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apart; and the season is almost over. I don't necessary this year to send me away. But I think that either tourists or invalids passing that feel quite set up with your renseignements,' he way are likely to see very much of Con.' added, putting back his book into his pocket, and I certainly shall think of it for another year.'
In the meantime, Frances, as young Ramsay had said, had been honestly straining her mind to 'remember' what she could about the Marina and the circumstances there. She did not know anything about the east wind, and had no recollections of how it affected the place. She remembered that the sun shone in at the windows all day; which of course meant, as he informed her, a southern exposure; and that in all the hotel gardens, as well as elsewhere, there were palms growing, and hedges of lemons and orange trees; and that at the Angleterre-or was it the Victoria?-the housekeeper was English; along with other details of a similar kind. There were no balls; very few concerts or entertainments of any kind; no afternoon tea-parties. 'How could there be?' said Frances, when there were only ourselves, the Gaunts, and the Durants.'
'Only themselves, the Gaunts, and the Durants,' Ramsay wrote down in his little book. 'How delightful that must be.-Thank you so much, Miss Waring. Usually, one has to pay for one's experience; but thanks to you, I feel that I know all about it. It seems a place in which one could do one's self every justice. I shall speak to Dr Lull about it at once. I have no doubt he will think it the very place for
'You will find it dull,' said Frances, looking at him curiously, wondering was it possible that he could be sincere, or whether this was his way of justifying to himself his intention of following Constance. But nothing could be more steadily matter-of-fact than the young man's aspect.
Yes, no doubt I shall find it dull. I don't so very much object to that. At Cannes and those places there is a continual racket going on. One might almost as well be in London. One is seduced into going out in the evening, doing all sorts of things. I think your place is an ideal place-plenty of sunshine and no amusements. How can I thank you enough, Miss Waring, for your renseignements? I shall speak to Dr Lull without delay.'
'But you must recollect that it will soon be getting very hot; and even the people who live there will be going away. Mr Durant sometimes takes the duty at Homburg or one of those places; and the Gaunts come home to England; and even we'
Here Frances paused for a moment to watch him, and she thought that the pencil with which he was still writing down all these precious details, paused too. He looked up at her, as if waiting for farther information. "Yes?' he said interrogatively.
Even we go up among the mountains where it is cooler,' she said.
Frances had been so singled out for the purpose of giving the young invalid information, that she found herself a little apart from the party when he went away. They were all ladies, and all intimates, and the unaccustomed girl was not prepared for the onslaught of this curious and eager, though so pretty and fashionable mob. 'What are those renseignements you have been giving him? Is he going off after Con? Has he been questioning you about Con? We are all dying to know. And what do you think she will say to him if he goes out after her?' cried all, speaking together, those soft eager voices, to which Frances did not know how to reply.
IN 1875, at the forty-eighth annual meeting of the German Society of Naturalists and Physicians, which was held at Gratz, Dr Knapp, practising in Styria, introduced two male arsenic-eaters to the assembly. One of these men consumed in their presence above six grains of white arsenic-that is, enough to poison three men-without suffering the slightest inconvenience; and it was stated that he had been accustomed to this sort of thing for years. He was by calling an ox-herd, and after the custom of his countrymen, had administered to the cattle under his charge a daily dose of arsenic, for the purpose of rendering their hair glossy and of otherwise improving their appearance.
He had been so far successful that he was led to argue that what was good for the oxen was good for himself; and that he was to a certain extent justified in his conclusions was proved by the fact of his being in the enjoyment of robust health. Dr Knapp's other subject partook of rather more than four grains of the yellow arsenic that is, of orpiment-and he, too, had done the same with impunity for years. man stated, that having to enter a house in which fifteen persons had died of typhus fever, he prepared himself for the attempt by taking a dose of less than half a grain of orpiment. This caused some disagreeable results; but the unpleasantness having worn off, he repeated the dose, entered the house without contracting the disease, and was so pleased with the success of his experiment, that he had continued to take arsenic ever afterwards. He, too, was in the enjoyment of robust health.
We believe that it was Mr Heisch, a teacher He looked a little thoughtful at this; but pre- of chemistry at the Middlesex Hospital, who sently threw her back into perplexity by saying first brought the subject of arsenic-eating procalmly: That would not matter to me so much, minently before the notice of the profession in since I am quite sincere in thinking that when this country. This was some time about the one goes to a health-place, one should give one's self up to one's health. But unfortunately, or year 1822; but since then, the fact has again perhaps I should say fortunately, Miss Waring, and again been demonstrated by the researches England is just as good as anywhere else in of medical men and of travellers, so that now the summer; and Dr Lull has not thought it there are few persons who would venture to
express any doubt on the question. Indeed,
rough-and-ready way, it is given by stablemen
Fact, however, is stranger than fiction, and a fact so strange as this could not lie unnoticed in the region of myths. In 1851, Tschudi brought the matter again prominently forward; and since that time, it has been so clearly demonstrated, with all the requirements of scientific research, that it would be absurd to deny it to be a sober reality. But all the world takes poison in some form or other every day-those people can consume the drug altogether ether, alcohol, opium, hashish, nicotine, essences, and so on, and that without calling forth any particular expression of wonder. It is so common a habit, that with some people this taking of poisons has become a condition of existence. Medical men, too, derive some of their best remedies from poisons, and are as a rule well justified by results. But while one man may take his daily dose of some narcotic, and another his of medicinal poison, a third man, unfortunately, is only able to still the cravings of his appetite by swallowing a substance which has probably cost more lives than any other drug, whatever it may be namely, arsenic.
with impunity. When they first begin with their very small doses, they are seized with nausea and burning pains in the mouth, throat, and stomach, and are probably very much more uncomfortable than a boy who has taken his first cigar. But one peculiarity of arsenic-eating is this, that when a man has once begun to indulge in it, he must continue to indulge; for if he ceases, the arsenic in his system poisons him; or, as it is popularly expressed, the last dose kills him. Indeed, the arsenic-eater must not only continue his indulgence, he must also increase the quantity of the drug, so that it is extremely difficult to stop the habit; for, as sudden cessation causes death, the gradual cessait may probably be said that no genuine arseniction produces such a terrible heart-gnawing, that eater ever ceased to eat arsenic while life lasted.
The arsenic-eater may, it is true, be fortifying himself against the machinations of a secret poisoner; and he may be-indeed, after many It is curious that while, on the one hand, the years' use of it, he very likely is-administering human organism is so remarkably sensitive to a dose of something absolutely necessary to his arsenic, a man may, on the other hand, indulge existence; thus giving some sort of colour to the in these poisonous doses for years. This is proclaim of the Styrian that it lengthens life. At bably owing to the fact that arsenic acts on the the best, however, it is a playing with danger, a skin, and thus is being constantly carried out tempting of Providence most reprehensible; and of the system; and also because it is readily it is a habit so degrading, that it makes us feel eliminated by the kidneys. Now, this prevents sorry for human nature. It is, however, well any accumulation going on in the tissues, and known among medical men that arsenic taken thus, what might seem almost mythical, is at internally is useful in many diseases, more least brought within the range of possibility. It especially such as affect the skin; and under has been calculated that this process of eliminathe form known as Fowler's Solution, it is tion has to be carried on for fourteen days before often enough prescribed in small doses. The a given dose is entirely removed. veterinary surgeon administers it to horses and the fact remains that these Austrian peasants cattle; while in some instances, in a somewhat can swallow arsenic to an extent and with an
impunity unprecedented in the annals of toxicology. For the solution of the problem, we may offer the following considerations. First of all, the human organism may become accustomed to most if not all poisons, if they are administered at first in exceedingly small doses; and in this way a poison, as is well known, may become a 'mithridate' to itself. Secondly, though the human organism is extremely sensitive to arsenic, yet some constitutions may be less so than others; thus, for instance, the arsenic-eaters of Styria are all of them robust mountaineers, whose forefathers have eaten arsenic from generation to generation, so that, as may be supposed, each generation has become more arsenic-proof than the one before it. Thirdly, like most mountaineers, the Styrians consume large quantities of milk and butter, as well as other food rich in fats, when the oily matters to a certain extent unite with the arsenic, forming an arsenical soap, which does not so readily enter into the blood, so that the total amount of arsenic actually assimilated is proportionally small. From this we see that if the Styrian partakes of an unusual amount of this deadly drug, he is at the same time not only less susceptible to its influence by his hereditary descent and his habits, but his food supplies him with some sort of an antidote.
One other fact may be noticed in connection with arsenical poisoning-namely, that the preliminary symptoms of accidental poisoning have often resulted from the apparently insignificant cause of the use of the flimsy, bright-green tarlatan ball-dresses so much in vogue a few years back, as also from sleeping in rooms papered with hangings containing the beautifully brilliant colour known as Scheele's green. The dangerous activity of the very minute quantities of arsenic which under such circumstances enter the system may probably be explained by the fact that the poison in all such cases acts directly through the lungs, and not through the stomach, where it would be subjected to the modifying influences already mentioned.
of our bodies, which may be annihilated with two grains of a white powder, may be so far changed as to require, nay, even to crave for a daily heavy dose of this very same poison.
IN FOUR CHAPTERS.-CHAP. I.
'I WILL take my letters now, Marjory,' said my father, the Rev. Henry Charlton, laying down his knife and fork and settling himself back in his chair with a sigh.
My Aunt Marjory, who had long occupied my poor mother's place at the head of our household, insisted that her brother should never begin the perusal of his correspondence until he had breakfasted, averring that to do so was to rob him of his appetite. There was a strong spice of truth in the bitter statement; for such letters as he received were seldom of an inspiriting character, the contents consisting in the main of charitable appeals, parish business, or, worse still, of that class of reminders' which make a sensitive and honourable man, who has heavy pecuniary liabilities, dread the arrival of every mail.
I recall that particular morning vividly. The sunshine streamed through the half-opened windows, and the shadows from the trees on the lawn fell tremulously upon the curtains and athwart the floor. My aunt's fox-terriers, Tom and Gip, lay coiled up on the hearth, now and then blinking and moving their stumps of tails in a half-hearted way whenever a chair was stirred. My father sipped his last cup of coffee at intervals as he opened and read one after another of the pile of many-shaped and variouscoloured letters. I watched the careworn, venerable face with unusual interest. It was the last breakfast I was to partake of at Brierleigh Rectory for some time; and my heart yearned with exceptional fervour towards the gentle, simple-hearted being, whose hand trembled visibly every time he took up a fresh envelope. I was going to visit London, in the hope of getting into practice as a doctor; and I inwardly recorded a vow that all the energy I possessed should be dedicated to the task of redeeming his long-lost peace of mind, by placing him beyond those pecuniary anxieties which had pressed upon him ever since I could remember. While these things shaped themselves in my mind, I was startled by a joyous exclamation from my father.
'Who would have thought it?' he cried. 'How good of the dear old fellow!' And he pushed his spectacles on to his brows, as he rose and walked to the fireplace.
These last points bring us to the treatment of a person suffering from arsenical poisoning. This poison is so frequently the cause of death both by accident and design, that it is important that every one should know the proper remedies to be used in such circumstances. Until a medical man arrives, the vomiting which generally occurs when an overdose of arsenic is swallowed, should be freely encouraged, followed by demulcent drinks, switched eggs, cream, oil, or better still, a mixture of equal parts of oil and lime-water. In recent years, a more strictly chemical antidote than any of the foregoing has been employed with very great success -namely, hydrated peroxide of iron. This antidote, it cannot be too well known, may be extemporised in a very efficient manner by adding 'Ay, to be sure, who is he?' said my father, ordinary carbonate of soda to tincture of iron-rubbing his hands and smiling. better known as steel drops-of pharmacy. A tablespoonful of soda may be added to each fluid ounce of the tincture with water, and as this mixture has no injurious effect on the system, it may be administered as largely and as quickly as possible.
The whole subject is of great interest; for it seems passing strange that the delicate framework
'Who is your correspondent, Henry?' asked my aunt.
'Come, Henry dear, let us share your good news,' said Aunt Marjory, stealing softly from her place to my father's side. She was a smallframed, active little woman, some fifty years of age, with bright, intelligent, affectionate-looking brown eyes.
'Who is he?' said my father, as if in answer to her first query. Why, my old friend,
Charlie Stanton. Best bat and best goal-keeper at Rugby; second wrangler at Cambridge, facile princeps in everything. But-bless me !—he must be my own age. Ah! time slips by.'
My aunt had by this time gently taken possession of the letter, and with a significant smile, to which my father responded in the affirmative, she proceeded to read it aloud. Its contents bear so directly on the events I have to record, that I make no apology for giving the text in full.
MY DEAR CHARLTON-You will no doubt glance first at the signature of this letter to help your memory; but even then, I fear you will have to think more than once before you can recall your old school fag and fellow-student, Charlie Stanton. Thirty years have come and gone since we parted; and all we know of each other's history during that period is what you or I may have gleaned from the newspapers or the world's gossip regarding our several destinies.
I have been placed on the shelf at my own request with the rank of colonel; and now I mean to devote myself to the task of seeing my only child Alice settled in life. I have bought a small estate in Warwickshire, Elmdrove Manor, so that you and I will soon be near neighbours; but meantime, as this is my daughter's first season, I must retain my London establishment a little longer. Although I can't come to you at present, therefore, you, my dear Charlton, may be able to look us up in London. I confess I am extremely anxious to see you, for the sake of our old friendship, as well as for other reasons which I cannot very well make clear to you by letter. Your son, too, shares largely in my interest, on account of the high terms in which I hear him spoken of; and I trust that if your official duties prevent your visiting us personally, you will at least make your boy your deputy at an early date.
be to talk over old times, when he comes to Elmdrove. Strange that I should never have thought of him, when I heard that a Colonel Stanton was to be our new neighbour.'
And then,' said Aunt Marjory thinking kindly of me, it will be such a valuable introduction for John. Why, with Colonel Stanton's friendly recommendation, he might soon have a large and fashionable practice.'
'Yes, to be sure,' answered my father in a voice from dreamland.
'Is Colonel Stanton a very rich man, Henry?' asked my aunt, as she stooped to fondle Tom and Gip alternately.
'Rich? O yes; certainly. His was a wealthy family; and as Charles says, Stanton primus died some years ago-a banker and a bachelor, I have heard, and Charles was his heir.'
said his sister, looking at me suddenly with 'His daughter will be a great heiress, then, a merry, meaning glance. 'I wonder what sort of a creature this nephew is?' she added immediately, with something like a sigh.
reminds me, Marjory, I must go and finish that 'Nephew? O yes; the artist.-But that
Panama hat from its peg, and went out across My father stepped into the hall, took his the lawn with a brisk step, humming cheerfully which he now bent his steps, was a tiny palace some long-forgotten air. His studio, towards of glass, standing under the southern garden wall, curtained within, ventilated by sliding panes, and warmed in winter by a small American stove of graceful design. A stranger would have mistaken it, by its outer aspect, for a conservatory or for a photographer's den. It was, however, the home-within-home of its owner; the spot in which beloved labour chased away dedicated to his clerical duties; and in which care; it was there he spent every hour not he worked with a diligence prompted, alas! by I am unhappily a widower, as I regret to necessity as much as by artistic zeal. Yes, learn you are also. My brother Sydney-you muringly, the penance of his infatuated friendwas there he worked out, patiently and unmurremember him, of course-died some two years ship for one who had long since gone before ago, so that I have scarcely a near relative living. He was heart and soul an artist, but one only There is, however, a nephew of my late wife of that vast crowd so designated whose powers in whom I take a strong interest; a clever, of flight fall short of their heaven-directed harebrained, good-hearted, irreclaimable He worked for the picture-dealers. grace, I fear. You, I have no doubt, would aspirations. take kindly to him, for he is an artist of her company in one of her favourite garden My Aunt Marjory now invited me to keep considerable ability, and might, I am told, have a great career, did but his industry keep pace thorn, then in full blossom. retreats, under a magnificent red-flowered haw
with his talent.
In concluding, I beg to remind you of my unalterable determination to keep henceforth in touch with you both by letter and in the flesh. Let me hear from you, therefore, my dear fellow, at once, and tell me on what date I may order rooms for you at Grosvenor Square, where you and your son shall have a hearty welcome from-Yours faithfully,
The faces of my father and Aunt Marjory as the latter finished reading the colonel's letter, formed a study for the poet if not the painter, so full were they, as their eyes met, of reciprocal gratulation and sympathetic delight.
'It is so like old Charlie to write so warmly,' said my father. 'Ah, how delightful it will
There was a about her movements, and springiness in her step, a gaiety of expression a vivacity in the soft voice, that told of the gladness which the matutinal ordeal of letter-reading had for once brought with it.
tunate indeed, this letter from Colonel Stanton.
As Aunt Marjory popped this query suddenly at me, she burst into a cheery laugh, her brown eyes dancing with merriment the while. I felt my cheeks tingling as I tried to join in the laugh, the attempt, however, being a miserable failure. I stammered some incoherent answer; but my mind was filled with the image she had invoked -that of the charming girl whom it was my good fortune to restore to life after she had been taken from the water senseless and pulseless. I had imprudently mentioned the incident to my aunt shortly after its occurrence, and in such terms, I suspect, as to excite her curiosity beyond its usual bounds. At any rate, she made it the text for a good deal of good-natured but very unwelcome banter. I was uncommonly sensitive, and especially vulnerable to ridicule on that very tender subject.
'There, John; don't be vexed with aunty; I shan't tease you any more. But I want you to be a sensible fellow, and fall in love with Miss Stanton.'
'Why, aunt, that's a more sorry jest than the -the other,' I said, smiling. 'A sensible fellow indeed I should be to fall in love with a great heiress whom I have never seen.'
'Well, I don't see where the jest comes in,' replied Aunt Marjory demurely. You do know her name, at anyrate, and who and what she is, and may see her any day you choose after to-day. And as to her being a great heiress, why, are you not to be a great physician?'
My aunt was too shrewd and practical not to be conscious of the ludicrousness of her argument, and consequently joined me in a hearty laugh at her own expense. The subject dropped when we had ceased laughing, and the rest of our conversation was occupied with the discussion of my father's affairs. To make these intelligible, I must furnish the reader with the main facts of a strange history.
thousands of others, mistaken his mission in life. It was while in the condition of despondency engendered by such reflections that he was induced, at the urgent desire of his parents, to accept the curacy of the country parish in which they resided.
From an object of ambition, then, painting gradually became to him merely a graceful pastime. His new duties soon acquired a strong interest for him, while art remained the solace of his leisure. He spent his holidays in wanderings with his sketch-book throughout Wales, Scotland, or the Lake Country, in quest of fresh health and fresh scenes for artistic contemplation. It was during one of these summer tours in the Highlands that he formed an acquaintance with a young man of remarkable abilities, who had already earned fame as a painter in water-colours. The simple-hearted, enthusiastic curate soon came to regard this man with an esteem partaking of veneration, and was so enchanted with his society and conversation as to express a wish to continue his journey in his company. Walter Drew-the young man was so named-gave a cheerful assent; and the strangely assorted pair resumed their progress together. Drew was a scholar and a gentleman, had travelled much, was well versed both in classical and modern literature-a poet and musician as well as a painter; and when it is added that these versatile accomplishments sat lightly and unaffectedly upon a man of handsome exterior and frank and agreeable manners, small surprise need be expressed that my trusting, ardent, unsophisticated father came early to regard him as a modern Crichton. A strong friendship sprang from this casual introduction, and Drew accompanied my father into shire, where he was received with open arms by my grandparents, and spent a month at their home.
Time went on. Drew's fame as a painter in oils became the theme of every tongue. Far from feeling jealous, my father appears to have translated his own aspirations after renown into an absorbing interest in the rising glories of his friend's career. My father had been some three My father had taken holy orders while at years curate of when both his parents died Cambridge, in accordance with the expressed within a short period of one another, leaving my wishes of my grandfather, a retired lawyer, in father the bulk of their fortune, with a sum of affluent circumstances. But while doing no vio-five thousand pounds to my Aunt Marjory. The lence to his own feelings or opinions in consenting to this step, my father entertained an ambition of an altogether different kind, which he feared would interfere with the discharge of his duties as a placed clergyman. He had the tastes and aspirations of the true artist, and had devoted the freshest of his hopes and energies in the race for distinction as a painter. He declined to accept a curacy, and for several years after leaving college, continued his artistic studies under the best masters both at home and abroad. On his return home, he was successful in getting a few of his pieces exhibited; the favourable opinions of friendly critics still further concealed the truth from him for a time. But the revelation dawned upon him slowly and painfully, that he had overrated his natural gifts; that he possessed talent, not genius; that, with considerable skill as a draftsman and colourist, he lacked breadth of imagination-the creative faculty; and that, in a word, he had, like
following year, my father married the rector's daughter, a delicate, amiable, and lovely but penniless bride. The first five years after their union were passed in all the happiness which competence, simple habits, charitable actions, mutual marital affection, and graceful tastes could scarcely fail to yield. Three children were born during that period, of whom I was the youngest, the two elder being girls, who inherited their mother's beauty along with her delicacy of constitution. With such tranquil surroundings, my father's dreaminess increased, his simplicity and unbounded faith in his kind became confirmed, and his child-like nature became immovably his special characteristic.
What had been the fortunes of Walter Drew during these years? His genius, I have said, placed him early in the possession of a name-one neither capriciously awarded nor unlikely to stand the test of time. But his glorious powers appeared to be satisfied with