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habit of acting in this extraordinary manner in order to test the politeness of her hosts; but King Henrie may be pardoned for having inferred, as at first he did, that the stranger was none other than "the fiend that wons in hell."

There is really no saying where we shall arrive at last if we once make up our minds to overstep all the barriers of custom and instinct unless they are fortified by the precise words of some recent Act of Parliament, or of one of the ten commandments; for we cannot call to mind any text, or any modern canon, article, or statute, which for bids the eating of an animal that is far dearer to us than horse or dog like other startling practices which disquiet our Churches and parks, it has been thought an impossible evil, against which legislation is superfluous. Nay, we may perhaps find we have opened the door to a yet more serious mischief, for we have seen that the two abominations which the professors of the old superstition were the most unwilling to relinquish were horse-eating and infanticide. Now there is a curious sort of family likeness between the motives which underlie these two pestilent habits. We have already shown that a man ate horse partly because he was anxious to propitiate the powers that dwell in heaven or "in another place," and partly because there was little else for him to eat. So when a man "carried out" a child, as it was euphemistically expressed, he too was trying to make the best of both worlds, for by the infant's death he at once relieved himself from the burden of a large family, and he did the gods a pleasure. The religious character of the act was so fully recognised that in Iceland it was considered a great liberty to pick up the child of a neighbour after he had "carried it out," even if the compassionate busybody intended to be at the expense of educating the infant himself. Both these customs were very properly put down by the strong arm of the

Church without any regard to scruples of conscience or family inconvenience, and we are not aware that the strict prohibitions which were then recorded have ever been withdrawn. May we not fear that if we of our own private judgment venture to revive one of these long-disused rites we shall weaken the feelings which condemn the other? There is indeed too much reason to dread that the discussion has already done mischief, for it is stated by a writer in the 'Church and the World,' a publication which itself warmly advocates the revival of old-world customs, that the benighted wayfarer in London streets dares not pick up a bundle of rags, because he knows it contains a baby, and that the metropolitan canals are choked with the bodies of murdered innocents. Matters could not have been much worse in Iceland in the year of grace 1000, and the Norseman seems to have had a softer heart than the Londoner, for we do sometimes read in the Sagas of a castaway infant being picked up. However, all evils bring with them some countervailing blessings, and it is possible that our growing familiarity with strange flesh and "carrying out" may help us to settle the great question of the day. When Swift brought forward his famous suggestions for ameliorating the condition of the Irish peasantry, he was far in advance of his age; and his "modest proposal for preventing the children of the poor in Ireland from being a burden to themselves and their country," shocks our feelings even at the present day; but "they are dangerous guides the feelings," and public opinion ripens so rapidly nowadays that we shall no doubt soon hear that some right honourable gentleman has become suddenly impressed by the urgency of the crisis, and has introduced certain Resolutions the effect of which will be to make Young Ireland a valuable addition to the resources of the Empire.



Most of us, in the range of our intimacies, must be acquainted with certain individuals who seem to succeed in everything, and with certain others who are as uniformly unsuccessful. I allude, of course, to cases where there is no outwardly visible reason for the difference, but, on the contrary, an apparent equality of conditions and advantages.

In another age-in a more golden age than this-the outside world looking on, lazily accounted for the phenomenon by, describing these persons as "lucky" and "unlucky" respectively. Men who prospered exceptionally had a certain amount of personal merit deducted from their credit side and placed to their debit under the title of "good fortune;" while a reverse process, in the case of the exceptionally unprosperous, toned down for them the net result of personal incapacity. In the "brave days of old" a general among the Romans was not more valued for his address and valour than for his fortuna or "good luck ;" and, in the same age, a man whose undertakings miscarried, could transfer the blame from himself to some such personification of ill-luck as a raven croaking at him from the left-hand side of the way, or a stumble of his own shambling feet on his threshold of a morning. And so, for a long time, these ideas of good and bad luck throve, and did very well in the world, and, modified by time, descended through many generations of men, none of whom need, by his own admission at least, be either a blockhead or an incapable, when Bad Luck, with flocks of attendant scapegoats, was ready to take up and bear away his burthen. No wonder the idea throve.

But all that has changed now;

for we have lighted upon an iron, inexorable age, with a passion for analysis-a requiring age that refuses to believe in abstract ideas as final causes of tangible effects-an age that is not given to euphemisms

wherein a spade is merely a spade, and a noodle a noodle, the leftward croakings of a myriad ravens notwithstanding; finally, on a prosaic age, in which a tree is known by its fruits and so, if you would not quarrel with the age, you must abjure the doctrines of luck, good and bad, as "damnable doctrines and positions," and keep shouting and believing that

"Man, if Man, is master of his Fate."

I thus abjure, shout, and believe; but a rule without an exception falls to the ground, and for me Tim Griffin supplies the necessary prop. Advisedly I write him down an unlucky man-the unlucky man, if you please; for if there never was another, his is a case in which the epithet seems justified. He never succeeded in anything, and yet it would have puzzled the acutest analyst to say why. In ability and energy he was quite above the average of his compeers, nor was there any apparent deficiency in his character of the other elements which promote success; yet he failed. The worst of it was that his fiascos and misfortunes were not simply fiascos and misfortunes over which sympathising friends might sorrow with him; they were generally aggravated by an entourage of the ludicrous, in presence of which pity was dissolved in mirth.

Puck must have presided at his nativity, and tweaked him in the cradle, roughened the nap of his flannel wrappings, and intensified the gastric pangs of his infancy. Certain it is that the "shrewd and

knavish sprite" has dogged him persistently through his maturer life, all the leading episodes of which are stamped with the impress of his malignant gambols. It is an episode thus characterised that I am now going to chronicle. Tim and I began life together on the same form at Harrow, and I thus became acquainted, at a very early period, with his idiosyncrasies, or rather with those of his evil genius. He must have spent no inconsiderable part of his school life in expiating the offences of undiscovered criminals; for at this time the bias of his evil genius seemed to lie in the direction of fathering ownerless offences upon him. In all large societies, whether of men or boys, there is always a vast amount of unappropriated crime; but as long as Tim was at Harrow, I am sure the average of that institution, in this respect, must have been exceptionally low, for no sooner was an offence committed than straightway there sprang up around my hapless friend a thicket of criminating circumstantial evidence, in which, innocently and vicariously, but inevitably, he played the rôle of the entangled ram. I left school a year before Tim, and entered the army; he remained behind to qualify for the University, whither he, in due time, repaired. Puck, however, had other views for him, so ere long circumstances over which he had no control" induced him to shake the academic dust from his feet, and, like me, to exchange the gown for the sword. Thus it came about that, some few months before the commencement of my narrative, my old friend and I found ourselves once more together, our respective regiments being both quartered at Gibraltar.


At the time my story opens the Gibraltar season was nearly over; that season so delightful on a first experience, and so especially wearisome on a repetition. It had been a brilliant one. The picnics in

the Cork wood had been frequent and successful; there had been many great runs with the Calpe hounds. It is even a tradition in the garrison to this day, I believe, that they killed a fox that winter, but with this I am unable to charge my memory. There had been a six weeks' season of garrison theatricals, in which the most eminent sons of Roscius had surpassed even themselves; but, above all things, there had been lots of balls. A hospitable Governor reigned on the Rock-a kind old man who loved to see young and happy faces about him,-and the venerable walls of "The Convent" (his official residence) were constantly thrown open, not for mere humdrum" at homes," receptions, conversaziones, and the like, but for downright good balls, with lots of good music and lots of good floor for the dancers, lots of supper for the chaperons, and a perpetual buffet for tippling papas who might otherwise have been restive. Can more be said in favour of his Excellency's entertainments? The Rock took its cue from the Convent-"dressed by the centre," in fact and all the inhabitants, English and Spanish, vied with each other in keeping alive the game of gaiety. It is an axiom in social chemistry that when red-coats and bright eyes are brought into close propinquity, combustion ensues, and nowhere is this truer than at "Gib," where the bright eyes of the Spanish señoritas are manceuvred with a skill peculiar to themselves, and almost as unique as their faculty of expressing in the airy movements of the fan the language of all the passions. It must be confessed, however, that the "faces tædæque Cupidinis" which there burned brightly during the season were by no means composed of asbestos; the love that sprang on the Rock was not generally a plant of that nature which thrives on the watering of memory and absence. It sprang up, sudden

and mature, like the wondrous plant of the Eastern magician, and disappeared as rapidly when the last notes of 'The girls we left behind us' warned the partners in its culture that the hour had come to say "Good-bye."

But if the red-coat loved and sailed away, the maiden who remained did not wear the willow. The same pocket-handkerchief that waved a tear-draggled adieu to Transport A. flaunted its still damp bunting in tribute of welcome to Transport B. as it steamed into the harbour with a cargo of new adorers. This season had been one of many conquests. In all the six barracks there was sighing and tearing of hair. Ensigns and lieutenants had been bowled over by the dozen, several captains had been hit, and it was even whispered that a field-officer, whose age and rotundity should have been a guarantee against such frivolities, was the victim of a secret flame. Old Boraccio, the Spanish master, had been nearly worked to death in teaching conversational Spanish of an amatory tendency to the young Britons, and in gracefully rounding the periods of certain billets-doux, which were written "merely as exercises, don't you see?'

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It had by no means escaped my notice that Tim Griffin had been carrying on a very desperate flirtation with the Señorita Amalia Cayrasso, the only child of a rich merchant prince of the town, a ci-devant (perhaps not altogether ci-devant) smuggler. Old Curaçoa, as he was called, was a terrible reprobate, in every sense of the term-a violent, brutal, domineering old reprobate, the detestation of society and the terror and torment of his daughter's life. She was a very pretty girl, and a very nice girl, too, in her way, but deeply addicted to flirtation. Several suitors had wooed and even won her consent, but her father was always a stumblingblock. He hated the English, and he loved money.


Amalia's suitors were invariably English, and coinless as the English officer is apt to be, so matters were never arranged. I had watched several of her little affairs, and notably one with a certain Captain Buttonshaw of the Rifles, who had been Tim's immediate predecessor, and whom the harsh refusal of Cayrasso père had driven into a six months' exile in England. He had returned, indeed, just at the end of the season, but there was no renewal of their relations-patent, at least, to the public. On one occasion, certainly, I had come upon them unawares, when they were in close and eager conversation of a-well, certainly not of a hostile character. That, however, might have been the "eternal adieu" which all well-regulated lovers bid each other under such circumstances; the gentleman solemnly undertaking that, from that date, his heart shall be dead and marbly, and the lady that her hand, which (oh, ye tears!) is ere long wielding the helm of the next eligible offerer's establishment, shall shrivel in eternal spinsterhood.

This may have been the nature of the rather florid interview in which I surprised them. At any rate, the Señorita smiled with unmistakable kindness upon Tim. As for him, he was evidently in the last stage of imbecility.

During this gay season I had seen a great deal of my old chum. He had been in the thick of everything, and he had been a success. Who so daring as he to ride up the crags, or swim his horse across the Guadiaro, or dive into the eerie recesses of the Cork forest behind the "Calpes," in full cry? Who so esteemed for the deadly precision of his left-hand bowling, or for his "service" in the racket-court? What debutant on the boards had had a better success? Tim was a "card" in the garrison; always popular, here he was really a "card," and now his triumph was culminating in the smiles of the prevailing


belle and heiress of the Rock. I rejoiced over all this, but I rejoiced with trembling. It was contrary to experience that his evil genius should fail ere long to check this career of prosperity. Something dreadful must be in store for him. To me thus meditating, one morning, towards the close of the carnival, appeared my friend himself. His countenance wore a most baffling combination of expressions, in which joy, anxiety, doubt, and perturbation were all represented. "Halloa!" I thought, a crisis." "Good morning, Tim."


"Good morning, Fred," he replied abstractedly, lighting a cigar, and folding himself out in an armchair. His eye was vacant, and he smoked in silence for some minutes, I curiously regarding him through circumambient mists.

"You're lively this morning, Tim," I said, at last.

"What! eh? oh yes, of course : look here, Fred" (suddenly waking up), "I don't know whether I'm a d-d fool or not." I intimated that the problem presented no difficulty to my mind, and he went on. "The fact is, Fred, I'm in love-horribly in love-horribly." "I know you are," I replied. "You do? How on earth do you know?"

"You told me,” said I. "I told you? I never said a word to any one but her."

66 Nevertheless you told me, and all Gib into the bargain. You don't suppose, you owl, that it's necessary to stand in the Alameida, beat a drum, and shout, 'O yez ! O yez!! O yez!!! I Tim Griffin am in love,' to advertise the fact, when you are everlastingly hanging on to Amalia Cayrasso; dancing or riding or walking with her, or if not, glaring with these great gooseberry eyes of yours" (Tim was very proud of the features in question) "like an indignant sheep, at any fellow who is Yes, you're in love, Tim; and, to revert to your

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No, Fred," he replied, "I don't think I am; at all events I'm the happiest fellow in the world. I've proposed, Fred!"

"I know you have,-last night at old Ravello's ball."


How the deuce,-now, how on earth can you know that?" cried Tim.

"Never mind, you did propose, and she accepted you, and you celebrated the event by immediately upsetting a glass of champagne and a liberal-sized lemon-ice on to the shoulders of a venerable Contessa who did not bless you for it." "Why, you're a conjuror, Fred!" "No, mi amigo, tengo los ojos." "Well, then, I am engaged; and talk of my bad luck! Why, I'm the luckiest fellow upon earth! to think of an angel-a perfect thorough-bred angel-with eyes


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"We'll sink that, Tim, please." "Well, to think of such a girl taking a fancy to me!-a mere soldier-a

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"Force of habit, Tim," I said. "What do you mean?" he exclaimed.

"Why, it's a way she has; she had exactly the same game with with Buttonshaw of the Rifles, for instance, and———”

"Buttonshaw be blowed!" shouted the lover. "She told me all about that; it was a childish affair

ages ago-she was but an infant, and rather looked on Buttonshaw as an uncle than in any other light, yet the gossips did talk, she said."

As uncle Buttonshaw had been in the ascendant seven months before, Miss Amalia must have achieved a rather rapid transit from infancy to well-fledged adolescence; however, I spared the lover and went on-"Well, Tim, you're in love, and engaged to an angel, the brevet-niece of Buttonshaw, and you're happy and lucky and all the rest of it; but après? what are you going to do?"

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