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But she would have him know that G, because he is so important; but she had not complained.

Grandmamma Shirley is "mortifying" There was no bitterness in her tone at present. She wrote that she could her philosophy of life was all sweet- not stand ‘so rich a regale.' Sir Harness. “No! Bless her! God made her, grave Pollexfen will come afterwards I suppose, just as he made us; so accord- with Harriet, and I am thankful to say ing to the way she is made, she packs that Lady Clementina is not in England away all the linen and silver, she keeps at present, so could not be invited.” this room shut up for fear it will get She stopped, looked up at him freshly worn out, and we never see any visitors. to make a comment. “Don't you detest But to-day she went away to St. Lady Clementina ?” Philippe to see a dying man–I think When they went into the diningshe was going to convert him or some. room, the choice spirits deemed worthy thing; but he took a long time to die; to be at the board were each introduced and now we may be snowed up for by name to the Lady Eliz, who exdays, and we are going to have a per- plained that because of her infirmities fectly glorious time.” She added hos- she had been unable to have the honor pitably, “You need not feel under the of receiving them in the drawing-room. slightest obligation, for it gives us She made appropriate remarks, inquirpleasure to have you, and I know that ing after the relatives of each, offering father would have taken you in." congratulations or condolences as the

Courthope rose up and followed her case demanded. It was cleverly done. glance, almost an adoring glance, to the Courthope stood aside, immensely en. portrait he had before observed. He tertained, and when at last he too began went and stood again face to face with to offer spirited remarks to the imagit.

inary guests, he went up in favor so A goodly man was painted there, immensely that Eliz cried, "Let Mr. dressed in a judge's robe. Courthope Courthope take the end of the table. read the lineaments by the help of the Let Mr. Courthope be father. It's much living interpretation of the daughter's nicer to have a master of the house." likeness. Benevolence in the mouth, a She began at once introducing him to love of good cheer and good friends in the invisible guests as her father, and the rounded cheeks, a lurking sense of Madge, if she did not like the fancy, did the poetry of life in the quiet eyes, and not cross her will. There was in in the brow reason and a keen sense of Madge's manner a large good-humored right proportion dominant. He would tolerance. have given something to have ex- The table was long, and amply spread changed a quiet word with the man in with fine glass and silver; nothing was the portrait, whose hospitality, living antique, everything was in the oldafter him, he was now receiving. fashioned tasteless style of a former

Madge had been arranging the logs generation, but the value of solid silver to her satisfaction, she would not accept was not small. The homely servingCourthope's aid, and now she told him woman in her peasant-like dress stood who were going to dine with them. She aside, submissive, as it seemed, but had great zest for the play.

ignorant of how to behave at so large “Mr. and Mrs. Bennett, of course, and a dinner. Courthope, who in a visit to we thought we might have Mr. Knight- the stables had discovered that this ley, because he is a squire and not so French woman with her husband and very young, even though he is not yet one young daughter were at present married. Miss Bates, of course, and the the whole retinue of servants, wondered Westons. Mrs. Dashwood has declined, the more that such precious articles as of which we are rather glad, but we are the young girls and the plate should be having Mrs. Jennings." So she went on safe in so lonely a place. with her list. “We could not help ask- Madge was seated at the head of the ing Sir Charles with Lord and Lady table, Courthope at the foot; Eliz in her high chair had been wheeled to the cen. Woodhouse that it was “thrice baked, tre of one side. Madge, playing the exactly as Serle would have done it.” hostess with gentle dignity, was enjoy. “Stupid it was apples that were ing herself to the full, a rosy, cooing baked,” whispered Eliz. sort of joy in the play, in the feast that "You see,” said Madge, when she had she had succeeded in preparing, in her told him how to begin upon the turkey, amusement at the literary sallies of “we wondered very much what a dinner Eliz, and, above all perhaps, in the of 'two full courses' might be, and company of the new and unexpected where the 'corner dishes' were to be set. playmate to whom, because of his We did not quite know-do you?” youth, she attributed the same perfect “You must not have asides thatare not sympathy with their sentiments which about the people,” cried Eliz intensely. seemed to exist between themselves. “Catherine Moreland's mother is talkCourthope felt this—he felt that he was ing common sense to General Tilney idealized through no virtue of his own; and Sir Walter Eliot, and there'll be no but it was a delightful sensation, and end of a row in a minute if you don't brought out the best that was in him divert their attention." of wit and pure joyfulness. To Eliz the

Eliz had more than once to call the creatures of her imagination were too other two to account for talking prireal for perfect pleasure; her face was vately adown the long table. tense, her eyes shot sparkles of light,

“What a magnificent ham!” he exher voice was high, for her the enter- claimed. “Do you keep pigs?” tainment of the invisible guests in

Madge had a frank way of giving volved real responsibility and effort.

family details.

It was

once a dear “Asides are allowed, of course,” said little pig, and we wanted to teach it to Eliz, as if pronouncing a debatable rule take exercise by running after us when at cards.

we went out, but the stepmother, like Of course,” said Madge, “or we could Bunyan, 'penned it :not play.”

“It's the greatest fun,” cried Eliz, “to Until at last it came to be, hear Sir Charles telling Mr. John For length and breadth, the bigness which

you see.” Knightley about the good example that a virtuous man ought to set. With

More than once he saw Madge's ‘hands and eyes uplifted' he is explain. quick wit twinkle through her booking the duty he owes to his Maker. It's lore. When he was looking ruefully at rare to see John Knightley's face. I a turkey by no means neatly carved, seated them on purpose with only Miss she gave the comforting suggestion, Matty between them, because I knew

"«'Tis impious in a good man to be she wouldn't interrupt.”

sad.'' Courthope saw the smile in Madge's “I thought it one of the evidences of eyes was bent upon him as she said piety." softly, “You won't forget that you have

“It is true that he was 'Young' who Lady Catherine de Bourg at your right said it, but so are we; let us believe it hand to look after. I can see that fervently." brother Peter has got his eye upon her,

When Madge swept across the drawand I don't know how she would take ing-room, with her amber skirts trailthe 'seraphim' story."

ing, and Eliz had been wheeled in, they If she begins any of her dignified received

the after-dinner visitors. impertinence here,” he answered, “I in- Courthope could almost see the room tend to steer her into a conversation filled with the quaint creations to whom with Charlotte, Lady G-."

they were both bowing and talking in. Courthope had a turkey to carve. He cessantly. was fain to turn from the guests to ask "Mr. Courthope-Miss Jane Fairfaxadvice as to its anatomy of Madge, who I believe you have met before." was carving a ham and assuring Mr. Madge's voice dropped in a wellfeigned absorption in her next guest; more because you were here.” She but she soon found time again to held out her hand; her face was radiant; whisper to him a long speech which he knew that she spoke the simple Miss Bates had made to Eliz. Soon truth. afterwards she came flying to him in She lifted the puny Eliz in her arms the utmost delight to repeat what she and proceeded to walk slowly up the called a "lovely sneap" which Lady straight staircase which occupied one G had given to Mrs. Elton; nor did half of the long central hall. The crimshe forget to tell him that Emma Wood- son scarfs hanging from Eliz, the length house was explaining to the Portuguese of her own silk gown, embarrassed her; nun her reasons for deciding never to she stopped a moment on the second marry. “Out of sheer astonishment she step, resting her burden upon one lifted appears to become quite tranquillized," knee to clutch and gather the gorgeous said Madge, as if relating an important raiment in her hand. fact.

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“You see we put on mother's dresses His curiosity concerning this nun that have always been packed away in grew apace, for she seemed a favorite the garret." with both the girls.

Very simply she said this to CourtWhen it was near midnight the imag- hope, who stood holding a lamp to light inary pageant suddenly came to an end, them in their ascent. He waited until as in all cases of enchantment. Eliz the glinting colors of their satins, the grew tired; one of the lamps smoked slow motion of the burden-bearer's and had to be extinguished; the fire had form, reached the top and were lost in burned low. Madge declared that the the shadows of an open door. company had departed.

She went out of the room to call the servant, but in a few minutes she came back discomfited, a little pout on her

From Blackwood's Magazine. lips. "Isn't it tiresome! Mathilde and POLITICS IN RECENT ITALIAN FICTION. Jacques Morin have gone to bed."

More than ten years ago, in these "It is just like them,” fretted Eliz. pages, the present writer, perhaps for

At the fretful voice Madge's face the first time in England, drew public cleared. “What does it matter?" she attention to the fact that the idea so cried. “We are perfectly happy.long current in this country that there

She lifted the lamp with which he had was no such a thing as modern Italian first seen her, and commenced an in- literature was mistaken. We atspection of doors and shutters. It was tempted to show how, with the unity a satisfaction to Courthope to see the of Italy and the new hope, power, house. It was a French building, as strength, which legitimate freedom were all the older houses in that part of and emancipation from the hateful the country, heavily built, simple in the Austrian yoke had given to the Italarrangements of its rooms. Every door ians, there had arisen a virile and vigon the lower floor stood open, inviting orous new school of writers, poets, the heat of a large central stove. In- dramatists, critics, and novelists, sisting upon carrying the lamp while whose very names were unknown in Madge made her survey, he was intro- England. We further pointed out why duced to a library at the end of the it was that such literature as existed drawing-room, to a large house-place or was little known outside the confines kitchen behind the dining-room; these of Italy. This literature, such as it with his own room made the square of was, was of the “tendency" character, the lower story. A wing adjoining the and had a purpose to serve,—that of further side was devoted to the Morins. arousing the smouldering patriotism of Having performed her duty as house- Italy and inflaming the legitimate asholder, Madge said good-night.

pirations after national unity. When “We have enjoyed it ever so much this political purpose was at last happily accomplished, writers and poets rent ideas. In choosing a batch of recould cease from harping upon one cent Italian novels for treatment in string, and could look around them

these pages, besides selecting some of and take cognizance of the new life the most notable, we have purposely that had been called into being by the chosen those that might come under new conditions. Thus, as we showed, the German definition of “Tendenz beside a host of others, there became Romane,” because these reflect the real notable Verga, who studied and re- life and current modes of thought of flected in his pages the life of the the country. On this account we leave Southern peasantry; Farina and the aside all mention of D'Annunzio and Marchesa Colombi, who narrated the his followers, though D'Annunzio is, restricted existence, full of grinding after Carducci, perhaps the greatest privations and minute joys, of the literary genius contemporary Italy can burgher class; and Matilde Serao, the

boast. Moreover, he handles a form strongest and most gifted of all Italian of art which is miscalled “new literawomen writers, who depicted the life ture,” but whose chief characteristics of Naples in both the upper and the are mould and decay. lowest sections of society.

The dominant note of all these new In the days we wrote that article, novels that reflect the life and sentiItaly was still busy putting her house ments of living Italy may be said to in order; modestly, slowly, painfully be that of an acute struggle for existendeavoring to meet the heavy ex- ence, in which the weakest, the least penses imposed on her (thanks to the astute, and least unscrupulous go to disorder in which she found it), and the wall. Matilde Serao, that clevergenerally winning the good-will and ad

witted woman, who after her first sucmiration of all Europe for her gallant cesses has thrown herself almost and plucky conduct. Victor Emmanuel wholly into journalism, was quick to the Re Galantuomo, with the cool, clear, note an altered temper in the times, sensible head upon his shoulders which and published a novel called “La Conhis grandson seems to have inherited, quista di Roma,” which, though not had not long held the reins of govern- one of the strongest works of that ment-reins which fell from his hand gifted writer, yet reflects very admi- . all too soon for the weal of the land. rably the invading tendency of Italian The Triple Alliance, which was to in- political life to treat membership of the crease Italy's expenses and fiscal bur- chamber merely as a mode of personal dens beyond her power of endurance, advancement, in which patriotism and had not yet been entered on; nor had the weal of the land play no part. It Italy yet embarked upon her foolislı still better exemplifies another domiand disastrous African campaign. Un

nant trait,-common perhaps to all happily, immediately after this time Southern peoples—a great, and in this the land was to fall into the hands of

case disastrous, influence of women a group of clever, unscrupulous politi- upon men, women regarded solely as cians (in the American sense of that instruments of love, not as elevating word), who in the course of ten years. companions, helpmates, and co-workof unbridled misrule, of gagging the

ers; the stronger sex in these countries expression of public opinion, of buying too often proves itself the weaker. and perverting the press, have so mau- The protagonist of this novel comes to aged as to bring the land very near the Rome with the conviction that he will verge of ruin. As might be expected, conquer it by his talents, and instead this state of things has also found its is conquered by its social life, and reecho in literature, and above all in fic- turns home as vanquished, not as viction, and novels of recent years have tor. The story, like another one we come to take the place of tracts and

shall deal with, depicts political life treatises as a more agreeable and wise through the adventures of a provincial manner of instilling pet theories or cur

deputy who finds himself transferred

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from his distant home to the hurrying a cold exterior while his soul burned rush of modern Rome. We are first within, a profound contempt for all human introduced to the hero as a passenger power outside of ambition, a great discrepin the train which is bringing him up

ancy between desire and reality, secret, from his Southern constituency to his

but none the less potent, a consequent

delusion, a love of success, of success only, duties in Rome as newly elected mem

nothing but success. At times the ber of the Chamber. He cannot sleep,

sense of utter weakness came over him, he he is too excited; he is forever touch

felt a contemptible, limited being. He ing and feeling, as though it were an

felt unfit for Rome. He must go through amulet, the little gold medal which

a course of penance and purification to be hangs from his watch-chain, and is worthy of this priestess, this mother, this marked “XIV. Legislature Francesco mistress. Rome demands expiation and Sangiorgio.” This medal is accorded to sacrifice, demands a pure heart and an all Italian deputies as a species of iron will. badge which permits then to be easily When Rome was reached at last recognized. Sangiorgio bas availed after these and other meditations there himself of the privileges which per- was disappointment in store for our tains to all deputies and senators, not young deputy; no one noticed either only of travelling free on all the lines him or his medal as he descended from of the kingdom, but of reserving a the train. He was but a unit in the whole compartment for themselves; crowd. All the officials were busy with which fact accounts for the manner a group of gentlemen in tall hats and ordinary travellers are squeezed on evening dress who had come to meet a Italian railways while there are num- grave, pale, grey-haired man and a bers of carriages in the train contain- tall, slender, elegant woman, to whom ing one solitary man. Sangiorgio in his they offered a bouquet of flowers. new pride of office could not resist the “His Excellency,” murmured

the temptation to so distinguish himself crowd. Sangiorgio followed the group in the eyes of his electors, and he held, that accompanied the minister of fine too, that this solitude would leave him arts, whom he was to meet again soon, free to dwell on his own thoughts, and who was to have great influence thoughts that were all of Rome. He on his life. He found Rome damp, had never been to Rome; all his ideas dull, and but half-awake in this early of the great metropolis were grandiose, morning hour, and not at all impressive vague, indefinite.

as he had dreamed. And little wonder;

for around the railway-station at Beneath the icy mask of this grave

Rome, thanks to modern improveSoutherner there burned the flame of an imagination given over to solitary and ments, that which was once a poetic egotistic contemplation. Oh, he felt spot has been converted into a grey Rome, he saw her like a gigantic shade in and featureless Parisian suburb. Sanhuman form extending to him her ma- giorgio felt the cold at his heart. He ternal arms, ready to clasp him to her knew not what to do with himself; for breast in a potent embrace, such as Earth the real sights and beauties of Rome gave to Antaus, whence he issued re- he had comprehension; so he strengthened. He seemed to hear through haunted Montecitorio, the meetingthe night air the irresistible softness of a house of the Italian Parliament, where female voice speaking his name, which the deputies were not to assemble for caused him a shiver of voluptuous delight. another week. He looked around him The city awaited him as though he were

for the well-known men of whom he a distant and beloved son; she magnet- had heard, Sella, Crispi; he found them ized him with the deep longing of the

not. He found only a socialist, who mother who desires her child. ... In the depth of his consciousness there lay hid

was always writing, an old man alden a distrust of others, an abounding self- ways asleep, and a studious deputy esteem, a constant and sometimes per

who spent his time in the library. nicious reserve, a perpetual search after One day Sangiorgio did not go to

no

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