« ZurückWeiter »
nie; surely he must have been a good should we hurry? Let them take time son.
to know each other. In Paris it will And, after all, a man was useful. all come right." John proved himself so when, after a But in Paris, after she had conscienfew days devoted to sight-seeing, they tiously visited the Louvre and the Salon, turned their backs on the Riviera and Notre-Dame and the Madeleine, she de began the slow journey homewards. No clared herself satisfied to rest in her more trouble with the luggage, no more comfortable room and not go sight-seewrestling to make oneself understood ing any more. when trying to explain that Grannie's "Go out by yourselves, children, and room must have a south aspect. if leave me to rest,” she said.
“I canJohn had little command of French, he not afford to sacrifice any more of my knew his own wants and wishes, and, recollections. I came here on my wedlike an indomitable Briton, secured ding journey, and I seem to have lost them. Then he really was possessed my dear husband in this new world. of an astonishing amount of informa- Leave me to my memories; but for you tion, and was much less dry in impart- it is still the present, go you and lay ing it than Baedeker or Bradshaw. Per- up pictures for the future.” haps it inspired him to feel a pair of Go out by themselves! They looked earnest, interested eyes fastened on at each other in consternation, and him, no longer with a look of aversion Nancy was not at all reassured when and distrust. Was this indeed the girl she read something that was certainly he had dared to insult, this peerless not consternation dawning in John's creature whom a man might count it eyes. an honor only to love without any hope To save making a needless ado (and of return? At the disturbing recollec- "perhaps let him imagine I am afraid tion he found himself hesitating and of him," she said scornfully to herself), reddening when he should have been she went up and put on her hat and discoursing upon
“Les Misérables" her gloves. They both lingered to fuss (they were at Marseilles). Nancy, over Grannie, to settle her in the most responsive to the subtlest indications of
comfortable chair, and put her fan and his mood, felt herself blushing too, she her scent-bottle near her, and the operaknew not why, and blushing more and glass, which gave her a view of the more as she grew the angrier with her- passing panorama, and the morning self.
paper and the “Saturday Review" So this new John and this new Nancy which John stopped to cut, for all the made entirely unexpected discoveries world as if they were not coming back about one another, and travelled slow- again to fuss still further over her at ly into a better knowledge of each oth- lunch! er, as the train carried them by easy But, behold, when they set out, after and dignified stages to the capital. being so very voluble in Grannie's presPerhaps Grannie profited more by the ence, so full of light chatter and foolish stoppages than either of her com- nothings, they had not a word to say to panions. She did a little sight-seeing each other. Nancy held her parasol as in a regal sort of way, and rested a if it were a weapon of defence, and good deal, and let herself be waited on
never, even in the days when she had by the young people (for John was still cooked for him, had Cousin John found 'a young person in her eyes), and was her so stately and distant. With one the most serene old lady in the world, consent they made for the shops, the and to herself she kept saying: "Why gay alluring shops, which are as good
a chaperon to all embarrassed When at last they climbed the steps of lovers.
the hotel-hurrying and ashamed to find Grannie, slowly waving her fan and how late it was, and how very long thinking with a sigh of her own van. they had kept Grannie from her lunch ished love-dream, was saying to her- -Nancy turned a shy, arch face up to self, “It will happen to-day;" but it John. seemed as if for once she were to fail “I have quite forgotten how to cook," as a prophetess. That she did not was she said. owing to one of those little accidents "And I,” he answered gaily, "have that give life a constant edge of adven. forgotten how to dine. Don't be cruel, ture in the smiling city. They were Nancy, on the very first day too." crossing the Rue de Rivoli when a fiacre came whirling along, and, with that They got home in good time for Granlight scorn of human life which charac- nie's June dinner, which was this year a terizes the Parisian driver, dashed upon very special feast indeed. The family them. Nancy, a step in advance of her. welcomed shy, stately Nancy with companion, had her raised parasol spun much cordiality; they marvelled at the out of her hand; a second more and immense improvement Grannie had efshe might have been trampled under fected in six months. the horse's feet, but for the wild grasp "She was always a pretty girl, but of a pair of strong arms that lifted her she is quite beautiful now," said the to safety:
eldest daughter. "She has caught a re“Nancy!” cried John, his voice hoarse flection of Mummy's grace and charm. with fear and deep with emotion. John has waited to some purpose-he
"I am not hurt-not a bit," she said has secured a real treasure at last." as he set her on the pavement; but all "Mummy's occupation is gone now at once she began to tremble. It was that John has surrendered," said the such a different "Nancy" as he uttered eldest son. “He was the last to hold it from the complacent, calm, cool out; there is not one of us left to marry "Nancy" with which he began his per- now." oration that day long ago among the “She will begin on the grandchilvegetables in the garden of Laurel dren,” laughed the third daughter; and Grove, and somehow it went straight indeed as she sat, a queen among her to her defenceless heart.
court under the budding roses, Grannie They could neither of them give a co- was saying to herself: “I cannot live herent account of what happened after- alone now. I should miss my dear wards, of what they did or said, or Nancy too much. My daughter Harriet where they went upon that sunny May must lend me Kitty.” For Kitty was morning; but in those stored memories eighteen and even Cousin Ethel out in which Grannie sent them forth to har- India would allow that she was grown vest one little bit of Paris was to both up. for ever afterwards enchanted ground.
Leslie Keith. The Leisure Hour.
Dawn is alive in the world, and the darkness of heaven and
of earth Subsides in the light of a smile more sweet than the loud
noon's mirth. Spring lives as a babe lives, glad and divine as the sun, and
unsure If aught so divine and so glad may be worshipped and lored
and endure. A soft green glory suffuses the love-lit earth with delight, And the face of the noon is fair as the face of the star-clothed
night. Earth knows not and doubts not at heart of the glories again
to be; Sleep doubts not and dreams not how sweet shall the waking
beyond her be. A whole white world of revival awaits May's whisper awhile, Abides and exults in the bud as a soft hushed laugh in a
smile. As a maid's mouth laughing with love and subdued for the
love's sake, May Shines and withholds for a little the word she revives to say.
When the clouds and the winds and the sunbeams are warring
and strengthening with joy that they live, Spring, from reluctance enkindled to rapture, from slumber
to strife, Stirs, and repents, and is winter, and weeps, and awakes as
the frosts forgive, And the dark chill death of the woodland is troubled, and
dies into life. And the honey of heaven, of the hives whence night feeds full
on the springtide's breath, Fills fuller the lips of the lustrous air with delight in the
dawn; Each blossom enkindling with love that is life and subsides
with a smile into death Arises and lightens and sets as a star from her sphere with
drawn. Not sleep, in the rapture of radiant dreams, when sundawn
smiles on the night, Shews earth so sweet with a splendor and fragrance of life
that is love; Each blade of the glad live grass, each bud that receives or
rejects the light, Salutes and responds to the marvel of Maytime around and Joy gives thanks for the sight and the savor of heaven, and is
humbled With awe that exults in thanksgiving; the towers of the
flowers of the trees Shine sweeter than snows that the hand of the season has
melted and crumbled, And fair as the foam that is lesser of life than the loveliest
of these. But the sense of a life more lustrous with joy and enkindled
of glory Than man's was ever or may be, and briefer than joys most
brief, Bids man's heart bend and adore, be the man's head golden
or hoary, As it leapt but a breath's time since and saluted the flower
and the leaf. The rapture that springs into love at the sight of the world's
exultation Takes not a sense of rebuke from the sense of triumphant
awe; But the spirit that quickens the body fulfils it with mute
adoration, And the knees would fain bow down as the eyes that re
joiced and saw.
Fair and sublime as the face of the dawn is the splendor of
May, But the sky's and the sea's joy fades not as earth's pride
passes away. Yet hardly the sun's first lightning or laughter of love on the
So humbles the heart into worship that knows not or doubts
if it be As the first full glory beholden again of the life new-born That bails and applauds with inaudible music the season of
morn. A day's length since, and it was not; a night's length more,
and the sun Salutes and enkindles a world of delight as a strange world
won. A new life answers and thrills to the kiss of the young strong
year, And the glory we see is as music we hear not, and dream that For the first blithe day that beholds it and worships and cher:
we hear. From blossom to blossom the live tune kindles, from tree to
tree, And we know not indeed if we hear not the song of the life
ishes cannot but sing With a louder and lustier delight in the sun and the sunlit
earth Than the joy of the days that beheld but the soft green dawn
of the slow faint spring Glad and afraid to be glad, and subdued in a shamefast
mirth. When the first bright knoll of the woodland world laughs out
into fragrant light, The year's heart changes and quickens with sense of delight
in desire, And the kindling desire is one with thanksgiving for utter
fruition of sight, For sight and for sense of a world that the sun finds meet
for his lyre. Music made of the morning that smites from the chords of the
mute world song Trembles and quickens and lightens, unfelt, unbeholden, un
heard, From blossom on blossom that climbs and exults in the
strength of the sun grown strong, And answers the word of the wind of the spring with the
sun's own word.
Hard on the skirt of the deep soft copses that spring re
fashions, Triumphs and towers to the height of the crown of a wild
wood tree One royal hawthorn, sublime and serene as the joy that im
passions Awe that exults in thanksgiving for sight of the grace we
see, The grace that is given of a god that abides for a season,
mysterious And merciful, fervent and fugitive, seen and unknown and
adored; His presence is felt in the light and the fragrance elate and
imperious, His laugh and his breath in the blossom are love's, the be
loved soul's lord. For surely the soul if it loves is beloved of the god as a lover
Whose love is not all unaccepted, a worship not utterly vain; Too full, too deep is the joy that revives for the soul to re
Yearly, beholden of hope and of memory in sunshine and
Wonder and love stand silent, and stricken at heart and stilled. But yet is the cup of delight and of worship unpledged and