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THE STAFF OF LIFE.
Mrs. Jeremy's face 'grew more and simply stale. Well, tell them not to more startled as she read the indict- put so much in next week.” 'ment to herself at breakfast. She *There isn't going to be a next week. cast a glance of loathing at the inno- We're going to start Standard Bread cent piece of bread in front of her, to-day. You're going out on your bishuddered and pushed the plate cycle to buy some. You'll have to go away.
to Hillborough-they'll never have it “Dear,” she said earnestly, looking in the village." up from her paper, "we must get some Jeremy prowled round the room 'in Standard Bread in at once."
search of his tobacco, found it, filled "Bread," said Jeremy, looking up bis pipe, and returned to the hearthfrom bis. "Certainly, dear." He rug. pulled the board towards him and cut "What is Standard Bread?” he asked a large slice. "Your bread," he re- between puffs. marked, and held it out to her.
"You won't ask when you've once • She looked up again in surprise and, eaten it. It does you twice as much seeing the bread, shrieked.
good as this stuff. I'm longing to try "I didn't ask for it, Jeremy. In it." fact I simply daren't touch it now. “But how is it different from this Doesn't it say anything about it in stuff?" your paper?"
"It contains," said his wife, who "What's the matter with it?" said knew it by heart now, "at least eighty Jeremy, taking an immense bite. "It's per cent. of the whole wheat, including ordinary bread."
the germ and the semolina.” "It's Poison."
"Including what?” said Jeremy "Then I think you might have said sharply. so before. I've been eating it steadily "The germ and the semolina." for half-an-hour.” He got up with “Oh!" He paused for a moment. dignity and stood in front of the fire. "I'm not at all sure that I like germs," "At least you could have saved me he announced. 'that last bite. Doctors will tell you "These aren't those germs, dear," that it is always the last bite which is said Mrs. Jeremy soothingly. “These fatal. We'd better have Baby down. won't hurt you at all." She might like to say good-bye to me." “I don't see how you know that.
“Don't be absurd. It can't really Besides, it's very easy to make a misbe as bad as that. Only haven't you take with germs. They're tricky litnoticed anything about the bread? I tle things, I can tell you. The baker can't bear it. It suddenly seems hor- may think he's putting in quite a rid to me."
harmless one, a slight cold or something "What is there to notice in bread? of that sort, and then, just while he's I always notice if I haven't got any turning round for the semolina, in hops and sometimes I notice if you haven't a diphtheria germ looking as innocent got any, but-"
as you please. And, anyhow, that "Well, there's too much starch in it reminds me I loathe semolina. We've the paper says."
been married two years, and you "That accounts for it,” said Jeremy, ought to know that I always refuse feeling a piece. “I thought it was semolina."
Mrs. Jeremy walked over and patted mind. Now does that convey anything his head gently.
to you?" “We'll just try a loaf, and if you The man scratched his head thoughtdon't like it."
fully. "If I don't like it I shall live entirely "Maybe I'm wrong about the paper on nuts. You've unnerved me. I've that invented it,” said Jeremy. “Now been eating bread-except for a few I think of it we don't take in The months at the start-for nearly thirty Standard. My wife takes in some years, and now you tell me suddenly body's Home Dressmaker, but it that it's poison; and that unless I in- wouldn't be that. And The Times still clude eighty germs and the whole of only sells books. How about Black the semolina"
and White bread?" “There, there, get on your bicycle The man scratched his head again, like a good boy and go into Hill- pulled down a dark loaf and suggested borough. I know Cobb won't have it it hopefully. here."
"Well,” said Jeremy, "some people Jeremy grumbled, jumped on to his might call it merely brown, but I supbicycle and rode off. Having arrived pose it's near enough. Thank you. at the baker's he walked firmly in and I'll take it with me. I've got a bicygave his order.
cle outside." "I want," he said “a loaf of Stand. Mrs. Jeremy received him joyfully, ard Bread."
but her face fell when she saw the "Standard bread, Sir?”
loaf. “Yes. There's a lot about it in one “Why, that's brown bread," she of the papers.
The Standard, I sup- cried. pose. It's a new loaf that they've in- "Only where it fell off the bicycle," vented."
said Jeremy. “We never see the papers, 'cept a "And inside too,” said Mrs. Jeremy, Sunday."
cutting it open. “Ordinary brown “To-day's Wednesday—that's awk- bread." ward. We can't wait. But, after “That's the germ," said Jeremy. all, you're a baker; you oughtn't to "They're all brown this year. Grewant to look up things about bread in garious little beggars—just like sheep papers. It's different for me."
the way they follow each other. Sim“What's it like?"
ply no individuality.” “I've never seen any. As far as I "I wonder if brown bread is all am informed it's just like ordinary right." She broke a piece off and nibbread, only it has to contain eighty bled at it. "It is ordinary brown per cent. of something which I have bread." just forgotten." He put his hand to “Is that poison too?" his head and thought. "Wait-wait- "I–I don't know." it's coming back. Microbe and tapioca "Then let's ask cook—she knows microbe and tapioca
everything ... Oh, cook," Jeremy
went on bravely, "about this new “Whatever"
bread we're all talking of now“No, it isn't actually that, but that's "I was just going to ask you, mum," what I remember it by. Ah, now I've said cook, wiping her hands on her got it!" He cleared his throat impress- apron. "Did you both like it? Cobb ively. "It's got to include the germ sent up a loaf to-day-" and the semolina. And the semolina, "Darling," said Jeremy to his wife,
as he put his arm 'round her waist and led her to the baby's cradle, “let us all sing something together. Father is not poisoned. He lives.
The family is re-united and goes on."
"I knew there was something funny about that bread," said Mrs. Jeremy. The baby said nothing-only smiled.
A. A. M.
THE ITALIAN CELEBRATIONS.
It is only natural that England, reduced to such a condition of wretchwhose Government led the way ifty edness and misgovernment as was the years ago in recognizing the Kingdom lot of the English people in the first of Italy, should share with a special twenty years of the nineteenth censympathy the rejoicings of memory tury. Even the spectacle of Waterwith which the creation of that King- loo could not romanticize their own dom is now being celebrated. There bitter oppression. is, perhaps, no series of events to which The making of Italy leaves no such Englishmen can look back with greater scars, and, in aiding it, England never satisfaction in the history of Europe helped indirectly the cause of tyranny. than the series that resulted in mak- There have been few great events that ing Victor Emmanuel King of Italy. have been accomplished with less bloodThanks to Russell, Palmerston, and shed at the time, and there have been Gladstone, and to the traditions they fewer of which it could be said that inherited, England, almost alone among success brought such unqualified gain the States of Europe, so acted from to the world. There were great sacrifirst to last amid the dazzling esca- fices made, but they were not sacripades of Garibaldi and the diplomatic fices of the freedom of other races. master-strokes of Cavour as to reap They were the sacrifices of Italians, a harvest of honor and gratitude. who not only gave their blood, but, a Waterloo is a magnificent memory; but far more difficult thing, postponed if Waterloo marked the close of Eng- their special ideals and causes to the land's long duel with a giant who great aim of national unity. The seemed invincible, it marked also the greatest miracle of all was the power beginning, or, rather, the ratifying of a that combined for one purpose such dirule infamous for selfishness, corrup- verse natures, sympathies, and talents tion, and cruelty over a great part of as those that are found in the four men Europe. Napoleon's rule was hateful who between them made modern Italy. till his successors combined to make The results are seen in the nature of it an amiable and honorable tradition. tbe rejoicings to-day. In no nation are At least, if it had not been for the the contrasts of riches and poverty recollection of that rule, and the insti- niore vivid; in no nation are the differtutions it had founded, the peoples ences of North and South sharper or who were put back under this ancient more difficult. Yet every Italian is servitude might never have learnt to recalling the same memories to-day in rebel. And if Waterloo ushered in the same spirit of pride and patriotism, that kind of régime for Europe, no na- and the events of fifty years ago are a tion suffered so cruelly as the nation more undisputed sign and symbol of that had won the triumph. It is diffi- unity and concord to this nation than cult to imagine a high-spirited people
with living interest and emotion sometimes looks as if nations may use in the history of any other people. up in a few splendid years the nervous No country can boast. a past compara- energy that is needed for the ordinary ble with the past of Italy: a fact that troubles and cares of daily life. This helped to alienate Ruskin from all her kind of phenomenon is observable, for modern life and interests.
example, in the history of France, When Garibaldi and Mazzini were where a sudden blaze of vigor and flinging down the youth of Rome be- imaginations is followed by long years fore the shameful guns of France, they of quiet, commonplace, and apparently felt that, if ever Italy was to come to effortless, existence. Some would see life again, they must give her some- it also in the history of Italy, and ask thing to worship in place of the superb whether there are successors to Garimemories thąt had made Papal Rome baldi, Mazzini,
Cavour; and draw half the world to her feet. That whether Italian public life can be was the real fruit of the campaign of maintained at the same high level 1849; and it was, in this sense more tide any more than the public life in than in any other, that 1849 was neces- the cities that used to burn themselves şary to 1860. Their success was not out in medieval Italy. But all these only an inspiration for the hour, but comparisons are superficial and misan inspiration for the future. Italians leading, for they ignore the difference who might look back only to frescoes, in the conditions of national life. The pictures, cathedrals, castles, and tow- problems of 1849 and 1860 were not the ers that seem to turn all modern problems of modern Italy. The set achievements into something paltry of circumstances that called for and insignificant, have taken the more Mazzini and a Garibaldi have passed. manly part of refusing to allow their When the first glory of the dawn fades imagination to be intimidated by the into the light of common day, it is inmost tremendous past. Surrounded by evitable that all politics should seem the inheritance of that past, they have impoverished, and that observers, seen the romantic glories of their own watching a nation in the midst of quite struggle against Europe for the right different difficulties, should ask what to live, and they are not so full of is become of the race that produced classical and medieval poetry as to heroes and martyrs who astonished the close their ears to the epic of Garibaldi world. The difference between modand his comrades. Whatever we may ern politics and the politics of the past think of the huge structure that is is largely a difference of subject-matslowly throwing its audacious shadow ter, and the fact that men stand out over all the ancient treasures of Rome, less conspicuously does not mean, as it is impossible not to admire the cour- pessimists often conclude, that we are age with which modern Italy chal- breeding degenerate statesmen, but lenges her illustrious history. She has that great tracts of country that were all the confidence and spirit of the formerly neglected are now being exPopes who rivalled the Cæsars, and we plored and redeemed. What a great may hope that, with Signor Boni at field of human conduct and misery lies her side, she will treat her treasures outside the world in which we watch with a gentler hand.
such careers as those of Pitt, or Peel, Every nation needs these stimulat- or even Gladstone! The very nature ing memories, and no nation more than of the work to be done means that the one that has come into such a legacy triumphs of the future will be less the as the legacy left by ancient Italy. It triumphs of individuals and more the
successes of communities. Of the it with a moral courage that is not difficulties that beset all attempts to often displayed. With the strange, reconstruct national life, Italy has had dramatic spectacle of the trial now more than her share. Her good for- proceeding at Viterbo, are not tune seemed to leave her with the mir- likely to forget how far-reaching and acles of 1860. The bad old political powerful are the forces of evil and dissystem survived Cavour by ten years, order in a State which can still reand Cavour was the one man of her member so. vividly the rule of Pope founders who was still indispensable. and Bourbons. But we remember also Less than fifty years ago Rome was that the fact that this dreaded society not the centre of Italy, but the asylum has been brought to trial shows how of any ruffian who defied her flag. No far Italy has advanced since the old nation can overtake in half a century days; and the actual achievements of the results of centuries of bad, cor- modern Italy, and the temper in which, rupt, and alien government. Italy put under a King who has inherited the herself at a grievous disadvantage for best spirit of The Risorgimento,' she that task when she caught the disease recalls the great events to which she of her neighbors; but her mood of ad- owes her existence, embolden us to look venture was briefer than it has been forward to her future with a quiet in other countries, and she renounced hope.
THE LOQUACIOUS STARLING.
Environment, with which we may which we call a fixed instinct or char. include their "bringing up,” has so acteristic to-day is to-morrow discovgreat an influence upon birds that ered to be plastic and as sensitive to many of them not only develop pecu- outside influences as a barometer. It liar characteristics but retain them is the birds which share our habitathroughout the lives of generations un- tions with us which are often, in this til they ultimately become hereditary. respect, the most interesting. It is Thus the domestic pigeon, when in they which owe the least allegiance to the country, rarely sets foot on Mother Nature's apron strings, and it branch, preferring the securer perch may be owing to the fact that they afforded by a familiar roof, yet, with a have so effectually broken away from strange perversity, this bird when liv- the old primitive life, and joined us in ing in towns, where trees are few and what we presume to be a higher and roofs plentiful, often goes out of its more go-ahead plane of evolutionary way to find the former in which it development, that we feel towards may enjoy a temporary rest. One them a certain sense of comradeship. might multiply such peculiarities to Who can say but that the London sparany extent. The byways of the open row, when horses and nosebags have country afford them at every turning gone out of fashion, will not acquire a and there is but little doubt in my mind taste for petrol and axle grease? But that it is partly on account of the fact that is by the way. that the instincts and habits of ani- Of the many birds which have thus mals, and even plants, are continu- thrown in their lot with us, the starously in a state of transition that na- ling is perhaps one of the most interture study is so fascinating. That esting. This bird has increased enor