WE, were working at the young campanulas when our friend Heywood came upon us—Heywood, for whose intelligence we have so great a respect, because he so frequently agrees with our outlook upon the world of woman and other flowers cherished by us. Heywood is a good artist; but because he believes that Womankind is a kind woman indefinitely multiplied, he paints more faithful portraits of men than of women; he also paints landscapes that live more faithfully than the human features that he depicts and receives large sums for depicting. He is a student of children, and comes to Rosamund quite seriously for her criticism. She gives it unaffectedly, I am glad to notice; and without having to make use of a word of the School-of-Art phraseology.

We have an able surgeon (retired) living close to us here, and he is still so interested in the Science he practised—he retired from the practice, not from the science—that when he is made aware of an unusual operation about to be performed in any direction—London, Paris, or (not recently) Vienna, he goes off to witness the performance, just as we go to some of the most interesting premières in town. In the same spirit Heywood runs off every now and again to Paris to see the latest production of his old master, or the acquisition of an old Master at one of the galleries. It lets him know what is going on in the world, he says, and I am sure he is quite right.

But, of course, Atheist Friswell has his smile—a solemn smile it is this time—while he says,—

“Old Masters? Young mississes rather, I think.”

“Young what?” cried Dorothy.

“Mysteries,” he replied. “What on earth do you think I said?”

“Another word with the same meaning,” says she.

But these artistic excursions have nothing to do with us among our campanulas to-day. Heywood has been aware of a funny thing and came to make us laugh with him.

“Campanulas!” he cried. “And that is just what I came to tell you about—the campanile at St. Katherine's.”

Yardley Parva, in common with Venice, Florence, and a number of other places, has a campanile, only it was not designed by Giotto or any other artist. Nor is it even called a campanile, but a bell-tower, and it belongs to the Church of St. Katherine-sub-Castro—a Norman church transformed by a few-adroit touches here and there into the purest Gothic of the Restoration—the Gilbert Scoti-Church-Restoration period.

But no one would complain with any measure of bitterness at the existence of the bell-tower only for the fact that there are bells within it, and these bells being eight, lend themselves to many feats of campanology, worrying the inhabitants within a large area round about the low levels of the town. The peace of every Sabbath Day is rudely broken by the violence of what the patient folk with no arrière pensée term “them joy bells.”

“You have not heard a sound of them for some Sundays,” said Heywood.

“I have not complained,” said I. “Ask Dorothy if I have.”

“No one has, unless the bell-ringers, who are getting flabby through lack of exercise,” said he. “But the reason you have not heard them is because they have been silent.”

“The British Fleet you cannot see, for it is not in sight,” said I.

“And the reason that they have been silent was the serious illness of Mr. Livesay, whose house is close to St. Katherine's. Dr. Beecher prescribed complete repose for poor Livesay, and as the joy bells of St. Katherine's do not promote that condition, his wife sent a message to the ringers asking them to oblige by refraining from their customary uproar until the doctor should remove his ban. They did so two Sundays ago, and the Sunday before last they sent to inquire how the man was. He was a good deal worse, they were told, so they were cheated out of their exercise again. Yesterday, however, they rang merrily out—merrily.”

“We heard,” said Dorothy. “So I suppose Mr. Livesay is better.”

“On the contrary, he is dead,” said Heywood.

“He died late on Saturday night. My housekeeper, Mrs. Hartwell, had just brought me in my breakfast when the bells began. 'Listen,' she cried. 'Listen! the joy bells! Mr. Livesay must have died last night.'”

It was true. The bell-ringers had made their call at poor Livesay's house on Sunday morning, and on receiving the melancholy news, they hurried off to let their joy bells proclaim it far and wide.

But no one in Yardley Parva, lay or clerical, except Heyward and ourselves seemed to think that there was anything singular in the incident.

We had a few words to say, however, about joy bells spreading abroad the sad news of a decent man's death, and upon campanology in general.

But when Friswell heard of the affair, he said he did not think it more foolish than the usual practice of church bells.

“We all know, of course, that there is nothing frightens the devil like the ringing of bells,” said he.

“That is quite plausible,” said I. “Any one who doubts it must have lived all his life in a heathen place where there are no churches. Juan Fernandez, for example,” I added, as a couple of lines sang through my recollection. “Cowper made his Alexander Selkirk long for 'the sound of the churchgoing bell.'”

“That was a good touch of Cowper's,” said Friswell. “He knew that Alexander Selkirk was a Scotsman, and with much of the traditional sanctimoniousness of his people, when he found himself awful bad or muckle bad or whatever the right phrase is, he was ready to propitiate heaven by a pious aspiration.”

“Nothing of the sort,” cried Dorothy. “He was quite sincere. Cowper knew that there is nothing that brings back recollections of childhood, which we always think was the happiest time of our life, like the chiming of church bells.”

“I dare say you are right,” said he, after a little pause. “But like many other people, poet Cowper did not think of the church bells except in regard to their secondary function of summoning people to the sacred precincts. He probably never knew that the original use of the bells was to scare away the Evil One. It was only when they found out that he had never any temptation to enter a church, that the authorities turned their devil-scaring bells to the summoning of the worshippers, and they have kept up the foolish practice ever since.”

“Why foolish?” asked Dorothy quite affably. “You don't consider it foolish to ring a bell to go to dinner, and why should you think it so in the matter of going to church?”

“My dear creature, you don't keep ringing your dinner bell for half an hour, with an extra five minutes for the cook.”

“No,” said she quickly. “And why not? Because people don't need any urging to come to dinner, but they require a good deal to go to church, and then they don't go.”

“There's something in that,” said he. “Anyhow they've been ringing those summoning bells so long that I'm sure they will go on with them until all the churches are turned into school-houses.”

“And then there will be a passing-bell rung for the passing of the churches themselves—I suppose the origin of the passing-bell was the necessity to scare away the devil at the supreme moment,” remarked Heywood.

“Undoubtedly it was,” said Friswell. “The practice exists among many of those races that are still savage enough to believe in the devil—a good handmade tom-tom does the business quite effectually, I've heard.”

“Do you know, my dear Friswell, I think that when you sit down with us in our Garden of Peace, the conversation usually takes the form of the dialogue in Magnall's Questions or the Child's Guide or Joyce's Science. You are so full of promiscuous information which you cannot hide?”

He roared in laughter, and we all joined in.

“You have just said what my wife says to me daily,” said he. “I'll try to repress myself in future.”

“Don't try to do anything of the sort,” cried Dorothy. “You never cease to be interesting, no matter how erudite you are.”

“What I can't understand is, how he has escaped assassination all these years,” remarked Heywood. “I think the time is coming when whoso slayeth Friswell will think that he doeth God's service. Just think all of you of the mental state of the man who fails to see that, however heathenish may be the practice of church-bell-ringing, the fact that it has brought into existence some of the most beautiful buildings in the world makes the world its debtor for evermore!”

“I take back all my words—I renounce the devil and all his work,” cried the other man. “Yes, I hold that Giotto's Campanile justifies all the clashing and banging and hammering before and since. On the same analogy I believe with equal sincerity that the Temple of Jupiter fully justifies the oblations to the Father of gods, and the Mosque of Omar the massacres of Islam.”

“Go on,” said Dorothy. “Say that the sufferings of Alexander Selkirk were justified since without them we should not have Robinson Crusoe.”

“I will say anything you please, my Lady of the Garden,” said he heartily. “I will say that the beauty of that border beside you justifies Wakeley's lavish advertisements of Hop Mixture.”

I felt that this sort of thing had gone on long enough, so I made a hair-pin bend in the conversation by asking Dorothy if she remembered the day of our visit to Robinson Crusoe's island.

“I never knew that you had been to Juan Fernandez,” said Friswell.

And then I saw how I could score off Friswell.

“I said Robinson Crusoe's island, not Alexander Selkirk's,” I cried. “Alexander Selkirk's was Juan Fernandez, Robinson Crusoe's was Tobago in the West indies, which Dorothy and I explored some years ago.”

“Of course I should have remembered that,” said he. “I recollect now what a stumbling-block to me the geography of Robinson Crusoe was when I first read the book. A foolish explanatory preface to the cheap copy I read gave a garbled version of the story of Selkirk and his island, and said no word about Daniel Defoe having been wise enough to change Juan Fernandez for another.”

“You were no worse than the writer of a paragraph I read in one of the leading papers a short time ago, relative to the sale of the will which Selkirk made in the year 1717—years after Captain Woodes Rodgers had picked him up at the island where he had been marooned nearly four years before,” said Dorothy, who, I remembered, had laughed over the erudition of the paragraph. “The writer affirmed that the will had been made before the man 'had sailed unwittingly for Tristan d'Acunha'—those were his exact words, and this island he seemed to identify with Bishop Keber's, for he said it was 'where every prospect pleases and only man is vile.' What was in the poor man's mind was the fact that some one had written a poem about Alexander Selkirk, and he mixed Cowper up with Heber.”

“You didn't write to the paper to put the fellow right,” said Heywood.

“Good gracious, no!” cried Dorothy. “I knew that no one in these aeroplaning days would care whether the island was Tristan d'Acunha or Juan Fernandez. Besides, there was too much astray in the paragraph for a simple woman to set about making good. Anyhow the document fetched £60 at the sale.”

“You remember the lesson that was learnt by the man who wrote to correct something a newspaper had written about him, said Heywood. The editor called me a swindler, a liar, and a politician,' said he, relating his experience, 'and like a fool 1 wrote to contradict it. I was a fool: for what did the fellow do in the very next issue but prove every statement that he had made!'”

“Oh, isn't it lucky that I didn't write to that paper?” cried Dorothy.

But when we began to talk of the imaginary sufferings of Robinson Crusoe, and to try to imagine what were the real sufferings of Selkirk, Friswell laughed, saying,—

“I'm pretty sure that what the bonnie Scots body suffered from most poignantly was the island not having any of his countrymen at hand, so that they could start a Burns Club or a Caledonian Society, as the six representatives of Scotland are about to do in our town of Yardley, which has hitherto been free from anything of that sort. Did you ever hear the story of Andrew Gareloch and Alec MacClackan?”

We assured him that we had never heard a word of it.

He told it to us, and this is what it amounted to:—Messrs. Andrew Gareloch and Alec MacClackan were merchants of Shanghai who were unfortunate enough to be wrecked on their voyage home. They were the sole survivors of the ship's company, and the desert island on which they found themselves was in the Pacific, only a few miles in circumference. In the lagoon were plenty of fish and on the ridge of the slope were plenty of cocoa-nuts. After a good meal they determined to name the place. They called it St. Andrew Lang Syne Island, and became as festive and brotherly—they pronounced it “britherly”—as was possible over cocoa-nut milk: it was a long time since either of them had tasted milk of any sort. The second day they founded a local Benevolent Society of St. Andrew, and held the inaugural dinner; the third day they founded a Burns Club, with a supper; the fourth day they starts a Scots Association, with a series of monthly reunions for the discussion of the Minstrelsy of the Border; the fifth day they laid out golf links with the finest bunkers in the world, and instituted a club lunch (strictly nonalcoholic); the sixth day they formed a Curling Club—the lagoon would make a braw rink, they said, if it only froze; and if it didn't freeze, well, they could still have an annual Curlers' Supper; the Seventh Day they kept. On the evening of the same day a vessel was sighted bearing up for the island; but of course neither of the men would hoist a signal on the Seventh Day, and they watched the craft run past the island; though they were amazed to see that she had only courses and a foresail set, in spite of the fact that the breeze was a light one. The next morning, when they were sitting at breakfast, discussing whether they should lay the foundation stone—with a commemorative lunch—of a Free Kirk, a Wee Free Kirk, a U.P. meeting-house or an Ould Licht meeting-house—they had been fiercely debating on the merits of each during the previous twenty years—they saw the vessel returning with all sail on her. To run up one of their shirts to a pole at the entrance to the lagoon was a matter of a moment, and they saw that their signal was responded to. She was steered by their signals through the entrance to the lagoon and dropped anchor.

She turned out to be the Bonnie Doon, of Dundee, Douglas MacKellar, Master. He had found wreckage out at sea and had thought it possible that some survivors of the wreck might want passages “hame.”

“Nae, nae,” cried both men. “We're no in need o' passages hame just the noo. But what for did ye no mak' for the lagoon yestreen in the gloamin'?”

“Hoot awa'—hoot awa'! ye wouldna hae me come ashore on the Sawbath Day,” said Captain MacKellar.

“Ye shortened sail though,” said Mr. MacClackan. “Ay; on Saturday nicht: I never let her do more than just sail on the Sawbath. But what for did ye no run up a signal, ye loons, if ye spied me sae weel?”

“Hoot awa'—hoot awa', man, ye wouldna hae a body mak' a signal on the Sawbath Day.”

“Na—na; no a reglar signal; but ye micht hae run up a wee bittie—just eneuch tae catch me e'en on. Ay an' mebbe ye'll be steppin' aboard the noo?”

“Weil hae to hae a clash about it, Captain.”

Well, they talked it over cautiously for a few hours; for captain MacKellar was a hard man at a bargain, and he would not agree to give them a passage under two pound a head. At last, however, negotiations were concluded, the men got aboard the Bonnie Doon, and piloted her through the channel. They reached the Clyde in safety, and Captain Mac-Kellar remarked,—

“Weel, ma freens, I'm in hopes that ye'll pay me ower the siller this day.”

“Ay, ye maun be in the quare swithers till ye see the siller; but we'll hand it ower, certes,” said the passengers. “In the meantime, we'd tak' the leeberty o' callin' your attention to a wee bit contra-claim that we hae japped doon on a bit slip o' paper. It's three poon nine for Harbour Dues that ye owe us, Captain MacKellar, and twa poon ten for pilotage—it's compulsory at yon island, so 'tis, so mebbe ye'll mak' it convenient to hand us ower the differs when we land. Ay, Douglas MacKellar, ma mon, ye shouldna try to get the better o' Brither-Scots!”

Captain MacKellar was a God-fearing man, but he said, “Dom!”

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