Page images
PDF
EPUB

jurisprudence, on the laws of franchise, and manner was omnipotent with the and, scattered among these, books of Rector. ready-made quotations and extracts; it Mr. Beaufort got up from his chair, and was a library of bricks and mortar rather looked at his visitor as if he thought him than one of gems. Mr. Whitmore turned insane. “I trust you have said nothing impatiently from the book-shelves; if he of this to my daughter." had persevered he might probably have His stiff tone did not daunt Paul; he found something more interesting among had made up his mind to opposition. the books, but he hated dulness, and “I have not spoken out, but I think shrank from it as the dog shrinks from your daughter knows that I love her.” his chain.

The Rector's pride was severely shockHe had begun to look at the pictures ed; his prejudices had not quite enabled on the walls, when a likeness arrested him to determine that Paul was a gentlehim; it was a water-color drawing, a man, although his instincts acknowledged likeness of Mr. Bright, taken when he was him to be one ; and that a person of this some years younger, but still very like kind, a person who might perhaps move him ; the color was hard, and the drawing in a lower sphere of society, should have stiff and faulty, but there was character had both the daring and the opportunity to and life in the portrait. Mr. Whitmore pay court to his daughter, took away for bent down to examine it more closely, the time all his power of reply. Mr. Beauand he saw in the corner the initials N. B. fort's knowledge of that which passed in His thoughts flew back to the little inci- the world was gathered from books and dent at the cross roads.

the dicta of a few country neighbors, peo. “ If Mr. Beaufort is not in in another ple with minds on a dead level, and ideas minute, I must go and find him." This which had been sprouting on the same was said very impatiently. He longed to unchanged stock for generations without go back and break up the meeting be- a suspicion that they had become obsotween Will and Nuna. Was he so very lete. The only correct and safe opinion sure of her himself? and he thought of (Mr. Beaufort's creed held but one on any Will's handsome face and stalwart frame subject) was to be found in the newspaper with something very like contempt. cherished by his special class, and in Mr.

“ Just one of the yellow-haired giants Whitmore there was a way of thinking for women delight in. Ugh! carcases-when himself, a something which did not bear Nature is so over-liberal outside, she sel- the stamp of class at all. Mr. Whitmore dom does much in inside furnishings.” said and did things in an original, out-of

And yet Nuna had looked so true when the-way manner, which found no duplicate she said she was not likely to leave the in the stereotypes of the rectorial mind. Rectory, and Mrs. Bright's confidence It was most outrageous that such a perhad shown that it must be her own fault son should aspire to Nuna. if Nuna were not mistress of Gray's “ Then you must excuse me," Mr. Farm. Still the torment was growing Beaufort looked like a poplar-tree for insufferable.

stiffness,—"if I tell you that you have The Rector came in at last, less smiling acted in a most unheard-of and unwarthan usual. Mrs. Fagg's discourse was rantable manner.” fresh in his head, and when Jane told him Paul smiled; he did not think this quiet, who was waiting for him, he felt more gentle-spoken man would have flown off than ever vexed that he had made the in such a womanish temper. Rectory an open house to this Mr. Whit- “Unwarrantable perhaps, but not un

We are never so weak for our own heard-of. You were young yourself once ; interests as when pleading with all our can't you make some excuse for my overheart to a prejudiced listener. It was very haste ?" unfortunate for Paul that his usual calm- "I am afraid, sir, you have appealed to ness had been disturbed; if his purpose a most ineffectual sympathy. I can safely had been less heartfelt, he would have say that nothing could have tempted me been less impatient in beginning on it; to offend so grievously against the usages but he only thought of securing Nuna tó of life,'' himself; he made the confession of his He was too angry to ask how Nuna had love in an abrupt and hurried manner received Mr. Whitmore's admiration; he wanted to dismiss the subject finally, with- man's love ; but unless you make me beout any more detail, and he went on just lieve that it is impossible for me to win as if he were driving a ploughshare over your daughter, I tell you, with all due reevery thought and feeling that might be gard for you as her father, but still I tell held in opposition to his.

more.

you frankly, I don't mean to give her “I must beg to hear no more about up.” this, and I think you will see that it is Paul spoke impetuously, and Mr. Beauimpossible I can continue to receive your fort waved both his white hands as if he visits at my house."

would soothe away the outburst. While the Rector spokę Paul had felt “I consider the reason I have already his own superiority to the man who was given, the slightness of our acquaintance, thus ignoring all right and justice in his a very sufficient one, but it may perhaps treatinent of him. There was a slight settle the matter more completely if I add, flush on his dark face, but his words came as a clergyman, that you are not quite the with the calm weight that compels def- person I should choose for my daughter's erence.

husband.” “I think I must ask you to hear rather “You have implied that before," -more, or at least to give me some reason Paul was pale enough now, and he spoke for your decision. Is your daughter to haughtily but I have a right to ask you have no voice in the matter ?”

to say plainly what you mean.” “We will keep my daughter out of the “You may have a right, but I question question altogether, if you please." Mr. your wisdom in asserting it; there are Beaufort's face flushed. “She is much things best left unexplained, still ” too young to decide for herself, and too Paul looked impatient, and the Rector well brought up, I hope, to think of adopt- went on faster. ing such a course. If I had no other “I can tell

you

if
you

wish. When you reason, it would be sufficient that I know were here before I objected to your acfar too little of you to entertain such a quaintance with a young woman in a difproposal."

ferent class of life from your own." “ That is a reason which can be so soon “Really." got over. I will stay at Ashton as long “Will you allow me to finish ? I am as you please ; and if you will allow me to aware that young men

see no harm in explain my position and means of living, such intimacies; they only consider their I have every hope that you will be satis- own amusement; but I believe incalcufied."

lable mischief is done in this way. Such Paul spoke temperately still, but the notice turns a girl's head with vanity, unAlush in his face had deepened.

fits her for association with her equals, His manner restrained the Rector, but and, I fear, where time and opportunity still Mr. Beaufort felt it was useless to prolong the acquaintance, still worse harm temporize, worse than useless for this wild ensues. I dare say you are surprised, but young fellow to think he could have Nuna you asked me to give you a reason, and I for the asking. He waxed his hand. tell you plainly that I think that if this

“We need not discuss your position at girl Patty had still been in Ashton, it is all. If you had followed me, Mr. Whit- quite possible you would have renewed more, you would have noticed that I said this very objectionable intimacy." if I had no other reason : unfortunately At first Paul's haughty annoyance had this is not the case ; I have another ob- nearly hurried him away without offering jection, but it would be much pleasanter any explanation, but the Rector's earnestfor us both if you would let the matter ness prevailed. end here."

“I should have done nothing of the Paul bent his dark eyes searchingly on kind. You have spoken out to me, Mr. the fretful, anxious face before him. Beaufort, and I will be quite frank with

" You don't understand me," he said, you. I had a foolish infatuation for Patty, bluntly; “I love your daughter with all but there was nothing criminal in my feelmy heart, and you have said nothing yetings for her." He spoke very frankly and to prove that I am not fit to win her love. simply. I don't say I am worthy of her; no man “I dare say not.” The Rector almost ever yet was worthy of a pure, good wo- wrung his hands in his desire to be rid of the subject, it jarred his refinement so “You have said quite enough, more painfully. “I have no doubt there was than enough, to justify me in forbidding no harm in your intention, but the fact any attachment between you and my remains.”

daughter. I could not receive a man as a “ Your knowledge of it; but that is son-in-law who could dream of marrying founded on a mistake. I was so madly

I was so madly such a person as Patty. Really, Mr. in love with Patty that I asked her to be Whitmore, for both our sakes, I must ask my wife, and she refused me."

you to end this interview.” Mr. Beaufort literally staggered back He was amazed to see Paul smile. against the writing-table. Nothing per- “I am going away,” he said, “but I am haps masters us so completely as the not going to give up the hope of your recognition of some quality in another of daughter's love, Mr. Beaufort. I shall which we feel ourselves incapable. It was write to her: I consider myself justified marvellous to hear Mr. Whitmore say that in writing to explain my conduct in leavhe meant to make Patty his wife, but it ing Ashton so abruptly. I go away now was literally astounding to hear him con- in deference to your wishes, but I shall fess that he had been rejected by his come down here again soon, and if I then village girl.

have reason to think I have any hope of For a few moments this grand frankness success, I shall ask you to reconsider your overwhelmed the Rector with astonished determination." admiration, and then a very different feel- He would shake hands, ignoring altoing brought him back to self-complacency. gether the Rector's stiff bow of dismissal, How dared this man even look at Nuna and then he went away. with the notion of making her a successor "Really,"—the Rector threw himself to Patty Westropp?

back in his easy chair in a state of nervous He grew very red in the face indeed, agitation, -" that is the most extraordiwith virtuous indignation.

nary person I ever met with in all my life.” (To be continued.)

St. Paul's.

SEDAN.

The looms are broken, the looms are hushed,

And a broken weary man
Sits near a child with fever flushed,

In a cottage of Sedan.

The mother starved with him, the weaver,

To feed their little child,
Who lies now low with famine fever,

That slew the mother mild.

The room is desolate ; the store

Has dwindled very low :
All a poor housewife's pride of yore

Was plundered of the foe.

And a father cowers over gray

Woodashes barely warm ;
He feels the child is going away

In the pitiless pale storm.

He knows an Emperor lost a crown

Here in his own Sedan,
And he knows an Emperor gained a crown,

The solitary man!

He hears the voice of a world that sings

The spectacle sublime !
Yet only heeds one life that clings

To his own a little time.

I wonder, if the Christ beholds

With eyes Divinely deep,
Whom to his heart He nearest holds,-

The kings, or these that weep!

Who seem more royal and more tall,

In calm pure light from God-
These crowned colossal things that crawl,

Or lowly souls they trod ?

These purple laurelled kings we hail

With banner and battle blare,
Or him who writhes beneath their trail,

A pauper in despair-
Conquered and conquerors of Sedan,-
Or a dying child and a starving man ?

RODEN Noel.

[ocr errors]

St. Paul's. THE SUN'S ATMOSPHERE AT LENGTH DISCOVERED. So much attention was directed to the mistakable, that it is with a sense of wonsolar corona during the discussions which der one hears that Arago called it in .preceded and followed the late eclipse, question. To use the words of Sir that a discovery of extreme importance- John Herschel, “ the fact is so palpable but not at all associated with the corona that it is a matter of some astonishment -has received far less attention than it that it could ever fail to strike the most deserves. The discovery I refer to is, in superficial observer." And, again, not fact, more important in its bearing on only the light but the heat of the outer problems of solar physics than any which portions of the sun's image has been estihas been made since Kirchhoff first told mated. In this case we do not depend us how to interpret the solar spectrum. upon the perhaps fallible evidence of the It is also intimately connected with the eye, but on that of heat-measuring instrulabors of that eminent physicist. I pro- ments. Fr. Secchi, measuring the heat of pose briefly to describe the nature of the different parts of the solar image, has discovery, and then to discuss some of found that of the part near the centre the results to which it seems to point. nearly double that from the borders.

Astronomers have long seen reason to Lastly, photography gives unmistakable believe that the sun has an atmosphere. evidence on the subject. And by the word atmosphere I mean Now, when Kirchhoff discovered the something more than mere vaporous or meaning of the solar spectrum, it seemed gaseous masses, such as the prominences clear to him that he had determined the have been shown to be. A solar envelope, nature and constitution of the solar atcomplete and continuous as our own at- mosphere. Let us consider the nature of mosphere, seems undoubtedly suggested Kirchhoft's discovery. by the appearance which the sun's image He found that the dark lines across the presents when thrown on a suitably pre- rainbow-tinted streak forming the backpared screen in a darkened room ; for then ground (as it were) of the solar spectrum, the disc is seen to be shaded off continu- are due to the action of absorbing vapors. ous towards the edge, where its brilliancy is The vapors necessarily lie outside the scarcely half as great as at the centre. The source of that part of the sun's light which phenomenon is so readily seen, and so un- produces the rainbow-tinted streak. If

those vapors could be removed for a above the sun's surface to many

hundred while, we should see a simple rainbow- times that of our heaviest gases. The riband of light. Or if the vapors could pressure would, indeed, be so great that we be so heated as to be no less hot than the can see no way of escaping the conclusion matter beneath them which produces the that, despite the enormous heat, the gases rainbow spectrum, they would no longer composing the imagined atmosphere would cause any dark lines to appear; but being be liquefied or even solidified. cooler, and so giving out less light than When the observers of the Indian eclipse they intercept, they cut out the dark spaces of 1868 found that the colored promicorresponding to their special absorp- nences are masses of glowing hydrogen, tive powers. To use Mr. Lockyer's strik- with other gases intermixed, and when ing, though perhaps not strictly poetical, the prominence-spectrum was found to description of their action, these vapors show the hydrogen lines as these appear "gobble up the light on its way to the when hydrogen exists at very moderate observer, so that it comes out with a pressures, Kirchhoff's view had to be abanbalance on the

wrong

side of the account." doned as altogether untenable. Wherever Each vapor produces its own special set the vapors exist which produce the solar of lines, occupying precisely those parts of dark lines, they are undoubtedly not to be the spectrum which the vapor's light looked for in the corona. would illuminate if the vapor shone alone. But there the lines are. The absorptive For these vapors, notwithstanding their action is exerted somewhere. The quesaction in intercepting or absorbing por- tion is-Where are the absorptive va. tions of the sunlight, are themselves in real- pors ? ity glowing with a light so intense that the At this stage of the inquiry a very strange human eye could not bear to rest upon it. view was expressed by Mr. Lockyer-a If we could examine the vapors we sup- view which appears to have been founded posed just now removed from the sun, we on a slight misapprehension of the princishould obtain the very lines of light which ples of spectrum analysis. He put forare wanting in the spectrum of the sun. ward the theory that the absorptive action

When Kirchhoff had recognized in this takes place below the level of the sun's way the presence of absorptive vapors surface as we see it. around the real light-globe of the sun, he But observations made by Fr. Secchi judged that they form the solar atmos- at Rome pointed to a view so different phere. Because, although his mode of from Mr. Lockyer's, as to lead to a conobservation was not such as to assure troversy which filled many pages of the him that these vapors completly en- Comptes Rendus, of the Philosophical velop the sun, yet the telescopic aspect Magazine, and of other publications-a of the sun, and especially that darkening controversy conducted, as too many philonear the edge to which I have just referred, sophical discussions have been, with a seemed to leave room for no other con- somewhat unphilosophical acrimony. clusion. But at this stage of the inquiry Fr. Secchi had noticed that when the Kirchhoff fell into a mistake. He judged very edge of the sun's disc is examined that the solar corona was the atmosphere with the spectroscope, the dark lines diswhich produced the solar dark lines, as appear from the spectrum, which thus well as the darkening of the sun's disc near becomes a simple rainbow-tinted streak. the edge.

The mistake is one which, as He judged, accordingly, that the absorbit seems to me, he would have avoided had

ing atmosphere exists above the sun's real he taken into account the

surface; for he believed that just at the pressure at which an atmosphere so ex- edge the bright lines corresponding to the tensive as the corona would necessarily light from the vapors themselves so nearly exist under the influence of the sun's equal in intensity the light of the solar mighty attractive energies. It may easily spectrum, that no signs of difference can be shown that if the outer parts of the be detected; or, in other words, that corona were as rare as the contents of our the dark lines are obliterated. On the so called vacuum-tubes, or even a thousand other hand, the glowing atmosphere cantimes rarer, yet according to the laws not, he argued, reach much above the sun's which regulate atmospheric pressure, the surface, since otherwise the spectroscope density would attain even at vast heights would show the bright lines belonging to

enormous

« PreviousContinue »