thing."
He got up from his chair as he spoke, “ Does not every man know that? ” and began to pace about the room in an cried Walter. "Is it not instinctive in us agitation which made his blood swell in to know that if we behave badly, the con. his veins. He was already in so excitable sequences will be bad one way or an. a state that this new touch seemed to other? There is scarcely a fool in the spread a sort of conflagration everywhere; world that does not know that — but what his imagination, his heart, all the wishes difference does it make ? You must find and hopes that “indistinguishable some stronger argument. That is your throng "that lie dormant so often, waitinnocence,” he said, smiling at her. ing a chance touch to bring them to life
At that moment the young man, with all blazed into consciousness in a moment. his experiences which were of a nature so He who had flirted to desperation with Ju. different from hers, felt himself far more lia Herbert, who had been on the poini of mature and learned in human nature than asking Katie Williamson to marry, was it she; and she, who knew at once so much possible all the time that Oona, and she and so little, was abashed by this strange only, had been the one woman in the lesson. She looked at him with a depre- world for him ? He remembered how she cating, anxious look, not knowing what to had come before his thoughts at those say:
moments when he had almost abandoned 6. If the victory is to be by means of himself to the current which was carrying two whose heart is set on good, it will bis heedless steps away. When he had never be,” said Walter with a sigh, "in thought of her sianding upon the bank on my time. I will struggle and yield, and her Isle, looking after himn with indefinable
mystery and wistful softness in her eyes, | tilious service. He was arranging his all the other objects of his various pur- master's clothes just as he had done on suits had filled him with disgust. He the winter evening when Lord Erradeen said to himself, in the excitement of the had first been taken possession of by this moment, that it was this which had again zealous retainer of the family. Walter and again stopped him and made his pleas- was so startled, bewildered, and almost ures, liis follies, revoltiny to him. This overawed by this sudden apparition, that was the origin of his restlessness, his he said with a gasp, sometimes savage temper, his fierce im. • You here, Symington!” and made no patience with himself and everybody further objection to his presence. around him. In fact, this was far from “ It is just me, my lord," Symington the reality of the case; but in the flood said. “I was waiting at the station, of new sensation that poured over him, it though your lordship might not observe bore a flattering resemblance to truth, me. I just went with your lad to the which dignified the caprice of his exis- hotel, and put him in good hands." tence, and made him feel himself better
may I ask why you did that with. than he had thought. If love bad, in- out consulting me; and what you are do. deed, done all this for him, struggling ing here?” Walter cried, with a gleam of against every vulgar influence, mustit not, rising spirit. then, be capable of much more - indeed, Symington looked at him with a sort of of all?
respectful contempt. Meanwhile Miss Milnathort lay back * And does your lordship think,” he upon her pillows, excited, yet pleased and said, “that it would be befitting to take a soothed, and believing too that here was young lad, ignorant of the family, up all she had wished for, the true love and yonder ?” With a slight pause of indigthe helping woman who might yet save nant, yet gentle reproach after these Erradeen.
words, he added, Will your lordship “Dona!” she said to herself, “it's a wear a white tie or a black ?" with all the well-omened name."
gravity that became the question. This strange scene of sentiment, rising into passion, was changed by the sudden entry of Mr. Milnathort, whose brow was THERE is in the winter season, when by no means so cloudless or his heart so the stream of tourists is cut off, a sort of soft as his sister's. He came in, severe family and friendly character about the in the consciousness of business neg: Highland railways. The travellers in lected, and all the affairs of life arrested most cases know each other by sight, if by the boyish folly, idleness, and perhaps no more; and consult over a new comer vice of this young man, with endless ar- with the curiosity of a homely community, rears of censure to bestow upon him, and amid which a new figure passing in the of demands to place before him.
street excites sentiments of wonder and “I am glad to see you, my Lord Erra interest as a novelty.
“ Who do you sup: deen,” he said briefly. “I have bidden pose that will be at this time of the year?” them put forward the dinner, that we may they say; and the little country stations bave a long evening; and your things are are full of greetings, and everybody is in your room, and your man waiting. Ali. welcomed who comes, and attended by son, you forget when you keep Lord Erra- kindly farewells who goes away. There deen talking that he has come off a jour. was no doubt this time as to who Lord ney and must be tired.”
Erradeen was as he approached the terWalter had not intended to spend the mination of his journey; and when lie had night in Moray Place, and indeed had reached the neighborhood of the loch, a given orders to his servant to take rooms bustle of guards and porters – that is to in one of the hotels, and convey his luy- say, of the one guard belonging to the gage thither; but he forgot all this now, train, and the one porter belonging to the and took his way instinctively up another station, familiarly known by name to all flight of those tall stairs to the room which the passengers, usbered up to the carhe had occupied before. It brought him riage in which he was seated the beaming to himself, however, with the most curious presence of Mr. Williamson. shock of surprise and consternation, when " So lere ye are,” said the millionaire. he recognized not the servant whom he had “Lord Erradeen! I told Tammas he brought with him, but old Symington, as must be making a mistake.” precise and serious as ever, and looking “ Na, na, I was making no mistake," as if there had been no break in his punc-said Tammas, in a parenthesis.
“ And what have ye been making of owed him by abandoning all his duties. yourself all this time?” Mr. Williamson But this was not a thing which he could
“ We have often talked of ye, do forever. And the moment had come and wondered if we would see ye again. when some other course must be decided That was a very sudden parting that we upon. took in London; but Katie is just a wilful This time it was clear he must make up monkey, and does what she pleases; but his mind either to conquer the mysterious she will be well pleased, and so I, to power which he could no longer ignore see you at Birkenbraes.” And the good or persuade himself to consider it a deluman took his place beside the new coiner, sion - or to yield to it altogether. He and talked to him with the greatest cor: had listened to Miss Milnathort's sug. diality during the rest of the journey. gestion with a momentary elevation of
Thus Walter was received on his second mind and hope ; but what was he, a " misarrival with the friendly familiarity natural erable duffer” as he had truly called himto the country-side. There seemed to self, to make such an effort? A heart set him something significant even in the for good and not evil : he laughed to himchange of association with which his visit self with contemptuous bitterness, when began. He had to promise to present he thought how far this description was himself at once at Birkenbraes, and the from anything he knew of himself. Thus very promise seemed to revive the feel. I it was from the outset impossible that the ings and purposes which had been grow-redemption of his race could be carried ing in his mind during that interval of out by him. The only alternative then social success in London which, on the was to yield. Was it the only alternative? whole, had been the most comfortable To conduct his own affairs only as the period of his life since he came to his for. tool and instrument of another, to sacriiune. His mind was occupied by this as fice affection, justice, pity, every generous he was rowed once more round the half- feeling to the aggrandizement of his fam. ruined pile of Kinloch-houran to his re- ily – Walter's heart rose up within him newed trial. The afternoon was bright in violent refusal and defiance. And then and clear, one of those brilliant October he thought of Katie Williamson. The days that add a glory of color to the storins in his bosom had been quieted departing summer; the water reflected from the moment when he had come into every tint of the ruddy woods, thrown up contact with her. The evil circumstances and intensified everywhere by the dark around him had changed; even now a lull background of the firs. He thought of came over his mind at the thought of her. the encounter before him with a fierce It was not the highest or the best course repugnance and indignation, rebellious of action. At the utinost it would only be but impotent; but there were no longer to leave once more to those who should in it those elements of apprehension and come after him the solution of the probmystery which had occupied all his being lem; but what had he to do with those when he came here for the first time; that came after him, he asked himself and the other circumstances of his life bitterly? In all probability it would be had room to come in with even a certain a stranger, a distant cousin, some one seductive force in the midst of his excite- unknown to him as he had been to his ment. Something swept the current of predecessor; and in the mean time he his thoughts towards Katie, with a secret wouid have peace. As he thought of it, impulse, as the water of the loch was it seemed to him that there was some swept by some force unseen into the cur- thing significant even in that meetiog with rent which the boatmen avoided with such Mr. Williamson. When he came to the
Walter did not avoid the spiritual loch for the first time, with high hopes stream; be allowed himself to be carried and purposes in his mind, meaning to away upon it, with a grateful sense of rec- leave all the frivolities of life behind him onciliation to fate. Katie would smooth and address himself nobly to the duties of away his difficulties, though not in the his new and noble position, it was Oona way Miss Milnathort suggested. She Forrester whom he had encountered unwould bring him peace at least for the awares on the threshold of fate. All the moment. He had proved himself very circumstances of his intercourse with her little able to contend with the influence | flashed through bis mind; the strange which swayed his race; all that he had scene on the Isle in which her touch, he'r done hitherto had been to run away from presence, her moral support, had saved it, to make what endeavor he could to for- him from he knew not what, from a final get it, to avoid the tyranny that overshad- encounter in which, alone, he must have been overthrowo. Had he not been a across to the other side of the loch. coward then and fled, had he remained There were horses and carriages awaiting and, with that soft, strong hand in his, him at Auchnasheen, had he cared to take defied all that the powers of darkness advantage of them; but the house in could do, how different might have been which he had suffered so much was odious his position now! But he had not chosen to bim, and he preferred to walk. To an that better part. He had escaped and excited and disturbed mind there is nothpostponed the struggle. He had allowed ing so soothing as bodily exercise. Walall better thoughts and purposes to slip ter went along very quickly as if trying to from him into the chaos of a disordered keep up with the pace of his thoughts; life. And now that he was forced back but there was one spot upon which he again to encounter once more this tyranny came to a sudden pause. The road, as from which he had fled, it was no longer became a Highland road, was full of Oona that met him. Who was he to ex variety, going up and down, now penepect that Oona would meet him, that the trating through clumps of wood, now angels would come again to his succor ? emerging into full view of the surroundHe could not now make that sudden ing landscape. He had skirted the “poliunhesitating appeal to her which he had cies” of Auchnasheen, behind which the made in his first need, and to which she highroad lay, and clinbed the rising bad so bravely replied. Everything was ground beyond, when suddenly the path different; he had forfeited the position on came out once more on the side of the which he could confront his tyrant. But loch, and he saw, rising out of the gleama compromise was very possible, and ing water below, the feathery crest of the peace, and a staving off of trouble, was in Isle with the roofs of the lonely house Katie Williamson's hand.
showing through the branches. Walter It is needless to enter into all the sensa- stopped with a sudden pang of mingled tions and thoughts with which the young delight and pain; be stood as if he had man took possession again of the rooms been rooted to the ground. There it lay in which he had spent the most extraordi. on the surface of the loch, dimly reflected, pary crisis of his life. It was still day- overhung by low skies, hanging in gray light when he reached Kinloch-houran, suspense between the dull heaven and and the first thing he did was to make a dark water. There was no wind to ruffle stealthy and cautious examination of his the trees, or shake off the autumn leaves sitting-room, looking into every crevice which made a sort of protest in their bril. in an accidental sort of way, concealing liant colors against the half-tones of the · even from himself the scrutiny in which scene. A line of blue smoke rose into he was engaged. Could he have found the still air, the solitary sign of life, unless any trace of the sliding panel or the secret indeed that gleam of red on the rocks entrance so dear to romance, it would was the shirt of Hamish, fishing as he have consoled him; but one side of the had been a year ago when first Lord Erraroom was the outer wall, another was the deen set foot upon that hospitable spot. modern partition which separated it from After a while be thought even he could his bedroom, and of the others one was see a figure before the door looking up filled up with the bookshelves which he the loch towards Kinloch-houran. The had been examining when his visitor en- young man for the moment was transtered on the previous occasion, while the ported out of himself. “ Oona !” he fourth was the wall of the corridor which cried, stretching out his hands to the valed into the ruinous part of the castle, cant air which neither heard nor replied. and had not a possibility of any opening His heart went out of his bosom towards io it.
that house in which he had been sheltered He made these researches by intervals, in his direst need. Tears gathered into pretending other motives to himself, but his eyes as he stood and gazed. There with the strangest sense that he was mak. was salvation; there was love, and hope, ing himself ridiculous, and exposing him and deliverance - two, that should be self to contemptuous laughter, though so one.
He seemed to feel once more in his far as his seoses were cognizant there own the touch of that pure and soft hand was nobody there either to see or to laugh." as soft as snow,” the touch which gave The night, however, passed with perfect sto him the strength of two souls, and one tranquillity, and in the morning he set out so spotless, so strong, and simple, and early on his way to Birkenbraes. The true. He stood holding out his hands in morning was gray and cold, the hills an instinctive appeal to her who neither shrouded in mist as he rowed himself saw nor knew. For a moment his life
once more hung in the balance. Then mageddon, the reign of Antichrist, the with a stamp of his foot, and a sense of new heavens and the new earth, the impatience and humiliation indescribable slaughter and the resurrection of the two in words he turned and pursued his way. heavenly witnesses, were at hand. Eleven
hundred and ninety years had passed away of those twelve hundred and sixty. “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth,
said Joachim; “ Antichrist is already born, From The Nineteenth Century.
yea, born in the city of Rome ! ” THE COMING OF THE FRIARS.
Though King Richard, in the strange When King Richard of England, whom interview of which contemporary historimen call the Lion-hearted, was wasting ans have left us a curious narrative, exhis time at Messina, after his boisterous bibited much more of the spirit of the fashion, in the winter of 1190, he heard of scoffer than of the convert, and evidently the fame of Abbot Joachim, and sent for had no faith in Abbot Joachim's theories that renowned personage, that he might and his mission, it was otherwise with the hear from his own lips the words of proph. world at large. At the close of the twelfth ecy and their interpretation.
century a very general belief, the result of Around the personality of Joachim there a true instinct, pervaded all classes that has gathered no small amount of mythus. European ociety was passing through a He was, as appears, the inventor of that tremendous crisis, that the dawn of a new mystical method of hermeneutics which era or, as they phrased it," the end of all has in our tiine received the name of “the things," was at hand. year-day theory," and which, though now The Abbot Joachim was only the abandoned for the most part by sane men, spokesman of his age who was lucky however devout and superstitious, yet has enough to get a hearing. He spoke a lanstill some advocates in the school of Dr. guage that was a jargon of rhapsody, but Cumming and kindred visionaries. Ab. he spoke vaguely of terrors, and perils, and bot Joachim proclaimed that a stupendous earthquakes, and thunderings, and the day catastrophe was at hand. Opening the of wrath ; and because he spoke so darkly Book of the Revelation of St. John he men listened all the more eagerly, for read, pondered, and interpreted. A dio there was a vague anticipation of the vine illumination opened out to hin the breaking up of the great waters, and that dark things that were written in the sa- things that had been heretofore could not cred pages. The unenlightened could continue as they were. make nothing of " a time, times, and half Verily when the thirteenth century a time ;” to them the terrors of the twelve opened, the times were evil, and no hope hundred and sixty days were an insoluble seemed anywhere on the horizon. The enigma long since given up as hopeless, grasp of the infidel was tightened upon whose answer would come only at the day the Holy City, and what little force there of judgment. Abbot Joachim declared ever had been among the rabble of Cruthat the key to the mystery had been to saders was gone now; the truculent rufhim revealed. What could " a time, fianism that pretended to be animated by times, and half a time” mean, but three the Crusading spirit showed its real charyears and a half? What could a year acter in the hideous atrocities for which mean in the divine economy but the lunar Simon de Montfort is answerable, and in year of three bundred sixty days? for was the unparalleled enormities of the sack of not the moon the symbol of the Church Constantinople in 1204. For ten years of God? What were those twelve hun-|(1198–1208) through the length and dred and sixty days but the sum of the breadth of Germany there was ceaseless days of three years and a halt? Moreover, and sanguinary war. In the great Italian as it had been with the prophet Ezekiel, to towns party warfare, never hesitating to whom it was said, “ I have appointed thee resort to every kind of crime, had long a day for a year,” so it must needs be with been chronic. The history of Sicily is one other seers who saw the visions of God. long record of cruelty, tyranny, and wrong To them the "
was not as our brief committed, suffered, or revenged. Over prosaic day — to them too had been "ap. the whole continent of Europe people pointed a day for a year.” The “time, seem to have had no homes; the merchant, times, and half a time were the twelve the student, the soldier, the ecclesiastic, hundred and sixty days, and these were were always on the move. Young men twelve hundred and sixty years, and the made no difficulty in crossing the Alps to stupendous catastrophe, the battle of Aro attend lectures at Bologna, or crossing