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she knew that if she spoke at all it would be to say something which could do no good, and perhaps only make a breach between them that could never be healed.
And it was long that she waited, it was long before any spark of pity for him was lit. Then she spoke. 'Oh, Jim, what a miserable business !' she said. “But why
' did you tell me ? Couldn't you have spared me knowing ? Or perhaps you were afraid Claude would tell me.' 'No; I don't tell you for that reason,' he said. “After I saw
Why, then ?'
' good. Well, Claude's treated me in a way that's beyond my understanding. He is beyond your understanding, too, at present, and that's why I am telling you. I wish you could have been here when I told him. He was only sorry for me. If he was God, he couldn't have been more merciful. And it wasn't put on. He felt it; and I wanted, for once, to see if I couldn't be of some use.'
He turned round and faced her.
'I want you to know what sort of a fellow Claude really is,' he said. “I know you don't get on well, and that's because you don't know him. You judged him first by his face—that,ʻand perhaps a a little bit by his wealth. And then you judged him by what you and I call vulgarity and want of breeding. That's not Claude either. Claude's the fellow who treated a swindler and a forger in the way I've told you. He's got a soul that's more beautiful than his face, you know, and he's the handsomest fellow I ever saw. I wanted you to get a glimpse of it. It might help things. That's all I've got to say. I'm sorry for giving you the pain of knowing what I've done, but I thought it might do good. He's just broken me up with his goodness. That's Claude.'
The anger was quite gone now, and it was a tremulous hand that Dora laid on his shoulder. Oh, Jim,' she said, “thank you! I am so sorry
you, you know, and I'm grateful. I shall go back and tell Claude I know, and—and thank him, and be sorry.'
“Yes, that is the best thing you can do,' said Jim.
Claude was alone in their sitting-room when she got back, and, as he always did, he rose from his chair as she entered. For a
moment she stood looking at him, mute, beseeching. Then she came to him.
* Thank you about Jim, dear,” she said. "He has just told me about it, to make me-make me see what you were. Oh, Claude, I didn't know.'
And then the tears came. But his arm was round her, and her head lay on his shoulder.
(To be concluded)
KING EDWARD VII.
THERE was something deeply and even tragically impressive in the solemn simplicity of the words in which the momentous news of the demise of the Crown was announced to a group of anxious spectators at the midnight hour—' Gentlemen, the King is dead.' The awful mysteries of life and death, the tremendous significance of the event itself, the human perplexity and grief in the presence of the great change, are all comprised in those brief words. When a personality so vigorous, so kindly, so notable, quits the mortal scene, leaving so grievous a gap in a circle of devoted intimates, the bare fact is saddening enough ; but this sorrow and this perplexity are increased a thousandfold, when the Figure that steps so swiftly and so tranquilly into the unknown is the head of a great nation and a mighty empire, one who was endeared to his subjects by his unfailing kindliness and justice, who had won their admiration no less than their regard by the patience, the sagacity, and the wisdom with which he had played his august part.
It is as easy to describe as it is impossible to estimate the secret of King Edward's personal influence. It came from a frank and manifest love of life, not enjoyed in a selfish isolation, but with an open-handed generosity, and a desire to share with others and to communicate to them his own enjoyment, his delight in existence, with all its interests, pleasures, and duties. May I be pardoned for relating a simple personal reminiscence ? I came away from an interview with the King at Buckingham Palace, in which he had spoken to me very warmly and graciously of the Letters of Queen Victoria. When I came out, an Equerry, with whom I was acquainted, was waiting for me. 'Well,' he said, ' how did you fare?' I said the only words which came into my mind : ‘The King was very kind.' VOL. XXVIII.-NO, 168, N.S.
'He always is,' said the Equerry, with a smile. That was the simple secret-an invariable and genuine kindness, which streamed from the King like light from the sun. But beside that, there was an added grace in the extraordinary personal charm of the King's look and voice and manner. He set one at one's ease, instantly and immediately, with a perfect simplicity of address. He seemed
a not to have learned or inquired, but to know and remember every thing about one. He made, on that occasion, a reference to my father, with a tenderness of reminiscence that could not be simulated or misunderstood. And then, too, he had a sort of unquestioned and unaffected dignity, which made all who served him incapable of negligence or imperfection. He was himself so strict and punctual in the performance of duty, so decisive in carrying out every detail to which he had pledged himself, that the example he set was more potent even than any command. He said exactly what he thought, whether it was praise or blame, approval disapproval; but it was all tempered by a just consideration for all who served him and an anxious regard for their contentment. He was the most loyal and sincere of friends, and never overlooked faithful service. And then he had an instinctive perception of the national character, the wholesome sentiment that underlies it, and the rooted dislike of all affectation. Thus he was without any
. question the most popular man in his dominions, and he deserved that popularity, because he had won it, not by scheming, but by work. He knew his business, and he meant to do it in a sturdy British fashion; he was absolutely independent, and lived his own life on his own lines ; but the truest part of that life was his entire devotion to his country and his empire. He was determined that Monarchy should be a thing and not a name; and yet he was equally determined that he would never outstep the traditions of his great position, but that he would respect the liberties and rights of his subjects, just as he required of them that they should respect his own.
Neither must one omit another great kingly quality, for which King Edward was royally conspicuous-his unflinching courage. He can hardly have been oblivious of the fact that his life was latterly a precarious one ; he had frequent warnings, and he neither disregarded them nor unduly feared them. He just went forward, bravely and even gaily, and did not lay down his pen or leave his post until he stepped to his bed of death. He desired to live, with all the eagerness of a splendid vitality, but he had no craven fears : he looked neither backwards nor forwards, but made every moment of
There were some who supposed that he had lived for 80
life his own.
long before his accession a life of comparative independence, that he would be unable or unwilling to take up the great responsibilities of the Crown. His share of royal duties had hitherto been confined to ceremonial appearances, and to representing the Sovereign on public occasions. The cares of State and the anxieties of Government were unfamiliar to him. But he reigned with no less zest and vivacity than he had lived his uncrowned life, with unabated vigour and undiminished enjoyment; and thus our sorrow need not make us oblivious of the fact that a death in harness was the death that he would most have desired, and that it is but a part of the felicity of life so full of movement, so rich in honour and renown.
With the growth of democracy and popular liberty, Monarchy is an institution that has undergone, in the last century, a subtle and a remarkable change. It has ceded its political initiative, resigned its political veto; it is apparently restricted by constitutional and traditional limitations; and yet within the last seventy years, instead of losing preponderance and prestige, the Crown has insensibly and gradually acquired a position of immense responsibility and far-reaching influence, owing to the wisdom and insight, the tact and conscientiousness, the kindness and devotion, and, above all, the
supreme commonsense of the last two occupants of the Throne. It is easy to be impressed by the pomp and circumstance of state, and natural to conclude that a distinguished courtesy and a dignified acquiescence is all that is required of a constitutional monarch. But a very little reflection will show that the position is one of extreme delicacy and constant anxiety. A constitutional monarch must not only be possessed of endless industry and patience, a wide and accurate knowledge of causes and personalities ; he must be at once firm and courteous; he must be both dignified and accessible. He must not only not manifest any personal political preferences, but he must banish every such consideration from his mind. He must be impartially just and sincerely sympathetic. He must be the friend of labour, order, and peace. He must have at heart the best interests and the true welfare of all classes and conditions of his subjects; and here in Great Britain he must interpret the pulse of that great Imperial spirit which beats so securely and so largely through a vast and complex Empire and animates such varied nationalities. Queen Victoria, by her womanly large
. heartedness, her shrewdness and experience, her quick and instinctive insight, gave to the Crown a unique prestige. When she died, it seemed impossible that this could be increased, and especially by a King who, out of filial reverence and wise judgment, had