Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

"I only mean that my daughters shall marry dustmen if they please, and on but three weeks' acquaintance if they choose."

“You know that you really mean nothing of the kind !” and Dulcie laughed a little and took his hand, “my own belief is that you'll think no woman good enough for your George, nor husband for Queen Mab!" and then she sobered down again suddenly, and added, “And you don't mean

that

you must really leave us to-morrow ?” “I think I must have my Sunday with my wife and children ; and that really it is now their turn to be considered.”

“And mean to take Ludo back with you ? it is so good for Charlie to have him to think for and be kind to,-and not to set him an example of which you would disapprove."

“Yes, they make a pretty pair. Like a great Newfoundland puppy and a full-grown, full-bred toy terrier. Ludo is often, I'm sure, quite startled to find Uncle Charlie at seventeen so much fonder of play than he is at seven—and I am glad he should have more play forced into bis life-yes, Charlie's very good to him, and you are all most kindbut I think he would rather go back with me to-morrow; and I am sure, without her boy, Queenie could only half welcome me."

And so it proved; and after a vain, final morning visit to the Admiralty, Arthur returned just to cheer them over the early dinner,

his few goods, and answer a few last letters. “I don't think I'd better go, really. Do you ?” asked Charlie, as he walked down Church Street with them, all other farewells said.

“No? When do the Savilles start—Monday? I am afraid, my boy, there's nothing any longer to wait for. The sea will not give up her dead.”

“But—but perhaps I might be of use to the poor girls.” “But after Saville has really taken the berth—"

“Ah, but we did not know then! If we had, you would not have accepted his offer?"

“Probably not.”

“But then I should not have known Kathleen's unfavourable opinions of me, and I can't be sorry I do know them! If I don't go I'll try to have followed this little fellow's example over my preparation for Wednesday."

They had reached the station, and Arthur was already taking the tickets. “Don't give it up without my knowing," was all he said;

come down and see me to-morrow evening and let us talk it out.

pack up

Perhaps something may have arisen then to help us to the really right decision.”

But nothing had. “ Lloyd's News” contained no fresh tidings, only a somewhat lengthy biography of the chief officers of the ill-fated ship, and speculations as to the causes of the outbreak, whether spontaneous combustion, stroke of lightning, or crew's carelessness.

“Well, Charlie, you shall do as you really like best and feel right,” said Arthur. “You would be away from Monday to Saturday, and are to put in at Portsmouth, and I suppose part with a pilot off Dover, and so you would have means of communication with the shore, and be able to get papers."

“I think I ought to stay with the girls : I can at least run their errands and post their letters for them—if you can't come back ?”

“I cannot come back without great inconvenience and sacrifice of what are really my first duties. Still I would do it—if I could see any use in it, or any natural termination to it. And I don't like you to lose this trip. Suppose I promise you to go up and see them at least twice this week ?”

I hope you will come at least twice, in any case, Arthur !” Charlie had expected much more, as his face and manner showed, “but I'd rather stay with them. They really seemed rather sorry I should be coming away for all these hours now.

It does take so long, you see, only to get to and fro."

“ That is the drawback in my own case. Three hours for the two journeys one must allow! Here's Audrey to call us to tea. Take a little more time for consideration, then, if you wish it, I'll write to Saville myself—that will be best, I think.”

After tea—which was a pretty pleasant meal, with Queenie's graceful presence at the head of the little table, and Arthur's kind cheerings at the other, even little George promoted in honour of Uncle Charlie to a seat beside his mother,—Arthur said, Well, Charlie !"

“I think I ought to stay with the girls.”

" Very well, then I'll go in and write your excuses and my thanks, at once. Happily Saville's above taking offence; or even thinking us foolish ! much more telling his wife so! Go home first though, and tell Dulcibella what we are doing.”

“ Need I? ought I? Ludo does want me to go to S. Dunstan's with him, mayn't we go ? only, if I go home before going to Queen Anne's Gardens, it will make me very late.”

Charlie was allowed his own way, here, also ; and the pair of big and little set off most happily together. “ A little child will lead him far better than we elders drive him, I expect," philosophised Arthur, and leant back a moment in thought; then obeyed Audrey's imperative demand for " a Sunday story, a nice Sunday story, a nicest Sunday story—Daniel in the lions' den.”

The Savilles received Arthur's letter, Charlie's excuses, very kindly.

“I am glad, Charlie. I could see Dulcie dreaded losing you as well as Arthur,” said Diana, and then this youngest brother felt amply rewarded for his first sacrifice to family duty.

“Well, I'm sorry! and so will Mark be, but I believe you're right, and what says our own family motto? 'fais ce que dois advienne que pourra,'- -so I, at least, must not try to persuade you to reconsider the matter yet! Suppose I carry him off to Paris with me for a few days after Easter? if you really won't be able to make up your mind to have Master Lucius for rather a longer trip ?”

And so Charlie walked home, under the calm starlit skies, encouraged and contented.

HOLY NAME OF JESUS.

AUGUST 7TH.

“O Jesu, Dulcissime.”

'MID unveiled splendour of Thy Presence,

In realms of Beatific Love-
The shining Seraphs ceaselessly adore,

Thy Name-all other names above.
The white-robed and palmiferous throngs

In suffering perfected and crowned,
With golden harps the choirs of Glory swell,

And Thy triumphant Name resound.
Through all creation floats a mystic hymn,

A varied soft Æolian chord Ascribing Uncreated Majesty,

To Thee-O JESUS—Blessed LORD. The feathered tribes that skim through boundless space,

With clear and liquid notes praise TheeThe lilies of the field in pure array,

Bear witness of Thee silently.

Do free wild birds learn their bursts of joy,

From Angel's blissful minstrelsy-
While flowers in lowly reverence pour,

Their richest incense, up on High ?

No mortal tongue can worthily declare

The sweetness of Thy Sacred Name-
Nor grand and solemn organ-roll express,

The deep devotion Thou should'st claim.
“Go forward”—(sin pursues, that worst of foes)

Mandate to Israel's hosts addressed-
Forward—and fearless if Thou lead’st the way,

Our foreheads with Thy Name impressed.
Lighten our darkness in the gathering gloom,

When Azrael's shadow hovers o'er-
O may Thy Name be our last spoken word,
And passport to the Happy Shore.

C. A. M. W.

LACORDAIRE.

Far away in the little village of Recey-sur-Ource, in Burgundy, there lived a family of humble station indeed, but respected by all who knew them, the family of M. Nicolas Lacordaire, the village doctor; and here the light of day was first seen by one who was afterwards to make so great an impression on the thoughts and lives of his fellowcountrymen,-Henri Lacordaire. He was baptized, May 12th, 1802, by a faithful priest, Abbé Magné, who had been driven from his home for refusing to accept the Civil Constitution, and who had been sheltered beneath the roof of M. Lacordaire, himself a man of liberal opinions.

Lacordaire's first school was at Dijon, where he was sent by his mother after his father's death. Whilst there he learnt but little, and lost what he already knew of faith in God and religion. All that he did learn was chiefly owing to a young man, M. Delahaye by name, who took much trouble with Lacordaire's studies, often helping him with them, though he was not one of his own pupils.

Lacordaire first studied for the bar, and went to live in Paris for a while, and this was probably one of the most trying times in his life. His character was one difficult to understand, full of contradictions, and whilst very affectionate, and longing greatly for the love of others, he was yet so cold and reserved in manner as to repel those who would otherwise have willingly approached him. It needed both time and trouble to discover the treasures of love and friendship which lay hidden beneath that cold exterior. Lacordaire had no special friends in Paris, and doubt and darkness had taken the place of his early religious impressions, and moreover he was at that time the victim of a depression and melancholy which weighed down his usually buoyant spirits.

In all this God was doubtless educating His servant for Himself, and for the great work he was hereafter to fulfil as a priest, an orator, a Dominican monk, and not least as a teacher of youth, and a restorer of Christian education in France.

Before long a decisive step was taken,- light so earnestly desired, was given, and Lacordaire entered Saint Sulpice with a view to taking priest's orders, first going to the branch house at Issy. Here he reaped the first-fruits of that devotion and loyalty from men's hearts which later on was given in its full measure to the orator of Notre Dame. Popular as he was however amongst his fellow-students, the directors of the College could not quite understand his impulsive temperament, and it was not till Mgr. de Quélen and M. Garnier, more clear-sighted than the rest, intervened, that Lacordaire was ordained priest September 22nd, 1827. He refused an honourable post at Rome which might have led to high preferment, and took instead the humble chaplaincy of a girls' school, giving up all his leisure time to reading and the study of theology. Soon after this began his remarkable friendship with M. de la Mennais, which no doubt was the cause of much pain and anxiety to him. For Lacordaire could never do things by halves; where he once loved, he gave up the whole of his warm eager heart, and he clung persistently to M. de la Mennais in spite of many misgivings, till it was clearly indicated he was in the wrong, and then with grief and sorrow Lacordaire reluctantly withdrew from him. At first 'Lacordaire's great wish had been to become a missionary, and he was seriously thinking of going to the United States, when the prospect of being associated with M. de la Mennais in the editorship of the “Avenir” withheld him; for he felt it was a call to him to fight the battles of his own country on behalf of liberty and justice.

« AnteriorContinuar »