Chapter 35950276

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Chapter NumberXVIII CONFIDENCES
Chapter TitleCONFIDENCES
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article35950276
Full Date1879-05-23
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count1860
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleBurra Record (SA : 1878 - 1954)
Trove TitleMacleod of Dare
article text

Maeleod of Dare.

CHAPTER XVIII. ctnn?n-ESCEs.

(From Harpers Magazine).

a And ypt T wou'd not- complain of mere r1i«rr-mfcrr,' *Le continued, ' if that were a'). People who hare to work for their Jiring most not be too r-»rtiL'n1a'-. What nains tne most

of all is Ilie f ffjct that thi? sort of wort IB bav ^e on myself. You ?would not believe — and I am almost ashamed to confess — how I am worried bv emsll and mean jealousies and ansieties, and bow I am tortured by the ex pression of opinions wliich, all thesatpi1, 1 hold in contemnt. I reason with myself *o no ?purpose. It ought to be no concern of mine if some girl in a burlesque makes the house roar by the manner in which she walks up mirl down the stage, smoking a cigar ; and yet 1 feel angry at the audience for applauding such stuff, and I wince when I sen her praised in the papers. Oh ! these paper? ! I have been mating irquiries of late ; and I 6nd that the tiiual way in three towns is to let tbe young literary a«pirant who has just joined the office, or the clever compositor who has been pro moted to the sub-editor's room, try his hand first of all at reviewing broVp, and then turn him on to dramatic and musical criticism ! Occasionally a reporter, who has het-n round the police courts to get notes of tbe night chareef, will drop into the theatre on his way to the offic?, snd ? do a par.,' as they called it. Will you believe it possible that the things ?written of me by these persons — with their pretentious sirs of criticism, and their grass ignorance cropping up at every point — have the power to vex and annoy memest terribly ? I laugh at tbe time, but the phrase rank'rs iu ray memory all the same. One learned young man said of me the other day : 'It is really rlistreFsing to mark the want of unify in ber srfisfto crwrrcfer'ziffons when OEe regards the t&tnral advantages that nature has heaped upon mo! 'And perhaps', al«o,' he went on to cay, ? Miss White would do well to pay some little more attention before venturing on pronounc ing -?ie classic name* of Gre?ce. Iphipenia hereelf would not have answered to her name if she had heard it pronounced with the accent

on the lourthsy liable.'' llacieod brought his fist down on the table with a hang-. ' If I had that Fellow,' said Iip, aloud — ' if 1 liBil that fellow, I should l:ke to spin for a Fhark cfTBubli Artach light-house.' And here u nvst unholy vision rose before him cf a new port of ?port — a sailing launch going about six knots an hour, a goodly rope at the 6tern with a huge hook through the gill of tbe luckless oritie, a swivel to make him spin, and then a few smart trips end do-yn by the side of the lonelv Dubh Artach rocks, where Mr. Ewing and Ms companions occasionally find a few sharks coming up to the surface to stare at them. 'Is it not too ridiculous that sneb thing should vex me— that I should be so absolutely pt the mercy of the opinion of people whose judgment I know to be ebsolutely valueless? I find the same thing all around me. I find p m'ddle-Eged men, wbo knows his work thoroughly, and hap eeen sll the best actors cf the past quarter of a century, will go about quite proudly with a scrap of approval from some rewspaper, written by a young roan who lias never travelled bevond the suburbs of his Tintive town, and has eren ro actirg beyond that of tbe local company. But there is another Bart of critic — the veteran, the man who has worked hard on the paper and wo'n himself tv.ir, »nd who is turned off from politics, ard rjensiom-d by beipg allowed to disp'ay his imbecility in le?s itnocrfant m^ferp. Oh deai! what lessons he reodp you ! The solemnity of them ' Don't vou know that at the end of tbe Ffccnd act the business of Mrs. So-and-So (some actress who difd when George IV. was irng) was thw, that, or the fiber? — and bow dare you, yen impertinent minx, fly in the face of well-known Ftage traditions? t have benn introduced lately to a specimen of bof h clat ses. I think the yonrg man — be bad b autiful long fair hair and a Byronic roller, and a little nervru* — fell in love with me, for he wrote a fuMPUs paregyric of tre, and sent it next morning with a bouqurr, and begged for my photograph. The elderly gentleman, on the other liBT-d, gave me a grfat deal of good advice; but I subdued even him, for before be vent away ho spoke in a broken voice, and there were tears in his eyes, which papa said ?were owning (o a variety of causes. It 13 ludicrous enough, no doubt, but it 13 also a little hi* humiliating. I try to laugh the thing nway, whether the opinion expressed about me is solemnly stupid or merely impertirent, but the vexation of it remain?, nnd the chief vtxation to me is that I should have so little rcrnmand of myself, so little respect for myeelf, B9 to suffi-r rpvsrlf to be Vfxed. But how C9n one help it ? Public Of iaion is tbe veiy breath nnd life of a theatre and cf every one connected with it ; and yon come to attach importance to thn tro?t foolish expression of opinion iu the

molt obfeure print. ' And bo, my deer friend, I have bad my prnmble cu» — p.rd made my ronfesfion too, for I ehruld rot like to let every ore know how foolish I urn about those prt'y vexation? — and yni will see flat I hsve not forgotten what ycu euid tome, and that fiirthpr rtfl*c'ion snd rrperfence have only crrfirmrd It. Pn* I must warn yon. Xow that I hsve vietitrrz -d you to this fearful cxfcnf, ard liberated iry mtrxJ, I feel much more romfrrtable. As I write there if a blue r--lor coming into the windows that ?tells me tbe new c'bt is coming. Would it surprise you if the new dsy brought a comple'e Jipir set of f dings ? I have begun to 'doubt whether I have got any opinions — whether, having to be so many different, rrople in the ronrse of a wrpk, I have anv cle»r notion as to whst I myself am. One thing is certain, that T have bren greatly vf xed and worried of late bv a sueces sinn of the merest tr'fl ?& ; and when 7 got vonr kind letter and present thi9 evening I suddenly thought, Now for a complete con fess'on and protest. I kr.ow you will forgive me for havipg victimized ycu, end that es soon has vnu hare thrown this rambling epistle into the fire you will trv to forget all fbe nonsense it contains, and will believe that I hoDe always to remain your frient?, ' Geetkude TThite.' Ilis quick and warm sympathy refused to Relieve the half of this letter. It was only becsu'P she k-:ew wV»t vits (win? to t1 ebopnr nn-' self-respect of a true woirsn thnt the srote in' this tone of bitter snd eronifu! c'rpreeiation r-{ herself. It was clra- that f=he was Iongine for the dignity and irrVppndfrire of a more ? natural wjty of life. And this rerela'ion — -hat ?, thfit rold r«-eion of art in which hrr father wpii'd taw kperthpr — srrnrwhBt Hewihforvd him at fir?*-. Tbp victim miglt hp rrrlaitrfd from 1Ve alter «»-d restcred to tVe sphere of f'mriV Irnman rffections, natural dutie«,anrtj''v? And ifhe-? Sudder.lv, ard wi h r sIiopV 'f r'e'isl t thj-t 7nat?e b?s b«~rt throV), lc tries! to rictrre this beautiful fair crpafurp «itiirg rvr (hpre in thot very ohair tv the s-!rV of the 6re, hrr head bent down over her sowing, the watm h'ght of the lamp tnupbing the «ennpr curve of her chff t. Ann* when she lifre^l her head to -peak to lnm — ard when her largo and laTihfnt pyre -ret jiSjt — Enrrlv Fionoeha', -he fn:r ? roetFssj from strirge lant's npvir ppeke in f-ort*r tore« than tViis ntber r*esnii-iil ftr-nee'-, »fco wes Dow his wife pin' b?s J-cn-t'* rmpan'on. Ar.r? Jiow he would hiA her lay aside hpr worV. nnd he would get a w^ite shawl for Ver, nnd Ike a ghost she would s'pal ort '»i-h him in*o the Jnoonligbt i-ir. frd is t'xre eno'gh wind on tb'F unmirrr p;ght ro take the*' ocf f'om »?--? «ombre shore to tVe rpen p'«in nf ih' pps ? Jlicok now, as the land recedes, at the hifcli

walls of Castle Dare, over the black cl:ff=, and against the sb-rs. Far away they 6ee tbe grave-yard of Inch Eennetb, the stones pale in the moonlight. And what song will she sing now, that Ulva and Colonsay may awake and fmcv that Borne mer-maiden is sirging to bewail her lost lover ? The ni^ht is lid — and the song is sad — md then, somehow, he finds himself alone in this waste of water — and «U the shores of the islands are silent and devoid of life — and there is only the echo of the sad singing in his ears — lie jumps to bis feet, for there is a knocking at the door. The gentle cooein Janet enters, and hastily he thrusts that letter into his pocket, while his face blushes hotly. *? Where have you been, K-itb f ' she bbvp, in her quite, kindly way. ' Auntie would like to say good-night to you now.' ' I will come directly,' said he. ' And now that Norman Ogilvie is away, Keith,' eiid she, 'ycu will take more rest about the shooting ; for you have not te -n looking *l-ke yonrself at all lately ; and you know, Keith, when you are not- well and happy, it is no one at all about Dare that is happy either. And that is wbv you will take care of

yourself.' He glanced at her rather uneasily ; but be said, in a light and eareleas way, ' Oh, I have been well enough, Janet, except that I was not sleeping well one or two nights. And if you look after me like that, you will make me think I am a baby, and you will send me some warm flannels when I go up on the hills.' ' It is too proud of your hardihood you are, Keith,' said his cousin, with a smile. 'But there never was a man of your family who would take my advice.' ' I would take any advice from you, Janet,' said he ; and therewith he followed her to bid good-night to the silver-haired mother.