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school, where the press was densest, they were recognized as probably belonging to the Maxwell party, and found themselves a good deal jeered and hustled, and could hardly make any way at all. However, a friendly policeman came to their aid. They were passed into a lobby, and at last, with much elbowing and pushing, found themselves inside the school-room.

So crowded was the place, and so steaming the atmosphere, that it was some minutes before Tressady could make out what was going on. Then he saw that Naseby was speaking -Naseby, looking remarkably handsome and well curled, and much at his ease, besides, in the production of a string of Laodicean comments on the bill, his own workshop scheme, and the general prospects of East End labor. He described the scheme, but in such a way as rather to damn it than praise it; and as for the bill itself, which he had undertaken to compare with former factory bills, when he sat down he left it, indeed, in a parlous case -a poor, limping, doubtful thing, quite as likely to ruin the East End as to do it a hand's turn of good.

Just as the speaker was coming to his peroration Tressady suddenly caught sight of a delicate upraised profile on the platform behind Naseby. The repressed smile on it set him smiling, too.

What on earth do they make Naseby speak for?» said Watton, indignantly. «Idiocy! He spoils everything he touches. Let him give the money, and other people do the talking. You can see the people here don't know what to make of him in the least. Look at their faces. Who 's he talking to?»

"Lady Madeleine, I think,» said Tressady. What amazing red hair that girl has, and what queer, scared eyes! It is like an animalone wants to stroke her.»

Well, Naseby strokes her,» said Watton, laughing. Look at her; she brightens up directly he comes near.»

Tressady thought of the tale Fontenoy had just told him, and wondered. Consolation seemed to come easy to maidens of quality. Meanwhile various trade-unionists, sturdy, capable men in black coats, were moving and seconding resolutions; flinging resentful comments, too, at Naseby whenever occasion of fered. Tressady heard very little of what they had to say. His eyes and thoughts were busy with the beautiful figure to the left of the chair. Its dignity and charm worked upon him like a spell-infused a kind of restless happiness.

When he woke from his trance of watch

ing, it was to turn upon Watton with impatience. How long was this thing going on? The British workman spoke with deplorable fluency. Could n't they push their way through to the platform?

Watton looked at the crowd, and shrugged his shoulders.

«Not yet. I say, who 's this they 've put up? Come, my dear fellow, that looks like the real thing.»>

Tressady turned, and saw an old man, a Jew with a long grayish beard, coming slowly to the front of the platform. His eyes were black and deep sunk under white brows; he was decently but poorly dressed; and he began to speak with a slight German accent, in an even, melancholy voice, rather under-pitched, which soon provoked the meeting. He was vociferously invited to speak up or sit down, and at the first interruption he stopped timorously and looked toward the chair.

An elderly, gray-haired woman was presiding, no doubt to mark the immense importance of the bill for the women of the East End. She came forward at the man's appeal.

«My friends," she said quietly, "you let this man speak, and don't you be hard on him. He's got a sad story to tell you, and he won't be long about it. You give him his chance. Some of you shall have yours soon.»

The speaker was the paid secretary of one of the women's unions; but she had been a tailoress for years, and had known a tragic life. Once, at a meeting where some flippant speaker had compared the reality and frequency of «starvation » in London to the reality and frequency of the sea-serpent, Tressady had seen her get up, and, with a sudden passion, describe the death of her own daughter from hardship and want, with the tears running down her cheeks.

Her appeal to the justice of the meeting succeeded, and the old man was allowed to go on. It soon appeared that he had been put up by one of the tailoring unions to denounce the long hours worked in some of the Whitechapel and Spitalfields workshops. His facts were appalling. But he put them badly, with a dull, stumbling voice, and he got no hold on the meeting at all till suddenly he stepped forward, paused, his miserable face working, his head turning from side to side, and finally said, with a sharp change of note:

«And now, if you please, I will tell you how it was about Isaac-my brother Isaac. It was Mr. Jacobs » - he looked round, and pointed to the trade-union secretary who had been speaking before him-« Mr. Jacobs it was that put it in my mind to come here and

tell you about Isaac. For the way Isaac died was like this. He and I were born in Spitalfields; he was n't one of your greeners; he was a reg'lar good worker, first-rate general coat-hand, same as me. But he got with a hard master, and last winter season but one there came a rush. And Isaac must be working six days a week, and he must be working fourteen hours a day; and more 'n that, he must be doing his bastes overtime, two hours one time, and an hour or so, perhaps, another; anyway, they made it up to half a day-eight hours and more-in the week. You know how they reckon it.>>

He stopped, grinning feebly. The tradeunionists about the platform shouted or groaned in response. The masters round the door, with their «greeners,» stood silent.

«And about Wednesday in the third week,» he went on, «he come to the master, and he says,-Isaac was older than me, and his chest it would be beginning to trouble him pretty bad, so he says: I'm done, he says; I must go home. You can get another chap to do my bastes to-night; will you? And the master says to Isaac, If you don't do your bastes overtime, if you 're too high and mighty, he says, (why, there's plenty as will, and you don't need to come to-morrow neither. And Isaac had his wife Judith at home, and four little uns; and he stopped and done his bastes, of course. And next night he could n't well see, and he 'd been dreadful sick all day, and he says to the master again, he says as he must go home. And the master he says the same to him; and Isaac stops. And on Friday afternoon he come home. And the shop had been steamin' hot, but outside it was a wind to cut you through. And his wife Judith says to him, Isaac, you look starved, and she set him by the fire. And he sat by the fire, and he did n't say nothing. Then his hands fell down sudden like that-> The old man let his hands drop heavily by his side, with a simple dramatic gesture. By this time there was not a sound in the crowded room. Even the wildest and most wolfish of the greeners were staring silently, craning brown necks forward.

«And his wife ran to him, and he falls against her, and he says, Lay me down, Judith, and don't you let 'em wake me-not the young uns, he says, (not for nothing and nobody. For if it was the trump of the Most High, he says, -and Isaac was a religious man, and careful in his speech,-I must have my sleep. And she laid him down, and the children and she watched, and by midnight Isaac turned himself over. He just

opened his eyes once, and groaned. And he never spoke no more; he was gone before mornin'. And his master gave Judith five shillings toward the coffin, and the men in the shop they raised the rest.>>

The old man paused. He stood considering a moment, his face and ragged beard thrown out, a spot of grayish white against the figures behind, his eyes blinking painfully under the gas.

« Well, we 've tried many things," he said at last. «We 've tried strikes and unions, and it is n't no good. There's always one treading on another, and if you don't do it some one else will. It's the law as 'll have to do it. You may take that and smoke it! You won't get nothing else. Why,»-his hoarse voice trembled, why, they use us up cruel in the sort of shop I work for. Ten or twelve years, and a man 's all to pieces. It's the irons and the heat and the sittingyou know what it is. I've lasted fifteen year, but I'm breaking up now. If my master give me the sack for speaking here, I'll have nothing but the Jewish Board of Guardians to look to. All the same, I made up my mind as I'd come and say how they served Isaac.»

He stopped abruptly, and stood quite still a moment, fronting the meeting, as though appealing to them through the mere squalid physical weakness he could find no more words to express. Then, with a sort of shambling bow, he turned away, and the main body of the meeting clapped excitedly, while at the back some of the «sweaters » grinned and chatted sarcastic things in Yiddish with their neighbors. Tressady saw Lady Maxwell rise eagerly as the old man passed her, take his hand, and find him a seat.

«That, I suppose, was an emotion,» said. Tressady, looking down upon his companion. «Or an argument,» said Watton, «as you like.»>>

ONE other «emotion » of the same kind-the human reality at its simplest and cruelestTressady afterward remembered.

A «working-woman » was put up to second an amendment condemning the workshops clause, which had been moved in an angry speech by one of « Fontenoy's ladies,» a shrillvoiced fashionable person, the secretary to the local branch of the Free Workers' League. Tressady had yawned impatiently through the speech, which had seemed to him a violent and impertinent performance; but as the speaker sat down he was roused by an exclamation from a man beside him.

« That woman!» cried a tall curate, strain

ing on tiptoe to see. «No! They ought to be ashamed of themselves!»

Tressady wondered who and why; but all he saw was that a thin, tall woman was being handed along the bench in front of him, while her neighbors and friends clapped her on the back as she passed, laughing and urging her on. Then, presently, there she stood on the platform, a wand-like creature, with her battered bonnet sidewise on her head, a woolen crossover on her shoulders in spite of July, her hands clasped across her chest, her queer light eyes wandering and smiling hither and thither. In her emaciation, her weird cheerfulness, she was like a figure from a Dance of Death. But what was amazing was her self-possession.

Now yer laughin' at me,» she began in a conversational tone, nodding toward the group of women she had just left. «You go 'long! I told the lidy I'd speak, an' I will. Well, they comes to me an' they says, (Mrs. Dickson, yer not to work at 'ome no longer; they'll put yer in prison if yer do 't, they says; (yer to go out ter work, same as the shop 'ands; they says; and, what 's more, if they cotch Mr. Butterford-that's my landlord; p'r'aps -yer don' know 'im-»

She looked down at the meeting with a whimsical grin, her eyes screwed up and her crooked brows lifted, so that the room roared merely to look at her. The trim lady secretary, however, bent forward with an air of annoyance. She had not, perhaps, realized that Mrs. Dickson was so much of a character.

If they cotch Mr. Butterford, they'll make 'im pay up smart for lettin' yer do such a thing as make knickers in 'is 'ouse. So I asks the lidy, Wot 's ter become o' me an' the little uns? An' she says she don' know. But yer mus' come and speak Tuesday night, she says-Manx Road Schools, she says (if yer want to perwent 'em makin' a law of it. Which I'm a-doin' of—ain't I?»

Fresh laughter and response from the room. She went on, satisfied:

An', yer know, if I can't make the knickers at 'ome, I can't make 'em aw'y from 'ome. For ther' ain't no shops as want kids squallin' round, as fer as I can make out. An' Jimmy's a limb, as boys mos'ly are in my egsperience. Larst week 'e give the biby a 'alfpenny and two o' my biggest buttons to swaller, an' I on'y jest smacked 'em out of 'er in time. Ther''d be murder done if I was to leave 'em. An' 'ow 'u'd I be able to pay any one fer lookin' after 'em? I can't git much, yer know, shop or no shop. I ain't wot I was.>>

VOL. LII.-6.

She stopped, and pointed significantly to her chest. Tressady shuddered as the curate whispered to him.

"I've been in 'orspital-cut about fearful. I can't go at the pace them shops works at. They'd give me the sack double-quick if I was to go tryin' 'em. No; it 's settin' as does it-settin' an' settin'. I'm at it by seven, an' my 'usband-yer can see 'im there-'e'll tell yer.»

She stopped, and pointed to a burly ruffian standing amid a group of pals about the door. This gentleman had his arms folded, and was alternately frowning and grinning at this novel spectacle of his wife as a public performer. Bribes had probably been necessary to bring him to consent to the spectacle at all; but he was not happy, and when his wife pointed at him, and the meeting turned to look, he suddenly took a dive head foremost into the crowd about him, so that when the laughter and horse-play that followed had subsided, it was seen that Mr. Tom Dickson's place knew him no more.

Meanwhile Mrs. Dickson stood grinninggrinning wide and visibly. It was the strangest mirth, as though hollow pain and laughter strove with each other for the one poor indomitable face.

« Well, 'e could 'a' told yer, if 'e 'd 'ad the mind,» she said, nodding; «for 'e knows. 'E's been out o' work this twelve an' a 'arf year; well, come, I'll bet yer, anyway, as 'e 'as n't done a 'and's turn this three year-an' I don't blime 'im. Fust, there is n't the work to be got, and then yer git out of the way o' wantin' it. An' beside, I'm used to 'im. When Janey -no, it were Sue-were seven month old, he come in one night from the public, an' after 'e 'd broke up most o' the things, he says to me, Clear out, will yer! An' I cleared out, and Sue and me set on the door-step till mornin'. And when mornin' come, Tom opened the door, and 'e says, What are you doin' there, mother? Why ain't yer got my breakfast? An' I went in an' got it. But, bless yer, nowadays-the women won't do it!»

Another roar went up from the meeting. Mrs. Dickson still grinned.

«An' so there's nothink but settin', as I said before-settin' till yer can't set no more. If I begin o' seven, I gets Mr. Dickson to put the tea-things an' the loaf 'andy, so as I don't 'ave to get up more 'n jes' to fetch the kettle; and the children gets the same as me-tea an' bread, and a red 'erring Sundays; an' Mr. Dickson 'e gets 'is meals out; I gives 'im the needful, and 'e don't make no trouble; an' the

children is dreadful fractious sometimes, and gets in my way fearful. But there, if I can set-set till I'ear Stepney Church goin' twelve —I can earn my ten shillin' a week, an' keep the lot of 'em. Wot does any lidy or genelman want, a-comin' meddlin' down 'ere? Now, that's the middle an' both ends on it. Done? Well, I dessay I is done. Lor', I says to 'em in the 'orspital, it do seem rummy to me to be layin' abed like that. If Tom was 'ere, why, 'e 'd->>

She made a queer, significant grimace. But the audience laughed no longer. They stared silently at the gaunt creature, and with their silence her own mood changed.

Suddenly she whipped up her apron. She drew it across her eyes, and flung it away again passionately.

I dessay we shall be lyin' abed in kingdom come," she said defiantly, yet piteously; «but we 've got to git there fust. An' I don't want no shops, thank yer!»

She rambled on a little longer; then, at a sign from the lady secretary, made a grinning courtesy to the audience, and departed.

<< What do they get out of that?» said Watton in Tressady's ear. «Poor galley-slave in praise of servitude! »

pass gradually from expectation to nervousness, from nervousness to dismay.

What was happening? She had once told him that she was not a speaker, and he had not believed her. She had begun well, he thought, though with a hesitation he had not expected. But now-had she lost her thread, or what? Incredible, when one remembered her in private life, in conversation. Yet these stumbling sentences, this evident distress!

Tressady found himself fidgeting in sympathetic misery. He and Watton looked at each other.

A little more, and she would have lost her audience. She had lost it. At first there had been eager listening, for she had plunged straightway into a set explanation and defense of the bill point by point, and half the room knew that she was Lord Maxwell's wife. But by the end of ten minutes their attention was gone. They were only staring at her because she was handsome and great lady. Otherwise, they seemed not to know what to make of her. She grew white; she wavered. Fressady saw that she was making great efforts, and all in vain. The division between her and her audience widened with every sentence, and Fontenoy's lady organizer in the background sat smilingly erect. Tressady,

« Her slavery keeps her alive, please.» «Yes, and drags down the standard of a who had been at first inclined to hate the whole class.>>

«You'll admit she seemed content? >>

<< It's that content we want to kill. Ah! at last,» and Watton clapped loudly, followed by about half the meeting, while the rest sat silent. Then Tressady perceived that the chairwoman had called upon Lady Maxwell to move the next resolution, and that the tall figure had risen.

She came forward slowly, glancing from side to side, as though doubtful where to look for her friends. She was in black, and her head was covered with a little black lace bonnet, in the strings of which, at her throat, shone a small diamond brooch. The delicate whiteness of her face and hands, and this sparkle of light on her breast, that moved as she moved, struck a thrill of pleasure through Tressady's senses. The squalid monotony and physical defect of the crowd about him passed from his mind. Her beauty redressed the balance. «Loveliness, magic, and grace-they are here; they are set in the world!) and ugliness and pain have not conquered while this face still looks and breathes.» This, and nothing less, was the cry of the young man's heart and imagination as he strained forward, waiting for her voice.

thought of her success in this inferno, grew hot with wrath and irritation. His own vanity suffered in her lack of triumph.

Amazing! How could her personal magic, so famous on so many fields, have deserted her like this in an East End school-room, before people whose lives she knew, whose griefs she carried in her heart?

Then an idea struck him. The thought was an illumination; he understood. He shut his eyes and listened. Maxwell's sentences, Maxwell's manner-even, at times, Maxwell's voice! He had been rehearsing to her his coming speech in the House of Lords, and she was painfully repeating it! To his disgust, Tressady saw the reporters scribbling away; no doubt they knew their business. Ay, there was the secret. The wife's adoration showed through her very failurethrough this strange conversion of all that was manly, solid, and effective in Maxwell into a confused mass of facts and figures, pedantic, colorless, and cold!

Edward Watton began to look desperately unhappy. «Too long,» he said, whispering in Tressady's ear, «and too technical. They can't follow.»

And he looked at a group of rough factory Then he settled himself to listen-only to girls beginning to scuffle with the young men

near them, at the restless crowd of «greeners,» at the women in the center of the hall lifting puzzled faces to the speaker, as though in a pain of listening.

Tressady nodded. In the struggle of devotion with a half-laughing annoyance, he could only crave that the thing should be over.

But the next instant his face altered. He pushed forward instinctively, turning his back on Watton, hating the noisy room that would hardly let him hear.

Ah! those few last sentences, that voice, that quiver of passion-they were her own, herself, not Maxwell. The words were very simple, and a little tremulous-words of personal reminiscence and experience. But for one listener there they changed everything. The room, the crowd, the speaker-he saw them for a moment under another aspectthat poetic, eternal aspect which is always there, behind the veil of common things, ready to flash out on mortal eyes. He felt the woman's heart, oppressed with a pity too great for it; the delicate, trembling consciousness, like a point in space, weighed on by the burden of the world; he stood, as it were, beside her, hearing with her ears, seeing the earth spectacle as she saw it with that terrible second-sight of hers: the all-environing woe and tragedy of human things, the creeping hunger and pain, the struggle that leads nowhither, the life that hates to live and yet dreads to die, the death that cuts all short, and does but add one more hideous question to the great pile that hems the path of man.

A hard, reluctant tear rose in his eyes. Is it starved tailoresses and shirt-makers alone who suffer? Is there no hunger of the heart that matches and overweighs the physical? Is it not as easy for the rich as for the poor to miss the one thing needful, the one thing that matters and saves? Angrily, and in a kind of protest, he put out his hand to claim, as it were, his own share of the common pain.

MAKE way there! make way,» cried a police sergeant, holding back the crowd, «and let the lady pass!»

Tressady did his best to push through with Lady Maxwell on his arm. But there was an angry hum of voices in front of him, an angry pressure round the doors.

"We shall soon get a cab,» he said, bending over her. «You are very tired, I fear. Please lean upon me.»

Yet he could but feel grateful to the crowd. It gave him this joy of protecting and supporting her. Nevertheless, as he

looked ahead, he wished that they were safely off, and that there were more police.

For this meeting, which had been only' mildly disorderly and inattentive while Marcella was speaking, had suddenly flamed, after she sat down, into a fierce confusion and tumult; why, Tressady hardly now understood. As she sat down, a man had sprung up to speak who was apparently in bad repute with most of the unions of the district. At any rate, there had been immediate uproar and protest. The trade-unionists would not hear him, hurled names at him-«Thief! >> «Blackleg!»-as he attempted to speak. Then the Free Workers, for whom this dubious person had been lately acting, rose in a mass and «booed » at the unionists; and finally some of the dark-eyed, black-bearded « greeners » near the door, urged on, probably, by the masters, whose slaves they were, had leaped the benches near them, shouting strange tongues, and making for the hostile throng about the platform.

Then it had been time for Naseby and the police to clear the platform and open a passage for the Maxwell party. Unfortunately, there was no outlet to the back, no chance of escaping the shouting crowd in Manx Road. Tressady, joining his friends at last by dint of his height and a free play of elbows, found himself suddenly alone with Lady Maxwell, Naseby and Lady Madeleine borne along far behind, and no chance but to follow the current, with such occasional help as the police stationed along the banks of it might be able to give.

Outside Tressady strained his eyes for a cab.

«Here, sir!» cried the sergeant in front, carving a passage by dint of using his own stalwart frame as a ram.

They hurried on, for some rough lads on the edges of the crowd had already begun stone-throwing. The faces about them seemed to be partly indifferent, partly hostile. «Look at the bloomin' bloats!» cried a wild factory girl with a tousled head as Lady Maxwell passed. «Let 'em stop at 'ome and mind their own 'usbands-yah!»

«Garn! who paid for your bonnet?» shouted another, until a third girl pulled her back, panting, «If you say that any more I'll scrag yer!» For this third girl had spent a fortnight in the Mile End Road house, getting fed and strengthened before an operation.

But here was the cab. Lady Maxwell's foot was already on the step when Tressady felt something fly past him.

There was a slight cry. The form in front

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