« AnkstesnisTęsti »
INDEX TO VOL. VII,
Domestic Art ....
Dulce est Desipere.....
V. 1 (RECAP)
" Her Cuckoo"
.JOHN ESTEN COOKE.
JAMES COTTER MORISON..
. EARL OF DUNRAVEN.
.S. G. W. BENJAMIN.
Rose-Ars, Victrix-The Hut-A Winter Phantasy-Secret
by Frederick Locker—" Portent," by Edgar Fawcett—"Fac-
FRANCIS H. GRUNDY
MARY WAGER FISHER.
MARIE LE BARON
57, 259, 339
WALTER BESANT and JAMES RICE.... 38, 97,
227, 327, 401, 528
.R. L. S....
Mrs. ANNIE EDWARDES.. 193, 289, 424, 494
the evening in question the two men had been sit
ting for some time in silence before the fire, Lane IT T was a cozy room for a bachelor's parlor, de- apparently gazing at the toes of his embroidered
a spite the untidiness that outcropped between slippers, tilting one foot on the top of the other the weekly visits of the housemaid and her “rid- by turns, to catch the reflected heat, while on his ding hands.” The carpet was bright with spots face was an expression of disgust, mingled with of color imprisoned in precise geometrical limi- grief. James stroked his mustache with his slentations; there were two low, deep-seated lounges, der hand, and gazed alternately at the glowing that must have been made “to order," as furni- grate, and then at a richly-incased miniature of ture men then (this was two-and-twenty years a pretty young woman that stood on the mantel, ago), as now, avoided as much as possible an ad- while his face shone with a radiancy as if a naphaptation of their wares to the comfort of the hu- tha lamp were mysteriously illuminating it from man body; there were some good engravings on within. the walls; some fantastic knickknacks clinging "Well,” finally spoke Lane, with a groan, about the mantel-piece and book-shelves, such as rising and leaning against the mantel, “I supare made by lady friends, who prick their fingers pose this is our last night together, after three and
weary their eyes in making, and which the years of chumming.” recipients never know what to do with, and se- “That will depend on you, Dick,” replied cretly dub a nuisance; then there were odd chairs, James. a large table bearing a huddle of printed litera- * Depend upon me! Quite likely, Jim,” he ture, and before a glowing, open fire, a pair of retorted, ironically (he abbreviated his friend's capacious fauteuils, occupied by the two men surname for convenience). “Your logic is like a with whose subsequent lives this story has to do, woman's. In spite of all my sighs and tearsand who may as well at once be introduced with for in your present state of exaltation you can the explicitness of a Frenchman's visiting-card: only appreciate sentimental phrases—in spite of MYGATT JAMES, Chemist.
our sworn loyalty and agrarianism of affection, RICHARD LANE, Banker.
as you have fantastically termed it, you coolly
put an end to all by tying yourself to a woman's Both were New-Englanders, doing business in apron-string. You marry! Then you say the New York. James, a man of thirty-two or three, continuance of our comradeship depends upon tall and slight, with dark mustache, hair crimped me. No man can serve two masters. Although and tumbled for effect, and, either from careless- a woman may be silly and vain, as most of them ness or a lack of real breeding, was never able are, and as characterless as a piece of gauze, yet to put on a clean collar and a new necktie with- she hangs about a man's neck like a millstone, out the fact in some way betraying itself, ap- or hedges him about like a prison-wall, so far as peared a fair type of a gay, kind, flirtative, light- his liberty is concerned. No, Jim; you married, hearted, but clever young fellow. Lane, several and you're the same as dead to me. The fellow years younger, was not so tall, but more strongly never lived who passed through the matrimonial built, and had a solid, manly look, combined with gate and came out alive in the old sense.” firmness, and an air of responsibility that placed James broke out into uproarious laughter. him in sharp contrast to his companion. Upon “Why, Dick—”
“Oh, you may well laugh," interrupted the to a blind man as to you of love. Wait until you sorrowful knight.“ Laugh now while you may. know what it is—until it opens your eyes, gives I frankly confess that this affair takes hold upon wings to your soul and body, transforms the my heart-strings. One doesn't pick up a friend world, and makes a fellow feel like a seraph. every day, and for a fellow to lose his one true Ahem! Dick—come, old fellow, don't look like a and tried stand-by 'is no laughing matter. I'd sepulchre, for I'm the happiest chap alive. I feel be a stupid hypocrite to pretend I didn't care. I as if I could touch heaven with my hands," and do care, and I'd be more of a brute than I care he straightened himself upon tiptoe, laughing, and to say if I didn't.”
then subsided to look at the miniature, adding, “But, seriously, Dick, do listen to sense and “but heaven is not so far away,” and concluded
You exaggerate things. Lizzie is the by kissing the picture. kindest and dearest little creature"
“ Bah!" ejaculated Dick, turning disgusted“ An angel, of course. They're all angels in ly away with his hands in his pockets. “This is ear-rings and corsets. Go on."
intolerable.” Then drawing out his watch, " I “ And our home will be yours as much as will say good night, Jim, and leave my adieux for ours; and"
the morning. We'll get through this tug with as “Nonsense, Jim! I've heard that rigmarole little demonstration as possible-pack and disof sense and reason ever since you've been in patch our traps, leave this dear old den, and then love, and it seems an age. If a woman in love separate like two pieces from an exploded meis crazier than a man, Heaven defend me from teor.” her! Women may be well enough in their way, The following morning Dick was up long bebut I don't see what you want of one. I'm sure, fore day, and with the aid of an extra pair of if I loved a woman, I couldn't have the heart to hands had his boxes ready for removal as the ask her to marry me; and if she loved me, and I breakfast-bell rang. The two chums exchanged wanted to retain her love, I could do it better but a few words during the meal, and then withthan to receive her into the familiarity that breeds drew to their parlor, which wore the look, as contempt. No man is a hero to his valet de James expressed it, “ of all your
broken-heartedchambre, and what can he be to his wife? For ness, Dick, and all my craziness." my part, I should like to see a man and woman “Oh, it is not strange that the room we have who in loving had the strength and sense to live lived in together,” replied Dick, “should have rationally, worthy of intellectual beings, enjoy gone daft and wild at this outrageous break-up; that comradeship, and give each to the other a it is enough to affect the composure of a granite loyalty, devotion, and unselfishness of affection bowlder. These poor arm-chairs look already that lie above the plane of touch and sense; but like abandoned and empty-armed old crones who no, they must all marry, you along with the rest have sat down by the wayside of life to mourn -Bridget and Patrick. Nothing is more com- for those that are not. November seems to have monplace and vulgar."
permeated everything within as well as without. "Why, Dick, the strongest feeling in a man's You hit upon a fitting season for this sorry busiheart when he loves a woman is the desire to ness, Mygatt.” protect and take care of her. It is the supreme Oh, let it be ‘Jim'till the last !" pleaded office of love."
James, seizing his friend's hand. “When you “Ah! yes; to shield her from the storms of say . Mygatt' I feel as if you had thrust me to life. How fine! That no rude breeze may visit the other side of the Atlantic," and tears filled her too roughly. How beautiful! And yet the his eyes. demands a man makes of his wife-demands Lane, who had a horror of scenes, coolly that bring suffering, anguish, and even death in threw off a dampening phrase. their train-are such as he would shrink from “ You shouldn't mind that so long as you inflicting on his most hated enemy. The French voluntarily remove yourself infinitely further proverb is true, at least for women: 'Aimer, away. But good-by, Jim-good-by.” c'est de souffrir.'”
A lurking smile hovered over James's face as “Ah, but you don't understand, Dick. You the two men looked in each other's eyes for a can't understand it until you are where I am. moment; but Lane's face was pitiably sad, and Love is the one divine mystery in life. For hastily drawing his hand from Jim's he darted Love's sake everything, even pain and torture, down stairs and was off for his office. becomes almost to be coveted; and, where love The evening found him installed in his new weds two hearts, no suffering can be borne en- quarters, and for the first time during many tirely by one, nor be unshared by the other. weeks he went to the theatre to drown his loneliLove is as willing to endure, as eager to enjoy. ness. After that he grimly set about hardening But I might as well talk of the sidereal heavens himself to his new life, drawing himself with