Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

when Australian ports were menaced by foreign fleets,

THE FISHERMAN'S SONG. forced the colonies into the fortification and protection of

By HERMAN MERIVALE. their own coasts, and created confidence in an ability for

AFTER the battle, the peace is dear, self-defense. The isolation of Australia from the English

After the toil, the rest ; navy when hostile invasion threatens, and the inability

After the storm, when the skies are clear, of the colonies individually to repel aggression, stimu

Fair is the ocean's breast. lated a desire for a union as necessary to organize resist

Out in the gold sunshine ance against alien foes.

Throw we the net and line ;

The silvery chase to-day This sentiment has lately found expression in the as

Calls us to work away, semblage of an Australian Convention at Sydney, New

So throw the line, throw-Yo, heave ho ! South Wales, for the consideration of the formation of an Australian Colonial Confederation.

Fishers must work when the treacherous sea,

Smiles with a face of light, Colonial tariff policies, free trade, and protection

Though the deep bed, where their fortunes be, dogmas, local divisions, and jealousies, have long re

May be their grave ere night. tarded the harmonious deliberation of such a confer

Out in the gold sunshine ence. A touch of nature makes all the world kin. A

Throw we the net and line ;

The silvery lives to-day perception of a common danger silences petty envies, and

Flash in the silvery spray, ffaces many animosities.

So throw the line, throw-Yo, heave ho I The Australias recognized “In union there is strength," und that a consolidated house is not easily conquered.

The convention resolved upon confederative co-operaion, and submitted their action to the people.

PRETTY POLLY PITKIN. Their resolutions provide for the creation of a Federal

By Spencer W. Cone. " Australian Council," to consist of two members from

SUMMER or so ago two pleasant-faced each colony, to hold annual sessions successively at the

matrons were seated on the shady side of respective colonial capitals, and to be empowered with

the “ West End" at Long Branch. They legislative jurisdiction over extradition, coastal defenses,

were agreeably engaged, as mothers often naturalization, criminal immigration, quarantine, patents,

are, in exchanging confidences touching copyrights, and Polynesian relations.

their children. It required both of them The Colonial Parliament will petition the Imperial

to arrive at the plural in that respect, for Government for recognition of the Council," and the

Mrs. Timmins was blessed with an only world will doubtless soon witness the political birth of an

child, a son, and Mrs. Pitkin sinilarly English-speaking nation of 3,000,000 souls in the South

with one-a daughter. ern Hemisphere. Had England chosen to foster the

The rather pretentious name originally English and aristocratic tendencies there by creating a

given to the former was Rudolph, and to colonial nobility, the new government would undoubt the latter Maria Louise. From babyhood, however, edly be one of King, Lords and Commons : but with the until the date hereof, when she frankly owned to her House of Lords menaced in England, the new state with | twentieth year, she had never been known as anything its vast area may be a federal republic.

but pretty Polly Pitkin.

She was luckier, however, than Rudolph, whose name ---- -- - ---- - ------

had early dwindled into “ 'Dolph,” and never grew

again. THE EFFECT OF AGE ON THE EYE.

Both matrons were widows; both were well-to-do in It is found on an average of observations, that at ten the world, but Mrs. Timmins was very well-to-do. In years of age the crystalline lens in the eye may be ren- | fact, the defunct Timmins père having made his million dered so convex as to give a clear image of an object three in Wall Street, like a truly worthy and considerate husinches away. At twenty-one it will also accommodate band and father, as he was, was sensible enough to die itself to an object four and a-half inches from the eye. before he had time to lose it again. Anything nearer will be obscure, because the lens will Near these worthy women sat also Pretty Polly Pitkin. not assume a form sufficiently convex to refract to a focus She was a young lady blessed with a neat figure, blonde on the retina rays of light divergent as any nearer object hair, mischievous blue eyes and uncommonly fine and will radiate. At forty years of age the near point” has rather sharp-looking little teeth. reached to a distance of nine inches, and at fifty, to thir- Pretty Polly played just then at crochet, or tatting, or teen inches.

some such transparent pretense of work, and apparently At sixty years of age the lens has so far lost its flexi- ! wholly deaf to the confidences of the worthy matrons. bility, and therefore its power of responding to the "My dear," said Mrs. Pitkin, almost in a whisper, “I muscle, that it cannot ordinarily give a clear image of any don't know what to make of Polly. She'll be an old object less than twenty-six inches away. At seventy-five maid, as sure as she lives. I have never seen her treat a the power of accommodation is wholly lost ; light still man with even common politeness. She says they are passes through the eye, and is focused on the retina, but such brazen-faced, conceited apes, she can't bear the only when it comes in parallel rays. Parallel rays it can sight of them.” converge on the retina, but divergent rays require that "Ah, me," replied Mrs. Timmins, in the same tone, extra refractive power which the aged eye has lost by the “she would never say so of my Dolph, if she could see hardening of the lens.

him ; but she can't. Poor fellow ! he is so awfully Not as a matter of disease, then, but in the ordinary modest, he's as afraid of a woman as if she was a crococourse of years, and in every eye alike, is the bodily sight dile or an anaconda, and he a lawyer, too !" gradually weaned from the scrutiny of near objects “You don't say so !" responded Mrs. Pitkin. “A around, and permitted to turn a clear vision only upon modest lawyer-well, I never ! Wonders will never the things far off.

| cease, to be sure !"

[graphic]
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

AUSTRALIA, AND ITS COLONIAL CONFEDERATION.-1. NORTE AND SOUTH BRISBANE. 2. BRISBANE WHARF AND TERRACES. 3. PARLIAMENT HOUSE AND BOTANIC GARDENS.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

At this point in the conversation Pretty Polly rose and sauntered away, saying to herself in the strictest confidence:

“Young, rich, good-looking, and an only son—too modest, though, by half. Perhaps it would be an act of Christian charity to cure him—perhaps 1”

Some few weeks after this the following appeared among the “personals.” in the New York Herald:

“A young lady, good-looking, accomplished, and of some means, desires to correspond with a young professional gentleman, with a view to matrimony. P. P.”

For Rudolph Timmins, Esq., attorney-at-law, of No. — Nassau Street, as for all men cursed with mauvaise homte, the mysterious, the romantic—the slightly improper, in fact—possessed a supreme fascination. In imagination, he was the hero of no end of gallant actions and interesting adventures. In fact, he would no more have attempted one in which a woman was involved than a sheep would chase a tiger. He never left his house of a morning but he imagined himself stopping a pair of runaway horses, or something of the kind, dragging a lovely young woman, half-dead, from the carriage, bearing her in his manly arms to the nearest drug store, and receiving her tender thanks as she awoke to consciousness. In fact, he would quite as soon have embraced a red-hot stove as any young woman in any condition whatever. This contradiction between fact and fancy naturally led him to read the “personals,” the first thing after he opened his paper of a morning. Of course the “personal” above mentioned struck him on the instant. He re-read, considered, smiled. It was a wonderful “personal.” It suited him to a T. It came to him as a sweet boon. “Here,” said he to himself, “is the very chance I have been looking for. I will embrace it. I will open a correspondence with the lovely “P. P.”; of course she is lovely. I will throw into the correspondence all the hidden poesy and disappointed heroism of my nature. I will write like Abelard, and she will answer like Heloise. I will shroud myself, however, in impenetrable mystery. Thus I shall expand like a tropic flower in the sunshine of love, without risking the horrid chill that actual contact with a young woman always sends to the marrow of my bones.” This was no vain resolve. Timmins did it. He opened the correspondence. He signed himself “William Fitz Clarence Smith.” He was a model correspondent. So was “P. P.” What one dispatched one day, the other answered on the next. Timmins was right. He had arrived at the perfection of knowledge. He knew himself. In the secure shade of an imaginary name and a post-office box, he expanded like a big sunflower. He gushed; he overflowed. For months, with everincreasing audacity; he made love on paper like Romeo and Lauzun rolled into one. The correspondence became his real life—eating, drinking and sleeping a fictitious one. He was like the man who dreamed one dream every night, and went to bed early every night, to recommence it where he left off the night before. Gathered in this cloud, with a confused idea that Timmins was Smith, or Smith Timmins, or that Smith was taking Timmins along with him to forcibly present him to “P. P.,” and murder his romance for ever, he started to walk up Broadway

It required great resolution to do so. It was, in fact, a heroic act, since Broadway was thronged with women, and each had eyes—two eyes—which might be fixed upon him. Through this terrible defile, occupied in force by a fierce and man-thirsty army of petticoats, and enfiladed by flying columns of female trailleurs, he came, however, in comparative safety, to the corner of Bleecker Street. But there Fate sternly met him; for there, suddenly, as if she had come up out of the coal-hole in the pavement on a vampire trap, a young woman rose before him. True, she was a very quiet and well-behaved young person, and uncommonly innocent-looking. She was, in fact, a blonde, plump as a partridge, and of a very active and self-posssessed appearance all over. Timmins walked fast ; so did she. Timmins crawled along ; so did she. Was it accident 2 Was it design 2 Heaven forbid that we should hint the latter. Yet this young person kept just a trifle in advance of Timmins. Modest as he was, and especially because he was modest, he could not help seeing that she was there all the time ; nor could he help thinking : “If I were Smith, now, I should get in front of her, instead of dodging to keep behind. I should look at her; I should stare at her, in fact. Stare Good heavens !” And what a nice and particular young woman she was. She must have had a perfect horror of dust or mud. To have got a speck on the hem of her garment would probably have driven her out of her senses. Of course that was why, when she came to a street-crossing, she gathered her skirts so daintily and gave a little jump, graceful as Mistress Venus when she tripped before the pious AEneas, and she showed the goddess in her airy step. To be sure, this permitted to be seen an uncommonly pretty foot and ankle, which, as Timmins walked with eyes modestly cast down and couldn't escape seeing them, came very near knocking him off his own feet at every gutter. Timmins blushed — Timmins perspired. His ears burned. He longed for rest and retreat to some vast ambiguity of shade where female gaiter boots would never haunt him more. But if horror could be accumulated on horror's head, that identical result came at the corner of Fourteenth Street, where many human tides meet and shopping females dash and mingle like waves upon the sea-shore. There this curious young wenan turned, gave a little start, stopped, and, in the easiest and most self-possessed manner, accosted him : “Mr. Timmins, I believe o’ she said. “Yes, Mrs.-Madam—” stammered Timmins. “Mr. Rudolph Timmins 2" “Yes, Miss—” stuttered Timmins, with a sensation as if the Domestic Sewing Machine building had fallen on top of his head, and Wallack's Theatre and the Morton House were dancing a jig around him in frantic exultation over his early extinction. “Of No. – Nassau Street 2" continued the lady. “I have been recommended to you as a lawyer of great ability, and am disposed to place in your hands a case of the greatest importance and delicacy. At what hour shall I call at your office to-morrow 2" “Call at my office l’exclaimed Timmins. “Madam— Miss—I—” “Let us say 11 A.M.,” continued the imperturbable unknown. “And you may rely upon my punctuality. Good-afternoon, sir.”

The young lady crossed Broadway ; Timmins took the “I have been vilely used, and I mean to appeal to the opposite direction, and staggered home in a state of law for redress—for vengeance !". mental paralysis.

And Timmins dimly saw a small hand tightly clinched, Had he been master of himself, he would have shunned and within an inch of his nose. that office for a period of years. But like the murderer, | “Madam-Miss-I mean Mrs.—” he stammered, “I whose buried victim draws him a thousand miles to re —that is you — somebody - hadn't you better go to visit the scene of his crime, a fatal fascination dragged Judge Beach, or William M. Evarts — or some rising him to his doom. Ten o'clock found him shivering in young lawyer like that-I'm not prepared-great heavens ! his office.

-and state your case, and By way of settling his nerves and screwing his courage “No, sir !" she interrupted, decidedly. “I shall go to the sticking-point, he made desultory incursions into | to no one but you. I shall state my case to nobody but that pleasing title of the law which treats et “Baron and you. I know your chivalrous nature. I rely on it all Feme," blushing in solitary and silent modesty at the all my hopes are centred in it. You must help me-demere idea of a state of " coverture.'

fend me-avenge me! My mind is fixed. You must !" Some one knocked at the door.

“If I do, I'll be—hanged !" said Timmins, mentally ; “Come in,” faltered Timmins.

but her eye was upon him, and he only said aloud, “Go At that minute the clock struck eleven. The hour had on, proceed, commence-state your case." come. So had the woman. She came in.

“My name, sir, is Maria Louise Pitkin." It was the young woman who had accosted him the day “ Thank you,” said Timmins, with a vague feeling of before at the corner of Fourteenth Street and Broadway, relief at tinding it was not Medea, or Lucretia Borgia, or This startling result has been already foreseen by the in- | Mrs. Allen. telligent reader. It was not, however, the less startling “And I am the innocent victim— ". to Timmins.

“Of course you are," said Timmins. “So am I.” He gasped for breath.

“ Of a breach of promise," continued Maria Louise. There she was-in his office_stick, stark, alone with “ Thank heaven !" ejaculated Timmins. him ! She was between him and the door. He saw that, “Heartless man !" cried the lady, starting up with for he thought of flight. But flight was impossible, un- flashing eyes. “Have I been mistaken in you? Do you less he knocked her down and walked over her. In fact, rejoice in my injuries ?” she was not only between him and the door, but she closed | “No, ma'am-not at all, ma'am--nothing of the sort !" the door, walked composedly across the office, and seated stammered Timmins. “Only I thought " herself within three feet of him.

“What did you think, sir ?” Fearful position ! Daniel in the lions' den had a cheer “I thought it might be worse !" ful thing of it compared to the beleaguered Timmins. “Sir, do you mean to insult me ?"

Her abundant hair-it was blonde ; it was not a switch, “Heaven forbid, ma'am !" cried Timming. “Only it it was real-was contrasted with and displayed by a three- might have been bigamy, or murder, or— " inch wide sbell of black lace, supposed to be a hat; but I "No, no !" said Miss Pitkin. “My soul is free from her face was covered with a vail.

crime. I am more sinned against than sinning. Yes, sir, Timmins fervently hoped she would keep it covered ; after the most ardent vows on paper ; after the fondest but she didn't. She had no such intention. Coolly and assurances in black and white; after, in point of fact, slowly she raised it and laid it back.

the very day of our marriage ought to have been fixed, If she had undertaken to knock him down with a | William Fitz Clarence Smith- " feather, Timmins would have expired before the feather “Who ?-who ?" said Timmins, fairly bounding in his touched his innocent cheek.

seat. He turned all the colors of a dying dolphin ; his heart “William Fitz Clarence Smith." shrunk to the size of a hazel-nut.

“It can't; it isn't ! There's no such man !" stammered “If the sheriff,” said Timmins, mentally to himself Timmins. “if the sheriff would come through that door, which I “There is, there must, there shall be !" cried the lady. can't get out of, and bring an order to consign me to “Did you ever see him ?" gasped poor Timmins. State Prison for the term of my natural life, I should be "No," replied the lady ; “but when I do I shall know unaffectedly grateful to him. But he won't ; there's no him among a million." such luck for me.”

“The Lord forbid !" said Timmins, piously, to himself. “Mr. Timmins," said the young lady, “I have, as “I have a hundred of his letters,” continued she. you are aware from what I said yesterday, called to con “They are here in my bag. I will read them to you." sult you."

“You needn't," said Timmins, with his eyes shut. “I “If I were a doctor, instead of an imaginary lawyer,” | know what they- " said Timmins to himself, “one consultation would finish “Are like, you would say," interrupted Maria Louise. you. You should have arsenic enough to kill a mas “Yes, they are like a false, deceitful man ; but in a todon."

dozen different ones he gives me his description, and I “ To consult you on a very delicate subject," she con

shall know him-oh, I shall know him ! I will follow tinued.

him in life; I will haunt him from my grave, and— "Don't mention it," murmured Timmins.

“Don't !" gasped Timmins. “Don't do it ! Smith “But I must, sir. I have been used very badly.” don't deserve it! Upon my word, he don't !" “I am not surprised at it," said Timmins, desperately. | “Ha! You know him ?'' exclaimed Maria Louise.

Of course not,” she exclaimed. “No depth of human | “No, no !--of course not ! How should I ?” cried Timbaseness can naturally surprise a cool and able lawyer mins. “But, on general principles, he can't, you know.” like yourself.”

“He does, he does ! Oh, Heaven !" cried Maria Louise, “Cool !” thought Timming. “Can't this awful crea- leaning back in her chair, sobbing hysterically, and playture see the sweat running down my face ?”

ing a lively tattoo on the floor with the heels of her boots ; “Yes, sir," she cried, hitching her chair a foot nearer, | “oh, I shall faint at the recollection !"

« ПредишнаНапред »