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SALLY: A STUDY.
By Hugu CLIFFORD, C. M. G.
sturdier cast, bred of clean-cut features, The end of the fifth year of his ex. manly independence, and self-respect, ile in Europe found Saleh a very dif- which approximate far more nearly to ferent being to the little, scared, half- English standards of taste. The discisavage boy who had been thrust, like pline to which he had been subjected, a trapped animal, into Mrs. Le Mesur- to which he had resigned himself as to ier's drawing-room. Regular hours, one of the inevitable facts of life, had quantities of good, plain, English food, not succeeded in eradicating all the plenty of open air and violent exercise natural indolence of his character. He at all seasons and in all weathers, had was still "slack,” incurably “slack," wrought a great improvement in his more especially whenever anything in. physique. He was small of stature, the nature of an intellectual effort was judged by English standards, as are demanded of him; but he was not most men of his race; but his beauti- alone in this, for the failing was shared fully built frame was spare, and hard by many of his English comrades. In and active. Each limb was developed games, however, this weakness did not to the full, every muscle stood out in a show itself for the sporting instincts of rounded cord beneath the glossy skin. bis race came to his rescue. He pulled The blood ran warm under cheeks of a good car for one of his size and which the olive tint was hardly more weight; he was a pretty bat, and the dusky than that of a Neapolitan; his neatest of fielders; his activity and hair, which of old had been so stiff dexterity stood him in good stead at and straight that it had resolutely de- Association football and at hockey; he clined to allow itself to be parted in the was a beautiful gymnast, and, as a European fashion, was now silky and swimmer, no one in his set could touch abundant, and, for all its blackness, him. That peculiar form of discipline grew with a slight wave in it, as an which is best taught by games, in Englishman's hair should grow. His which a man plays for the side, not for great dark eyes were clear and bright, his own hand, had helped to strengthen lighting up readily with facile merri. his character, and he owed far more ment, although there still lurked in than he knew to the constant exercise them, when his face was in repose, that which, demanding so much of his enersoft and dreamy melancholy which ever gies, left little over to tempt him to seems to me to speak of the dumb less wholesome things. In this direcagony of a race doomed to early ex- tion, too, climate dubtless aided bim, tinction.
climate and the whole tone of the famSaleh had always been a pretty boy, ily of which he had become a member, and his beardless face still caused bim for Saleh had fitted into the new life to appear incredibly youthful; but now, so perfectly that he now was seemingly at nineteen years of age, he was more nothing save just what that life had completely a man than any of the Eng- made him. lish youngsters with whom his days Moreover, his whole outlook had unwere passed. Also he was handsome, dergone a change, and women had - not with the soft, foreign, almost fe- ceased to be regarded by him as infeline beauty that distinguishes so many rior beings, mere playthings given to Orientals, but with good looks of a their master, Man, for his amusement.
He had lived with the Le Mesurier girls ism, had been scrupulously respected. as brother and sister; Mrs. Le Mesurier It formed no part of the white men's had come to be his mother in every- scheme that the lad should abandon thing but fact; and the girls with whom the Faith of his fathers, wherefore, he from time to time associated were loyally observing the letter of the bond, often his superiors in education and the Le Mesuriers had carefully abintelligence, and all now commanded stained from making any attempt to his respect simply by reason of their convert their charge to Christianity. sex. Five years before this mental at- Had they been minded to effect this titude towards women would have change, it is probable that they would seemed to him the veriest topsyturvi- have encountered little difficulty; but dom, but now it appealed to him as a as matters stood, Saleh's opinions conmatter of course. The change had cerning things spiritual-if indeed he come about so gradually, was the result entertained any–had been suffered to of such daily accretions of experience, take care of themselves. None the less that he was conscious of no alteration the sincerely religious atmosphere of in his poiut of view. It seemed to him the household had made a deep impresthat he had always thought of these sion upon his sensitive and receptive matters as he thought of them now; mind: it had given him new standards, and when he danced with a pretty girl new ideals, and, all unknown to him, -and he danced quite beautifully-his had become a prime factor in the regupleasure was as natural and as little lation of his conduct. He detested sullied by unholy dreams as that of reading, hating the
laborious any right-minded English lad.
drudgery of it, and the Bible is a stout And with all this Saleh was thor- volume. He was neither expected nor oughly, if unconsciously, happy. He invited to study it, and save under comloved his adopted family dearly, with- pulsion it was not his custom to study out troubling to ask himself why he anything. Even if he had been made loved them; he revelled in the games; to enter that great treasure-house of he delighted in balls and parties; he Oriental wisdom, however, he was at was without a care in the world, for this time too little given to introspechis intellectual failures, which were in- tion to have made any personal applideed colossal, did not greatly trouble cation to himself of aught that he him. Also, during the first five years would have found therein. The text of his life in Engiand he had no ambi- which propounds that grim question, tions, no aspirations that were not “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or easily satisfied by a success in the the leopard his spots ?" would have held playing-fields or the gym., while his for him no special augury. The bitter adoption into the family and social cir- meaning of those taunting words was cle of the Le Mesuriers had been so to be revealed to him in all its bearings complete that he had forgotten that he in days which as yet were hidden by was divided from them by the accident the merciful mystery of the future. of color. Saleh had been transformed into an
VII. Englishman, and had himself accepted Of that fugue of distracting discords, the fact of his inner transformation so which in the end was fated to bring unreservedly that to him it stood in to Saleh a dreary enlightenment, the need of no demonstration. His simple first jarring note was struck, I think, paganism, which only by an excess of by the little Princess. courtesy could be called Muhammadan- The holidays of his fifth summer in England were spent by him on a visit course with women, between whom and to a friend, an old Wykehamist, whose himself there subsisted no such brother people lived in a river-side house near and sister familiarity as that to which Richmond. Saleh was quite contented life with the Le Mesuriers had accusto remain where he was, and had he tomed him, brought with it a measure been left to himself he would have de- of embarrassment. It made him shy, clined the invitation unreservedly. Mr. self-conscious, constrained,-all things Le Mesurier, however, thought that it from which hitherto his simplicity had would be good for him to be severed kept him singularly free,-and yet in for a time from the support of his some way it was pleasurable, stimula"home" surroundings, and to be thus ting, even exciting. These latter senforced to stand alone. He therefore sations were realized more fully later, insisted upon an acceptance being sent, when the first strangeness of his new and in due course Saleh reluctantly fol- environment had to some extent worn lowed his letter.
off; but at the beginning of his visit Harry Fairfax, the friend in question, Saleh felt himself to be divided from had become very intimate with the Le the Fairfaxes by an impalpable barrier. Mesuriers, and had learned to look upon Its nature and cause he did not attempt Saleh as a member of the family. Also to analyze, only he was dimly aware of he liked him for himself, and thought its existence, and an unwonted feeling that it would be rather a "lark” to in- of loneliness; of isolation, came upon troduce the little stranger to his own him. Instinct told him, hinted to him, people. His father and mother were that he was regarded as in some sort a quiet elderly pair, still wholly an alien, a curiosity, and this made him wrapped up in one another, who sore and angry, not with others, but watched the bewildering doings of their with himself. It was as though he offspring with a mild surprise without had suddenly been revealed to himself attempting to influence or control them. in a new light, -had been made conIf Harry had expressed his intention of scious of some unsuspected, unreal, yet inviting Muck-a-Muck, the noble savage inherent inferiority in his nature which himself, to stay at Crosslands, Mr. and differentiated him from the rest of huMrs. Fairfax would have supposed that manity. He would rather have died such was the fashion of the present than have shaped such a thought in day, and would have raised no objec- words; for the moment he shirked altion. Their daughters, Alice and Sibyl, lowing it to take even nebulous form who were also allowed to do in all in the back of his mind-in his most things very much as they pleased, secret self-communings; but none the thought that their brother's proposal less an uneasy restlessness was bred in promised some amusement, and they him by these disquieting, vague, and, were prepared to pay almost any price as he forced himself to believe, groundfor the rare privilege of his company at less suspicions. For some days, therehome. Therefore the prospect of Sa- fore, he shunned the companionship of leh's visit displeased nobody except Sa- his new friends, seeking refuge from leh himself.
them and from the shadowy fancies Just at first he was uncomfortably that troubled him in solitary rambles. conscious of the fact that Fairfax's re- These led him mostly into Richmond lations—more especially the two girls, Park, for the big expanse of comparaeyed him with a certain curiosity, as a tively wild woodland held for him a being new to their inexperience. Liv- curious fascination. Though he had ing under the same roof in daily inter- almost ceased to remember it, Saleh was forest-bred, and he, to whom by tive in size and most delicately formed, right of birth belongs the freedom of although at the bases of her almondthe jungle, is driven by instinct to the shaped finger-nails tiny smudges of a woods and thickets when the craving faint dusky blue betrayed the Eastern for consolation is upon him. The old blood. She looked at the youngster park, with its network of metalled lounging on the grass and passed him roads, its tame deer and fearless rab- by with a toss of her little head. bits nibbling the grass undisturbed by After that Saleh saw her frequently, groups of Londoners picnicking noisily always clad in crimson or scarlet,-for within a few yards of them, was but a the love of colors crude and gay was inpoor substitute for the magnificent, un- nate in her,--always chaperoned by touched forests of Malaya. Even here, those five great hounds, over whom however, there were hollow places she seemed to exercise a tyrannical asfilled with tangles of underwood or cendancy. The incongruity of this mounds of brambles, sheltered by oriental child and her surroundings bewhich it was possible for Saleh to fancy gan by piquing Saleh's curiosity, himself very far removed from the though it was significant of the extent hurrying life around him; and here, too, to which he had identified himself with the huge gnarled trunks of oak and elm the people of his adoption that the little were silent comrades whose neighbor- Princess, who, as a fellow-Asiatic, and hood consoled him with a sense of com. one of his own color, should surely have panionship and peace.
been felt to be akin to him, seemed to It was in Richmond Park that Saleh him a being outlandish, fantastic, first saw the little Princess-a figure bizarre,-infinitely more alien than more exotic than his own-clad in were any of the English girls with a crimson frock, with a coquettish whom he was wont to associate. Her feather springing saucily from a toque beauty-for the little Jewish-looking of the
brilliant color. She lady with her marvellous eyes, the passed quite close to him where he lay heavy arched eyebrows, and the wealth among the bracken, a dog-whip in her of blue-black hair, had her full share little hand, and five great hounds of a of good looks—made no appeal to him, breed unknown to Saleh, with long even repelled him a little, just as the coats of white and silver-gray, lean, pink-and-white loveliness of English fierce heads, sharp muzzles, and sav- women had repelled him five years age eyes. The girl's hair was black, earlier. His taste had altered with as only the hair of an Asiatic woman the rest of him, and to-day he was as can be; her clear pale skin insular in the narrow range of his apswarthy; her features—the straight, preciation as any British-born younglow forehead, the hooked nose with nos- ster in the set to which he belonged. trils curving outward, the full lips, the He had no desire to make the little rounded but slightly retreating chin- Princess's acquaintance, for the sight were strongly Semitic in cast; her eyes of her was, in a manner, terrifying to -the big, sloe-black, elliptical eyes of
him. It seemed to cross the t's, to dot Northern India-were veiled and the i's of his half-formed fears, to make dreamy in repose under the heavy his vague suspicions more haunting and arches of eyebrow. She was of smaller less nebulous, to add to the restless unstature than are most European girls easiness of which he was already the and her trim figure had ever so little a prey. Somehow another that tendency to thickness; but her hands crudely tinted exotic figure, moving so and feet were exquisite things, diminu. incongruously across the quiet English
landscape, conveyed to him a hint that had caught sight of himself horribly emphasized the falseness of the posi. caricatured and distorted in a mistion which he himself occupied, and shapen mirror, and instinctively he forced upon him an explanation of all turned his head away, refusing to look that had troubled him since he came to at an ugly vision which was fraught stay with the Fairfaxes—the true ex- for him with so much of pain and of planation to which he still strove to humiliation. shut his eyes. It was as though he Blackwood's Magazine.
(To be continued.)
The book, if you can get it, is worth and fragmentary as the music of birds. reading, not only for its curiosity, but We hear them, and we are ravished; for its beauty and its charm. It was we hear them not, and we are ravished published ten years since, and still. But, as in the most fluctuating would be tempted to say that the sounds of birds or breezes, we can perpoetry in it is the best that this gen. ceive a unity in their enchantment, and, eration has known, save that the listening to them, we should guess greater part of it has been written for these songs to be the work of a single the last ten centuries. Yet, though it mind, pursuing through a hundred sub. contains so much that is excellent and tle modulations the perfection which old, one might travel far without meet- this earth has
known. We ing a single reader who had ever heard should err; for through the long centuof the poets of this anthology. Have ries of Chinese civilization, poet after they,' then, been lately rediscovered, poet has been content to follow closely dug up, perhaps, from a buried city, in the footsteps of his predecessors, to and so, after the lapse of ages, restored handle the very themes which they to the admiration that is their due? had handled, to fit the old music to the By no means! These poems have been old imaginations, to gather none but printed in innumerable editions, and beloved and familiar flowers. In their the names of their writers are familiar sight a thousand years seem indeed to words in the mouths of millions. have been a moment; the song of the Here are contradictions enough to per- eighteenth century takes up the burden plex the most expert of Hegelians, but of the eighth; so that, in this peculiar they are contradictions which, like those literature, antiquity itself has become of Hegel, may be synthesized quite endowed with everlasting youth. The comfortably, if only you know the lyrics in our anthology, so similar, so trick. The book is a collection of verse faultless, so compact of art, remind one translations by Professor Giles, of of some collection of Greek statues, Cambridge; and the translations are where the masters of many generations from the Chinese.
have multiplied in their eternal marIt is a faint and curious tone which bles the unaltering loveliness of the reaches us, re-echoed so sympatheti- athlete. The spirit is the classical spirit cally by Professor Giles's gracious art, --that in which the beauties of origifrom those far-off, unfamiliar voices of nality and daring and surprise are singers long since dead. The strange
made an easy sacrifice upon the altar vibrations are fitful as summer breezes, of perfection; but the classicism