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A SOCIETY MYSTERY.

By C. M. Keys.

THEY

HEY were a strangely-assorted yet a well-met pair. She was a woman at twenty-one, but all the freshness of her girlish days yet dwelt upon her as if the goddess Youth were loth to resign such a delightful kingdom. Her art was as the art of the débutante to look at, but beneath it lay the subtlety and power of a woman's soul. Her beauty was that indescribable charm that dwells often on features not of strictly classic perfection. Indeed, those had been found who declared they saw no beauty in her save her perfect eyes-but those wondrous eyes -such eyes as man sees once, and finds in other orbs but paleness and the vapid light of insincerity-were surely dower of beauty no charm of feature could surpass.

Her life had been a series of semiplatonic friendships with men who worshipped her, and in her soul the faculty of friendship had grown so strong that no room seemed left for love.

Such was his life, but who could read the hidden depths of that interminable character ?

He was a clever and, men said, a fast and reckless youth, but in the eyes of women he was all that heart could wish. Brilliant betimes and strangely thoughtful in his conversation, fascinating and scrupulously polite in his manner and address, they could not rate him but a social lion, and yet his insincerity and callous indifference to result could not but debar him from that close intimacy and confidence that

even cautious matrons extend betimes to him who, while in society, is not in soul of it. People said of him, "Charming, but don't trust him," and straightway in his hands the maidens that he met would lay their hearts and sigh, and mothers then, seeing the harm could not be easily undone, would smile at him and give dances for their daughters—and so he stayed and prospered in his careless course.

She was of those who choose their own friendships. When he came and offered her, not love like all the rest, but only friendship's offerings she chose him first and placed him by himself. She flung him favours far beyond the rest for was he not sincere and honest, while they tendered fortunes and gave but farthings?

For many months it lasted and people wondered, and strange rumours flew and kind friends tried in vain to see through it all and when they failed gave gladly their little quota to the tales that Rumour sped. Still the thing grew, till even she began to wonder what it meant to her-for in his eyes the light changed not, and even she could read it not.

One night it chanced that he was dining with a friend in a little curtained recess at one of the great restaurants of Boston. Into the next one came two fellow-clubmen of his own, and ordered wine and cigars and settled down to have a quiet chat. Almost the first word spoken wus his own name, and Bert Hardy laid his hand upon his comrade's shoulder, and glanced silence at him.

"I wonder," began Lawford, "what Hardy is at, anyway. He still comes clubward for his wine and cigars; he still is le beau Bert' at the theatres; he still goes off on jaunts betimes to deuce knows where, so he can't be in love; so what the deuce is it? I'm stumped!"

"Well, for a clubman, you are green! Hardy in love-what a joke! Did you ever hear of Billy Loscombe ? Well, you remember how he fell in love I suppose et voilà tout," and Hardy

heard the puffing of a cigar just lighted, then there was silence for a moment and Lawford sighed as he answered:

"I suppose it must be that—but Bella Kirkland-who would ever have thought it?"

"It is that, I tell you. I know Bert Hardy down to the ground. I know he has no more heart or conscience than the King of the Cannibal Isles. I know he broke Kate Simpson's heart two years ago-as fine a girl as ever turned a fellow's head-and left her lightly, without a qualm. Well, time will tell!"

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Hardy

out, Fanny," was the reply. came up into her little private sittingroom, and greeted her as he always did. He took a seat beside her, then fell silent, as was not his wont.

"What is it, Bertie-why so silent, pray? You generally plunge head first into things when you come to me. What troubles you to-night?" She laid her soft hand lightly on his brow, as a mother soothes her infant--a touch of the exquisite womanliness that was her chiefest power.

The next night Bella Kirkland was reclining lazily before her grate-fire, in that dreamy state of rest that comes betimes to those who worship at the social buffet-only thinking, and lost in the sweetness of her thoughts. Her maid came up to tell her that Mr. Hardy wished to know whether he could see her.

"Send him up, and say that I am

He started back at the touch and answered, half ashamed, “ Only a foolish novel I have been reading, Bella. It is strange it should worry me at all. So commonplace, too, I suppose, but yet it bothers me. Shall I tell you the story, little girl?"

"Yes, please. Perhaps I can help you, if you will let me, Bertie."

ness.

"A simple story," he began in his usual soft and careless voice, "of a man scarcely out of his teens who met a girl once in the summer and, being by nature cursed with the love of flirting, started a flirtation with her. She was a perfect picture of loveliness such as one meets but once in all a lifetime, and her soul was the soul of one who had naught in her but pure womanliHe pleased her first; then love awoke, and ever in her eyes dwelt trouble battling with tenderness." Hardy spoke hurriedly as if it hurt him. to speak of it all-"And in the end his heart went out to her and bowed and worshipped and the tale seemed told. Her home was far away in Louisiana, and when she left him it was as if his life were torn in two, and he went back to college for his final year as one who dreams and wakes not.

"The next summer he was back again in the north where his home was, but she came not and on a sudden even her letters ceased. When again he wrote and still no answer came, he in the madness of his pain was preparing to go south and look for her, for any thought save that of infidelity seemed truth.

"One day a letter came-from her

sister. He trembled as he opened it and then the white sheet fluttered slowly to the ground." Hardy's eyes were rivetted on the fire's heart and his hands, unnoticed, clenched the chair arms hard-"and then as if a dying man were gathering up his strength he straightened up and thrust the letter in his pocket and greeted his sister with a smile and happy word as she came running to him.

"Daisy, dear, tell Jimmy not to bring the carriage-I am not going away just yet."'

"Daisy hurried off in glad surprise and left him and his misery. Again Again he took the letter from his pocket and read the message:

"I can give you nothing but the saddest news. Dorothy, our pet Dorothy, was killed by being thrown from Gipsy's back, a month ago, in Florida. Forgive my delay-I have been in a delirium of fever ever since, and mother, you know, knows nothing of the tie that bound you to her. Her last words, whispered in my ear, were for you and she died with your name on her lips. Farewell and comfort, my brother.' KATE.

"He left home a month after that and went to Boston and plunged into business and the pleasures of society, but. hardness dwelt forever at his heart despite the mask of gaiety and careless levity. He lived fast and was accounted dangerous-but charming-in society." Poor Hardy hurried over his words as if he feared his power. "Many were the friendships that he formed and varied were the rôles he played.

"It chanced that he met one evening a girl with eyes such as once before he had met, and her he made a friendsuch a friend as you are to me, Bellaand people wondered, for he was known as one whose friendship was

deceit while she was noble in her woman's purity and grace.

"One night he heard her name used lightly with his own and memory cried aloud in pain as her eyes passed before him and he came to her, his friend, and told her all about it, and how the world, the great cruel world"-Hardy's eyes never left hers now and his words were slow and tender-"with its manymouthed babblings called her foul because her hand clasped his in friendship. He told her how in brokenhearted sadness her friendship had been all in all to him-the mainstay of his shattered life, and rose and kissed her once and left her and went out in the great world alone-forever, as he only is alone who dwells in solitude of spirit in the midst of myriad crowds. 'Do you understand Bella?' he whispered hoarsely as he speaks, whose words are clogged with pain.”

She looked up, startled, half seeing but not understanding till he bent over her and kissed her once, then turned away and passed the curtained door and turned not back. Then it all burst upon her and she shot to her feet and stretched her arms abroad and cried aloud, "Bertie, my Bertie, I care not what they say. I love you Bertie—oh -you-love-" and faintness and silence fell upon but he came back no

more.

Now of Bert Hardy, from that day to this no word has ever once been heard, for no one knew nor ever will know till the great books are opened what became of him other than this-that I who write am he, though a man of broken frame and hoary hair and dwelling far from Boston, and of different name. And thus before I die I write of him that was that all who knew him may know thus far of his story.

THE FUNCTIONS OF A GOVERNOR-GENERAL.

By a Political Onlooker.

SOME attention may conveniently be

given to the political, that is the popular, view of a Governor-General's functions, as opposed to the strictly constitutional aspects. Democracy modifies constitutions. If sufficiently virile and determined it may overturn the most cherished maxims. The constitutional writers protest in alarmed terms against an attack on a sacred dogma made by a truculent, perhaps an ignorant, Democracy. When the latter has won, the constitutional writers, recovering their composure, merely issue a new edition embodying the fresh precedent.

a Governor at war with his Ministers on any exclusively domestic issue, must necessarily be wrong. He might, in such a case, receive the embarrassing approbation of the politicians out of office. This would only complete his discomfiture. In extreme instances, the power of dismissal and of finding new advisers might be contemplated, but hardly ever 'seriously entertained. No federal Ministry, with a majority, has been dismissed. Dismissal, as the result of a Parliamentary defeat or an appeal to the constituencies, is accepted with reluctance. The convulsion that would follow forcible ejection by a Governor is painful even to consider. His functions, therefore, in Canadian affairs may be regarded as definitely fixed for all time: to give his advisers cordial co-operation and support, regardless of party, and as long as they keep within the law to accept any advice they tender. To have feelings is the luxury of an individual. A Governor-General in his official capacity is well equipped without them. If, for example, he were to cherish a preference for wording the statutes in intelligible English what pangs he would needlessly create for himself! Toward all minor eccentricities of Parliaments and politicians a Governor, we may be sure, exhibits a wise toleration.

The Canadian Dominion, being an aggregation of lesser sovereignties controlled by a federal structure of large dimensions, is the chief British colony. It exercises wide powers, and the tendency is toward the enhancement of those powers. The GovernorGeneral is himself governed by a code of rules. There is the Act of 1867, the terms of his commission, and any special instructions he may receive. There is also the lore of the constitution, expounded in many text-books, in countless despatches and state papers, and partly defined in the Imperial Regulations for the Colonial Service. If doubt should arise respecting the application of principles he has the newspapers. Fortified by all this wise guidance a Governor-General may perform his official functions with the cheerful confidence that, on any given occasion, he can invoke the aid of some at least of these numerous directors.

In his attitude toward his advisers on all Canadian questions he will know that there is one safe course: to abide by their counsel, or run the gauntlet of political hostility, of strictures in the press, of, perchance, dignified reproof from the Colonial Office in London. The popular view would be that

Of the eight Governors who have served in Canada since the foundation of the Dominion in 1867, Lord Dufferin had the most trying experience. During the terms of his immediate predecessors, Lord Monk and Lord Lisgar, no questions of prime importance between the Crown and the Executive During that period there had been, in some degree, a coalition of parties. Materials had gradually been forming for a life-and-death struggle between the two old parties and in 1873, the year after Lord Dufferin's

arose.

arrival, the storm broke. He was violently assailed during 1873 for not dismissing his Ministers. Strong pressure was brought to bear upon him. In one or two public speeches, notably that at Halifax, and in his despatches to the Colonial Office he expounded in an admirable manner the wisdom of allowing Parliament, rather than the representative of the Crown, to be the judges of the Ministry. The Government resigned, anticipating a hostile verdict in the House of Commons, and a short period of peace ensued for the Governor. The threatened withdrawal of British Columbia from the Union again imposed a heavy burden upon Lord Dufferin. In this contest he proved once more the value to the country of a Governor, exercising the influence of Vice-regal authority, above party, and with British experience as a guide. It is doubtful if British Columbia could have been retained without Lord Dufferin's infinite tact and persuasive eloquence. Both questions were essentially connected with domestic politics. In the one case he was blamed for not employing his "reserved" power of dismissal. In the other he was greeted with acclamations for exercising functions that we would now deem an invasion of the duties of the Prime Minister. Thus inconsistent are popular judgments upon the actions of Governors-General.

But if public opinion-often capricious, usually ill-instructed-lacks consistency and foresight, there are two schools of thought with a fairly welldefined line of demarcation. One is prone to maintain the privileges and exalt the functions of the GovernorGeneral. Associated usually with the Conservatives, although not in a strictly party sense, this doctrine is strengthened by the testimony of constitutional writers. They have studied intently the theory of the constitution. To them all the prerogatives of the Crown are none the less real because fallen into desuetude. In Canada, if public opinion is democratic and assertive of national independence in practice, it is respectful of a monarchy so illustrious

and so powerful as ours. The Governor-General, representing the Crown, could rely upon a potent element for support if he preserved the dignity, while asserting the full privileges, of his office. Moderate men might shake their heads. But in a conflict moderate men are scarcely a factor. On the other hand, the Liberal school-again using a word in no strict party sensewould minimize the powers of a Governor. Both in England and here, and more especially here, the ultimate goal of the leaders is absolute self-government. They are loyal to the Crown, but not being the guardians of established usage, of historical prerogative, of all the trappings and suits of hereditary monarchy, their natural disposition is to curtail and not to enlarge the attributes and functions of the Gover

nor.

It is when the Governor-General's position as an Imperial officer comes into question that the whole subject attains the condition of grave importance. In Canadian affairs, as I have said, the popular view is that he must abide by the advice of his Ministers. Whatever constitutional authorities may say, any other course would be mischievous. But as an Imperial representative matters may come before him upon which the advice of his council cannot finally determine the issue. At the present time this is of peculiar significance. It happens that enthusiasm for the British Empire is the dominant note in Canadian opinion. In politics it is considered necessary to be Imperial to be successful. This state of affairs cannot affect the truth of a constitutional theory in the smallest degree. But statesmen know that the personal popularity of the Queen and her family throughout the British Dominions is a vital force. Constitutional maxims, it is conceivable, might be set at naught by a strong ruler with the people behind him. "Nice customs," says Shakespeare, "bow to great kings." In other words, the power that creates the constitution can create precedents or set aside rules. So a Governor-General in Canada, the

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