« ZurückWeiter »
ever since. He was one of those pro- a useful part in regenerating his counnounced blameworthy for the reverses try. By all accounts, Li Ping Hien in 1894-5, and he nearly lost his head. was one of the most capable men in Instead of this calamity his good for- China, and it was he who defeated the tune decreed that he should receive the French at Langson. In 1894 he appears profitable office of Customs Taotai at as Governor designate of Shantung, Tientsin. This was in 1896, and in the and in the following year he was at his following year he blossomed into Vice- post. In 1897 he was specially menPresident of the Board of Revision, and tioned by Yu Yin Lin, Fantai or proDirector-General of the new Railway vincial treasurer of Anhui, in his reDepartment. He then founded the markable memorial to the Emperor as Chinese Imperial Bank, from which one of the men who would save China. his countrymen can borrow at an inter- When Liu Ping Chang was dismissed est ranging from 25 to 50 per cent. As from the Viceroyship of Szchuen at the Taotai at Shanghai we must have a instance of the British Government, Li great deal to do with him during the Ping Hien was nominated his succes. present crisis. He is a man to watch Before his departure he unfortuand to be guarded with. He resem- nately got into trouble with the Ger. bles Li Hung Chang in several re- mans, who made their famous descent spects and he is said to be related to on Kiaochao, and insisted on his rehim. But there is no love lost between moval because two German missionthem, and Li Hung Chang tried to sup- aries had been killed in the natal city plant him two years ago by one of his of Confucius. Instead of proceeding own creatures named Ma Chi Chang. to Szchuen, Li Ping Hien was, after a Sheng was also unpopular with the long diplomatic wrangle, "cashiered Tsungli Yamen, and probably the and declared incapable of holding any source of his power was the Empress high office," while the Manchu GoverDowager herself, whose avarice was nor of Foochow, Ju Lu, ex-Viceroy of propitiated by a share in his business Manchuria, went to Chung King in his profits. He is a man certain to be stead. Thanks to German inflexibility, heard much of, and he will no doubt Li Ping Hien, who might have been pose as the friend of the foreigner. a progressist, is now the pronounced The mantle of Li Hung Chang in re- enemy of the foreigner and all his spect of guile and humbug is falling works. on his shoulders.
In conclusion, I would name certain Wang Wen Chao, Governor of Hu- men about whom there are no detailed nan in 1890, Viceroy of Yunnan in 1893, particulars to be given, but who may Viceroy of Pe-Chili in 1895, and again come more prominently forward in the appointed in 1899, when Jung Lu's near future. Among these Weng Tun other appointments monopolized his Ho, the ex-tutor of the Emperor time, is too old to take any active part Kwangsu, disgraced some months bein affairs. He is a man of moderation, fore the collapse of the Reform Moveand the friend of Prince Ching and ment, and now living in retirement, is Jung Lu. He is said to have been perhaps the most prominent. He is the killed in an attempt to save the Lega- firm opponent of Russia, and with bettions. It is impossible to speak of Li ter backing might have thwarted Count Ping Hien, the last of the greater Chi- Cassini. Then there the two nese officials I have named, without Tsengs, viz., Tseng Kuang-luan, the some feeling of regret, as but for Ger- present Marquis, and his cousin, the ban arbitrariness he might have played Earl of Weiyi. A third Tseng is Tseng
Kuang-chin, nephew and adopted son of the late Ambassador, who signed the treaty of St. Petersburg, now editing a progressive Chinese paper in Shanghai, and believed to be a protégé of Viceroy Liu of Nanking. Another possibly useful oficial of experience is Li Chong Fung, commonly called while in England Lord Li. He is a nephew, and was for a time the adopted son, of Li Hung Chang. He was once Minister to Japan, and signed the treaty of Shimonoseki as well as his relation, whom he also accompanied to Europe in 1896. Since his return to China on that occasion he has been living quietly in retirement at Shanghai. Finally, there are two Chinese of special interest of whom absolutely nothing is known, but whose hereditary claims are indisputable. One is the Marquis Ch'eng, The Contemporary Review.
representative of the Ming dynasty, and as such allowed by the Manchus to sacrifice on the tombs of the dynasty at Nanking. The other is the Duke of Yen, the direct descendant of Confucius, and the possessor of the only hereditary dukedom in China. His mere name raises before a long vista of possible popular reforms in China; but no doubt he would make the first condition of his co-operation the exclusion of all foreign missionaries. These are, however, idle conjectures or remote contingencies. For the moment the outlook is not promising for any cordial or sincere co-operation on the part of Chinese officials, and the goodwill of even the "friendly" Viceroys of the Yangtse Valley must not be subjected to too severe a strain.
Demetrius C. Boulger.
Oh, thou great realm of possibilities,
C. D. W.
A HEAD BY HELLEU..
Outside of the window the thick, gray veil of mist hung over the water. Iv the little warm room with the family portraits and the engravings on all the walls, the clock ticked. The old lady had risen hastily from her seat by the window and stood with outstretched, but outward turned hands, trembling, almost weeping. Grethe did not entirely close the door, but leaving it slightly ajar, peeped through the opening. The son led his bride towards his mother. All the light which was in the room fell on her paling, young face, with the anxious dilating eyes, the half open, trembling lips. He stood close beside her. For the length of a pulse-beat they all remained silent. Then the old lady breathed heavily. It sounded almost a sob.
"Thank God!" she said, falling on her son's neck.
The door of the room was closed. Grethe had seen well enough.
Then the three sat around the little sewing table by the window, the councillor's widow opposite her future daughter-in-law. She spoke quickly and with emotion:
"What anxiety I have had since morning, since receiving your letter. I thought you would bring me a Paris girl. . . I thought I knew not what. And now such a young, pure creature, honest and German. Child, how shall I tell you how I thank you, that you are thus, and not what I thought. And you love him? But yes, otherwise you would not have done as you have. I can read that in your face. But you must love him very much, selflessly love him, if you will take him as he
is. He is different from others; he demands much; reason, devotion, patience, consideration, unconditional, unreasoning devotion, everything; and as for him, he is a singular being. Indeed, since he finished his great work with which he was so intoxicated, he has become so sensitive that one never knows how a thing will strike him, still less bow it will influence him. He feels everything more deeply and more pain. fully than ordinary men. He keeps one continually worried about him.
Just think, I, his mother, who bore him and nurtured him, fostered and protected him, bearing him ever in my heart, who would willingly give my life blood for him each second, I tell you, I scarcely know him. I have doubted that he would bring a daughter home to me who would—who would bear the proud name of his father with dignity. We are noble, is that not grand, child? Should I not value that, so that we may still continue to be noble?-But why need I speak of that? Now everything is well, everything. And all the anxiety of the past years, how foolish! But why are you so silent? You have eyes, which say that you also can laugh and cbatter. Tell me something of yourself, of your parents and how and when you learned to know him, and where and-Look about in my room. Do the engravings please you? Those Roman views are by Volpato, who brought them to Hubert's father, long before he was my husband, from his journey to Italy. Yes, then everything classic and from the South was valued, but now everything is different. Those etchings after Cornelius and Delaroche, Hubert considers horrible. What is your opinion? Do you also swear by the modern school? Indeed you must do so as his bride. What do
* Translated for The Living Age by Adene Williams.
you think of the French, do you know meeting, when he had brought her to them all."
the house and had introduced himself “I sent her from Paris," said the son, to her at the door, she too, politely curt“an etching by Paul Helleu."
seying, had told him her name: Anna "Ah, Helleu ? He is the one who Louise Elizabeth Thiessing. But he usually makes only sketches with a had later confessed to her in what a couple of swift strokes. And does that comical school-girlish way she had said please you? Do you consider it beauti- it, so that he knew at once that she ful?"
did not belong to the station which her Lisbeth glanced towards her be- appearance indicated. And if he had trothed.
not fallen in love with her the very He scarcely noticed the look. “It is al- first moment, he would have noticed it most impossible to believe," he contin- more particularly. Now he wanted to ued to his mother, “how the artist, who keep her from doing the same thing never saw her, was able to reproduce her again, lest his mother should discover features with his easily formed Invely it too. He was ashamed of her. That sketch, all that is the most inward core he must not be, she would not have it. of her being; the idea of undisturbed “Elizabeth Thiessing," she said dis. peace, the expression, one might say, tinctly. of how this child, who is really but a The old lady looked at her smilingly. child, upinfluenced by the world, pro- "Thiessen," I have not the pleasure of ceeds on her own way, knowing how knowing the family. But you are from to guard her ego and her individual- here? Tell me, who are thy people? ity_"
And do not sit so uncomfortably and “But,” inquired the old lady for the formally there, as if only making a second time, “do you too then perceive visit. Show me that you feel at home all of this? Speak out freely, does the here; take off your hat and jacket. picture please you?”
Here comes Grethe with her cakes, "I?''-Lisbeth hesitated—“I really do home-made. She will naturally want not know. I believe he, Hubert, has the bride of her young gentleman to try such a good opinion of me and treas- them. Take off your gloves, dear Lisures me. And I do not understand the
beth, and help yourself.” picture at all. At least Madam, the Lisbeth again glanced towards HuDoctor's wife"
bert. He leaned back in his chair, ate The mother leaned over the little cakes, teased the old servant, as she table and kissed the cheeks of the was coming in, so that she tried to young girl: “Hubert, she is a trouvaille! avoid him. What did he mean? What A truly womanly creature. Modern was he thinking of ? If she took off enough for you and still to my liking her gloves—then, indeed, would the old -and so modest and so honorable, in lady know all. confessing that she understands nothing And she took them off. Partly beof this art which only sketches and in- cause she could not do otherwise for dicates, and does not complete-I Grethe stood there waiting with the wouldn't have thought it possible, plate of cakes and the little tray-half Come, my dear, dear little daughter- in defiance. For if this must be, the tell me, what is your name? I know sooner the better. She drew off the nothing at all about you."
new, yellow kid gloves, which she had "Her name is Lisbeth," said Hubert. herself bought on purpose for this
Tears sprang to the girl's eyes as he visit, from her right hand, and spoke so brusquely. At their first stretched out her finger and took a
cake. With the same shocked feeling with which the mother and Grethe looked down at the hard, red, largejointed work-fingers, she herself looked at the poor hand, which trembling, crumbled the cakes on the little glass plate. She couldn't have eaten now for anything in the world.
"You can go now," said the Frau Geheimrath. Grethe obeyed.
Did Hubert feel nothing, know nothing of what was happening?
The mother rose, went to the door, opened it and looked out. She wished to be certain that the old servant was not listening in the hall. Then she came back, with slow and short steps and dropped down on her chair, quite old, bent, trying to gather up her courage.
“Isn't she charming?" said Hubert, “in her bare head? See how the hair starts from the temples-exactly like the lines in Helleu's sketch. I could sit for a lifetime looking at this fine transition. You understand it, mamma, something of completeness of faultlessness moves me, charms me sometimes to tears."
What was he saying? What did he mean? If he had been speaking French, he would not have been more incomprehensible to Lisbeth. She understood better what the old lady was feeling, who sat before her in her black satin dress so straight and stiff in her chair, one hand clasped in the other, the two palms pressed together in perplexity, the fingers interlaced until they cracked. The young girl felt a sudden pity for the old, lonely mother. She did not herself know how it happened that she thought and felt thus, perhaps she did not at once know that she did feel so. But she stretched out her hand, coarse as it was, and laid it very gently on the old, weak, waxen fingers.
"I am no lady. He spoke to me one
evening on the street. I am in service here."
“As what?" asked the Frau Geheimrath in a weak voice.
"As housemaid, at Holzdamm with Dr. Ross,” Lisbeth arose and took her jacket in order to put it on again. But Hubert had also sprung up and prevented her.
"Mamma,” he cried, turning to the old lady, who, shrinking together leaned back in her chair, “my good mamma, look at her, listen to her. Is she not noble without, within ? Does she not show it, recognizing her station so frankly and freely? Good old mother, think, how often you have said to me, one should only look at man, at mankind, as they are in the heart, not on the dress or exteriors. How often have you chided me, because I noticed some ugly feature of the face, some hard tone of the voice, more than the inward excellences of people who were not congenial to me; because I overlooked other mistakes and faults when their physical forms or organs pleased me. Mother, look at her, in whom indeed the inner surpasses the outer, fine as it is, listen to her, so that you will know her. Just because I perceived that she is noble in her inmost heart have I loved her. And therefore I brought her to you without any preparation, that you should yourself see and know her, before you knew any. thing further of her. But now you must be good, mother, you must! For she will be my wife."
So he spoke and still more to the same purpose. The two scarcely heard him. Th each bad but the thought: A servant-maid!
It was not said aloud, but it was so, and nothing could change it. They both felt it. But Mrs. Ehren was a lady who was more accustomed to control her emotions than Lisbeth, and more accustomed to self-possession.