"I haven't got a sister, as you know quite well-and if I had she wouldn't be for you!" says Barty. "Why not?"

sad, and disinclined to fight. Barty and I had sat turned away from each other, and made no attempt at reconciliation. We all went to the réfectoire; it was

"Because you're not good-looking raining fast. I made my ball of salt enough!" says Barty.

At this, just for fun, I gave him a nudge in the wind with my elbow-and he gave me a "twisted pinch" on the arm-and I kicked him on the ankle, but so much harder than I intended that it hurt him, and he gave me a tremendous box on the ear, and we set to fighting like a couple of wild-cats, without even getting up, to the scandal of the whole study and the indignant disgust of M. Dumollard, who separated us, and read us a pretty lecture:

"Voilà bien les Anglais!-rien n'est sacré pour eux, pas même la mort! rien que les chiens et les chevaux." (Noth ing, not even death, is sacred to Englishmen - nothing but dogs and horses.)

When we went up to bed, the head boy of the school—a first-rate boy called d'Orthez, and Berquin (another firstrate boy), who had each a bedroom to himself, came into the dormitory and took up the quarrel, and discussed what should be done. Both of us were English-ergo, both of us ought to box away the insult with our fists; so "they set a combat us between, to fecht it in the dawing," that is just after breakfast, in the schoolroom.

and butter, and put it in a hole in my hunk of bread, and ran back to the study, where I locked these treasures in my desk.

The study soon filled with boys; no masters ever came there during that half hour; they generally smoked and read their newspapers in the gymnastic ground, or else in their own rooms when it was wet outside.

D'Orthez and Berquin moved one or two desks and forms out of the way so as to make a ring-l'arène, as they called it-with comfortable seats all round. Small boys stood on forms and window-sills eating their bread-andbutter with a tremendous relish.

"Dites donc, Vous autres," says Bonneville, the wit of the school, who was in very high spirits; "it's like the Roman Empire during the decadence 'panem et circenses ! "

"What's that, circenses? what does it mean?" says Rapaud, with his mouth full.

"Why, butter, you idiot! Didn't you know that?" says Bonneville.

Barty and I stood opposite each other; at his sides as seconds were d'Orthez and Berquin; at mine, Jolivet trois (the only Jolivet now left in the school) and big du Tertre-Jouan (the young mar

I went to bed very unhappy, and so, quis who wasn't Bonneville). I think, did Barty.

Next morning at six, just after the morning prayer, M. Mérovée came into the schoolroom and made us a most straightforward, manly, and affecting speech; in which he told us he meant to keep on the school, and thanked us, boys and masters, for our sympathy.

We were all moved to our very depths -and sat at our work solemn and sorrowful, all through that lamp-lit hour and a half; we hardly dared to cough, and never looked up from our desks.

Then 7.30-ding-dang-dong and breakfast. Thursday - bread - and - butter morning!

I felt hungry and greedy and very

We began to spar at each other in as knowing and English a way as we knew how-keeping a very respectful distance indeed, and trying to bear our selves as scientifically as we could, with a keen expression of the eye.

When I looked into Barty's face I felt that nothing on earth would ever make me hit such a face as that-whatever he might do to mine. My blood wasn't up; besides, I was a coarse-grained, thickset, bullet-headed little chap, with no nerves to speak of, and didn't mind punishment the least bit. No more did Barty, for that matter, though he was the most highly wrought creature that ever lived.

At length they all got impatient, and d'Orthez said:

"Allez donc, godems-ce n'est pas un quadrille! Nous n'sommes pas à La Salle Valentino!"

And Barty was pushed from behind so roughly that he came at me, all his science to the winds and slogging like a French boy; and I, quite without meaning to, in the hurry, hit out just as he fell over me, and we both rolled together over Jolivet's foot-Barty on top (he was taller, though not heavier, than I); and I saw the blood flow from his nose down his lip and chin, and some of it fell on my blouse.

Says Barty to me, in English, as we lay struggling on the dusty floor:

"Look here, it's no good. I can't fight to-day; poor Mérovée, you know. Let's make it up!"

"All right!" says I. So up we got and shook hands, Barty saying, with mock dignity,

"Messieurs, le sang a coulé; l'honneur britannique est sauf;" and the combat

was over.


"Cristi! J'ai joliment faim!" Barty, mopping his nose with his handkerchief. "I left my crust on the bench outside the réfectoire. I wish one of you fellows would get it for me."

"Rapaud finished your crust [ta miche] while you were fighting," says Jolivet. "I saw him."

Says Rapaud: "Ah, Dame, it was getting prettily wet, your crust, and I was prettily hungry too; and I thought you didn't want it, naturally."

I then produced my crust and cut it in two, butter and all, and gave Barty half, and we sat very happily side by side, and breakfasted together in peace and amity. I never felt happier or hungrier.

"Cristi, comme ils se sont bien battus," says little Vaissière to little Cormenu. "As-tu vu? Josselin a saigné tout plein sur la blouse à Maurice." (How well they fought! Josselin bled all over Maurice's blouse!) Then says Josselin, in French, turn ing to me with that delightful jolly smile that always reminded one of the sun breaking through a mist,—

"I would sooner bleed on your blouse than on your tomb." (J'aime mieux saigner sur ta blouse que sur ta tombe.) So ended the only quarrel we ever had.

From "The Martian." By George du Maurier.

From The Cosmopolitan. IN THE HANDS OF THE TAI-PING REBELS. Very much against my wishes and advice, orders were given to spike the guns and prepare to burn the city. When I remonstrated with the two commanders, Admiral Hope stated that he had lent his assistance with the distinct understanding that Sing-Pu should be evacuated. I offered to hold the city with five hundred extra meu, but my proposition was not listened to.

Naturally, a great deal of confusion followed upon the order to set fire to the city. In the attendant excitement some one blundered. The fact that my European officers were under arrest, made the situation a complicated one. The west gate was left unguarded. Before we could fairly realize what had happened, the rebels had scaled the walls and were swarming through the city. I suddenly realized that the insurgents were in possession and were making quick work of my people. Borne aloft over their front ranks were the heads of my officers fixed on spears

the unfortunate men whom I had recently placed under arrest. The rebels were showing no quarter, and were fighting like demons. In an incredibly short time my men were entirely annihilated.

General Ward, whose command was near the east gate, was driven beyond the walls, as far as the English lines, where the admiral opened fire from his gunboats, shielding the imperialists while embarking.

While I was a witness to all this, including the massacre of my men, I, curiously enough, had no participation in the affair. At the first sound of firing, I had rushed up a tower close by, which had been used as an observatory, with

a view to ascertaining the cause of the disturbance. Before I could get down the rebels had completely surrounded the tower-so quickly did they overrun the city-and I was a prisoner.

When the work of destruction was finished, they offered to spare my life if I would descend. I knew what their proposition meant. The end would be worse than death. It meant torture. So I declined, but heaped upon their heads such insult as my vocabulary was capable of, in the hope that they would shoot and end all quickly. But

it was not to be so. Finally I was taken, stripped naked, my elbows tied behind my back, and led before The Protecting King.

This Wang had appropriated my headquarters, and, when I entered, was sitting in the very chair I had used so recently during my interview with him.

He was in a furious rage, both because the city had been burned and because after his visit I had been very strict with my prisoners, being compelled to punish with instant death any infraction of the rules. I refused to kneel when ordered, with the idea of so insulting him that he would put me to death. His soldiers, however, easily forced me down, by striking me back of my knees. Wang was drinking out of a teapot when I was led in. As soon

as I had been forced down he threw it at me, the scalding tea splashing over my head and breast. In response to his questions I replied that I alone was responsible for the orders to shoot the prisoners and burn the city. I hoped he would lose his temper and order me shot then and there. Such, however, was not the result; instead he devised quite an ingenious plan of torture, which contemplated that I should be covered with paper soaked in oil, then set on fire, and the amusement kept up until I should be reduced to cinders.

My guards led me to an underground room, lined with concrete, which had been used as a magazine, there to spend the night and await in anticipation of my approaching death. My legs as well as my arms were securely bound.

A crowd of curious rebels hung around the door, staring and jeering. Among them was the fourteen-year-old son of The Protecting King, who was accompanied by his tutor, a dignified and finelooking old fellow. The boy was smoking a silver pipe, and, puffing it rapidly until the bowl had become almost redhot, he touched it to my unprotected body. The flesh sizzled, and the crowd applauded the cruelty. He did it several times until, finally, his position bringing him within my reach, I drew back both feet and gave him a kick that knocked him down and sent him sliding across the room. The boy lost all control of his temper, and, picking up a gingal, hurled it at me. The iron struck my shoulder and knocked me flat.

The tutor had not entered into the spirit of the boy's torments at all, and at this cowardly act he administered to the lad a severe reproof, saying that honorable soldiers never took advantage of prisoners or unarmed men. It turned out after all that the boy had a good heart. The tutor's words produced an effect, and he seemed thoroughly ashamed of his cruelty. He begged me to forgive him, and swore that I should not be put to death by his father. From that hour he became my warmest friend and secret ally.

He was as good as his word. The next morning when I was led out for execution he pleaded my cause so earnestly that his father presently consented to spare my life. I confess that I had some fears that The Protecting King's action was not altogether from merciful motives, and that he had the intention to renew my agonies at no distant day.

Preparatory to the forward movement of the rebel forces, an iron collar was riveted around my neck and the end of a chain fastened to this collar and the other to the saddle of a packhorse. In this manner, with my arms bound and my person entirely naked, I walked or was dragged for more than thirty days under a broiling sun. It would be impossible to give a faint idea of my sufferings during that pe

riod. From a strong, robust man, I wasted away to a mere skeleton, and, at the end of a month, I was well-nigh broken in spirit as well as in body. Had it not been for my boy friend, the son of the king, I certainly would have given up. My daily allowance of food and drink was a pint bowl filled with rice and water; but the boy would frequently steal up in the night and bring me food that seemed a feast.


Gen. Edward Forester.

From Scribner's Magazine.

BETWEEN CURRAN AND MASK. For after all-how to tell it! Tommy making such a beggarly show that the judges thought it unnecessary to take the essays home with them for leisurely consideration before pronouncing Mr. Lauchlan McLauchlan winner. There was quite a commotion in the schoolroom. At the end of the allotted time the two competitors had been told to hand in their essays, and how Mr. McLauchlan was sniggering is not worth recording, so dumbfounded, confused and raging was Tommy. He clung to his papers, crying fiercely that the two hours could not be up yet, and Lauchlan having tried to keep the laugh in too long, it exploded in his mouth, whereupon he said, with a guffaw, "He hasna written a word for near an hour!"

ignominiously beaten,

"What! It was you I heard!" cried Mr. Ogilvy, gleaming, while the unhappy Cathro tore the essay from Tommy's hands. Essay! It was no more an essay than a twig is a tree, for the gowk had stuck in the middle of his second page. Yes, stuck is the right expression, as his chagrined teacher had to admit when the boy was crossexamined. He had not been "up to some of his tricks," he had stuck, and his explanation, as you will admit, merely emphasized his incapacity.

He had brought himself to public scorn for lack of a word. What word?

they asked testily, but even now he could not tell. He had wanted a Scotch word that would signify how many people were in church, and it was on the tip of his tongue but would come no farther. Puckle was nearly the word, but it did not mean so many people as he meant. The hour had gone by just like winking; he had forgotten all about time while searching his mind for the word.

When Mr. Ogilvy heard this he seemed to be much impressed, repeatedly he nodded his head as some beat time to music, and he muttered to himself, "The right word—yes, that's everything," and "the time went by like winking'-exactly, precisely," aud he would have liked to examine Tommy's bumps, but did not, nor said a word aloud, for was he not there in McLauchlan's interest?

The other five were furious, even Mr. Lorrimer, though his man had won, could not smile in face of such imbecility. "You little tattie doolie," Cathro roared, "were there not a dozen words to wile from if you had an ill-will to puckle? What ailed you at manzy,

[merged small][ocr errors]

"I thought of manzy," replied Tommy, wofully, for he was ashamed of himself, "but-but a manzy's a swarm. It would mean that the folk in the kirk were buzzing thegither like bees, instead of sitting still."

"Even if it does mean that," said Mr. Duthie, with impatience, "what was the sense of being so particular? Surely the art of essay writing consists in using the first word that comes and hurrying on."

"That's how I did," said the proud McLauchlan, who is now leader of a party in the church, and a figure in Edinburgh during the month of May.

"I see," interposed Mr. Gloag, "that McLauchlan speaks of there being a mask of people in the church. Mask is a fine Scotch word."

"Admirable," assented Mr. Dishart. "I thought of mask," whimpered Tommy, "but that would mean the kirk was crammed, and I just meant it to be middling full."

"Flow would have done," suggested Mr. Lorrimer

"Flow's but a handful,” said Tommy.
"Curran, then, you jackanapes!"
"Curran's no enough."

Mr. Lorrimer flung up his hands in despair.

"I wanted something between curran and mask," said Tommy, dogged, yet almost at the crying.

Mr. Ogilvy, who had been hiding his admiration with difficulty, spread a net for him. "You said you wanted a word that meant middling full. Well, why did you not say middling full-or fell mask?"

"Yes, why not?" demanded the ministers, unconsciously caught in the net. "I wanted one word," replied Tommy, unconsciously avoiding it.

"You jewel!" muttered Mr. Ogilvy under his breath, but Mr. Cathro would have banged the boy's head had not the ministers interfered.

they were preparing to leave the school the door opened a little and there appeared in the aperture the face of Tommy, tear-stained but excited. "I ken the word now," he cried, "it came to me a' at once; it is hantle!"

The door closed with a victorious bang, just in time to prevent Cathro

"Oh, the sumph!" exclaimed Mr. Lauchlan McLauchlan, "as if it mattered what the word is now!"

And said Mr. Dishart, "Cathro, you had better tell Aaron Latta that the sooner he sends this nincompoop to the herding the better."

But Mr. Ogilvy giving his Lauchlan a push that nearly sent him sprawling, said in an ecstasy to himself, "He had to think of it till he got it-and he got it. The lad is a genius!" They were about to tear up Tommy's essay, but he snatched it from them and put it in his oxter pocket. "I am a collector of curiosities," he explained, "and this paper

"It is so easy, too, to find the right may be worth money yet." word," said Mr. Gloag.

"It's no; it's as difficult as to hit a squirrel," cried Tommy, and again Mr. Ogilvy nodded approval.

But the ministers were only pained. "The lad is merely a numskull," said Mr. Dishart kindly.

"And no teacher could have turned him into anything else," said Mr. Duthie.

"And so, Cathro, you need not feel sore over your defeat," added Mr. Gloag; but nevertheless Cathro took Tommy by the neck and ran him out of the parish school of Thrums. When he returned to the others he found the ministers congratulating McLauchlan, whose nose was in the air, and complimenting Mr. Ogilvy, who listened to their formal phrases solemnly and accepted their hand-shakes with a dry chuckle.

"Ay, grin away, sir," the mortified dominie of Thrums said to him sourly. "the joke is on your side."

"You are right, sir," replied Mr. Ogilvie, mysteriously, "the joke is on my side, and the best of it is that not one of you knows what the joke is!"

And then the odd thing happened. As

"Well," said Cathro savagely, "I have one satisfaction; I ran him out of my school."

"Who knows," replied Mr. Ogilvy, "but what you may be proud to dust a chair for him when he comes back?" From "Sentimental Tommy." By J. M. Barrie.

From McClure's Magazine.


Since art implies the truthful and conscientious study of life as it is, we contend that to be a radically defective view of art which would preclude from it the ruling constituents of life. Moral character is to human life what air is to the natural world-it is elemental.

There was more than literary science in Matthew Arnold's arithmetic when he called "conduct three-fourths of life." Possibly the Creator did not make the world chiefly for the purpose of providing studies for gifted novelists; but if he had done so, we can scarcely imagine that he could have offered anything much better in the way of material, even though one look

« VorigeDoorgaan »