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that looked majestically down on them,
and flashed on something behind it.
As they looked the wet gray conning
tower of a submarine showed barely
fifty yards away. The startled sea The Spectator.
pounded at her hull as she rose and grew, and a rush of spray shook out the folds of a limp and draggled White Ensign that hung from the
after-stanchion of her bridge. Klaron.
THE BIBLIOPHILE MOVES ON.
There is no disgrace in loving books, provided that they are loved in reason and in reasonable fashion. The penitent men of Ephesus had passed the bounds of reason, and, therefore, burned their books in the sight of all men, to the value of fifty thousand pieces of silver. A terrible business it must have been—the burning of that great library devoted to the curious arts. And the Reverend George Oldham often thought over it in his study at the Rectory of Little Greenmoor. Paul or no Paul, he could not have brought himself to the bonfire. Indeed, he never quite forgave the Apostle for his action in the matter; and as for the Preacher, he refused to be admonished by the statement that “of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” How could there be any weariness in books. He loved his books; he loved the smell of his books, their dust, their faded bindings, their readiness to give, their silence full of words, their orderliness. Mr. Oldham had no wife; the only hostages that he had given to fortune were his books. They caused him many an anxious moment, though they sowed no wild oats on their own behalf. Yet there are dishonest people in the world, and little books are helpless as babes in the presence of dishonest people. That was why Mr. Oldham had an illiterate housekeeper for a time, but she proved more dangerous than a thief, for she tore pages out of books to light fires with, and lined her
cake pans with the buttered pages of some almost priceless seventeenthcentury theological works printed at Prague. His next housekeeper loved books, and used to read them when she should have been cooking. But the golden mean arrived at last, some years before he was moved on to Little Greenmoor, and almost at the same time that he bought his white Mesopotamian donkey. The Golden Age seemed to have come, and Mr. Oldham, in his sixtieth year, settled down in this lonely parish to a life of real enjoyment without a single care, if we except the cure of souls. But here the faithful donkey, who rapidly became more of a friend than a donkey, and seemed to understand his master with the sagacity of a twin, helped him. His powers of visiting multiplied, and the even music of his life was deepened by the sense of parochial duties better done. He felt that this idyllic life might in reason go on for centuries, so drowsily would the years pass, lived in the very presence of the great masters of human and divine thought assembled in perpetual session round that long, well-bayed library of his. Mr. Oldham asked nothing more of life. His cup was as full as his library, and there were no dregs. The library opened into a garden close, and the close, through a hedge of roses, into a great meadow, and beyond the meadow the moor shone and the hills rose, locking him in from that world that he had never loved or even known. Mrs. Prue, his housekeeper, and the
little maid-servant and the old gardener had lives as comfortable and sheltered as those of the man and the ass. When the organ droned on an August evening from the neighboring church, and Mr. Oldham, ready and robed, moved in stately fashion from his library to the vestry, the whole household felt that the universe was running on well-oiled wheels to the murmur of multitudinous bees and the scent of Eastern bowls of dried rose petals and bundles of fragrant lavender. Peace lay upon the land, and the time had come for Mr. Oldham to write his monograph on “Peace as the Perfecter of Character.” The potential author loved Nature, wild or even cultivated Nature, almost as well as he loved books. Even human nature he loved as reflected in the mirror of his township. So he was a gardener, a pruner of roses, an owner of hives, who (for bees know human nature) moved among his bees like a charmed man, a lover of lawns and hedges of sweet briar and mounds of thyme and garden herbs, a grower of apples, a planter of trees. Certainly there was no pleasanter rectory in the world and none better haunted with quietude and peace, such peace as the town can never know, a peace that seems inevitable and eternal, sweet-scented peace that is hardly conscious of the passage of time, and takes the seasons as reflections of nature's character rather than as symbols of her evanescence. But the books were the center of all, and were a mighty and tremendous world within this quiet, slow-beating heart of untroubled and noiseless life. And the chief of the books were, not strangely at all, dear reader, the sermons of Jeremy Taylor, and especially the sermons preached at Golden Grove by that eminent chaplain to King Charles the First, sometime Lord Bishop of Down and Connor. First of all, there was the
sound doctrine of the sermons, then there was the wide and almost unique scholarship that shone through them, and, lastly, there was the superb prose style. No, not lastly, since lastly there was the sense of peacefulness, the Christian simplicity that stood out as the solvent of all troubles: “This is God's dealing with mankind; He promises more than we could hope for; and when He hath done that He gives us more than He hath promised.” That was the note of Jeremy, and on it Mr. Oldham ever dwelt, and especially now in his garden of herbs and roses.
Much he pondered over the move into this new Rectory. What a business it had been! First, Mrs. Prue and the little maid and the old gardener had set out over the ten miles of moor with the procession of carts of all sizes that carried the furniture. He was left behind with the ass and the donkey-cart to bring on the sacred residue of the books, the books which he had determined that no unscholarly hand should touch. Mrs. Prue had felt anxious at leaving him, for she feared that an uprooting such as this might affect his health. The Bishop had sent him to Little Greenmoor (the fact is not one to talk about) because of the library fittings at the Rectory. It was the only library in the county that would reasonably hold Mr. Oldham's books. For days the anxious work had gone on, and now the Rector was left behind with the
sacred residue. Mrs. Prue had packed
into the cart an ample lunch a bottle of cider, a flask of tea, a traveling rug, a small bucket to give the ass water from, a nosebag for the ass; and so had left the Rector at nine o'clock on an August morning, a perfect morning, with a little cloud to break the sunlight and a little breeze to keep the winnowing screen round the sun as he worked his way across the moor,
left the Rector carrying out the books. So she and her company departed with much crackling of wheels and crunching of hoofs, and the donkey revolved one great ear to catch the last sounds of their departure. One by one the Rector brought out his tall folios and laid them in the cart, with a piece of tissue paper between each. They were, indeed, ample fellows, tall of their pages, and not the less companionable in that some were unfamiliar. They included the Institutio Christianae Religionis of John Calvin, a noble book, appareled in parchment, with a portrait of the author above the date MDCXVII; Joseph Mede's Works, equally tall, but leather bound, a fit memorial of a great Elizabethan scholar, who saw and helped the awakening of Cambridge University with heart and mind ere he joined the great company of scholars in 1638, before the sad days began; An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, written by John Locke, Gent., and dated 1700 (the fourth edition, with large additions), with a superb portrait (from the life) of the author by Sylvester Brunower; and better than this, in its brown boards, the splendid folio issued in 1759 from Oxford at that “Clarendon-Printing House” which William Blackstone had restored, The Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon, written by himself. The portrait facing the title-page shows a man indeed serene, tremendous, untroubled. Well may he boldly set out the Ciceronian command “Ne quid Falsi dicere audeat, ne quid Weri non audeat.” Tome after tome Mr. Oldham carried out into the sunshine lovingly, appreciatingly. He read as he carried, read aloud, with no one but the ass to hear. He read from the epistle dedicatory of Mr. John Locke to the Earl of Pembroke: “This, my Lord, shows what a present I have made to
your Lordship; just such as the poor Man does to his Rich and Great Neighbor, by whom the Basket of Flowers, or fruit, is not ill-taken, though he has more plenty of his own growth, and in much greater perfection.” When the tall books were stored in the cart the middle books came, books such as the delightful parchment bound edition of les Essais de Michel Seigneur de Montaigne, issued at Rouen chez Thomas Dare, Rue aur Juifs, près le Palais, 1619. How it opens: “C'est icy un livre de bonne, foy, Lecteur. . . . Ainsi, Leeteur, je suis moymesme la matière de mon livre: ce n'est pas raison que tu employes ton loisir en un suject si frivole et si vain. A Dieu donc.” “It seems,” murmured the rector, as he laid the book in the sun, “that all the great men are modest, even Montaigne, when they write prefaces, as the Grand Seigneur did on March 1, 1580.” Then he took out the two volumes—Emile, ou de l'Education par J. J. Rousseau, Citoyen de Genéve, published at Francfort, MDCCLXII. Still modesty reigns: “Ce Recueil de réflexions et d'observations, sans ordre, et presque sans suite, fut commencé pour complaire à une bonne mêre qui fait penser.” As Mr. Oldham laid it down he determined to have no preface to his own book, and then he placed on the top of Emile twelve little volumes of a tiny Hebrew Old Testament from the press of Stephanus of Paris, with scraps of a twelfth century illuminated MS. peeping out of the decayed binding; and on these he laid an Imitatio from the exquisite mid-Victorian press of William Pickering of London. At last the scores of little books were stored away in the cart, and locking the old rectory door, the rector, with a sigh of content, gave the ass his freedom, and murmured as they sped to the moor, “I wish I had been born a printer.” Soon they were on the road, and as the ass knew the way and there were no lions or angels in the path, the rector hitched the reins on the back of the cart and opened the pages of John Locke. It was high noon, and the donkey, recognizing that his driver had ceased to drive, gradually relaxed his pace until at the very edge of the moor where the long stretch opens up and down to Little Greenmoor he saw an open gate and a neglected field full of thistles. The ass whirled his ears furiously for a moment, thinking with all his might, and then he deftly turned the cart into the field. At the same moment the rector's eyes strayed into the bottom of the cart and fell on the bottle of cider. He lifted it and uncorked it with automatic alacrity at the very instant that the ass wrenched a great thistle from the earth. The sun was hot indeed, and the rector drank his cider and ate his lunch while his mind was wrestling with the stately thought of Mr. John Locke. The cart oscillated with the efforts of the ass, and the rector believed that they were progressing, and deeper and deeper he delved into the mysteries of the human understanding. At last the cider bottle was empty, and the sun shining with undiminished force overwhelmed both man and beast. The rector was sound asleep and the donkey was upon his knees asleep also. It was a strange sight, and one to smile at in the kindliest way. The rector leaned back on the rug among his books. His head rested on the book from the Clarendon Printing House in a sort of alcove or niche that warded off the sun. The ass lay among his thistles and twitched his ears to indicate that he was listening to the rector. Slowly the sun climbed down the sky. It was afternoon, late afternoon, early evening, and still they slept. Long ere this Mrs. Prue, seriously alarmed
at the delay, had organized a search party, and as the first signs of dusk appeared and the saffron August moon came up the sky she approached the spot with the bent gardener and the wide-eyed maid. But Mr. Oldham was saved from all disgrace by the ass, who suddenly awaking, desired food and drink. Swiftly he leaped to attention, and whirling the cart round into the road awakened the rector while help was still sufficiently remote. It was at this very moment that a hirsute tramp of sun-dried and peculiarly unsavory appearance also stirred in the gateway of the field. The ass smote him with impatient hoof, and the monstrous wanderer relapsed into the hedge. Fully awakened, the rector sprang to the aid of a possible parishioner. “Wold moke bit I; you'm old moke,” said the recumbent mendicant, looking like a ram in a thicket, as he wiped his bedraggled beard with a dusty, time-worn sleeve. The rector called him “a poor dear fellow,” and smoothed him and brushed the dust of ages from him, and after chafing and sponging with a pocket handkerchief dipped in tea the begrimed and bruised limb, placed at the reluctant lips of the ancient faun tea from his flask. Though the tramp murmured as to “the law,” yet when the search party came upon the scene no explanation was needed. It was evident that the rector had spent the day reading to the tramp. The sore was salved, the law was ratified with half a crown, and once again the bibliophile moved on. There were few delays on the homeward journey with Mrs. Prue as sole occupant of the cart, and ere the moon was high the books were in their places and the new life had begun. Mr. Oldham smiled to himself in his garden as he thought over it all. And he thought now of it with something of a new yearning since on the
morrow he was moving on again. A place had been found for him in Syria: not an heroic place, but a place where he could serve the sick and haply comfort the dying. His quiet life of thought and musing was not to be wasted after all. In his soul there was a great peace, and the chance, if chance there be, had come to him to take and
pour into the souls of others the peace The Contemporary Review.
which passeth understanding, the peace that he had quietly gathered in all these years, a medicine for souls that he had found in his garden of scented herbs. “This is God's dealing with mankind; He promises more than we could hope for; and when He hath done that He gives us more than He hath promised.” And the rector had always known that it would be so. J. E. G. de Montmorency.
THE ALLIES AND SWEDEN.
Three Governments are primarily affected by Mr. Lansing's remarkable disclosure of the Luxburg cablegrams —the German, the Argentine, and the Swedish. On the German part we need not waste words. It reveals the familiar mixture of duplicity and brutality which is coming to be regarded by the non-German world as the Prussian hall-mark. The spurlos versenkt suggestion, with all its atrocity, is only what our public has learned to expect whenever the mask is stripped away from the actions and motives of the German authorities; and this expectation (to do our public justice) has scarcely once in three years been disappointed. It will be interesting to see the comment of the German Majority Socialists. The Vorwärts has just been defending the Kaiser's part in the “Willy and Nicky” correspondence. Will it defend spurlos versenkt as a medicine for neutral shipping? It is clear, from the manner of Count Luxburg's reference, that the spurlos method is a recognized method of the German naval authorities; and the number of neutral ships which have, in fact, disappeared without leaving a trace during the course of the present war seems to be considerable.
Argentina, on her side, is exhibited in an innocent but scarcely an en
viable rôle. Her Government is the unfortunate “pigeon” of the story. When it saw Brazil coming into the war, it thought to go one better by eschewing Brazil's example and negotiating a special agreement with Germany instead. The agreement was made, and the Argentine people have now the exact measure of its worthlessness. The German officials, who smiled in their faces, were picking their pockets all the time. Germany's national reputation, which stood higher in the Argentine than in any other South American country, has received a blow there from which it will not easily recover. And what of Sweden? The unneutrality of the acts committed in her name by her officials is glaring and obvious. The text of the Luxburg telegrams shows that they were not isolated missives. They were part of a regular secret correspondence between Buenos Ayres and Berlin, conducted permanently through the intermediacy of the Swedish Government, which abused in this way its diplomatic privilege of sending cipher messages over British-controlled cables. The chief subject of the German correspondence is seen to have been the organization of the submarine campaign, the notification of dates at