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Kennst du das Land wo die Citronen bluehen?- Goethe

It is of no consequence why or how we came to Mentone. The vast subject of health and health resorts, of balancings between Torquay and Madeira, Algeria and Sicily, and, in a smaller sphere, between Cannes, Nice, Mentone, and San Remo, may as well be left at one side while we happily imitate the Happy-thought Man’s trains in Bradshaw, which never “start,” but “arrive.” We therefore arrived. Our party, formed not by selection, or even by the survival of the fittest (after the ocean and Channel), but simply by chance aggregation, was now composed of Mrs. Trescott and her daughter Janet, Professor Mackenzie, Miss Graves, the two youths Inness and Baker, my niece, and myself, myself being Jane Jefferson, aged fifty, and my niece Margaret Severin, aged twenty-eight.

As I said above, we were an aggregation. The Trescotts had started alone, but had “accumulated” (so Mrs. Trescott informed me) the Professor. The Professor had started alone, and had accumulated the Trescotts. Inness and Baker had started singly, but had first accumulated each other, and then ourselves; while Margaret and I, having accumulated Miss Graves, found ourselves, with her, imbedded in the aggregation, partly by chance and partly by that powerful force propinquity. Arriving at Mentone, our aggregation went unbroken to the Hotel des Anglais, in the East Bay the East Bay, the Professor said, being warmer than the West: the Professor had been at Mentone before. “The East Bay,” he explained, “is warmer because more closely encircled by the mountains, which rise directly behind the house. The West Bay has more level space, and there are several little valleys opening into it, through which currents of air can pass; it is therefore cooler, but only a matter of two or three degrees.” It was evening, and our omnibus proceeded at a pace adapted to the “Dead March” from Saul through a street so narrow and walled in that it was like going through catacombs. Only, as Janet remarked, they did not crack whips in the catacombs, and here the atmosphere seemed to be principally cracks. But the Professor brought up the flagellants who might have been there, and they remained up until we reached our destination. We decided that the cracking of whips and the wash of the sea were the especial sounds of Mentone; but the whips ceased at nightfall, and the waves kept on, making a soft murmurous sound which lulled us all to restful slumber. We learned later that all vehicles are obliged, by orders from the town authorities, to proceed at a snail’s pace through the narrow street of the “old town,” the city treasury not being rich enough to pay for the number of wooden legs and arms which would be required were this rule disregarded.

The next morning when we opened our windows there entered the Mediterranean Sea. It is the bluest water in the world; not a clear cold blue like that of the Swiss lakes, but a soft warm tint like that of June sky, shading off on the horizon, not into darker blue or gray, but into the white of opal and mother-of-pearl. With the sea came in also the sunshine. The sunshine of Mentone is its glory, its riches, its especial endowment. Day follows day, month follows month, without a cloud; the air is pure and dry, fog is unknown. “The sun never stops shining;” and to show that this idea, which soon takes possession of one there, is not without some foundation, it can be stated that the average number of days upon which the sun does shine, as the phrase is, all day long is two hundred and fifty-nine; that is, almost nine months out of the twelve. “All the world is cheered by the sun,” writes Shakespeare; and certainly “cheer” is the word that best expresses the effect of the constant sunshine of Mentone.

We all came to breakfast with unclouded foreheads; even the three fixed wrinkles which crossed Mrs. Trescott’s brow (she always alluded to them as “midnight oil”) were not so deep as usual, and her little countenance looked as though it had been, if not ironed, at least smoothed out by the long sleep in the soft air. She floated into the sunny breakfast-room in an aureola of white lace, with Janet beside her, and followed by Inness and Baker. Margaret and I had entered a moment before with Miss Graves, and presently Professor Mackenzie joined us, radiating intelligence through his shining spectacles to that extent that I immediately prepared myself for the “Indeeds?” “Is it possibles?” “You surprise me,” with which I was accustomed to assist him, when, after going all around the circle in vain for an attentive eye, he came at last to mine, which are not beautiful, but always, I trust, friendly to the friendless. Yet so self-deceived is man that I have no doubt but that if at this moment interrogated as to his best listener during that journey and sojourn at Mentone, he would immediately reply, “Miss Trescott.”

People were coming in and out of the room while we were there, the light Continental “first breakfast” of rolls and coffee or tea not detaining them long. Two, however, were evidently loitering, under a flimsy pretext of reading the unflimsy London Times, in order to have a longer look at Janet; these two were Englishmen. Was Janet, then, beautiful? That is a question hard to answer. She was a slender, graceful girl with a delicate American face, small, well-poised head, sweet voice, quiet manner, and eyes well, yes, the expression in Janet’s eyes was certainly a remarkable endowment. It could never be fixed in colors; it cannot be described in ink; it may perhaps be faintly indicated as each gazing man’s ideal promised land. And this centre was surrounded by such a blue and childlike unconsciousness that every new-comer tumbled in immediately, as into a blue lake, and never emerged.

“You have been roaming, Professor,” said Mrs. Trescott, as he took his seat; “you have a fine breezy look of the sea. I heard the wa-ash, wa-ash, upon the beach all night. But you have been out early, communing with Aurora. Do not deny it.”

The Professor had no idea of denying it. “I have been as far as the West Bay,” he said, taking a roll. “Mentone has two bays, the East, where we are, and the West, the two being separated by the port and the ’old town.’ Behind us, on the north, extends the double chain of mountains, the first rising almost directly from the sea, the second and higher chain behind, so that the two together form a screen, which completely protects this coast. Thus sheltered, and opening only towards the south, the bays of Mentone are like a conservatory, and we like the plants growing within.” (This, for the Professor, was quite poetical.)

“I have often thought that to be a flower in a conservatory would be a happy lot,” observed Janet. “One could have of the perfumes, sit still all the time, and never be out in the rain.”

“I trust, Miss Trescott, you have not often been exposed to inclement weather?” said the Professor, looking up.

He meant rain; but Mrs. Trescott, who took it upon herself to answer him, always meant metaphor. “Not yet,” she answered; “no inclement weather yet for my child, because I have stood between. But the time may come when, that barrier removed ” Here she waved her little claw-like hand, heavy with gems, in a sort of sepulchral suggestiveness, and took refuge in coffee.

The Professor, who supposed the conversation still concerned the weather, said a word or two about the excellent English umbrella he had purchased in London, and then returned to his discourse. “The first mountains behind us,” he remarked, “are between three and four thousand feet high; the second chain attains a height of eight and nine thousand feet, and, stretching back, mingles with the Swiss Alps. Our name is Alpes Maritimes; we run along the coast in this direction” (indicating it on the table-cloth with his spoon), “and at Genoa we become the Apennines. The winter climate of Mentone is due, therefore, to its protected situation; cold winds from the north and northeast, coming over these mountains behind us, pass far above our heads, and advance several miles over the sea before they fall into the water. The mistral, too, that scourge of Southern France, that wind, cold, dry, and sharp, bringing with it a yellow haze, is unknown here, kept off by a fortunately placed shoulder of mountain running down into the sea on the west.”

“Indeed?” I said, seeing the search for a listener beginning.

“Yes,” he replied, starting on anew, encouraged, but, as usual, not noticing from whom the encouragement came “yes; and the sirocco is even pleasant here, because it comes to us over a wide expanse of water. The characteristics of a Mentone winter are therefore sunshine, protection from the winds, and dryness. It is, in truth, remarkably dry.”

“Very,” said Inness.

“I have scarcely ever seen it equalled,” remarked Baker.

Margaret smiled, but I looked at the two youths reprovingly. Mrs. Trescott said, “Dry? Do you find it so? But you are young, whereas I have reminiscences. Tears are not dry.”

They certainly are not; but why she should have alluded to them at that moment, no one but herself knew. There was a mystery about some of Mrs. Trescott’s moods which made her society interesting: no one could ever tell what she would say next.

After breakfast we sat awhile in the garden, where there were palm, lemon, and orange trees, high woody bushes of heliotrope, grotesque growth of cactus, and the great gray-blue swords of the century-plant. Before us stretched the sea. Even if we had not known it, we should have felt sure that its waters laved tropical shores somewhere, and that it was the reflection of those far skies which we caught here.

Miss Graves now joined us, with an acquaintance she had discovered, a Mrs. Clary, who had “spent several winters at Mentone,” and who adored “every stone of it.” This phrase, which no doubt sounded well coming from Mrs. Clary, who was an impulsive person, with fine dark eyes and expressive mobile face, assumed a comical aspect when repeated by the sober voice of Miss Graves. Mrs. Clary, laughing, hastened to explain; and Miss Graves, noticing Mrs. Trescott on a bench in the shade, where she and her laces had floated down, said, warningly, “I should advise you to rise; I have just learned that the shade of Mentone is of the most deadly nature, and to be avoided like a scorpion.”

Mrs. Trescott and her laces floated up. “Is it damp?” she asked, alarmed.

“No,” replied Miss Graves, “it is not damp. It does not know how to be damp at Mentone. But the shade is deadly, all the same. Now in Florida it was otherwise.” And she went into the house to get a white umbrella.

“Matilda’s temperament is really Alpine,” said Mrs. Clary, smiling. “I have always felt that she would be cold even in heaven.”

“In that case,” said Baker, “she might try ” But he had the grace to stop.

“What is it about the shade?” I asked.

“Only this,” said Mrs. Clary: “as the warmth is due to the heat of the sun, and not to the air, which is cool, there is more difference between the sunshine and shade here than we are accustomed to elsewhere. But surely it is a small thing to remember. The treasure of Mentone is its sunshine: in it, safety; out of it, danger.”

“Like Mr. Micawber’s income,” said Margaret, smiling. “Amount, twenty shillings; you spend nineteen shillings and sixpence riches; twenty shillings and sixpence bankruptcy.”

A little later we went down to the “old town,” as the closely built village of the Middle Ages, clinging to the side hill, and hardly changed in the long lapse of centuries, is called. The “old town” lies between the East Bay and the West Bay, as the body of a bird lies between the two long, slender wings.

“The West Bay has its Promenade du Midi, and the East Bay has its sea-wall,” said Mrs. Clary. “I like a sea-wall.”

“This one does not approach that at St. Augustine,” said Miss Graves.

“Here is one of the fountains or wells,” said Mrs. Clary. “You will soon see that going for water and gossiping at the well are two occupations of the women everywhere in this region. It comes, I suppose, from the scarcity of water, which is brought in pipes from long distances to these wells, to which the women must go for all the water needed by their households. Notice the classic shapes of the jugs and jars they bear on their heads. Those green ones might be majolica.”

We now turned up a paved ascent, and passing under a broad stone archway, entered the “old town,” through whose narrow, lane-like streets no vehicle could be driven, through some of them hardly a donkey. The principal avenue, the Rue Longue, but a few feet in width, was smoothly paved and clean; but walking there was like being at the bottom of a well, so far above and so narrow was the little ribbon of blue sky at the top. Unbroken stone walls rose on each side, directly upon the street, five and six stories in height, shutting out the sunshine; and these tall gray walls were often joined above our heads also by arches, “like uncelebrated bridges of sighs,” Janet said. These closely built continuous blocks were the homes of the native population, “old Mentone,” unspoiled by progress and strangers. The low doorways showed stone steps ascending somewhere in the darkness, showed low-ceilinged rooms, whose only light was from the door, where were mothers and babies, men mending shoes, women sewing and occupied with household tasks, as calmly as though daylight was not the natural atmosphere of mankind, but rather their own dusky gloom. Outside the doors little black-eyed children sat on the pavement, eating the dark sour bread of the country, and here and there old women in circular white hats like large dinner plates were spinning thread with distaff and spindle. Above were some bits of color: pots of flowers on high window-sills, bright-hued rags hung out to dry, or a dark-eyed girl, with red kerchief tied over her black braids, looking down.

“It is all like a scene from an opera,” said Janet.

“Oh no,” said Mrs. Clary; “say rather that it is like a scene from the Middle Ages.”

“That is what I mean,” said Janet. “The scenes in the operas are generally from the Middle Ages.”

“The chorus always,” said Baker.

“It is a pity you cannot see the old mansion of the Princes,” said Mrs. Clary. “But I see the street is blockaded just now by the artist.”

“By the artist?” said Janet.

“Yes; this one, a Frenchman, is rather broad-shouldered, and when he is at work he blockades the street. However, the mansion is not especially interesting; it was built by one of the later Princes with the stones of the ruined castle above, and has, I believe, only a vaulted hallway and one or two marble pillars. It is now a lodging-house. I saw dancing-dogs going up the stairway yesterday.”

From the Rue Longue we had turned into a labyrinth of crooked, staircase-like lanes, winding here and there from side to side, but constantly ascending, the whole net-work, owing to the number of arches thrown across above, seeming to be half underground, but in reality a honey-combed erection clinging to the steep hill-side.

“Dancing-dogs!” said Janet, pausing in the darkest of these turnings. “Let us go back and see them.”

But we all exclaimed against this; Mrs. Trescott’s little old feet were wearied with curling over the round stones, and Margaret was tired. Inness and Baker offered to make dancing-dogs of themselves for the remainder of the morning, and dogs, too, of a very superior quality, if she would only go on.

The Professor, who, in his “winnowing progress,” as Mrs. Trescott called it, had fallen behind, now joined us, followed by Miss Graves.

“I have just witnessed a remarkably interesting little ceremony,” he began, “quite mediaeval a herald, with his trumpet, making an announcement through the streets. I could not comprehend all he said, but no doubt it was something of importance to the community.”

“It was,” said Miss Graves’s monotonous voice. “He was telling them that excellent sausage-meat was now to be obtained at a certain shop for a price much lower than before.”

“Ah,” said the Professor. Then, rallying, he added, “But the ceremony was the same.”

“Certainly,” I said, with my usual unappreciated benevolence.

“I wonder what induced these people to build their houses upon such a crag as this, when they had the whole sunny coast to choose from?” said Janet.

The Professor, charmed with this idle little speech (which he took for a thirst for knowledge), hastened by several of us as we walked in single file, in order to be nearer to the questioner.

“You may not be aware, Miss Trescott,” he began (she was still in advance, but he hoped to make up the distance), “that this whole shore, called the Riviera

“Let us begin fairly,” I said. “What is the Riviera?”

“It is heaven,” said Mrs. Clary.

“It is the coast of the Gulf of Genoa,” said the Professor, “extending both eastward and westward from the city of that name. On the west it extends geographically to Nice; but Cannes and Antibes are generally included. This shore-line, then, has been subject from a very early date to attacks from the pirates of the Mediterranean, who swept down upon the coast and carried off as slaves all who came in their way. To escape the horrors of this slavery the inhabitants chose situations like this steep hill-side, and crowded their stone dwellings closely together so that they formed continuous walls, which were often joined also by arched bridges, like these above us now, and connected by dark and winding passageways below, so that escape was easy and pursuit impossible. It was a veritable

“Rabbit-warren,” suggested Baker.

Inness made no suggestions; he was next to the Professor, and fully occupied in blocking, with apparent entire unconsciousness, all his efforts to pass and join Janet.

The Professor, not accepting, however, the rabbit-warren, continued: “As recently as 1830, Miss Trescott, when the French took possession of Algiers, they found there thousands of miserable Christian slaves, natives of this northern shore, who had been seized on the coast or taken from their fishing-boats at sea. There are men now living in Mentone who in their youth spent years as slaves in Tunis and Algiers. These pirates, these scourges of the Mediterranean, were Saracens, and

“Saracens!” said Janet, with an accent of admiration; “what a lovely word it is! What visions of romance and adventure it brings up, especially when spelled with two r’s, so as to be Sarrasins! It is even better than Paynim.”

I could not see how the Professor took this, because we were now all entirely in the dark, groping our way along a passage which apparently led through cellars.

“We are in an impasse, or blind passage,” called Mrs. Clary from behind; “we had better go back.”

Hearing this, we all retraced our steps at least, we supposed we did. But when we reached comparative daylight again we found that Janet, Inness, and Baker were not with us; they had found a way through that impasse, although we could not, and were sitting high above us on a white wall in the sunshine, when, breathless, we at last emerged from the labyrinth and discovered them.

“That looks like a cemetery,” said Mrs. Trescott, disapprovingly, disentangling her lace shawl from a bush. “You said it was a castle.” She addressed the Professor, and with some asperity; she did not like cemeteries.

“It was the castle,” explained our learned guide; “the castle erected in 1502, by one of the Princes, upon the site of a still earlier one, built in 1250.”

“That Prince used the ruins of his ancestors as his descendants afterwards used his,” observed Margaret, referring to the mansion in the street below.

“Possibly,” said the Professor. He never gave Margaret more than a possibility; although a man of hyphens and semicolons, he generally dismissed her with an early period. “These old arches and buttresses,” he continued, turning to Mrs. Trescott, “were once part of the castle. Turreted walls extended from here down to the sea.”

“What they did once, of course I do not know,” said Mrs. Trescott, implacably, “but now they plainly enclose a cemetery. Janet! Janet! come down! we are going back.” And she turned to descend.

“The cemetery is a lovely spot,” said Mrs. Clary, as we lingered a moment looking at the white marble crosses gleaming above us, outlined against the blue sky.

“Some other time,” I answered, following Mrs. Trescott. For the quiet, lovely gardens where we lay our dead had too strong an attraction for Margaret already. She was fond of lingering amid their perfume and their silence, and she sought this one the next day, and afterwards often went there. It was a peculiar little cemetery, alone on the height, and walled like a fortress; but it was beautiful in its way, lifted up against the sky and overlooking the sea. On the eastern edge was a monument, the seated figure of a woman with her hands gently clasped, her eyes gazing over the water; the face was lovely, and not idealized the face of a woman, not an angel. Margaret took a fancy to this white watcher on the height, and often stole away to look at the sunset, seated near it. I think she identified its loneliness somewhat with herself.

We went through the labyrinth again, but by another route, not quite so dark and piratical, although equally narrow. Miss Graves liked nothing she saw, but walked on unmoved, save that at intervals she observed that it was “deathly cold” in these “stony lanes,” and “must be unhealthy.” Mrs. Clary’s assertion that the people looked remarkably vigorous only called out a shake of the head; Miss Graves was set upon “fever.” It was amusing to see how carefully all the houses were numbered, up and down these break-neck little streets, through the narrowest burrows, and under the darkest arches. Here and there some citizen wealthier than his neighbors had painted his section of front in bright pink or yellow, and perhaps adorned his Madonna in her little shrine over the door with new robes, those broadly contrasted blues and reds of Italy, which American eyes must learn by gradual education to admire; or, if not by education, then by residence; for he will find himself liking them naturally after a while, as a relief from the unchanging white light of the Italian day. We came down by way of the square or piazza on the hill-side, to and from which broad flights of steps ascend and descend. Here are the two churches of St. Michael and the White Penitents, whose campaniles, with that of the Black Penitents beyond, make the “three spires of Mentone,” which stand out so picturesquely one above the other, visible in profile far to the east and the west on the sharp angle of the hill.

“The different use of the same word in different languages is droll,” said Margaret. “French writers almost always speak of these little country church-spires as ‘coquettes.’”

“There is a Turkish lance here somewhere,” said Inness, emerging unexpectedly from what I had thought was a cellar. “It is in one of these churches. It was taken at the battle of Lepanto, and is a ‘glorious relic.’ We must see it.”

“No,” said Janet, appearing with Baker at the top of a flight of steps which I had supposed was the back entrance of a private house, “we will not see it, but imagine it. I want to go homeward by the Rue Longue.”

“Now, Janet, if you mean those dancing-dogs ” began Mrs. Trescott.

“I had forgotten their very existence, mamma. I was thinking of something quite different.” Here she turned towards the Professor. “I was hoping that Professor Mackenzie would feel like telling me something of Mentone in the past, as we walk through that quaint old street.”

“He feels like it feels like it day and night,” said Baker to Inness, behind me. “He’s a perfect statistics Niagara.”

“Look at him now, gorged with joy!” said Inness, indignantly. “But I’ll floor him yet, and on his own ground, too. I’ll study up, and then we’ll see!”

But the Professor, not hearing this threat, had already begun, and begun (for him) quite gayly. “The origin of Mentone, Miss Trescott, has been attributed to the pirates, and also to Hercules.”

“I have always been so interested in Hercules,” replied that young person.

“Mythical mythical,” said the Professor. “I merely mentioned it as one of the legends. To come down to facts always much more impressive to a rightly disposed mind the first mention of Mentone, per se, on the authentic page of history, occurs in the eighth century. In A.D. 975 it belonged to the Lascaris, Counts of Ventimiglia, a family of royal origin and Greek descent.”

“Are there any of them left?” inquired Janet.

“I really do not know,” replied the Professor, who was not interested in that branch of the subject. “In the fourteenth century the village passed into the possession of the Grimaldi family, Princes of Monaco, and they held it, legally at least, until 1860, when it was attached to France.”

“He is really quite Cyclopean in his information,” murmured Mrs. Trescott.

But the Professor had now discovered Inness, who, with an expression of deepest interest on his face, was walking close at his heels, and writing as he walked in a note-book.

“What are you doing, sir?” said the Professor, in his college tone.

“Taking notes,” replied Inness, respectfully. “Miss Trescott may feel willing to trust her memory, but I wish to preserve your remarks for future reference,” and he went on with his writing.

The Professor looked at him sharply, but the youth’s face remained immovable, and he went on.

“These three little towns, then, Mentone, Roccabruna, and Monaco, have belonged to the Princes of Monaco since the early Middle Ages.”

“Those dear Middle Ages!” said Mrs. Clary.

The Professor gravely looked at her, and then repeated his phrase, as if linking together his remarks over her unimportant head. “As I observed the early Middle Ages. But in 1848 Mentone and Roccabruna, unable longer to endure the tyranny of their rulers, revolted and declared their independence. The Prince at that time lived in Paris, knew little of his subjects, and apparently cared less, save to get from them through agents as much income as possible for his Parisian luxuries.” (Impossible to describe the accent which our Puritan Professor gave to those two words.) “His little territory produced only olives, oranges, and lemons. By his order the oranges and lemons were taxed so heavily that the poor peasant owner made nothing from his toil; his olives, also, must be ground at the ‘Prince’s mill,’ where a higher price was demanded than elsewhere. Finally an even more odious monopoly was established: all subjects were compelled to purchase the ’Prince’s bread,’ which, made from cheap grain bought on the docks of Marseilles and Genoa, was often unfit to eat. So severe were the laws that any traveller entering the principality must throw away at the boundary line all bread he might have with him, and the captain of a vessel having on board a single slice upon arrival in port was heavily fined. This state of things lasted twenty-five years, during which period the Prince in Paris spent annually his eighty thousand dollars, gained from this poor little domain of eight or nine thousand souls.” The Professor in his heat stood still, and we all stood still with him. The Mentonnais, looking down from their high windows and up from their dark little doors, no doubt wondered what we were talking about; they little knew it was their own story.

“A revolution made by bread. And ours was made by tea,” observed Janet, thoughtfully.

“We need now only one made by butter, to be complete,” said Inness.

Again the Professor scrutinized him, but discovered nothing.

I, however, discovered something, although not from Inness; I discovered why Janet had wished to pass a second time through that Rue Longue. For here was the French artist sketching the old mansion, and with him (she could not have known this, of course; but chance always favored Janet) were the two Englishmen, the respectful gazers of the breakfast-table, sketching also. There were therefore six artistic eyes instead of two to dwell upon her as she approached, passed, and went onward, her slender figure outlined against the light coming through the archway beyond, old St. Julian’s Gate, a remnant of feudal fortification. Artists are not slack in the use of their eyes; an “artistic gaze” is not considered a stare. I was obliged to repeat this axiom to Baker, who did not appreciate it, but looked as though he would like to go back and artistically demolish those gazers. He contented himself, however, with the remark that water-color sketches were “weak, puling daubs,” and then he went on through the old archway as majestically as he could.

“One of the features of Mentone seems to be the number of false windows carefully painted on the outside of the houses, windows adorned with blinds, muslin curtains, pots of flowers, and even gay rugs hanging over the sill,” said Margaret.

“And then the frescos,” I added “landscapes, trees, gods and goddesses, in the most brilliant colors, on the side of the house.”

I like it,” said Mrs. Clary; “it is so tropical.”

“You commend falsity, then,” said Miss Graves. “What can be more false than a false rug?”

We went homeward by the sea-wall, and saw some boys coming up from the beach with a basket of sea-urchins. “They eat them, you know,” said Mrs. Clary.

“Is that tropical too?” said Janet, shuddering.

“It is, after all, but a difference in custom,” observed the Professor. “I myself have eaten puppies in China, and found them not unpalatable.”

Janet surveyed him; then fell behind and joined Inness and Baker.

Some fishermen on the beach were talking to two women with red handkerchiefs on their heads, who were leaning over the sea-wall. “Their language is a strange patois,” said the Professor; “it is composed of a mixture of Italian, French, Spanish, and even Arabic.”

“But the people themselves are thoroughly Italian, I think, in spite of the French boundary line,” said Margaret. “They are a handsome race, with their dark eyes, thick hair, and rich coloring.”

“I have never bestowed much thought upon beauty per se,” responded the Professor. “The imperishable mind has far more interest.”

“How much of the imperishable M. do you possess, Miss Trescott?” I heard Inness murmur.

“Breakfast” was served at one o’clock in the large dining-room, and we found ourselves opposite the two English artists, and a young lady whom they called “Miss Elaine.”

“Elaine is bad enough; but ’Miss Elaine’!” said Margaret aside to me.

However, Miss Elaine seemed very well satisfied with herself and her Tennysonian title. She was a short, plump blonde, with a high color, and I could see that she regarded Janet with pity as she noted her slender proportions and delicate complexion in the one exhaustive glance with which girls survey each other when they first meet. We were some time at the table, but during the first five minutes both of the artists succeeded in offering some slight service to Mrs. Trescott which gave an opportunity for opening a conversation. The taller of the two, called “Verney” by his friend, advised for the afternoon an expedition up the Cornice Road to the “Pont St. Louis,” and on “to Italy.”

“But that will be too far, will it not?” said Mrs. Trescott.

“Oh no; to Italy! to Italy!” said Janet, with enthusiasm. Verney now explained that Italy was but ten minutes’ walk from the hotel, and Janet was, of course, duly astonished. But not more astonished than the Professor, who, having told her the same fact not a half-hour before, could not comprehend how she should so soon have forgotten it.

“And if we are but ‘ten minutes’ walk from Italy’ a phrase so often repeated what of it?” said Miss Graves to Margaret. “We are simply ten minutes’ walk from a most uncleanly land.” Miss Graves always wore a gray worsted shawl, and took no wine; in spite of the sunshine, therefore, she preserved a frosty appearance.

After breakfast Miss Elaine introduced herself to Mrs. Trescott. She had met some Americans the year before; they were charming; they were from Brazil; perhaps we knew them? She had always felt ever since that all Americans were her dear, dear friends. She had an invalid mother up-stairs (sharing her good opinion of Americans) who would be “very pleased” to make our acquaintance; and hearing Pont St. Louis mentioned, she assured Janet that it was a “very jolly place very jolly indeed.” It ended in our going to the “jolly place,” accompanied by the two artists and Miss Elaine herself, who smiled upon us all, upon the rocks, the sky, and the sea, in the most amiable and continuous manner. This time we were not all on foot; one of the loose-jointed little Mentone phaetons, with a great deal of driver and whip and very little horse, had been engaged for Mrs. Trescott and Margaret. This left Mrs. Clary and myself together (Miss Graves having remained at home), and Inness, Baker, the Professor, Verney, and the other artist, whose name was Lloyd, all trying to walk with Janet, while Miss Elaine devoted herself in turn to the unsuccessful ones, and never from first to last perceived the real situation.

We went eastward. Presently we passed a small house bearing the following naïve inscription in French on the side towards the road: “The first villa built at Mentone, in 1855, to attract hither the strangers. The sun, the sea, and the soft air combined are benefactions bestowed upon us by the good God. Thanks be to Him, therefore, for His mercies in thus favoring us.”

“Mentone is said to have been ‘discovered by the English’ in 1857,” said Mrs. Clary. “Dr. Bennet, the London physician, may be called its real discoverer, as Lord Brougham was the discoverer of Cannes. From a sleepy, unknown little Riviera village it has grown into the winter resort we now see, with fifty hotels and two hundred villas full of strangers from all parts of the world.”

The Professor was discoursing upon the climate. “It is very beneficial to all whose lungs are delicate,” he said. “Also” (checking off the different classes on his fingers) “to the aged, to those who need general renovating, to the rheumatic, and to those afflicted with gout.”

“Where, then, do I come in?” said Janet, sweetly, as he finished the left hand.

“Nowhere,” answered the Professor, meaning to be gallant, but not quite succeeding. Perceiving this, he added, slowly, and with solemnity, “But the fair and healthy flower should be willing to shine upon the less endowed for the pure beneficence of the act.”

Baker and Inness sat down on the sea-wall behind him to recover from this. The two Englishmen were equally amused, although Miss Elaine, who was walking with them, did not discover it. However, Miss Elaine seldom discovered anything save herself. We now began to ascend, passing between the high walls of villa gardens along a smooth, broad, white road.

“This is the Cornice,” said Mrs. Clary; “it winds along this coast from Marseilles to Genoa.”

“From Nice to Genoa,” said the Professor, turning to correct her. But by turning he lost his place. Inness slipped into it, and not only that, but into his information also. In the leisure hour or two before and after “breakfast,” Inness had carried out his threat of “studying up,” and we soon became aware of it.

“The genius of Napoleon, Miss Trescott,” he began, “caused this wonderful road to spring from the bosom of the mighty rock.”

“Before it there was no road, only a mule track,” said the Professor from behind.

“I beg your pardon,” said Inness, suavely, “but there was a road, the old Roman way, called Via Julia Augusta, traces of which are still to be seen at more than one point in this neighborhood.”

“Ah!” said the Professor, surprised by this unexpected antiquity, “you are going back to the Roman period. I have omitted that.”

“But I have not,” replied Inness. “The Romans were a remarkable people, and all their relics are penetrated with the profoundest interest for me. I am aware, however, that other minds are more modern,” he added, carelessly, with an air of patronage, which so delighted Baker that he fell behind to conceal it.

“The Cornichy, Miss Trescott, as we pronounce the Italian word (Corniche in French), is almost our own word cornice,” pursued Inness, “meaning a shelf or ledge along the side of the mountain. It was begun by Napoleon, and has been finished by the energy of successive governments since the death of that wonderful man, who was all governments in one.”

“You surprise me,” said Janet, breaking into laughter.

“Not more than you do me,” I said, joining her.

The Professor (who had rather neglected the Cornice in his Cyclopean information) gazed at us inquiringly, surprised at our merriment.

“The best description of the Cornice, I think, is the one in Ruffini’s novel called Doctor Antonio” said Mrs. Clary. “The scene is laid at Bordighera, you know, that little white town on the eastern point so conspicuous from Mentone. Of course you all remember Doctor Antonio?”

Presently our road wound around a curve, and we came upon a wild gorge, spanned by a bridge with a sentinel’s box at each end; one side was France and the other Italy. The bridge, the official boundary line between the two countries, is a single arch thrown across the gorge, which is singularly stern, great masses of bare gray rock rising perpendicularly hundreds of feet into the air, with a little rill of water trickling down on one side, trying to create a tiny line of verdure. Below was an old aqueduct on arches, which the Professor hastened to say was “Roman.”

“The Romans must have been enormous drinkers of water,” observed Baker, as we looked down. “The first thing they made in every conquered country was an aqueduct. What could have given the name to Roman punch?”

“Do you see that narrow track cut in the face of the rock?” said Mrs. Clary, pointing out a line crossing one side of the gorge at a dizzy height. “It is a little path beside a watercourse, and so narrow that in some places there is not room for one’s two feet. The wall of rock rises, as you see, perpendicularly hundreds of feet on one side, and falls away hundreds of feet perpendicularly on the other; there is nothing to hold on by, and in addition the glancing motion of the little stream, running rapidly downhill along the edge, makes the path still more dizzy. Yet the peasants coming down from Ciotti a village above us use it, as it shortens the distance to town. And there are those among the strangers too who try it, generally, I must confess, of our race. The French and Italians say, with a shrug, ’It is only the English and Americans who enjoy such risks.’”

“It does not look so narrow,” said Janet. Then, as we exclaimed, she added, “I mean, not wide enough for one’s two feet.”

“Feet,” remarked Inness, in a general way, as if addressing the gorge, “are not all of the same size.”

We happened to be standing in a row, with our backs against the southern parapet of the bridge, looking up at the little path; the result was that eighteen feet were plainly visible on the white dust of the bridge, and, naturally enough, at Inness’s speech eighteen eyes looked downward and noted them. There were the Professor’s boots, the laced shoes of the younger men, the comfortable foot-gear of Mrs. Clary and myself, the broad substantial soles of Miss Elaine, and a certain dainty little pair of high-arched, high-heeled boots, which, small as they were, were yet quite large enough for the pretty feet they contained. I thought Miss Elaine would be vexed; but no, not at all. It never occurred to Miss Elaine to doubt the perfection of any of her attributes. But now Mrs. Trescott’s phaeton, which had started later, reached the bridge, and the gorge, path, and aqueduct had to be explained to her. Lloyd undertook this.

“I wonder how many girls have thrown themselves off that rock?” said Janet, gazing at an isolated peak, shaped like a sugar-loaf, which stood alone within the ravine.

“What a holocaust you imagine, Miss Trescott!” said Verney. “How could they climb up there, to begin with?”

“I do not know. But they always do. I have never known a rock of that kind which has succeeded in evading them,” answered Janet. “They generally call them ‘Lovers’ Leaps.’”

After a while we went on “to Italy,” passing the square Italian custom-house perched on its cliff, and following the road by the little Garibaldi inn, and on towards the point of Mortola.

“This is the Italian frontier,” said Verney. “In old times, during the Prince’s reign, no one could leave the domain without buying a passport; any one, therefore, who wished to take an afternoon walk was obliged to have one. But things are altered now in Menton.”

“Are we to call the place Menton or Mentone?” asked Janet. “We might as well come to some decision.”

“Menton is correct,” said the Professor; “it is now a French town.”

“Oh no! let us keep to the dear old names, and say Men-to-ne,” said Mrs. Clary.

I have even heard it pronounced to rhyme with bone,” said Verney, smiling. Inness and Baker now looked at each other, and fell behind, but after a few minutes they came forward again, and, advancing to the front, faced us, and delivered the following epic:


“What shall we call thee? Shall we give our own
Plain English vowels to thee, fair Mentone?”


“Or shall we yield thee back thy patrimony,
The lost Italian sweetness of Mentone?”


“Or, with French accent, and the n’s half gone,
Try the Parisian syllables Men-ton?”

We all applauded their impromptu. The Professor, seeing that poetry held the field, walked apart musingly. I think he was trying to recall, but without success, an appropriate Latin quotation.

The view from the point above Mortola is very beautiful. On the west, Mentone with its three spires, the green of Cap Martin; and beyond, the bold dark forehead of the Dog’s Head rising above Monaco.

“Do you see that blue line of coast?” said Verney. “That is the island where lived the Man with the Iron Mask.”

“Bazaine was confined there also,” said the Professor.

But none of us cared for Bazaine. We began to talk about the Mask, and then diverged to Kaspar Hauser, finally ending with Eleazer Williams, of “Have we a Bourbon among us?” who had to be explained to the Englishmen. It was some time before we came back to the view; but all the while there it was before us, and we were unconsciously enjoying it. On the east was, first, the little village of Mortola at our feet; then fortified Ventimiglia; and beyond, Bordighera, gleaming whitely on its low point out in the blue sea.

“Blanche Bordighera,” said Mrs. Clary; “it is to me like paradise always silvery and fair. No matter where you go, there it is; whether you look from Cap Martin or St. Agnese, from Ciotti or Roccabruna, you can always see Bordighera shining in the sunlight. Even when there is a mist, so that Mentone itself is veiled and Ventimiglia lost, Bordighera can be seen gleaming whitely through. And finally you end by not wanting to go there; you dread spoiling the vision by a less fair reality, and you go away, leaving it unvisited, but carrying with you the remembrance of its shining and its feathery palms.”

“Is it palmy?” asked Janet.

“There are probably now more palms at Bordighera than in the Holy Land itself,” said Verney, who had wound himself into a place beside her. I say “wound,” because Verney was so long and lithe that he could slip gracefully into places which other men could not obtain. Lloyd was not with us. He had not left his post of duty beside the phaeton, which was coming slowly up the hill behind us; but I noticed that he had selected Margaret’s side of it.

“Palms would grow at Mentone, or at any other sheltered spot on this coast,” said the Professor, at last abandoning the obstinate quotation, and coming back to the present. “But the cultivation is not remunerative save at Bordighera, where they own the monopoly of supplying the palm branches used on Palm-Sunday at Rome.”

“Excuse me,” said Inness; “but I think you did not mention the origin of that monopoly?”

“A monkish legend,” said the Professor, contemptuously.

“In those days everything was monkish,” replied Inness; “architecture, knowledge, and religion. If we had lived then, no doubt we should all have been monks.”

“Ah, yes!” said Miss Elaine, fervently. “Do tell us the legend, Mr. Inness. I adore legends, especially if ecclesiastical.”

“Well,” said Inness, “a good while ago in 1586 the Pope decided to raise and place upon a pedestal an Egyptian obelisk, which, transported to Rome by Caligula, had been left lying neglected upon the ground. An apparatus was constructed to lift the huge block, and with the aid of one hundred and fifty horses and nine hundred men it was raised, poised, and then let down slowly towards its position, amid the breathless silence of a multitude, when suddenly it was seen that the ropes on one side failed to bring it into place. All, including the engineer in charge, stood stupefied with alarm, when a voice from the crowd called out, ‘Wet the ropes!’ It was done; the ropes shortened; the obelisk reached its place in safety. The Pope sent for the man whose timely advice had saved the lives of many, and asked him what reward would please him most. He was a simple countryman, and with much timidity he answered that he lived at Bordighera, and that if the palms of Bordighera could be used in Rome on Holy Palm-Sunday he should die happy. His wish was granted,” concluded Inness, “and he died.”

“I hope not immediately,” I said, laughing.

On our way back, Verney showed us a path leading up the cliff. “Let me give you a glimpse of a lovely garden,” he said. We looked up, and there it was on the cliff above us, like the hanging gardens of Babylon, green terraces clothing the bare gray rock with beautiful verdure. Margaret left the phaeton and went up the winding path with us, Mrs. Trescott and Mrs. Clary remaining below. The gate of the garden, which bore the inscription “Salvete Amici,” opened upon a long columned walk; from pillar to pillar over our heads ran climbing vines, and on each side were ranks of rare and curious plants, the lovely wild flowers of the country having their place also among the costlier blossoms. “Before you go farther turn and look at the tower,” said Verney. “It has been made habitable within, but otherwise it is unchanged. It was built either as a lookout in which to keep watch for the Saracens, or else by the Saracens themselves when they held the coast.”

“By the Sarrasins themselves, of course always with two r’s,” said Janet. “Think of it a Sarrasin tower! I would rather own it than anything else in the whole world.”

Whereupon Verney, Inness, the Professor, Lloyd, and Baker all wished to know what she would do with it.

“Do with it?” repeated Janet. “Live in it, of course. I have always had the greatest desire to live in a tower; even light-houses tempt me.”

“I shall tell Dr. Bennet,” said Verney, laughing. “This is his garden, you know.”

At the end of the columned walk we went around a curve by a smaller tower, and descended to a lower path bordered with miniature groves of hyacinth, whose dense sweetness, mingled with that of heliotrope, filled the air. Here Margaret seated herself to enjoy the fragrance and sunshine, while we went onward, coming to a magnificent array of prímulas, rank upon rank, in every shade of delicate and gorgeous coloring, a pomp of tints against a background of ferns. Below was a little vine-covered terrace with thick, soft, English grass for its velvet flooring; here was another paradisiacal little seat, like the one where we had left Margaret, overlooking the blue sea. On terraces above were camellias, roses, and numberless other blossoms, mingled with tropical plants and curious growths of cacti; behind was a lemon grove rising a little higher; then the background of gray rocks from which all this beauty had been won inch by inch; then the great peaks of the mountain amphitheatre against the sky in all, beauty enough for a thousand gardens here concentrated in one enchanting spot.

“That picturesque village on the height is Grimaldi,” said Verney.

“The original home of the clowns, I suppose,” said Baker.

“English and Americans always say that; they can never think of anything but the great circus Hamlet,” replied Verney. “In reality, however, Grimaldi is one of the oldest of the noble names on this coast the family name of the Princes of Monaco.”

“Who are worse than clowns,” said the Professor, sternly. “The Grimaldi who was a clown at least honestly earned his bread, but the Grimaldis of the present day live by the worst dishonesty. Monaco, formerly called the Port of Hercules, may now well be called the Port of Hell.”

“Well,” said Inness, “if Monaco, on one side of us, represents l’Inferno, Bordighera, on the other, represents Paradiso, and so we are saved.”

“It depends upon which way you go, young man,” said the Professor, still sternly.

After a while we came back to the bench among the hyacinths where we had left Margaret, and found Lloyd with her, looking at the sea; the lovely garden overhangs the sea, whose beautiful near blue closes every blossoming vista. It had been decided that we were to go homeward by way of the Bone Caverns, and as Mrs. Trescott was fond of bones, and wished to see their abode, I offered to remain and drive home with Margaret.

“Let me accompany Miss Severin,” said Lloyd. “I have seen the caverns, and do not care to see them again.”

I looked at Margaret, thinking she would object; she seldom cared for the society of strangers. But in some way Mr. Lloyd no longer seemed a stranger; he had crossed the numerous little barriers which she kept erected between herself and the outside world, crossed them probably without even seeing them. But none the less were they crossed.

So we left them in the sunny garden to return homeward at their leisure, and, descending to the road, went eastward a short distance, and turned down a narrow path leading to the beach. It brought us under the enormous mass of the Red Rocks, rising perpendicularly three hundred feet from the water. Inness, who was in advance, had paused on a little bridge of one arch over a hollow, and was holding it, as it were, when we came up. “Behold a fragment of the ancient Roman way, Via Julia Augusta,” he began, introducing the bridge with a wave of his cane. “When we think of this road in the past, what visions rise in the mind visions like like mists on the mountain-tops floating away, which which merge in each other at dawning of day! In comparison with the ancient Romans, the builders of this bridge, Hercules, the Lascaris, even the Sarrasins (always with two r’s), are nowhere. Roman feet touched this very archway upon which my own unworthy shoes now stand.”

We looked at his shoes with respect, the Professor (who had gone onward to the Bone Caverns) not being there to contradict.

“The Romans,” continued Inness, “never stayed long. They dropped here a tomb, there an aqueduct, and then moved on. They were the first great pedestrians. We cannot see them, but we can imagine them. As Pope well says,

“’While fancy brings the vanished piles to view,
And builds imaginary Rome anew.’”

“Ah, yes,” said Mrs. Trescott, “the Romans, the Romans, how dreamy they were! They always remind me of those lines:

“’Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound,
The primal sympathy,
Which, having been, must ever be!’”

This finished the bridge. As we had no idea what she meant, even Inness deserted it, and we all went onward to the Bone Caverns. The caverns were dark hollows in the cliff some distance above the road. From the entrance of one of them issued a cloud of dust; the Professor was in there digging.

“Let us ascend at once,” said Mrs. Trescott, enthusiastically. “I wish to stand in the very abode of the primitive man.”

But it was something of a task to get her up; there was always a great deal of loose drapery about Mrs. Trescott, which had a way of catching on everything far and near. With her veil, her plumes, her lace shawl, her long watch-chain, her dangling fan, her belt bag and scent bottle, her parasol and basket, it was difficult to get her safely through any narrow or bushy place. But to-day Verney gallantly undertook the feat: he knew the advantages of propitiating the higher powers.

Men were quarrying the face of the Red Rocks at a dizzy height, hanging suspended in mid-air by ropes in order to direct the blasting; below, the patient horses were waiting to convey the great blocks of stone to the town, and destroy, by their daily procession, the last traces of the Julia Augusta.

“I hope these rocks are porphyry,” said Janet, gazing upward; “it is such a lovely name.”

“Yes, they are,” said the unblushing Inness. “The Troglodytes, whose homes are beneath, were fond of porphyry. They were very aesthetic, you know.”

We now reached the entrance of one of the caverns and looked in.

“The Troglodytes,” continued Inness, “were the original, really original, proprietors of Mentone. They lived here, clad in bear-skins, and their voices are said to have been not sweet. See Pliny and Strabo. The bones of their dinners left here, and a few of their own (untimely deaths from fighting with each other for more), have now become the most precious treasures of the scientific world, equalling in richness the never-to-be-sufficiently-prized-and-investigated kitchen refuse of the Swiss lakes.”

But the Professor, overhearing something of this frivolity at the sacred door, emerged from the hole in which he had been digging, and, covered with dust, but rich in the possession of a ball and socket joint of some primeval animal, came to the entrance, and forcibly, if not by force, addressed us:

“At a recent period it has been discovered that these five caverns in this limestone rock

“Alas, my porphyry!” murmured Janet.

“ contain bones of animals mixed with flint instruments imbedded in sand. The animals were the food and the flint instruments the weapons of a race of men who must have existed far back in prehistoric times. This was a rich discovery; but a richer was to come. In 1872 a human skeleton, all but perfect, a skeleton of a tall man, was discovered in the fourth cavern, surrounded by bones which prove its great antiquity which prove, in fact, almost beyond a doubt, that it belonged to the Paleolithic epoch!” And the Professor paused, really overcome by the tremendous power of his own words.

But I am afraid we all gazed stupidly enough, first at him, then into the cave, then at him again, with only the vaguest idea of “Paleolithic’s” importance. I must except Verney; he knew more. But he had gone inside, and was now digging in the hole in his turn to find flints for Janet.

Mrs. Trescott, who was our bone-master (she had studied anatomy, and highly admired “form"), asked if the skeleton had been “painted in oils.”

Miss Elaine hoped that they buried it again “reverently,” and “in consecrated ground.”

The Professor gazed at them in turn; he literally could not find a word for reply.

Then I, coming to the rescue, said: “I am very dull, I know, but pity my dulness, and tell me why the skeleton was so important, and how they knew it was so old.”

The poor man, overcome by such crass ignorance, gazed at his ball and socket joint and at our group in silence. Then, in a spiritless voice, he said, “The bones surrounding the skeleton were those of animals now extinct animals that existed at a period heretofore supposed to have been before that of man; but by their presence here they prove a contemporary, and we therefore know that he existed at a much earlier age of the world’s history than we had imagined.”

Verney now gave Janet the treasures he had found some pieces of flint about an inch long, rudely pointed at one end. “These,” he said, “are the knives of the primitive man.”

“They are very disappointing,” said Janet, surveying them as they lay in the palm of her slender gray glove, buttoned half-way to the elbow.

“Did you expect carved handles and steel blades?” I said, smiling.

“And here are some nummulites,” pursued Verney, taking a quantity of the round coin-like shells from his pocket. “You might have a necklace made, with the nummulites above and the flints below as pendants.”

“And label it prehistoric; it would be quite as attractive as préraphaélite,” said Inness. “I don’t know what you think,” he continued, turning to Verney, “but to me there is nothing so ugly as the way some of the girls generally the tall ones are getting themselves up nowadays in what they call the préraphaélite style a general effect of awkward lankness as to shape and gown, a classic fillet, hair to the eyebrows, and a gait not unlike that which would be produced by having the arms tied together behind at the elbows. If your Botticelli is responsible for this, his canvases should be demolished.”

Verney laughed; he was at heart, I think, a strong préraphaélite both of the present and the past; but how could he avow it when a reality so charming and at the same time so unlike that type stood beside him? Janet’s costumes were not at all préraphaélite; they were American-French.

We left the Red Rocks, and went slowly onward along the sea-shore towards home. Miss Elaine, having first taken me aside to ask if I thought it “quite proper,” had challenged Inness to a rapid walk, and soon carried him away from us and out of sight. On our way we passed the St. Louis brook, where the laundresses were at work in two rows along the stream, each kneeling at the edge in a broad open basket like a boat, and bending over the low pool, alternately soaping and beating her clothes with a flat wooden mallet. It was a picturesque sight the long rows of figures in baskets, the heads decked with bright-colored handkerchiefs. But to a housewifely mind like my own the idea which most forcibly presented itself was the small amount of water. Of a celebrated trout fisherman it was once said that all he required was a little damp spot, and forthwith he caught a trout; and the Mentone laundresses seem to consider that only a little damp spot is needed for their daily labors.

But in truth they cannot help themselves; the crying fault of Mentone is the want of water. A spring is more precious than the land itself, and is divided between different proprietors for stated periods of each day. The poor little rills do a dozen tasks before they reach the laundresses and the beach. The beautiful terrace vegetation which clothes the sides of the mountains is supported by an elaborate and costly system of tanks and watercourses which would dishearten an American proprietor at the outset. The Mentone laundresses work for wages which a New World laundress would scorn; but there is one marked difference between them and between all the French and Italian working-people and those of America, and that is that among these foreigners there seems to be not one too poor to have his daily bottle of wine. We saw the necks of these bottles peeping from the rough dinner-baskets of the laundresses, and afterwards from those also of the quarry-men, vine-dressers, olive-pickers, and lemon-gatherers. It was an inexpensive “wine of the country”; still, it was wine.

The sun was now sinking into the water, and exquisite hues were stealing over the soft sea. The picturesque Mediterranean boats with lateen-sails were coming towards home, and one whose little sail was crimson made a lovely picture on the water. At the sea-wall we met Miss Graves gloomily taking a walk, and presently the phaeton with Margaret and Lloyd stopped near us as we stood looking at the hues. Two ships in the distance sailed first on blue water, then on rose, on lilac, on purple, violet, and gold. Over the sea fell a pink flush, met on the horizon by salmon in a broad band, then next above it amber, then violet edged with rose, and higher still a zone of clear pale green bordered with gold. At the same moment the Red Rocks were flooded with rose light which extended in a lovely flush up the high gray peaks behind far in the sky, lingering there when all the lower splendor was gone, and the sea and shore veiled in dusky twilight gray.

“It is almost as beautiful at sunrise,” said Mrs. Clary; “and then, too, you can see the Fairy Island.”

“What is that?” I asked.

“Never mind what it is in reality,” answered Mrs. Clary. “I consider it enchanted the Fortunate Land, whose shores and mountain-peaks can be seen only between dawn and sunrise, when they loom up distinctly, soon fading away, however, mysteriously into the increasing daylight, and becoming entirely invisible when the sun appears.”

“I saw it this morning,” said Miss Graves, soberly. “It is only Corsica.”

“Brigands and vendetta,” said Inness.

“Napoleon,” said all the rest of us.

“My idea of it is much the best,” said Mrs. Clary; “it is Fairy-land, the lost Isles of the Blest.”

After that each morning at breakfast the question always was, who had seen Corsica. And a vast amount of ingenious evasion was displayed in the answers. However, I did see it once. It rose from the water on the southeastern horizon, its line of purple mountain-peaks and low shore so distinctly visible that it seemed as if one could take the little boat with the crimson sail and be over there in an hour, although it was ninety miles away; but while I gazed it faded slowly, melted, as it were, into the gold of the awakening day.

The weeks passed, and we rode, drove, walked, and climbed hither and thither, looking at the carouba-trees, the stiff pyramidal cypresses, the euphorbias in woody bushes five feet high, the great planes, the grotesque naked figs, the aloes and oleanders growing wild, and the fantastic shapes of the cacti. We searched for ferns, finding the rusty ceterach, the little trichomanes, and Adiantum nigrum, but especially the exquisite maiden-hair of the delicate variety called Capillus veneris, which fringed every watercourse and bank and rock where there is the least moisture with its lovely green fretwork. There is a phrase current in Mentone and applied to this fern, as well as to the violets which grow wild in rich profusion, starring the ground with their blue; unthinking people say of them that they are “so common they become weeds.” This phrase should be suppressed by a society for the cultivation of good taste and the prevention of cruelty to plants. Ivy was everywhere, growing wild, and heather in bloom.

Miss Graves was brought almost to tears one day by finding her old friend the wild climbing smilax of Florida on these Mediterranean rocks, and only recovered her self-possession because Lloyd would call it “sarsaparilla,” and she felt herself called upon to do battle. But the profusion of the violets, the pomp of the red anémones, the perfume of the white narcissus, the hyacinths and sweet alyssum, all growing wild, who shall describe them? There were also tulips, orchids, English primroses, and daisies. Even when nothing else could grow there was always the demure rosemary. Of course, too, we made close acquaintance with the olive and lemon, the characteristic trees of Mentone, whose foliage forms its verdure, and whose fruit forms its commerce. The orange groves were insignificant and the oranges sour compared with those of Florida; but the olive and lemon groves were new to us, and in themselves beautiful and luxuriant. Our hotel stood on the edge of an old olive grove climbing the mountain-side slowly on broad terraces rising endlessly as one looked up. After some weeks’ experience we found that we represented collectively various shades of opinion concerning olive groves in general, which may be given as follows:

Mrs. Clary: “These old trees are to me so sacred! When I walk under their great branches I always think of the dove bringing the leaf to the ark, of the olive boughs of the entry into Jerusalem, and of the Mount of Olives.”

The Professor: “Olives are interesting because their manner of growth allows them to attain an almost indefinite age. The trunk decays and splits, but the bark, which still retains its vigor, grows around the dissevered portions, making, as it were, new trunks of them, although curved and distorted, so that three or four trees seem to be growing from the same root. It is this which gives the tree its characteristic knotted and gnarled appearance. This species of olive attains a very fine development in the neighborhood of Mentone; there are said to be trees still alive at Cap Martin which were coeval with the Roman Empire.”

Verney: “The light in an old olive grove is beautiful and peculiar; it is like nothing but itself. It is quite impossible to give on canvas the gray shade of the long aisles without making them dim, and they are not in the least dim. I have noticed, too, that the sunshine never filters through sufficiently to touch the ground in a glancing beam, or even a single point of yellow light; and yet the leaves are small, and the foliage does not appear thick.”

Baker: “Olives and olive oil, the groundwork of every good dinner! I wonder how much a grove would cost?”

Mrs. Trescott: “How they murmur to us like doves! My one regret now is that I did not name my child Olive. She would then have been so Biblical.”

Inness: “I should think more of the groves if I did not know that they were fertilized with woollen rags, old boots, and bones.”

Janet: “The inside tint of the leaves would be lovely for a summer costume. I have never had just that shade.”

Miss Graves: “Live-oak groves draped in long moss are much more imposing.”

Miss Elaine: “It is so jolly, you know, to sit under the trees with one’s embroidery, and have some one read aloud something sweet, like Adelaide Procter.”

Margaret: “Sitting here is like being in a great cathedral in Lent.”

Lloyd: “Shall we go quietly on, Miss Severin?”

And Lloyd, I think, had the best of it. I mean that he knew how to derive the most pleasure from the groves. This English use of “quietly,” by-the-way, always amused Margaret and myself greatly. Lloyd and Verney were constantly suggesting that we should go here or there “quietly,” as though otherwise we should be likely to go with banners, trumpets, and drums. The longer one remains in Mentone, the stronger grows attachment to the olive groves. But they do not seem fit places for the young, whose gay voices resound through their gray aisles; neither are they for the old, who need the cheer and warmth of the sun. But they are for the middle-aged, those who are beyond the joys and have not yet reached the peace of life, the poor, unremembered, hard-worked middle-aged. The olives of Mentone are small, and used only for making oil. We saw them gathered: men were beating the boughs with long poles, while old women and children collected the dark purple berries and placed them in sacks, which the patient donkeys bore to the mill. The oil mills are venerable and picturesque little buildings of stone, placed in the ravines where there is a stream of water. We visited one on the side hill; its only light came from the open door, and its interior made a picture which Gerard Douw might well have painted. The great oil jars, the old hearth and oven, the earthen jugs, hanging lamps with floating wicks, and the figures of the men moving about, made a picturesque scene. The fruit was first crushed by stone rollers, the wheel being turned by water-power; the pulp, saturated with warm water, was then placed in flat, round rope baskets, which were piled one upon the other, and the whole subjected to strong pressure, which caused the clear yellow oil to exude through the meshes of the baskets, and flow down into the little reservoir below.

“Our manners would become charmingly suave if we lived here long,” said Inness. “It would be impossible to resist the influence of so much oil.”

The lemon terraces were as unlike the olive groves as a gay love song is unlike a Gregorian chant. The trees rose brightly and youthfully from the grassy hill-side steps, each leaf shining as though it was varnished, and the yellow globes of fruit gleaming like so much imprisoned sunshine. Here was no shade, no weird grayness, but everything was either vivid gold or vivid green. Janet said this.

I am the latter, I think,” said Baker, “to be caught here again on these terraces. I don’t know what your experience has been, but for my part I detest them; I have been lost here again and again. You get into them and you think it all very easy, and you keep going on and on. You climb hopefully from one to the next by those narrow sidling little stone steps, only to find it the exact counterpart of the one you have left, with still another beyond. And you keep on plunging up and up until you are worn out. At last you meet a man, and you ask him something or other beginning with ’Purtorn’

“What in the world do you mean?” said Janet, breaking into laughter.

“I am sure I don’t know; but that is what you all say.”

“Perhaps you mean ‘Peut-on,’” suggested Margaret.

“Well, whatever I mean, the man always answers ‘Oui,’ and so I am no better off than I was before, but keep plunging on,” said Baker, ruefully.

But the Professor now opened a more instructive subject. “Lemons are the most important product of Mentone,” he began. “As they can be kept better than those of Naples and Sicily, they command a large price. The tree flowers all the year through, and the fruit is gathered at four different periods. The annual production of lemons at Mentone is about thirty millions.”

“Thirty millions of lemons!” I said, appalled. “What an acid idea!”

“The idea may be acid, but the air is not,” said Margaret. “It is singularly delicious, almost intoxicating.”

And in truth there was a subtle fragrance which had an influence upon me, although no doubt it had much more upon Margaret, who was peculiarly sensitive to perfumes.

“Have you heard the legend of the Mentone lemons?” said Verney.

“No; what is it? We should be very pleased to hear it,” said Miss Elaine, throwing herself down upon the grass in what she considered a rural way. She was bestowing her smiles upon Verney that day; she had mentioned to me on the way up the hill that she did not approve of giving too much of one’s attention “to one especial gentleman exclusively” it was so “conspicuous.” I was smiling inwardly at this, since the only “conspicuous” person among us, as far as attention to “the gentlemen” was concerned, was Miss Elaine herself, when I caught her glance directed towards Margaret and Lloyd. This set me to thinking. Could she be referring to them? They had been much together, without doubt, for Margaret liked him, and he was very kind to her. My poor Margaret, she was very precious, to me; but to others she was only a pale, careworn woman, silent, quiet, and no longer young. With the remembrance of Miss Elaine’s words in my mind, I now looked around for Margaret as we sat down on the grass to hear Verney’s legend; but she had strolled off down the long green and gold aisle with Lloyd.

“Miss Severin is so well informed that she does not care for our simple little amusements,” said Miss Elaine, in her artless way.

“Once upon a time, as we all know,” began Verney, “Adam and Eve were banished from the garden of Paradise. Poor Eve, sobbing, put up her hand just before passing through the gate and plucked a lemon from the last tree beside the angel. The two then wandered through the world together, wandered far and wide, and at last, following the shores of the Mediterranean, they came to Mentone. Here the sea was so blue, the sunshine so bright, and the sky so cloudless, that Eve planted her treasured fruit. ‘Go, little seed,’ she said; ’grow and prosper. Make another Eden of this enchanting spot, so that those who come after may know at least something of the tastes and the perfumes of Paradise.’”

The Professor had not remained to hear the legend; he had gone up the mountain, and we now heard him shouting; that is, he was trying to shout, although he produced only a sort of long, thin hoot.

“What can that be?” I said, startled.

“It is the Professor,” answered Mrs. Trescott. “It is his way of calling. He has his own methods of doing everything.”

It turned out that he had found a path down which the lemon girls were coming from the terraces above. We went up to this point to see them pass. They were all strong and ruddy, and walked with wonderful erectness, balancing the immense weight of fruit on their heads without apparent effort; they were barefooted, and moved with a solid, broad step down the steep, stony road. The load of fruit for each one was one hundred and twenty pounds; they worked all day in this manner, and earned about thirty cents each! But they looked robust and cheerful, and some of them smiled at us under their great baskets as they passed.

One afternoon not long after this we went to the Capuchin monastery of the Annunziata. Some of us were on donkeys and some on foot, forming one of those processions so often seen winding through the streets of the little Mediterranean town. We passed the shops filled with the Mentone swallow, singing his “Je reviendrai” upon articles in wood, in glass, mosaic, silver, straw, canvas, china, and even letter-paper, with continuous perseverance; we passed the venders of hot chestnuts, which we not infrequently bought and ate ourselves. Then we came to the perfume distilleries, where thousands of violets yield their sweetness daily.

“They cultivate them for the purpose, you know,” said Verney. “It’s a poetical sort of agriculture, isn’t it? Imagination can hardly go further, I think, than the idea of a violet farm.”

We passed small chapels with their ever-burning lamps; the new villas described by the French newspapers as “ravishing constructions”; and then, turning from the road, we ascended a narrow path which wound upward, its progress marked here and there by stone shrines, some freshly repainted, others empty and ruined, pointing the way to the holy church of the Annunziata.

“The only way to appreciate Mentone is to take these excursions up the valleys and mountains,” said Mrs. Clary. “Those who confine themselves to sitting in the gardens of the hotels or strolling along the Promenade du Midi have no more idea of its real beauty than a man born blind has of a painting. Descriptions are nothing; one must see. I think the mountain excursions may be called the shibboleth of Mentone; if you do not know them, you are no true Israelite.”

Verney had a graceful way of gathering delicate little sprays and blossoms here and there and silently giving them to Janet. The Professor had noticed this, and to-day emulated him by gathering a bunch of mallow with great care a bunch nearly a yard in circumference which he presented to Janet with much ceremony.

“Oh, thanks; I am so fond of flowers!” responded that young person. “Is it asphodel? I long to see asphodel.”

Now asphodel was said to grow in that neighborhood, and Janet knew it; by expressing a wish to see the classic blossom she sent the poor Professor on a long search for it, climbing up and down and over the rocks, until I, looking on from my safe donkey’s back, felt tired for him. And it was not long before our donkeys’ steady pace left him far behind.

“With its pale, dusty leaves and weakly lavender flowers, it is, I think, about as depressing a flower as I have seen,” said Inness, looking at the mammoth bouquet.

“I might fasten it to the saddle, and relieve your hands, Miss Trescott,” suggested Verney. So the delicate gray gloves relinquished the pound of mallow, which was tied to the saddle, and there hung ignominiously all the remainder of the day.

The church and convent of L’Annunziata crown an isolated vine-clad hill between two of the lovely valleys behind Mentone. The church was at the end of a little plaza, surrounded by a stone-wall; in front there was an opening towards the south, where stood an iron cross twenty feet high, visible, owing to its situation, for many a mile. The stone monastery was on one side; and the whole looked like a little fortification on the point of the hill. We went into the church, and looked at the primitive ex-votos on the wall, principally the offerings of Mediterranean sailors in remembrance of escape from shipwreck fragments of rope and chain, pictures of storms at sea, and little wooden models of ships. In addition to these marine souvenirs, there were also some tokens of events on dry land, generally pictures of run-aways, where such remarkable angels were represented sitting unexpectedly but calmly on the tops of trees by the road-side that it was no wonder the horses ran. But the lovely view of sea and shore at the foot of the great cross in the sunshine was better than the dark, musty little church, and we soon went out and seated ourselves on the edge of the wall to look at it. While we were there one of the Capuchins, clad in his long brown gown, came out, crossed the plaza, gazed at us slowly, and then with equal slowness stooped and kissed the base of the cross, and returned, giving us another long gaze as he passed.

“Was that piety or curiosity?” I said.

“I think it was Miss Trescott,” said Baker.

Now as Miss Elaine was present, this was a little cruel; but I learned afterwards that Baker had been rendered violent that day by hearing that his American politeness regarding Miss Elaine’s self-bestowed society had been construed by that young lady into a hidden attachment to herself an attachment which she “deeply regretted,” but could not “prevent.” She had confided this to several persons, who kept the secret in that strict way in which such secrets are usually kept. Indeed, with all the strictness, it was quite remarkable that Baker heard it. But not remarkable that he writhed under it. However, his remarks and manners made no difference to Miss Elaine; she attributed them to despair.

While we were sitting on the wall the Professor came toiling up the hill; but he had not found the asphodel. However, when Janet had given him a few of her pretty phrases he revived, and told us that the plaza was the site of an ancient village called Podium-Pinum, and that the Lascaris once had a chateau there.

“The same Lascaris who lived in the old castle at Mentone?” said Janet.

“The same.”

“These old monks have plenty of wine, I suppose,” said Inness, looking at the vine terraces which covered the sunny hill-side.

“Very good wine was formerly made around Mentone,” said the Professor; “but the vines were destroyed by a disease, and the peasants thought it the act of Providence, and for some time gave up the culture. But lately they have replanted them, and wine is now again produced which, I am told, is quite palatable.”

“That is but a cold phrase to apply to the bon petit vin blanc of Sant’ Agnese, for instance,” said Verney, smiling.

Soon we started homeward. While we were winding down the narrow path, we met a Capuchin coming up, with his bag on his back; he was an old man with bent shoulders and a meek, dull face, to whom the task of patient daily begging would not be more of a burden than any other labor. But when we reached the narrow main street, and found a momentary block, another Capuchin happened to stand near us who gave me a very different impression. Among the carriages was a phaeton, with silken canopy, fine horses, and a driver in livery; upon the cushioned seat lounged a young man, one of Fortune’s favorites and Nature’s curled darlings, a little stout from excess of comfort, perhaps, but noticeably handsome and noticeably haughty probably a Russian nobleman. The monk who stood near us with his bag of broken bread and meat over his back was of the same age, and equally handsome, as far as the coloring and outline bestowed by nature could go. His dark eyes were fixed immovably upon the occupant of the phaeton, and I wondered if he was noting the difference; it seemed as if he must be noting it. It was a striking tableau of life’s utmost riches and utmost poverty.

That evening there was music in the garden; a band of Italian singers chanted one or two songs to the saints, and then ended with a gay Tarantella, which set all the house-maids dancing in the moonlight. We listened to the music, and looked off over the still sea.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” said Mrs. Clary. “I think loving Mentone is like loving your lady-love. To you she is all beautiful, and you describe her as such. But perhaps when others see her they say: ’She is by no means all beautiful; she has this or that fault. What do you mean?’ Then you answer: ’I love her; therefore to me she is all beautiful. As for her faults, they may be there, but I do not see them: I am blind.’”

That same evening Margaret gave me the following verses which she had written:


And there was given unto them a short time before they went forward.

Upon this sunny shore
A little space for rest. The care and sorrow,
Sad memory’s haunting pain that would not cease,
Are left behind. It is not yet to-morrow.
To-day there falls the dear surprise of peace;
The sky and sea, their broad wings round us sweeping,
Close out the world, and hold us in their keeping.
A little space for rest. Ah! though soon o’er,
How precious is it on the sunny shore!

Upon this sunny shore
A little space for love, while those, our dearest,
Yet linger with us ere they take their flight
To that far world which now doth seem the nearest,
So deep and pure this sky’s down-bending light
Slow, one by one, the golden hours are given
A respite ere the earthly ties are riven.
When left alone, how, ’mid our tears, we store
Each breath of their last days upon this shore!

Upon this sunny shore
A little space to wait: the life-bowl broken,
The silver cord unloosed, the mortal name
We bore upon this earth by God’s voice spoken,
While at the sound all earthly praise or blame,
Our joys and griefs, alike with gentle sweetness
Fade in the dawn of the next world’s completeness.
The hour is thine, dear Lord; we ask no more,
But wait thy summons on the sunny shore.


“Thy skies are blue, thy crags as wild,
Thine olive ripe, as when Minerva smiled.”

“So having rung that bell once too often, they were all carried off,” concluded Inness, as we came up.

“Who?” I asked.

“Look around you, and divine.”

We were on Capo San Martino. This, being interpreted, is only Cape Martin; but as we had agreed to use the “dear old names,” we could not leave out that of the poor cape only because it happened to have six syllables. We looked around. Before us were ruins walls built of that unintelligible broken stone mixed at random with mortar, which confounds time, and may be, as a construction, five or five hundred years old.

“They whoever they were lived here?” I said.


“And it was from here that they were carried off?”

“It was.”

“Were they those interesting Greek Lascaris?” said Mrs. Trescott.


“The Troglodytes?” suggested Mrs. Clary.


“The poor old ancient gods and goddesses of the coast?” said Margaret.


“But who carried them off?” I said. “That is the point. It makes all the difference in the world.”

“I know it does,” replied Inness; “especially in the case of an elopement. In this case it happened to be Miss Trescott’s friends (always with two r’s), the Sarrasins. The story is but a Mediterranean version of the boy and the wolf. These ruins are the remains of an ancient convent built in in the remote Past. The good nuns, after taking possession (perhaps they were inland nuns, and did not know what they were coming to when they came to a shore), began to be in great fear of the sea and Sarrasin sails. They therefore besought the men of Mentone and Roccabruna to fly to their aid if at any time they heard the bell of the chapel ringing rapidly. The men promised, and held themselves in readiness to fly. One night they heard the bell. Then westward ran the men of Mentone, and down the hill came those of Roccabruna, and together they flew out on Capo San Martino to this convent only to find no Sarrasins at all, but only the nuns in a row upon their knees entreating pardon: they had rung the bell as a test. Not long afterwards the bell rang again, but no one went. This time it really was the Sarrasins, and the nuns were all carried off.”

“Very dramatic. The slight discrepancy that this happened to be a monastery for monks makes no difference: who cares for details!” said Verney, who, under the pretence of sketching the ruins, was making his eighth portrait of Janet. He said of these little pencil portraits that he “threw them in.” Janet was therefore thrown into the Red Rocks, the “old town,” the Bone Caverns, the Pont St. Louis, Dr. Bennet’s garden, the cemetery, Capo San Martino, and before we finished into Roccabruna, Castellare, Monaco, Dolce Acqua, Sant’ Agnese, and the old Roman Trophy at Turbia.

Leaving the ruins, we went down to the point, where the cape juts out sharply into the sea, forming the western boundary of the Mentone bay. Opposite, on the eastern point, lay blanche Bordighera, fair and silvery as ever in the sunshine. We found the Professor on the point examining the rocks.

“This is a formation similar to that which we may see in process of construction at the present moment off the coast of Florida,” he explained.

“Not coquina?” cried Miss Graves, instantly going down and selecting a large fragment.

“It is conglomerate,” replied the Professor, disappearing around the cliff corner, walking on little knobs of rock, and almost into the Mediterranean in his eagerness.

“That word conglomerate is one of the most useful terms I know,” said Inness. “It covers everything: like Renaissance.”

“The rock is also called pudding-stone,” said Verney.

“Away with pudding-stone! we will have none of it. We are nothing if not dignified, are we, Miss Elaine?” said Inness, turning to that young lady, who was bestowing upon him the boon of her society for the happy afternoon.

“I am sure I have always thought you had a great deal of dignity, Mr. Inness,” replied Miss Elaine, with her sweetest smile.

We sat down on the rocks and looked at the blue sea. “It is commonplace to be continually calling it blue,” I said; “but it is inevitable, for no one can look at it without thinking of its color.”

“It has seen so much,” said Mrs. Clary, in her earnest way; “it has carried the fleets of all antiquity. The Egyptians, the Greeks, the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, and the Romans passed to and fro across it; the Apostles sailed over it; yet it looks as fresh and young and untraversed as though created yesterday.”

“It certainly is the fairest water in the world,” said Janet. “It must be the reflection of heaven.”

“It is the proportion of salt,” said the Professor, who had come back around the rock corner on the knobs. “A larger amount of salt is held in solution in the Mediterranean than in the Atlantic. It is a very deep body of water, too, along this coast: at Nice it was found to be three thousand feet deep only a few yards from the shore.”

“These Mediterranean sailors are such cowards,” said Inness. “At the first sign of a storm they all come scudding in. If the Phoenicians were like them, another boyhood illusion is gone! However, since they demolished William Tell, I have not much cared.”

“The Mediterranean sailors of the past were probably, like those of the present, obliged to come scudding in,” said Verney, “because the winds were so uncertain and variable. They use lateen-sails for the same reason, because they can be let down by the run; all the coasting xebecs and feluccas use them.”

“Xebecs and feluccas delicious words!” said Janet.

“I still maintain that they are cowards,” resumed Inness. “The other day, when there was that capful of wind, you know, twenty of these delicious xebecs came hurrying into our little port, running into each other in their haste, and crowding together in the little pool like frightened chickens under a hen’s wings. And they were not all delicious xebecs, either; there were some good-sized sea-going vessels among them, brig-rigged in front with the seven or eight small square sails they string up one above the other, and a towel out to windward.”

“The winds of Mentone are wizards,” said Margaret; “they never come from the point they seem to come from. If they blow full in your face from the east, make up your mind that they come directly from the west. They are enchanted.”

“They are turned aside by the slopes of the mountains,” said Baker, practically.

“But the Mediterranean has not lived up to its reputation, after all,” said Janet. “I expected to see fleets of nautilus, and I have not seen one. And not a porpoise!”

“For porpoises,” said Miss Graves, who had knotted a handkerchief around her conglomerate, and was carrying it tied to a scarf like a shawl-strap “for porpoises you must go to Florida.”

We left the cape and went inland through the woods, looking for the old Roman tomb. We found it at last, appropriately placed in a gray old olive grove, some of whose trees, no doubt, saw its foundations laid. The fragment of old roadway near it was introduced by Inness as “the Julia Augusta, lifting up its head again.” It had laid it down last at the Red Rocks. The tomb originally was as large as a small chapel; one of the side walls was gone, but the front remained almost perfect. This front was in three arches; traces of fresco decoration were still visible under the curves. Below were lines of stone in black and white alternately, and the same mosaic was repeated above, where there was also a cornice stretching from the sides to a central empty space, once filled by the square marble slab bearing the inscription. We found Lloyd here, sketching; but as we came up he closed his sketch-book, joined Margaret, and the two strolled off through the old wood, which had, as Inness remarked, “as many moving associations” as we chose to recall, “from the feet of the Roman legions to those of the armies of Napoleon.”

“I wish we knew what the inscription was,” said Janet, who was sitting on the grass in front of the old tomb. “I should like to know who it was who was laid here so long, long ago.”

“Some old Roman,” said Baker.

“He might not have been old,” said Verney, who was now sketching in his turn. “There is another Roman tomb, or fragment of one, above us on the side of the mountain, and the inscription on that one gives the name of a youth who died, ‘aged eighteen years and ten months,’ two thousand years ago, ‘much sorrowed for by his father and his mother.’”

“Love then was the same as now, and will be the same after we are gone, I suppose,” said Janet, thoughtfully, leaning her pretty head back against an old olive-tree.

“A reason why we should take it while we can,” observed Inness.

The Professor and Miss Graves now appeared in sight, for we had come across from the cape in accidental little groups, and these two had found themselves one of them. As the Professor had his sack of specimens and Miss Graves her conglomerate, we thought they looked well together; but the Professor evidently did not think so, for he immediately joined Janet.

“I do not know that there is any surer sign of advancing age in a man than a growing preference for the society of very young girls mere youth per se, as the Professor himself would say,” said Mrs. Clary to me in an undertone.

Meanwhile the Professor, unconscious of this judgment, was telling Janet that she was standing upon the site of the old Roman station “Lumone,” mentioned in Antony’s Itinerary, and that the tomb was that of a patrician family.

Mrs. Trescott was impressed by this. She said it was “a pæan moment” for us all, if we would but realize it; and she plucked a fern in remembrance.

One bright day not long after this we went to Mentone’s sister city, Roccabruna, a little town looking as if it were hooked on to the side of the mountain. As we passed through the “old town” on our donkeys we met a wedding-party, walking homeward from the church, in the middle of the street. The robust bride, calm and majestic, moved at the head of the procession with her father, her white muslin gown sweeping the pavement behind her. Probably it would have been considered undignified to lift it. The father, a small, wizened old man, looked timorous, and the bridegroom, next behind with the bride’s mother, still more so, even the quantity of brave red satin cravat he wore failing to give him a martial air. Next came the relatives and friends, two and two, all the gowns of the women sweeping out with dignity. In truth this seemed to be the feature of the occasion, since at all other times their gowns were either short or carefully held above the dust. There was no music, no talking, hardly a smile. A christening party we had met the day before was much more joyous, for then the smiling father and mother threw from the carriage at intervals handfuls of sugar-plums and small copper coins, which were scrambled for by a crowd of children, while the gorgeously dressed baby was held up proudly at the window.

We were going first to Gorbio. The Gorbio Valley is charming. Of all the valleys, the narrow Val de Menton is the loveliest for an afternoon walk; but for longer excursions, and compared with the valleys of Carrei and Borrigo, that of Gorbio is the most beautiful, principally because there is more water in the stream, which comes sweeping and tumbling over its bed of flat rock like the streams of the White Mountains, whereas the so-called “torrents” of Carrei and Borrigo are generally but wide, arid torrents of stone. We passed olive and lemon groves, mills, vineyards, and millions upon millions of violets. Then the path, which constantly ascended, grew wilder, but not so wild as Inness. I could not imagine what possessed him. He sang, told stories, vaulted over Baker, and laughed until the valley rang again; but as his voice was good and his stories amusing, we enjoyed his merriment. Miss Elaine looked on, I thought, with an air of pity; but then Miss Elaine pitied everybody. She would have pitied Jenny Lind at the height of her fame, and no doubt when she was in Florence she pitied the Venus de’ Medici.

We found Gorbio a little village of six hundred inhabitants, perched on the point of a rock, with the ground sloping away on all sides; the remains of its old wall and fortified gates were still to be seen. We entered and explored its two streets narrow passageways between the old stone houses, whose one idea seemed to be to crowd as closely together and occupy as little of the ground space as possible. Above the clustered roofs towered the ruined walls of what was once the castle, the tower only remaining distinct. This tower bore armorial bearings, which I was trying to decipher, when Verney came up with Janet. “Nothing but those same arms of the Lascaris,” he said.

“Why do you say ’nothing but’?” said Janet. “To be royal, and Greek, and have three castles for this is the third we have seen is not nothing, but something, and a great deal of something. How I wish I had lived in those days!”

As the Professor was not with us, we knew nothing of the story of Gorbio, and walked about rather uncomfortable and ill-informed in consequence. But it turned out that Gorbio, like the knife-grinder, had no story. “Story? Lord bless you! I have none to tell, sir.” Inness, however, had reserved one fact, which he finally delivered to us under the great elm in the centre of the little plaza, where we had assembled to rest. “This peaceful village,” he began, “whose idyllic children now form a gazing circle around us, was the scene of a sanguinary combat between the French and Spanish-Austrian armies in 1746.”

“Oh, modern! modern!” said Verney from behind (where he was throwing Janet into Gorbio).

“Your pardon,” said Inness, with majesty; “not modern at all. In 1746, as I beg to remind you, even the foundation-stones of our great republic were not laid, yet the man who ventures to say that it is not, as a construction, absolutely venerable, from exceeding merit, will be a rash one. In America, Time is not old or slow; he has given up his hour-glass, and travels by express. Each month of ours equals one of your years, each year a century. Therefore have we all a singularly mature air as exemplified in myself. But to return. Upon this spot, then, my friends, there was once carnage! The only positive and historical carnage in the neighborhood of Mentone. Therefore all warlike spirits should come to Gorbio, and breathe the inspiring air.”

We did not stay long enough in the inspiring air to become belligerent, however, but, on the contrary, went peacefully past a quiet old shrine, and took the path to Roccabruna one of the most beautiful paths in the neighborhood of Mentone. By-and-by we came to a tall cross on the top of a high ridge. We had seen it outlined against the sky while still in the streets of Gorbio. These mountain-side crosses were not uncommon. They are not locally commemorative, as we first supposed, but seem to be placed here and there, where there is a beautiful view, to remind the gazer of the hand that created it all. Some distance farther we found a still wider prospect; and then we came down into Roccabruna, and spread out our lunch on the battlements of the old castle. From this point our eyes rested on the coast-line stretching east and west, the frowning Dog’s Head at Monaco, and the white winding course of the Cornice Road. The castle was on the side of the mountain, eight hundred feet above the sea. Although forming part of the village, it was completely isolated by its position on a high pinnacle of rock, which rose far above the roofs on all sides.

“How these poor timid little towns clung close to and under their lords’ walls!” said Baker, with the fine contempt of a young American. “They are all alike: the castle towering above; next the church and the priest; and the people nowhere!”

“The people were happy enough, living in this air,” said Mrs. Clary. “How does it strike you? To me it seems delicious; but many persons find it too exciting.”

“It certainly gives me an appetite,” I said, taking another sandwich.

Miss Elaine found it “too warm.” Miss Graves found it “too cold.” Mrs. Trescott, having been made herself again by a glass of the “good little white wine” of Gorbio, said that it was “almost too idealizing.” Lloyd remarked that it was not “too anything unless too delightful,” and that, for his part, he wished that, with the present surroundings, he might “breathe it forever!” This was gallant. Janet looked at him: he was the only one who had not bowed at her shrine, and it made her pensive. Meanwhile Inness’s gayety continued; he made a voyage of discovery through the narrow streets below, coming back with the legend that he had met the prettiest girl he had seen since his “pretty girl of Arles,” whose eyes, “enshrined beside those of Miss Trescott” (with a grand bow), had remained ever since in his “heart’s inmost treasury.” This, like Baker’s L’ Annunziata speech, was both un-American and unnecessary in the presence of a second young lady, and I looked at Inness, surprised. But Miss Elaine only smiled on.

The Professor now appeared, having come out from Mentone on a donkey. We immediately became historical. It appeared that the castle upon whose old battlements we were idly loitering was one of the “homes” of the Lascaris, Counts of Ventimiglia, who in 1358 transferred it with its domains to the Grimaldis, Princes of Monaco.

“These Lascaris and Grimaldis seem to have played at seesaw for the possession of this coast,” said Baker. “Now one is up, and now the other, but never any one else.”

But Janet was impressed. “Again the Lascaris!” she murmured.

“What is your idea of them?” said Verney.

“I hardly know; but of course they were knights in armor; and of course, being Greeks, they had classic profiles. They were impulsive, and they were generous; but if any one seriously displeased them, they immediately ordered him cast into that terrible oubliette we saw below.”

“That,” said the Professor, mildly, “is only the well.” Then, as if to strengthen her with something authentic, he added, “The village was sacked by the Duke of Guise towards the end of the sixteenth century, when this castle was reduced to the ruined condition in which we find it now.”

“Happily it is not altogether ruined,” said Mrs. Trescott, putting up her eye-glass; “one of the the apartments seems to be roofed, and to possess doors.”

“That,” said the Professor, “is a donkey-stable, erected or rather adapted later.”

“Do the donkeys come up all these stairs?” I said, amused.

“I believe they do,” replied the Professor. “Indeed, I have seen them coming up after the day’s work is over.”

“I am sorry, Janet, but I shall never be able to think of this home of your Lascaris after this without seeing a procession of donkeys coming up-stairs on their way to their high apartments,” I said, laughing.

“The procession might have been the same in the days of the Lascaris,” suggested Baker.

Roccabruna brown rock is an appropriate name for the village, which is so brown and so mixed with and built into the cliff to which it clings that it is difficult to tell where man’s work ends and that of nature begins.

“The town was the companion of Mentone in its rebellion against the Princes of Monaco,” said the Professor. “Mentone and Roccabruna freed themselves, but Monaco remained enslaved.”

“They are all now in France,” said Baker.

“Sir!” replied the Professor, with heat, “it is in a much worse place than France that wretched Monaco now finds herself!”

We went homeward down the mountain-side, passing the little chapel of the Madonna della Pausa a pause being indeed necessary when one is ascending. Here, where the view was finest, there was another way-side cross. Farther on, as we entered the old olive wood below, Margaret dismounted; she always liked to walk through the silver-gray shade; and Lloyd seemed to have adopted an equal fondness for the same tint.

That evening, when we were alone, Margaret explained the secret of Inness’s remarkable and unflagging gayety. It seemed that Miss Elaine had, during the day before, confided to Verney as a fellow-countryman, I suppose her self-reproach concerning “that poor young American gentleman, Mr. Inness.” What should she do? Would he advise her? She must go to some one, and she did not feel like troubling her dear mamma. It was true that Mr. Inness had been with her a good deal, had helped her wind her worsteds in the evening, but she never meant anything never dreamed of anything. And now, she could not but feel there was something in his manner that forced her to see In short, had not Mr. Verney noticed it?

Now I have no doubt but that Verney told her he had “seen” and had “noticed” everything she desired. But in the meanwhile he could not resist confiding the story to Baker, who having been already a victim, was overcome with glee, and in his turn hastened to repeat the tale to Inness.

Inness raged, but hardly knew what to do. He finally decided to become a perfect Catharine-wheel of gayety, shooting off laughter and jokes in all directions to convince the world that he remained heart-whole.

“But it will be of no avail,” I said to Margaret, laughing, as I recalled the look of soft pity on Miss Elaine’s face all day; “she will think it but the gayety of desperation.” Then, more soberly, I added: “Mr. Lloyd told you this, I suppose? You are with him a great deal, are you not?”

“You see that I am, aunt. But it is only because she has not come yet.”


“The brighter and younger woman who will take my place.” But I did not think she believed it.

On another day we went to Castellare, a little stone village much like Gorbio, perched on its ridge, and rejoicing in an especial resemblance to one of Caesar’s fortified camps. The castle here was not so much a castle as a chateau; its principal apartment was adorned with frescos representing the history of Adam and Eve. We should not have seen these frescos if it had not been for Miss Graves: I am afraid we should have (there is no other word) shirked them. But Miss Graves had heard of the presence of ancient works of art, and was bent upon finding them. In vain Lloyd conducted her in and out of half a dozen old houses, suggesting that each one was “probably” all that was left of the “chateau.” Miss Graves remained inflexibly unconvinced, and in the end gained her point. We all saw Adam and Eve.

“Why did they want frescos away out here in this primitive little village to which no road led, hardly even a donkey path?” I said.

“That is the very reason,” replied Margaret. “They had no society, nothing to do; so they looked at their frescos exhaustively.”

“What do those eagles at the corners represent?” said Janet.

“They are the device of the Lascaris,” replied the Professor.

“Do you mean to tell me that this was one of their homes also?” she exclaimed. “Let a chair be brought, and all of you leave me. I wish to remain here alone, and imagine that I am one of them.”

“Couldn’t you imagine two?” said Inness. And he gained his point.

On our way home we found another block in the main street, and paused. We were near what we called the umbrella place an archway opening down towards the old port; here against the stone wall an umbrella-maker had established his open-air shop, and his scarlet and blue lined parasols and white umbrellas, hung up at the entrance, made a picturesque spot of color we had all admired. This afternoon we were late; it was nearly twilight, and, in this narrow, high-walled street, almost night. As we waited we heard chanting, and through the dusky archway came a procession. First a tall white crucifix borne between two swinging lamps; then the surpliced choir-boys, chanting; then the incense and the priests; then a coffin, draped, and carried in the old way on the shoulders of the bearers, who were men robed in long-hooded black gowns reaching to the feet, their faces covered, with only two holes for the eyes. These were members of the Society of Black Penitents, who, with the White Penitents, attend funerals by turn, and care for the sick and poor, from charitable motives alone, and without reward. Behind the Penitents walked the relatives and friends, each with a little lighted taper. As the procession came through the dark archway, crossed the street, and wound up the hill into the “old town,” its effect, with the glancing lights and chanting voices, was weirdly picturesque. It was on its way to the cemetery above.

“Did you ever read this, Mr. Lloyd?” I heard Margaret say behind me, as we went onward towards home:

“’One day, in desolate wind-swept space,
In twilight-land, in no-man’s-land,
Two hurrying Shapes met face to face,
And bade each other stand.
“And who art thou?” cried one, agape,
Shuddering in the gloaming light.
“I do not know,” said the second Shape:
“I only died last night."’”

I turned. Lloyd was looking at her curiously, or rather with wonder.

“Come, Margaret,” I said, falling behind so as to join them, “the English are not mystical, as some of us are. They are content with what they can definitely know, and they leave the rest.”

During the next week, after a long discussion, we decided to go up the valley of the Nervia. The discussion was not inharmonious: we liked discussions.

“This is by no means one of the ordinary Mentone excursions,” said Mrs. Clary, as our three carriages ascended the Cornice Road towards the east, on a beautiful morning after one of the rare showers. “Many explore all of the other valleys, and visit Monaco and Monte Carlo; but comparatively few go up the Nervia.”

The scene of the instalment of our twelve selves in these three carriages, by-the-way, was amusing. Between the inward determination of Inness, Verney, Baker, and the Professor to be in the carriage which held Janet, and the equally firm determination of Miss Elaine to be in the carriage which held them, it seemed as if we should never be placed. But no one said what he or she wished; far from it. Everybody was very polite, wonderfully polite; everybody offered his or her place to everybody else. Lloyd, after waiting a few moments, calmly helped Margaret into one of the carriages, handed in her shawl, and then took a seat himself opposite. But the rest of us surged helplessly to and fro among the wheels, not quite knowing what to do, until the arrival of the hotel omnibus hurried us, when we took our places hastily, without any arrangement at all, and drove off as follows: in the first carriage, Mrs. Trescott, Janet, Miss Elaine, and myself; in the second, Miss Graves, Inness, Verney, and Baker; in the third, Mrs. Clary, Margaret, Lloyd, and the Professor. This assortment was so comical that I laughed inwardly all the way up the first hill. Miss Elaine looked as if she was on the point of shedding tears; and the Professor, who did not enjoy the conversation of either Margaret or Mrs. Clary, was equally discomfited. As for the faces of the three young men shut in with Miss Graves, they were a study. However, it did not last long. The young men soon preferred “to walk uphill.” Then we stopped at Mortola to see the Hanbury garden, and took good care not to arrange ourselves in the same manner a second time. Still, as four persons cannot, at least in the present state of natural science, occupy at the same moment the space only large enough for one, there was all day more or less manoeuvring. From Mortola to Ventimiglia I was in the carriage with Janet, Inness, and Verney.

“What ruin is that on the top of the hill?” said Janet. “It looks like a castle.”

“It is a castle Castel d’Appio,” said Verney; “a position taken by the Genoese in 1221 from the Lascaris, who

“Stop the carriage! I must go up,” said Janet.

“I assure you, Miss Trescott, that, Lascaris or no Lascaris, you will find yourself mummied in mud after this rain,” said Inness. “I went up there in a dry time, and even then had to wade.”

Now if there is anything which Janet especially cherishes, it is her pretty boots; so Castel d’Appio remained unvisited upon its height, in lonely majesty against the sky. The next object of interest was a square tower, standing on the side-hill not far above the road; it was not large on the ground, rather was it narrow, but it rose in the air to an imposing height. I could not imagine what its use had been: it stood too far from the sea for a lookout, and, from its shape, could hardly have been a residence; in its isolation, not a fortress. Inness said it looked like a steeple with the church blown away; and then, inspired by his own comparison, he began to chant an ancient ditty about

“’The next thing they saw was a barn on a hill:
One said ’twas a barn;
The other said “Na-ay;”
And t’other ’twas a church with its steeple blown away:
Look a there!’”

This extremely venerable ballad delighted Miss Graves in the carriage behind so that she waved her black parasol in applause. She asked if Inness could not sing “Springfield Mountain.”

“There is nothing left now,” I said, laughing, “but the ’Battle of the Nile.’”

Verney, who had sketched the tower early in the winter, explained that the old road to Ventimiglia passed directly through the lower story, which was built in the shape of an arch. All the carriages were now together, as we gazed at the relic.

“The road goes through?” said Miss Graves. “Probably, then, it was a toll-gate.”

This was so probable, although unromantic, that thereafter the venerable structure was called by that name, or, as Inness suggested, “not to be too disrespectful, the mediaeval T.G.”

Ventimiglia, seven miles from Mentone, was “one of the most ancient towns in Liguria,” the Professor remarked. Mrs. Trescott, Mrs. Clary, and I looked much wiser after this information, but carefully abstained from saying anything to each other of the cloudy nature of our ideas respecting the geographical word. However, we noticed, unaided, that its fortifications were extensive, for we rolled over a drawbridge to enter it, passing high stone-walls, bastions, and port-holes, while on the summit of the hill above us frowned a large Italian fort. The Roya, a broad river which divides the town into two parts, is crossed by a long bridge; and we were over this bridge and some distance beyond before we discovered that we had left the old quarter on the other side, its closely clustering roofs and spires having risen so directly over our heads on the steep side-hill that we had not observed them. Should we go back? The carriages drew up to consider. We had still “a long drive before us;” these “old Riviera villages” were “all alike;” the hill seemed “very steep;” and “we can come here, you know, at any time” were some of the opinions given. The Professor, who really wished to stop, gallantly yielded. Miss Graves, alone in the opposition, was obliged to yield also; but she was deeply disappointed. The cathedral, formerly dedicated to Jupiter, “’possesses a white marble pulpit incrusted with mosaics, and an octagon font, very ancient,’” she read, mournfully, aloud, from her manuscript note-book. “’The Church of St. Michael, also, guards Roman antiquities of surpassing interest.’” This word “guards” had a fine effect.

But, “we can come here at any time, you know,” carried the day; and we drove on. I may as well mention that, as usual in such cases, we never did “come here at any time,” save on the one occasion of our departure for Florence an occasion which no railway traveller going to Italy by this route is likely soon to forget, the Ventimiglia custom-house being modelled patriotically upon the circles of Dante’s “Inferno.”

When we were at a safe distance “I suppose you know, Miss Trescott, that Ventimiglia was the principal home of your Lascaris?” said Verney. “First of all, they were Counts of Ventimiglia: that Italian port stands on the site of their old castle. I have been looking into their genealogy a little on your account; and I find that the first count of whom we have authentic record was a son of the King of Italy, A.D. 950. His son married the Princess Eudoxie, daughter of Theodore Lascaris, Emperor of Greece, and assumed the arms and name of his wife’s family. Their descendants, besides being Counts of Ventimiglia, became Seigniors of Mentone, Castellare, Gorbio, Peille, Tende, and Briga, Roccabruna, and what is now L’Annunziata. They also had a chateau at Nice.”

“Let us go back!” said Janet.

“To Nice?” I asked, smiling.

But Verney appeased her with an offering nothing less than a sketch he had made. “The Lascaris,” he said, as if introducing them. And there they were, indeed, a group of knights on horseback, dressed in velvet doublets and lace ruffles, with long white plumes, followed by a train of pages and squires with armor and led-horses. All had Greek profiles: in truth, they were but various views of the Apollo Belvedere. This splendid party was crossing the drawbridge of a castle, and, from a latticed casement above, two beautiful and equally Greek ladies, attired in ermine, with long veils and golden crowns, waved their scarfs in token of adieu.

“Charming!” said Janet, much pleased. (And in truth it was, if fanciful, a very pretty sketch.) “But who are those ladies above?”

“I suppose they had wives and sisters, did they not?” said Verney.

“I suppose they did of some sort,” said Janet, disparagingly.

But Verney now produced a second sketch; “another study of the same subject,” he called it. This was a picture of the same number of men, clad in clumsy armor, with rough, coarse faces, attacking a pass and compelling two miserable frightened peasants with loaded mules to yield up what they had, while, from a rude tower above, like our mediaeval T. G., two or three swarthy women with children were watching the scene. The wrappings of the two sketches being now removed, we saw that one was labelled, “The Lascaris her Idea of them;” and the other, “The Lascaris as they were.”

We all laughed. But I think Janet was not quite pleased. After the next change Verney found himself, by some mysterious chance, left to occupy the seat beside Miss Elaine, while Baker had his former place.

The Nervia, a clear rapid little snow-formed river, ran briskly down over its pebbles towards the sea. Our road followed the western bank, and before long brought us to Campo Rosso, a little village with a picturesque belfry, a church whose façade was decorated with old frescos, two marble sirens spouting water, and numberless “bits” in the way of vistas through narrow arched passages and crooked streets, which are the delight of artists. But Campo Rosso was not our destination, and entering the carriage again, we went onward through an olive wood whose broad terraces extended above, below, and on all sides as far as eye could reach. When we had stopped wondering over its endlessness, and had grown accustomed to the gray light, suddenly we came out under the open sky again, with Dolce Acqua before us, its castle above, its church tower below, and, far beyond, our first view of snow-capped peaks rising high and silvery against the deep blue sky. Inness and Baker threw up their hats and saluted the snow with an American hurrah. “What with those white peaks and this Italian sky, I feel like the Merry Swiss Boy and the Marble Faun rolled into one,” said Baker.

We drove up to the Locanda Desiderio, or “Desired Inn,” as Inness translated it. It was now noon, and in the brick-floored apartment below a number of peasants were eating sour bread and drinking wine. But the host, a handsome young Italian, hastened to show us an upper chamber, where, with the warm sunshine flooding through the open windows across the bare floor, we spread our luncheon on a table covered with coarse but snowy homespun, and decked with remarkable plates in brilliant hues and still more brilliant designs. The luncheon was accompanied by several bottles of “the good little white wine” of the neighborhood an accompaniment we had learned to appreciate.

Upon the chimney-piece of a room adjoining ours, whose door stood open, there was an old brass lamp. In shape it was not unlike a high candlestick crowned with an oval reservoir for oil, which had three little curving tubes for wicks, and an upright handle above ending in a ring; it was about a foot and a half high, and from it hung three brass chains holding a brass lamp-scissors and little brass extinguishers. Mrs. Clary, Mrs. Trescott, Miss Graves, Miss Elaine, and myself all admired this lamp as we strolled about the rooms after luncheon before starting for the castle. It happened that Janet was not there; she had gone, by an unusual chance, with Lloyd, to look at some cinque-cento frescos in an old church somewhere, and was, I have no doubt, deeply interested in them. When she returned she too spied the old lamp, and admired it. “I wish I had it for my own room at home,” she exclaimed. “I feel sure it is Aladdin’s.”

“Come, come, Janet,” called Mrs. Trescott from below. “The castle waits.”

“It has waited some time already,” said Inness “a matter of six or seven centuries, I believe.”

“And looks as though it would wait six or seven more,” I said, as we stood on the arched bridge admiring the massive walls above.

“It has withstood numerous attacks,” said the Professor. “Genoese armies came up this valley more than once to take it, and went back unsuccessful.”

“To me it is more especially distinguished by not having been a home of the Lascaris,” said Baker.

“To whom, then, did it belong?” said Janet, contemptuously.

We all, in a chorus, answered grandly, “To the Dorias!” (We were so glad to have reached a name we knew.)

The castle crowned the summit of a crag, ruined but imposing; in shape a parallelogram, it had in front square towers, five stories in height, pierced with round-arched windows. It was the finest as well as largest ruin we lately landed Americans had seen, and we went hither and thither with much animation, telling each other all we knew, and much that we did not know, about ruined towers, square towers, drawbridges, moats, donjon keeps, and the like; while Miss Elaine, who had placed herself beside Verney on the knoll where he was sketching, looked on in a kindly patronizing way, as much as to say: “Enjoy yourselves, primitive children of the New World. We of England are familiar with ruins.”

Margaret and Lloyd found a seat in one of the ruined windows of the south tower; I stood beside them for a few moments looking at the view. On the north the narrow valley curved and went onward, while over its dark near green rose the glittering snowy peaks so far away. In the south, the blue of the Mediterranean stretched across the mouth of the valley, whose sides were bold and high; the little river gleamed out in spots of silver here and there, and the white belfry of Campo Rosso rose picturesquely against the dark olive forest. Directly under us were the roofs of the village, and the old stone bridge of one high arch. “Do you notice that many of these roofs are flat, with benches, and pots of flowers?” said Lloyd. “You do not see that in Mentone. It is thoroughly Italian.”

Janet, Mrs. Trescott, Inness, Baker, and the Professor were up on the highest point of the crag, where the Professor was giving a succinct account of the Guelphs and Ghibellines. His words floated down to us, but to which of those celebrated and eternally quarrelling factions these Dorias belong I regret to say I cannot now remember. But it was evident that he was talking eloquently, and Inness, who was quite distanced, by way of diversion threw pebbles at the north tower.

We came down from the castle after a while, and strolled through the village streets all of us save Margaret and Lloyd, who remained sitting in their window. Mrs. Trescott, seeing a vaulted entrance, stopped to examine it, and the broad doors being partly open, she peeped within. As there was more vaulting and no one to forbid, she stepped into the old hall, and we all followed her. We were looking at the massive, finely proportioned stairway, when a little girl appeared above gazing down curiously. She was a pretty child of seven or eight, and held some little thumbed school-books under her arm.

“Is this a school?” asked Verney, in Italian.

She nodded shyly, and ran away, but soon returned accompanied by a Sister, or nun, who, with a mixture of politeness and timidity, asked if we wished to see their schools. Of course we wished to see everything, and going up the broad stairway, we were ushered into an unexpected and remarkable apartment.

“We came to see an infant school, and we find a row of noblemen,” said Baker. “They must be all the Dorias upon their native heath!”

The “heath” was the wall, upon which, in black frames, were ranged forty-two portraits in a long procession going around three sides of the great room, which must have been fifty feet in length. At the head of the apartment was a picture seven feet square, representing a full-blooming lady in a long-bodied white satin dress, with an extraordinary structure of plumes and pearls on her head, accompanied by a stately little heir in a pink satin court suit, and several younger children. One grim, dark old man in red, farther down the hall, was “Roberto: Seigneur Dolce Acqua. Anno 1270.” A dame in yellow brocade, with hoop, ruff, and jewels, and a little curly dog under her arm, was “Brigida: Domina Dolce Acqua. 1290.”

“So they carried dogs in that way then as well as now,” observed Janet.

The Mother Superior now came in. She informed us that this was the chateau of the Dorias, built after their castle was destroyed, and occupied by descendants of the family until a comparatively recent period. Its plain exterior, extending across one end of the little square, we had not especially distinguished from the other buildings which joined it, forming the usual continuous wall of the Riviera towns. The chateau was now a convent and school. There were benches across one side of the large apartment where the village children were already assembled under the black-framed portraits, but there was not much studying that day, I think, save a study of strangers.

“Here is the real treasure,” said Verney.

It was a chimney-piece of stone, extending across one end of the room, richly carved with various devices in relief, figures, and ornaments, and a row of heads on shields across the front, now the profile of an old bearded man looking out, and now that of a youth in armor. It was fifteen feet high, and a remarkably fine piece of work.

“Quite thrown away here,” said Miss Graves.

“Oh, I don’t know; the portraits can see it,” replied Janet.

The Mother Superior conducted us all over the chateau, reserving only the corridor where were her own and the Sisters’ apartments. The dignified stone stairway with its broad stone steps extended unchanged to the top of the house.

“In the matter of stairways,” I said, “I must acknowledge that our New World ideas are deficient. We have spacious rooms, broad windows, high ceilings, but such a stairway as this is beyond us.”

The empty sunny rooms above were gayly painted in fresco. At one end of the house a door opened into a little latticed balcony, into which we stepped, finding ourselves in an adjoining church, high up on the wall at one side of the altar. Here the Sisters came to pray, and as we departed, one of them glided in and knelt down in the dusky corner.

“Perhaps she is going to pray for us,” said Inness.

“I am sure we need it,” replied Janet, seriously.

In the garret was a Sedan-chair, once elaborately gilded.

“I suppose they went down to Ventimiglia in that,” said Baker “those fine old dames below.”

From one of the rooms on the second floor opened a little cell or closet, part of whose flooring had been removed, showing a hollow space beneath following the massive exterior wall.

“Here,” said the Mother Superior, “the papers of the family were concealed at the approach of the first Napoleon, and not taken out for a number of years. The flooring has never been replaced.”

The Mother Superior spoke only Italian, which Verney translated, much to the envy of the younger men. The Professor was not with us, for as soon as he learned that the place was “papist” he departed, although Inness suggested that the street was papist also, and likewise the very air must be redolent of Rome. But the Professor was an example of “coelum, non animum, mutant, qui trans mare currunt,” and quite determined to be as Protestant in Italy as he was in Connecticut. He would not desert his colors because under a foreign sky, as so many Americans desert them.

The Mother now conducted us to a little square parlor, with south windows opening upon a balcony full of pots of flowers; the walls and ceiling of this little room were glowing with color paintings in fresco more suited to the Dorias, I fancy, than to the “Sisters of the Snow,” for this was the poetical name of the little black-robed band. In this worldly little room we found wine waiting for us, and grapes which were almost raisins: we had never seen them in transition before. The wine was excellent, and Mrs. Trescott partook with much graciousness. After partaking, she employed Verney in translating to the Mother a number of her own characteristic sentences. But Verney must have altered them somewhat en route, for I hardly think the Mother would have remained so calmly placid if she had comprehended that “this whole scene the grapes, the wine, and the frescos” reminded Mrs. Trescott of “Cleopatra, and of Sardanapalus and his golden flagons.” Presently two of the Sisters entered with coffee which they had prepared for us; after serving it, they retired to a corner, where they stood gently regarding us. Then another entered, and then another, unobtrusively taking their places beside the others. It was interesting to notice the simplicity of their mild gaze; although brown and middle-aged, their expression was like that of little children. When they learned that some of us were from America they were much impressed, and looked at each other silently.

“I suppose it does not seem to them but a little while since Columbus discovered us,” said Baker.

At last it was time for us to go: we bade the little group farewell, and left some coins “for their poor.”

“Though we may not meet on earth, we shall see you all again in heaven,” said the Mother, and all the Sisters bowed assent. They accompanied us down to the outer door, and waved their hands in adieu as we crossed the little square. When, at the other side, we turned to look back, we saw their black skirts retiring up the stairway to their little school.

“Farewell, Sisters of the Snow,” said Janet. “May we all so live as to keep that rendezvous you have given us!”

The carriages were now ordered, and Margaret and Lloyd summoned from the castle tower. We were standing at the door of the Desired Inn, collecting our baskets and wraps, when the Professor appeared with a long narrow parcel in his hand. This he stowed away carefully in one of the carriages, changing its position several times, as if anxious it should be carried safely. While he was thus engaged in his absorbed, near-sighted way, Inness came down the stone stairs from the upper chamber, and going across to Janet, who was leaning on the parapet looking at the river, he was on the point of presenting something to her, when his little speech was stopped by the appearance of Baker coming around the corner from the front of the house, with a parcel exactly like his own.

“Two!” cried Inness, bursting into a peal of laughter; and then we saw, as he tore off the paper, that he had the old brass lamp which Janet had admired. Meanwhile Baker had another, the Desired Inn having been evidently equal to the occasion, and to driving a good bargain. Our laughter aroused the Professor, who turned and gazed at our group from the step of the carriage. But having no idea of losing the credit of his unusual gallantry simply because some one else had had the same thought, he now extracted his own parcel and silently extended it.

“A third!” cried Inness. And then we all gave way again.

“I am so much obliged to you,” said Janet, sweetly, when there was a pause, “but I am sorry you took the trouble. Because because Mr. Verney has already kindly given me one, which is packed in one of the baskets.”

At this we laughed again, more irresistibly than before all, I mean, save Miss Elaine, who merely said, in the most unamused voice, “How very amusing!” As we had all admired the ancient lamp (although no one thought of offering it to us), the superfluous gifts easily found places among us, and were not the less thankfully received because obtained in that roundabout way.

We now left the “Sweet Waters” behind us, and went down the valley towards the sea.

“There is another town as picturesque as Dolce Acqua some miles farther up the valley,” said Verney. “I have a sketch of it. It is called Pigna.”

“Oh, let us go there!” said Janet.

“We cannot, my daughter, spend the entire remainder of our earthly existence among the Maritime Alps,” said Mrs. Trescott.

Inness had the place beside Janet all the way home.

On the Cornice, a few miles from Mentone, we came upon a boy and girl sitting by the road-side; they had a flageolet and a sort of bagpipe, and wore the costume of Italian peasants, their foot-coverings being the complicated bands and strings which are, in American eyes (the strings transmuted into ribbons), indelibly associated with bandits. “They are pifferari,” said Verney; and we stopped the carriages and asked them to play for us. The boy played on his flageolet, and the girl sang. As she stood beside us in the dust, her brown hands clasped before her, her great dark eyes never once stopped gazing at Janet, who, clad that day in a soft cream-white walking costume, with gloves, round hat, and plume of the same tint, looked not unlike a lily on its stem. The Italian girl was of nearly the same age in years, and of fully the same age in womanhood, and it seemed as if she could not remove her fascinated gaze from the fair white stranger. Inness and Verney both tried to attract her attention; but the boy gathered up the coins they dropped, and the girl gazed on. As the Professor was tired, and did not care for music, we drove onward; but, as far as we could see, the Italian girl still stood in the centre of the road, gazing after the carriages.

“What do you suppose is in her mind?” I said. “Envy?”

“Hardly,” said Verney. “To her, probably, Miss Trescott is like a being from another world a saint or Madonna.”

“Ah, Mr. Verney, what exaggerated comparisons!” said Miss Elaine, in soft reproach. “Besides, it is irreligious, and you promised me you would not be irreligious.”

Verney looked somewhat aghast at this revelation, of course overheard by Mrs. Clary and myself. It was rather hard upon him to have his misdeeds brought up in this way the little sentimental speeches he had made to Miss Elaine in the remote past i.e., before Janet arrived. But he was obliged to bear it.

“I suppose,” said Inness, one morning, “that you are not all going away from Mentone without even seeing Mon Monaco?”

“It can be seen from Turbia,” answered the Professor, grimly. “And that view is near enough.”

Inness made a grimace, and the subject was dropped. But it ended in our seeing Turbia from Monaco, and not Monaco from Turbia.

“There is no use in fighting against it,” said Mrs. Clary, shrugging her shoulders. “You will have to go once. Every one does. There is a fate that drives you.”

“And the joke is,” said Baker, in high glee, “that the Professor is going too. It seems that the view from Turbia was not near enough for him, after all.”

“I am not surprised,” said Mrs. Clary. “I thought he would go: they all do. I have seen English deans, Swiss pastors, and American Presbyterian ministers looking on in the gambling-rooms, under the principle, I suppose, of knowing something of the evil they oppose. They do not go but once; but that once they are very apt to allow themselves.”

The views along the Cornice west of Mentone are very beautiful. As we came in sight of Monaco, lying below in the blue sea, we caught its alleged resemblance to a vessel at anchor.

“Monaco, or Portus Herculis Monoeci, was well known to the ancients,” said the Professor. “Its name appears in Virgil, Tacitus, Pliny, Strabo, and other classical writers. Before the invention of gunpowder its situation made it impregnable. It was one of the places of refuge in the long struggle between the Guelphs and Ghibellines” (we were rather discouraged by the appearance of these names so early in the day), “and it is mentioned by an Italian historian as having become in the fourteenth century a ‘home for criminals’ and a ’gathering-place for pirates’ terms equally applicable at the present day.” The Professor’s voice was very sonorous.

Inness, the Professor, Janet, and myself were in a carriage together. As Mrs. Clary and Miss Graves did not accompany us that day, we had two carriages and a phaeton, the latter occupied by Lloyd and Verney.

“As to Monaco history,” remarked Inness, carelessly, when the Professor ceased, “I happen to remember a few items. The Grimaldis came next to Hercules, and have had possession here since A.D. 980. Marshal Boucicault, who was extremely devout, and never missed hearing two masses a day, besieged the place and took it before Columbus and the other Boucicault discovered America. In the reign of Louis the Fourteenth a Prince of Monaco was sent as ambassador to Rome, and entered that city with horses shod in silver, the shoes held by one nail only, so that they might drop the sooner. Another Prince of Monaco went against the Turks with his galleys, and brought back to this shore the inestimable gift of the prickly-pear, for which we all bless his memory whenever we brush against its cheerful thorns. Three Princes of Monaco were murdered in their own palace, which of course was much more home-like than being murdered elsewhere. The Duke of York died there also: not murdered, I believe, although there is a ghost in the story. The principality is now three miles long, and the present prince retains authority under the jurisdiction of France. To preserve this authority he maintains a strictly disciplined standing army (they never sit down) of ten able-bodied men.”

These sentences were rolled out by Inness with such rapidity that I was quite bewildered; as for the Professor, he was hopelessly stranded half-way down the list, and never came any farther.

Passing Monte Carlo, we drove over to the palace.

“Certainly there is no town on the Riviera so beautifully situated as Monaco,” I said, as the road swept around the little port and ascended the opposite slope. “The high rock on which it stands, jutting out boldly into the sea, gives it all the isolation of an island, and yet protects by its peninsula this clear deep little harbor within.”

The old town of Monaco proper is on the top of this rocky presqu’île, three hundred feet above the sea, and west of Monte Carlo, the suburb of Condamine, and the chapel of St. Devote. Leaving the carriages, we entered the portal of the palace, conducted by a tenth of the standing army.

“My first living and roofed palace,” said Janet, as we ascended the broad flight of marble steps leading to the “Court of Honor,” which was glowing with recently renewed frescos. A solemn man in black received us, and conducted us with much dignity through thirteen broad, long rooms, with ceilings thirty feet high a procession of stately apartments which left upon our minds a blurred general impression of gilded vases, crimson curtains, slippery floors, ormolu clocks, wreaths of painted roses, fat Cupids, and uninhabitableness. The only trace of home life in all the shining vista was a little picture of the present Prince, taken when he was a baby, a life-like, chubby little fellow, smiling unconcernedly out on all this cold splendor. It was amusing to see how we women gathered around this little face, with a sort of involuntary comfort.

In the Salle Grimaldi there was a vast chimney-piece of one block of marble covered with carved devices.

In the room where the Duke of York died there was a broad bed on a platform, curtained and canopied with heavy damask, and surrounded by a gilded railing. We stood looking at this structure in silence.

“It is very impressive,” murmured Mrs. Trescott at last. Then, with a long reminiscent sigh, as if she had been present and chief mourner on the occasion, she added: “There is nothing more inscrutable than the feet of the flying hours: they are winged! winged!”

“On the whole,” said Janet, as we went down the marble steps towards the army “on the whole, taking it as a palace, I am disappointed.”

“What did you expect?” said Verney.

“Oh, all the age of chivalry,” she answered, smiling.

“The so-called age of chivalry ” began the Professor; but he never finished; because, by some unexpected adjustment of places, he found himself in the phaeton with Baker, and that adventurous youth drove him over to Monte Carlo at such a speed that he could only close his eyes and hold on.

The Casino of Monte Carlo is now the most important part of the principality of Monaco; instead of being subordinate to the palace, the latter has become but an appendage to the modern splendor across the bay. Monte Carlo occupies a site as beautiful as any in the world. In front the blue sea laves its lovely garden; on the east the soft coast-line of Italy stretches away in the distance; on the west is the bold curving rock of Monaco, with its castle and port, and the great cliff of the Dog’s Head. Behind rises the near mountain high above; and on its top, outlined against the sky, stands the old tower of Turbia in its lonely ruined majesty, looking towards Rome.

“That tower is nineteen hundred feet above the sea,” said the Professor. “It was built by the Romans, on the boundary between Liguria and Gaul, to commemorate a victory gained by Augustus Cæsar over the Ligurians. It was called Tropaeum Augusti, from which it has degenerated into Turbia. Fragments of the inscription it once bore have been found on stones built into the houses of the present village. The inscription itself is, fortunately, fully preserved in Pliny, as follows: ’To Cæsar, son of the divine Cæsar Augustus, Emperor for the fourteenth time, in the seventeenth year of his reign, the Senate and the Roman people have decreed this monument, in token that under his orders and auspices all the Alpine races have been subdued by Roman arms. Names of the vanquished:’ and here follow the names of forty-five Alpine races.”

At first we thought that the Professor was going to repeat them all; but although no doubt he knew them, he abstained.

“The village behind the tower we cannot see it from here seems to be principally built of fragments of the old Roman stone-work,” said Lloyd. “I have been up there several times.”

“Then we do not see the Trophy as it was?” I said.

“No; it is but a ruin, although it looks imposing from here. It was used as a fortress during the Middle Ages, and partially destroyed by the French at the beginning of the last century.”

“It must have been majestic indeed, since, after all its dismemberment, it still remains so majestic now,” said Margaret.

We were standing on the steps of the Casino during this conversation; I think we all rather made ourselves stand there, and talk about Turbia and the Middle Ages, because the evil and temptation we had come to see were so near us, and we knew that they were. We all had a sentence ready which we delivered impartially and carelessly; but none the less we knew that we were going in, and that nothing would induce us to remain without.

From a spacious, richly decorated entrance-hall, the gambling-rooms opened by noiseless swinging doors. Entering, we saw the tables surrounded by a close circle of seated players, with a second circle standing behind, playing over their shoulders, and sometimes even a third behind these. Although so many persons were present, it was very still, the only sounds being the chink, chink, of the gold and silver coins, and the dull, mechanical voices of the officials announcing the winning numbers. There were tables for both roulette and trente et quarante, the playing beginning each day at eleven in the morning and continuing without intermission until eleven at night. Everywhere was lavished the luxury of flowers, paintings, marbles, and the costliest decoration of all kinds; beyond, in a superb hall, the finest orchestra on the Continent was playing the divine music of Beethoven; outside, one of the loveliest gardens in the world offered itself to those who wished to stroll awhile. And all of this was given freely, without restriction and without price, upon a site and under a sky as beautiful as earth can produce. But one sober look at the faces of the steady players around those tables betrayed, under all this luxury and beauty, the real horror of the place; for men and women, young and old alike, had the gambler’s strange fever in the expression of the eye, all the more intense because, in almost every case, so governed, so stonily repressed, so deadly cold! After a half-hour of observation, we left the rooms, and I was glad to breathe the outside air once more. The place had so struck to my heart, with its intensity, its richness, its stillness, and its terror, that I had not been able even to smile at the Professor’s demeanor; he had signified his disapprobation (while looking at everything quite closely, however) by buttoning his coat up to the chin and keeping his hat on. I almost expected to see him open his umbrella.

“To me, they seemed all mad,” I said, with a shudder, looking up at the calm mountains with a sense of relief.

“It is a species of madness,” said Verney. Miss Elaine was with him; she had taken his arm while in the gambling-room; she said she felt “so timid.” Margaret and Lloyd meanwhile had only looked on for a moment or two, and had then disappeared; we learned afterwards that they had gone to the concert-room, where music beautiful enough for paradise was filling the perfumed air.

“For those who care nothing for gambling, that music is one of the baits,” said Lloyd. “When you really love music, it is very hard to keep away from it; and here, where there is no other music to compete with it, it is offered to you in its divinest perfection, at an agreeable distance from Nice and Mentone, along one of the most beautiful driveways in the world, with a Parisian hotel at its best to give you, besides, what other refreshment you need. Hundreds of persons come here sincerely ‘only to hear the music.’ But few go away without ‘one look’ at the gambling tables; and it is upon that ‘one look’ that the proprietors of the Casino, knowing human nature, quietly and securely rely.”

The Professor, having seen it all, had no words to express his feeling, but walked across to call the carriages with the air of a man who shook off perdition from every finger. And yet I felt sure, from what I knew of him, that he had appreciated the attractions of the place less than any one of us had not, in fact, been reached by them at all. Those who do not feel the allurements of a temptation are not tempted. Not a grain in the Professor’s composition responded to the invitation of the siren Chance; they were not allurements to him; they were but the fantastic phantasmagoria of a dream. The lovely garden he appreciated only botanically; the view he could not see; abstemious by nature, he cared nothing for the choice rarities of the hotel; while the music, the heavenly music, was to him no more than the housewife’s clatter of tin pans. Yet I might have explained this to him all the way home, he would never have comprehended it, but would have gone on thinking that it was simply, on his part, superior virtue and self-control.

But I had no opportunity to explain, since I was not in the carriage with him, but with Janet, Inness, and Baker. Margaret and Lloyd drove homewards together in the phaeton; and as they did not reach the hotel until dusk long after our own arrival I asked Margaret where they had been.

“We stopped at the cemetery to watch the sunset beside my statue, aunt.”

“Why do you care so much for that marble figure?”

“I do not think she is quite marble,” answered Margaret, smiling. “When I look at her, after a while she becomes, in a certain sense, responsive. To me she is like a dear friend.”

Another week passed, and another. And now the blossoms of the fruit-trees a cloud of pink and snowy white were gone, and the winter loiterers on the sunny shore began to talk of home; or, if they were travellers who had but stopped awhile on the way to Italy, they knew now that the winds of the Apennines no longer chilled the beautiful streets of Florence, and that all the lilies were out.

“Why could it not go on and on forever? Why must there always come that last good-bye?” quoted Mrs. Clary.

“Because life is so sad,” said Margaret.

“But I like to look forward,” said Janet.

“We shall meet again,” said Lloyd.

“The world,” I remarked, sagely, “is composed of three classes of persons those who live in the present, those who live in the past, and those who live in the future. The first class is the wisest.”

Our last excursion was to Sant’ Agnese. This little mountain village was the highest point we attained on our donkeys, being two thousand two hundred feet above the sea. Its one rugged little street, cut in the side of the cliff, had an ancient weather-beaten little church at one end and a lonely chapel at the other, with the village green in the centre a “green” which was but a smooth rock amphitheatre, with a parapet protecting it from the precipice below. From this “green” there was a grand view of the mountains, with the sharp point of the Aiguille towering above them all. It was a village fête day, and we met the little procession at the church door. First came the priests and choir-boys, chanting; then the village girls, dressed in white, and bearing upon a little platform an image of Saint Agnes; then youths with streamers of colored ribbons on their arms; and, last, all the villagers, two and two, dressed in their best, and carrying bunches of flowers. Through the winding rocky street they marched, singing as they went. When they arrived at the lonely chapel, Saint Agnes was borne in, and prayers were offered, in which the village people joined, kneeling on the ground outside, since there was not place for them within. Then forth came Saint Agnes again, a hymn was started, in which all took part, the little church bell pealed, and an old man touched off small heaps of gunpowder placed at equal distances along the parapet, their nearest approach, I suppose, to cannon. When the saint had reached her shrine again in safety, her journeyings over until the next year, the procession dissolved, and feasting began, the simple feasting of Italy, in which we joined so far as to partake of a lunch in the little inn, which had a green bush as a sign over the narrow door the “wine of the country” proving very good, however, in spite of the old proverb. Then, refreshed, we climbed up the steep path leading to the peak where was perched the ruin of the old castle which is so conspicuous from Mentone, high in the air. This castle, the so-called “Saracen stronghold” of Sant’ Agnese, pronounced, as Baker said, “either Frenchy to rhyme with lace, or Italianly to rhyme with lazy,” seemed to me higher up in the sky than I had ever expected to be in the flesh.

“As our interesting friend” (she meant the Professor) “is not here,” said Mrs. Trescott, sinking in a breathless condition upon a Saracen block, “there is no one to tell us its history.”

“There is no history,” said Verney, “or, rather, no one knows it; and to me that is its chief attraction. There are, of course, legends in stacks, but nothing authentic. The Saracens undoubtedly occupied it for a time, and kept the whole coast below cowering under their cruel sway. But it is hardly probable that they built it; they did not build so far inland; they preferred the shore.”

Our specified object, of course, in climbing that breathless path was “the view.”

Now there are various ways of seeing views. I have known “views” which required long gazing at points where there was nothing earthly to be seen: in such cases there was probably something heavenly. Other “views” reveal themselves only to two persons at a time; if a third appears, immediately there is nothing to be seen. As to our own manner of looking at the Sant’ Agnese view, I will mention that Mrs. Trescott looked at it from a snug corner, on a soft shawl, with her eyes closed. Mrs. Clary looked at it retrospectively, as it were; she began phrases like these: “When I was here three years ago ” pause, sigh, full stop. “Once I was here at sunset ” ditto. Janet, on a remote rock, looked at it, I think, amid a little tragedy from Inness, interrupted and made more tragic by the incursions of Baker, who would not be frowned away. Verney looked at it from a high niche in which he had incautiously seated himself for a moment, and now remained imprisoned, because Miss Elaine had placed herself across the entrance so that he could not emerge without asking her to rise; from this niche, like the tenor of Trovatore in his tower, he occasionally sent across a Miserere to Janet in the distance, like this: “Do you ob serve, Miss Trescott, the col ors of the lem ons below?” And Janet would gesture an assent. Lloyd and Margaret had found a place on a little projecting plateau, where, with the warm sunshine flooding over them, they sat contentedly talking. Meanwhile having neither sleep, retrospect, tragedy, Miserere, nor conversation with which to entertain myself, I really looked at the view, and probably was the only person who did. I had time enough for it. We remained there nearly two hours.

At last our donkey-driver came up to tell us that dancing was going on below, and that there was not much time if we wished to see it, since the long homeward journey still lay before us. So we elders began to call: “Janet!” “Janet!” “Margaret!” “Mr. Verney!” And presently from the rock, the niche, and the plateau they came slowly in, Janet flushed, and Inness very pale, Baker like a thunder-cloud, Miss Elaine smiling and conscious, Verney annoyed, Lloyd just as usual, and Margaret with a younger look in her face than I had seen there for months. In the little rock amphitheatre below we found the villagers merrily dancing; and some strangers like ourselves, who had come out from Mentone later, were amusing themselves by dancing also. Janet joined the circle with Baker, and Inness, after leaning on the parapet awhile, with his back to the dancers, gazing into space, disappeared. I think he went homeward by another path across the mountains. Miss Elaine admired “so much” Miss Trescott’s courage in dancing before “so many strangers.” She (Miss Elaine) was far “too shy to attempt it.” But I did not notice that she was violently urged to the attempt. In the meantime Lloyd was looking at an English girl belonging to the other party, who was dancing near us. She was tall and shapely, with the beautiful English rose-pink complexion, and abundant light hair which had the glint of bronze where the sun shone across it. After a while, as the others came near, he recognized in one of them an acquaintance, who turned out to be the brother of the young lady who had been dancing.

When, as we returned, we reached the main street of Mentone, Margaret and I, who were behind, stopped a moment and looked back. The far peak of Sant’ Agnese was flushed with rose-light, although where we were it was already night.

“It does not seem as if we could have been there,” I said. “It looks so far away.”

“Yes, we have been there,” said Margaret; “we have been there. But already it is far, far away.”

Mrs. Trescott found a letter awaiting her which made her decide to go forward to Florence on the following day. A great deal can happen in a short time when there is the pressure of a near departure. That evening Janet, who was dressed in white, had a great bunch of the sweet wild narcissus at her belt. I do not know anything certainly, of course, but I did meet Inness in the hall, about eleven o’clock, with a radiant, happy face, and some of that same narcissus in his button-hole. He went with the Trescott’s to Florence the next day. And Baker, with disgust, went to Nice. Soon afterwards Verney said that he felt that he required “a closer acquaintance with early art,” and departed without saying exactly whither. “Etruscan art, I believe, is considered extremely ‘early,’” remarked Mrs. Clary.

The Professor was to join the Trescotts later; at present he was much engaged with some cinerary urns. Miss Elaine, who was to remain a month longer with her mother, remarked to me, on one of the last mornings, that “really, for his age,” he was a “very well preserved man.”

Margaret and I remained for two weeks after Mrs. Trescott’s departure. We saw Mr. Lloyd now and then; but he was more frequently off with the English party.

One afternoon I went with Margaret to watch the sunset from her favorite post beside the statue. She sought the place almost every evening now, and occasionally I went with her. We had never found any one there at that hour; but this evening we heard voices, and came upon Lloyd and the English girl of Sant’ Agnese, strolling to and fro.

“I have brought Miss Read to see the view here, Miss Severin,” he said; and then introductions followed, and we stood there together watching the beautiful tints of sky and sea. The English girl talked in her English voice with its little rising and falling inflections, so different from our monotonous American key. Margaret answered pleasantly, and, indeed, talked more than usual; I was glad to see her interested.

After a while Lloyd happened to stroll forward where he could see the face of the statue. Then, suddenly, “Wonderful!” he exclaimed. “Strange that I never thought of it before! Do come here, please, and see for yourselves. There is the most extraordinary resemblance between this statue and Miss Read.”

Then, as we all went forward, “Wonderful!” he repeated.

Margaret said not a word. The English girl only laughed. “Surely you see it?” he said.

“There may be a little something about the mouth ” I began.

But he interrupted me. “Why, it is perfect! The statue is her portrait in marble. Miss Read, will you not let me place you in the same position, just for an instant?” And, leading her to a little mound, he placed her in the required pose; she had thrown off her hat to oblige him, and now clasped her hands and turned her eyes over the sea towards the eastern horizon. What was the result?

The only resemblance, as I had said, was about the mouth; for the beautifully cut lips of the statue turned downward at the corners, and the curve of Miss Read’s sweet baby-like mouth was the same. But that was all. Above was the woman’s face in marble, beautiful, sad, full of the knowledge and the grief of life; below was the face of a young girl, lovely, fresh, and bright, and knowing no more of sorrow than a blush-rose upon its stem.

“Exact!” said Lloyd.

Miss Read laughed, rose, and resumed her straw hat; presently they went away.

“There was not the slightest resemblance,” I said, almost with indignation.

“People see resemblances differently,” answered Margaret. Then, after a pause, she added, “She is, at least, much more like the statue than I am.”

“Not in the spirit, dear,” I said, much touched; for I saw that as she spoke the rare tears had filled her eyes. But they did not fall; Margaret had a great deal of self-control; perhaps too much.

Then there was a silence. “Shall we go now, aunt?” she said, after a time. And we never spoke of the subject again.

“Look, look, Margaret! the palms of Bordighera!” I said, as our train rushed past. It was our last of Mentone.