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ples, and all countries, that they control. into consideration. They know only one That any family, clan, tribe, or nation, way. That is their way, and their way is should wish to live under other than this the best way and is sanctioned by God Saxon arrangement, is to them unthink- who, by the way, is the God of the Engable.
Tish national church. Lord Curzon, late viceroy of India, in a It is magnificent, is it not? but it makes volume entitled, “Problems of the Far one stop just for a moment to get one's East," writes as follows in his dedication: breath. “To those who believe that the British Let some one tell us what fantastic arEmpire is, under Providence, the greatest rangement of molecules turned the youthinstrument for good that the world has ever ful rake into a St. Augustine, the unknown seen and who hold with the writer, that its country lad into a Shakespeare, the Corsiwork in the Far East is not yet accom- can peasant into a Napoleon, or the Westa plished, this book is dedicated.” Where, ern rail-splitter and country lawyer into a in the history of mankind, may one look to Lincoln, and when these are all explained, find such a magnificent assumption of virt- there will remain an even greater mystery: ue and omniscience, coupled with incom- how these Saxon peasants became the Engprehensible self-satisfaction? It makes one lish Empire of to-day. fearful for the destinies of the race when It is said often enough that a man who one sees it proclaim itself thus arrogant. restricts his energies to the pursuit of one Here is a haughty egotism that would make end, who thinks of nothing else, saves himAlexander, Cæsar, or Napoleon turn pale. self for that alone, keeps his eyes fixed on Who believes that the world is better where that alone, is likely to succeed even though England dominates? The English. Who he be of mediocre powers. The fable of the believes that India is happier? The Eng- hare and the tortoise was written as a brief lish. Who believes that Ireland is hap- commentary on this fact, that it's doggedness pier? The English. Who believes that the that does it! These Saxons, since the hisEast under English protection is happier? torian's first introduction to them, inhabitThe English. Who believes that Northing that Saxon plain, have had apparently America is happier? The English. But but one aim: possession of the land in peace. what do the four hundred millions of people, Little by little they have become the incontrolled by these million English gentle- heritors of one-fifth of all the land there is. men, whose omniscient prophet Lord Cur- We have traced here, by a mere thread of zon is,—what do they think? What do narrative, their history, and we have noted they say? Personally I am not questioning their present status among the nations of or criticising. I am merely a child making the world. We have seen nothing brilliant notes. This amazing assumption that or heroic, nothing Napoleonic in this story; England and God-mark that in Lord but merely steady growth along ever the Curzon's dedication the British Empire same lines, aided by a genius for comprotakes precedence of Providence—have be- mise. They stop and wait when they must, tween them done more for the world than they fight when they must, they even pay any other agency, is a characteristic of to be let alone when they must, they spill these people that cannot be too often in- over into other countries when they must, sisted upon. As I have said before, it is but land and liberty they keep ever before not a pose with them. It is not impudence, them as their goal. Who are the English, it is their rooted belief in their own supe- what are the English? They are Saxons, riority. Anybody who starts out to have who love the land, who love their liberty, dealings with them, either personally or and whose sole claim to genius is their along international lines, must take that common-sense.
A TWENTIETH CENTURY FAIRY-TALE
By Maarten Maartens
ILLUSTRATIONS BY H. G. WILLIAMSON
AE A HE rain was pouring down she vaguely felt it wasn't. Such liking is a
outside in perpendicular ripple on the pond.
window sill: however snug puling murmur through the splash of wa
w it might be inside, you shud- ter. She had just imagination enough to dered to think of the cold wet so close by. fancy it might be something un-human and Especially if your husband was out in it. quite sense enough to know that if it was, At least, if you cared for your husband. it must be a cat. All the same, she wanAs, after all, in spite of the novels, most dered to the door and opened it-looking women still do, thank Heaven!
for Henk. Vrouw Caspers did not belong to that Her foot struck a bundle pressed as far more favored class, who are misunderstood as possible against the frame of the dooror who do not live their life or have missed way, well under shelter from the rain, if not their affinity. Some women she knew had from the wet. She picked up the thing and found their affinities, and the affinities, with carried it in at once, hearkening to its wee or without church sanction, beat them. mewing: she realized at once, of course, Vrouw Caspers had now been united for what amazing event had befallen her. A more than five years to an honest young child had come to her, not her own. carpenter, steady, always in work. She She unpinned the damp bundle and was several years older than her husband, unpacked its contents. The child now and that greatly increased the chief sorrow screamed lustily. He was a fine, healthy —the soreness of her existence. She was boy, a couple of weeks old. His linen and childless.
the fur he had been carefully wrapped up in Adventures—fortunes or misfortunes of by the cruel hand that left him to his fate, special interest—she had not yet experi- were of excellent quality: by the look of enced, nor was hers the imaginative mind these he was a rich man's child. And the that, even in the humblest walks of life, can little bundle of banknotes on his naked little create these. She went her way, doing her body was a rich man's parting gift. canny, cleanly duty in her cottage, as her “Five notes of a thousand guilders each! mother had done before her, in a similar, Five thousand guilders!” The carpenter's rather humbler cottage, and as she herself wife looked at the child-looked at the had done, by her widowed father, before notes. She had seen a-many children. She Henk Caspers came courting her. She had never seen so much money as this. went to church, but she didn't pray much. A rustle outside some drops on the pane She had given that up. She was thirty- —startled her. Suddenly she realized, for three. She was childless.
the first time, what it means to be startled, “How it rains!” she said aloud, talking by any noise, anywhere, when you have to herself, as lonely women will. She money lying thus before you—in the lonelilooked to the kettle on the fire, and the ness—at night. She snatched the crackly dish of supper stewing. And she went to papers to her bosom and hid them away. the window, although it was pitchy dark, One thing she was resolved on at once waiting for Henk.
and forever. Henk must never know of He was her husband, and she loved him this money. Her own sister's husband had quite reasonably as such. But that wasn't come into a legacy some years ago, for less the real stirring of a woman's nature, and than this!-some fifteen hundred—and he had taken to idleness, gaming and drink. “Without thought of the money ?” 'Tis The money was soon gone: the intemper- a bold thing to say. The money was there, ance remained to the end. She could trust in her bosom, at any rate, as well as the Henk, yet men are men. Nothing keeps mother love. And mother love and money them steady but the immediate need of love are the strongest powers we wot of; bread.
they bear the whole world between them, She stood staring at the screamy child, like pillars of Hercules. Perhaps, for the uncertain, upset. Before she could make moment, she had forgotten the money; her up her mind even to behave reasonably to eyes were soft over the child. this baby, her husband was in the room. “Yes, we will ask the Burgomaster about “Hullo!” he said.
keeping him," said Henk. “There is no “Yes,” she answered, looking round at reason why any one else should want him, him. “I found it on the door step, five poor brute!” The child had begun to roar minutes ago."
again. She turned from the milk she was The man gave a long whistle, and the rather tardily heating. child stopped screaming to hear.
“God has sent him us,” said the big “He takes kindlier to you than to me," husband gently. “We take him, for his own said the Vrouw, with sudden asperity. sake, from God.” And then, in any case,
"Well, he hasn't any reason to," replied she remembered the bank-notes hidden at honest Henk. “It's a he, is it? What's her breast. its name?"
Indeed, the Burgomaster had no objec"There's no mark.” She showed him tion to these decent people taking, if they everything but the money.
really wished, the penniless child. He was "Well, I must go straight to the Burgo- christened Henk Caspers and inscribed in master,” said the husband. “I suppose I the public register as such. He took kindly can't take the child out in a night like this?” to his bottle in the cottage, and the childShe cried out at him.
less couple would play with him for hours. “Well, there's no hurry, wife. If there'd After a time, while they still played with been money with him, it'd have been a him, they would suddenly pause and look different thing."
anxiously at each other. And Henk would “How so?” she inquired anxiously. turn away, whistling, to pace up and down
“There's always questions asked about the room. Once or twice he broke off, to money, whereas now, poor brute, there kiss his wife, which was not at all in his won't be many questions asked about you!” character and up-growing. He did not kiss The child lay on its back, with the unseeing the child. baby-stare.
Little Henk Caspers had not been a year The cottagers stood gazing down on it. in the house when his foster-mother's own The room was quiet: the child worn out, baby was born. Father Henk went to tell for the moment, with crying. Outside the the Burgomaster. rain came swishing along the glass.
“A boy, you say?" echoed the Burgo“Brutes its parents must have been," master, opening a big book. said Henk, with whom the first word was a “Yes, your Worship: how could it have great favorite, a caress or a blow.
been anything else?”. “It does seem incredible," asserted the “H’m," said the Burgomaster. “Name?” wife. And again they stood gazing in “Hendrik Caspers,” said old Henk silence.
firmly. "It isn't as if we had one of our own,” “But you're got that already,” protested said the woman at last.
the Burgomaster, over his spectacles, with “Nor ever likely to have,” assented uplifted pen. Henk sadly.
"I've not got it. Leastways, it doesn't “Just so," she cried. “That's all the count. This is the Hendrik Caspers. difference. Yes. Just so.” Whatever Can't the other be changed?”. blame she may have incurred afterward, "No," replied the man of the law curtly. at that moment she was sincere, honestly “That is to say, it's a cumbrous and costly anxious, without thought of the money, in proceeding. You ought to have thought her awakening mother love for the child of this before."
“How could we, after all those years?” The children grew up together for the pleaded Henk. The Burgomaster acqui- next dozen years; the stranger was called esced.
Hendrik and the son of the house called Vrouw Caspers had wondered, if she died, Henk-as Henry and Harry: the whole what Henk would say to that big fortune, difference of their daily lives lay there. As hidden away in a stocking. She did not luck would have it, Hannah's late-born offdare to move it, for how could she approach spring was a feeble, quick-brained little any one with a note for a thousand guild- chap; the Ishmael of the cottage was healthy, ers? As well give herself up at the nearest boisterous, all for an out-door life. In sheer police-station at once. As for the money, animal spirits he would upset his younger she had not had a day's rest since the “brother," and then Isaac would cry. care of it weighed, unremittingly, on her The knowledge of our own folly is the thoughts. At night she would start up, worst of reconcilers to our own fate. When hearing thieves. “Let them come: we Henk Caspers and Hannah recalled how shall see what they steal!” said her cheery unnecessary was Ishmael's presence at husband. And now her own child was their fireside, they almost hated the leapborn. Whose was the money now? Hers ing, laughing brat.
-and his, therefore—for taking care of the At the critical age of twelve the younger stranger? Or the foster-child's, taken in, boy, never well, manifestly sickened. The as the whole village deemed, including par- doctor appeared, as a permanent expense, son and Burgomaster, for the love of God? in the cottage; at the same time, in acShe felt she had neither ability nor desire to cordance with the frightful truth that missolve the question, as she lay back contem- fortune never comes single-handed, Henk plating her son. Such a beauty! The other Caspers broke his arm by a fall on a slide at little Henk cried in his cot. “We mustn't winter time. It was badly set and, alneglect him," she said feebly. “Henk, though he recovered the use of it, the elbow what is it he wants?”
remained stiff. He became a second-rate “Hanged if I know what the little brute workman, “the man with the arm.” wants," answered Henk. In what sense did But before the limb was out of the sling, he use the word ? It might be difficult to say the doctor spoke of changes for young
But as time went on it would have been, Henk. The damp climate of the village had any cared, less difficult. Also, impar- just outside The Hague-was very bad for tial investigation might have discovered, the boy: he was growing too fast: he needoften, if not always, adequate explanations ed the dry air of the Gelderland hills. The of the elder infant's tears. He was old parents might, perhaps, move to those enough now, fully a twelvemonth, to cry parts——to save the child's life? real sorrow. Hannah Caspers was labori- Was it as bad as that? The mother ously kind to him, till the labor slowed gazed into the physician's eyes. down a bit, under the strain.
That evening, with swift resolve to do it “My son Henk,” said Caspers, dand- and not draw back, she spread the whole of ling the spluttery bundle on his knee. He the five bank-notes in a line before her huswould remember to dandle the other on the band, as he sat by the table, head bent and other-at least he had two knees., It was reflective, resting his wounded arm. He a long time before he said, under the pres- glanced up in terror. sure of much squalling, the thing he had “They were with the child," she said often wanted but never intended to utter: quickly. “With Hendrik.” “Nobody's child.”
“Five-thousand-guilders!” he stutIt was true: the elder Hendrik was No- tered. “How much money is that?” body's Child, and yet he was Henk Cas- “I don't know. Oof!” She pushed pers, number one. They called him them toward him. *Number One”: the sobriquet sounded “You fool!” he exclaimed angrily. "If more than spiteful. A sharp old neighbor you'd put them in the bank, they'd have remarked: “Why not Number Nought?” been ten!” Yet nobody could say Hannah Caspers was “Father put his money in a bank and it cruel to “the other one”; she constantly failed," she said. remembered not to be that.
He did not answer, gazing at the five bits
of paper. “Five thousand florins!” he re- of it than Kees. But, look here!”—he peated. “It's a great deal more than glanced up at her—“It belongs to HenKees ever had.”
drik!” "We shall make a better use of it than “Absurd!” she replied, suddenly reKees did," she answered hurriedly. solved on this point, now he questioned it, “Yes, oh yes! we shall make a better use amazed that she ever could have doubted. Vol. XLV.-22