HISTORY IN FAIRYLAND
MRS. ADRIAN HOE de
MRS. ADRIAN HOPE del.]
TITANIA, THE FAIRY QUEEN.
HISTORY IN FAIRYLAND
BY ERNEST ARTHUR JELF, M.A.
WITH A FRONTISPIECE BY MRS. ADRIAN HOPE AND NUMEROUS
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET
THE Author wishes to express his gratitude to his sister, Miss Evelyn
Jelf, for the invaluable help which she has given him in this book by
undertaking the arduous labours of an amanuensis. He is'also greatly
indebted to different other friends-too numerous for particular mention-
who have afforded him assistance of many kinds in the preparation of
Printed by Hazell, Watson, &,Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury.
TO PARENTS AND ELDERS.
S'HE preface is the only part of this book that is
NOT intended for children. E:',.',g .' else which
is contained within its two covers is addressed To
CHILDREN in the first place of all: so that the Author
will there be satisfied. if he meet the wants of children.
There it is children's approval that he has tried to win,
but here he wishes to explain the principle of his book
to those parents and elders, who can place the book in
children's hands, or read it aloud while children listen.
The story of "Eileen's Journey" is a fairy-tale in
form: but in substance it is an attempt to gather together
from past history and legend in various ages of the world
a number of the best stories, which children ought to know.
The Author therefore feels that he may fairly be asked upon
what principle the selection is based. For the stories may
seem at first sight to have been chosen entirely at hap-
hazard. The selection has not been based upon historical
importance: some of the scenes introduced are of great
and some of little historical importance. Nor has the
Author tried to represent every age and people at equal
length and with equal emphasis: on the contrary he has
dwelt far more strongly upon some of them than upon
others. Chronological proportion has not been an object
with him: nor yet the deep political significance of these
past experiences of mankind.
What then has been the principle underlying the
selection ? While the story of Eileen's Journey deals, as
has been said, with past history in various ages of the
world, yet the thread of a single fairy tale-with a single
governing idea-is woven through the whole. Eileen's
magic journey, in which she travels through the centuries
as mortals travel through space, is a journey made in search
of beauty and goodness: and, although the scenes are
varied as much as possible-war alternating with peace,
and art with science-the supreme object is never left out
of sight. All sorts and conditions of men and women pass
before Eileen's eyes as she journeys back. Warriors from
Havelock and the Duke of Wellington to Jeanne Dare and
Richard Cceur-de-Lion and Brian Boroimhe : adventurers
and explorers from Sir John Franklin to Columbus:
champions of freedom from the Bastille mob and the
Concord farmers to Wilhelm Tell and the daughter of
O'Melachlin, King of Meath : monarchs from the ill-fated
Louis XVI. to Elizabeth and her rival, Mary Queen of
Scots, and back to the many-storied Haroun Alraschid,
Khalzh of Bagdad: artists of all descriptions from Shelley
and Byron and Beethoven to Shakespeare and Michel Angelo
and Dante: heroines of romance from Flora McDonald
to Berengaria of Navarre and the golden-haired Queen
Guenever: reformers of the world from the Pilgrim Fathers
to Mohammed, the Prophet of Arabia: preachers of the
true Gospel from David Livingstone to Saint Patrick. And
-besides all these-Eileen has a fleeting vision of the
Christ Himself: though the story of that Life-without
parallel, because Divine-is told only in the pictures which
recall its chief moments to mind. In each and all of these,
from the lowest to the Highest, the object sought for has
been always one and the same-the Idea of whatever is
most beautiful and best.
By the scheme of his story, the Author has had a world
of beauty, from which to borrow as he writes. In like
manner he has endeavoured to select from the world of art
such subjects as seem best suited to illustrate his story, and
best calculated to convey to the mind of the reader some
In a word, then, the task which the Author here attempts
is the adaptation of old-world stories to the purpose of this
new "fairy-tale." The Idea of the good is to be all in all.
If any story-or any picture-or any notion, from what-
ever source derived, has been in any measure suitable from
this point of view (however unimportant from all other
points of view), the Author has not hesitated to make use
of it. Every country, every age, every faith has probably
something of the beautiful and good: and we should seek
to find it everywhere-even in the most unlikely places.
And now, if it be lawful to compare small things with
great, the beautiful words, with which an old Hebrew
writer approached the conclusion of his magnificent work,
may not inaptly be adopted here as the Author's parting
"And, if I have done well and as is fitting the story,
it is that which I desired: but, if slenderly and meanly,
it is 'that which I could attain unto."
CHAINED TO TIME I
Telling how Eileen wished that she could travel back into the
centuries of the past.
THE CHARIOT OF THE FAIRY QUEEN 7
Telling how the beautiful Titania came to grant her wish.
TO THE DARK, TO THE PAST, TO THE DEAD 19
Telling how Eileen started upon her journey and how her dog
Teazer came with her.
PITY AND PEACE AND LOVE 28
Telling of the nature and objects of the journey.
OUR BANNER OF ENGLAND 35
Telling how, when Eileen was come to the years of the Indian
Mutiny, she visited Lucknow and stayed throughout the siege.
THICK-RIBBED ICE 57
Telling how Eileen saw the death of Sir John Franklin on the
FIERY FLOODS. 64
Telling how Eileen witnessed the work of David Livingstone in
THE SIGNAL SOUND OF STRIFE 77
Telling how Eileen was present at the Duchess of Richmond's
ball in Brussels on. the eve of the Battle of Quatre Bras.
THE DEATH OF KINGS 90
Telling how Eileen followed the unhappy fortunes of the Royal
Family of France in the time of the Revolution.
THE EMBATTLED FARMERS. .I17
Telling of what Eileen saw and heard in America when the War
of Independence first broke out.
OVER THE SEA TO SKYE 130
Telling how Eileen watched the adventures of Prince Charles
Edward and Flora McDonald.
THE UNDAUNTED FEW 151
Telling how Eileen became acquainted with the reasons which
caused the Pilgrim Fathers to sail for America.
THE PLAY 166
Telling of Eileen's play-going in the days of Queen Elizabeth and
of what she learned about that sovereign.
THE FORCING OF WRATH 193
Telling how Eileen came to Ireland in the reign of King Henry
VIII., and of the persecution which its people suffered under
THAT SHADOWY SHORE 211
Telling of Eileen's voyage with Columbus, when that great dis-
coverer sailed to the New World.
YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND 224
Telling how Eileen saw the difficulties which Michel Angelo had
to meet before he could become a painter.
AS THOUGH IT WERE A JOY TO DIE 237
Telling how Eileen witnessed the triumph and the martyrdom
of the Maid of Orleans.
THE ,SECOND ARROW 256
Telling how Eileen was a spectator of the feats of Wilhelm Tell.
THE REASON OF THE NAME OF BEATRICE 273
Telling how Eileen was present at the first meeting of Dante and
LADY BERENGARE 279
Telling how Eileen watched the fortunes of Berengaria of Navarre,
the Consort of King Richard I.
THE GLORIES OF BRIAN THE BRAVE 300
Telling how Eileen had the sight of the Battle of Clontarf and of
the death of King Brian Boroimhe.
A POWER OF LIFE AND DEATH 310
Telling how Eileen beheld the Khaliph Haroun Alraschid face
REVENGE ON A TYRANT 326
Telling how Eileen sailed to Ireland and saw the revenge which
O'Melachlin, King of Meath, took upon Turgds, the wicked
OBEDIENT TO THE LIGHT 332
Telling how Eileen travelled in Arabia and of the Flight of the
ONE GOOD CUSTOM 352
Telling how Eileen accompanied King Arthur and the Knights
of the Round Table upon different adventures.
TARA'S HALLS 372
Telling how Eileen was present in the Halls of King Leogaire
at Tara on the coming of Saint Patrick.
In which the pictures tell the story that is too great for words.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
TITANIA, THE FAIRY QUEEN Frontisiece
(From a drawing by Mrs. Adrian Hope.)
TEAZER Facing page 24
(From a photograph by Hills & Saunders.)
THE RELIEF OF LUCKNOW ,, 53
(From the picture by T. J. Barker.)
SHIPS IN THE ARCTIC REGIONS 60
(From the original by W. Westall, A.R.A., made for
BRUSSELS. ., 77
(From a drawing by Percival Skelton, made for "Childe
LOUIS XVI. AND HIS FAMILY IN THE PRISON OF THE
TEMPLE .,, i, III
(From the picture by E. M. Ward, R.A.)
PRINCE CHARLES EDWARD ., ,, 131
(From the portrait by Nicolas Largillitre in the National
THE DEPARTURE OF THE PILGRIM FATHERS ., ,, 163
(From the picture by C. W. Coke, R.A.)
THE DAWN OF AMERICA ,, 219
(From the picture by J. W. M. Turner, R.A.)
THE TOMB OF LORENZO II. ,, ,, 233
(By Michel Angelo.)
JEANNE DARC ,, 248
(From the statue by Fremiet in the Rue de Rivoli, Parts.)
xiv List of Illustrations.
RICHARD CCEUR-DE-LION Facing page 295
(From the statue by Marochetti at Westminster.)
BRIAN BOROIMHE ,, ,, 302
(AfterJ. F. O'Hea.)
HAROUN ALRASCHID, GIAFAR AND MESRUR ,, 316
(From an engraving by T. Dalsiel.)
THE INFANT CHRIST Follong age 388
(From the picture by Giampietrino.)
THE CRUCIFIXION ,, ,, 388
(From the picture by Schongauer.)
" NOLI ME TANGERE." CHRIST APPEARING TO THE
MAGDALEN 3, 88
(From the picture by Titian.)
CHAINED TO TIME.
"But I am chained to time and cannot thence depart."--SHELLEY.
IN the far west of Ireland there is an old ruin, which
is all that remains of the great mansion once called
Clonderalaw Castle. It stands on the top of a hill,
overhanging the river Shannon, which is probably the
loveliest piece of water in the whole wide world. It is
a most picturesque old place-and, among the scattered
stones of it, on the day that this story begins, there lay
a little girl just twelve years old, with large beautiful blue
eyes and golden hair, that fell in pretty ringlets about
her neck. She was lying flat upon the ground beneath
the shadow of a big holly-tree-intently interested in
the book that she was reading: and close by her side
her favourite dog-a little rough-coated terrier-was out-
stretched. The name of the fair child was Eileen O'Ryan :
and she was the youngest daughter of a popular land-
Chained to Time.
owner, who lived in the neighbourhood. Her brother, a
few years older than herself, was for a great part of the
year away at school in England, and, even in the holidays,
was often, as to-day; engaged in some sport, which she
could not share : while the rest of her family were busily
occupied with various important duties at home or abroad.
She was therefore very often left quite alone: save for the
company of her little dog on the one hand and her story-
books on the other.
Eileen was very fond of reading. She would read in
her bed before she was called in the early morning. Often
she came down to breakfast with her book in her hand:
and could hardly be induced to say so much as "good
morning" to anyone, when the book was really interesting.
At such times she was most strangely blind and deaf
to everything that was going on in the room: and her
tea would get cold, while she was "just finishing the
chapter." She read an enormous number of books: and
was always ready for more. She read them very quickly,
and could devour a dozen of them in a single week :-
not (as in some cases happens) because she read care-
lessly or incompletely, but because her quick under-
standing and long-continued practice enabled her to read
and grasp the meaning much more rapidly than another
would. Never was any child more devoted to reading
than was Eileen O'Ryan: and her father and mother were
very glad that it was so. They said it kept her quiet" :
and indeed it did. In fact it kept her so quiet that
Chained to Time.
she never stirred for hours while she read: but she would
lie as now, still turning page after page, as happy as the
day is long,-only stopping occasionally to speak her
thoughts to her little dog, as she pondered over the stories
that she read, or to gaze awhile into the deep blue river
below her and watch the ships that passed along it,
fondly imagining them full of heroes such as her story-
books described-bold pirates, brave sailors, and great
adventurers of every kind.
It was now four o'clock on a hot summer afternoon:
her lessons were over for the day : and, after a brisk
canter on her pony over one of her father's fields-
(Eileen was a very good rider)-she became rather tired,
and consequently felt that she was now free to roam
lazily whithersoever she pleased: and this old ruin was
her favourite resort. So it came about that she lay down
there: and became closely fastened to what she was
reading, as already described. She read on thus for an
hour or so, till she had finished her book. To-day it
was a volume of old Irish legends, which were her especial
favourites: telling, as they did, stories of the bravery and
magnificence of her own people in days gone by, of the
feats of Brian Boroimhe and of the fierce and bloody
quarrels of the wild clans who once inhabited what was
now her home :-or of the beauty and gentleness of the
once celebrated Irish women for whom the warriors
fought:-or again of the holy life and strange miracles
of the great Saint Patrick.
Chained to Time.
Eileen held her breath with deepening interest, as she
followed the story out to its conclusion. And, while
she read, she seemed to see and hear the originals
themselves: she rejoiced over their joys, wept over
their sorrows and was wildly excited over their
various adventures : it all seemed marvellously real
But, when she had done reading, when she had closed
the book and risen to her feet, when she recollected the
sad reality that it was getting late and that she must
go home to bed, then she was somehow discontented.
Reading, she thought, was a very useless thing after all:
the people and places of her story-books had looked to
her, for a moment, bright and beautiful, as she read and
dreamed: but now they vanished away as quickly as
a cluster of soap-bubbles in the wind. Reading was still
indeed the best thing possible in the world in which she
lived: better than eating, or drinking, or sleeping, or
walking, or playing croquet: but it was not enough to
satisfy her. She wanted really to live with those warriors
and heroes of old days : to be actually present at their
battles and their feasts: with her own ears to hear them
speak: with her own eyes to see the stories played out
before her, as they had been played out so many years
before in fact. Was such a thing, she wondered, quite
impossible? Was there no way of going back to the
days departed ? While there are a thousand ways of
moving about from place to place-trains and carriages
Chained to Time.
and ships and so forth-are there no vehicles to carry
us back into another time? is there no railway, cut
through the centuries, to carry passengers to the stations,
where it would interest them to stop ?-to the time of
the Duke of Wellington, of seventy years ago-to the
time of the Crusaders, of seven hundred years ago-and-
who knows ?-to the time of the strange creatures who
inhabited the world before the Flood, perhaps seven
thousand years ago ?
No, she said to herself, it can never be. We are
indeed free to move about from place to place, whether
by walking on our own feet or by travelling in trains
and carriages. But with Time it is quite otherwise. We
are fast chained to the present time: it is impossible
to go back anyhow into the past. All the money in
the world would not buy a train that could make that
journey. The thing was quite impossible: it was foolish
even to have thought of it.
But then she sat down and reflected about it once
again: and bethought her of all the most wonderful
things that she had ever read or heard about :-of witches
and demons, hobgoblins and fairies. The fact is that
Eileen partly believed in fairies within her secret heart:
although, if she had been asked the question, she would
have scornfully denied that she had any such belief.
Irish people are apt to believe such things: and the
peasants who lived in those parts, had told her wonderful
tales, with such positive insistence on their absolute truth-
6 Chained to Time. [CH. i.
fulness, that she could not altogether refuse to put some
faith in them.
It might be, surely it might be, after all, a possibility:-
if only she could find the fairies, she felt certain that they
would find the Magic Train: the great railway-journey
through the fields of past history might yet be hers.
" Oh! how I wish" she cried aloud (although she felt
the wish was vain) "Oh! how I wish the fairies would
come at once: and bring the Magic Train!"
THE CHARIOT OF THE FAIRY QUEEN.
"Behold the chariot of the Fairy Queen !"-SHELLEY.
AS Eileen uttered these words, she caught hold of a
bough of the holly-tree by which she was sitting,
intending to raise herself from the ground in readi-
ness for her homeward walk: and it chanced that, at
the same moment, a stone, on which her feet had been
resting, was dislodged from its position by her movement
and fell bounding down the hill.
And now, in an instant, Eileen became aware of the
most wonderful sights and sounds all round about her.
The whole sky grew suddenly dark, and yet a glorious
light began to shine upon the old castle ruin: while, at
the same time, the most exquisite music was heard, at first
rising faintly in the distance, and then seeming to come
gradually nearer-music as of children's voices accom-
panied on silver-stringed lutes. And the air withal was
suddenly sweet with the breath of summer roses. Then
Eileen leaned against part of the castle wall, staring wildly
in front of her and wondering what in the world could
8 The Chariot of the Fairy Queen. [cH.
have happened. As she gazed with the greatest astonish-
ment in the direction from which the music came, she
saw approaching her an army of beautiful little creatures,
who appeared at first sight to be of a form like that of
very small children : but, as they drew nearer, she saw
that they had crystal wings, more lovely than the wings
of any bird she knew. These wings were not as yet
outstretched for flight: but the edges of them glistened,
as the army marched along in perfect time to the gay
music that accompanied them. Some of the troop, she
saw, had golden wands: others had bows and arrows:
others long lances made of sturdy steel and brilliant with
diamonds: others carried the most lovely musical instru-
ments of every kind: and it was of course from them
that the sweet sounds, which she had heard, proceeded.
Eileen could no longer doubt that these were indeed
the fairies. But she was so utterly overwhelmed with
wonder and surprise, that she could not speak a word-
not even when the fairies advanced to the spot where
she was standing and surrounded her on all sides.
They now sang a song, which, to Eileen's great surprise,
was in the old Celtic Irish language-a language which
she had often heard from her Connemara nurse, and
sometimes also from the peasant people in the neighbour-
,hood-but of which she understood very little herself.
The last words of it however she clearly heard and did
understand :-" Bownreigh na Sheefaree." It meant that
the singers were calling the "Queen of the Fairies" to
I.] The Chariot of the Fairy Queen. 9
come to them! Then there was one moment's silence:
followed by a delicious whirr in the air, as still more
fairies came and joined the large band which had already
assembled in the place. They seemed to come from every
direction-from the road-from the valley-from the river
-from the sky! Now they seemed to be bringing all their
marvellous powers into use. They spread their crystal
wings in flight. They danced gay jigs and rhythmic sets
with one-another, after the fashion of Irish peasant-folk,
but with a graceful perfection, whose likeness was never
seen before. They sang yet more delightful choruses:
and the air seemed to ring with the harmonies of their
well-tuned instruments. Lastly they lifted up their wands:
and whatever met their touch turned immediately to some-
thing bright and beautiful:-to gold, or precious stones,
or fresh sweet-smelling flowers. Eileen now discovered
that her own dress was blazing with jewels: and that her
hair was wreathed with the most exquisite rosebuds. And
everything round about her seemed to have undergone a
similar transformation :-the walls of the old castle had
risen high from their ruins, and seemed to be made from
the rarest marbles, delicately chiselled with the finest
tracery: the holly-tree was bent double with the weight
of divers rich fruits, such as she had never seen before-
plums and apricots and rosy apples, beside which even
the best in her father's orchard would have looked poor
and pale indeed: and, in the meanwhile, snowdrops, and
primroses, and violets, and daffodils, and dog-roses were
io The Chariot of the Fairy Queen. [cH.
springing up all at once-as it were in a few minutes-
from the earth. This was all doubtless, Eileen mused,
the work of the fairies: all the powers of the earth obey
them: Spring and Summer and Autumn and Winter are
all alike the servants of the fairies, and bring them all
they ever wish for-at all times and seasons-without
any of the evils that usually attend their several blessings
when they come to ordinary persons.
And, in the middle of all this, a most magnificent
rainbow appeared in the sky. It was not like an ordinary
rainbow. It seemed to have ten thousand colours in it
instead of only seven : and it seemed to fill a quarter of
the great black sky. And from this rainless rainbow
showers of shooting stars, and vast new constellations, and
far-reaching comets seemed to fall in rich profusion: until
at last there fell from the rainbow a bright something,
which was even more delightful to look at than what Eileen
had already seen. It was a rich car drawn by golden
eagles through the sky-lit with a fair shining light of its
own like the light of the silver moon, and casting its
reflection into the Shannon river as the moon casts hers.
The eagles bore their burden toward the place where
Eileen stood.'Ilt was the chariot of the Fairy Queen!
Eileen thought that she must be dreaming. She rubbed
her eyes and stared: but it made no difference. The
chariot remained where she had first seen it, as distinct as
ever. She was still surrounded by the host of dancing
and singing fairies : ten of whom now sprang forward to
I.] The Chariot of the Fairy Queen. i
the sides of the car, as it alighted upon the earth, and drew
back the curtains of it. Eileen stretched forward eager to
see the face of the Fairy Queen.
There she lay, the royal beautiful Titania,-whom poets
have sung,-whom artists have painted,-of whom children
have fondly dreamed. It was an image of unimaginable
loveliness :-and not quite what Eileen had expected.
Titania looked like a young girl: merry and full of life:
bright with "all those endearing young charms," which
mortal maidens lose so soon, but which fairies never lose,
however many ages may pass away. And, although she
looked a giantess beside her tiny followers (for they were
only of a doll-like stature), she was by no means tall. She
was in fact but a few inches taller than Eileen herself:
but she held herself majestically, and looked worthy every
whit to be the ruler of a mighty kingdom. A star of
light seemed to glitter above her forehead : but, although
her chariot was builded of pure gold and decked with
every kind of precious stone, yet she wore none of these
upon her own person.-And still she far outshone them
all! She was quite simply arrayed: but could not have
looked more like a goddess, had she been clad in the
most gorgeous robes. Her neck and arms were bare:
save that she had a little bracelet of thin-wrought silver
upon either wrist. But, although she wore no jewels, it
was because she needed none. It was enough that she had
those wonderful deep blue 'eyes-that flowing dark brown
hair, whosejwaves and curls were lit up from moment to
12 The Chariot of the Fairy Queen. [CH.
moment with a glint of golden glory, as the rays of the
bright light caught them-that fair rosy colour, which
all the flowers of the field could never surpass-that
sweet mouth of smooth-curved lips, now gently opening
like a crimson shell which does not quite hide the snowy
pearls within it-those lovelily-shaped hands:-beauty in
short such as was never seen except in her.
When Eileen saw her, she yielded to the- irresistible
impulse which moved her to kneel and kiss Titania's
fingers. The Queen immediately stood up: and, stretching
forth her hands, raised the child to her feet again. Then
she said :-" Eileen O'Ryan, thou art very fortunate: thou
hast thy wish: the fairies HAVE come,-to bear thee to
the Magic Train, of which thou didst speak. Thou shalt
visit the centuries of the past with us. Give thanks to
the great Saint Patrick and his holy well."
Although the words were English, there was something
in the Queen's beautiful voice, which made Eileen sure
that she might claim her as a countrywoman of her own.
Her words had certainly, she thought, an unmistakably
Irish ring about them. Titania beyond doubt loved
Ireland well : and was proud of the name of "Bownreigh
na Sheefaree." However Eileen thought more, at present,
about what the Queen had said, than she did about her
Irish nature, or the music of her voice. She thanked
the Queen most heartily: asking at the same time the
meaning of what she had said about Saint Patrick and
his holy well.
II.] The Chariot of the Fairy Queen. 13
The Fairy Queen, for a reply, pointed to the place,
where Eileen had a short while since been lying, reading
her story-book. And now for the first time she saw there
a large deep well. There was no water in the well : but
on one side of it, at some little depth from the surface of
the earth, she could see a tablet of bronze. She stooped
down to read the inscription which was on it. The well
was dark : but five fairies came and stood on either side
of her with bright-flaming tapers in their hands : and by
the light of them she read these words:-
THIS IS THE CLONDERALAW WISHING-WELL:
IF HERE YOUR WISHES YOU TRULY TELL,
AND TUG AT THE HOLLY, AND RAISE THE STONE,
WHATEVER YOU ASK SHALL BE YOUR OWN.
Eileen had-unconsciously and accidentally-tugged at
the holly with her hands, and dislodged the stone with
her feet, at the very moment when she was uttering her
extraordinary wish! The Queen now explained the
secret of the well to her. Once upon a time, Saint
Patrick was searching for a drop of water to give to a
poor sick woman. He expected to have to walk, perhaps
half a mile or so, before he found what he wanted. But
he found the water here in this well, close to the invalid's
cottage. He then blessed the well: and placed the tablet
there. The Castle of Clonderalaw was afterwards builded
over the place: and the stones of it had hidden the well,
until Eileen had happened to dislodge the last stone which
14 The Chariot of the Fairy Queen. [cH.
covered it by the movement of her feet:-and for this
reason she had her wish.
In spite of the clearness of this explanation, Eileen still
looked dazed and bewildered. "What puzzles thee yet,
child? asked the Queen. "Is not everything now in-
telligible to thee? Not quite,-if you please,-Your
Majesty she replied, after a pause, I cannot understand
what you fairies are, or where you live, or why you are so
seldom seen, or how you have come here so suddenly.-
And indeed" she added doubtfully "I don't quite under-
stand there being such things as fairies at all!"
At this the chorus of fairies standing round laughed
right merrily. "Eileen didn't believe in fairies" they said
"till she saw us."
And no wonder either!" said Her Majesty reproach-
fully. Then, turning to Eileen, she graciously vouchsafed
to explain her difficulties. "You must know" she began
"that the people of strange beings of whom I am the
Queen, the people whom you call 'fairies,' have lived for
long ages on this earth:-indeed there have been fairies
as long as there have been men and women and children.
They can do almost everything they like: all the powers
.of nature are their servants: they are irresistibly strong
and immensely' wise. They can be of whatever size, or
shape, or figure that delights them most. In ancient times
it pleased them to be great and tall: and the men of old
time who dwelled in Hellas or in Italy, called them 'gods
and goddesses.' In later days it pleased them to be small
II.] The Chariot of the Fairy Queen. 15
-sometimes so small that flowers were their houses and
swinging cobwebs the cradles in which they rocked-and
the peasants of Shropshire and elsewhere called us 'pixies'
and 'brownies' and 'elves' and 'the small people.' Every
country in the world knows us by some name or other.
Is not all this so?" she said, appealing to the company
of her subjects.
"Indeed it is": they said: "and it has pleased Your
Majesty to be neither very great nor very small :-we are
each and all of us exactly what we please to be."
Eileen felt that the Queen had chosen well. It did not
seem possible for there to be a more perfect beauty than
was hers: the greatness of the old goddesses and the small-
ness of the little fairies were both, she saw, mistakes:-
perfect beauty has nothing in excess.
The Queen went on speaking: and Eileen listened with
the deepest attention. As in different times and places "
she said "our form and figure have been different, so our
names have been different as well. But it is all one
people: or rather it was all one people once-for, even
as the angels fought in Heaven itself, so that there are
now bad angels as well as good, likewise it was with us.
There are evil fairies too" she said-" witches and demons
and hobgoblins:-oh! may the good fairies be stronger
and mightier than they all some-day, and drive all their
enemies from the earth." The Queen sighed: and the
thought of the bad fairies evidently made all the company
so very unhappy, that Eileen made haste to change the
16 The Chariot of the Fairy Queen. [cH.
subject. Are there as many fairies as there used to be ?"
she asked-" they are so seldom seen now-a-days !"
Once said Titania we were a race more numerous
than all the nations of mankind. But now alas! our
numbers are small: and, year after year, they are still
becoming less. Soon there will be no fairies, at this rate,
in the world at all. We are indeed an unfortunate people:
thousands of us perish daily by the most cruel deaths:
many fall by the workings of poison, but most of us die
miserably by lingering starvation."
"Poison!" cried Eileen, naturally much astonished,
" and starvation !" Her ideas of fairies had been so very
different from this : she had imagined that fairies were
always happy, and she had envied them for always having
plenty of good things to eat and drink at their desire.
"How can fairies be obliged to starve" she inquired,
as she pointed to the rich magic fruits that hung above
her, "when they can always have delicious things like
these as often as they want them?"
The Fairy Queen smiled sadly. "You do not under-
stand the nature of a fairy" she said. "Fruits and all
manner of victuals and sweet refreshing drinks they can
have at their desire : but we are so made that something
else is needful to our life-far more needful than these
wretched dainties are. To the diseases and plagues and
fevers, that attack mankind, we are not liable. We could
live for centuries without a crumb of food or drop of drink.
Our bodies are made stronger and more healthful than
I.] The Chariot of the Fairy Queen. 17
yours are. But, as if to make up for it, the spirit in each
of us has been made a thing more delicate and easy to
destroy. We breathe pure joy and love, as you breathe
air: and thoughts of what is beautiful and of what is good
are our necessary sustenance, as meat and drink are
yours. We look for our food-as you do for yours-from
the earth. When the earth is full of Faith and Hope
and Charity: when children love one-another and beauty
is perfected everywhere :-then do the fairies thrive and
multiply and live a happy life. But when malice and
hatred and envy are stalking upon the earth: when
children quarrel with one-another and unloveliness works
its way :-then the fairies sicken and die, as though
they had been mortals from the first. Every unkind
or ugly word or thought upon your earth sends decay
and destruction into our fairy-world: this is the poison
of which I spoke just now. Every good deed, that is left
undone, or beauty unperfected, denies to some of us poor
fairies that which is our daily bread : and so we starve.
I sometimes think that the world is more wicked than
it was : and fairies are fewer. But here in Ireland :-where
many hearts are large and generous: where purposes are
often noble and love abounding:-it is still possible for
some of us to live and to be happy. Yet there is much
of the cruel poison even here. Beware for what is our
poison is the food of our enemies, the evil powers: while
what is their poison is our food."
These thoughts were all new to Eileen. She was
I 8 The Chariot of the Fairy Queen. [CH. I.
inquisitive by nature : and, encouraged by Titania's kind-
ness, she was going to ask more questions, when Her
Majesty stopped her, saying that by and by there would
be time enough for explanations-now it was time to
start for Fairyland. She invited Eileen to enter the royal
chariot: and, when they had both taken their seats in
it, the Queen and the fairies all called out:-" Ho and
away for Fairyland" : and bade Eileen utter the same
words. She did so: though thinking at the time that she
had no wish to go to Fairyland just then-she would
sooner go straight to the Magic Train.
Titania answered her thoughts: "Fairyland is not far
away": she said : "it lies close above the ordinary world.
But it is wrapped about with a silver cloud, that makes
it always invisible, save when the fairies are willing to
show it to their favourites."
While she yet spake, they were there. Fairyland looked
to Eileen like a lovely garden: watered by snowy streams
and gurgling fountains: and nestling, as the Queen had
said, in a "silver cloud" :-the earth being close below.
But of this Eileen had only a momentary glimpse : for the
Queen called immediately to the golden eagles, who bore
the chariot along, and bade them fly straight toward the
So to the railway-station they went.
TO THE DARK, TO THE PAST, TO THE DEAD.
"They have passed:
they outspeeded the blast:
while, 'tis said, they are fled."
-"Whither, oh whither ? "-
"To the dark, to the past, to the dead."
W HEN Eileen reached the railway-station a few
moments after this, she accompanied the Queen
down a flight of steps toward the platform: and
thereby she lost sight at once of the garden of Fairyland,
where she would now have liked to linger, forgetting her
previous impatience for the arrival of the Magic Train.
But it must not be supposed that the railway-station
itself was as dull and dirty as those to which we are
accustomed on this earth: nor indeed was it particularly
like them in any way. It is true that there were two
" platforms ": and there was a "booking-office :-and a
"waiting-room" :-and a "book-stall": but these were
all very different from any which Eileen had ever seen
The station-buildings seemed to her like a magnificent
20 To the Dark, to the Past, [CH.
cathedral-only more beautiful than any cathedral ever
builded on this earth. The different places to which
allusion has been made-the waiting-rooms and so forth-
were like lovely little chapels: and the whole lay in a
smiling valley, on either side of which were sloping fields
of waving corn. The platforms were mossy banks: and
between them, for a rail-road, lay a sort of smooth crystal
sea. The station itself was bathed in brilliant light: but
immediately outside, in either direction, it was very dark.
For a moment Eileen was at a loss to know why this
was so: but soon she saw a finger-post, one half of which
pointed TO THE FUTURE and the other TO THE PAST.
The railway-station was evidently that of THE PRESENT-
one of the points of time, at which the Magic Train would
stop according to her wish, on its journey from the future
to the past. The future was even darker than the past:
and at first Eileen could have wished that the train was
going that way: but she consoled herself by thinking
that we are all making that journey, surely though slowly,
every day: whereas no-one had ever made the other
journey before. She could hardly even yet believe that
she was really going to the past. The thought of it
bewildered her: but it would be immensely interesting,
and she determined not to give it up. Then she fell
a-thinking of many strange questions. What would be-
come of herself? Would she feel herself becoming younger
and younger, as the journey went on? and smaller and
smaller ? And then what would happen, when she passed
to the Dead.
on to the years before she was born ? As she pondered
thus, she remembered a beautiful poem, which she had
lately read, and how her mother had explained it to her.
The poet who wrote the lines thought that the fresh joy
of children was fraught with recollections of a world
before the present one, and that little ones remembered
something of years earlier than their birth. It seemed
to harmonise with her present surroundings : and she
repeated some of the words of the poem to herself:-
"Here, in a season of calm weather,
our souls have sight of that immortal sea,
which brought us hither:
can in a moment travel thither,
and see the children sport upon the shore,
and hear the mighty waters rolling evermore."
Was this water, Eileen wondered, that she saw before
her, the "immortal sea" of which the poet dreamed ?
and was she to make the journey to the place whence we
came hither,-not in fancy but in very fact? Would
she know what her soul was before her birth ?
Titania knew what she was thinking: and answered
the questions, which rose up in her mind, before she had
spoken them in words. "You are not to make that
journey": she said: "the child that is of mortal birth
never will. You wished to be taken back into past time :
and to see the Fields of History. You shall. But it
must be your present self that is to travel with us in the
Magic Train: your past body must remain on the earth
22 To the Dark, to the Past,
for that is where it was in the past. You who come with
us, will remain as you are now: but you shall be privileged
to see the times when you were not. This is indeed a
mystery: and all the doings of the fairies are full of
mysteries. The train will pass along the magic rail-road :
and from the windows of it, which look down upon the
earth, you shall see what is happening there."
"And will there be cars ?" was Eileen's next question:
" and carriages to take us to what places we want to see,
close outside the railway-stations, as there are at ours on
"There will": said the Queen :-" carriages and fairy-
chariots borne by eaglets, who will take us, as it were in
a moment of time, whithersoever we would go."
And now Titania went to get the tickets and refresh-
ments for the journey: and bade Eileen amuse herself
at the book-stall. She did so: and found the fairy-book-
stall most entertaining. Eileen had never seen such
a collection of books: they were of every sort: poems
and tales and histories: of men, women and children:
of birds, beasts and fishes : of trees, fruits and flowers:-
she would like to have had them all. There were
hundreds of them, each perfectly different from its fellows :
and they must have been full, as Eileen could see at a
glance, of the most beautiful stories and of yet more
beautiful pictures. Just a few of the best story-books,
written on this earth, were there as well: "Alice in
Wonderland," "The Arabian Nights "-and a very small
to the Dead.
number of the other exquisite books of our world-are
read and enjoyed even by the fairies in their happy
Meanwhile, as the Queen came back to the platform,
the signal went down for the expected train: and the
porters came forward ready to open the doors. The
porters were not dressed in dark and dingy clothes: nor
had they bent backs and sallow faces, as ours too often
have. They were more like a small company of picked
soldiers: and were arrayed in a uniform that was pic-
turesque beyond description. The grandest regimental
colours which we know would be pale and shabby beside
those which the fairy-porters wore.
And now one of them sang out in a deep musical
voice, which was distinctly heard all along the platform,
the words that were needed to tell intending passengers
what was the destination of the train :-" To the dark, to the
past, to the dead." And these words he kept calling out
continually. The train came in: the engine ploughing
through the waters of the strange sea before mentioned,
by means of some unseen force: there was no smoke nor
dirt with it. The porters threw open the doors of a
luxurious saloon. The Queen and Eileen entered it
alone: and the doors were shut.
Then there came a sound of exquisite beauty:-" The
whistle of the engine" Titania said : but Eileen, who had
been used to very different engine-whistles, could hardly
believe this: she had imagined that it was the note of the
To the Dark, to the Past,
nightingale. Have you ever heard a woodland nightingale
singing on a summer evening, when all else was still
and quiet? If so, you may have a faint conception of
the beauty of the fairy-engine's whistle: never did bird
sing more sweetly. And everything connected with the
fairies was similarly beautiful.
The fairies on the platform were now shouting that
the train was off: and it seemed indeed as though it
were beginning to move. But suddenly-with a jerk-it
stopped again: and Eileen heard another and a different
sound. This time, however, it was not a sound which
was in any way mysterious to her: she knew well what
was the cause of it: it was her own dear dog Teazer"
clamouring outside the carriage, that he might be let in,
and scratching the door with his feet.
Eileen sprang up, delighted: and opened the door for
him. "How did you get here, old boy?" she said. Of
course the dumb animal could not answer her question
in words: but he jumped up at her, and licked her hands.
The fairies however, who had come to the carriage along
.with the dog, told Eileen what she wanted to know :-
" He came here the same way that you did: and by the
same means. He came by virtue of Saint Patrick's
wishing-well." Still she did not understand:-surely a
dog could not make the charm work ? surely the fairies
could not have come for the wish of a mere dog ?
"And why not ?" said Titania, as her eyes rested
lovingly on the affectionate creature. Dumb animals,
to the Dead.
such as horses and dogs, with other noble brutes, can wish
as well as you: although they cannot speak and say so.
Have you never seen a dog left at home, without his
master? have you not marked how miserably he mopes
about? have you not seen him gazing through the closed
window after his master, as that master walks away?
have you not heard his piteous whining ? I tell you that
dog wishes to be with his master more eagerly than ever
you wished for anything in all your life? Human beings,
with all their brains and philosophy, have not often half
the strength of will, nor half the passion of affection,
which belongs to a faithful dog. When you were gone
with us, your trusty brute wished but for one thing :-to
be with you! That one thing he wished with all his
soul :-not as human beings wish, balancing one advantage
against another, and forgetting their desire, the moment
after it is formed, in the attraction of some new delight.
His whole soul, I tell you, went out in that simple longing
for your company. He 'pulled at the holly': and 'raised
the stone,' which the fairies had replaced. And the
charm, which is giving you all your wonderful wish, gave
him his simple prayer as well."
Eileen had learned much that day, of which she had
never thought before: but this seemed to her most strange
of all. She had been so long accustomed to think of the
wishes of men, women and children as being all-important
in the world-and to think of dogs and horses as their
toys and instruments-that this new notion of the whole
26 To the Dark, to the Past,
soul" of her dog going out in one heartfelt desire was
quite beyond her understanding. Why, she had even
imagined-as many others do-that a dog can have no
soul at all: and that only men and women have hearts
to feel and wills to pray. But now she no longer doubted
that what the beautiful Queen told her was true :-there
is no reason, because a dog cannot speak, to suppose he
has no soul: he has a soul, a faithful and a loving one:
and the powers that can work on the spirit of a man can
work also on the spirit of a brute.
Eileen fondled him more lovingly than she had ever
done before :-and this is saying much, for she had always
loved him exceedingly. Poor old fellow, with that fine
noble head, and those speaking eyes!-she would no
longer treat him as a toy intended for her amusement:
henceforward he should be as much a "person" to her
as anyone else in the world.
These explanations and these meditations were all the
work of a minute or two : and the carriage door was quickly
closed again. The train had only stopped for the dog's
sake:-(fancy that! those who direct the driving of our
earthly trains would scorn to stop for a dog's sake: but
the fairies are not so proud):-and, now that Teazer was
safely sleeping upon Eileen's lap, the journey might really
Titania, accordingly, bade Eileen sit close up against
the window of the carriage: and showed her where she
must look for the best view. Straight beneath the window,
III.] to the Dead. 27
there was a crevice in the silver cloud which sunders
Fairyland from Earth: and through the crevice Eileen
could see the world below, at no considerable distance
from her. And immediately before her eyes lay Clonderalaw
Castle, many fairies still at present surrounding it, and the
whole place still gay with their magic handiwork.
The beautiful whistle sounded forth once more. The
fairies on the platform shouted a last good-bye. And the
train moved out of the station, as the porter called out
again-for the last time-his solemn oft-repeated words:-
" To the dark, to the past, to the dead."
PITY AND PEACE AND LOVE.
"A thousand nations swore that there should be
pity and peace and love among the good and free."
EILEEN had been prepared for what she was to see
on this journey: but, for all that, she was startled
at the immediate change in the view which she beheld
from the window directly the train had left the station.
She still saw Clonderalaw Castle : but the fairies' work was
gone : and she only saw herself lying there, with her book
and her dog,-looking very much as she had looked every
day of her life. The sun seemed to be slowly rising from
the west and travelling to the east: the evening turned to
afternoon and the afternoon to morning.
While this was going on, Eileen turned away from the
window. Even on this journey, she could not look at the
view all the time :-especially when there was the lovely
Titania in the carriage with her, whose blue eyes and merry
smile were so irresistibly attractive. So she fell into con-
versation once more with the Fairy Queen. "Where shall
we stop first? she asked. That is as you like ": replied
CH.IV.]' Pity and Peace and Love. 29
the other: "this journey is undertaken for your pleasure
and instruction. You may stop as often as you please:
and see any part of the history of the world at your
desire." Eileen gave a little scream of delight : her fondest
wishes were indeed coming to pass. But Your Majesty
will help me to choose" she said. "I know so little
history: I would be guided by you: what is most worth
"Whatever is most beautiful and good" the Queen
replied. "We will visit the thousand nations that have
sworn 'that there shall be pity and peace and love among
the good and free.' And what I mean is this :-Although
the world is full of much wickedness, and although
cruelty and war and hatred have been common from the
beginning of time: there have nevertheless always been
men, and there have always been nations, who have set
themselves to fight on the side of goodness : the struggles
then of these men and these nations to defend the right,
to free the oppressed and to spread the influences of pity
and peace and love-these and these alone are the things
worth seeing in the history of the earth."
Eileen was rather disappointed. "Shall I see none of
the bad people in history ?" she said : for cruel tyrants,
bloody warriors and even the most wicked villains are
interesting to me, as well as good people. I would like
to see history in its true colours. I would not see only
half the picture."
"Alas! my dear Eileen" replied Her Majesty "you
30 Pity and Peace and Love. [cH.
will see many of these. The struggle of the good cannot
be seen without the struggle of the bad as well. Good
is seen in the resistance of evil. Wherever we stop to
see pity and peace and love, there we shall see also cruelty
and war and hate. Indeed, as far as this purpose goes,
it does not very much matter where we stop: love is ever
and again manifested in the same places as hatred, in so
much that the highest love is to love them that hate you.
See therefore that you learn from them to distinguish the
good and loveable from the bad and abominable: for we
shall find both everywhere."
Eileen, after thanking the beautiful Queen, looked out
of the window once more: and laughed to see the changes
that the years had brought about. For the train had
travelled back several years, while they had been speak-
ing: the years being marked by stones at the side of
the line like our milestones, though the train often shot
past them so quickly that Eileen had hardly time to read
the date. There were stations at frequent intervals along
the line: and, as she afterwards discovered, there was
always a big station at the beginning of a century. At
these the trains always stopped: these were the junctions
where the passengers changed ": and they were suitable
places to pause and look back over the last hundred years.
Already, as has been said, the train had passed back
several years. Eileen still saw Clonderalaw Castle and
the surrounding country in the foreground, though the
whole view was a very wide one :-embracing the whole
iv.] Pity and Peace and Love. 31
world, she thought. Now she saw her brother and herself
as they had been years ago : her brother with short socks
and bare legs, and herself in almost baby attire. This
made her laugh immensely: but her laughter did not
last long. For, standing close beside them, she soon
saw a friend, whom she well remembered, though she had
not seen him for many a long day. This was their dear
old pony, Jocko, who had died a great while ago. Eileen
had had a very happy life: and, in the whole course of it,
she had had no experience of death, save only this one.
Tears came into her eyes, as she looked at her well-
remembered favourite. She recollected that the voice
at the station, which they had lately left, had called out
"to the dead with its last words : and it now struck her
with awe to think that all the myriad men and women,
whom she was to see after the next few stations, were
none other than the company of the departed dead. She
looked very lovingly, for a few moments, at the pony on
which she had learned to ride, and which once had seemed
to know the meaning of everything she said. Poor old
creature! she was very glad to have seen him once again :
although, when she returned home, of course she knew
he would be dead again as heretofore. It was the first
Eileen had learned of the 'bitterness of Death!-One
thought consoled her: Titania had told her that brute
animals may have souls: and, where there is a soul, we
have a hope that looks into the future of that soul.
She now turned again from the window, stroked her
Pity and Peace and Love.
dear dog's head and looked endless questions into his keen
dark eyes. And, when she again looked out, she saw no
pony there: but she knew, by the number of the next
milestone which they passed, that the train had come
to a date, when neither her pony nor herself had yet been
born. She looked upon the earth: and her eyes wandered
over the face of it: but she no longer saw herself there:
and she struggled to realise the extraordinary fact, that
they had arrived at the time, wherein she was not. "We
will stop at the next station said the Queen.
The train came to a stand-still: and immediately one
of the fairy-porters opened the door of the carriage in
which Titania and Eileen were seated. They then got out
of the .train together and stepped on to the platform.
There was a large painted board at one end of it, on which
was written the name of the station :-" THE YEAR OF
OUR LORD ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTY-
SEVEN." Eileen was very much excited, as she took
her seat by the side of Titania in the car, which was
waiting for them outside the station, with four golden
eaglets already harnessed to it. When we leave the
station" said Titania in a soft voice Time will go on
as usual,-from the point where we alight. As in the case
of journeys made upon your earth from place to place,
you may walk, when the train stops, a little way back
along the line in the direction from which you have come,
IV.] Pity and Peace and Love. 33
so will it be in the case of this journey. But, wherever
we may be upon the earth, we shall go wrapped in an
invisible cloud: and the men, women and children on the
earth will never guess that we are near them, though we
shall pass close to them and mingle in their multitudes.
The fairies always move in clouds that render them thus
invisible: save only when they discover their presence to
some especial favourites, and allow those favourites to
see them through the cloud. So long as this journey
lasts, you shall be in no danger from any of the perils,
which mortals have to fear: so long as this journey lasts
you shall have all the protections from such things, which
fairies have. And, beside these protections, you shall have
all the powers of mind which fairies have-enlarged
powers of seeing and hearing, and chiefest of all that
gift of tongues, which will enable you to understand all
The car was now beginning to move: and Teazer was
on the point of leaping in after them. But Her Majesty
said that he must wait: for that they would be back
in an instant. "We cannot take your pretty beast with
us ": said the Queen as the car sped off: "though I am
sorry to refuse him. For he is a dog of mettle, well
I know: and he would want to worry the cats and other
animals upon the earth. If he were to go with us, he
would go, like us, invisible: and it would not be playing
the part of a good fairy to the past inhabitants of the
earth, were I to suffer their pets to be taken unawares and
34 Pity and Peace and Love. [CH.Iv.
killed by an invisible enemy." Eileen quite saw that
to suffer this would be unfair: and consented to a short
separation from her favourite: just as she did when she
went in the course of her ordinary life to Church or other
places, where "dogs are not admitted" :-remembering
that there is a time for everything, and that, while con-
sidering Teazer's wants, she must not forget what was
reasonable in the interests of others.
This had just been amicably arranged: when the car,
having executed its journey with lightning speed, set down
the travellers upon the earth : and Eileen gazed about her,
wondering where she could be.
OUR BANNER OF ENGLAND.
And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew."
S HE was in India: at Lucknow: and they were
standing beside the English church. It was Sunday
morning: and the church was full of British soldiers
and their wives and children. The Fairy Queen and
Eileen entered the building: where all things were being
done much as they are done at home. With the Queen's
leave, Eileen took her place between two beautiful children,
who sat with their mother, in a pew which was otherwise
unoccupied: and there, unseen of all, she could look about
her entirely at her ease. There was nothing very extra-
ordinary to see: and except for the tremendous power
of the blazing .sun, whose rays streamed in through the
chinks of the shutters, she would never have guessed that
she was so far away from home. The gay British uni-
forms indeed, to which we are accustomed, of scarlet and
gold were changed for uniforms of white, as being better
suited to the burning heat which prevailed. Otherwise
the whole surroundings seemed familiar: the straight-
backed regimental lines filling the pews set apart for the
Our Banner of England.
military, the peculiar clattering and clanking which ac-
companies their movements whenever the congregation
kneels or rises, the surplice and hood of the English
clergyman, the well-known language of the Book of
Common Prayer,-together with the usual Sunday-morning
attire of the women and children,-were all reproduced
here exactly as you may observe them in the mother-
country any summer's day.
Eileen was very curious to know more about her com-
panions in the pew. And so, after a while, she took
advantage of the cloud of invisibility, which hid herself and
all her actions from mortal eyes, to look into the children's
prayer-books: hoping to read their names upon the fly-
leaves. She was not disappointed: the names were written
there as she had expected-" Herbert and Muriel."
Just as Eileen had made this discovery, the prayers
being nearly finished, Herbert whispered into Muriel's
ear:-"Do you see? Father is going out of church:
and several other officers too Muriel turned her head
to the place where the soldiers sat: and Eileen, who had
overheard the whisper, did the same. It was as the boy
had said. A man had come in with a message for those
officers: and they were evidently going out in consequence.
The service went on. For a time all was quiet again.
But soon other men entered with messages for other
officers: and they too left the church. Then the women
who were present began to look very uncomfortable.
Something was wrong. And it was not without a touch
v.] Our Banner of England. 37
of impatience that they-and Eileen-waited until service
and sermon were over to learn what was amiss.
When at last they did come out of church, Eileen
followed the children, with whom she had been sitting.
Their mother left them for a short while on a seat in the
churchyard: and bade them stay there, while she made
inquiries among her friends as to the reason of her
This mother was still young: hers was a gentle, refined
face, whose outline was singularly lovely: proud in its
beauty too: rich dark eyes, which sparkled from beneath
thick eyelashes: a slender form: not strong, but very
active. She was not a woman inclined to sofas and
scents and languishing luxury, albeit rich enough for such
indulgence had she wanted it :-no, she was very practical:
thought much: did much: not for herself only, but for
everyone about her: all in all to her husband and her
children: one of the most precious and helpful women
in Lucknow during the hours of trouble.
Muriel was very like her mother,-only more delicate.
The climate of North India had harmed her grievously !
She was small, fragile, weakly: but with not a little of
her mother's proud spirit flashing from her eyes and
colouring her pale-white cheeks. She had her mother's
voice and step and attitudes. Indeed the shape of their
face and form was ridiculously the same. And so was
the colour of their hair:-only that of course the dark
brown clusters of mother and daughter were treated
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very differently. Muriel's hair was allowed to fall
unrestrainedly whithersoever it pleased (for that is
childhood's privilege): whilst her mother's was severely
imprisoned, according to the fashion of the day, within
a net. Herbert was of a rougher build and full of robust
health: but had withal an undeniable beauty of his own.
He was fourteen years old: and his sister was about two
The children waited somewhat impatiently for their
mother, who was soon standing in the middle of a little
knot of friends, engaged in anxious conversation. At
last she turned from them, and Herbert, leaving his sister's
side, sprang-toward his mother, asking excitedly:-" What
is it, mother? Has anybody told you why father left
the church ? He has gone she said to the camp of
the Sepoys-the Indian native troops. They are rising in
arms against their officers. It is a grave matter.- If others
were to follow their example, there would be a terrible
war. It may come to serious fighting here and every-
where in India." "I hope it will said Herbert : evidently
meaning in earnest what he said. He had been brought
up among soldiers and guns and fortifications all his life.
He wanted now to see something of real war. He was
tired of seeing people "only playing at it always," as he
said. "Yes" he repeated I hope there will be war."
"Do not say so !" his mother said. "You little know*
what such a thing would mean to all of us. But we will
not speak about it more at present: for Muriel must not
v.] Our Banner of England. 39
be alarmed." Muriel however had already overheard what
her mother had been saying. "I am not in the least
afraid": said she: "I am too English for that. But for
the sake of everybody here, I hope there will be no
fighting." And the three set out together for their
The Fairy Queen and Eileen went with them, and they
soon reached the house. It was one of those which is
called a bungalow: a building with only one story. They
entered the children's old nursery. It was very like our
nurseries at home: and was hung moreover with the
very same prints and pictures that may be seen in ten
thousand children's haunts in England and in Ireland.
But the view from the window was very different from
any that the British Isles can show. It was a curious
mixture of East and West. There were gilded domes:
tall slender pillars: lofty colonnades: iron railings and
balustrades: cages, some filled with wild beasts, others
with strange bright birds : gardens, fountains, cypress-
trees: elephants, camels and horses. But there were
also London-like houses, which Englishmen had builded
there: and English barouches took their turns with the
gilt litters of the Indians in passing along the streets.
And in the distance was the view of the Sepoys' Indian
camp. Herbert, arming himself with a small telescope,
tried to see what was happening there. In vain: for the
distance was too great. But now that his mother was
no longer present, he confessed to Muriel that still he
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could not help hoping there would be a fight. He thought
a battle must be the most magnificent spectacle on earth.
But she would not agree with him. Peace would be far
better, she thought, if an honourable peace were possible.
In due time the father of the family came home. He
was a handsome man, of a soldierly appearance : tall and
powerful. Herbert ran eagerly to him: asking whether
there had been or would be any fighting against the
Sepoys. "Thank Heaven" was the answer "it has not
come to fighting yet. But it may do so before long.
Nothing would make me sorrier than if there were to be
a great Indian mutiny. The English women and children
would suffer dreadfully: and many of our brave fellows
would be shot before we won the victory. No, let our
prayer be for 'peace in our time' still." Herbert was silent
for a while : not liking to confess to his father that he yet
wished for war. But Eileen could see that he was not
really convinced. He had certainly set his heart on seeing
Muriel had now a question to put to her father. What
is it all about ?" she said. "Why are the Indian soldiers
dissatisfied? Surely the English are very kind to them? "
" I will try and explain he said as clearly as I can."
And then he told her a thing about which Eileen had often
read before now in her history-book, but whose importance
she had always found it hard to understand. When the
natives in our service load their rifles he said "it is usual
to order them to bite their cartridges,-so as to let out the
V.] Our Banner of England. 41
gunpowder and pour it down the muzzle of their rifles.
Some mischief-maker has told them that the paper of those
cartridges is made of the fat of pigs and cows. Now these
people are chiefly of two religions. Some are Brahmins :
some Mohammedans. Brahmins think that cows are
sacred animals: that it is wicked to touch any part of a
cow with their lips: and that a man is degraded if he does
so. Mohammedans think that pigs are impure animals:
and that even to taste their flesh is to defile themselves.
This is why both are so angry at the notion of biting the
cartridges: and this is the reason of their dissatisfaction !"
" How absurd" said Herbert. It is very absurd in a
sense of course": his father said: "but then these men
believe their religion, as we believe ours. And they think
that we purposely intend to hurt their religious feelings.
I told the men with whom I had to deal that it was a
mistake: that we did not mean'to offend them: and that
some other way of making the cartridges ready would be
found. And so I persuaded them to become obedient again.
Sir Henry Lawrence, our governor here, will hold a grand
military levee to-morrow : and then he is going to explain
to the assembled native officers what I have been trying to
explain to my own men. If you would like to come, I will
take you to the place." Both children were eager to go.
And accordingly on the next day they were duly taken to
the Residency, where the levee was. The lawn was strewn
with carpets : and the chief officers sat thereon in chairs.
Titania and Eileen reclined, invisible, in the midst of them.
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Then Sir Henry stood on a verandah and addressed the
Indian chiefs. "Those who tell you that we Englishmen
intend to hurt your religious feelings he said are liars.
Other rulers of India have forced people to accept their
own religion. But we allow you absolute freedom in all
matters of faith. You may build your own temples every-
where: and have what ceremonies you please therein."
Then he pointed to the Union Jack, which was waving in
the wind above. "It is our boast" he said "that under
our banner of England men may have what religion they
choose : for Christians do not compel others to become
Christians too by force of arms: and who will dare to
interfere with those beneath our protection ? Be faithful
to us: and that banner will assure to you your perfect
The Fairy Queen said to Eileen:-" The governor is
right. Men must believe the faith their consciences
approve. There is no good in using force of arms in
such matters. These strange religions, however imperfect,
are all that the unconverted natives have to lead them to
what is good and beautiful. And every man's religious
beliefs have something sacred about them, which it is
wrong in others to offend. May the banner of England
always protect the rights of Liberty!"
When Sir Henry Lawrence had made an end of speak-
ing, he rewarded the natives who had done faithful service :
and the meeting then dispersed. Herbert and Muriel
returned home again: and Eileen went with them.
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For some time nothing more was said about the mutiny:
and people began to think that all was right again.
Herbert and Muriel noticed however that their father
was very busy: and his absence from home became more
and more frequent as time went on. At last he told
Herbert one day that the mutiny was not by any means
at an end: the mischief-makers had found other reasons
besides religious ones for persuading the men to be dis-
obedient: they were being disobedient still, not only here,
but throughout the length and breadth of India. It was
becoming a serious war. Then Herbert thought he would
see some fighting after all! But his father said :-" We
do not expect that the enemy will come here. Sir Henry
Lawrence is anxious about other places: but this place
Lucknow he considers safe. Pray Heaven he may be
right: for this is the place where your mother and Muriel
and yourself are. And therefore I must care for its safety.
first of all!"
But one morning not long after this, the whole town
was alarmed. "The enemy are coming" it was said: and
it was true. Titania and Eileen sped to the place where
Lawrence was. Every preparation was being made for
a real siege. Stores of food were being carried into the
place. New fortifications were being made. Each soldier
was being given his special post. Lawrence looked very
anxious. "I am not afraid for us, who are men and
soldiers": he said: "it is for the women and children
that I fear."
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Before Eileen had half realized what was happening,
the fierce regiments of the Indian enemy were close to
them: black-faced wretches uttering fearful war-cries and
bellowing for admission: calling to Lawrence to give the
city up to them, as he valued his own life: firing musket-
shots at whomsoever they could see exposed: threatening
to destroy the whole place and torture everyone within
it, if their will were not obeyed immediately: an army
of wild and merciless murderers. The whole country was
black with the enormous numbers of them: marching
in formed line, arrayed in British uniforms, and armed
with all the artillery and implements of war, which the
English themselves had given them.
Lawrence said:-" I must write to General Havelock,
who is at Allahabad, to bring more men to Lucknow to
save us from destruction. We must keep the city at all
costs till he comes. We must never give in." And he
wrote to Havelock, saying in what danger Lucknow was.
"Relieve us with all speed" he wrote. "I think we
might hold out for ten or fifteen days!"
Eileen returned to her little friends again. Herbert was
pale: but appeared as though endeavouring to enjoy the
scene. Muriel was very quiet: but showed no signs of
fear. Soon their mother came in: and told them that
their father was going away from them upon a dangerous
piece of business. They must come and bid him good-
bye. They went to the door of the bungalow: and found
him already on horseback and about that instant to
V.] Our Banner of England. 45
depart. "Lawrence has decided to leave the city, with
some picked soldiers, to attack the enemy at a place called
Chinhut. And I am to go with him. Heaven bless and
keep you while I am away So saying, he bent from his
horse to kiss his wife and children. He hid his face for
a few moments in Muriel's soft dark hair: and struggled
to be calm. Then he rose again to his full height in the
saddle: and crossing the Goomtee river by the bridge,
quickly galloped out of sight. None of his dear ones
ever saw him alive again.
Lawrence's sally to Chinhut did not go prosperously.
Other enemies, whom he had not seen, were hidden in
ambush where he had to pass: and fell upon his soldiers
unawares. Many were killed: and the father of Herbert
and Muriel was among their number! Lawrence and
those with him barely escaped with their lives back to
the city walls.
Herbert heard of his father's death, before his widowed
mother knew about it. He told her bravely, quietly: as
befitted a soldier's son. But he no longer looked as he
had done hitherto. The terrors of war had come home
to him at last: for at the very beginning of it his dear
father was lost to him!
More trouble was yet in store for them all. The next
day Muriel fell very sick: and the good victuals, which
it was so important that she should have, had already risen
to a terribly high price. For the siege had now really
begun: and it would soon be impossible to buy them at
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all. A doctor was wanted. Herbert went to fetch him :
for none of the servants durst leave the house. It was
very dangerous-almost unto death-to go into the streets
of Lucknow during those terrible days. In the meantime
Muriel lay in bed: and her mother had to watch con-
stantly by the side of her. A sick-room should be above
all things quiet and undisturbed: and such Muriel's had
always been when she was ill before. But now the bullets
of the besieging savages rained on the walls of her bed-
chamber as thick as hail: the shutters had to be con-
tinually closed, for the sake of such slight protection as
they might afford: and, despite all precautions, Muriel's
mother was actually wounded in the shoulder by one of
the merciless bullets, which found its way into the room.
Eileen, who of course had nothing to fear by the side
of the Fairy Queen, followed Herbert on his perilous
errand. Great were the horrors which were to be seen,
as they passed along the streets. But Herbert pluckily
persevered in the accomplishment of that which he had
come to do: and at last, by Heaven's mercy, arrived
unhurt at the good doctor's house.
He was admitted. But the doctor was not at home:
he had gone to the Residency, which was just opposite,-
the place where Lawrence lived, and where the lev6e had
been held. The servant thought that Lawrence himself
must have been wounded. The boy went into the house:
he would wait there, he said, until the doctor came. The
Fairy Queen and Eileen waited too. Shot and shell were
V.] Our Banner of England. 47
striking the house opposite, from which the doctor was
expected to come. After half an hour the door opened:
and a small party of men came across the road, amid
a shower of bullets, carrying a wounded man! When
Eileen saw him, she recognized him at once. It was
Sir Henry Lawrence himself: and he was wounded unto
.death. When the party came to the doctor's house,
Herbert was told that medical aid should be sent to Muriel
as soon as possible. So, with that hope, he left the house:
and, turning his face homewards, faced again the dangers
of the streets.
Eileen stayed for a while at the doctor's house.
Lawrence had been carried safely to the northern verandah
of it, which at that moment was somewhat sheltered from
the heavy fire of the enemy. But he had hardly been
placed upon a bed there, when a terrific storm of bullets
came in that direction also: and it was only by the
greatest care and by keeping within the shelter of the
pillars and end walls, that any of the party who stood
round his bed were saved alive.
That was the second of July: and on the fourth the
wounded warrior died, bidding those around him fight on
to the last. "You must never give in" : he said: "the
barbarous Indians must never be allowed to touch our
women and children. You ought rather to die of starvation,
before you let that come to pass." Lawrence spoke well.
It was better to starve and fall into the hands of Heaven,
than by surrendering to fall into the hands of merciless
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men. Besides the honour of our banner of England was
at stake: it was still blowing proudly on the topmost roof,
and, please Heaven, still should blow!
Eileen went that night to the leader's lonely funeral:
lonely,-for none of his friends were there, save the priest
who read a hurried prayer above the grave. The words
of that prayer could hardly be heard by earthly ears, amid
the booming of the cannon without the walls.
Then Titania brought her back to Muriel's bed-chamber.
The little girl was very ill. A young doctor had come to
see her. He said that she must have great care, and as
much quiet as possible. Alas! quiet was not to be had
in Lucknow at this time for all the money in the world.
The terrible siege went on amid unceasing shot and shell:
and would go on, until the expected soldiers should come
with Havelock to set them free. Time passed away: and
at last a shell burst in the very room where Muriel lay
abed. Happily she was herself unhurt: but the outside
wall of the chamber was utterly destroyed. And bullets
were still flying fast. Some soldiers passing in the street
called to the dwellers in the house :-" You must come to
the Brigade Mess in the Residency. That is where all
the women and children are taking refuge now. Come!
there is no time to lose." Hearing that the child was
sick, one of the soldiers, who.had served under Muriel's
father, rushed into the room. Taking the pale child from
the bed, he wrapped her tender limbs in his rough military
great-coat (this was no time for ceremony) : and ran from
V.] Our Banner of England. 49
the house to the place of safety, which had been mentioned.
They were followed by Herbert and his mother, who came
unprotected through the perilous streets. Other women
and children, and wounded and sick men, were hurrying
also to the Brigade Mess. All ranks were huddled together
there: and delicate little Muriel had to share a sofa in
the place with a butcher's wounded urchin, a dirty creature
and shabbily attired.
In the third week of the siege this new place of refuge,
the Brigade Mess, was itself attacked: and from that time
forward not a few of the women and children were
numbered among the wounded in the city. When would
their troubles come to an end? Lawrence had said:-
" I think we can hold the place for ten or fifteen days,
till Havelock comes." Lawrence was dead : and Inglis,
who had taken his place, was continuing to hold the fortress
still-for a space of time far longer than for fifteen days.
Weeks passed away: the horrors increased, instead of
lessening. Food was very scarce. There was an infinite
torment of flies-like the Egyptian plague-which settled
upon everything. The air was foul. Disease and decay
were raging everywhere. The doctors said that Muriel
was dying: and must die certainly within a very short
time, unless good victuals could be had for her.
Herbert was miserable. His mother was very weary:
and her wound was not yet whole. And every morning
they arose and asked:-" Is not Havelock coming? We
shall die if he does not come soon." But still no-one
50 Our Banner of England. [cH.
talked of surrendering the city to the mutineers. Our
banner of England was riddled with bullets again and
again: but a new Union Jack was always put in the
place of the old one.
Eileen watched unseen over Muriel's couch. Herbert
would stay by the window: and tell his sister what was
passing in the street. His heart was sick with vainly
looking for relief.
A terrible explosion was heard. The house opposite "
said the boy is blown to pieces." And this was literally
the truth. The enemy had made mines right underneath
the Residency: and were now exploding them. Part
of the women's quarters even was blown away in this
ghastly fashion. But still Inglis did not think of yield-
ing: for he remembered Lawrence's dying words, and he
knew that they were true.
The butcher's child died on Muriel's sofa: and she had
it all to herself. But ah! for how long? Relief must
come soon: or Muriel would die.
And now at last news came from the friends of the
English. Havelock was on the road! A clever spy had
managed to bring a note into Lucknow, written by the
hand of Havelock. It said that Outram and he were
on their way: and hoped to reach Lucknow within three
or four days. Muriel seemed a little better on this day:
and Eileen fancied that she yet would live.
Three days more passed away with no sign of the
deliverers: and the morning of another came. Herbert
v.] Our Banner of England.
still looked through the window: which commanded a
view of the country beyond the fortifications. He could
see nothing but the armies of the enemy: and heard
only the thundering sounds of their artillery.-Suddenly
the air was rent by a wild shriek of joy: an infinitely
intense "hooray." All looked at the place whence the
sound came. And there stood a poor Scotch corporal's
wife: Jessie Brown by name: who had had her troubles
like the rest, and had borne them patiently. Was she
mad ? or why her extraordinary joy ? She could hardly
speak for excitement: but she said:-" I ken weel our
rescuers are here. I have just caught the faint sound
of bagpipe notes. Whist! I hear them still." Eileen
heard nothing but the cannon's roar: and it seemed that
nobody else heard anything of what the woman described.
"You must be mistaken" said someone. "I canna be
mistaken ": said Jessie Brown: I should know the pibroch-
sound amid all other music in the world. A Scotch lass
couldna be mistaken aboot that. And oh! it is growing
louder. It is the slogan, as we ca' it, of the advancing
Hielanders: I hear the piping o' the Macgregors, the
grandest of them a'! And she wept for the very ecstasy
of her joy.
Jessie Brown was right. At midday the sounds of
battle were distinctly heard: and, as the afternoon
advanced, the sounds came nearer and nearer. Soon all
acknowledged that they heard the bagpipes. Muriel's
mother clasped her darling's hand: and listened to the
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noise with a beating heart. For the soldiers who were
coming were bringing with them that state of things,
which was the last hope for Muriel's life. Indeed the
lives of all the women and children hung on the same
event. For starvation stared them in the face on the
one side: and on the other, what mercy was to be looked
for, if the enemy could win their way into the city ?
And now the sharp ring of rifles was heard: all knew
that their saviours were very nigh. The flash of the
musketry was gradually seen: and then the well-known
uniforms of the faithful Highlanders. After that there
was a great battle. Havelock and Outram fought their
way through the enemy's lines. The- enemy were beaten
back. And at last, as the sun was going down, Inglis and
his trusty officers clasped their deliverers' hands.
Lawrence had wondered whether Lucknow could be
held for fifteen days.-They had "held it for eighty-
The joy was not a thing which pen and ink can
possibly describe. Eileen had a confused vision of men
and women and little children shaking each others' hands:
cheering: weeping: talking endlessly: shouting: singing:
dancing-in a frenzy of wild delight! For the thing
which was too horrible for words had not come to pass :
English women and children had not fallen into the horrid
clutches of the Indian savages. When the siege was
over, and food was no longer scarce, Muriel in happier
and more peaceful days grew well again. But this was
r /' 44r sar .ait$nka
T. J. BARKER fiax.]
THE RELIEF OF LUCKNOW.
From a print published by Messrs. Thomas Agnezw e Sons.
v.] Our Banner of England.
not until Sir Colin Campbell with more men had come
to their relief. When Eileen last saw Lucknow, behold!
Sir Colin, Havelock and Outram stood together: and
our banner of England still was blowing on the topmost
roof. Happy will it be for India, if she may rest for
ever beneath the shadow of the Union Jack!
Eileen looked up. The chariot of the golden eaglets
was waiting there for her. Titania bade her take her
place again upon its cushioned seat. Attendant fairies
covered our two travellers with fair shawls: and they
returned to the station. The train was waiting for them.
Teazer looked up lazily as they opened the door of the
carriage: but he did not jump in wild excitement toward
her, as he usually did after a long absence. "What! boy ":
she said: don't you know I've been away far more than
eighty-seven days ?" "You have forgotten": said the
Fairy Queen : it has all been one moment at this station,
where your dog has been. You have come back to the
same point of time, as that wherein you started from the
station." I forgot" said Eileen : and she shut her eyes
for very bewilderment, as she fell back in her seat. Then
the Magic Train went on again.
As they travelled, Eileen looked again from the window
-through the crevice in the silver cloud to the countries
of the earth beneath. And it happened that sometimes
-"1 1 T
54 Eleen s Journey. LCH.
one country would be in the foreground and easiest to see,
sometimes another : so that she had a never-ending variety
of spectacles. They flew along, past station after station,
without stopping at all: but, whenever there was anything,
which those looking from the window wished to see more
particularly, the Fairy Queen was always able-by a
movement of her sceptre-either entirely to stop the train
for a bit, or to make it travel at a slower pace. And,
during the next few years of their backward journey, there
were many scenes, which Eileen beheld in this way: and
watched with the liveliest delight. Some were scenes of
war. At one time they watched the great doings of
English soldiers in the cold Crimea: and the famous battles
there, of which the history-books are full. At another
Italy was nearest to the cloud-chink, and Eileen looked on
Venice :-at any time it would have given her great
delight to see that fair city, whose streets are beautiful
waters and whose sky is almost always blue: but now the
city was busied with a great revolt and full of armed men
eager to be fighting: the citizens were fighting for their
liberty, and resolved to be no more a subject city.-It was
warfare of this kind, which the Fairy Queen loved best to
watch. There was other warfare in those years, which she
Some again were scenes of peace: and Eileen saw many
of the hunts and horse-races and cricket-matches of the
days before she was born. And she beheld with the
greatest. interest a hundred famous sportsmen and famous
beasts: of whom she had heard her father speak, but
whom she never expected to look on in the flesh. Nor
was it sport alone that she watched: she saw something
of business too. She saw the myriad money-makers, who
then as now were scattered all over the face of the earth.
Most of these were dull enough: but there was some
excitement in watching the swarms of fortune-seekers, who
flocked to Australia about this time to dig for the gold
which had just been discovered there, and in observing
how they quarrelled for its possession, when it was found.
And, beside all these, she saw those men as well who
made it their business to help their fellows, and who
loved-more than wealth or pleasure-that which is
really beautiful and good.
All the while Eileen was eagerly looking out for Ireland,
her dear native land : whose past she longed to know and
understand, more than the past of all the rest beside. But,
for some while after they left Lucknow, she never caught
a glimpse of it: until at last, when they had traversed a
distance of nine years, she turned to Titania and said :-
" I would like to see Ireland again." "You shall ": the
Queen at once replied: "but Ireland at this time is a sad
spectacle for you. Look from the window!" Eileen did
so: and beheld the Connemara wilderness in all its glory
of wild lakes and misty mountains. But she quickly
started back from the window: and clutched Titania's arm.
She had seen a horrible and ghastly sight! The ground
was strewn about with the dying and the dead: and in a
moment Eileen knew what the year must be to which they
were now come. It was the year of the great famine !
Eileen knew well that Connaught country in the days in
which she lived: and, when sojourning there a week or
two, she had often gazed upon the scene which she was
gazing upon now, and marked with pleasure the red bog-
lands, dotted here and there with native folk,-men in
their quaint knee-breeches and women in their scarlet
petticoats scattered about the ground and cutting the turf,
from which they make their fires,-while others within
doors were preparing their frugal meals of boiled potatoes.
Potatoes! they lived on potatoes: and in this famine-
year the potatoes had failed. The absence of that simple
root made all the difference. It meant starvation: and
the Irish were indeed starving in great multitudes. The
hunger was terrible: all were in the immediate presence of
the most cruel death, because they wanted that daily
bread, for which day by day without ceasing they so
piteously prayed. Whole families were perishing: and
many a mother would have given her very life for a few
crusts, on which to feed her child. The people knew not
what to do: they began to fight against their rulers, for no
good reason, but because in their despair they could not
tell whom to blame. Eileen had never before seen real
despair: and the vision of it appalled her.
She did not look out of the window again:-and the
Magic Train passed on.
in thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice."
ONCE more the train began to slacken its speed : and
Eileen, looking from the windows, observed that
they were coming into another station. The fairy-
porters rang their bells: and shouted the station's name:-
"THE YEAR OF OUR LORD ONE THOUSAND EIGHT
HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIVE." Our travellers again
found the faithful eaglets waiting for them. "Bear us,
sweet creatures" said Titania to the Arctic Seas." Away
they flew forthwith: and stayed not until they had set
down their passengers, on a white bleak promontory in the
heart of the Land of Ice. Attendant fairies clothed them
with soft warm furs: and a blazing fire burst forth, by
magic, at the side of them. Thus Eileen herself was warm :
and yet she wondered how any creature could live in such
a clime, if no fairy-porters were at hand. Nowhere, save at
the very spot where the car had halted, did there seem to
be any possibility of warmth whatever. All around were
58 Thick-Ribbed Ice. [cH.
spread the waters of an endless ocean, more than three-
quarters whereof were wholly frozen up: and, where there
was unfrozen sea, mountainous icebergs were drifting about
therein, not without frequent collisions terrible to see. But
in very truth nature had taken care of the birds and beasts,
who lived in these chill climes, almost as well as the Fairy
Queen had taken care of her own favourite. And this
Eileen soon perceived, when she began to look about her.
The fowls. of the air were clothed with the most luxurious
furs; their necks were wrapped about with wool: their
whole bodies were protected by warm raiment: and their
legs and feet were covered with natural stockings of thick
hair. The four-footed beasts were arrayed just as were the
birds: and the intense cold seemed to give them positive
enjoyment. Have you ever seen the poor Polar Bear at
the Zoological Gardens, pacing up and down the whole
day long in his narrow prison, and seeming even in winter
to find our England intolerably hot? Well, Eileen saw
him in his Arctic home: roaming whithersoever he pleased.
He was happy there, and shambled gaily along, delighting
in the hoar-frost and the ice. So it was with all the beasts
that inhabited that land, in the middle of what the
geography-books call the Frigid Zone." It is one of the
laws of nature that all living animals are dressed in the
fashion which is best suited to the clime in which they live.
" Can then human beings live here at all ? asked Eileen.
" The men said Titania "who were born here and whose
fathers' fathers lived in the Arctic regions are fitted by
VI.] Thick-Ribbed Ice. 59
nature, as the birds and beasts are fitted, to endure the
cold. Look at their skins, their hair and their whole
bodies ":-and Eileen followed the direction in which the
Fairy Queen's finger pointed, and saw the strange native
people of the place. "Are those the Esquimaux?" she
asked. "They are" Titania said. And indeed they had
the same look about them that all other living things had
in this corner of the world: a look of comfortable warmth
in the midst of the penetrating cold. "Oh !" said Eileen
"what would the men of Europe do, if they were here?
They were never born to endure this fearful cold. If they
came hither, they would surely die." "Alas !" said the
Queen my mind tells me that your foreboding is all too
true. There are Europeans here to-day: brave strong-
hearted men, once strong-bodied too. But the terrors of
this country are beyond their strength. We will go and
see how they fare in this cruel land." Eileen was over-
whelmed with astonishment at the news which the Queen
had told her. Europeans here? she said. "What men
of Europe could be so bold or foolish as to come to this
place, when they might stay safe and warm at home?
They must be mad. From what land do they come?"
"They come from England": said the Fairy Queen:
"and they are NOT mad. If they had come from mere
idle curiosity, they would be so. But they came with
their brave hearts, because they hoped to help mankind
thereby. They came to discover that which would be
a boon to mariners the whole world over-the north-
60 Thick-Ribbed Ice. [cH.
west passage to the other hemisphere. They used all
possible precautions : and hoped to surmount all obstacles.
Though nature had not given them thick woolly skins
and hair, science and art could clothe them in such fashion
as to imitate the advantages which nature has given to
the Esquimaux. The birds and beasts of Arctic regions
have to pay dearly for their coats of fur. For man kills
the poor creatures, that he may clothe himself in, the
raiment of which he has despoiled them. So, for that
matter, these men are well provided. Is it not moreover
worth while to undergo much personal trouble and pain-
is it not even worth while to meet a death bravely
suffered-to help the whole world to new advantages?
It is fortunate that all men are not content to sit' safe and
warm' at home. Come with me, and I will show you a
hero: who is willing to suffer death to satisfy the object
of his life."
In a moment Eileen found herself standing on the
deck of Her Majesty's ship Erebus. And it was with
great joy that she hailed the sight of this vessel: whose
appearance reminded her at once of Europe and of the
comforts enjoyed in our own Temperate Zone. She was
a glorious ship, fitted with all the gear and machinery
of modern times-a ship which had done good service
in the Queen's Navy, and which had weathered a thousand
dangers successfully. But now she was useless for the
purpose with which she had been builded:. she would
never sail again: for she was fast bound in the thick-
[Toface A 60.
SHIPS IN THE ARCTIC REGIONS.
W. WESTALL, A.R.A., pfihx.]
Vi.] Thick-Ribbed Ice. 6 1
ribbed ice, and gripped with a deadly embrace. It was
a grievous disappointment to the sailors who were on
board of her: for although they knew that they were
close to the north-west passage, which they had come
to seek, they also knew that their vessel could never
now go through that passage. It was a hard fortune
to come so near success and yet to fail. "Come" said
Titania "let us go below: and you shall see a man
whom you will never forget. It is the dying Franklin."
Eileen went below: and they entered the cabin, where
the hero's death-bed was. There lay the commander of
the expedition at the last moment of his life. "Alas!"
he said feebly: I am too old : I am not strong enough
to fight any longer against the chilling climate of this
Arctic land. I am worn out: and I must die. But that
is not the worst. What most troubles me is that I have
failed in the purpose of my life. The north-west passage
is not yet discovered." At this moment the cabin-door
softly opened: and one of his officers came in, who had
just returned to the ship from a long expedition made
to explore the neighboring country. "Be of a good
cheer" said the new-comer. "You have not failed. I
come to you at this moment to tell you that the north-
west passage Is discovered. I and my men have
searched it out and found it. And the glory of the dis-
covery is yours: for it was you who brought us to the
place." Franklin's face at this intelligence was right
glorious to behold. "Thank God!" he said: "I die
62 Thick-Ribbed Ice. [CH.
happy." And, saying this, he yielded up his spirit and
His was a happy death:--such a death as one would
wish for a hero. He died at the very moment, when the
object of his life had been fulfilled : and he did not have
to face the horrors which fell upon his comrades after-
wards. For it came to pass, that, although the north-
west passage was discovered, yet none of those who were
with Franklin on this voyage lived to tell the tale. They
had written their short story on a scrap of paper: and
put this scrap of paper in a bottle. This bottle remained
whole, when they were turned to dust: and was found
by friendly Englishmen. The scrap of paper in the bottle
was the last trusty news of Franklin and his brave followers,
which his mourners in England ever had. (Now Franklin
had a loving wife to mourn him: besides friends innumer-
able at home.)
Of the last days of Franklin's followers no news ever
came to Europe. Some of their skeletons were found,
and their sledge: and some of their other tools and
possessions. No man in Europe ever saw the men them-
selves alive again. But Eileen saw them:-saw them as
they stood mourning their great chief:-saw them sadly
bury him:-saw them, after vainly waiting for the ice
to melt and set their vessels free, at last abandon their
ships and march with their sledge across the fields of ice,
in search of a friendly continent :-saw them fall sick:-saw
them drop and faint by the way :-saw them starve:-and
saw them die-even to the last man of their company.
And the Fairy Queen said:-" It is well. The death of
these men is a blessed death. For they died bravely
striving to do a great thing, which would help all
mankind." And Eileen recognized the truth of her saying:
and understood that it is better to die in pursuit of a noble
object as Franklin died, than to sit "safe and warm" at
home in selfishness.
Eileen took a last look at the never-to-be-forgotten
Land of Ice, with its strange natives and its curious beasts
and birds: and she felt its chill blasts sweep for the last
time over them, as she bade farewell to the old Polar Bear
upon a snowy peak.
Then, reascending the car of the golden eaglets, she
was wafted back again to the Magic Railway.
"To bathe in fiery floods."-SHAKESPEARE.
W RITERS of all ages-those at least who dwell in
the "Temperate Zone"-seem to have agreed
with Shakespeare in thinking that the worst
tortures imaginable are first the hottest of heat and then
the coldest of cold :-
"to bathe in fiery floods, or to reside
in thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice."
Milton describing the tortures of the inhabitants of Hell
tells us that they
"starve in ice their soft ethereal warmth."
And Dante, who wanted, when describing the place he
called "Inferno," to picture the most awful torments which
could be conceived, wrote what he thought most horrible:
and it was this:-
"Woe to you wicked spirits. Hope not
ever to see the sky again. I come
to take you to the other shore across
into eternal darkness, there to dwell
in fierce heat and in ice!"
Eileen had been to the land whose natives "reside
in thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice" : and now at the
next station "THE YEAR OF OUR LORD ONE THOUSAND
EIGHT HUNDRED AND FORTY-ONE she was taken in the
car of the golden eaglets to a land where all nature seemed
to "bathe in fiery floods"! She herself was protected
by the fairies as before from the horrors of the fearful
climate, to which she was come. For she found herself
clothed mysteriously in airy fabrics and fanned with the
coolest breezes-all by that same magic which in the land
of ice had made her warm. Here again too she noticed
that the men and animals who were born in the place had
been fitted by nature to endure the climate. And the
same creatures, which she had seen, in the Zoological
Gardens, covered with blankets and warmed by stoves and
hot-water pipes, even in our most scorching summers, were
here at home: and basked in contented nakedness beneath
the blazing sun, which shines in the Torrid Zone."
But for the men of Europe, unaccustomed to such a
clime, the heat was fully as terrible as the cold had been
in the Arctic lands:-a thing whereof Eileen was soon
made aware. The poets are right in this. There are
no more fearful tortures to the human body than these
tortures of ice and fiery floods. "Where are we?" said
Eileen as she looked about her. We are standing on
the earth's equator" answered the Fairy Queen. Eileen
looked at her feet: half expecting to see the equator
drawn there, as it is drawn in the map. But she soon
remembered that it is an altogether imaginary line: and
asked another question. "What country then is this?"
she said. "It is Darkest Africa" the Queen answered.
" Come, let us explore it."
Why do you call it 'Darkest' Africa ? asked Eileen:
for the fiery floods that poured down from the sun blazed
oftentimes with brilliant light. "Because it is the land
of the heathen" : said the Fairy Queen: in whose minds
there is no light." And Eileen, wandering about the
country, soon understood that these were indeed "the
people that walked in darkness"! Among them were
those who filled her oftentimes with horror unspeakable :
those who deliberately killed men and women of a like flesh
and blood with themselves, as a sacrifice upon the altars of
their heathen gods: those who slew the old and weakly
because they said there was not food in plenty sufficient
for everyone: and those who led the life of cannibals-
most terrible of all to see-whose hideous doings were
beheld in open day, shameless and remorseless. Yet even
among these wretches the Fairy Queen at times found
things to show her favourite, which were beautiful and
good. There was much that gave hope of better things
to come, when the days of darkness should be passed.
Africa interested Eileen very much. She would have
thought it worth while to go there, if only to see its birds
and beasts and fishes. Hundreds of creatures which before
she had seen only in menageries or read of in natural-
history books were now shown to her in their own homes :
and moreover they never started away at her presence, nor
showed any sign of alarm, for they knew that Titania and
her friends would never do them a harm. Bright-coloured
birds were there: green yellow-shouldered parrots and
guinea-fowl: ostriches and black vultures. Sharks swam
in the seas: and scorpions crept upon the earth. The long-
necked giraffe, the striped zebra, and the fierce rhinoceros
each in his turn walked up most trustfully to be admired,
when the Fairy Queen and Eileen came near. They saw
the mother hippopotamus, carrying her young ones on
her neck: they saw mighty buffaloes and lions fighting
in desperate conflict one with another. Eileen liked the
lion best of all the animals. "He really is the king of
beasts" said she. "The books are right which told me so."
One night, while they were in South Africa, they went to
the side of a water-pond: and sat there together in the
foliage of a thick-leaved tree. It was a moonlit evening:
and for a short space all was still. Then there was the
roar of lions: and soon a troop of them came to the water's
edge to drink. When their thirst was satisfied they lay
there still awhile: and seemed as though about to sleep.
But in a few minutes Eileen heard the lowing of cattle-
not very far off. The sound comes from the village of
Mabotza said the Queen. And hardly had she spoken
when the lions made it manifest that they too had heard
it: for they started up, and rushed away, roaring, to seek
Our travellers followed: and found the lions doing great
havoc in the pens. It was a fearful slaughter. When
they had had enough, they withdrew again : and came to a
small hill, covered with trees. There Eileen and Titania
tarried: watching their majestic slumber, until the sun was
risen high in the heavens.
And now the owners of the cattle were seen coming to
avenge themselves upon the midnight robbers : a troop of
negro savages armed with spears. The men made them-
selves into a circle round the hill. Eileen watched the
lions with deepening interest. They looked a formidable
enemy to attack with spears: and at first she could not
see that they had any other weapons. All of a sudden
however she heard the crack of a rifle! and quickly
perceived that one lion, who had been sitting on a little
rock behind a bush, was wounded. He is shot": cried
the savages: "he is shot." Eileen saw his tail erected
in anger for one moment: then with a fearful rush he
bounded forward and sprang upon the man, who had fired
the shot. Growling horribly, he shook him, as Eileen had
seen Teazer shake a rat. At this instant another shot
was fired. The lion turned to attack his new enemy: and
bit him in the thigh. But just then the bullets, which
the lion had received, took effect: and the great monster
fell down dead.
Eileen looked to the place where the man was, whom
she had first seen beneath the lion's dreadful paw: and
to her astonishment she saw that it was a white man.
"That is he" Titania said who is to bring Light to the
Dark Continent. He has come from England, on purpose
to preach the Christian Gospel to men who had never even
heard of it before. If the lion had slain him, Africa
had lost her truest friend. But Heaven in its mercy
spared him." "Who is it?" asked Eileen. The Queen
answered :-" It is David Livingstone!"
And from that moment Titania and Eileen followed the
fortunes of this great missionary for many a long day.
He underwent great perils in his work of love: not only
perils from beasts of prey : but other perils too : perils
from hostile savages, who did not know that he was
their friend : perils of every sort by land and water: and,
worst of all, the perils of the fiery floods which poured
down ever more fiercely from the sky as he pierced his
way farther and farther through unhealthy swamps and
swollen rivers into the "Torrid Zone." "The climate of
Africa" said Titania "is killing Livingstone, as surely
as the Arctic climate killed Sir John Franklin." But it
was a slower matter in this case. Eileen never saw the
death of Livingstone: which happened some years later,
when the rising waters overtook him: and, after making
a long vain journey to escape them, carried on the backs
of his native followers, he fell a victim to the weakness
which the climate of the land of fiery floods had wrought
Titania did not choose that they should wait in Africa
so long as that: but they waited long enough to under-
stand the dangers which Livingstone was facing, and
long enough to understand also the reason why he faced
them. On a day, while they were following him, he
met a woman called Manenko,-who was a chieftainess
in Africa. Manenko was the sort of woman, whom, if
you once saw, you would not easily forget.
She was young, tall, and, for one of her people, hand-
some: her black skin was painted with red ochre: iron
ornaments were hung about her, which in Africa were
considered as precious as diamonds are in London: and
charms innumerable adorned her person too, amulets
which she thought would keep the evil spirits off and
bring her good luck of every kind. For she was very
superstitious. When this Manenko met Livingstone she
liked him well: and offered to take him to her uncle the
Shint6, who was a sort of king in those parts. Two men
accompanied her, one on each side: the man on her right
hand was her husband: and the other was her drummer,
who made strange music as they passed along She had
numerous servants withal.
This strange company, with Livingstone under their
protection, came to the kingdom of the Shint6. The
wretched people in this place worshipped an ugly idol,
made of grass and clay, with cowry-shells for eyes : some-
thing like a lion and something like a crocodile. Think !
It is a sober fact. Eileen saw them, with her own eyes,
bowing down and worshipping this thing. It was their
religion :-they had never heard of any other. Eileen
could not understand what they could see in this frightful
object, that they worshipped it. But Titania said:-
" They worship it, because they think it beautiful and
good. You may say that it is absurd to call it beautiful
and meaningless to call it good. Yet there may be some-
thing beautiful and good in their rude faith, which you
cannot understand. They want to worship something and
to pray to something to give them what is good for them :
but they know not what to worship. It is Livingstone's
high privilege to preach to them the true religion !"
Manenko fell ill: and was unable herself to present
the missionary to her uncle. Sambaza her husband under-
took to do so in her stead. Come with me" he said:
and he led the way to the place where the Shint6 was
waiting with his assembled court. He himself sat beneath
a tree on a throne of leopard's skin: he had on a checked
jacket and a kilt of scarlet and green: he wore heavy
ornaments of iron on his arms and chest, and anklets of
copper on his ankles-things of priceless value in that
land: on his head he wore a helmet made of beads and
crowned with a great bunch of goose-feathers. Close to
him sat three lads with large sheaves of arrows on their
Sambaza and his followers clapped their hands when
they came into the Shint6's presence :-this was to show
their respect for him. They rubbed their chests and arms
with. ashes:-that was to show that the meeting was
a friendly one. The soldiers, fully armed, made fierce
grimaces at Livingstone to frighten him: and pretended
that they were going to attack him: but he sat still and
showed them that he was not afraid. Then they ceased
from doing these things.
Then Sambaza, who was gaily dressed, stalked back-
wards and forwards in front of the Shinti and told them
everything, which Manenko and he had been able to learn,
of Livingstone: how the Bible, which he had come to
teach them, was a word from Heaven: and how the white
man wanted the tribes to live in peace. It was very doubt-
ful, he said, whether the white man was telling the truth or
not: probably he was not. But the Shint6 was usually
kind to strangers: and he hoped that he would be kind
to the white man. Thus spake Sambaza: but he did not
at all understand that Livingstone was doing a far greater
kindness to the negroes than they could repay to him.
Behind the Shint6 sat about a hundred women: dressed
in red baize. The chief wife of the Shinte sat in front:
with a curious red cap upon her head. During the
intervals between the speeches, these women burst forth
into a kind of plaintive ditty : but Eileen could not make
out whether it was in praise of the speaker, or of the
Shint6, or of themselves. They often clapped their hands
and shouted with delight, when anything was said which
Curious drums and wooden instruments of music were
played by the Shinte's band from time to time. Nine
speeches were made: and the tenth was the speech of the
Shint6 himself, who was very dignified and condescending.
Then Livingstone stood up and preached the Christian
faith: and the negroes thought that they were being very
kind in listening to what he said. They did not at first
appear much interested: but the magic-lantern, which he
showed them afterwards, with little pictures on a sheet,
excited them immensely. It seemed to them a miracle:
for they could not conceive what caused the bright
pictures to come and go at the white man's desire.
In this way the Gospel first came to the land of the
Shint6, as to so many other regions of the Dark Continent.
Eileen left Livingstone sitting under a graceful tree called
a banian, so to obtain such shelter as he could from the
fiery floods which came in torrents from the African sun:
she knew that the climate of Africa was to cause his
death at the last, as it had already caused him cruel pain
in life. But she could not wish it otherwise. The pain and
the death were not for nothing, nor for a little purpose.
For he had caused the great Light to be seen of the
people that walked in darkness. And for that, Africa,
through countless centuries, will do honour to his name.
And Titania and Eileen went back to the station.
In their after-wanderings they experienced many fierce
extremes of heat and cold: but never so startling a change
as when they came from the Arctic regions to the land of
74 Eileen's Journey. [cH.
And as the train passed on, they saw the usual shifting
scenes of war and peace. But they also saw some persons
and things, whose likeness was not to be seen in every
age, but which Eileen always remembers as peculiar to
this little bit of the line.
Such, for one, was the setting-free of all the negro-slaves
throughout the British Empire. Eileen was astounded at
the frantic joy of the men and women, who had been
whipped and driven and used merely as living tools for
untold centuries: when they heard that they were their
own masters and would never have to work again without
a wage, and that the mothers could never have their
children sold away from them any more, nor the men
have their wives stolen from their side. It was a thing
never to be forgotten.
The next great event along this line was the glimpse,
which they had in passing, of Beethoven, the best of
composers and the chief pride of Germany. Simply to
have seen the face and forehead of Beethoven, when he
was at work, was a recollection for Eileen in her after-
years, which many would have envied her. But she almost
forgot the sight of him, in listening to his music. And,
when she found that he was deaf, and that, while all the
world was ravished with his music, he could not hear a
note of it himself, she thought it was one of the saddest
things which she had ever known.
Then again, through the silver cloud, she had a vision
of Lord Byron's death. Byron had loved the country of
Greece: and had written noble poems for its sake. And
now he gave his life for the liberty of Greece. Why?
Because, he said, Greece was a country of past glories:
and it was a shame that its glories should not rise again.
The Greeks were at war for their liberty: wherefore he
joined their cause, and there he met his death.
Eileen asked Titania to tell her all about the past
glories of which Lord Byron had spoken. Ah! my dear
Eileen" she said-" you shall see these things later on,
along our backward journey, for yourself. The country
of Greece has another and a lovelier name, the name of
Hellas. This was its name in the days of old: and its
people were known as Hellenes. In those days we fairies
were called gods and goddesses: and all the ideas of
men were somewhat different. Byron says rightly that
they were days of glory: you will say so when you see
them and Hellas for yourself."
And, before the next station at which they were to get
out, the train stopped once again: and Eileen, through the
crevice in the cloud, saw two other poets, not one whit
less great than Byron: and heard them speak together.
The first was the wild-eyed Shelley: very young and
beautiful. At first Eileen thought he must be mad: he
said such strange unusual things, and was altogether unlike
other men. But soon the music of words, that seemed
to flow from his brain, compelled her to listen with the
deepest admiration : as the whole world is listening even
now that he is dead.
76 Eileen's Journey. [CH. VII.
The other was his friend John Keats: who made the
loveliness of nature more lovely by his poetry.
Eileen heard these men also speak of Hellas and agree
with Lord Byron, that there was glorious beauty in the
past days of its liberty and ought to be again. And from
this day Eileen longed impatiently for the time, when
they should go to ancient Hellas, and she might see
that glory for herself. She was right to look forward to
it: for no other country had ever such rich thoughts of
beauty or such enchanting fairy-tales, as ancient Hellas
PERCIVAL SKELTON del.]
THE SIGNAL SOUND OF STRIFE.
"Last noon beheld them full of lusty life:
last eve in Beauty's circle proudly gay:
the midnight brought the signal sound of strife,
the morn the marshalling in arms, the day
battle's magnificently stern array."
IT was some while before they stopped again: and
Eileen, looking from the window, .saw that they had
traversed a distance of several years since their last
halting-place. It was now THE YEAR OF OUR LORD
ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN. Our
travellers went to Brussels: and arrived there on the
evening of the fifteenth of June, when it was already dark.
Eileen followed Titania through several streets, until
they came to a small and unpretentious-looking house in a
quiet corner of the. city. "This house" said the Fairy
Queen "is at present tenanted by the widow of an English
officer, who was killed at the battle of Corunna. And she
is at present in Brussels on a business-matter :-connected
with some papers belonging to his regiment, which were
found upon him after his death. Her daughter Lilian is
78 The Signal Sound of Strife. [CH.
here with her: and she is going to her first ball to-night-
the Duchess of Richmond's ball. It is now six years since
the death of her father: and a great lady has insisted on
taking Lilian in her own carriage to this festivity. Say,
shall we two go with them" asked Titania "wrapped
about as usual by' a cloud of invisibility?" Of course
Eileen assented: and so they went together to Lilian's
chamber, where she was dressing for the ball. The last
touches were being put, as our travellers entered the room.
Lilian was a very pretty girl: just seventeen years old:
English every inch of her: light as the air : delicately
made: her cheeks just tinged' with a faint pink colour:
with soft wavy hair: a sort of brittle-looking beauty, like
a rare piece of old china. She was dressed in light blue:
a simple gown, but one which was very appropriate to her
form. The soft wavy hair already referred to was having
the best attention of her maid, a damsel cunning in such
things: who was doing all that she knew how to do to
complete the work of art, which nature had so well begun.
Eileen was not enthusiastic about the beauty of this
Lilian: for Lilian stood beside Titania, and who would
be enthusiastic about the pale hue of the blue-bell, if it
bloomed beside the glory of a summer rose? But none of
Lilian's partners would see the Fairy Queen: and Eileen
felt sure that the Duchess of Richmond's ball would boast
no fairer flower than the soldier's orphan daughter, with
whom she was to go. And now the great lady's carriage
was at the door. In the twinkling of an eye Lilian was