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excitement among the countless ordination and hidden justice, followers, as though something then at least I claim that those unwonted were being enacted— few words inscribed on the tabsome strange departure from the let should be as potent a passcustoms of the realm.

port as a long record of deeds “This is my story," said the attempted and accomplished, wayfarer. “To have known and of deeds attempted and myself gifted above the ordin- failed in. Failure, I know, hath ary in every incarnation through entered these fair realms and which, by the fixed laws of de- been comforted, and yet, my velopment, I have passed as a Lord, thou canst surely realise matter of course. To have that her burden is but a light known and humbly recognised one compared with mine. Nay, those gifts, striven for them, it is not that I would have fostered them, protected them grudged her any solace-beautias far as I could from adverse ful sad-eyed Failure—but to me influences, and from my own her lot seems enviable indeed.” lower self, that worst of evil in- Now it so happened that, fluences; and when they were though the wayfarer knew it damaged almost beyond recog- not, Failure was resting there nition, by wanton sin and by and recovering strength for her unconscious errors of judgment, many struggles in the great then to have grasped them once world beyond. She came from more, and by tender and penitent time to time and learnt the real nursing to have brought them meaning of her name, and then back to the beauty which was passed out joyous and vigorous all their own. And yet through again,

And yet through again. She now arose and knelt the long long years to have had before the Lord Sovereign. no fulfilment-I speak not of “My Lord,” she said in her failure, my Lord. To fail at deep-toned voice, "I know this least means that one has been stranger well, and he hath told into the battle and lost. But but a part of his sad record, it has ever been my cruel fate to every word of which is only too be forced away from the field, true. I knew him first as a and to watch hungrily the Poet, with the world's sufferings favoured ones of Circumstance ringing in his ears, with the and Chance rush eagerly to- world's joys carolling in his wards victory or defeat. So heart. Great thoughts posmy life has been one weary long sessed him, great abilities to waiting for the gracious oppor- give them expression. But he tunity which has never been died—his tale untold, his mesvouchsafed me. And I have sage undelivered; he had only come hither to raise my voice just begun to shape the message in protest— to ask why these when his call came. Then I things should be — why

why we knew him in another incarnashould be given beautiful powers tion, with the Painter's beautiand forbidden to use them- ful Fancy added to the Poet's where the sense of it can be, Spirit. Pictures he planned and and where the justice? And if scenes of high ideality. He had there be hidden sense in the worked, lived, striven, and al

most attained—then suddenly “Ah, my Lord, what more the light faded from his eyes, should I say !” he answered, and his deft hand hung nerve- sadly. " Failure hath indeed less by his side. And never told my life's history, and hearagain came back the power to ing it, my heart is too full to do and be and create. Nothing plead or protest further. Thou remained save the knowledge know'st all.” Then the Soythat the field of life's activities ereign communed with his own was for others and not for him. heart, and as he communed, the Then I knew him as a states- very air seemed redolent of sweet man with a passionate sense of fragrance, fit harbinger of mercinational honour-brave, clear- ful thoughts and gracious underseeing, impersonal. But im- standing. And then he spoke. peded by conditions and circum- “My son," he said, “I have stances, hampered by narrow meditated on thy sad record, means and private obligation, and this is my decree. Hencehe had the bitterness of seeing forth those words I have waited others stroll into the places of shall be a royal passport into authority, by means of birth or these realms.

these realms. For the patient wealth or influence. And net striving, and waiting with no theirs the enthusiasm of soul, chance of fulfilment, is the heavnor theirs the pride of nation, iest trial of all. And thou hast nor theirs the inborn under- indeed earned thy entrance. standing. Then a great war Therefore welcome. . But broke out, and the beloved stay, though thou art welcome country lost its honour and here a thousand-fold, a sudden dignity amongst the nations of thought possesses me. I will the world. Yet he could have give thee a still greater boonsaved her. But though he the greatest boon for which thy worked and waited and strove, heart could wish the gift of and built up his knowledge and fulfilment. Hasten, therefore, strength, yet the opportunity, into the world, and fling thylonged for and prayed for, was self into the battle lists. Thou never vouchsafed him. Ah, and shalt experience the glow of exI could add only too easily to pression, the rapture of action : his sad record of unfulfilments; thou shalt have thy thrill at but surely, my Lord Sovereign, last. And then, when failure these suffice of themselves, and or success has fallen to thy lot, thou wilt consider the justice of come hither once more and take his protest."

thy rest. She ceased, and again there The wayfarer fell on his knees

a hushed silence in the and stretched out his arms in presence-chamber, and all eyes gratitude. were riveted on the wayfarer, “Oh, my Lord Sovereign,” he who stood as one transfixed by cried, passionately, “ how can I thought and memory.

ever thank thee for giving me “And what canst thou add my very heart's desire ?” to our beloved Failure's words?” And he rose, buoyant with asked the Sovereign with inef- new-born manhood and happifable tenderness and sympathy. ness, and sped on his way.





WHEN General van de Burg married and settled in a practice was ordered to return to the on the meadowlands to the north East, where he had already of Amsterdam, and in the same covered himself with gloryvillage lived his sister, the dehis chief concern was for the lightful Tante Lotje. When daughter whom he must leave Marie was sent home from behind him in Holland. Marie India, her

her mother's family van de Burg was now nineteen, promptly found for her a school and in some respects she was in the city of Arnhem. older than girls of nineteen “A positive well of accomusually are, inasmuch that for plishments,” the General was intwo years and more she had formed. been her father's companion,

“So I should suppose, judgand the sharer of his triumphs. ing from the guilders it swalHer mother (whom she could lows up,” he wrote back in his not remember) was van brusque way. Heesteren, which is as much It was, indeed, a school of as to say that she made a love manners, which, as every one match, for that great House was knows, fetch a high price, and not likely in usual course to within its walls Marie learned have allied itself with the ob- the deportment of van Heesteren scure, though quite respectable, worlds—a graceful descent from Zeeland family of van de Burg. her equipage, an elegant passage But the Captain of Artillery over the puddles on the small

so early displayed the stones," the varying shades of masterful qualities that were warmth and veneration to be to make the name of Michiel discovered in a salute, and the van de Burg a terror in the like. As the

of her Indian Ocean, and the little brilliant father rose steadily lady, who had never walked like a planet over the Eastern in the streets of The Hague horizon, Marie was given inor Arnhem unaccompanied by creasing opportunity of pracgoverness or companion, was tising these arts in the society swept away from the shelter of uncles and aunts of her family by the lord and mother's side. She grew rusty master of her heart. She fought in them during long holidays his fortunes at his side in India spent in the houses of Uncle bravely, until a wandering fever Maarten and Tante Lotje, who caught her in her weakness after had no social distinction save the birth of Marie, and left the kinship with the illustrious soldier mourning.

General; but there were other The General's elder brother, things picked up there to comDr Maarten van de Burg, was pensate for the neglect. In this



on her

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way Marie grew up with an with her baggage, and a roster instinctan unenlightened pas- of her duties. Tante Lotje had sion even—for the accomplish- made arrangements—much in ments and duties of the varying the high-handed manner of the conditions in which people may General—for a certain clucking find themselves in this life. dorking to present her with a When the General returned to brood on a date some ten days Europe to well-earned and dis- off, and receiving the tinguished repose, settling down General's letter she appealed for it with Marie in the famous to heaven and extensive house in the Voorhout, which is audienoe standing round if that pointed out as his residence to

was an appointment in which this day, he found her every- she could possibly fail. She had thing homely, orderly, obedient, had her boxes packed, and was that her holidays in the village herself in a flurried condition of had taught her to be, and that mind, ready, pending the dorkhe, as a van de Burg, had been ing's fulfilment of the engagebrought up to cherish; and at ment, to pay her annual week's

1 the same time (and most service- visit to the family Zwart in ably so for him) skilled in all Nymegen; and she spent the the arts of a world which throws next few days in unpacking, itself at the feet of victorious demanding the while if she generals. There existed thus knew her own mind so ill that between the two an easy and she would change the labels on companionable affection which her boxes at anybody's dictamade this second parting bitter. tion. “Not one step to The There was

no question of Hague should she go. Was it taking Marie with him. He likely that she should ?a lady should not have been going of her time of life, forsooth! East now had there not sprung and to that city of foolishness.” up imperative need for the iron To make this protestation she hand with which, and with good paid a visit—several visits—to reason, the General was credited each of her acquaintance in the It was not an expedition for village; visits, however, which women to join. Equally, there closed in protesting farewells. was no thought of exiling Marie For Tante Lotje stood in great to Uncle Maarten's village ; and awe of her brother Michiel, who,

, no invitation had arrived for her indeed, had a short way with from the van Heesteren house- mutineers. She repacked her holds, to which, it may be noted, boxes, pasted together the pieces even the General's self-con- into which she had torn the stituted rights of billeting did roster, confided the expected not extend. Tante Lotje, said fowls to the care of Dr Maarthe General, must come to The ten's man, Gerrit, and alighted Hague and play duenna to her to the minute on the platform niece, and accordingly Tante of The Hague where the General, Lotje received her marching with Marie, his private staff, orders, with the precise hour at was drawn up to receive her. which she was to report herself Experience of The Hague had

So too,



convinced the General that General's daughter was a small Tante Lotje's wing, valiant thing, or a small thing comthough he knew it to be, was paratively, especially as the not sufficient protection for going-out came first. Marie, and accordingly he gave for Marie, who could think of her that of a fiancé's name. nothing save the parting with Had there been any parti at her father, the fact that de home, very eligible, and willing, Bruin was going out veiled the the General with the iron hand irrevocableness of the formal would have married Marie to betrothal upon which the Genhim straightway. It is certain eral had set his mind. Thus that he would have attempted both she and Frans acquiesced, to marry her to any eligible indifferently, in the step to stay-at-home, willy-nilly. But which the General, who was although there

many a diplomatist as well as suitors at home very willing, soldier when he chose, was skilfor Marie was handsome enough, fully compelling them. When and a hero's daughter,—there they did take it, it was with was none eligible, for the reason few of the accustomed cerethat the man whom the General monials. There was no recephad selected as a husband for his tion, no family dinner-party. girl was going out on his own As a matter of fact, the Genstaff. Had Frans de Bruin been eral and Frans went on board a less capable officer, he would at Ymuiden on the day that have made a more desirable son- cards were sent out, and Marie in-law, for then he could have received alone the congratulabeen left at home. Here again, tions and the sympathy of their however, the General (as him- acquaintance. Except Uncle self expressed it) sacrificed his Maarten and his wife, to whom personal convenience to his she was to pay a long visit country's needs. It did not

It did not soon, the van de Burgs had few occur to him one who relations, or at any rate few knew him had thought that it that counted; so there were would, for one minute that only a

van Heesteren or two Marie and Frans might have and the de Bruin family in its wishes in the matter, or that, main branches to be informally having them, they might ex- visited by the affianced couple, pect them to be considered. and this was done in flying And, as a matter of fact, there afternoon calls. It was on the seemed to be on their part an eve of sailing that they exabsence of wishes, one way or changed plain bands of gold, another. Had General van de and they slipped them on each Burg refused Captain de Bruin other's finger with few proas a volunteer for Atjeh, it is testations. But first they certain that de Bruin would scratched each other's initials have refused the General as a on the inner sides of the circlets, father-in-law. But the Captain and their laughing awkwardfelt that as he was going on the ness in this operation blunted General's staff, marrying the the cutting edge of the part


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