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dress of its intended wearer. I confess, as I sat there watching the old artisan plying his trade far into the night, his bare lonely room but dimly lighted by two of the cheapest of candles, thoughts came crowding on me, which to this day spoil much of the pleasure derivable from pantomimes. I pictured to myself the easy-going hilarity of a Boxing-night audience. I heard them laugh and cheer and make the sunlights quiver with their loudly expressed approbation of a catching song or cleverly executed dance. Above all, I saw the glittering fringe worn by the artists appearing and disappearing in the brilliantly illuminated geni's palace, or basking under the moonbeams which shimmer through the trees of some fairy forest-and then I turn my eyes to the worn and wearied workman with his glistening weft, and come to the conclusion, as thousands before me have done, that one half of the world doesn't know how the other half lives.'
I had intended to say something about a few other theatrical trades which occur to me at the present moment, such as the manufacture of foil-paper, without which demon caves' would lose half their weirdness, and which, by the way, is said to be made by only one man in London, who alone possesses the secret; the birthplaces and manufacture of stage-jewellery; the making of masks; the curiosities connected with picture-printing, and the technicalities of the gas-bag carried by the lime-light man; but these may be reserved for a future paper. It is to be hoped, however, that I have said enough to induce those who heretofore gave credit to artists and scene-painters for all the enjoyment obtained from a stage-play or spectacle, to bestow in future some little appreciation on the workman, whose share in theatrical successes I have endeavoured briefly to describe.
A HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF.
Ir is a common impression that happiness and unhappiness are permanent states of mind, and that for long tracts of our lives we are under the continuous sway of one or other of these conditions. But this is almost always a mistake, save in the case of grief, which is perhaps the only emotion which is beyond the reach of the momentary lightenings and alleviations and perpetual vicissitudes of life. Death, and the pangs of separation from those we love, are permanent, at least for their time; but in everything else there is an ebb and flow which keeps the heart alive. When Frances Waring told the story of this period of her life, she represented herself unconsciously as having been oppressed by the mystery that overshadowed her, and as having lost all the ease of her young life prematurely in a sudden encounter with shadows unsuspected before. But as a matter of fact, this was not the case. She had a bad night-that is, she cried herself asleep; but once over the boundary which divides our waking thoughts from the visions of the night, she knew no more till the sun came in and woke her to a very cheerful morning. It is true that care made several partially suc
cessful assaults upon her that day and for several days after. But as everything went on quite calmly and peacefully, the impression wore off. The English family found out, as was inevitable, where Mr Waring lived, without any difficulty; and first the father came, then the mother, and finally the pair together, to call. Frances, to whom a breach of decorum or civility was pain unspeakable, sat trembling and ashamed in the deepest corner of the loggia, while these kind strangers encountered Mariuccia at the door. The scene, as a matter of fact, was rather comic than tragic, for neither the visitors nor the guardian of the house possessed any language but their own; and Mr and Mrs Mannering had as little understanding of the statement that Mr Waring did not receive' as Frances had expected. 'But he is in-è in casa-è IN?' said the worthy Englishman. Then, my dear, of course it is only a mistake. When he knows who we are-when he has our names'
'Non riceve oggi,' said Mariuccia, setting her sturdy breadth in the doorway; oggi non riceve il Signore' (The master does not receive to-day).
'But he is in?' repeated the bewildered good people. They could have understood 'Not at home,' which to Mariuccia would have been simply a lie-with which, indeed, had need been, or could it have done the Padrone any good, she would have burdened her conscience as lightly as any one. But why, when it was not in the least necessary?
Thus they played their little game at crosspurposes, while Frances sat, hot and red with shame in her corner, sensible to the bottom of her heart of the discourtesy, the unkindness of turning them from the door. They were her father's friends; they claimed to have 'stuck by him through thick and thin;' they were people who knew about him and whom he belonged to, and the conditions of his former life; and yet they were turned from his door!
She did not venture to go out again for some days, except in the evening, when she knew that all the strangers were at the inevitable table-d'hôte; and it was with a sigh of relief, yet disappointment, that she heard they had gone away. Yes, at last they did go away, angry, no doubt, thinking her father a churl, and she herself an ignorant rustic, who knew nothing about must think. Frances heard those words, 'Non good manners. Of course this was what they riceve oggi, even in her dreams. She saw in imagination the astonished faces of the visitors. But he will receive us, if you will only take in our names;' and then Mariuccia's steady voice repeating the well-known phrase. What must they have thought? That it was an insult that their old friend scorned and defied them. What else could they suppose?
At last, however, they did go away, and Frances got over it. Everything went on as before; her father was just as usual-a sphinx indeed, more and more hopelessly wrapped up in silence and mystery; but so natural and easy and kind in his uncommunicativeness, with so little appearance of repression or concealment about him, that it was almost impossible to retain any feeling of injury or displeasure. Love is cheated every day in this way by offenders much more serious,
who can make their dependents happy even while they are ruining them, and beguile the bitterest anxiety into forgetfulness and smiles. It was easy to make Frances forget the sudden access of wonderment and wounded feeling which had seized her, even without any special exertion; time alone and the calm succession of the days was enough for that. She resumed her little picture of the palms, and was very successfulmore than usually so. Mr Waring, who had hitherto praised her little works as he might have praised the sampler of a child, was silenced by this, and took it away with him into his room, and when he brought it back, looked at her with more attention than he had been used to show. I think,' he said, 'little Fan, that you must be growing up,' laying his hand upon her head with a smile.
I am grown up, papa; I am eighteen,' she
a short time, it began to be a great subject of regret that the work was done. She did not know what to do next. To make a portrait of Domenico was above her powers. She idled about for the day, and found it uncomfortable. That is the moment in which it is most desirable to have a friend on whom to bestow one's tediousness. She bethought herself that she had not scen Tasie for a week. It was now more than a fortnight since the events detailed in the beginning of this history. Her father, when asked if he would not like a walk, declined. It was too warm, or too cold, or perhaps too dusty, which was very true, and accordingly she set out alone.
Walking down through the Marina, the little tourist town which was rising upon the shore, she saw some parties of travellers arriving, which always had been a little pleasure to her. It was mingled now with a certain excitement. At which he laughed softly. 'I don't think Perhaps some of them, like those who had just much of your eighteen; but this shows. I gone away, might know all about her, more than should not wonder, with time and work, if-you she knew herself. What a strange thought it mightn't be good enough to exhibit at Mentone-was. Some of those unknown people in their traafter a while.' velling cloaks, which looked so much too warm Frances had been looking at him with an-people whom she had never seen before, who expression of almost rapturous expectation. The poor little countenance fell at this, and a quick sting of mortification brought tears to her eyes. The exhibition at Mentone was an exhibition of amateurs. Tasie was in it, and even Mrs Gaunt, and all the people about who ever spoilt a piece of harmless paper. O papa!' she said. Since the failure of her late appeal to him, this was the only formula of reproach which she usel.
'Well,' he said, 'are you more ambitious than that, you little thing? Perhaps, by-and-by you may be fit even for better things.'
It is beautiful,' said Mariuccia. 'You see where the light goes, and where it is in the shade. But, carina, if you were to copy the face of Domenico, or even mine, that would be more interesting. The palms we can see if we look out of the window; but imagine to yourself that 'Menico might go away, or even might die; and we should not miss him so much if we had his face hung up upon the wall.'
'It is easier to do the trees than to do Domenico,' said Frances; they stand still.'
'And so would 'Menico stand still, if it was to please the Signorina. He is not very well educated, but he knows enough for that; or even myself, though you will think, perhaps, I am too old to make a pretty picture. But if I had my veil on, and my best earrings, and the coral my mother left me'
'You look very nice, Mariuccia; I like you as you are; but I am not clever enough to make a portrait.'
Mariuccia cried out with scorn. 'You are clever enough to do whatever you wish to do,' she said. The padrone thinks so too, though he will not say it. Not clever enough! Magari! too clever is what you mean.'
Frances set up her palms on a little stand of carved wood, and was very well pleased with herself; but that sentiment palls perhaps sooner than any other. It was very agreeable to be praised, and also it was pleasant to feel that she had finished her work successfully. But after
had not a notion that she was Frances Waring! One of the parties was composed of ladies, surrounded and enveloped, so to speak, by a venerable courier, who swept them and their possessions before him into the hotel. Another was led by a father and mother, not at all unlike the pair who had 'stuck by' Mr Waring. How strange to imagine that they might not be strangers at all, but people who knew all
In the first group was a girl, who hung back a little from the rest, and looked curiously up at all the houses, as if looking for some one-a tall, fair-haired girl, with a blue veil tied over her hat. She looked tired, but eager, with more interest in her face than any of the others showed. Frances smiled to herself with the half-superiority which a resident is apt to feel a girl must be very simple indeed, if she thought the houses on the Marina worth looking at, Frances thought. But she did not pause in her quick walk. The Durants lived at the other end of the Marina, in a little villa built upon a terrace over an olive garden-a low house with no particular beauty, but possessing also a loggia turned to the west, the luxury of building on the Riviera. the whole family was seated, the old clergyman with a large English newspaper, which he was reading deliberately from end to end; his wife with a work-basket full of articles to mend ; and Tasie at the little tea-table, pouring out the tea. Frances was received with a little clamour of satisfaction, for she was a favourite.
'Sit here, my dear.'-'Come this way, close to me, for you know I am getting a little hard of hearing.'
They had always been kind to her, but never, she thought, had she been received with so mucli cordiality as now.
'Have you come by yourself, Frances? and along the Marina? I think you should make Domenico or his wife walk with you, when you go through the Marina, my dear.'
"Why, Mrs Durant? I have always done it.
Even Mariuccia says it does not matter, as I am an English girl.'
Ah, that may be true; but English girls are not like American girls. I assure you they are taken a great deal more care of. If you ever go home'
And how is your poor father to-day, Frances?' said Mr Durant.
'Oh, papa is very well. He is not such a poor father. There is nothing the matter with him. At least, there is nothing new the matter with him,' said Frances with a little impatience.
No,' said the clergyman, looking up over the top of his spectacles and shaking his head. 'Nothing new the matter with him. I believe that.' Durant, and of course some time you will go home'
-If you ever go home,' resumed Mrs
'I think very likely I never shall,' said the girl. Papa never talks of going home. He says home is here.'
That is all very well for the present moment, my dear; but I feel sure, for my part, that one time or other it will happen as I say; and then you must not let them suppose you have been a little savage, going about as you liked here.'
'I don't think any one would care much, Mrs Durant; and I am not going; so you need not be afraid.'
"Your poor father,' Mr Durant went on in his turn, 'has a great deal of self-command, Frances; he has a great deal of self-control. In some ways, that is an excellent quality, but it may be carried too far. I wish very much he would allow me to come and have a talk with himnot as a clergyman, but just in a friendly way.'
I am quite sure you may come and talk with him as much as you like,' said Frances, astonished; 'or if you want very much to see him, he will come to you.'
'Oh, I should not take it upon me to ask that -in the meantime,' Mr Durant said.
The girl stared a little, but asked no further question. There was something among them which she did not understand-a look of curiosity, an air of meaning more than their words said. The Durants were always a little apt to be didactic, as became a clergyman's family; but Tasie was generally a safe refuge. She turned to her with a little sigh of perplexity, hoping to escape further question. Was the Sunday school as large last Sunday, Tasie?' she said.
'Oh, Frances, no! Such a disappointment! There were only four! Isn't it a pity? But you see the little Mannerings have all gone away. Such sweet children; and the little one of all has such a voice. They are perhaps coming back for Easter, if they don't stay at Rome; and if so, I think we must put little Herbert in a white surplice-he will look like an angel-and have a real anthem with a soprano solo, for once.'
'I doubt if they will all come back,' said Mr Durant. Mr Mannering himself, indeed, I don't doubt, on business; but as for the family, you must not flatter yourself, Tasie.'
'She liked the place,' said his wife; and very likely she would think it her duty, if anything is to come of it, you know.'
'Be careful,' said the clergyman, with a glance aside, which Frances would have been dull indeed not to have perceived was directed at herself. 'Don't say anything that may be premature.'
Frances was brave in her way. She felt, with a little rising excitement, that her friends were bursting with some piece of knowledge which they were longing to communicate. It roused in her an impatience and reluctance mingled with keen curiosity. She would not hear it, and yet was breathless with impatience to know what it was.
'Mr Mannering?' she said deliberately—' that was the gentleman that knew papa.'
'You saw him, then?' cried Mrs Durant. There was something like a faint disappointment in her tone.
'He was one of papa's early friends,' said Frances with a little emphasis. 'I saw him twice. He and his wife both-they seemed kind people.'
Mr Durant and his wife looked at each other, and even Tasie stared over her teacups. ‘Oh, very kind people, my dear; I don't think you could do better than have full confidence in them,' Mrs Durant said.
And your poor father could not have a truer friend,' said the old clergyman. 'You must tell him I am coming to have a talk with him about it. It was a great revelation, but I hope that everything will turn out for the best.'
Frances grew redder and redder as she sat a mark for all their arrows. What was it that was a 'revelation'? But she would not ask. She began to be angry, and to say to herself that she would put her hands to her ears, that she would listen to nothing.
'Henry' said Mrs Durant, who is it that is premature now?'
I am afraid I can't stay,' said Frances, rising quickly from her chair. I have something to do for Mariuccia. I only came in becausebecause I was passing.-Never mind, Tasie; I know my way so well; and Mr Durant wants some more tea.'
'Oh, but Frances, my dear, you really must let me send some one with you. You must not move about in that independent way.'
'And we had a great many things to say to you,' said the old clergyman, keeping her hand in his. Are you really in such a hurry? It will be better for yourself to wait a little, and hear something that will be for your good.'
'It cannot be any worse for me to run about to-day than any other day,' said Frances, almost sternly; and whatever there is to hear, won't to-morrow do just as well? I think it is a little funny of you all to speak to me so; but now I must go.'
She was so rapid in her movements that she was gone before Tasie could extricate herself from the somewhat crazy little table. And then they all three looked at each other and shook their heads. 'Do you think she can know?'—'Can she have known it all the time?'-'Has Waring told her, or was it Mannering?' they said to each other.
Frances could not hear their mutual questions; but something very like the purport of them got into her agitated brain. She felt sure they were
wondering whether she knew-what? this revelation, this something which they had found out. Nothing would make her submit to hear it from them, she said to herself. But the moment was come when she could not be put off any longer. She would go to her father, and she would not rest until she was informed what it was.
She hastened along, avoiding the Marina, which had amused her on her way, hurrying from terrace to terrace of the olive groves. Her heart was beating fast, and her rapid pace made it faster. But as she thought of her father's unperturbed looks, the calm with which he had received her eager questions, and the very small likelihood that anything she would say about the hints of the Durants would move him, her pace and her excitement both decreased. She went more slowly, less hopefully back to the Palazzo. It was all very well to say that she must know. But what if he would not tell her? What if he received her questions as he had received them before? The circumstances were not changed, nor was he changed because the Durants knew something, she did not know what. Oh, what a poor piece of friendship was that, that betrayed a friend's secret to his neighbours! She did not know; she could not so much as form a guess what the secret was. But little or great, his friend should have kept it. She said this to herself bitterly, when the chill probabilities of the case began to make themselves felt. It was harder to think that the Durants knew, than to be kept in darkness herself.
She went in at last very soberly, with the intention of telling her father all that had passed, if perhaps that of itself might be an inducement to him to have confidence in her It was not a pleasant mission. Her steps had become very sober as she went up the long marble stair. Mariuccia met her with a little cry. Had she not met the padrone? He had gone out down through the olive woods to meet her and fetch her home. It was a brief reprieve. In the evening after dinner was the time when he was most accessible. Frances, with a thrill of mingled relief and disappointment, retired to her room to make her little toilet. She had an hour or two at least before her ere it would be necessary to speak.
(To be continued.)
MY IRISH CORRESPONDENTS.
BY AN AGENT.
received in acknowledgment of some eye ointment I sent to a poor tenant who was suffering from a sore eye: January 1882.
My worthy gentel Man its time to Retourne you thanks For your Comppilements ixtuse Me I Addres this to you My worthy gentel Man For I Cante Retourne you thanks for your kindness and the ilement Dun me the greatest sarvice and My ies is all Right now and My Friend the Docter is more than thanful to you My worthy gentil Man for your Cindness and i saw a man from your place I inquare About you and he toalt me you Ware ill a long time and i Felt very sad intirely at the news so I must Conclude with my best Respected toars you Captin pleas let me Now how you are and all the famely and aspicely about Miss Cusey For she was the ondel one as i new so pleas my worthy gentil Man sind me a anser by retourne of poste to Michael S. of G——.
The next letter I shall give is from a tenant anxious to obtain the post of relieving officer asking me to vote for a cousin of his, who was for the Union in another county. The way he words his request amused me by its naïveté :
September 1879. ye i now ye ar their is a 2ond
Candadate for Union i Beg of
SIR I Beg a favour from aquanted with Mister Cusin of Mine Proposing as Relevin officership for Mye Sir to write Letter an till him to vote for My Cusin John or any other gintelmen you ar enfluenced i now thrust that your Honour will for me as well as if it were meself were goin do all in yer power for to Canvas all you can for it i will give u all the Kredit that the world can aford If you use Half yer enfluence for me your faithful servant Pat
Pleas sind me Sir an anser to say what you are to do I recived 2 recepts with thanks. No more at prisent-Tusday.
The following letter, too, is decidedly characteristic in the request it contains:
I sint you 28£ no shillins an nine pinse yesterday I inclose poor rate recpt I got the first instalment of the Loan I am very thankfull intirely to you Captin that you may live long an die happey I remain your obdient TIMOTHY
pleas see the other side.
Sir I made a mistak yesterday I inclose Eighten stamps Captin pleas mak a good job of me sind me what anser you like Yours agin TIMOTHY B
I suppose I must have made a good job of my friend Timothy, for we still correspond in the most affectionate manner; in fact, I heard from him about a week ago.
Ir is a very true saying that there are bad and good' people in the world; it may equally be applied to the Irish tenants in the present days of 'Land-leagueism.' I am an agent, and, with the few exceptions proving the rule, I have never met with incivility. My correspondence is very large, and some of the letters I have received from tenants are so amusing, that from time to time I have laid a choice one by. Indeed, so amusing are they, that I have decided on sending a few to the press, just to show that there still remain a few genuine, honest Irishmen in the world, though for obvious reasons I have suppressed the real names of the writers or people referred to in them. The following letter I What comment can I make on the following
I was decaved by that frind of mione as I towld you of Captin I inclos for you a Bank Draft for £30 one shillin an Six pinse if you dear Captin insist on the rest you muste git it Captin TIMOTHY B. dont forgit me as usual I remain Your fond
letter, beyond saying Mary had my deepest sym-hopin that £15 may be worth £100 an wishin pathy, and Mr Jerry Deneen a reprimand on his prosperity to ye an yer Famely your faithfull dilatoriness? servant DANIEL M
Writen Thursday 18 hundred an 76. SIR my husband was very bad an died this tiome Sir I ave ben sodly put aboute by wan Jerry Deneen as behaved shamful to my poor husband Sir this was ow it hapned Tim thats my husband Sir was mioghty il an as near dyin as iver you Cee Tim says i an whoo wud ye lioke to mak yer cofin sure thin Mary says he theirs kno wan as i wud lioke to mak it bether thin Jerry Deneen only he is mioghty behinde hande in his conthracts arrah Tim says I Sir mak yer minde aisey bout that for he is shure an sartin to finis the liokes o that in dacent tiome now Sir my poore husband the lord ave Marcy on his sowl had to waite for an other nites wake for that Jerry Deneen bad cess to him niver finised the dacent mans cofin in tiome now Sir I lave the mater in yer honers handes hopin as you will punis that vilan as want to charg me fiften shillin an he to kep my poor husband watin 2 bleshet nites for his cofin.
Yours to comande MARY C-.
honered an kinde Sir may I thrust u to punis that divil Deneen.
A somewhat similar, and I might add amusing, instance happened not long ago when a tenant's wife died. It was on a Saturday night, I remember, and I did not hear of her death until Sunday. I then sent to my carpenter, and desired him to make a coffin for the remains. Next morning, on looking out of the window I saw her sons carrying the coffin from the workshop. I opened the window and called to them to wait till I satisfied myself that it was a good one. On desiring them to lift off the cover, what was my astonishment to see the coffin filled with turnips! Passing by the turnip-pit, the bearers could not resist taking a few, for-as they explained-'it felt so mioghty empty!'
Its two empirtnant intirely for me to ixpect a letter from ye Sir kno more at the prisent. buys turkeys each year for The next and last letter I will give you to read have been damaging the farmer's crops. The present ones seem to
is from a tenant who
a friend of mine.
WINTER-TIME in the country is not the most cheery of seasons, and the evenings in particular, even although ten o'clock is thought a late hour to be out of bed, are apt to lag rather drearily. But there had never been such a merry winter at Knowecroft as this one. Ruth's piano had not been used much of late; but when it was found that Phyllis could both play and sing, Joe soon had a tuner out from Carlisle, and it was marvellous how swiftly the nights sped by, penman-listening to her. Beethoven and Mendelssohn were perhaps just a little bit too abstruse for her audience-at least for two of them-but Joe
Can any one wonder if I modestly blushed on perusing the following masterpiece of ship:
I most respectfully beg to remind you that in a conversation with you you kindly promised to vote for a License for my sister Hoping your Honr. will act with that noble spirit for which you are now so characteristic in obtaining a License for this poor orphan. I remain with due respect Your humble servant
would have thought any music celestial, if played by her.
Then to hear her sing plaintive old ballads, with now and again a merry ditty or a reel or jig to enliven matters-why, it was just like having a little concert all to themselves every evening. And to crown all, to Mrs Martindale's intense delight, Phyllis set to work, under Joe and Ruth's tuition, to learn some of the vernacular songs-so dear to the hearts of Cumbrians all the world over-and now she would conclude the evening's performance with a lilt of Sally Gray, or The Reedbreast, King Roger, or The Impatient Lassie. To vary the monotony, they would sometimes have a little dance, in which they would be joined by the neighbouring farmers' sons and daughters; and so, with one thing and another, the winter was over almost before they
knew it was there.
But before it came to a close, Dick Braithwaite had taken possession of Riggfield, with his sister
*Earnest' is money advanced when a bargain is made, to insure there being no disappointment in the fulfilment of it.