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each individual begins as a child, mankind
From Chambers' Journal. also began as a child; and they imagined
A HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF, that a careful observation of the modern
BY MRS. OLIPHANT. child would give them some idea of the
CHAPTER II. character of the primeval child. Much ingenuity has been spent on this subject THE Warings had been settled at Borsince the days of Voltaire, and many dighera almost as long as Frances could amusing books have been the result, till remember. She had known no other way it was seen at last that the modern baby of liviog than that which could be carried and the primeval baby have nothing in on under the painted roofs in the Palazzo, common but the name, not even a mother nor any other domestic management than or a nurse.
that of Domenico and Mariuccia. She It was chiefly due to Darwin and to the herself had been brought up by the latter, new impulse which he gave to the theory who had taught her to knit stockings and of evolution that this line of argument was to make lace of a coarse kind, and also abandoned as hopeless. Darwin boldly how to spare and save, and watch every asked the question; whose child the pri. | detail of the spese, the weekly or daily acmeval human baby could have been, and he counts, with an anxious eye. Beyond answered it by representing the human this, Frances had received very little edubaby as the child of non-human parents. cation; her father had taught her fitfully Admitting even the possibility of this to read and write after a sort; and he had transitio in aliud genus, which the most taught her to draw, for which she had a honest of Darwin's followers strenuously little faculty: that is to say she had made deny, what should we gain by this for our little sketches of all the points of view purpose - namely, for koowing the prim-round about, which, if they were not very itive state of man, the earliest glimmer. great in art, amused her, and made her ings of the human intellect? Our difficul- feel that there was something she could ties would remain exactly the same, only do. Indeed, so far as doing went, she pushed back a little further.
had a good deal of knowledge. She could Disappointing as it may sound, the fact mend very neatly, so neatly, that her darn must be faced, nevertheless, that our rea- or her patch was almost an ornament. soning, faculties, wonderful as they are, She was indeed neat in everything, by inbreak down completely before all problems stinct, without being taught. The conseconcerning the origin of things. We may quence was that her life was very full of imagine, we may believe, anything we like occupation, and her time never hung about the first man; we can know abso- heavy on her hands. At eighteen, indeed, lutely nothing. If we trace him back to a it may be doubted whether time ever does primeval cell, the primeval cell that could hang heavy on a girl's hands. It is when become a man is more mysterious by far ten years or so of additional life have than the man that was evolved from a passed over her head, bringing ber no cell. If we trace him back to a primeval more important occupations than those pro-anthropos, the pro-anthropos is more which are pleasant and appropriate to unintelligible to us than even the prot. early youth, that she begins to feel her anthropos would be. If we trace back the disabilities; but fortunately, that is a whole solar system to a rotating nebula, period of existence with which at tbe that wonderful nebula which by evolution present moment we have nothing to do. and revolution could become an inhabita. Her father, who was not fifty yet, had ble universe is, again, far more mysterious been a young man when he came to this than the universe itself.
strange seclusion. Why he should have The lesson that there are limits to our chosen Bordighera, no one had taken the knowledge is an old lesson, but it has to trouble to inquire. He came when it was be taught again and again. It was taught a little town on the spur of the bill, withby Buddha, it was taught by Socrates, and out either hotels or tourists, or at least it was taught for the last time in the most very few of these articles; like many other powerful manner by Kant. Philosophy little towns which are perched on little has been called the knowledge of our platforms among the olive woods all over knowledge; it might be called more truly ihat lovely country. The place had comthe knowledge of our ignorance, or, to mended itself to him because it was so adopt the more moderate language of completely out of the way. And then it Kant, the knowledge of the limits of our was very cheap, simple, and primitive. knowledge.
He was not, however, by any means a F. Max MULLER. primitive-minded man; and when he took Domenico and Mariuccia into his service, like society for Frances. Another asso. it was for a year or two an interest in his ciate was an old Indian officer, much life to train them to everything that was battered by wounds, liver, and disappointthe reverse of their own natural primitive ment, who, systematically neglected by ways.
Mariuccia had a little native in the authorities (as he thought), and finding stinct for cookery such as is not unusual himself a nobody in the home to which he among the Latin races, and which her had looked forward for so many years, had master trained into all the sophistications retired in disgust, and built himself a litof a cordon bleu. And Domenico had tle house, surrounded with palms, which that lively desire to serve his padrone reminded him of India, and full in the “hand and foot,” as English servants say, rays of the sun, which kept off his neuand do everythiog for him, which comes ralgia. He, too, had a wife, whose connatural to an amiable Italian eager to stant correspondence with her numerous please. Both of them had been encour children occupied her mind and thoughts, aged and trained to carry out their inclina- and who liked Frances because she never tions. Mr. Waring was diffcult to please. tired of bearing stories of those absent He wanted attendance continually. He sons and daughters. They saw a good would not tolerate a speck of dust any. deal of each other, these three resident where, or any carelessness of service; but families, and reminded each other from otherwise be was not a bad master. He time to time that there was such a thing left them many independencies, which as society. suited them, and never objected to that In summer, they disappeared, someappropriation to themselves of his house times to places higher up among the hills; as theirs, and assertion of themselves as sometimes to Switzerland or the Tyrol; an important part of the family, which sometimes “home.” They all said home, is the natural result of a long service. though neither the Durants nor the Gaunts Frances grew up accordingly in franker knew much of England, and though they intimacy with the honest couple than is could never say enough in disparagement usual in English households. There was of its gray skies and cold winds. But the nothing they would not have done for the Warings never went " home.” Frances, signorina, starve for her, scrape and pinch who was entirely without knowledge or or her, die for her if need had been; an associations with her native country, used in the mean time, while there was no need the word from time to time because she for service more heroic; correct her and heard Tasie Durant or Mrs. Gaunt do so; improve her mind, and set her faults be- but her father never spoke of England, fore her with simplicity. Her faults were nor of any possible return, nor of any dissmall, it is true, but zealous love did not trict in England as that to which he beomit to find many out.
longed. It escaped him at times that he Mr. Waring painted a little, and was had seen something of society a dozen or disposed to call himself an artist; and he fifteen years before this date ; but other. read a great deal, or was supposed to do wise, nothing was known about his past so, in the library, which formed one of life. It was not a thing that was much the set of rooms, among the old books in discussed, for the intercourse in which he vellum, which took a great deal of read. lived with bis neighbors was not intimate, ing. A little old public library existing nor was there any particular reason why in another little town farther up among he should enter upon his own history; but the hills, gave him an excuse, if it was not yet now and then it would be remarked anything more, for a great deal of what he by one or another that nobody knew any. called work. There were some manu- thing of bis antecedents. scripts and a number of old editions laid county, Waring?” General Gaunt had up in this curious little hermitage of learn. once asked, and the other had answered ing, from which the few people who knew with a languid smile, “I have no county,' him believed he was going some day to without the least attempt to explain. The compile or collate something of imporo old general, in spite of bimself, had apoltance. The people who knew him were ogized, he did not know why; but still no very few. An old clergyman, who had information was given. And Waring did been a colonial chaplain all his life, and not look like a man who had no county. now “ took the service" in the bare little His thin, long figure had an aristocratic room which served as an English church, air. He knew about borses and dogs and was the chief of his acquaiotances. This country.gentlemen sort of subjects. It gentleman had an old wife and a middle. was impossible that he should turn out to aged daughter, who furnished something be a shopkeeper's son, or a bourgeois of
any kind. However, as has been said, and precipice: and for the amazing blue the English residents did not give them of the water, with its ribbon-edge of paler selves much trouble about the matter. colors, and the deep royal purple of the There was not enough of them to get up broad surface, and the white sails thrown a little parochial society, like that which up against it, and the white foam that flourishes in so many English colonies, turned up the edges of every little wave. gossiping with the best, and forging anew But in the mean time she was not think. for themselves those chains of a small ing of them, nor of the infinitely varied community which everybody pretends to lines of the mountains, or the specks of hate.
towns, each with its campanile shining in In the afternoon of the day on which the sun, which gave character to all; but the encounter recorded in the previous of the palms on which her attention was chapter had taken place, Frances sat in fixed, and which, however beautiful they the loggia alone at her work. She was sound, or even look, are apt to get very busy with her drawing - a very elaborate spiky in a drawing, and so often will not study of palin-trees, which she was mak. "come” at all. She was full of fervor in ing from a cluster of those trees which ber work, which had got to such a pitch were visible from where she sat. A loggia of impossibility, that her lips were dry is something more than a balcony; it is and wide apart from the strain of excite. like a rooin with the outer wall or walls ment with which she struggled with ber taken away. This one was as large as subject, when the bell tinkled where it the big salone out of which it opened, and, hung outside upon the stairs, sending a had therefore room for changes of position little jar through all the Palazzo, where as the sun changed. Though it faced the bells were very uncommon; and presently west, there was always a shady corner at Tasie Durant, pushing open the door of one end or the other. It was the favorite the salone, with a breathless little Per. place in which Frances carried on all ber messız came out upon the loggia in her occupations — where her father came to usual state of haste, and with half-a-dozen watch the sunset, where she had tea, with small books tumbling out of her hand. that instinct of English habit and tradi. • Never mind, dear; they are only books tion which she possessed without know. for the Sunday school. Don't you know ing how. Mr. Waring did not much care we had twelve last ay ? 'Twelve ! for her tea, except now and then in a fitful think! when I have thought it quite large way; and Mariuccia thought it medicine. and extensive to have five. I never was But it pleased Frances to have the little more pleased. I am getting up a little table set out with two or three old china library for them like they have at home. cups which did not match, and a small It is so nice to have everything like they silver teapot, which was one of the very have at home.” few articles of value in the house. Very “Like what?” said Frances, though rarely, not once in a month, had she any she had no education. occasion for these cups; but yet, such an “ Like they have — well, if you are so occasion did occur at long intervals; and particular, the same as they have at home. in the mean time, with a pleasure not There were three of one family – think! much less infantine, but much more wist. Not little nobodies, but ladies and gentleful than that with wbich she had played men. It is so nice of people not just poor at having a tea-party seven or eight years people, people of education, to send their before, she set out her little table now. children to the Sunday school.”
She was seated with her drawing mate. “New people?” said Frances. rials on one table and the tea on another, “ Yes; tourists, I suppose.
You all in the stillness of the afternoon, looking scoff at the tourists; but I think it is very out upon the mountains and the sea. good for the place, and so pleasant for us No; she was doing nothing of the sort. to see a new face from time to time. Why She was looking with all her might at the should they all go
to Mentone ? Mentone clump of palım-trees within the garden of is so towny, quite a big place. And papa the villa, which lay low down at her feet says that in his time Nice was everything, between her and the sunset. She was and that nobody had ever heard of Mennot indifferent to the sunset. She had an tone." admiration which even the humblest art. • Who are the new people, Tasie?" training quickens, for the long range of Frances asked. coast, with its innumerable ridges running · They are a large family – that is all I down from the sky to the sea, in every know; not likely to settle, more's the piny variety of gnarled edge and gentle slope - oh no. Quite well people, not even a
delicate child," said Miss Durant regret. I was at a dance in your life - unless it fully ; " and such a nice domestic family, is in summer, when you go away?” always walking about together. Father “I have never been at a dance in my and mother and governess and six chil- life. I have seen a ballet, that is all.” dren. They must be very well off, too, or "O Frances, please don't talk of any. they could not travel like that, such a lot thing so wicked. A ballet! that is very of them, and ourses — and I think I heard, different from nice people dancing – from a courier too." This, Miss Durant said dancing one's own self with a nice part. in a tone of some emotion; for the place, ner. However, as never do dance as has been said, was just beginning to be here, I can't see why you should say that kdown, and the people who came as yet about our church. It is a pity, to be were but pioneers.
sure, that we have no right church; but I have seen them. I wonder who they it is a lovely room, and quite suitable. If
My father — " said Frances; and you would only practise the harmonium a then stopped and held her head on one little, so as to take the music when I am side, to contemplate the effect of the last away. I never can afford to have a head. touches on her drawing; but this was in ache on Sunday,” Miss Durant added in reality because it suddenly occurred to an injured tone. ber that to publish her father's acquaint. "But 'Tasie, how could I take the har. ance with the stranger might be unwise. monium, when I don't even know how to
“ Your father?" said Tasie. “Did he play?” take any notice of them? I thought he “I have offered to teach you, till I am never took any notice of tourists. Haven't tired, Frances. I wonder what your papa you done those palms yet? What a long thinks, if he calls it reasonable to leave time you are taking over them! Do you you without any accomplishments? You think you have got the color quite right can draw a little, it is true; but you can't on those stems ? Nothing is so difficult bring out your sketches in the drawing. to do as palms, though they look so easy: room of an evening, to amuse people; and except olives; olives are impossible. But you can always play what were you going to say about your “When you can play.”. father? Papa says he has not seen Mr. “Yes, of course that is what I mean; Waring for ages. When will you come when you can play. It has quite vexed up to see us?"
me often to think how little trouble is “It was only last Saturday, Tasie." taken about you; for you can't always be “ Week,” said Tasie. “O yes ; I as- young, so young as you are now.
And sure you; for I put it down in my diary: suppose some time you should have to go Saturday week. You can't quite tell how home -- to your friends, you know?” time goes, when you don't come to church. Frances raised her head from her draw. Without Suoday, all the days are alike. ing and looked her companion in the face. I wondered that you were not at church " I don't think we have any – friends," last Sunday, Frances, and so did mam- she said.
“O my dear, that must be nonsense,” · Why was it? I forget. I had a head. cried Tasie. “I confess I have never ache, I think. I never like to stay away. heard your papa talk of any. He never But I went to church here in the village say's my brother, or “my sister,' or instead.”
'my brother-in-law,' as other people do; “O Frances! I wonder your papa lets but then he is such a very quiet man; and you do that. It is much better when you you must have somebody cousins at have a headache to stay at home. I am least; you must have cousins; nobody is sure I don't want to be intolerant, but without somebody,” Miss Durant said. what good can it do you going there? "Well, I suppose we must have cousYou can't understand a word.”
ins," said Frances. “I had not thought “Yes, indeed I do, many words. Ma. of it. But I don't see that it matters riuccia has shown me all the places; and much; for if my cousins are surprised it is good to see the people all saying their that I can't play, it will not hurt them; prayers. They are a great deal more in they can't be considered responsible for earnest than the people down at the Ma. me, you know.” rina, where it would be just as natural to Tasie looked at her with the look of dance as to pray."
one who would say much if she could Ah, dance !” said Tasie, with a little wistfully and kindly, yet with something sigh. “You know there is never anything of the air of mingled importance and reof that kind here. I suppose you never | luctance with which the bearer of ill news
hesitates before opening bis budget. She into her own position. It was her posihad indeed no actual ill news to tell, only tion, and therefore the best position which the burden of that fact of which everybody any girl could have. She had the satis. felt Frances should be warned – that her faction of being of the greatest use to her father was looking more delicate than parents, which is the thing of all others ever, and that his “friends” ought to which a good child would naturally de. know. She would have liked to speak, sire. She talked to Frances without any and yet she had not courage to do so. notion of an immeasurable distance be. The girl's calm consent that probably shetween them, from the same level, though must have cousins was too much for any with a feeling that the girl, by reason of one's patience. She never seemed to having had do mother, poor thiog, was think that one day she might have to be lamentably backward in many ways, and dependent on these cousins; she never sadly blind, though that was natural, to seemed to think But after all, it was the hazard of her own position. What Mr. Waring's fault. It was not poor would become of her if Mr. Waring died? Frances that was to blame.
Tasie would sometimes grow quite anx: “You know how often I have said to ious about this, declaring that she could you
that you ought to play, you ought to not sleep for thinking of it. If there were be able to play. Supposing you have not relations as of course there must be – any gift for it, still you might be able to she felt that they would think Frances do a little. You could so easily get an sadly deficient. To teach her to play was old piano, and I should like to teach you. the only practical way in which she could It would not be a task at all. I should show her desire to benefit the girl, who, like it. I do so wish you would begin. she thought, might accept the suggestion Drawing and languages depend a great from a girl like herself, when she might deal upon your own taste and upon your not have done so from a more authorita. opportunities; but every lady ought to tive voice. play."
Frances on her part accepted the sug. Tasie (or Anastasia; but that name was gestion with placidity, and replied that too long for anybody's patience) was a she would think of it, and ask hier father; great deal older than Frances; so much and perhaps if she had time But older as to justify the hyperbole that she she did not really at all intend to learn might be ber mother; but of this fact she music of Tasie. She had no desire to herself was not aware. It may seem ab. know just as much as Tasie did, whose surd to say so, but yet it was true. She accomplishments, as well as her age and knew, of course, how old she was, and her condition altogether, were quite evi. how young Frances was; but her facul- dent and clear to the young creature, whose ties were of the kind which do not per eyes possessed the unbiased and distinct ceive differences. Tasie herself was just vision of youth. She appraised Miss Du. as she had been at Frances's age the rant exactly at her real value, as the young girl at home, the young lady of the house. so constantly do, even when they are quite She had the same sort of occupations submissive to the little conventional fa. to arrange the flowers; to play the harmo- bles of life, and never think of asserting nium in the little colonial chapel; to look their superior knowledge; but the converafter the little exotic Sunday school; to sation was suggestive, and beguiled her take care of papa's surplice; to play a mind into many new channels of thought. little in the evenings when they “had The cousins unknown, should she ever people with them;" to do fancy work, and be brought into intercourse with them, look out for such amusements as were and enter perhaps a kind of other world going. It would be cruel to say how long through their means; would they think it this condition of young ladyhood had last. strange that she knew so little, and could ed, especially as Tasie was a very good not play the piano? Who were they? girl, kind and friendly and simple-hearted, These thoughts circled vaguely in her and thinking no evil.
mind through all Tasie's talk, and kept Some women chafe at the condition fitting out and in of her brain, even when which keeps them still girls when they she removed to the tea.table and poured are no longer girls; but Miss Durant had out some tea. Tasie always admired the never taken it into her consideration. She cups. She cried: “This is a new one, had a little more of the housekeeping to Frances. Oh, how lucky you are! What do, since mamma had become so delicate ; pretty bits you have picked up!” with and she had a great deal to fill up her all the ardor of a collector. And then time, and no leisure to think or inquire she began to talk of the old Savona pots,