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BY SOMERSET MAUGHAM
I was staying a night with him on the about the place,' I said as I looked road. The mission stood on a little hill about the study. just outside the gates of a populous 'Do you think so?' he answered city. The first thing I noticed about soberly. 'I was a tutor at Oriel.' him was the difference of his taste. The He was a man of nearly fifty, I missionary's house, as a rule, is fur- should think, tall and well covered, nished in a style which is almost an though not stout, with gray hair, cut outrage to decency. The parlor, with very short, and a reddish face. One its air of an unused room, is papered imagined that he must be a jovial man, with a gaudy paper; and on the wall fond of laughter, an easy talker and a hang texts, engravings of sentimental good fellow. But his eyes disconcerted pictures, 'The Soul's Awakening' and you. They were grave and unsmiling; Luke Fildes' 'The Doctor'; or, if the they had a look that I could only demissionary has been long in the coun- scribe as harassed. I wondered if I had try, congratulatory scrolls on stiff red fallen upon him at an inconvenient paper. There is a Brussels carpet on the moment, when his mind was taken
up floor, rocking-chairs if the household is with irksome matters; yet somehow I American, and a stiff armchair on each felt that this was not a passing expresside of the fireplace if it is English. sion, but a settled one rather, and I There is a sofa which is so placed that could not understand it. He had just nobody sits on it, and by the grim look that look of anxiety which you see in of it few can want to. There are lace certain forms of heart disease. He curtains at the windows. Here and chatted about one thing and another, there are occasional tables on which are then he said: photographs, and whatnots with mod- 'I hear my wife come in. Shall we go ern porcelain on them. The dining into the drawing-room?' room has an appearance
of more use, He led me in, and introduced me to a but almost the whole of it is taken up thin little woman, with gold-rimmed by a large table, and when you sit at spectacles and a shy manner. It was it you are crowded into the fireplace. plain that she belonged to a different But in Mr. Wingrove's study there class from her husband. Mr. Wingrove were books from floor to ceiling, a was a gentleman, though it was evident table littered with papers, curtains of a that his wife was not a lady. She had a rich green stuff, and over the fireplace a common intonation.
The drawingTibetan banner. There was a row of room was furnished in a way I had Tibetan Buddhas on the chimney piece. never before seen in a missionary's
'I don't know how it is, but you've house. There was a Chinese carpet on got just the feeling of college rooms the floor. Chinese pictures, old ones,
1 From T. P.'s and Cassell: Weekly (London hung on the yellow walls. Two or three popular journal), October 25
Ming tiles gave a dash of color. In the
middle of the room was a blackwood aries. And they're not so intellectual table, elaborately carved, and on it that it is a great hardship to be dewas a figure in white porcelain. I prived of their company.' made a trivial remark.
'And, of course, we're not really 'I don't much care for all these alone, you know,' said Mrs. Wingrove. Chinese things meself,' answered my “We have two evangelists, and then hostess briskly, 'but Mr. Wingrove's there are two young ladies who teach.' set on them.'
Tea was brought in, and we gossiped I laughed, though not because I was desultorily. Mr. Wingrove seemed to amused; and then I caught in Mr. Win- speak with effort, and I had increasgrove's eyes a flash of icy hatred, so ingly that feeling in him of perturbed that I was astonished. But it passed. repression. He had pleasing manners,
‘We won't have them if you don't and was certainly trying to be cordial, like them, my dear,' he said gently. and yet I had a sense of effort. I led 'Oh, I don't mind them.'
the conversation to Oxford, mentionWe began to talk about my journey, ing friends whom he might know. and in the course of conversation I hap- 'It's so long since I left home,' he pened to ask Mr. Wingrove how long it said, 'and I have n't kept up with anywas since he had been in England. one. There's a great deal of work in a “Seventeen years,' he said.
mission like this, and it absorbs one.' I was surprised.
I thought he was exaggerating a ‘But I thought you had one year's little, so I remarked:furlough every seven?'
'Well, by the number of books you ‘Yes, but I have n't cared to go.' have I take it that you get a certain
‘Mr. Wingrove thinks it 's bad for amount of time for reading.' the work to go away for a year like 'I very seldom read,” he answered that,' explained his wife.
with abruptness, in a voice that I knew I wondered how it was that he had already was not quite his own. ever come to China. The actual details I was a little surprised, and now I of the call fascinate me, and often began to be more puzzled. There was enough you find people who are willing something odd about the man. At last, to talk of it, though you have to form as was inevitable I suppose, he began your own opinion on the matter less to talk about the Chinese. Mrs. Winfrom the words they say than from the grove said the same things about them implications of them; but I did not feel that I had already heard so many misthat Mr. Wingrove was a man who
sionaries say. They were a lying peowould be induced either directly or ple, untrustworthy, cruel, and dirty; indirectly to speak of that intimate ex- but a faint light was visible in the East. perience. He evidently took his work Though the results of missionary envery seriously.
deavor were not very noteworthy as ‘Are there other foreigners here?' I yet, the future was promising. They asked.
no longer believed in their old gods, and
the power of the literati was broken. 'It must be very lonely,' I said. It is an attitude of mistrust and dis
'I think I prefer it so, he answered, like tempered by optimism. But Mr. looking at one of the pictures on the Wingrove mitigated his wife's stricwall. 'They'd only be business peo- tures. He dwelt on the good nature of ple, and you know' — he smiled — the Chinese, on their devotion to their ‘they have n't much use for mission- parents and their love for children.
‘Mr. Wingrove won't hear a word city, it was an agony to him; his misagainst the Chinese,' said his wife; ‘he sionary life revolted him; his soul was simply loves them.'
like the raw shoulders of the coolies, 'I think they have great qualities, and the carrying-pole burned the bleedhe said. “You can't walk through those ing wound. He would not go home becrowded streets of theirs without hav- cause he could not bear to see again ing that impressed on you.'
what he cared for so much; he would 'I don't believe Mr. Wingrove no- not read his books because they retices the smells.' His wife laughed. minded him of the life he loved so
At that moment there was a knock passionately; and perhaps he had marat the door, and a young woman came ried that vulgar wife in order to cut in. She had the long skirts and the un- himself off more resolutely from a world bound feet of the native Christian, and that his every instinct craved. He on her face a look that was at once martyred his tortured soul with a cringing and sullen. She said some- passionate exasperation. thing to Mrs. Wingrove. I happened I tried to see how the call had come. to catch sight of Mr. Wingrove's face. I think that for years he had been comWhen he saw her, there passed over it pletely happy in his easy ways at Oxan expression of the most intense ford, and he had loved his work, with physical repulsion. It was distorted as its pleasant companionship, his books, though by an odor that nauseated him, his holidays in France and Italy. He and then immediately the look van- was a contented man and asked nothished, and his lips twitched to a pleas- ing better than to spend the rest of his ant smile; but the effort was too great, days in just such a fashion; but I know and he showed only a tortured grimace. not what obscure feeling had gradually I looked at him with amazement. Mrs. taken hold of him that his life was too Wingrove, with an 'Excuse me,' got up lazy, too contented. I think he was aland left the room.
ways a religious man, and perhaps "That is one of our teachers,' said some early belief, instilled into him in Mr. Wingrove in that same set childhood and long forgotten, of a voice which had puzzled me before. jealous God who hated his creatures to 'She's invaluable. I put infinite re- be happy on earth, rankled in the liance on her. She has a very fine depths of his heart; I think, because he character.'
was so well satisfied with his life, he Then, I hardly know why, in a flash I began to think it was sinful. A restless saw the truth; I saw the disgust in his anxiety seized him. Whatever he soul for all that his will loved. I was thought with his intelligence, his infilled with the excitement that an ex- stincts began to tremble with the dread plorer may feel when, after an arduous of eternal punishment. I do not know journey, he comes upon a country with what put the idea of China into his features new and unexpected. Those head, but at first he must have thrust tortured eyes explained themselves, the it aside with violent repulsion; and perunnatural voice, the measured restraint haps the very violence of his repulsion with which he praised, that air he had impressed the idea on him, for he of a hunted man. Notwithstanding all found it haunting him. I think he said he said, he hated the Chinese with a that he would not go, but I think he hatred beside which his wife's distaste felt that he would have to. God was was insignificant. When he walked pursuing him, and wherever he hid through the teeming streets of the himself God followed. With his reason SANTA CLARA CONVENT
he struggled, but with his heart he was eternal punishment if they don't accaught. He could not help himself. cept Christianity?' At last he gave in.
I am sure my question was crude and I knew I should never see him again, tactless, for the old man in him tightand I had not the time to wait ened his lips. But he answered:before a reasonable familiarity would 'The whole teaching of the Gospel permit me to talk of more intimate forces one to that conclusion. There is matters.
not a single argument that people have “Tell me,' I said, 'do you believe adduced to the contrary which has the God will condemn the Chinese to force of the plain words of Jesus Christ.
SANTA CLARA CONVENT
BY WALTER ROBB
Santa Clara convent, at the northern The convent of Santa Clara was terminus of Calle Cabildo and opposite founded by nuns of the order from the ordnance depot, figures prominent- Toledo, Spain, in 1621. It covers two ly in Jose Rizal's novel, The Social hundred thousand square feet of surCancer, as the earthly refuge of the face, and extends from Calle Cabildo heroine, Maria Clara. Pursued by a eastward to the border of the block. love made forlorn, as Rizal would have South of it, long ago, was the military it appear, by untoward religious scru- hospital, which was no doubt destroyed ples, Maria took the vows of a nun and by earthquake and fire. The convent immersed her life in the silence of the building is an austere, forbidding convent, where sorrow maddened her. rectangular stone structure with typiTo many Filipinos, Santa Clara con- cal tile roof. There is a chapel in convent is known as 'the house of the nection with it, and a vicar's cottage living death. To prostrate the body in on the south, religious administration a coffin is a part of the ceremony of of the Santa Clara nuns being under taking the veil and final vows. It is un- the monks of the Franciscan Order. questionably true of Santa Clara con- With the founders from Toledo came vent, as of all others, that within its four sisters of their order from Seville massive walls there lies buried many a and one from Mexico. A tablet in the romance such as Rizal describes, and parish church of Sampalok, Manila, atthe fragile spirits who were once grand tests the fact that they were cared for actors in these affairs devote their days there during the time the convent was throughout the cloistered years to turn- being constructed, but the work was ing over the ashes of the dead and completed within the year of their arburied past. It is the lot they have rival in Manila, thus giving the present chosen, an abnegation they have them- structure an unbroken history of more selves laid upon soul and body, a pen- than three centuries. ance taught them by devotion.
In 1851 the number of nuns was 1 From American Chamber of Commerce Journal
forty, but the community has grown (Manila trade monthly), February
since, it is believed, both in numbers and wealth. Formerly the income was of busy and polyglot porters, waist-bare two thousand pesos annually from the and burdened, these Malays with bunroyal treasury in the islands and five dles of spices, those Japanese with hundred pesos rental from an encom- Satsuma ware and silks, Chinese with ienda, or estate. Now, however, various gross packages of tea, Indians and of the inmates have willed inheritances Arabs with rugs and tapestries, now of considerable fortunes to the corpora- trailing from shipside to market, now tion, which must be self-sustaining. trotting hurriedly back for another lot, One such fortune was fifty thousand and always scourged by the curses of dollars gold. It was necessary, of the supercargo and the lash of the coolie course, for the young nun who be- boss! queathed it to sign the will in the pres- At the market the usurer closed his ence of legal witnesses. By absolution deals with his merchant patrons. He of the father confessor, she was per
often handled the confraternity funds, mitted to raise her veil in the presence and neither doctrine nor frequent royal of her attorney, so that he might swear reprimand was sufficient to overcome to her identity. Upon her lifting the the rigid law of supply and demand veil, she was discovered to be very assisted, as it was, on the supply side, young, and of an aristocratic beauty by the constant monopoly. But all the ravishingly perfect. The gaze of mag- tumult could not vault the convent netic cherubian orbs was kept demurely walls, nor disturb the quiet isolation lowered, but the full lips of youth at within them. On Calle Maestranza, the bloom could scarcely repress a leading into Almacenes, the world was smile. The attorney at least remembers no less present: here were metal dumps, the moment vividly, but with the and men moulding balls and casting signing of the papers a dainty hand canister for the arsenal stores west of lowered the veil immediately and a the convent and for the caches at the chastened heart turned away to peni- guns of the fort. tent worship and a prayer for a re- The serene heights of the cloister cleansed soul.
overlooked all this. Now, in an age By the north wall of Santa Clara entirely changed by science and invenconvent runs Calle Almacenes, separat- tion, the scenes are different. Soldiers ing the convent from the ordnance sec- divert themselves along Maestranza, tion of Fort Santiago. Almacenes just out of eyeshot of the fort. The Street was the site of the royal market cloister and the little veiled occupant of during the long period when the over- every cell must know the airs at least seas commerce of the Philippines was a of the latest jazz-tunes, the echoes of government monopoly. Here the wares raucous harmony from groups of bibufrom all the Orient were parceled and lous soldiers vocal with the inspiration classified and baled and bought and of bad but potent vino. Is this, on bartered for shipment on the galleons moonlit nights, disconcerting to plying between Manila and Acapulco. saintly ear? There are still sails in the Such scenes! Such a clamor of mer- river, myriads of them, but only those chandising at the very base of the of 'little boats that keep near shore.' silent wall — with fleets anchored in They traffic in gross products, not fine the river near by from Japan, China, wares, which are better left to the cusIndia, and the Molukkas, and queues tody of steel and steam.