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enforced upon mc the necessity of restraint and calmness, andeverything, in fact, unnatural and dangerous, because I come as I know my wife must have expected me, a soldier, to come, not before I had fought her battle for her-but
Captain Prior,” the doctor interrupted him,“this is most unwise. Let me advise you—not to-day.”
Your father took no notice of the interruption, except to stop speaking for the moment ; but he continued to hold me and look into my eyes in a manner by which I understood that he was asking me if I could bear good news-great-great news.
As soon as I thought I dared risk hearing it, I laid my head on his shoulder and answered
“Yes I have prayed to Him who has mercy upon all“ prisoners and captives :" do not fear to tell me if my prayers have been-have been—not in vain.”
Ah, I wonder even now I was not utterly overwhelmed with all he had to tell me ;—that my heart did not break with the rush of tumultuous happiness that beat upon it so unexpectedly. As I listened to him, or tried to listen, it was without the possibility of any exact understanding of the meaning of the details he related, but with an ever-increasing sense of a joy so full and perfect as to become at last almost suffocating.
At a later day, in a calmer state, he repeated all to me—how instantly on his arrival, he had obtained an authoritative introduction to the governor of the prison, and had taken counsel with him and the doctor and the matron as to my state and the propriety of discussing with me all that he had determined to do—and how he had then resolved, trusting to a natural instinct that seemed to defy nature itself, not to see me, or let me know of his arrival, till he had proved my innocence before the whole world.
He felt he said that if he saw me, and made me share his own hope and determination, and then through the inexorable cruelty of circumstance failed, my last state would be worse than the first; whereas, by reserving for me the knowledge of his absolute faith in my innocence, he reserved also a source of inestimable help and comfort even if I should discover all he had vainly striven for.
In that spirit he went to work. He sought out and conversed with every person who had been, however slightly or remotely, connected with the affair. He engaged the service of the most eminent counsel, employed detectives, and after all would have miserably failed, but for the intensity of purpose and the almost holy devotion to the cause that possessed him.
From the first he had found it impossible to resist a convictionwhich he could find no one to share, that the crime was absolutely confined to one of two persons—his own wife or the nurse. Many were willing to believe him right as regarding my innocence--none
as regarded the nurse's guilt. She had borne herself, they said, so well through the affair, she had so obviously appeared to speak unwillingly against me, and she had a good character.
Hopeless of aid, he, half in despair, took the matter at last into his own hands. A few words had been dropped in an unguarded moment by the nurse's lover, which he thought might mean everything, but which all about him, after careful inquiries, were sure meant nothing. Accepting these as the last remaining chance of a happy solution, he also accepted them in a spirit of such determined conviction that his own faith alone carried him at once to the goal.
I tremble even now as I write the words, remembering once more all that hung upon the moment. Shaping his course with the most admirable tact, skill, and courage, he suddenly confronted her, repeated the words I have spoken of to her in a voice of the deepest significance; she lost colour; her limbs trembled ; she would have fallen, but that he caught her ; and then so powerfully addressed at once her fears and her hopes, that before she had time to realise how little after all he might know, he wrung out of her a full confession,
her his promise that he would spare no exertion or influence at his command to obtain for her merciful consideration.
She would have retreated, he found, when she got to the police station ; but he had taken care to have credible witnesses within hearing, so the wretched creature yielded to her doom, and pleaded guilty. And your father more than fulfilled his promises to her. I have by me a touching letter, written by her years afterwards to me, that I shall seek, and send you with this.
Dear Will, I have little else to tell you.
The day, then, of your father's visit to me, was the day when all was so wonderfully accomplished, and I knowing nothing of it, and when your father, the doctor, and the matron were full of doubt and anxiety as to how safely to tell me he had obtained permission to remove me from the prison at once. But I was of the doctor's opinion that it was safest for me to remain there one more night, and grow quietly accustomed to the thought of my liberty. Besides, it seemed to me that a heart so full of happiness must have some sweet or soothing influence on that gloomy place by merely resting there a few hours, and I could not put from me the childish idea that it was selfish to wish to hasten from it now that I was so rich in peace and liberty.
On the next day, before my departure, I was allowed to see and take leave of each of my fellow-prisoners, which I did with a pity and yearning that deprived me of the power to tell them half I wished of a Deliverer for them also, not so far distant as He then might
* * * * * *
We shall now be tempted to be a little discursive on the colours most worn and most appropriate for head-dresses, but we trust that the practical bearing of the following remarks upon the art of beauty in dress will be too obvious to need any further apology. Many colours are suitable enough to wear in a dress that are most unbecoming in a head-dress : a colour may even be used in the former that could not for a moment be admitted close to the face, as its defects may be remedied artistically by some contrasting colour on the head which improves the face and also harmonises with the dress. Black and white are not, however, necessarily more becoming than colours, as some erroneously suppose--white, indeed, being most trying in masses near complexions that are not very clear or very rdsy; and black being extremely gloomy if unrelieved by some other colour-except, of course, in the case of lace, which, from its variation in texture, is never either pure black or pure white. It is in itself black and grey, or white and grey, and in addition reveals the colours that lie beneath it.
We will commence with blue, as the most important of wearable colours.
BLUE has always been a favourite hue among nations past and present. It is difficult to account for its popularity. In large masses it gives the impression of coldness. It is neither so stately as yellow,
. so vivid as scarlet, nor so manageable as black or white. Perhaps it is because there is so little real blue in nature (if we except the sky) compared with other colours, that it commends itself somewhat as a novelty to our eyes.
There are very few blue flowers; not many blue birds, nor fishes,. nor insects, nor minerals : in animals and in the human race there is no blue at all. No beast has blue fur, nor has anybody a blue skin. Blue eyes, which light-haired persons all fancy they possess, are about the rarest things in nature; and when they do occur, are not pleasing. We may even give up the “blue vein," which poets love, as visionary: the veins perceptible, for the most part, are either grey, red, greenish.
Dark blue was the mourning colour among the ancient Romans, under the Republic, as it is at the present day in Turkey; violet being confined to the nobler classes.
Blue and purple have, from time immemorial, been in high favour
with spiritualists : it is needless to point out that Fra Angelico's famous blues--singularly pure, transparent, and beautiful-are all associated with what we may call intensely spiritual atmospheres. Blue is said to be the colour of truth ; purple and white signify purity. Professor Tyndall says it is the colour of the air.
The early Britons evidently admired the colour, as they were in the habit of tattooing divers forms and figures on their bodies, which they stained blue with the plant woad, and which, Cæsar says, gave them a frightful aspect in battle. They were exceedingly proud of these marks, and Herodian attributes their very light and airy style of dress to their desire of displaying them.
Our Saxon ancestors appear to have dyed or otherwise coloured their long bushy hair of a blue colour, as in Saxon drawings they are
a frequently thus portrayed. It is not known clearly by what means whether by steeping it in a dye, or filling it with powders of the desired hue. Some suppose the fashion to have been introduced from the East. The use of coloured hair-powders and dyes was practised, according to Josephus, by the Jews, who had a very extensive knowledge of the art of self-adornment. We also find the hair painted green and orange in these Saxon drawings, but blue was the favourite tint. We must not, however, confound this colour with that of Mr. Fox's wig, as described in the “Monthly Magazine" of 1806, when he is said to have worn “ blue hair-powder," as this was probably about as blue as the fur of the blue foxes in the Arctic regions—a kind of grey white. No one, as far as we can find out, has been bold enough since the old Saxon time to appear with blue or
Yet it would probably be a pretty fashion, and to many faces most becoming. If people whose hair is grey-brown dye it bright chesnut, they might just as well dye it blue. The description of the Sea-queen in the old fairy tale, with her pale strange face, bright eyes, and seagreen hair, leaves on us an impression of beauty. At any rate, whatever “goody” people may say about the folly of dyeing one's natural locks, if women must beautify beauty, it would be far more pretty to powder their heads with colour or gold, which could easily be brushed out, than to give themselves the appearance of deformity by ill-studied pads that outrage nature and good taste, to say nothing of art.
The famed “ Tyrian blue," once in such wide request, was not blue at all. The great difficulty of accurately describing colours, owing probably in some measure to the fact that hardly two people see colours quite alike, has given us very mistaken ideas of this dye. It is sometimes spoken of as blue, at other times as purple, at other times as bright red.
When we now speak of purple in contradistinction to violet, most persons properly mean a rich dark blue ; but people have such mixed
ideas of what this colour is, that when anybody says a thing is purple one is always justified in asking whether he means red or blue. The Romans and Greeks used the word in so many senses that it seems to have signified at length no hue in particular, but ranged from pink to coal black, inclusive of every shade of lilac and blue.
The word purpura appears to find its derivation in the Greek porphura (porphyry), which is a dark brown red.
Virgil speaks of the blue sea—mare purpureum ; Propertius, of the rainbow—arcus purpureus. Ovid calls a blush purple-pudor purpureus, gence purpureæ, &c. Also he mentions purple hair; in the latter case he might mean either the deep-blue black, which we now admire in Italian tresses, or he might mean red hair. In the case of the cheeks, as it is impossible any face could grow blue unless by doses of mercury, he must have used purple in its pink or rose-red
We cannot, however, assume that it always signified red, as in that case the word could scarcely have been applied to the seaor to the night—or actually termed nigra purpura (Virgil).
Blue was used in as optional a sense as purple. Ovid calls Neptune the “blue god,” deus cæruleus; and Virgil applies the same term to Neptune's chariot. The night, the boat of Charon, the horses of Pluto, usually supposed to be black
“The coal-black horses rise, they rise "trees (aerulea arbor Palladis), vegetables (cæruleus cucumis, for instance) [Propert.], are alike called blue, when they must mean either black or green. Indeed, the Roman love for varieties of blue was such that purple came to signify“ beautiful,” “shining.” Hence, the verb “to enpurple” meant to beautify, to adorn. To be born in the purple is a term we still use, though the colour is no longer sacred to royalty; and we sometimes say "purple blood,” “purple sunset,” &c., when we mean to say red.
Thus there has been much speculation about the blues and purples of the ancients, and especially about the famous Tyrian dye. Some have supposed it to have been identical with our own dark blue ; others bright violet, or even scarlet! But colours* in those times were not what modern chemistry has made them: we can almost match the flowers now. There is every reason to suppose from the vague way in which colours were applied to objects pale or dark throughout the ancient world, that they were mostly dull and imperfect, and, like the modern Oriental colours, each partook greatly of some other, so that there was not much incongruity in calling a black horse “ cerulean,” or a red cheek and the sea alike “purple," or a cucumber either. The Tyrian dye was in reality nearly allied to our own puce (filea
* See Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, art, Colours.