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up again, then half wearily, half petulantly, 'Well, you can't like it anyhow. He never comes to see you; and if He did, possible as you could do without Him!'

Another time she broke out, Mrs. Dash came here yesterday; she brought me a bit of chicken. She hadn't no call to come; she wouldn't ha' come if you hadn't sent her. I had to eat her victuals, though it kind o' choked me; she wanted 'em more'n I did, and they'd ha' done her more good!' Then she went on to say that Mrs. Dash had in the old days always been good for a sixpence, an egg, a cup of milk, or some scraps. Four years before this time her husband had 'broken.' Doris had called at the door some days afterwards and found her old friend in tears-the bailiffs had been in the house. Mechanically she had gone to look for something for Doris-there was nothing. Never mind, Doris!' she had said with a wan smile, there's twopence for you!' Doris took it, shambled off, and swore a big oath that she'd never go near that door again. I'd have given it back, and more too,' said Doris, but I knew her well; she wouldn't ha' liked it; but I never went there no more!'

The shadows were deepening. We got a kind neighbour to go in two or three times a day to look after Doris, and very kind and considerate she was; but Doris at first resented the intrusion. In a little while she submitted, and ended by expressing a reluctant sort of gratitude; but in the presence of this extemporised sœur de charité when I called she was obstinately silent. The good creature noticed it, and had the tact and delicacy always to retire when I came in to pay my visits. I'm a dier!' said Doris. 'Not just yet, though; don't you be afraid. Possible you'd write a letter for me?' Write a letter for Doris! Whom to? Then came a strange story. Fifty years ago, when Doris had first taken up with Joe Bickers-who was then earning a great deal of money doing odd jobs of drilling and carting -Joe wanted more help. Doris thereupon went to the workhouse and took out her youngest brother, a lad of twelve or fourteen. And I brought him up,' said Doris.

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The strong, affectionate nature of the lad, his strange thoughtfulness, his intelligence, his somewhat melancholy temperament, had come, you may be sure, not from Jaunty Jem, but from the other side of the house. He conceived a deep horror and loathing of the life into which he was plunged. He couldn't a-bear the drink, and he couldn't abide my old man!' The lad grew very strong, but he was no match at all for old Joe. He sullenly submitted to the ruffian's brutal violence for three or four years; then when he found he could do no good, and that it was faring worse and worse with his sister, one day he disappeared. He always said he should go away some day, and if he did he'd never come back. "Come along wi' me, Doris," he said one night afore he went off; "I'll never marry till you

do; I'll work my fingers to the bone to keep you respectable; come along and leave it all. Don't you be dragged in the mud no more!"' But no! With the obstinate infatuation of the woman, she

refused to move. She never slept a night in her life ten miles from the place of her birth. There she would live and there she would die. Once, when I was in the jolly twenties, a merry band of us had been out shooting. Just as we turned homewards the sun sank down and it was twilight. Up rose a partridge: some one fired; the bird was hit. A shot, I conjecture, had passed through one of its eyes and lodged in the brain. In the waning light we saw it wheeling round us in a regular circle-round and round and round. It was getting dark as we fired one after another; but we missed. The bird flew round and round; at last one chance shot ended it all. I often think of the poor partridge; and when I do I think of Doris too, fluttering round and round and round in an enchanted circle.dropping at last!

I wrote that letter and the brother came. A serious, broadshouldered, thriving miner with a vast hand that took mine into its mighty grasp while his lip quivered, and his words came slowly, 'I've come to fetch Doris, but she won't go, sir. Suppose I was to take her up and carry her off in a first-class carriage. Do you think she'd stand it? There's a train at 4.15 this afternoon.' He'd been travelling all the night, fourteen hours of it. It was now mid-day. I told him the thing was not to be done-impossible. Then I'd best get back. My wife's been paralysed. There's two shops to look after. I must get back!' He stayed a few hours, amazed the sœur de charité by his profuseness, left money behind him, and orders that his sister should want for nothing, and was gone; the poor wife was calling to him, and the two shops and the work he had left in the coal pit. How he managed his various occupations who shall say? A man of few words and slow of speech, he left only one message behind him. 'Give my love to his reverence. Mind, I say my love! I mean it.' The 4.15 train took him back to his wife, who wrote an urgent, pleading letter to Doris. Let her come. 'Oh, come to us for the love of God!' She was past railway journeyings by this time. I knew he'd come if I sent for him,' said Doris ; 'he was always a good sort of boy. I brought him up, and he's a good boy now!'-aged sixty years or thereabouts!

You ladies and gentlemen of the leisure classes who subscribe to Mudie's and religiously visit the Royal Academy, I have noticed a superstition among you which is rather widely prevalent. I have heard many of you express unbounded astonishment that romance, sentiment, pure nobleness, and the simple heroism of self-surrender should be found among the masses in the squalor of the alleys or of the cottage in the lane. I am inclined myself to fall into exactly the opposite superstition, and to doubt whether the before-mentioned VOL. XXII.-No. 130. 3 L

articles are to be found anywhere except in the before-mentioned spots.

'Well! he's been and gone, my poor boy! There's another thing you might do for me now!' For perhaps the first and only time in her life a deep blush rose to her cheek, mantling all her brow with crimson. It was some time before she could bring it out. She recovered herself. Are you a-going? 'Cause I'll tell you when you're going!' I silently took up my hat; with my hand upon the latch I paused, turning my back on her as she lay.

"Will you be so good as ask 'em in your church next Sunday . . just to . . . all on 'em . . . just to . . . say a prayer for a bad woman as has lived as she hadn't ought to . . . ? Possible He may look in and hear 'em!' Can you guess who He was?

Of course I gave the message almost in her very words. The pathetic notice produced a profound impression. Everybody was talking about it. A wild rumour, extensively circulated and repeated in the markets, went about that Doris had confessed to being concerned in a murder committed fifty years before. The Pharisees were greatly exercised. One of them must needs go and look into the matter. 'Is it true, Doris?' Some of the old fierceness of scorn came back to her. Get out wi' you! I ain't so bad but I know this house is my own. Who wants you in here? I know all about you—you and yours, they're a mucky lot! I never done no night poaching same as you. Who are you to come in here with your horking and your snivelling? Get out wi' you!' The fellow slunk away and gave in a report to those that sent him that Doris was 'a-going to hell!'

She was past caring now what people said of her; the old contempt of the world's censure helped her now. Let them-they had cause for it!

I rarely read anything to Doris. I used to trust to my memory for the most part, and tell her what I thought it was good to tell. She was sitting up in her bed huddled together, her arms clasped round her knees, on her head a magenta [is that the word? ] handkerchief tied under her chin, faded crimson petticoat, and crimson stockings, an old blanket gathered round her shoulders. Somehow I forget how it came about-I told her of one whom they brought to Him, how they were very hard upon her; how they could not help being hard-it would not do not to be hard against some sins, some wrongs, some evil-doers-how they said this and that; how He was never hard; how He was so very, very sorry for her. Doris utterly broke down. Clutching her knees, she looked at me, the wide eyes filled with the big drops that rolled down her cheeks. I never saw a human being sob before without the least attempt at stopping or hiding the spasms of emotion. I hope I shall never see it again. What did she say? What did I answer? Nay! Nay! Hush!

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Next day and the next I could not go to her. Doris was very restless. I can't ease her,' said our sœur de charité when I did come at last; she keeps telling me to read to her "about the woman," and I don't know what woman I've been trying Her trying consisted in reading about the lost piece of silver, the judgment of Solomon, St. Paul's advice to wives. Finally (when all these failed to satisfy Doris) somebody dropped in who suggested the 17th chapter of the Revelation of St. John!

ever so!'

Doris tried to raise herself the next time she heard. my voice.... We had our last interview. That night she died. A week or two before she had sent for Mrs. Dash. By the help of careful instructions Mrs. Dash found, in a hole in the chimney, a little hoard of seventeen shillings. It had been stored up against the day of her burial. Doris had no fears now, for her boy' would save her from a pauper's grave; but the money was his, and he'd better have it. The brother came again, and brought his sadly crippled wife with him too. They gave away the few things that were in the house. It was with the utmost difficulty that I could make them understand that there was no fee to pay, that they owed me nothing. They went their way, strangely sorrowing, when they had laid their sister in her grave.

And this was the end of Doris !

AUGUSTUS JESSOPP.

THE FRENCH SOCIETY OF AUTHORS.

By a curious coincidence the first published manifesto of the new English Association of Incorporated Authors, whose president is Lord Tennyson, makes its appearance at the very moment when the French society, over which Victor Hugo so long presided, and on whose lines it has been formed, is celebrating its jubilee. On the 10th of the present month the Société des Gens de Lettres will have existed for half a century, and the occasion seems opportune, for those who believe that the English society is destined to perform a great work, to point out what the French society has done in fifty years. Some record, however brief and incomplete, of the success which has attended our French brethren, may stimulate British authors to support with more warmth and confidence a scheme which has started favourably in this country, and which means to march on and conquer, but which would be sped more gaily on its course if the half-hearted and the suspicious could but subdue their scruples and believe in the brilliance of its future. Here in England all composite movements are apt to be thwarted, if not entirely checked, by two fine insular virtues pushed so far as to become vices-that is to say, by the morbid independence which makes it impossible for us to learn to walk à la queue, and by the morbid modesty which forbids us to think that anything the existing generation does can be worth consideration or protection. The original attempt, in which the first Lord Lytton and Mr. Carlyle were engaged, to form an incorporated society of British authors, failed from these two errors of national character; the very members of the committee could not agree on a common course of action, or feign any sort of interest in one another's literary property. Perhaps we may succeed in being more unanimous this time, if we observe that they order these matters better in France.

The originator of the French Société des Gens de Lettres was that energetic and untiring journalist Louis Desnoyers. If any published history of the society exists, I at least have been unable to procure it. The fullest account of its early career which I have come across is in a memoir of Louis Desnoyers, who died in 1868. I observe it stated that the executors of the late Emmanuel Gonzalès have discovered an account of the vicissitudes through which the Société

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