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time," pursued Mrs. Bacon with evident pride in the narration, "a government despatch boat steamed after us fifty miles with John's message, and was pretty nearlost with all hands in the fog."
all unpleasant. Then there was a mar-
"Your cousin Hilda is below," explained Miss Chancellor nervously to Tom Courtney, who had attached himself to her from the first, with an air of feeling himself perfectly happy in her society; "won't you like to go down and see her?" "No, thank you," replied Tom; "I'll stop here if you'll let me. Hilda can come up if she wants to see me. And now tell me what we are to do and where to go?
"Well," replied Miss Chancellor in hesitating tones, "I don't quite know. John " her brother, no doubt - "has given us carte blanche to go where we like, but not more than twelve hours distant from England, for he may want to consult Mr. Wyvern at any moment; and then, you see, he is naturally anxious to join us as often as possible."
Here Mrs. Bacon interposed with her habitual happy laugh,
And yet, in spite of all this devotion, it was evident from the aspect of Hilda's face as she reappeared once more, that she was scarcely made happy by it. But, at this present moment, the chief object of her solicitude is her father; tall and rather stooping, with his rosy, well-preserved west-country face and aquiline and clearly-cut features. The steps and the encumberment of the decks puzzle him a little, and he leans heavily on his daughter's arm till he has taken his seat on deck, when he looks benevolently round as he takes his glasses and begins to scrutinize the place and its surroundings.
"Rather different sight," he began, after taking a long look at the forts that shut us in, at the huge rock towering above us, and the sparsely scattered craft about the harbor, "rather different from Cherbourg in 1858, when I assisted, as the French would say, at the meeting between their emperor and our queen, at the "Oh, that is quite natural. I remem-inauguration of the new fortifications. ber, when Charles and I that is Mr. brought my yacht over, and upon my word Bacon, you know were courting, and II thought we should have been blown out was ordered by the doctors to the Spas "of the water, with the saluting and firing "Yes, you told us that story yesterday, of big guns. Ah, the French are a fickle aunt," interrupted Miss Chancellor has people, Mrs. Bacon!" tily.
"But these gentlemen haven't heard it," persisted Mrs. Bacon.
I made a friend of Mrs. Bacon from that moment, by listening attentively and respectfully to her story. It was not a very old story after all, for Mrs. Bacon was still young and buxom, and might even now have drawn admirers to the Spas.
But just then I heard a voice, whose thrilling accents could never be mistaken. It was Hilda, who, speaking from the companion-ladder, was calling in sweet but commanding tones,
"Mr. Wyvern, Mr. Wyvern, have the letters come on board?"
"Just this moment come!" cried Mr. Wyvern, handing Hilda a packet of despatches which she looked hastily over, and then, with a disappointed face, retired once more.
"I don't know what news she'd have," cried Mrs. Bacon; "there couldn't be a more devoted lover than John. He sends her a telegram every four hours. And there's sure to be one to rouse us all up in the middle of the night! The last
And poor Mrs. Bacon, thus singled out -she evidently rather dreaded the old gentleman and preferred to keep out of the radius of his observations could only say that she had always heard that the French were a fickle people.
. By this time the squire's faded brown eyes had passed over me without any sign of recognition, and then my face came under Hilda's more trying scrutiny. And next moment she called Tom Courtney to her side.
"Yes, Lamallam," I heard Tom say. "French? He may be originally, or Dutch or Hebrew; but a goodish sort of fellow anyhow. Shall I bring him to you?"
Miss Chudleigh made a hasty sign of dissent, and at that moment Mr. Wyvern burst in upon the group on deck with a programme fully arranged.
"We've got to go up the mountain to Fort du Roule, first of all. That's what everybody does, and as it's the only thing to do at Cherbourg, we must make the most of it. There are voitures for those who don't like to walk."
Mrs. Bacon and the squire were the
The coachman looked round and grinned, recognizing the Latin perhaps. "Vive la République!" he cried, and urged his horses to a momentary gallop. But the path is best for us pedestrians the winding path, faced here and there with stone, where the goats browse by the side on the banks fresh with ferns and wild flowers. As we rise we unfold the panorama of the town and port, with the green valleys, whose little streams furnish the harbor with a sort of excuse for existence; the sea in its restless tranquillity spreading far and wide in streaks of purple and green, with a white sail here and there, and white clouds resting above in the pure blue sky.
"But, according to Shakespeare," begins Miss Wyvern, whose voice has hardly before been heard; "according to Shakespeare, the murmuring surges should cease to be heard at such a height as this; while in reality we hear them much more plainly than below. Now, how is this?"
Miss Chancellor was far too much out of breath to attempt a reply, while Hilda had thrown herself on the grassy bank, her eyes fixed wistfully on the distant sea-line. Tommie came bravely to the
the least, "was given to a blind man to make him think he stood on a lofty height while all the time he was on level ground. The illusion may have been complete; but the blind man would naturally listen eagerly for the whisper of the sea below, in which he hoped to end his sorrows. His guide, noticing this rapt attention, explains the reason that no sound reaches the listening ear, falsely, as it happens but what would you have? the whole is a delusion."
Well, upon my word," cried Tommie, "it's real nasty of you to lay a pitfall like that for a chap. Just like those cads you meet sometimes, who want you to bet that such a word isn't in the dictionary, while all the time they've got the book in their pocket with the word in it."
The girl laughed; she enjoyed so much her victory over Tommie that she became quite sociable from that moment, her icy crust all thawed away.
We wandered through the fort, where there was nothing particular to see but the view from the ramparts, and then upon the grassy sward, where the soldiers from the fort were having a big wash in a little pool that exists curiously enough at the very summit of the rock. By this time the voiture and its occupants had arrived at the top, and the old squire, fresh and jaunty, began to describe the various points we saw below us, the great digue or breakwater with its strong forts at either end and a stronger still in the middle-a digue that was built, as to the foundations, in part of the hard granite and gneiss rock in which the naval docks and basins were excavated, and partly of hard primitive rock dug from quarries in the side of the cliff beneath us. The boatmen below are always wanting people to hire their boats to visit the digue, but we can see it all from the top of La Roule, with the naval fort and basins, the barracks, hospitals, and workshops, but not a sign of a ship of war except a few dismasted hulks. The fleet is away on its summer cruise or seeking adventures in Madagascar, and there is not even a solitary corvette in the port to give a touch of life to the scene.
As we descended the hill towards the town, Hilda fell behind the rest, and somehow I found myself by her side. She was changed indeed, but I should have known her anywhere. Was it possible that she did not recognize me? Her eyes rested indifferently upon me as if I had been part of the surrounding scenery, and then as I made some trifling remark about
the latter exquisitely neat in their blue and white, fine-looking young fellows, each with a rose in his breast-the arena was cleared for the grand military spectacle of the defeat of the Kroumirs. The young soldiers trooped off behind the scenes; they had all been admitted gratuitously in order to assist in the military spectacle.
the descent, she brightened up and tried | through in the presence of a large audito interest herself in the conversation. ence of soldiers and sailors of the navy But she was evidently preoccupied, and her politeness cost her an effort. Why did I not then make myself known, and appeal to the memory of our old love-passages? Something at the moment restrained me. I must have feared my fate too much, and then the opportunity was lost; we had joined the main body of the party. And Mr. Wyvern had joined us now, and evidently thought that as the representative of his chief, he should almost monopolize Hilda's society. And the poor girl seemed to acknowledge the claim, and did her best to be cheerful and bright in his presence. Young Courtney hardly had a chance of speaking to his cousin; perhaps he did not want a chance, for he was, or seemed to be, entirely engrossed in Miss Chancellor's conversation.
At this interesting moment a carriage. arrived to carry the ladies back to the yacht, with a message from Mr. Wyvern that all must be on board by eleven, as the "Sea-Mew" might have to sail with the tide. But we were determined to see the end of the performance, and, indeed, put down Mr. Wyvern's announcement as a little piece of extra officiousness.
By-and-by the band struck up the grand march of the Kroumirs, and presently a The chief pleasure in yachting is gener-party of the same dashed upon the arena, ally acknowledged to be the coming a party of two at least, brandishing their ashore, and hence the whole party on spears and uttering fierce war-cries. board the "Sea-Mew," with the exception Hardly had they gone when a French of Mr. Wyvern and his sister, and the old officer appeared at the head of a picquet, squire and Hilda, had agreed to dine at and posted a sentry over a heap of old the table d'hôte of the chief hotel, and saddles that was supposed to represent a amuse themselves somewhere afterwards. fountain. Exit the picquet, and the senThe theatre was closed, but there was a try begins his march up and down to slow circus in a big, desolate place close by, music, which quivers and quavers in notes where something like a fair was going on of warning and grief as those rascally stalls crammed with parcels of ginger- Kroumirs creep up and drive a poniard bread, all to be attained by some combina-into the heart of the poor soldier. Then tion of skill or chance. In all of these the relief approaches and looks in vain Tommie distinguished himself, knocking for the sentry, till they almost tumble over over dolls, and unfailingly hitting the bull's-eye in the mimic shooting-galleries, and finally carried off the grand prix of the Tombola, a huge ball of silvered glass as big as the head of the giant Cormoran.
All this success excited great disapprobation among the stall-keepers. Monsieur was an expert, they said with one accord, and it was not fair that he should engage in entertainments that were intended for honest bourgeois, their wives, and innocent children. Tommie was inclined to go on and break all the banks, sweeping away their reserve of gingerbread and nuts, and petrified sponge-cakes; but the townspeople took the side of the stall keepers, and then some sailors came along from an English ship in the harbor, and were inclined to back up their country
A row seemed imminent, but I managed to drag Tommie away out of the confusion, and safely into the circus, where an animated performance was going on. The regular circus routine having been gone
his body. The dagger is discovered, and the French officer, raising it to the sky, imprecates vengeance upon the heads of the assassins.
Immediately, with a dexterous applica tion of mats and screens, the arena is converted into the palace of the bey of Tunis. The bey appears to be a wicked old fellow with a penchant for bayadères, a troupe of whom appear and dance gracefully before him. All the eligible girls of Cherbourg, we are told, have been pressed into the service, but then the girls of Cherbourg don't appear to be designed by nature for bayadères, and the general effect is skinny and bony. But the bey himself is perfection, a most respectable old gentleman, who claps his hands, when he has had enough of the bayadères, with quite Parisian grace. But his face is wrinkled with care. He has a world of trouble on his hands, for the French ambassador - or perhaps he is only a consul-is thundering at the gate. Enters the French ambassador in evening dress; enters a
stout French general in embroidered uni- I was participating in heathen rites, whose form and képi; enters, in violent excite- origin goes back to the early primitive life ment, the French capitaine, waving the of mankind, without a serious thought, inKroumir's dagger; enters the Italian deed, in his head, Tom Courtney plunged chargé d'affaires with a scarf of green, into the thick of the fun, clasping on one white, and blue, who prompts the bey to side the hand of a pretty, dark-eyed little resistance. But when an ultimatum is ouvrière, while on the other he hooked on presented by the stout and fierce French to a dark-bearded, savage-looking young general, the bey trembles, turns pale; he fellow, presumably the girl's sweetheart. falls back on his wily friend in the green The little ouvrière did not seem to dislike tricolor; but he too has lost confidence. the change of partners, and chatted gaily He may wring his hands, protest, but all with Tommie during the intervals of the is in vain. The bey signs his submission, dance. But the young sweetheart was and exeunt the French in a triumphant, not so well pleased. Tommie's French tumultuous rush, while the bayadères pose was imperfect, and perhaps, in his happy themselves in attitudes of grief and sub- ignorance of the language, he may have mission. At this moment a placard is said more than he intended. Anyhow, exhibited which brings down the house the black-bearded young fellow took um"France will have her frontiers respect- brage, words ensued, and then a slight ed." scuffle, and then, in less time than it takes to tell it, the sergents de ville were on the scene, and all the parties to the fray were marched off to the guard-house. The black-bearded young fellow, who was very excited, and in a highly dangerous mood, was detained for the night, while Tommie, who took the thing more quietly, was permitted to leave on our promise to appear next morning at the tribunal of correc tional police, and we were favored with the escort of a sergent de ville, nominally for our protection, but in reality, I fancy, to make sure of our not breaking our parole; a sergent who mounted guard patiently on the steps of the hotel, and seemed disposed to stay there all night.
But still the Kroumirs have to be dealt with, and the arena is presently occupied with battles, marches, bivouacs, with a comic element in the shape of a bibulous and vivacious private, who is continually on the point of bestowing a kick or a buffet upon his commanding officer, but who recovers his sense of discipline in time to convert the assault into a respectful salute. A pathetic element, too, is provided in the death of a soldier and his horse, the former sharing the last drop from his water-bottle with his faithful charger. The massacre of this gallant pair by a crowd of Kroumirs was the last drop in the cup of their iniquities. From that moment they were slaughtered like flies, a gallant vivandière of course performing prodigies of valor, amid fanfares of trumpets and incessant detonation of crackers, while the band burst forth into a triumphal march, and the audience rose en masse, while the sailors laughed and cheered at the exploits of their brethren in arms.
By the time we had turned out of the circus it was nearly midnight, and yet the town showed no sign of turning in for the night or what was left of it. Half the population of the town was in the streets; children ran about and danced, while at all the open spaces a concourse of people had gathered, who were formed into a ring, and were dancing round and round, chanting some monotonous refrain, slowly at first, and then faster and faster, till the dance became a mad whirl, and the ring broke up by its own centrifugal force amid universal laughter and applause.
It was the St. Jean d'été, the feast of Midsummer Day, that the worthy Cherbourgeois were celebrating in this primitive fashion. Without a thought that he
Already, we were told, half-a-dozen urgent messages had come from the yacht, and one of the cabin-boys was awaiting our arrival to say that the "Sea-Mew" was on the point of sailing, and that the pilot could wait no longer. There was no time to write, even to explain the situ ation, and we could only send a message excusing ourselves on the ground of an unexpected engagement on the following morning, and hoping to rejoin the "SeaMew" at her next port of call.
And presently we heard her beating through the water in the silence of the night a silence broken also by the distant cries of those who were still keeping up the St. Jean the reflection of her lights pirouetting in the swell she raised in turning. Bells sounded, the engines went on full speed, and presently she shot quietly out of the harbor, and was lost in the indefinite haze beyond.
As for Tom Courtney, he was so contrite that it was impossible to reproach him, and, indeed, except for an excess of youthful spirits there was nothing to
blame in his conduct. And this view was
third volume of his "Frederick the Great" to throw some light on it, abandoned the task in impatient despair. Mere inanity and darkness visible-such are his expressions-reign in all Voltaire's biographies over this period of his life. Seek not to know it; no man has inquired into it, probably no competent man ever will. It happened, however, that at the very time Carlyle was thus expressing himself, a very competent man was engaged on the task. The researches of Desnoiresterres succeeded in dispersa portion at least of the obscurity which hung over Voltaire's movements
But, in the mean time, where was the during these mysterious years. He took "Sea-Mew"?
From The Cornhill Magazine.
immense pains to supply the deficiencies of preceding biographers. Judging rightly that all that could now be recovered could be recovered only in scattered fragments, he diligently collected such information as lay dispersed in Voltaire's own correspondence and writings, and in the corre spondence and writings of those with THE residence of Voltaire in England whom his illustrious countryman had is an unwritten chapter in the literary his- when in England been brought into contory of the eighteenth century. And yet tact. Much has, it is true, escaped him; assuredly few episodes in that history are much which he has collected he has not, so well worth attentive consideration. In perhaps, turned to the best account; but his own opinion it was the turning-point it is due to him the fullest and the most of his life. In the opinion of Condorcet satisfactory of Voltaire's biographers it was fraught with consequences of mo- to say that his chapter "Voltaire et la mentous importance to Europe and to Société Anglaise" must form the basis of humanity. What is certain is that it left all future inquiries into this most interestits traces on almost everything which he ing subject. To higher praise he is not, subsequently produced, either as the pro- we think, entitled. Some of Desnoiresfessed disciple and interpreter of English terres's deficiencies are supplied by Mr. teachers, or as an independent inquirer. Parton, whose "Life of Voltaire" ap. Its influence extended even to his poetry peared in two goodly octavos a few months and to his criticism, to his work as an his-ago. Mr. Parton has made one or two torian and to his work as an essayist. unimportant additions to what was alNor is this all. The circumstances under which he sought our protection; his strange experiences among us; his relations with Pope, Swift, and Bolingbroke, with the court, with our aristocracy, with the people; the zeal and energy with which he studied our manners, our government, our science, our history, our literature; his courageous attempts to distinguish himself as a writer in English, -all combine to form one of the most interesting passages in his singularly interesting career.
But unfortunately no portion of Voltaire's biography is involved in greater obscurity. "On ignore," writes Charles Rémusat, "à peu près quelle fut sa vie en Angleterre. Ces deux années sont une lacune dans son histoire. C'est un point de sa biographie qui mériterait des recherches." Carlyle, who attempted in the
ready known, but he has, we are sorry to find, done little more. We gratefully acknowledge our obligations both to Des.. noiresterres and to Mr. Parton. But these obligations are slight.
The first point to be settled is the exact date of his arrival in England, and that date can, we think, be determined with some certainty. On May 2 (n.s.), 1726, an order arrived for his release from the Bastile, on the understanding that he would quit France and betake himself, as he had offered to do, to England. On May 6 he was, as his letter to Madame de Ferriole proves, at Calais; and at Calais he remained for some days the guest of his friend Donoquet. How long he remained at Calais it is not possible to discover, but he tells us himself that he disembarked at Greenwich, and it is clear from the passage which follows that he landed