Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 133.djvu/96

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where any chance feeling may choose to lead me?"

Here came a pause. Then she started, and once more began walking up and down the room, now hurriedly indeed. "I will not have it!" she cried aloud, and checked herself, dashed at the sound of her own voice. But her soul went on loud enough for the thought-universe to hear: "There can't be a God, or he would never subject his women to what they don't choose. If a God had made them, he would have them queens over themselves at least; and I will be queen, and then perhaps a God did make me. A slave to things inside myself! — thoughts and feelings I refuse, and which I ought to have control over! I don't want this in me, yet I can't drive it out! I will drive it out. It is not me. A slave on my own ground! — worst slavery of all! It will not go. — That must be because I do not will it strong enough. And if I don't will it — my God! — what does that mean? — That I am a slave already?"

Again she threw herself on her couch, but only to rise and yet again pace the room: "Nonsense! it is not love. It is merely that nobody could help thinking about one who had been so much before her mind for so long — one, too, who had made her think. Ah! there, I do believe, lies the real secret of it all! — There's the main cause of my trouble — and nothing worse! I must not be foolhardy, though, and remain in danger, especially as, for anything I can tell, he may be in love with that foolish child. People, they say, like people that are not at all like themselves. Then I am sure he might like me! — She seems to be in love with him! I know she cannot be half a quarter in real love with him: it's not in her."

She did not rejoin Florimel that evening: it was part of the understanding between the ladies that each should be at absolute liberty. She slept little during the night, starting awake as often as she began to slumber, and before the morning came was a good deal humbled. All sorts of means are kept at work to make the children obedient and simple and noble. Joy and sorrow are servants in God's nursery; pain and delight, ecstacy and despair, minister in it; but amongst them there is none more marvellous in its potency than that mingling of all pains and pleasures to which we specially give the name of love.

When she appeared at breakfast her countenance bore traces of her suffering, but a headache, real enough, though little heeded in the commotion upon whose surface it floated, gave answer to the not very sympathetic solicitude of Florimel. Happily, the day of their return was near at hand. Some talk there had been of protracting their stay, but to that Clementina avoided any further allusion. She must put an end to an intercourse which she was compelled to admit, was, at least, in danger of becoming dangerous. This much she had with certainty discovered concerning her own feelings, that her head grew hot and her heart cold at the thought of the young man belonging more to the mistress who could not understand him than to herself who imagined she could; and it wanted no experience in love to see that it was therefore time to be on her guard against herself, for to herself she was growing perilous.

From Macmillan's Magazine.


The crescent-like series of West Indian Islands, capriciously divided in official parlance into "Windward" and "Leeward," or more appropriately summed up together by the well-sounding title of the "Lesser Antilles," is, after a fashion, antipodal to the Philippine group of the eastern hemisphere; or, to put it more geographically, the two archipelagoes, Hispano-Malayan and Caribbean, occupy opposite points of the chart on a lesser circle of the globe, drawn some fifteen or sixteen degrees north of the equator. Being now, so destiny has willed it, on my long way from the one to the other, I cannot refrain from speculating on what further circumstances of opposition may possibly exist between them, or from hoping that such circumstances may be neither many in number nor essential in kind. The Philippines are, by all accounts, pleasant places, isles of Eden, lotus-lands; but pleasanter, more lotus-bearing, more Eden-like than are the West Indies, taken as a whole, from Jamaica to Trinidad, they can hardly be, or afford in their turn brighter and better memories than those which three years of the Caribbean Archipelago have, with few and insignificant exceptions, stored away in my mind. True, indeed, that some of the Lesser Antilles, our present topic, are in a manner less desirable than others, because less favored by nature or the course of human events. Thus, for