Detmold: A Romance: Part I



THE late train from the westward arrives at Verona towards eleven o’clock. It is drawn by locomotives named the Titian, the Sansovino, or the Paul Veronese, yet if it be a sultry night the traveler hardly finds himself the more comfortable for these attractive designations. It was on a sultry night in the early part of June that a young gentleman alighted from this train and placed himself, almost the only passenger, in a long omnibus, which bore him away into the heart of the city.

His countenance wore a petulant expression, as though he felt that he had a right to complain at the discomforts to which he was being subjected. There was a white muslin scarf with barred ends twisted about his hat, a field glass was slung over his shoulder, and he had a general aspect of having lately come out of Switzerland, — as indeed he had, by way of the Simplon Pass.

The long omnibus crossed a bridge, rolled in and out of numerous dark streets and up the Corso to its narrowest part, and paused before the Torre d’Oro al Gran Parigi. The traveler made his arrangements hurriedly at the bureau of the hotel. He did not wait to be shown to his room, but grumbled at the beat and asked to be directed where be could get some cooling refreshment immediately. In the street he pushed his hat upon the back of his bead with a breath of pariial relief, and at the end of the block turned into a small passage which leads under a statue-crowned archway to the Café Dante, in the Piazza de’ Signori.

Business for the night was nearly over at the Café Dante. Most of the little tables that usually stand upon the pavement had been taken in. There were still a few patrons sipping ices, or smoking and conversing in quiet tones. The new-comer threw himself into a chair, and a polite waiter snatched a napkin and ran out from the interior to know what the signore desired to command. The signore commanded a certain ice, which was exhausted for the evening. The substitute brought to him, whatever it was, did not appear to be to his liking. In an endeavor to obtain something else, which his slight acquaintance with the language did not enable him to make sufficiently clear, he was obliged to go to explain his demand to a more accomplished attendant within. While be did so he stood for some moments in a strong light. As he came out a gentleman who had been observing his movements with interest stepped forward to meet him.

“Pardon me if I am wrong,” said he, “but I think you must be Morris Hyson.”

“ I certainly am,” replied the other; “ and dark as it is I have not the slightest difficulty in making out that you are Louis Detmold. I am extremely glad to see you. How in the world do you happen to be here? I had no idea that you were within six thousand miles of this out-of-the-way place. When did you leave Lakeport? ”

“ Only in March,” answered Detmold. “ I am taking a sort of course of study in my line, — drawing buildings, and so on. These Lombard cities are full of material. I find this one especially interesting. But let us sit down. Have you ordered? You seemed to have some difficulty.”

“ Yes, I did; but I think I have now made myself understood. I want some seltzer water, wine, and a little syrup and ice. I mix them together into a kind of imitation of our American soda-water. I can recommend it as a tolerable beverage, at least when you are half parched to death with thirst, as I am at this very moment. I have just come, and am sticky and covered with dust. I did not stop an instant at my hotel. What a suffocating thing it is to drop down into this Italian country, after the Alps! ”

“ It is not so bad here after you are a little used to it, though I believe the weather is warmer than usual for the time of year,” said Detmold.

The desired refreshment was brought ; the two friends chose one of the tables remote from the door, and fell into easy conversation.

The Piazza de’ Signori is a small paved court, oblong in shape, and surrounded by ancient buildings. One seems lowered into another century as if into a well. There are prisons and palaces on either hand, sombre walls dashed with color, arcades, balconies, and statues. Little bridges, with flowers hanging from their parapets, span the openings into it at the height of the third and fourth stories. At one side is a Renaissance palace, carved, gilded, and as fanciful amid the grave solidity of its surroundings as a piece of jewelry. A great battlemented tower of brick, with bands of marble interspaced, rises from the municipal buildings. In every adjacent nook is a curious arcaded staircase, or tomb, or shrine, or red marble well-curb with wrouglit-iron tackle. In front of the café is a fresh white marblestatue of Dante, erected on the five hundredth anniversary of his birth. It has not yet the mellow tones of the place, but the grand severity of that hooded form and face make it congruous with any antiquity.

“ The last time I saw you, Detmold,” said Hyson, “you were working like a beaver for architectural customers, and, if my recollection is right, not getting very many. You gave me some account of the eccentricities of your Lakeport Croesuses and your efforts to capture them. I judge that you have had better success in the mean time.”

“ Well, no, not much,” said Detmold. “ Still I have made a beginning. Lakeport does not exactly hunger and thirst after the fine arts. It likes a good deal of solid bricks and mortar and east-iron, and considers one device in the way of ornament about as good as another. The Crœsuses are pretty hard to capture. I don’t know whether I was too young, too high-priced, or too finical. They have come nearer capturing me. I have done things there that would drive my New York masters into convulsions.”

“ Such as what? ”

“ Oh, sham classic, — wooden pillars, and so on, sanded over to look like stone. I had to.”

“ That is pretty bad, I suppose.”

“ Execrable! ”

“ It is rough, is n’t it? ” said Hyson, sympathetically. “ Now, you have got an immense taste for such things, you know. Why, you ought to be — you ought to be ” — selecting the largest buildings he could think of as a measure of his appreciation of his friend’s capability — “ the architect of the capital at Albany or the. New York postoffice.”

“ Thank you,” said Detmold, laughing; “you are a most discriminating judge. Of course I have not given up entirely. I have got to go back and work for a living. But I had a little money that came to me unexpectedly, and I determined to come and make this trip — to which I have always been attracted — while I had some enthusiasm left. I can get considerable good out of it in the way of ray profession, sketching and reading, but after all I suppose it is only a species of opiumeating.”

“Opium-eating? Not at all; nothing of the sort,” objected Hyson. “You are adding something continually to your business capital. All this picturesque, trumpery will be money in your pocket some day.”

“ It makes a man bold, for one thing,” said Detmold. “There is nothing in the way of design he ought to feel afraid to attempt after going back. Almost everything conceivable in shape and contrivance is to be found here, already in actual use. What do you think of coupled columns tied up at the centre into a braided knot, as though they were flexible, the whole cut out of one piece of marble ? ”

“ I should say they would be pretty stunning,” said Hyson, apparently thinking that the feat was presented for his admiration.

“I do not fancy them myself,” said Detmold, coolly, " but you can see such in the crypt at San Zeno.”

“Then, another thing,” said Hyson, continuing, “your Lakeport barbarians cannot remain so apathetic always; the tide of Eastern transit and fashion is continually sweeping through, and must have its effect sooner or later. But even if they should, you can pul1 up stakes and dig out, can’t you? There is certainly room enough and taste enough and money enough in America for such a fellow as you to be furnished with opportunities to put his ideas in practice, no matter how high-toned they are.”

“ Yes,” assented Detmold, hesitatingly, “I suppose that might be done; but I liave had reasons why I rather wished to remain at Lakeport.”

“ Oh, you had reasons! It seems to me I recollect something further of them. Was it perhaps a blonde reason, with a sweet expression and a puzzling coolness of manners? I was inclined to think that a very good reason myself, the winter I spent at Lakeport. Miss Starfield — Miss Alice Starfield—her name was. And, now that I think of it and put this and that together, it occurs to me very forcibly that I made the excursion to Chamouny with her and her party not over two weeks ago. Perhaps our motives were a little mixed, — eh, Detmold ? Perhaps it was something more than Lom - bard-Gothic chimney-pots, and nondescript columns that tie themselves up into double bow-knots, that brought us across several thousand leagues of land and sea.”

“ Perhaps it was,” said Detmold, with a sigh.

“ Probably it is no news that she and her party, her father, mother, and a rather oldish young lady,—Miss Lonsdale, or some such name, — are coming to this very place. They ought to be somewhere in the vicinity now.”

Detmold remained silent.

“Mr. Starfield is concerning himself a good deal about the silk culture and manufacturing. It seems to me that he intends to go into it. I believe he has been made assignee or has bought an interest in some establishment that has not run very successfully hitherto. He thinks of bringing out workmen from here, and so on. I understood him to say that he had business with some Verona parties which might keep him here a month.”

“ With the Castelharcos, most likely,” said Detmold. “ They are correspondents and old acquaintances of his. They have a large factory here, and another somewhere in the country. There are two of them in the business, and both have been in America. I used to go to school with Antonio, the son, at Wardham, where I prepared for college.”

“ That is well worth mentioning; I hope you cultivate him. An indigenous acquaintance like that is no trivial advantage here, I can tell you. It exasperates me beyond measure when I think of it, how we skim along through these countries, meeting nobody but truckling landlords, waiters, and grisettes, or some denationalized specimens who know more about other countries than their own; and we find out nothing at all of what the people who live here are like.”

“ Yes, I cultivate him a little. I have dined with him, and he has dined with me at my restaurant in the Piazza Brà. I have been through his factory and at his club and at his home. It is a very odd place, —the last.”

“ Old palace ? ”

“ Old palace, of course. It has crests and armorial bearings in profusion. The family claim noble descent, and assert a legitimate title to it in some way, although it has only recently come into their hands by purchase, out of the profits of their business. The old lady, especially, is as stately as a marchioness, and thoroughly imbue with her aristocratic traditions.”

“You can introduce me, I suppose,” said Hyson. “ I have no doubt I can get some assistance from them in my own pursuit.”

“Have you a pursuit too?” said Detmold, in some surprise; “ I had supposed you were simply one of the great army of pleasure-seekers.”

“ You do me wrong, my dear friend. Yon see before you one engaged in an enterprise of pith and moment. What is more, there is money in it. It is the Paradise Valley.”

“The Paradise Valley?” said Detmold, with a strong rising inflection.

“ How do you like the name? Wait till you see how settlers will flock in to a title like that. But do not be alarmed. It is not a ‘New Eden.’ Nobody is to be imposed upon. You will hear of no Paradise Valley farms in the market until the whole is made fully as good as its appellation. The Paradise Valley is to be irrigated.”

“ I do not yet understand.”

“ But you shall. I am opening the channels of my intelligence to the fullest head of information that can be run into them on the subject of irrigation, in order to improve my California property. I had even thought of taking a turn at th.e hydraulic university at Pavia, but the language is too strongly against me. I have seen already what there is in the south of France, and have spent a month looking over the canals of Piedmont.”

He arose, stretched himself a little, and knocked the ashes off his cigar. A shambling cicerone, who had been hovering in the vicinity for some time, evidently considered the present as good an opportunity of offering his services as was likely to occur. He shuffled forward, and with a suggestive wave of his arm, intended to embrace the objects of interest in the vicinity, began, “ Dante, Signori, molto hello. La Loggia, Signori ” —

“No, for heaven’s sake!” cried Hyson, impatiently. “ At home,” he resumed, sitting down, “ I have never been credited with any great amount of original energy. I have tried various things, you see, since leaving college. For instance, I set up as a lawyer, but so few clients came that my office boy was ashamed of me and struck. But about a year ago I took a notion to run out to California and look at a piece of land my father left me, with other property, He took it for a debt, and none of us had ever seen it. I looked at it, and made up my mind about it immediately. The situation is one of the finest you can imagine, — a valley and tract of the foot-hills of the Sierra Nevada. About once in five years the country is beautiful, — luxuriant vegetation — climate — glorious view, everything. The rest of the time it is a perfect little Sahara. You plant your grain; it comes up, may be, six inches high, turns sickly and yellow, and that is the end of it. Sometimes there is not a living blade of grass, and yet the land is excellent. What, does it want? Nothing but water. There is plenty of it, too, if it is only rightly managed. The mountains behind constitute a great natural reservoir: they are nine thousand feet high, and an average depth of fourteen feet of snow falls upon them. More than that, the mountains are full of gold and silver, scarcely touched. Why? No water, again. I propose to have a series of storage tanks arranged back in the mountain gorges to sluice my portion of this little Golconda, and then bring down the same water to support gardens, orchards, and vineyards below.”

“ It is a splendid project,” said Detmold. “ You will make a national reputation.”

“ I shall make a pile of money, which is more to the purpose. Do you know what irrigated land sells for? At Valencia , in Spain, it brings from seven hundred to nine hundred dollars an acre; near Murcia some has been sold for twenty-five hundred dollars an acre, dry land close by being worth only one hundred and fifty dollars. Look at the crops you gctl The grass meadows at Milan yield seven times a year, and turn out sometimes seventy-five tons an acre. In California, where this thing has been tried a little already, you can get from fifty to eighty bushels of wheat and five crops of grass. But you are not helping yourself. How do you like my mixture? ”

“ I believe I prefer the wine unmixed. They have given us Corvino, the best growth of this section. One can taste the perfume of grape blossoms in it. It is too good to adulterate.”

“ How do you stand this wine for breakfast, dinner, supper, and lunch, and between times?” asked Hvson. “ When I first arrived it used to keep me in an exalted state all the time, like too much waltzing. Now I don’t mind it. A convivial acquaintance of mine at home, named Shannon, has a theory that while people who go abroad think they are improved by history, the fine arts, and the contemplation of strange manners and institulions, in reality it is the generous wine they drink that constitutes the whole benefit. However, he is an incorrigible old toper himself, winch creates a prejudice against his views. Where do you stop, here? At my hotel, perhaps? ”

“ No, I am economizing. I have an apartment in the third piano of a house near the Grazzini Palace, — indeed, in a wing of it, — and I dine where it suits me, from day to day.”

“ If they do not treat me well at this Tower of Gold or Tower of Babel, or whatever it is, I shall join you,” said Hyson.

“ You will remain at Verona for some time, then? ”

“ Until I have seen as much of Lombardy as of Piedmont. I understand that the canals in this locality are not as extensive or scientific as some others, but the conditions seem to me more like what I have at home, — foot-hills as well as plain, dry and wet cultivation mixed. For my purposes Verona is Hyson City, the Adige the King’s River, and the Adriatic will do duty for Tulare Lake.”

The deep bell of the Palazzo Vecehio tolled midnight. The white figure of Dante in front rose upon its pedestal like a ghost. The rays of a late-rising moon touched the row of statues upon the Loggia. The trailing flowers upon the little bridges were silhouetted against a sky full of stars. The last guests had strolled into the cafe to settle their reckoning.

“ How like a theatre it is! ” said Hyson. " I can hardly believe that it is real.”

“Perfectly!” said Detmold. “It might be Booth’s, or the Academy of Music.”

“Here are all the properties, — fiats, drops, wings, exits, and entrances. One half expects this to roll back on squeaking wheels and give place to the drawing-room scene; or to the garden scene, with its cabbage-roses sprawling oyer the terrace balustrade, and its verdant banks of green baize; or to the forest scene, with the foreground trees cut out and toppling whenever a draught comes through. This is the night scene. There ought to be gloomy rascals slouching about the archways, with poniards under their cloaks, or fellows in red and yellow cotton-velvet, and corked eyebrows, snorting about and fencing with each other. ' Minion, where is the, juke? Hold back and let me look on thee again, Lorenzo.’ ”

In a whimsical mood he started to his feet and thrust about with his walkingstick as if it had been a rapier, or drew his shoulders well-nigh over his head to convey meanings of mysterious villainy. The hovering cicerone retreated in alarm.

“Nay, Barberigo, stay!” declaimed the young man, continuing his posturing. “ These stones shall be me resting-place. Here shall me soul br-ood o’er its misery. ”

“ Look out,” said Detmold, laughing; “I don’t know what kind of police we have here, but they will certainly not recognize the customs of their country as you portray them. They may make us trouble. ”

“Touch me not, prison miscreants! The illustrious Lady Foscari bids me to an audience.”

“ Stop, stop, Morris! ” cried Detmold, who had arisen in some alarm, placing his hand upon his shoulder. “ It will really not do to make such a disturbance.”

“Away!” mouthed Hyson. “Me galley floats within a bow-shot of the Riva de’ Schiavoni. ” Then, dropping his antics, he thrust his arm good-naturedly through Detmold’s and drew him along. The few persons who remained in the café had begun to gather at the door in astonishment. Among them was a gentleman whom Detmold recognized and stopped to greet, as they passed, as the younger Castelbarco. He introduced Hyson, and the two were introduced in turn to Castelbarco’s companion, a young officer in a handsome uniform of blue and silver. After an amount of ceremonious handshaking and touching of hats, the party separated. The Italians were scrupulously polite, but regarded Hyson with puzzled expressions.

“ You are just as you used to be,” said Detmold. “ Advancing years have not got the upper hand of your old spirits.”

“ Oh, yes, they have, I assure you,” answered the other. “ I am usually as serious as a funeral. I have not cut so many capers before for an age.”

Detmold accompanied his friend to the gate of his hotel. Before they parted it was arranged that he should return and breakfast with him in the morning.

“ I suppose I ought to do a little sightseeing before I settle down to business,” said Hyson. “ You must not let me interfere with your occupations, but you can tell me what is worth looking at, and I can go about by myself and take it in.”

“We will take a little turn together, to-morrow,” said Detmold; “ I can spare you a day.”

“ And —by the way,” observed Hyson, holding ajar one of the great doors of the porte cochère, the bolt of which had been drawn in answer to his ring, ‘ ‘ I hope I was not offensive in my flippant mention of Miss Starfield. I flattered myself that I divined what your feelings were in that quarter at the time referred to.”

“ They are not very different now,” said Detmold, in a gloomy tone. “ How did she look when you saw her? ” he continued, hesitatingly, poking ihe stones with his stick.

“ As pretty as ever and a great deal more animated. Whether it was the general excitement of travel, or the mountain air, or the beneficent influence of the wine for breakfast, she had got rid of a good deal of that stiffness — whether haughtiness or timidity I never could tell — that used to make her so hard to comprehend. She laughed and sang, and made some Eton boys run races by the side of the diligence, while she conversed them out of breath. She even climbed short cuts for flowers with your humble servant. She is very charming, Detmold. If I were not so tough in these matters, and if I did not know what I do about your claims, there is no telling what a spectacle even I might be capable of making of myself there.”

“ I do not know that I have any particular claims,” said Detmold; “ she is her own property.”

“ I thought it was better than that.”

“ No, — but I will tell you about it some time. Good night.” And he walked away, while the heavy doors of the Torre d’Oro clanged behind the new arrival.



In Verona scarcely any streets are straight; none preserve a uniform width throughout; no two are parallel; hardly two blocks are of the same length. Irregular alleys, or vicolos, and smaller alleys still (vicoletti) bore their way into the thick mass of buildings. Over them project the eaves of low-pitched roofs, showing the scalloped edges of red earthen tiles. In these narrow streets are stuccoed palaces, frescoed outside in neutral tints. The flat wall simulates below perhaps a massive rusticated basement, with projecting quoins, in the Palladian style; above, pilasters, balconies, windows, and awnings, shaded in correct perspective from one point of view, but of course toppling and false from all others. This spurious gray and sepia embellishment, in which there is no illusion, is all that remains of a gorgeous fashion that once covered domestic buildings with fanciful pictures and brilliant colors. A trace of the ancient style may still be seen in the Piazza Erbe. There last judgments and mythological scenes and figures, in tolerable preservation, some designed by no less a hand than Mantegna’s, still ornament the tall facades. Many a famous artist did not disdain in this way to recompense his entertainers or show his regard for a friendly house.

At eight in the morning, after a couple of hours' work, Detmold put in his pocket the sketch - book which was his unfailing companion, and took his way to the Torre d’Oro. The sun was in an unclouded sky, and the protection of the strongly defined shadows beneath the buildings was already grateful. In the oblong, irregular Piazza Erbe a busy traffic was in progress. The market people and their goods were sheltered under white, tent-like umbrellas. A battered statue, the genius of the city, familiarly known as Madonna Verona, arose in their midst like a tutelary divinity. Below it a fountain, which has a history of a thousand years, splashed into a copious basin, at which they freshened their vegetables. The Maffei Palace, now the of Verona, closes the piazza. In front of it is a tall pillar which once, like those in the Piazzetta at Venice, sustained the lion of St. Mark, as an emblem of Venetian domination.

Hyson had not yet risen when Detmold arrived. He came down complaining of want of sleep on account of the heat. His room opened on an interior court where jets of gas flamed all night. His first proceeding was to make the secretary assign him more endurable quarters. At breakfast an English commercial traveler, who dropped his h’s, endeavored to enter into conversation with the young men. He assured them that he always made it a point to stop at the best hotels. He asked them what line they were in, as if they had been fellow tradesmen. Hyson laughed, and said that he was interested in fertilizers, and his friend largely in paint stuffs. The commercial traveler said it was a fine farming country, and that the Cadburys of Birmingham were the best makers of paint stuffs in the trade, and he knew them very well. But Detmold was disgusted, and recurred to this incident as they rode together in a hired cab on their tour of inspection. It was a kind of shock to him that persons should come to Verona on any business which was not largely one of sentiment.

“As for me,” said Hyson, “I was disillusioned on my first trip. I came over the year of the Paris Exposition, you know. I had an idea that Europe was a kind of stem-winding panorama, moving to the music of a melodeon. The people I conceived as abstractions of burnt sienna, Chinese white, and cobalt, forever leaning up against vineclad archways, or washing clothes under striped awnings in azure lakes. But in fact the sentimental element is in a small minority. People here have got to be hard, vulgar, calculating, and tricky, and scramble for their bread and butter like ourselves. They leave little patches of antiquity railed off here and there to be stared at by loungers, but it is not the business of their lives, by any means. Nothing is curious any longer. Everything is exported and imported. You find the same sort of kniekknacks in a shop at Perugia or Civita Veccliia as in a dollar store at Green Bay. The breath of the locomotive dissolves the peasant costumes and manners and customs like frost on a window pane. English cockneys, like the one we have seen, go over the road every thirty days, and sell goods at Bruges, Venice, Cairo, and probably at Bagdad and in the vale of Cashmere, just as an American “ drummer ” jumps off and on with his samples at all the stations between Chicago and Little Rook. I should like to know why they should not. Distances are nothing like as great, and customers are a hundred times as plenty.”

“To imaginative people,” said Detmold, “ antiquity and the foreign, being so different from the ordinary circumstances of life, are an approximation to the ideal. When this resource is cut off, when we have all traveled around the world three or four times apiece, and a glare of daylight is let into everything, what is going to be left to us? ”

“ One thing at a time,” replied Hyson. “ When we get through with what there is, no doubt we shall be furnished with more. Perhaps some method will be devised for effecting a close connection with the planets.”

The young men rolled down through the market piazza to the gray Roman amphitheatre in the Piazza Brà on trackways of stone, laid to facilitate the passage of vehicles. They traversed the length of the Corso, with its Roman arch and its palaces by San Micheli, passed out upon the bridges below which waterwheels were turning in the current, and glanced into churches and museums and up at the battlements of an old mediaeval castle by a battlemented bridge. They viewed the city from the hill of San Pietro, the ancient stronghold of old Dietrich of Bern, and from amid the neglected cypresses of the Giusti garden.

It is a thick, rich city, full of spires and towers. The Adige, cold and swift from the glaciers, passes through its glowing mass like a marrow of ice. Over the undulations of the surrounding heights sweep modern bastions and lunettes, and battlemented walls surviving from the Middle Ages. The travelers paused here and there at outlying osteria to take a light refreshment of cakes and wine. The wide boulevards of the suburbs glared. The foliage peeping above the inhospitable garden walls was parched and dusty. The visitors turned back among the shadows of the tall houses for relief.

Hyson was sufficiently appreciative of the whole, but Detmold enjoyed it with a passion. Architecture that depends for its effect upon form alone has the gravity of sculpture; the Lombard-Gothic, with its Byzantine affiliations, is like painting. This quality of the quaint city permeated the young architect in every fibre. He could have embraced the red marble lions that supported the columns of the porches. Bathed in such a glow of light and color, they seemed almost to have a benign warmth and vitality of their own.

Towards four o’clock they crossed the Ponte di Pietra, and turned again into the Corso near Santa Anastasia and Hyson’s hotel. They dismissed the conveyance and stepped in to enjoy for a moment the coolness of the church before going to dine. Its exterior, unfinished since the thirteenth century, is of rough brick, spotted and time-stained. The interior is such a surprise as when one discovers a heart of precious crysstals within a clumsy geode. The thick columns separating the numerous aisles, and the series of sculptured and frescoed chapels, are all of the richest materials. There is an elegant simplicity in the details. Bands of flat, painted ornament follow and accent the construction in place of the uneasy moldings of the North. The pavement is a mosaic of soft tones, white, red, and bluish-gray. To our friends, who raised the curtain at the door-way, after the long dazzle of the day, the church had for a moment the obscurity of twilight.

An elderly gentleman, with his hands behind him, stood in the nave at a distance, directing his attention to some feature of the ceiling which a younger man was pointing out. Nearer the entrance, two ladies, guide-book in band, were inspecting an elaborate altar. Detmold’s heart gave a great throb. He was sensible of a gracious presence in the church, more pervading than its impression of artistic splendor or religious awe. It was Alice.

“ We are in luck,” said Hyson, with animation. “Here are the Starfields, now.”

The ladies turned at the same moment, and the recognition was mutual. Miss Alice Starfield, the taller of the two, was above the middle height. Her expression was marked by sweetness and candor. There appeared also in it a trace of haughtiness that might have been merely an indication of reserve, and at times of archness that was a little derisive. It would hardly have been safe, therefore, to trust to its element of sweetness as an indication of perfectly tame and unvaried amiability. Her light brown hair was dry and profuse. Some careless strands of it strayed over the forehead. She wore a hat looped up at one side, in which was a gray and white wing. The prevailing tones of her costume were gray, but there were delicate touches of color disposed about it which gave to the whole an intangible bloom.

No one would have gathered from anything in the demeanor of Alice that the relation of Detmold to her was that of a rejected suitor who had recently left her in a mood of bitterness and despair. She greeted him as pleasantly — with just the faintest shade of inquiry in her glance — as his companion. But the remembrance which was so momentous to Detmold produced in him, as the only means of concealing his agitation at this unexpected meeting, an unusual reserve. He thought wildly of attempting to carry it off cavalierly, to impose upon her the idea that he was no more distressed than herself at what had happened; but he had neither the disingenuousness to belittle the sincerity of his passion, nor the flow of spirits at command to play the part successfully. He wondered at her lightness and gavety. The situation which involves the happiness of two lifetimes seemed to him to have the seriousness of a kind of sacrificial rites. He could have expected the participants to walk apart in pensive attitudes, as if amid colonnades of Egyptian sphinxes. He watched the countenance of Alice to see if he could not detect some expression of relenting, or even of constraint, — some trace of feeling corresponding to his own, upon which renewed hope might be based. There was nothing but blooming animation. If anything, there was an increase of self-possession and reconcilement to herself involved in the presence of a lover who thought the ground she walked on fit to worship. Not that it was a conscious reveling in her power; but the incense of such admiration can hardly fail to intoxicate a little involuntarily. A companion so much in her presence as Miss Lonsdale noted a brighter lustre in her eyes and a heightened color in her cheeks.

The heart of Alice beat faster for the meeting. Was it pleasurable or unwelcome? She was deliberating, while she talked, how one ought to treat a rejected suitor whom one perhaps likes well enough as a friend, and whom one has rejected in a surprised and agitated moment, because she has never thought of him before as a lover, because she knows him too little, because she is not in haste to marry, and because at any rate time to think of all these things was to be gained by refusal, but none at all by acceptance.

“ You cannot have been here long,” said Hyson, “ or we should have known it.”

“No,” replied Alice; “we only arrived from Bergamo a couple of hours ago. Our hotel is close by. As we were not at all tired we ran over to have a glimpse of this delightful church before dinner. Mr. Castelbarco called just as we were starting, and was kind enough to come with us.”

“ Is your hotel the Torre d’Oro ? ”

“I think so, — some such name as that. ”

“ So much the better,” said Hyson. “ I am there, too. We are going to be neighbors. And how is Mrs. Starfield, with whom I became such good friends on our trip to Chamonny? I hope you have not left her behind.”

“ Oh, no; mamma is here, but she is so indifferent. She prefers comfort to improvement whenever we let her have her own way in the least.”

“ We must cure her of that. Leave her to me. I have a method. I shall introduce to you a number of persons whom your mother would not let you marry on any account. They will give you invitations, and Mrs. Starfield will go out as chaperone, every time.”

“ Please don’t,” said Alice.

Mr. Starfield now came forward with his companion. It was Antonio, the younger Castelbarco. He was a tall, well-sliaped, handsome fellow, with fine eyes and the characteristic silk-like mustache of his countrymen. The father of Alice had a close-trimmed beard beginning to be touched with gray, a keen but kindly eye, and the chary speech and self-poised brusqueness of a successful business man. He gave the impression of taking the antiquities and show articles of travel, in which it was now his duty to manifest an interest, with a good-natured tolerance which was yet not lacking in respect. His habit of thoroughness did not abandon him even here, or suffer him to leave uncomprehended anything to which he gave his attention. He discerned the purpose and the admirable ingenuity of many of the mediaeval devices in which the rest saw only chaotic picturesqueness. He would purposely mispronounce at times some of the difficult proper names, to enjoy the remonstrances of the young women, who pretended to be very much ashamed of him. In the presence of this keen and disciplined merchant, Detmold felt himself hardly more than an aimless trifler. Hyson, whose present pursuit quite disembarrassed him of any such sensibility, if he had ever been hampered by it, took Mr. Starfield apart to confer, as between fellow business men, upon the prospects of irrigation.

The glance of Castelbarco followed the soft and engaging figure of Alice as she moved, with undisguised admiration. As often as he could, he advanced to her side, with ingratiating politeness, to explain to her some of the surrounding objects. She responded to his attentions with a graciousuess that was the gall of bitterness to Detmold.

Miss Lonsdale and Detmold being thrown together, strolled slowly after the others, the latter, well versed in the details of the place, acting as cicerone.

Miss Lonsdale, a niece of Mrs. Starfield, was a young lady of a year or two beyond thirty. She had some property in her own right; she was well informed, of fine manners, and of an apparently amiable disposition. There was a cold, somewhat nun-like sweetness in her smile, from which it could be rightly inferred that she had once been pretty, and that she was now devout. She was one of those ladies, proportionally more numerous in the upper than in the lower strata of American society, who, not averse to marriage, and possessed of social advantages and personal attractions which charm those about them, yet wither and grow old without finding partners to complete the harmony of their lives. It may be that young women of wealth and station outnumber young men in parallel circumstances, or that the latter oftener step down to choose than their places are supplied from below in the circle they have left. This is one of the ill adjustments of life, probably some time to be remedied, that countless small cliques and societies are seen revolving monotonously without touching, while in their contact and crossing, if such a thing might be, there would seem to be limitless possibilities. Perhaps even in the whole, if reciprocals could he brought together, there is a supplement for every deficiency and a realization for every ideal.

Miss Lonsdale did not appear to repine that her lot had not been differently fashioned. At her home she devoted herself to enterprises of benevolence. She had given much attention to theological questions, and had passed through numerous creeds from Presbyterianism to Ritualism, and recently, by a final step, to Catholicism. Like most new converts her devotion was extreme. It was mainly to gratify her sentiment of reverence for the holy places of the newfound church that she had come abroad. She had been at Lourdes, Einsiedeln, Loretto, and other pilgrimage spots, and spoke of them with grave enthusiasm.

Detmold found her conversation interesting, but chiefly, it must be confessed, on account of the incidental mentions it contained of Alice. He kept the conversation at these points as well as he could. He heard of her artistic achievements in the way of taking the likenesses of old ladies, or good-natured waitingmaids, or little beggars hired by the hour. How had she stood the fatigues of the mountains? He was distressed to learn that, although assuming a bravado of athleticism, she had not escaped here and there during her journeys some serious attacks of illness from fatigue and climatic influences. How was she pleased when they met the poet Freiligrath at Wiesbaden? What did he say to her, and what did she say to him? He was devoid of tact in this, and presently perceived Miss Lonsdale flashing at him glances of suspicion, upon which he dropped the subject so precipitately that her suspicions were confirmed.

But he had learned among the rest that the business of Mr. Starfield would probably keep the party at Verona a month, if the weather was endurable; and that while there Alice would endeavor to got permission to pursue some studies in painting at the Museo Civico.

The visitors strolled irregularly in the great church, now massing at the summons of one to note some special feature of interest, then dividing differently and scattering again. Detmold and Castelbarco found themselves together.

“It is a singular man, your friend,” said the Italian, indicating Hyson, who stood at a little distance with Alice.

“ On account of his antics at the cafe last night? Oh, you must not mind that; it was only a freak. He is a very sensible fellow, I assure you.”

“ Perchance so. For a moment myself and my comrade of the evening did esteem him to be insane. But how charming is your countrywoman, the Signorina Starfield! I did know her as a child, when I was your comrade of school at Wardham. She was even then beautiful. She remembers me of my bad English, and laughs me now of it.”

In another shifting of positions, it was Detmold who was left with Alice, before one of the chapels, where she stood engaged in inspecting an altar piece. She had deliberated and deliberated, and arrived at no conclusion. Unable to think of any better course, she addressed him simply as if nothing had happened.

“ What do you think of Carotto? ” she said, turning to him with a frank smile.

What did he think of Carotto? Heavens! He had abandoned the labors on which his success in the world depended and crossed the better portion of two continents in search of her. He had tossed and wrestled and agonized with himself. He had pleaded to her and been repulsed with scorn. It was as if a great chasm had opened, or the deluge had come and creation been constructed anew; and now, after all this, they were to come together and talk jauntily about Carotto!

Well, he did not know that he had thought much about Carotto. He bad hardly had time to go into the peculiarities of the minor painters. He thought, perhaps, that all of Carotto’s strong points, and many others, could be found in his master, Mantegna. If one took an interest in Carotto, however, and wanted to see his best productions, they were at San Tomaso and Santa Eufemia.

“ Oh, I do not,” she hastened to explain. “ I only wish to do my duty by things a little when I fall in with them. I am trying to be conscientious, to make up for lost time.”

“ You must have seen almost everything. It is a long time that you have been abroad.”

“ But I have not made use of my opportunities; there were always so many people about, and so many distractions. We fell in with one party of friends after another, and stayed with them and traveled with them. You saw how it was at Paris. It was pleasant, of course, but one could not get about rapidly. Now that papa has come I shall make better progress. As soon as he lias finished his business here he will do as I please. Do you think I shall like Verona? ”

Her manner was conciliatory, and she seemed talking a little against time that nothing unpleasant might have a chance to occur.

“ It will be very quiet after the great capitals, and it has not many startling curiosities.”

“ Why do you like it? ”

“ It has a kind of picturesqueness for which I used to have an especial fondness. But it is a matter of business with me more than of liking. I am making drawings of the buildings.”

“In order to erect similar ones at home? ”

“ Possibly fragments from them here and there. It is our work to patch together odds and ends from the past to make something endurable for the present.”

“ But you can pick out all the merits and leave the defects. That is what modern architects do, is it not? ”

” I wish we did,” muttered Detmold.

“ The works of architects are more prominent before the community than those of any other profession. I should think you would all be very conceited. It must be a splendid thing to look up at some great block, or church, or public building that attracts everybody’s attention and say, That is mine; I made it. I should feel a head taller, for my part.”

“ Speaking from a very limited experience, I think it is rather agreeable.”

Alice had reflected so much, at least, that she was far from satisfied with her conduct in the interview at Paris. She would have had the words and circumstances of it much different. Detmold’s avowal had been sudden and unforeseen, and had greatly disconcerted her. In reviewing their acquaintance from the first, she could not now deny that there had been aspects of his previous course which might have afforded a sufficient intimation of what was likely to occur, if one had only thought to place the right construction upon them. If his long series of kindnesses and attentions had not been merely friendship and esteem but affection, why, that was quite a different matter.

She did not repent her answer, but it was a source of discomfort that a more severe opinion than was just should be entertained of her. Now that all was over, so far as her conduct had been harsh and even rude, perhaps it might be atoned for by extra consideration. Perhaps even something of their former intimacy might be reëstablished, if she was sure that he would never — that is — yes — that he would never broach the unfortunate subject again. If such a condition could be guaranteed, and provided that they themselves were passably reconciled to the situation, it would seem that the presence of her rejected suitors need not be oppressive to any woman. In the atmosphere of tender reverence so created, it would not be strange if she should fed herself something very precious, and be raised by it to a nobility beyond her normal self.

Alice rattled on about her father’s plans at Verona, and her own desire to spend some of her time while there in copying, either in the churches or at the Museo Civico.

“ The churches are damp, and the light in them is bad; you will do better at the Museum,”said Detmold. “ The light is from the side and not very good there cither, but you will find subjects.”

At the approach of Hyson and the others her manner was less free, and presently the party separated. As the young men took their leave, the Starfields hoped that they should see them soon at their hotel.

Detmold and Hyson dined together in the Piazza Brà to the sound of military music. Detmold confided to his friend, guardedly, the story of his passion and its unhappy fate.

“ There is mismanagement somewhere,” said that quick-witted adviser, briskly. “ I should judge that she liked you. One cannot tell without knowing all the circumstances, but as a general rule it does not pay to collapse too quickly. The course of true love does not run smooth, and no woman wants it to. A woman cannot afford to be won too easily. You must keep asking. I make it a rule to ask about three times,” said he gravely, plunging his fork into another morsel of roast fowl.”

“ Then you have been engaged? ”

“ Oh, a few times; not lately, yon know.”

“ And how do the engagements come to be broken off ? ”

“ Incompatibility of temper, usually.”

W. H. Bishop.