cotton, opposite it a small bureau inlaid with mother-of-pearl. All the other

furniture was proportionately small. Translated for The Living AGE by Harriet Upon the wall were delicately framed Lieber Cohen.

wood cuts, and everything about the PART II.

apartment was as clean and bright as The next morning was cold and

a doll's house the night before Christ

mas. There was but one article suitwindy, but the autumn sun cleared the pavements of snow, and that evening able for the use of the ordinary indiwhen the moon appeared there was not vidual and that was a heavy oak table. even a cloudlet to interpose between it Upon it were blocks, chisels, gouges and the doings of men. Still the night and other tools of the wood engraver's

craft. Over it hopped a canary in a was bitterly cold and again the watchmen preferred the cosy warmth of beer large cage and, ignoring the fact that houses to the nipping embraces of the

was close on to midnight, greeted the wind, and again could · Mr. Magnus lantern light with a merry burst of stalk unmolested under friendly house

song shadows; for the occasional guardians

“I have been waiting for you here in of the peace who stared in amazement

the moonlight,” said the owner of the at the gigantic apparition had received

little nest, “the garden over there is a no instructions for such a case, and perfect picture on such a brilliant night when they made their reports gave

as this, but I will light the lamp now. such confused and contradictory state

You must take a look at this puppetments that suspicion raised her head

house of mine. Do sit down. You are and insinuated that they had fallen

bending over so that I am afraid if you asleep in the discharge of their duty.

should lift your shoulders we should When the dwarf's door had been

see star-light through the roof.” reached there was

Magnus glanced at a chair-it would a pleasant "good

have held a child; at the bed-more evening," in a childish treble, from an open window in the mansard, followed suitable for a doll; at the tiny sofa in

corner by the stove; then, very by the request that the visitor would wait just a minute; and very soon in- quietly he dropped down on the deer

skin before the bed, leaned his back deed the tiny door was opened and Mr. Theodore Hinze reached out the large against the bedside and stretched his house-key which Mr. Magnus was re

long legs out in front of him. “You

need have no concern as to my being quested to use, and enter. Within doors the guest was cordially welcomed, and comfortable,” he said, “I am not accusthen the host, lantern in hand, preceded tomed to tufted furniture, and I like

this position very well. You are quite him up the stairs, paused at the top landing and throwing open a door, bade luxuriously fixed here."

The little man had lighted a small him walk in. The large man's head had to be kept lamp on the centre-table and placed the

lantern on the bureau. At the implied well down between the shoulders, for standing erect was an utter impossibile compliment he glanced about the room

with a self-complacent smile, then ity. What the room lacked in height,

down at his own wee self, quite fantas. however, was made good by length and breadth. Through two low

tically attired in a gay Turkish dress

square windows streamed the moonlight un

ing-gown lined in red. A red Turkish

fez sat jauntily on hindered by the white muslin curtains.

his well-shaped

head. In the middle of the chamber stood a low table, about it some small chairs;

"I am afraid you will take me for a against the wall

coxcomb," he said with a smile. "But diminutive

habit is second natu:e. tester-bed, draped in gayly-flowered

My good

mother bought me this coat and 1 Copyright by The Living Age Company. thought it became me mightily. Now,

[ocr errors]



she has been dead some years—but, must disburden himself, come what somehow, I cannot get used to any would. other coat indoors, although I know it "You have a lively sleeping comlooks rather out of place on an artist. panion, Mr. Hinze," said the big man; I wish I could offer you a better seat. “do you not find that brilliant roulade My landlord, the tailor, did not furnish too much at times? 1-you will laugh with the thought of my entertaining at me, but it is the truth-I am somesuch a tall guest as yourself.

I was

what nervous, and certain sounds are first attracted to this house by “studios positively painful to me. It is ridicuto let on the window, but, Lord bless lous for such a monster as I am, but I you, when I looked at the studios I saw inherit it from my father." that they were intended for full-sized "I will put a handkerchief over the artists who sinned against art on can- cage,” said the dwarf, suiting the acvases ten feet high. I was absolutely tion to the word. “As for me I never afraid in those huge, bewindowed find the singing too loud; besides, my rooms. Then the tailor showed me this nerves never play me any pranks. I attic and here have I lived for the past raised that bird myself. He and I betwelve years as happy as you please, long to one brotherhood. We neither of with a fine north light for my work, us have any community among the and in summer as pretty an outlook as feathered and unfeathered bipeds who one could wish; then when Jack up are free to come and go as they please, there is not in voice, the finches and and so we try to make each other's thrushes in the garden opposite fill the lives bearable, at least. You see, I alair with their music and no better con- ways keep a lump of sugar between the. cert could be bad for the asking. You bars of his cage. When I am at work must pay me a visit one day in the and hear him pecking away and sharpspring; you will find me living here like ening his beak against the sweet mor-. an enchanted prince.”

sel, I say to him: 'No doubt you would The speaker of these bright, chirpy be better off, old fellow, if you wore & words had drawn his chair close up to grey jacket like every day birds and his guest who sat heavily forward, his could perk your head about on the tree. head bent low, his attitude the picture tops over there, and make love, and of despair.

build a nest, and help your soft-eyed “I have taken such a liking to you,” mate feed the tiny brood. But as you he continued, “I do wish I could make are a little golden rarity and have hapyou feel more comfortable—not physi- pened here quite by chance in the birdcally, but mentally and morally. You world, you must accept life from the seem to be laboring under a bad attack bright side, look through your cage bars of melancholy.

I realize that your and sing just as loud as you can so that youth has been passed far less happily you can silence the unfulfilled wishes than mine, and I fancy your present that rest on your heart at times.' And circumstances are not what they ought talking so I grow silent and thoughtful to be, but, coming from a family of myself, and when I look down from my smiths you ought to take to heart the window at the people of ordinary size old saying: 'Each one is smith to his whom I have envied, and see what a fortune.' You have not found your struggle life is for them, and when I iron, that is all, strength to wield the listen to the tailor's stories of the hardhammer you have and to spare.”

ships those who have reached the milis For reply, Magnus sighed heavily, and tary size must endure—” turned his head toward the moon as it He broke off suddenly, whistled softly looked boldly into the chamber; where- and jumping up, tripped to a cupboard upon Jack in his cage poured forth a and produced a small bottle. “I have passionate little burst of song as though nothing very fine to offer you," he said, the mighty figure filled him with placing a glass and the bottle on the

nameless terror of which he table, “but here is a very good cordial.




I take a sip of it at times when my this human miniature saw the light, spirits are none too good. Here are heaven knows why, I was the tiniest some biscuit that the tailor's wife atom imaginable. My first bed was baked herself. Drink out of the bottle some cotton in a pasteboard box in if the glass is too small.”

which my father kept his curling pa“Thank you,” growled Magnus. "I pers. The wonder was they did not never touch spirituous liquor. From lose such a pitiable little grasshopper the time that my father drowned his as I was. I would shoot up over both sorrows in drink and I saw to what a of their heads said my mother to father depth it brought him, I have never in way of comfort, and so she watched drunk anything but water."

over me with double care and tender“We are fellow-sufferers in this in- ness. I was a good-natured little pupstance as well,” said the good Samari- pet, had everything I wanted, and tried tan, as he replaced the bottle and glass to grow big and tall for my mother's on the shelf. “I cannot recall any one sake. When I was four I had a severe single evidence of affection on my attack of illness and was obliged to lie father's part. I


in one position for months. My growth scarcely to be blamed for feeling no was stopped and my father's hopes pride in such a scion as my puny self. were dashed to the ground. From that You must know that although he was time, he simply ignored me; he never a small man-rather, perhaps, because asked after me, never mentioned my of that fact-he had a wonderful fond- name, and if I entered the room

for tall people, especially tall where he was, he would look over my women. His trade brought him in con- head as though I embodied a personal tact with many well-grown, finely de reproach and in his magnanimity he veloped women whom he adored in se- would take as little notice of it as poscret. He was nothing better nor worse sible. than a hair-dresser. Fancy the misfor- "You can fancy how all this distune; he fell desperately in love with tressed my poor mother and how she my mother who was fully a head tried to shield me as far as lay in her shorter than himself. That he fell in power. Then as time passed and I did love with her in spite of all his predilec- not grow and relatives and friends tions I can understand, for she had the looked at me as though I were a toy sweetest face in the world and hair like and joked about me in a rather brutal spun gold, the one thing I inherit from way, my mother grew bitter against her, or rather did inherit as a boy, for this cruel, shameless, heartless world I have very little hair left. Well, he that measured my qualities by the foot, married her and taught her his busic and the dear soul vowed that henceness. Her original trade was making forth she would let no one see me. In flowers of hair—they were fashionable her eyes I was much too good to in those days—and she was a mistress be stared at as a natural wonder. She of the art I can tell you. Over there on knew that I carried a brave heart and the wall in that gilt frame, is a wreath a clear understanding in my little body. made from the hair of all her little fam- During the day I was kept in the little ily, but that will only give you a faint back room; into it no one dared enter idea of what she could do. So, as I say, save our old servant in whose estimahe married her and as she was a good, tion I was as perfect a creature as one sensible little woman and knew how to would wish to see-she saw through my govern her husband right wisely, he mother's spectacles. These two good was happy enough with her. The two women brought up, made

my girls with whom she presented him clothes, embroidered my slippers, and were of a very good size for their sex; at night when wags and scoffers were they both found husbands for them- not abroad, took me out walking that selves. But my father's greatest desire I might breathe some fresh air into my was to have a son, and when at last little lungs. You see I have depended





on the night air from a very early use to myself I might thus at least have period of my existence. Of what hap- served the cause of science.” pened in the world I knew absolutely

He rose

as he uttered these last nothing. I had no playmates, no teach- words, walked lightly to the cupboard, ers, no schoolboy loves. My mother pulled out a large box and dragged it, taught me all she knew, which was lit it was very heavy-over to his guest. tle more than reading, writing and re. “See,” he cried enthusiastically, "here ligion. I could not be confirmed are all my works, the collection of fancy the sensation in the church were twelve years, in clean first impressions such a Hop o' my Thumb to walk up to on cardboard. You see I have not been the holy. table. This distressed my idle. There are some pretty things good mother greatly until finally a among them from celebrated works. kind-hearted clergyman, to whom she Will you look over them ?”' confided her trouble, performed the He opened the box, placed the lamp ceremony for me in our

little so that it would throw a good light room. Taking all things into consider- upon the cuts and then held the topation, it seemed to her that it was doing most one up for critical observation.

harm to look at the world His guest shook his head gloomily, through an opera glass-she had had pushed away the picture with the back one made for me and many an idle of his hand and said huskily:hour did I gaze through it, from my "Pray do not take it ill of me, but I sunny prison, down upon the street be- understand nothing at all about sucn low. My father died, my sisters mar- artistic matters. I understand only ried and in all these intimate family this much, tbat you are a happy man trials and sorrows I might not partici- and I a miserable one. But do not pate. Thus it might have chanced as think I envy you. You see, I am ill at badly with me as with you-for to ease in your ork shop; you would not show himself too rarely is as unfortu- wonder at it, if you saw mine. So it nate for a man and as great a bar to his were better I said good-night and went worldly prosperity, as to be forced to my way." show himself too much,,but a happy “Mr. Magnus," said the little man, as fate so disposed it that a wood engraver he gently pushed the box under the rented a couple of rooms which my bed, "you invited me yester-night to widowed mother did not require, and pay you a visit. If you are still of the that into those rooms I stole whenever same mind, what say you to my returnthe master was out. I had always ing your call to-night. It is a fine night, been very ready at copying designs or the wind down and the moon high in drawings, a taste I inherited from my the heavens. Who knows, perhaps toartistic mother, and so I tried my hand morrow it may storm again. at wood engraving, and—as you see, are agreed, I can be ready in two minI suit my art as well as my art suits utes. I only have to change my coat." me.

As you will,” returned Magnus, his "Well then, as I would not be denied, eyes still on the ground. “You will find our lodger was forced to take me as a a cold, cheerless hole and none of the pupil, and the result of it was that pretty things about with which you when I was left alone in the world I have decorated your nest; but only a was enabled to earn my crust of bread rogue gives more than he has." -aye, and more than a crust. What He rose slowly, went with bent head would have become of me in my deso to the window and looked out into the late condition had I had no congenial moonlight. A church clock struck one. work to occupy my time! I suppose I The bird moved uneasily on its perch. should have handed myself over to a Hinze whistled softly as he exchanged public museum for embalmment, for, his slippers for his boots, put on his since I could have been of no possible overcoat, buttoned it and armed him

If you


self with his stick. “If you are ready,” had to wait for fashion to explain cyhe said politely, as he took the lantern cling. to light his guest to the street. Then But to cycle you must enjoy cycling;

how they went as noiselessly as possible you must learn

to ride, and down the steps and passed out into the scarcely any one does nowadays! This night.

is a detail of which the cycler who likes (TO BE CONTINUED.]

to journey with a wheel in the railway train or on top of a cab is, and always must be, completely ignorant. But then, we sometimes think the cycle bas

only replaced the tub as an article of From The Fortnightly Review. luggage and virtue. TWENTY YEARS OF CYCLING.

Fifteen years ago, our imitators of toWe have cycled for twenty years. day sneered, even lashed at us from How old we are, and how many adven- drags and from dog-carts; in the meantures we have had! For fifteen years while allowing us to ride as pioneers all the world laughed at us. How much over Europe and America-that is, all the world has lost-and lost it forever! over those parts which are beautiful Now it pretends to imitate us. For fif- and where the roads are good. We teen years it said, “Oh, yes, you ride never attempted to compete with Mr. cycles, don't you?” Now there is scarce Thomas Stevens, who first went round a healthy monarch in Europe with in- the world on a tall bicycle, a machine dependence enough not to follow the now unknown, save as a curiosity, to example we set him. We hardly men- the so-called cycler;

ambition tioned, if we could help it, the name of rather was to visit, on the wheel, places cycle. Now the talk of every prim that we wished to see. We never ven"Mees Old Maid” at the pension table tured to invade unridable continents, or d’hôte, of every decorous dowager at counties, if we could help it; we afternoon tea, of every immaculate preferred to explore countries where "masher," is all of gears and of treads, our machines would carry

us-not of weights and of tyres; subjects which where we should have to carry themwe, in common with all real riders, had and where there were civilized beds a way of treating with profound indif- and food and comfort. But we did ference. Though we have just come this at a time when people only thought from a thousand miles tour, we could us fools for our pains. However, it not tell you to what our machines are was by persisting in our folly that we geared, what they weigh, or who made met with adventures and gained experithe lamps and the bells. On the other ences which may never again be enhand, we have always demonstrated joyed by the most humble of our folpractically that cycling is the most de- lowers. And agitating adventures they lightful manner of getting about and often were. We never set out on a seeing a country, of taking a holiday. journey that friends did not line the Perhaps you may remember Steven- way for us with brigands, and there son's bargee on the Seine and Oise were moments and places when Canal—though it is now the thing to try shared their fears; when night overtook to forget Stevenson-the bargee who us in the long lonely Tyrolean thal, and understood better than the majority of stealthy steps and whispering voices in men what helps to make life worth liv- the enclosing wood went with us all the ing: “to see about one in the world, il way; when, belated in the lonelier n'y a que ça—there's nothing else worth mountain pass over the Apennines, we while. A man, look you, who sticks in came upon the gypsy camp, and had no his own village like a bear, very well, other arms of defence against the he sees nothing. And then death is the threatening figures that sprang up in end of all. And he has seen nothing." front of us but our wheels and our legs; There spoke one who would not have when, on the desolate Carpathian plain,



« ElőzőTovább »