Page images

neither did she quite trust him. The somewhat fawning manners of the man, his watchful eyes, his curious smile,—all this was an unpleasant change from the devoted, sweet-tempered boy of former years. His very beauty, when she looked at him now, was disturbing, repulsive. But these feelings had been of the vaguest, developing without her knowledge as time went on, devoid of any consequence,— for what was he to her?—till this Christmas Day woke them to activity. How dared this Tonio interpose his slim presence, his cunning explanations, between herself and Harry and her grandfather!

As she moved away to the window and stood there, looking down on the white deserted bridge, where fresh snow had covered up the footprints of the night and early morning, she was conscious of a great anger against Antonio, and it poisoned even the joyful memory of the evening before,—the golden world, and Harry Marlowe riding in, weary till he reposed in the welcome of her eyes. Then she said to herself: "Why am I uneasy? The wretch Tonio has guessed something of the truth, but what signifies that? Harry, if he will, can tell my grandfather all he has told me, and we three can settle the matter without interlopers. If I have to drive him out myself, Tonio shall not be here. Strange, that Harry does not come! How long, how long, my lord, my love! where are you?"

It seemed as if an hour might have gone by. Sir William closed his eyes, half dozing in his chair. The fire blazed up and lit the shadowy corners of the room. From the snowy fields beyond the river any one looking up would have seen Margaret's figure standing in the window, dark against the cheerful glow. At last in her impatience she turned, stepped down upon the floor, and paced up and down with

her eyes upon the door, the pearls shining softly as she moved. Once or twice she stopped and said,—"But where is he? Why does he not come?" and then she walked up to the door as if to open it, hesitated, turned back and looked at her grandfather. "I will not anger him again, he is too weak," she said. "But oh, how can I wait longer!"

At last a quick step sprang up the stairs, a hand was on the door. Margaret paused in her walk, pressed her fingers to her heart for a moment, and stood quite still near her grandfather. She knew it was not Harry Marlowe.

Antonio opened the door without noise, and glided into the room. He gave her one glance, a very strange one; she thought afterwards that it spoke of both terror and triumph. Then he went up to Sir William and knelt down beside him, so that their faces were on a level. Margaret looked from one to the other.

"I have unexpected news," he said; "'tis a mystery that no one can explain. Lord Marlowe is gone. It seems that he went north on foot very early this morning, when most of us were sleeping after the midnight mass. No one even saw him leave the castle, and he must have gone with some country people through the town gate. His men followed him two hours later. A gentleman came to Ralph the guard, who had charge of the west buildings where they slept, and brought a message from my Lord that they were to break their fast quickly and follow him on the north road bringing his horse with them. They went while the town was still asleep; only a few saw them go."

Sir William stared wildly, still but half awake. Margaret stood like a stone, till she met the upward glance of Antonio's eyes. Her whole nature rose against that look of his. Sbe threw out both hands, crying suddenly, "It is false! He is not gone!"

Antonio looked down, his beautiful mouth curving softly into a smile. "I am a miserable man, to bring you such tidings," he said; "but it is truth, dear mistress!"

"I do not believe it," Meg repeated. "His men gone, you say? A gentleman with a message? What gentleman? Who brought them the message?"

"Ay, ay, Tony, who brought the message?" Sir William asked fiercely.

He had suddenly awoke to his full senses. With a hasty movement he seemed to spurn the young man from him, so that Antonio, springing to his feet with an angry flush, stood back a pace or two. Sir William put out his right hand and caught Margaret's left as she drew a little nearer to him.

"I cannot tell, Sir. Ralph did not know him," Antonio answered.

"Go, fetch Ralph, and come back here."

"What has happened, Grandfather? What will you do?" Margaret said trembling. "Oh, there is some villainy abroad. I fear,—I fear—"

"My poor Meg, I fear you must be convinced against your will," the old man said tenderly, caressing the hand he held. "Are not these the doings of a madman? One day he arrives, he asks for your hand, in so strange a fashion that those who love you are driven to believe that there Is troth in the stories they hear of him. Then, —what man in his senses, if he desired,—most unreasonably—to speak with you alone, would not have found a better place than Ditch Lane, a more seemly hour than one of the morning? And now,—to leave the town on foot, alone, over the moorland in the snow, without farewell to you or me, without my answer to his suit,—a message to his men to follow him northwards! If the man be not crazy, what is he,

Meg?" The girl stood silent. After a moment Sir William went on: "I see it all, Meg. He is either crazy or wicked. Hark to what Tony thinks, what he warned me of last night. Nay, start not away so; Tony has a quick brain, and loves thee and me. When my Lord came into this room and set his eyes on you, Tony heard him say,—to himself, as it were—'Too good for the Popinjay!' Ah, but hark a moment longer. When he began to ask for you in marriage, in his strange sudden way, Tony is sure that it was for his brother, not himself, he was speaking. But 'twas Tony who put his real thought into a word for him. 'Yourself, my Lord!' quoth Tony in a whisper,—did you hear him? Marlowe did, and took it up like a parrot or a popinjay. 'Myself!' says he. Talk of popinjays! 'tis the nickname they give Dick his brother, my Lady's son. Poor woman, if she charged Harry to plead his cause, as Tony thinks, she was ill-guided enough. And 'twas a bold and a necessary thing for him to burn her letters. But the man's a knave, if all this be true, and I suppose this morning he has repented of his knavery, and so gone on his way."

"Ah," Meg said quietly, "it was Tony who whispered? My Lord thought it was I."

"What?" gasped Sir William.

But the girl quickly checked herself. If her grandfather was ready to blame Harry Marlowe for what Antonio, with more than good reason, guessed him to have done, it was not she who would prove it against him. Not a word of his passionate confession should pass her lips.

"All I can tell," she said, low but very positively, "is that Lord Marlowe has sworn I shall be his. And I am his for evermore. He has done us high honor, you and me. He is neither wicked nor crazy. If he be gone,—he is the Queen's man, and some messenger from the Queen must have called him secretly. He will come back, and I will wait for him upon my kuees. But I am not sure; I think he is not gone; I think some evil—"

The door opened and Antonio came in, followed by a man-at-arms, whose stupid face was flushed with Christmas cheer. Margaret looked hard into the velvet shadow of Antonio's eyes—was he false or true?—and suddenly she saw her lover's fate there. She made a step with hands outspread, faltered and dropped upon the floor, falling her length, with all her brown hair loose and long, at the feet of these men entering.

I>ater, when with tears and sobs from

Maomlllan's Magazine. (To be C

old Kate, and stony terror on the face of Alice Tilney, she had been carried away, still as if dead, to her own room, Sir William, his voice and his whole frame shaking, called Antonio to his side.

"Your pen, Tony!" he said. "Sit you down and write a letter to my Lady Marlowe. Ask the meaning of these things,—tell all that has come to pass, and how her mad stepson's doings have well-nigh killed my Margaret"

"Ah, dear Sir, 'tis the shock, she will recover," Antonio said in his softest voice, and smiled with an exquisite tenderness. "Let us wish Queen Margaret joy of her knight,—on his way to her!" he added Inaudibly. ntiniied.)


This little, unpretending volume has yet something about it of greatness. It is a sincere and simple record of a great occasion, honestly, faithfully, and diligently turned to advantage. The first visit of an Archbishop of Canterbury to the English-speaking population of the New World must always in a sense have been an event,—a memorable moment, at any rate, in the chronicle of ecclesiastical history. But it might have been no more. It was a "Christian opportunity," to use the phrase which the Archbishop happily seizes on to describe it. But it might have been only an opportunity lost. Archbishop Davidson did not lose it. By God's grace he was enabled to make much, very much, of it,—much that appears already, much more that will have its quiet influence for the future. The striking success of the visit came

* "The Christian Opportunity: twine Sermons and Speeches Delivered In America." By Randall Thomas Davidson, Archbishop of

as a suiprise both to himself and to the world in general. That it should have surprised himself may be set down to his modesty. The world was surprised because it has hardly quite realized the Archbishop for what he is. He is, in truth, a very remarkable man. With no particular advantages, he has risen to the first ecclesiastical position in the English-speaking communities, and he has done so more rapidly than any of his recent predecessors. He is not a great orator, or a great divine, or a great scholar; he is not at first sight gifted with the genius for sympathy or the personal fascination which have often aided and sometimes betrayed, great and successful prelates and pastors. He is, indeed, far more of each and all of these than is often understood. He is an excellent speaker, a sound and well-informed

Canterbury. London: Macmillan and Co. [3s. 6d. net.]

theologian; his Life of his father-in-law is written with a skill and propriety and charm which many scholars and men of letters miss; and, as all admit, he has the temper and sagacity of a statesman. But in this visit, and in these addresses and sermons, he showed these qualities raised to a higher power. They have an eloquence, a vividness, and an interest which it is impossible not to feel. If, as Disraeli said, one of the most conspicuous marks of genius is rising to the occasion, the Archbishop may be said to have shown here just that with which he had not hitherto been credited, genius. What was the cause? Something, no doubt, was due to the occasion itself; but more was due to a cause far deeper and higher,—the spirit and the aim with which he went. There is a shock and a stimulus in the New World, especially to one who belongs to, and represents much that is oldest in, the Old. To step from Lambeth on Thames-side to the St. Lawrence with Quebec and Montreal is to experience a startling contrast. But this is in reality a very small part of the matter. Far more important is it that the Archbishop went as an apostle and in the truly apostolic spirit, an apostle of that simple Gospel which is new among the old, and old among the new, which overleaps both space and time.

This it was that gave him a simplicity, a forgetfulness of self, which is the greatest secret of the potency of these addresses and sermons. It is wonderful how the old apostolic methods and apostolic phrases seem to suit the situation. It has been'said that nothing could be less like St. Paul than an Archbishop of Canterbury. Yet Archbishop Davidson is best described in terms of the methods and the language of St. Paul. We see him here becoming in the best sense "all things to all men,"—to the Americans an American; to the Canadians a Cana

dian. What could be more happy than his generous tribute ("as one of your own historians has said") to the Jesuit missionaries of early Canadian days, spoken in that historic city the most conspicuous object of which is the glittering roof of the Laval College; or, again, than the allusions in the same address to "the open Bible in the English tongue," to the Bishop of New York, and the great New England poet The Archbishop has not been thought of as a great man. He nowhere claims that title; indeed, he disclaims it. He is there to fulfil his duty and his mission, "only caring to be great but as he saves or serves" the Church and the cause whose minister and missionary lie Is. But he does not disclaim or disparage his position. He "magnifies his office," or, as the Revised Version more faithfully renders it, he "glorifies his ministry." He holds it no little thing that at last, in the fulness of time, it should be given to the Archbishop of Canterbury to speak to the New World. "Popes of a new world," Papae alterius orbit, the Archbishops of Canterbury were, indeed, called long ago in a famous phrase. That title he does not covet. "Not a pope but a pivot," is his own description of himself, "a human centre, round whom the work of the English Church and the English-speaking Churches may revolve," and who thus by giving them a common centre may help toward their essential unity and co-operation. For this was the real text of the Archbishop's sermons, that the English race are brethren, and that that large brotherhood may lead up to the still larger unity and brotherhood of Christianity. Much, he feels, under God's providence, Christianity owed to the Graeco-Roman system, with all its faults; to that pagan Empire, combining the work of Alexander and of Caesar, under which St. Paul was born and educated and worked. Much it might still owe to the British Empire; still more to the Englishspeaking race. It was his large and liberal grasp of this idea that made the Archbishop so fully at home in the New World. He is filled with hope. He feels the sense not only of a new world but of a new era. "No other period of Christendom," he said in the memorable and typical "Salutation" at Washington, the central point of a great service on behalf of Christian unity at which, it is said, not less than thirtyfive thousand persons were present— "no other period of Christendom can compare with ours in the possibilities which are set within our reach. No other part of Christendom, as I firmly believe, can do for the world what we on either side of the sea can do for it, if we only will. God give us grace to answer to that inspiring call!"

The moments in this opportunity were many. We follow the Archbishop as he lands in "fair and famous Quebec," then up the wide-flowing St. Lawrence to Montreal, on to the Great Lakes and Toronto; then to the quiet country church in North-East Harbor where he preached his first sermon on the soil of the United States; next to sunny Washington, and to Philadelphia, in its very name the City of Brotherly Love; then to busy New York, and last to Boston and the manymemorled Faneuil Hall. Everywhere the same dominating note resounds through different harmonies. "I am conscious," he said at Philadelphia, in language which was received, we read, with great and continued applause, "that the words that have been spoken to-day, and the reception given them, are meant to express what you feel about the Church of which we are members, the absolute oneness of our Church, the almost oneness of our na- The Spectator.

tlons." "We are one," he went on, "in heart and soul and resolve, whether as citizens or Churchmen." "The courtesy of your act to-day," he said in Faneuil Hall, "is another instance of the strength of those links which bind our peoples, as it seems to me, absolutely, indissolubly, together . . . links which nothing, so far as I can see, that can in the changes and chances of life come about, is likely to sever or impair." "We join hands," he said in concluding the last address contained in these pages, that to the Evangelical ministers and Methodist students at Boston,—"we join hands in behalf of a common cause, the setting forward of our Master's kingdom, both in the Old World and the New. . . . That our gathering may with God's grace cement more closely what is deepest and best in the bonds which unite us across the sea in matters national, religious, moral, and social is my eager wish and shall be my continuous and anxious prayer."

Straight, simple, terse, there is something soldierly, something that reminds of a very different theme and volume— Caesar's Commentaries—in these brief utterances. They are the speeches of a practical, sagacious, shrewd man, stirred to deep emotion. They move and touch the reader because the speaker was touched and moved in no common way. To all who hope for and long to help our age, to the true Christian and the true patriot on both sides of the seas, in the new home where the speaker spent so happy and fruitful a sojourn, in the old to which he has returned, as we hope, refreshed and encouraged, we commend these hopeful, prayerful, suggestive words as in a very real sense the best of Christmastide reading.

« PreviousContinue »