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Beneath me the clouds in their silentness go,
The cataracts through them in thunder down-dashing,
Far beneath them bare peaks in the sunny ray flashing; Weak moss and dry shrubs I can mark yet below, Dark thickets still lower; green meadows are blooming Where the throstle is singing and reindeer are roaming.
Here man, too, has nested his hut, and the flocks
On the long grassy slopes in their quiet are feeding,
And down to the valley the shepherd is speeding,
Like a fierce young wild beast, how he bellows and raves,
Like that beast from his cage when his prey he espieth;
'Gainst the bank, like a wrestler, he struggleth and plieth, And licks at the rocks with his ravening waves. In vain, thou wild river! dumb cliffs are around thee, And sternly and grimly their bondage hath bound thee!
YA PEREZHIL Svoï ZHELANYA.
My fancies I disdain ;
Sufferings alone remain.
'Neath cruel storms of Fate
With my crown of bay,
Waiting my latest day.
While howls the wintry wind,
The last leaf left behind.
VOL. XVII. - 13
ARTHUR THOMAS QUILLER-COUCH.
QUILLER-COUCH, ARTHUR THOMAS, an English writer of fiction; born in Cornwall, November 21, 1863. His family has lived in Cornwall for generations, and he comes of good stock ; father, uncle, and grandfather being distinguished scientists in the fields of biology and medicine. He was educated in various Devonshire schools, then went up to Trinity College, Oxford. As an undergraduate he contributed clever verse to the college paper, adopting the pseu. donym “Q." He was and is an athlete, - as one might infer from his books. He took his degree in 1887, and was appointed classical lecturer at Trinity; but soon turned to fiction, went to London, and joined the staff of the “Speaker" — Barrie being a fellow-worker. This newspaper connection has been retained ever since, although Mr. Quiller-Couch now lives in a charming country house at Fowey in Cornwall. The volume “ Adventures in Criticism” is made up of selected book reviews representing his journalistic work, which is decidedly fresh and good. The Elizabethan anthology, “The Golden Pomp," also testifies to his reading and scholarship. His writings include “Dead Man's Rock” (1887); “The Astonishing History of Troy Town" (1888); “ The Splendid Spur” (1889); “Noughts and Crosses ” (1891); “ The Blue Pavilions" (1891); “ I Saw Three Ships A-Sailing” (1892); “The Warwickshire Avon" (1892); “ The Delectable Duchy" (1893); “Green Bays" (1893); “Wandering Heath" (1895); “The Golden Pomp" (1895); “ Ia” (1896); “ Adventures in Criticism ” (1896); “ Poems and Ballads" (1896).
THE CURTAIN FALLS.
(From “ Dead Man's Rock.") A WEEK had passed and I was standing with Claire beside Tom's grave. We had met and spoken at the funeral, but some restraint had lain upon our tongues. For myself, I was still as one who had sold his brother for a price, and Claire had forborne from questioning my grief.
The coroner's jury had brought in a verdict of “Murder by a certain person unknown,” and now the police were occupied in following such clues as I could give them. All the daily papers assigned robbery as the motive, and the disappearance of Tom's watch-chain gave plausibility to the theory. But I knew too well why that chain had disappeared, and even in my grief found consolation in the thought of Colliver's impotent rage when he should come to examine his prize. I had described the face and figure of my enemy and had even identified him with the long-missing sailor Georgio Rhodojani, so that they promised to lay hands on him in a very short space. But the public knew nothing of this. The only effect of the newspapers' version of the murder was to send the town crowding in greater numbers than ever to see the dead man's play.
Since the first night of “Francesca,” Claire and I had only met by Tom's bedside and at his funeral. But as I entered the gloomy cemetery that afternoon I spied a figure draped in black beside the yet unsettled mound, and as I drew near knew it to be Claire.
So we stood there facing one another for a full minute, at a loss for words. A wreath of immortelles lay upon the grave. In my heart I thanked her for the gift, but could not speak. It seemed as though the hillock that parted us were some impassable barrier to words. Had I but guessed the truth I should have known that, unseen and unsuspected, across that foot or two of turf was stretched a gulf we were never more to cross: between our lives lay the body of my friend; and not his only, but many a pallid corpse that with its mute lips cursed our lores.
Presently Claire raised her head and spoke.
“Jasper, you have much to forgive me, and I hardly dare ask your forgiveness. It is too late to ask forgiveness of a dead man, but could he hear now I would entreat him to pardon the folly that wrought this cruel mistake."
“Claire, you could not know. How was it possible to
“That is true, but it is no less cruel. And I deceived you. Can you ever forgive ?”.
“Forgive! forgive what? That I found my love peerless among women? Oh, Claire, Claire, “forgive'?”
“Yes; what matters it that for the moment I have what is called fame? I deceived you — yet, believe me, it was only because I thought to make the surprise more pleasant. I thought — but it is too late. Only beliere I had no other
thought, no other wish. My poor scheme seemed so harmless at first: then as the days went on I began to doubt. But until you told me, as we stood beside the river, of — him, I never guessed; -oh, believe me, I never guessed !”
“Love, do not accuse yourself in this way. It hurts me to hear you speak so. If there was any fault it was mine; but the Fates blinded us. If you had known Tom, you would know that he would forgive could he hear us now. For me, Claire, what have I to pardon ?”
Claire did not answer for a moment. There was still a trouble in her face, as though something yet remained to be said and she had not the courage to utter it.
“ Jasper, there is something besides, which you have to pardon if you can."
“Do you remember what I asked you that night, when you first told me about him?”.
“You asked me a foolish question, if I remember rightly. You asked if I could ever cease to love you."
“No, not foolish; I really meant it seriously, and I believed you when you answered me. Are you of the same mind now? Believe me, I am not asking lightly.”
“I answer you as I answered you then: ‘Love is strong as death.' My love, put away these thoughts and be sure that I love you as my own soul.”
“But perhaps, even so, you might be so angry that — Oh, Jasper, how can I tell you ?”.
“Tell me all, Claire.”
“I told you I was called, or that they called me Claire. Were you not surprised when you saw my name as Clarissa Lambert?”
“Is that all ?” I cried. “Why, of course, I knew how common it is for actresses to take another name. I was even glad of it; for the name I know, your own name, is now a secret, and all the sweeter so. All the world admires Clarissa Lambert, but I alone love Claire Luttrell, and know that Claire Luttrell loves me.”
“But that is not all," she expostulated, whilst the trouble in her eyes grew deeper. “Oh, why will you make it so hard for me to explain? I never thought, when I told you so carelessly on that night when we met for the first time, that you would grow to care for me at all. And it was the same after.