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David saw something lithe and sipu- burnt flesh, and David lay face down. ous in the child's hands, and stiffened wards on the floor, writhing as the in every limb. Paul had a skaapstikker echoes of Paul's shrieks tortured his in his grip, the green-and-yellow death- ears. But in the next room little Paul snake that abounds in the veldt. Its was still for ever, and all the ghastly head lay on his arm, its pin-point eyes labor was to no purpose. maliciously agleam, and the child I suppose there is some provision in gripped it by the middle. Christina the make of humanity for overflow stood petrified, but the boy laughed grief, some limit impregnable to aflicand dandled the reptile in glee.
tion; for when little Paul was laid be"Be still, Paul,” said David, in a side his brother, there were still David voice that was new to him—"be still; and Christina to walk aimlessly in do not move."
their empty world. Their scars were The child looked up at him in as- deep and they were crippled with woe, tonishment. “Why?" he began.
and it seemed to them they lived as "Be still,” commanded David, and paralytics live, dead in all save in their went over to him cautiously. The ser- susceptibility to torture. Moreover, pent's evil head was raised as he ap- there was a barrier between them proached, and it hissed at him. Paul in David's disastrous foreknowledge, stood quite quiet, and David advanced for Christina could not throw off the his naked hand to his certain death thought that it contained the causal and the delivery of his child. The elements which had robbed her of her reptile poised, and as David snatched
sons. Pain had fogged her; she could at it, it struck-but on his sleeve. The not probe the matter, and sensations next instant was a delirious vision of tyrannized over her mind. David, too, writhing green and yellow; there was was bowed with a sense of guilt that a cry from Paul, and the snake was he could not rise to throw off. All on the floor. David crushed it furi- motive was buried in the kraal; and ously with his boot.
he and his wife sat apart and spent Christina snatched the child. "Did days and nights without the traffic of it bite you, Paul?" she screamed. “Did
speech. it bite you?"
But Christina was seized with an The boy shook his head, but David idea. She woke David in the night interposed in a voice of thunder.
and spoke to him tensely. “Of course it did!” he vociferated “David," she cried, gripping him by with blazing eyes; "what else did my the arm-“David! We cannot live for dream point to? But we'll fight with ever. Do you hear me? Look, David, God yet. Bring me the child, Chris- look hard! Look where you looked betina."
fore. Can you see nothing for me On the plump forearm of Paul they for us, Dayid ?" found two minute punctures and two He was sitting up, and the spell of tiny points of blood. David drew his her inspiration claimed him. He knife, and the child shrieked and strug- opened his eyes wide and searched the gled.
barren darkness for a sign. He groped “Get a hot iron, Christina," cried with his mind, tore at the bonds of the David, and gripped Paul with his
"Do you see nothing?" whispered
Christina. "Oh, David, there must be In the morning the room was wild something. Look-look hard!" and grisly with blood and the smell of For the space of a bundred seconds
they huddled on the bed, David fum- “Yes," she answered softly. “I will bling with the trusts of destiny, Chris- be buried in this." tina waiting, breathless.
He started, but recovered himself "Lie down,” said David at last. "You with a quivering lip. are going to die, little cousin. It is “Of course," he answered. “I will see all well."
to it. I must be very old, Christina." His voice was the calmest in the She came over and kissed him on world.
the forehead. "And you?” cried Christina; “David, In the middle of the afternoon she and you?”
went to bed, and he came in and sat "I see nothing,” he said.
beside her. She held his hand, and “Poor David!" murmured his wife, smiled at him. clinging to him. “But I am sure all “Are you dying now?” he asked at will yet be well, David. Have no fear, length. my husband."
“Yes," she said. “What shall I tell She murmured on in the dark, with Trikkie and the kleintje from you?" his arm about her, and promised him “Tell them nothing," he said, after death, entreated him to believe with a pause. "It cannot be that I shall be her, and coaxed him with the bait of apart from you all long. No; I am the grave. They were bride and groom very sure of that.” again, they two, and slept at last in She pressed his hand, and soon afterone another's arms.
wards felt some pain. It was little, In the morning all was well with and she made no outcry. Her death Christina, and she bustled about as of was calm and not strongly distressing, old. David was still, and hoped ever, and the next day David put her into with a tired content in what should the ground where her sons lay. happen, a languor that forbade him But, as I have made clear, he did not from railing on fate. Together they die till long afterwards, when he had prepared matters as for a journey. sold his farm and come to live in the
“If the black trousers come frayed little white house in the dorp, where again,” said Christina, “try to remem- colors jostled each other in the garden, ber that the scissors are better than a and fascinated children watched him knife. And the seeds are all in the go in and come out. I think the story box under our bed."
explains that perpetual search of "In the box under our bed,” repeated which his vacant eyes gave news, and David carefully. "Yes, under the bed. the joyous alacrity of his last homeI will remember."
coming, and the perfect technique of “And this, David,” holding up piles his death. It all points to the concluof white linen, “this is for me. You sion, that however brave the figures, will not forget?"
however aspiring their capers, they but “For you?”' he queried, not under- respond to strings which are pulled standing.
and loosened elsewhere. Blackwood's Magasine.
THE NEAR EAST.
The Eastern Question-that inter- Bulgaria in 1885. Crete, after minable Eastern Question-which has peated risings, virtually ceased to be resed Europe and threatened its peace Turkish in 1897. Thus the dominions for nearly a century-is again upon us. of the Sultan in Europe, which, in the In one sense it has never been ab- seventeenth century, had stretched as sent, for wherever the Turk rules the far north as Budapest, have now be. elements of danger are present. But come reduced to a comparatively narfrom time to time the fires that are row strip of territory, running from always smouldering break out into the Adriatic to the coast of the Black fierce flame, spread over one province Sea at Capt. Iniada, north of Conafter another, and seem on the point stantinople. of involving Europe in a general con- The process whereby the regions just flagration.
enumerated have been delivered has Though it had become plain, even for a hundred years past been always in the eighteenth century, that the de. the same; and the same causes have cay of the Turkish Empire would been everywhere at work. Misrule make the territories embraced within has provoked discontent, discontent it a scene of internal discord, and ul- has broken out in rebellion, rebellion timately a prey to be fought for by has either held its ground until the neighboring Powers, the Eastern Sultan's power proved unable to overQuestion, as we know it, may be said come it, or has been suppressed with to have begun with the insurrection massacres so horrible, that intervenof the Greeks in the second decade tion by one or more of the European of last century. The battle of Nav- Powers became inevitable. Some inarino in 1827 decided the issue of terfered because public opinion comthat struggle; and the creation of an pelled them; and the two nearest Powindependent Greek kingdom, shortly ers have had a further motive, for the afterwards, gave to the Christian disorders gave them an excuse, which populations in other parts of the Sul- humanity approved, for extending tan's dominions hopes of emancipa- their own borders. The process would tion, which have never since deserted have been more rapid--would indeed them. The process then begun has have been completed before now-but gone on steadily. First, the Danubian for the jealousies of the four great Principalities, practically independent States which thought themselves already, became legally independent; chiefly concerned. England deemed it then Servia won her freedom by a her interest to maintain the Turkish long struggle, and had it formally rec- Empire as a safeguard for herself ognized in 1829 and guaranteed in against Russia. France, as the pro1856. Bulgaria was erected into an tector of Roman Catholic interests in autonomous State at the Congress of the East, was suspicious both of EngBerlin in 1878. Bosnia was in the land and (till within the last twenty same year occupied by Austria. years) of Russia. Still
proMontenegro was enlarged, and Thes- nounced has been, in recent days, the saly was added to Greece. Eastern rivalry of Russia and Austria. But Roumelia, also established as a princi- for these jealousies, the Turk would pality in 1878, achieved her union with have little, if anything, to call his own
upon European soil. In 1878 the race prevails over three-fourths of the Treaty of San Stefano, dictated by country, from the Black Sea to the Russia after the war which the Bul- mountains west of the Vardar valley, garian massacres of 1876 had pro- and extends southward nearly to the voked, took from the Sultan, and gave Aegean and northward to the frontiers. to Bulgaria, nearly the whole of what of the principality of Bulgaria. The we call Macedonia; and it was the northwestern districts round Pristina action of England which then substi- and Novi Bazar belong to the Servian tuted for that instrument the Treaty branch of the Slavonic family. These of Berlin, whereby these regions were Serbs speak a language near akin to handed back to the Turk. By the the Bulgarian, but. the two races are twenty-third article of that Treaty dissimilar in character, for the Bulthe Sultan undertook to introduce ad- garians are of Finnish origin; and, ministrative reforms: and an Inter- though they have been commingled with national Commission was appointed to the Slavs among whom they settled draw up a scheme embodying them. in the seventh century A. D., and have The scheme was duly prepared, but no
learnt from them their Slavonic effect was
ever given to it. Things speech, they remain different in mind remained just as bad as they had been and temper. The Greeks-that is to before. Indeed, things were in one say population speaking Greek sense worse, for the miserable peas- (whatever its racial source)-dwell in antry of Macedonia now saw on their the southwest corner, around and west borders a new State, inhabited by of Salonika, and along the coasts of men of their own tongue and faith, the Aegean. They keep themselves but delivered from the oppressions quite apart from the Bulgarians of the under which they were left to groan.
interior, to whom they are generally One may speak of the peasantry as superior in education. There are a whole, because all the Christians suf- data for estimating their number (for fer, all are alike anxious to rid them- statistics do not exist in Turkey, unselves of Turkish misgovernment. But
less when invented to throw dust in there are differences among them, and Western eyes); but they are more nuit is partly in these differences that merous than the Servians of the Norththe special difficulty of the problem West, though fewer than the Bulgalies. In most parts of Greece, almost rians. Scattered here and there the whole population was Christian, through the country, especially in the and whether it spoke Greek or Al- South and South-West, there are vilbanian, it was equally anxious to be lages of a people called Vlachs, speakfree. In Crete, the Christians were, ing the same tongue as the Roumans of and are, in a large majority. In Ser- Roumania, and apparently of the same via, there were bardly any Musul- race. Some are pastoral in their mans. In Bosnia, as in Bulgaria, the habits, and mingle but little with the Musulmans were a minority, and in other populations. Some speak Greek Bosnia the hand of Austria was strong as well as Vlach, and may practically enough to impose order and repress be reckoned as part of the Greek elethe strife of faiths. In Macedonia ment. Finally, on the West side of (omitting Albania) the Christians the peninsula, between the Adriatic vastly outnumber the Musulmans. and the great valley which runs But the Christians themselves are North-West from Salonika to Pristina, divided into four races and three re- one finds the Albanians, fierce mounligious communions. The Bulgarian taineers, mostly Musulmans, but pretty
moeh the same in habits whether they Dushan, the Greeks to the East are Musulmans or Christians, finding Roman Empire, which had its seat at their chief pleasure in fighting, and Constantinople. Each aspires to make diverted from their battles of clan itself the ruling race, and renew the against clan, only by the prospect of long-faded glories of its remote past. raiding the Christian peasantry of the The Greeks are less sanguine than lower country. Betweeen' them and they were thirty years ago of creating districts chiefly peopled by their an Empire, which shall rule Thrace as Greek, Servian, and Bulgarian neigh- well as Greece from the Bosphorus. bors, there is no boundary, either nat- But they still dread the rise of the ural or legal; so that practically Al- Slav power, which would take from bania must be considered as a part of them lands they deem debatable, and Macedonia, just as the Scottish High- in which they form the most cultilands, though peopled by a different vated element. race and little controlled by the Stuart Each of these nationalties uses its kings, were a part of Scotland and a churches and its schools as means of potent factor of disorder in the fif- racial and political propaganda. teenth and sixteenth centuries. So the Each finds in an existing State that conditions of the Macedonian problem nucleus for an extended kingdom cannot be understood without realiz- which Italy found in Piedmont, and ing tbe restless activity and ferocious Germany found in Prussia. The Serrapacity of these wild hillmen, a race vians in Macedonia have the sympathy of fine natural gifts and some primi- and may have the armed help, of their tive virtues, but at present a scourge brethren in Servia, in seeking to exto the country.
pand the Servian kingdom. The BulEach of these elements, to which garians of Macedonia have a similar one might add the Turkish, that is, the and more energetic support from the Mohammedan part of the population Bulgarians of the Principality; and (small in the rural districts) is hostile the Greeks of the Greek kingdom to each of the others. The Vlachs are would, it is to be feared, rather see indeed too few and too backward to Macedonia Turkish, than see it either be of much account. But the Bul- Servian or Bulgarian, because in the garian is hated by the Servian, and latter case the chances of the northstill more bitterly hated by the Greek. ward extension of Greece would be The Servian and the Greek are less greatly reduced. It might seem natural in contact, but love each other no bet- to reconcile these conflicting claims by ter. The Albanian is impartial in his a partition of Macedonian territory desire to rob and murder all three sets between the three Christian elements. of Christians. Between the three But, unluckily, none of these three eleChristian races there is no difference ments is in the occupation of a wellof creed, and practically none of rit- defined definable region.
Over ual; for, though they belong to differ- considerable districts Servians ent ecclesiastical organizations, they mixed with Bulgarians, over other are all members of the Orthodox districts Bulgarians are mixed with Church of the East. Their antagonism Greeks, nor is any race disposed to is due to political rivalry. Each looks make a friendly compromise with any back to an Empire of the Middle of the others. Ages, the Bulgarians to the Tsar These ethnological data need to be Simeon and the two Asens, the Ser- stated, in order that the conditions of vians to the great days of Stephen the problem to be ultimately solved