صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

They walked on after that, side by side, through the dark night. Presently said Arthur: “So you see I have full right to complain that Cousin Dirk's death is a peculiarly painful subject to me."

Joost did not answer.

They reached the house where Arthur had rooms, and stopped.

Good-night, Avelingh,” said Arthur, not too ungraciously, holding out his hand.

“I believe what you have told me,” said Joost, abruptly, standing with his hands in the pockets of his fur coat. “I see no reason to disbelieve it. In a day or two, as soon as I can conveniently make the necessary arrangements, I shall instruct Leening & Co., who are my bankers, to pay over to you the sum of forty thousand florins with compound interest from the day of my uncle's demise."

He turned upon his heel without another word.

“Avelingh,” the other called after him. “Good heavens ! Avelingh! Damn it! What do you mean?”

Joost walked on. “What's the use of long deliberations ?" he said to himself. “And what does it matter whether he gets the money or some other poor beggar? These things, when done at all, are best done quickly. And if what he says is true, I owe him the money more surely than I owe my butcher's bill.”

Arthur Van Asveld remained standing by the little wooden garden gate that waited to admit him. He felt dazed, as a man might feel on being suddenly struck to the ground by a gold nugget, with a rough “ That's for you!” His first impulse was not to believe the whole statement, to look upon it as a very vulgar joke. “No," he said to himself the next moment,

we are not on such terms as that with each other. And besides, he was unmistakably in earnest. Good heavens, what can he mean?” Then came a momentary flush of admiration and gratitude for Joost's generosity. And then again, almost immediately, while he yet stood out there in the cold, the doubt broke in upon Arthur's mind: “ Can all be right and square and above hand with regard to Avelingh's succession ? Men do not give away forty thousand florins like a pair of old boots. But they will pay out that, and more than that, with a reason. Some men's consciences require sedatives” —Arthur smiled to himself in the dark — "some men's secrets are best


buried in gold. Forty thousand florins! What could it mean?” He regretted not having asked for fifty or sixty. He was right, for Joost had immediately passed over that “or fifty” as an attempt at mere extortion.

“What could it mean?” He asked himself the question again and again, as he went up to his room. Despite the pleasure of thus finding temporary relief from his most pressing liabilities, the question continued to worry him. Why? Why? * Das geht nicht mit rechten Dingen zu,” he said.


(From "An Old Maid's Love.") It was on a golden summer evening - a long June sunset, soft and silent — that Mephisto crept into the quiet old heart of Suzanna Varelkamp. She was sitting in the low veranda of her cottage, with her gray knitting in her hands. She always had that gray knitting in her hands. If

If it rested on her knees for one brief moment, her friends could tell you that some singularly difficult question - probably of abstruse theology, or else about the linen-basket or the preserves --- was troubling Suzanna's mind. Suzanna was a woman of industrious repose. She loved her God and her store cupboard. She did not, as a rule, love her neighbor overmuch; little unpleasantnesses in connection with the overhanging apples, or Suzanna's darling cat, were apt to intervene and stifle the seeds of dutifully nurtured benevolence. The gentle laburnum at her side was slowly gliding over in the sinking sunlight, fragile and drooping, and a little lackadaisical, very unlike the natty old woman bolt upright in her basket-chair. Just across the road, a knot of poplars quivered to the still air; and in the pale, far heaven companies of swallows circled with rapid, aimless swoops. Nature was slowly, tranquilly, dreamingly, deliciously settling itself to sleep; silent already but for a blackbird shrilling excitedly through the jasmine bushes by the porch.

Another bird woke up at that moment and cried out from Suzanna's bedroom through all the quiet little house — that it was half-past seven. Mejuffrouw Varelkamp began to wonder why Betje did not bring out the “ tea-water.”

VOL. XIV. - 9



Thomas BABINGTON MACAULAY (raised to the peerage in 1857, under the title, “ Baron Macaulay of Rothley”), a famous English statesman and historian, born at Rothley in Leicestershire, Oct. 25, 1800; died at Kensington, London, Dec. 28, 1859. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, at the age of eighteen, and won high honors, taking his Bachelor's degree in 1822, and his Master's degree in 1825. He was called to the bar in 1826, though he never seriously practiced. As early as 1823 he began to contribute, in prose and verse, to Knight's Quarterly Magazine. Among his contributions in verse were the ballads of “ Moncontour" and " Ivry," and among his prose pieces the imaginary “Conversation between Mr. Abraham Cowley and Mr. John Milton, touching the Great Civil War." Macaulay's connection with the Edinburgh Review began in 1825 and lasted about twenty years. Between 1853 and 1859 Macaulay furnished to the “Encyclopædia Britannica” several biographico-critical articles.

The political life of Macaulay dates from 1830, when he entered Parliament and at once took an important part in public affairs. In 1833 an offer was made him to go out to India as a member of the Supreme Council, his special work being to draw up a new Penal Code for India. He resigned his seat in Parliament, and went to India in 1834. The code was completed in four years, and Macaulay returned to England in 1838.

In 1839 he was returned to Parliament for Edinburgh, and was appointed Secretary of War. In 1845, Macaulay was made Paymaster-General. He remained a member of Parliament for Edinburgh until 1847.

From early childhood Macaulay wrote not merely verse, but genuine poetry. Before losing his seat in Parliament in 1847, he put forth the “ Lays of Ancient Rome,” and after this devoted himself to the preparation of his “ History of England from the Accession of James II.” Volumes I. and II. appeared late in 1848. Volumes III. and IV. appeared in 1855. This was all of the History" which was printed during the life of Macaulay. He had, however, completed about half of another volume, which was published in 1861 by his sister, Lady Trevelyan.

[graphic][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« السابقةمتابعة »