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Only the deepening of that wistful look in the
at liberty, when each day might be his last; and too shining eyes as they rested constantly upon I had never left her since her illness. Léon whenever he was present, the increased Quiet and happy, though pervaded with chastened paleness of the wasted cheek, and the blue lines sadness, were those last evenings we spent tounder the eyes, telling of midnight watchings, gether—my mother, Uncle Lucien, Léon, and I. revealed the inward struggle. And sometimes, With all his exuberant patriotism, it was a hard when she thought no one saw it, the sudden struggle for Uncle Lucien to speak of Léon's pressure of the pale, thin hands, that usually lay departure. He loved him with a strange comfolded in an attitude unconsciously betokening pound of fatherly and brotherly feeling. For weariness and sorrow, to her heart, as if to still it had always been a curious study to watch a sharp physical pain. I did not know then them together, especially so of late—the calm how settled a conviction pressed upon her spirit, sense and judgment of the younger toning that this “Good-bye" would be the last she down the hot-headed rashness of the elder. Yet would ever speak to her idolized first - born Léon was Uncle Lucien's beau-idéal of what &
French soldier and a French gentleman should The days rolled quickly by, but the dreaded be, and Léon regarded him with a respect and one came not for more than a week after the affection wholly filial. Declaration. We had much to do, my mother It grieved Léon greatly, I saw, that Nina and I, for Léon. It was a sacred task to prepare seemed to care so little for his parting hours. everything which love could imagine as necessary Sometimes I wished he would speak to her; but or comfortable, a task in which other hands might as no actual confidence on the subject had not join, except Nina's. Many a pretty device, passed between us, I did not like to broach the many a simple addition to the useful things my subject to him. Besides, I was afraid to interfere. heavier fingers prepared, were turned out of I was by no means sure that Nina returned his those fairy hands and laid in Léon's stores. affection; for if she did, I asked myself, could even Little things, important in their triviality, which her strong love of coquetry support her in her my duller wits never thought of. But all this apparent indifference at his coming departure? under rigid injunction on her part, faithful One day, it was the 22nd, Léon brought the promise on mine, that Léon should not know tidings that his regiment would certainly leave whence they came. I gave the promise, know- Paris on one of the next days. Everything was ing well he would recognize them untold. Love in readiness, waiting only the word of command. is keen-witted.
Nina was talking merrily a moment before to Paris was surpassing herself in gaiety that week, Henri de l'Orme, a young fellow-officer of Léon's as though, forecasting that the time for the and the son of an old friend of my mother's. mirth and frivolities in which she delighted was And for once her composure failed her. The but short, she were making the most of it. As laughing light died out in her eyes, the smile I have said, the war-excitement pervaded all faded from her rosy lips, and after a vain struggle ranks, without in the busy streets, within in to seem her usual bright self she left the room. the family circle. There were few households I was glad to think that for that one evening at on which the shadow of coming separation did least she had no engagement. not rest, of coming bereavement, if human eyes We had many visitors that day, and my had not been mercifully closed against it; but mother retired to the sofa in her dressing room all was joy and festivity. Balls, soirées, concerts soon after eight o'clock. I sat there with her were given incessantly. A strange way it seemed some time, expecting Léon to join us there
, as to me of bidding farewell to men going forth to was usual to him. Going at last in search of danger, it might be to death. Nina and Victor him, I met Nina coming rapidly up the broad were,
of course, at once drawn into the vortex; staircase. She flashed past me without speaking, but Léon steadily refused all inducements to leaving a piece of her flowing muslin dress in the leave my mother during the few hours he was bend of the balustrade. The glance I had in
passing of the glowing crimson of the cheek, (0) Léon, I thought she did; I felt sure, in the defiant light that shot from the sparkling spite of all her coquetry, that she did care for you eyes, warned me not to attempt to detain or speak to her. Something had happened to “I think she does, Renée, care for me, as you wake the demon of passion with unusual force say; but I wanted her love, and that she cannot in that fairy-like form. I heard the door of her give." own room shut violently and locked as I went “Did she tell you so ? 0 Léon, are you sure down.
you quite understand one another." In the library was only Uncle Lucien, smoking “Quite sure, Renée," he answered, in a tone meditatively; the dining-room was empty, and of such exceeding pain I could ask no more; and on first looking in I thought the drawing-room that evening I heard no more. And never from was so too. But a second glance showed me
his lips. Léon's tall figure brought out strongly against I do not know how long we stood there in the fading evening light in one of the high silence; it was till I suddenly remembered my narrow windows. I went towards him un- mother would be wondering where we were, and perceived. He stood with folded arms, resting we went to her. It must have cost Léon a great his brow against the glass. Not till I laid my effort to assume his ordinary quiet, pleasant hand on his arm and spoke his name did he
But he made it. More than once relax from his fixed attitude. Then he started, mamma, and Uncle Lucien, who presently joined and passing his arm round me, drew me closely us, asked for Nina. We saw no more of her that to his side. His face was deadly pale, his evening. When mamma had retired to rest, she features rigid, his eyes pained and troubled. sent me to seek her ; but she only answered,
“0 Léon, what is it?" I whispered. “Is it through her closed door, that she had a headNina ?”
ache, and wanted nothing. “Yes." He rested his cheek against my brow; My heart was very sore that night. I was I knew it was to conceal the workings of his face. perplexed, as well as grieved and angry. But I felt his frame trembling with suppressed I supposed what seemed to me the impossibility emotion, while I waited for him to speak again. of any one's not returning Léon full measure for At last he went on—"I have been dreaming, his love had misled me. And certainly Nina Renée, dreaming a golden dream. And the had given little reason of late to warrant the awakening is sudden and sharp. That is all. I assumption that she regarded him with more had hoped, how vainly and presumptuously I see affection than Augustine or Victor. And yetnow, that I might bear with me the sweet and yet—it was a great puzzle. assurance of requited love to cheer me amidst the
I shall have the stern bracing of pain instead.” The hard, dry, bitter tones of the
CHAPTER V. voice usually so deep and sweet, fell like drops of molten lead on my heart, and I exclaimed
"Farewell ! a word that must be, and hath beenpassionately, “Would that you had never seen A sound which makes us linger ;-yet-farewell !" her—would that she had never come here; she has brought us nothing but sorrow !"
Next morning, Nina appeared with flushed "O Renée," he said, and his voice was cheeks and shining eyes, but with a manner gentle then,“ do not say that. Think how good which might have passed as her ordinary one to and sweet she is, when she is her real self. Her all but myself. But I detected an under-current faults are those of her early training; she will of excitement and agitation, and read of a sleepovercome them and be a noble woman yet. less night, in the dark circles round the bright You will see. Think what she was to us all eyes. She attached herself closely to my mother when our mother was ill. And it is not her until, before luncheon, Alphonse de Salmy was fanlt that she cannot love me.”
announced. He was the son of a Madame de
horrors of war.
ORDERED TO THE FRONT.
Salmy living at Meudon, and one of Nina's many and in a very short time followed me to the admirers. He told us his mother was coming dining-room. One quick glance she gave as she to fulfil her promise of taking Nina out to a fête entered the room, but Léon had not returned, she was holding in her grounds that day. and she stole up to my mother's sofa and whis
My mother asked Nina if she must go, remind- pered softly to her. Madame de Salmy was ing her it might be Léon's last day. But she already taking leave with her usual volubility, answered quickly, with changing colour, “I have but I heard my mother's answer to Nina's whispromised, mamma,"—for so she had learned to pered words, "No, my pet, no. I did not wish call my mother.
you to stay; Léon will not leave to-day. I only She went to prepare at once.
feared you might not be in time to bid him fareShortly afterwards Madame de Salmy arrived. well, but he would have been home ere this had To her and her circle, as friends for Nina, I knew his orders come. And you wish so much to go." Léon had a special aversion. Of course the con- Then I knew she had been seeking a last excuse versation was all of the war, and a great deal of to remain, and my heart smote me. nonsense Alphonse de Salmy talked, twisting his Very lovely she looked as she followed Madame elaborately curled and waxed moustache-high- de Salmy. Her cheeks were glowing and her flown, empty, bombastic nonsense—assuming all eyes shining, and her simple yet elegant white forces of earth and air and heaven to be alike the dress and blue ribbons set off her petite figure to bond-slaves of Imperial France.
advantage. She had inherited the violet eyes These seem trivial, every-day scenes on which I and brilliant complexion of her mother, a beautiam dwelling so much, but from a tiny seed how ful Irish girl, and the delicate features and gracelarge a harvest of blossom and fruitage is reaped; ful beauty which had ever been remarkable in the and Nina was then planting the germs of a bitter females of the De Lucheux family. Never had growth of future and unavailing regret.
I seen her look brighter and fairer than she did And I too that morning. Madame de Salmy then ; yet as she laughingly turned at the door grew impatient as time passed and Nina did not with a gay “ Au revoir,” her eyes met mine with appear, and at length my mother asked me to go the same wistful look of repressed pain. I would and hurry her. It was unusual for Niņa to be have given worlds to recall the last half-hour, but long at her toilette, she was so quick in all her it was too late. Too late! It has often seemed ways.
to me that “Too late!” and “No more !” are I went reluctantly. I was in no mood to weigh phrases that epitomize the whole burden of wisely or kindly the reason of her delay. On
On human sorrow, But the first has most of agony. entering her room I found her not half dressed, Most, because its key-note is remorse, its final and sitting with her hair flowing dishevelled chord unavailing regret. Too late-for the around her. She looked up as I entered exclaim- word, or touch, or look, or deed-room and time ing coldly, "Why, Nina, not ready! Madame de for which will be no more. . Ah! who that Salmy is tired of waiting.”
has travelled far on life's pilgrimage can look She raised her eyes to my face for an instant, back on its chequered pathway and see it not with a strange appealing look, such as I have thickly bordered with mounds raised above dead sometimes seen in a wounded, suffering animal. hopes and buried opportunities, over which the One word from me, one look even of tenderness fitful gusts of memory sweep ever and anon, and sympathy, would have spared us both many wailing " Too late! too late!” a dark hour of bitter sorrowful remorse. But I And if the "too lates” of time are thus bitter, did not give either; my heart was full of anger what must be the “ too late” of eternity? What and bitterness for Léon's pain. I only answered for the agonized knocker at the shut door of the by saying coldly, “Can I help you, Nina? there heavenly bridal feast ? is no time to lose." Ah! what would I have Slowly and sadly I turned from the window given a few hours later to have acted otherwise. as the carriage drove off, with a weary pain
She sprang up at once, declining assistance, at my heart, a burden whose leaden weight was to become almost insupportable in after- / parted I felt sure they had done so. For nearly days.
two hours they paced the small court, Léon's “Dear little Nina,” mamma said; "she thought hand resting caressingly on Augustine’s shoulder, I was grieved at her going, and wished to remain; as of old, talking earnestly in low tones, no but I krow how she loves the woods, country- sound of which reached my ear. But while Léon born and bred as she is.” But I knew the intense was visible I could not lose the pleasure of gazing wish Nina professed the previous day for the visit upon him; eyes and heart would hunger sorely to Meudon was chiefly assumed in contradiction and long for a sight of him before his return to Léon's objection to the De Salmys; it was could be hoped for. And before they parted, the only uttered in his presence.
look on Augustine's face, clearly visible to my It was late in the afternoon when Léon came eyes, grown accustomed to the semi-darkness of in. One look at his face told us all. A spasm the clear summer night, told me plainly it was of anguish passed over mamma's white face for even so; it was an expression of rest and calm an instant, then it was calm again. Orders had comparatively great. arrived for several regiments to march next morn- Before eight o'clock next morning Léon was ing. Léon did not ask for Nina ; and in the gone—the last words had been spoken, the last course of the evening a messenger arrived from embraces given and received, the last blessings Madame de Salmy, saying she had ventured to uttered. My mother was calm, and her low detain her for the night. Again the tide of quiet tones scarcely faltered as she said, "God resentment surged through my heart, almost and the Blessed Virgin watch over and protect obliterating the impression of that haunting look. you, my own beloved son;" but there was a It need not, for I knew Madame de Salmy, and solemnity in her manner which spoke of depths might have considered how likely it was that of thought and anguish within to which our tears Vina had been allowed no voice in the matter. were as nothing.
That last evening passed with the tardy As my turn came for the last embrace, Léon lengthiness we feel weigh upon us heavily, while whispered, “Say farewell for me to Nina, Renée, ve yet grudge each passing hour; with the and tell her to forget what passed the other jealous hanging on the looks and tones of the night. And if I should fall—tell her I loved departing ones, contending with a strange incapa- her to the last. Nothing can change that.' You city of realization that those looks and tones will will care for and protect her, Renée, whatever may so soon cease to gladden our daily life. It was late happen; for my sake promise me this.” What ere Léon could persuade my mother to retire ; would I not have promised him then? and after she was settled for the night, she sent At ten o'clock the departing regiments were for him to give him some parting words. Parting to march past the Hôtel de Ville, and Uncle words indeed, though I do not think she saddened Lucien had promised to take Madame de l'Orme his spirits by letting him know how fully she to snatch one more look at her boy. She was a felt them to be such. As he came from her widow at his birth, and he her only child, her idol, room, Augustine seized him, and I felt I must her all. My mother insisted on my accompanying give up hopes of having once more a quiet talk them. She preferred being alone, she said, and before I went to rest. So I had to be content I was only too glad to see Léon again, if but for with the very tender good-night we exchanged a moment. as he went below with Augustine.
Early as it was, the streets were thronged with My room window looked into the paved court, eager crowds as we drove through them on our and from it I saw the two brothers pacing up way to the balcony in the Rue de Rivoli, on and down in it. I was glad for Augustine's sake; which Uncle Lucien had arranged we should perhaps with his heart softened by parting sorrow, stand. It was a glorious, cloudless summer he might unburden the source of his trouble to morning, the balmy air resonant with the din of Léon, whose efforts to induce him to do so he many voices and distant martial music. It was had as yet silently resisted. And before they strange to look on the crowded streets and well. lined balconies, and know countless hearts were guards, stately cuirassiers, dark-faced Zouaves, quivering like our own with keen parting throes. gallant Chasseurs de France on their gray Perhaps our sorrow was no more visible to the chargers, company after company, regiment after outward eye than that of others at whose cheerful regiment, battalion after battalion. · All seemed and, in some cases, joyful composure we marvelled. suggestive of a gay review-pleasant pastime for The lip can smile while the heart is aching. a summer day. What was there to tell of blood, And is not life made up of two distinct cords, and agony, and death? What to speak of ruin, the outer and the inner ! We passed many disgrace, defeat ? acquaintances on our way, bent on the same pur- At last came Léon's regiment, his and young pose, and met cheerful greetings and bright De l'Orme's. First the latter passed. The face smiles. But we returned like for like, even poor and figure of the gallant boy, as he waved a Madame de l'Orme.
parting salute to us, ever rise beside that of my We had not long taken our places on the beloved brother when I think of that daybalcony when the nearing swell of the music and though then I gave it but a passing glance, for I heavy tramp of horses' feet told us of the pageant's had caught sight of Léon. He looked up and approach. For was it not a brave pageant, those saw us; I marked the quick glance he gave serried lines of warriors going forth, high in heart beyond, beside us. · No, Léon; Nina was not and hope, to do battle for the honour of fair there. But his look was proud and bright, and France ? The most timid spirits must have as I gazed on his noble form and graceful bearing, risen, the saddest hearts swelled high, as rank pride in him overpowered for the moment sorrow after rank rode by-bright uniforms and flowing and fear for him. plumes, and glittering steel, and prancing steeds, We watched them up the long straight street fluttering banners and soulestirring music, stal- till their figures were lost in the bright-hued mass. wart forms and summer sunshine. Handkerchiefs After that, neither Madame de l'Orme por I fluttered, and bouquets fell, and throats were cared much for the rest of the sight, and waited strained as they passed. On they rode, gorgeous wearily for the end.
FOREIGN MISSIONS OF THE FREE CHURCH.*
[This is a succinct, exact, and authentic record of a great Christian work—a work that will occupy an important place in history. The missions of the Scottish Church, presided over in their earlier years by Dr. Duff at Calcutta, by Dr. Wilson at Bombay, by John Anderson at Madras, and by other men equally devoted, though not so widely known, in other places of India and South Africa, assumed from the first, and still maintain, the distinctive character of great educational institutions—the education, full and liberal, like that which is imparted to our own children at home, but given at the expense of Christians with the view of infusing Christianity into the springs of the national life, and so of ultimately sapplanting heathenism. In every case this purpose was openly proclaimed from the first. Education was offered free to all who chose to accept it; but the education offered was an education in common things, in daily and hourly union with the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, and the commending of the gospel.
This system has taken deep root in India. Great results have already been attained; but, from the nature of the cas, the full fruits must be expected in the next generation.
Mr. Hunter, having been himself one of the missionaries until his health failed, and having access to all the documents, is amply qualified to gather and group the facts, so that the reader may obtain within a narrow space a full view of the whole field. He has accomplished his task with judgment, simplicity, and perspicuity. Not only to members of the Free Church, whose work is here recorded, but to all the disciples of Christ, this volume should be very precious. We subjoin three short extracts, all from the Madras station, illustrating three distinct features of the work.—EDITOR.]
“institutions” on the model of the Calcutta one at the CASTE.
other presidency seats. There being already mission
aries at Bombay, it was easy to take immediate action HE impassioned eloquence of Dr. Duff during his first visit to his native land had
* From "History of the Missions of the Free Church of Scot. stirred up such an interest in his educa- land in India and Africa." By the Rev. Robert Hunter, M.A. tional system of operations in the East,
formerly Missionary at Nagpore. With Prefatory Note by the that an ardent desire arose for the establishment of
Rev. Charles J. Brown, D.D., Edinburgh. T. Nelson and Sons,