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ideas, and resolved, during the few hours I had to remain in the town, to show a bold front to all my enemies and detractors, and purposely sought out the busiest and gayest of the throng, wearing a forced smile upon my face. Amongst the rest I soon found the Vicomtesse d'Arcy, who at once beckoned me to her and said very kindly:

"Eh, my poor boy, I told ye, did I not, of the Psalmist's words, that you should put no trust in princes? Ah, but I am sorry for ye. Hortense told me last night that the Prince would no more stand your friend."

"God bless you, madame, for your kindness to me!" I said fervently, for in the dark days the first words of sympathy are very precious to a man. "Did she, did Madame d'Estourville, tell you the reason of the Prince's sudden change of disposition?"

"No, no. She did not tell me, for the reason that she herself did not know it, nor would the Prince himself tell her when she pressed him for his reasons."

"There is one great kindness you could do for me, Madame d'Arcy," I said. "It is that you should arrange for me just once, before I leave Brighton, a chance of meeting Madame d'Estourville, that I may beg her pardon for my rudeness to her-I was for the moment beside myself-on the last occasion of my seeing her."

"Eh, but that's easy done, my poor boy," she replied. "This very afternoon Hortense comes to drive with me. If you should be there-eh?-by a chance-like? Does that suit you now?"

I thanked the good lady from my heart, and some quarter of an hour before the time appointed for their drive I was at the Lady Anne Murray's house, where the servant told me that I was expected. Madame d'Arcy, for whom I asked, was for the mo

ment at her toilette (refreshing, as I might venture to conjecture, her tints of cheek and eyebrow, or, more likely, with kindlier thought of my own wish to be alone with Madame d'Estourville), but would I await her in the withdrawing room? The minutes were leaden while I waited, but my impatience was at length rewarded. When next the door opened it was to usher in not the old Vicomtesse, with her rouged cheeks, her white hair and her air of the old "Marquise," but Hortense d'Estourville, under a wide gipsy hat that sat quaintly, and yet with amazing grace, on her small, erectly carried head. "Ah!" she exclaimed, as she saw me rising to meet her. And it was with none of the anger that I had every reason to expect depicted on her face, but with a look that I could swear to be one of pleasure, that she came to me and shook my hand.

"What!" I said, "will you really, after the way I behaved to you?" for I could hardly dare believe that I might take that proffered hand.

"Why, you silly man," she said, laughing, "you are human, are you not? You have a right to be angry, a little, sometimes, I should think, and with the people you ought not to be angry with. I do not want you to be too logical. I saw that you turned again the instant I had gone away, and I was sorry that I could not come back, so you might beg pardon then and there, and thus set your mind at ease."

Now, was not this a wonderful woman? I at least thought so. I had fancied, in my folly and my ignorance, that she, because she was so proud, would be vexed with me, her pride wounded; but now I seemed to see more clearly how that, because of her very pride, she could not be hurt by such a trifling thing as this, by a trick of bad manners, from me, whom she knew to love her so. For know it she

did, I am very sure, and I do not think "But how did he? What had he she would deny it. And in this again said?" she showed her pride, that she did not Then I told her all his villany, and want me now to be down on my knees she sate still, nodding now and then, imploring her forgiveness for a rude- as if checking off the points to be ness that she knew to be unintentional, scored against him. When I had inand the act of a passing mad moment, ished she replied, “I said to you once, but gave me the forgiveness of her my friend, that I hoped the time would free will unasked. Another woman, I never come when we should have to think, would like to see a man suing be friends indeed to each other. That at her feet: it would please her. She time has come now. We have a pact was a woman whom such things did to make together." not please, she being far above the ca- She was speaking very seriously, very joleries of her sex. I speak of her as quietly, without a trace of excitement. I thought, and think.

She rose as she ceased speaking, and "Then you will forgive me?" I said, rang the bell for a servant, then scribas I held her hand.

bled some few lines on a scrap of pa"No," she said, “I do not forgive you. per. When the man came she begged I understand you, that is all. I under- him have the note carried to Madame stood you-your feelings--at the mo- d'Arcy. "I have written a line," she ment, exactly. That being so, there explained, as soon as the door closed was nothing to forgive."

behind him, “to beg Madame d'Arcy I felt more humble before a woman spare me a quarter of an hour, or else who could speak like this than I should drive without me. I have much that have felt under the weight of the most I have to say to you, my friend. You condescending forgiveness.

are about to learn to-day the mystery "I have been to see the Prince," I of the Fair Enigma." said, finding no more to say of my Now all this may sound most favorpenitence.

able to the desire that lay nearest to "Ah, that was right-that was the my heart, of making this queen of honest, brave thing. And he told women my wife; yet at the moment you—"

her tone in speaking was so matter "What you told me, precisely. He of fact, so business-like, indeed, that will do no more for me."

nothing could be more remote from it “And he would not tell you the rea- than any idea of love-making, and it son."

had the effect of banishing effectually, “Yes, he told me the reason."

for the time being, all such ideas from "He did? What was it? Oh, I am my thoughts. It was a business transso curious to hear. It was, of course, action that was to take place between Henri.”

us, and I gave my attention to keeping "Yes," I said, “it was Henri.”

a clear head to follow her statement She flushed, as I had never seen her and take in its details. flush, in a blaze of wrath.

Horace G. Hutchinson. Longman's Magazloe.

(To be continued.)

IN DANISH AND RUSSIAN OLD-AGE HOMES.

Were I a worn-o worker, depend- subject, however, he would find-and ent for my daily bread on the charity the fact, let us hope, would set him of my fellows, I should certainly wish a-thinking-that although the cost of to change my nationality, and to be- living is as high in Copenhagen as in come, without a moment's delay, either London, the average cost per head in a Dane, an Austrian, or a Russian. Danish old-age homes is considerably For of all the nations in Europe these lower than in English workhouses. But three best understand how to deal with then Denmark obtains good value for the old and destitute, how to secure every penny she spends on her poor, peace and comfort in their latter days whereas England—there are English for the folk who have fallen behind workhouses where the officials cost in the race. In England a visit to any more than the paupers. of the abodes where the aged poor are Although I was never yet in an oldhoused is, as a rule, more depressing age home, whether Danish, Austrian, than a visit to a prison: at every turn or Russian, where life was not well one sees a troubled, discontented face, worth living, among old-age homes as or hears a voice that tells of hopeless among all things else there are better misery. In Denmark, Austria, and and worse; and the very best are cerRussia, on the contrary, the homes tainly the Danish. No other country, reserved for the old people are the indeed, deals at once so kindly and so brightest and cheeriest of resorts; after wisely with her aged poor as Denmark; an hour spent there, it is the outside there is no clubbing together of the world that seems gloomy and care. old people there, no herding of the

The heartiest burst of laughter worthy with the worthless. On the I ever heard in St. Petersburg, I heard contrary, infinite trouble is taken to in an old-age home; while in Vienna sift them and sort them, so that the working men and women betake them- precise treatment he-or she-merits selves instinctively for consolation, may be secured for each one of them. when things go wrong with them, to In Denmark no respectable old man or the Versorgungshaus garden. As for woman need ever become a pauper; no Copenhagen

respectable old man or Some little time ago a distinguished crosses the threshold of a workhouse. Englishman excited great amusement Should a man-or a woman-who has in Copenhagen by solemnly announc- completed his sixtieth year, find himing, after a visit to an old-age home, self without the wherewithal on which that England could not possibly afford to live, he applies to the local authorito provide for her worn-out workers ties not for pauper relief, but for oldas Denmark provides for hers. He age relief; and this, by the law of 1891, had noted the many little comforts they are bound to grant him, providwith which the inmates are surround- ing he can prove not only that his desed; had noted how well they fare in titution is owing to no fault of his all respects, how contentedly and hap- own, but that he has led a decent life, pily they live; and he had therefore has worked hard and been thrifty; and taken it for granted that such places that, during the ten previous years, he must be expensive luxuries. Were he has neither received a single penny to give a little more attention to the as poor-relief, nor been guilty of va

worn.

woman

ever

grancy, nor of begging. The old people starvation. They had been living for who fulfil these conditions are placed months as the veriest sparrows bein a class apart from ordinary paupers, cause they could not face, they said, in the privileged class: they are the the disgrace of going to the workhouse. veterans of industry, and the position In these Danish homes it is delightful they hold among their fellows is much to see how the inmates, especially the the same as that held by invalided old women, plume themselves on being soldiers. Although they are housed, there; there is something quite touchfed, and clothed at the expense of the ing in the dignified, self-important airs nation, they are neither regarded nor they give themselves on the strength treated in any way as paupers. In of being recognized members of the Denmark the word “pauper" is never aged poor class. Evidently they look applied to anyone above sixty, unless on mere paupers much as Prussian it be a case of Tekel. Infinite trouble Junkers look on the rest of humanity is taken, indeed, to keep the members -as persons between whom and themof the privileged class free from every- selves there lies a deep gulf. I hardly thing that smacks of pauperism; local ever passed an hour among them but authorities are forbidden by law to some old man or woman inquired ans. house them under the same roof as iously whether I was quite sure I paupers, or to allow pauper officials to understood that paupers were never interfere with them. The old men re- admitted into old-age homes. What tain their votes, all their other rights they were given to eat, or wherewithal as citizens too; and this in itself raises they were clothed, seemed to be a an insuperable bar between them and matter of but little account in their paupers; for paupers in Denmark have eyes compared with being free from no civic rights worth mentioning-not association with the degraded. There even the right to get married. Mem- is nothing these old people love quite bers of the privileged class who have so much as their afternoon cups of relatives able and willing to take care coffee; none the less had they to choose of them, or who are strong enough to between going without their coffee or take care of themselves, are each pro- sitting side by side while they drank vided with a small annuity, and the it with those pariahs, the paupers, in rest are lodged in old-age homes. every old-age home in Denmark there

The mere fact that the doors of the would speedily be one meal less a day Danish old-age homes are closed inex- --this is a point on which there can be orably against all excepting those who no doubt. have led decent honest lives, gives to “Yes, I am real glad and thankful the inmates of these places a certain to be here," an inmate of a country standing in the world, which is to old-age home once informed me. "I them an unfailing source of gratifica- have a better bed to lie on than I ever tion-gratification, let it be noted, that had in my life before, and I am just costs not a single penny. Far from as comfortable as I can be. But," she any discredit being attached to living hesitated for a moment and then addin an old-age home, it is regarded as ed, with an odd little flush on her honan honor to be there, as a proof of est weather-beaten face, "I don't think established respectability and general I could ever have made up my mind worthiness. And all that this means to come had that lot been here." She to the honest poor, only the poor them- pointed as she spoke to the Fattiggaselves know. I once found a worthyard, the place where the disreputable old couple within hailing distance of poor, ex-loafers and drunkards, are housed in their old age. Her remark vently loyal, I noticed, devoted to their was greeted with a little murmur of King, “the very best King in the whole sympathy by the other old women in world,” as one of them assured me, the room, who all agreed that the home "although he does make mistakes would be spoilt completely if they sometimes." Nor was it only in polimust share it with all sorts and condi. tics they were interested; they seemed tions.

quite in touch with all that was going Not only are these institutions re- on both at home and abroad, especially served exclusively for the respectable in England, "the country where all poor, but the respectable poor are the money comes from"; the country, taught to look on them as their own too, as they never failed to tell me, special property, as the place where "where our own Princess is going to they have a right to be their home in be Queen one day." fact. This, too, is an unfailing source Nothing is more characteristic of the of gratification to the old people, and lines on which these homes are worked this, too, costs not a single penny. than the fashion in which the inmates Whoever crosses the threshold of an and their official caretakers mutually old-age home, even though it be the demean themselves. I shall not easily Borgmester himself, goes there as the forget the lofty dignity with which a guest of the inmates, and must knock poor bed-ridden old da me informed me, at the door of each room and wait for one day, that her servant of course permission before he enters. Then, came at once when she rang! And the when he does enter, what a flutter of officials attached to the homes are not delight there is; what a bowing and only in theory, but in reality, the sercurtesying and handshaking; for they vants of the inmates. In one of our dearly love to play the host, and re. model London workhouses several gard the entertaining of strangers not hundred decrepit old men and women only as a duty, but as one of the great are forced to get up at six o'clock in pleasures of life. Among these old the morning, the same time as the Danes there is no trace of that dull young and strong; and this simply for hopelessness, that "just waiting" the sake of saving the officials the which is so marked a characteristic of trouble of making two breakfasts! In the London poor in their old age; on Copenhagen short work would be made the contrary, I always found them, of any master or matron who ventured when I paid them a visit, alert, eager even to suggest such an arrangement. for news, and on enjoyment bent. There the officials are never allowed Feeble though they may be, many of to forget that it is their business in life them, the old men were evidently to make their charges comfortable and keenly interested in politics; they have happy; that they are in the home, in votes, it must be remembered, and are fact, for no other purpose than to cook extremely proud of the fact. Their for them, tend them, nurse them when faces glow with delight as they tell they are ill, and give them a helping bow the rival parties keep them well hand generally. They must watch supplied with newspapers, and send over them of course and keep them carriages to take them to the voting- out of harm's way; but they have exbooth when the elction day comes press orders to interfere with them as round. They were staunch Democrats little as possible. For Denmark holds, for the most part-at ministerial do- and very sensibly, that as these old ings they were never weary of cavil- people are all worthy old people there ling--none the less they were all fer- is no reason why they should be placed

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