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The English Fllustrated Magazine. 



O TAI-SHUI was a rebel; he had 
fled from his country under sentence 
of death as a traitor; but, in the estimation 
of foreigners, he was not a traitor, but a 
reformer, a patriot, and, above all, a 
gentleman. It may not be generally 
known that gentlemen exist in China; but 
such is the case. Lo’s heart was in the 
cause of his country; but it was a large 
heart, and it found room for human 
feeling as well: he dearly loved his 
scamp of a younger brother, Lo Chi-lu. 
He paid the usual penalty of allowing 
human love to find a place in the breast 
of a conspirator, for Chi-lu betrayed him 
for a reward, and Tai-shui barely escaped 
with his neck. A foreigner assisted him 
to Hongkong, and from thence he was 
compelled to flee to America, because 
Hongkong is honeycombed with secret 
societies, as many in the pay of the 
Government as against it. Lo was a 
northerner, and he was quite ignorant of 
the ramifications and organisations which 
exist among the bastard Chinese of the 
Colonies, and, consequently, while he 
was astonished and frightened to find 
himself watched by native detectives in 
British territory, he did not for a moment 
suspect that their espionage would follow 
him to another world. 

Lo Tai-shui was a literate of good 
family, and had held an official position 
at Peking; and, although his property 
had been confiscated, he had retained 
sufficient cash to enable him to travel. 
His foreign friends, who were interested 
in his conspiracy from more motives than 

No. 204. September 1900 


Cc. W. MASON. 

one, gave him introductions and instruc- 
tions, and also wrote to their principals or 
agents at home, who may or may not have 
been capitalists with an eye to future con 
cessions. At all events, he was passed op 
through Canada to England, and then he 
found himself remarkably well received by 
everyone except his own countrymen of 
the Embassy. The latter made only one 
attempt to extend to him the courtesy of 
nations, by kidnapping him and endeavour- 
ing to ship him back to prison. This 
danger he fortunately escaped, and it did 
him good service, for it convinced his 
friends that he was a bona-fide rebel . 
They immediately entered seriously into 
his projects, and formed a syndicate to 
supply him with money and arms. Things 
seemed ripe for the overthrow of the 
dynasty, and persons even very highly 
placed in the management of our foreign 
relations may have seen certain advan- 
tages to be obtained by a departure from 
the traditional policy of bolstering up the 
Manchus. Consequently, after a year 
spent in Europe and New York, Lo was 
ready to return to his country with money, 
contracts, and pledges sufficient to form a 
powerful party in favour of “reform.” 
Arrived at San Francisco, Lo booked 
his berth under an assumed name for 
Shanghai, where he had every guarantee 
of residing safely in the British Con- 
cession ; then he sat down in his com- 
fortable private room to indulge in the 
daydreams, always tinged with a certain 
invincible foreboding, of the patriotic con- 
spirator. After his year in the spacious 



mansions and open society of Europe, tine 
glimpse he had taken of the crowded 
slums of Chinatown had filled him with 
some vague uncomfortable dismay. If his 
countrymen could thrive so populously 
and so independently in the spread-eagle 
and Mongolian - hating land of the 
Westerner and the free, was it not 
possible that the impressions he had 
imbibed of the immense superiority, in 
the point of practical power and expan- 
sion, of the civilised Anglo-Saxon, had 
somehow left out of reckoning the per- 
severance and tenacity of his own 
ubiquitous nation? Whatever was the 
actual current of his thoughts, the sight 
of this benighted but flourishing China- 
town, so solidly and defiantly established 
in the most go-ahead city of America, 
reminded him in some way of that equally 
benighted and equally invincible Govern- 
ment he was plotting to overturn, and by 
proving the superiority of old institutions 
and national characteristics to the icono- 
clastic encroachments of modernity, cast 
a depression over his sanguine expect- 
ations. When the coloured boy suddenly 
threw open his door and ushered in a 
greasy and fat fellow-countryman, Lo was 
startled into actual fear. 

‘“* Ching, Lo lao-yeh,” said the visitor, 
with an ironically obsequious bow. “I 
hope I no intrude.” 

Let us say at once that these gentlemen 
did not converse in their native tongue. 
Most of the Chinamen abroad come from 
the South—Canton, Foochow, or at least 
Ningpo—and Lo was a Chih-li man, and 
knew no dialect but the Mandarin, which 
is double Dutch in any province south of 
the Yangtze. A common medium between 
Chinese from different provinces on the 
coast is therefore pidgin English. Lo had 
picked up some English. 

“Your honourable name ? 

““Humble name, Lim-fung, Sar, 
replied the visitor, with still more insolent 
irony. ‘‘I.think you savvy Lim-fung— 
no? JZo-kay of the Corpse Express.” 

7o-kay is used in the Straits for /ar-pan, 
which means boss. 

Lo turned pale, and a cold shiver of 


said Lo 



depression passed over him. He had 
heard of Lim-fung—heard of him in 
Hongkong: the redoubtable head of 
the great Chinese Pinkerton agency, and 
a Jonathan Wild of three continents. 

“What do you want with me, Lim 
hsien - sheng?” said Lo in his accurate 

““Well, Sar, you see, belong this 
fashion. You go to Engeland, get foreign 
devil pay all expense; Chinee Minister 
he cable Peking, Viceroy he cable me. 
I watch you allo time when you leave 
Hongkong; now you go back makee 
bobbery. Viceroy he glad to see you 
back; but he liky more better I send 
you, because just now have got so many 
foreign devil maky trouble that side, plaps 
he not catch you quite easy. He offer 
one thousand dollar to send you safely ; 
I only can send one way.” 

‘“‘ And that way, Lim-fung ?” asked Lo, 
already trembling and suppliant, for he 
was a delicate and sensitive scholar. 

““Oh, that way, you savvy, master. 
Belong allo time Coffin with Corpse.” 

Lo shuddered, and a film passed over 
his eyes. The proximity of that seething 
Chinese Quarter oppressed him; he 
seemed at once to be back in the tortuous 
darkness of Asia, and no longer felt the 
protection of his Anglo-Saxon friends. 

Lim-fung proceeded to explain, with 
braggart, obsequious unction, the character 
of his “pidgin.” It is well known that 
Chinese like to be buried in their own 
country; hence the utility of the Corpse 
Express, a funeral agency of very large 
dimensions, which embalms and packs 
defunct Celestials for the voyage across 
the Pacific. Lim-fung is a very rich and 
important merchant, with agencies in 
Australia and the Straits, and he exer- 
cises an enormous influence even on the 
enlightened municipality of San Fran- 
cisco ; and scarcely a ship leaves that port 
without a respectable consignment of Lim 
fung’s *‘ coffins with corpse.” ‘This traffic 
has proved a most respectable medium for 
the exercise of certain detective and semi- 
judicial functions conferred on the Zo-kay 
by various branches of the Celestial 
Government; and defaulters who flee to 


America, and may not be openly extra- 
dited, are kidnapped without any of 
the expense and confusion connected with 
the law-courts, and quietly and decently 
returned in a handsome coffin, so nicely 

preserved against the torrid inclemency of 
the voyage that the official concerned is 
able to expose the head on a pole, and 
memorialise the throne of the due perform- 
ance of his duty without anyone suspect- 
ing that the unfortunate delinquent had 


so far to meet the embraces 
But was always 


justice. there 


alternative. Lim-fung was always exorabi- 
to an honest compensation. 

And so, when he had explained the 
methods of his business, he smiled obesely, 
and attentively waited for the inherent 

** Ching, Lo lao-yeh,” said the visitor, with an 
“I hope I no 

ironically obsequious bow. 


prudence of official experience to assert 
itself. And Lo, knowing the custom of his 
country, feebly asked— 

** How much ?” 

Lim-fung went through a little dumb 
show of admiration, as who should say, 
‘There, now! Didn’t I know you were 
a man who talked reason!” Ard ther 
assumed an expression of tortured woe. 
“This no belong all same other pidgin,” 

began, with deep commiseration 



“This belong lose-face pidgin. S’pose 
Ino send you? Government he say I no 
savvy how fashion put salt on tail of 
cage - bird. I thinky! You wantchee 
go back safe, let Peking mandarin think 
you belong dead: no? Good? Well, 
then! Five thousand dollars I send you 
substitute—all finish, safe—can go back !” 

Lim-fung, with mouth drawn down and 
an air of business, made an oblique sweep 
with his flat hand, as if he sheared off the 
heads of difficulty. 

Poor Lo was not used to the large 
figures of American commerce, and a 
thousand pounds was quite beyond his 
figure ; so he collected himself into that 
quiet gentlemanly bluff at which educated 
Chinese are past-masters, and replied with 

‘**T perceive, Mr. Lim, that you are that 
which they call a blackmailer ; and I think 
it is only necessary to touch this bell 
in order that you may be arrested by 
American policeman. You have no power 
to murder'me, or to interfere with me 

Lim-fung again expressed a large and 
benevolent admiration for his Excellency’s 
wit, courage, and knowledge of barbarian 
law ; but he was in no wise disconcerted, 
and soothingly explained that his method 
for kidnapping and murdering prospective 
“corpses” worked in perfect harmony 
with the municipal laws, that the street- 
gods in blue were his personal friends and 
pensioners, that there was no difficulty 
whatever in having a little harmless com- 
pound inserted in his soup, either at the 
hotel or on board the ship, by his humble 
fellow-countrymen, sufficient to entitle him 
to a willow coffin, and that, finally, the 
alternative before his Excellency was 
either to go back and be arrested when 
he landed, surrender and be sent back a 
corpse, or come to an arrangement by 
which a substitute could be sent for him, 
enabling him to continue his conspiracy 
with absolute security and freedom. For 
even in China it is contrary to precedent 
to execute a man twice for the same 

No one is so open to reason as a China- 
nan; the highest encomium bestowed on 


a good citizen is that he sho de, talks 
reason, and his intellect is conspicuously 
receptive of subtle pros and cons. Lo 
surrendered the point, and confined his 
argument to the price: he pointed out 
that Lim-fung, by his own statement, would 
earn one thousand dollars reward for 
sending back the body; and could not in 
fairness demand more than another five 
hundred dollars (one hundred pounds), 
which was already more than he, Lo, 
could afford. 

But Lim-fung wallowed in distress. Five 
hundred dollars! Did his Excellency 
imagine that a substitute could be picked up 
for nothing; that so rare and aristocratic 
a physiognomy could be matched at a 
moment’s notice; that embalming, coffin, 
freight were thrown in gratis? No; 
such fashion talk no have got. His 
Excellency wanted to defraud an honest 
man of the bare wages of rice and 
opium; but since he, Lim - fung, was 
privately heart and soul absorbed in the 
welfare of his country, and overflow- 
ing with sympathy for his Excellency’s 
projects, he would make a sacrifice, do 
the trick for a thousand dollars, and say 
no more about it. And on this basis, 
although it absolutely cleared out the 
capacity of poor Lo’s pocket, an under- 
standing was arrived at, and Lim-fung was 
under contract to find, assassinate, and 
pack a plausible duplicate of the con- 
spirator, to travel back to the fatherland 
on the same vessel as the live original ; 
cash to be paid on ocular demonstration 
of the deed. 

Lim-fung then produced a tape from his 
pocket, and measured Lo for his coffin : 
a gruesome proceeding, not altogether 
enlivened by the facetious remark that he 
was a light weight, and if he got a sub- 
stitute to match it might save a few cents 
in coolie hire. 

“You will not—er—embalm the poor 
creature before I have seen him?” Lo 
requested anxiously. ‘‘At least, I must 
inquire the names of his relatives, in 
order that hereafter he may receive the 
posthumous faz-/o.” 

Lim-fung was grieved at such an 
aspersion on his commonsense. ‘‘ What 


words!” he said reproachfully. ‘‘ Sup- 
pose I kill he and you no pay, he go bad 
and money wasted. Next Friday evening 
you come my shop, Ling-Hui- Hong, 
Flower Street, any man savvy, and bring 
the thousand dollar and papers; he 
put on your clo’s, you see him in coffin, 
and I give you letter to my agent to 
post yourself. Then all ploper; you 
dead, take dead man’s name, go back, 
be happy.” 

It is scarcely necessary to say that 
during the rest of the week Lo’s antici- 
pations lost their roseate hue, and he 
realised far more seriously than on his 
previous attempt how dark and dangerous 
are the paths of the conspirator. He 
realised that he was the accomplice, if not 
the instigator, of a murder, and although 
he could find certain approved state 
casuistries to justify the connivance, his 
humane heart shuddered at the guilt. 
He thought of what he had suffered him- 
self when death hovered over him, and 
how black and hopeless was the prospect 
when his brother betrayed him; and that led 
his thoughts insensibly back to that beloved 
young scamp, full of surmise, and also of 
fond hopes for power to indulge him. 
Chi-lu was the favourite of his old father 
as well, and Tai-shui possessed the filial 
reverence in an intense degree, and longed 
to be able to please the old man by estab- 
lishing the ne’er-do-well in a career which 
should give scope for his talents. Poor 
Lo Tai-shui! He was a good young man, 
and it sorely rent him to incur his family’s 
displeasure in order to procure his country’s 
liberty. This led him once more into the 
usual fond hopes of ambition, and the 
crime which he was pledged to participate 
dwindled into a negtigeable abstraction of 
cruel necessity. 

To the ordinary reader all this will 
appear merely a farce; Lim-fung and his 
Agency merely the comic detective ; but 
Lo had a deeper experience of the “ ways 
that are dark,” and knew how grim such 
farces turned out at the finish. Lim-fung, 
with his pidgin English, his pigtail, his 
chocolate silk loose - sleeved coat, so 
absurdly incongruous with his big bowler- 
hat and pointed American boots, his fat, 


indiarubber face, and simple, oily smile, 
would strike a European who heard him 
discuss his proposition as a mere gro- 
tesque old clown, or, at the worst, a harm- 
less lunatic who invented inhuman Asiatir 
subtleties which were absurdly imprac- 
tical ; but to Lo there was nothing absurd, 
grotesque, or improbable in the kind of 
atrocity proposed. He knew that murder, 
still an experimental science bunglingly 
performed in Europe, had reached in 
American China the pitch of a fine art, as 
it used to be in Italy; and the official 
practice of kidnapping, or buying, a sub- 
stitute for the gallows, was too familiar to 
him to excite the least surprise. European 
nations are largely responsible for the 
growth of this practice, by insisting on 
the punishment of anti-missionary rioters ; 
such rioters are, of course, seldom to be 
caught, and the consequence is that a lot 
of wretched beggars are decapitated for 
the amusement of the foreigners. Some 
of these, pariahs, lepers, cripples, sell 
themselves of their own free will, in 
exchange for a small sum paid to their 
relatives ; just as in Europe men commit 
suicide in order that their children may 
receive the insurance money. There is 
nothing new under the sun in the old, old 
story of want and necessity and survivals ; 
it is only the procedure that changes. 

The day before the ship was to sail, Lo 
Tai-shui repaired with a heavy heart to the 
office of the Corpse Express. Lim-fung 
was sitting in his doorway, stripped to the 
waist, according to the hot-weather custom 
of high and low at home, with his billy- 
cock hat tilted on the back of his head, 
and a cigar in his prize-fighter’s jaw, 
suave, placid, and waiting—the Oom Paul 
of the Chinese Quarter, as simple and 
unpretentious as if he had been a mere 
coolie instead of the most powerful man 
in the State. A red sign-board with huge 
gilt letters was suspended over his head, 
and on either side of his dirty doorway 
hung beautiful Confucian precepts on the 
beatitudes of death. 

Lim - fung welcomed Lo with the 
unctuous civility of the shopkeeper, and 
conducted him through a great gloomy 
store lined with coffins into a den at the 


back of his parlour. 
house, your Excellency,” he said face- 
tiously. And ushering him into a dark 
little hole in which the figure of a man 
strapped to a chair could scarcely be dis- 
tinguished, he said with pride— 

“* Be’old the substitute! If dat no belong 
number one all-same, I give you back your 

Lo stared at him with fearful un- 
appreciative eye, then turned his gaze 
on the prisoner. It was dark in the 
slaughter-house, and to dissipate a delusion 
Which petrified him he struck a match. 
The green flicker of the sulphur completed 
the hellish aspect of the den; but to Lo’s 
face, terribly set and pale, the match, 
burning yellow, seemed suddenly to add a 
light of startling sublimity. 

‘* Leave me alone with him,” he said to 
Lim-fung. ‘‘It was agreed between us 
that I should put some questions, and 
when I am ready I will call you.” 

Lim-fung obeyed, because he knew that 
he was playing a dangerous game, and 
the thousand dollars was not yet in his 

When Lim - fung withdrew, Lo ap- 
proached the prisoner and scanned him 
again with fearful and agonised eyes. 
The prisoner was strapped in a chair, and 
his eyes were bandaged. 

“Are you not Lo Chi-lu?” said Lo in 
the Mandarin dialect, with trembling, un- 
recognisable voice. 

“‘ Pi-hsing Lo,” responded the young 
man with graceful alacrity, delighted to 
hear his own language again. It was Lo 
Tai-shui’s brother. 

“* How came you here ?” said Lo sadly, 

“Oh, the fortune of war,” responded 
the reckless young fellow. ‘Since you 
know my name I suppose you know my 
brother. I was in the secret service of the 
Viceroy, and when my brother escaped I 
was accused of aiding him, and had to run 
for my life. I had introductions to the 
Ling Hui, and for a year old Lim-fung has 
treated me well. Now he has played mea 
trick, and I am afraid he is going to round 
on me.” 

“You are on the point of death,” said 
Lo solemnly. “‘ If you were released, would 

“My slaughter- 


you be loyal at last, and carry out your 
brother’s projects ?” 

“Rather! Anything for a short life 
and a merry one, and a chance for 
revenge. I wish I could come across 
poor old Tai-shooey again; I’d be his 
man now, up to the hilt.” 

** You will not see him again,” said Lo; 
“‘but if you will be a man and a true son 
of Han, you may avenge him, and wipe 
out your former treachery. Oh! may the 
memory of our ancestors help you to be 
a man, Chi-lu! But there is no time 
for words: no other way! No other 

With unwonted expedition Tai- shui 
unbound his brother, chafed his limbs, 
gave him some brandy, and helped him 
to stand up. 

“Strip quickly ; you will change clothes 
with me.” 

The change was made, the young man 
obeying the stranger in bewilderment. 
Lo had quickly placed the bandage over 
his own eyes, concealing his face. 

** Tie me to the chair.” 

This also was done. 

“Now listen,” whispered Lo. ‘I shall 
call Lim-fung, and you will stand near me 
so that he may think it is you who are 
speaking. You will see your opportunity, 
and slip out of this house. You will go 
straight to the Hotel, room number 
70, and shut yourself in; they will not 
see the difference. Then you will read 
some papers in the pocket of your coat, 
written in your brother’s cipher, which 
you alone know. They will tell you what 
to do. To-morrow you take passage for 
Shanghai. Oh, Lo Chi-lu, be a man; 
carry on the movement!” 

“I will: I must. But who are you? 
How do you know who I am? Why do 
you save me?” 

“It is too late to answer questions. 
Obey me, and think kindly of your 
brother. Lim-fung!” 

Lim-fung entered. ‘‘ You think can 
do ?” he said cheerfully, standing near the 
door; “‘ number one likeness, what ?” 

“Can do,” replied Lo quickly. “I will 
now go and get the money, and come back 
to see him—duried. I must go out: I am 

Jt was dark in the slaughter-house, and to dissipate a delusion which petrified him 
Lo struck a match. 


See “‘ Lo Tat-suvul AND tHE Corpst Express,’ PAGE 486. 


sick. Do it quickly.” Lo pushed his 
brother’s leg and whispered, ‘‘ Go!” 
Lim-fung escorted his supposed cus- 
tomer to the door, chagrined that the 
money was still unpaid. “It shall be 

done, /ao-yeh,” he said ominously; “but do 

Lo gasped in the agony of human fear: “ Spare me! 

not fail me. If you not back in half an 
hour you own corpse follow substitute.” 

Lim - fung returned moodily to his 
slaughter-house. He did not suspect the 
change, or notice anything in the darkness. 

“Your friend say can let you go,” he 
said pleasantly. ‘‘ First you must drink a 
glass of wine to take off stiffness.” 


Lo put his head back and swallowed 
the poison. He was a smoker, and having 
been deprived of facilities during his 
travels, had taken laudanum instead. The 
tincture, therefore, failed to kill-him. 

Lim-fung sat on a stool, lit a fresh 

Spare me!” 

cigar, and waited. When the cigar was 
half smoked he kicked the legs of his 
victim. Lo awoke heavily. He had been 
merely stupefied. 

“Hallo!” exclaimed Lim-fung; ‘not 
dead? How fashion ?” 

He held Lo’s head back; 
fiercely tore off the bandage. 

then he 


“Ai-ya! You! Lo /ao-yeh?” 

“‘ Finish,” said Lo faintly. 

“The money! 
Lim-fung, shaking him. 

“You must be content with the rewara. 

“No! I send you to China alive! I 
have you tortured! You swindle me!” 
Lim-fung sat down again to think out this 
unexpected loss of a thousand dollars. He 
decided to make the best of a bad job, and 
secure the re ward for the body ; and since 
it was to be done, it must be done quickly, 
lest the other should return with the police. 
He stooped down and raised the four 
corners of the mackintosh on which the 
chair stood, and drew out a cork in the 
cniddle ; a pipe passed through the floor 
into the sewer, which served to drain off 
unsightly liquid. Then he stood up. 

“I velly solly, Lo /ao-yeh,” he said. “I 
plain business man, not like to alter 
contract. You steal my substitute, lose 
me thousand dollar. Cost you two 
thousand dollar to go free. Which?” 

“TI have not got it,” replied Lo in a 
faint, horrified voice. 

Without a word Lim-fung drew his head 
back by the root of the queue; but before 
the little knife was out of its sheath the sense 
of realisation had come back to Lo, and 
he gasped in the agony of human fear— 

“Spare me! Spare me!” 

Lim-fung paused in surprise. 
You afraid ? What thing ?” 

“ Hallo! 

The money!” hissed ~ 


“It was my brother. I could not let 
him die. : The thousand dollars are in his 
pocket. Go to him; tell him who I am; 
he will ransom me.” 

But -Lim-fung shook his head. ‘I 
think he not so green,” he said; “if 
only got one thousand, this certain, 
that risk. More better makey finish. All 
aboard ?” 

“Oh! Not that!” choked Lo. 
“‘Opium—in the back—I fear!” 

The little knife was once more 
suspended, while Lim-fung reflected. But 
again he shook his head. “ Bad for 
embalming,” he murmured regretfully ; 
“besides, how fashion look when your 
head on a pole, and any man see you 
been stabbed in the back? No can, 
Lo Tai-shui.” 

Only a minute later Chi-lu came rushing 
back alone. He found the genial manager 
of the Corpse Express again seated 
placidly on his doorstep, smoking his 
evening cigar. 

““My brother! 
Chi-lu breathlessly. 

“‘ You bring the thousand dollar ?” 

Chi-lu felt feverishly in his brother's 
pocket and produced the bundle of notes. 
** My brother!” 

Lim-fung became at once the polite, 
obsequious shopkeeper. 

“Walk in, Lo /ao-yeh,” he said with a 
bow. Lo Chi-lu walked in. 

My brother!” gasped 


HE story of the duel is one of end- 
less fascination and interest. The 
very idea of men being willing to hazard 
life itself, the heaviest of all stakes, for the 
“point of honour” makes an irresistible 
appeal to the imagination—an effect which 
is deepened by the fact that in nearly every 
case a duel is the thrilling climax of some 
terrible tale, some dark intrigue, some 
strange adventure, of something entirely 
out of the common and therefore specially 
arresting. Indeed, the story of the duel is 
a succession, a series of stories, sometimes 
splendid, sometimes sombre, but always 
profoundly human, taking their colour 
from love, hatred, jealousy, zeal, loyalty, 
vanity, revenge, and the other great 
elements out of which the web of life is 
spun. *Tis one of the most magnificent 
realms of romance, and as such has been 
eagerly explored by the novelist and the 

Nor has the duel the interest only which 
attaches to the past. For although the 
duello has been dead these many years in 
England it still flourishes in France and 
other countries. On the very morning of 
the day on which I began these papers I 
read that a duel took place in the vicinity 
of Paris, nor was it one of the bloodless 
sort either. Duels were of pretty frequent 
occurrence in connection with the Dreyfus 
Affair. The famous encounter between 
the Italian and French Princes, fought in 
vindication of the honour of the Italian 
army, is still fresh in the public memory. 

As an institution, the duel proper, as 
distinguished from the judicial duel, has 
existed for over three hundred and fifty 
years, and has undoubtedly played no 




inconsiderable part in the world’s School 
of Manners. So thought, at least, the 
men who lived in the days when duelling 
was a common practice. Thus a certain 
Bosquett, who had appeared either as 
principal or second in twenty duels, sets 
forth the notions of his own time on this 
subject in a volume published in 1817 
under the quaint title of “The Young 
Man of Honour’s Vade-Mecum, a Salutary 
Treatise on the Art of Duelling”— 

“It may be further urged in favour of 
the practice that it is the general pro- 
meter .of politeness, courtesy,,and good. 
manners amongst all the different orders 
of gentry; that without such 2 barrier 
against the encroachments of rudeness ~ 
and ill-breeding all the pleasures of social 
and agreeable intercourse would be in 
danger of degenerating into gross freedoms 
and habits of incivility; whereas, now, 
gentlemen are kept within due bounds of 
speech and courteous behaviour, as know- 
ing they cannot offend without hazard of 
the duel.” 

Since the ‘“Salutary Treatise” was 
written the point of view, so far, at any 
rate, as this country is concerned, has 
completely shiftea. And in justice it 
must be said that duelling among us never 
became the craze, the mania, the horrible 
madness which it was at one time on the 
Continent, when the prime topic of con- 
versation epitomised itself in the question, 
‘*Who has been out to-day?” During 

the reign of Henri IV. no fewer than four 
thousand persons perished in duels, and 
this in spite of edicts against the practice. 
There were many duels fought in these 
islands during the Stuart period, the time 
In the 

of the Commonwealth excepted. 

490 THE 
spacious days when George the Third was 
king, 172 duels were fought in the United 
Kingdom, most of them in Ireland, which 
on this account received the name of the 
‘“* Happy Hunting-ground of Satisfaction.” 
All readers of Charles Lever’s earlier 
novels, which deal with this period, will 
remember that the duel is one of their 
prominent features. But after the close 
of the long struggle with Napoleon, who, 
by the way, disapproved of duelling, duels 
became more and more infrequent. The 
last duel between Englishmen on English 
soil took place in 1845, though there was 
another in 1862 between an Englishman 
and a Frenchman. 

Duelling is proscribed by our laws as 
a felony, and if a man kills another in 
a duel, our Courts of Justice make no 
distinction between him and the most 
brutal murderer. Yet the old idea in the 

case of the duel of “killing no murder” 
flourished for centuries, notwithstanding 
numerous laws and edicts, and has met 
with the approval of many eminent men, 

as, for example, - Pitt, Fox, 
Grattan, O’Connell, and Peel. The great 
Duke of Wellington did not think it 
inconsistent with his position of Prime 
Minister to fight a duel, and that, too, at a 
time when such affairs had become very rare. 

With regard to the Army—the natural 
home of the duel, as it were—the Articles 
of War laid down that every officer giving 
or sending a challenge, or taking part in 
a duel in any way whatever—either actively 
as promoting it, or passively as counten- 
ancing such a proceeding by not denoun- 
cing it, shall be cashiered. But all the 
laws, edicts, and articles in the world 
against duelling would be ineffective were 
it not that the whole trend of public 
opinion is practically unanimous against 
it—at least as regards both Great Britain 
and the United States. Elsewhere, legis- 
lation has not succeeded in putting an 
absolute stop to the practice. 

The central idea of the duel is that the 
honour of a man depends on his instant, 
unhesitating readiness to maintain ‘ with 
his body” any position he may take up, 


no matter how true or false, good or bad, 
that position may be. To use the language 
of the duello, when a man was given the 
“lie,” either directly by word of mouth or 
indirectly, as implied in some hostile or 
injurious act, it was obligatory upon him, 
if he wished to be considered by his peers 
a man of honour, to dispreve that “lie,” 
even at the hazard of life itself. This was 
another way of saying that death was to be 
preferred to disrepute. 

The ancients had nothing that corre- 
sponded to the duel, although, of course, 
single combats were not uncommon. 
Indeed, old writers on this subject found 
their first example of the duel in the 
struggle of Cain and Abel, which certainly 
endowed it with all possible antiquity. The 
fact is that the ancients did not consider 
it necessary to avenge a “lie,” the most 
slanderous abuse, or even a blow. Thus, 
Sophocles, on being advised to prosecute 
a man who struck him, calmly replied: 
“If a donkey kick me, would you recom- 
mend me to go to law?” And Roman 
law specifically said a blow did not dis- 
honour. If one Roman threw a goblet at 
another Roman’s head—and, according to 
Horace, this happened often enough— 
nothing in the nature of a duel was the 
result : implacable animosities were re- 
solved only by assassination. 

The attitude of the old world is perhaps 
best seen in the following incident : When 
Mark Antony sent a challenge to Octavius 
Cesar, the latter replied, “If Antony is 
weary of life, tell him there are other ways 
to death than the point of my sword.” 

The northern nations who conquered 
the Roman Empire were of a very different 
opinion, and were firmly convinced that 
the only way to decide finally public and 
private quarrels was by single combat. 
They maintained that the gods would not 
permit the innocent to suffer, and from 
this belief sprang the Ordeal of Battel, 
the “‘ Judgment of God” (Judicium Dei), or 
the judicial duel, as it came to be called. 

“‘T perceive,” writes Montesquieu, “the 
first appearance of the special articles of 
our point d’honneur. The accuser began 
by asserting that some person had com- 
mitted something ; the latter declared that 


this was a lie. Thereupon the judges, in 
the absence of other evidence, ordained 
that a duel should take place between 
them.” It was from this state of things 
that the principle was established that the 
man who had received the “‘lie” was bound 
to fight. The form of denial ran: ‘‘ Thou 
liest, and I am ready 
to defend my body 
against thine; and 
thou shalt either be 
a corpse or a recreant 
any hour of the day. 
And this is my gage.” 
The gage was a glove 
thrown down in token 
of challenge. 

The judicial duel 
was nothing more or 
less than the clumsy 
legal makeshift of a 
semi-barbarous society 
whose normal state 
was With the 
growth of feudalism 
and the rise of 
chivalry, it took on 
new features of pomp 
and circumstance. 
Kings and Queens 
attended by their 
courtiers beheld these 
combats, for which 
there was even a 
special solemn _re- 
ligious service known 
as the “ Mass for the 
Duel.” In England 
this sort of duel was 
fought with lance, 
sword, and dagger, or 
even with axes, by 
the nobility and 
knights ; the common 
people used staves and bags filled with sand. 

What seems one of the strangest de- 
velopments of the judicial duel was that 
it was considered a fitting mode of settling 
differences between man and wife. To 
equalise as much as possible the inequality 
of such a contest, the man was put in a 
pit in which he was buried up to the 
girdle, while one of his arms was bound 



This ceremony ts still repeated at the Coronation of our Sovereigns. 


to his side. Sometimes a barrel took the 
place of the pit. For weapon the man had 
a baton, or stick, the lady a kind of sling 
with a stone in it. The two Illustrations 
(p. 492), taken from an old print which 
reproduces the drawings of a much earlier 
time, of these extraordinary encounters 


have rather the appearance of pictures of 
some curious comedy, but that such duels 
actually took place there is no doubt 

In the judicial duel battle by proxy was 
allowed in cases of disability, or where 

women and children were concerned. 
These proxies were called champions, and 
ir this connection it is interesting to notice 


that the champion who appears at the 
coronation of one of our sovereigns—the 
coronation, of 
the Queen 
was no ex- 
‘with his 
body” the 
right of acces- 
sion to the 
throne, should 
anyone give 
it the “lie,” 
is a survival, 
coming down 
to us from the 
storied days of 
the judicial 
duel. In the 
olden time, 

Duel between Man and Wife. 

those represented by the champions. re-, 

mained outside the ring with halters 
round their necks, ready to be hanged, 
according to the result of the battle, 
while the unsuccessful champion had_his 
right hand lopped off. 

The next step towards the modern duel 
was that after the disuse of the legal 
ordeal by battle men of high birth or 
military rank claimed the privilege of 
fighting in the lists, or champs clos, 
for the assertion of their honour 
before their overlord, or at least 
before a court of peers. Two of 
the most celebrated of these duels 
were that of Bayard and Don 
Alonzo de Sotomayor, and that 
between Chataigneray and Jarnac. 

There is no more striking figure 
in the brave days of old than the 
Preux Chevalier de Bayard. It is 
to Brantome, who received the tale 
from the Loyal Serviteur, that we owe 
the story of his historic duel with 
Don Alonzo, which took place about 1508. 
It happened that in one of the inter- 
minable wars of .the time, de Sotomayor 
was taken prisoner at Barletta by Bayard, 


and held for ransom according to the 
fashion of the period. He had given his 
parole, but broke it and escaped. This 
was an unknightly thing to do, but matters 
were made much worse for the Don by his 
recapture by Bayard, who shut .him . up 
closely and demanded a large ransom, as 
was no more than natural. The ransom 
was paid, but when Alonzo was back in his 
own camp he complained bitterly of 
Bayard’s ‘“‘ungentlemanly behaviour,” as 
we would call it now. The Chevalier heard 
of this accusation, and a correspondence 
ensued resulting in the “lie direct” being 
given. Bayard thereupon challenged de 
Sotomayor to mortal combat. 

Don Alonzo could not refuse the duel, 
and *t was agreed that it should be fought 
in the Spanish camp. By custom the 
choice of arms belonged to the challenger, 
but when Bayard appeared mounted in the 
panoply of the man-at-arms, de Sotomayor 
said he would only fight on foot, and 
this he did, as the chronicler sets forth, 
because he knew that he was less adroit 
than Bayard on horseback, and also 
because the latter was suffering from a 
‘‘ quartan ague,” which greatly reduced his 
strength. Bayard’s companions urged him 
not to agree, but he was so confident in the 
justice of his cause or in his skill that he 
did. The champs clos was marked out bya 


Duel between Man and Woman. 

circle of great stones; on one side stood 
Bayard, attended by ‘‘several good and 

valiant captains,” on the other the 
Spaniard, accompanied by some noblemen 


of his acquaintance. Both combatants 
were armed with estoc (a kind of long 
sword) and dagger, and each had the 
same pieces of armour. After lying down 
at full length upon the ground, which he 
kissed, Bayard rose, crossed himself, and 
drew up to his adversary, “‘as composed 
as though he ‘were in a palace dancing 
with ladies.” 

‘* Senor Bayardo, que me quereys ?” asked 

“I mean to defend my honour,” was 
the reply. 

The duel then began, and from the first 
Bayard appears to have had the 
advantage. Sotomayor was 
slightly wounded at the second 
or third pass, but by means of a 
trick managed to keep the 
Chevalier at bay for a consider- 
able time. Alonzo’s little dodge 
was that each thrust he made at 
his adversary was immediately 
followed by a movement of his 
hand which held the dagger so 
that his face was covered and he 
could not be hurt. Bayard, at 
length perceiving this artifice, 
met it by another. 

Holding his sword in the air 
as if to make a pass, but in 
reality withholding the thrust, 
as soon as his opponent had 
dealt his blow, and momentarily 
had his face exposed, the Preux 
Chevalier suddenly, and with ad- 
mirable skill, made so true a 
thrust that, notwithstanding the 
soundness of th« gorget of 
Sotomayor, the estoc entered 
the throat of the Spaniard to a 
depth of four fingers, with such force that 
Bayard was unable to withdraw the blade 
immediately. Dropping his weapon, Don 
Alonzo, who was the stronger of the two, 
seized Bayard with his arms and wrestled 
with him. Both fell, Bayard being on top 
of the other. Drawing his dagger, the 
Chevalier cried: ‘‘ Now yield thee, Don 
Alonzo, or thou diest!” But the Spaniard 
was already dead. 

“You are the victor, Sefior,” said Soto 
mayor’s second; ‘he is dead.” 



When he heard this, Bayard knelt, once 
more kissed the ground, and gave thanks 
to God for the victory. Next he tovk up 
the dead body in his arms, carried it out- 
side the circle of great stones, and handed 
it over to the friends of Sotomayor,’sayirig — 

“You know that it rests with me to do 
what I please with my enemy—that is the 
custom of the duel—yet, as my honour is 
now saved, I surrender the body to you, 
and truly would I that it were in better 

And thereafter, in the midst of the 
“good and valiant captains” who had 


Ready to throw down the Gage of Challenge. 

gone with him to the camp of the Spaniard, 
he rode back to his own place as if nothing 
very much had happened. 

The duel between Chataigneray and 
Jarnac was fought in 1547. There*had 
been bad blood between the two men for 
some time, because the former had spoken 
insultingly of the latter’s wife’s mother, 
and they had sought to bring the matter 
to the issue of a duel in the reign of 


rs - ae aa 

aie PLEASES Seay 
* 2 . a e 



Le Preux Chevalier. 


Francis I., but that monarch had refused 
to permit it. Henry II. was more com- 
placent, and on a challenge being given 
again, it was arranged that the combat 
should take place at St. Germain-en-Laye, 
where, on the day appointed, the King, 
attended by his whole Court, repaired to 
witness the duel. It is said that Chataigneray 
was so confident of the result that he had 
had prepared a banquet for one hundred 
and fifty guests to celebrate his triumph. 

DUEL. 495 
that of Jarnac. Both had their seconds 
and supporters, all men of distinction, 
among them being the Grand Equerry 
of France. 

Presently Jarnac sent one of his squires 
to carry the arms he had chosen to his 
foe; they were a sword, a morion, a 
corselet, a brassart for the left arm, but 
without the usual joint at the elbow (the 
reason for which will appear later), and 
two daggers, one to be worn in the right 


The Famous Duel between Fainac and Chataigneray. 

During the month preceding the fight 
Chataigneray practised with many weapons, 
and, so to speak, got himself into thorough 
training. Jarnac, with whom lay the choice 

of weapons, also did the same. As the 
sequel showed, Jarnac was a crafty man. 
On the day fixed the lists were set, and 
we may imagine the magnificence of the 
scene—the King, with his ladies and gentle- 
men, in the picturesque attire of that day, 
and the keen interest of the numerous 
spectators drawn together by this notable 
event. At one end of the pavilion was 
the tent of Chataigneray; opposite was 

boot, the other to be carried in the left 
hand. Chataigneray grumbled not a little 
as the stiff, unyielding brassart was fixed 
on his arm by Jarnac’s squire, and 
exclaimed that it hurt him. In a fume 
he told the squire, whom he accused of 
putting this curious piece of armour 
on him very roughly, that he would 
settle with him after he had done with 
his master. To which that gentleman 
replied : ‘“‘ When you have done your fight 
with my master, I shall have little fear of 
your Worship ”—words which must have 
had an ominous sound. When the arming 


of Chataigneray was finished, his squire 
proceeded across to the tent of Jarnac for 
the double purpose of arming that knight 
and of seeing that he was equipped in 
every respect as his master was, and in zo 
other way. We may be sure that particular 
care was exercised that neither duellist 
had on his person any charms, spells, or 
talismans that might “queer the pitch.” 
A gaily dressed herald next 
summoned the champions to 
come forth to the combat in the 
name of the King. Chataigneray 

A Duel with Daggers to the Death. 

strode forward in fury, his features con- 
vulsed with rage; Jarnac, on the other 
hand, was cool and ‘collected, with all his 
senses about him. 

After a few thrusts and strokes had been 
dealt on either side without much damage 
being done, Jarnac made a feint of striking 
his adversary on the outside of the advanced 
leg, but quickly changing the position of his 
weapon, drew a reverse cut. at the inside 
of Chataigneray’s knee with the false edge 
of his blade, and that so effectively that 
his opponent fell down forthwith. 

‘Sire, have I proved mine honour?” 


Jarnac called aloud to the King as he 
dropped on one knee before him. 

However, as such duels as these were 
almost invariably fought @ oufrance, the 
King had first to send for the advice of his 
Lord Constable, and as that was somewhat 
long in coming, Jarnac concluded that the 
duel must continue, and turned to attack 
Chataigneray again. Whereupon the King 

immediately interposed by chrowing 
his baton into the arena, and the duel 
was at an end. 

Chataigneray’s seconds bound up 
his wounds, but he was so 
mortified by his defeat that 
he tore off the bandages, cry- 
ing out that he cared to live 
no longer now that he was 
vanquished and dishonoured. 
As for the victor, he rode off 
to Notre Dame, where he 
hung up his arms as a trophy, 
and as a testimony to the fair 
fame of the lady of whom 
he had made himself the 

It transpired that Chataig- 
neray wasamost accomplished 
wrestler. He had counted on 
being able to close with and 
throw Jarnac, who, well aware 
of his adversary’s skill, had 
provided against it by the 
stiff brassart,which completely 
prevented the other from 
bending his arm. The par- 
ticular stroke by which Cha- 
taigneray was disabled—it is 

not always described with exactly the 
same details as those given above—was 
long known as the “ coup de Jarnac.” 

In the next paper of this series we shall 
see that as duelling became a matter of 
fashion, and theréfore of necessity, it was 
impossible for one who aspired to be 
deemed a man of honour to be too 
punctilious in taking offence. Any sub- 
ject or occasion, no matter how small or 
trivial, was thought sufficient to warrant 
a duel, and blood alone could wipe 
out the stain, even if it was a purely 
imaginary one. 

No. 204. September 1900 




Author cf “ The Faith that Kills,” “ The Experiment of Dr. Nevill,” etc., ete. 


CHANCED to be crossing Covent 

Garden Market one morning on 
my way from Henrietta Street, when I 
suddenly recollected that I had promised 
to telegraph¥a message to a friend of 
mine in the country in connection with 
certain business which he had asked me 
to transact for him in town the preceding 
evening. A few steps brought me to the 
post-office at the corner of the colonnade 
that runs along the Tavistock Hotel; and, 

entering, I despatched my message, and 

stepped out again into the street. At that 
moment a dispute happened to be in mid- 
career between two costermongers not a 
dozen paces distant; I turned my head to 
glance at the combatants, and in doing so 
collided forcibly against a passer-by who 
had reached the corner of the street 
simultaneously with myself. 

**T beg your pardon,” said I, recovering 
my balance. 

“Don’t mention it, my dear Bertram,” 
said Batts. 

“Why, Batts,” I exclaimed in surprise, 
“it’s you! Where the dickens have you 
sprung from, my dear fellow? I have not 
seen you since Christmas!” 

“I have sprung from the Tavistock 
Hotel, where an acquaintance of mine is 
staying. I only returned to town a day or 
two ago: I have been shooting bears in 
the Caucasus, and hunting pigs. How are 
you ?” 

“*Well—as usual; I am never anything 
else. What a lucky encounter!” 

“‘Luck, my dear Bertram,” smiled 
Batts, ‘‘ governs most of the affairs both 
of nations and individuals. ‘It is better 


to be born lucky,’ etc! There is truth 
in the aphorism. Let us go and lunch.” 

‘‘ By all means ; and then you can give 
an account of yourself,” I laughed. 

We had turned into Wellington Street 
as we talked, and were passing the Lyceum 
Theatre, when Batts stopped and looked 
across the street. 

““What a very singular thing!” he 

“To what thing do you refer?” I 
asked, following the direction of his 

*“Why, do you not perceive an Italian 
organ-grinder over there ?” 

“I do. There are others of the same 
description in London.” 

“‘ But, my good Bertram, he is playing a 
tune !” 

““Thev all do,” I said impatiently. 

“Quite so,” said Batts; ‘‘ they all do. 
We will just-rest here a moment if you 
don’t mind, Bertram, and look at the 
photographs of Sir Henry Irving and Miss 
Ellen Terry.” 

He stepped into the vestibule of the 
theatre and lit a cigar. Instead of looking 
at the photographs of the eminent actor 
and actress, however, he directed his 
glance still to the figure on the opposite 
side of the street. It was a ragged figure 
dressed in the conventional slouch hat, 
baggy breeches, and square patched boots 
of the itinerant organ-grinder. A loose 
scarf was knotted round the fellow’s throat, 
and a bushy black beard covered the 
greater part of his face, as he stood 
diligently revolving music after the manner 
of his kind. 


“You will admit that it is very remark- 
able,” observed Batts presently. 

“TI admit nothing of the sort,” I said 
snappishly, for I was getting hungry. “I 
see positively nothing remarkable in an 


“Ah. I have. His organ is not a bad 
one. It is, indeed—as organs go—a good 
instrument, an exceptionally good instru- 
ment. But that is not the only thing that 
instantly strikes the listener—that instantly 
struck both you and me, I may say. He 



“Do you not perceive an Italian organ-grinder over there ?” 

“No—but in this particular organ- 
grinder ?” 

“He does not appear to me to differ 
from his fellows.” 

“Perhaps you see nothing remarkable in 
him, my dear Bertram ; but have you been 
listening ?” 

“T have no ear for music,” said I. 

was playing, I will not affirm a good tune, 
but, at any rate, an excep/ional tune—with- 
out the adjective of merit added.” 

“An exceptional tune?” I repeated, 
with newly aroused interest in the possi- 
bility of mystery imparted by Batts’s words 
and manner. 

“Yes. A tune that I am willing to bet 

K K 2 


was never heard on an English organ 

“You astonish me!” 

“Listen! There it is again!” 

As he spoke, the organ gave forth a 
melody that was certainly, to my ears, 
something of the weirdest and most form- 
less, yet containing, at the same time, a 
distant suggestion of martial rhythm and 

“‘ Ever heard it before ?” asked Batts. 

‘* Never.” 

“So I thought. It is an obscure Polish 
march : an air distinctive enough to linger 
in the memory once it has been heard, 
and to be easily recognised on repetition. 
I have heard it more than once in Svornak, 
but in England never before this moment. 
What is the first thing this reflection 
suggests to you?” 

‘That the man has an original musical 

“Possibly. To me it suggests this: 

That the man has had a special organ 
manufactured for him, with this particular 

air dove-tailed between each of the other 
tunes on the cylinder. You will observe 
it follows every other tune, and all the 
other tunes are but the hackneyed music- 
hall ditties of the hour.” 

“ True.” 

“‘ A poor organ-grinder cannot afford to 
build a special organ for himself or consult 
his own taste as to the selection of the 
tunes it is to play.” 

“True again.” 

“My inference, therefore, is, my dear 
Bertram, that the man over the way is of 
a poor organ-grinder at all!” 

Having delivered himself of this remark, 
Batts leaned against a pillar and puffed 
placidly at his cigar. 

“And assuming the inference to be 
correct, what then?” I demanded. 

“What then? Why, Bertram, I feel 
just in the humour to follow up this 
inference to any conclusion to which it 
may lead. In other words, I mean to get 
at the bottom of this mystery. I am in 
the mood for a frolic—will you join me ?” 

“If you have no objection to lunching 
first,” I began, but Batts stopped me with 
@ gesture. 


“Look!” said he with a smile. 

A well-dressed man walked rapidly up 
to the organ-grinder, exchanged a quick 
sign with him, received from him a note, 
and passed hurriedly on. The organ- 
grinder continued to turn the handle of 
his machine for some minutes after the 
gentleman had disappeared ; then lifting 
his hat, he wiped the perspiration from 
his forehead, and with evident relief 
proceeded slowly to trundle off his organ 
down a side street. 

“Come,” said Batts, ‘‘ we will follow 
him. Curb your appetite, my good 
Bertram; we will lunch later.” 

My own curiosity was now sufficiently 
excited by the singular incident of which 
we had been witnesses to need no further 
stimulus, and I signified my readiness to 
accede to Batts’s proposal. Keeping our 
organ- grinder, therefore, in sight, we 
crossed the street, and dived presently 
into one of the innumerable side alleys. 
which constitute the purlieus of the Drury 
Lane quarter. We had not far to go. 
The organ-grinder stopped almost imme- 
diately before a squalid lodging, and 
opening a side door, pushed his organ 
into a passage giving admittance to the 
back of the house, and himself disappeared 
after it. 

‘* So,” said Batts, ‘‘ we have run him to- 
earth very quickly. That house has no. 
other exit, I perceive. From the corner 
of this street we can command the door; 
let us, then, my dear Bertram, trifle for a 
few moments at the corner of the street!” 

“‘ And to what end?” 

“To the end that we may observe the 
organ-grinder when he comes out.” 

“He may not come out.” 

“On the other hand, he may. Have a 
cigar ?” 

We had reached the corner of the alley;. 
Batts took up a position from which he 
could unobtrusively watch the door of the 
squalid lodging-house. I lit my cigar and 
smoked silently. Ten minutes passed, and 
I began to tire somewhat of the game; 
five minutes more, and I was on the point 
of proposing an adjournment, when 
Batts took his cigar from his lips and 

‘** Much as I thought,” said he, turning 
quickly into the main street. 

I glanced over my shoulder just in time 
to catch sight of a gentleman, irreproach- 
ably clad, leaving the house we had been 

“TI don’t wish him to notice us,” 
remarked Batts. 

Indeed, the gentleman seemed far too 
absorbed in his own meditations to notice 
anybody. He, too, 
turned the corner a 
moment later and 
brushed past us. 

“Not much re- 
semblance to our c7- 
devant organ-grinder, 
eh ?” smiled Batts. 

“You think he is 
the same ?” 

“‘T am quite sure.” 

“He only wears a 

“The beard was a 
false one.” 

“* Well, do you pro- 
pose to follow him ?” 

‘““No,” said Batts, 
“1 propose to return 
to the lodging- 
house ; but first let 
us pay Mr. May a 

Now May, as 
everybody knows, is 
the celebrated 
theatrical costumier, 
and his shop happened to be but a stone’s 
throw or so from where we stood. I said 
nothing, but followed Batts. We entered 
the costumier’s, and were civilly requested 
by the attendant to notify our demands. 

“I want to be instantly supplied,” said 
Batts, “‘with the costume of a London 

The man smiled. 

“I have no doubt, Sir,” he replied, 
“that we shall have little difficulty in 
meeting with your requirements. Kindly 
step this way.” 

He conducted us up a: narrow flight of 
stairs to a large apartment which served 
partly as a store-room for old wardrobes, 


“« Perhaps I could have the use of my friend— 
your lodger’s—room for two minutes ?” 


and partly as a room for the “ fitting on” 
of customers. In less than five minutes 
Batts had deposited in a small bag, which 
the shopman procured for him, the 
complete outfit of a peripatetic musician : 
and we once more retraced our steps to 
the obscure lodging-house in the narrow 
alley. Batts rapped with his knuckles on 
the door—there appeared to be neither 
bell nor knocker—and presently the latch 
inside was unfastened 
and an old woman’s 
face peered out upon 

“Good day, 
Madam,” said Batts. 

Mister,” replied the 
crone suspiciously. 

“You have a 

gentleman lodger,” 
pursued Batts. 
“That ain’t no 

business 0’ yourn.” 

“I propose,” said 
Batts politely, “to 
make it my business— 
and yours too. My - 
name, Madam, is 
Batts. This gentle- 
man is Mr. Bertram, 
the author. It is 

pre possible you may not 
“s/ have heard of him.” 
4 : 

“I don’t want 
none o your 
gammon, Mister,” 
snapped the old woman. “If you’re 
tryin’ to pull my leg, I ain’t takin’ none 
of it, not at my age, so I’ll wish you good 
mornin’, an’ keep your chaff for them 
as wants it!” 

““My dear Madam!” exclaimed Batts, 
“‘what a distressing suspicion! Pull your 
leg !—chaff !—nothing was further from my 
thoughts, I assure you. But to be plain, I 
have business with you.” 

The door had begun to close in our 
faces as Batts fired off this last sentence 
somewhat hurriedly. 

“* Business” —the door opened again— 
“‘ wot business ?” 

Batts produced a sovereign. 


“‘ May I affer you this trifle as an earnest 
of my good faith?” he remarked. ‘‘ The 
business is this: My friend and I know 
the gentleman who is lodging with you— 
or, rather, whose organ is lodging with 
you—and we want to have a little innocent 
fun with him—that is all. I am going to 
borrow his organ for half an hour.” 

The old woman winked. Also she 
pocketed the sovereign. 

“ His orgin ?” 

‘ Precisely.” 

‘ You ain’t a-going to steal it?” 

‘By no means. It would be quite a 
white elephant to me; I will bring it back 
here in an hour—possibly a little less, 
possibly a little more: a mere practical 
joke, I assure you! I desire, moreover, to 
make a small change in my toilet. Perhaps 
I could have the use of my friend—your 
lodger’s—room for two minutes? My 
own clothes I will leave here till I return. 
If you like, I will also leave a_ small 
deposit in return for the organ—shall we 
say £25?” 

The old dame’s eyes glistened. 

** Come in,” she said briefly. 

We entered a squalid room; the air was 
stuffy, hardly breathable ; the only window 
was securely fastened. 

***Sposin’ he comes back afore you 
do?” inquired the woman, filled with a 
sudden apprehension of possible danger 

“Inform him, my dear Madam, merely 
that a friend of his has borrowed his 
organ for a few minutes, and is practising 
with it in an adiacent street. Now be 
good enough to show me the dressing- 

We ascended a rickety staircase, and 
found ourselves in a chamber more dingy, 
smaller, scarce airier than the one we had 
just left. A bundle of clothes lay on a 
mattress on the floor. A big false beard 
was on the mantelpiece. 

“Thank you,” said Batts. 
keep you a moment, Madam.” 

The crone retired. 

Batts Jooked at me with a boyish twinkle 
in his eye. 

‘Ah, Bertram, 

“7'D aot 

this is great!” he 


“You appear to enjoy the joke,” [ 

“*T do, intensely.” 

‘“* And the consequences ?” 

“Remain to be seen. Therein lies 
half the attraction of the thing. Hand me 
that beard, please.” 

He had, with wonderful rapidity, effected 
the change in his costume, and now stood 
before me the oddest transformation of 
himself that could well be imagined. 
The clothes hung loosely upon him, but 
they gave his neat figure a singularly 
incongruous look of mendicant black- 
guardism which required only the addition 
of the beard to attain a completion scarce 
short of perfect. 

“Do I look like an organ-grinder ?” he 
asked.with a smile. 

“You loek~like anything you could 
name that is disreputable,” I answered. 

“Good. Now for the organ.” 

We descended the creaking stairs, and 
were met at the foot of them by the old 

“‘Lawks!” she cried, holding up her 


hands; “ you’re a beauty 

“Thank you,” said Batts modestly. 
“You doubtless trace some resemblance 
in me to my friend your lodger ?” 

‘You favour him some,” she admitted. 
“Wot’s your game, Mister ?” 

““A practical joke—as I have already 
told you. Now take us to the organ and 
I’ll give you the twenty-five pounds agreed 

The woman required no second bidding. 
She hurriedly led us through a door to a 
small back passage in which we discovered 
the organ standing. Batts seized the 
handles of the truck. 

“Open the street-door, Bertram,” he said. 

I did so. Then Batts turned to the old 

‘‘Madam,” said he with exquisite 
urbanity, ‘‘you leave me _ still your 
debtor!” And taking off his hat with 
a low bow, he handed the astonished 
creature five crisp bank - notes. Her 
fingers clutched them with an avidity 
singularly eloquent. 

“yon’t you go for to steal that orgin, , 
now!” was her parting injunction, as 


“Do I look like an organ-grinder?” he asked with a smile. 


Batts disappeared through the door, 
rolling the instrument before him. He 
waved his hat to her reassuringly; the 
door closed, and we found ourselves once 
again in the side street. 

“It won’t do,” remarked Batts, “ for 
you to be seen conversing with a person 
in- this get-up, Bertram. The circum- 
stance might arouse suspicion. Walk, 
therefore, in front, and join me by the 
Lyceum Theatre five minutes hence.” 

I laughed, and strode off in the opposite 
direction, as Batts trundlied his organ 
down the street. After traversing a circuit 
of dingy alleys I emerged eventually into 
Drury Lane, and sauntered slowly along, 
till presently I arrived in the vicinity of 
the Lyceum Theatre. My ears were 
instantly assailed by the familiar sound of 
a street-organ ; and there, standing in the 
exact spot where we had originally descried 
the mysterious organ-grinder, I perceived 
Batts. He was working away at the 
handle of his instrument for all he was 
worth. His face wore the serious, stolid, 
impassive look of the professional 
practitioner. Some ragged children were 
dancing to his melodies in a courtyard 
close at hand. At his elbow the voice of 
an apple-cart woman was raised in angry 
competition with his strains. I crossed 
the street. He touched his hat to me 
with a broad grin as I approached. Under 
pretence of bestowing a copper upon him 
I drew to his side. 

‘Stand near me—not too near,” he said 
hurriedly. ‘‘ There’s a second-hand book- 
shop there. Examine the window, and 

I stepped to the window of the shop 
indicated, and from this point, without 
exciting observation myself, I found I was 
able to keep my eye on Batts, and even to 
hear any remark that he might make. 
The minutes slipped by. Batts stopped 
playing, and trundled his organ down the 

“We must change our pitch,” he 
observed, as he passed me, “and return 
here again—for I’m convinced that, if 
there is a rendezvous at all, /Azs is the 
chosen spot for it.” 

For more than an hour we shifted about 


the side streets adjoining the Strand Batts 
playing diligently, and now and again 
receiving the tribute of a copper from 
some passing admirer; I, lounging indo- 
lently at “shop-windows, and devoutly 
wishing the freak at an end, till, at length, 
we found ourselves again stationed in the 
respective positions from which we had 
originally set out on our rounds. I think 
I knew most of the titles of the books in 
that second-hand shop by heart, when 
suddenly my waning interest became once 
more galvanised into activity. A man, 
dressed in a frock-coat and a tall hat, 
stopped in front of Batts. For a moment 
he regarded him steadily. Batts said 
something in a low voice. The new- 
comer nodded, and immediately passed 
a letter to Batts, and not pausing for a 
reply, walked hurriedly on—exactly as his 
predecessor had done with the first organ- 
grinder. When he had disappeared, I 
approached Batts. 

“Well ?” I said. 

‘*Now we shall have a clue!” smiled 
Batts. ‘Did you identify the gentle- 
man ?” 


**He was the same man that took the 
note from our friend the organ-grinder of 
this morning; and this,” added Batts, 
tearing open the envelope he had just 
received, ‘‘ is evidently the answer to that 
note. Ha!” he muttered, running his 
eye rapidly over the contents, “‘ this looks 
serious, Bertram. Here is no mare’s-nest! 
Read, my dear fellow.” 

I took the paper from his hand and read, 
in French, the following communication— 

“Your instructions for the coup-d’é/at 
on Friday will be carried out. Since he 
journeys to Paris that day, and not London, 
the committee will leave England for the 
capital to-night.” 

‘““Phew!” I exclaimed, after perusing 

this remarkable missive. ‘‘ What the 
dickens is all this rigmarole about ?” 

“Why, it’s as plain as a_pikestaff,” 
rejoined Batts. ‘‘ Nothing more nor less 
than one of the countless conspiracies 
which seem to be for ever agitating the 
internal policy of the Balkans.” 


“The Balkans!” I repeated in surprise. 

“TI am convinced of it. The note is 
intentionally worded with some ambiguity, 
but it is easy to identify the personality of 
the pronoun. ‘He,’ I should say, refers to 
the Prince of Rivania— our old friend, 
Bertram, of the Savoy Hotel episode,” 
concluded Batts with a smile. 

“‘ What makes you think so?” I asked. 

“The method of the delivery of the 
note. These little conspirators love all 
the trumpery paraphernalia of mystery. 
Then there is the tune—the singular 
Polish tune—to localise our inferences. 
None but a Borastrian or a Rivanian could 
have hit upon that melody for a password. 
Thirdly, we have the mention of the 
‘journey to Paris’ and the ‘committee.’ 
The former relates, in all probability, to 
the Prince; the latter to the Secret 
National Council (as these political 
squib-makers call themselves). Finally, 
the writer speaks of the ‘coup-d’état’ 
which is to take place on Friday. This 
is Monday. The coup-d’état, I am inclined 
to assume, refers to some measure for 
undermining the Royalist influence in 
Svornak during the Prince’s absence— 
or, indeed,” added Batts, “‘ it may be for 
kidnapping his Highness Loris himself.” 

“Well, upon my word!” I exclaimed. 
“You reel off your inferences with the 
instantaneousness of a trained detective, 

“They are based on the simplest logical 
data,” he replied. ‘A child could arrive 
at the same conclusions.” 

‘*A child,” I retorted, ‘‘ would not have 
the initial advantage of an intimate acquaint- 
ance with the national music of an obscure 
Balkan State.” 

“True, my good Bertram. I take no 
credit to myself for that. It is only an 
hour or so ago, you will remember, that I 
made an observation to you which this 
very circumstance bears out: Luck, or 
chance, governs most of the affairs both of 
individuals and nations!” 

‘tI recollect. But if your deductions 
are correct, it seems to me that we are 
burdened with a certain degree of respon- 
sibility by this chance discovery. How are 
we to act?” 


“‘Softly—and stand back a hittle!” 
replied Batts hastily. ‘‘ Here comes our 
friend !” 

I had scarce time to step a pace to the 
rear of Batts when a gentleman hurried up 
to him from the direction of Long Acre. 
I recognised the new arrival at once as the 
man who had issued from the lodging- 
house to which we had earlier in the morn- 
ing tracked him—the quasi-organ-grinder, 
in fact, whose instrument Batts was at that 
moment manipulating with a grave and 
patient ardour. The gentleman walked 
straight up to Batts and confronted him 
angrily. Batts continued to ply the handle 
of his organ, his countenance impassive 
and unmoved. 

“* Qu’est-ce que vous étes ?” exclaimed 
the stranger. ‘‘ Vous parlez Frangais ?” 

“Si, Signore,” replied Batts, arresting 
the revolution of his handle midway, and 
regarding his interlocutor with a grin. 
**Non parlo Francese.” 

“Diavolo! E Italiano ?” 

“Vraiment. Tedesco!” 

““Coquin!” laughed the other. Then, 
continuing in French: “I do not know 
you, but you appear to have some object . 
in this buffoonery of yours, Sir. My 
friend, whoever you are, how comes it that 
you have stolen my organ Fe 

** And your beard,” put in Batts. 

“ By my faith, yes!” 

“* How comes it that you should possess 
an organ, Monsieur, that plays a Polish 
march—such as one hears sometimes in 
the streets of Svornak—and that you should 
have the beard of an Italian vagrant with 
which to disguise your features? Permit 
me the questions.” 

‘** Mark you,” cried the stranger wrath- 
fully, ‘‘ you are impertinent, and, moreover, 
a thief! I will take you to the police- 
station for stealing my organ, Sir!” 

“Come along,” said Batts cheerfully. 
“‘Bow Street is close at hand. It will 
seem odd for a well-dressed gentleman to 
claim a barrel-organ, truly; and Monsieur 
can, doubtless, explain about the beard at 
the same time, also the note 

“ The note, Sir!” 

“ Without question you delivered a note 
not long since to a passer-by. Italian 


organ-grinders sometimes receive coppers, 
occasionally even threepenny- bits, but 
never, Monsieur, ever do they transmit 
secret letters to well-dressed gentlemen, 
who pass hurriedly by. Yet, no doubt, 
you can explain.” 

“*Come,” interrupted the foreigner, with 
evident uneasiness, ‘“‘I see you are nota 
bad fellow, and we will not go to the 
police-station. The note was nothing.” 

“Nothing!” repeated Batts. ‘ Nor 
yet the answer to it, which I have just 
received,” he added calmly. 

“The answer!” exclaimed the man, 
almost leaping from the pavement in his 
sudden consternation. ‘‘Give it to me, 
Sir—give it to me instantly!” 

** By no means,” said Batts. ‘‘ You and 
I and my friend here, would it not be more 
sociable, Monsieur, for us all three to read 
the answer together? Supposing, then, 
we go back to your lodgings? ‘They are 
situated not far off!” 7 

The stranger looked 
he iooked at me; 

at Batts, then 
then he looked at 

the organ, and finally he shrugged his 


“Very well,” said he, “come to my— 
lodgings !” 

‘“* My friena,” replied Batts, turning the 
organ round, “‘ allow me to apologise for 
this trifling deception. You have, of 
course, by now perceived that my passion 
for indulging in jokes has led me to 
impose this trick upon you. We belong, 
Sir, to the same fraternity as yourself. 
this gentleman and I! We are, in fact, 
members of the Committee to whom you 
were despatched with the message which 
we received from you this morning; and 
I it is, and no other, who was charged 
with the delivery of our reply to it! I 
could not resist the temptation of select- 
ing my own method of performing that 
office. I went to your lodgings, procured 
from a second-hand shop these clothes, 
borrowed your organ, and, together with 
my colleague, repaired hither to await you, 
and (a thousand apologies!) enjoy the 
spectacle of your surprise and confusion 
at discovering your organ and your dis- 
guise in the hands of an apparent stranger ! 
If I have kept up the farce a moment or 


two longer than courtesy sanctioned, I am 
sure that you will not withhold from me 
your pardon, Monsieur!” 

“By my faith, Sir!” exclaimed the 
foreigner, more than half relieved at 
Batts’s glib explanation, yet almost half 
angry at what he imagined to be the 
ridiculous fraud we had practised upon 
him, “‘you have a pretty talent for practical 
joking, I must say! None the less, you 
make such an excellent organ-grinder that 
I must find it in my heart to forgive you. 
Yet, Sir,” he added gravely, ‘‘ this is 
scarcely a matter for jesting—nor is our 
business of a kind, one would think, to 
warrant the incurring of needless risk!” 

“I agree with you,” rejoined Batts, with 
an admirable appearance of penitence ; 
‘but I can reassure you: I have been careful 
to avoid all possibility of risk, Monsieur. 
None, for instance, but yourself could have 
detected me in this disguise; and I knew 
well that you would not be long in return- 
ing here to search for me, on finding that 
your organ had been extracted from its 
hiding-place! As for the note which | 
bear, its delivery has thus only been 
delayed for ten minutes; and things have 
so fallen out, I may tell you, that there is 
now no immediate need of haste.” 

“Why, no, Monsieur, I suppose there is 
not,” returned the stranger; ‘‘ but, pray, 
how did you discover the obscure and 
unseemly den in which I have been 
constrained to secrete my organ and my 
disguises ?” 

‘‘ By the very simple process of watching 
you enter it,” observed Batts, ‘‘ after I left 
you this morning! My dear friend, is it 
possible that even now you do not recognise 
me ?” 

The stranger scrutinised Batts closely. 

“‘By the saints, I do not!” he replied 
in a perplexed tone. 

“The greater credit to my disguise!” 
laughed Batts. ‘The beard, no doubt, 
makes a difference: when I passed you 
this morning / wore none either.” 

“You passed me? Then it was you 
who e” 

“Received your note ? 
longer doubt it ?” 

The stranger whistled. 

Can you any 


“Certainly,” he said, “‘the disguise is 
good. I should not have penetrated it. 
And /a:s gentleman ?” pointing to me. 

** One of our colleagues,” explained Batts 

The gentleman and I exchanged bows. 
We had by this time gained the side street 
in which the lodging-house was situated, 
and Batts wiped his forehead with a red 


“Take in the organ,” said the foreigner 
to her curtly, and speaking in broken 
English. ‘‘ These gentlemen and I will 
talk fora moment. Leave us.” 

““With your permission I will first 
change my clothes,” said Batts. “I know 
my way. Do me the favour to await me 
here, Sir. You may as well assist me, 

I took the hint and accompanied Batts 

““ My friend, whoever you are, how comes it that you have stolen my organ?” 

* Faugh ! ” the exclaimed; “to tell you 
the truth, I have had enough of this 
masquerading, and shall not be sorry to get 
into civilised clothes again. This, if I 
mistake not, is the house ?” 

“It is,” said the stranger, as we once 
more paused before the door of the squalid 
lodging, and our companion pushed it 
open unceremoniously. ‘‘ Pray enter.” 

We did so, and were confronted by the 
same old woman as had welcomed us 
before. At sight of her lodger she seemed 
to gather assurance, and curtseyed to us 
with a clumsy and sullen civility. 

up the rickety staircase to the stuffy attic, 
leaving the stranger to await our return 

“Now,” said Batts, when we were 
alone, ‘‘we need not waste much more 
time in playing this comedy with our 
Borastrian gentleman downstairs. He is 
a foolish fellow to be so easily imposed 
upon, yet he seems quite unsuspicious of 
our real characters. Of course, chance 
has favoured us—again. There has been 
nothing in our conduct to which a 
plausible colouring could not be lent 
by the explanation I gave him of it. 


The possession of the note seems, 
indeed, to carry with it full proof of the 
genuineness of our professions. For the 
rest, I wish only to elicit one or two 
points of information from the gentleman 
before taking our leave of him, and then 
we can act as circumstances demand.” 

“The least word might betray us to 
him,” I remarked. 

“Then that least word must not be 
spoken!” replied Batts. ‘Trust, my 
good Bertram, to my discretion.” 

“It is of the reckless description!” I 

‘A bold game is often the safest,” he 
rejoined, putting on his coat. ‘‘ Now I 
am ready ; let us get down again.” 

We found the Emissary of Borastria (for 
so did Batts persist in identifying the 
stranger) pacing the dingy little room 
impatiently as we re-entered it. 

“So, gentlemen,” he exclaimed, “ per- 
haps you will be good enough now to 
deliver me your letter.” 

“With pleasure,” said Batts, handing 
him the sheet of note-paper carefully 
folded, as though it had been in the first 
instance innocent of the shelter of an 
envelope. ‘ Permit me.” 

“Thank you,” said the other, unfolding 
the letter and perusing it attentively. 

Batts hummed softly to himself while 
he did so. Presently the foreigner 
looked up. 

“That is well,” he observed shortly. 

** Very well,” agreed Batts. ‘‘ We shall, 
no doubt, meet in Paris.” 

“* But we shall rot stay there long!” 

“Certainly not. Not long. Of course 
not. The Prince Fa 

** Leaves Svornak on Friday.” 

“Exactly. And so Pi 

** It may happen on the frontier.” 

“That is what we understood. He must 
not reach Paris, in fact.” 

“The details have yet to be definitely 

“In Paris?” 

*“* To-morrow.” 

“Precisely. And Prince Loris——’ 

‘‘ Name no names, Sir!” cried the other 

Batts smiled. 



“A lapsus lingue. We will take our 
leave, Sir, for the present. We start, you 
know, by the night mail this evening. 
Doubtless you will join our party.” 

“Unless I leave earlier,” replied the 
stranger. ‘‘In which case E 

“‘ We will meet to-morrow in Paris.” 

“Without doubt.” 

Batts took up his hat. 

“* And so, Monsieur, au revoir!” he said 
with a bow. 

“‘ Au revoir, gentlemen, and bon voyage |” 
said the stranger, returning our bows. 

A minute later the door had closed upon 
us, and Batts and I were once more in the 


“‘An admirable conspirator!” laughed 
Batts. ‘‘So laconic, artless, serious, and 
unsuspecting !” 

““The most suspicious are the most 
easily deceived,” I said. 

““A fallacy, my good Bertram!” said 
Batts. ‘Asa rule it is not so; but in the 
present instance luck has been with us. 
Pure luck, Bertram; nothing but luck!” 
As he spoke he signed to a passing 

‘‘What do you propose to do now?” I 

“ Drive to the Central Telegraph Office,” 
he replied. ‘‘ Get in, Bertram.” 

I did so; and when we were seated siue 
by side in the hansom Batts volunteered a 
further explanation of his motives. 

““My first inference,” said he, ‘ was 
obviously correct. There is evidently a 
plot on foot to kidnap his Highness Loris 
of Rivania as he crosses the frontier on his 
journey to Paris on Friday. I think we can 
safely assume that—or something like it. 
Then will follow the coup d’état referred to 
in the letter. And apres - 


“A general discharge of revolutionary 
squibs, my good Bertram; a regular 
political pyrotechnic display! Possibly 
an appeal to European arbitration—good- 
ness knows what afterwards. But, fortu- 
nately, we are now in a position to 
damage these Balkan fireworks by a 
judicious douche of cold water, you 
and I!” 

“Indeed! How?” 


“« By means of the telegraph, Bertram.” 

“Oh, I see! You purpose to wire 
information to the Prince ?” 

““No, my good Bertram, not to the 

“To whom, then ?” 

“‘Why,” said Batts, who was evidently 
in the highest good humour, “to the 
excellent Szarvas, of course—that grisly 
old martinet who acts as the Prince’s con- 
fidential adviser, and holds both the Prince 
and his Government in leading - strings! 
To Szarvas and no other.” 

“Colonel Szarvas! I remember seeing 
him at the Savoy Hotel.” 

“Your memory serves you. Colonel 
Szarvas is not a man easily forgotten once 
seen. Luckily, he understands English.” 

“Why, luckily ?” 

“* Because a telegram in English will be 
less likely to—miscarry!” observed Batts 

‘* Ah, I perceive.” 

“You are aware, of course; that there 
is a strict censorship over outgoing tele- 
grams from Svornak and Blitz ?” 

““T was not.” 

“Oh, yes, my dear fellow, the Govern- 
ment are very particular on that point. 

Hence the difficulty of communication ° 

between our conspirators. They were 
compelled to resort to means of personal 
communication, as you have seen. A 
telegram, however, from London will not 
be blocked.” 

“‘ Especially if it be in English ?” 

“‘ Especially if it be in English! 
we are.” 

Batts descended at the post-office, and 
I followed him. Stepping to the tele- 
graph-desk, he wrote hastily for a minute 
or two, and then handed me the following 
draft of his telegram to read— 

“To Colonel Szarvas, Svornak, Rivania. 
I have received. authentic proofs that there 
is a conspiracy on foot to kidnap the 
Prince and overthrow his Government on 



Friday next—the occasion of his journey 
to Paris. I lose not a moment in tele- 
graphing to inform you of the plot, details 
of which I will wire to you if you desire. 
Archibald P. Batts, Savoy Hotel.” 

‘You have said enough and not too 
much,” I observed, handing him back the 

** And we have only now,” remarked he,. 
‘to await the Colonel’s reply.” 

The telegram was instantly despatched, 
and Batts and I found ourselves at length 
free to indulge in our long-deferred lunch. 

“TI think, indeed, that we have earned 
it,” he smiled, as we sat down at the 

It was past four o’clock when I accom- 
panied Batts back to his hotel. Scarcely 
had we entered the smoking-room when a 
messenger approached him with a tele- 
gram. Batts opened it, and leisurely ran 
his eye over the contents. Then he 
passed it to me with a laugh. 

“So much,” said he, “for our dis- 
interested efforts to save Rivania, Bertram ! 

It seems we might have spared ourselves. 
the trouble, after all.” 

For this was the telegram that I read,. 
worded in English— 

“Colonel Szarvas presents his compli- 
ments and thanks to Mr. Batts for the 
information just communicated to him. 
He begs to inform Mr. Batts that the 
details of the plot referred to in his 
telegram have been in Colonel Szarvas’s 
possession for some time past, and that 
every movement and design of the con- 
spirators is already watched and known to 
the Government of Rivania.” 

“T think,” said Batts quizzically, ‘‘ that 
in future, Bertram, we may safely leave the 
management of Rivanian affairs in the 
hands of this omniscient old warrior.” 

“And, my dear Batts,” I added, ‘“‘ we 
will meddle no more with Italian organ- 



Photographs by Charles F. Garner. 


E pulled our boat up stream soon 

after sunrise, looking to right and 

left for a quiet shallow where we could 
run her aground. We had our cameras, 
field-glasses, and note-books; we were in 
search of the picturesque. Pushing off 


from the anchored punt—an extemporised 
landing-jettv—we saw old Georgie Bates 
eye us narrowly as he stood in his Welling- 
tons cutting cresses for the London 
market. He had watched us load our 
craft. Cameras, gipsy-kettle, sundry and 
nondescript impedimenta— nothing had 
escaped his curious notice. Perchance 
he thought us demented. If such was 
not the case his looks belied him. 

The stream ran almost parallel with the 
footpath through the meadows. From my 


seat in the stern I could see the inter- 
mittent play of the soft south wind over the 
long grass, and hear the twitterings of the 
linnets as they fluttered, as is their wont, 
from field to field. A jolly company of 
blue titmice were busy in the pollards as 

we passed, indifferent whether 

head or tail was uppermost. 

The rainfall had been scant 

for many days and the water 

was low and clear. Resting 

-on our oars, we could see the 

minnows, as Keats once saw 

them, “staying their wavy 
bodies ’gainst the stream” ; 
and from time to time water- 
beetles (Dytiscus) rose to the 
surface and, satisfied what 
~ mranner of men we were, dived 
down again to harry smaller 
foes. Presently the stream 
swept westward, and the scene 
was changed. Low - lying 
meadows, dotted with marsh 
marigolds and meadow-sweet, 
were beside us no longer. 

Henceforth the stream ran 

through the heart of the 
summer woods—the summer woods of 
Old England. 

Every man to his taste. If a Spaniard, 
you will boast of the scenery among the 
mountains of Aragon when the morning 
mist is brooding over the higher barrancos, 
or of the falling waters whose continual 
spray refreshes the ferns that grace the 
very door of the fosada. If an Italian, you 
will boast of the Viaduct of La Riccia, of 
leafy Catanzaro, of the silver-grey olive on 
the hillsides of Calabria, of the inspiration 





that lurks in a flask of Castellano. Or if, 
like Mr. Louis Becke, you have seen the 
multitude of isles lift their heads like 
water-lilies in the Southern Seas, you will 
speak of the call and clamour of the sea- 
fowl, and of the unresting play of surf upon 


the reef. Being Englishmen, 
we love our English woods 
and streams,and would rather 
live in London thanin Rome. 

We turned our boat’s nose 

into the first convenient 
creek, and twisting the 
painter round the trunk of 
a willow that leaned athwart 
the shallow, landed to pre- 
pare breakfast and to take 
our pleasure 1n the pathless 
woods. Nothing can ever 
impress some of us quite 
so supremely as the woods 
in summer. The first flush 
of spring has been sung 
by a thousand poets: ’tis 
strange the immature leaflet should 
evoke deeper admiration than the perfect 
leaf. We had perfect leaves and scenes 
énough to-day; it was difficult to know 
when to spare the camera. Suspending 
our gipsy-kettle over an irreproachable 
camp-fire, we left it to boil at its own 


sweet will; and, strolling a few hundred 

yards, secured three pictures for the pur- 

poses of this article. In one, the oak in 

the foreground is a credit to his species ; 

in another, we include two boys who do: 

not object to wade before breakfast—and 
their boots. The third might illus- 
trate a work on the everglades of 
Florida or the tributaries of the 
upper Amazon. A botanist might 
expose the fraud, but botanists 
are few. 

All is grist that comes to the 
water-rat’s mill. We had flung a 
crust of particularly obdurate con- 
sistency out among the rushes, and 
soon learnt that there were voles. 
im the vicinity. An old male, 
hardened by several seasons of 
unpunished theft, came softly to- 
where the crust had fallen and 
appropriated the jettisoned morsel. 
Warily he looked from side to 
side, affording us a good view 


of his brown person and formidable 
teeth, projecting from his upper jaw like 
small tusks turned downwards. He 
shuffled away into deeper seclusion for 
a few moments; but presently re- 
appeared upon a hummock of float- 
ing, half-rotten herbage in mid-stream,. 



where he sat upon his haunches boldly 
enough, turning his crust from side, to 
side of his mouth with truly Epicurean 
relish.. Presumably he objected to_ be 
photographed, for as we were making 

stealthy preparations with the camera, 
he suddenly bowed to us in the most 
ostentatious manner, and took to the 
stream. We watched his brown snout 
moving slowly towards the opposite bank, 
the nostrils just above the water. For 
reasons best known to himself he had left 
his crust upon 
the hummock. 
“There rolls 
the deep, where 
grew the tree.” 
We thought of 
words, as, 
sheltered from 
the noonday heat 
by a superb 
beech, we dis- 
cussed the past 
and present con- 
figuration of the 
richly wooded 
valley through 
which we had 
wandered, When 
patriarch Jacob 

No. 204. September 1900 


spoke of the “ everlasting hills” he 
displayed an ignorance of geology 
very pardonable under the circum- 
stances. The remark that the fashion 
of this world passes away is as true 
from the physiographical as from the 
social standpoint. But the passings 
differ greatly in duration. The his- 
torian regards two thousand years 
ago asancient history ; ’tis the yester- 
day of geology. We may reverse the 
proposition quoted, and say that the 
sea once rolled where this beech now 
grows; for during the Eocene period 
the whole of south-eastern Englanc 
was covered by the ocean. In early 
pre-glacial days, before the Lea basin 
or the valley of the Brent had assumed 
anything like their present form 
the land hereabouts was of a lower 
level by some two hundred feet, and 
mankind was not yet the outcome 
whole zons of biological evolution. 
Mother Earth is much older than her 
children; but the mammoth probably 
roamed in this valley thirty, forty, fiftr 
thousand years ago! Fossil remains of 
the cave lion, elephant, and mammoth 
were dug from Pleistocene gravels near 
this neighbourhood in 1884; they may be 
seen in the Museum of Geology in Jermyn 
Street, Piccadilly. Nearer to our own 
epoch, but still at an immeasurable distance, 



various deer and oxen, long since extinct, 
came nightly to drink of the lowland 
freshets around what is now mighty 

It was warm indeed as we sauntered 
through the hazel glades in the afternoon. 
The laughter of a jay rang out frequently 
from the higher tree-tops ; he was careful 
to keep his distance, but we had many a 
glimpse of his blue wing and somewhat 
jerky, hesitating flight. He is not on 


speaking terms with the gamekeeper, and 
his carcase is frequently hung out as a 
fearful warning to his brethren that the 
wages of sin is death. For he is a reputed 
egg-sucker and chick-destroyer; that is 
the head and front of his offending. 
Crow-like in the eyes of the naturalist, he 
is classed among the Corvide. The jay 
builds a cup-shaped nest in the thickest 
of the wood, and lays from four to seven 
eggs, densely freckled with light brown. 
Nowadays the law is severe on us who go 
a-birds’ nesting; but twenty years back 
we robbed many a jay’s nest in the woods 
behind the lake at Stagenhoe-bottom. 
We make the confession lightly, for the 
keeper’s son was privy to our depredation. 

We came out from the precincts of the 
jay presently and found ourselves once 
more beside the stream, fully a mile from 


our anchorage. Whilst retracing our 
steps we met with variety of scene suffi- 
cient for our diversion. Perhaps the most 
prominent insects upon the wing were 
the dragon-flies, gaudiest of the many 
gaudy Neuroptera that haunt our 
inland waters. The French call them 
Demoiselles, but the pertinence of this 
nomenclature is not quite obvious. The 
deportment of the dragon-flies is at no 
time lady-like ; they combine the insolence 
of the titmice 
with the vin- 
dictiveness of 
the tiger-beetle. 
They are 
cousins to the 
caddis and 
second - cousins 
to the cicada. 
Their gauze- 
like wings are 
wonderfully re- 
ticulated by a 
fine network of 
nervures. The 
antenne are 
small, the eyes 
largeand bright. 
No inconsider- 
able portion of 
the dragon-fly’s 
existence is 
passed in chasing butterflies and moths. 
The males behave rudely towards their 
partners, and domestic friction is often 
painfully apparent. The young larve are 
worth a week’s patient study, both in 
their native haunts and under the micro- 
scope. ‘The lip is long, and is armed 
with pincer-like palps. By darting these 
palps forward, they can transfix an un- 
wary foe who has perchance deemed him- 
self at a safe distance. They breathe with 
their viscera! We hoped to photograph 
the dragon-fly upon the wing, but found 
it impossible. So we chose a spot where 
we had seen them in full force, and secured 
its likeness. 

Men of rare parts live by meadow and 
stream in this England of ours. Some of 
them have looked Dame Nature in the 
face for threescore years and ten and have 


not been ashamed. TZhey know a hawk 
from a hernshaw. There are great men 
among them too, only, as Thoreau puts it, 
they never took to the way of writing. 
They are learned after their own fashion, 
though they graduate in no school save 
that of experience. Dante or Descartes 
lie not in their province; but they know 
that the brooding lapwing will employ 
every wile and shift to divert your atten- 
tion from her nest; that the meadow-pipit 
will cover her eggs tenaciously even until 
you tread upon her tail feathers; that the 
wren will not suffer her privacy to be 
violated, but will pérchance desert her nest 
if you take one egg from her nine or ten. 
We encountered such a man as we neared 
our boat, and had some talk with him con- 
cerning bats, over a quiet pipe. He had 
watched them well and read about them 
too. <A few bats were hawking hither and 
thither as we were preparing to pull down 
the stream in the quietude of the early 
evening, and upon that hint he spake. 
Naturally enough, he spoke of the pipis- 

trelle ( Vesperugo pipistrellus) as the “‘ flitter- 

mouse,” but he understood its habits well 
enough. Hesaid that all bats (CAiropiera) 
fly abroad mostly in the early morning and 
at eve, but may occasionally be seen dis- 
porting in the sunshine at midday. In 


England they pass the winter season in a 
torpid condition, suspended from some 
coign of vantage by their hinder claws. 
Sometimes they are discovered by the 
country lads in barn, belfry, or elsewhere, 
and great numbers of them are annually 
destroyed. Several species are not denizens 
of England, but visit us more or less 
frequently. The noctule, or great bat, is 
found as far northward as Yorkshire. He 
is partial to cockchafers and the precincts 
of learning—248 of them were taken in 
two nights from the eaves of Queen’s 
College, Cambridge. This is “ gospel,” 
and the fact is recorded by Pennant. 

There was but little light in the sky 
when we parted from our rustic professor 
of natural history. The sun had gone 
down in a blaze of golden glory behind 
the wooded ridge far to our left—the 
haunt of the wood-pigeon and the squirrel. 
Almost unbroken silence brooded over us 
as we pulled for home; we heard but few 
birds save the ever-wakeful sedge-warbler, 
and a nightingale in the hollow behind 
the parsonage. We noticed, late in the 
afternoon, that the chaffinches were call- 
ing ‘‘ weet, weet,” instead of “ fink, fink.” 
Let us get to our desired haven speedily ; 
for that change in the call of the chaffinch 
was a promise of rain. 



anna évent resulted through accident 

rather than design, being the out- 
come of an ingenious scheme originated by 
John himself. 

His introduction of the subject was 
somewhat obscure. 

“Two miserable local rags, and nothing 
in ’em but gossip and advertisements of 
fat cattle,” he remarked, with the pre- 
cision of a person making a great dis- 
covery; and after trying for a moment to 
work out the connection, I gave it. up. 

“‘ If we brought out a paper,” he resumed, 

with conscious superiority in his tone, “ it 
would catch on directly, and we could 
price it at sixpence.” 

Then his meaning gradually dawned on 

me. A hankering after notoriety, com- 
bined with impecuniosity, has . always 
characterised John. 

“It must be light and literary, social, 
amusing, but not too personal.” 

“Smart!” I interjected, and John 
looked rather annoyed at my hitting on 
the exact definition of his project. 

“Shall you let the girls into it?” I 

“‘Well—yes—because it had better be 
kept secret until we ’re ready to issue the 
first number,” he said significantly. 

“And they ’ll let out just enough to 
make people want to know more,” I 

We held a committee meeting that 
evening. There were just the four of 
us—namely, the two girls, John, and 

The former, aged twelve and fourteen, 
are known respectively as Bones and The 
Fat One, facts which render further 


detail superfluous; John, as the papers 
say, “‘ baffles description.” 

He is the eldest of us and nearly six- 
teen, with a little body, a big head, and 
great staring, dreamy, brown eyes. 

Except for his nose, which is modified 
Roman, the rest of his face isn’t at all in 
keeping with them, being of the full-moon 
type, with a mouth large enough to make 
the fortune of a professional humorist, 
and a smile that reaches nearly round his 

He has always a love-affair in hand; at 
present it’s the eldest Graham girl. She 
said lately that John “‘ was just at the age 
when boys say nice things awkwardly” ; 
but I found out for myself long ago- 
that he’s awfully soft where girls are con- 
cerned, specially if they’re at all good- 

Before her it was Miss Eliot, the girls’ 
governess. I know for a fact she snubbed 
him, and before that 

This, however, is not a biographical, 
psychological sketch of John, but a 
brief narration of the manner of his. 
** arrival.” 

He undertook from the outset the joint 
réles of editor and financial manager, 
though at that time there weren’t any 
finances to manage. 

**We can arrange about that after- 
wards,” John said, so we went on to 
discuss the purely literary aspect of the 

‘What about a title ?” Bones asked. 

** Sudbury Society would do,” The Fat 
One suggested sagely, ‘‘ and we could put 
in all about dances and at-homes, and 


There were just the four of us. 


We held a committee meeting that evening. 


“And call it the Sudbury Scandal- 
monger,” John wound up contemptuously. 

“You seem to think no one knows 
anything about papers but yourself,” The 
Fat One rejoined aggressively. 

Bones and I looked at each other and 

“If they’re going to start haggling,” I 

“ Will there be editorials and leaders ?” 
Bones asked tactfully. 

“ By Jove! The Four-in-Hand wouldn't 
be a bad name for it,” I exclaimed, struck 
with the affinity between leaders and four- 

The others saw it too, afterwards, and 
John’s snort was exceptionally irritating. 

“Your ignorance would be sublime if 
it wasn’t ridiculous,” he said loftily. 

“Ahem! Shakspere ?” I inquired 

“ No—oh, no! John Willard Petherton,” 
he replied languidly. 

“‘ Anyhow, there ave four of us—but let’s 
settle the name last,” The Fat One broke 
in, sandwiching the suggestion between 
two yawns; “and is it to be written, 
or printed, or what—and how many 
copies ?” 

“Typed at one of the offices in the 
town—that’s where the expenses will 
come in,” John said; “ though, of course, 
they’ll give us a reduction for taking a 

‘“‘ And what will the quantity be ?” The 
Fat One asked interestedly, hoping to 
catch John. 

““We shall determine the probable 
circulation by canvassing,” he replied 
pedantically, “and if the demand exceeds 
the supply, so much the better, because ”— 
his English became quite ordinary as he 
warmed to his subject—“ people will jolly 
well go for the second number.” 

“We could have a_ house-to-house 
visitation, and tout for advertisements 
at the same time,” I suggested ; “‘ and the 
money for those would pay working 
expenses, and what we get from the 
actual sales would be c-l-e-a-r profit /” 

Pleasurable anticipation, and the indul- 
gent approval of a great man, illuminated 
John’s countenance. 


“Two of you can go round and see 
people to-morrow,” he said placidly. 

““Z can’t possibly. I’m going to spend 
the day with the O’Murraghs, so don't 
come to them,” The Fat One said hastily ; 
“besides, it isn’t quite the thing for me 
to—er—being the next eldest. Bones. 
and Dickie had better go.” 

“Oh, indeed! I like the way you two. 
shift the responsibility,” I said. 

“We shan’t know what to say,” Bones: 
said weakly. 

“Oh, we’ll coach you beforehand,” 
John assured us encouragingly, ‘‘and you 
can take round a sort of prospectus of 
what the magazine is to be.” 

“ And what zs the magazine to be?” I 

We set to work, after that, to determine. 
Of course, The Fat One wanted to do a 
ladies’ page. Bones thought ‘‘ Answers. 
to Correspondents ” would be in her line ; 
naturally I wanted to do sports and illus- 
trate everything with my Kodak, and 
John—need it be said ?>—wanted to boss. 
the whole show. 

Finally we decided to devote the first 
four pages to “Things in General ”—of 
John’s selection. 

These would be followed by three pages 
of sports, and a page of “‘ Fancy Photos ”— 
my department. Next, a short story— 
from John’s pen; after that the social 
element, under the head of ‘“ Classi- 
calities”—The Fat One’s section ; then an 
editorial—John again; and the last page 
would be reserved for Bones’s “‘ Answers 
to Correspondents.” Until queries came 
in we said she should fill it up with 
anything she liked, so long as it was read- 
able. “‘ Characters from Handwriting ” and 
“Etiquette” we decided to manage 
between us. 

“Father would be good for a quid—if 
he took on the idea,” I said presently, 
reverting to the financial question. 

‘* Better keep it dark here till we can burst 
on them with the first number. Besides, 
it would merely mean deductions from 
pocket-money, which would cripple us 
later on,” rejoined the ever-prudent John, 
who gets a larger sum than the rest of us- 
So we decided to work it from the outside. 


Bones and I commenced operations next 
morning at Oaklands, old Blakeley’s place, 
with the ostensible object of inquiring after 
his gout. 

Besides being Bones’s godfather, he’s a 
J.P., and several other things. Some 
people think him rather formidable in 
consequence, but he only wants a little 

“It looks to me,” he said solemnly, 
after we had explained ourselves, and 
quoted John, from 
the circular he 
had thoughtfully MALI I) 
provided, “like | 
obtaining money 
by false pretences. | 

How can I be | 
certain”—his | 


thumb and fore- 
finger wandered . 
towards his waist- 
coat-pocket, and 
he spoke so 
slowly that you 
could almost hear 
every letter 
“that your 

will be ex-ten- 

sive - enough- 

to - make - it- 
while - to -ad- 
vertise - my- 
cattle? How 

can I be = 
certain ?” 

‘*We can’t either,” Bones said candidly. 

“Crock!” I mutiered, for Bones’s edi- 
fication. ‘ Of course there’s a certain 
amount of risk,” I said aloud, “ but it’s 
not any worse than mining companies or 
other speculations.” 

The thumb and forefinger were inside his 
pocket by the time he had asked. 

“Well, we’ve several titles to choose 
from, as we all want something different, 
so I don’t expect we shall decide till the 
day we go to press,” I answered. 

The sports columns nearly turned 
my hair grey. 


“Anyway, you’re candid,” he. said, 
handing over a sovereign, and we left 
almost immediately. 

Being near feeding-time, we . decided 
to go on into the town for lunch, and 
look up the other people on our list on 
the way back. 

Both the baker and the fishmonger were 
immensely struck with the idea, and, 
besides arranging for prepaid advertise- 
ments, bespoke several copies of the paper. 
They advised us to advertise largely our- 
selves, and volun- 
teered to stick 
handbills in their 

“I didn’t think 
it was going to 
be such a big 
affair as this— 
did you ?” Bones 

“It would be 
rather a sell if the 
whole thing fell 
through,” I re- 

When we got 
home, however, 
after paying 
further calls and 
realising a fair 
amount, we found 
that John was still 
in deadly earnest, 
and covered with 
ink. Evidently, 
therefore, he had 
been working, a 
thing he only 
does under compulsion, or to dull the 
poignancy of an exceptionally heartless 

“On the whole, our day’s work has been 
successful,” he said, as he counted over 
the money. 

** Our day’s work—Bones’s and mine,” 
I retorted sarcastically. 

“Wrong as usual,” drawled John. 
“I’ve done a story, a two-page intro- 
duction of ourselves and the paper, ‘To 
Our Readers,’ and about nineteen para- 
graphs of Generalities.” With the calm 


consciousness of achievement, he leant 
back and yawned. 

His smug complacency irritated the rest 
of us. ‘*‘ We should like to hear some of 
these productions,” I suggested, and John 
took about fifteen pages of foolscap from 
a drawer. 

“And I’ve thought of a decent title. 
How do you like the Avena ?” he asked. 

Personally, I couldn’t see that it was any 
better than the Four-in-Hand. 

** And there ave four of us,” Bones said, 
echoing a previous assertion with a haste 
which simulated originality. 

“* But it’s perfectly evident who’s going 
to have the whip-hand,” The Fat One 

John looked supremely indifferent during 
these expressions of opinion, but at the 
first pause he commenced the ‘*To Our 
Readers,” to whom, in a few graceful 
phrases, he introduced the Avena and our- 

Passing straight on to “ Things in 
General,” he expounded his views on art, 
literature, and politics. 

“Are those ‘Generalities’?” I asked 
suspiciously, though it sounded plausible 

“« Literalities,” John replied serenely. 

He declined to read the story just then, 
sO we went on to discuss the illustrations, 
which, as Art Editor, were in my hands. 
The mounting and arrangement, I found 
subsequently, were a good bit of bother, 
but it was the sports columns which nearly 
turned my hair grey. 

I put in the cycling and cricket affairs 
of every club 1 knew of, and the names 
and sobriquets of the members; all fix- 
tures—those I wasn’t certain about I fixed 
myself, taking a certain amount of literary 
license for granted; but the whole lot 
only made two columns, even when I 
added female croquet meetings. In the 
end I had to fall back on John, and he 
managed, by means of judicious padding 
and embroidery, to spread the raw material 
over three pages. 

It was the same with The Fat One’s 
Classicalities. We all felt instinctively 
that the style was wrong, and it ended 
as in my case—that she supplied the 


pearls, and John strung them. Bones had 
really the easiest berth, as she filled her 
page with selected quotations. 

The day before going to press, John 
read us his story. It began with a full- 
blown metaphorical epigram. 

“The man in love resembles a beggar 
with indigestion. Although he suffers 
acutely, the cause is not of a regrettable 
nature.” eee 

I recognised instantly that these were 
John’s private sentiments; also that the 
girl in the story was the third Miss Hinton, 
and the man was John. 

I don’t think he knew it himself, but to 
me, being gifted with a faculty for seeing 
things I’m not intended to, it was quite 
obvious that Arthur Heidelburg and John 
Petherton were one and the same. 

“Love Unavailing” was the title—it’s 
astonishing how much John knows about 
love; but you can’t wonder that it’s 
unavailing, considering she is ten years 
older, and regards John as a mere 


By the first of the month, the date of 
publication, all mecessary preparations 
were completed. We had the sheets 
from the typist’s, and made up the copies 
of the paper ourselves, in specially 
designed covers of our own workmanship. 
The labour and expenditure of time 
was enormous, but we felt amply repaid 
when we returned to breakfast on the 
morning of the first, having carried out 
the work of distribution on our bicycles. 
After that we knew what Fame really is. 
Everybody discussed us, and the majority 
read us; a few people slated us, and we 
were posted to the Colonies. Our two 
contemporaries devoted half a column of 
valuable space to criticism, and gave it as 

their opinion that the short story was 

positively remarkable, by far the best 
item, and that the writer gave indication 
of exceptional genius. (John was more 
sublime than ever after this.) 

The dozen copies we had in reserve 
sold out at double the published price, and 
innumerable orders necessitated the issue 


of a second edition, which sold as rapidly 
as the first. 

For three. consecutive days I experi- 
enced the luxury of having money always in 
my pocket, and John sent for illustrated 


having expended so much intellect, and 
nearly all the pecuniary proceeds, left us 
totally unfit to cope with the exigencies of 
a second number. 

Moreover, John said he was ,hanged if 


; 7 
i \ 

We carried out the work of distribution om our bicycles. 

prospectuses of motor-cars, because Aggie 
Hinton said she loved moting. 

But success was our downfall. When 
all of us were cleaned out, we began to 
consider seriously the question of the next 
issue. r 

he asked. 
blank astonishment. 

Naturally we were anxious that the good 
impression created by the first number 
should not be destroyed, and the fact of 

he was going to do all the work this 
time. : 

““Why have a second number at all ?” 
We looked at one another in 

“‘ Financially, the scheme hasn’t been a 

success, when you consider our present 
assets—one and fivepence,” I observed. 

“* How to get out of it creditably,” John 


resumed, consciously or unconsciously 
giving utterance to our individual and 
collective thoughts. ; 

“It can be managed by sending out 
a.circular to subscribers,” he continued. 

“Who ’ll draw it up, though?” The Fat 
One asked gloomily. 

“And what the dickens excuse can we 
make? It won’t do to let people know 
we’ve blewed the £ s. d., although it’s 
the actual fact,” I said conclusively. 

“Leave it to me,” John responded 
loftily, “‘and if any of you cam improve it 
afterwards ” His tone implied that 
the world would come to an end in the 
event of such a possibility resulting. 

I was rather of the same opinion, how- 
ever, after reading the circular, which ran 
as follows— 

“It is with extreme regret that the staff 
of the Avena announce to subscribers their 
inability to continue publication of the 
paper, owing to the unavoidable retire- 
ment of the editor.” 

[It was like John’s conceit to put it down 

to that, because he knew that everybody 
knew he was the “ genius” to whom our 
contemporaries referred. | 


“In the early part of the week he was 
seized with violent pains in the head, 
accompanied by almost total blindness of 
the left eye. The local physician was 
instantly summoned, and a specialist from 
London, who pronounced him to be suf- 
fering from enlargement of the brain 
[‘‘ swelled head” would have been a more 
truthful diagnosis of the case], which, 
pressing upon the optic nerve, caused 
temporary blindness. Under the influence 
of chloroform, a portion of the brain was 
removed, and may now be seen at this 
office. Admission, sixpence; children, 

“It sounds very well,” was The Fat 
One’s comment, “‘ but it seems to me that 
you ’ve taken all the credit, John; as if we 
couldn’t have done without your assistance 
then, and can’t get on without it now.” 

“And can you?” John asked blandly. 
“‘There’s nothing to prevent your trying, 
you know.” 

We didn’t, however, and this was the 
closing incident in connection with our 
collective entry and exit from the (literary) 

John has stopped there ever since— 
writing love-stories. 



HICH are the highest inhabited 
houses in the kingdom? It is 
because the writer of this article thought 
that the subject might not be uninteresting 
to the readers of this Magazine that he has 
made some inquiries into the subject, and 
has climbed a few of the famous heights 
that will be mentioned in the course of 
this account. 

I may as well state at once that the 
distinction of being the very highest 
inhabited place in Great Britain belongs, 
without doubt, to the huts and observatory 
upon Ben Nevis. These stand ata height of 

something over four thousand feet, and are 
therefore far and away the highest inhabited 
spots in the realm. But these huts are 
not inhabited all the year round, I believe. 
Winter’s snows very often lie upon Ben 
Nevis until well into August, and our Illus- 
tration gives a good idea of what they look 
like upon the Scotch mountain even in 
a moderate May or June. Hence the 
summer dwellers, scientific or otherwise, 
upon Ben Nevis find it much more con- 
genial to depart from the anticipated 
storms of winter well before they arrive, 
and to descend to the plains below. 

Photo. by Wilson, Aberdeen. 


Standing at a height of over ooo feet. 


The Observatory was built nearly twenty 
years ago for astronomical and scientific 
purposes, which it has admirably fulfilled. 

With these, however,/in this article, we 

have little to do. What concerns us more 
is that there are huts and a spot called by 
courtesy the Observatory Hotel, upon the 
summit of the mountain, in which, during 
a fair part of the year at least, people 
regularly dwell, and which thus acquire 
the claim to be considered the highest 
inhabited portion of the British Isles. 
Coming from Scotland to England and 
Wales, we naturally call to mind our 
highest mountain here, and ask, “Is there 


any inhabited house on it?” Yes, there 
are the Station Huts, as they are called, on 
Snowdon, which are in regular occupation 
during the months from May to October, 
at all events. These huts are the outcome 
of the mountain railway which, during the 
past two or three years, has run from Llan- 
beris Station, at the foot of Snowdon, to its 

There had been for along time a project 
for the construction of such a railway to 
convey weak or weary travellers up the 
long arduous climb necessary to the tourist 
who would see Wales from the top of its 
giant mountain. But the project hung 
fire until 1896, when, the Bill having 
passed Parliament all right, this rail- 
way came into use, and truly supplied 



“‘a long-felt want.” I personally doubt, 
however (speaking as one who has 
climbed Snowdon on foot more. than 
onee), whether the traveller who uses the 
railway will get half as much benefit in 
any way from this method of climbing as 
is got from sheer work upon ‘“ Shanks’s 

But there is no denying, nevertheless, 
that the railway, with its station and huts 
on the summit of Snowdon, has verily 
been a boon in many ways. It has 
enabled people to reach the spot who 
would not otherwise have done so. It has 
enabled the pedestrian to obtain eatables 
and drinkables there 
which, once upon a 
time, were entirely 
out of the question. 
We who did the foot- 
climbing recollect 
only too well how 
much we wanted food 
and drink after the 
three hours’ pulling- 
up, and how we had 
to keep on wanting 
till we got down 
again to the charming 
cottages at the fooz 
of the hill, where the 
old ladies used to 
make the most de- 
licious teaimaginable, 
or so we thought ! 

Leaving the two exceptional mountains 
mentioned, whose highest houses have, 
after all, only partly fulfilled the necessary 
qualifications for the claim to be “the 
highest inhabited houses in the kingdom,” 
since they are not occupied all the year 
round, let us come to those that are, and 
whose claims, therefore, are better. 

Despite all-the queries there have been 
at different “times .and by various persons, 
there can be no doubt that the best claim 
to be considered the highest inhabited 
house all the year round in this country 
has been proved to be that of Rumney’s 
House, on the borders of Durham and 
Cumberland, though it has not attained 
anything like the celebrity of other high 
houses. Rumney’s House has certainly 


Photo. by Smithson, Leyburn. 

Nearly 1700 feet above sea-level, 

the foremost place among the highest 
inhabited houses in England and Wales, 
for people live there all the year round, 
and it stands at an elevation of not less 
than 1980 feet. Except for its height, 
however, Rumney’s House is comparatively 
uninteresting to the ordinary traveller, nor 
are the views from it as fine as many of 
those from its rivals. 

After Rumney’s House comes Grouse 
House, which stands near the source of 
the little river Cover in the north of York- 
shire, a photograph 
of which we here 
give, specially taken 
for this article. In- 
deed, it is question- 
able whether Grouse 
House has ever been 
photographed be- 
fore ; at any rate, no 
other photograph of 
it exists within the 
writer's knowledge. 

Grouse House is 
about a furlong from 
the spot which is 
marked in the Ord- 
nance Survey as 
being 1750 feet above 
sea-level, Its own 
exact altitude, there- 
fore, may be set down 


at as nearly 1700 feet 
as possible, Its name 
of Grouse House 
shows plainly enough 
whence it received 
the designation,since 
it stands high and 
dry on the bleak 
parts of the Yorkshire 
moors, where the 
grouse are found in 
large numbers. The 
structure itself really 
consists of two 
houses, stone-built, 
and of no architec- 
tural pretensions. 
But they are well 
calculated to with- 
stand, without flinch- 
ing, all the winter’s storms of this region, 
and, after all, that is the most important 
qualification for a house here, The views 
from them are splendid in extent, and when 
the moors are covered by miles of purple 
heather, the scene is marvellously grand. 
Another noted “high ” house is Corrour 
Lodge, in Perthshire. Undoubtedly this. 
is the highest Scotch house inhabited 
during every month of the year, and so 
has a claim to be at the very forefront 
of the houses mentioned in this account. 

Photo. by Smithson, Leyburn. 

1723 feet above sea-level. 


There is a house which is higher than 
this latter one or Grouse House, though 
not as high as Rumney’s, but, as it has 
lately been closed, I have not given it the 
premier place amongst our high houses 
inhabited all the year. This is that which 
was known as the Tan Hill Inn. It 
stands, according to the Survey, 1723 
feet above sea-level. Its situation is 


1690 feet above sea-level. 

as bleak and forbidding as any to be 
found ‘in this country. So terrible is 
the weather on Tan Hill at times when 
-other places in the valleys are rejoicing in 
warm lovely days that water has often been 
found frozen and the ground white with 
frost as early as the middle of September! 
Snow-showers are frequent in June, and 
some have been recorded in August ! 

The walls of the inn are a yard thick, 
and even then can scarcely resist the 
terrific gales of winter. The experiences 
of a few winter months at Tan Hill 
generally suffice for a lifetime. Lately, 
however, this inn has been without a 
license, so the man who kept it so 
long has removed to more congenial 
quarters. Whether a new license will be 
granted or not seems at present uncertain. 
But in any case the house on Tan Hill, in 
North Yorkshire, must always be inter- 
esting. It took our photographer, who 
journeyed there on purpose to get this 

picture of it, quite a fortnight before he 
could find a day suitable for climbing up 
to this terrible spot, so severe was the 
weather there last May! The high-road 
passes right in front of the inn itself, but 
high-roads on some of these Yorkshire 
moors become little better than cattle- 
tracks when severe weather sets in. Only 
mountain-animals can stand the trials ot 
it at all successfully, 
or those folks who, 
like this old man 
lately living at the 
inn, have become 
accustomed to 
“‘ roughing” it in all 

Apart from claims 
to be the very highest 
inhabited house, the 
palm for interest and 
celebrity must be 
awarded to the well- 

| known Cat and 
Fiddle, in Derby- 
| shire. What traveller 
to the Peak District 
does not know, if 
only by repute, the 
Cat and Fiddle? It 
shares with the Peacock the distinction 

Photo. by Frith and Uo. 

‘of being the best-known public-house 

in a part of England that is extremely 
familiar not only to dwellers in this land, 
but even to visitors from far America and 
Australia. Buxton can tell you all aboyt 
this mountain-inn, 1690 feet above sea- 
level, for during the season the drive of 
five miles to it from the town is one of 
Buxton’s favourite relaxations. 

And what a view you have when you get 
there! Nothing stops the Atlantic breezes 
from fanning your face; the Mersey on 
one side, the hills of Wales, and miles and 
miles of moorland lie before your gaze. 
You may have been broiling down in 
Buxton, but you will find air fresh and 
cool enough upon any August day at the 
Cat and Fiddle! It is a squarely built 
house of stone, with a curious, unusual 
porch, admirably adapted for keeping out 
the wintry wind. The seat in front of 
the inn looks very inviting after your long 


drive and when you begin to feel thirsty. 
‘The sign of the Cat and Fiddle is at once 
a wonderful and amazing production, 
probably of some local artist. It may 
safely be said that no such cat playing a 
fiddle was ever seen on earth, and if 
imagination is a requisite and impor- 
tant quality for making a successful artist, 
the man who painted this sign should be 
most successful in every way ! 

To add to the incongruity of the whole 
‘sign, the music that faces the musical 
specimen of the feline race is no other 
than that of ‘‘Home, Sweet Home,” 
though why any cat should feel the matter 
so keenly as this, seeing that there is no 
other cat within reach for miles to “howl” 
with at nights isa mystery! But yet the 
Cat and Fiddle is certainly the most 
interesting of all our high houses. 

The Traveller’s- Rest, on the Kirkstone 
Pass in the Lake District, is the nearest 
rival to the Cat and Fiddle for popularity. 
How grateful many of us have felt after 
-climbing that terrible pass to find at its 

top this welcome hostelry, where we could 
get refreshment of all kinds, and sit down 


awhile not only to rest but to admire the 
most wonderful and beautiful scenery in 
our land! At our feet, peeping on each 
side, were to be seen the lakes and woods 
of one of earth’s paradises—blue Winder- 
mere ; far Coniston gleaming in the sun ; 
mighty Helvellyn , giant Skiddaw ; pictur- 
esque Ullswater—all of them we know so 
well, and their remembrance can never 
fade from our memories while lifeasts. 
We have seen it for some time while 
ascending before we reach it, this inn, 
well called the Travellers Rest. We 
have climbed the wild Kirkstone Pass for 
miles upward, and when at length we 
reach the white- plastered houses, we 
are ready to partake of the best that it can 
offer us. The coach from Ambleside to 
Patterdale we shall perhaps find at the door, 
and the passengers are all admiring the 
views or discussing the refreshments while 
the four steeds take a few minutes’ well- 
earned rest after their climb of 1476 feet. 
Rough and ready seems the architecture 
of the Traveller's Rest, but it has been 
built to suit the needs of the people who 
live there and of the tourists who visit 

ee ——s ee" =| 

Photo. by Pettit, Keswick. 

Standing at a height of 1476 feet. 

Phot>. by Sparrow. 

Lakeland. Hence the queer conglomer- 
ation of bricks, stone, and mortar suits the 
purpose well, though it lacks all regularity 
of model or style. Of all those high 
houses on our noted hills there are few 
that are equal to supplying the “ inner 
man” so well as this one on the summit 
of the Kirkstone Pass, and none, except 
it be the Cat and Fiddle, is even so nearly 
familiar to thousands of travellers. 

It may be interesting to state here what 
is not generally known—that of villages, 
perhaps the highest in the sense we have 
spoken of is that of Princetown, in 
Devonshire. One paper last year rather 
absurdly claimed for the Duchy Hotel 
at Princetown that it was the highest inn 
in England ; but the reader of this article 
will be soon in a position to put that 
matter right when he is told also that 
the height of the Duchy Hotel is only 
1370 feet above the level of the sea. 

Yet there can be little doubt, if any, that 
the village itself is entitled to claim the 
honour of being the highest village we 
have, and, indeed, our second one comes 
much short of it. 


Regarding the “‘highest’ houses” in 
this country, in another sense—that of the 
ones that stand highest above the street 
below —the honour must be conferred 
upon the buildings near St. James’s Park, 
in London, known as Queen Anne’s 

.Mansions, whose highest point is 185 feet 

above the roadway. These flats rise above 
the Metropolis to the extent of no less 
than thirteen storeys, which are all cleariy 
traceable in the picture here given, and 
are a never-failing source of wonder to 
*‘country cousins” from such small (?) 
places as Leeds and Manchester, where 
the authorities confine building-heights 
within reasonable limits, instead of allow- 
ing the streets to be defaced by mon- 
strosities of the kind we see in many of 
these high London flats. Another high 
group of houses is Hyde Park Court, at 
Kensington, where ten storeys are visible 
and two hundred private rooms can be 
seen. Edinburgh also can claim some tall 
houses that take much beating, in its 
district known as the ‘“‘ Old Town,” and 
perhaps after London it can show the 
highest houses of the class referred to. 



| | 



EAKNESS is inherent in humanity. 
Every great man has had his 
frailty. Love is my weakness. When I 
was six years old I fell desperately in love 
with my cousin Priscilla, who was forty— 
she might have been forty-one, she cer- 
tainly was forty. She was not a beauty. 
She had had rather pretty fingers, I was 
told, but a too devoted admiration of the 
harp had robbed her of her one charm. 
It was therefore not her beauty which 
attracted my youthful imagination, it was 
her sex. From the time I surreptitiously 
kissed the hem of her dress, and was 
nearly blinded for life by her suddenly 
stepping backwards, I have been one of 
the most devoted admirers of the Creator’s 
latest work, and best. 

Since that first dedication of myself to 
the service of woman, I have loved—no, 
why should I limit myself to a numeral ?>— 
all women are divine and made to be 
loved—I have loved them all. There are 
some whose faces rise up very readily, 
laughing faces mostly, although there are 
some which are sad and haunt me. It is 
curious that these faces are mostly born in 
tobacco-smoke. I put my slippered feet 
on the fender; I take up my browned and 
faithful briar, I fill it with the caressing 
touch of a lover, I kindle it with flame, 
and then, out of the curling smoke, the 
faces of the women I have loved dawn and 
pass in silence. The women I have loved? 
No, the women I love still, the women 
who are sacred to me, the women who 
can never grow jealous of each other, the 
heroines of dreams which never grew 
beyond the beauty of dreams. 

No. 204. September 1900 


They are pleasant dreams. I look for- 
ward to them and court them. There is 
no one to rebuke me. No one woman 
has claimed my devotion—I remain the 
lover of all. Sometimes the faces grow a 
little misty, and the room looks very large 
and empty, and my heart is a little troubled 
that my life must run to its end alone. 
Then I stir the embers and puff at my old 
friend, and tell myself { can never be alone 
while I have such memories as _ these. 
When my married friends are cynical and 
harassed I am glad that I never stepped 
over the borderland, and from the poetry 
of love descended that easy step which 
separates it from the prose of matrimony. 
Now I have memories of brave women 
and good, women who have met life with 
a smile, women who have trodden earth 
whilst breathing Heaven, women who have 
lent existence a delicate, intoxicating per- 
fume. They are all mine when I draw the 
curtains and light my pipe. They smile 
at me, they coquette, they cheer. Some 
of them are happy wives now, middle- 
aged, with large families. Yet with me 
they never grow older; the bloom remains 
upon the peach of their cheeks for ever. 
In that old bureau which stands opposite 
my chair I have albums with many photo- 
graphs, and even a few locks of hair tied 
with coloured ribbons. But I have no 
need for them. The faces I knew are 
clearer to me as they peer out of the blue 
cloudlets than seen through the cold white 
and black of photographs. I have the 
realities always with me. Those are the 
dead faces, without warmth, or light, or 



As I sit and muse the face of a girl—a 
young girl, not more than fourteen—smiles 
at me. It is a merry face, small, piquant, 
exasperating. Short dark-brown curls 
cluster over a shapely head, a dainty 
aquiline nose looks inquisitively from an 
oval face, the eyes are dark and shining, 
half daring, half afraid; a mouth, curved 
like a baby’s, pouts invitingly; a rounded 
chin, rather prominent, suggests will; 
little ears, low set, are almost covered with 


but one or two favoured chums the others 
made no undue overtures. I was virtually 
head of the school. I say virtually 
because there was another boy above 
me in the form; but I was captain of 
the cricket team, and had an average of 
over nineteen, and Smith was not even in 
the eleven. 

It was a week before the end of the 
term. I had carried out my bat for 
twenty-five. I felt very elated, and chose 

It is curious that these faces are mostly born in tobacco-smoke. 

curls, which is tantalising ;.and the skin is 
like cream, with a bright flush on either 

She is Mignon—I forget her other 
name. Indeed, I doubt whether I ever 
knew it. 

It was my last term at the Rev. William 
Longshaw’s select Academy. After the 
vacation I was to proceed to Eton. In the 
halo of this prospective glory shed upon 
me I affected a seclusion which was taken 
personally by the rest of the school. They 
did not resent it openly—my eminence was 
too oppressively felt; but if I shunned all 

to ignore the fact that I had been let off 
four times by a conciliatory and slippery- 
fingered field. The evening was warm, 
very warm in the class-room, and I 
wandered out into the playing - field 
alone. On the side opposite our school 
was another school, a school for young 
ladies, kept by three old maids, named 
Trimplet—the Misses Georgiana, Angelica, 
and Judith Trimplet. The wall of their 
garden—the Misses Trimplet had nothing 
so vulgar as a play-ground—formed a 
portion of the wail of our playing-field. 
The Rev. William was a devoted admirer 


of Miss Angelica, and the Misses Trimp- 
let’s young ladies were permitted now 
and then to grace our matches with their 
presence. They sat in rows on garden- 
seats at their end of the field, while the 
Rev. William kept his pupils very carefully 
round the scoring-tent, which was as far 
away as possible. 

For some weeks I had been madly in 
love with Mignon. I had worshipped 
afar off in church, I had managed stolen 
interviews, with the red-brick wall playing 
propriety between 
us. Tothe dis- 
gust of the whole 
eleven, I per- 
sisted in going 
into the long field 
as long on and 
long leg, so that 
I might be near 
her, which, as I 
was the recog- 
nised point, was 
exasperating to 
those who cared 

more for winning 
a match than a 
maiden’s smiles. 

Now I had 
come to bid fare- 
well. Inexorable 
fate in the shape 
of her guardian 
had determined 
she should leave 
six days before the 
breaking-up. I 
heard of this through the medium of a short 
note which I had fielded with a big hit to 
leg. They ran four, I remember, as the 
note took some time in finding its way 
inside my shirt. 

I grew sentimental as I crossed the 
deserted field. I felt that life was unneces- 
sarily cruel. I looked up at the stars, and 
wished I could rhyme as well as Baker. 
I felt full of poetry, but it would not 
come out. 

Under the brick wall I stood still and 

Over the wall dawned a face—the sarne 
face that I see now in the smoke. The 

Over the wall dawned a face. 


tread of the years has worn no ruts in it. 
It is still young and full and smooth. 

“You are there, Mignon?” I said. 
Directly I had uttered the words I felt 
that they did not convey the passionate 
devotion I intended that they should. 

““Of course,” she answered shortly. It 
was embarrassing. 

“You are going away ?” 

““To-morrow—I told you in my note. 
You can read, I believe.” 

““Of course!” I felt offended. ‘‘ This 
is our last meet- 
ing,” I said with 

She melted. 

“I suppose so. 
Oh, Dick, I’m 
beastly sorry! I 
don’t want to go. 
It’s all that horrid 
Uncle Joe. I shall 
have to go to his 
house and _ read 
papers and 
things. I don’t 
see why people 
want to read 
papers. They are 
all about markets, 
lead and_ silver 
and corn, and 
they say such ab- 
surd things, like 
‘Cotton is dull.’ 
Cotton is really 
white, you know.” 

“Yes,” I said. 
I did not know what else to say. I felt 
that I was at a crisis in my career, and 
the circumstances demanded eloquence, 
but I could think of nothing. 

*“Do you know I shall get into a jolly 
row if I’m caught ?” 

** Will you ?” 

“Yes; but I don’t mind. The dragons 
are out, and there is only Frenchy. No 
one minds Frenchy.” 

** Of course not,” I assented. 

** Will you miss me much ?” 

“Yes, awfully! You are such a jolly 
girl—no silly nonsense.” 

** There is Mabel,” she said tentatively. 

MM 2 


“‘She has freckles—I hate freckles.” 

“Do you? Iam glad youdo. I can’t 
freckle. I think freckles are a sign of 
weakness of character,” she added. 

I considered fora moment. My sister 
freckled, and her character was hardly 
weak. I was rather afraid of her. 

“Perhaps so,” I conceded. 

“Do you love me very much?” she 
asked in a whisper. 

“Rather!” I said valiantly. “I don’t 
care tuppence about going to Eton.” 
This was hardly the truth, but I had 
learnt the wisdom of coquetting with 
truth when talking to one of the other sex. 

“Don’t you, really? You will soon 
forget me there.” 

“Never!” I asserted. ‘‘ Look here, 
Mignon, does any fellow annoy you?” 

**No.” She shook her curls. 

“‘ Because if there is I will lick him for 

‘*No—no one. Young Jones made a 
face at me, but I forgive him. I am going 
away, and’ I don’t want to bear malice 
towards anyone.” 

“Oh, young Jones! He’s only a kid. 
I'll lick him for you to-morrow. Is there 
no one else—not even the butcher-boy ?” 
I grew entreating. 

“* No, there is no one.” 

I am beastly sorry. I should like to 
lick someone for you—I should really. 
I shall have nothing to do when you are 

“It’s very nice of you, Dick.” 

I flushed. I always did when she called 
me by my Christian name. 

“It’s awfully jolly out here,” I said. 

“TI don’t think you ought to find any- 
th ag jolly just now. It is our last meet- 
ing. We may never meet again this side 
of the grave.” 

I was duly impressed with the last 
sentence—it sounded grand and tragic. 

“I meant that it was jolly seeing you 
and being near you instead of in a rotten, 
stuffy class-room.” 

“Oh!” I looked up at her. It was 
getting quite dusk, and her eyes shone 
very brightly. 

**T say, you look awfully pretty. 
my sister’s hair curled.” 

I wish 


“Won't it ?” she asked, tossing her curls, 

““No—rather not. She tries to do the 
dodge with paper. Last time I was home 
she did it with tongs over the gas. I 
stopped up the gas with soap when she 
was going toahop. There was an awful 
shine. It was good fun.” 

** Mine curls naturally.” She ran her 
fingers through her hair with a pretty 
attempt at making it straight. It flew 
back into curls directly it was released. 

“There !” she cried. 

‘I wish this rotten wall wasn’t so high.” 

** Why ?” she asked. 

‘“* Because—because I should 
touch your hand.” 

**But you can just reach,” she said, 
leaning over. 

“Yes, I know,” I said disconsolately. 

“You don’t try.” She leant a little 
further and thrust her hand towards me. 
It was small and brown and soft and 
dimpled. I could easily have reached it. 
I shook my head. 

“Mignon,” I said, “‘I want to—to 
I hesitated. 1 felt that what I was going to 
say was somehow derogatory to my ap- 
proaching estate as a public-school man. 

“Well?” she said. Something in the 
smile of her eyes and the way in which 
she let her hand hang temptingly down 
told me she knew. 

“To kiss it, you know.” 
she laughed. 

“Won't the mortar come out?” she 

“IT never thought of that.” I pulled 
out my clasp-knife. The mortar was hard 
and compact. I had a few minutes silent 
struggle, and emerged dusty but victorious. 

“ How dirty you are!” 

‘Very well.” _I stuck my hands in my 
trousers pockets aad strolled off whistling. 
I fancy it was a little out of tune. 

“ Dick!” 

I turned quickly. She was looking at. 
me.and smiling. I went back. 

“Don’t let us quarrel. It is our last 

“I don’t want to quarrel, but no man 
can stand being told he is dirty. Besides, 
I did it for you. It’s not so jolly easy 
scraping at this old mortar—some fellows. 

like to 


I flushed, and 


couldn’t have done it. 

it away.” 
going to give in too easily. 
“‘T am very sorry; I didn’t mean it.” 

It’s blunted this 
knife all to bits; I might just as well chuck 
I was aggrieved, and was not 


“And never forget me? And, oh, you 
will lose your appetite and become thin 
for love of me?” 

“Yes,” I answered dubiously. 
seemed to be exacting a great deal. 


ZI was captain of the cricket team. 

“Oh, all serene,” I answered mag- 

“You are sure your hands are quite 
clean ?” she demanded anxiously. 

“Rather!” I rubbed them vigorously 
on my jacket. 

“ And you will always love me ?” 

“ Always ”—emphatically. 

“And come and stay under this wall 
when I am gone, and think of me ?” 

“Of course!” I made an inward pro- 
viso that this agreement should not stand 
good if it rained or Jones wanted me to 
put the gloves on with him. 

“Then you may do 

it,” she said 


I clambered up the wall with the help 
of the rough footholds I had dug. When 
I was sufficiently high I put my left arm 
over the top, and hung on whilst I caught 
her hand in my right and kissed it. Some- 
how it was not so rapturous as I expected, 
and the strain on my left shoulder was 

“Oh, Dick, Dick!” she murmured 
with an excited giggle. Almost as she 
spoke a voice came from the other side 
of the wall—the Misses Trimplet’s side. It 
was a deep contralto, with staccato accents. 

“Miss Mignon!” it exclaimed. 

It was the voice of Miss Angelica. She 
had returned unexpectedly. I dropped. 

Mignon gave a little shiver. 

“Miss Angelica!” she gasped. I lay 
at the bottom of the wall, wondering what 
was the proper course for a man in such 
a case. 

“* What are you doing up there, child ?” 
Mignon visibly stiffened. ‘‘ And who was 
that with whom you were talking?” The 
voice was very staccato. 

“IT am not a child, Miss Angelica; and 
it was Dick.” 

** And who is Dick ?” 

** He is at the Rev. William’s.” 

“That is not a respectful way in which 

to speak of the Rev: Mr. Longshaw. So it 
was one of his little boys ?” 

I could not keep silent under such an 
insult. I rose up and addressed the wall. 

“« Madam, ”I said, “‘ I am not a little boy. 
I am captain of the eleven, and I go to 
Eton next term. I love Mignon, and she 
loves me. I came to see her to-night 
because it is the last time we may ever 

There was a pause. I looked at Mignon. 
She seemed rather to enjoy the interruption. 
I thought it showed a want of appreciation 
for my position. 

“This is very foolish.” There was a 
perceptible waning of the staccato—I felt 
relieved. ‘‘ You are both too young to— 
to understand what you are saying. Miss 
Mignon, you will go in.” 

Mignon looked crestfallen. There was 
something hurting to her dignity in being 
so summarily dismissed. No heroine in a 


tragic situation appreciates being quietly 
ushered off the stage. 

“You will not beso cruel——’” she began, 
with a sob that really was done quite 

““You are very absurd, Miss Mignon! 
Go in.” 

To my surprise Mignon got down from 
the wall very meekly. She looked at me 
once, and dropped a rose she had been 
wearing, but it fell on the other side. 

I heard her footsteps on the gravel of 
the walk as she went towards the house. 

Then I grew bold. 

“Miss Trimplet,” I said, “‘1 must tell 
you that I alone am to blame in the 
matter.” I felt very heroic, for the wall 
between us lent me a comfortable sense 
of security. ‘‘I—I persuaded Mignon to 
see me this evening. If anyone is to be 
punished let it be me ; it— it is not fair to 
punish the girl. The woman is always the 
weaker vessel in these affairs.” 

“I do not think you are exactly the 
person to judge as to what is fair.” The 
voice was distinctly biting. 

** But, Miss Trimplet, you won't punish 
Mignon? She really was not to blame. 
Besides, we shall never see each other 
again—never !” 

There was a long pause then. 

“No, I will not punish her.” 

I said, ‘‘ Thank you.” I could think of 
nothing else. I was turning to go when I 
remembered the rose. 

“Miss Trimplet, Mignon dropped a 
rose. It was meant for me, but it fell on 
your side. A girl never can throw straight. 
Do you mind letting me have it ?” 

There was such a long pause that I 
thought she had followed Mignon indoors. 
Then the rose was thrown over the wall 
and fell at my feet. 

**Good-night, Dick.” The low contralto 
voice was sweet, and the staccato had quite 

“Good - night,” I said, and turned 
across the misty field, putting the rose in 
the jacket pocket on my left side. 

The rose, dried and withered, is in the 
third drawer on the left side of the bureau 
over there. I never saw Mignon again. 

HE most famous vine in England is 
undoubtedly that at Hampton Court 

Palace, and although one continually sees 
paragraphs in various newspapers which 
try to discount the statement that it is the 

spread quite over all the ceiling area of 
the vine-house, which is 2200 square feet. 
The immense stem measures 34 ft. in 
girth, and divides into three huge limbs, 
these being over 90 ft., 82 ft., and 80 ft. 

1 men dete iI ME 
bt a Cer 



largest or most prolific single vine in this 
country by pretending to give an account 
of some other less-known vine which has 
surpassed it in one or both respects, such 
statements may generally be dismissed as 
either unreliable or, at any rate, “not 

The Hampton Court vine has a life 
record of over 130 years, since it was 
planted as far back as 1768. Its branches 

long. A curious fact is that, from an 
examination made of part of the roots 
several years ago, it was found that there 
were also three main root-branches, two 
of which turned out under the gardens, 
while the third went directly down towards 
the river-bed. Whether it had reached it 
or not was not solved. 

The grapes, which are of the kind 
known among connoisseurs as Black 


Hamboros, are of 
beautiful flavour, 
and are kept ex- 
clusively for royal 
use, bunches being 
sent every day to 
Windsor, or 
wherever her 
Majesty may be. 
There is now a 
rule with the gard- 
eners who attend 
to the vine that 
it shall not be 
allowed to bear 
more . than - 1200 
bunches of grapes 
a year, and so, 
although there 
are about 3000 
bunches form, the 
rest are always cut 
away, and the 

number stated only allowed to come to 
This keeps up the quality to 
the best pitch, and does not allow the vine 
to be overstrained, as it used to be in The next 




mouth water.” 


great danger of 
such from its being 
permitted to bear 
2000 bunches an- 
nually at the end 
of last century. 
The 1200 
bunches weigh, on 
an average, an 
aggregatc of 600 
lb., and very tempt- 
ing they look to 
the thousands of 
persons who visit 
the vine - house 
during the period 
of maturity, as the 
clusters hang in 
regular lines from 
the vine above. 
No wonder that, 
as the writer has 
heard more than 

one little lad say—and big ones, too, for 
that matter —‘‘they just do make your 

English vine is, 



undoubtedly, the notable “‘ vineyard” of 
the Marquis of Bute, at his place, Castell 
Coch, in South Wales. This vineyard is 
remarkable in that it is the only one 
known to exist in this country. It was 
planted in the-year 1875, close under the 
shadow of the castle, on the left, in a 
position about as sheltered as it well could 
be from all cold winds, and from its first 
planting has flourished with vigour. The 



owing to favourable summers and other 
causes, the yield«has been so great as 
to be worth up to £3000. Much of the 

wine got from the grapes is kept for some 
years, and then it fetches excellent prices. 
Thus a vintage from this vine, of twelve 
years standing, has been actually sold by 
auction for 115 shillings a dozen, which is, 
as must be acknowledged, a capital price. 

Those who wish to see the vineyard 


vines are planted in rows, tied to stakes in 
some cases, and they bear fruit very well. 
More than one experiment was made as to 
the best kind of vine to suit the soil and 
climate, and finally it was found that the 
kind known as ‘‘ Gamay Noir” succeeded 
better than others, so that now all the vines 
are of this variety. 

The produce of this vineyard has varied 
much. There have been years when not 
one bunch could be gathered from the 
whole of the plantation, and there have 
been years—such as in 1893—when, 

looking its best should visit Castell Coch 
in the middle of the summer; but, of 
course, the time for gathering the year’s 
produce is in the autumn, about the second 
or third week in October. Just as the 
yield of grapes has varied much in 
quantity from the causes stated, so it has 
also varied in quality. And, indeed, any 
vineyards in England, were many existing, 
must always have to contend against the 
serious inequalities and vagaries of our 
climate from year to year. What can be 
expected when one summer is as “dry as 


a lime-kiln,” and the following one as 

wet as it can well be; when one month 

has every day as hot as in Africa, and the 

next one reminds you of being at Spitz- 
- bergen in December ? 

To many persons who walk daily along 
the Strand and Fleet Street, let alone 
to the other hundreds of thousands of 
Londoners, it will be news that there is 



and ripe as need be wished. There are 
two vines growing, separated by a fig- 
tree; and last year that vine seen in the 
picture brought to maturity no less than 
fifty bunches of grapes, the best of these 
being found on that part of it which was 
under the window of the second floor, 
about the middle of the photograph. 
Before the new buildings were erected 

= 7 ied 


ra. . 
P > oy) a! 




a vine growing in the very heart of the 
busiest city in the world, in the open air, 
in the centre of smoke, dirt, and business, 
a vine which bears bunches of ripe grapes 
every year that would put the efforts of 
vines cultivated under glass at many gentle- 
men’s seats to utter shame. But such is the 
case. ° 

Let the visitor or busy City man take a 
walk in September or October in New 
Square, Lincoln’s Inn, and observe the 
vines growing on the house-walls there. He 
will see clusters of beautiful grapes, juicy 

in this district there used to be so many 
vines about here that the place might have 
been almost reckoned as a vineyard; but 
after New Square was formed only three 
survived—namely, these two, and a third 
which is in a kitchen-garden near. Many 
of those who know the Lincoln’s Inn 
vines well have a tradition that the roots 
of them have tunnelled a passage quite 
under the road, and into the gardens in the 
middle of the famous square, and this is very 
probable. Anyhow, one will have to go a 
long way to find a vine in England on any 


outside wall which bears such fruit, in 
quantity and quality, as does this one in 
the very heart of the busiest city of the 
world. Outside vines are not uncommon 
in southern towns, and several may be seen 
on house-walls at such towns as Twicken- 
ham and Kingston, in the Thames Valley, 
but their fruit never really matures. One 
sees small green, unripe grapes, and that is 
as far as they get. 

What is known amongst authorities of 
vine-culture in this country as the “ White 
Vine,” at Harewood, near Leeds, deserves 
mention in such an article as this. The 
“White Vine” is in the vineries of the 
Earl of Harewood, at his far-famed York- 
shire seat, Harewood House, where it has 
been an object of interest for many years to 
visitors and others interested in vines. Its 
fruit is of a very light green colour, hence 
its name, and the bunches of grapes are 
larger and finer than are those on most of 
the vines hitherto mentioned here; but 
they are fewer in number, for the clusters, 
when they first appear, are rigidly cut 
down, so as to allow of the small number 
left getting as fine and large as possible. 

Thus the first thing that strikes the 
visitor to the vinery at Harewood is the 
fact of the small quantity of bunches of 


grapes compared to that at Hampton 
Court or Fontainebleau. But when he 
comes to notice the size and quality of 
what bunches there are, he is more than 

It may not be out of place here to 
mention that the most renowned vine 
across the Channel, in the sunny land of 
France, is that at Fontainebleau Palace, 
and we may give just a fact or two about it, 
so as to compare it with those mentioned 
in our Own country. 

The Fontainebleau vine produced last 
year 5360 bunches of grapes, and these 
weighed 1340 kilogrammes. They were 
sold by auction for 2287 francs, or about 
£95 6s. These figures were below 
what has been the average for some 
years previously, for last year—why, is 
not exactly known—there was much less 
fruit on the vine, nor was that of such 
good quality. 

When one takes into account the strange 
vagaries of the English climate, and the 
disadvantages under which vines are grown 
in this country compared with other neigh- 
bouring ones, it will be seen that we have 
some reason to be proud of what per-. 
fection some of our own vines have 
attained here. W. A. G. 



and have due regard to those feel- 
ings of self-respect that should 
characterise the behaviour of a spinster 
of your mature age.” And Miss Rebecca 
drew herself severely together and arranged 
the curtained bonnet more firmly on her 
head, as her sister picked up the frag- 
ments of a broken pink and white. cup 
from the carpet. 
“Major Debenham’s letter should cause 
nothing more than that feeling of seemly 

ap sod bs pray tranquillise yourself, 

pleasure usually entertained by those who 
hear that an old acquaintance is again 
about to dwell in their midst and solicits 

their good fellowship. I cannot conceive 
what excitable feelings should thus move 
you, to the detriment of our company tea- 
set. Major Debenham has written to ask 
you to begin the miniature of himself 
that was to have been done before he 
left for India, and to regard that letter 
as a self-invitation to take tea with us 
savours, if I may say it, hardly of that 
decorum and maidenly reserve that our 
dear mother so carefully trained us in from 

“But, Rebecca, 1’m sure if our dear 
mother were with us, she would encour- 
age a little ordinary civility,” pleaded the 
younger sister. 

“True, Jessica; but our mother was 
married, which much alters the case. 
Therefore, I should be’ glad to see the 
pink and white service placed again in 
the store-room before I leave. As I said, 
I have to go out this afternoon to pay 
some Calls, and if you are anxious to show 
hospitality to Major Debenham, I pray 
that you will use the common tea-set.” 

Miss Jessica, with trembling fingers, 
replaced the cups and saucers on the tray 
and left the room. 

While she was gone, Miss Rebecca 
smoothed out her black corded silk, and 
going to the glass, she arranged the small 
fall beneath her bonnet. She looked 
admiringly on the black silk and was 
proud of it. It had been given her, in the 
form of funeral hat-bands, by her father, 
late vicar of Bradcombe, many years since, 
and, except on calling days, lay between 
layers of camphor and paper in the big 

““Why does Jessica remain so young ?” 
she wondered. ‘She is old enough to 
control her emotions more, and what our 
dear father would say I’m sure I don’t 

The door 

“Good-bye, Jessica,” she said, and 
rustled towards the door. She looked 
back at the small drawing-room, at its pale 
dimity curtains and worsted-work chairs, 
all carefully covered with cambric covers. 
Certainly the pink and white tea-service 
would look most genteel in such sur- 

“* Perhaps, Jessica, on second thoughts, 
it would be wiser to set out the pink and 
white; there would be no cause to use it 
unless Major Debenham stays late, and 
otherwise he might imagine we had no 
refined utensils in the house. But I beg 
that you will use due caution.” 

“Yes, Rebecca. It’s just as you wish, 
I’m sure.” 

And Miss Rebecca Barton trod stiffly 
out of the room, the very conception of 

opened, and ‘her sister 


This letter had vastly annoyed the elder sister. 


immaculate primness and gentility, leaving 
her sister in rather an upset and nervous 
frame of mind. 

Presently she took a letter out of her 
pocket almost furtively—she was very 
timid of annoying her sister. It ran— 

“Dear Miss Jessica.” [‘* Miss Jessica 
Barton, it should have been,” said her 
sister.] ‘It is long since I have seen 
you—nearly twenty years since we were 
boy and girl together—but I trust that I 
may take again my old place in your and 
your sister’s friendship. I have taken the 
Grange, as my health will no longer stand 
an Indian climate, so I am to settle in 
England again. May I at last begin my 
promised sittings for my miniature—alas ! 
your brush will find much silver among 
the gold—by coming to see you to-morrow 
afternoon ? I shall come round if I hear 
nothing, on the chance of seeing you and 
renewing our old friendship.—I am yours 
very sincerely, EDWARD DEBENHAM.” 

This letter had vastly annoyed the elder 
sister, whose ideas on epistolary writing 

were, like herself, prim and formal, espe- 
cially were there a male in the question. 

To Miss Jessica, however, it had brought 
back a host of happy memories of a hand- 
some young man, whose new uniform she 
had herself helped in putting the finishing 
touches to, with trembling fingers and 
eyes too blurred with tears to see the 
hooks and eyes in the military collar. So 
she looked forward almost with excitement 
to seeing the writer again. But then Miss 
Jessica judged the world from a different 
standpoint from her sister, and her kind 
little heart revolted from swallowing the 
stoical pill prescribed for her. 

She sat long musing, to be startled by 
aring at the little tinkling bell in the 

*““Oh dear, I believe that’s Edward— 
I mean Major Debenham ”—she blushed 
to herself at the slip—‘“‘and I have not so 
much as set the tea-table, and Rebecca 
would be so dreadfully put out were Jane 
to touch them. Where can Jane be? 
Why does she not answer the bell ?” 

Tinkle, tinkle again. 


“Dear, dear, I must go myself. Jane 
must be out, and Major Debenham will 
imagine we are from home.” 

And she hastened nervously into the 
long hall. 

“Ah, Miss Jessica, this is good indeed 
to be greeted by you yourself—it’s quite 
like old times. How are you ? How 
are you?” The Major was a bluff, 
kindly little man, rather rotund, but with 
honest blue eyes that now sparkled with 

““Oh, Major Debenham, I’m sure all 
are glad to see you again. Everyone is 
talking about your return. My sister is 
most pleased.” (Oh, Miss Jessica! ) 

“You don’t say that you are, though,” 
returned the Major. 

She did not answer; she could not 
express the feelings that made her very 
glad her sister had chosen that day to pay 
her calls. 

“Is Miss Rebecca out ?” continued he. 

“Yes, Major ; my sister desired that I 
should tender you her apologies, and 
begged me to state she had very pressing 
duties in the village.” 

“Well, it}won’t make any difference to 
the miniature, will it ?” 

** Dear no; but I’m sorry she is not here 
to welcome you.” [Dear Miss Jessica, 
what mendacity! Does not the maiden 
soul within you blush?] ‘And I must 
apologise for myself for not having pre- 
pared tea. Jane is out, I think. So, if 
you will excuse me, I will do it myself-at 

Miss Jessica was by this time seated in 
her chair in the drawing-room, and was 
shuffling mysteriously with her feet. 
Truth be told, she had exposed a piece of 
the unfortunate teacup still lying under 
the chair, and what would the Major think 
if he saw it ? 

“But what about 
Jessica ?” 

“Oh dear, oh dear, I had forgotten 
again. What can be done ?” 

“Let me help you get the tea—the 
picture can wait well enough. Come 
along, Miss Jessica, I’m quite an old 

the light, Miss 


So together they went and rummaged in 
the kitchen, the larder, the pantry, and 
store-room. The Major cut large, thick 
slices of bread-and-butter, and peered 
into every corner for the jam. He set the 
kettle on the hob, and clattered about 
among the cups and saucers, leaving Miss 
Jessica seated open-eyed and wondering 
what her sister 
would say if she 

The Major 
began to take a 
service down from 
the dresser and 
arrange them on 
the tray. 

“Oh, Major, 

Major, not those. 
Let me get some 
others from the 
pantry,” exclaimed 
the lady—and she 
hurried away. 

‘What! those 
dainty little things ? 

No, Miss Jessica, 

take in 
one for you, but 
give an old soldier 
something more 

“* Really, Major, 
but I fear you will 
think us quite un- 

“Not a bit of it. 
Come along, I ’ll 
take in the things ; 
and now all the work’s 
have a good long talk.” 

While they were seated over tea, Miss 
Jessica in her chair, the Major on the sofa 
opposite, with a large piece of cake in one 
hand and his cup in the other (Miss Jessica 
was still nibbling manfully at her first large 
slice of bread-and-butter), was dramatic- 
ally telling of an exciting escape he had 
had out shooting. 

“Not that it would have mattered 
much,” he was saying, “‘if the brute had 
got me, since I have no relations, wife or 

we will 

done we ’ll 

‘“* Come along, I'll take in the things.” 


children, to miss ‘me. No, I have not 
married yet, and here’s my old head 
nearly bald, and what hair there is left 
is grey.” He had not noticed a little 
scream Miss Jessica had given; she could 
not have told you why she sc.eamed. But 
he did notice a crash of china, and see 
poor Miss Jessica mopping up a pool 
of tea in her lap 
with a minute 
chief, as it dripped 
slowly over her 
dress on to the 

“Oh dear, oh 
dear, what shall 
I do? That is 
the second to- 
day. What will 
Rebecca say ?” 

*“*Never mind, 
let me wipe it up 
and pick up the 
pieces,” said the 
soldier, placing his 
red silk handker- 
chief on the floor, . 
and following it 
himself on his 
knees. “I'll 
mend the cup for 

Now the Major 
had set his own 
cup on a ridiculous 
little table close 
by, and while dis- 
playing his hand- 
kerchief on the floor he managed to get 
his legs entangled with the legs of the 
table. The table was ricketty, and the 
Major, panting with his exertions, struggled 
to rise, and over it went, carrying cup and 
cake with it. 

** Another one,” moaned the poor lady. 

“Never mind,” quoth the Major; “sit 
on the sofa with me, and we will drink out 
of the slop-basin ! ” 

What had come te Miss Jessica? What 
demon of impropriety had possessed her ? 
She felt not exactly demoralised, but she 

2 -CamepeLravion. tras 


was really very glad her sister was out, 
though she dreaded her return. 

**See here, Miss Jessica, here’s a tea- 
leaf. ‘That means a stranger is going to 
visit you.” And the Major picked it out 
and placed it on the back of one red fist, 
_and clapped the other on the top of it. 
““Once—twice—thrice! That means the 
stranger is 
coming on a 
Tuesday. To- 
day is Tues- 
day. Now, is 
it a lady or 
a gentleman ? 
Once !—that’s 
a gentleman. 
Now, is he to 
bring sorrow 
or joy? Once 
for sorrow, 
twice for 
mirth, thrice 
for a wedding, 
and four times 
for a_ birth, 
you know.” 

What could 
be coming to 
Miss Jessica ? 
Here she was 
sitting alone 
on her own 
sofa with a 
man, drinking 
tea with him 
out of the 
same _ slop- 
basin, and 
finally taking a deep interest in fortune- 
telling by tea-leaves that hardly seem 

“Once, twice, thrice,” clapped the 
Major. ‘“‘ By Jove, a marriage.” 

“‘ How curious!” murmured Miss Jessica. 

“Yes, isn’t it?” said the Major. 

““What can it mean? We are both so 
old.” O shades of Miss Rebecca! 

The Major was seated on the sofa opposite, with a large piece 
of cake in one hand and his cup in the other. 


** I’m forty-three,” quoth the Major. 

** And I—well, Rebecca’s fifty-two, and 
I’m ten years younger ;_ that makes forty- 
two,” said Miss Jessica, counting on her 

“* And a very good age, too. One knows 
then more about the emotions of life 
than at twenty. Miss Jessica, tell an old 

friend — were 
you ever in 
love ?” 

“TI don’t 
know,” re- 
turned she. 

oF; wien 
you did, be- 
cause I think 
I am.” 

* 8 # 

“I wonder 
when Rebecca 
will return, 
Edward ?” 

does it matter, 
Jessica ?” 

& & & 

When Miss 
Barton re- 
turned at half- 
past six that 
autumn even- 
ing, she drew 
herself up very 
stifly in the 
had crept in 
very quietly. The room was_ nearly 
dark, but she perceived an overturned 
table, a broken cup on. the floor, her 
sister sitting on the sofa with the Major’s 
arm about her waist. Miss Rebecca 
turned sharply upstairs, set her foot firmly 
on the ground. “I always said Jessica 
was a fool, but how shall I manage 
without her ?” 



HE proverb, hailing from Roman times, that 
“* good wine needs no bush,” finds some measure 
of contradiction at the present day. Though no 
longer distinguished as a class by pole and bunch 
of evergreens, our inns and taverns are now the 
only houses of business generally provided with 
unconventional signs. Indeed, it is hard for us 
to associate, say, the sign of “ the yellow Spread 
Eagle,” mentioned in Fig. 1, with anyone but a 
publican; yet it belonged, as will be seen, toa 

Again, anybody unacquainted with the former 
popularity of signs might well imagine that the 
books of the seventeenth century were all sold at 
public-houses, for the publishers did business at 
such signs as the “‘ Feathers,” in Lombard Street. 
the ‘‘ White Hart,” in-Fleet Street, or the ‘* Cros+ 
Keys,” in Cornhill (Fig. 2.) When, as often 
was done, an engraving was reproduced on the 
title-page or elsewhere in the book, representing 
the sign, this became, to all intents and purposes, 
a trade-mark, such as those which are common 
at the present day. 

On turning to signs which still survive, one 

Sir Tuomas Gresnam’s “Grassnorrer” on finds that most of them may be recognised as 
tHE Roya Excuance (Fis. 9). belonging to particular trades, and that the 
meaning of many is obvious. The decay of 
trade emblems has gone on side by side with the spread of education. In years 
past many persons could not read, and goods could not be seen to such advantage as 
they can now in the shop-windows. Hence the pine-apple of the confectioner, or 
the sugar-loaf of the grocer (Fig. 14), 
helped both customer and tradesman 
at the same time. In the same way 
to-day the gilt ham of the coeked- 
meat vendor (Fig. 3) shining above 
the pavement can be distinguished 
long before the shop-front is visible 
or the facia read. The brush- 
surmounted lamp of the sweep still 
catches the eye of the housewife ; Fic. 1.—An ADVERTISEMENT FROM A SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY 

and the rod and fish quickens the a Grocer’s SiGN. : 

No. 204. September 1900 545 NN 


step of the angler wishful to renew his 

Here and there, too, over the door of a 
locksmith hangsamassive key, so ponderous 

Fic. 3 —Tue “ Gotpen Ham.” 

indeed that one has been known to break 
the paving-stone upon which it fell. A 

gigantic hat proclaims the hatter, a golden 

dustpan the ironmonger, and almost 
aniversally the watchmaker is known by 
his useful clock. In Great Portland 
Street a gilt figure of Father Time with 
wings and scythe takes the place of the 
timepiece and speaks of other days. The 
golden fleece of the mercer still lingers 
here and there (Fig. 4). 

The signs, however, associated with 
specific trades, that 
require some explana- 
tion, are more worthy 
of attention. The 
great earthern jars 
of the Italian ware- 
houseman (Fig. 5), 
usually painted red, 
and reminding one of 
those in which the 
Forty Thieves were 
hidden, originally held 
oil. Indeed, Lucca 


has often been laughingly suggested that 
the device signifies “‘two to one against 
the pledge being redeemed,” and as a 
century ago the spheres were painted blue, 
allusion has 
been made 
t o- "t-te 
gilding of 
the pill.” 
The history 
of the sign is 
well worth 
telling. As 
early as the 
reign of 
Edward II. a 
place was set 
apart in 
London for 
the Lom- 
bards, who 
followed the 
Jews as 
bankers and 
mone y- 
lenders upon 
security. This 
haunt after- 
wards’ de- 
veloped into 
the Royal 
Exchange of Sir Thomas Gresham, of 
which more will be said later on. 

Many of the Lombards hailed from the 
possessions of the Dukes*of Medici, whose 
coat of arms contained five blue balls 




oil was formerly imported into this 
country in them. 
Pawnbrokers make a custom of dis- 

playing three golden balls (Fig. 6). It 

(bezants azure), three of which were used 
as a sign by their subjects who migrated 
to this country. 

There is an inn with the sign of a, 


single blue ball at Countisbury, North 
Devon, but this is taken from the arms of 
the Earls of Devon, which contain three. 
A good carving of the “‘ coat” is to be seen 
on a panel in the church. This repre- 
sentation was not, however, originally in 
the building, having been brought from 

Fic. 5.—Tue Omman’s Sympo. 

elsewhere quite recently by a resident of 
Quite as interesting is the origin of the 

barber’s pole (Fig. 7). This dates from 
the time when barbers practised some 
amount of surgery, and people believed ‘in 
bleeding. The pole was placed in the 
patient’s hand, the effort of holding it pro- 
moting the flow of blood. When not in 
use it was hung outside the shop with the 
bandages twisted round it. At the present 
time these are represented by the white 
spiral band, the blood being denoted by a 


red one, and others, blue or black, have also 
been added. A brass soap-basin, in which 
the blood was caught, used years ago 
to be suspended with the rest. 

At one time the law provided that 
both barbers and surgeons proper should 
show a blue-and-white pole, but that the 
latter should add a gallipot and a red flag 
as distinguishing marks. In this we may 
see a possible origin for the one adver- 
tisement—to wit, a red lamp, which 
doctors’ traditions and strict rules of 

Fic. 6.—“ Unciu’s” Empiem. 

conduct allow them in addition to a brass 

There is a barber in Johannesburg who, 
failing to obtain a pole easily, has so far 
stuck to his guns as to hang out a four- 
sided piece of wood. 

Tobacconists are well provided with 
signs. The life-sized Scotsman, emblem- 
atical of snuff, still lingers here and there 
(Fig. 8). The figure always recalls 
Sheridan’s wager that he would remove a 
certain one. Provided with a large over- 
coat, he set to work, and having enveloped 
the image in it, called a cab, into 
which, with the drivers assistance, 
he helped “his friend,” who, he ex- 
plained, had been “ imbibing a little too 


The example at 128, Tottenham Court 
Road, recently figured in the Mafeking 

The black boy with his red skirts seems 
dying out, but the roll of pigtatl tobacco 
is still largely used. The bands of gold 
with which it is now customarily embel- 
lished rather tend to obscure ifs ‘méaning. 
On the western side of Hampstead Road an 
old-fashioned one remains suspended over 
a shop, while another is represented in 
bas-relief on the door-post. A sculptured 
sign must be mentioned over the entrance 
to the offices of the Lady’s Pictorial. The 
shop was formerly long occupied by a 
tobacconist, and the sign shows the con- 
ventionalised roll of twist against a barrel, 


\ Sa 



such as are still used in tobacconists’ shops 
for seats. Standing on the barrel is a cat, 
and lastly a negro is seen, representing the 
black boy already mentioned. How this 
figure came to be adopted is this wise: 


The crest of the Tobacco-Pipe Makers 
Company, which was incorporated so long 
ago as 1663, was the upper part of a black 
man, or, in heraldic parlance, a demi- 
Moor, and the “ supporters ” were also 
negroes. It 
was a very 
thing for a 
or crafts- 
man to 
adopt some 
part of the 
of his com- 
pany or 
guild as a 
sign, and 
the tobacco- 
nists were 
among the 

The arm 
and hammer 
of the gold- 
beater is 
still in use, 
but calls for 
Just as, 
noted, the 
bush or 
bunch of 
ivy was the 
general attribute of the inn, so a bunch of 
golden grapes denoted a wine-seller, and 
even now, as at the Coach and Horses, on 
Kew Green, may appear over the more 
specialised sign. 

There are some objects customarily 
exhibited in shop-windows belonging to 
members of the same trade that may well 
be mentioned here — the hairdresser’s 
wax lady, who often revolves in an irri- 
tating manner, the giant clam-shells of the 
oyster-dealer, and the gorgeous orna- 
mental carboys of coloured water, dear to 
the heart of the apothecary. The cow and 
calf, like the sign of the goat in old 
Herculaneum, still grace many a dairy- | 

Fic. 8. — A Fine EXAmpPLe oF 


man’s window, and the plaster-of-Paris 
horse suli stands in that of the corn- 

Up to the present we have turned our 
attention to class symbols, as it 
were, and have examined them 
in some detail. It now behoves 
us to consider the special signs 
chosen, like those of inns, by 
individual tradesmen, as_ in- 
dicated above when speaking of 
booksellers. These signs, which 
form, perhaps, the most attrac- 
tive part of the subject, are 
relics of a time when it was the 
custom of the members of one 
trade to settle down in one 
quarter of a town or city, as is 
still done in the East. Traces 
of this may be seen in London in the 
case of the banks in Lombard Street, 
the physicians in Harley Street, and 
the booksellers in Holywell Street, 
which last is, however, doomed. 

Though the original signs of this de- 
scription are rapidly disappearing, careful 
search will reveal quite a number- in 

London which still remain in place. 
Others have found a home in the Guild- 
hall Museum, while others, again, are 
cherished by the firms to which they 
respectively belong. That the same sign 
should have been in use for hundreds of 
years even, is not so surprising a thing 
when one recollects that it was by the 

Fic. 10.—Tue “‘ Learner Botte” or Hoare’s Bank. 

sign that a business was remembered, and 
to retain his father’s or forerunner’s 
customers it was necessary for the man 
who followed to keep to the same sign. 


Among the banks are several interest- 
ing cases. Martin’s Bank retains the ‘‘Grass- 
hopper,” the crest and sign of Sir Thomas 
Gresham, who carried on business at the 

‘iG. 11.—Tue “Turee Souirrets,” wuicn stitt Avorn 

Gostino’s BANK. 

house now and long occupied by the bank. 
There is an old story current that the 
husband of Mistress Jane Shore dwelt 
on the very same spot in 1461. The 
Grasshopper, an emblem of good luck, 
also. surmounts the present Royal 
Exchange (Fig. 9), the original build- 
ings having deen erected by Sir Thomas 
Gresham and dubbed “ Royal” by Queen 
Bess when she visited them. 

Messrs. Hoare have a gilt “ Leather 
Bottle” over their door in Fleet Street, 
and print a representation of one on their 
cheques (Fig. 10). Gosling’s Bank hard 
by (now a branch of Barclay’s), though 
lately rebuilt, still has the ‘“ Three 
Squirrels” on the 
centre window 
(Fig. 11). In 
connection with 
this it may be 
said that in the 
year 1684 James 
Chambers kept 
a _ goldsmith’s 
shop at the 
“Three Squir- 
rels,” near St. 
Church, _—pro- 
bably where the bank now stands. 
It is worthy of note that one family 
of Chambers at the present time 
has three squirrels as its ‘“‘ arms.” 


Fic. 13.—Tue “‘ Hatr-Moon” 1x Hotywett Street. 

Fic. 14.—One or tHe Best EXAMPLES oF AN OLD SIGN 
now Existinc—THE ‘“‘Crown AND THREE SUGAR 
Loaves” In Fencnurcn Street. 

Fic. 12—A Sitver BADGE FORMERLY WORN BY ONE OF Fic. 15.—‘Guy, Eart or WARWICK,” 
tHE AtLas InsuRANCE CompPANy’s Private Firemen. 1x WARWICK LANE. 


Child’s banking firm is the oldest in 
London. The founder, in Charles the 
First’s reign, started it at the shop of his 
father-in-law, who was a goldsmith at the 
sign of the Marygold. A representation 
of the quaint idea is still to be seen over 
the bank entrance. The shop, which has 
given way to the modern bank, was built 
on the site of the tavern dear to Ben 
Jonson, called the Devil and St. Dunstan, 
familiarly known as the “ Devil,” and at 
which the dramatist founded his Apollo 

While speaking of banks it may be 
worth while to mention the derivation of 
the name of Rothschild. Over No. 148, 
Juden Gasse, or Jew’s Alley, where the 
founder of the family lived in Frankfort, 

Fic. 17.—A Favourite Sicn. 

was a red shield (r0/h schild) which he 
used as a sign, and which has come to be 
the name of his millionaire descendants. 

The big fire insurance companies have 
retained their signs, and have used them 
to mark the buildings they have insured. 
Originally these marks were to guide the 
company’s private firemen or watermen, 
who wore similar badges. Fig. 12, Atlas, 
with the world: on his shoulders, was 
formerly the sign of mapmakers. The 
insurance company of that name adopted 
it in 1806. The Phoenix was a special 
favourite with apothecaries, and appro- 
priately became the sign of the present 
company in r78z. The Sun was the sign 
of Wynkyn de Worde, the early printer 
of Fleet Street, in 1497; and the Sun in 
Splendour was the badge of Richard II. 

Fic. .6.—From A Cuemist’s in Bow CHURCHYARD. 

It became the emblem of the Sun Insurance 
Company in 1710, and is on the front of 
its offices in Threadneedle Street. In 
King Street, Covent Garden, may be seen 
the Portcullis and Prince of Wales’s 
Feathers of another Company. 

The sign of the oldest existing office, 
the “‘ Hand-in-Hand,” is remarkable as 
being one often adopted by the marriage- 
mongers in Fleet Street, withan inscription, 
“* Marriages Performed Within.” Pennant 
vividly describes the profligate old parson 
walking before his shop in a “ tattered 
plaid night-gown,” and “‘ ready to couple 
you for a dram of gin ora roll of tobacco.” 
Of the signs of private individuals but 


= ” j 
eh We 


Fic. 18.—Tue “ Lion” at 342, STRAND. 


few remain. The “ Half Moon,” at 36, Holy- 
well Street, is still in place at the time of 
writing (Fig. 13), but will soon be gone. 

Bic. 19.—Tue “ Bett,” From 67, KNIGHTRIDER STREET. 

The “‘ Boy and Panyer,” in a passage leading 
out of Paternoster Row, may have been 
a baker’s sign. A sign, once that of 
Nicholas Hare, a grocer, is to be seen 
between Nos. 79 and 80, 
High Street, Shoreditch. 
lt consists of a hare and sun 
sculptured in stone, and dated 
1676. This may be taken as 
an example of a very numer- 
ous series of signs which 
formed a rebus on the name 
of their owner. 

Messrs. Davison; Newman, 
and Co., whose. firm dates 
back to the year 1650, when 
they left No. 44, Fenchurch 
Street for No. 57, took with 
them their original sign of 
the “Crown and Three 
Sugar Loaves” (Fig. 14). 
The latter were once em- 
blematical of the grocer, and 
occasionally survive as the 


sign of an inn, as at Castle Hedingham, 
in Essex. 

The interesting figure of a naval officer 

taking an observation, which was once in 
Leadenhall Street, and appeared at the 
Naval Exhibition, may be seen in the 
' Another sign, now confined to public- 
houses, is ‘‘ Guy, Earl of Warwick.” Acarving 
(Fig. 15) exists at the corner of Warwick 
Lane and Newgate Street. There isa “ Dog 
and Pot” at Messrs. J. W. Cunningham and 
Co.’s, of 196, Blackfriars Road. ‘The 
Pill” (Fig. 16), in the Guildhall Museum, 
came from Messrs. Sutton and Co.’s ware- 
house in Bow Churchyard, while (Fig. 17) 
the “Cock” is owned by Messrs. Foster, 
Porter,and Co. Finally the “Lion” holding 
the City Arms (Fig. 18) is to be seen over 
a goldsmith’s at 342, Strand, and the “‘ Bell” 
(Fig. 19) came from 67, Knightrider Street, 
near the celebrated inn of the same sign 
from which the only existing letter written 
to Shakspere was indited by Richard 
Quyney in the-year 1598. 

Inn signs, though often now simply 
written, give us a very good idea of the 
emblems once generally adopted. If, 
however, any special feature be looked 
for in the signs of these houses of 
refreshment, it will be found in the 
number of Somebody’s Arms or Some- 
thing’s Heads which occur among thein. 

Fic. 23.—Tue Mutitatep Remains or THE SIGN OF THE 
“ Grorce AnD Dracon,” rrom Snow Hut. 


In the Middle Ages travellers were 
lodged by the great landowners, whose 
coats-of-arms hung in front of their 
houses. Big people were treated as 
guests; the lower orders fased. with the 
servants. House-stewards had powerto make 
charges for certain things. When travellers 
became numerous, separate buildings were 
maintained for their accommodation, also 


ma { 

CE \ al 

a — — 
)) (ry iy" 

TX ao 


Fic. 20.—Tue Arms or THE-Mercers’ CameAny AND 
tHe Sicn or THe “ Mamwen’s Heap.” 

bearing the coat-of-arms of the owner. 
Old servants setting up as innkeepers have 
kept up the custom since by choosing their 
masters’ arms for a sign, or hosts have set 
up those of some illustrious and habitual 

The head of an animal or person forms 
a large number of crests, and its adoption 
as a sign springs from the same reasons. 
Private badges of kings and nobles, which 
were not hereditary emblems, have also 


given rise to many of our most familiar 
inn signs. The White Hart came from 
Richard II., the Red Lion from John 
of Gaunt, while the White Boar of 
Richard III. was at his death painted to 
do duty for the Blue Boar of the Earls of 

A few interesting instances only can be 
touched upon.. The Green Man has been 
derived from the wild men of old pageants. 
These possibly sprang from the morris 
dancers, or Jacks-in-the-Green, who, 
with black faces, used to parade the streets 
on May Day. The sweeps long kept up 
the custom, and one was seen on May 3, 
in the present year, near Blackfriars, in 
the familiar cage, dressed with green and 
accompanied by his fellows, also decked 
out to some extent. The Maiden’s Head 

Fic. 21.—*‘ ADAM AND Eve,”’ THe ARMS OF THE 
Fruirerers’ Company. 

(Fig. 20) comes from the arms of the 
Mercers’ Company. 

The Adam and Eve likewise came from 
those of the Fruiterers’ Company (Fig. 21), 
while the Elephant and Castle forms 
the crest of the Cutlers’ Company, 
as well as of the old African Company. 
Here we might mention the remarkable 
coupling of objects that have little or no 
connection. The adoption of a second 
sign explains some, the taking of two 
devices from armorial bearings led to others, 
and corruptions have given us more. The 
Fly and Bullock was originally the Flying 
Bullock, from the orest and supporters 


of the Butchers’ Company (Fig. 22). St. 
George and the ragon, needs no explan- 
ation. The old sign we represent (Fig. 
23), now in the Guildhall Museum, came 
from a famous old galleried inn at 81, 
Snow Hill. Among many other signs 
preserved in the same museum is the 
Goose and Gridiron (Fig. 24). The name 

Fic. 22.—TuHe Arms OF THE ButcHers’ Company, 
witH: “ Fiyinc Buttocks.” 

was chosen to ridicule the old music-house 
previously standing on the same spot, being 
a parody on the Swan and Harp, a sign 
commonly adopted by such institutions. 

Another name must be singled out— 
the famous Bull and Mouth. One of the 
representations—of which there were two at 
the Queen’s Hotel, St. Martin’s-le-Grand— 
is shown ‘in- Fig. 25. The title is evidently 
a corruption, but whether it comes from 
Boulogne Mouth (Harbour) or from Bowl 
and Mouth we must leave undecided. 


Thanks are due to the Librarian of the 
Guildhall for several acts of courtesy, 
including permission to reproduce some 
drawings in his charge (Figs. 11, 15, 17, 

Fic. 24.—Tue CeLesratep “‘ Goose AND GRIDIRON,” 
A Parovy ON THE “‘Swan AND Harpe” 

18, 20) by the late C. R. B. Barry. Other 
of our Illustrations are due to the kindness 
of the City Companies and to the owners 

of the various signs. Figs. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 
13, 14, 16,19, 24 and 25, were specially 
drawn for this article by Mr. W. J. Webb. 

Fic. 25.—Tue Sicn or tHe “‘ Butt AND Movutu,”’ FROM OVER THE ENTRANCE 
TO THE YARD or THE QueEN’s Hore, St. Marsin ce-Granp. 




UR train had just steamed out of 

Ostend Station, and the compart- 

ment in which I had taken my seat 

contained its full complement of six 

passengers, who, with the exception of 

myself, were unmistakable scions of the 
Anglo-Saxon race. 

Almost immediately a general conver- 
sation commenced, and the high-pitched 
voices and strong nasal twang of the 
speakers soon disclosed to me the country 
of their origin. 

One of the passengers, a stout gentle- 
man in a travelling-suit of tweed, having 
arranged his numerous bags, rugs, and 
other baggage in the rack with very little 
regard for the belongings of his fellow- 
travellers, ensconced himself comfortably 
in one of the corner-seats beside the 
window, and, after a rapid glance at the 
other occupants of the compartment, 
seemed to become absorbed in a contem- 
plation of the monotonous landscape, and 
made no attempt to join in the conver- 
sation. Several remarks addressed in- 
directly, to him by the other passengers 
he ignored so completely that no one 
would have believed that he either spoke 
or understood English, if one of the 
Americans had not produced his cigar- 
case, which action was immediately 
responsible for the following protest from 
the gentleman in the corner, delivered in 
the best London English, with consider- 
able emphasis— 

**I object to you smoking, Sir. 
not aware that this is 
carriage |” 

The superiority and réserve of the 
Englishman were evidently not much 
to the liking of the Americans, who 

I am 
a smoking- 

began to exchange sarcastic remarks 
about .the constrained and unfriendly 
manners:of the Britishers, their inability 
toomssociate with strangers, and their 
painful:formality in all religious, political, 
and. social affairs; all of which the 
Englishman ignored as completely as he 
had their previous attempts to draw him 
into conversation. 

“1 heard a story just before I left 
London which portrays the Britisher more 
faithfully. than a whole library of books 
could,” said one of the Yankees, who. had 
been more outspoken than the rest in his 

“Come on! let us hear it!” cried the 
others, regarding the Englishman disdain- _ 
fully, who sat in his corner as imperturbably 
as before, apparently engrossed in the 
distant prospect of a windmill, whose 
ungainly outline stood up sharply against 
the gloomy horizon. 

“‘T must inform you first of all that-my 
story is perfectly true, and that I only 
heard it yesterday evening in London from 
my friend Mr. Brown, who took an active 
part in it. 

“Two years ago Mr. Brown was 
compelled to undertake a journey on 
business to Chili, and having booked his 
passage on one of the steamers of the 
Pacific Steam Navigation Company sail- 
ing ‘from Liverpool, arrived safely at 
Montevideo, where several new pas- 
sengers came on board. Shortly after 
passing Punta Arenas they ran into a 
furious storm. After the tremendous seas 
had swept the two funnels overboard, both 
rudder and screw-propeller were hopelessly 
damaged, and the ship became a complete 
wreck, at the mercy of the wind and sea; 

556 - CANT AND 
and after drifting for several hours, ran on 
a reef and:commenced to settle down. The 
captain,.who had preserved his presence 
of mind.all this time, now gave orders for 
the boats to be lowered, and remained on 
board until the last sailor had left the ship. 
‘“‘The boats, however, were unable to 
fight their way through the furious surf 
which raged round the ship; one after 
another they capsized and sank, and the 
roar of the storm soon swallowed up the 
shrieks of the drowning men, and the 
boats drifted off, keel upwards, in various 
directions, while distorted faces and 
clenched hands appeared at intervals 
above the foaming surface of the sea, 
and then vanished for ever. The boat in 
which Mr. Brown was shared the fate of 
the remaining ones, but both he and 
another passenger were fortunate enough 
to retain their hold of the gunwale, 
and succeeded, after great exertions, in 
clambering up and seatmg themselves. 
astride on the keel of the overturned 
craft. They remained in this terrible 
position, crouching one behind the other, 
for several hours, until the sea, which in 
the meantime had abated, cast them up 
finally on the flat sandy shores of one of 
the small islands so numerous in those 
latitudes. Although death no longer 
stared them in the face, Mr. Brown 
could not help perceiving that their 
situation was a very precarious one. He 
was not a literary man, and the thought 
that he miyht eventually have the pleasure 
of posing as a nineteenth-century Robin- 
son Crusoe, and chronicling his adventures 
on a deserted island, afforded him scant 
consolation for the heavy pecuniary losses 
which he would incur if he could not 
reach Valparaiso at the appointed -time. - 
In the meantime, he endeavoured to make 
himself as comfortable as. circumstances 
would permit. After he had rested for 
a short time, he started on an excursion 
through the island, which could not have 
been more than three miles in circum- 
ference, and soon discovered that if it 
was uninhabited, it at any rate con- 
tained a fair number of a certain kind of 
fruit-tree, birds’-nests, and shell - fish, 
together with a spring of fresh water— 


sufficient to keep body and soul together 
for a considerable period of time. He 
tien, without any further delay, erected a 
temporary shelter of branches and moss for 
himself at the foot of a large tree, and re- 
signed himself to the necessity of living thus 
until some lucky chance might free him 
from his unpleasant situation. His com- 
panion in misfortune had acted in pre- 
cisely the same way, for he had also 
thoroughly reconnoitred the island, finally 
taking up his abode in a small cave 
on the shore, where he made himself 
as comfortable as circumstances would 

“‘ But it would have been more natural 
if they had dwelt togetiier,” remarked one 
of the party. 

“It is not very difficult to see, Brother 
Josh, that you have been only a week in 
Europe and are completely ignorant of 
English ways. How could Mr. Brown 
speak to his companion in misfortune, 
associate ‘with him, or even dwell in the 
same cave, if they had not been properly 
introduced to one another ?” 

The Americans laughed heartily, while 
the Englishman seemed more absorbed 
than ever in the surrounding country. 

‘* Several weeks,” continued the speaker, 
“‘passed away in this comfortless solitude. 
Every morning the two castaways left their 
retreat, and repaired to the only stream of 
any size in the island, where they washed 
themselves, and, after exchanging a cold 
glance, commenced their search for eggs, 
shell-fish, roots, and anything edible they 
might come across, in order to provide 
themselves with food for the day; and this 
task being finished—each, of course, 
ignoring the presence of the other—they 
used to climb up to the summit of a rocky 
promontory, which ran out into the sea, 
and lie there hour after hour anxiously 
scanning the ‘horizon in the hope of 
detecting a ship. This continued for 
nearly three months, until one morning 
Mr. Brown, shortly after he had taken up 
his station, imagined that he could dis- 
cern a dark spot on the extreme horizon, 
which seemed to be steadily moving 
towards the island. He sprang up as if 
he had received an electric shock, and, 


shading his eyes, stared and stared until 
there could no longer be any doubt that 
what he saw was the trail of smoke from a 
steamer. His companion, noticing the 
hasty nfovement of Mr. Brown, turned his 
glance in the same direction, and a gentle 
‘Oh!’ denoted that he also had espied 
the vessel. 

‘“‘ They both hurriedly drew off their coats 
and shirts, and commenced to wave them 
frantically with both hands. They might, 
however, have spared themselves this 
exertion, as the steamer was already head- 
ing straight for the island, and, as they 
afterwards ascertained, had been sent 
especially to cruise among the group of 
islands in search of possible survivors 
from the wreck; for some of the sailors 
at the time of that catastrophe had 
succeeded in righting one of the capsized 
boats, and, after enduring great privations, 
in reaching the mainland, where they 
brought the intelligence of the disaster. 
As soon as it could be arranged, a ship 
was dispatched to the scene of the wreck, 
and this was the craft which Mr. Brown 
and his comrade 

had sighted on the 
morning I am speaking of. 

“‘ After two hours of painful suspense the 
steamer had approached close enough to 
lower a boat in order to take off the two 

involuntary islanders. They rushed down 
in frantic haste to the little patch of yellow 
sand where the boat had touched, and a 
few minutes later were seated comfortably 
in the stern on their way back to the 
steamer. They were received at the gang- 
way by the captain, who bowed politely, 
gave them a hearty hand-shake, and 
invited them to follow him to his cabin. 
Here he requested them to enter their 
names and addresses in a book which he 
laid before them for that purpose, The 
man who had been Mr. Brown’s silent 
companion on the island followed this 
invitation first, as he happened to be 
standing closer to the table. After he 
had written down the required information, 
he handed the pen to Mr. Brown, who 
cast his eye mechanically over the previous 
entry before he commenced to write him- 
self. His attention, however, seemed to 
be suddenly attracted, and after regarding 


the book more closely, a look of astonish- 
ment crossed his face. ‘Mr. William 
Lloyd Jones, of Valparaiso !’ he exclaimed 
excitedly. ‘Mr. W. L. Jones, of Val- 
paraiso!’ and turning round, he addressed 
his partner in misfortune— 

“*Are you Mr. W. L. Jones, of Val- 
paraiso ?’ 

“** Yes,’ replied the other, regarding his 
interrogator with anything but approval. 

““*QOh, in that case,’ and Mr. Brown 
inserted his hand into the breast-pocket of 
his coat and drew out a letter—‘in that 
case, I have a letter of introduction to you 
from our mutual friend, Mr. Smith, of 
London’ ; and so saying, he handed his 
‘introduction’ to Mr. Jones, somewhat 
faded, it is true, from contact with the sea- 
water, but still fairly legible. 

“* Mr. Jones unfolded the epistle method- 
ically and slowly, read it attentively from 
beginning to end, and when he arrived at 
the signature of his friend Smith, the 
stern—not to say displeased—look on his 
face vanished immediately, and extending 
his hand in a most affable manner to 
Brown, he exclaimed— 

“**T am delighted to have the pleasure of 
making your acquaintance.’ 

““*Tf only I had been in a position to 
present my introduction while we were on 
the island!’ replied Brown regretfully. 

““* A great pity,’ remarked Jcnes. ‘We 
might have spent many agreeable hours 

“‘ The captain, who was also an English- 
man, had listened, without uttering a word, 
to the foregoing conversation, and grasp- 
ing the situation, was immediately con- 
vinced that he was in the presence of real 

“Brown and Jones now became the 
closest friends, and at the present moment, 
although one lives in Valparaiso and the 
other in London, still maintain a regular 

As the relator drew close to the end of 
the story, the other Americans, who realised 
keenly the satire implied therein, burst into 
loud laughter, wh‘ch lasted for several 
minutes. At length, when the merriment of 
the American party had exhausted itself, and 
silence was again restored, we noticed, to 


our astonishment, a smile flit across the 
face of the Englishman, who had been 
sitting, up till now, quietly in his corner 
with an expression of complete indifference 
on his immovable features; and he then 
addressed the gentleman who was respon- 
sible for the above story— 

“‘Sir, 1 must congratulate you on your 
excellent anecdote, and also on your 
acquaintance with such a distinguished 
personage as Mr. Brown. Perhaps you 
will permit me, in my turn, to narrate to 
you the experiences of a friend of mine in 
the United States, perhaps not of such an 
interesting nature, but the authenticity of 
which I can absolutely guarantee.” 

“Hear! hear!” resounded from all 
sides; the Yankees settled themselves 
again comfortably in their seats, and with- 
out further delay the Englishman com- 
menced his tale— 

“*M. Durand, one of my most intimate 
friends in Paris, who is a Major in the 
French Cuirassiers, was dispatched by his 
Government, during the recent Franco- 
German War, to America to purchase 
horses for the army. It was in the latter 
half of October 1870 when he arrived at a 
small town in Texas, renowned only for 
the fact that it possessed a spacious but 
very roughly constructed circus, in which 
Mexican bull-fighters occasionally per- 
formed. M. Durand, who had arrived 
late in the afternoon, took up his abode 
in the only hotel which the place boasted 
of. After he had finished his dinner, he 
retired into a compartment which answered 
the purpose of a smoking-room, and 
having ordered a bottle of wine to be 
placed on a small table within arm’s 
reach, he seated himself in a comfortable 
chair before the blazing fire, and prepared 
to spend a snug, if lonely evening. He 
was thoroughly worn out after his long 
railway journey, and lay there with out- 
stretched legs, gazing dreamily at the 
glowing coals, until the sudden opening 
of the door, and the entrance of a stranger, 
roused him out of his reverie. This was 
no less than Mr. Jonathan Oilking, one 
of the most prominent notabilities in that 
neighbourhood ; a man as much respected 
among the surrounding gentry for his 


extraordinary affability and refinement as 
for his great wealth. As soon as he had 
entered the room, Mr. Oilking marched 
straight up to the fireplace without utter- 
ing a word of greeting, or attempting to 
remove his broad-brimmed felt hat, and, 
pushing the Major’s chair together with 
its astonished occupant to one side, took 
up his station with his back to the fire, 
completely monopolising its warmth, and 
commenced to stare coolly straight in the 
Major’s face. Durand was inclined for a 
moment to seize the intruder by the throat, 
but, managing to control his passion, he 
consoled himself with the thought that 
when you are in Rome you must do as the 
Romans do, and, shrugging his shoulders, 
contented himself with regarding the ceil- 
ing instead of the bright flames. 

“« Mr. Oilking warmed himself fora short 
time with apparent satisfaction, and then 
his glance chanced to alight on the bottle 
of claret which stood at the Major’s elbow. 
With inimitable coolness he stretched out 
his long arm, and grasping the bottle, 
poured himself out a glass, which he 
tossed off at one gulp, and then replaced 
it on the table, smacking his lips with great 

‘*Durand had murder in his heart, but 
still managed to retain his composure, 
and continued to regard the wall and 
ceiling more attentively than ever. Oil- 
king returned to his position against the 
mantelpiece, and remained motionless for 
some time, the only sign that life still 
existed in his long, lean body being an 
occasional expectoration, which he directed 
noisily and with great accuracy at a 
certain spot in a far corner of the room. 
At last he broke the dead silence by 
turning round to Durand and addressing 

“« «Stranger, I guess you are the French 
officer who wants to deal in horses!’ 

‘Durand pretended not to hear, and 
stared steadily through the window at 
the dreary landscape outside. Oilking 
then laid his hand on the Major’s shoulder, 
and giving hima slight shake, repeated his 
question. This was beyond all endurance. 
Durand sprang up and roared out in very 
imperfect English— 


*** You are a clown and a barbarian!’ 

“Jonathan drew himself up and answered 

“* Stranger, I reckon if you repeat that 
you will quit this room through the 

“*You must give me satisfaction,’ 
stormed Durand, ‘for the gross insults 
you have offered me this evening.’ 

“*Jf that is all,’ remarked Oilking, as 
cool as ever, ‘I reckon you can start 
right in. Here is a bowie-knife and a 
revolver’—and so saying, he drew these 
weapons from his belt and laid them on 
the table; ‘if you have your shooting- 
iron and knife hendy, you can take your 
choice whether I shall show daylight 
through you, or rip your stomach up. The 
room is comfortable, and we can fix the 
matter nicely here.’ 

‘** Durand, in the meantime, had become 
somewhat calmer, and replied— 

“Vou will excuse me, but it is not 
customary in my country to fight locked 
up in a room without any witnesses. I 
will endeavour to find two seconds and 
send them to you; you can then arrange 
the terms of the duel together ; and when 
this has been done | am at your disposal.’ 

“‘ He then left the room and went straight 
to the proprietor of the hotel, whom he 
took into his confidence, requesting him 
at the same time to act as his second, and 
to see if he could find anyone willing to 
act in the same capacity for Mr. Oilking. 
The host was of the opinion that seconds 
were quite a superfluous luxury in a duel ; 
but as the Major seemed to lay a good 
deal of importance on this detail, he 
would do his best to satisfy him. The 
head waiter, in fact, could be utilised for 
this purpose, and for this additional call 
on the resources of the hotel he would 
undertake not to charge more than five 
dollars in the bill. Although Durand had 
only been a short time in America, he 
had had some experience of Yankee 
peculiarities, and the final stipulation of 
the hotel-proprietor did not astonish him 
as much as it might have done a complete 
stranger ; so he urged the host to find the 
head waiter, and to go, in company with 
him, to Mr. Oilking as soon as possible, 

to arrange the terms of the duel. He 
then retired to his room to await the 
result of the conference. In about an 
hour’s time, the host appeared again and 
informed him abruptly that the duel could 
under no circumstances take place for 
two days, that Oilking had _ chosen 
revolvers as the weapons, and that he— 
the host—would inform Durand in good 
time of the place appointed for the 
combat. -Durand went quietly to bed and 
slept excellently. 

“‘He remained in his room the whole 
of the next day, writing letters. Towards 
the middle of the day he went down- 
stairs to speak to the hotel - proprietor, 
but was informed that his second had left 
the town on the previous evening, and 
would not be back until late at night. As 
a matter of fact, the proprietor returned 
during the course of the afternoon, accom- 
panied by a troop of visitors, and the 
streets, which were usually so quiet at 
this time of the day, were alive with traffic— 
so much so that the Major, who slept by 
no means so soundly as on the previous 
night, was much disturbed by the rumbling 
of heavy vehicles and the loud conversation 
of people who gathered in knots. 

‘At length the eventful morning arrived. 
Durand rose early. About nine o’clock 
the hotel-proprietor and the head waiter 
entered his room and addressed him 

“** Major, are*y.ou ready ?’ 

“< Fea, 

““*Then come along.’ 

“The two then led the way downstairs, 
Durand following; and after they had 
passed through several by-streets, they 
arrived at a large square, in the middle 
of which the circus stood. The seconds 
marched up to a small door on one side of 
the building, opened it, and stepped into a 
dark, narrow passage, into which Durand 
rather hesitatingly followed them. The 
two seconds must have noticed this, for 
they each seized an arm of the astonished 
officer, and hurried rapidly forward through 
the gloom, until they reached another 
door, which they immediately flung open, 
and emerged into the arena of the circus. 
The seats and benches were thronged with 


hundreds of spectators, who burst into 
thundering applause on the appearance 
of Durand and his companion. Durand 
stood rooted to the spot in utter bewilder- 

“What is the meaning of this insane 
proceeding?’ he stammered, turning 
round to the host, who paid not the least 
attention to the question, but called out at 
the top of his voice— 

***Gentlemen, I have the honour to 
introduce to you the valiant and celebrated 
Major of the French Cuirassiers, M. 
Durand, who is the sole survivor of the 
glorious cavalry charge at Reichshoffen. 
He will shortly have the honour of ex- 
changing shots with a respected citizen 
of this town, Mr. Jonathan Oilking.’ 

“The applause broke out afresh, and in 
the same minute a door opened on the 
opposite side of the arena to that from 
which Durand had advanced, and Jonathan 
stalked in, clad in the costume of a Red 
Indian, accompanied by two friends. At 
last Durand guessed what all this signi- 
fied. Half choking with rage and excite- 
ment, he gave the hotel-proprietor, who 
was standing at his side, a violent blow in 
the chest, and rushed with the speed of 
lightning to the door through which he 
had entered, and disappeared through it 
a second later. You can easily guess 
now, gentlemen, what had occurred on 
the two preceding days. The appearance 
of the hotel- proprietor with Durand’s 
message furnished Oilking with a brilliant 
idea, and both agreeing that it was an 
excellent opportunity to do a stroke of 
business, they lost no time in dispatching 
a gang of workmen to patch up and 
repair, as well as they could by torch- 
light, the ricketty benches in the circus. 
They themselves took the train over to a 
large town, a. few miles distant, which was 
called Rome” 6r Paris—I really cannot 
recollect which—and as soon as they had 
arrived went to the offices of the two 
local papers and made arrangements 
for the insertion on the following day 
of flaring advertisements, in which the 
public were invited, for the moderate 
charge of two dollars per head, to 
witness a combat in which the ‘ renowned 


and valiant Major Durand of Paris’ 
would play a prominent part. Gigantic 
posters to the same effect were also 
ordered to be printed. They succeeded 
so well in their endeavours that one paper 
published a leading article on the charge 
at Reichshoffen, and the other a lengthy 
paragraph describing in glowing terms the 
heroism displayed by the Major during that 
battle, and even went as far as to express 
the wish that Durand would appear in the 
uniform which he wore on that historic 
occasion. Arrangements were made to run 
special trains over from Rome—or Paris— 
onthe following day to the small town where 
the unsuspecting Major was stopping, and 
hours before the appointed time for the 
combat every seat in the circus had been 
disposed of. 

‘“* Durand departed as quickly as he could 
from the neighbourhood, and declined to 
have anything more to do with the 
purchase of horses in Texas. Oilking 
and the hotel-proprietor, however, had 
anything but a pleasant time after the 
sudden disappearance of Durand from the 
arena. Some of the spectators laughed, 
some grumbled, others demanded their 
money back, and one section even insisted 
that a duel should take place at all hazards, 
and suggested that the hotel-proprietor 
would make a passable substitute for 
Durand; in fact, a tremendous uproar 
arose, and I have heard from reliable 
sources that the special correspondents 
who had hurried over from all the sur- 
rounding towns were enabled to fill the 
columns of their respective journals next 
day with graphic accounts of the shooting 
and stabbing which ensued.” 

Almost as the Englishman completed 
his story, the train commenced to slacken 
speed, and the guard, clambering along the 
footboards of the carriages, inserted his 
head throtigh the window, bawling out 
‘‘ Bruxelles.” The Americans, who had 
arrived at their destination, streamed out 
of the compartment, each exchanging, 
however, in turn, a hearty handshake with 
the Englishman, and calling back good- 
humouredly to him as they stood on 
the platform: ‘Well parried, Cousin 
Britisher !” 



F all the famous swords known to us 

in history’s page, two stand out 

most prominently in our country’s story 

First of all is the immortal “‘ Excalibur” 

of King Arthur; and second comes 

‘““Skrep,” the magic sword of Offa, the 

Saxon. These are the two most renowned 
weapons of early English history. 

Probably the tale of ‘“‘Skrep” should 
come first in point of time. ‘‘ Skrep” 
was covered with magic runes on its blade, 
just as so many swords of Arabs are to- 
day. The King of Sweden, so the story 
goes, had demanded of Wermund, King of 
Denmark, that he should give up some 
land, but Offa, the son of Wermund, 
resisted the claim, and fought for his 
father. Offa was supposed to be weak 
mentally, but physically was such a giant 
that, with the force of his blows, he broke 
in two every sword that he handled. Then 
Wermund recollected that he had heard 
of a magic sword called ‘‘ Skrep,” which 
was buried, and he caused search to be 
made for it. It was found, but was so 
rusty and fragile that Offa was afraid to 
use it for a long time lest it should break 
at once. In his duel with the King of 
Sweden’s champion, however, he was 
persuaded to try “ Skrep,” and so effective 
was the magic sword that it cut his 
antagonist clean into two pieces at the 
very first stroke made by Offa. Thus the 
legend of “‘ Skrep.” 

While our Anglo - Saxon forefathers 
told the famous tale of Offa’s magic sword, 
the Celtic race never failed to recount the 
marvellous stories of King Arthur’s even 
more celebrated weapon, “ Excalibur.” 
This sword has been the theme of story 

No. 204. September 1900 


and song right down our country’s history, 
from the early Breton legends to the 
charming account of Sir Thomas Malory 
in 1469, and thence onwards through 
Percy’s “ Reliques”—with their tales of 
the Knights of the Round Table—until 
our own days, when its greatest and most 
immortal extoller has arisen in the person 
of the late Lord Tennyson, with his beau- 
tiful “‘ Idylls of the King.” 

“Excalibur” was a sword of fate and 
prophecy Apart from the wonderful 
deeds it performed, to recount which we 
have not space here, it gained eternal 
renown from its mysterious disappearance, 
which presaged King Arthurs death. 
Malory tells this in a delightful chapter 
of his quaint book. The King had wished 
to know what was about to happen, and 
so gave “ Excalibur” to Sir Bedevere, his 
knight, with instructions to advance and 
throw the sword into a pool of water not 
far away, and watch what would appear. 
The knight took the weapon and went, 
but on the way, as he looked at the 
splendid pommel and haft, which were all 
encrusted with wonderful precious gems, 
and as he saw the shining blade of match- 
less steel, he was tempted to keep the 
sword by hiding it, and to tell Arthur a lie. 

So he hid ‘“ Excalibur” under a tree, 
and when he returned and said he had 
thrown the sword into the water, Arthur 
asked him what he saw then. Sir Bede- 
vere replied that he had seen nothing but 
waves. The King then accused him of 
lying, and ordered him to go again and 
not to fail to throw the sword in. He 
went, but when he looked at “* Excalibur,” 
as it lay in his hands, his heart rebelled 



yet at destroying such a beautiful weapon, 
and he put it down again in hiding and 
came back, saying he had really thrown it 
into the pool that time 

maintained that he 
had still not seen any- 
thing but waves and 
splashes, King Arthur 
got angry, and told 
him once more that 
he lied, threatening 
that if he did not 
immediately carry out 
his commands about 
the sword he would 
slay him. 

So Sir Bedevere re- 
turned, and this time 
he really did throw 
the famous blade into 
the water. And as it 
touched the surface, 
behold, there rose out 
of the water a hand 
and arm, which caught 
the sword and, waving 
it on high, shook it 
thrice, and then 
vanished with it into 
the water. And when 
Arthur heard of it, he 
knew it foretold his 
death. Thus. dis- 
appeared for ever 
from mortal ken the 
most wonderful sword 
of ancient days. 

But when he 


Although we cannot to-day display to 
admiring gazers the magic swords ‘‘Skrep”’ 
or ‘‘ Excalibur,” yet we have in England 
more than one sword which dates back to 

the days when Malory 
wrote his famous 
romance in the 
fifteenth century, and 
swords which have 
had striking histories 
The city of York has 
undoubtedly the doyen 
of these in its cele- 
brated ‘Sword of 
Sigismund,” which 
goes back, even in the 
account of the York 
municipality, to 1439, 
and which, therefore, 
such a traveller as 
Malory may have 
actually seen. This 
sword belonged to the 
Emperor Sigismund, 
and was his own usual 
weapon, so that it 
must be many years 
older than even 1439 
will allow for. The 
blade is four feet four 
inches long, and is 
two-edged. It is the 
largest of the city 
swords, and, after the 
death of Sigismund, it 
came into the posses- 
sion of a Knight of 

Photo. by Glastry, Yorx. 


the Garter, and was offered to Windsor 
Castle, St. George’s Chapel, for the repose 
of his soul. Thence it passed—how is not 
so clear as it might be—into the hands of 
the Corporation of York in the year stated, 
and with them it has 
been ever since. Luckily, 
although one or _ two 
famous swords that used 
to be its companions in 
that city have been lost 
or sold, this old relic has 
survived, and is yet in 
evidence. By the courtesy 
of the Lord Mayor and 
Corporation of York, the 
photograph here shown of 
the sword was specially 
taken for this article. 
Bristol must claim to 
have the sword which, 
still existing, ranks next 
to York’s ‘Sword of 
Sigismund” as being the 
oldest of famous swords 
in England. This is the 
“Lent” Sword, which 
curious title it derives 
from the fact that it is 
still carried before the 
Judges at the Lent assizes 
in the city. Bristol has 
four State swords, but 
this one is by far the 
most interesting. It has 
a straight two - edged 
blade, nearly forty inches 
long, with a guard and 
pommel of silver gilt, the 
grip being wrapped with 
silver wire. Two shields 
figure upon it, one having 
the royal arms, and the 
other the cross of St. 
George and the date 
1583. But this date is 
not to be taken as the date of the 
sword’s manufacture, for it is known to 
have been made about the year 1450. 
How Bristol got it, however, is not known. 
But the edge of the pommel contains an 
inscription which states that the sword was 



repaired in 1582, during the mayoralty of 
Thomas Aldworth. The scabbard is of 
black velvet covering, with silver - gilt 
decoration, and on the back of it are 
inscribed four verses from Romans xiii., 
beginning, “Let every 
soul be subject unto the 
higher powers” —a worthy 
and suitable motto for a 
sword, truly! 

There is yet in exist- 
ence an old print, taken 
from “ Ricart’s Calendar,” 
showing the sword-bearer 
of Bristol, bearing this 
sword, in the reign of 
Edward IV. He has on 
his “‘cap of maintenance,” 
which was made of grey 
squirrel’s fur, with rolled 
brim and loose crimson 
velvet crown. A unique 
picture, this, and one 
which we have to thank 
the Bristol City Treasurer 
for so kindly allowing us 
to use here, with the 
photograph of the “‘Lent” | 

After Bristol, it would 
seem that Exeter has the 
oldest celebrated sword. 
This is a specially in- 
teresting weapon in that 
it actually belonged to an 
English fighting monarch, 
and so may have probably 
done duty in one or more 
of the fierce battles of 
our country in those far- 
off days when the King 
himself fought in the van 
of his brave followers 
and subjects. Henry VII. 
visited Exeter after his 
suppression of the notori- 
ous Perkin Warbeck, and so pleased was 
he with the loyalty of the Exonians, and 
with the splendid reception they gave 
to him, that he unbuckled the sword off 
his side, and presented it to them there 
and then, with a proviso that it was to be 



made for it in 1634. The 
blade of the famous sword 
of Exeter is 37} in. in length, 
the pommel is silver gilt, and 
the scabbard is beautifully 
adorned with crimson velvet. 
Though there is no actual 
record of the fact, yet, as the 
sword was given to the city 
directly after Henry had 
driven Perkin Warbeck off the 
field of battle, it is most pro- 
bable that this was the very 
sword he used on that his- 
toric day. 

There are two State swords 
used by the City of London’s 
Chief Magistrate which can- 
not fail to be interesting in 
any account of our famous 
swords. They are both car- 
ried in civic processions, as 
is also the mace shown here 
in the photograph with them. 
This mace is so extremely 
heavy, being of solid silver, 
richly gilt, that it would be 
practically impossible for any 
ordinary man to carry it far 
in a walking procession; its 
bearer, therefore, always rides 
borne before the Mayor of the city on all with it when preceding the Lord Mayor. 
ceremonial occasions, which proviso is As to the swords themselves, that on 
still carried 
out. With it 
the King also 
gave a “‘cap 
of mainten- 
ance,” such 
as usually at 
that period 
was worn by 
the sword- 
bearer, and 
Exeter yet 
retains this 
also. It is 
of velvet 
wrought with 
gold, and is 
kept under a 

Se aes oe aS 



PGS Nos: SSS ante SS 



the right of the photograph is the cele- 
brated ‘‘ Pearl” Sword, so ealled from 
its rare decorative work and beautiful 
adognments on the hilt and scabbard. The 
prevailing colour of the latter is a pretty 
pale pink, inlaid with pearls, whose designs 
are extremely charming. This sword has 
been-in possession of the Corporation for 

idea of the real beauty of the weapon, 
lacking, as it naturally does, the charm 
of ever-varying colours and the glitter 
of gold and jewels. 

It that London’s famous 
swords, as kept by its Corporation, are so 
comparatively recent compared with some 
of those still retained by other munici- 

is strange 


about two centuries, and is kept in the 
treasure-house of the Lord Mayor of 
London, at the Mansion House, together 
with the rest of the insignia and plate of 

the City. The sword on the left of the 
photograph is always used when only 
one is required, as it is the State 
sword presented to the City by Queen 
Elizabeth. The lovely scabbard, with its 
alternate decoration of velvet and gold 
device, is finely shown in the picture; but 
the latter conveys only a very inefficient 

palities. But, of course, in their intrinsic 
worth and in their beauty they are second 
to none. 

Leaving municipal swords, which may 
be said to come abou. half-way or so 
between the ancient weapons of the Skrep 
and Excalibur type, and the latest famous 
swords of to-day, let us look at the cele- 
brated modern sword presented two years 
or so ago by the great artist, Professor 
Herkomer, to the National Eisteddfod of 
Wales. This sword is not marked by 


Splendid decorative work, as might be 
supposed from the profession of its donor, 
but is rather a strong example of a more 
severe design. Notice the curious hilt, 
which is two-handed, protected by 
large twisting handguards. Notice the 

great length of the sword—quite six feet. 
Here in its scabbard, its blade is not, of 
but its edge is double. 

course, visible ; 




The — scab- 
bard itself 
is also very 
plain. At 
the top of 
the hilt there 
is a figure of 
the Welsh 
dragon en- 
circling a 
crystal mass. 
The famous 
that this 
crystal is in- 
tended to 
and that the 
three sacred 
lines drilled 
into it are 
intended to 
the first 
attempt of 
man to write 
the word 
“ Jehovah.” 
The — scab- 
bard is of 
wood, to 
“yy enen,” | 
and the 
han d- | 
dragon, and 
handle are 
of wrought 
steel and copper, to typify “‘ War.” Pro- 
fessor Herkomer has kindly lent me, for 
this article, the photograph of the sword. 
The Welsh Eisteddfod is naturally very 
proud of the present thus made to it by the 
greatest of our artists of to-day, and the 
sword makes a notable show at each 
succeeding festival. 
The two next photographs shown must 
prove most interesting to all Englishmen, 



as they show the swords usually worn 
by two of Britain’s greatest Generals and 
two of her greatest sailors of the past. On 
one photograph is seen the sword of Oliver 
Cromwell. Its long straight blade, sharp- 
ened for action, and its strong hand-grasp, 
seem to be mute evidence of the famous 
Protector’s own character, even these many 
years after his time. There could be no 
hesitation, no half-measures, about the 
man who used such a weapon as that. 
Whether he 
were right or 
wrong in his 
opinions and 
actions, he 
might be re- 
lied upon to 
do his work 
with _ deter- 
mination and 
zeal. On the 
same photo- 
graph is 
shown the 
sword which 

was worn by 

the _—_ gallant 
Wolfe at 
Quebec, the 
sword that 
the French 
under Mont- 
calm knew so 
well. Notice 
the great 
between this 
weapon and 
Wolfe’s sword 
was short and 
small, almost 
simply a 
large straight 
dagger. After 
being taken 
from the side 
of the dead 
hero as he lay 
on the plains 
of Abraham, 



it was reverently 
treasured, and 
finally returned 
to his mother 
in her little 
Kentish village 
home. At her 
death she left it 
to Wolfe’s life- 
long friend and 
former school- 
fellow, the Hon. 
George Warde, 
Colonel of the 
4th Dragoon 
Guards; _ and, 
being inherited 
by that gentle- 
man’s nephew, 
it was finally 
lent to the 
Museum of the 
United Service 
Institution, in 
where it now is. 

The other 
picture shows 
the swords of 
two great 
and Captain 
Cook. The fine 
sword of Eng- 
land’s greatest 
Admiral is that 
which he wore 
when boarding 
the San Josef, 
and is a sword 
for both use and 
ornament. There are several of Nelson’s 
swords in existence; but probably this 
one is as good an example and as in- 
teresting in its history as any of them. 
Cook’s sword may rightly be set beside 
that of his almost contemporary rival 
for fame upon the sea, even if it were 
fame of a different kind. The celebrated 
Yorkshireman who first discovered for 
Britons, and explored to some extent, the 
great Southern land which is now Australia, 



must always be a remarkable figure in the 

history of his times. 

And then we give an Illustration of the 

one of our successful Generals. 



last sword we shall speak of was a gift 


sword of the famous Tippoo Sahib, the 
Sultan of Mysore, who was killed at 
the siege of Seringapatam, 

a century ago. This 
curved sword is a 
remarkable one, its 
hilt being richly 
strewn with emeralds 
and rubies enough 

to make an ordinary 
person wealthy for a 

lifetime. It may be 
seen in the museum 
before’mentioned, and 
for permission to 
photograph it and 
the others here we 
are much ‘indebted to 
the courteous secre- 

As a contrast to 
these several swords 
already mentioned, 
ancient,. municipal, 
celebrated owing to 
former ownership or 
giver, let us in con- 
clusion look at one 
of the most recent 
of famous _ swords, 
the weapon presented 
by a grateful and 
admiring county to 

just over 



to Sir Archibald Hunter by the many 

proud admirers and 
countrymen of his in 
his native county of 
Ayrshire, after the 
close of the late 
Egyptian War by the 
successful battles of 
Atbara and Omdur- 
man. It was pre- 
sented to him at a 
public meeting in 
Ayr, in February 
1899, amidst many 
tokens of goodwill 

and pride by his fellow-Ayrshiremen. 
The sword, which was made by the 
celebrated firm of Messrs. Wilkinson, in 

Pall Mall, is richly 
covered, as far as 
its scabbard and hilt 
are concerned, with 
gold decorative 
work— pure gold of 
22 carats. It is a 
sword to be used 
as well as to wear. 
Its blade-steel is of 
the highest quality, 
and if the sword 
lacks the gems and 
stones of some pre- 
sentation swords, it 
is perhaps more satis- 
factory to Sir Archi- 
bald to know that 
the sword is not a 
plaything only. How 
excellent are all its 
parts and manufac- 
ture may be gauged 
from the fact that it 
cost over £250, A 
fair price for a sword 
of to-day, when a 
good cavalry - sword 
can be bought for fifty 
shillings.—G. A. W. 

and cried, 

‘He passes to be King among the dead’ 
dn nyson. 



HE whole subject of serpent lore, as 
known to the ancients, is well set 
forth in the “ Pharsalig” by Lucan, who 
describes every soref horror in the 
sensational style of the penny dreadful ; 
indeed, to those whose tastes that 
way lie,-the proceedings of the Thes- 
salian witch Erichtho may confidently 
be recommended for gruesome reading. 
The wretched Murrus pierces a basilisk 
with his spear, but swift as thought the 
deadly venom flies along the weapon and 
fastens on his hand, which he instantly 
hews off with the other hand as his sole 
chance of safety. The ‘“ Seps,” with its 
barbed tooth, turns the body of Sabellius 
into a mass of living putrefaction ; and as 
for the “‘jaculus,” that killed another of 
Cato’s unfortunate soldiers by hurling itself 
at him from the bough of atree: “it was 
then understood how slowly flies the stone 
from the sling, how sluggishly whizzes the 
Scythian arrow.” Describing the terrible 
march of the remnant of Pompey’s forces 
under Cato, and the horrors of the Libyan 
desert, their first gleam of fortune shone 
upon them when they arrived among the 
Psylli, who appear to have been a philan- 
thropic race, eminently skilled in ambu- 
lance work and first aid to the wounded. 
Living in a country swarming with the 
most deadly snakes, these men, never- 
theless, were poison-proof; nay, more, a 
snake, if it bit a native, could not survive— 
The man recovered of the bite, 
The snake it was that died. 
From earliest infancy the young Psyllian 
enjoyed this immunity, the existence of 
which was held to be an unfailing test of 
legitimacy, for newly born babes were 
exposed in places where these ophidia did 


congregate; if the infants remained un- 
touched by them, well and good; if not— 
the sad inference was obvious. When Cato’s 
harassed troops arrived, the first proceeding 
on the part of the amiable natives was to 
exorcise all the reptiles within the pre- 
cincts of the camp and trenches, which 
they accomplished by means of suitable 
charms and incantations. This done, they 
lit fires of pungent herbs, tamarisk, 
larch, and southernwood, as a preventive 
measure, to keep the camp safe at night. 
If any happened to be bitten, notwith- 
standing these precautions, their “ pallid 
wounds” were anointed with saliva, and 
the poison extracted by suction; palates 
of such refined delicacy had, they that 
by the mere taste of the poison they 
could name the snake by which the wound 
had been inflicted. It is comforting to 
learn that, relieved by this aid, the Roman 
youth could then wander far and wide into 
the glowing fields. The Psylli, according 
to Herodotus, came to a sad end, at least 
the greater part of them, for a remnant 
survived till Pliny’s day. The south wind, 
that “‘ Dux inguielt turbidus Adria,” had 
blown for a long time, and occasioned a 
water-famine ; so with one consent they 
made war upon the south wind , but it 
rose up in its wrath and buried them under 
heaps of sand, whereupon another nation 
divided their substance. Asingularinstance 
of gratitude for favours conferred by the 
wind is reported by Alian; the ‘‘ Northren 
winde” brought disaster on an expedition 
of Dionysius against the Thurians, who, 
to show their appreciation, gave it a house 
to dwell in, and conferred upon it the 
freedom of their city. Pausanias says the 
same of the Megalopolitans. It has been 


suggested that the snake-charmers of 
Barbary may be the modern representatives 
of the Psylli. 

The Agipani were, as the name implies, 
of the satyr species, half man, half goat. 
Their local habitation was Mount Atlas, 
where they held diabolical orgies by night. 
While by day no vestige of any mortal was 
ever to be seen, when darkness arrived 
fires innumerable were lit upon the moun- 
tain, which “‘ resoundeth with the noyse of 
hautboies, pipes and fifes, and ringeth 

againe with the sound of tabers, timbrels 
and cymbales.” ‘‘ This is what authors of 
high character have stated,” the obvious 
inference being that it must be true. Pos- 
sibly the tribe retired into caves and holes 
during the daytime, on account of the 
“‘ agilitie of the sun’s fierie heat,” emerging 
after sundown to hold their junketings in 
the cool of the evening. 

The Atlantes, according to Mela, had 
lost all characteristics of humanity; they 
had no distinguishing names for each 
other; they never had dreams; they 
cursed the sun at its rising and setting, as 
being deadly to themselves and their lands. 


Herodotus calls this tribe Atarantians, and 
Leo Africanus mentions that the Bornous 
have no names for one another, being dis- 
tinguished only by their personal appear- 
ance; tall, as the case might be, or “old, 
short and fat,” to quote the terms in which 
the turnpike-keeper apostrophised the 
retreating chaise which contained Messrs. 
Wardle and Pickwick; they were recog- 
nised, in short, by any physical peculiarity. 
Others, again, had feet resembling thongs, 
upon which they moved with a serpentine 

ad Se sd <oi 

eS =e 

kind of gait; some had the feet of horses, 
some such “‘ mighty great eares” that they 
covered the whole body, thus dispensing 
with the necessity of further raiment. 
Some, again, had no mouths, “living only 
on air; no meat nor drink they take, 
only pleasant savours from divers roots, 
floures, and wilde fruits, and yet if the 
sent be anything strong and stinking, they 
are soone therewith overcome and dy 
withal.” We read of men who are 
** hidouse to loken on, for thei ben horned, 
and thei speken nought, but gronten, as 
Pygges” ; and of the Monoskelli, or Skia- 
podes, who “han but o foot, and thei gon 


so fast that is marvaylle, and the foot is so 
large that it schadewethe alle the body 
azen the sonne, whanne they wole lye and 
reste hem.” 

Life in tropical climates has some pro- 
verbial disadvantages ; and if the modern 
traveller is apt to find his boot tenanted 
by the wandering scorpion, or to share his 
bed with sesquipedalian centipedes, so 
were these aboriginals ‘ pestred with 
elephants,” for their ‘‘ forrests were re- 
plenished with numbers of wilde beestes,” 
or, to take the case of the Fortunate 
Islanders, ‘‘ were much annoied with great 
whales, that are daily cast upon the shore, 
and putrifie like carrion.” 

The Hyperboreans (to leave the tropics) 
lived to an extreme old age sheltered in 
the Riphzan mountains; no strife nor 
discord nor sickness was theirs, and their 
euthanasia is thus described : ‘“‘ They never 
die, but when they have lived long enough, 
for when the aged men have made good 
cheere, and annointed their bodies with 
sweet oyntments, they leap from off a 
certain rock into the sea; theis kind of 
sepulture is of all others most happy.” 
To his Hyperborean extraction must be 


due the vitality of the High Priest and 
oracle of Golf, the Abaris of the nine- 
teenth century, Tom Morris, who, as Mr. 
Andrew Lang tells us, never grows old, nor 
does he take odds from anyone. 
Appropriate reference may be made to 
Munster’s “Demons of Cathay”: that 
guileless author urgently warns travellers 
(viatoribus summe cavendum est) of the 
dangers awaiting them should any lag 
behind his companions and lose sight of 
them in the fastnesses of mountain and 
forest. For the solitary wayfarer would 
be addressed by name in the simulated 
tones and voices of his companions, in 
whose neighbourhood he imagined himself 
to be; this being the ingenious device of 
the evil creature to lure him to destruction 
withal. On occasions an instrumental 
concert would be heard (concertus music- 
orum instrumentorum), but more often a 
sound of drums. 
Possibly Munster may have had a lurk- 
ing idea that some of his tales were of the 


kind provided for the entertainment of 
the marines, for, in his remarks about the 
celebrated barnacle goose, after the usual 


description of that wondrous fowl, he 
hastens to assure his readers that it is no 
mere romancing on the part of modern 


authors, but that the subject has been dealt 
with by others, notably by Saxo Gram- 

maticus. He then proceeds to quote, 
without comment, the dry remark of 
fEneas Sylvius (afterwards Pius II.): 

“When we came more particularly to 
investigate the matter, while guests at 
the Court of King James, a man of 
ordinary stature but very obese, we found 
that this miracle receded ever further 
and further into the distance, and that 
the celebrated tree was not to be dis- 
covered at all in Scotland proper, but 
in the Orkney Islands.” This descrip- 
tion of James I. of Scotland (multéd 
pinguedine gravis) gave much offence, but 
the elegant Vatican scholar had had, in 
common phrase, a very rough time of it. 
To begin with, he had been nearly ship- 
wrecked, and in fulfilment of a vow of 
thanksgiving for his escape, had made a 
ten-mile pilgrimage barefoot over ice and 
snow to the shrine of Whitekirk, in the 

neighbourhood. of North Berwick. He 
thought but little of the natives, or of their 
country, between which and his own sunny 
Italy he drew most unflattering com- 

Exigencies of space preclude the present 
writer from entering into the subject of 
sea-monsters as known to legend: the 
curious Remora, Norway whales, sea- 
serpents, and the rest of them, about 
which Olaus Magnus, Pontoppidan, and 
others discourse, as the journalist is wont 
to observe, ‘“‘ with much acceptance,” not 
unaccompanied by many remarkable illus- 
trations. We pass, therefore, to another 
form of myth—the marriage of fairies 
with mortals. 

Needles and pins, needles and pins, 
When a man marries his trouble begins, 

says the old saw, and certainly if marriage 
is not now to be enterprised or taken in 
hand lightly, still less were the heroes 
and heroines of legend justified in entering 
its bonds without some preliminary ex- 
amination of the consequences, which, 
be sufficiently 

indeed, were likely to 



momentous. Thus, of those compact of 
more than common clay, as the Valkyrie, 
if one of them married a mortal, then 
farewell to all her power. Sigrun (daughter 
of King Hogni), who wedded Helga, is a 
case in point. Marriage then was for 
weal or woe, for better or worse, not by 
any means a matter of dull, colourless 
routine. Paracelsus, again, peoples deserts, 
woods, seashores, rivers — in fact, all 

available space—with nixies, “ lemures,” 
goblins, and monsters; explaining that 


they had formerly been mortals who were 
seized by Satan on account of their sins, 
and transformed into these fantastic 
shapes. They had, according to him, no 
‘spiritual principle; but to any nymph 
or sprite who should persuade a mortal 
man to marry her a soul would be 
restored. On this idea is founded La 
Motte Fouqué’s well-known romance 
“Undine.” Most prolific of marvel- 
mongers is Gervase of Tilbury, who pro- 
fesses a deeply grounded belief in the 
reality of men without heads, lamia, 
dragons, and in every kmd of monstrosity. 


He gives currency to the tale of a knight 
finding a lovely fairy in a meadow, and pro- 
posing matriage to her; which proposal 
she accepts, but on one condition only. 
So long as this condition was observed all 
went well with the soldier; but just as in 
Apuleius’ beautiful allegory Psyche fell 
a victim to her curiosity, just as Elsa 
lost Lohengrin after putting the forbidden 
question, so did our knight break the 
taboo, and, drawing aside the curtain 
which veiled the bath, surprised the 
occupant “frustrate of garments,” who 
straightway turned into a serpent—and 
disappeared. From this moment the 
knight’s fortunes began to wane; the lady 
was never seen again, nor heard, except 
sometimes at night, when she came to 
visit her children; on these occasions the 
nurses would hear her, but never catch 
sight of her (nufricibus audientibus, sed ab 
ejus aspectu semper arctatis). Taking this 
story as his text, and avowing—honest 
man—his implicit belief in all travellers’ 
tales, John of Arras proceeds to give us 
a delightful romance, ‘‘ Mélusine,” which 
accounts for the origin and fortunes of 
the house of Lusignan. The castle itself 
was ‘‘ bylded and made of a woman of the 
Fayrie,” Mélusine, on her marriage with 
Raymondin. It is her sad destiny to 
suffer the punishment to which she had 
been condemned by her mother, the 
working out of which destiny in harmony 
with the prophecy is the central idea of the 
romance. Mélusine was the daughter of 
King Elynas of Albany and his second 
wife Pressyne, who married him on one 
condition, which her stepson, who dislikes 
her, induces his father to break, albeit 
unwittingly. Pressyne thereupon leaves 
him, taking her-three daughters with her to 
Avalon, the Isle Lost, where, in answer to 
Mélusine’s question as to what their 
father had done to bring on them this 
“‘greef and sorow,” she tells the story 
of his broken promise. Thereupon the 
sisters concoct and carry out a deed 
of darkness; imprisoning their sire in 
a high mountain called Brombaloys, in 

This part of the story seems a little 
vague as to detail; why did his Majesty 


not resist, one wonders, or call to his aid 
some of his numerous retainers; or how 
was he decoyed to his prison? But 
perish all sceptics! John of Arras believed 
all Ae read in Marco Polo and the rest of 
them, and we must not be too closely 
critical. However that may be, Pressyne, 
as well she might, disapproved, and thus 
she spoke for doom, pronouncing the fate 
of Mélusine, who was the ringleader of 
the plot : “‘ Fro hens fourth on I give to the 
the gyfte that thou shalt be every Satirday 


finds Mélusine near the Fountain of Soyf 
(each of these little affairs seems to begin 
near a fountain); she is much friendly, 
gives him two magic rings, and asks him 
to marry her—on the condition above set 
forth, He agrees, promising to keep 
the compact; whereupon the necessary 
ceremonies are performed by a “‘ bysshop 
that wedded them and songe masse before 
them ” ; furthermore, this prelate hallows 
the wedding bed, with, however, as it 
might seem, rather indifferent success. 


turned into a serpent ffo the nauyll doun- 
ward, but yf thou find ony man that wil 
take the to hys wyf, and that he wil 
promyse to the that never on the Satirday 
he shall see the, thou shalt lyve thy cours 
naturell, and shall dey as a naturel and 
humayn woman.” Ifthe husband 7# posse 
break his promise she must return to 
her punishment, and “ abyde thereinne 
unto the tyme that the right high Jugge 
shal hold his jugement.” To the two 
younger sisters were allotted punish- 
ments which need not here be specified. 
Raymondin now comes on the scene, and 
‘during a ‘“‘wildbore” hunt in Poitiers, 

Ten sons were born to their parents, but 
few of them can have been of prepossess- 
ing exterior, for almost all were afflicted 
with some sort of blemish not usually 

common to mankind. Thus Urian, the 
eldest, had ears like a fan, had one eye 
red and the other blue ; another had only 
one eye, but the general average of visual 
power was restored by the eighth son, 
who had three. Froimond had a tuft 
of hair on the end of his nose, while 
Geoffrey, who, after Raymondin, may be 
regarded as the hero, a slayer of giants 
and generally first-class warrior, had 
a great tooth which protruded more 



than an inch out of his mouth. After the 
narration of various adventures by Ray- 
mondin and his sons, mainly of a crusading 
nature, wherein “‘ Saracyns are brent and 
bruyled,” the story reaches its climax. 
Raymondin yields to the tempter, the Earl 
of Forest, his brother. Approaching the 
bath-chamber on a Saturday, he pierces a 
hole in the door and sees Mélusine ‘ fro 
the nauel downwards in lykenes of a 
grete serpent, the tayll as thykk as a 
barell,’” and so long that it touched 
“‘the rouf of the chambre that was right 
hye.” His remorse now is exceedingly 
ouching; for he was devotedly attached 
to his wife and she to him; but she must 
“dree her weird.” ‘‘ Transfigured lyke a 
serpent grete and long in xv, foote of 
length,” she flies through the window and 
disappears, lost for ever to Raymondin, 
who ultimately betakes himself to a 
monastery and there dies. Mélusine con- 
tinues to haunt Lusignan, in her “‘ fourme 
serpentous,” even after the castle has 
passed into the possession of other 
owners—in support of which statement 
is adduced the testimony of Ivon of Wales 
and other credible eye-witnesses, all of 
whom depose to having seen a “ horrible 
great serpent” upon the battlements of 
the donjon. 

Such, in skeleton outline, is the story 
told by John of Arras, whose romance 
is filled in with many interesting details 
impossible to reproduce within the 

limits of a brief article. His work 
was undertaken at the instance of the 
Duke of Berry, who, by conquest, had 
acquired the ownership of Lusignan 
Castle. John of Arras was in the Duke’s 
service in some official capacity, and had 
access to his library; he declares his 
romance to be founded on old chronicles, 
and he also embodies local traditions on 
the subject. The castle itself was founded 
in the tenth century, and was razed in 
1569, after its capture by the Huguenots. 

The.widespread belief in tales of this 
description, the sober earnest in which a 
kindred belief in the existence of ‘‘ incubi 
and succubi” was maintained, is indeed 
sufficiently striking. The “ Malleus Male- 
ficarum,” hammer for witches, of Friar 
Jacob Sprenger, “‘the most portentous 
monument of superstition the world has 
produced,” and ‘the infamous Bull of 
Innocent VIII.” sent tens of thou- 
sands of poor wretches to excruciating 
torture and death upon this count alone. 
One is confronted with the subject at 
every turn; Michael Psellus the Byzantine, 
Reginald Scot, John Wierus, and scores 
of others, give ‘expression to their respec- 
tive beliefs on the subject, with reasons 
for the faith that was in them. Tis queer 
reading, in sooth, as showing the un- 
fathomable depths of human credulity, 
though, for that matter, they are still 
unplumbed in our “ so-called nineteenth