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returned to Aleppo on hearing the tragic events And we all drew closer round our hostess, I have related, and was busied in collecting who remained silent some moments, her brow such evidence as could be gleaned, and insti. i thoughtful, her work suspended. tuting inquiries after our missing countrymau “Well," said she, at last, looking round us at the time that I myself chanced to arrive in with a lofty air, which seemed half defying, the city. I assisted in his researches, but “force and courage are always fascinating, even without avail. The assassins remained undis. when they are quite in the wrong. I go with covered. I do not myself doubt that they the world, because the world goes with if were mere vulgar robbers. Sir Philip had it did not- Here she stopped for a moa darker suspicion, of which he made no secret ment, clenched the firm white hand, and then to me, but as I confess that I thought the sus- scornfully waved it, left the sentence unfinished, picion groundless, you will pardon me if I do and broke into another. not repeat it. Whether, since I left the East, “Going with the world, of course we must the Englishman's remains have been discovered, march over those who stand against it. But I know not. Very probably; for I understand wheą one man stands single-banded against our that his heirs have got hold of what fortune he march, we do not despise him; it is enough to left-less than was generally supposed. But it crush. I am very glad I did not see Louis was reported that he had buried great treasures, Grayle when I was a girl of sixteen.” Again a rumour, however absurd, not altogether in- she paused a moment-and resumed:
“ Louis consistent with his character."
Grayle was the only son of an usurer, infamous “What was his character ?” asked Mrs. for the rapacity with which he had acquired Poyntz.
enormous wealth. Old Grayle desired to rear his “One of evil and sinister repute. He was heir as a gentleman; sent him to Eton; boys are regarded with terror by the attendants who always aristocratic; his birth was soon thrown had accompanied him to Aleppo. But he had in his teeth; he was fierce; he struck boys bigger lived in a very remote part of the East, little than himself-fought till he was half-killed. known to Europeans, and, from all I could learn, My father was at school with him ; described had there established an extraordinary power, him as a tiger whelp. One day he-still a fagstrengthened by superstitious awe. He was struck a sixth form boy. Sixth form boys do said to have studied deeply that knowledge not fight fags; they punish them. Louis Grayle which the philosophers of old called 'occult,' was ordered to hold out his hand to the cane; not, like the Sage of Aleppo, for benevolent, but he received the blow, drew forth his schoolboy for malignant ends. He was accused of con- knife, and stabbed the punisher. After that, he ferring with evil spirits, and filling his barbaric left Eton. I don't think he was publicly excourt (for he lived in a kind of savage royalty) pelled—too mere a child for that honour-but with charmers and sorcerers. I suspect, after he was taken or sent away: educated with all, that he was only like myself, an ardent great care under the first masters at home : when antiquarian, and cunningly made use of the he was of age to enter the University, old Grayle fear he inspired in order to secure his autho- was dead. Louis was sent by his guardians to rity, and prosecute, in safety, researches into Cambridge, with acquirements far exceeding the ancient sepulchres or temples. His great pas- average of young men, and with unlimited comsion was, indeed, in excavating such remains in mand of money. My father was at the same his neighbourhood, with what result I know college, and described him again --- haughty, not, never having penetrated so far into regions quarrelsome, reckless, bandsome, aspiring, brave. infested by robbers and pestiferous with ma- Does that kind of creature interest you my laria. He wore the Eastern dress, and always dears ?" (appealing to the ladies). carried jewels about him. I came to the con- “La !" said Miss Brabazon; "a horrid clusion that for the sake of these jewels he was usurer's son!” murdered, perhaps by some of his own servants, “Ay, true; the vulgar proverb says it is good who then at once buried his body, and kept to be born with a silver spoon in one's mouth; their own secret. He was old, very infirm; so it is when one has one's own family crest on could never have got far from the town with it; but when it is a spoon on which people out assistance."
recognise their family crest, and cry out, “You have not yet told us his name,” said Stolen from our plate chest,' it is a heritage Mrs. Poyntz.
that outlaws a babe in his cradle. However, “His name was Grayle.”
young men at college who want money are less “Grayle !” exclaimed Mrs. Poyntz, dropping scrupulous about descent than boys at Eton are. her work, “Louis Grayle ?"
Louis Grayle found, while at college, plenty “Yes; Louis Grayle. You could not have of well-born acquaintances willing to recover known him ?"
from him some of the plunder his father had “Known him! No. But I have often heard extorted from theirs. He was too wild to dismy father speak of him. Such, then, was the tinguish himself by academical honours, but my tragic end of that strong dark creature, for father said that the tutors of the college declared whom, as a young girl in the nursery, I used to there were not six undergraduates in the Unifeel a kind of fearful admiring interest ?” versity who knew as much hard and dry science
“It is your turn to narrate now," said the as wild Louis Grayle. He went into the world, traveller.
| no doubt, hoping to shine ; but his father's name was too notorious to admit the son into good He escaped to the Continent; hurried on to society. The Polite World, it is true, does some distant, uncivilised lands; could not be not examine a scutcheon with the nice eye of traced ; reappeared in England no more. The a herald, nor look upon riches with the stately lawyer who conducted his defence pleaded skil. 1 contempt of a stoic--still the Polite World has fully. He argued that the delay in firing was its family pride and its moral sentiment. It does not intentional
, therefore not criminal — the not like to be cheated -I mean, in money effect of the stun which the wound in the temple matters—and when the son of the man who has had occasioned. The judge was a gentleman, emptied its purse and foreclosed on its acres, and summed up the evidence so as to direct rides by its club windows, hand on baunch, the jury to a verdict against the low wretch and head in the air, no lion has a scowl more who had murdered a gentleman. But the jurors awful, no hyæna a laugh more dread, than were not gentlemen, and Grayle's advocate that same easy, good-tempered, tolerant, polite, had of course excited their sympathy for a son well-bred world which is so pleasant an acquaint- of the people whom a gentleman had wantonly ance, so languid a friend, and-so remorseless insulted—the verdict was manslaughter. But an enemy; In short, Louis Grayle claimed the the sentence emphatically marked the aggravated right to be courted—he was shunned ; to be nature of the homicide-three years' imprison. admired—he was loathed. Even his old col. ment. Grayle eluded the prison, but he was lege acquaintances were shamed out of know- a man disgraced and an exile ; his ambition ing him. Perliaps he could have lived through blasted, his career an outlaw's, and his age not all this, had he sought to glide quietly into yet twenty-three. My father said that he was position ; but he wanted the tact of the well-supposed to have changed his name ; none knew bred, and strove to storm his way, not to what had become of him. And so in his old steal it. Reduced for companions to needy age this creature, brilliant and daring, whom if parasites, he braved and he shocked all de- born under better auspices we might now be all corous opinion by that ostentation of excess, fawning on, cringing to-after living to old age, which made Richelieus and Lauzuns the rage. no one knows how-dies, murdered at Aleppo, But then Richelieus and Lauzuns were dukes! no one, you say, knows by whom.”. He now very naturally took the Polite World “I saw some account of his death in the papers into hate-gave it scorn for scorn. He would about three years ago," said one of the party, ally himself with Democracy,; his wealth could but the name was misspelt, and I had no idea not get him into a club, but it would buy that it was the same man who had fought the him into parliament; he could not be a Lau- duel which Mrs. Colonel Poyntz has so graphizun, nor, perhaps, a Mirabeau; but he might cally described. I have a vague recollection of be a Danton. He had plenty of knowledge the trial; it took place when I was a boy, more and audacity, and with knowledge and au. than forty years since. The affair made a stir at dacity a good hater is sure to be eloquent. the time, but was soon forgotten.” Possibly, then, this poor Louis Grayle might “Soon forgotten,” said Mrs. Poyntz; "ay, have made a great figure, left his mark on his what is not ? Leave your place in the world age and his name in history; but in contesting for ten minutes, and when you come back somethe borough which he was sure to carry, he had to body else has taken it: but when you leave the face an opponent in a real fine gentleman whom world for good who remembers that you had ever his father had ruined, cool and high bred, with a a place even in the parish register!” tongue like a rapier, a sneer like an adder. A ““Nevertheless," said I, “a great poet has quarrel of course; Louis Grayle sent a challenge. said, finely and truly, The fine gentleman, known to be no coward
The sun of Homer shines upon us still." (fine gentlemen never are), was at first disposed to refuse with contempt. But Grayle had made “But it does not shine upon Homer ; and himself the idol of the mob; and at a word learned folks tell me that we know no more from Grayle the fine gentleman might have been who and what Homer was; if there was ever a ducked at a pump, or tossed in a blanket—that single Homer at all, or rather a whole herd of would have made him ridiculous—to be shot at Homers, than we know about the man in the is a trifle, to be laughed at is serious. He there- moon-if there be one man there, or a million. fore condescended to accept the challenge, and Now, my dear Miss Brabazon, it will be very my father was his second.
kind in you to divert our thoughts into channels “It was settled, of course, according to Eng. less gloomy. Some pretty French air- -Dr. lish custom, that both combatants should fire at Fenwick, I have something to say to you.” She the same time, and by signal. The antagonist drew me towards the window. So, Anne fired at the right moment; his ball grazed Louis Ashleigh writes me word that I am not to menGrayle's temple. Louis Grayle had not fired. tion your engagement. Do you think it quite He now seemed to the seconds to take slow and prudent to keep it a secret ?” deliberate aim. They called out to him not to fire “I do not see how prudence is concerned in --they were rushing to prevent him—when the keeping it secret one way or the other-it is a trigger was pulled and his opponent fell dead mere matter of feeling. Most people wish to on the field. The fight was, therefore, con- abridge, as far as they can, the time in which sidered unfair ; Louis Grayle was tried for their private arrangements are the topic of his life; he did not stand the trial in person. public gossip."
“Public gossip is sometimes the best security “No, a mere gentleman at ease; but seems for the due completion of private arrangements. to have a good deal of general information. As long as a girl is not known to be engaged, Very young; apparently very rich; wonderfully her betrothed must be prepared for rivals. An- good-looking. I am sure you will like him ; nounce the engagement, and rivals are warned everybody must." off.”
“It is quite enough to prepare me to like him, “I fear no rivals."
that he is a friend of yours.'
And so we shook “Do you not ? Bold man! I suppose you hands and parted. will write to Lilian ?"
“Do so, and constantly. By the way, Mrs. It was late in the afternoon of the following Ashleigh, before she went, asked me to send day before I was able to join the party assembled her back Lady Haughton's letter of invitation. at the merchant's house; it was a villa about two What for? to show to you?”
miles out of the town, pleasantly situated, amidst “ Very likely. Have you the letter still ? flower-gardens celebrated in the neighbourMay I see it pos
hood for their beauty. The breakfast had been Not just at present. When Lilian or Mrs. long over; the company was scattered over the Ashleigh write to you, come and tell me how lawn; some formed into a dance on the smooth they like their visit, and what other guests lawn; some seated under shady awnings; others form the party."
gliding amidst parterres, in which all the glow Therewith she turned away and conversed of colour took a glory yet more vivid under apart with the traveller.
the flush of a brilliant sunshine, and the ripple Her words disquieted me, and I felt that they of a soft western breeze. Music, loud and lively, were meant to do so. Wherefore, I could not mingled with the laughter of happy children, guess. But there is no language on earth which who formed much the larger number of the has more words with a double meaning than party. that spoken by the Clever Woman, who is never Standing at the entrance of an arched trellis, so guarded as when she appears to be frank. that led from the hardier flowers of the lawn to
As I walked home thoughtfully, I was accosted a rare collection of tropical plants under a lofty by a young man, the son of one of the wealthiest glass dome (connecting, as it were, the familiar merchants in the town. I had attended him egetation of the North with that of the rewith success, some months before, in a rheuma- motest East), was a form that instantaneously tic fever; he and his family were much attached caught and fixed my gaze. The entrance of the
arcade was covered with parasite creepers, in Ah, my dear Fenwick, I am so glad to see prodigal luxuriance, of variegated gorgeous you; I owe you an obligation of which you are not tints-scarlet, golden, purple-and the form, an aware—an exceedingly pleasant travelling com- idealised picture of man's youth fresh from the panion. I came with him to-day from London, hand of Nature, stood literally in a frame of where I bave been sight-seeing and boliday- blooms. Never have I seen human face so making for the last fortnight.”
radiant as that
man's. “I suppose you mean that you kindly bring There was in the aspect an indescribable me a patient ?"
something that literally dazzled. As one contis No, only an admirer. I was staying at nued to gaze, it was with surprise, one was forced Fenton's Hotel. It so happened one day that I to acknowledge that in the features themselves had left in the coffee-room your last work there was no faultless regularity; nor was the on the Vital Principle, which, by-the-by, the young man's stature imposing - about the bookseller assures me is selling immensely middle height. But the effect of the whole was among readers as non-professional as myself. not less transcendent. Large eyes, unspeakComing into the coliee-room again I found a ably lustrous; a most harmonious colouring; an gentleman reading it. I claimed it politely; he expression of contagious animation and joy. as politely tendered his excuse for taking it. ousness; and the form itself so critically tinc, We made acquaintance on the spot. The next that the welded strength of its sinews was best day we were intimate. He expressed great in- shown in the lightness and grace of its moveterest and curiosity about your theory and your ments. experiments. I told him I knew you. You He was resting one hand carelessly on may guess if I described you as less clever in the golden locks of a child that had nestled your practice than you are in your writings. itself against his knees, looking up in his And, in short, he came with me to L--, partly face, in that silent loving wonder, with which to see our flourishing town, principally on my children regard something too strangely beaupromise to introduce him to you. My mother, tiful for noisy admiration; he himself was conyou know, has what she calls a dejeúner to-versing with the host, an old grey-haired gouty morrow; déjeuner and dance. You will be man, propped on his crutch-stick, and listening there?"
with a look of mournful envy. To the wealth " Thank you for reminding me of her invita- of the old man all the flowers in that garden tion. I will avail myself it if I can. Your owed their renewed delight in the summer air new friend will be present? Who and what is and sun. Oh, that his wealth could renew to he? A medical student ?"
luimself one hour of the youth that stood beside
him, lord, indeed, of Creation ; its splendour month.of January, eighteen hundred and sixtywoven into his crown of beauty, its enjoyments one, was a few days ago an eye-witness. subject to his sceptre of hope and gladness! The Chinese Suttee, when it occurs, is the
I was startled hy the hearty voice of the mer- self-sacrifice of widows, who are also orphans chant's son: Ah, my dear Fenwick, I was and childless; who consider themselves useless, afraid you would not come-you are late. and, as it were, lost in the world; and who seek There is the new friend of whom I spoke to you death, not only as a means to show their affection last night; let me now make you acquainted for the deceased husband, hut of escape from with hiin." He drew my arm in his and led the evils of a very wretched and isolated posi. me up to the young man, where he stood under tion. It is commonly a suicide of the desperate, the arching flowers, and whom he then intro- put forth as a public and glorious act of devoduced to me by the name of Margrave. tion. Highly praised by Chinese moralists, both
Nothing could be more frankly cordial than ancient and modern, many instances of this kind Mr. Margrave's manner. In a few minutes I of solemn self-destruction are recorded in hisfound myself conversing with him familiarly, as tory and romance, though of late years there has if we had been reared in the same home, and been scant resort to it in practice. sported together in the same playground. His There is a small book-uncivilly small--purvein of talk was peculiar, off hand, careless, porting to be the history of all the celebrated shifting from topic to topic, with a bright beauties of China. The work is arranged in rapidity.
divisions, each of which contains the lives of He said that he liked the place ; proposed to those ladies notorious for some particular virtue stay in it some weeks ; asked my address, which or vice, whether for chastity or its opposite, for I gave to him ; promised to call soon at an early i heroism physical or moral, for kindly gratitude hour, while my time was yet free from profes- or cruel hate. The woman whom the Chinese sional visits. I endeavoured, when I went away, author thought entitled to the first place in to analyse to myself the fascination which this esteem, was one whose story is as follows: young stranger so notably exercised over all who Her husband was a private soldier in the imapproached him; and it seemed to me, ever seek-perial army. On his return from service, away ing to find material causes for all moral effects, from his comrades, in a distant province, he was that it arose from the contagious vitality of that told by his wife how, during his absence, she had rarest of all rare gifts in highly civilised circles been annoyed by the persecutions of the officer -perfect health ; that health which is in itself of his regiment. The poor soldier sought then the most exquisite luxury; which, finding hap- to revenge himself on the libertine by taking his piness in the mere sense of existence, diffuses life. He failed in the attempt, and military law round it, like an atmosphere, the harmless claimed his own life as penalty for the attack on hilarity of its bright animal being. Health, to a superior. In vain he pleaded provocation; the utmost perfection, is seldom known after justice was inexorable, and, despite the interceschildhood; health to the utmost cannot be en- sions of his friends, he was condemned to die. joyed by those who overwork the brain, or admit His loving wife, on seeing how sad a calamity the sure wear and tear of the passions. The her beauty had brought upon her unoffending creature I had just seen gave me the notion of spouse, determined that since she could not save youth in the golden age of the poets—the youth him she would not survive him. She provided, of the careless Arcadian, before nymph or shep- therefore, for the welfare of her two children by herdess had vexed his heart with a sigh. selling them into the families of wealthy neigh
bours where she knew they would be well cared SUTTEE IN CHINA.
for. This done, she went to a rapid stream,
and, casting herself in where the current was The Indian Suttee, or voluntary sacrifice of strongest, perished beneath the waters. Now a living wife by burning on one pyre with the followed her reward. The current, though corpse of her husband, is abolished throughout so strong, refused to convey her body from the British dominions, and is supposed to be the spot at which her act of piety had been rare in the outlying provinces. The act of self-performed, and there it was soon discovered by immolation was often most determined. Of one the passers-by, who reported to the district ! widow it is said that she not only set at nought magistrate the miracle of a dead body lying unall admonitions to relent from her purpose, but moved on a running river, This officer, at once that she put a finger into the fire and held it hastening to the river-side, took charge of the that she took up some of the fire with one hand, higher authorities, and a further investigation to place it in the other, where she held it while made. The end of it was that the condemned she sprinkled incense on it to fumigate the at- soldier was pardoned, a public funeral was tendant Brahmins. We have all heard of the granted to the wife, and an arch, inscribed with custom of Suttee, while the existence of a simi- the words “ Ardently chaste," was erected to Jar practice in China is almost unknown in Eng- her honourable memory. Moreover, the chilland, unknown even to many Englishmen in dren were returned to the arms of their father, China who have resided there for years. Of such and he, feeling the deep debt of gratitude which a scene of public self-immolation by a Chinese be owed to his virtuous partner, refrained for widow, I, writing now at Foo-Chow-Foo in the his whole life from contracting any other mar
riage, lest he should weaken the tender remem. From this bamboo, under the canopy, and exbrance of one who had proved herself so faithful actly in the middle of the scaffold, hung the fatal to his interests.
rope, covered with a red silk napkin; beneath it This is one among many stories of the kind was set a chair, to enable the devotee to reach in Chinese literature. But, without any more the noose. On the lower platform, was a table reference to books, I will proceed to show how of choice meats and vegetables, at which she a sacrifice is managed in our own times, by re- was to take her last meal in the land of the lating the facts of the tragedy enacted before my living. The table was surrounded by the woman's own eyes in the neighbourhood of Foo-Chow- friends, dressed in holiday costumes, and wearFoo.
ing the red cap of Chinese officials. In former The first notification I had of what was about times it was the custom for two district magisto take place was the parading of a handsome trates to be in attendance on all these occasions; wedding chair about that suburb of the pro- but since the higher authorities were hoaxed, vincial capital in which our foreign settlement is some years ago, by a lady whose courage failed situated. The chair was accompanied by all the her at the last moment, they have refused to be pomps and gaieties of a wedding-music, gay present at such exhibitions, and now despatch an streamers, and so forth. There was, however, inferior officer to superintend the arrangements. one thing most unusual in this procession. The The scaffold was raised in the midst of a large occupant of the chair was exposed to public gaze, expanse of fields, at the time lying fallow, and instead of being, as in weddings is invariably was surrounded by a crowd numbering some the case, closely screened. On making inquiry thousands. Benches from which a better view among our Chinese servants as to what this ex- could be had, were so much in demand, that we traordinary departure from established customs were obliged to pay a dollar (four and ninemight portend, I was informed that the lady was pence) before we could obtain one for myself no bride, but a disconsolate widow, recently and another for any companion ; I use the singu. bereaved, who, finding herself unprovided for lar number, because we had lost the third memand unprotected, and having, moreover, neither ber of our party in the crowd. father nor mother, son nor daughter, father-in- The chief actress in this extraordinary scene law nor mother-in-law, was determined upon appeared at first to be far less excited than any following her husband to the unknown world, one in the vast concourse assembled. She where she might serve and wait upon him as was dressed in red bridal robes, richly embecame his dutiful and loving wife. Having broidered with coloured silk, and her head was accordingly made known her intention to her adorned with a handsome gilt coronet. Her friends, and having fixed the day for her de decidedly plain face betrayed not the slightest parture, she was now taking leave of all she emotion, and she sat down at the table with as knew, and parading the streets as a pattern to much apparent good will as if it had been her her sex. The object of her death being to re-bridal, rather than her funeral, feast. While she join her husband, the ceremony was a sort of was eating, we made some inquiries among the wedding; she was arrayed and adorned as a crowd, and ascertained, in addition to the fact bride, and seated in a wedding chair.
of her being childless, that she was twenty-five I ascertained the time and place appointed for years of age, and that her only surviving relathe closing ceremony, and on the morning of tions were a brother in poor circumstances, and Wednesday, the 16th of January, proceeded, ac- his infant child, her nephew. We were further companied bytwo friends, to a spot some four miles informed that she had resided in a village which distant from Nantae, the seat of the foreign set- was pointed out to us at a little distance from tlement and southern suburb of Foo-Chow-Foo. the spot.
Everybody we passed appeared as well ac- After the lapse of about half an hour, the poor quainted with the object of our journey as we woman having apparently satisfied her appetite, ourselves were. As we approached the scene of rose from her seat, and, still standing on the lower action we found ourselves in a stream of people, platform, addressed the surrounding crowd in chiefly women and girls, the greater part of whom a set speech, thanking them for their attendwere small footed, and were hobbling along lean- ance, and explaining why she acted as she did. ing one against another for support, or assist. When she had finished speaking, she took from ing their tottering footsteps, by means of the a bowl on the table, several handfuls of uncooked shoulders of dutiful sons or brothers.
rice, which she scattered among the crowd, and We arrived only just in time to see the chair eager was the scramble to get a few grains as of the victim carried on the ground, and her- her virtuous blessing. This done, she fondled self ascend the scaffold which had been pre- her baby nephew, and bade an affectionate pared for her. The chair was the bridal chair farewell to her brother, who stood by her on the in which she had been carried about the streets; scaffold; then, stepping upon the upper stage of and the scaffold consisted of two stages, one the platform, she bowed gracefully to the surraised a few feet from the ground, and the rounding multitude, and addressed to them a other about a foot higher. The whole was few last words. It struck me at this moment covered with a dark cloth canopy, supported by that she might be under the influence of opium, a framework of bamboos, within which was set for her laughing countenance and rapid gestures a gallows of one very thick cross piece of bamboo, were too highly excited, to be natural, except fastened at either end to a stong upright pole. under the influence of some such stimulants. It