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professions, to whom that accomplishment would be not only useful, but perhaps absolutely necessary, are equally ignorant of it. When the St. Augustine college at Canterbury was established, it was resolved that even those who were preparing for holy orders should learn to swim; more than one of the pious and energetic followers of George Selwyn, Bishop of New Zealand, having lost their lives from incapacity in this respect.
One man and one only, on board the Neapolitan bark of pleasure which bore Kenneth and his companions, could swimThat one had been a coral-diver, and, in the exercise of his dangerous profession, many a bold and daring feat, many a narrow and hair-breadth escape, had been his.
And, while he spoke, he stood half-naked, watching, as Lorimer Boyd watched, across the waters near at hand, — for the wretched, beautiful, drunken youth who ought to rise there, or somewhere thereabouts. A dreadful watch.
But Kenneth was cumbered, not only with the will to perish, — the will of a drunken languid man, — but the clothing he had almost mechanically adopted in preparation for a moonlight return to Naples, over the chilly waters of the sun-forsaken sea.
A heavy fur pelisse, strapped and fastened at the throat, in addition to the usual over-coat, made Kenneth's habiliments a dreadful chance against his safety from that self-sought grave. The merciful chance was in his favour, that the coral-diver, Giuseppe, was one of the crew that day.
While others of the crew were exclaiming and praying to saints and Madonnas, this man stripped to the last and lightest of garments, and watched and waited; and, when the involuntary rising of the drunken suicide took place, ho was there to rescue him.
There was no struggle. Kenneth was utterly insensible when Giuseppe swam towards the bark, which neared him as far as was practicable. The difficulty was to get both on board. That also was accomplished at last, and the bark was steered towards the haven it had so lately left.
Snatched from death,—but pale, insensible, and apparently dying in spite of
rescue, Kenneth Ross was borne on shore, and taken to the luxurious lodging in the Palazzo on the Chiaja, which he had so lately left in the pride and strength of youthful manhood. Sir Douglas accompanied him; loth to lose sight of him even for the purpose of escorting Gertrude to the Villa Mandorlo. Lorimer Boyd would see her and her mother Lome..
To Lorimer Boyd, her father's friend and her own, Gertrude Skilton resolved to confide the agitating events of the morning: to beseech his intervention with this hot-headed and reckless young man, and to endeavour in some way to arrange so as to spare Sir Douglas the pain of knowing what had occurred between him and Gertrude.
"I am sure," she said, " you will forgive me for appealing to you, Mr. Boyd. Your constant kindness to my father, — for many a weary day of suffering and illness, — and your tender compassion to myself and my poor mother, make me look to you almost as a second father, as a friend who will not forsake or think anything a trouble. Do not let Sir Douglas know what has passed. I owe to you all my first knowledge of him: of his goodness, his unselfishness, his courage, his loveable qualities. Of course, when I saw him — (and here poor Gertrude both smiled and blushed) seeing him rather surprised me. I had imagined a much older and sterner man. He is so gentle. . . .He is so good. . . I cannot understand how Mr. Kenneth Boss could venture to vex and anger liiiu. But I rely on you: on you, entirely, dear Mr. Boyd, to smooth away all difficulties, and prevent Mr. Kenneth Ross from being injured, and Sir Douglas from being vexed ; and I am sure you will manage this — for my sake!"
What if Lorimer Boyd winced under this appeal, — this placing him in the rank of a "second father," while it placed Douglas Ross (his schoolfellow and contemporary) as a hero of romance and adored lover! No sigh escaped him; no shadow clouded his friendly smile; no extra pressure of the eager little white hand extended to him told of a more than common and relied-on interest in all that concerned Gertmde Skilton. He undertook to reason with Kenneth; to endeavour to persuade him to travel; to do his best to spare a single pang to Sir Douglas; already in possession of a prospective happiness which might well repay, in Lonmer's opinion, any amount of previous p tin or sacrifice.
He left the Villa M inddrlo as the soft moonlight stole over its white walls and green verandahs, with a heart at rest, as to his willingness to serve the gentle girl who bitl him farewell in happy trust. And she sent her whispered blessing far through the moonlight across the blossoming .almond trees; down to the rippling sea which laved the shore where that Palazzo on the Chiaja covered in the unquiet night, passed by Sir Douglas by the couch of his nephew.
In the strength of youth and a good constitution, strong in spite of excess and fatigue, Kenneth struggled with the shock of his late rash attempt at suicide.
More Tondly watched he could not be than by his uncle. Unconscious of all that had passed between Kenneth and Gertrude, attributing his state of mind merely to the pernicious habits which had taken possession of him, his fondness more sensitively alive than ever, after the horrible danger which had been averted, Sir Douglas sate alternately watching and reading by the bedside of the reckless young man; giving remedies; speaking from time to time in a soothing tone of tenderness which seemed to lull the half-conscious mind; waiting for clearer thought, and more exact answers, as to the grief of heart which had impelled him to that folly and sin.
No clue, however remote, to the real cause had reached him. As he gazed from time to time at the paljid beautiful face, with the damp curls still clustering heavily round the brow, he pleased himself with a peaceful dream of the aid Gertrude might give hereafter to his efforts at reclaiming this prodigal; and imaged to himself the sweet irresistible voice pleading, even more successfully than he himself could I plead, the cause of virtue and the value of tranquil rational days.
Towards day-dawn Kenneth became entirely himself:—conscious, and miserable; conscious, and fiercely angry. To the gentle inquiries which hitherto had either received a confused response or none, he at j length made fierce, sullen, but coherent' replies.
"You think me drunk or wandering," he said; "you are mistaken. I have my senses as perfectly as you have yours. I know you. I know all your treachery and cruelty: all that you have plotted and contrived: all that your coming to Naples was intended to effect, and has effected. I know that, hearing of ray love and Gertrude's beauty, you came here predetermined to outwit me: that Lorimer Boyd has assisted you in every step you took. That, while you affected to be endeavouring to reform me, you were undermining
the very roots by which I held to life: and, while you spoke to me of marriage and a steady peaceful future, you were mocking me with a parcel of meaningless words."
"Kenneth, Kenneth, my own poor lad, do try to be rational. I am here, beside you; longing to serve you; ready to make any sacrifice for you; loving you in spite of all error, with as deep a love as ever one man felt for another. Trust me, my boy; trust me 1 tell me your vexations: something more than common weighs upon you: if I can lift it away, do you think I will not do it? My dear lad, try me."
As he spoke he leaned eagerly, tenderly, over the pillow, looking into those dim wild eyes, as if to read the thoughts of the speaker.
Kenneth closed them with a groan. Then, lifting the hot weary lids, with a fierce glance at his uncle, he muttered, "You mock me even now. I tell you, you have yourself ruined my destiny. Yon spoke to me of marriage, pf reforming my life, of purity, of peace. You, You have deprived me of all chance of them. Gertrude Skifton was my dream of peace and purity and marriage, and you have taken her from me. She loved me. I know she loved me — till you came to poison her mind against me, — you who swore to protect me."
"Kenneth," said Sir Douglas, in a solemn tone, " Do not mock the name of love with such blasphemy, for the sake of vexing me! Do you forget that this very morning, in this very apartment, I saw the companions of your dissipated hour, and witnessed a scene incompatible with any thought of a future of peice and purity, surh as you speak of desiriiis; to attain?"
"What of that V" passionately exelaimed his nephew. "Will you persuade me you yourself have lived the life of an anchorite,, pitching your tent for ever among preachers and puritans 'I I tell you, whatever you witnessed this morning, that I loved Gertrude Skifton; ay, and Gertrude Skifton loved me — and, if she has accepted you, it is because that worldly idiot, her mother, has persuaded her to do so; persuaded her that it is better than marrying me, — a half-ruined man, —and nearly as good a thing as catching the Prince Colonna.
"Good God!." continued he wildly, raising himself on his elbow, and looking fiercely in his uncle's face — " do you forget that we were together every day for two months before you ever came amongst ns? Do you suppose I believe that you came all the way to Naples for me, and not for her? You lecture me; you preach to me; you tell me of my profligacy, my extravagance, and the Lord knows what besides. I choose for my wife a good pure girl, of good family, with a fortune of her own, with everything that may give me a chance of rescue, and you come and take her from*me! I tell vou I curse the day! you ever meddled with my affairs and me. I tell you, if you marry this girl, you are marrying the woman / Idfre, and who loves me; loves me, not you, whatever she or her mother may persuade you to the contrary. Ask all Naples whom she was supposed to favour before you came between us! Ask your own conscience whether you have not sought to divide us, knowing that fact. Ask her, whom I reproached tnis morning, and whom I curse in my heart at this moment for her wanton caprice; I curse you both. I hope the pain at my heart may pour poison into yours; I hope heaven will make a blight that shall fall on your marriage if ever it does take place, and turn all that seemed to promise happiness into gall, wormwood, and bitterness. I hope"
"Oh God, Kenneth — cease!"
It was all Sir Douglas could say. He said it with ashy, trembling lips. His face was as pale as that of the half-drowned man who cursed him now from his pillow.
It was all false; cruelly false; that he had known of this love; that he had plotted against it, that he had "out-witted " his nephew. It was all false, he trusted (nay, knew), that Gertrude would accept him merely from ambition. Surely she might pretend to far, far greater rank and fortune than he could offer her! It was all false that he came to Naples knowing of this intimacy. Of this Lorimer Boyd had spoken never a word in his letter. But one thing remained true: and that one thing went near to break his heart. He was Kenneth's rival. Kenneth! his petted, idolized, spoilt boy, his more than child, on whom he had poured the double love bestowed on his .dead brother and on himself. The scene rose up before him of that brother's death-bed. Of the bruised painful groaning death; of the wilil fair woman; of the little curly-headed child sitting at the pillow, smiling in his face, thinking he was the doctor come to cure all that snattered frame and restore his father; of his brother's imploring prayer to protect little Kenneth and not to disown him!
And now, there he lay, — that curlyheaded child, —a wayward angry man just escaped by God's mercy from the crime of
self-murder, and declaring his life blighted by the very man who had sworn to protect him.
Sir Douglas turned that bitter thought over and over in his mind; watching through the comfortless night,— long after opiates and exhaustion had quieted that bitter tongue, and given temporary peace to that perturbed heart. Kenneth's rival!
How to escape from that one strange depressing thought! bow to make all those reproaches seem vague and senseless, as the sound of the storm-wind sweeping over the surging sea!
In the morning he would see Gertrude; she would speak of this; they would consult together; something then might be contrived and executed to soothe and save Kenneth. Till he saw Gertrude, Sir Douglas would resolve on nothing.
But, when the morning came, and the bright early day permitted him, after the restless hours of that long, long night, to seek the home that sheltered Tier more peaceful slumbers — she told him nothing! The serene loving eyes again lifted to his face seemed without a secret in their transparent depths; and yet, of all that stormy yesterday, that scene of reproach which Kenneth had vaguely alluded to, not a word, was breathed
Sir Douglas would not ask her. His heart seemed to choke in his breast as often as he thought to frame the words that might solve his doubts. Was it all delirium? Was it possible Kenneth had Bo much ',' method in his madness" as to rave of scenes that never took place, and feelings that were imaginary?
Was it a dream? or had Sir Douglas indeed passed this wretched night, cursed by the being he had loved better than all else in the world till he met with Gertrude'! If it was not a dream, what could he do? How extricate himself from that position of grief?
Almost, when Gertrude said tenderly, "You look so weary, I cannot bear to think of the night you must have gone through," — almost the answer burst forth — " Yes, it has been a bitter night! — is it true? Oh! tell me if it is true? Am I poor Kenneth's rival?"
But the soft eyes, in their undisturbed love, dwelling quietly on him, on her mother, on all objects round her, seemed for ever to lull the wild question away.
He would stay with Gertrude till it waslikely Kenneth would be awake and stirring, after all the exhaustion and the long slumber that follows an opiate; and then he would have a quieter explanation with that young angry mind; and learn how much or how little was unremembered delirium, and how much was truth, in the ravines of the night before.
Gertrude walked with him through the long pergola, under the trailing vines, out to the very verge of the seaward terrace, from whence by a rocky path a short cut would lead him to the Chiaja.
He looked biek after they had parted, and saw her still witching him; the tender smile still lingered on her lips; her
folded arms rested on the low marble wall which bounded the terrace. The morning light fell in all its freshness on her candid brow and wavy chestnut hair, and deepened into sunshine while he gazed.
It was an attitude of peace and tranquil love. He paused for a few seconds to contemplate her; returned her smilef (somewhat sadly), and hastened onwards to greet Kenneth at his wakening — for it was now some hours since he had left him, and Sir Douglas felt restless till some more intelligible explanation should succeed the frenzy of the night before.
POETRY BY WEIGHT.
Sir, — Messrs. Moxon's' Miniature Poets' are to be purchased at the following prices: Wordsworth, 5s.; Tennyson, 5s.; Browning, 5s; anl Tupper, 10s. 6d. The latter book is really an extraordinary bargain, and no doubt will reach its "tenth thousand" in an incredibly short space of time. Having this pretty volume in my hand yesterday evening, I happened to fall asleep, and forthwith dreamed a dream. I saw on one side a lit 'rary Inferno, where, among many other unfortunate spirits, was that of a proverbial philosopher, from whose vexed bowels streams of lava were roaring and rolling.* High on the other side was a happy abode, divided from the first by a deep gult'called Bathos, into which wretches attempting to gain the higher region continually fell, scrambling back in a woeful
* The book was open at the well-known lines, so much admired in America:
"From the vexed bowels of my soul,
plight to their proper place. Prominently seated in the Paradiso I beheld the spirit of Mr. Browning resting his head on Father Chaucer's bosom. To him, soon after my arrival, the vexed philosopher cried aloud, begging that Mr. Browning might bring him one drop of Castalian dew to moisten his dry imagination. "No, my sonne," said Father Chaucer, •' you in the other worlde solde your 100,000 copies, and my sonne Browning botte preciously fewe; and now you are in the dompes, and hee is gladde. It is trewe," added Chaucer, affectionately tweaking the great spirit's ear," he squeakes and grontes nowe and agen, I wol nat lie: and namely, I canne nat understonde the halfe of thatte he hath writte : bott: natheless, he is my trewe sonne." The proverbial spirit then entreated that Mr. Browning might at least be given leave of absence
to go and warn , , and ;but
Father Chaucer replied that they had Shakespeare and the poets, and if not warned by them, would not stop writing even though one returned to Paternoster row. The lava roared and rolled again, and I awoke. I am, &c.,
Examiner. Quevedo Menob.
From The Economist, 10th March.
The debate on Friday last upon the propriety of endeavouring to alter the law and practice rt-lating to the capture of private property at sea in time of war, was on the whole creditable to the good sense and moderation of the House. It both cleared and narrowed the question. Both sides appeared to understand the real bearings of it much more distinctly than on the last occasion on which it was discussed. Irrelevant matter was put aside, and untenable arguments were dropped. On the other hand, the proposal of Mr. Cobden that the right of blockade, as well as that of the capture of merchant ships, should be abolished, found no advocates; and on the other, the plea that England, as possessing the most powerful navy, was the chief gainer by the present practice of preying on the enemy's commerce — the plea on which Lord Palmerston and Earl Russell used mainly to rely — appeared to be tacitly surrendered. On both points, no doubt, the experience of the American war greatly influenced the controversialists. It showed what a powerful weapon in the hands of a wealthy and deteimined people, the blockade of an enemy's ports might become; how it might cripple their resources, increase their distress, aud hamper their warlike action. Independent, however, of this experience, it was obvious that if the extreme views of Mr. Cobden and his followers were adopted, wars might become mere duels between the armies and navies — in the case of insular or distant nations between the navies only — of the two belligerents; that they would often be little felt by the people of the respective countries, except by the augmentation of their taxes; that under such circumstances, as soldiers and sailors would enjoy them and the mass of the community would not materially suffer from them, they might be indefinitely prolonged; and that Hostilities would gain in duration whatever they lost in severity. Blockade, no doubt, cannot do everything: in some instances, it may be to a great extent evaded; still it is often a most efficient way of inflicting damage on the foe; and in any case, it stands upon a wholly different footing from the right of capturing private property at sea, and ought not to be mixed up with it. You may blockade the enemy's ports with the utmost strictness; you may seize ruthlessly every vessel attempting to enter them; while at the same time you leave the com
FOUETH SERIES. LIVING AGE. VOL, I.
merce of the enemy in distant seas and with neutral countries wholly unmolested. Some modification of the existing law may be necessary, but none that would at all impair the real efficiency of the right.
The only points in the Attorney-General's answer to Mr. Gregory which deserved notice and reply were two. First, he argued that unless you so thoroughly abandoned all right of interfering with the enemy's commerce, and of that of neutrals with him, as to surrender the right of search, your object would not be gained; vessels would still have to be stopped and examined on the high seas; irritating questions would constantly arise, and interruptions to trade be nearly as frequent as at present; and Prize Courts would still be necessary. Granted: — but whatever we did we would do thoroughly; we would cease to make a distinction between " contraband of war" and ordinary merchandise — just as we have already abolished (by the Convention of Paris) the distinction between enemy's goods and neutral goods in neutral bottoms; we would so far modify the laws of blockade as to abolish the right of stopping vessels on the high seas on the pretext of ascertaining whether they were designed and boifnd for blockaded ports. This being done, the right of search would have no plea or meaning, and might be at once and totallysurrendered ; and with itall the costly and vexatious paraphernalia of Prize Courts. There is really no valid argument for retaining the exceptional prohibition of articles contraband of war;— for, in the first place, such articles are every year extending and growing more complex and more disputable — (the list "being now held by many to include not only arms and ammunition, but coals, iron, lead, paint, blankets, shoes, and cloth suitable for uniforms, as such may be intended for soldiers' use) ; — and, in the second place, if the blockade be effectual, it can keep out warlike stores just as easily as ordinary merchandise; and if it be not effectual, the prohibition against any articles is useless. The second argument of the Attorney-General was, that it would be nearly impossible to distinguish between bona fide merchant ships and actual or possible fighting ships in the disguise of merchant ships. It may be difficult now; it would not be difficult then. As the law now stands, it may be the interest of merchant ships to build and arm themselves so that they can, on occasion, defend themselves against capture. Were the law altered, it would be so unquestionably their interest to be as pacific and unarmed as 11.