Abbildungen der Seite

old clients of Madame Gamps who spin noise which the saw made as it cut and knit, who watch and pray, the through the bone. “ 'Tis a pity we names of battlefields are writ deep, haven't a little wine here to help him methinks. "Trailst thou the puissant rally," the doctors said. "I happened pike?” Good; but sometimes it were to have half a bottle of Malaga with braver to smooth the distaff-wool and me,” Lejeune recounted. I was treadle the unending wheel. I think hoarding it up for my own use, a drop of Fluellen-my Fluellen, his white hair at a time, but I gave it to the poor gleaming in the candlelight of the card- fellow who was looking terribly pale. table at the Club, and I remember bis His eyes brightened, at one gulp he day on the tower at Dijon. And then emptied the flask, and then, returning I think of Mademoiselle below, anxious it, 'It is still a long way to Carcasand harried, heart-aching but serviable, sonne!' he said, and walked on with a waiting on gruff Gothic guests at her firm step, at a pace I could hardly folmother's inn-smiling with them, even low." perhaps—and

all the while her Such was the courage of Pierre the thoughts, her honest love, her terrors artilleryman, all Poland and Germany out in the covertless fields of Bur- and half France away from his native gundy with the escaping or perhaps Carcassonne-a long way indeed. But unescaping and shot down Capitaine, what of the heroism of Suzonne his "of the most handsome and the most wife, busy at Carcassonne with her good.”

spinning-wheel and her chickens, yet I have never collected battlefields in not so busy that she could not think, Russia, nor seen the spot "a little be- imagine, and dread all day and all yond the west bank of the Dnieper" night. “There! Now, if not before, where on a day of the Retreat from he is shot! He falls dead! I really am Moscow General Lejeune "sat down to a widow now-oh my child, you are rest on the trunk of a tree, beside a fatherless!" In war-time the passionfine young artilleryman who had just ate hearts of good women bleed worse, been wounded." Two doctors hap. I think, than any amputated arm. pened to pass by, and Lejeune desired Do you see brave Pierre the artillerythem to examine the wound. "His man, Pierre the manchot, tramping arm must be amputated at once!" they back over Poland, Germany, and half declared, and Lejeune asked the young France to beautiful Carcassonne? I see soldier if he could bear it. “Anything Suzonne setting out with her child in you like, mon Général," was the stout her arms, to tramp towards Russia unreply. “But there are only two of til she can know the truth, less torturus,” the doctors said, “so you, General, ing than her fears. And under all will be good enough to help us, per- this feathered and gilded business of haps?" Lejeune was to let the poor war I see the grim nursery-play of fellow lean against him the while. "Sit young Apollyons, who sneer at Maback to back with him, sir, and you dame Gamps and spinning-wheels, the will see nothing of it.” Lejeune did while they toy with chassepots and with not see, but he heard; he heard the diabolic spitting shells. The Cornhill Magazine.

J. H. Yoxall.


By Hug! CLIFFORD, C. M. G.

great House of Baram Singh. We are On the occasion of their third chance Rajputs. We are descended without a meeting the little Princess stopped and break in our line from Alexander the spoke to Saleh. He was lying in the Great, who went to the East that he bracken as usual, idle of body, yet try. might find the spot where the sun rises. ing to keep his mind from digging too My people have been kings for hun. deeply into the enigmas that fretted dreds and hundreds of years." him, and she halted in front of him, "So have mine," cried Saleh. "And her dog-whip in her hand, her great we too are descended from Alexander!" hounds grouped around her, and looked He spoke in all good faith, for every down upon him with a sort of haughty sprig of Malayan royalty, in common scorn in her eyes.

with the members of wellnigh every "Who are you, you little black boy?" princely House in Asia, claims the she asked insolently.

proud distinction of the same mythical With the instinct of courtesy which ancestry; but the little Princess laughed the past five years had bred in him, contemptuously at such preposterous Saleh sprang to his feet and stood be- pretensions. fore her hat in hand. He felt himself "It is in the books—the Malay books. to be insulted, outraged by the girl's I have read it," said Saleh feebly. rude words, but her sex rendered him "There are plenty of lies in the defenceless. This, again, was the fruit books," rejoined the little Princess senof bis English training.

tentiously. “But our chronicles are "I am Raja Saleh,” he said, speaking true. They are ever so old, and all with the strong foreign accent of which the world knows about our descent. he was blissfully unconscious. "My My people were kings for thousands father is the Sultan of Pelesu."

and thousands of years!" “And where is Pelesu, pray?" asked "And aren't they kings any longer?” the girl, her lips curling scornfully. "I inquired Saleh innocently. huve never heard of Pelesu."

This time the little Princess bent Unlike Saleh, she spoke her adopted upon him a look of scornful pity that language perfectly, yet with that was withering. slight lengthening of the vowels and "Have you learned no history, you litover-precise enunciation of the conso- tle black boy?" she asked. nants which, when accompanied with a "Oh yes," said Saleh, with the ineradfluty falsetto voice, proclaims the icable childishness of his race, and anx"Chee-Chee” to the Anglo-Indian with ious, too, to display his knowledge. “I uncompromising distinctness.

know a lot of history, about Julius "Pelesu is a State—a very large Cæsar, and William the Conqueror, and State-in the Malay Peninsula,” an- Clive, and Warren Hastings, and Oliswered Saleh sulkily.

ver Cromwell, the wicked regicide, and The little Princess tossed her head Marie Antoinette, and ... and ... Sir and laughed. “Oh, that savage place!" Stamford Raffles, andshe said. "I knew your father could “Oh, all that stuff!" she interrupted. not be one of the great princes of India, "That is nothing; but the story of the or I should have heard of him. I," she Ilouse of Baram Singh is real history. added proudly, "I am a daughter of the Tbe English robbed us!"

"I don't believe it,” cried Saleh land's vast reformatory work in Asia, bluntly, his loyalty getting the better and his Malayan memories had become of his acquired courtesy.

too blurred and distant for them to af. "Then that just shows what a stupid, ford him any assistance in this direcignorant little boy you must be!" she tion. Therefore the railings of the litretorted. “Everybody who knows any- tle Princess were in the nature of an thing knows what bandits these Eng. ugly revelation which, while it made lish are.

They talk a great deal about the fool's paradise in which he had been right and wrong, and about injustice living so contentedly totter to its founand justice; they are always sending dations, outraged him by laying sacri. poor people to prison for little thefts; legious hands on much which he had but they inake me sick,—these English, learned to regard as holy. For the --they are such robbers! They were moment he was dumb, and had no running wild in their horrid wet woods, words at his command to oppose to naked and shivering under their blue the bitter flood of the girl's rhetoric. paint, when my ancestors were civ- "And the English hate us too," she ilized men and mighty kings. They went on presently. “They hate us bewere just miserable savages; and now, cause they fear us. Some day we shall for all their prating about virtue, if drive them out of India, and my peomen steal big enough things,-a crown, ple will go back and reign as before in a kingdom,—they account it no crime- their own land!" they think it glorious. Oh, they are "That is nonsense!” cried Saleh, with such hypocrites and liars! I hate them! utter conviction. “You could never hate them!"

turn us out We are much too strong, She ceased her tirade from sheer lack and have got a footing there that nothof breath, and stood there in the sum- ing will ever shake." mer sunlight quivering with rage. She "That shows how little you know," would not have dreamed of speaking

she retorted. "It will be done easily. thus to any European; but, despite all We will outcaste them. We will make her pride of race, this little brown boy it a sin for any one, be he Hindu or did not seem to matter, simply because Muhammadan, to supply the Melch with the accident of his color brought with

food or water. They will try to force it a conviction of his inferiority. Also, our folk to give way; they will call she felt, all rigbt-thinking Orientals out their soldiers; they will behave as must share the opinions to which she they did in '57—like the savages they gave such uncompromising expression. are at bottom; but it will be of no use.

To Saleh, the denationalized, how- When it is their religions that inspire ever, her words were the rankest blas- them, our people in India will die in phemy. To him the very fire of her thousands rather than sin at the bidemotions was repellent because-be- ding of the English. They have proved cause it was un-English! This unex it in the past. It is the spirit of repected encounter with a point of view ligion-not the accident of creedso diametrically opposed to that which which will unify our peoples, that will he had assimilated through his training, give them the power to die, but never sympathies, and associates, smote him to submit. The English will resist, with a shock of horrified surprise. The for they are stubborn; but in the end limitations of his imagination had so they will have to go, and India will be far prevented him from so much as ours once more. It can be done; I have guessing that there might be more than heard my people speak of it, and some one side even to the question of Eng- day we will do it!"

The dark blood dyed her pale cheeks treatment of any animal would have to a deeper hue; her eyes, which had had no power to move him, and his lost their dreamy melancholy, flashed as quick indignation at the girl's maltreatshe gazed into vacancy like some tiny ment of her dog went far to prove savage prophetess; her words poured how utterly dead, or how completely from her, tingling with excitement, lulled to sleep, was the oriental soul thrilling with the sincerity of her emo- within him. Her words had disquieted, tion, and Saleh stood before her, carried pained, tortured him; but now as he away in spite of himself by the conta- watched her brutally punish an unofgion of her enthusiasm, but horrified fending animal he felt that he hated at the picture which her words con- her. jured up, and filled suddenly with a “Ah!" she cried triumphantly, “you great fear for his friends.

do not like' me when I am unjust to "I do not think like you,” he said Rustam here, yet you praise the Enghesitatingly, and even to his own ears lish, who have done much worse things! his words sounded weak and stupid. They hated my grandfather because he "I like the English. They are my was a man and fought them. They friends. They do a lot of good. They beat his armies because they were illare kind people, and are just in their armed; they took his country from dealings.”

him, stealing even his crown jewels, He was painfully aware of his lack like the brigands they are; and they of eloquence: the very strength of his carried him away to this horrible cold feelings rendered him more than usu- England to die in exile! But he never ally inarticulate. He was loyally ceased to hate them and to show them eager to vindicate the honor of his the measure of his hate, and they friends—of the nation of his adoption; watched him always, because they but he was conscious that he had nei- were afraid of the poor old man whom ther the brains nor the words to argue they had wronged, but whose spirit successfully with the little spitfire be- they could never break!" fore him.

"I am sorry for him," said Saleh, "You like the English!" she cried. "but perhaps there were reasons which "You dare to say that you like them,- you do not know. Perhaps his people you, an Asiatic, the son of one of the were unhappy when he ruled them." many

whom they have despoiled! "That is the nonsense which the Only cowards like them, cowards who English hypocrites have taught you to fawn, as dogs fawn, upon the hand talk,” the girl replied with infinite that beats them-thus!" And she scorn. “If his people did not love him, struck the hound which stood nearest why did they fight for him? Why to her a vicious blow upon his muzzle did the English have to kill hundreds wtih the handle of her whip. The and hundreds of them before they could great beast, whimpering a little, cow- conquer his country? Answer me ered on the ground at her feet, looking

that." up at her uncomprehendingly with his I do not know. I have not read heavy, slavish dog's eyes "You are like about it,” said Saleh, who found himhim if you are fond of the English!" self at more of a disadvantage than she cried, and struck the cowering crea- ever. ture again with her little cruel hand. "And if you had read of it, it would

“Leave him alone! Don't be so be in English books, written for the cruel!" shouted Saleh, quivering with English by Englishmen, and crammed anger. Five years earlier the brutal with lies! They can always find an excuse to justify their wickedness, lishman. Her action in addressing these English; but the truth-ah, that him at all, even more than the words is different! Only we who have suf- wbich she had uttered, was to him an fered know the truth!

insult, a humiliation. “Listen, you little black boy. They I am not a coward, and I do like tried to make my father different-to the English. You must be a wicked turn him into an Englishman. He be- girl to talk as you talk, and I don't became a Christian-it is bad to be any- lieve what you say about the English thing but a Christian in this land, - is true. They are just people, and and we are all Christians now. But very kind people.” Once more the when we win back our country we hopeless inadequacy of his words shall be restored to caste.

caused him to be smartingly conscious “My grandfather had tried resistance of his own intellectual impotence. all his life, and it had failed. My fa

The little Princess only answered ther pretended for a long time that with a disgusted ejaculation, and callhe was a friend of the English, hoping ing to her hounds to follow her, she that would better serve his purposes; left him with a look of blighting conbut because he spent some paltry sums tempt and a toss of her pretty head. -for even in exile a king must live Long after she had passed from his lavishly—the English, who had robbed sight behind the trunks of the elms us of everything, were very angry on Saleh stood where she had left him, account of his debts. Then he es- knee-deep in the bracken, jarred to the caped-went to Russia; but the Rus

very marrow, confused, humiliated, sians are white men too, and liars like and beset by vague doubts. During the English. They made fair prom- the whole interview his ow inferiority ises to him, but they never would do had been borne in upon him with the anything. They only wanted to make force of a new discovery, for througha tool of him. Then despair seized out she had spoken to him as though, him, and he came back here and made because he was not white, he ranked his peace with the English-outwardly. no higher in her estimation than if he He was a broken man then. He used were one of her hounds. Coming preto sit all day with his head fallen for- cisely at the moment when for the first ward upon his breast, his hands idle, time his color was beginning to trouble doing nothing, only thinking, thinking, him, the wound thus inflicted had thinking,-thinking of all that ought eaten deep into his soul; but also, apart to have been his,—and waiting for from the purely personal question, he death. He died of a broken heart, my had been offended by all that she had father, and it was the people whom you said against his friends. His was a and other cowards 'like' who broke it! nature formed for loyalty, and her Oh, how I detest them; but still more I abuse rankled. Moreover, her words hate and despise black men like you bad violated the integrity of that facile who pretend to love them!"

optimism which hitherto had led him She spoke with so fierce a passion to accept the world as he found it, subthat Saleh drew back from her, scribing without reserve to Pope's asshocked and dismayed: outraged too, tonishing article of faith, that "whatfor instinctively he was aware that the ever is, is right”! Now, in less than little Princess would never have half an hour his universe had been dreamed of using such words to a turned topsy-turvy before his eyes: white man, and Saleh desired above white had been made to look like black, everything to be treated as an Eng right like wrong. It was horrible, un

« ZurückWeiter »