Puslapio vaizdai

he had an idea that the self-consciousness that one might get a very fair idea of a great church, busied itself with the rearing of its own pedes- outside and inside, within ten minutes; one tal was not altogether likely to be set upon it by might follow the whole course of a symphony a perverse posterity. And he said so rather in twenty or thirty; in the case even of a drama tartly. In fact, the second advent of this one might become familiar with it, outline and young Parisian had not given the old gentleman detail, in two or three hours. But with a book! any great pleasure. Nor had his first, for that – to become familiar with that required two or

matter; but then that had had the saving grace three days, or a week, or a fortnight, or a month, of novelty, at least. In truth, here on the quay as the art of the writer and the interest of the at Constance, the Governor was not so certain reader determined. The idea of form suffered, of not appearing to disadvantage as he had the sense of proportion was dulled, the congrubeen on the terrace of Neuchâtel, for Lucerne ity and cohesiveness of the idea were impaired. had intervened. Nor did he feel at all sure No; he himself should never publish a book that that Aurelia West's haphazard association with might not be completely got around during one Mlle. Pasdenom had justified those headlong afternoon in a garden, or in a single evening and promiscuous introductions on the pier - over the fire. introductions that had enlarged the circle of The Governor had no objection to bring their acquaintance by so many dubious addi- against this, having seldom read a book that tions. So he was accordingly disposed to be seemed too short. But he had no more idea severe on something, even if that something of following up Fin-de-Siècle's notion than was only a theory of fiction. It seemed to him – Fin-de-Siècle had shown of following up his. and he spoke with the slow laboriousness of one So he merely asked the young man if his suddenly called upon to formulate the uncon- work could be carried on satisfactorily in the scious assumptions of a lifetime—that the great stir of a large hotel during the height of the thing in art was not to know, nor even to feel, season. but to divine. Obseryation was good, assur- Fin-de-Siècle replied that, while he preferred edly; sympathy was better, even indispensable: taking his chances with a first-rate theme in a but what, after all, was to be placed before the crowd rather than with a second-rate one in solexercise of the constructive imagination freely itude, still he was obliged to acknowledge that working its own way on to its own end?-an his situation was not all that could be wished. imagination that seized on a word, a gesture, a The Governor came to his aid with a suggesflower, à flash of color, a simple succession of tion. A friend of his, a gentleman of means and sounds, and by means of a few humble, exter- of high scientific attainments, had a delightful nal facts called out from within such a multipli- place not more than ten miles outside of the city of correlated fancies as resulted at last in a town, where, during the season, he was accusdrama, a fresco, a symphony, a cathedral. The tomed to receive a limited number of pensiongenesis of a work of art was the genesis of the naires. The house was a veritable château, echo; one word is spoken and twenty are evoked and the large grounds were delightfully placed in reply — only no reverberations were to be above the shores of the charming Untersee. looked for from empty nothingness. Or, if fic- The family was most agreeable, though rather tion must be scientific, let it look to the method numerous; yet an author of scientific fiction of the naturalist, who from a single bone re- would know how to use the eccentricities and constructs and vivifies a complete animal. It idiosyncrasies which a wide relationship was was well enough to hold the mirror up to na- sure to embrace, while for a fortnight of quiet ture; but let it be a compound mirror

- one retirement no place in the world could be betthat reflects, and re-reflects, and reflects again ter. He would speak a word in that quarter till the prosaic outlines of the original subject if his young friend thought he cared to make are increased, strengthened, multiplied, sur- the experiment. His young friend thought that rounded by the glamour of new presentations perhaps he did; the Governor spoke the word; and new combinations, and the bare simplicity and when he learned that Fin-de-Siècle was of the primary image loses its poor identity in actually domiciled at Thorheim he smiled a sly, the fused intimacies of a thousand secondaries. derisive smile that it were not well to see. This

Fin-de-Siècle listened with an indulgent pity young man was in search of humanity appearto these antiquated sentiments, in which he ing at a disadvantage; well, his wish would be detected the same old insistent note of a false gratified. romanticism which he was now quite tired of But the distance between Constance and Fincombating. He merely remarked that there de-Siècle's retreat was only a matter of a few was one respect, indeed, in which the coming miles, a distance that could be covered by rail. fiction might well imitate the picture, the sym- or boat,or carriage, and the Governor saw more phony, and all the rest. Now, one's apprehen- of this young master than he had hoped to. sion of a picture was practically instantaneous; During one of his early calls at the Insel-Hôtel,


Aurelia West, who could now think of opera a cobbler going barefoot; a stroller jingling a bouffe with something like equanimity, told him pocketful of napoleons before a shop-window that she was sorry their stay in Lucerne had merely to pass on; a bachelor long and earbeen too short to see his friend the marquis nestly regarding the beau sexe only to remain in any of his parts; she hoped for an oppor- a bachelor still. His Swedish friend, however, tunity to become better acquainted with his was in the habit of taking tramps and making talents after her return to Paris. Fin-de-Siècle's excursions through this miniature Alpine world, reply to this was prefaced with a sudden, arch, and nothing pleased him more than to be acsurprised, insinuating smile, and he regarded companied by his visitors, whom he received her with such a marked increase of considera- and escorted with the greatest kindness and tion as only one thing, she felt, could account courtesy. Fin-de-Siècle himself had gotten up for: he must be crediting her with some spe- an appetite for breakfast that very morning by cial, intimate, narrowly restricted information a twenty-mile walk through the Upper Engain connection with certain phases of la vie de dine, and he felt that if the Governor and his Paris. Her guess was close, for he murmured party were to steam down the lake in that diwith a great effect of secrecy that it was a rection some afternoon, Herr Axenquist would thing really not to be alluded to. As a matter consider their presence a positive honor. of fact, Tempo-Rubato had appeared a dozen The Governor pondered. He had no great times or so on the stage of the Folies Drama- desire to enter Fin-de-Siècle's new circle, but tiques; but, indeed, such things were scarcely this offer brought up a point or two worth conto say themselves — it was all under the rose. sidering. The Chatelaine, of course, was equal Had she ever heard him sing? Oh, but he to almost anything, but the amount of actual sang — a magnificent baritone. Had she ever mountain-climbing to be expected from an old seen him ride? He rode like a devil; he had man in his sixties and a young woman fresh learned in Amerique du Sud, — had she any from the lapping luxury of Paris could not be friends there ? — where the Duke owned a great, and this facile substitute really came in rancho. Oh, he could manage anything. Once quite opportunely. So one afternoon they took in-how did they name it ?— in Uruguay he the train that skirts the bank of the narrow, had run away with a railroad train. And only river-like, hill-bordered Untersee, and in less last summer at Bellagio — Miss West had only than an hour they found themselves in the to hold her tongue to have all her questions very heart of the Alpine world. They were answered before they were asked; her mind hardly within the great gate which gave enwas set at rest completely in regard to the title trance to the park of Thorheim, when the Chaand estate of Tempo-Rubato; he was indeed a telaine found her attention forcibly taken posmarchese, he indeed possessed the villa, and session of by a middle-aged lady who seemed to that opera bouffe characterization of him by his have been indulging in an aimless stroll through friend was altogether unjust; impossible that the grounds, and who was so glad to be able to he should be an atheist, and a socialist, and a fix her mind on some definite point that her prospective polygamist !

greeting passed the utmost bound of cordiality. Fin-de-Siècle was equally full in his details She was tall, angular, and faded ; her hands of the life at Thorheim. They were charming, played to and fro with a tremulous uncertainty; well-disposed people; they appreciated him and the Chatelaine at once recognized her as highly — so highly that they had almost op- the English spinster whose intrepid parrot had posed his leaving them for a single afternoon made the journey to Pontresina. When she in Constance. Their appreciation was so op- learned that our friends had but lately passed pressive that they had insisted upon providing through St. Gall, she turned on the Governor a sort of footman to accompany him; they and asked eagerly after the whey-cure. Ought were killing him with kindness. They had a she to go to Gais or to Heiden? Had any of number of friends and acquaintances sojourn his friends ever tried Urnäsch? How did the ing with them; several of these were excep- accommodations compare? Did any of the hotionally interesting people. One in particular, tels have their own goats? Was there an Enga gentleman from Stockholm, almost fasci- lish church? Was it best to drink the whey hot nated him. This guest had the freedom of a or cold ? The whey-cure was her plan through large apartment in a disused wing of the châ- September, after which she was to pass on to teau, and had filled the place with models and Vevey or Montreux for the grape-cure — she reliefs of many well-known mountain-peaks and had heard that the vines promised the greatest -chains, all his own work, and all done to scale yield in years. Yes, she was moving around with remarkable neatness and precision. Yet as actively as ever, — this with a sudden turn of the real mountains he had an inexplicable and smile in the direction of the Chatelaine, dread; nothing in all the world could induce she was quite the traveler of the family, in fact. him to set his foot on one. A singular type: Her people had been hoping that she would

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remain quietly in one place; some of them had ing in the Tyrol during the previous summer, even come from England to see that she was their host handed down a compact little model properly accommodated here. Of course it was of the Ortler, by means of which the young man all very nice and pleasant here on the lake; was was able to recall at once the principal points it not so, mongsieu'?— this with a faded but of his excursion; while La Malade (as Fin-dearch little smile in the direction of Fin-de-Siè- Siècle briefly termed the English woman), who cle, the air was good, the scenery attractive, had followed the party quite as a matter of their host more than kind, but-well, her bro- course, and who seemed perfectly at home in thers hardly knew her, she fancied; she had little the rarefied atmosphere of the High Alps, sudfaith in the water-cure and less in the air-cure; denly launched herself on the Governor with a she should be moving on presently.

relief of the Sentis. The old gentleman, whose They were all moving on, in fact, under the discomfort under the inquiring gaze of the guidance of this amateur of cures, who was Chatelaine was all the time increasing, gave his actively leading the way up to the house, thrust- attention willingly enough to the fountainhead ing hastily culled roses into the ladies' hands, of the whey-cure. It was on these high pastures and babbling to all alike in a voluble, barbar- of the Hüttenalp and the Meglisalp — here, ous French. Under the porte-cochère they met mongsieu', and here — that the goats were the proprietor of the place, a kindly, serene old herded and the whey prepared. And this road, gentleman, who seemed possessed of a patience running through the ravine and crossing the and composure that nothing appeared likely brook, was the route used by the goatherds in to disturb, and by him they were presented to carrying the whey down to Gais and those other the guide who was to pilot them through their places. Those patches of white on the top, now, Alpine diversions.

were just snow-fields and glaciers; but if mongThe latter was a tall man of thirty-five, more sieu' would see snow and iceslender than he should have been for his height, La Malade abruptly set the Sentis down in and more stooping than seemed proper to the the nearest available corner, and turned the mountaineer. His long hair was pushed back Governor around toward a large relief that from his forehead, and fell sidewise in two great occupied the middle of the room. It was placed waves, one yellow, the other snow-white; and on a table some ten feet long, and represented his eyes, which may once have shone with a that part of the vast Alp-chain lying between splendid courage, now beamed but dully with Monte Turlo and Mont Collon, forming the the submissive patience of some cowed brute. southern boundary of Switzerland. Before this He seemed a man out of whom all life and monument of painstaking care and industry color and passion had been washed by the sud- Herr Axenquist now stood with an air of grave den and tremendous sweep of one great wave; courtesy, while the little pointer he held in his but the Governor, who was already beginning hand wavered over the sharp peak of the Matto feel the first twinges of that shame and mor- terhorn; and the Chatelaine, whose foot was tification which were soon to pass twenty times now on her native heath, indeed, was greatly the utmost bounds of any annoyance that could pleased, and took no trouble to conceal it. Here, possibly be felt by the victim of his ill-considered chérie Aurélie, was the road down to Châtillon; jest, did not learn their host's sad story till some and there ran the footpath across to Macugtime after. For the man before them had spent naga; and over on that side, beyond the Col a night on the Schreckhorn in a blinding snow- de St. Théodule, was the way down into the storm. He had played his game with Nature Nicolaithal; while here, of a verity, at the very on her own table and with her own counters, and head of this high and narrow valley, was La had come away bankrupt. He presently led the Trinité itself. Ah, vraiment, La Trinité! And way into his own quarters— his workshop, his the Chatelaine threw back her head and exstudio, his gymnasium, his playground, as he panded her nostrils, as if she whiffed the mounsaid. It was a large, homely room, the walls of tain air indeed. which were covered with maps, photographs, La Malade eagerly jogged the Governor's and sketches. In one corner stood a rough elbows. There, when had he ever seen any. work-bench littered with broken bits of clay, thing more truly magnifique ? What was more half-emptied cans of gypsum, and a dozen fine beautiful than those green meadows with that paint-brushes soaking in a pail of turpentine, dear little rivulet running through them? Then while various pieces of work in clay and plas- couldanything bemore naturalthan the streaked ter of Paris were ranged about on tables and and spotted brown that represented the rocks shelves,— reliefs of single peaks, or of groups, of this precipice, just here ? And as for the fine or of whole mountain-chains, as the case might dust that coated all the glaciers and snow-peaks. be,-some of them being small pieces on a that had been her own suggestion. He should large, while others were large pieces on a small, see the sun upon it. She rushed to the window scale. To Zeitgeist, who had done some climb- and swept the curtain to one side. Ah, mongsieu', how it shone, how it glittered, how like deed; the Governor winced. The Count smiled the Alps indeed!

and nodded; the Governor groaned. The host turned a smile of quiet appeal on A maid came in bearing a tray, and the the voluble enthusiasm of the English woman. thoughtful mountaineer now regaled his guests He hoped it would please his visitors to make with tea and cakes. He also offered fans, for, some excursion or other under his care; he thanks to La Malade and her new arrangement was a tried and trustworthy guide; he would of the curtains, the temperature, even at this undertake nothing too difficult for even the la- altitude of ten thousand feet, was distinctly dies, and he thought he could promise that none warm. This volatile person accepted a fan, but of them would be unduly fatigued. Here were refused the tea, sending the maid back for her the Tödi, the Bernina; there was Cortina d'Am- own approved beverage. And as she opened pezzo, in the Dolomites; or if they preferred her bottle for herself, with the dexterity that they might merely cross the Splügen with him. comes from long practice, she vented a bit The Governor, with a clear conscience, would of good-natured sarcasm on the people who have enjoyed this little flight of fancy beyond would make her believe that all chalybeate measure; as things now were, he said in a waters were alike, and that she might just as hard, determined voice, the occasion was ex- well decide to please herself with St. Moritz ceptional, and so should

without sending all the way to Tarasp. But the expedition be, too. He

she had not been born yesterday, and if there favored the best and the

was one thing she knew more about than anmost : nothing would

other, that thing was mineral springs. Who please him better than

had attended to the placing the ascent of Mont Blanc

and marking of all the itself. Then he set his

springs and baths on these collar, and swallowed some

reliefs if not she herself? — thing.

putting them down in colors At this suggestion La Malade

corresponding to their ingave a little cry of joy, and darted

gredients: the salt-springs down under a table which had been

at Aigle, white; the sulphurconcealed behind the open door.

springs of St. Gervais and This, she declared, as her head bumped

Stachelberg, yellow; and so against the under side of the table, was

forth. To all of which her her favorite expedition; she had been up

entertainer, now in converfourteen times already, but it was every bit

sation with the Governor, as interesting as ever. She whisked the cloth off

bowed an indulgent acknowthe model, took hold of two corners of it, and ledgment over his cup of tea. Herr Axenquist laid hold of the other two, and The Governor was scanning him closely. thus the mountain was lifted into place. The To put this grave, composed gentleman under hostexplained with a grave smile that the ascent suspicion was unjust; to subject him to restraint was properly a matter of two days. It was best was outrageous. If every one who indulged to get away from Chamouni at midday, and to his fancy was mentally deranged, what might spend the night in the inn at the Grands Mulets. people be thinking of himself? If these reliefs The trip, however, might well stand a little around them carried good cause for medical compression; they should achieve the entire surveillance, how then with regard to the anexpedition in that one afternoon. And as the tiquities at Avenches ? Nonsense; this man weather was fine and settled one guide might was as clear-headed as anybody else. be made to do for the whole party, while any- Their host rose suddenly and ordered the thing like a porter could very well be dispensed tea-things out. They must lose no more time, with altogether. Here, then, was Chamouni; he said. The glacier should be crossed before there was the road to the Glacier des Bossons; the sun had got too high. They must press on here, up through the valley of the Nant Blanc, to the summit. Their real, serious work was was the path to the Pierre Pointue, on the edge just about to begin. He quickly threw open of the Glacier des Bossons itself; higher up, the door of a little cabinet, and passed out an the Pierre à l'Éschelle, with a view of the Dôme alpenstock to Aurelia West. He thrust an ice-ax du Goûter, and these various other eminences; into Zeitgeist's hand, and pressed upon the here we cross the Glacier - and so on to the Governor a long coil of rope, which the shameGrands Mulets. Entrez ! Herein! Would they faced old gentleman received as it had been a please be seated? such refreshment would now penitential scourge. And here were spectacles be set forth as the inn afforded.

of colored glass; the glare on the snow was so Fin-de-Siècle whispered delightedly to the terrible — terrible. Was all ready ? Allons ; en Governor that here was an original type in- avant! With care, mademoiselle ! with care!


He seized the Chatelaine by the arm. Beware that crevasse — it was just here that the young English lady had gone down and dragged her guide with her. Be cautious, young sir; this ice-steep was treacherous enough, in truth ; but three steps-cut so— were all that was needed. There was no cause for alarm yet; slowly and steadily, and all was well. But what was this, rushing, leaping, tumbling, crashing down, with an ever louder roar? Back, back, monsieur ! He pinned the Governor against the wall, and wiped the drops of sweat from his own forehead. Ah-h! it was happily past,—l' avalanche,—and none of them the worse for it. Well, then, here was the Grand Plateau, here the Mur de la Côté, here the Petits Mulets; but

the summit, the summit, where was that? Was it in sight for none of them— not
one-not one? He ran his hand excitedly through his long, disordered hair. Was it
growing darker and colder ? Was every one of them benumbed? His eyes shone
with a wild glitter, and wandered aimlessly about over the peaks and valleys be.
neath them. Ah, it was the fog, the cruel, treacherous fog; but hasten, hasten-
here was the path, and the refuge was not far ahead. Up, up! No; you must not,
shall not lie there. His voice rose to a shrill, strident tone, a tone full of the cut-
ting sweep of the mountain-roaring wind, a tone stung by the tingle of gust-driven
ice-particles spinning on and on in remorseless eddies. He suddenly flecked his hand
across his face. He gave a short, sharp cry, and clutched Zeitgeist by the arm. Had
he felt it too? And did he not know what it meant? They were lost—lost! They
should perish there on the mountain, like others before them; for it was the snow -
the snow-
The Englishwoman gave a shrill scream. "The young men stared in amaze-
ment. Aurelia West and the Chatelaine drew back in terror. The Gov-
ernor set his jaw, seized the unfortunate firmly by the arm, caught

the pointer out of his hand, and in ten seconds had con-
ducted the whole party down to Chamouni with a clear
head and a sure foot. He placed their host on the chair
beside the model, and gave him a glass of water. The
poor fellow weakly kissed his hand, and burst into tears.
On the way home Aurelia West overheard the Gov-
ernor invite Fin-de-Siècle to accompany them into
the Tyrol. This was the form that the Gover-
nor's penance took. She did not catch
the response, but she was willing
enough that it should have
been a no

(To be continued.)



I LAY upon the borderland 'twixt sleep

And drowsy thought dim as a wavering dream;
All consciousness a far, faint, starry beam,

Like glint of torch within a cavern deep.
About me voices rose with windy sweep,

Till all the pulses of the air did seem
Aflame, and bubbling in a liquid stream,

Pouring upon me in one gathered leap.
They raised in me a power uncontrolled —

These mystic voices, rushing madly by;

My feet were set where wheeling planets rolled,
My head upreared within the flaming sky.

A god I was within my human mold,
To trample death, and all his might defy.

Susanna Massey.

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