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the better of discretion. She was, after all, of the same sex as Lot's wife, and must look back even if the city were burning. She got down, and clambered on the roof of another bus going west. The air seemed charged with dynamite. Cockney newsboys were bawling the headlines of a fresh outrage at Odessa. Olga glanced furtively at the sky ahead, and for a moment her heart stopped beating. Then, with a sickly smile at her own fears, she realized that she had mistaken the good-night rally of the winter sun for the reflection of a great blaze.

A few minutes later she alighted opposite Mudies'. There was no crowd. The Museum was still intact. Evidently the blow had yet to fall, but for the life of her she could not run away, but felt herself drawn by an irresistible force within the building. Through the glass doors she peered, and there sat the Italian poring peacefully over a great volume on the reading-slope. Beside him, half-covered by the baneful cloth, was one of those cheap alarum-clocks which wake do

Chambers's Journal.

mestic drudges from dreams in which they walk in the ermine of duchesses. Olga felt a catch at the throat. Thank Heaven! none had known of her stupid mistake, and she might still preserve her respect and reputation as an unrecognized heroine. Not, like Geoffrey, would she tell them all of her miserable cowardice. She could still hold up her head. But could she?

That night she went early to her room and wrote a long letter, pausing now and then as if she would throw it in the fire that burned brightly in the hearth, but going resolutely to the end. Then she addressed it to Geoffrey's chambers, and went out to post it herself in the pillar at the corner.

Next morning the family was still at breakfast when the bell rang with no uncertain summons. Olga, her face flooding with color, left the table and went to the door. "Oh, Geoffrey!"

"Well, dear, it seems that we are a pair." "Geoffrey, can you ever forgive me?" Geoffrey could.

F. G. Aflalo.


Conscious as we all are of our elders' shortcomings, we are sometimes inclined not to credit our more remote ancestors with qualities that our elders did not possess. In our day we are all a little pleased with ourselves because we have broken down something of the barrier which was supposed to divide the sexes in what Mr. Wells has unkindly called an era of "sham delicacy, nasty sentiment, and giggles." Our young ladies read and attend the plays of Mr. Bernard Shaw and sundry other authors from whom they hope to derive a knowledge of

the world. They share masculine recreations, and are able to discuss masculine topics. We may legitimately pride ourselves on this emancipation. Indeed it is only to be regretted in the interest of female hygiene that Mrs. Grundy should still frown upon pipes and cigars, even if she may occasionally connive at the insidious cigarette.

At the same time we are a little unfair to the ladies of the pre-Victorian age, and the conventions of 1840 to 1860 loom a little too conspicuously in our horizon. During that period political power and social influence came

to a number of most estimable persons who did not exactly know what the proprieties demanded. The poor, who have no time for pretences and euphemisms, accept and discuss the obvious facts of life with a certain frank rationality. The properly civilized and educated person may have recourse to euphemisms, but endeavors to discard pretences. Our immediate ancestors rather fell between two stools, and their attitude was undoubtedly responsible for a certain amount of sentimental hypocrisy which frequently led to unhappy marriages.

But this was, after all, merely a passing phase in English life. Kate Nickleby is not the typical girl of English literature, and, as an antidote to her, we may do well to recall some of Shakespeare's most fascinating heroines, the memoirs of Lady Fanshawe, the letters of Dorothy Osborne, Fielding's adorable Sophia Western, and even Miss Jane Austen's young ladies.

These reflections are to some extent suggested by a very human document which I recently unearthed from a number of old manuscripts. It consists of a tiny little book bound in red leather, and written in a flowing Italian hand by a girl of twenty-one to a youth of twenty-two, to whom she was then engaged, and whom she married soon afterwards. It certainly shows a laudable ambition to settle all outstanding differences as much as possible before the irrevocable act of marriage, and it records the results of "five months' strict observation." The book begins as follows:


"These desultory remarks on your character, my beloved were suggested to me by your so repeatedly asking my opinion of the character given you by Miss F-. I know with your primitive notions of Love, you will think my affection for you

ought to blind me to all your little failings, but if I am less lenient to them than Miss F, remember it is because I am more anxious than she could possibly be that your merits may be seen in their proper light and not obscured by any failings."

The lady displays peculiar wisdom in warning her lover, who "afterwards achieved some eminence, against the way in which young men sometimes resent the unreadiness of the world to take their good qualities for granted, though she might perhaps have added some reflections on the unreasoning acceptance of old age for its own sake which may also be observed:

"She has justly ranked Pride as one of the leading features of your character. I admit that in some instances it may operate beneficially on you and save you from follies . . . which a man of less pride would not hesitate to commit; still, carried to the excess which I have sometimes seen in you, it becomes a vice, by generating hatred, revenge, and all their hideous feelings, and occasionally so fetters your excellent judgment as to induce you to regard the natural reserve which many people feel for the virtues or merits of a young man, when experience has not convinced them of their existence, as a Personal Insult."

The young gentleman appears to have professed a Byronic misogyny which was perhaps fashionable in the cultivated youth of the period, but was somewhat disconcerting to his future wife:

"However much you may smile at me and call me the champion of my sex, still I cannot help noticing to you the contempt which you so often express, and still oftener evince by your manners, for women. That my

opinion of them may perhaps be more exalted than they actually deserve I do not dispute, but surely it is neither flattering nor pleasing to hear a young man who contemplates marriage strenuously endeavoring to depreciate that sex from whom he will derive most of the comforts of his future life. I know and acknowledge that you feel an individual respect for the virtues of a few of the sex with whom you happen to be intimate, but your judgment has been so allured by the fine poetry of Lord Byron, warped by prejudices contracted in early life in those climes where sexual slavery prevails and profligacy is tolerated and practised, from reading works which describe only the feelings and passions of those women whose laxity of principle reflects a partial disgrace on the whole sex, and lastly from living in a metropolis without the comforts of home and comparatively secluded from society where the mild radiance of female virtues shines the most conspicuous, and forced into that, which corrupts the heart and greatly influences the opinion. How different would be the sentiments of a man who had been fostered in the bosom of a domestic and united family, who could reflect with gratitude and love on the numberless little incidents which press on his memory, where an affectionate Mother has cheerfully sacrificed her personal feelings or deprived herself of some enjoyment for his sake, while the silent admiration painted on the cheek of a favorite sister, who probably shares the deprivation, reveals the unfeigned pleasure which she can derive from a Brother's gratification."

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"To say that a Mother will lay down her life for a child gives but a faint idea of what she is capable. Although such a sacrifice may add splendor to a tale of heroism or romance, there is but one effort required, and pride lends its powerful aid in the accomplishment of that effort; but to bear patiently and cheerfully a succession of petty inconveniences and wounded feelings, daily privations, loss of fortune. . . are evils which require more strength of mind to bear, inasmuch as the struggles are more frequent and derive no support from those powerful agents of the human mind, pride and ambition.


"That mind which has been accustomed to find these excellencies in part of the sex, will easily credit the whole of the better part for the possession of them, and will find that they exist in nearly all, and that they only await time and circumstances to bring them into action."

It is only to be added that the writer of these words proved herself more than worthy of them in later days.

The digression, however, does not lead her off the track, and she rapidly proceeds to a less academic subject of apprehension:

"You have a quickness and asperity of temper, my which I sincerely wish did not exist. If your future companion were too amiable to notice, or too callous to be wounded by, its effects, it would not be worthy of remark, for it would never subject you to the imputation of ill-temper, but unfortunately I ain neither the one nor the other, and when that ungraceful asperity is exercised to me I cannot help thinking it the germ of future uneasiness; for in proportion to the happiness I feel in your unbounded kindness, so great

is my wretchedness when that kindness is withheld, and that too by one on whom I have every claim which unlimited confidence and the sacrifice of friendship can exalt. I know your deep and almost romantic sense of honor, and to that I trust. Miss F says you have great command of yourself, and I shall willingly agree in her opinion when I see that self-command exercised in checking these virulent and sarcastic feelings."

Some further sentences follow on the dangers of Ambition and the possibilities of disappointment it brings. which are precociously wise, and to some extent, I fear, prophetic. thus closes her discourse:



"You will see, my dear these remarks have been carelessly put together. I appeal, therefore, to you to pardon any inaccuracies which your better sense may discover. Every merit, or failing, I have noticed I firmly believe has its existence in your mind. Jealousy I have not noticed, because in a lover it may be tolerated, and I hope it will be discarded when you are united by a nearer tie. The latter are only venial errors which I am well convinced you can banish as soon as you please, and by so doing give me the highest satisfaction which the world can give by making that man preeminent for his virtues, loved by his friends, and respected by his enemies, whom I have pledged myself to love as my husband, and esteem as my friend.

"Should you be disposed to follow my example, I shall patiently listen to any follies which you may object to and will endeavor to eradicate them."

Here follows the date, "Monday, December 24th, 1821," and the name and

address of the writer, and on the next page:

"Oblige me by preserving this little memorial, that when years have chilled the ardor of youth and an increased intercourse with the world has dissipated our more romantic feelings, we may ensure that halfhour's enjoyment which a retrospective view of our earlier years is sure to create, and thus give vitality to some latent spark of youthful fervor which even the icy breath of Time cannot extinguish."

Unhappily history does not relate if the young man was ever disposed to follow his future wife's example, or if on the other hand the little homily gave rise to any manifestation of the "quickness and asperity of temper" to which she refers. But as "extreme candor" was one of his characteristics. let us hope that he enjoyed the prospect of a candid wife. The pleasing fact remains that their marriage was affectionate. singularly happy and

The style of the little book resembles, I have been told, that of the theme which the school girl of the period was taught to write, and, if this be the case, one may be old-fashioned enough to wish that school girls were still taught to write so precisely, even if the precision sounds quaint to modern ears.

I have had some qualms about unveiling the privacy of this old romance, but the ordinary objection to the publication of love letters does not apply to this case. As Mr. Chesterton has recently said, the affection of marriage is to some extent associated with a mutual fondness for amiable follies in each of the parties which neither interests the world at large nor exhibits the persons concerned quite as they would wish to be seen by their friends and acquaintances. "Dulce est de

sipere in loco" is an excellent motto for lovers, but they naturally prefer to be by themselves. My little book, however, is sternly practical, and I cannot help feeling that its engaging, if slightly didactic, author might have The Albany Review.

experienced some pleasure in the thought that an anonymous reproduction of her ingenuous exhortations should be given to the young men and maidens of another century.

E. S. P. Haynes.


Time and again the ornithologist, in pensive vein, sighs for the days when many now extinct birds graced our land in goodly numbers. Amongst others he ruefully thinks of the raven and of the time when nearly every Midland and Southern village could point to its "raven-tree." True, the trees, or at least some, still stand strong and sturdy in their old age; but their masters-the ravens-have long since vanished.

Excepting some of the Western counties, Yorkshire, and that land beloved of tourists, the Lake District, it is more than doubtful if the raven now harbors regularly in any English county. Rumor speaks of a few decreasing strongholds in Essex and one in Sussex, where the writer saw a raven so recently as the spring of 1905, and two years ago a pair of them reared a brood in Warwickshire; but to find this exiled chief of an outlawed clan in something of his ancient glory the naturalist must seek the wild hills and sea cliffs of Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, with their numerous outlying islets.

The raven's haunt can probably show as fair a face as any spot in our islands. Mountain peaks, often snowcapped till early summer, form part of the scene; lustrous streams, playing leap-frog with gigantic boulders, frolic boisterously, now through meadow and bog, now through deep, smoothcut gorges, a veritable gate of Hades

to the ardent fly-fisher, who from a distance has contemplated an unencumbered stretch of several miles of water with clean banks a few feet high.

The river-path, seen from a height, suggests an irregular line of cream paint, dotted here and there with dark patches of color, as if flies had settled on it when it was wet and stuck there. A nearer approach shows that these patches are rocks, and in fact, the way is full of surprises. At one time a regular saddleback of gray Silurian blocks the wayfarer's path; at another, some huge mass, dislodged from the grand old mountain above, has toppled from its birthplace and lies in the midIdle of the dubious track. The scene is peaceful beyond description; the stillness, unbroken save by the murmur of running water, is sometimes oppressive and almost fearful. Except for the chance whistle of a wandering shepherd or the far-reaching barking of his lynx-eyed collies, the fisherman has Nature's workings and hushed inarticulate voices all to himself.

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