“Why, here for instance,” answered Haviland, “are great problems at our threshold:—Independence, Imperial Federation, both of them bearing on all advance in civilized organizations,—Unification of Races—development of our vast and peculiar areas. Education, too, Foreign Trade, Land, the Classes—press upon our attention.”
“You would have us awake to some such new sense of our situation as Germany did in Goethe’s day?”
“I pray for no long-haired enthusiasts. We have business different from altering the names of the Latin divinities into Teutonic gutturals.”
“The country itself will see to that. We have the fear of the nations round about in our eyes,” grimly said Chrysler; then he added: “I have never known you as well as I wish, Haviland. You speak of this work as if you had some definite system of it, while all the notions I have ever met or formed of such a thing have been partial or vague.”
Chamilly stood up and the firelight shone brightly and softly upon his flushed cheek; the dark portraits on the walls seemed to look out upon him as if they lived, and the statue of Apollo to rise and associate its dignity with his.
“I have a system,” he said. “I almost feel like saying a commission of revelation. The reason, sir, why I asked you here was that you, my venerated friend, might understand my ideas and sympathize with them, and help me.”
“I will ask you to read a manuscript, of which you will find the first half in your room. The remainder is not written yet”
Pierre, the butler, brought in coffee and they talked more quietly of other subjects.
“When yellow-locked and crystal-eyed,
I dreamed green woods among
* * * * *
O, then the earth was young”
—ISABELLA VALANCEY CRAWFORD.
When Chrysler went up to his bedchamber he found the following on a table between two candles:—
Narrative of Chamilly d’Argentenaye Haviland.
At the Friars’ School at Dormilliere, racing with gleeful playmates around the shady playground, or glibly reciting frequent “Paters” and “Ave Marias,” other ideas of life scarce ever entered my head; till one day my father spoke, out of his calm silence, to my grandmother; and with the last of his two or three sentences, “I don’t destine him for a Thibetan prayer-mill,” (she had fondly intended me for the priesthood) he sat down to a letter, the result of which was that I found myself in a week at the Royal Grammar School at Montreal. Here, where the great city appeared a wilderness of palaces and the large School an almost universe of youthful Crichtons whose superiorities seemed to me the greater because I knew little of their English tongue, the contrasts with my rural Dormilliere were so striking and continual that I was set thinking by almost every occurrence.