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sending for the doctor, the running hith-| low wild cry, and looked round her with er and thither for remedies, the strange a despairing appeal to heaven and earth. dream-like horror of that one unrespon- Was there no one to protect her -- no sive, unmoving figure in the midst of one to help her ? One moment she all this tumult of anxious but bootless paused, miserable, bewildered, then effort — how can I describe it ? The turned and fed out of the awful room, cold night air poured into the room, inef- where so much had befallen her. What fectually summoned to give breath to the could she do? where could she go? She lips that could draw breath no longer, fed as an animal flies to its cover and waved the lights about like things its home, unreasoning, unthinking. Freddistracted, and chilled the living to the erick would have represented that home bone, as they ran to and fro, seeking this to her in any other circumstances ; but and that, making one vain effort after an- she had killed Frederick's wife. This other. Innocent stood behind, leaning horror seemed to take form, and pursue against the wall, like a marble image. her. The maids were all gone: one to She had been pushed aside by the anx-call the unhappy father, one to the husious women. She stood with her eyes band, another to watch for the doctor; fixed on the bed, with a vague horror on this last had left the door open, through her face. It was a dream to her, which which another blast of night air swept had begun in her sleep ; was she sleep- through the house. Down the narrow ing still ? or was this a horrible reality ? staircase poor Innocent fied noiseless, or what had she to do with it? she, a lit- like a thief. Upon a table in the passage tle while ago the chief actor, now the lay her hat as she had thrown it off when spectator, helpless, knowing nothing, yet she came in that afternoon with Frederwith a chill dread gnawing at her, like ick, and the warm wrap in which Miss the fox in the fable, gnawing her heart. Vane had enveloped her when they Innocent's head seemed to turn round started, so peacefully, so happily, for and round, as the strange group which their drive. Was it only that morning ? had swept in made all those wild circles The High Lodge and its orderly life and round the bed, doing one strange thing its calm inhabitants seemed to Innocent after another, incoherent to her mov- like things she had known ages ago; ing and rustling, and talking low under older even than Pisa and Niccolo — althe disturbed waving of the lights, and most beyond the range of memory. She in the shadow of the curtains. When, stole out at the open door, drawing Miss after a long terrible interval, these figures Vane's great shawl round her, and for a dispersed, and alone remained, moment feeling comforted in the chill of throwing itself upon the bed in wild her misery by its warmth. For one secweeping, the girl roused herself.
ond she stood on the step, with the “What is it ? ” she asked, drawing a moonlight on her face, wondering where step nearer. “What is it?” It seemed she was to go. The maid who was watchto Innocent that something held her, that ing for the doctor saw her, and cried out she could not look at the figure in the with terror, thinking her a ghost. Then bed.
a sudden cloud came over the moon, and “Oh, my darling! my darling! I have in that shelter, like a guilty thing, Innonursed her from a baby she never was cent stole away. She did not know where but good to me. Oh, my child, my to go. She wandered on through the 'Manda! Will you never speak to me dark and still village streets to the great again! Oh, 'Manda, my darling! Oh, Minster with some vain childish imaginmy lovely angel !” Thús poor Aunty ation of taking refuge there. But here moaned and wept.
chance befriended the unhappy girl, or “What is it?" cried Innocent, with a some kind angel guided her. The railvoice which took authority from absolute way was close by, with some lights yet despair.
unextinguished. Vaguely, feeling that "Oh, can't you see for yourself ? It's by that was the only way home, she stole you as has done it, driving that angel into the station, with some notion of hidwild. She's dead! Oh, merciful Heaven, ing herself till she could get away. The she's dead
express train to town, which stopped at Then a sudden flood of light seemed to Sterborne, though Innocent knew nothpour through Innocent's darkened mind. ing of it, was late that night. It had just The horror which she had felt vaguely arrived when she got in. The little statook shape and form. Heaven help the tion was badly lighted, the officials sleepy child ! She had done it! She gave a and careless. By instinct Innocent crept
into an empty carriage, not knowing even It was still only the middle of the night that it was going on, and in five minutes. when she arrived in London, and by more was carried, unconscious, wrapt in some fortunate chance or other crept out a tragic stupor of woe and terror, away again without being perceived. Poor from the scene of this terrible crisis of child ! far from her distraught soul was her life.
any intention of deceiving; she thought Gradually, slowly, the sense of motion nothing at all about it, and in her innoroused her, brought her to herself. In cence, without consciousness of harm, her hand, firmly clasped, was the little escaped all penalties and questioning. vial which had been so deadly. She un- She did not know her way about London, closed her fingers with an effort, and but by mere chance took the right direclooked at it with miserable curiosity. tion, and by dint of wandering on and on, That had done it - a thing so small that came at last by a hundred detours, as it was hidden altogether in her small and the morning began to break into a redelicate hand. What had Innocent done? gion with which she was familiar. The How could she have helped herself? movement did her good. She felt her What could she have done different? misery less when she was walking on and For the first time in all her life she on through interminable streets, wrapturned her hot confused eyes upon her- ping her shawl about her, feeling her self. She tried to go back over the limbs ready to sink under her, and her events of the night ;- not as in a mental power of feeling dulled by fatigue. Probsurvey with all their varieties of feeling ably this exercise saved her from going disclosed, but like an external picture mad altogether. Life and more than life did they rise before her. First that mo- hung on the balance. She was not clevment when She (Innocent could think of er; she had no grasp of mind, no power her now by no name) was not angry or of reason, nothing which could be called scolding, when Frederick sat and talked, intellectual development at all, and yet and she herself stood and fanned Her, the difference between sanity and insanthe central figure to which henceforward ity was as much to her as to others. She all her terrified thoughts must cling. Then kept her reason through the subduing came the moonlight in the garden, the force of this exercise, the blessed movesmell of the dewy earth, and her hand on ment and the weariness of body which Frederick's arm; then the reading, which counteracted the unaccustomed struggles seemed like some strange incantation, of her mind. some spell of slumbrous power; then the It was grey dawn, that chill twilight of horrible sudden waking, the clutch of the morning which is so much colder and that hot hand, the incoherent half-con- less genial than the twilight of night, scious effort she made to do what was when Innocent came at last in sight of told her, the black drops of liquid falling, her home. Her strength and courage the interrupted counting which she were almost at an end, but her feeble seemed to try to take up again and com- heart leapt up within her at sight of the plete — “ten, eleven, fifteen ;” and then familiar place in which she knew shelter the terror of the renewed clutch and and comfort were to be found. She had grasp, the sudden stillness, the black never said anything which showed her drops standing out on the white coverlid, appreciation of her aunt's tenderness, and the great open eyes dilated, fixed upon had offered but little response to all the her, holding her fast so that she could affection that had been lavished on her ; not stir. God help the child ! She cried but yet a slow-growing trust had arisen in aloud, but the noise drowned her cry; her mind. She had no doubt how she she struggled under the intolerable sense was to be received ; she knew that kind of anguish, the burden of the pang which arms would take her in, kind eyes pity she could not get free from, could not her, kind voices soothe her trouble - and shake off. So many pangs come in youth never in all her life had Innocent stood in which are imaginary, which be such need of succour. The house was thrown off, as the first impression fades ; like some one asleep, with its eyes closed, but when for the first time there comes so to speak, the shutters shut, the curtains something which fixes like the vulture, drawn, and no one stirring. Innocent which will not be got rid of !- Innocent sat down upon the step to wait. She did writhed under it, holding up her feeble not ring or knock for admittance. She hands in an appeal beyond words — an sat down and leant upon the pillar of the appeal which was hopeless and which porch with a patience which had some was vain.
hope in it. She could wait now, for her
difficulties were over, and her goal within clasped Mrs. Eastwood's arm between reach. She had fallen half asleep when her own, and looked up to her with a the housemaid undid the door, and with a ghastly face and piteous looks of appeal ; scream perceived the unexpected watcher. her lips moved but no words came. Now
“ Miss Innocent !” cried the woman, she had got to the end of her journey. half in terror, half in disapproval ; for the end of her troubles ; but now all indeed Innocent's odd ways were the capacity seemed to fail her. She could wonder of the house, and the servants not do more. professed openly that they would not be My child — my poor child !” said surprised whatever she might choose to Mrs. Eastwood. “Oh, Innocent, why did do. Innocent opened her eyes and roused I let you go from me ? Speak, dear, tell herself with an effort.
me what it is? Innocent, speak!” “Yes, it is me,” she said softly. "I “ Do not be angry,” said poor Innohad to come home — by the night train.” cent, raising her piteous face, with a
“Oh, how could any one let you wander child's utter abandonment and depend. about like this !” cried the maid, “and ence upon the one standard of good and where is your luggage? Come to the evil which alone it understands. And kitchen, Miss, there's no other fire lighted. yet the face was more woeful, more disYou are as cold as ice, and all of a trem- traught, than child's face could be. Mrs. ble. Come in, come in for goodness Eastwood, anxious, yet reassured, consake, and I'll make you a cup of tea.” cluded that th poor girl, weary and
Innocent smiled her habitual smile of frightened of strangers, had run away vague and dreamy sweetness in acknowl- from the High Lodge to come home, an edgment of this kindness — but she offence which might well seem terrible to shook her head and went straight up- Innocent. What could it be else? She stairs to the door of Mrs. Eastwood's bent over her and kissed her, and tried room. Her first arrival there came up to draw her into her arms. before her as she paused at the door • My poor child, how you are tremher dissatisfaction, her indifference - oh, bling.' I am not angry, Innocent; why if she had stayed in the little room, are you so frightened? Sit down and within Nelly's, within the mother's, could rest, and let me get up, and then you can this thing have happened to her, could tell me. Come, deur, come ; it cannot be any such harm have reached her ? This anything so very bad,” said Mrs. Eastquestion foated wistfully before her wood, with a smile, endeavouring to dismind, increasing the strange confusion of engage her arm from Innocent's hold. feelings of which was vaguely conscious ; But the girl's fixed gaze, and her desbut she did not pause for more than an perate clasp did not relax. Her white instant. Mrs. Eastwood was still asleep, | face was set and rigid. “Do not be or so at least Innocent thought; but the angry!” she said again, with a voice of very aspect of the familiar room was con- woe strangely at variance with the simple solatory. It seemed to protect her, to entreaty ; and while Mrs. Eastwood make her safe. She stole softly to the waited expecting to hear some simple alcove where the grey morning light confession, such as that Innocent had struggled in through the closed curtains. been frightened by the strange faces, or As Innocent approached Mrs. Eastwood weary of the monotonous life, and had opened her eyes with the instinctive run away there suddenly fell upon her promptitude of a mother, used to be ap- horrified ears words which stunned her, pealed to at all times and seasons. She and seemed to make life itself stand still. started at the sight of the strange figure They came slow, with little pauses bein hat and shawl, and sat up in her bed, tween, accompanied by a piteous gaze with all her faculties suddenly collecting which watched every movement of the to her, to prepare her for the something, listener's face, and with a convulsive she knew not what, which she instinc- pressure of the arm which Innocent held tively felt to have befallen.
to her bosom. “Innocunt! Good heavens, how have “I have killed Frederick's wife," she you come ? What is the matter ? ” she said. cried. Innocent fell down on her knees “ What does she say? She must by the bed ; the fatigue, the cold, the be mad !” cried Mrs. Eastwood. The personal suffering of which up to this housemaid had followed Innocent into moment she had been scarcely conscious, the room with officious anxiety, carrying seemed suddenly to overflow, and be- the cup of tea, which was a means of satcome too much' for her to bear. She isfying her curiosity as to this strange
and sudden arrival. Just as these terri
From The Economist. ble words were said she appeared at the
THE OPPOSITION IN FRANCE. foot of the bed, holding her tray in her It is very curious to read, so soon after hand.
M. Thiers' successful and powerful ad“ No," said Innocent, seeing nothing ministration, that the Left think of giving but her aunt's face,“ no, I am not mad. him a banquet to celebrate the evacuation It was last night. I came home some of the territory by the Germans, but that how, I scarcely know how - it was last it is not likely that M. Thiers will venture night.”
to accept the invitation, and that, if he “And, Innocent, Innocent-you -?” does, it is very likely that the government
“Oh, do not be angry !” cried Inno- will refuse its permission. The simple cent, hiding her piteous face upon her truth seems to be that M. Thiers was no aunt's breast. The woe, the horror, the sooner out of office than he became, indistracting sense of sudden misery stead of the respected and powerful chief seemed to pass from the one to the other of a great Opposition, simply an individin that rapid moment. But the mother ual — not particularly powerful, not rethus suddenly roused had to think of membered with any special gratitude in everything: “ Put down the tray,” she the country at large, not particularly feared said, quickly, to the staring intruder at by the new Government, not particularly the foot of the bed, “call Alice to me, consulted by his own party. Nothing is get Miss Innocent's room ready, and stranger to the eyes of Englishmen than send some one for the doctor. She is ill the non-existence of Opposition as an or- quick, go and call Alice, there is not a ganic power in France. The weakness moment to lose. Innocent," she whis- of Government there is due apparently to pered in her ear as the woman went away, the excess of strength which it has by " Innocent, for God's sake look at me! virtue merely of its office, and the very Do you know what you are saying ? In- great deficiency of strength which it can nocent! Frederick's wife ?
boast by virtue of its policy. Let us conInnocent raised herself up with a long- sider a little more carefully this curious drawn sigh. Her face relaxed ; she had case of M. Thiers. Here was a chief of put off her burden. “It was last night,” the State who had accepted an almost she repeated, “ we were alone ; I did not unanimous tender of power in the evil want to go, but they made me. She was days of 1871, who had attacked and reangry very angry and then -oh! duced the Commune, who had reorganized She opened her eyes and looked at me, the army, revived the credit of France, and was still — still — till they came 1 and concluded a treaty with the foreigner did no: know what it was."
by which the soil was to be evacuated * And it was -? For God's sake, long before the time mentioned in the Innocent, try to understand what you are treaty; who had moreover retained for saying. Did she die — when you were more than two years his influence in the with her ? You are not dreaming ? But, Assembly, and whose party seemed to be Innocent, you had nothing to do with it, rapidly gaining in the country with every my poor, poor child ? "
fresh election ; whose defeat, too, was due Once more Innocent unfolded the fin- to no great blunder in policy, but solely gers which she had clenched fast upon to his wish to make his Cabinet approxisomething. She held out a small phial, mate more nearly to the views expressed with some drops of dark liquid still in it. by the constituencies in the various elec" It was this,” she said, looking at it with tions ; – and yet when the accidental a strange vacant gaze.
majority of an Assembly admitted not to And then a horrible conviction came to speak the present wishes of the people poor Mrs. Eastwood's mind. Out of the succeeds in defeating him and accepting depths of her heart there came a low but his resignation, M. Thiers seems to vanterrible cry. Many things she had been ish from public sight; his political influcalled upon to bear in her cheerful life, as ence melts like a snowflake, the new all stout hearts are now was it to be Government succeeds to all his power, swallowed up in tragic disgrace and hor- and he himself — who knows, as no other ror at the end ?
Frenchman knows, the temper of his The cry brought Nelly, wondering and countrymen - evidently thinks complete horror-stricken, from her innocent sleep, retirement from the scene of strife, the and old Alice, forecasting new trouble to dignity of almost ostentatious solitude, the family, but nothing so horrible, noth- the best preparation for a return to power, ing so miserable as this.
if return to power be possible. And yet his adversaries have already made almost It is very probable that the country every mistake that they could make in the will, in spite of the “Government of Comshort period of their reign. They have bat,” show itself as Radical after Marshal attempted to corrupt the press, and have MacMahon's election as it did before. been found out. They have put a public But in the meantime France honours not insult on the sceptics, and have lost influ- the man with whom she agrees, but the ence by it. They have invalidated the man who is clothed with the insignia of election of an opponent, simply for speak- office. Instead of distinguishing for itself, ing amiss of the Assembly — as if oppo- and loyally supporting, the Minister whom nents of the Assembly's policy were likely it can permanently trust, the country to speak well of it, if they speak honestly appears to trust for the moment the man at all.
They have, in fact, not only who calls himself Minister; and this, even grasped power, but evinced every inten- though when asked to vote for the politition of using it to the utmost, and have cal ideas it prefers, it does not hesitate to shown themselves vulnerable in plenty of elect men who will be thorns in his flesh. places to an eye as skilful as M. Thiers'
. The official is obeyed too much in France; And yet M. Thiers has evidently his true the statesman is trusted too little. A cue to ignore these blunders and to keep statesman who is in office is powerful not in strict retirement. Instead of doing because he is popular — no man appears what an English leader of Opposition to be really popular — but because he would have done – making an effective has the ægis of administrative authority speech on each of his adversaries' blun- thrown over him. A statesman who is ders, and contrasting their excited and out of office is not powerful at all, whatfeeble policy with the comparatively steady ever his success, and however completely impartiality of his own Government – M. his ideas may correspond with those of Thiers has deemed it the wisest course the majority of the constituencies. Tbe for him to pursue, to let the Government French State is still regarded by the take its own line uncriticised by him, and French people somewhat in the same to reserve himself till some great occa- light as that in which they regard the sion, when he can come forward without Church. It is not the priest's power but any imputation that he has been eager to his office which is either held sacred or avail himself of his opponents' most seri- detested. The best of all priests is hardly ous blunders. It would seem that in held in substantially deeper respect than France office is everything to a minister, the worst, because it is not his character and even the highest personal capacity but his office and what goes with it that and character exceedingly little in the impresses the imagination. It is not the comparison. While M. Thiers was Pres- individual priest but his ex cathedra funcident he was almost all powerful. When tions which are regarded. And again, the he ceased to be President - and he anti-sacerdotalists detest the best priest ceased to be President not because he almost as much as the worst, because it had made any false step, but because he is not his individual character but what had made the majority of the existing he claims to do by virtue of his office, that Assembly perceive that he looked beyond excites their horror. And so it is too in the Assembly to the popular mind in relation to civil functions. The Minister France, and because the popular mind in is regarded not for his personal achieveFrance did not care sufficiently to gain its ments and the confidence placed in his own avowed ends, to come forward and individual judgment, but, ex cathedra, support the statesman who was interpret- because the administrative functions ining its wish against the statesman who spire a respect of their own. M. Casimir openly advocated a policy of combat Périer at the Ministry of the Interior, or against that wish - his power ceased. M. Beulé at the Ministry of the Interior, He was no longer what we should call the is all the same, because it is not M. Casihead of her Majesty's Opposition. On mir Périer or M. Beulé, but the Minister the contrary, he became a mere possible of the Interior, as such, who commands rival of his successor ; and rivals of men obedience. And, therefore, a great statesin power are not, as they are in England, man stripped of office is for the time expected to render great public services stripped of influence. He is no longer by closely criticising the policy of Gov- looked to for his moral authority, and exernment; on the contrary, they are liable pected to exercise without office a check to have all sorts of personal motives of the most formidable kind on the new attributed to them if they interfere to holder of office. He has suddenly dwinaccelerate the defeat of their opponents. | dled into a mere voice, a mere interpreter