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    As they sat down together Mrs Nash looked quizzically at Lucy and said: “Well, now that you are here in the flesh, Miss Pym, we can ask you something we are dying to know. We want to know how you do it?”

    Sometimes in their subtle observation of life, they arrive at conclusions which we would very willingly question or reject, but to which it is impossible to refuse a certain amount of assent. Thus it is with the very striking German proverb: One foe is too many; and an hundred friends too few. [109] There speaks out in this a sense of how much more active a principle in this world will hate be sometimes than love. The hundred friends will wish you well; but the one foe will do you ill. Their benevolence will be ordinarily passive; his malevolence will be constantly active; it will be animosity, or spiritedness in evil. The proverb will have its use, if we are stirred up by it to prove its assertion false, to show that, in very many cases at least, there is no such blot as it would set on the scutcheon of true friendship. In the same rank of unwelcome proverbs I must range this Persian one: Of four things every man has more than he knows: of sins, of debts, of years, and of foes; and this Spanish: One father can support ten children; ten children cannot support one father; which, in so far as it rests upon a certain ground of truth, suggests a painful reflection in regard of the less strength which there must be in the filial than in the paternal affection, since to the one those acts of self-sacrificing love are easy, which to the other are hard, and often impossible. But yet, seeing that it is the order of God’s providence in the [79] world that fathers should in all cases support children, while it is the exception when children are called to support parents, one can only admire that wisdom which has made the instincts of natural affection to run rather in the descending than in the ascending line; a wisdom to which this proverb, though with a certain exaggeration of the facts, bears witness.

    "Trust me," replied our friend, confidentially. "I now know where he is."

    “We shall instantly know his real force,” continued the Commandant; “Basilia, give me the key of the garret. Ignatius, bring the Bashkir here, and tell Zoulac to bring the rods.”

    No wonder Sam Lee was triumphant.


    ‘I don’t remember, I’m sure,’ said Michael, entering the vehicle, ‘drive Shcotlan’ Yard and ask.’

    Then it was that Dr. Martineau was grim about the stretching of his legs.

    and save her life when the liegemen saw her.

    [Pg 144]

    In her room Keineth had opened the large white envelope. From inside she drew a sheet of paper upon which were written a few lines, and with it a blue envelope of very thin paper, addressed in her father's familiar handwriting. With a little cry she caught it up and kissed it again and again. Before she broke its seal she read what was written on the sheet which had enclosed it.

    “My cousin, Mr. Mandeville, informed me,” she began, “of a young friend of great scholastic ability, who was, nevertheless, dissatisfied with the somewhat casual and occasional nature of his employment. By a singular coincidence, I had received a letter a day or two before from a friend of mine, a Mrs. Marsh. She is, in fact, a distant connection, some sort of cousin, I suppose, but not being a Highlander or a Welshwoman, I really cannot say how many times removed. She was a lovely creature; she is still a handsome woman. Her name was Manning, Arabella Manning, and what possessed her to marry Mr. Marsh I really cannot say. I only saw the man once, and I thought him her inferior in every respect, and considerably older. However, she declares that he is a devoted husband and an excellent person in every respect. They first met, odd as it must seem, in Pekin, where Arabella was governess in one of the Legation families. Mr. Marsh, I was given to understand, represented highly important commercial interests at the capital of the Flowery Land, and being introduced to my connection, a mutual attraction seems to have followed. Arabella Manning resigned her position in the attaché‘s family, and the marriage was solemnised in due course. I received this intelligence nine years ago in a letter from Arabella, dated at Pekin, and my relative ended by saying that she feared it would be impossible to furnish an address for an immediate reply, as Mr. Marsh was about to set out on a mission of an extremely urgent nature on behalf of his firm, involving a great deal of travelling and frequent changes of address. I suffered a good deal of uneasiness on Arabella’s account; it seemed such an unsettled way of life, and so unhomelike. However, a friend of mine who is in the City assured me that there was nothing unusual in the circumstances, and that there was no cause for alarm. Still, as the years went on, and I received no further communication from my cousin, I made up my mind that she had probably contracted some tropical disease which had carried her off, and that Mr. Marsh had heartlessly neglected to communicate to me the intelligence of the sad event. But a month ago, almost to the day — Miss Pilliner referred to an almanac on the table beside her — I was astonished and delighted to receive a letter from Arabella. She wrote from one of the most luxurious and exclusive hotels in the West End of London, announcing the return of her husband and herself to their native land after many years of wandering. Mr. Marsh’s active concern in business had, it appeared, at length terminated in a highly prosperous and successful manner, and he was now in negotiation for the purchase of a small estate in the country, where he hoped to spend the remainder of his days in peaceful retirement.”

    In an earlier chapter I have shown the danger that there lies in the low status of women in their not having pride in themselves and confidence in their work. The clinging dependence, the softness, the approachableness, the complaisance which men find so attractive in women also have their very great dangers. Women who have devoted themselves to the salving of the wrecks of womanhood know that often it has been this very softness of fibre which has been the cause of a girl’s undoing. “Be weak!” men cry; “we love you for it. It makes us feel superior!” And when they have “loved” after their fashion, they leave the human wreckage their “love” has made and pass on to “love” again elsewhere. It is as you love duckling, and cry, “Dilly, Dilly, come and be killed!” Now women are increasingly feeling that it is not womanly to be weak, it is womanly to be strong, strong for work and love and understanding.

    It was Mildred, however, who put the final touch to Julia’s harangue. “Oh, what is the use of being afraid to sign that petition?” she demanded, her blue eyes laughing scorn at her clubmates. It was the one thing needed to decide them against Leslie. “What harm can it do you? Haven’t you a right to the courage of your convictions? You can’t 179be executed, you know, for signing. Incidentally we may win. Think it over, then start at the left and come up to the table and sign. But take your chairs again. We have other business to transact before the close of the meeting.”

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