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Magyars, and the “ Ausgleich ” or Arrangement of 1867, seemingly favorable to the Croat nation, has proved quite the contrary.
When Croatia was called on by this Arrangement to resume her union with Hungary, the famous Deak presented a sheet of white paper to Bishop Strossmayer, chief of the Croat delegates, and said: “Bishop, write your conditions. They shall be final.” The Bishop did so, in all good faith ; but his confidence, and that of the millions for whom he signed, was misplaced. Fierce Magyarizing tendencies soon showed themselves, and the contract which, in so far as it was possible, guaranteed the rights of Croatia, was trampled upon. True, the parliament at Agram preserved its privileges with regard to the administration of justice, the control of public worship, and education; but through its retention of the railway communications, post and telegraph, the Magyar government exercises a vexatious pressure on the Croat population, forcing it to adopt the Magyar language, and refusing to employ any but Magyar officials throughout the provinces of Croatia. The Croatian delegates to the parliament in Budapest are too few to remedy matters, but a revision of the “ Ausgleich,” in 1873, obtained for Croatia a greater control of her finances, and the nomination of her Ban by the king instead of by the Hungarian ministry.
In spite of all adverse circumstances the little country, during the last half century, has advanced in intellectual culture and material prosperity to an unprecedented degree. The success of her endeavor to develop and advance without becoming absorbed in either the German or Magyar elements which predominate in the empire to which she belongs, has been mainly due to the extraordinary abilities and patriotism of one man. Indeed, the history of modern Croatia in her struggle for political freedom, for fair play, for the cultivation of her language, and the right to preserve untainted the traditional customs interwoven with her faith, is so closely connected with that of him whose death she mourns, calling him “her Moses and her Chrysostom, her Pericles and her Mæcenas, her Thomas à Kempis and her Michelangelo," that a sketch of the life of this Father of his Country, the late Bishop Strossmayer, will suffice to make us acquainted with the Croat nation, its attainments, and its aims.
ing, since we are yet in the dark as to the capacities, the resources, of the mine."
"Yes"; she said with a little wonder that made her eyes dilate like a child's. “Yes; kinship or friendship would make it all right, Alastair; it will make it all right, won't it, between you and me, if you will call it a loan and not an investment ?"
He leant closer to her, and his eyes grew ardent. “I could take the money from my affianced wife," he said.
Something chilling fell on his ardor. She had looked away from him, and, leaning forward, caught up Kitty's reins.
"Don't, Alastair,” she said, “don't talk of marriage. I am not ready for it. If I could think of it,"
“You would think of me?".
"Perhaps. I am very fond of you, Alastair, more-I believe in you. I think perhaps papa would have been pleased. But not yet; leave me free."
He drew himself back a little stiffly.
“I am not going to worry you, Anne. For the rest, perhaps I ought to be glad to be left swinging between earth and heaven, since you do not refuse me.”
“I wish I could give you a better answer. But it is not so I have thought of my life. If I were married, marriage would take me away from other things; oh, yes; it must do that to a great extent. If you are in the mind to do it, ask me again, Alastair, when I am twenty-six.”
“There will be other men," he said jealously.
“I shall not be thinking of them. I like you better than any man I have ever known, except of course papa.”
He said to himself that he would have to make her love him best of all before he could win her. He divined in her the vestal who shrank as yet from love and marriage. Would it be his lot to bring her soul out of its fastnesses, to wake the woman, the wife in it? His heart burned within him at the task that she had set him.
“Is it to be a semi-engagement ?” he asked.
“How do I know ?” she answered turning away from him. “I like you better than any one else, except papa. Can't you be satisfied with that for the present ?"
“For the present, yes”; he said soberly.
“ Because it will be a bond between us I will take the money."
“Ah, that is a good Alastair, a kind cousin."
She smiled at him brightly. There were five good years before she need think of that shadowy bond; and when she must think of it, why, who could there be whom she would like better than Alastair ?
A good part of Lady Anne's dream was a reality, or on the way to become one. A strip of the bog had been reclaimed, as an earnest of the whole. Dooras Village was still as dirty, as improvident, as cheerfully unashamed as ever; the day of its redemption was still postponed, but it was coming. Meanwhile in the farmhouses and cottages on the Shandon estate wheels whirred and looms rattled. Girls stood on the doorstep in the evening sun working at their strips of embroidery and fine lace-making. It made an incredible difference when everything necessary for the existence of a usually large family had not to come out of the land and the men's labor.
All this is to say that Lady Anne was two years older than when she had made that intangible half-promise to her cousin. It was a promise of which he did not remind her when he came and went. He would not remind her of it till the time she herself had fixed, and she, at least, was not eager for the time to come. She was profoundly interested in the things she was doing. Of course she meant to marry, because papa would have wished it, and the line must not cease. But she put the concrete thought of it away with a certain impatience. It would mean such an interruption, such a distraction, and a permanent one.
By this time she had met many men of many classes, not one who stirred her pulses in the smallest degree, or menaced that half-bond with her cousin. A good many of the men she met would fain have come nearer. Apart from the fact that she was a great heiress, her charm increased with her years. She won hearts unconsciously by her bigness and softness, her frank, innocent ways, which had mind and will behind
them. She could not help people falling in love with her, but she had no coquetry. Her eyes met the eyes of men with the frank gaze of a boy in them. Some of them called her cold, some of them called her unawakened; she turned the best of them into friends; none of them was the worse for falling in love with her.
“The people are my children,” she would say, "and what I am doing for them is my career.”
At which her friend, Mrs. Massey, who had grown closer and dearer to her with time, would laugh softly and predict that the day would come when these would not suffice.
Even Mrs. Massey knew nothing of the semi-bond between Lady Anne and her cousin. Dunlaverock came and went at intervals. It seemed as if he had to come to talk things over with Anne. His mines had been no very brilliant success although the workings were still open. The yield of coal had been a negligible quantity. The seam of iron he was still working with indifferent results. The fire-clay was the only thing which had quite fulfilled expectations, and in the train of the fire-clay had come a new industry in the making of tiles and drain-pipes. Dunlaverock still believed both in the coal and the iron; but the capitalists had not come forward; and he had discovered, like many a man before him, how the earth will swallow a fortune before she will yield up one.
In the matter of the industries Lady Anne had not been content to go slowly. She had far outstripped Mrs. Massey in the extent and scope of her work. The Mount Shandon industries were beginning to get a name. When she had begun, she had found something of a dead-lock in many of the existing industries. So much of the lace and sprigged muslin had gone to America; now the new American tariff shut them out. There must be something to take their places.
She had talked it over with Ida Massey. She and her friend had driven together-it was astonishing how much Mrs. Massey managed to get about, considering her invalid state—to see “the most practical woman in Ireland,” Mother Patrick of the Convent at the Point. Mrs. Massey had been wont to say of her that if she were made absolute King of Ireland for a year, the Irish question would be settled.
The Convent had now a flourishing factory attached to it, which brought prosperity to the surrounding country with
none of the drawbacks usually associated with a factory. It was giving employment to half the country side, teaching them a trade, too, making tweeds, blankets, flannels, carpets, on a severely business basis. Mother Patrick believed in paying her workers according to their skill and industry; and there was no temptation for them to better themselves by transferring their services.
Lany Anne fell in love with the fresh faced, capable-looking nun at once; and the attraction seemed mutual. To be sure Mother Patrick was ready to lend some of her workers in order to teach Lady Anne's people.
“We've no secrets here,” she said. “It might be very nice if we had, but we haven't. And I quite agree with your Ladyship that the day for confining our industries to the making of luxuries is over. For the one person who requires Limerick lace, ten thousand require tweed and flannels.”
Lady Anne hankered after just such another factory as Mother Patrick's, which was clean and fresh and airy, with a crucifix on the end wall of each of the long rooms. She glanced in the direction the nun indicated in one room where a sour-faced, elderly man was standing by a loom.
“You saw him ?” said Mother Patrick, her face wrinkling and sparkling with the most delightful humor. “He's the blackest Orangeman ever came out of the North, but a capital workman. I had to pay for him, I can tell you, but he doesn't shirk his work and he's taught us all he knows. We're a bitter pill to him still, but he believes in me. At first he looked at me as if I were a snake, and I assure you I was proud when he told me one day that I was “a gr-r-eat wumman in spite o'ma supeersteetions. I've had a good many compliments paid me, and by notable people mind you, Lady Anne-even by royalty itself—but I never was as pleased with any of them as with that from Andrew MacNiece.”
Later, when the factory on the edge of Dooras Village was spreading itself out long and low-Lady Anne could not have borne the ordinary factory building in the landscape, and this was made with many doors and windows to open on the lakeside, and was being planted with fuchsias and roses and hy. drangeas and red-berried mountain ash all about it-Mrs. Massey protested to Mother Patrick against her friend's toogreat absorption in her work.