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The Arabs rose up, with a delicacy I approved, as if they intuitively knew that we ought to be left to ourselves. I sent Bombay with them, to give them the news they also wanted so much to know about the affairs at Unyanyembe. Sayd bin Majid was the father of the gallant young man whom I saw at Masange, and who fought with me at Zimbizo, and who soon afterwards was killed by Mirambo's Ruga-Ruga in the forest of Wilyankuru; and, knowing that I had been there, he earnestly desired to hear the tale of the fight; but they had all friends at Unyanyembe, and it was but natural that they should be anxious to hear of what concerned them.
After giving orders to Bombay and Asmani for the provisioning of the men of the Expedition, I called “Kaif-Halek,” or “How-do-ye-do,” and introduced him to Dr. Livingstone as one of the soldiers in charge of certain goods left at Unyanyembe, whom I had compelled to accompany me to Ujiji, that he might deliver in person to his master the letter-bag he had been intrusted with by Dr. Kirk. This was that famous letter-bag marked “Nov. 1st, 1870,” which was now delivered into the Doctor's hands 365 days after it left Zanzibar! How long, I wonder, had it remained at Unyanyembe had I not been despatched into Central Africa in search of the great traveller!
The Doctor kept the letter-bag on his knee, then presently opened it, looked at the letters contained there, and read one or two of his children's letters, his face in the meanwhile lighting up.
He asked me to tell him the news. “No, Doctor,” said I, “ read your letters first, which I am sure you must be impatient to read.”
“Ah,” said he, “I have waited years for letters, and I have been taught patience. I can surely afford to wait a few hours longer. No, tell me the general news : how is the world getting along ?”
“You probably know much already. Do you know that the Suez Canal is a fact-is opened, and a regular trade carried on between Europe and India through it?"
"I did not hear about the opening of it. Well, that is grand news! What else ?”
Shortly I found myself enacting the part of an annual periodical to him. There was no need of exaggeration of any penny-a-line news, or of any sensationalism. The world had witnessed and experienced much the last few years. The Pacific Railroad had been completed ; Grant had been elected President of the United States; Egypt had been flooded with savans; the Cretan rebellion had terminated ; a Spanish revolution had driven Isabella from the throne of Spain, and a regent had been appointed ; General Prim was assassinated; a Castelar had electrified Europe with his advanced ideas upon the liberty of worship; Prussia had humbled Denmark, and annexed Schleswig-Holstein, and her armies were now around Paris; the “ Man of Destiny" was a prisoner at Wilhelmshöhe; the Queen of Fashion and the Empress of the French was a fugitive; and the child born in the purple had lost forever the Imperial crown intended for his head ; the Napoleon dynasty was extinguished by the Prussians, Bismarck and Von Moltke; and France, the proud Empire, was humbled to the dust.
What could a man have exaggerated of these facts? What a budget of news it was to one who had emerged from the depths of the primeval forests of Manyuema! The reflection of the dazzling light of civilization was cast on him while Livingstone was thus listening in wonder to one of the most exciting pages of history ever repeated. How the puny deeds of barbarism paled before these! Who could tell under what new phases of uneasy life Europe was laboring even then, while we, two of her lonely children, rehearsed the tale of her late woes and glories! More worthily, perhaps, had the tongue of a lyric Demodocus recounted them ; but, in the absence of the poet, the newspaper correspondent performed his part as well and truthfully as he could.
Not long after the Arabs had departed, a dishful of hot hashed-meat cakes was sent to us by Sayd bin Majid, and a curried chicken was received from Mohammed bin Sali, and Moeni Kheri sent a dishful of stewed goat-meat and rice; and thus presents of food came in succession, and as fast as they were brought we set to. I had a healthy, stubborn digestion—the exercise I had taken had put itin prime order; but Livingstone-he had been complaining that he had no appetite, that his stomach refused everything but a cup of tea now and then-he ate also—ate like a vigorous, hungry man; and, as he vied with me in demolishing the pan-cakes, he kept repeating, “You have brought me new life; you have brought me new life.”
“Oh, by George!” I said, “I have forgotten something. Hasten, Selim, and bring that bottle; you know which ; and bring me the silver goblets. I brought this bottle on purpose for this event, which I hoped would come to pass, though often it seemed useless to expect ité".
Selim knew where the bottle was, and he soon returned with it—a bottle of Sillery champagne; and, handing the Doctor a silver goblet brimful of the exhilarating wine, and pouring a small quantity into my own, I said :
“Dr. Livingstone, to your very good health, sir.” “And to yours," he responded.
And the champagne I had treasured for this happy meeting was drunk with hearty good wishes to each other.
Mary Ainge De Dere.
Born in Brooklyn, N. Y.
[Littell's Living Age— The Century Magazine-etc.)
T TAKE my hand from thine and turn away,-
Too weak to cling, and yet too fond to part ?
Cold is the shrine, ah cold forevermore!
Why linger, then, while golden moments fly
And sunshine waits beyond the open door ?
Must linger here, and wait; we have no choice
Only to wait, and hear nor step nor voice,
A QUIET HOUSE.
M y house is quiet now-so still! Ah, silent house! If I could hear
That vexed me many a happy year,
Ah, lonely house! If once, once more, But silence breaks my heart. I wait, My longing eyes might see the stain And waiting yearn for call or knock, . Of little foot-prints on the floorTo hear the creaking of the gate
The sweet child-faces at the doorAnd footsteps coming, soon or late: . Ah, blessed Heaven, but once, once more! The silence breaks my heart. I wait.
My house and home are very still. All through the empty house I go, I watch the sunshine and the rain: From hall to hall, from room to room; The years go on . . Perhaps Death The heavy shadows spread and grow,
will The startled echoes mock me so,
Life's broken promises fulfil. As through the empty house I go. My house, my home, my heart, are still!
GOD KEEP YOU.
C OD keep you, dearest, all this lonely night:
The moon drops down behind the western hill.
God keep you, when sweet slumber melts away,
And care and strife
Take up new arms, to fret your waking life.
How poor is prayer!
God keep you, every time, and everywhere!
George Frederic Parsons.
Born in Brighton, England, 1840.
THE COMÉDIE HUMAINE.
[Honoré de Balzac.--The Atlantic Monthly. 1886.]
THE plan of the Comédie Humaine came to Balzac after he had estab
I lished his reputation. He was a long time in discovering his vocation, but he had been educating himself for the great work of his life during his dreary apprenticeship. He would become the analyst of society. He would do for the human family what Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire had done for the brute creation. The Comédie Humaine was to be a philosophical dissection of society, a description of contemporary life and manners from top to bottom, and embracing all ranks, classes, and occupations. The conception was gigantic, and, when all the defects of the work are allowed for, it will have to be admitted that the execution is marvellous. Nor could it have been even partially accomplished save by the method Balzac adopted. A series of separate and unconnected stories would not have admitted of the subtle working out of complicated and far-reaching sequences of events such as real life presents. In the ordinary novel it is necessary either to represent a section of life cut off abruptly, without beginning or end, or fidelity to truth must be sacrificed to the exigencies of the plot. Balzac, by carrying his characters through a whole series of stories, was enabled to present them in many different aspects, and at the same time to work out those side-plots and ramifications of human relationship with which real existence abounds. His method enlarged his canvas enormously, and also gave an entirely new interest and emphasis to his situations. But only a master could have accomplished so great an undertaking with the measure of success he has achieved, or could have avoided the difficulties inherent in the scheme. In considering the qualifications demanded for the work, some of the faults charged upon Balzac are at least explained. To do what he attempted-that is, to paint human nature as it existed in his time and country—a mind as many-sided as nature is needed. But to paint human nature as manifested in the social organization, a catholicity of view is required which excludes optimism. It is one thing to describe the world as it ought to be, or as one would have it, but quite another to describe it as it is. In most novels we find bad men repenting and becoming good, virtuous men rewarded by material prosperity, the villains punished and the heroes triumphing. But how far is this from what actually happens ! As John Stuart Mill observes, " The general tendency of evil is towards further evil. Bodily illness renders the body more susceptible of disease; it produces incapacity of exertion, sometimes debility of mind, and often the loss of means of subsistence. Poverty is the parent of a thousand mental and moral evils. What is still worse, to be injured or oppressed, when habitual, lowers the whole tone of the character. One bad action leads to others, in the agent himself, in the bystanders, and in the sufferers. All bad qualities are strengthened by habit, and all vices and follies tend to spread. Intellectual defects generate moral, and moral intellectual; and every intellectual or moral defect generates others, and so on without end." This, of course, is but one side of the case, but it is precisely the side which fiction usually ignores, to the detriment alike of art and verisimilitude. But Balzac did not ignore it, and his recognition and full representation of it constitute one of his strongest claims upon posterity. In him, indeed, we see a resemblance to Nature, who distributes good and evil impartially, indifferently; elaborating the hideous and venomous tarantula as carefully as the gentle dove or the fragrant rose, and not seldom seeming, as in the tiger, to lavish her most splendid ornamentation upon incarnations of ferocity and savage power. Balzac took society as he found it. He did not attempt to improve it, unless showing it its own image might have an elevating tendency. He regarded his mission as that of a scientific social historian. And he undertook not only to describe society in its external aspects, but to analyze the springs of its various activities, to explain and characterize the motives that inspired it, and to dissect away the conventional tissues which concealed its true desires and intents.
In applying his analytical methods he was deterred by no sentimental restraints. He looked everywhere, and set down what he saw-vice or virtue, honor or infamy, as the case might be. That he should have been a cause of offence to many was inevitable, and equally so that the frank intrepidity of his analysis should be denounced as insufferable coarseness. He is coarse. There is no need to deny it, and his coarseness is often an injury to his work. But the question is whether, with a more delicate temperament, he could have done the work before him; and if the answer to this question is in the negative, as I think it must be, it will perhaps be considered well that he did it, even with the drawbacks attached to it. For so powerful a work has never been accomplished by another, nor is likely to be. And even in his most audacious moods, when, as his critics have said, he seems to take special delight in the analysis of some monstrous vice, some hideously deformed character, the marvellous insight which exhibits the inmost workings of a depraved human soul, the equally marvellous truth of touch which shows the gradual obscuration and extinction of the good principles and tendencies, assuredly produce upon the reader no seductive or demoralizing effect, but rather the emotion caused by the spectacle of an implacable destiny urging the lost creature to its doom.
[The Growth of Materialism.--The Atlantic Monthly. 1887.] TT is one of the most significant facts of the material civilization that its
I supreme code—that, namely, upon which what it terms “ business" is based-should declare the union of friendship with the sacred cult of money to be inadmissible. In the counting-house, the factory, the exchange, there must be no entangling alliances. There, in the arcana of “ business," all