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such continuance of music in modes old
The Contemporary Review.
This cordial letter is dated October 18th, 1872, and in Domett's Diary is the following entry for October 24th, but six days later: "To Browning's. He was out. Had a long chat with Miss Browning. When I alluded to the good-natured partiality with which he bad written about my book, Sarianna said she knew he gave his sincere opinion of it. because she had heard him say precisely the same things about it to a friend of theirs—I think a sister of Leighton the R.A.”
W, Hall Griffin.
A boat was rowing quietly along the streaming down their shadowy sides. shore of the Sogne Fjord, near its J. Holloway was an important man in mouth and looking toward the sea. his town, and had a flagstaff in his In its stern sat the owner, holding the garden. He could see his little house tiller, whilst a boy and a girl, his son and flagstaff, somewhat separate from and daughter, pulled at the oars. It the rest, beyond the church tower. His was evening, and the mountains on eye wandered from this to the open either side of the Fjord were reflected sea and the golden light beyond. In for miles into the distance. Far away that direction lay England and Hull. could be seen the edge of the open He became meditative. The still sea, with its strips of low-lying land waters, the mountains, the sound of and islands. Over these hung a golden the oars, the evening light, and the oc. baze, the day's last gift. The man in casional talk of the rowers-these the stern was a robust and happy. things faded from his mind, and he looking bearded man. His daughter journeyed back into the past, across was a typical Norwegian girl, strong, the sea to Hull. This was what he broad-chested and broad-waisted, with remembered. a healthy, beautiful complexion. His
· son looked like an English boy. On
· · · · · · · the stern of the boat, just behind where James Holloway had been out of the owner sat, were painted the words work for ten weeks. During this -"J. Holloway-Sandener.” The boat period he had “eaten nothing," as we quitted the shore, and made across say of invalids or persons of abfor the other side, where Sandener stemious temperament. He had not could be seen. It was a little wooden drunk as much as usual either; but village, close beside a rushing river; it he had drunk more than he had eaten. possessed a wooden hotel, and a He had a theory that beer was as wooden church and tower. Above it nourishing as bread to a man of his rose the mountains, with waterfalls constitution. It was all a matter of constitution. Some men grew fat on he did not thank his stars for it. He the drink, others grew thin; this was was not of a grateful mind, and he was proved in every walk of life. He was too full of theories. If he had had a one of those whom it nourished; and wife, he theorized, she might have he was grateful to Nature for this picked up a six-pence or two, now and mark of her favor. As he stood this then, and the children might have got morning in the road outside the docks something out of the church and after at Hull, in the company of several school hours; together, he thought, they hundred others of his kind, this pecu- might have got along better than he liar constitution of his did not mark was doing singly. There were men him out as being above the general who had found it so. He had a theory, average. The average was not a high too, that money was always money, one. The men were waiting to be however many there were to spend it, hired, standing together in groups. It and that one and six-pence was always was 6 o'clock in the morning, and better than a shilling, whatever the drizzling. The circumstances were de company. This had been proved again pressing, yet there was an air of com- and again to his satisfaction when posure about the crowd. They sucked clubbing together with his pals. their pipes of foul tobacco, with an He waited and waited, with his early morning relish; most of them hands in his great-coat pockets, now had had some breakfast. They spat and then jogging his elbows against his on the ground with decision, and when sides. He had lived all his life, 25 they did speak-for the most part they years, in Hull, alternately working and were silent--they spoke out loud and loafing, either by inclination or com. bold, or short and sharp, with a jest pulsion. But he had a theory that his and an oath. The chins were bristly life had not yet really begun. Some throughout. They all shaved once a day he was going to do better than he week. There was not a collar amongst had done so far. That was quite certhem, but a great variety of knotted tain. He never allowed himself for an neckcloths; and there were great-coats instant to believe that the distressed of some kind or another, procured and irregular condition was a permasomehow or other, on the backs of all. nent thing. It was merely temporary, There had been a long period of slack and therefore supportable. He talked ness in the Docks, and a slump in trade and laughed with two or three others, all through the town. The greater as they waited for work. There was a part of the men had earned next to faint blueness and bitterness, a touch nothing for two or three months past. of solemnity, lingering round the corMost of them had wives and families ners of his mouth and eyes, but at home. A specialist in sociology could scarcely noticeable, owing to the strong have passed an interesting morning, en- look of life and sense which animated quiring how these men and their fam- his countenance, and those of his ilies had lived during this period. But friends, as they talked and laughed in the results would not have worked out their abrupt, rapid, jerky manner. Dison paper. For none of these men knew content appeared chiefly in the filthy how he had lived; and even their wives adjectives with which every substancould not have explained the secret. tive was heralded. According to all reasonable statistics, After several hours of the morning they ought not to have lived at all. had thus passed, it became apparent It was a most peculiar state of affairs. that no more work was to be had that James Holloway was a bachelor; but day. He went off into the town, walking
up the street courageously as if he perfectly convinced that it was all a were in regular employment, and going humbug, a got-up affair-Noah's Ark home to dinner. He spent the middle and the Flood and all. The clergy and of the day as usual; that is to say, he the bishops did it all for money. “Redid not know how he spent it; it spent ligion was civilization." This was the itself. As usual, he was busy with idea of one of the talkers in the lodg. his thoughts and theories, thinking ing house; and he had succeeded in over his prospects. He must do some making his meaning clear to all. God thing-that was certain. It would not do could not be good, if He sent evil and to go on living in this way any longer suffering. The whole thing was a lie; This sort of thing must come to an but civilization needed it. This was end. In was time he made a new start, perfectly clear to the unsophisticated struck out a new line. He had said reasoning of all. Truth had only to be the same for years past; he had said stated to be understood and believed. it oftener and oftener, and now he said This was one opinion. The other was it once every ten minutes. When he that something good, some fatherly was not talking to himself in this way, power or destiny, which understood he was talking to his pals. They things, lay at the back of his life. This talked of every imaginable subject was also quite certain. Apart from the under the sun, but they arrived at no direct knowledge of the fact, it had fixed opinions on any. At least the been proved again and again. For he opinions were all fixed, but they were would certainly have died for various all conflicting. For instance, all were reasons, chiefly for lack of nourishagreed that the life they were leading ment, long before, if life had not been was a dog's life, not fit for a Christian constantly supplied to him and so man, and that something must be would they all have done. All the middone to better themselves. This was dle of the day he spent outside a pubone fixed conviction, and its friend and lic-house, cogitating these contradiccompanion was that a man could not tory opinions, but especially about better himself, that there was nothing what he was going to do. For some to do, and nowhere else to go. Both reason he asked himself this question these opinions were clear and certain. to-day with greater frequency and with Again, when politics came up for dis- more vital emphasis than before. cussion, Jim Holloway was convinced "Must do something—this can't go on," that the Government were not doing he reiterated. He ran through all his their duty to such as himself; that they old rejected schemes again for the were allowing the blood and muscle of thousandth time-emigration, enlisting, the country to be drained away; that tramping into the country, going round they only talked, never did anything, the town once more. and had got their posts through the In the midst of these thoughts, iminfluence of society women, and that pelled by the certain conviction that the condition of the people in his town something must be done, he found him. was a scandal to the country. Simul self wandering down the street again. taneously, if properly aroused, he was It was afternoon, and during all the always ready to swear by the good period of the last ten weeks he had old British Constitution, the Flag, the never before felt so empty and cavernThrone, the Army, Navy and the sport- ous within. A crowd of people were ing Aristocracy. So, too, with religion, going into a public hall, off one of the which was frequently discussed in the principal streets. Admission appeared lodging houses of an evening. He was to be free, and Jim drifted in with
them, pondering on what he was going tioned in polite society. A third time he to do on what he had got to do repeated the question, in a grave and rather than on what he was doing. awful whisper. “Was there any one in He found himself at a political meet that room who had ever faced the possiing. The chairman, a small, fat, smil. bility of England's becoming a seconding gentleman, in a fur coat, was intro- class Power—a Denmark, a Sweden, ora ducing the speaker. The chairman Norway?" James Holloway felt faint. spoke with daintiness and grace, look. Then the speaker recovered himself, ing round on his audience and smiling, and brought out his emphatic No's. and clasping his two little hands to. He passed on once more to Empire, to gether. He was enjoying himself. Royalty, the Flag, and the Army and Then the speaker began, a gloomy man, Navy, in a grand peroration. HolloJames Holloway followed all that was way, who sat at the back of the room, said. He seemed to have two minds rose to his feet with many of the this afternoon. With one mind he audience, and shouted. As he rose, it followed the speaker, and understood seemed to him that he was indeed risall that he said; with the other mind ing and rising. For a moment he he was still determining that some thought that his spirit had left the thing must be done, that he must en body. Then he realized that he must list, emigrate, cut his throat, or dobe ill; and immediately fright seized something. The gloomy speaker was him, and he turned sick and faint. getting a little warmer. He had He made for the door, and hurried reached the glories of the Empire, the out. necessity for building it up, and doing James Holloway had a theory that all in our power to preserve it, and when a man was feeling ill and donehand it on to our children. We must hand it on to our children warming
up, the best thing he could do was to even be prepared to make sacrifices go and work. This he had often for it. Though in his own private proved in practice. He made up his opinion no sacrifice would be necessary, mind on the spot, that he would go still we must be prepared to make and work. Cost what it might, he sacrifices. James Holloway, along would work before nightfall. He went with the rest of the audience, loudly down to the docks, and slunk along the indicated his readiness to make a wharves unobserved. Come what sacrifice. As he cheered, his mind might, he would work somewhere, at Number Two was saying that some something. It was the only way to thing must be done, that it could not cure himself. Heaven was propitious. go on, and that he must go up again in a quiet corner, against a lonely to the paper mills to see if a job was wharf, be observed a Norwegian to be had there.
schooner, unloading small baulks of The speaker was now threatening timber. The baulks of timber were his audience. “Was England to be being thrown out by hand from the come a second-class Power?” he asked hold of the vessel. Two seamen stood them. Before asking this question he on deck, catching them as they popped had paused; and be asked it, not tri- out of the hold, and throwing them umphantly, but with a deadly signifi. with a clatter on to a huge pile that cance. His voice lowered itself. “Was had formed itself on the wharf. Two it possible that England might ever other seamen stood on this pile, throwbecome a second-class Power?” He ing the wood slowly about, so as to spoke as if alluding to one of those build and shape the structure, and darker subjects which are not men- allow room for more. James Holloway slunk alongside this pile of wood. watching them depart. The mate had For some time he watched the men at now disappeared in the forward part work. He caught the eye of one of of the vessel; and his last hope was the seamen, and winked. The big gone. Suddenly the mate's figure reNorwegian stopped work, and straight appeared on deck. He looked at Holened himself with a slow, pleasant loway, and nodded his head casually gasp. Jim scrambled on to the pile, towards the fo'c'sle. and began to throw the timber towards Jim Holloway scrambled on board its further end, so as to make room for and, lowering his head, joined the other more in the centre. The Norwegian seamen in the fo'c'sle, which was smiled, and went on with his own about 6 feet by 8 feet. A beautiful work. Jim worked away with a will, smell greeted his nostrils, of frizzled It was a luxury to put out his onions and potatoes, along with tobacstrength again; and he felt better and co and oil and tar. One of the men better. Every moment he expected the was frying a mess over a little stove. mate to come and warn him off. The A table in the centre was prepared for mate came to the edge of the vessel, the meal. Holloway jammed himself and leaned his arm on the bulwarks, down by the table on a chest, trying smiling ironically at Holloway. “You to take up as little room as possible. laike vurk ?” he said. Holloway The three other seamen lay in their worked away in silence. The mate bunks, enjoying the luxury of relief smiled a deeper smile. He remained from toil. They grunted to one anlazily leaning on the bulwarks for a other in Norwegian, paying no at. minute, and then returned to his post tention to Jim. The cook glanced at above the hold, catching the timber as him and laughed, as he stirred his pan. it popped out. The vessel was being The cook could speak English. "No unloaded by the crew, without any work in Hull,” he said, “very slack, outside assistance but this voluntary aid all out of work.” He smiled affectionproffered by our friend. They worked ately at his onions. Presently the fry on till late. Holloway ventured no was served up on the table. The seaquestions; but they were evidently men came out of their bunks, and all working overtime. Only one thought fell to. Jim Holloway never enjoyed now occupied his mind. Would his a meal so much. Two of the hands services be recognized in any form ? were scarcely more than boys. They His unchartered work was against the had fair hair and blue eyes, and looked rules of the docks; and they had not fresh and blooming, with enormous even asked for it. Yet he augured shoulders encased in blue jerseys. On well from the mate's impassive look; Holloway's right sat an older man, in they were evidently in a hurry, as they a pair of boots reaching above his were working late, and his work was knees, which he had not troubled to a gain to them.
pull off. Opposite to him sat the cook. Presently the mate made a peculiar All five of them ate away with a sound in his throat; and they all relish; a small lamp burned against the stopped work. The mate leaned again wall, and the smoke of the food went on the bulwarks. The big seaman on up from the table. The Norwegians the pile straightened himself once became more talkative as they ate. more with the same pleasant gasp. Holloway thought that never had he Slowly they all disappeared into the seen four such pleasant looking fellittle fo'c'sle. Holloway stood on the lows. It was a luxury to him to rest pile in the gathering dusk, dismally his eyes on their contented faces.