haps the commonest. There are spher- | which are regarded by some advanced ical censers these more for secular philosophers as relics of a benighted some suspended by silk cords, past-the toilette of woman and the ritual of the Church.


[ocr errors]


From The Speaker.

THE MEETING OF THE SEASONS. THE daffodils once more transform the London streets, and one at least, as he turned a corner of the Strand, and

others containing within a cup supported on a universal joint, so that they may be rolled about without upsetting the incense. The Japanese had another means of employing perfume in the Choji-buro or cloves bath," which must have been in frequent use in old days, to judge by its common occurrence in collections of bronze and fayence. Cloves or other sources of perfume are heated in water over a came upon the earliest vision of their small brazier, and the scented vapor golden loveliness, laughed aloud with escapes into the room. At the same sheer joy in a supremely beautiful time the Japanese pay comparatively thing. Surely the daffodil is the gladlittle attention to the scent of flowers.dest flower that blows. The snowdrop They prefer the faint scent of the is pale and peaky; we love it as we blossom of the plum (Prunus Mumé) love a fragile child with the pitiful to all others, to judge at least from a survey of its tiny span of life shadowed little poem that may be rendered, in its wistful eyes; the primrose's 'Seek excellence among men in the poetry has been vulgarized by associaSamurai, among flowers in the cherry- tion with the political antics of provinblossom, among perfumes in the plum-cial dames; the fragrance of the violet blossom, among objects of desire in the toshima.” The last word, by the way, is interpreted in the dictionaries as a woman of about thirty summers, more or less, a ripe age in Japan.

we have always with us; but the daffodil seems born of the sweet, keen air and the laughing sun. Its petals, ineffably delicate yet so surely strong, are beautiful in line and texture as a virIf I have said so little about flowers gin's limbs. The golden bells ring out as a source of perfume, it is because it gladness, and the joyous promise of a would be difficult, on this head, to con- fruitful world. And oh the skirl of centrate the interest on the scent alone the wind through the pine woods! to the exclusion of the beauty of the The nomad spirit wakes with the waksource of the scent. Certainly, were ening year, and for days the hum of we to search the poetical literature of the City's trafficking beats upon us, the present century, we should find" Back to the soil, back to the soil!" constant reference to the scent both of garden and of wild flowers, and hardly an allusion, unless perchance a contemptuous one, to perfumes of artificial origin. It is on the odors of the country, the sea and the mountainside, that we poor town-dwellers love most to dwell.

And so it comes that one morning the old kuapsack is pulled out from the lumber corner and eagerly packed with the few impedimenta of the tramp, and we gaily take the road.

The cheery whin is in bloom here and there on the wide common, and is it only imagination and the haunting I have hoped in this slight sketch to echo of an August memory that carmake evident the vastly greater impor- ries on the wind the sweetness as of tance of the sense of smell to the pineapple? (So laden comes the air lower animals than to man, and to man when one toils up a seaward hill, where in past ages and remote countries than the heather glows and the yellow gorse to the western European of the present flames under a summer sun.) As we day. What remains to us of artificial stride along, everywhere there is color perfumes survives chiefly in connec- such as the town-dweller knows not to tion with two conservative institutions be under February skies. For the

bracken lies in tumbled masses under | sturdy paddling had scarce won his the brooding firs, and athwart the canoe a resting-place by the mill beranks of the tall red stems the sunlight yond the white bridge. And he laughs comes in shafts, and turns the floor to as he thinks of the freakish stream, ruddy gold. The beech-leaves still and the illusion of great travel that lit cling to the hedges, pale-brown, tawny, in him so mighty a content, as, full of and here and there a glorious crimson. pleasant weariness, he had sought the At a turn of the road a cross-wind inn that summer night. catches some of the fallen leaves. They dance together and whirl like children, naked and sun-browned, at play on yellow sands. The slim, white stems of the birches shine, and the young shoots seem in the distance to float around them like a purple smoke. Color! The land is rich in color and jollity, and yes, it is beautiful with the beautiful mystery of motherhood. It is, indeed, at this season of the year, above all others, that he who goes afield comes face to face with the motherhood of the earth. With the lengthening days the gifts come to birth, and in the present and positive joy we lose sight of the mother earth that bare them. But now all is promise; and one who comes from the noisy accidents of a town life can stand still and think he listens to the breathing of the earth, as she lies, big with fruitfulness, awaiting her deliverance.


For a mile and more the road winds through woods of pine and fir, and on either side are the brown beauties of bracken and beech-leaves. The jolly sound of the axe rings out again aud again, and tall bundles of faggots lie ready for the warming of cottage homes. At intervals in the clearings is a little homestead. In the garden of one a row of white underclothing swings merrily in the breeze. The clothing arrests the eye; some of it is curiously dainty, and the traveller's truant imaginings fly through the cottage window and fashion a wearer to his mind. While this note is still humming in his brain there is a sound of wheels behind him, and the strong, steady beat of hoofs, and in another moment a girl drives past him iu a tall cart. He catches a glimpse of an auburn curl under a white ear, as she wheels into the drive that leads to the The road dips suddenly into a deep great house on the hill. He lights a hollow, and the downward sweep of pipe, and through the smoke he sees a the low red wall is strangely satisfying. picture of a firelit room, long and low, The eye rests lovingly on the richly wherein the fitful gleams of light play colored curve, and on the slender line on silver and china, on white hands, of emerald moss that crowns it. At and gold, and jewels. The sound of the bottom are grey-green water mead-girls' laughter is in his ears, and the ows, and a thread of silver water, and tinkle of dainty plates. The ghost of a white bridge. The wayfarer stops a sigh escapes him, and then there and gazes at the scene with the air of takes him "the fine intoxication that one who has passed a face in a crowd, comes of much motion in the open and gropes in the crannies of his mem- air," as Louis Stevenson has it. ory for a clue as to where it has Thereafter he sees the road, the masscrossed his life before. For a moment ing of the far-off woods, the silver Rossetti's “Sudden Light" flashes sheen of distant water, but as in a into his mind, and then -no, that is dream. The red of the sunset burns the very place! There are the mill, under the purple clouds, greyness and the long, low farm buildings, and comes, and then the dark, and his the willow-trees. He takes out his brain is lazily busy with the weaving watch. Scarce an hour has he been of words when the lights appear and afoot, and when last summer lay enfold him, his steps ringing on the a-dying he had navigated the little pavement of the little town that is the stream from the same spot whence he goal of his day's endeavor. had set out to-day, and four hours'

[ocr errors]

W. A. B.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

For EIGHT DOLLARS remitted directly to the Publishers, the LIVING AGE will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage.

Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post-office money-order, if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do so. Drafts, checks, and money-orders should be made

payable to the order of LITTELL & CO.

Single copies of the LIVING AGE, 18 cents.


THE breaths of kissing night and day
Were mingled in the eastern Heaven;
Throbbing with unheard melody

Shook Lyra all its star-chord seven ! When dusk shrank cold, and light trod shy,

And dawn's grey eyes were troubled


And souls went palely up the sky,

And mine to Lucidé.

There was no change in her sweet eyes
Since last I saw those sweet eyes shine;
There was no change in her deep heart
Since last that deep heart knocked at

Her eyes were clear, her eyes were Hope's,
Wherein did ever come and go

The sparkle of the fountain-drops

From her sweet soul below.

The chambers in the house of dreams
Are fed with so divine an air

Where have you been to-day, Annie Smith,
That you smile so gaily on me?

By the shore where the river becomes a

Or were you upon the sea?

Did you sail in a pearly shell, Annie Smith,
With your hair flying free?

Do your laughing blue eyes tell, Annie

Such a happy tale of the sea?

Or were you down in the caves, Annie

With the mermaids under the sea?
Did the mermen beneath the waves, Annie

Try to catch and keep you from me?
Or did you fly through the air all the

Did you frolic with the wind?

Did you dine with the man in the moon, I pray,

That your face and your eyes are so laugh-
ing and gay?

That Time's hoar wings grow young
| Come, Annie, Annie, be quick and say

[blocks in formation]

Or, tell me, darling, were you

Where you have been the whole of the

[blocks in formation]

In the leafy wood where the grass grows Or are you an angel, Annie Smith,


With the fairies at their play?

Did you flirt with Oberon, dance with Puck,
That your face, Annie Smith, is so gay?

For a time from your blessedness riven,
To guide me over the cold, wan frith
Of death, to your happy heaven?

"Romantic Farce," by John Davidson.

From The National Review.

quently drawn a parallel between the KOSSUTH AND THE HUNGARIAN WAR OF state of Hungary and the state of Ire


land. In reality the analogy is absoTHE death of Louis Kossuth recalls lutely false and misleading. There is to the minds of the newspaper readers no similarity between the two cases. of this generation a blurred and dim, if Hungary, before the war of 1848, was not forgotten, page of contemporary not what Gladstonian speakers appear history. Forty years ago there was no to imagine-an oppressed province, name more familiar than that of the which rose to extort by force of arms Hungarian dictator. When he came the grant of self-government from its to England he met with such a recep- oppressor. It was, what Ireland is tion as scarcely any foreigner has re- not and never has been since the ceived before or since; it is a doubtful days of Brian Boroimhe, if then: a point whether the crowd that thronged nation. It did not ask Austria to the streets of London to see him pass give it "Home Rule;" it merely dewas not equal to that which gathered to manded that the Vienna court and govlook at Garibaldi, and perhaps nearly ernment should leave it the national equal to that tremendous multitude autonomy it possessed before Austria, which welcomed the Princess of Wales. as a State, existed. The Magyars have When he made his magnificent orations enjoyed constitutional and parliamenon English and American platforms tary government, and local represenpeople fought for tickets, and the tative institutions, quite as long as the newspapers paid as much attention to him as if he had been a prime minister on an electioneering campaign. But all that was long ago. The world of '48 is a vanished world. Between us and the events that made Kossuth famous lie such things as the Napoleonic coup d'état, the rise and fall of the Second Empire, the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, the American Civil War, the making of Germany, the Franco-German War, the era of Bismarck, the English in Egypt. No wonder we cannot quite clearly discern what lies behind that selva selvaggia, and that we find it an effort to recall the time when Italy-not yet united and not yet bankrupt — was biting the heel of the Tedeschi, and when Austria, still unchastened by Solferino and Sadowa, was the ruthless oppressor of struggling nationalities.

[ocr errors]

How commonly this Austro-Hungarian War is misunderstood has been shown pretty frequently during the Home Rule discussions of the past few years. Even now it is probable that Radical orators, in search of historical analogies, are to be found who will tell a sympathetic crowd, amid cheers, that Home Rule" gave peace to Hungary, and healed the wounds of the Austrian monarchy; and Mr. Gladstone has fre

[ocr errors]

English; and they were an independent and organized nation before Rudolph of Hapsburg had begun the curious dynastic and political process out of which the Austrian " Empire eventually emerged. In the sixteenth century the Hungarians elected as their king, Ferdinand of Hapsburg, the inheritor of the Austrian dominious; but Hungary was no more subject to Austria than England was subject to Hanover after the accession of George I., or Scotland subject to England after James VI. had been crowned at Westminster. This was the theory; for some centuries it corresponded more or less to the facts. But in the era of strong autocratic monarchy in the last century the sovereigns of the house of Hapsburg-Lorraine gradually deprived the Magyars of many of their local rights, and undermined the constitutional system guaranteed by the "Golden Bull" of Andreas II., the Magna Charta of Hungary. In the period of absolutist reaction and military despotism which followed the peace of 1815 the process was almost completed. The system of Metternich had full scope in Hungary. The Vienna court and ministry, under the Emperors Francis and Ferdinand, suppressed the liberties of the Hungarians by force,

« ElőzőTovább »