Penelope's English Experiences: In Two Parts. Part Second




I AM here alone. Salemina has taken her little cloth bag and her notebook and gone to inspect the educational and industrial methods of Germany. If she can discover anything that they are not already doing better in Boston, she will take it back with her, but her state of mind regarding the outcome of the trip might be described as one of incredulity tinged with hope. Francesca has accompanied Salemina. Not that the inspection of systems is much in her line, but she prefers it to a solitude àa deux with me when I am in a working mood, and she comforts herself with the anticipation that the German army is very attractive. Willie Beresford has gone with his mother to Aix - les - Bains, like the dutiful son that he is. They say that a good son makes a good — But that subject is dismissed to the background for the present, for we are in a state of armed neutrality. He has agreed to wait until the autumn for a final answer, and I have promised to furnish one by that time. Meanwhile, we are to continue our acquaintance by post, which is a concession I should never have allowed if I had had my wits about me.

After paying my last week’s bill in Dovermarle Street, including fees to several servants whom I knew by sight, and several others whose acquaintance I made for the first time at the moment of departure, I glanced at my ebbing letter of credit and felt a spell of economy setting in upon me with unusual severity ; accordingly, I made an experiment of coming third class to Belvern. I handed the guard a shilling, and he gave me aseat riding backwards in a carriage with seven other women, all very frumpish, but highly respectable. As he could not possibly have done any worse for me, I take it he considered the shilling a graceful tribute to his personal charms, but as having no other bearing whatever. The seven women stared at me throughout the journey. When one is really of the same blood, and when one does not open one’s lips or wave the stars and stripes in any possible manner, how do they detect the American ? These women looked at me as if I were a highly interesting anthropoidal ape. It was not because of my attire, for I was carefully dressed down to a third-class level; yet when I removed my plain Knox hat and leaned my head back against my traveling-pillow, an electrical shudder of intense excitement ran through the entire compartment. When I stooped to tie my shoe another current was set in motion, and when I took Charles Reade’s White Lies from my portmanteau they glanced at one another as if to say, " Would that we could see in what language the book is written ! " As a traveling mystery I reached my highest point at Oxford, for there I purchased a small basket of plums from a boy who handed them in at the window of the carriage. After eating a few, I offered the rest to a dowdy elderly woman on my left who was munching dry biscuits from a paper bag. " What next 1 ” was the facial expression of the entire company. My neighbor accepted the plums, hut hid them in her bag; plainly thinking them poisoned, and believing me to be a foreign conspirator, conspiring against England through the medium of her inoffensive person. In the course of the four hours’ journey, I could account for the strange impression I was making oidy on the theory that it is unusual to comport one’s self in a first-class manner in a third-class carriage. All my companions chanced to be third class by birth as well as by ticket, and the Englishwoman who is born third class is sometimes deficient in imagination.

Upon arriving at Great Belvern (which must be pronounced “ Bevern ”) I took a trap, had my luggage put on in front, and started on my quest for lodgings in West Belvern, five miles distant. Several addresses had been given me by Hilda Mellifica, who has spent much time in this region, and who begged me to use her name. I told the driver that I wished to find a clean, comfortable lodging, with the view mentioned in the guidebook, and with a purple clematis over the door, if possible. The last point astounded him to such a degree that he had, I think, a serious idea of giving me into custody. (I should not be so eccentrically spontaneous with these people, if they did not feed my sense of humor by their amazement.) We visited Holly House, Osborne, St. James, Victoria, and Albert houses, Tank Villa, Poplar A Villa, Rose, Brake, and Thorn villas, as well as Hawthorn, Gorse, Fern, Shrubbery, and Providence cottages. All had apartments, but many were taken, and many more had rooms either dark and stuffy or without view. Holly House was my first stopping-place. Why will a woman voluntarily call her place by a name which she can never pronounce ? It is my landlady’s misfortune that she is named ’Obbs, and mine that I am called ’Amilton, but Mrs. ’Obbs must have rushed with eyes wide open on ’Olly ’Ouse. I found sitting-room and bedroom at Holly House for two guineas a week; everything, except roof, extra. This was more than, in my new spirit of economy, I desired to pay, but after exhausting my list I was obliged to go back rather than sleep in the highroad. Mrs. Hobbs offered to deduct two shillings a week if I stayed until Christmas, and said she should not charge me a penny for the linen. Thanking her with tears in my eyes, I requested dinner. There was no meat in the house, so I supped frugally off two boiled eggs, a stodgy household loaf, and a mug of ale, after which I climbed the stairs, and retired to my feather bed in a rather depressed frame of mind.


Visions of Salemina and Francesca driving under the linden-trees in Berlin flitted across my troubled reveries, with glimpses of Willie Beresford and his mother at Aix-les-Bains. At this distance and in the dead of night, my sacrifice in coming here seemed fruitless. Why did I not allow myself to drift forever on that pleasant sea which has been lapping me in sweet and indolent content these many weeks ? Of what use to labor, to struggle, to deny myself, for an art to which I can never be more than the humblest handmaiden ? I felt like crying out, as did once a braver woman’s soul than mine, “ Let me be weak ! I have been seeming to be strong so many years ! ” The woman and the artist in me have always struggled for the mastery. So far the artist has triumphed, and now all at once the woman is uppermost. I should think the two ought to be able to live peaceably in the same tenement; they do manage it in some cases; but it seems a law of my being that I shall either be all one or all the other.

The question for me to ask myself now is, “ Am I in love with loving and with being loved, or am I in love witli Willie Beresford ? ” How many women have confounded the two, I wonder ?

In this mood I fell asleep, and on a sudden 1 found myself in a dear New England garden. The pillow slipped away, and my cheek pressed a fragrant mound of mignonette, the selfsame one on which I hid my tear-stained face and sobbed my heart out in childish grief and longing for the mother who would never hold me again. The moon came up over the Belvern Hills and shone on my half-closed lids ; but to me it was a very different moon, the far-away moon of my childhood, with a river rippling beneath its silver rays. And the wind that rustled among the poplar branches outside my window was, in my dream, stirring the pink petals of a blossoming apple-tree that used to grow beside the bank of mignonette, wafting down sweet odors and drinking in sweeter ones. And presently there stole in upon this harmony of enchanting sounds and delicate fragrances, in which childhood and womanhood, pleasure and pain, memory and anticipation, seemed strangely intermingled, the faint music of a voice, growing clearer and clearer as my ear became familiar with its cadences. And what the dream voice said to me was something like this : —

If thou wouldst have happiness, choose neither fame, which doth not long abide, nor power, which stings the hand that wields it, nor gold, which glitters but never glorifies; but choose thou Love, and hold it forever in thy heart of hearts ; for Love is the purest and the mightiest force in the universe, and once it is thine all other gifts shall be added unto thee. Love that is passionate yet reverent, tender yet strong, selfish in desiring all yet generous in giving all; love of man for woman and woman for man, of parent for child and friend for friend, — when this is horn in the soul, the desert blossoms as the rose. Straightway new hopes and wishes, sweet longings and pure ambitions, spring into being, like green shoots that lift their tender heads in sunny places; and if the soil be kind, they grow stronger and more beautiful as each glad day laughs in the rosy skies. And by and by singing birds come and build their nests in the branches ; and these are the pleasures of life. And the birds sing not often, because of a serpent that lurketh in the garden. And the name of the serpent is Satiety. And he maketh the heart to grow weary of what it once danced and leaped to think upon, and the ear to wax dull to the melody of sounds that once were sweet, and the eye blind to the beauty that once led enchantment captive. And sometimes, — we know not why, but we shall know hereafter, for life is not completely happy since it is not heaven, nor completely unhappy since it is the road thither, — sometimes the light of the sun is withdrawn for a moment, and that which is fairest vanishes from the place that was enriched by its presence. Yet the garden is never quite deserted. Modest flowers, whose charms we had not noted when youth was bright and the world seemed ours, now lift their heads in sheltered places and whisper peace. The morning song of the birds is hushed, for the dawn breaks less rosily in the eastern skies, but at twilight they still come and nestle in the branches that were sunned in the smile of love and watered with its happy tears. And over the grave of each buried hope or joy stands an angel with strong comforting hands and patient smile ; and the name of the garden is Life, and the angel is Memory.”



At Mrs. Bobby’s cottage.

I have changed my Belvern, and there are so many others left to choose from that I might live in a different Belvern each week. North, South, East, and West Belvern, New Belvern, Old Belvern, Great Belvern, Little Belvern, Belvern Link, Belvern Common, and Belvern Wells. They are all nestled together in the velvet hollows or on the wooded crowns of the matchless Belvern Hills, from which they look down upon the fairest plains that ever blessed the eye. One can see from their heights a score of market towns and villages, three splendid cathedrals, each in a different county, the queenly Severn winding like a silver thread among the trees, softflowing Avon and gentle TeMe watering the verdant meadows through which they pass. All these hills and dales were once the Royal Forest, and afterwards the Royal Chase, of Belvern, covering nearly seven thousand acres in three counties; and from the lonely height of the Beacon no less than

“ Twelve fair counties saw the blaze ”

of signals, when the country was threatened by a Spanish invasion. As for me, I mourn the decay of Romance with a great R; we have it still among us, but we spell it with a smaller letter. It must be so much more interesting to be threatened with an invasion, especially a Spanish invasion, than with a strike, for instance. The clashing of swords and the flashing of spears in the sunshine are so much more dazzling and inspiring than a line of policemen with clubs! Yes, I wish it were the age of chivalry again, and that I were looking down from these hills into the Royal Chase. Of course I know that there were wicked and selfish tyrants in those days, before the free press, the jury system, and the folding-bed had wrought their beneficent influences upon the common mind and heart. Of course they would have sneered at Browning Societies and improved tenements, and of course they did not care a penny whether woman had the ballot or not, so long as man had the bottle ; but I would that the other moderns were enjoying the modern improvements, and that I were gazing into the cool depths of those deep forests where there were once “ good lairs for the wolf and wild boar.” I should like to hear the baying of the hounds and the mellow horns of the huntsman. I should like to see the royal cavalcade emerging from one of t hose wooded glades : monarch and baron hold, proud prelate, abbot and prior, belted knight and ladye fair, sweeping in gorgeous array under the arcades of the overshadowing trees, silver spurs and jeweled trappings glittering in the sunlight, princely forms bending low over the saddles of the court beauties. Why, oh why, is it not possible to be picturesque and pious in the same epoch ? Why may not chivalry and charity go hand in hand ? It amuses me to imagine the amazement of the barons bold and belted knights, could they be resuscitated for a sufficient length of time to gaze upon the hydropathic establishments which dot their ancient huntinggrounds. It would have been very difficult to interest the age of chivalry in hydropathy.

Such is the fascination of historic association that I am sure, if I could drag my beloved but conscientious Salemina from some foreign soup kitchen which she is doubtless inspecting. I could make even her mourn the vanished past with me this morning, on the Beacon’s towering head. For Salemina wearies of the age of charity sometimes, as every one does who is trying to make it a beautiful possibility.


The manner of my changing from West to North Belvern was this. When I had been two days at Holly House, I reflected that my sitting-room faced the wrong way for the view, and that my bedroom was dark and not large enough to swing a cat in. Not that there was the remotest necessity of my swinging cats in it, but it is always a useful figure of speech. Neither did I care to occupy myself with the perennial inspection and purchase of raw edibles, when I wished to live in an ideal world and paint a great picture. Mrs. Hobbs would come to my bedside in the morning and ask me if I would like to buy a fowl. When I looked upon the fowl, limp in death, with its headless neck hanging dejectedly over the edge of the plate, its giblets and kidneys lying in immodest confusion on the outside of itself, and its liver “tucked under its wing, poor thing,” I never wanted to buy it. But one morning, in taking my walk, I chanced upon an idyllic spot : the front of the whitewashed cottage embowered in flowers, bird-cages built into these bowers, a little notice saying “ Canaries for Sale,” and an English rose of a baby sitting in the path stringing hollyhock buds. There was no apartment sign, but I walked in, ostensibly to buy some flowers. I met Mrs. Bobby, loved her at first sight, the passion was reciprocal, and I wheedled her into giving me her own sitting-room and the bedroom above it. It only remained now for me to break my projected change of residence to my present landlady, and this I distinctly dreaded. Of course Mrs. Hobbs said, when I timidly mentioned the subject, that she wished she had known I was leaving an hour before, for she had just refused a lady and her husband, most desirable persons, who looked as if they would be permanent. Can it be that lodgers radiate the permanent or transitory quality, quite unknown to themselves ?

I was very much embarrassed, as she threatened to become tearful ; and as 1 would not give up Mrs. Bobby, I said desperately, “ I must leave you, Mrs. Hobbs, I must indeed ; but as you seem to feel so badly about it, I ’ll go out and find you another lodger in my place.”

The fact is, I had seen, not long before, a lady going in and out of houses, as I had done on the night of my arrival, and it occurred to me that I might pursue her, and persuade her to take my place in Holly House and buy the headless fowl. I walked for nearly an hour before I was rewarded with a glimpse of my victim’s gray dress whisking round the corner of Pump Street. I approached, and, with a smile that was intended to be a justification in itself, I explained my somewhat unusual mission. She was rather unreceptive at first ; she thought perhaps I was to have a percentage on her, if I succeeded in capturing her alive and delivering her to Mrs. Hobbs ; but she was very weary and discouraged, and finally fell in with my plans. She accompanied me home, was introduced to Mrs. Hobbs, and engaged my rooms from the following day. As she had a sister, she promised to be a more lucrative incumbent than I; she enjoyed ordering food in a raw state, did not care for views, and thought purple clematis vines only a shelter for insects : so every one was satisfied, and I most of all when I wrestled with Mrs. Hobbs’s itemized bill for two nights and one day. Her weekly account must be rolled on a cylinder, I should think, like the list of Don Juan’s amours, for the bill of my brief residence beneath her roof was quite three feet in length, each of the following items being set down every twenty-four hours : —




Kidney beans.


Vegetable marrow.





Cut off joint.










Washing towels.


Kitchen fire.

Sitting-room fire.



The total was seventeen shillings and sixpence, and as Mrs. Hobbs wrote upon it, in her neat English hand, “ Received payment, with respectful thanks,” and applied the usual penny stamp, she remarked casually that service was not included in “ attendance,” but that she would leave the amount to me.


Mrs. Bobby and I were born for each other, though we have been a long time in coming together. She is the pink of neatness and cheeriness, and she has a broad comfortable bosom on which one might lay a motherless head, if one felt lonely in a stranger land. No raw fowls visit my bedside here; food comes as I wish it to come when I am painting, like manna from heaven. Mrs. Bobby brings me three times a day something to eat, and though it is always whatever she likes, I always agree in her choice, and send the blue dishes away empty. She asked me this morning if I enjoyed my “ h’egg,” and remarked that she had only one fowl, but it laid an egg for me every morning, so I might know it was “fresh as fresh.” It is certainly convenient: the fowl lays the egg from seven to seven thirty, I eat it from eight to eight thirty ; no haste, no waste. Never before have I seen such heavenly harmony between supply and demand. Never before have I been in such visible and unbroken connection with the source of my food. If I should ever desire two eggs, or if the fowl should turn sulky or indolent, I suppose Mrs. Bobby would have to go half a mile to the nearest shop, but as yet everything has worked to a charm. The cow is milked into my pitcher in the morning, and the fowl lays her egg almost literally in my egg-cup. One of the little Bobbies pulls a kidney bean or a tomato or digs a potato for my dinner, about half an hour before it is served. There is a sheep in the garden, but I hardly think it supplies the chops ; those, at least, are not raised on the premises.

My interior surroundings are all charming. My little sitting-room, out of which I turned Mrs. Bobby, is bright with potted ferns and flowering plants, and on its walls, besides the photographs of a large and unusually plain family, I have two works of art which inspire me anew every time I gaze at them : the first, a Scriptural subject, treated by an enthusiastic but inexperienced hand, Susanne dans le Bain, surprise par les Deux Vieillards ; the second, The White Witch of Worcester on her Way to the Stake at High Cross. The unfortunate lady in the latter picture is attired in a white lawn wrapper with angel sleeves, and is followed by an abbess with prayer-book, and eight surpliced choir-boys with candles. I have been long enough in England to understand the significance of the candles. Doubtless the White Witch had paid four shillings a week for each of them in her prison lodging, and she naturally wished to burn them to the end.

One has no need, though, of pictures on the walls here, for the universe seems unrolled at one’s very feet. As I look out of my window the last thing before I go to sleep, I see the lights of Great Belvern, the dim shadows of the distant cathedral towers, the quaint priory seven centuries old, and just the outline of Holly Bush Hill, a sacred seat of magic science where the Druids investigated the secrets of the stars, and sought, by auspices and sacrifices, to forecast the future and to penetrate the designs of the gods.

It makes me feel very new, very undeveloped, to look out of that window. If I were an Englishwoman, say the fiftyfifth duchess of something, I could easily glow with pride to think that I was part and parcel of such antiquity ; the fortunate heiress not only of land and titles, but of historic associations. But as I am an American with a very recent background, I blow out my candle with the feeling that it is rather grand to be making history for somebody else to inherit. When I am at home, I generally prefer to date myself back to 1776, but I think now that I shall take l584, “for that day, three hundred and seven years ago, one hundred and eight English folk, under Ralph Lane, colonized Roanoke in Virginia.”


I am almost too comfortable with Mrs. Bobby. In fact, I wished to be just a little miserable, so that I could paint with a frenzy. Sometimes, when I have been in a state of almost despairing loneliness and gloom, the colors have glowed on my canvas and the lines have shaped themselves under my hand independent of my own volition. Now, tucked away in a corner of my consciousness is the knowledge that I need never be lonely again unless I choose. When I yield myself fully to the sweet enchantment of this thought, I feel myself in the mood to paint sunshine, flowers, and happy children’s faces ; yet I am sadly lacking in concentration, all the same. The fact is, I am no artist in the true sense of the word. My hope flies ever in front of my best success, and that momentary success does not deceive me in the very least. I know exactly how much, or rather how little, I am worth; that I lack the imagination, the industry, the training, the ambition, to achieve any lasting results. I have the artistic temperament in so far that it is impossible for me to work merely for money or popularity, or indeed for anything less than the desire to express the best that is in me without fear or favor. It would never occur to me to slight work, to trade on present approval and dash off unworthy stuff while I have command of the market. I am quite above all that, but I am distinctly below that other mental and spiritual level where art is enough ; where pleasure does not signify ; where one shuts one’s self up and produces from sheer necessity; where one is compelled by relentless law ; where sacrifice does not count; where ideas throng the brain and plead for release in expression; where effort is joy, and the prospect of doing something enduring lures the soul on to new and ever new endeavor : so I shall never be rich or famous.

What shall I paint to-day ? Shall it be the bit of garden underneath my window, with the tangle of pinks and roses, and the cabbages growing appetizingly beside the sweet-williams, the woodbine climbing over the brown stone wall, the wicket gate, and the cherry-tree with its fruit hanging red against the whitewashed cottage ? Ah, if I could only paint it so truly that you could hear the drowsy hum of the bees among the thyme, and smell the scented hay-meadows in the distance, and feel that it is midsummer in England ! That would indeed be truth, and that would be art; though still the soul of the interpreter must be in you who look at my picture as well as in me who paint it. All the art in the universe cannot brighten eyes that are dull when they look on nature’s pictures. Shall I paint the Bobby baby as he stoops to pick the cowslips and the flax, his head as yellow and his eyes as blue as the flowers themselves ; or that bank opposite the gate, with its gorse bushes in golden bloom, its mountain ash hung with scarlet berries, its tufts of harebells blossoming in the crevices of rock, and the quaint low clock tower at the foot? Can I not paint all these in the full glow of summer time, and paint them all the better because it is summer time in my secret heart whenever I open the door a bit and admit its life-giving warmth and beauty ? I think I can, if I can only quit dreaming.

I wonder how the great artists worked, and under what circumstances they threw aside the implements of their craft, impatient of all but the throb of life itself ? Could Raphael paint Madonnas the week of his betrothal ? Did Thackeray write a chapter the day his daughter was born ? Did Plato philosophize freely when he was in love ? Were there interruptions in the world’s great revolutions, histories, dramas, reforms, poems, and marbles when their creators fell for a brief moment under the spell of the little blind tyrant who makes slaves of us all? It must have been so. Your chronometer heart, on whose pulsations you can reckon as on the precession of the equinoxes, never gave anything to the world unless it were a system of diet, or something quite uncolored and unglorified by the imagination.


There are many donkeys owned in these nooks among the hills, and some of the thriftier families keep donkeychairs (or “cheers,” as they call them) to let to the casual summer visitor. This vehicle is a regular Bath chair, into which the donkey is harnessed. Some of them have a tiny driver’s seat, where enthroned a small lad drives, encourages, beats, and berates the donkey for the incumbent (generally a decrepit dowager from London), who sits in solitary state behind. Other chairs are minus this absurd coachman’s perch, and this is the sort in which I take my daily drives. I hire the miniature chariot from an old woman who dwells at the top of Gorse Hill, and who charges one and fourpence the hour. (A little more when she fetches the donkey to the door, or when the weather is wet, or the day is very warm, or there is an unusual breeze blowing, or I wish to go round the hills; but under ordinary circumstances, which may at any time occur, but which never do, one and four the hour. It is only a shilling if you have the boy to drive you ; but of course, if you drive yourself, you throw the boy out of employment, and have to pay extra.)

It was in this fashion and on these elastic terms that I first met you, Jane, and this chapter shall be sacred to you ! Jane the long-eared, Jane the iron-jawed, Jane the stubborn, Jane donkier than other donkeys, — in a word, mulier ! It may be that Jane has made her bow to the public before this. If she has ever come into close relation with man or woman possessed of the instinct of self-expression, then this is certainly not her first appearance in print, for no human being could know Jane and fail to mention her.

Pause, Jane, — and this you will do gladly, I am sure, since pausing is the one accomplishment to which you lend yourself with special energy, — pause, Jane, while I sing a canticle to your character. Jane is a tiny — person, I was about to say, for she has so strong an individuality that I can scarcely think of her as less than human — Jane is a tiny, solemn creature, looking all docility and decorum, with long hair of a subdued tan color, very much worn off in patches, I think, by the offending toe of man.

I am a member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and I hope that I am as tender-hearted as most women ; nevertheless, I can understand how a man of weak principle and violent temper, or a man possessed of a desire to get to a particular spot not favored by Jane, or a wish to reach any spot by a certain hour, — I can understand how such a man, carried away by helpless wrath, might possibly ruffle Jane’s sad-colored hair with the toe of his boot.

Jane is small, yet mighty. She is multum in parvo ; she is the rock of Gibraltar in animate form; she is cosmic obstinacy on four legs. When following out the devices and desires of her own heart (or resisting the devices and desires of yours), she can put a pressure of five hundred tons on the bit. She is further fortified by the possession of legs which have iron rods concealed in them, said iron rods terminating in stout grip-hooks, with which she takes hold on mother earth with an expression that seems to say, —

“ This rock shall fly
From its firm base
As soon as I.”

When I start out in the afternoon. Mrs. Bobby frequently asks me where I am going. I always answer that I have not made up my mind, though what I really mean to say is that Jane has not made up her mind. She never makes up her mind until after I have made up mine, lest by some unhappy accident she might choose the very excursion that I desire myself.


For example, I wish to visit St. Bridget’s Well, concerning which there are some quaint old verses in a village history : —

“ Out of thy famous hille,
There daylie springyeth,
A water passynge stille,
That alwayes bringyeth
Grete comfort to all them
That are diseased men,
And makes them well again
To prayse the Lord.
“ Hast thou a wound to heale,
The wyche doth grave thee ;
Come thenn unto this welle ;
It will relieve thee ;
Nolie me tangeries,
And other maladies,
Have there theyr remedies,
Prays’d be the Lord.”

St. Bridget’s Well is a beautiful spot, and my desire to see it is a perfectly laudable one. In strict justice, it is really no concern of Jane’s whether my wishes are laudable or not; but it only makes the case more flagrant when she interferes with the reasonable plans of a reasonable being. Never since the day we first met have I harbored a thought that I should wish to conceal from Jane (would that she could say as much !) ; nevertheless she treats me as if I were a monster of caprice. As I said before, I wish to visit St. Bridget’s Well, but Jane absolutely refuses to take me there. After we pass Belvern churchyard we approach two roads : the one to the right leads to the Holy Well; the one to the left leads to Shady Dell Farm, where Jane lived when she was a girl. At the critical moment I pull the right rein with all my force. In vain : Jane is always overcome by sentiment when she sees that left-hand road. She bears to the left like a whirlwind, and nothing can stop her mad career until she is again amid the scenes so dear to her recollection, the beloved pastures where the mother still lives at whose feet she brayed in early youth !

Now this is all very pretty and touching. Her action has, in truth, its springs in a most commendable sentiment that I should be the last to underrate. Shady Dell Farm is interesting, too, for once, if you can swallow your wrath and dudgeon at being taken there against your will; and you feel that Jane’s parents and Jane’s early surroundings must be worth a single visit, if they could produce a donkey of such unusual capacity. Still, she must know, if she knows anything, that a person does not come from America and pay one and fourpenee the hour (or thereabouts) merely in order to visit the home of her girlhood, which is neither mentioned in Baedeker nor set down in the local guidebooks as a feature of interest.

Whether, in addition to her affection for Shady Dell Farm, she has an objection to St. Bridget’s Well, and thus is strengthened by a double motive, I do not know. She may consider it a relic of popish superstition; she may be a Protestant donkey ; she is a Dissenter, — there ’s no doubt about that. But, you ask, have you tried various methods of bringing her to terms and gaining your own desires ? Certainly. I have coaxed, beaten, prodded, prayed. I have tried leading her past the Shady Dell turn; she walks all over my feet, and then starts for home, I running behind until I can catch up with her. I have offered her one and tenpence the hour; she remained firm. One morning I had a happy inspiration ; I determined on conquering Jane by a subterfuge. I said to myself : “ I am going to start for St. Bridget’s Well, as usual; several yards before we reach the two roads, I shall begin pulling, not the right, but the left rein. Jane will lift her ears suddenly and say to herself: ‘ What! has this woman fallen in love with my birthplace at last, and does she now prefer it to St. Bridget’s Well ? Then she shall not have it! ’ Whereupon Jane will start madly down the right-hand road for the first time, I pulling steadily at the left rein to keep up appearances, and I shall at last realize my wishes.”

This was my inspiration. Would you believe that it failed utterly ? It might and would have succeeded with an ordinary donkey, but Jane saw through it. She obeyed my pull on the left rein, and went to Shady Dell Farm as usual.

Another of Jane’s eccentricities is a violent aversion to perambulators. As Belvern is a fine healthy growing country, with steadily increasing population, the roads are naturally alive with perambulators ; or at least alive with the babies inside the perambulators. These are the more alarming to the timid eye in that many of them are double-barreled, so to speak, and loaded to the muzzle with babies ; for not only do Belvern babies frequently appear as twins, but there are often two youngsters of a perambulator age in the same family at the same time. To weave that donkey and that Bath " cheer ” through the narrow streets of the various Belverns without putting to death any babies, and without engendering the outspoken condemnation of the screaming mothers and nursery maids, is a task for a Jehu himself. Of course Jane makes it more difficult by lunging into one perambulator in avoiding another, but she prefers even that risk to the degradation of treading the path I wish her to tread.

I often wish that for one brief moment I might remove the lid of Jane’s brain and examine her mental processes. She would not exasperate me so deeply if I could be certain of her springs of action. Is she old, is she rheumatic, is she lazy, is she hungry ? Sometimes I think she means well, and is only ignorant and dull; but this hypothesis grows less and less tenable as I know her better. Sometimes I conclude that she does not understand me. Perhaps it takes an American donkey to comprehend an American woman, and this difference in nationality troubles her, though she does not convey the slightest impression of having been born and educated in a monarchy; no servility about Jane, and precious little civility, for that matter. Yet I cannot bring myself to drive any other donkey; I am always hoping to impress myself on her imagination, and conquer her will through her fancy. Meanwhile, I like to feel myself in the grasp of a nature stronger than my own, and so I hold to you, Jane, and buy a photograph of St. Bridget’s Well!


It was about two o’clock in the afternoon, and I suddenly heard a strange sound, that of our fowl cackling. Yesterday I heard her telltale note about noon, and the day before just as I was eating my breakfast. I knew that it would be so ! The serpent has entered Eden. That fowl has laid before eight in the morning for three weeks without interruption, and she has now entered upon a career of wild and reckless uncertainty which compels me to eat eggs from twelve to twenty-four hours old, just as if I were in London.

Alas for the rarity Of regularity Under the sun!

A hen, being of the feminine gender, underestimates the majesty of order and system ; she resents any approach to the unimaginative monotony of the machine. Probably the Confederated Fowl Union has been meddling with our little paradise where Labor and Capital have dwelt in heavenly unity until now. Nothing can be done about it, of course; even if it were possible to communicate with the fowl, she would say, I suppose, that she would lay when she was ready, and not before ; at least that is what an American hen would say.

Just as I was brooding over these mysteries and trying to hatch out some conclusions, Mrs. Bobby knocked at the door, and, coming in, curtsied very low and said, “ It’s about namin’ the ’ouse, miss.”

“ Oh, yes. Pray don’t stand, Mrs. Bobby ; take a chair. I am not very busy; I am only painting prickles on my gorse bushes ; so we will talk it over.”

Mrs. Bobby bought this place only a few months ago, for she lived in Cheltenham before Mr. Bobby died. The last incumbent had probably been of Welsh extraction, for the cottage had been named “ Dan-y-Cefn.” Mrs. Bobby declared, however, that she would n’t have a heathenish name posted on her house, and expect her friends to pronounce it when she could n’t pronounce it herself. She seemed grieved when at first I could not see the absolute necessity of naming the cottage at all, telling her that we named only grand places in America. She was struck dumb with amazement at this piece of information, and failed to conceive of the confusion that must ensue in villages where streets were scarcely named or houses numbered. I confess it had never occurred to me that our manner of doing was highly inconvenient, if not impossible, and I approached the subject of the name with more interest and more modesty.

“ Well, Mrs. Bobby,” I began, “ it is to be Cottage; we’ve decided that, have we not ? It is to be Cottage, not House, Lodge, Mansion, or Villa. We cannot name it after any flower that blows, because they are all taken. Have all the trees been used ? ”

“ Thank you, miss, yes, miss, all but h’ash-tree, and we ’ave no h’ash.”

“ Very good, we must follow another plan. Family names seem to be chosen, such as Gower House, Marston Villa, and the like. ‘ Bobby Cottage ’ is not pretty. What was your maiden name, Mrs. Bobby ? ”

“ Buggins, thank you, miss, ‘ Elizabeth Buggins, Licensed to sell Poultry,’ was my name and title when I met Mr. Bobby.”

“ I ’m sorry, but ‘ Buggins Cottage ’ is still more impossible than ‘ Bobby Cottage.’ Now here’s another idea : where were you born, Mrs. Bobby ? ”

“ In Snitterfield, thank you, miss.”

“ Dear, dear! how unserviceable ! ”

“ Thank you, miss.”

“ Where was Mr. Bobby born ? ”

“He never mentioned, miss.”

(Mr. Bobby must have been expansive, for they were married twenty years.)

“ There is always Victoria or Albert,” I said tentatively, as I wiped my brushes.

“ Yes, miss, but with all respect to her Majesty, them names give me a turn when I see them on the gates, I am that sick of them.”

“ True. Can we call it anything that will suggest its situation ? Is there a Hill Crest ? ”

“ Yes, miss, there is ’Ill Crest, ‘Ill Top, ‘Ill View, Ill Side, ;Ill End, H’under ;Ill, ‘Ill Bank, and ;Ill Terrace.”

“ should think that would do for Hill.”

“ Thank you, miss. ’Ow would ‘ The ’Edge ’ do, miss ? ”

“ But we have no hedge.” (She shall not have anything with an h in it, if I can help it.)

“ No, miss, but I thought I might set out a bit, if worst come lo worst.”

“ And wait three or four years before people would know why the cottage was named? Oh, no, Mrs. Bobby.”

“ Thank you, miss.”

“ We might have something quite out of the common, like ‘ Providence Cottage,’ down the bank. I don’t know why Mrs. Jones calls it Providence Cottage, unless she thinks it’s a providence that she has one at all ; or because, as it’s right on the edge of the hill, she thinks it’s a providence it has n’t blown off. How would you like ‘ Peace ’ or ‘ Rest ’ Cottage ? ”

“ Begging your pardon, miss, it’s neither peace nor rest I gets in it these days, with a twenty-five pound debt ’anging over me, and three children to feed and clothe.”

44 I fear we are not very clever, Mrs. Bobby, or we should hit upon the right thing with less trouble. I know what I will do : I will go down in the road and look at the place for a long time from the outside, and try to think what it suggests to me.”

“ Thank you, miss ; and I’m sure I’m grateful for all the trouble you are taking with my small affairs.”

Down I went, and leaned over the wicket gate, gazing at the unnamed cottage. The bricked pathway was scrubbed as clean as a penny, and the stone step and the floor of the little kitchen as well. The garden was a maze of fragrant bloom, with never a weed in sight. The fowl cackled cheerily still, adding insult to injury, the pet sheep munched grass contentedly, and the canaries sang in their cages under the vines. Mrs. Bobby settled herself on the porch with a pan of peas in her neat gingham lap, and all at once I cried : —

“ ‘ Comfort Cottage ’ ! It is the very essence of comfort, Mrs. Bobby, even if there is not absolute peace or rest. Let me paint the signboard for you this very day.”

Mrs. Bobby was most complacent over the name. She had the greatest confidence in my judgment, and the characterization pleased her housewifely pride, so much so that she flushed with pleasure as she said that if she ’ad ’er ’ealth she thought she could keep the place looking so that the passers-by would easily h’understand the name.


It was some days after the naming of the cottage that Mrs. Bobby admitted me into her financial secrets, and explained the difficulties that threatened her peace of mind. She still has twenty-five pounds to pay before Comfort Cottage is really her own. With her cow and her vegetable garden, to say nothing of her procrastinating fowl, she manages to eke out a frugal existence, now that her eldest son is in a blacksmith’s shop at Worcester and is sending her part of his weekly savings. But it has been a poor season for canaries, and a still poorer one for lodgers; for people in these degenerate days prefer to be nearer the hotels and the mild gayeties of the larger settlements. It is all very well so long as I remain with her, and she wishes fervently that that may be forever ; for never, she says eloquently, never in all her Cheltenham and Belvern experience, has she encountered such a jewel of a lodger as her dear Miss ’Amilton, so little trouble, and always a bit of praise for her plain cooking, and a pleasant word for the children, to whom most lodgers object, and such an interest in the cow and the fowl and the garden and the canaries, and such kindness in painting the name of the cottage, so that it is the finest thing in the village, and nobody can get past the ’ouse without stopping to gape at it! But when her American lodger leaves her, she asks, — and who is she that can expect to keep a beautiful young lady who will be naming her own cottage and painting signboards for herself before long, likely ? — but when her American lodger is gone, how is she, Mrs. Bobby, to put by a few shillings a month towards the debt on the cottage ? These are some of the problems she presents to me. I have turned them over and over in my mind as I have worked, and even asked Willie Beresford in my weekly letter what he could suggest. Of course he could not suggest anything ; men never can. All at once, one morning, a happy idea struck me, and I ran down to Mrs. Bobby, who was weeding the onion bed in the back garden.

“ Airs. Bobby,” I said, sitting down comfortably on the edge of the lettuceframe, “ I am sure I know how you can earn many a shilling during the summer and autumn months, and you must begin the experiment while I am here to advise you. I want you to serve five o’clock tea in your garden.”

“ But, miss, thanking you kindly, nobody would think of stoppin’ ere for a cap of tea once in a twelvemonth.”

“ You never know what people will do until you try them. People will do almost anything. Mrs. Bobby, if you only put it into their heads, and this is the way we shall make our suggestion to the public. I will paint a second signboard to hang below ‘ Comfort Cottage.’ It will be much more beautiful than the other, for it shall have a steaming kettle on it, and a cup and saucer, and the words ‘ Tea Served Here ’ underneath, the letters all intertwined with tea plants. I don’t know how tea plants look, but then neither does the public. You will set one round table on the porch, so that if it threatens rain, as it sometimes does, you know, in England, people will not be afraid to sit down; and the other you will put under the yew-tree near the gate. The tables must be immaculate; no spotted, rumpled cloths and chipped cups at Comfort Cottage, which is to be a strictly first-class tea station. You will put vases of flowers on the tables, and you will not mix red, yellow, purple, and blue ones in the same vase ” —

“ It’s the way the good Lord mixes ’em in the fields,” interjected Mrs. Bobby piously.

“ Very likely; but you will permit me to remark that the good Lord can manage things successfully which we poor humans cannot. You will set out your cream jug that was presented to Mrs. Martha Buggins by her friends and neighbors as a token of respect in, 1823, and the bowl that was presented to Mr. Bobby as a sword and shooting prize in 1860, and all your pretty little odds and ends. You will get everything ready in the kitchen, so that customers won’t have long to wait; but you will not prepare much in advance, so that there ‘ll be nothing wasted.”

“ It sounds beautiful in your mouth, miss, and it surely would n’t be any ’arm to make a trial of it.”

“ Of course it won’t. There is no inn here where nice people will stop (who would ever think of asking for tea at The Retired Soldier?), and the moment they see our sign, in walking or driving past, that moment they will be consumed with thirst. You do not begin to appreciate our advantages as a tea station. In the first place., there is a watering-trough not far from the gate, and drivers very often stop to water their horses; then we have the lovely garden which everybody admires; and if everything else fails, there is the baby. Put that faded pink flannel slip on Jem, showing his tanned arms and legs as usual, tie up his sleeves with blue bows as you did last Sunday, put Tommy’s white tennis cap on the back of his yellow curls, turn him loose in the hollyhocks, and await results. Did I not open the gate the moment I saw him, though there was no apartment sign in the window ? ”

Mrs. Bobby was overcome by the magic of my arguments, and as there were positively no attendant risks we decided on an early opening. The very next day after the hanging of the second sign I superintended the arrangements myself. It was a nice thirsty afternoon, and as I filled the flower vases I felt such a desire for custom and such a love of trade animating me that I was positively ashamed. At three o’clock I went upstairs and threw myself on the bed for a nap, for I had been sketching on the hills since early morning. It may have been an hour later when I heard the sound of voices and the stopping of a heavy vehicle before the house. I stole to the front window, and, peeping under the shelter of the vines, saw a char-a-bancs, on the way from Great Belvern to the Beacon. It held three gentlemen, two ladies, and four children, and everything had worked precisely as I intended. The driver had seen the watering-trough, the gentlemen had seen the tea sign, the children had seen the flowers and the canaries, and the ladies had seen the baby. I went to the back window to call an encouraging word to Mrs. Bobby, but to my horror I saw that worthy woman disappearing at the extreme end of the lane in full chase of our cow, who had broken down the fence, and was now at large, with some of our neighbor’s turnip tops hanging from her mouth.


Ruin stared us in the face. Were our cherished plans to be frustrated by a marauding cow, who little realized that she was imperiling her own means of existence ? Were we to turn away three, five, nine thirsty customers at one fell swoop ? Never! None of these people ever saw me before nor would ever see me again. What was to prevent my serving them with tea ? I had on a pink cotton gown, — that was well; I hastily buttoned on a clean painting-apron, and seizing a freshly laundered cushion cover lying on the bureau, a square of lace and embroidery, I pinned it on my hair while descending the stairs. Everything was right in the kitchen, for Mrs. Bobby had flown in the midst of her preparations. The loaf, the bread knife, the butter, the marmalade, all stood on the table, and the kettle was boiling. I set the tea to draw, and then dashed to the door, bowed appetizingly to the visitors, showed them to the tables with a winning smile (which was to be extra), seated the children on the steps and laid napkins before them, dashed back to the kitchen, cut the thin bread and butter, and brought it with the marmalade, asked my customers if they desired cream, and told them it was extra, went back and brought a tray with tea, boiling water, milk, and cream. Lowering my voice to an English sweetness, and dropping a few h’s ostentatiously as I answered questions, I poured five cups of tea, and four mugs for the children, and cut more bread and butter, for they all ate like wolves. They praised the butter. I told them it was a specialty of the house. They requested muffins. Withasmile of heavenly sweetness tinged with regret, I replied that Saturday was our muffin day: Saturday, muffins; Tuesday, crumpets ; Thursday, scones ; and Friday, tea-cakes. This inspiration sprang into being full grown, like Pallas from the brain of Jove. While they were regretting that they had come on a plainbread-and-butter day, I retired to the kitchen and made out a bill for presentation to the oldest man of the party.

s. d.
Nine teas 3 6
Cream 3
Bread and butter 1 0
Marmalade 6
5 3

Feeling five and threepence to be an absurdly small charge for five adult and four infant teas, I destroyed this immedi itelv. and made out another, putting the - cream fourpence more, and the bread and butter at one and six. I also introduced ninepence for extra teas for the children, who had had two mugs apiece, very weak. This brought the total to six shillings and tenpence, and I was beset by a horrible temptation to add a shilling or two for candles and attendance. There was one young man among the three who looked as if he would have understood the joke. The father of the family looked at the bill, and remarked quizzically, “ Bond Street prices, eh ? ”

“ Bond Street service,” said I, curtsying demurely.

He paid it without flinching, and gave me sixpence for myself. I was very much afraid he would chuck me under the chin ; they are always chucking barmaids under the chin in old English novels, but I have never seen it done in real life. As they strolled down to the gate, the second gentleman gave me another sixpence, and the nice young fellow gave me a shilling ; he certainly had read the old English novels and remembered them, so I kept with the children. One of the ladies then asked if we sold flowers.

“Certainly,” I replied.

“ What do you ask for roses ? ”

“ Fourpence apiece for the fine ones,” I answered glibly, hoping it was enough, “ thrippeiice for the smaller ones; sixpence for a bunch of sweet peas, tuppence apiece for buttonhole carnations.”

Each of the ladies took some roses and mignonette, and the gentlemen, who did not. care for carnations in the least, weakened when I approached modestly to pin them in their coats, ála barmaid.

At this moment one of the children began to tease for a canary.

“ Have you one for sale ? ” inquired the fond mother.

“ Certainly, madam.” (I was prepared to sell the cottage by this time.)

“ What do you ask for them ? ”

Rapid calculation on my part, excessively difficult without pencil and paper. A canary is three to five dollars in America,— that is, from twelve shillings to a pound ; then at a venture, “ From ten shillings to a guinea, madam, according to the quality of the bird.”

“ Would you like one for your birthday, Margaret, and do you think you can feed it and take quite good care of it ? ”

“ Oh, yes, mamma ! ”

“ Have you a cage ? ” to me inquiringly.

“ Certainly, madam ; it is not a new one, but I shall only charge you a shilling for it.” (Impromptu plan : not knowing whether Mrs. Bobby had any cages, or if so where she kept them, to remove the canary in Mrs. Bobby’s bedroom from the small wooden cage it inhabited, close the windows, and leave it at large in the apartment; then, bring out the cage and sell it to the lady.)

“ Very well, then, please select me a good singer for about twelve shillings ; a very yellow one, please.”

I did so. I had no difficulty about the color; but as the birds all stopped singing when I put my hand into the cages, I was somewhat at a loss to choose a really fine performer. I did my best, with the result that it turned out to be the mother of several fine families, but no vocalist, and the generous young man brought it back for an exchange some days afterwards.

The party finally mounted the char-abancs, just as I was about to offer the baby for twenty-five pounds, and dirt cheap at that; meanwhile, I gave the driver a cup of lukewarm tea, for which I refused absolutely to accept any remuneration.

I had cleared the tables before Mrs. Bobby returned, flushed and panting, with the guilty cow. Never shall I forget that good dame’s astonishment, her mild deprecations, her smiles, — nay, her tears, — as she inspected my truly English account and received the silver.

s. d.
Nine teas 3 6
Cream 7
Bread and butter 1 6
Extra teas 9
Marmalade 6
Three tips 2 0
Four roses and mignonette 1 8
Three carnations 6
Canary 12 0
Cage 1 0
24 0

I told her I regretted deeply putting down the marmalade so low as sixpence ; but as they had not touched it, it did not matter so much, as the entire outlay for the entertainment had been only about a shilling. On that modest investment, I considered one pound three shillings a very fair sum to be earned by an inexperienced " licensed victualer ” like myself, particularly as I am English only by adoption, and not by birth.


I essayed another nap after this exciting episode. I heard the gate open once or twice, but a single stray customer, after my hungry and generous horde, did not stir my curiosity, and I sank into a refreshing slumber, dreaming that Willie Beresford and I kept an English inn, and that I was the barmaid. This blissful vision had been of all too short duration when I was awakened by Mrs. Bobby’s apologetic voice.

“ It is too bad to disturb you, miss, but I’ve got to go and patch up the fence, and smooth over the matter of the turnips with Mrs. Gooch, who is that snorty I don’t know ’owever I can pacify her. There is nothing for you to do, miss, only if you ’ll kindly keep an eye on the customer at the yew-tree table. He ’s been here for ’alf an hour, miss, and I think move than likely he’s a foreigner, by his actions, or may be he’s not quite right in his ’ead, though ’armless. He has taken four cups of tea, miss, and Billy saw him turn two of them into the ‘olly’ocks. He has been feeding bread and butter to the dog, and now the baby is on his knee, playing with his fine gold watch. He gave me a shilling and refused to take a penny change ; but why does he stop so long, miss? I can’t help worriting over the silver cream jug that was my mother’s.”

Mrs. Bobby disappeared. I rose lazily, and approached the window to keep my promised eye on the mysterious customer. I lifted back the purple clematis to get a better view.

It was Willie Beresford ! He looked up at my ejaculation of surprise, and, dropping the baby as if it had been a parcel, strode under the window.

I (gasping). How did you come here ?

He. By the usual methods, dear.

I. You shouldn’t have come without asking. Where are all your fine promises ? What shall I do with you ? Do you know there isn’t a hotel within four miles ?

He. That is nothing; it was four hundred miles that I could n’t endure. But oh, give me a less grudging welcome than this, though I am like a starving dog that will snatch any morsel thrown to him ! It is really autumn, Penelope, or it will be in a few days. Say you are a little glad to see me.

(The sight of him so near, after my weeks of loneliness, gave me a feeling so sudden, so sweet, and so vivid that it seemed to smite me first on the eyes, and then in the heart; and at the first note of his convincing voice Doubt picked up her trailing skirts and fled forever.)

I. Yes, if you must know it, I am glad to see you; so glad, indeed, that nothing in the world seems to matter so long as you are here.

He (striding a little nearer, and looking about involuntarily for a ladder). Penelope, do you know the penalty of saying such sweet things to me ?

I. Perhaps it is because I know the penalty that I’m committing the offense. Besides, I feel safe in saying anything in this second-story window.

He. Not unless you wish to see me transformed into a nineteenthcentury Romeo, to the detriment of Mrs. Bobby’s vines. I can look at you forever, dear, in your pink gown and your purple frame, unless I can do better. Won’t you come down ?

I. I like it very much up here.

He. You would like it very much down here, after a little. So you did n’t “paint me out,” after all ?

I. No; on the contrary, I painted you into every twig and flower, every I till and meadow, every sunrise and every sunset.

He. You must come down. The distance between Bel vein and Aix when I was not sure that you loved me was nothing compared to having you in a second story when I know that you do.

I. Suppose we compromise. My sitting-room is on the floor below ; will you walk in and look at my sketches until I come ? — Oh, Mrs. Bobby, this gentleman is an American friend of mine. Mr. Beresford, this is Mrs. Bobby, the kindest landlady in England. The reason Mr. Beresford was so thirsty, Mrs. Bobby, was that he had walked here from Great. Belvern, so we must give him some supper before he returns.

Mrs. B. Certainly, miss, he shall have the Best in the ’ouse.

He. Don’t let me interfere with your usual arrangements. I don’t seem to be hungry for food. T shall do very well until I get back to the hotel.

I. Indeed you will not, sir! Billy will pull some tomatoes and lettuce. Tommy will milk the cow, and Mrs. Bobby will make you a savory omelet that Delmonico might envy. Hark ! Is that our fowl cackling? It is,— at half past six ! She heard me mention omelet, and she must be calling, “ Now I lay me down to sleep.”

There are no more experiences to relate at present. We are making history very fast, Willie Beresford and I, but it is sacred history, and much of it I cannot chronicle for any one’s amusement.

Mrs. Beresford is here, or at least she is in Great Belvern, a few miles distant. I am not painting, these latter days. I have turned the artist side of my nature to the wall just for a little, and the woman side is having full play. I do not know what the world will think about it, if it stops to think at all, but I feel as if I were “right side out” for the first time in my life; and when I take up my brushes again. I shall have a new world within from which to paint, — yes, and a new world without.

Good-by, dear Belvern ! Autumn and winter may come into mv life, but when I think of you it will always be summer in my heart. I shall hear the tinkle of the belled sheep on the hillside; inhale the fragrance of the purple clematis that climbed in at my cottage window; remember the days when Love and I first walked together, hand in hand. Dear days of utter idleness; of early confidences; of dreaming dreams and seeing visions; of long morning walks over the hills ; of “ bread and cheese and kisses ” at noon, with kind Mrs. Bobby hovering like a plump guardian angel over the simple feast; afternoon tea under the friendly shade of the yew-tree, and parting at the wicket gate when it seems, after six or seven hours together, as if we could not bear to say good-by. I can see him pass the clock tower, the little green-grocer shop, the old stocks, the green pump ; then he is at the turn of the road where the stone wall and the hawthorn hedge will presently hide him from my view. I fly up to my window, push back the vines, catch his last wave of the hand. I would call him back, if I dared; but it would be no easier to let him go the second time, and there is always to-morrow. Thank God for to-morrow. And if there should be no to-morrow? Then thank God for to-day. I have lived and loved.

Kate Douglas Wiggin.