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making fair way in fair weather ; but in the midst of the blinding mist and who knows how she has been buffeted
ray it throws seaward looks and beaten in the far north, or, per- like some dim planet of the heavens haps, nearer still where the south- glancing down upon us through the east
Trades hurl the long angry rifts of the hurricane. Careful indeed rollers in on the rocks of St. Helena ? must the mariner be as he shapes Even now, if we look closely enough, his course round the hoarse-sounding we may see that yonder waves which Bellows and coasts upwards past look like ripples are in reality big Duiker Klip to the welcome light ravening monsters—the deep, strong, of Green Point and the entrance of thick after-rollers of yesterday's storm.
Table Bay. We can guess that, as we catch at Perhaps the grandest storm of all wayward intervals the dull roar that is the one that comes in winter time echoes up along the cliffs, and watch from the north-west, and, as wind the yeasty fringes curling and eddying meets current, heaps up terrible and round the dark and dangerous rocks shapeless masses of dark water at the that run far out to sea. Below, on the foot of the precipices of Cape Point. eastern side, lies Capetown, dwarfed Little can be heard but the din of down to the dimensions of a toy town, conflicting elements fighting a neverneatly arranged and built on the ending fight, and dashing their white sands of Table Bay. Outside a strength upon the hard grey granite few ships lie at anchor, swinging and rocks. Myriads of sea-fowl wing their straining at their cables as the waves way in struggling flights over the rush in from the offing Table Bay crested billows, and shriek as they itself has a fine curve not unlike mingle in the misty clouds that drive the Bay of Naples, and stretches far upwards to the cliffs. Now and then up into the region known as the Cape the stately albatross can be Flats, a sandy expanse covered with amongst the lesser crowds of gulls and green patches of brushwood. The molymocks and Cape pigeons, sweepproject of cutting a canal between ing as if in disdain majestically Table Bay and False Bay has been past the lighthouse, a stranger from more than once discussed, and if this the south. To all Englishmen this were done the Cape Peninsula would lonely spot is of deep interest. Its be converted into an island. As an cliffs command the southern waves, engineering feat this capal would be and from Simon's Town, the naval a comparatively insignificant one. station which nestles in an arm of
To the south and west of Table False Bay, we guard with our ships and Mountain a range of hills of less note tars one of the most important oceanextends for about thirty miles until highways of the world. For Simon's Cape Point is reached. Here, at an Town has been called, not inaptly, the elevation of eight hundred feet, a Gibraltar of the south. Round Cape lighthouse has been built, throwing Point and the rocky bluffs of Agulhas its welcome light over many a mile of all the commerce of the East has
Few light-houses have been floated, and round them, if an accident built in a grander or more desolate spot. were to happen to the Suez Canal, it So precipitous is the site on which this may all have perforce to float again. beacon-light is placed, that, at times,
MY SUCCESS IN LITERATURE.
illustration of Mr. Matthew Arnold's 1.
dictum as to the proper function of LITERATURE was my profession. I had the age, and that my great work, my written a good deal in my time, but successful work, would be none of my productions had been so criticism. successful as we (my wife and I) I was in no hurry to begin the great thought they deserved to be. I did task of my life: I waited for the not think very much of my wife's maturity of my powers; but it came judgment in some things, but in the at last to be understood by everybody matter of literature she showed a that I should produce something imdiscernment superior to that of others portant before long. In the meantime with larger pretensions and wider ex- one or two preliminary things which I perience. She was, like the wife of attempted in the direction of permaCarlyle, convinced of her husband's nent literature did not bring to me genius and certain of his ultimate the popularity or remuneration which recognition ; but I had to wait longer I might have expected. They cost me for the recognition than Carlyle, and money, in fact; and my friends rarely I was more hampered in my affairs referred to them, or seemed to rethan the philosopher of Chelsea. I member them. They always asked, could not keep house on one hundred “When is your great work coming and fifty pounds while I wrote the out, Rodney ?” as if they knew of first volume of a great history. I had nothing which was out already. a large family to provide for, and the Still I picked up a living somefamily could not postpone its dinner how or other, though it was more by to meet the requirements of genius; means of working at odds and ends of so it was the history that had to wait. literature than by the making of real
I always intended to write it- books. I was known as a useful man that, or something equally important. who could fill an empty corner, where There are many forms in which a no signature was wanted, very remasterpiece may be written. Some- spectably. I could be relied upon to times I thought of a tragedy, but that supply an anecdote, to look up a subwas sure not to pay; and Shakespeare ject for a hasty article, or to run off has killed the drama in England-no across the kingdom at an hour's notice room for any little stars with that sun to make a report. I got plenty of shining in the sky. Then I thought work therefore which brought me of a novel ; but novels have become so profit, though it did not add to my common, almost vulgar; everybody fame. It threw me also in the way writes them. Then I thought of epic of a great many distinguished people, poetry, or a work on philosophy, or a and gave me an opportunity of observ. social satire, or—in fact, anything ing, again and again how little the would do, as a mere vehicle for the distinction of many of them was deconveyance of genius. My wife re- served, and how a mere chance had marked that the form was immaterial ; lifted them to a position which I and the fact of the substance being there others of the Great Unrecognised could was the important thing; and I felt not reach. I used to note down these that she was right. I had no idea, observations as I made them, and it however, that I should become an gave me a grim satisfaction to look out my old diaries from time to time, operations of my pen with hungry eyes ; and see there the records of the follies there was no time to wait for a whole and inanities of men whom the world volume; it was necessary to think of applauded. I read them to my wife something immediate, and something also on rare occasions, and she would turned up. It came in the shape of sigh a little as she listened, and wish Lord Selcover, who was going on a that the world would not continue so hunting expedition into the heart of blind to my merits. She was a very Africa. He intended to make a big good wife to me, but not so economical concern of it, and had already engaged as Carlyle's, and she did not keep the an artist to do the sketches of his house as quiet as I should have liked : adventures and discoveries. He offered she was rather weak in her treatment me the post of literary man of the of the children. Perhaps this was the party, to record events, and help him reason that I never wrote a French to prepare a book for publication Revolution.'
afterwards. In consideration of the When our children were some of danger of the excursion half my fee them grown up (one daughter, in fact, was to be paid before I started, so being married) my great work was that my family might be provided still not begun, and our pecuniary for in my
absence. affairs were as unsatisfactory as ever. This seemed an opportunity not to We were a little behind in our bills, be thrown away. My wife objected as usual, and I had been compelled to to the distance and the danger ; but renew the mortgage on our house the necessity of a continuation of the (which belonged to my wife) instead daily family dinner was acknowledged of paying it off, as I had intended to to be inevitable, and to the pressure do if I had found time for my first of this most persistent circumstance volume somewhat sooner. The mort- the interests of my masterpiece had to gagee was getting troublesome too; yield once more. houses were down in the market, My adventures in Africa were remany standing empty, and he com- markable enough, but it is not my plained that we were letting ours purpose to narrate them here. Other drop into absolute ruin for want of persons have had adventures quite as repair. He should like to put his remarkable, whereas my experience money on something securer.
after my return is, so far as I know, plained to him that while I had his my experience alone, no one else having interest to pay I could not afford to gone through the same. Somebody spend anything on the house, but the else will very likely go through it in explanation did not seem to satisfy the future, the progress of probabilities him. I suggested to my son-in-law tending in that direction, but nobody (who was rich) that he should buy the has done so yet. When I went out to house from us, put it in repair, and Africa I was a poor man, with multilet us rent it: but he did not seem tudes of acquaintances who all wished to like the notion. Perhaps he felt me well (I had such a reputation for doubtful about the rent; I should usefulness and good-nature !); when I have been so in his place.
came back I found myself comparaSomething bad to be done, however. tively rich, and apparently without a I was having an idle time. Nobody single friend. seemed to want
Lord Selcover has published an There were no vacant corners in maga. account of our adventures in Africa, zines. Every page was filled up by with a handsome tribute to my perpapers with big signatures at the end sonal worth (suppressed in a later of them. Here was an opportunity edition), but a very insufficient acknowto begin my masterpiece. Unluckily, ledgment of his obligations to me in my family was, as usual, watching the the literary department of his book.
With regard to that book I wish to tombstone. My admirable native gave point out two things. First, that there them such an account of the war which is an error on the three hundred and had broken out behind them and overfifth page, in which I am stated to whelmed whole villages with desolahave died of fever at Manzamzavaboo, tion, that they decided to press
forward and there been buried by a faithful and leave the unhappy country to its native servant (afterwards brought to fate. England, to be feasted and rewarded I soon guessed what had happened hy my wife-I wish I could meet that when my native servant disappeared native !), for I did not die, and I never with my belongings, and I heard no was buried, as I am here now to more of my friends; but I found mytestify. Secondly, I beg the reader to self in a very awkward position, and notice the difference of style between it took me months to make my way the pages preceding this erroneous alone out of that savage country to statement and those following it, the the sea-coast, civilisation, and ships. I explanation being that Lord Selcover did not telegraph to anybody when I had the use of my notes and journals reached a telegraph station. I felt in preparing his book up to the date inclined to appear unannounced, and of my supposed death. Afterwards to see what had happened. he hadn't. Further comment is I landed at Plymouth, and the first unnecessary.
person I ran against was my old friend I was left at Manzamzavaboo by my Dick Hodgson. He looked at me with companions, sick of a fever, and in the perplexity and without recognition at care of a native servant. I was to first, then something like surprise and follow the rest of the party to their a comical dismay came over his face as next halting place when sufficiently he exclaimed, “By Jove, if it isn't recovered. My recovery was slow, and Tom Rodney! Then you're not dead my servant took fright.
He was un
after all ?” aware of the nature of Englishmen, “Apparently not," I replied testily, and imagined that we had been aban- “and I should rather like a welcome doned by our friends far from his from the first friend I meet after native kraal. He thought the matter months among the savages. Can't you
fine evening (the say you're glad to see me?" weather always is favourable on these Of course I am !” and he put out occasions) he decamped with those his hand with cordiality ; “ but it's a things which he had been taught to queer experiment coming back from consider the most valuable of my the dead like this, you know. Seen belongings, my medicines and my anybody but me?" manuscripts. When he overtook my “Not a creature,” I said, disturbed friends (who were just thinking of by his manner. "Perhaps something sending to inquire why I did not come
You can tell me whether on), he told a deplorable tale of my they are all well at home.
I am illness and his devotion, of the un- terribly anxious to hear.” kindness of the chief of the village “Oh, yes, they are all well. Firstwhere we were left, of his desperate rate, in fact; I heard the other flight with me through the jungle, of day. Nothing wrong; certainly my failing by the way, of his efforts not.” to save me, of my gratitude to him “ You are an old friend, Hodgson ; and dying recommendation of him to you will know whether they have been my friends. He described the exact in money difficulties through my prosituation of my grave, and delivered longed absence.” up my notes and journals.
“Not in the least ; quite the conI suppose my friends were sorry, trary, I should say.” He spoke with but they did not go back to put up a a little embarrassment, and I thought
that his face was rather redder than it share a prevailing belief that a man used to be.
who has been reported dead has “ That is strange," I remarked ; right to come to life again. He did “ but I suppose that Selcover would not ask me to go home with him to behave handsomely."
see Clara ; he said that he supposed I “Oh, no doubt; no doubt he would. was in a hurry to get back to my Quite so. Selcover would be certain family in the country. He confirmed to come down handsomely. Of course.” Hodgson's news of the health and
Then there was a pause. We looked prosperity of my household, but failed at one another, and Dick's face grew to explain the latter mysterious cira little redder. Perhaps the sea air cumstance. did it.
“No, I don't think it was Lord Sel“ Are you staying here?” I asked, cover,” he remarked gloomily; “except expecting an invitation to go with perhaps just at first. They'll tell you him.
all about it.' “ Yes, down here with my wife. There was about him an air of Well, good-bye, glad to have seen you injury, of foreboding and of reticence, again,”—and he made off, in a mighty which I could not fathom. Everything hurry, as if afraid of the consequences was outwardly right in my family of lingering longer.
affairs, but something must be inI had never liked his wife (though wardly wrong to explain the dark I had carefully concealed this fact looks, the hints and the from her observation), and I now put which I seemed destined to encounter down to her fault his want of hos- in unexpected places. pitality. It was her influence that I left him to go to my club. On had changed him. Yet somehow or my way I met several of my acquaintother I felt chilled by the encounter,
One or two of them did not in spite of this explanation. I did not seem to see me. Of the others one fancy any more surprises, and I tele
spoke to me coldly and said he had an graphed to my club in London that I
engagement elsewhere; second looked should arrive shortly ; also to my at me with unmistakable dismay, and son-in-law, to appoint a meeting with remarked, “I say, but this is a thing, him.
you know," refusing to explain himOn reaching my son-in-law's office I self further; and a third greeted me found him waiting for me, but his with kindness but regarded me with countenance was gloomy in the ex- evident compassion. I could endure treme. There was no enthusiasm of the suspense no longer. delight in his manner. I might have "I am sure something is wrong at concluded that he was sorry to see me home, Jones," I said in agitation, home again, but for the folly of such “ but no one will tell me what it is.”
We had always been on the “Oh, nothing wrong, I assure you," best of terms; it was, indeed, my said Jones; "nothing that I know parental influence which had induced of." Clara, his wife, to overlook sundry of “But everybody looks at me as if I his personal defects for the sake of his had not a right to come back, as if I handsome income. I might have had injured somebody by coming back, understood his manner if he had had as if I should find it out presently, any interest in my death, but the and be sorry I had done it. My wife contrary was the case ; for if I had is well, my children are all well, so I never returned he might have found am assured ; and nobody belonging to himself compelled to assist my half- me has done wrong or got into money fledged youngsters in their struggle to difficulties. It must be something establish themselves. Still he
strange or unusual. Tell me what it evidently displeased. He seemed to