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deira. He was reported to be a very fast gatherer, collecting, with the aid of his Indian wife, during the three or four dry months more than a hundred arrobas of seringa (one | arroba is equivalent to thirty-two pounds), while the average produce of a large family is not more than fifty arrobas.
The traveler writes of the strange meeting as follows: "It was. pleasant to see the joyous surprise and brightened face of the man when he unexpectedly heard our loud salatation, in German, of Good morning, countryman,' from out a canoe full of Indians. We had easily recognized him by his fair hair and beard, the more so as we had heard of him before, and had been looking for him for several days. He stood near the water's edge, watching our canoes come slowly up. Near him was his female companion, a stout, strongly built Tapuya, and behind them some of their offspring, whose yellow hair, contrasted strangely with their dark skins."
These accidental accessions to the ranks of the caoutchouc-gatherers, the alliance of stronger, more energetic,. more industrious races, who would bring skilled labor, as well as more enduring muscle, to the important work of collecting the raw material of rubber, suggest an important element in a commercial question which is yearly becoming of more pressing value to the great manufacturers in Europe and America, and through them to the world at large.
In order to measure the greatness of the rubber interest, let us turn aside one brief moment to the statistics of manufacture.
In the year 1870 there were in America alone employed in the rubber-factories 6,000 hands, on a basis of $8,000,000 of capital, and the value of the products of all descriptions reached $14,500,000. The imports of caoutchouc into the United States in 1872 swelled to 12,000,000 pounds, of which considerable more than half came from the port of Pará, in Brazil, which is the great depot of caoutchouc exportation. The imports of raw rubber to Great Britain for the same year reached 13,000,000 pounds, valued at more than $6,000,000, of which two-thirds was from Brail, in spite of the attempts made to force the East-Indian caoutchouc on the market. The opinions of the best judges point to an in crease of the rubber-manufacture by 1880 of at least fifty per cent. In order to meet this extra demand, improved processes as well as an organized system of labor are needed in the seringa districts of Brazil.
The trade at present is mostly in the hands of a few rich landholders and other rich Brazilians, who have an iron hold on the poorer seringueiros, such as are not able to establish any direct correspondence with the rubber-factors at Pará. Many of these monopolists, who fatten like vampires on the hard labor of the wretched, ague-shaken caout. shouc-collectors, are officers of the governkent, or at least enjoy some powerful offi
cial connection, which enables them to dictate the methods of transacting business.
So the poorer class of collectors are compelled to sell the fruits of their industry at balf-price, to be content with fourteen millreis per arroba (about twenty-eight shillings for thirty-two pounds), while the purchaser finds quick sale at Pará for thirty-six millreis. Even this wretched price is rarely paid in money, but in goods and provisions charged at thrice their value, and poor in quality at that.
So the poor seringueiro, in spite of the rich field which he works, and the lavish bounty of Nature, is bound hand and foot in a clever bondage, from which he has not the pluck or ingenuity to break loose. These creatures, mostly mestizos and mulattoes, at the best but indolent and disposed to live from hand to mouth, are completely disheartened by their treatment, and sink to a state of mind even more thoughtless and frivolous than Nature made them. Out of the glittering stores of the patrons, who tempt and swindle them, they are sure to select the most useless things for themselves and their dusky ladies, such as gilt watches, silk jackets, silk umbrellas, and the most tawdry gewgaws. It is no uncommon thing in the rubber-districts to see men and women reeking with filth and vermin, yet tricked out with tinseled and shining attire, fit only for some dramatic spectacle.
Under such conditions it may readily be seen that the caoutchouc industry in South America is only at its minimum state of development; that with the application of an enlightened system it could easily be trebled or quadrupled. Some sluggish attempts have been made by the Brazilian Government in this direction, but the intimate connection of the harpies, interested in keeping the trade under their own control, with court and legislature, has paralyzed reform.
The state of things we have mentioned, however, will gradually correct itself with the development of the railway and steamnavigation systems, which are gradually but surely opening the interior of Brazil to commerce and agriculture. European and American firms will ultimately establish their own depots on the Amazon and Madeira Rivers, and get their supply of the valuable gum without recourse to the unprincipled middlemen at Pará, who make the caoutchouc pay heavy toll at both ends.
The immigration of hardy families of European blood to swell the ranks of the caoutchouc industry, which, as we have seen, has already commenced in a small, casual way, will also have' great weight. A thousand such families scattered along the rivers would soon completely change the aspect of the country.
This would specially be the
case if an energetic company fully alive to the position, and sure of adequate support from home, would lead the settlers and protect them from the inevitable jealousies of land and trade monopolists. It is the opin-. ion of experienced merchants, long in the Brazil trade, that such a colony would be highly successful, particularly as the improving facilities of intercommunication would soon give a heavy blow to the old system of
extortion and robbery. The planting of groves of the Siphonia elastica, a tree which grows rapidly and surely on the extensive river-bottoms at points nearer the market than the present caoutchouc-forests, an enterprise in which the Brazilian Government would ultimately second the initiation given by foreign speculators and capitalists, would have its marked effect and help to revolutionize the trade, in connection with the influx of foreign and more energetic blood. Some of the hundreds of European laborers necessary for the construction of the Brazilian railways now projected, would be sure to remain, in spite of fevers and difficulties. It would only depend on the ability of companies, and the conduct of the imperial government, whether this number were increased or diminished.
The application of skill and science to the preparation of the crude rubber, which would be sure to result, would largely enhance its value. This improvement could be easily effected by the use of alum for its solidification, in place of the fatiguing process of smoking it with palm-nuts, or by the mixture of ammoniac, a still more important discovery, by which the milk may be kept liquid, and rendered transportable in casks. Similar conditions would also affect the value of the trade in cacao, Peruvian bark, and other valuable products of the Brazilian forests, but with these at present we have nothing to do.
Intimately allied with caoutchouc is the resin known as gutta-percha, with which the civilized world, however, has only been acquainted about a quarter of a century. It was first discovered in China, but has since become extirpated in that vast country by sheer ignorance and waste. It is the product from the sap of a tree called Isonandra gutta, which is now mostly found in Surinam, Guiana, and India. The process of preparing the resin from the sap is very similar to that of making caoutchouc, except that the liquid solidifies by exposure without the agency of smoking.
Analysis shows the same ultimate atoms in gutta-percha and caoutchouc, yet, strange to say, the reaction on them of chemical agents is widely different. The former is also a non-conductor of electricity, a trait which renders it invaluable in telegraphio construction and other important scientific processes. Different societies of arts in Europe have stimulated the discovery of new fields of supply by offering large rewards, but so far the search has not been a success
ful one. If the yield of gutta-percha were as large as that of India-rubber, it is probable that it would more than rival it as an important article of commerce. But this is regarded as hopeless by those who have fully investigated the subject, since the tree is not only much more rare, but slow of growth, and demanding peculiarly favorable conditions. A substance nearly identical with gutta-percha is yielded by the bullettree of Guiana. Its fruit resembles a bergamot-pear, and is filled with a milky secretion, at first tasteless and hardly distinguishable from the caoutchouc-fluid. This afterward becomes sugar, and the fruit is transformed
into the delicious mangava. This suggested to Chevalier de Claussin, an ingenious and scientific Frenchman, resident in Guiana, that the sap was largely constituted of starch. By various chemical experiments he at last succeeded in producing from it a substance wonderfully resembling ebonite, a transformation of caoutchouc, which was one of the most wonderful discoveries of Mr. Goodyear. It is doubtful, though, whether this French experiment will have much value in the practical arts. The supply of caoutchouc will probably always dominate the markets of the civilized world in relation to all those manufactures depending on the classes of gums of which we have treated.
QUEEN MARY'S GHOST.
A STORY IN THREE CHAPTERS. BY THE AUTHOR OF "MARGUERITE KENT.'
THER tourists come now to visit the palace, and Cecile is reduced speedily to the manners of an orthodox young lady.
In this cabinet, we are told, did Knox come in answer to the queen's summons, and here, in language ungarnished by court flattery, and ingenuous with dislike, did he defy her displeasure. Here did Rizzio play lackey to her will, and Darnley alternately cringe and bully; and here, surrounded by her four Maries, did the loveliest and most fascinating woman of her age wrestle hourly with Fate.
Out these windows did she gaze, through these doors did she pass, and one might imagine that the rush of the wind, as a window is opened to admit fresh air, is made by the sweep of her ghostly dress.
We penetrate presently beyond into the bedroom, where hang the portraits of the queen and her rival Elizabeth; and on the north side is a doorway, half concealed by tapestry, barred as the one below, and through which we see the secret stairs go winding down into a pit of black nothing
"Those bars aren't so close together; so I didn't have so much trouble in getting through."
Cecile laughs merrily in the guide's very face.
The room is desolate-bare as to floor, and full of echoes. There is dust, and plenty of it, upon the faded hangings of the bed; there are cobwebs wedding the panels overhead; there are grim shadows huddling wherever they can; and when we look for cheer at the window in the recess, it lets in only light which seems wet and gray with fog fresh from the sea.
The only bright thing is Cecile, and I know that the centenarian spiders long to drop on her fair head.
Almost joining the doorway opening out upon the secret stair is another, and through this we now pass from the royal bedchamber directly into the queen's supping-closet, a turret-room, where, crouching behind Mary and clinging to her dress, the poor Italian
begged for mercy, and from which he was
We stand in the little room mute with
Here Ruthven, fresh from his victim, came reeling and demanding his cup of wine, and here the candle-light shone that night upon her despairing face, and upon the table overthrown at her feet.
The guide allows us to think a while, and then awakens each by stating that the stain made by Rizzio's blood is still to be seen at the head of the staircase just outside the cabinet-door.
"These rooms are haunted, are they not?" asks Cecile, almost begging him to say yes with her face. "The driver said so."
"He only said so because he wanted a
"And doesn't anybody ever come to find
"So would I," says Dundas, sardonically.
"Yes, if you will tease until we get back safe to New York. I wouldn't miss gratifying you for the world."
"It is hateful of you to laugh at me. You're afraid, if you won't do it when I beg so."
"Yes, I'm afraid. Ask Schuyler."
"I would if I thought he'd say yes."
"You will come here in the night-time," she says, under her breath, for Dundas has thrown his thumb toward the guide, warning her that he ought not to hear," and stay here in the dark and listen and keep your eyes open ? "
"Yes, if you won't consent to my going to sleep when the ghosts do."
Mrs. Hogarth is a little ahead with the guide, in search of the apocryphal blood. stain in the floor, and, just as we are quitting the desolate, ghostly rooms, Cecile turns to have another look at them.
"Oh, if you should only see oue just one-wouldn't it be fun?"
We have looked at the dark stain, and are now seeking the Chapel Royal. In coming down-stairs Dundas somehow has gotten ahead, or we have lagged, or perhaps both, and I am now left quite alone with the woman I love.
"Am I to do all this for you and go un. rewarded?"
I look down at her steadily until she looks up. Many a girl would know at once what I mean, and many a one would go all the way through life without ever having a spark of the pure light in her eyes that shines up at me now from Cecile's.
"No, indeed. I'd do as much for you." "Would you! Then will you give me any thing I ask for if I outlive the ghosts?" "Yes-only I haven't much to give away." The answer, although I put it by to remember, hurts me, and when we come as we do now again in sight of Dundas, I feel like putting a bullet through him.
We are in the roofless nave of the chapel, with the ivy creeping up to look over on all sides- -a tapestry-frame old nearly as the walls, but with patterns born anew upon it every now and then.
Dundas is inspecting a door through which we are told the conspirators, on that wild x March night, ascended secretly to the presence of Darnley.
We loiter a while to tread the flat, vaultstones that cover the bones of old Scottish kings and queens, so weather-beaten and trodden upon that the dates are nearly all illegible, and we place ourselves-Cecile and I-by chance upon the very spot where, at daybreak, Mary, attired as if prophetically in mourning, wedded Darnley.
When I tell this to Cecile she starts away from the spot to stare at it from afar, a though a masked headsman stood there, pois ing a burnished axe upon his shoulder.
After studying for a while the shattere peers, the fleur-de-lis tracery, the double ro of arcades, we wander out through the doo way of the old chapel to examine the four tain in front of the palace, and the old dial.
As we enter the carriage, Cecile turns look once more at the windows from whic Mary Stuart used to gaze out upon the wi world of those days.
"If I were a man," she says, throwi herself back on her seat quite exhausted wi thought, "I should just want to live h where she did, and spend my life in thinki of her."
What a happy day it is! We return through the Canon-gate direct to the cas past the scale staircases of the old st lands; and, as we go, I tell Cecile that so did Montrose ride up on the hangm hurdle by the old Tolbooth that hangs clock out over our heads, as though to le ghost-know for certain that it is a real clock, can tick, under the aged stone balcony
"Well, I don't know. My hair might be Murray House, which also overhangs modest, and change color at it."
street, and where the foes of Montrose st long ago, mocking him as he passed.
We do the castle thoroughly, enjoy view once more, and return, as it wer the side issues of the old city-to the d. ent localities of interest that we have hi to been so eager to slight.
In the Grass-Market an uncanny old crone, for a shilling, sings one or two weird Gaelic Songs of the bride being dragged by her phantom lover to the ship that was never built by mortal hands; of the battle so red with blood, which drove the girl of Tantallon crazy, to haunt the ruins of the castle of the Douglases to this day.
Now a Highlander in a bonnet and tartan skirls on his pipes for Cecile a love-strain that touches her, for her eyes grow big and dark, and she leans forward to listen, with parted lips, when suddenly instead comes the plaintive coranach of a clan bearing their chief, rolled in a plaidie, to his grave.
When we return to the hotel for a late luncheon, we find Dundas's friends the Hagues already arrived, and I begin now to understand Cecile's allusion to the tribe of Ephraim. Besides mater and pater familias are two daughters and one son, while later in the evening this party is augmented by the arrival of another son and his comrade, who have been coming through the Trosachs on foot to meet them here.
Evidently, Cecile is influenced by jealousy of one of the daughters in her willful depreciation of these people, for, as far as I can see, they are fairly refined, and intelligent, and objectionable in no positive way. Annie Hague, whom Dundas sits by at table, is neither plain nor pretty, but good-humored to a tiresome extent; and Cecile, in having nothing to be jealous of, displays her woman nature in taking extra trouble on that account to be so.
At dinner, which we partake of at adjoining tables, each one has some different experience in traveling to relate; and when it comes Cecile's turn, she gives a minute and graphic description of her favorite Holyrood.
This brings us, of course, to the subject of ghosts again, and I am not permitted long to imagine that Cecile has in the least forgotten my rash promise to dare them for her sake. When she remembers, and taxes me with it, although I declare myself ready to stand the trial, I suggest that it may yet be an impossible thing for me to do, as, of course, after nightfall, no one would be permitted by the authorities to enter the pal
But Cecile is never at a loss for expedi
"Rob will find out some way," she says, and then the Hague sisters join in their entreaties until they spoil the whole thing. Later I see Dundas propitiate her by abandoning Miss Hague for a time, and, putting her hand through his arm, walk with hher up and down the corridor. I see Cecile
grow flushed, and excitedly answer something he is saying. I begin to grow sick with the idea that she loves him with her whole heart, after all, since he can turn her so with a touch or a word.
I rejoice in the chance to do something for her that he is too lazy and indifferent to ,do, and, although in one way I rebel somewhat against the effect of my own impetuosto theity of the morning, yet now, as I see them together, he dawning out from one of his laciturn moods, and she feverish with delight
thereat, I am fearful and jealous all at once, lest he is trying to step in and crowd me out from my voluntary position in the matter.
My suspicions as to his jealousy of me are strengthened when morning comes; he seems to avoid asking me to stroll out with him before the ladies are ready for the sightseeing, and starts off with one of the Hagues instead.
When he returns, however, he has walked off his spleen, and velapses into his usual spirit of camaraderie.
It comes out before long that he has been interviewing, at Cecile's request, our guide of yesterday, and has succeeded, by offering him a large bribe, in winning him over to her
"He says the only way for you to do is to go to the palace as late in the afternoon as the rules for visiting allow, and remain behind when the gates are closed. You can quit the palace the next morning when he comes with the keys."
"That isn't much to go through with to see a ghost," Cecile coaxes.
"No indeed. But it is a great deal to undergo and be disappointed. Now, if you would only promise me just one ghost-one would do—I couldn't demur."
"Well, I can't do that, you know—not exactly-but I will promise, perhaps, to make it worth your while;" and Dundas frowns at her suddenly, for she is looking up at me so coquettishly and slyly that my thoughts revert unwillingly to the scene of yesterday, when I pleaded so against going unrewarded.
The serene light has quite gone out of her eyes indeed.
"She is trifling," is my sober secondthought; but I never know what becomes of my intoxicated first one.
"Put it off altogether," I say, in a temper that I am fighting hard not to show. "I think I will back out after all.”
Oh, no, no!" cries Cecile, in a sort of enthusiastic terror, while Dundas bites his lip suddenly and turns his back, a movement so suggestive of a reciprocity in my own feelings of jealous restlessness that I am twinged all over with a species of satanic delight. "Oh, do not disappoint me, Mr. Schuyler! Nobody would do it for me but you—not even Rob."
And I am quite peaceful again in the thought of being able to please her, and in having startled Dundas anew into the conviction that he has somebody in me to fear and defy.
All day long Cecile keeps up her coaxing, alternately demure and mischievous, now exciting, now allaying my suspicions that she is making game of me to win Dundas back from his devotion to Miss Hague.
As for Dundas, he seems to avoid, since
my sudden outbreak and her tender treatment of it, all intercourse with either Cecile or me, and acts as though he had begun in real earnest to understand the situation, and was trying to pique Cecile by showing of what very little moment he considered it.
Only once or twice after we have returned from our sight-seeing for the day I find the two haunting corners, probably effecting a reconciliation, and disappearing like shadows at my unexpected approach.
I hate them quickly at this, and myself unmitigatedly, when I reflect that I am being used as a decoy, one for the other; and I hasten to resent in the next breath my own suspicion by adding color to Dundas's possible one in a wholesale devotion to Cecile.
In the mean time there is a great deal of frolicking in the party since the Hagues have joined, and Cecile is in her element. She orders the Hague men, just fresh from college, about as though they were born vassals to her, and the young ladies ape her manners and costumes with a minuteness that is positively ridiculous. As we become better acquainted with each other, practical jokes become a rage; and Cecile, whose inventive genius is a new revelation to me, devises all sorts of tricks, and executes them with the skill and assurance of a prestidigitator.
The second day after the arrival of the Hagues the entire party spend in driving out of town among the environs of green trees and greener grass that are kept so continually sea-christened by the fogs that roll in almost hourly from the Firth.
As we start off, Cecile, who is as usual all aglow with restrained excitement, says to me: "We are going to keep you quiet to-day by taking you to see the cows and sheep on the hill-sides; so that, if you do see a ghost tonight, it won't be one of an excited imagination."
"The only way for me to get out of the scrape is by hiring a boy to play in the cellar of Holyrood to-day with a match and some pine-shavings."
Oh, no!" cries Miss Hague, "you must not do that, for we haven't seen Holyrood yet, and we've been saving it for the very last, so as to have an excuse to take and leave you there. You wouldn't be cruel enough to disappoint us all now, and the ghost, too?"
"Don't worry, Helena. Mr. Schuylef hasn't the slightest intention of doing so. He is as good as his word."
"Yes, too good to be true," I answer, in a state of mental parallax; for, although I would thoroughly enjoy disappointing Miss Hague, on the other hand every thing Cecile says is so like the tick of a clock that, whatever language it may possess for others, I can suit my imagination to it with a precision of meaning that insures my deference and eagerness to be accommodating.
I continue in this sing-song condition of good-nature all day, for it seems to me that I have every thing my own way, and that out of sheer sympathy with my happiness the sun lags in rolling up-hill, and the fog even is considerate, and does not once display its wet blanket.
We drive from out the shadow of the city's
high, black roofs into the country-side, where we find the grass so tender and vividly green that one is nearly provoked into tasting it; and its smooth surface, rounding everywhere, is only broken at long distances by a show of sterile soil that is kept prickly with furze, and as a fine cover for game, and where we see the tenderer shoots browsed upon by the wandering sheep and cattle.
We drive to Craigmillar Castle, and over these feudal ruins Cecile is ecstasied; for here she again finds traces of Mary Stuart in its embattled walls and square, high keep, that the driven queen so loved to take shelter in. The ivy is wandering all over the old stones that peep out, hoary and grim with story, from between the light, soothing touches of leaves to drop their sands of time, as it were, gravely one by one down into the moat dried in a flowering hollow at their feet.
As we have brought luncheon with us, we picnic on the slope of the castle, from which we may see the low country stretching, crisp with tender, moist verdure, toward the sombre smoke of the city.
In the valley just below a loch lies still in a wicker work of willow and chestnut trees; the flying hair of the willows shimmering alternately green and white in the breeze over the rushes on the shore, and the swans, never tired of kissing their own wraiths, floating just under in the gray, chill water.
It is late in the afternoon when we bestir ourselves for a return to the city.
"All ho for Holyrood!" cries Cecile."Now, Mr. Schuyler, you have rested so long that you won't need to rest to-night, and you must promise not to let the ghost have any rest either."
"Am I not to be allowed to return to the hotel first?" I inquire, with solicitude. Really, you do not mean to dump me in that forsaken old palace dinnerless. If you should do such a thing, your conscience would make you more uneasy than the ghosts will me to-night."
"No, indeed. There is some luncheon left in the basket, and you shall have that. Don't make up a wry face, for it isn't all cake, by a good deal. There's a game-pie for you, and you really can't find fault with that. If we let you go to the hotel for dinner, you couldn't get into the palace at all.”
"Well, then, I'll give Dundas the gamepic, and I'll go home to dinner with you." "You are only talking for effect. going to take you straight to Holyrood and leave you behind."
"Leave me behind!" I echo, lugubriously. "Indeed, my shadow is the only thing I ever leave behind under such circumstances, for it can live without dining."
"Well, we won't talk about it," says Cecile, just as she might coax a child to have a tooth pulled; "we'll just go and see how it is, and then if at the last moment you are really frightened, why, you needn't stay- that's all."
The tone of her voice is suddenly become so conservative with age and experience, that I feel it might be proper for her to add to its effect by patting me encouragingly on the head.
To favor the possibility, I duck it toward her, whereupon she laughs aloud, and Dundas turns to look the other way, with the same stoical expression that he has been cultivating for the last forty-eight hours.
I am enjoying this day thoroughly in having made two men more miserable than they would have been had the force of circumstance left me entirely out of the census returns in my native country some twenty-eight years ago.
Foster is the other man, the comrade of the younger Hague in his walk through the Trosachs to join the family here; and I am so delighted to find one clinging to a lower round of the ladder than I that, perhaps in order to establish a precedent for future use, I begin to regard Dundas's claim upon Cecile's favor more impartially, and to tread my own ground well over before precipitating matters.
It is a glorious drive back to Holyrood from the castle, with Cecile lying opposite against the cushions, her cheeks throbbing color anew with every breath, and a mischievous light kept hidden by the half-dropped eyelids..
Back from the ivied walls of Craigmillar; past the gardens that make the air drunk with the sweet smell of fruit-blossoms, to the music of drumming-bees, the whistling of myriad birds, as if there were one for every leaf, and the singing of the insects all astir.
The distant hills are purple with heather and flushed gold on their tops, and the smoke of the heath-fires goes up unfolding like white wings, and is lost.
In the distance the battlemented towers of Holyrood come rearing up into sight, aud from here they look wet and black with yesterday's fog and to-day's desolation.
We are a little in advance of the remainder of the party, who are following in carriages, and I am glad, for now I can be almost alone with Cecile in the old palace for just one little while.
Our guide of the other day, according to orders received from Dundas, I suppose, is on the lookout for us, and seems as innocent and uninterested as men usually do when they have been bribed to the extent of rea
As we enter the court-yard, Dundas lounges off with him to one side as though only to inspect the pediment on the east side, upon which are sculptured the royal arms of Britain, and I am left to escort Mrs. Hogarth and Cecile up-stairs.
When we reach the top of the stairs we only give one peep into the picture-gallery, and then Mrs. Hogarth, who really looks pale and fatigued, and therefore never so handsome to my eyes, sinks upon a chair and increases her comeliness by declaring that she can go not a step farther.
So, as this chair upon which she reposes happens to be on the landing, just outside the audience-chamber to Darnley's suite, Cecile and I are permitted to wander on alone into the dusty square of uncarpeted room.
As we enter there is a scare of echoes, that the old tapestry smothers a little, and it sounds exactly as though the ghosts of dead
and-gone courtiers were scampering away at our approach, and hitting the floor and their heels with their dangling rapiers at every step in their flight. When we stop by the window, the clang stops too, and then, a little after, there is a duller clatter from outside as the carriages left behind drive up to the entrance and are brought to a turn.
Queen Mary's picture hangs on the wall, just over Cecile's bright head, as I stand with my heart in my eyes looking down upon her, and for a background she has a bit of old tapestry, that sets her forth like a flower with the dew fresh upon it, the stitches and colors are so old, and dingy, and moth
Upon the tapestry are embroidered little Cupids that toss grapes down from the vines, to other Cupids playing upon the ground; and as these snatch the grapes to suck them, they do not become more drunk than do I, draining thirstily all the joy out of this moment alone with the woman who stands here within reach of my arms.
She is fretting with color, and her hands clasp nervously one over the other. She is half-turning aside from me, as though eager to run away and no longer possessing the power; she parts her lips that grow pale now, but not to speak. Only a breath since she was laughing and defying me, and acting like a child that can never grow old. And now my eyes are aging ber, and the silence is calling her by the name of woman-and she is facing for the first time a fright that is only terrible in its sudden sweetness.
I forget Dundas. I step, almost without being aware, forward to touch and make it real to her. I begin to say something that is almost inarticulate, when I am startled back by the sound of feet upon the landing running this way, and the voice of Miss Hague crying, “Oh, where is Cecile? I really must tell her quick, or I shall die!"
When the voice is followed in by the owner of it, we are far apart-Cecile starin vacantly at an old shaky screen, and I exam ining another bit of tapestry on the othe side of the room.
All about us the echoes, sympathizin with my state of mind, go screaming back: the high-pitched staccato temper of Mi Hague's voice.
"Cecile-oh, I've the greatest joke to to you! What do you think? Mr. Foster b been imagining all along that you are engag to Mr. Dundas, and he wouldn't believe me the carriage when I told him the tru Mamma and sister had to assure him o and over again that you were not.”
The hanging of tapestry that I have be so rudely shocked into examining has tr upon it, and in long perspective a street wh goes wandering away, with people cross and recrossing as though trying to be both sides at one and the same time.
My vision becomes suddenly irresponsi and dazed into a state of ceaseless multi cation. The figures on the tapestry are cluded in this abbreviated process in wh they repeat themselves in a truly uncer and bewildering result.
"It is a ridiculous mistake, and one I am quite tired of," I hear Cecile's T
of having been embroidered by Mary's own industrious fingers, and which now, grotesque with age, serves as a throne for the reclining figure of my fair young girl.
I am frantic with longing to say just one word alone to her, and I hover about, ever alert to take advantage of any lapse in their seeming vigilance, for all at once they are possessed of a spirit of conspiracy, as it
Cecile looks up now, half mad with laugh- were, to prevent my getting near enough even
"And have you made the same mistake? Oh, you could not; you are not so stupid as Mr. Foster!"
"Yes, I am, in one way, and all about you. You don't mean to tell me that Dundas is-is your half-brother. If you do "-I catch my breath, for her face is crimson, and mine all aglow" what a donkey I've been !" The whole pack of them are upon us now, and we are separated in the crowd, so I take the first opportunity to get rid of this singing in my head by slipping down-stairs and out into the fresh air.
When Dundas comes to seek me I am pacing up and down the roofless nave of the Fold chapel, with the shine from the setting sun flashing through the aged doorway upon my face as I turn, and the grass pushing up from between the vauit stones like green nerves reaching out in uneasy filaments for the light, standing erect again after every tread.
"What are you doing here, Schuyler?" he says, in a restrained sort of way, which may mean one thing or another. mustn't try to skulk now at the last moment, for, if you do intend any venture of the kind, I will bring up the rear with a vengeance."
"I may be dumb, but I will not be driven. Go back to where you came from, and stay there."
"Do you know that we have only ten minutes left, and at the end of that time the rest of us must be out of the palace?"
"Very well, lead on. How you are taking for granted that I will not follow! "
In all my life I have never been so near embracing one of my own sex, and in my foolish excess of desire I am so afraid that I may make a guy of myself if I do not administer a hasty snub to the situation that of now I am stilting my phraseology in a way calculated to set Dundas's wits agog with Conjecture as to the provocation of it.
I see him look me stealthily in the face, as though uncertain as to whether a handerclasp or a blow is the chrysalis inclosed in this transparent covering of restraint, and I himam not more silent than be, as I follow him through the court-yard and up the flight of storied stairs.
to touch my hand to her chair. It is not long before I begin to hate everybody in the world but Cecile, and in the midst of their verbal clatter I become speechless and morose with imagining how different it all might be at this moment if they would only leave her here with me; how as she sits there in the dusk of her throne, like a white lily laid against black velvet, I might go to her, and, kneeling with my face upon her folded hands, tell her my story.
"You are looking dreadfully worried, Mr. Schuyler," says Miss Hague; “I do believe you are getting afraid. For shame. shame a big man like you!"
You know this is the room where the ghosts come," adds her younger sister, for fear that for one instant I may be left in peace; "if you don't stay here all the time, the guide says you won't see any. So, if you don't see any, we shall know that you have run.'
"If you find the horns of the dilemma one too many for you, toot the extra one out the window," says Dundas, grimly smiling at me, "and you will have the town about your ears in good earnest."
In the midst of it, the guide comes to say that it is high time for those who intend going to be gone, and then the luncheonbasket is brought in, and as Cecile continues seated, an unusual repose for her, and I lean up against one of the rickety bedposts, the Hague sisters spread hastily out upon a table the ruins left of our noonday meal, the gamepie having been alone left untouched. But I do not even complain at this; indeed, I am being led so meekly by the ear that, under ordinary circumstances, I would be inclined to make as much sport as possible out of it; but the idea of allowing Cecile to go away and be separated from her an entirety of twelve hours with all these thoughts unborn, yet in words strangling me, suffices to stun my appreciation of the frolic, and to make my cheeks hot and my eyes burn with an intolerable indignation at the nonsense of the whole situation.
I shall never forget how Cecile drags herself up from her dusky seat, in a tired way that I have never known her to affect before, nor how, without a word either of cheer or farewell, she passes me by and is gone. Just as I am about to defy them all and follow af. ter, the rest of them string after her one by one like an interminable flock of sheep-and I am left alone with the guide and Dundas. I awake with a start now to the knowledge that the latter has been regarding my melodramatic lounge against the bedpost, my frowning face and crossed arms, for some little time attentively.
"You really don't feel like backing cut now?" he asks, soberly.
"Don't stand there asking me questions. If you'll stay to dinner it's all right; but, if you intend to go, you'd better be about it. I don't want to see any thing more of you till daylight."
"I hope the gentleman has no fire-arms about him," says the guide, anxiously, while Dundas all of a sudden looks me squarely and keenly in the face, as though not caring to question me again aloud. "He knows I'm taking a good deal of responsibility, and it would not be well to have any thing of that kind going on in case the ghosts should be out."
Dundas motions the guide to the door, and we are left alone.
"Here is a pocket-pistol for you"-he hands me a flask-"I'll exchange with you if you are carrying any of the other kind."
But we do not exchange, for I take his and have none to give in return, and I laugh, for the first time in an hour, at his daring in having even suggested that I might consider such a precaution necessary.
I have the last word, and then I am left to listen to the rat-tatting of their boots across the floor of the outer room and down the stairs until the clang-to of the heavy door opening below into the quadrangle tells me that I am alone in the grim old palace.
I do not realize the enormity of it yet, for I am hastening to the western window to watch with a hot heart how Cecile has gotten away into her corner of the carriage, and, when she turns her face up, I feel exactly as though we were looking straight into each other's eyes.
This sensation keeps me warm some time after I have lost all trace of her, even to the last echo of the wheels, and the thick, soft silence crawls over the fire and tumult of my brain.
After a while there is a stab of sound made by footsteps upon the flags in the quadrangle below, and soon the guide, in company with two others, passes the window to cross the square and enter one of the ancient houses that opposite begin the Canongate.
NANNCHEN OF MAYENCE.
FROM THE GERMAN OF BERTHOLD AUERBACH.
ER name is Nannchen, and I will gladly tell her story.
Nannchen is certainly not a remarkable name in Mayence; many girls bear it. But Nannchen Becker is a remarkable girl, not on account of her beauty or her well-developed, powerful figure-there are many beautiful girls in Mayence, especially in Gartenfeld, where our Nannchen lives—but she has a specially brave nature, and, above all, can laugh so that it makes one's heart swell for joy; and when she laughs her face breaks into so many mirthful hues, especially around her brown eyes, that it is a pleasure to see her. She inherits her powerful figure from her father, Becker the porter, who works in unloading the steamers that ply up and down the Rhine, and is a noticeable personage. He