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read the Russian telegrams O Lord God! Thou hast contelling of successes; agonies of quered me, and I will humble fear when the audacious offens- my pride and confess my sin. ive of the Japanese was an- I should have waited patiently nounced ; agonies of disap- for this day, whether I should pointment as, day after day, see it or not; and what have the news of his heroes' triumph I done? I have blasphemed still failed to come.
Thy name, because my faith It came at length. I shall was dead in my heart. But long remember that day, and now I feel that it lives again, the rapture of joy in his voice stronger than it ever was. I when he cried out to me, “At believe in Thee, and since Thou last, at last, my boy! Retri- hast granted that I should see bution has swooped down on this day, I believe, too, that them at last! Oh, it was a Thou wilt
pardon all the long time coming, but no past. matter; twenty millions of He turned to his niece, who Poles will welcome it as I do. stood by his bedside astounded, Banzaï! Dai Nippon Banzaï !” and scarce sure that she had he shouted, boy - like, whilst heard aright. “Dear Vanda, tears of ecstasy filled his I beg you go at once and bring eyes.
a priest here; I must confess “They cannot stand after my deadly sin. I should like this blow,” he went on to say ;
Is Father Venceslaus “it is impossible. A hundred still living? Then let him thousand killed and wounded, come. He was himself in the forty thousand prisoners ! Mag- Siberian mines for ten years ; nificent! Yet their satanic he will understand.” pride-I know them well, and The old woman hobbled toam sure of it—will urge them wards the door in great and on in spite of all, on, on to the breathless haste, without sayedge of the pit, and over. And ing a word, and possibly afraid we shall be sated with ven- lest her uncle might change geance, we shall be glutted his mind before she was out with it. Ah!”
of doors. Then he spoke to He caught his breath sud- me, who was sitting by, condenly and lay silent for a siderably embarrassed and time, an expression which I taken aback at this sudden could not understand now ir- and quite unforeseen outburst radiating his face. Then he of religious fervour. He had spoke, with his head bowed never yet said a word on the upon his chest; his tones were subject since his declaration, very grave and earnest.
made a year ago, and I had "And if we
are avenged, thought such a change of mind then I was wrong.
I have on his part to be absolutely been wrong all these years: impossible. there is - there is a God in Naturally you are astonHeaven after all! And He ished,” he said. “Well, I have has done mighty things with been a fool these forty years, the strength of His arm!.. and now I see it,—that is all.
Vengeance was bound to come, the fundamental dogma of his and it has come. It has been Church, Father Venceslaus delayed, but God can wait: it had surely not dealt with him is we, poor wretches, who are very severely. A priest does impatient because our life is so not cease to be a Pole; and short. And I had hoped so Father Venceslaus' body still much, and seen such horrible bore the marks of the knout. sights, and lived through such The next day Brontoski sent fearful misery, that I could not, for his lawyer to draw up anno, I could not, be reconciled to other will. Instead of leaving a God who seemed to have all his fortune (with the excepjoined our enemies. It broke tion of an annuity to his niece) my heart even to hear His to the poor of his people, he name, who I thought had for- bequeathed one-third of it to gotten their iniquities and the widows and orphans of the only remembered ours. But Japanese fallen in the war, "in
token,” he said, “of my gratiHe began to sing, in a high tude to that great nation.” cracked voice, the last verse of The inscription on his tombthe hymn sung by the insur- stone was also to be changed, gents of 1863,—that tremen- and to be as follows: “Because dous cry of despair mingled I have seen, I have believed.” with a faint far-off hope for I was one of the witnesses to the future :
this will. When the lawyer
had retired the “ With Michael the Archangel at our
the old head,
(though now scarce able to Forth shall we go to the field of battle, speak) said to me, “ Now I and plant
can die quiet.” Being now Our standard on the breast of conquered less confident than he, I hinted Satan.
at the dangers which the Baltic And then, triumphant, we to the foul Fleet might bring. He laughed blasphemer
at my fears. Shall make reply : For ever God was,
“And besides,” he said, “no God is !”
matter what happens now, A little while afterwards Russia's supremacy is gone for the priest entered the room, ever, -vanished in one short when I, of course, withdrew, in year's space! The miracles I company with the old woman, once hoped for are not more who trembled for joy, and wonderful than the things I ascribed her uncle's conversion have lived to see.
God is just, to the masses and novenas and has raised up for us an offered on his behalf. I had avenger in His own good time, no theory on that point; but and where we least expected to of the sincerity of his conver- find one. As to the rest—as sion
could doubt. to the resurrection of our When the old priest took country-His Will be done !” leave of us, his eyes were red. He expired that very evenThough the man had lived ing most peacefully, holding forty years in rebellion against my hand, and smiling.
A WORD WITH MRS HUMPHRY WARD,
In old days the fashion of and that necks are more easily novelists was to conduct their fitted to the yoke when that principal characters through a is recognised. If connubial reseries of vicissitudes to the lations are preferred by the matrimonial altar, and there novelist, they are capable of to take leave of them in the giving rise to all sorts of assured conviction that they interesting complications and would be happy ever after. perplexities which all or most Whether the assurance were wearers of, or aspirants to, genuine or simulated, it at least the yoke would gladly follow obviated the necessity of ex to some sensible solution. But ploring and illustrating marital is it not an offence against the relations. Sir Walter Scott, art of novel-writing to present we think, defended it broadly this institution of matrimony, on the ground that presumably which after all is very general the fortunes of the couple had and somewhat prosaic in its become, by virtue of the new interest, in a repulsive, extravatie, serene and prosperous, and gant, and impracticable guise ? in consequence profoundly un- If it is, we must say that, acinteresting to the reader. But cording to our limited observaof recent years these matri. tion, it is lady novelists who monial relations have received are the chief offenders. They a good deal of attention at the occasionally approach the subhands, we believe more especi- ject of contemplated or actual ally, of lady novelists, not marriage relations in a spirit, always in a way which is either as it seems to us, of marked amusing or instructive. There hostility, tinged with the is no lightness of touch, no venomous conviction that their sobriety of common - sense, in own sex has always the collar their mode of handling a delicate which chafes. They delight in and complicated subject. After allowing the wife to disregard all, the matrimonial yoke is one the yoke entirely and kick over which people are free to adopt the traces with more or less or eschew at their pleasure. violence, and in depicting the The mass of people seem to husband as submitting to a fate regard it as attractive, or at which anyhow is good enough least preferable to the greater for him, with helpless and freedom and less responsibility uncomplaining fortitude. The which its rejection ensures. It male sex, downtrodden as it is more frequently than not may be, views these matters adopted with enthusiasm, and differently. “Richie,” said Sir the great majority soon dis- Mungo Malagrowther, on cover, with no particular sense memorable occasion, “it seems of disappointment, that it is a to me that this bride of yours give-and-take sort of business, is like to be master and mair
in the conjugal state.” “If she incident either thrilling or abides by words, Sir Mungo," amusing. It betrays an ani. answered the undaunted Richie, mus on the part of the writer “I thank Heaven I can be as against the reciprocal duties deaf as any one; and if she and restraints of the relationcomes to dunts, I have twa ship in question which quite hands to paik her with.” Sir unfits her to undertake its Richie Moniplies was a man of illustration. The only reflecsense and discretion, and lady tion to which it gives rise is, novelists might learn from him that if all her characters were that the resources of civilisation in the
in the same predicament at are not quite so exhausted as the bottom of a river, but withthey are apt to fanoy. out power to rise, the reading
As an illustration of the ex- publio might contemplate their treme disregard of probability, loss with equanimity. and of almost fanatical hostil We are not sure that some ity to the restraints of a posi- of the incidents in Mrs Ward's tion voluntarily assumed by new book 1 are not equally both parties, we might instance fantastic. Nor is that result “The Heavenly Twins,' first to be avoided if you start with published some years ago by the notion that one of the Mrs Sarah Grand. The causes spouses, whose fortunes of this abstraot hostility, some described, is irresponsible and of them mentionable and the other helpless. For ourothers unmentionable, are not selves, we took it up with some obscurely alluded to. But how interest, having a lively recoldoes it 'illustrate any possible lection of the proceedings of a problem of ordinary life to con- certain Marcella, whom we have sign one of the heavenly twins— always regarded as the worst a young married woman, still behaved young lady in respecton terms with her husband—to able fiction. Her vagaries, the bottom of a deep stream, however, were before marriage, at somewhere about four o'clock ere there was any yoke to in the morning, in boy's clothes ; disregard or traces to kick while an accomplished Tenor, over. She was engaged to the with whom she has been young heir of a certain Lord “carrying on,” floats in her Maxwell, in a family far above neighbourhood, regardless of her in rank. But having conhis voice, but endowed by the ceived a violent antipathy to authoress with the praise- the game laws and an equally worthy intention, afterwards violent sympathy with their accomplished, of catching her unfortunate victim, who had by the hair if and when she under their influence deviated rises to the surface ? No such into murder, she stormed at her predicament is conceivably lover, and afterwards at his possible in real life, nor is the grandfather, in his own house,
London : Smith,
1 The Marriage of William Ashe, by Mrs Humphry Ward. Elder, & Co. 1905.
VOL. CLXXVIII, -NO. MLXXVII.
in a way which would in a opposite direction, was former generation have led to fronted by some nonsensical the ducking-stool, and in these shilly - shally, to which Mrs more complaisant days would at Ward attributes importance. least have prevented his having He did not trouble himself the pleasure of detaining her about his Matilda's hair or any longer in his presence or whether he dared touch it, or of welcoming her in the future. soothe her. He rolled her over The lover, although a man of and over in the mud. And capacity and a Member of the Matilda, convinced by his proHouse of Commons (a most hen- cedure that he meant business pecked assembly in the eyes of and was
of mettle, lady novelists), is without any submissively yielded. Mrs apparent mission in life but to Ward's notion of the divine ride under her chariot wheels, flame is that of damp straw bears her objurgations with smouldering in a dog-kennel ; exemplary meekness, and is and her notion of masculine scornfully dismissed. Finally, character is crude, involving when the young lady returns the negation of every particle to her senses, she sends him off of virile force. to a table at the other end of The book before us is conthe room, on which is a slip of ceived in much the same spirit paper whereon she has written
as its predecessor, but the rea word or two of explanation lations described are mostly and a gracious permission to after marriage. There is no renew his engagement, whereat attempt to bring its incidents, he is serenely delighted and or those relations, into conjubilantly thankful. The young formity with common-sense or lady has it all her own way, in actual experience. It describes a fashion which seems remark a whirl of social excitement, a ably attractive to lady novelists. distressing matrimonial relaThe explanation is that he is a tion, together with some of the candidate for future conjugal meanest vices unrelieved by endearments, and will submit to virtues of any kind, except anything so long as a shadow those which are, or seem to be, of hope remains. Even while assigned to characters too feeble she is rating his grandfather, and insignificant to influence "what absorbed him mainly the fortunes of any one of the was the wild desire to kiss the dramatis
personce. dark hair, so close below him, There is nothing very elabalternating with the miserable orate in the plot. The hero is, certainty that for him at that as is usual in these cases, a moment to touch, to soothe Member of the House of Comher, was to be repulsed.” Con- mons. He adds to that the trast this imbecile sentiment dignity of Under-Secretary for with a real wooing between a Foreign Affairs, is of great real man and woman in real personal and family influence, life. William the Conqueror, eventually becomes Home Secto take an extreme case in an retary, and is marked out as a