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the eager,


in vain ; our brain is preter- book of Harrow song, and learn naturally active. Morbid and a lesson from that. unsettled, we review the past, a To “look back and regretfully whole tide of recollections comes wonder what you were like in surging up and flooding our your work or your play,” is an mind, here and there the recol- unsatisfactory process. We lection of honours grasped or cannot put back the clock or reprizes won, mere oases in the place ourselves, except in fancy, desert, a sauce piquante to give in the scenes of our schoolboy relish to a nauseous olla-podrida triumphs or reverses. But there of baffled schemes, disappointed may be still left for us hopes, lost opportunities, unful

“bases to guard or beleaguer, filled purposes.

Games to play out, whether earnest We decline to believe in the

or fun, existence of a middle-aged man, Fights for the fearless and goals for to whom a night spent in thoughts like these is an abso

Twenty and thirty and forty years lute stranger. For even selfsatisfaction — to the possessor, Improved medical science, at all events, most comfortable and a more perfect knowledge of all possessions—must have its of the laws of hygiene, seem to limits.

have made men in these modern Let us hope that the sun will days “so strong” that they be shining into our bedroom come to fourscore years,” but window in the morning and it is more or less left to the will dissipate the gloomy octogenarian himself to decide thoughts that have broken our whether he will remain to the rest; that the cheery song of end an active and useful member the birds may charm away the of society, or cumber the ground evil spirit that has haunted us; by playing the part of an autothat our vitality, if not our matic grumbling machine. As manhood, may

to our yet we hardly feel educated up rescue and refuse to allow us to to the point of being able to be enslaved by a mawkish and analyse the feelings of Maga's' morbid sentimentality. Let us contemporaries. invoke the aid of our classical men of our own generation we knowledge and take old Cato's seem to know many who live wise advice, “We must resist every day of their life with the old age and fight against it as determination to take Anno a disease.

Domini as he comes, and to Let us make up our minds to make the best of him; not a few keep with us in middle age, and who waste the present either in further still, something of the regretting the past or moaning youth, agreeing with the old over the future. Men of this Roman that “he who follows latter type, if taken to task on this maxim may become an old their habit of accentuating their

in body, but never in own misery by constant grumheart.” Or let us open the bling, plead excuses of indifferent

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But among






health, torpid liver, or chronic

are tempted to borrow a indigestion.

phrase from Aristotle and de“It's all very well for you to cide that the silent man aptalk,” they tell us; “but if you proaches the mean state more had to live the life that we do,” nearly than he who runs into &c., &c.

the opposite extreme. Young For the real invalid we are men are on the whole comunfeignedly sorry. Our sym- plaisant to the old fogies of pathy for the valetudinarian our standing, and are not unextends unto the third and civil enough to wish to push fourth generation, whom we us off our stools if we on our shall expect to be “sans hair, part are wise enough to be sans teeth, sans everything" at decently chary of a very early age. Chronic in- versation. There are even ocdigestion and torpid livers seem casions when it


interest to suggest self-indulgence and them to hear of things that gluttony either personal or happened before they were hereditary.

born. But in the days when Some of our contemporaries we had to struggle with our are silent by nature, and seem Homer, Nestor used to bore

grow more reticent each us consumedly with his longyear;

and here is at once an winded narrations of his youthinteresting problem to be ful experiences. Achilles and solved. It is a rejuvenating Hector, Ajax and Æneas, we pastime to set oneself seriously were prepared to accept as to work to discover whether real personages : they dealt in these silent members of society hard blows and bloody deeds, are merely men who were not matters that commended themonly born without intelligence, selves to the boyish mind; and but have also failed to pick up in consideration of the fact that any idea in their way through they knew no better, we conthe world, or whether they are doned the offence of their talkthose strong silent on ing an outlandish dialect. But whose lips we hang, when we drew the line at the Gerthey do speak, in the certainty enian Knight altogether, and that what they say will be well when he told us how he had worth the hearing. Most of us vanquished Clytomedes, overprobably talk too much, and thrown Anchæus, &c., &c., we that thought again sets were inclined to Vow with wondering why Anno Domini, Betsy Prigg that “we don't though he limits our activity believe there is no sich perand sensibly affects our eye- son." sight and powers of hearing, At a later period of our allows the human tongue to existence we were grievously wag on

to the end of the tormented by a long - winded chapter with undiminished old party, a sort of one-man vigour. If we may count the one-story individual.

He too, art of conversation as a virtue, like the Greek veteran, was











or less mixed up with with the phrase, “ And don't horses, and used to drive us you mind as how?" out to various rivers in years

At last there came to our when went fishing in rescue a fisherman friend from Cornwall,

London, keen on sport, dour

of nature, unsympathetic to a The way was long, the wind was

degree as an auditor of long cold, The minstrel was infirm and old ;"

yarns, wholly uneducated in

the art of suffering fools gladbut the minstrel had a keen ly. We put him to sit in sense of duty, and clearly front of the dogcart and told thought that his duty lay in him that he would find the entertaining his fare. Possibly driver most entertaining the readers of Maga' would companion. Rather to feel as much bored as we used surprise,

he, the to feel if we attempted to in- sympathetic man, being preflict upon them that intermin- occupied in making up able story. We will briefly cast, sat through one

recisay it was the tale of a youth tation and grunted assent at who used to fish the Cornish proper intervals. But the streams somewhere in the dark second reading he nipped in ages, who never failed to catch the bud in the most unfeeling the respectable total of three manner. dozen and a half, and gener- “I was a-wondering,” began ally met with a series of mis- Jehu. adventures in the course of the “Well, I shouldn't if I was day. The story always com- you—it's a bad habit. But if menced in an interrogative you were wondering whether style.

I was the young gentleman “I was a-wondering, sir, if and so forth, as I told you as how you was the young yesterday, I was nothing of gen’man as used to come to the kind, and I don't want these parts,” &c., &c.

to hear anything more about For three years, at the rate of him. You are paid to drive some five or six times per year, and not to talk, so just look we denied the imputation, and after your horse, and don't listened with resignation to the talk to me." yarn. But there came a limit The young man of the preto our patience, and, alas ! to sent day may be forgiven if he our veracity. In an evil hour declines to listen with rapt we boldly tried the experiment attention to the lengthy tales of asserting our identity with of his seniors, and may earn the the mythical youth. The re- thanks of society at large if he sult was disastrous: not one invents a polite way of

suppresjot or one tittle of the legend sing that common pest, the was suppressed, and we were raconteur whose stock-in-trade furthermore pestered by a series consists of a fixed number of of conundrums all commencing stories to be told with varia

can tell

tions. This particular type of Let us postpone the evil day story-teller should be condemned for weaving romances of our to bear in a future state the past prowess till we penalty of the evil thoughts and them to our grandchildren, who wicked words which he has may appreciate that form of evoked from others in this fairy-tale. It will hardly enworld. Kindly affectioned as hance the satisfaction of the we feel that the rising genera- youngster who has done a thing tion is inclined to be towards well himself to be told that those of maturer age, let us for- there was a time when we could bear while in their company to have done it better, nor shall prematurely usurp the office of we gain advantage in the preNestor and to prose of doughty sent by investing our past with deeds by others unrecorded and an imaginative halo. unsung, quorum pars magna Rather let us take the good fui.”

things that the gods have be“I wonder what the old man's stowed on this latter-day generahandicap at golf is,” we tion—the bicycle, the golf-club, hear them say. For they may the hammerless gun—and try know—as what golfer does not to hold our own with the youngknow?—that there is a really old sters in the present; and in the man at St Andrews who can future let us hope there may be still cut the combs of many a "a something ere the end," youngster, and who, instead of

some work not unbecoming the talking of what he could do in humblest of the contributors the years that are past, is ready to the pages of the ever-vigorto show us what he is capable ous, though now octogenarian, of to-day.







HOME for the holidays! crimson to pink. Is it an exWhat a joyous sound the aggeration of imagination, or words have for little ears! were the Lysterby lanes and Holidays—home! Two irides- gardens rivers of red, like the cent words of rainbow-promise, torrent-beds of the Greek isles expectation in all its

when the oleander is a-bloom ? witchery of dream and en

en- For, looking back to the sumchantment, of indolence and

mers of Lysterby, I see notheager activityof impulses ing on earth but roses, mulunrestrained, and of constant tiplied like the daisies of the caresses. For me, alas ! how field, a whole county waving much less they meant than perfumed red in memory of for happier children; but even the great historic house whose to me the change was delight- emblem in a memorable war ful, and I welcomed the hopes was the red rose of Lysterby. it contained with all the lively Of my mother's stay at the emotions of imaginative child- Ivies, though she stayed there hood. First there was the ex- several days, I remember little citement of the voyage, then definite but two characteristic the fresh acquaintance with

Walking across the the land I had left two years lawn toward where she stood ago, my own quaint and mel- in the sunshine talking to ancholy land I was about to Sister Esmeralda, I behold again through foreign still as vividly now as then. glasses ; then the captivation She made so superb a picture of my importance in the family that even I, who saw her circle, the wonderful things to through a hostile and embittell, the revelations, the sur- tered glance, stopped and asked prises, embroidered fact so myself if that imperial creature close upon the hidden heels really were my mother. The of invention !

word mother is so close, so My mother came to take familiar, so everyday an image, me home. She stayed at the and this magnificent woman Ivies.

summer - time, looked as remote as a queen and all the rose - bushes were of legend Her very beauty blood-red with blossom, and

was of

nature to inspire one breathed the fragrance of terror, as if the mere dropping as if one were living a of her white gold-fringed lids

Not a white meant the sentence of death rose anywhere, but red upon to the beholder. My companred, through every tone from ions round about

see her

It was

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Persian poem.



1 Copyright, 1898, by Dodd, Mead & Co. in the United States of America.

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