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realize a man or woman may do a deed of wrong and be lovable withal. So it did not enter Madame's conception that the Major might love his wife were he aware or unaware of her crime. How best and soonest to rid him of her was her only thought.
August went by without bringing word of the whereabouts of the bridal couple. Still Mrs. Weston was confident they would come in September as her boy had promised.
Yet all had a surprise, for the first of September brought them They came in a closed carriage from the station without a word to give notice of their approach; but as the carriage came quickly up the long elm-lined avenue, the people in the Manor House guessed who its occupants must be. They were all out in the porch as they drew up, and the Major jumped out, turning to aid his wife in her descent from the antiquated vehicle, with infinite gentleness guiding her little foot to the carriage step. And when they would have given him the first welcome, he drew her forward, saying with fond, proud tones :
"Mother-welcome my wife."
What they saw first was a tall and willowy creature in a tightly-fitting gray cloth frock, a close felt hat and a light gauze veil, which could not conceal the brilliancy of her colouring. But when they got into the house and the Major had unfastened the veil, the beauty-the strange beauty of her face. was revealed to them. Heavily marked brows above eyes that looked capable of bewildering lights, but now upturned to the Major's mother with tender affection. A clear, dark skin beneath which the crimson blood mantled, vieing in colour with her warm full lips, parting to display teeth of wonderful whiteness and evenness. They, perhaps, suggested cruelty, as such very even teeth will do. Her hair was brown with red lights in its thickness, and stray locks curled across the low, broad forehead.
They all fell metaphorically at her feet and worshipped her.
"Wait till Madame sees her," they
said, one to the other, and they had not long to wait, for Madame came marching in after tea.
The Major went down the avenue to meet her, and her old heart gave a great bound of pity when she saw him, wondering what was in store.
How joyous he looked! He had never appeared so light of heart.
"Wait till you see my wife," he said proudly, but there was a sudden tightening about old Madame's lips.
"Did you know her long before you got engaged?"
"Ah!"-the Major hesitated, and put up his hand to his moustache; it was a way he had when perplexed. "Not very long;" and then he laughed a little. "Lovers count time strangely, Granny," for so he called her.
song. To the right a line of dense trees showed dark and sombre in the dusk. The Major stood for a moment pointing out the place to his wife.
"That will suit your romance, Mary. It's the old lovers' walk."
Under cover of the darkness their hands met, and so they walked on.
The moon came out for a moment as they neared the chapel in the grounds, outlining the steeple with its tiny cross against the sky.
"They used to go to church there every Sunday morning, I believe," said the Major. "I even think I went when I was a little chap. It's sad to think how many that went are now beneath the stones they pressed in prayer."
"I don't like it," said Mary—where are they now-those who thought life was so beautiful and sure-only for them ?"
"We must all go in good time," said Madame briskly, nothing daunted that she had outdone the scriptural limitation of life by a good five years. "And some before," said the Major's wife, and clung closer to his side. "I hate the dark, don't you? I always imagine someone creeping closer, closer, closer." Then suddenly in the darkness it struck old Madame that this young creature by her side had hands stained with the lifeblood of another, and she screamed.
denly jilted him, and he had gone straight to London, where fate had thrown him in the way of this sweet woman, now his wife-Mary by baptism and Merton by birth. How immediately he had realized his former attachment had been mere fascination, founded on a wicked woman's wiles— while how his whole heart went into her pure keeping. How when she had consented to a speedy marriage he had seen no reason for making explanations at home, where was the necessity, and her name being Mary aided the deception. "I always meant to tell you some day," he ended, "and how was I to know that Marie Costello would turn out a murderess.'
THE PAST AND PRESENT IN CHINA.
By A. H. U. Colquhoun.
all the books and other
writings about China have been gone over, there remains, in the mind of the candid reader, an impression that, after all, only the fringe of the subject has been touched.
What we do know excites wonder and stimulates curiosity. The very idea of so vast a population under one rule, inhabiting an area at once extensive and compact, suggests great possibilities from every standpoint. Hitherto the vaguest notions were held regarding the actual number of people. It is now believed that the population of eighteen provinces of China is slightly over 400,000,000. There are not more than 12,000 foreigners resident in the various treaty ports, so it is probable that many millions of Chinese have never heard of, much less seen, representatives of the nations now claiming to be in the van of modern civilization. This absence of intercourse accounts doubtless for much of the misunderstanding that exists between the Chinese and the rest of the world.
this people we are indebted to the few travellers who have penetrated the country, and from personal knowledge of the limited number, most likely the least progressive, who emigrate. The basis for forming an opinion is inadequate. Travellers are often credulous and inaccurate. How absurd and misleading the judgment of ourselves by a chance visitor, ignorant of our language, who mirrored our social life and customs from the records of the police courts, who expounded our treatment of children by references to baby-farming, who for types of general society drew freely upon the company of wastrels and footpads !
There is reason to hink that the domestic relations of the Chinese embody many admirable traits. The extraordinary respect of children for parents naturally furnishes unpalatable reflection for the people of this continent. The practice of ancestor worship provokes much scoffing. It is a curious principle when carried extremes. They deny that it is idolatry notwithstanding its outward forms. Their love for a pedigree is such that a humble peasant cheerfully traces his family back several centuries. It is a weakness not confined to the Chinese. How many Englishmen do you know whose ancestors did not come over with the Conqueror (if they were not there before), how many Scotch whose clans were not provided with arks of their own at the flood, how many Irish whose remote forebears were not once kings of Ireland? The Chinese character is the product of centuries. It is certainly not all bad. There is no drunkenness, though opium smoking is a vice as prevalent as drink is with us. The people are not much given to thieving, but they lie systematically. This fault is also not unknown amongst It is doubtful if they are
Once assume that international commerce is a benefit to mankind; that one religion (that is ours) is better than, and should displace, all others, that exclusiveness carried to the length it is by the Chinese is irrational, and Europe makes out a strong case against the people of the Middle Kingdom [Chung Kwoh]. But it depends on the point of view. The Chinese prefer their own civilization. They do not want to trade with other countries. Their type of race is radically different from ours. Unlike the Japanese, who are ready to adapt themselves submissively to the tendencies of the time and to put on a veneer of Caucasian civilization, the Chinese stand out as the embodiment of the Mongolian type. For an idea of the characteristics of
THE PHYSICAL AND ECONOMIC FACTORS OF THE CHINESE QUESTION AT A GLANCE.
compared with the population of England. The areas of the various provinces are here compared with a map of England drawn on the same scale. The populations of the Provinces are-by means of Chinamen The treaty ports are indicated by circles. The annual foreign trade of the seaports is shown by steamers drawn in proportion to the value of the trade. All the foreign possessions in China are indicated and named.-From the "Commercial Intelligence," of London, England.