Oh, never believe it! There is an unsuspected island in untravelled seas. Like the island of Tirnanog, which is the Irish land of eternal youth, it lies below the sunset, brighter than the island-valley of Avilion:
“Where falls not hail, or rain,
or any snow,
Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies
Deep-meadow’d, happy, fair with orchard lawns
And bowery hollows crown’d with summer sea.”
To that island have those star-like lovers fared, since they gave the world and all its Imperial Courts the slip. There they have discovered an innocent and lovely race, adorned only with shells and the flowers of hibiscus; and, intermingled with that race, in accordance with indigenous marriage ceremonies, the crew of the Santa Margherita now rear a dusky brood. In her last extant letter, addressed to the leader of the corps de ballet at the Ring Theatre in Vienna, Madame Milli Orth herself hinted at a No-Man’s Land, which they were seeking as the home of their future happiness. They have found it now, having trodden the golden path of rays. There palls not wealth, or state, or any rank, nor ever Court snores loudly, but men and women meet each evening to discuss the next day’s occupation, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer collects the unearned increment in the form of the shell called Venus’ ear. For a time, indeed, Johann Orth attempted to maintain a kind of kingship, on the strength of his superior pedigree. But when a democratic cabin-boy one day turned and told him to stow his Hapsburg lip, the beautiful ex-opera-dancer burst out laughing, and Johann agreed in future to be called Archduke only on Sundays. With their eldest son, now a fine young man coming to maturity, the title is expected to expire.
“THE DAILY ROUND, THE COMMON TASK”
Mr. Clarkson, of the Education Office, was enjoying his breakfast with his accustomed equanimity and leisure. Having skimmed the Literary Supplement of the Times, and recalled a phrase from a symphony on his piano, he began opening his letters. But at the third he paused in sudden perplexity, holding his coffee-cup half raised. After a while the brightness of adventurous decision came into his eyes, and he set the cup down, almost too violently, on the saucer.