that is strong and beautiful â€” statues, pictures, poetry, music.
How could one live without art ? The artist is born a prince
among men. What has he to do with the rules by which
common people must direct their lives ? Before long, you will
feel this as deeply as I do, Miriam. We are in Italy, Italy ! "
" Shall we go back to the others? " Miriam suggested, in
a voice which contrasted curiously with that exultant crv.
" Yes ; it is time."
Cecily's eyes fell on the plans of the chapel, which were
still lying open.
"What is this?" she asked. "Something in Naples?
Oh no ! "
" It's nothing," said Miriam, carelessly. " Come, Cecily.'*
The visitors took their leave just as the midday cannon
"boomed from Sant' Elmo. They had promised to come and
dine in a day or two. After their departure, Miriam showed
as little disposition to make comments as she had to indulge
in expectation before their arrival. Eleanor and her husband
put less restraint upon themselves.
" Heavens ! " cried Spence, when they were alone ; " what
astounding capacity of growth was in that child ! "
" She is a swift and beautiful creature ! " said Eleanor, in
a warm undertcne characteristic of her when she expressed
" I wish I could have overheard the interview in Miriam's
" I never felt more curiosity about anything. Pity one is
CECILY DO RAN. 29
not a psjehologieal artist. I should have stolen to the
keyhole and committed eavesdropping with a glow of self-
" I half understand our friend Mallard."
" So do I, Ned."
They looked at each other and smiled significantly.
That evening Spence again had a walk with the artist.
He returned to the villa alone, and only just in time to dress
for dinner. Guests were expected, Mr. and Mrs. Bradshaw of
Manchester, old acquaintances of the Spences and of Miriam.
When it had become known that Mrs. Baske, advised to
pass the winter in a mild climate, was about to accept an
invitation from her cousin and go by sea to Naples, the
Bradshaws, to the astonishment of all their friends, offered
to accompany her. It was the first time that either of them
had left England, and they seemed most unlikely people to
be suddenly affected with a zeal for foreign travel. Miriam
gladly welcomed their proposal, and it was put into execu-
When Spence entered the room his friends had already
arrived. Mr. Bradshaw stood in the attitude familiar to him
â– when on his own hearthrug, his back turned to that pai't of
the wall where in England would have been a fireplace, and
one hand thrust into the pocket of his evening coat.
"I tell you what it is, Spence ! " he exclaimed, " I'm very
much afraid I shall be committing an assault. Certainly I
shall if I don't soon learn some good racy Italian. I must
make out a little list of sentences, and get you or Mrs.
Spence to translate them. Such as ' Do you take me for a
fool ? ' or ' Be off, you scoundrel ! ' or * I'll break every bone
in your body ! ' That's the kind of thing practically needed
in Naples, I find."
" Been in conflict with coachmen again '? " asked Spence,
"Slightly! Never got into such a helpless rage in my
life. Two fellows kept up with me this afternoon for a
30 THE EMANCIPATED.
couple of miles or so. Now, what makes me so mad is the
assumption of these blackguards that I don't know my own
mind. I go out for a stroll, and the first cabby I pass wants
to take me to Pozzuoli or Vesuvius â€” or Jericho, for aught I
know. It's no use showing him that I haven't the slightest
intention of going to any such place. What the deuce !
does the fellow suppose he can persuade me or badger me
into doing what I've no mind to do ? Does he take me for
an ass ? It's the insult of the thing that riles me ! The
same if I look in at a shop window ; out rushes a gabbling
swindler, and wants to drag me in "
" Only to iake you in, Mr. Bradshaw," interjected
" Good ! To take me in, with a vengeance. Why, if
I've a mind to buy, shan't I go in of my own accord ? And
isn't it a sure and certain thing that I shall never spend a
halfpenny with a scoundrel who attacks me like that ? "
"How can you expect foreigners to reason, Jacob? " ex-
claimed Mrs. Bradshaw,
" You should take these things as compliments," remarked
Spence. "They see an Englishman coming along, and as a
matter of course they consider him a person of wealth and
leisure, who will be grateful to any one for suggesting how
he can kill time. Having nothing in the world to do but
enjoy himself, why shouldn't the English lord drive to Baiea
and back, just to get an appetite ? "
" Lord, eh ? " growled Mr. Bradshaw, rising on his toes,
and smiling with a certain satisfaction.
Threescore years all but two sat lightly on Jacob Bush
Bradshaw. His cheek was ruddy, his eyes had the lustre of
health ; in the wrinkled forehead you saw activity of brain,
and on his lips the stubborn independence of a Lancashire
employer of labour. Prosperity had set its mark upon him,
that peculiarly English prosperity which is so intimately
associated with spotless linen, with a good cut of clothes,
with scant but valuable jewellery, with the absence of any
CECILY DO RAN. 31
perfume save that whicli suggests the morning tub. He was
a manufacturer of silk. The provincial accent notwith-
standing, his conversation on general subjects soon declared
him a man of logical mind and of much homely informa-
tion. A sufficient self-esteem allied itself with his force of
character, but robust amiability prevented this from becom-
ing offensive ; he had the sense of humour, and enjoyed a
laugh at himself as well as at other people. Though his
life had been absorbed in the pursuit of solid gain, he was
no scorner of the attainments which lay beyond his own
scope, and in these latter years, now that the fierce struggle
was decided in his favour, he often gave proof of a liberal
curiosity. With regard to art and learning, he had the
intelligence to be aware of his own defects ; where he did
not enjoy, he at lea-st knew that he ought to have done so,
and he had a suspicion that herein also progress could be
made by stubborn effort, as in the material world. Finding
himself abroad, he had set himself to observe and learn,
with results now and then not a little amusing. The con-
sciousness of wealth disposed him to intellectual generosity ;
standing on so firm a pedestal, he did not mind admitting
that others might have a wider outlook. Italy was an
impecunious country ; personally and patriotically he had a
pleasure in recognizing the fact, and this made it easier for
him to concede the points of superiority which he had heard
attributed to her. Jacob was rigidly sincere ; he had no
touch of the snobbery which shows itself in sham admira-
tion. If he liked a thing he said so, and strongly ; if he
felt no liking where his guide-book directed him to be
enthusiastic, he kept silence and cudgelled his brains.
Equally ingenuous was his wife, but with results that
argued a shallower nature. Mrs. Bradshaw had the heartiest
and frankest contempt for all things foreign ; in Italy she
deemed herself among a people so inferior to the English
that even to discuss the relative merits of the two nations
would have been ludicrous. Life " abroad " she could not
32 THE EMANCIPATED.
tako as a serious thing ; it amused or disgusted her, as the
case might be â€” never occasioned her a grave thought. The
proposal of this excursion, when first made to her, she
received with mockery ; when she saw that her husband
meant something more than a joke, she took time to con-
sider, and at length accepted the notion as a freak which
possibly would be entertaining, and might at all events be
indulged after a lifetime of sobriety. Entertainment she
found in abundance. Though natural beauty made little
if any appeal to her, she interested herself greatly iu
Vesuvius, regarding it as a serio-comic phenomenon which
could only exist in a country inhabited by childish triflers.
Her memory was storing all manner of Italian absurdities
â€” everything being an absurdity which differed from English
habit and custom â€” to furnish her with matter for mirthful
talk when she got safely back to Manchester and civiliza-.
tion. "With respect to the things which Jacob was constrain-
ing himself to study â€” antiquities, sculptures, paintings,
stored in the Naples museum â€” her attitude was one of
jocose indifference or of half -tolerant contempt. Puritanism
diluted with worldliness and a measure of common sense
directed her views of art in general. Works such as the
Farnese Hercules and the group about the Bull she looked
upon much as she regarded the wall-scribbling of some
dirty-minded urchin ; the robust matron is not horrified by
such indecencies, but to be sure will not stand and examine
them. " Oh, come along, Jacob ! " she exclaimed to her
husband, wh^n, at their first visit to the Museum, he went
to work at the antiques with his Murray. " I've no patience I
you ought to be ashamed of yourself ! "
The Bradshaws were staying at the pension selected by
Mrs. Lessingham. Naturally the conversation at dinner
turned much on that lady and her niece. With Cecily's
father Mr. Bradshaw had been well acquainted, but Cecily
herself he had not seen since her childhood, and hia
astonishment at meeting her as Miss Doran was great.
CECILY DOR AN. 33
" Wliat kind of society do they live among? " he asked of
Spence. " Tip-top people, I suppose ? "
" "N'ot exactly what we understand by tip-top in England.
Mrs. Lessinghani's family connections are aristocratic, but
she prefers the society of authors, artists â€” that kind of
" Queer peoj)le for a young girl to make friends of, eh ? "
" Well, there's Mallard, for instance."
" Ah, Mallard, to be sure." â€¢
Mrs. Bradshaw looked at her hostess and smiled know-
" Miss Doran is rather fond of talking about Mr. Mallard,"
she remarked. " Did you notice that, Miriam ? "
" Yes, I did."
Jacob broke the silence.
, " How does he get on with his painting ? " he asked â€” and
it sounded very much as though the reference were to a man
busy on the front door.
" He's never likely to be very popular," replied Spence,
adapting his remarks to the level of his guests' understand-
ing. " There was something of his in this year's Academy,
and it sold at a tolerable price."
" That thing of his that I bought, you remember â€” I find
people don't see much in it. They complain that the colour's
so dull. But then, as I always say, what else could you
expect on a bit of Yorkshire moor in winter ? Is he going
to paint anything here ? Now, if he'd do me a bit of the
bay, with Vesuvius smoking."
" That would be something like ! " assented Mrs. Brad-
When the ladies had left the dining-room, Mr. Bradshaw,
over hia cigarette, reverted to the subject of Cecily.
" I suppose the lass has had a first-rate education ? "
" Of the very newest fashion for girls. I am told she
"By Jove!" cried tho other, with sudden animation.
34 THE EMANCIPATED.
" That reminds me of something I wanted to talk about.
When I was leaving Manchester, T got together a few books,
you know, that were likely to be useful over here. My
friend Lomax, the bookseller, suggested them. ' Got a
classical dictionary ? ' says he. ' Not I ! ' As you know, my
schooling never went much beyond the three R's, and hanged
if I knew what a classical dictionary was. * Better take
one,' says Lomax. " You'll want to look up your gods and
goddesses.' So I took it, and I've been looking into it these
last few days."
" Well ? "
Jacob had a comical look of perplexity and indignation.
He thumped the table.
" Do you mean to tell me that's the kind of stuff boys are
set to learn at school ? "
" A good deal of it comes in." â€¢
" Then all I can say is, no wonder the colleges turn out
such a lot of young blackguards. Why, man, I could
scai'cely believe my eyes ! You mean to say that, if I'd had
a son, he'd have been brought up on that kind of literature,
and without me knowing anything about it ? Why, I've
locked the book up ; I was ashamed to let it lay on the
" It's the old Lempriere, I suppose," said Spence, vastly
amused. " The new dictionaries are toned down a good
deal ; they weren't so squeamish in the old days."
"But the lads still read the books these things come out
" Oh yes. It has always been one of the most laughable
inconsistencies in English morality. Anything you could
find in the dictionary is milk for babes compared with
several Greek plays that have to be read for examina-
" It fair caps me, Spence ! Classical education that is, eh ?
That's what parsons are bred on ? And, by the Lord, you
Bay they're beginning it with girls ? "
CECILY DOR AN. 35
" Very zealously."
" Nay ! "
Jacob threw up his arms, and abandoned the effort to
Later, when the guests were gone, Spence remembered
this, and, to Eleanor's surprise, he broke into uproarious
" One of the best jokes I ever heard ! A fresh, first-hand
judgment on the morality of the Classics by a plain-minded
English man of business." He told the story. " And
Bradshaw's perfectly right ; that's the best of it."
THE BOARDING-HOUSE ON THE MERGELLINA.
The year was 1878. A tourist searching his Baedeker for
a genteel but not oppressively aristocratic j3e?isio?i in the open
parts of Naples would have found himself directed by an
asterisk to the establishment kept by Mrs. Gluck on the
Mergellina ; â€” frequented by English and Germans, and very
comfortable. The recommendation was a just one. Mrs.
Gluck enjoyed the advantage of having lived as many years
in England as she had in Germany ; her predilections leaned,
if anything, to the English side, and the arrival of a " nice "
English family always put her in excellent spirits. She then
exhil)ited herself as an Anglicized matron, perfectly familiar
with all the requirements, great and little, of her guests,
and, when minutiae were once settled, capable of meeting
ladies and gentlemen on terms of equality in her drawing-
room or at her tal)le, where she always presided. Indeedj
there was much true refinement in Mrs. Gluck. You had
36 THE EMANCIPATED.
not been long in her house before she found an opportunity
of letting you know that she prided herself on connection
with the family of the great musician, and under her roof
there was generally some one who played or sang well. It
was her desire that all who sat at her dinner-table â€” the
English people, at all events â€” should be in evening dress.
She herself had no little art in adorning herself so as to
appear, what she was, a lady, and yet not to conflict with the
ladies whose presence honoured her.
In the drawing-room, a few days after the arrival of Mrs.
Lessingham and her niece, several members of the house-
hold were assembled in readiness for the second dinner-bell.
There was Fran Wohlgemuth, a middle-aged lady with severe
brows, utilizing spare moments over a German work on
Greek sculpture. Certain plates in the book had caught the
eye of Mrs. Bradshaw, with the result that she regarded
this innocent student as a person of most doubtful character,
who, if in ignorance admitted to a respectable boarding-
house, should certainly have been got rid of as soon as the
nature of her reading had been discovered. Fran Wohlge-
muth had once or twice been astonished at the severe look
fixed upon her by the buxom English lady, but happily would
never receive an explanation of this silent animus. Then
there was Fraulein Kriel, who had unwillingly incurred even
more of Mrs. Bradshaw's displeasure, in that she, an un-
married person, had actually looked over the volume together
with its possessor, not so much as blushing when she found
herself observed by strangers. The remaining persons were
an English family, a mother and three daughters, their name
Mrs. Denyer was florid, vivacious, and of a certain size.
She had seen much of the world, and prided herself on
cosmopolitanism ; the one thing with which she could not
dispense was intellectual society. This would be her second
winter at Naples, but she gave her acquaintances to under-
stand that Italy was by no means the country of her choice ;
BOARDING-HOUSE ON THE MERGELLINA. 37
she preferred the northern latitudes, because there the
intellectual atmosphere was more bracing. But for her
daughters' sake she abode here : " You know, my girls adore
Of these young ladies, the two elder â€” Barbara and Made-
line were their seductive names â€” had good looks. Barbara,
perhaps twenty-two years old, was rather colourless, some-
what too slim, altogether a trifle limp ; but she had a com-
mendable taste in dress. Madeline, a couple of years
younger, presented a more healthy physique and a less
common comeliness, but in the matter of costume she lacked
her sister's discretion. Her colours were ill-matched, her
ornaments awkwardly worn ; even her hair sought more
freedom than was consistent with grace. The youngest girl,
Zillah, who was about nineteen, had been less kindly dealt
with by nature ; like Barbara, she was of very light com-
plexion, and this accentuated her plainness. She aimed at
no compensation in attire, unless it were that her sober gar-
ments exhibited perfect neatness and complete inoffensive-
ness. Zillah's was a good face, in spite of its unattractive
features ; she had a peculiarly earnest look, a reflective
manner, and much conscientiousness of speech.
Common to the three was a resolve to be modern, advanced,
and emancipated, or perish in the attempt. Every one who
spoke with them must understand that they were no every-
day young ladies, imbued. with notions and prejudices re-
cognized as feminine, frittering away their lives amid the
follies of the drawing-room and of the circulating library.
Cultui'e was their pursuit, heterodoxy their pride. If indeed
it were true, as Mrs. Bradshaw somewhat acrimoniously
declared, that they were all desperately bent on capturing
husbands, then assuredly the poor girls went about their
enterprise with singular lack of prudence.
Each had her role. Barbara's was to pose as the adorer
of Italy, the enthusiastic glorifier of Italian unity. Sho
spoke Italian feebly, but, with English people, never lost an
38 THE EMANCIPATED.-^
opportunity of babbling its phrases. Speak to her of Eome,
and before long she was sure to murmur rapturously, " Eoma
capitale d'ltalia ! " â€” the watch-word of antipapal victory.
Of English writers she loved, or aifected to love, those only
who had found inspiration south of the Alps. The proud
mother repeated a story of Barbara's going up to the wall
of Casa Guidi and kissing it. In her view, the modern
Italians could do no wrong ; they were divinely regenerate.
She praised their architecture.
Madeline â€” whom her sisters addressed affectionately as
" Mad " â€” professed a wider intellectual scope ; less given to
the melting mood than Barbara, less naive in her enthusi-
asms, she took for her province aesthetic criticism in its
totality, and shone rather in censure than in laudation.
French she read passably ; German she had talked so much
of studying that it was her belief she had acquired it;
Greek and Latin were beyond her scope, but from modern
essayists who wrote in the flamboyant style she had gathered
enough knowledge of these literatures to be able to discourse
of them with a very fluent inaccuracy. With all schools of
painting she was, of course, quite familiar ; the great masters
â€” vulgarly so known â€” interested her but moderately, and to
praise them was, in her eyes, to incur a suspicion of philis-
tinism. From her preceptors in this sphere, she had learnt
certain names, old and new, which stood for more exquisite
A'irtues, and the frequent mention of them with a happy
vagueness made her conversation very impressive to the
generality of people. The same in music. It goes without
saying that Madeline was an indifferentist in politics and
on social questions j at the introduction of such topics, she
Zillah's position was one of more difficulty. With nothing
of her sisters' superficial cleverness, with a mind that worked
slowly, and a memory irretentive, she had a genuine desire
to instruct herself, and that in a solid way. She alone
studied with real persistence, and, by the irony of fate, she
BOARDING-HOUSE ON THE M ERG ELLIN A. 39
aloue continually exposed lier ignorance, committed gross
blunders, was guilty of deplorable lapses of memory. Her
unhappy lot kept lier in a constant state of nervousness and
sliame. She had no T>"orldly tact, no command of her modest
resources, yet her zeal to support the credit of the family
was always driving her into hurried speech, sure to end in
some disastrous pitfall. Conscious of aesthetic defects, Zillali
had chosen for her sj^eciality the study of the history of
civilization. But for being a Denyer, she might have been
content to say that she studied history, and in that case her
life might also have been solaced by the companionship of
readable books ; but, as modernism would have it, she could
not be content to base her historical inquiries on anything
less than strata of geology and biological elements, with the
result that she toiled day by day at perky little primers and
compendia, and only learnt one chapter that it might be
driven out of her head by the next. Equally out of defer-
ence to her sisters, she smothered her impulses to conven-
tional piety, and made believe that her sj^ritual life supported
itself on the postulates of science. As a result of all which,
the poor girl was not veiy happy, but in that again did she
not give proof of belonging to her time ?
There existed a Mr. Denyer, but this gentleman was very
seldom indeed in the bosom of his family. Letters â€” and
remittances â€” came from him from the most surprising
C|uarters of the globe. His profession was that of speculator
at large, and, with small encoui-agement of any kind, he
toiled unceasingly to support his wife and daughters in their
elegant leisure. At one time he was eagerly engaged in a
project for making starch from potatoes in the south of
Ireland. When this failed, lie utilized a knowledge of
Spanish â€” casually picked up, like all his acquirementsâ€” and
was next heard of at Vera Cruz, where he dealt in cochineal,
indigo, sarsaparilla, and logwood. Yellow fever interfered
with his activity, and after a brief sojourn with his family in
the United States, where they had joined him with the idea
40 THE EMANCIPATED.
of mating a definite settlement, lie heard of something pro-
mising in Egypt, and thither repaired. A spare, vivacious,
pathetically sanguiae man, always speaking of the day when
he would " settle down " in enjoyment of a moderate for-
tune, and most obviously doomed never to settle at all, save
in the final home of mortality.
Mrs. Lessingham and her niece entered the room. On
Cecily, as usual, all eyes were more or less openly directed.
Her evening dress was simple â€” though with the simplicity
not to be commanded by every one who wills â€” and her
demeanour very far from exacting general homage ; but
her birthright of distinction could not be laid aside, and the
suave Mrs. Gluck was not singular in recognizing that here
was such a guest as did not every day grace her pension.
Barbara and Madeline Denyer never looked at her without
secret pangs. la appearance, however, they were very
friendly, and Cecily had met their overtures from the first
with the simple goodwill natural to her. She went and
seated herself by Madeline, who had on her lap a little port-
" These are the drawings of which I spoke," said Madeline,
half opening the portfolio.
" Mr. Marsh's ? Oh, I shall be glad to see them ! "
" Of course, we ought to have daylight, but we'll look at
them again to-morrow. You can form an idea of their
They were small water-colours, the work â€” as each declared
in fantastic signature â€” of one Clifford Marsh, spoken of by
the Denyers, and by Madeline in particular, as a personal
friend. He was expected to arrive any day in Naples. The
subjects, Cecily had been informed, were natural scenery ;
the style, impressionist. Impi-essionism was no novel term
to Cecily, and in Paris she had had her attention intelli-
gently directed to good work in that kind ; she knew, of
course, that, like every other style, it must be judged with