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the saint over an altar. Never had M. de Vannoz seen her look like that, so happy, so tender, and all for an empty room and an ink-pot! The maid lifted rebellious hands to heaven with one irrepressible outburst, "Mon Dieu, et Madame si ravissante en chemise!" Mme. de Vannoz heard the voice, but not the words, and nodded with an unseeing smile and an automatic: "Good night, Nise. Amuse yourself." With a shrug and a sigh, Nise closed the door.

MME. DE VANNOZ stretched her arms, moving her long, supple fingers, cramped by their tense grasp of the pen. What she had written would come to barely three pages of the "Revue," but every word would etch itself on the reader's memory. She drew a sharp breath of conscious triumph, and taking up her pen, she kissed the smooth tortoise-shell, still warm from her hand. She kissed it at once reverently and passionately, as a conqueror might embrace his proved sword. Her clock struck eleven; she yawned, and went to the French window, pausing a moment before closing the shutters to look into the shining night. Suddenly she bent forward, narrowing her eyes; there unmistakable in the moonlight the girl was fluttering down the steps of the hotel toward the terrace. Mme. de Vannoz's lip curled back unpleasantly.

"It was a fan that we left behind in my day," she thought. "Well, it is not my affair." She was fond of the boy, and sorry for him; but "it is not my affair," she repeated insistently, and laid hold of the shutter with a hand that was not quite steady. Let him make his own mistakes, and pay for them, as others had done. At that moment she was aware of a movement in the garden. The habit of living alone had made her fearless; drawing the velvet robe more closely about her, she stepped out unhesitatingly among the clipped myrtles of her tiny terrace.

"Who is there?" she demanded. "It's only Seymour," came the answer. "Seymour?" she was brusk with amazement. "Why are you here?"

sure that I love her, and that I can make you understand. I know I can."

To him she was only a dark figure, mysterious and immovable, against the lighted window; but she could see him now, his lifted face radiant in the moonlight, beautiful with the purity of unconscious passion. She leaned back against the window-casing, suddenly faint, closing her eyes in a vain effort to shut out that look; but the face that burned through her lids was the face of Julien de Vannoz. Twenty years ago he had lifted such a face to her in the moonlight-to her, such a girl as the one who waited now for Seymour on the terrace, just such a girl as that.

"You know you love her?" she repeated. "Have you told her so?"

"Not yet. I have not been able to see her alone all the evening," - Mme. de Vannoz smiled grimly,-"but to-morrow" his sudden silence throbbed with masterful promise; then he was the boy again-"I saw your lights, and I could not sleep, wondering if I had hurt youyou who have been so divinely kind to me!

And I know that now I can make you understand her.”

"Do it, then," she said. She came down the steps to where he stood and laid her hand on his arm. "Make me understand, my friend."

Bewildered, he looked at her. This was the voice he knew, hoarsely tender like the lower notes of a cello; but there was a new and strangely troubling quality in its music, as if a devil and an angel together were drawing the bow across the strings. He drew back half afraid from the intimate beauty of this unaccustomed face, the scent of this loosened hair. Her eyes were deep; he had a fancy that a man might drown in them.

"We have shared so many thoughts, you and I," she went on, with a sudden deepening to tenderness. "Share this also with me, this most wonderful thought of all."

A sudden joyous intoxication of completeness caught him; her words had joined for him, with one exquisite touch, his present and his past. It seemed to him that she held out to him the graven

"To ask you to forgive me." "What! Have you found I was right, cup of his studious dreams, foaming and then?"

"No," he laughed joyously, with a little gulp like a sob,-"but now I am

sparkling with the heady wine of youth. Truly the elixir of life, he thought. To what a miracle it had unsealed his vision!

How had he drawn so near this radiant presence, and remained unaware of all but the calm fellowship of minds? How had he so long conceived her only as a keen, impersonal intellect-this woman, an incarnate perfume among the flowers of the garden, such a passionately human goddess as might have stooped to Endymion in the fragrance of the Latmian night?

She moved as if to rise, and somehow he found her hand crushed between his own. In the hush she heard the steps of the girl on the terrace, but he heard only the beating of his own heart. The steps receded; the girl was going back to the hotel. Now there was silence, and in the silence she, too, heard his heart beating. So she had heard Julien's heart twenty years ago. She caught her breath as with a sob; her eyes drew his; she swayed toward him as if the sheer force of his will compelled her; then she was in his arms.

A hot saltness of tears stung his lips, and suddenly, sick with shame, he slipped to his knees at her feet, hiding his face in the folds of her robe. Silently she drew away from him and stood erect.

"It's you that I love!" he blurted, breathless, desperate. "You understand that you must understand that! Youthere's nothing but you in the worldwill you marry me?"

"No," she said.

"I know," he whispered brokenly. "You must despise me. What faith could you have in me? And yet can't I prove-" "That is not why," she said. "Listen

to me. You can listen now."

Amazed, he looked up at her. He could still taste the bitter sweetness of the tears that were shining on her cheeks, and yet now he could as readily have kissed the summit of the Dent du Midi as that calm, weary mouth.

'Can you say that you love me now?" she asked, with a touch of irony.

"I-" he choked; and there was a silence.

"You came here to make me understand how you loved her," she went on quietly. "Do not you yourself understand a little better now?"

"You were playing with me, then?" he asked after a moment.

"If you call it that," she answered. He stood up, staggering a little, and sketched an unsuccessful laugh.

"Well, I congratulate you; you have won your point," he began gallantly, but ended in a cry of frank misery: "Why did you do it? How could you do it? You have killed my faith-"

"My friend," she interrupted sternly, "you know as little what you say now as you did when you spoke of love a while ago. What love is, I do not know, unless it be like what I feel for my work; but I do know, and so henceforth do you, what it is not. As for faith-it is not thus that faith dies; it must be starved to death day by day, hour by hour. I tell you I have made many men suffer as you are suffering now, but I killed the faith of only one. That was my husband."

THE clock struck twelve as Nise opened the door with circumspection and peeped in; then she crossed to the writing-table and touched her mistress gently. Mme. de Vannoz lifted her face from her folded arms, shaking back her hair, and Nise recoiled with a cry of dismay.

"Madame has overtired herself!" she protested.

Mme. de Vannoz's brow contracted with a twitch like pain; then she laid her hand caressingly on the litter of scribbled sheets, and the whimsical twinkle came back to her eyes.

"Tired?" she said. "Par exemple, how should I not be tired? In one hour I have lived twenty years, and written a thing to make the world blink. Do you think that costs nothing? It is not so that one grows younger. Now get me to bed quickly and rub my head. It aches."

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Author of "The Commercial Strength of Great Britain," etc.

IS Most Excellent Majesty George V, by the grace of God King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the British dominions beyond the seas, Defender of the Faith, and Emperor of India," opened the present session of his Parliament in person on February 10 with the customary innocuous "Speech from the Throne." With the inauguration of this Parliament the Government and the people of England are brought face to face with the greatest crisis in their political history since the middle of the seventeenth century, when the famous "Long Parliament" was incidental to a life-and-death struggle between the people and special privilege.

Modern history begins and ends with the activities of the English nation. Whether this will be true of the years now to come will be determined by what is born of the present travail. No nation has before it a greater number of problems of vital significance or greater portent demanding immediate solution. The entire social, political, and economic situation is in a state of flux. Extremes of the new are at war with extremes of the old. The people, without being able clearly or definitely to formulate their demands in a large way, are asking insistently for a redistribution of land, money, opportunity, privilege, and power.



HEREDITARY rulers, as for centuries past, are still trying to deal with the people as with a different race of human beings from themselves, and even such concessions as have been made to the democratic spirit of the age and the demand for a redistribution have been made in a certain spirit of condescension, which robs them of much of their effectiveness in

quieting the turbulence, or modifying the spirit of self-determination, shown by the beneficiaries. These consolation measures have therefore only hardened the aggressors in their attack upon constituted and established order.


The House of Lords has already fallen into desuetude, thus leaving the English people with that most dangerous form of government, a single legislative body. Old-age pensions, compulsory insurance, employees' liability, and numerous other measures have failed to satisfy. wage-workers and the tenantry, embracing as they do a vast majority of the people, have banded together to wrest from the employer and the landlord the profits and privileges that landlords and employers have long enjoyed. Remarkable progress has been made under the present Liberal government, for its appeal for power and the reason for its possible continuance in office lie in its avowed sympathy with this attack upon the possessions of those who have, whether it be earned or unearned increment.



THE first matter which will be disposed of by the present Parliament is the proposed disestablishment of the Welsh Church, a move premonitory of final separation of church and state, which will be demanded and secured by the English people in the course of time. Preliminary and public discussion of this measure is only a sparring for time, however, as following close upon it the matter of home rule for Ireland looms tremendously upon the near political horizon. There is far more in this Irish question than merely the administration of Irish affairs. The people of the northeast corner of Ireland, led, aided, and abetted by the opposition to

the Liberal party, have openly rebelled at the threat of political segregation from England. The campaign so far has developed one of the most magnificently conceived and carried-out pieces of political strategy and obstruction the world has

ever seen.

THE SERIOUS PROBLEM IN ULSTER IMAGINE the citizens of Maine declaring their purpose to resist the enactment of a proposed federal law by force of arms, and the difficulties immediately confronting the party in power in Washington quickly suggest themselves. Go further than this, and imagine a meeting of the general staff in Washington to consider a plan for armed demonstration against these same citizens of Maine to enforce a law that Congress might enact, and the enforcement of which was opposed by the people of that State. Such a council of war has been held by the British general staff, and as each regiment was suggested for service in the recalcitrant Irish county of Ulster, it was rejected for some reason or other as being undependable in a campaign against fellow-citizens. A majority of the Irish people want to have their government administered from Dublin, with the largest possible measure of freedom from English interference. The minority, who are opposed to this plan, however,-and the line is fairly drawn between Catholic and Protestant, the former being home-rulers, -are vigorous in opposition to the point of open rebellion against any government which may be established at Dublin. In other words, the English Government is placed in the position of opposing its loyal citizens who happen to live in Ireland. The people of Ulster are in deadly earnest. No one really familiar with the situation accuses them of bluffing, and it is this very sincerity which is forcing the Liberal goy ernment to a compromise measure which shall exclude the Irish county of Ulster from the operation of any Irish home-rule bill which shall become a law. Back of the Irish question, however, looms a larger purpose on the part of the Unionist, or opposition, forces. These forces include those who believe that the House of Lords should be rehabilitated in some manner, so as to give the English people

an effective second legislative body, and the organization of such a chamber is one of the conditions for compromise over the question of home rule for Ireland.


THE suggestion that the British system of government be entirely reconstructed to meet present needs is far too radical, and may not find any considerable following; but it is significant that nearly twenty years ago Mr. Joseph Chamberlain put forth the idea that the only possible way to solve the Irish home-rule problem successfully was for England to adopt the American form of government in so far as it provides for state legislatures and federal government. With local parliaments in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, an imperial parliament sitting in London, comprising within its organization not only representatives of the political divisions of the British Isles, but of the British oversea dominions as well, there would come to pass a British empire of such solidarity as to raise no question of dissolution for generations to come. It is within the possibilities of the future that this may come about, for with home rule for Ireland will come new strength to the demand for home rule for Scotland, and to grant that would give practical form to the suggestion of an imperial or federal parliament. This is all the more likely in that the overseas dominions are already asking for representation; and if this is not granted, more and more power will have to be relegated to colonial legislatures, thus inevitably weakening the ties of empire.


IF the present English Parliament enacts an Irish home-rule bill, even though it excludes Ulster from the jurisdiction of Dublin, such a measure will be rejected by the present House of Lords. It can be made into a law, however, by being passed again in the House of Commons over the veto of the Lords. The Liberal party now has a sufficient majority in the Commons to do this, but before the measure can be resubmitted, there will be a general election in England. An election for Parliament is compulsory every seven

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