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the lowly duties whose sum makes life beautiful, the ancient mansion became a paradise of order, and incredulous visitors looked wonderingly upon these rosycheeked workers, these fairy cooks, chamber-maids, and laundresses, to whom their ever-changing tasks seemed like a merry game devised for their sole amusement, and life's cruel "Do not " magically changed to "Do."
But how fares Annette the while? and in this new existence does she never miss the gipsy-like wanderings that had been one of the few charms of the circus? Her raven hair that once fell in ripples to her waist is growing long again and luxuriant; but for the sealed eyelid, and the seamed and disfigured cheek, there is no concealment except the hand with which she hides them-a motion so unconsciously pathetic that, as he talks to her of her future, the Doctor never sees it unmoved. With intense satisfaction he notices that look passing from her face which belongs only to a kicked and beaten dog, and her first greeting to every frightened new-comer is, "They don't whip you here!" He was particularly anxious that her former life should remain unknown to her little companions, and be forgotten even by herself, and eagerly she promised to forget gratitude made it so easy to please him, her best if not her only friend. Poor Annette! she could not realise til long after that the flowers which unfold and yield their perfume only in the night are more deadly because of the darkness, and in her heart former years had dropped the seeds of poisonous remembrance which sprung suddenly into blossom, only to sting her cruelly when she uprooted it with shame and penitent tears.
Tired with their play at the close of a frosty day in the fall, the trooping children seated themselves before the laundry fire to sing. It was a favourite amusement, and their voices grew softer and fainter as the twilight deepened and the long shadows flickered on the walls. They had no light but the glowing fire in which they fancied a fairy world, when they were startled by merry music, clear and sweet, beneath the window. It was a band of wandering musicians, playing with might and main. Annette, who had long been silent, sprang to her feet like the war-horse who scents the
battle. Gathering up her skirts, and flinging her long hair behind her, she bounded into the middle of the room, and there before the wondering children she whirled round in the dance as she had done in the days when she wore a spangled gauze dress, and heard the applause of the motley audience in the canvas tent.
The spirit was upon her as the familiar music arose upon the frosty air; she saw nothing and remembered nothing but the passion of the moment, and her feet flew faster than they had ever done in childish frolic. She was no longer a child; a wild longing took possession of her. Oh, for her horse! She must have one leap before the strain ceased. Hastily dragging two chairs back to back, she went flying over them as if she had wings, and ianding on her feet, the central figure in the fiery glow, her hair unbound, her cheeks crimson, her heart panting for her ancient freedom, beheld among her astonished audience the Doctor. He had seen it all, and understood it, as he held baby Bessie by the hand, and, ah! the grieved look with which he turned away! To him the scene was an exquisitely painful one, unveiling as it did the scars, not alone on the cheek, but on the womanly soul as well. Even the bright-eyed little trot by his side saw the unusual expression upon his face, and lisped, half-coaxingly, half-questioningly, "But I'm a dood dirl; Bessie is dood," so well she knew that some one was not good. He stooped and kissed her, and without a word strode away into the darkness. As for Annette, was there ever remorse and shame and penitence like hers? Passionate exhilaration changed by a look to blackest despair, and wild exultation to bitter mortification that knows not where to hide its head. He had gone out into the darkness, and, thankful for the night, she flew after him, pursuing him through the long hall and out into the street. "Come back! come back!" she entreated, weeping. "Come back and forgive me. The music made me forget you; but, oh, I'd rather be tramped to death by the horses than have you look at me like that!"
Gravely he retraced his steps, holding her by the hand, and standing once more in the hall, he said, in a tone whose sadness pierced her soul as no rebuke could
ever have done: "What have I to forgive, poor little one? I cannot even blame you. I am only grieved that the innocent memory of a child should hold such scenes within it. You have not wronged me, Annette, though I had hoped, while helping you in this". touching lightly with his finger the scarred cheek which in her agitation she had forgotten to hide-" that the harm had sunk no deeper, for I would give much to wipe away for you that miserable past."
After that could she ever forget again? No; in that bitter hour the book was shut and the seal was set: she never opened it again. "After all," thought the Doctor, in his homeward walk, "it is just as well that it happened, for she has seen herself, as one startled by a lightning flash sees every object in a dark room, and the shock will work a quicker and more effectual cure than time's slower process would have done;" and he was right. When at eighteen she left her home with Mother Mein, to whom she had been as a beloved daughter, it was to gratify the most ardent desire of her heart, and take her place at Miss Margaret's right hand, her faithful and most trusted servant. They taught her to "make drudgery divine," and no task could be too lowly to perform for those who had given her all the happiness and peace her life had ever known. It is many years since I first saw her keeping steadfast watch beside the two who had been her guardian angels, and if upon
A TRAVELLER Tunis
Miss Margaret she bestows a grateful affection, I fancy I see another, a deeper feeling in the light upon her quiet face as we listen to the Doctor's dissertations by the library fire, and that there is another reason besides the scars why she will never leave them and go out into the world. She has the look of one who in the very morning of life has seen the future unrolled as a scroll, and knows that whatever else may be denied, or whatever changes may befall, while he lives fate cannot banish her from her place at his feet, and that is gladness enough for her. His hair is whitening, and Miss Margaret's step is not so brisk as it was in years gone by, but when a garrulous friend regrets aside that they never married, this brother and sister, Annette speaks up, with a spark of jealous fire in her tone, and makes reply: "But I am glad! No children born to them could call them more blessed or love them half so well as those they snatched from ruin."
And is it all a myth, the House Beautiful, the Silver-Voiced, and the happy children? Nay; there stands the school, firm on its foundations, where little ones are carefully trained to intelligent household service; but its beneficent work, its utmost capacity, is but a drop in this great ocean, while thousands of children fill the almshouses, the prisons, the houses of refuge, or wander homeless in the streets. It seems that with our light, and before the dawning of the new century, we might do better.
Editor's Easy Chair.
given some account of a visit he paid to the little English graveyard, where during the past two hundred years those foreigners who have ended their days in that far-off country have been laid to rest. Nature is kind in the tropics, and has strewn roses and myrtle over those lonely graves with lavish and impartial hand. Many English Consuls are buried there, and the wives of some of them, and there are little graves of English children who died without ever knowing their mother-country. Then there are the graves of "merchant adventurers" of the last century, who, as our author says, must have had stout hearts when they came to these piratical shores in search of fortune. All that is left of them now, he tells us, is
inscription, here and there, telling
how they feared God and honoured the King." The burial-ground is but a small place, though it has been there so longhalf an acre, perhaps, in extent and the entrance is by a vaulted archway, the gate of which is always kept locked to guard against outrage, while on all sides are the high walls and barred windows of the Arab houses. In this melancholy spot there was one special grave to which every English and American visitor turned with peculiar interest. The visitor from whom we have quoted, Mr. Wemyss Reid, places it before us in a few graphic words: "There was a plain stone slab, surrounded by a little bed of heliotrope and dwarf roses, and it bore an inscription telling how beneath it lay Colonel John
Howard Payne, a citizen of the United States Tree," composed and partly founded upon a of America,' and how this monument had Sicilian air by Henry R. Bishop." But Payne's been erected by his grateful fellow-country-name is not even mentioned. Clari, the Maid men in honour of the author of Home, Sweet Home."
Thirty years have passed since, by strange irony of Fate, the dust of John Howard Payne was buried on the shore of Africa, thousands of miles from the home he loved, and not until this year have his countrymen seen fit to pay the honour that was due to his memory by transferring his ashes to America. This tardy duty has at last been performed. One spring day a few weeks ago, a steamer from Europe moving slowly up the bay of New York was greeted by flags at half-mast on the Battery and Governor's Island. At the landing a deputation of citizens was waiting to receive a coffin covered with the flag of the United States, and conduct it to the Governor's room of the City Hall, funereally draped for its reception, where it lay in solemn state. Next morning, while flags still hung at half-mast, the coffin was borne in sad array" through the streets, while a military band played" Home, Sweet Home," and with its guards and attendants set forward on its journey towards the national capital. For a day John Howard Payne was the topic of the press. The story of his life was told in all the newspapers, and it has the pathos which so often surrounds the tale of an actor's career.
Payne was a boy prodigy upon the stage, but not a remarkable actor in his maturity. Then he was a manager, a writer and adapter of plays, a "general utility" man in translating and arranging. He lost money as a manager, and was imprisoned in London. He opened his prison door with a successful translation, played Richard the Third for a few nights, and left the stage. Then he sent some plays in manuscript to Charles Kemble, and among them was Clari, and if Kemble would give him £50 he would have Bishop arrange the play with music for the stage. Kemble sent the money; Bishop arranged the music; Ellen Tree's sister sang it.
One song in it melted the heart of London and of the world, and the plaintive melody is everywhere familiar, and everywhere its tender pathos invests with affectionate regard the name of John Howard Payne.
It was in Italy that he heard the melody sung by a peasant girl carrying flowers and vegetables. The wandering Goldsmith might have heard it, and trilled it at twilight from his flute; for it is the very pensive motive of the "Deserted Village.' To the loitering playwright the melody suggested the words which he has associated with it, and jotting down the notes of the air, he sent both words and music to Bishop, who duly arranged them, and after the immediate and great success of the song, it was published as sung by Miss Tree," sister of Ellen
of Milan, was the rage. For many years it was often sung, and its performance is a pleasant reminiscence of theatre-goers of thirty and forty years ago. Payne continued to write tragedies and comedies, operas and farces, and in 1832 he returned to America. A complimentary benefit was given to him at the Park Theatre, which produced seven thousand dollars. "And Mr. Jones," says a recent report--" whoever Mr. Jones wassang 'Home, Sweet Home."" Alas! here again is the untoward fate of the actor"whoever Mr. Jones was." Why, sir, Mr. Jones was long the dulcet tenor of the old Park, and in the English version of Masaniello his singing of the aria, "Morning its sweets is flinging," was the delight of the lovely belles of long ago, whose grandchildren are the matrons of to-day.
For ten years Payne led the same Bedouin life, full of literary and humane and romantic projects, but he never again wrote or did anything memorable. In 1843 he was appointed Consul at Tunis, where in 1852, "an exile from home," he died. There is an inevitable melancholy in the impression of such a life, yet it is not clear that Payne was especially unhappy. But he was always a rover and was never married, and often knew the pinch of poverty. After thirty years Mr. Corcoran, of Washington, who personally knew him, obtained permission to remove his remains, and in June they will be laid finally in Oak Hill Cemetery, near Washington.
Except for his one song the name of Payne would be preserved only in biographical dictionaries and in some perishing traditions of the theatre. But his song is that one touch of nature which makes the world kin. It is the frailest thread of which fame was ever spun. For the poetry is but a rude expression of a common sentiment, and it would hardly have aroused attention except for the pathetic melody to which it was adapted. That touches every hearer, as it touched Payne when he heard it sung by the Italian girl. He vindicated his claim to the name of poet by his perfect interpretation of the sentiment of the music. It was in the year that he died that New York heard Jenny Lind sing his song. There was a simple, honest, generous peasant air in her aspect, and when her marvellous voice broke into a ringing shower of limpid trills in
"The birds singing gayly that come at my call," it was as if all the birds of spring warbled together, or a choir of larks sang at heaven's gate.
There are a hundred monuments of distinguished men in Washington who were very conspicuous, and some of whom performed great and memorable services. But no monument there will be visited by a greater throng
of pilgrims, and no memory will appeal more tenderly to all of them, than those of the wide-wandering actor who lived and died alone, and of whom nothing is remembered but that he wrote one song.
THE Easy Chair receives many friendly letters, sometimes criticising what it says, sometimes asking advice, sometimes suggesting a fruitful text. Many of the letters are anonymous, and many are signed by the writers. But they do not always require a reply, and many of them do not wish one. The Chair finds in them many a useful as well as kind word, and often a question which it cannot
It is one of the privileges and rewards of such a post as that of the Chair that it establishes a certain intimacy of relation with unknown friends, which enables it to receive from them what could be intrusted only to personal confidence. This relation is one of the most gratifying and touching possible. "He spake to my condition" is a consciousness which justifies intimacy; and if the poet be truly defined as he who says adequately what all men feel, why should not all men claim the right to speak to their interpreter ?
Long ago, on a perfect June morning, in the forest of Fontainebleau, two young men sat under the trees, one industriously sketching, while the other read aloud the "Pippa Passes" of Browning. "What would you not give," said the reader, as he paused, to his comrade, "to write a book which two youths unknown to you should read with delight in a distant land, and with a sense of personal gratitude?" If that be the last infirmity of a noble mind, surely it is the noblest weakness known to humanity. To make unknown friends-friends so true that they naturally pour out to you their private thoughts and wishes and purposes and struggles, asking your sympathy, your counsel, or at least some word of recognition, and to do all this with honest naturalness and simplicity is to become conscious of a pleasing but important responsibility.
But Dr. Holmes wisely reminds the reader that the kind of relation between him and the author must be determined by the author. He is under no obligation to make any response whatever, to answer any question, still less to sacrifice his time or to forego his tasks in order to gratify the curiosity of his reader. Dr. Holmes holds him even absolved from writing an autograph unless the request be accompanied by a card, and a stamped and addressed envelope. Tennyson is said to have changed his abode to escape his worshippers. Longfellow received them all with sublime patience. Greeley secluded himself for work in a retreat to which only a few intimate friends had the clue, and many a busy man of letters finds himself driven to the same kind of defence.
It is undoubtedly true that the author has in a certain way invited this confidence by appealing to the sympathy of the reader, and although he may justly say that he has given all that he chooses to give of himself to the world, he cannot expect to elude the law which draws us to those who charm us. The author himself, whoever he may be, has felt this attraction. He, too, has been thrall to some sweet enchanter. He has paid his homage in some one of the ways in which it is paid to him. He cannot therefore put aside as impertinent the confidence which would not have been offered him if he had not won it, especially when it is thought that the confidence may be made useful to others, and it is precisely such a confidence which has served the Easy Chair for its present text.
A New England girl writes that while still a child she taught a district school, supporting herself and helping the other children, devoting the evenings to drawing. Her hope was especially to aid her second sister, and to be able to take lessons in drawing and painting. But her school salary was very small, and it was long-how very long it seemed!-before she could feel that she could honourably begin to study art under a teacher. The way to the artist's studio was long, and in winter it was very hard. But time pressed, and when a year was passed the artist with ready and eloquent tongue persuaded her that she should give her life to the study and practice of painting. The advice was kindly meant, and the study went on, but alone now, for the money was gone. The artist criticised the work, and at last the pupil sold some little flower pieces, and then painted "mats" for photographs, and then the artist teacher went to Europe, and there was no more criticism.
The work was not pastime, for the pay was the sole support of father, mother, and brother, besides herself. Sickness came, and barely could the painter support herself. Then she went to the great city, where her work was praised, and not sold. There were many and grievous vexations. The exhibitions did not accept her proffered works. A lady well-to-do sent some sketches to a dealer; they were accepted, and the lady was paid. But the works offered to the same dealer by the sadly struggling student were returned. She tried to exhibit her paintings, but in vain; and there seemed to be no chance for her in the world. "I am not fitted for anything else, but I do not see that by painting I can earn bread enough to eat. Painting is a luxury beyond the poor unless they have great genius like Millet." There is a host of girls, poor girls, who are studying to paint as a livelihood. "It is a delusion," says the Easy Chair's sorrowful correspondent; "they will presently learn, as I have learned, that it is an impracticable road. Save them if you can."
It is a brave, pathetic letter. But it is an
appeal to those who are just entering the race to be warned by those who are faltering and failing. They will not heed. Why urge the springing green of April to be warned by the dry and crimson leaf of October? Why conjure hope to listen to despair? It is natural for such bitter experience to wish to serve others, and it is a generous and humane impulse. But the secret of the eternal spring of hope, which is the fountain of perpetually renewed life, is that it shall not heed the warning of experience, but prove all things for itself. Why because Phaethon fails should not another, with sublime audacity, gather up the reins? Why because Dædalus sinks helpless should not another, undaunted, spread his mighty vans and scale the heavens? It is no argument for the Milton who feels the inspiration of song to refuse it a voice because of the mute brethren, inglorious only because they were not heard. Why should Keats hold his peace because Savage and Chatterton were miserable?
The sorrowful tale of our correspondent will show her younger comrades how doubtful and thorny is the path which they are resolved to tread. But the decision to abandon it must be their own. Each must learn for herself, like our correspondent; and the learning, as with her, will be the result of her own experience, not of that of another.
THERE has been some joking over Mr. Gerry's proposal to bring Mr. Barnum to legal judgment for violating the statute in exhibiting the young riders upon the bicycle at his circus. Mr. Barnum invited a distinguished company, including eminent physicians, to witness the performance, and they were of opinion that it was harmless, the physicians adding that it was no more than healthful exercise. Thereupon the cynics, who have never given a thought or lifted a hand to relieve suffering or to remedy wrong, sneer at superserviceable philanthropy. Mr. Bergh also complained of the killing of the elephant Pilot, and when the matter was explained there was contemptuous chuckling at the sentimental tomfoolery of philanthropic busy bodies, and the usual exhortation to reformers to supply themselves with common
But meanwhile the mere knowledge that there is an association for the protection of children from cruelty, and another for the defence of animals against human brutes, is in itself a protection for both classes of victims. No parent or employer can wreak his vengeance or ill-temper upon a child, no driver or owner can torment an animal, without the consciousness that some agent of the Society may hear of it, or perhaps see it, and bring the offender to justice. Both of these movements, which at first seemed to so many intelligent persons to be strange and impracticable fancies, are among the chief
proofs of the deeper and wiser humanity of the age. They are illustrations of the same spirit which organises charity and ameliorates penal systems. Mr. Bergh and Mr. Gerry are in the right line of moral descent from John Howard and Sir Samuel Romilly and Mrs. Fry and Miss Carpenter, and when Mr. McMaster brings his History of the American People down to the last decade he will record the purpose and work of the two modest societies as among the striking illustrations of the actual progress of that people. It is in Lecky's detailed account of the horrible carelessness of suffering and of the inhuman desertion of prisoners and the poor in the last century in England that we get the true key to the actual condition of the country. Mr. McMaster has thrown a similar light upon the same inhumanity in America a hundred years ago. Yet every endeavour to correct that inhumanity, to remember the man in the criminal, and wisely to succour a brother in the beggar, has been greeted as an effort to make a silk purse of a sow's ear, to make water run uphill, as rose-water philanthropy and the coddling of scoundrels, by the same spirit which sneers at the work of Mr. Gerry and Mr. Bergh. Left to that spirit, England today would be where it was a hundred and fifty years ago, and the signal triumphs of the century would have been unwon. Such a spirit is mingled of ignorance, cowardice, and stupid selfishness. It is always the obstruction of advancing humanity, always the contempt of generous and courageous minds.
It is true, undoubtedly, that every forward step is not wisely taken, and that there are the most absurd parodies of philanthropy, as well as a great deal of pseudo-philanthropy which is merely the mask of knavery. We have taken great pleasure in these very columns in stripping off sundry masks of such philanthropy which is pursued as a business by impostors of both sexes in every city. Common-sense, careful scrutiny, and intelligence are indispensable in every form of charity and beneficence. But because of the conduct of Shepherd Cowley shall nothing be done for the relief of wretched children? Because of the elaborate system of fraudulent charity of the reverend knave who has been exposed here and elsewhere shall the poor be left without succour?
Everything said and done by the friends of the societies for protecting children and animals may not be wise, but there could be nothing more exquisitely ridiculous than to deride the societies and their labours for that reason. Those who lead the van of reforms are so much in earnest that they must sometimes offend, sometimes mistake, or nothing would ever be done. Emerson says that if Providence is resolved to achieve a result it overloads the tendency. This produces enthusiasm and fanaticism, and also the indomitable devotion and energy which cannot