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too !” adding reminiscently, “Yes, somehow, like the fall of an empire, Lady Lawless ; this is my biggest Mr. Vandewaters remained unmoved. deal !”
Then he sent one more telegram, gave He tramped away to the stables, got the clerk two pounds, asked that the a horse, and rode away to the railway- reply be sent to him as soon as it came, station. It was dinner-time when he and went away, calmly smoking his
He came down to dinner cigar. late, apologizing to Lady Lawless as he It was a mild night. When he got to did so.
Glancing across the table at the house he found some of the guests Mr. Pride, he saw a peculiar excited walking in the verandah.
He joined look in the young man's face.
them ; but Miss Raglan was not with The baby fool !” he said to himself. them ; nor were Lady Lawless and Mr. “He's getting into mischief. I'll Pride. He wanted to see all three, and startle him. If he knows that an army he went into the house. There was no of his dollars are playing at fox-and- one in the drawing-room. He reached geese, he'll not make eyes at Lady the library in time to hear Lady LawLawless this way — little ass !”
less say to a figure disappearing through Lady Lawless appeared oblivious of another door, “ You had better ask adthe young man's devotional exercises. vice of Mr. Vandewaters.” She was engaged in a more congenial The door closed. Mr. Vandewaters theme. In spite of Miss Raglan's ex- stepped forward. He understood the cellent acting, she saw that something situation. “I guess I know how to adhad occurred. Mr. Vandewaters was vise him, Lady Lawless,” he said. much the same as usual, save that his She turned on him quietly, traces of voice had an added ring. She was not hauteur in her manner. Her self-pride sure that all was right; but she was had been hurt, and no woman determined to know. Sir Duke was brook that. “You have heard ?" she amused generally. He led a pretty asked. by-play with Mrs. Gregory Thorne, of “ Only your last words, Lady Law. whom he asked the details of the day, less. They were enough. I feel guilty much to the confusion, not admirably in having brought him here." hid, of Mr. Pride ; lamenting now and “ You need not. I was glad to have then Mr. Vandewaters's absence from — your friend. He is young and effuthe shooting.
sive. Let us say no more about it. He Mr. Vandewaters was cool enough. is tragically repentant; which is a pity. He said that he had been playing at There is no reason why he should not nine-pins with railways, which was stay, and be sensible. Why should good enough sport for him. Soon after young men lose their heads, and be so dinner, he was handed two telegrams. absurdly earnest ?” Ile glanced slowly up at Pride, as if “ Another poser, Lady Lawless." debating whether to tell him some- “In all your life you never misunthing. He evidently decided against it, derstood things so, I am sure.” and, excusing himself by saying he was - Well, there is no virtue in keeping off to take a little walk in Wall Street, your head steady. I have spent most went away to the telegraph office, where of my life wooing Madame Fortune ; I he stayed three hours.
tind that makes you canny.” The magnitude of the concerns, the “ She has been very kind to you." admirable stoicism with which he re- “ Perhaps it would surprise you if I ceived alarming news, his dry humor told you that, at this moment, I am not while they waited between messages, worth ten thousand dollars.” - ail were so unlike anything the tele- She looked greatly astonished. "I graph-clerk had ever seen, or imagined, do not understand," she said. She was that the thing was like a preposterous thinking of what this might mean to dream. Even when, at last, a telegram Julia Raglan. came which the clerk vaguely felt was, " You see I've been playing games at
a disadvantage with some ruffians at Lawless, and said in a low, ringing New York. They have combined and tone :got me into a corner. I have made my “I am going to do more than “imlast move. If it comes out right I shall press ; ' I am going to convince her." be richer than ever; if not I must be- 66 When ?” she said. gin all over again.”
“ To-morrow morning, I hope,” was Lady Lawless looked at him curi- the reply. “I believe I shall have my ously. She had never met a man like millions again.” him before. His power seemed almost “ If you do,” she said slowly, “ do Napoleonic ; his imperturbability abso- you not think that you ought to run no lute. Yet she noticed something new more risks - for her sake ?" in him. On one side, a kind of grim “ That is just what I mean to do, forcefulness ; on the other, a quiet sort Lady Lawless. I'll settle millions of human sympathy. The one, no where they ought to be settled, drop doubt, had to do with the momen- Wall Street, and -go into training." tous circumstances amid which he was “Into training ?” she asked. placed ; the other, with an event which “Yes ; for a house on the Hudson, a she hail, perhaps prematurely, antici- villa at Cannes, a residence in Pont pated.
Street, and a place in Devonshire "I wonder at you — I wonder at you,” somewhere else. Then," he added, she said. “How do you keep so cool with a twinkle in his eye, “ I shall need while such tremendous things are hap- a good deal of time to cultivate accent." pening ?"
6 Don't!" she said. 6. You are much “Because I believe in myself, Lady more charming as you are.” Lawless. I have had to take my meas- They passed into the drawing-room. ure a good many times in this world. I “ Are these things to be told ?" she never was defeated through my own asked, with a little suggestion in her stupidity. It has been the sheer luck voice. of the game.”
“I can trust your discretion in any “You do not look like a gamester," circumstances,” he replied. she said.
“ Even in such circumstances ?" she "I guess it's all pretty much a game asked. She paused, with a motion of in life, if you look at it right. It is her fan back towards the room they only a case of playing fair or foul.” had left.
* I never heard any Englishmen talk · You have taught him a lesson, as you do," she said.
Lady Lawless. It is rough on him ; “ Very likely not,” he responded. but he needs it.”' "I don't want to be unpleasant ; but " I hope he will do nothing rash,'' most Englishmen work things out by she said. the rule their fathers taught them, and “ Perhaps he'll write some poetry, not by native ingenuity. It is native and refuse to consider his natural appewit that tells in the end, I'm think- tito." ing.”
• Will you go and see him now?" " Perhaps you are right,” she said. she asked. “There must be a kind of genius in it." ** Immediately. Good-night, Lady Here her voice dropped a little lower. Lawless." His big hand swallowed “I do not believe there are many En- hers in a firm, friendly clasp, and he glishmen, even if they had your dol- shook it once or twice before he parted lars
from her. He met Sir Duke Lawless • The dollars I had this morning,” in the doorway. They greeted cheerhe interposed.
fully, and then Sir Duke came up to who could have so strongly his wife. impressed Miss Raglan.”'
-- Well, my dear,” he said, with an He looked thoughtfully the amused look in his face, “ well, what ground ; then raised his eyes to Lady news ?”
She lifted her eyebrows at him. tune than you would ever have wits to
“0, something has happened, Molly, do. I am the best friend you've got, I can see it in your face."
and not the less your friend because I She was very brief. “Julia Raglan feel like breaking your ribs. Now, has been conquered ; the young man enough of that. This is what I have to from Boston has been foolish ; and Mr. say, Pride : to-night you and I are Vandewaters has lost millions."
beggars. You understand ? Beggars. “Eh? That's awkward,” said Sir Out in the cold world. Now, what do Duke.
you think of that ? " " Which ?" asked his wife.
The shock to Mr. Pride was great. Vandewaters found Mr. Pride in his Mr. Vandewaters had exaggerated the bedroom, a waif of melancholy. He disaster; but he had done it with a drew a chair up, lighted a cigar, eyed purpose. The youth gasped a " My the young man from head to foot, and God !” and dropped the glass. Vandethen said :
waters picked it up, and regarded him “ Pride, have you got any backbone ? a moment in silence. Then he began If you have, brace up. You are ruined. deliberately to explain their financial That's about as mild as I can put it.” position. He did not explain the one
You know all ? ” said the young bold stroke which he was playing 10 man helplessly, his hands clasped be- redeem their fortunes, if possible. tween his knees, in ästhetic agony.
When he had finished the story, he “Yes ; I know more than you do, as said : “I guess that's a bit more seriyou will find out. You're a nice sort of ous than the little affair in the library man, to come into a man's house, in a half an hour ago ?” strange land, and make love to his wife. He rose to his feet.
" Look here, my Now, what do you think of yourself ? boy ; be a man. You've never tried it You're a nice representative of the yet. Let me teach you how to face the American ; aren't you ?”
world without a dollar; how to make a “1-I didn't mean any harm – I – fortune. Then, when you've made it, couldn't help it,” replied the stricken you'll get what you never had yet - the boy.
pleasure of spending money dug out of Oh, for God's sake, drop that bib- your own wits.” and-tucker twaddle ! Couldn't help it ! He carried conviction into a mind not Every scoundrel, too weak to face the yet all destroyed by effeminacy and inconsequences of his sin, says he couldn't dulgence of the emotions. Something help it! So help me, Joseph ! I'd like of the iron of his own brain got into the to thrash you. Couldn't help it! Now, brain of the young man, who came to sit up in your chair, take this cigar, his feet trembling a little, and said : “I drink this glass of whiskey I'm pouring don't mind it so much, if you only stick for you, and make up your mind that to me, Vandewaters." you're going to be a man and not a nin- A smile flickered about the corners compoop
sit still! Don't fly up! I of Vandewaters's mouth. mean what I say! I've got business to " Take a little more whiskey," he talk to you. And make up your mind said ; “get into bed, and go to sleep. that, for once, you've got to take life No nonsense, remember; go to sleep. seriously.”
To-morrow morning we will talk. And “What right have you to speak to see here, my boy," — he caught him by me like this ?" said the young man, both his arms and fastened him with with an attempt at dignity.
his eye, -"you have had a lesson ; Vandewaters laughed laughed a learn it backwards. Good-night.” little loudly.
Next morning Mr. Vandewaters was “Ha! ha! Right ? Great Scott ! early in the grounds. He chatted with The right of a man who thinks a the gardener, and discussed the merits damned sight more of your reputation of the horses with the groom, apparthan you do yourself, and of your for-lently at peace with the world. Yet he
was watching vigilantly the carriage-Aristippus, which sets pleasure as the drive from the public road. Just before right aim of existence seems to be breakfast-time a telegraph inessenger the spirit ruling the readers of books ; appeared. Vandewaters was standing pleasure, that is, not of a grossly matewith Sir Duke when the message was rial kind, for the disciples are often as handed to him. He read it, put it into free from the thrall of the senses as his pocket, and went on talking. Pres- from the discipline of strenuous ently he said : “My agent is coming search ; but pleasure quand même, not from town this morning, Sir Duke. I the less so because directed and conmay have to leave to-night.” Then he trolled by culture and knowledge, for turned and went to his room.
there is no pleasure less liable to pall Lady Lawless had heard his last than reading, no pastime more sure to words.
satisfy. “What about your ranche in Colo- It is so difficult for us to imagine a rado, Duke ?”
world without books that we are apt to * About as sure, I fancy, as your forget that it is only within the last millionaire for Julia Raglan.”
three or four centuries that the materi. Miss Raglan did not appear at break- als for reading have come within reach fast with the rest. Neither did Mr. of the majority of Europeans. In 1340 Pride, who slept late that morning. when Richard of Bury penned that senAbout ten o'clock Mr. Vandewaters's tence which has since found sympaagent arrived. About twelve o'clock thetic echo in so many minds, there Mr. Vandewaters saw Miss Raglan sit- were no printed books -- no books, that ting alone in the library. He was evi- is, in our understanding of the term. dently looking for her. He came up to These are masters (he said] who instruct her quietly, and put a piece of paper in us without chastisement, without anger, her lap.
without fee; if you repair to them they are " What is this?” she said, a little not asleep ; if you would consult them they startled.
do not hide themselves ; if you blunder they “. Ten thousand for your hospital,” complain not ; if you betray ignorance they was the meaning reply.
laugh not. She flushed, and came to her feet. How would good Richard, poring “I have won,” he said.
over manuscripts limited in number And then he reached out and took and difficult of access, have esteemed both her hands.
our lot in these days ? The difficulty GILBERT PARKER. now is not to get books, but to decide
on a choice from the overwhelming multitude that pour from the press. It is
hardly possible for the most voracious From The Nineteenth Century. bookworm to devour more than one THE CRAVING FOR FICTION. hundred and fifty books in the space of It is not altogether easy to examine a year ; one who achieved that number the psychical and mental forces which might accomplish about nine thousand prevail to give fiction the immense in the course of his life. Probably nopreference it possesses over other forms body ever did so, and it would, after of literature, and to estimate its effect all, be an insignificant fraction of on social and intellectual growth, with contemporary publications, for about out seeming to assume the superior airs twenty thousand separate works are of a lecturer to a Young Men's Christian annually added to the shelves of the Association. But, in truth, the subject British Museum - more than twice as is so remarkable in some of its features many as any man could possibly peruse as to deserve philosophic consideration in a lifetime — amounting in a normal of the origin and results of the appetite life period of seventy years to the profor romance.
digious total of one million four hunHedonism, then - the doctrine of dred thousand books. And this leaves
wholly out of account the vastly greater | many books are only required for purmass of journalistic literature which poses of reference, novels are read consumes part of everybody's time and from beginning to end. attention.
Such is the evidence of the public Seeing, then, that almost every appetite for reading in a community reader is not only free to select for him- like Birmingham, a great industrial self, but actually under obligation to do centre, where, of course, works on so, it is not without interest to inquire technical subjects must be in pretty what, in the majority of cases, is the general demand. But the results are nature of that selection, and to trace, if still more remarkable if the returns of possible, the influence under which libraries in districts not so exclusively people make it.
industrial are examined. The table The returns of every free library showing the number of volumes issued prove how enormously the demand for during the same year, 1891, from the fiction preponderates over that for any lending department of the Battersea other kind of literature.
free libraries shows that out of 178,261 The annual report for 1891 of the volumes lent no fewer than 146,515 committee managing the free libraries were novels, four-fifths of the whole of Birmingham shows that during the four novels to every single work in all course of that year 855,096 volumes the other classes. were asked for and issued. These It would be easy to multiply proofs were divided into twelve classes : (1) of the preference shown by readers for theology and moral philosophy; (2) imaginary narrative over all other kinds history, biography, voyages, and trav- of books, but it is unnecessary ; one els ; (3) law, politics, and commerce ; has only to run over the contents of the (4) arts, sciences, and natural history ; nearest railway bookstall to find assur(5) poetry and drama; (6) magazines ance that those persons best acquainted and periodicals, those of a special char- by experience with the statistics of supacter being classed under the subject to ply and demand are convinced of the which they belong; (7) prose fiction ; futility of providing much else for the (8) miscellaneous, including dictiona- recreation of travellers. ries and cyclopædias ; (9) patents ; (10) Now, there is not the slightest intenjuvenile books ; (11) embossed books tion of suggesting that all this is wrong for the blind ; (12) music. Now, of and deplorable – to sit in ashes and the $53,096 volumes inquired for, no cast dust on our beards because a deless than 519,595 were novels and may- praved public finds more solace in imazines, leaving 335,501 for the other ten aginary love-stories than in works upon classes of literature.
political economy or moral philosophy. This is the more remarkable when It would be dishonest in one who has the composition of the Birmingham read all Miss Broughton's novels (and libraries is analyzed. It might be sup- hopes to read many more) and only half posed that fiction is more in request be- of Shakespeare's plays, who pounces ou cause the committee have more of that all that comes from the pen of Mr. Anclass on stock than of others. But this drew Lang, yet bas never penetrated is not so. Out of a total of 169,230 far into “ Paradise Lost,” to hint that volumes on their shelves only 31,996 there is much amiss in the fact revealed are classified as prose fiction and maga- by the returns of free libraries, that zines. It appears then that, although (leaving newspapers out of account) the committee have provided fiction out of every four persons engaged in and magazines only in the proportion reading at this moment three are readof about one to five of other books, lit- ing novels, or at all events, five out of erature of that class is in demand in eight. If this contributes to the genthe proportion of five to every three of eral contentment, be it far from the other classes. There is this additional philanthropist to interfere. If people fact to be remembered : that whereas prefer to reail of the imaginary acts and