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"That is it, caro signorino," whispered a boot:" said Douglas, almost increduthe girl, still with her fingers locked on lous. her bosom. “You will not betray us, "Si, signorino," replied the cobbler. you who are so amiable and good?“An invention of the devil! I know There is a train for Parma in an hour.” nothing about it, God be praised! I do "Ah!"
but obey the commands which are Douglas glanced from father to daugh forced upon me." ter, and from daughter to father. Then “But how"-Douglas lost sight of all he turned to the window. It was their else for the time save the ingenuity simplicity that had first impressed him. and energy of such murders—"how came As if he could intervene between them he to put it on here--the boot?" and their fate in such a moment! But "That was an accident, caro signow, on further knowledge, he per- norino," said Maria. "It was his right ceived that there was at present no evi- foot, and he complained greatly of the dence to connect this disintegrated tightness of the boot he was wearing. Count Enzio with the house he had left He changed it for the--the mended one. five minutes ago. The crowd had although it was not a perfect pair with swelled. There were several police, the other one, and " who seemed quite at a loss whether to She covered her face with her hands. look up to heaven or down upon the "There is little time," protested the ground for information about the iden- cobbler, with urgent eyes between their tity of the luckless sixth in this chain pink lids. “May we trust you, sigof calamities. That a sixth citizen of norino ?"' Milan, or otherwise, had been blown to "Yes, you may trust me; but there is uttermost fragments was no doubt clear one thing more. These misadventures to them; but how could they ascertain - are they managed by clockwork?" more than that?
The cobbler hesitated, sighed, and Tell me,” said Douglas to the cob- looked earnestly at his daughter. bler, who had come downstairs, "you "The signore is very inquisitive,” he are an instrument in the hands of oth- remarked. "Shall I tell him this also ?” ers? Is it not so ?”
"He is our friend, father. He has "A most unhappy and unwilling in- said we may trust him. The English do strument, signorino,” replied Bassano, not lie," replied Maria Bassano. tremulously as of old, with shaking "That is so. I repeat it. I am your hands. “Before God, I swear it." friend to the best of my powers," said
"And did not mean to murder that Douglas. "But I am, as you say, inman?""
quisitive. Are they little boxes of "His Excellency the Count, signorer witchcraft set to a time?" No, by the bones of San Carlo! I con- "No, signore," replied the cobbler refused them. I will confess to you, Sig. luctantly. "There is a head to them nore Inglese, as to God Almighty. The which the heel presses. But they do man whom I must not name brought not all go off immediately. The presthe thing which I must not talk sure has to be sufficient. Is that all about, and a certain boot. I was to the signore wishes to know?" put it in the heel of the boot. Undoubt. And then Douglas realized the cruelty edly there was a resemblance between of his questioning at such a crisis. the two boots, and being so fatigued “It is all," he said. "Make haste with last night, I- But your goodness un- your preparations, and good luck to you derstands without more words."
both. I also will pack my little bag." "An Internal machine in the heel of Maria Bassano began to call down Heaven's blessings upon him; but he agent, was to come for it at noon. But urged her not to take that trouble. his visit will be useless."
There was still no indication outside “Bolla?” that any one had knowledge of the de- "Si, signore." creased Count's movements before the "Happy man, then, this other, eh-at disaster. The crowd had swelled, and least for a time? Well, addio, in conincluded mounted officers of the king's clusion." army. The roar of voices in exclama Downstairs he had but few words for tion could be heard through the win- Maria, whose tearful blue eyes and dow.
quivering lips disconcerted him. He A certain anxiety now seized Doug- merely repeated the precaution which las. Supposing this general exodus he had mentioned to her father, wished from the house were noticed, might not her every happiness amid more endangerous inferences be drawn?
lightened surroundings, and left the Of course it was so.
house. He decided at once to take with him A stream of people was in the Via only such things as he could conven- (orta, making for the piazza; and on iently carry about his person; and thus the spur of the moment Douglas went lightly padded he left the room to say with the tide. "Good-bye" to the Bassanos.
He stayed for a few minutes on the “May I come up?" he called, and tak- outskirts of the crowd, quietly looking ing straightway to the stairs, he was about and listening to its comments and soon in the cobbler's workshop.
ejaculations. The police were busy "I am going. Once more, 'Good-luck,'” forming an enclosure, as exact as they he said. He gazed about him as he could guess at it, round the spot of held out his band to the pink-eyed ac- ground which held conjecturable morcessory in such vile deeds. But there sels of the unfortunate Masuccio. But was nothing remarkable in the attic. this were a difficult matter if a certain A bed was in the corner, and the com- gossip of the crowd spoke truth in saynionplace litter of a cobbler's workshop ing that he had seen no fragments of was all about. He observed, however, anything larger than a coat-button. a package which evidently contained a boot.
The cobbler wiped his hand on his Back at his hotel in the Corso Vittoapron ere, with profound respect ob- ria Emanuele, Douglas spent a quiet, vious in his pink-rimmed eyes, he re- thoughtful day and the subsequent sponded to Douglas's courtesy.
night. And the next morning he left "You are a noble benefactor to us, for London without paying a second signorino," he stammered.
visit to the Cavaliere di Barese. It "By no means," said Douglas. "Don't distressed him a little to act with such be rash in your movements, that's all. apparent incivility, but he feared to Let your daughter walk to the station face that experienced gentleman. He by herself, and you after her. And could not hope to escape easily from don't overload yourself with things.” such questions as the Cavaliere would He fingered the parcel idly wbile he be bound to ask; and it were better that spoke, then lifted it with an inquiring the Cavaliere should wonder at bis smile. "Perhaps this also?” he whis- discourtesy than that he should by an pered.
involuntary word or look give him "That, caro signore," said the cobbler cause to suspect the Bassanos. Others luuskily, “is the other one. He, the might now take up the investigation of
the Via Corta's connection with the night successfully obliterate themmysteries. They undoubtedly would selves in Parma or elsewhere. do so at once, and Douglas could only His own short week in Jilan was at hope that the cobbler and his daughter any rate one to remember. Chambers's Journal.
Charles Edwardes. (The End.)
STEVENSON'S POEMS. *
• When "Underwoods" was first pub see the verses are sane, that is their lished critics did not quite know what strong point." It was their prose merto say about it. Nor has the world yet its, he thought, that sent them into a come to any very sure opinion about second edition. As to the "Ballads," he any of Stevenson's poems, except “1 had a sneaking idea that they were Child's Garden of Verses," which every not altogether without merit. “I don't one is content to enjoy without asking know if they are poetry; but they're questions about it. One thing, how good narrative or I'm deceived." ever, is certain about Stevenson's In fact he professed to be a prose poetry. It is nearly all good reading, writer who made verses for fun but and more interesting than a good deal knew enough of literature not to make of poetry with a higher reputation. dull ones. This may seem poor praise; Some of his blank verse pieces are a but dullness is always a danger immilittle dull--most blank verse is dull - nent to verse; and when verse is not and only a Scotchman can read the dull, when it can be read with real Scotch poems with perfect ease; but pleasure and not merely by way of an the rest, when once you have begun attempt at plain living and high thinkthem, lead you on to the end just like ing, then we may be sure that it is good lais stories and his essays. "I do not set of its kind. Verse making was not up to be a poet,” he said himself, "only Stevenson's peculiar craft; and therean all-round literary man. A man who fore he could but seldom put all the talks, not one who sings." And he weight of his thought and all the knew how to talk in verse as well as strength of his emotion into it; but he in prose. Several times in his letters was not content either to prose in his he insists that his verse was the verse verses, or to leave them rough, like of a prose writer. Writing to Henley some prose writers such as Emerson, in 1883 he says that he is now a great and so commit them to the indulgence writer of verses. "Really. I have be- of the public as the work of an amagun to learn some of the rudiments of teur. He knew that he was not a masthat trade, I have written three or four ter of high lyric song, and he was too pretty enough pieces of octosyllabic conscientious to publish mere rough manonsense, semi-serious, semi-smiling. terial which he could not perfect. A kind of prose Herrick, divested of the Whatever he wrote he finished as gift of verse, and you behold the Bard. highly as he could; and so in verse he But I like it." He explained the sue only attempted what he was capable of Cegs of "Underwoods" by saying “You finishing with his limited craftsman
ship. Being "an all-round literary • "Poems by Robert Louis Stevenson," in cluding "Underwoods,"“Ballads," and "Songs
man," he made no mistakes about what of Travel” (Chatto and Windus, 2s, net).
Was fit for verse and what was not.
We seldom feel about any of his poetry can echo modern poets just as naturally that it would go better in prose, and as old ones. Here, for instance, is al never that it says nothing. Still he tune from "Maud" in "A Visit from was right when he said that it was the Sea": rather speech than song, though speech with a very pleasant musical accompa
Far from the loud sea beaches
Where he goes fishing and crying. niment.
Here in the inland garden These musical accompaniments are
Why is the sea-gull flying? wbat have most puzzled his critics in "Underwoods," because most of them Compare with this the lyric beginning are taken from other poets; and yet they do not make the verse sound stale
Birds in the high Hall-garden or secondhand. On the one hand Ste
When twilight was falling. venson seems to be playing a game, to
True there is a difference of metre, but be making English verses, like an ex
the tune is the same. Then there seems cellent scholar making Latin ones; but
to be an echo from "Ionica" in the poem on the other he manages to express
called "In the States." If Stevenson himself in these verses, and to speak
never read "Ionica” the resemblance is his own thoughts with his own voice,
curious, for in this case the sentiment although to a borrowed tune. “Under
too is exactly that of William Cory. woods” is as full of Stevenson as anything he ever wrote; and yet there With half a heart I wander here never was a book of poems more full is from an age gone by, of echoes. Echoes in this case is just A brother-yet though young in years, the right word, for it was always the An elder brother, I. sound of other poems that Stevenson bad in his mind when he wrote; and to The verses "To Will. H. Low" are that sound he married sense of his own surely written to the tune of Keats's so happily that the two seem to be as “Bards of Passion and of Mirth” and it were, one flesh. He liked to write “Ever let the Fancy roam,” as, for inpoems to old tunes, but he wrote them stance, better to old tunes of verse than to
This is unborn beauty: she old tunes of music. The rhythms and
Now in air floats high and free, cadences of certain poets suited his own
Takes the sun and breaks the blue:-moods so well that he was able to use Late with stooping pinion flew them as moulds of his own thoughts. Raking hedgerow trees, and wet He has told us how in his youth he Her wing in silver streams, and set "played the sedulous ape" to great Shining foot on temple roof. prose writers. In his verse he was content to play the sedulous ape when he Keats, it is true, got the tune from was a grown man. But in verse he did Fletcher and Wither and other Elizanot do it out of mere blind admiration. bethans and only perfected it; but SteHe chose his models to suit what he had venson seems rather to have taken it to say, and chose them so well that no from Keats in its perfected form than one unfamiliar with them would suspect to have adapted it himself from the that they existed.
original sources. In "The Sick Child" Even when you recognize the echoes there is naturally an echo from Blake:they add to your pleasure rather than Mother, mother, speak low in my ear, lessen it, seeming to enrich the verse Some of the things are so great and with their associations; and Stevenson
Some are so small and far away,
A bin of wine, a spice of wit, I have a fear that I cannot say.
A house with lawns enclosing it,
A living river by the door, Compare
A nightingale in the sycamore! Father, O Father, what do we here, In this land of unbelief and fear? then one knows that he is only exThe land of dreams is better far,
pressing a mood which he has encourBeyond the light of the morning star.
aged for the pleasure it gives him.
Herrick in poems of this kind really But the poets most constantly echoed in “Underwoods" are Herrick, as Ste
expressed the chief desires of his life, venson himself implies, and Marvell
and there is something pleasing to us even more than Herrick. They were
in the spectacle' of a poet whose enjoyboth poets who were often content
ment of little pleasures is so untroubled rather to talk than to sing, but who
by thoughts of "whence and, ob heavknew to perfection the difference be
ens, whither''; who never looks away tween prose and verse; and they were
from flowers or the domestic hearth to
wards the flaming ramparts of the also poets who wrote about some of the
world. very things that pleased Stevenson
Stevenson has told us that he liked most and in a mood exactly like bis. Therefore, when he borrowed their
to play with toys long after he was
supposed to have outgrown them; and rhythms and cadences, he was pleasing
in poems of this kind he makes believe himself; and he pleases us, by calling to mind not merely their art, but also
to go back, not into his childhood, but the pleasant things with which that art
into a past age of simplicity. He plays was concerned. And these rhythms and
the Herrick game as if it were a game cadences are like some scent of familiar
of soldiers, and takes the same pleasflowers hanging about his verses, and
ure in it as in one of his fanciful eswith the same instant appeal to the
capes into childhood. Poems like "The memory. He did not attempt to catch
Envoy" belong not to the child's garden
of verses, but to another garden of the the tune of Herrick's airiest songs. He imitated the Herrick who like himself
past that Stevenson possessed in his had a childish delight in homely things
estate of dreams, where with clipped
yew hedges he could shut out the roarand places, and who could express it in
ing and confused present. But it was a simple enumeration of them without
only for a complete diversion that he any overstrain of sentiment or attempt
liked to play Herrick, to empty his at a richer music than would suit his theme. Of course Stevenson could not
mind of all ideas and stock it only with
delightful objects. Often he preferred be, even in conscious make-believe, quite so simple-minded as Herrick. There
to philosophize even in his games; and
when he was in one of these "semiwas a good deal of Pepys in Herrick, and clever men cannot be as uncritical
serious, semi-smiling" moods Marvell
was his chief model. of themselves in our time as Pepys was.
He could not
have chosen a better; for Marvell also No poet now could write anything like the couplet on Julia's leg with perfect
wrote partly for a diversion, and yet seriousness. Therefore when Steven
managed to throw all the weight of his son imitates the simplicity of Herrick as
thought and all the force of his emotion in his "Envoy''
into some of his trifles. Stevenson
could not quite do this; and so, when Go, little book, and wish to all
Henley advised him to make a poem Flowers in the garden, meat in the ball, more like Marvell, he told Henley to