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house down, they repeated down, in the town. But Miss Grain was under no such illusion. She was excellent friends with the old headmaster, and he, a judge of wines, said to her one day, "You are laying down your wine very well, Miss Grain. Don't expect it to mature very fast." “Do you think that it will be a school in my time?" she asked anxiously. "Frankly, I do not. It took over five hundred years to bring my school to life, and to be truthful, Miss Grain, I do not think you will live so long." "But,” said she, as she buttoned up her sealskin jacket and shook his hand at the door of the master's lodge ere she faced the hill and the winter wind: "Surely, we have some part in your tradition?" "Well,” said he, stroking his iron-gray beard and knitting those eyebrows of his that had terrified many a rascal of a boy, “well, that never occurred to me before. Have girls any traditions?” Miss Grain replied tartly, as she passed into the gloomy afternoon: “It was, at any rate, a woman who gave you your tradition.” The headmaster, who was never averse to a just rebuke, thought deeply over this, and took action. The first result of that action was a modification of the statutory schemes of the two schools, by which certain exhibitions were created for both schools bearing identical names, “The Lady Constance Exhibitions” tenable at certain places of higher education. A second result was a less tangible one. The headmaster begged the loan of the ancient chapel for an Annual Commemoration of Benefactors, and suggested that Miss Grain should also have an annual service. A third and even less substantial event followed: the presentation to the girls' school from an unknown donor of a Missal that was, in fact, known to have belonged to the Foundress. Then the school
actually died. An epidemic smote it. The girls were scattered, and Miss Grain had nearly a whole term and the long vacation to rest and think things out. When the school reassembled in the autumn she realized that it was at last alive. There was no apparent outward difference. The Venus de Medici at one end of the hall smiled benignly at the Praxitelean Faun at the other, just as if the school were still dead. But that break after a quarter of a century of unremitting work had told. For one thing the girls had been passionately anxious to get back; for another a generation of mothers had arisen who had been at the school; for a third thing the University Colleges had missed the girls who would normally have come up from the school. But these were small things. In the outside world womanhood was finding itself, and the fact re-acted on the school. The school had steadily, or rather Miss Grain had steadily, worked with the end in view that every girl who left the school should leave it with a sense of vocation and should feel that she owed that sense to the school. A growing circle of women began to look at the chapel as the center of their widening circle of time, as it had been the focus in their school days of their spacious lawn. The school began to be for a larger and larger circle something in the nature of a shrine. And Miss Grain, as she grew older, saw that her goal was possible of accomplishment. The reassembled school after the break had given her new hope. It began to give out a single note such as a great church bell gives when one taps it with the forefinger nail, a note identical with its own great boom. But it took still some time for a new girl to become incorporated, part of the spiritual structure of the Bell, so that
a word she responded with the exact Note of the School. At the old
school the boys, the new boys, instantly responded. They were, however stupid, overwhelmed by the tradition of the school, were absorbed by it and became part of its Note. Miss Grain knew that this could only slowly come unless something wonderful happened finally to weld the Bellmetal into a Bell of purest tone. The war came, and the Wonderful Thing happened. It was in this wise; and perhaps this is the true significance of tragedy, that it makes men and women realize all that they might be.
Many of the mistresses at the school were old girls. That was part of Miss Grain's policy. On the outbreak of war a number of mistresses took up definite war work, and among them were three old girls who went into training for Red Cross work: there was the gym. mistress, a paragon of muscle, good temper, and common sense; there was the history specialist, who was regarded by the Sixth as really too good looking altogether, and too just for human nature's daily food, and was suspected by the younger members of the Classical Division of being a direct descendant of a masterpiece by Skopas in the Mausoleum; and there was the minute, nervous Froebel-certificated girl who made heaven in the First Form. They disappeared from sight, and nobody thought any more of them after a term except for an occasional moan at the loss of muscle, of justice, and of tenderness severally associated with these three. Miss Grain, of course, had news of them and of their work; but news grew scanter, for they had
At last came news that stang the school and the whole district into recollection. The three dead. A hospital ship had been lost, and these three
The Greek goddess who had been so dear and winsome and just; the girl of thews who had been so joyous; the tender fragile little thing who loved the children so; dead, all dead, the miraculous flotsam of the tyrannous tides, dear daughters of duty dead beyond recall, silent forevermore. The Greek goddess sang like a thrush when she was happy. She sang, they said, in the boats as they were shelled-silent forevermore.
At a meeting of the staff the mistresses asked Miss Grain what announcement she would make to the school about her niece and the others. “None,” she said, and in answer to expostulations replied, "You are too young to understand.” The school was restless and expected something to be said at prayers, but days passed and nothing came. Meantime, the girls collected memories of the dead, little gifts, little sayings. Here She stood; there She sat; this was her song; that was her stroke at tennis; this was her book; pansies were her flowers. Gradually the dead took new form. They entered into the soul of the school. The blow seemed to have turned Miss Grain to stone. The glory of that June weather showed her old and gray, old and gray like the stones on the hill that had seen so many sorrows; gray like the houses on the moor, gray and hard amid the glories of the sun-smitten gorse and the young heather and the leaping bracken. Then one morning she announced that a memorial service for three members of the school would be held in the chapel, that each form was to elect representatives to attend, that the rest of the school would meet in the hall during the service, and she would be glad if they, in the absence of mistresses, would think over a fitting memorial. Of that memorial service it is not seemly to write, not even of the lesson beginning, “Let us praise
among the missing To the last they had stood to their task. That unnecessary item of news came to hand.
and people outside are going to give too-Janet Pickleback, leave the hall, hop-and that will give the school a hospital scholarship forever and ever. Please don't snuffle down the hall. Snuffling's nonsense. No, I'm not snuffling, Elsie Bodkin. Well, as I was saying, we will have a Tablet in the chapel, with just this on it: the names and all that, and underneath" (she read it out of a piece of crumpled paper) "just this:
famous men," nor of the sermon on the text, “Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all." It was a service that is so recorded in certain hearts as to make words unreal. Certainly never in the long centuries had the Missal of the Foundress known such triumphant woe.
But the meeting in the great School Hall was a different matter. There the girls were free. The head of the school, her hair up, a new and unstable venture, addressed the girls from beside the Faun of Praxiteles, and spoke freely, holding in her large red hands (for she was still in that stage) a tennis racket. “Order,” said she, "and if Janet Pickleback doesn't stop making that noise she goes out; and you too, Elsie. I won't have anyone in the tournament who doesn't listen. Now we have thought of some sort of a memorial for, for, you know. It is like this. Everyone has to give something, from a shilling up to anything,
The Contemporary Review.
“Amor Vincit OMNIA."
Then the mourners came back, and old Miss Grain—"Barley” was her nickname-dismissed the school. The tennis tournament had been fixed for that Saturday, and it took place. But “Barley" spent the afternoon in the chapel with the Missal in her hands. As she sat there she heard her Goddess singing. “Amor Vincit Omnia; yes, even death."
And the school had found its soul.
J. E. G. de Montmorency.
A SURPRISE PARTY.
"Five-and-thirty wounded Tommies coming to tea and one of them coming to his death, but he doesn't know it,” moaned Emily, and waved a knife round her head.
I saw what had happened. All this bun-baking and cake-making had been too much for my poor wife. She had been living in the oven for a week.
“You're overdone. Lie down and try to get a little nap before they come,
I said soothingly, “Everything's ready.”
“Will he die without a sound or will he gurgle?” said Emily, and brought the knife within an inch of my nose.
"No one is going to die at our teaparty, dear," I said, and ducked.
“Not after swallowing that?" shrieked
Emily, and lunged at me with the knife again.
I got it firmly by the handle this time, and I recognized Emily's special cake knife, an instrument wrought to perfection by long years of service, sharp as a razor down both sides, with a flexible tip that slithered round a basin and scooped up the last morsels of candied peel. But the flexible tip was gone.
I understood Emily's distraught condition. You can replace a diamond tiara; money won't buy a twentyyear-old cake-knife.
“Try and bear it, dear," I said.
Emily pointed to the table weighed down with Madeiras and rocks and almonds and sultanas and gingers. "It's inside one of them,” she said.
For the moment I failed to grasp wife couldn't help indulging in a little her meaning. She explained. “I've Christmas fun. She's just whispered made six dozen. The knife was all to me that she's put a surprise in one right when I started; a little bent, of the cakes. I know her. It won't nothing more. It was when I was be an ordinary sort of surprise. I mixing the last that I noticed the tip should advise you all to keep a sharp was missing."
lookout. There's a pound” (it was It was a difficult position. There worth a pound to save a hero's throat was no time to submit the cakes to from being cut) "for the man who finds the X-rays; the advance party was anything in his cake which hasn't any streaming through the gate.
business to be there." “Dear fellows! I wonder which Within five minutes two pebbles, a one it will be,” said Emily, and clung tin-tack, a chunk of wood and a round my neck.
black-beetle were on the tablecloth. I put her on one side. “I'll manage “Do you know that flutter's cost it; leave it to me,” I said, and went me five pounds, and there wasn't a forward and welcomed our guests. sign of your infernal knife after My mind was working clearly and all?" I said to Emily when they'd rapidly, as it always does in a crisis.
gone. When I had got them seated round the "I've just found it under the tea-table, “My dear friends," I said, kitchen table,” said Emily.
“I am “this isn't a Christmas party, but my thankful."
BOOKS AND AUTHORS.
Few of the season's novels have been "guides” would be too strong a wordwaited for with such interest as Ernest the unconscious shaping and developPoole's. "His Family" promises to be ment by modern conditions of his as successful as “The Harbor," though three daughters: Edith, absorbed in perhaps with a slightly different public. her children almost at the expense of Sociological problems are decidedly her husband; Deborah, devoted to less prominent, though the author is work among tenement-house children still keenly alive to them. The plot and divided between their claims and moves within a more contracted circle, that of a long-time lover; and Laura, both of incidents and individuals, and gay, frivolous and fascinating, with a readers whose chief enjoyment of disquieting likeness to her father in the "The Harbor" was in its striking far-away and brief period of his reckepisodes may find this tame by com- less youth. The story opens with parison. But the character drawing Laura's abrupt announcement to her is more intimate, and there is a gain father of her engagement, and the both in reality and concentrated im- greater part of it is occupied with pression. Oddly enough, there is at marriage and its effect on the modern times a suggestion of Mr. W. L. woman's ideals and opportunities, as George, though the temper and pur- noted by a shrewd and affectionate pose of the two men are so unlike. In observer. “God knows I've tried to be “His Family,” Mr. Poole describes modern," says Roger Gale to Deborah, the experiences of a New York business his dearest daughter. “Downright man of the older type, as he watches- modern. Have I asked you to give up
famous men,” nor of the sermon on the and people outside are going to give text, "Many daughters have done too-Janet Pickleback, leave the hall, virtuously, but thou excellest them all.” hop-and that will give the school a It was a service that is so recorded in hospital scholarship forever and ever. certain hearts as to make words unreal. Please don't snuffle down the hall. Certainly never in the long centuries Snuffling's nonsense. No, I'm not had the Missal of the Foundress snuffling, Elsie Bodkin. Well, as I was known such triumphant woe.
saying, we will have a Tablet in the But the meeting in the great School chapel, with just this on it: the names Hall was a different matter. There and all that, and underneath” (she read the girls were free. The head of the it out of a piece of crumpled paper) school, her hair up, a new and unstable “just this: venture, addressed the girls from beside the Faun of Praxiteles, and
"Amor Vixcit Omnia." spoke freely, holding in her large red Then the mourners came back, and old hands (for she was still in that stage) Miss Grain-“Barley" was her nicka tennis racket. “Order," said she, name—dismissed the school. The "and if Janet Pickleback doesn't stop tennis tournament had been fixed for making that noise she goes out; and that Saturday, and it took place. But you too, Elsie. I won't have anyone “Barley" spent the afternoon in the in the tournament who doesn't listen. chapel with the Missal in her hands. Now we have thought of some sort of a As she sat there she heard her Goddess memorial for, for, you know. It is singing. *Amor Vincit Omnia; yes, like this. Everyone has to give some- even death." And the school had thing, from a shilling up to anything, found its soul. The Contemporary Review.
J. E. G. de Montmorency.
A SURPRISE PARTY.
“Five-and-thirty wounded Tommies Emily, and lunged at me with the coming to tea and one of them coming knife again. to his death, but he doesn't know it,” I got it firmly by the handle this moaned Emily, and waved a knife time, and I recognized Emily's special round her head.
cake knife, an instrument wrought to I saw what had happened. All this perfection by long years of service, bun-baking and cake-making had been sharp as a razor down both sides, with too much for my poor wife. She had a flexible tip that slithered round a been living in the oven for a week. basin and scooped up the last morsels
"You're overdone. Lie down and of candied peel. try to get a little nap before they But the flexible tip was gone. I come,” I said soothingly. “Every- understood Emily's distraught conthing's ready."
dition. You can replace a diamond "Will he die without a sound or tiara; money won't buy a twentywill he gurgle?” said Emily, and year-old cake-knife. brought the knife within an inch of "Try and bear it, dear," I said. my nose.
Emily pointed to the table weighed “No one is going to die at our tea- down with Madeiras and rocks and party, dear," I said, and ducked. almonds and sultanas and gingers.
"Not after swallowing that?" shrieked “It's inside one of them,” she said.