Puslapio vaizdai

stitches of this hemming were grass. Soon he recognised Afzal remarkable. He turned it over, and the Cossack Prikaznik. conning it inch by inch : the They welcomed him with joy, succession of long and short and explained that they had stiches spelt out a message in had to fight a Red party which the dashes and dots of the surrounded the Sart's farm, Morse code. It was brief. It and to retire to the spot fixed contained the word “fight," beforehand, a group of springs and the code name they had named Kizil Bulak.

All was invented for one of their tryst- well; one of the Cossacks was ing places forty miles away in slightly wounded, and they the foot-hills.

had ridden back with a spare He rummaged about still horse to find him. That evenfurther, and found some mealie ing they reached Kizil Bulak, cobs. They were dry and hard, heartily glad to rest from all and seemed to have been over their troubles before a cheery looked for some time. With but carefully - shielded fire. these and some water from a Their only anxiety now was shallow well be staved off about Xenia and Iwwaz Bai hunger. Filling his pockets and the Plan, but the subaltern with the last half-dozen, he set felt that the old man would out on foot to the northward. pull through somehow. Next

The steppe was not diffi- day he sent out three small cult walking, so he kept a patrols in likely directions to couple of hundred yards from help them in. It was not till the trail and parallel to it. the morning after that they This meant a good deal of appeared, not only safe, but extra labour, since every now with the Plan intact, and esand then he had to hark back corted by half a dozen friendly to make sure that he had not smiling Kirghiz, who bowed lost the direction. He tramped low before Iwwaz Bai. How hard till the dawn rose over at last they reached the enerthe mountains, to which he getic young Cossack colonel who toiled.

had succeeded the revered AtaHe rested a little, and man, how he welcomed the marched on through the morn- timely Plan, how they joined ing. It was well after noon in the raids and attacks of when he spied three tiny dots the Irtysh Cossacks, and how on the vast sweep of the at last they achieved an imhorizon before him.

In an

mense desert journey through hour they had become two the ancient cities of Samarkhorsemen leading a spare horse, hara and Sogdiana to a remote coming towards him. He lay British consulate in Persia, is hid in some clumps of high another story,




of a

THIS volume is the third Henriette belonged to that

series of Letters, the aristocracy of women to whom first of which were written by self-sacrifice is as natural as Ernest Renan as a seminarist, self-interest is to their inand the second principally from feriors. For the sake of helpSaint-Sulpice between the years ing her family, and particularly 1838 and 1846.

of providing funds to enable The third volume begins in Ernest to continue his studies the year 1846, when Renan in Paris, she took a position for was twenty-three, and gives ten years in the family of a his intimate personal history Polish count, and her exile during four years in Paris. from country, home, and friends His correspondent was his sister was complete. What alleviaHenriette, ten years older than tions her lot contained we do himself, and, like many an not know, but some there must elder sister, the devoted ad- surely have been, or the delimirer, protector, and helper cate woman would hardly have of her brilliantly-gifted younger survived those ten long years. brother.

In her letters she never speaks Ernest was in the difficult of any pleasures, either of position of having renounced a scene or of society, but laments clerical career, while yet with- the bitter climate, the frozen out other means of support, soil, the heavy ceaseless snows from the sole motive of intel- of the six-months' winter. The lectual honesty. The step he people around her are referred had taken was deplored by his to in a mass as “ces barbares, mother, a lady of limited under- but by her younger brother, standing, but quite alive to when his feelings are embittered her own pecuniary interests. on her account, as ces canniOn the other hand, it was ap- bales.” She lived in his letters plauded by Henriette, a highly- following his labours, trials, educated woman, with percep- and triumphs.

and triumphs. He writes to tions as clear, and a sense of her of everything—that is, of honour as delicate, as her everything that concerns himbrother's. Long before he won self, as is the way of youth, his first distinction as a student and he writes the more fully of Oriental languages, she di- because she is his only convined his genius, and her faith fidante. in his future never faltered. “You are perhaps the only

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person to whom I tell my to his sister after one of his thoughts, besides one single first examinations ; and the friend, my faithful and under- result of these was nearly alstanding Berthelot. When I ways the same a fresh success, talk to other people, I simply and another friend.

It was agree with them.'

fortunate, for he depended He was by no means expan- much on mental intercourse, sive, this prudent young man. and had no other recreation. The times were very difficult, “Minds are only formed by and his future as yet unassured. contact with minds,” He lived with the utmost thought. “ 'Tis 80 necessary economy, cultivated the ac- to have some exciting cause quaintance of learned men, outside oneself.” Like all enand laboured unceasingly, sav- thusiasts in their youth, he ing his moments as a miser enjoyed his solitary hours of saves gold. He was working work. These are the fruits for University honours, and I gain from my solitary conat the same time preparing centrated life : finding strength for publication a Hebrew Gram- in myself, and inward activity mar, a project which had al- to supply the place of outready won notice and encour- ward. What, am I alone when agement from men whose notice I have Kant, Herder, Plato, was an honour. Whatever the Leibniz with

Where stringency of outer circum- will you find men like these, stances, and however narrow and where do they speak more his means, Renan never had familiarly than in their books ? to complain of neglect or in- Talking with them, I exclaim difference from the learned men to myselfof his day. M. le Clerc, the severe Latinist; M. Reinaud

'How doth the sight of such exalt me

in myself !' of the Bibliothèque Royale ; M. Cousin, that philosophic and in my poor, little, bare, idol of his generation ; and, and lonely room I pass some above all, M. Durnouf the moments of incredible fulness Orientalist, recognised the im- of happiness. Then sad realities portance of Ernest Renan while occur to my mind ; but they he was as yet unimportant, count for little with me when undistinguished, almost un - I begin to speculate. Ah ! how known. They never failed to I thank God for having placed respect at first sight that my happiness in thinking and scholarly thoroughness which feeling!” makes irresistible appeal to It is the language of youth, the scholar.

and perfectly sincere.

At a “ He seemed to think I had later time, when he was placed gone to the bottom of the sub- for some weeks at Versailles, ject" (la question lui a paru taking the place of the learned traitée à fond), Ernest wrote M. Bergot, and occupying his

me ?

luxurious flat, Ernest felt his at three o'clock, he wrote with heart yearn towards the bare frozen fingers the last lines of walls and familiar wooden table the great Essay, and tasted of his poor old room. I a keener joy at its completion lived through so much there,” than any success or applause he reflected ; "I thought and could give. One imagines that felt so many things there." Berthelot would have been

And he was tempted to re- thankful too. As for Hentake the poor old room when riette he should return to Paris. But now came a heavy blow. Perhaps, philosopher though he He had counted and measured was, the fear of death withheld his competitors for the Prix him — since, in fact, he must Volney, and thought he had no have been almost frozen alive serious reason to fear any of when he worked at night in them. At the eleventh hour that “glacial chamber," the M. Pillon entered the lists, a thought of which was more celebrated Hellenist, sixty years paralysing to poor Henriette old, whose works were already than the freezing winds of Po- famous. It was quite unpreland. But who that has worked cedented that a savant with a heart and soul at some con- reputation of long standing genial subject, with an excit- should compete for this prize, ing contest ahead, and all the which was always intended as uncertainties of competition, an encouragement to young can fail to understand Ernest's aspirants. It was as though affection for the room where M. Cousin should present himhe toiled at his ‘Historical self at an examination in philand Theoretical Essay on the osophy. To Ernest it seemed Semitic Languages in general, that his chance was gone. and on the Hebrew Language Without a trace of resentment in particular'? The subject in his deep disappointment, he was so ambitious, the labour it remarkedentailed so arduous, that he “M. Pillon is an honourable confided to one except and laborious savant if ever Henriette his project of com

there was one. A whole life peting for the Prix Volney; of labour, signalised by the and the time, besides, was so production of most useful works, short that he often sat up for is assuredly more than enough half the night in that un- to

a decision in his warmed room, visited by none favour at a competition like except the faithful Berthelot, this; in addition to which I who would bring him hot have heard elsewhere that M. tisanes to drink, inquire what Pillon is very little favoured number of pages he had in point of fortune, and this finished, and give general sym- step alone is enough to prove pathy and support. At last, it ; for it cannot be in search on the morning of 15th March, of honour that he is entering



with us, when he has so many ance it brought him of M. other proofs of distinction as Durnouf. to make this very superfluous Hitherto his chief support to him. Besides, I must admit had been M. Reinaud ; but that whatever the merit of that excellent man had failed my own work, of which I am to grasp the real aim of his no judge, it is very evident work in its widest interpretathat M. Pillon's is the result tion, and had caused him beof far longer and riper research sides acute suffering by inthan mine, and I am persuaded sisting on his deleting certain that if he wins it will be quite pages of the great Essay, for fair in every respect."

fear of their giving offence to Words which show an admir- the orthodox. Ernest subable temper in one at least of mitted, from prudence, and, M. Pillon's opponents. The as he confided to Henriette, final result was a remarkable replaced “two or three pages one, in fact unique, for the which were just what I conCommissioners were so much sidered the most delicate reimpressed by the merit, and sults of my work, with some more particularly by the scope perfectly insignificant platiof Renan's Essay, that they tudes.' awarded him the prize and M. Reinaud, most orthodox first mention; but to avoid of men, applauded him corany injustice to the veteran dially, but Ernest, with his savant, a second prize of equal unerring instinct for the root of value was bestowed on him. the matter, felt that "praise

From that day Ernest Renan on minor points gives small was no longer obscure. He pleasure when one is conscious remained poor, because he de- of having deserved it on the clined to accept any of the more important aspects of the posts offered to him, since a question." (Les éloges sur les post in the provinces would points accessoirs nous touchent have put an end to his re- peu, quand nous croyons les searches in Oriental languages, mériter par des côtés plus imfor which the materials existed portants.) only in Paris. With Henriette's All the greater was his pleafull approval, he declined to sure in the perfect understandimprove his worldly position ing of M. Durnouf, which he at the expense of his oppor- expresses with delighted pretunities for study, and a post cision. “To tell you the truth, in Paris, with leisure for research, I far prefer the deep satisfacwas difficult to obtain. He tion this has given me to all lived on in the bare-walled the other external advantages room, but not unnoticed there. which may result from my In Ernest's eyes the chief gain success. And why, chère amie : of his brilliant victory in the Because in his words I found Prix Volney was the acquaint- confirmation of my own most

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