The Lord of the Sea
M. P. Shiel
Part 5 out of 6
"Stay", interrupted Hogarth: "if you have a petition the day and
hour must be arranged by negotiation between yourself and my
Chamberlain. But surely, meantime, I may consider you my guest? Miss
Frankl and I--have met--in the world. Come, ladies--come, sirs--say
Rebekah, standing averted, flashed a look at him, reading his heart,
and Jews and Jewesses laid heads together, whispering a little,
until the Rabbi said, bowing: "We bend to your Lordship's Majesty's
most gracious will".
"Agreed, then, sir. We might now see the _Boodah_, and if you will
luncheon with me--Mr. Chamberlain! direct Admiral Quilter-Beckett to
meet me at once in the north corridor".
He rose, master of his limbs now, descended, unrobed in an alcove,
and in a corridor above the circular stair came upon Quilter-
Beckett, who, acting as guide, Rebekah's hand now resting on
Hogarth's arm, led them about the _Boodah_, now walking, now
slipping in little trains over eighty-foot rails, rolled in one
heat, laid down the vanishing length of dim-lit corridors floored
with white tiles, their frieze of majolica, with rows of ceramics;
and they saw the armouries, piles of rifles, cutlasses, pistols;
ferneries grown by electric light; great cold-storage rooms that
struck a chill, for preserving meats, butter, fruit; the doctors'
_environ_, the dispensary, and roomy hospital; watched from a
railing the working engines that fixed the _Boodah's_ position,
Hogarth here saying: "There you have a menagerie of gnome-land:
observe those two black beetles, sedately nodding; and there is
daddy-longlegs, working his legs gymnastically; and the three pairs
of gallant grey stallions, galloping grandly neck to neck; and those
two ridiculous beings, rubbing their palms together, round and
round: each preoccupied, comically solemn, busied about its own
quaint affairs--like a varied gnomeland".
And Rebekah said in a meek tone, like the hen submitting: "Yes, I
see now you say it, my Lord King".
Up stairs and down, round semicircles, up lifts, through nooks,
corridors: saw the guns, and how by hydraulics everything was done--
the hoisting of ammunition, loading, training: guns intact, guns
wrecked by the Dreadnoughts; and shimmering kitchens, which reeked a
smell of heat, and the dairy-maids, and the line of kine, and the
row of prison-doors, and the mechanism of ventilation, fans and
blowers, the drainage-system, and the dynamos for lighting, for
supplying power to motors, for heating, and for shimmering forth
rich in the search-lights; and the central ballroom, the clothes
store, the original one-ninety-sixth model, the Ambassador-region,
the steaming laundry, and the roof, where Rebekah saw her initials
on the breeze, and the vertical pop-guns under shields for dealing
with aeroplane attack, and the cream theatre, and the paymaster's
suite, and the bunkers, the Government-offices, and the tax-
receiving rooms, the telephone system, and the lady-telegraphists--
till all were tired, though half had not been seen. They luncheoned
together; in the early afternoon there was an Investiture, and she
was there; for "five-o'clock" there was a Gounod concert in the
theatre, and she sat in his box; at night the Bulgarian Ambassador
gave a ball, and she danced a gavotte with him.
When they parted a dying wind sighed his name: "_Hogarth_..."; and
when Loveday before sleeping happened to ask: "When do we set out
for London, Richard?" Hogarth with a laugh turned upon him,
replying: "When do we set out for Arcturus and the Pleiades? Do give
one time to look round him!"
The next morning Rebekah, led forward from a semicircle of courtiers
by a backing Silver Stick, approached within four feet of the
Throne, and after the protracted humiliation of her curtsey, said
ruefully: "Our party have failed, my Lord King, to obtain audience
for our humble petition till after four days".
"Is that too long?"
"We could not wait beyond to-night. Our good Rabbi, and my father's
Manager--both must hurry back, and we others with them. This being
so, _I_ appeal to Your Lordship's Majesty ".
"A _personal_ appeal?"
"Then, I grant an audience".
"Who will be here?"
"Why--you and I."
"_No_"--very low, with pressed lips.
"I am so sorry", says he: "it is the only chance I shall have; not
for long--a few minutes--I am so busy. Otherwise, you will have to
stay four days--and your poor father suffering--"
She seemed unsure now, and his hands in the uncertainty of that
moment were moist like melting ice.
"So, then, you accept", said he: "a little audience--you grant me?
Or rather, I grant you".
"When, my Lord King?"
"At three--No, what folly! At four. Will you? At four? And here?
Say at four".
He spoke leaning keenly forward; and she, with a curtsey of
They were near again, and yet far, in the _salle à manger_ at
luncheon, a function of a hundred guests at small tables, with more
of orchestra than of talk; and even as Hogarth and his train
entered, and the crowd rose, she saw his eyes, by some power, prowl
and find her.
Afterwards there were two hours to wait.
Such a heat of haste now possessed them both! Hogarth locked himself
from his attendants into his bed-chamber, and, tumbling a chaos of
clothes and uniforms upon the carpet, stumbled bitterly among them,
hunting for a cravat whose effect he remembered; wished at the
mirror that he had no moles and nose-freckles, or that his father
had turned him out rather less black; and anon a delicious chill
pang of mingled sugar and peppermint would gash his heart at the
thought: "_she consented!_" He broke glass, dropped his watch to
fragments, hissing "damn the thing!"; and about half-past three the
hands of Rebekah, too, in _her_ locked closet, were like the
scattering sirocco among powder-boxes brushes, jewel-cases, and
toilet-toys. What a hot haste was here! She too much blued her eyes,
and bruised the skin in wiping, intense the contest between poudre
blanche and poudre Rachel, violette and germandrée, she manoeuvring
among mirrors to catch each angle of view, but with a blind
impatience; and, if she wanted something, she tripped running,
breathless: such a disease of flurry, an eruption and conflagration
of haste--for nothing; yet, all the while, with a miserable sub-
feeling of the penal creeping of time.
At four Hogarth in the Throne-room alone was now afraid that he
would not be able to utter a syllable, and wished that she would not
come; then, in a minute, began to fear that she would not, and
wondered whether he was not a deluded fool ever to have dreamed it,
he walking quick, or anon listening like a thief in that half-dark:
for few lights were shining, the hall like the after-flush of sunset
just before the dark.
At four past four he was aware of a rustling train's rush down the
steps, and now was like a man with his neck on the block, awaiting
the axe. A moment afterwards she was before him, and two moments
afterwards he was collected and hot, and a man again.
"_Dear_", he whispered at her ear, leading her by the hand to an
ottoman in a near alcove.
She, in self-defence, was repellent, breathlessly saying with
galloping haste: "No--I will not sit: you sit, and I will stand
here: do as I say, Hogarth--or I repent and go: I know you, and you
know me--or you should. Our talk must be short. You say _dear_ to
me: that is very gentle, my friend; but it was not to bandy such
words that I am here--alone--with you and your strength--Hogarth. I
come as a suppliant, to implore you--firstly for the man who is my
father--and secondly for yourself, to warn you. You are said to be
about to become the sovereign of England--"
"_I_ am?"--starting where he sat obediently before her, surprised
that she should utter the purpose then forming in his mind: "witch--
"_I_ am not the witch, but an old lady in whose predictions many
Jews believe, who prophesies the return of the Jews to Palestine--
through you. Be that as it may, if it is so that you are about to
meddle with the institutions of England, oh beware, the resistence
will be terrible!"
"With respect to England I am omnipotent".
"Yes, you can starve it, but _will_ you? You won't. And listen to
your friend: there is now in London a society, enormously powerful I
believe, sworn to your destruction".
"What can they do--assassinate me?"
"Ah! who knows?"
"That would be too childish: I have sown my seed in Time, and it
will grow: two thousand little lords could hardly obliterate the
ploughing of my wrist. But you know this?"
"Richard, my father is of them".
"Ha!--I forgive him: his daughter seems to be on the other side--"
"Richard, you would not touch my hand? Ah, my friend, I warn you--!
Now--you have agitated--I have been ill--my father is of them. And
who is one of the closest associates of my father--?"
"The person known as Admiral Donald, whom _I_ know very well to be
Monsignor O'Hara. I think you might have been more--recondite--in
your choice of an admiral, Richard!"
"Ah?--you surprise me".
"But why? You once sent that man to me as a notebearer: certainly, a
singular selection. You must have known that he had been a convict--"
"I thought him innocent then!"
"But you know now--?"
"And is it not extraordinary that your ensign bears my initials,
while this man is one of your commanders?"
"I confess that I do not see the point--"
"Then you cannot know, I suppose, that it was against _me_ that his
offence was directed".
Hogarth's left lid lowered....
"But my complaint is of the present: are you not aware of the
scandal which the _Mahomet_ is now creating in the world?"
"Thrice lately whispers have reached me of unnameable iniquities
perpetrated there--Alexandria of the sixth century, Rome of the
second! I believe the rumour is widely spread in London--no woman of
the world now lands on the _Mahomet_".
"It was _you_ whom he assaulted..." Hogarth laughed and was pale at
"Yes, but observe that I must go now, my friend. I have spoken of
the things which I had in my mind: there remains--my father".
"He shall go with you".
"I thank you, my Lord King; that must be in an hour: so I say,
"I do not suppose you can dream how dark--" he went woefully.
Of which she took no notice, but with rapid speech said: "How fair
this hall is--one supposes that the art of impressions was lost with
Solomon--like some chamber under a lake at set of sun, colour
without substance, suspended, flushed--I cannot express--"
"Well, Richard, my poor friend?"
"I can't help it, you are all mixed up with my blood, don't go from
me. If you think it a sin--the Gentile--God will forgive the
charity. Come for ever--"
Now he sobbed once, and, as he sobbed, she was on her knees, in
pagan posture, at his knees. "Do not--" distractedly--"see, I kiss
your hand-do you doubt that I pity my love--as a mother has
Now were heaving breasts, a vehement fight for breaths, wild eyes,
and a live brand in the marrow.
"You will not go! I have you! In God's name, what a mad thing--!"
"My furious king--you kiss--" the short-winded _mélée_ of whispers
now suffocated in a passion of inarticulate breaths; but at that
moment one of Rebekah's chaperons, wandering out of time and place,
stood at the alcove entrance, and they, smitten into two, sprang
straight, awaked from trance, Rebekah with half a sob and half a
And two hours later Hogarth, from the roof, saw the Jewish yacht
disappear to the East, on board being the four--and Frankl.
As he descended, he threw up his head with: "Ha!--O'Hara";
announced his immediate departure with only a secretary and two
lords-in-waiting, left a mystical note for Loveday, saying that he
had decided to go alone in quest of Margaret, and went almost
secretly, only the salute informing the _Boodah_ as he steamed away.
In reality he was in haste to face O'Hara, and the yacht's bows
turned, not eastward, but southward, under forced draught, to arrive
at the _Mahomet_ in early afternoon. As her flags indicated the Lord
of the Sea absent, there was no salute, and, landing in a panama and
jacket, in the Collector's Office he gave the sign of mum, and, led
only by a blue-jacket, went spying the depths of the _Mahomet_.
In many parts, noticing a singular odour, "What is it I smell?" he
"Incense, my Lord King", the man answered.
On the fourth floor he entered the loveliest _bijou_ chapel, the
coenaculum gold-plated, altar flower-piled, frescoed roof,
"stations" in oils, where a lonesome Moorish youth slothfully swung
and swung a thurible ruby-studded: but in vestments of no _enfant de
choeur_--of an ancient Phrygian.
Another descent and Hogarth reached a region of laugh and harping:
whereupon, dismissing his guide, he tracked the music into a nook so
rare, that he stood amazed--a Court of Love, or Mahommedan Heaven,
or grot of Omar--anything old, lovely, and devil-sacred--the air
chokingly odorous, near a fountain some brazen demon--Moloch or
Baal--buried in roses, over everything roses, bounty of flowers, a
very harvest-home of Chloris, Flora in revel; and smooth youths
bearing cups for some twenty others, all garlanded, besides those on
the marble stage; and on the stage itself a scene of dancing girls,
Sevillian, Neapolitan, Algerian, mixed with masked Satyrs, which
made Hogarth pale, while at a Herod's-table buried under fruits,
wines, flowers and gold, reclined Pat O'Hara, tonsured now, crowned
with ivy and violets, gowned in a violet toga; while under a
pendulum whose swings left whiffs of incense behind lay Harris
As Hogarth descended into it, harp and dance ceased; some leapt to
their feet: but O'Hara sat still, gazing in a dead silence through
glairy eyes, while Hogarth, looking about, spied an electric button
in a couch, touched it, and soon a man in uniform stood at a door
"Who are you?" asked Hogarth.
"John Souttar, head-telegraphist, may it please your Lordship's
"Make haste: tell the First Lieutenant and the Chief Constable that
the Lord of the Sea is here".
By now all the revellers were on their feet; no sound: only, the
clicking pendulum voyaged, landed an incense-whiff, and voyaged,
Then the Lieutenant appeared, mottled and panting, and immediately
"Ah, Royds", said Hogarth: "is it practicable to flood this room
quickly with a hose?"
"I--should think so, my Lord King".
"See to it. First set guards at the exits".
He turned to the other: "Mr. Chief Constable, I give all present,
except, of course, your Admiral, into custody, on a charge of
misdemeanour on the high seas. The General Prosecutor will, in due
course, forward the indictment to your Summary Court. Have your men
here with handcuffs".
Again silence, till, in four minutes, two men appeared on the steps,
ball-nozzle in hand; upon which Hogarth said to O'Hara: "Follow me",
and as the two passed up, O'Hara tottery, care hanging on that
ponderous nether-lip, Hogarth whispered the hose-bearers: "Drown the
room well--man and woman--do not spare".
To O'Hara he said: "Lead to your suite", and, descending, they
presently stood in a bed-temple, the bed surrounded with mirrors,
and at the other end of the apartment an altar--pyx, six
unflickering candles, and flowers, with rail and reredos, and maxims
of St. Theresa.
Hogarth said: "Sleep two hours", and went out, turning the key.
But in half an hour O'Hara had started awake, sober, and, clapping
his palms over his face, burst into tears.
That Hogarth might be capable of impeachment before a Court of
Admirals, followed by death on the block, he feared; and he rolled,
groaning, tugging his tonsure-fringe, which, on the forehead, lay a
thin grey forelock, thinking: "Guilty wretch that I am! putrid,
unwholesome, hopeless, I have befouled the holiest: how richly do I
deserve to die!"; and even as he groaned and smote, his secret mind
weighed up the chances of Hogarth's action.
He rose, listened, rushed to the door, found it locked, tossed up
despairing hands, and tottered to the altar, at which he knelt, all
sighs, and dying fish-eyes, and sideward-languishing face, and weary
woe. Ah! how great the mountain of his iniquity: if he might be but
once more spared, his evil remainder of days he would bury in some
Carmelite retreat, with fastings and prayers; but no--he had too
much tempted the Eternal patience, the sword was out against him.
Yet he implored, he implored with groans: with half an eye,
meanwhile, on the door; and, having with regard to Hogarth a piece
of secret knowledge which he guarded deep for some possible
emergency and use (the fact of Hogarth's Jewish birth), as he
prayed, his brain with complete detachment worked out the question
whether he might now reveal this with advantage.
Hogarth found him kneeling, said "Get up", and O'Hara stood, leaning
upon the rail, too faint to stand unpropped, Hogarth contemplating
him, tapping the toes.
"Well, sir! I know all: your whole past".
"Red as crimson--!" went O'Hara faintly, with tossed hands.
"Red enough, Admiral. You are a bad old man: merit death".
"Ah, God knows it, my Lord King! I do assure you, I am a leprous
wretch: and I welcome death--I pray you, I pray Heaven, for it--"
"You should have it, if you were a better, or a younger, man: but I
will not stain the Empire of which you were chosen to be a stay, and
are the shame, with the blood of such as you. You are beneath
judgment: and that clemency which is our scutcheon I extend to you.
Live, therefore, and repent, O'Hara. I, however, you understand, now
turn from you for ever. And I discharge you like a menial, sir. See
to it that within six months you have your affairs regulated, and
send in your resignation to the Government".
He turned and went; and, as he disappeared, O'Hara straightened,
coolly went "H'm!", and took snuff. He lived, he lived: while there
is life there is fun.
Fumbling about, searching for nothing, all relieved and rescued, yet
stunned, he suddenly exclaimed: "What a noble fellow is my son
Hogarth!", and knelt again.
Hogarth in the same hour was away for England; and on the fourth
evening thence, the street-lamps just lit, stood before No. 11
Market Street, Edgware Road, come for Margaret; his carriage waiting
at a corner forty yards away; and though within the last hour he had
realized vividly that his voyage to the _Mahomet_ had given Frankl
time to remove her, or accomplish any devilish device in his power
with respect to her, he was now all prospect and expectancy.
The house was three-storied, mean, unlighted, with an "area"; from a
neighbouring window a woman screaming down to some playing children;
and under her a shop sending out that fishy fume which "drove
Asmodeus back to hell".
He rapped, received no answer, rapped again without reply, then
stepped down and back, looking up: and suddenly, faintly, but
distinctly, he heard her voice, high up--_singing_.
"O what a pretty place,
And what a graceful city,
Where the striplings are so gay,
And the ladies are so pretty ".
It was she! He ran and banged at the door: no reply.
Back again he stepped; and now a window on the top floor went up,
and she, putting out her head, twice beckoned him--listlessly, it
seemed, then drew in; and instantly--again--he heard her sing.
As once more he ran to the door, he discovered now that it was open,
darted into darkness, up uncarpeted stairs, making for that upper
room, vague light through grimy stair-windows guiding his
impassioned dash; and on the third floor entered a room with two
doors, beyond one of which was the room he sought: but that door was
At it he pushed, fumbled, called: "Margaret!" No reply. And suddenly
he heard her singing, not before, but behind him.
"Happy day! Happy day!
When Jesus washed my sins away "...
When he flew to the other door, and now found it, too, locked,
gradually in that gloom all colour faded from his face; and the
voice sang on: "Happy day! happy day"....
THE LAND BILL
The Manifesto's "month of grace" was passing, yet nothing had been
done, second-rate Powers awaiting the Great, while the Great,
appalled by the bigness of the demand, fussed and intrigued,
consulted, fermented and proposed: but did nothing.
But at last, on the 3rd of December, the First Lord of the Treasury
laid a Bill on the table of our Commons--at the end of an Autumn-
On the 3rd: and on the 1st the Lord of the Sea had been captured
near Edgware Road, the probability being that this Bill was brought
forward with a knowledge of that capture.
It consisted of three clauses and two schedules--called The Land
Purchase Bill; and it had only to be published to produce the
stormiest agitation ever known.
The Opposition was the Jew-Liberal-Labour party; and when the Labour
Congress (met at Manchester) denounced the measure, there occurred a
"split", a Liberal-Labour cave, the whole body of Jews, numbering
87, retiring to the Government ranks.
The Bill proposed the "purchase" of Britain from its "owners" by the
British, the price fixed being 27 times the annual value, to be paid
in settled annuities for entailed estates, and in consols for
So, then, the Government would buy London alone for 1400 millions
and Britain for 8000 millions--a bad lookout for England.
And the authors of the Bill chose a moment when Hogarth was living
on bread and poisoned water in Market Street.
It rapidly passed to Committee, and then to the Lords.
But on that night a terrifying rumour for the first time pervaded
England: that the Lord of the Sea, having come to London at the
beginning of the month, was missing, and that his person had been
claimed from our Government by the Sea under menaces.
In fact, when a week, two weeks, had passed, and not a whisper from
Hogarth, apprehension had turned into certainty in the breasts of
Quilter-Beckett, Loveday, and all: and at a hurried Council called
in the _Boodah_ on the 19th, when the date of Hogarth's landing at
Southampton was determined, and his small train-in-waiting, his
coachman, re-examined for the twentieth time, one certainty emerged:
Frankl had had time to reach England before him; and the arrest of
Frankl was demanded.
Now England in consternation almost forgot the Land Bill; Scotland
Yard ransacked Market Street: not a trace of Hogarth; it dissected
the country for Frankl: but Frankl was now in the _Mahomet_, safely
conferring with O'Hara.
The popular tempest first directed itself against the League of
Resistance: and at an attack upon its Offices in Victoria Street
during the afternoon of the 21st Viscount Reid (the Secretary), and
a girl, were killed by missiles; petitions signed by the nation
raining meanwhile upon the Prince of Wales: for, apart from the
wreck which threatened, Hogarth's popularity was at present
considerable with the masses, whose instincts suspected those above
them of knowing more of his disappearance than appeared.
On the night of the 22nd, when things had an air of revolution,
fifty-three men met in a house in Adair Street, W. (This runs
parallel to Market Street, the backs of the two house-rows facing.)
These were the warders of Hogarth: and the object of that night's
meeting was to determine whether he should die, and when, and how;
the Land Bill now awaiting the Royal Assent; and on the morrow
British high-sea trade to be ruthlessly stopped, failing news of
The room was double, with an arch in the partition, through which
ran a rough-board table surrounded with velvet arm-chairs; the floor
richly carpeted, though paper peeled from the walls; down the table
a procession of silver candlesticks and typewritten notice-papers
and agenda; the windows boarded--a second floor; and in a room near,
Hogarth, shackled hand and foot, he having been borne through a
subterranean way, made for the purpose, from the cellar in Market
Street to this Adair Street.
From eight o'clock men began to let themselves in at the two doors
in both streets, and continued to arrive till nine, when a marquis
at the table-head rose to speak, the others leaning back with
downcast eyes, nearly all pale.
The point before them was plainly put by the speaker on the
Question: viz., whether they had more to fear from the life, or from
the death, of the Lord of the Sea.
"By a strange Providence", he said, "this man is in our hands: and
we have the right to become his executioners. My Lords and
Gentlemen, the awful decision rests with you to-night".
Then, one after another, they rose, they spoke: no two views
identical; till at ten it was voted that the question be put, voting
papers went round, and presently the ballot-result was announced
amid a momentous stillness.
Twenty-eight had voted for the death, twenty-five against.
But in that minute a key was heard in the room door, and in rushed
two flushed men: Frankl and O'Hara, just arrived in London from the
sea; and Frankl burst into speech:
"I hope this is all right, my lords, my coming like this, and
bringing into your very midst a gentleman who is not one of us. When
I tell you that he is Admiral Donald of the _Mahomet_, turned away
like a servant, how does that make your lordships feel? A house
divided against itself can't stand; and this gentleman has a scheme
in his pocket--he will read it to your lordships--which will crack
up the Empire of the Sea like an egg-shell! So I do hope, my lords,
that you have not decided anything hasty about putting away Richard
Hogarth: for unless he is liberated this night, it means sure and
certain stoppage of everything tomorrow: and _that_ means my ruin,
and many another's beside--"
Now the Master called him to order, and addressed himself to O'Hara,
who, in admiral's uniform and stars, all stately bows, grave smiles,
in ten minutes had given guarantees, was a member, and in thirty had
read a memorandum of a scheme of betrayal which everyone saw to be
Then the vote of death was annulled; and when the meeting broke up
Hogarth was being lifted with bandaged eyes through the subterranean
way to Market Street, where four men deposited him near the house-
door, undid his ropes, said to him "You are free", and there he
remained twenty minutes without motion, deadly sick, then rose, and,
on finding the door, went wildly with dragged feet, tottered into a
cab, and leant brow on hand.
As he entered the porch of his Berkeley Square house, Loveday rushed
out to his knees with adoring eyes, having hardly hoped to see again
that face of Hogarth, while Hogarth patted the bowed head, saying:
"Do get me a meal, and let me hear what has been going on....Oh, I
am weary ".
And during the meal he heard all: of the Land Bill, the turmoil.
"Well, my God!" he exclaimed, "is there no drop of generous blood at
all among those people? Never again do I trust them to make their
own arrangements I When does this precious Bill have the Royal
"To-morrow, it is supposed".
"Really!"--he started: "and whereabouts is the Prince of Wales?"
"At Windsor to-night".
"Order the motor quick. I'll go".
He was soon off, and Loveday, listening to the dark story of
Margaret's appearing and singing, and vanishing, accompanied him
under a frosty moon, snow lying on village-street and hedge; but,
travelling hard, they arrived shortly after one upon a Prince who, a
wakeful man that night, sat conferring with Private Secretary and
Attorney-General, he having assented to the introduction of the Land
Bill, then been alarmed by the storm, and now was confronted with
the responsibility of either giving His Majesty's assent, and
earning execration, or refusing it, and taking a step unheard-of
since William III.
In that state of embarrassment he was, when the Lord of the Sea was
announced, and "It is with heartiest pleasure that I offer to your
Lordship's Majesty my congratulations on this re-appearance", he
said, greatly and gladly surprised, without at all seeming so.
And the two conferred till three, when a secretary, at Hogarth's
dictation, wrote a document and its duplicate: a contract between
Prince and King, giving pledges on each side, private, yet most
momentous; and each, having signed both copies, retained one.
The next evening the Clerk in the Lords uttered those unusual words:
"_Le Roy s'avisera_," and the country was thrown into transport by
the news of the Royal rejection of the Land Bill, processions
singing the National Anthem, bells ringing: and for a month the
mention of a Royal name in any assembly brought the people to their
Ministers, of course, resigned; and, as the Liberals refused office,
writs for a new House were made returnable for the end of January.
During the next month England was in a general-election turmoil; at
the same time a Land Bill in the French Chamber, and one in the
Reichstag, was thrown out: whereupon a _ukase_ from the _Boodah_
announced the raising of sea-rent to 5s. on all ships over 2000 tons
after the 1st February, the month of grace over, the "screw
Already distress in England was great, coal being at three-and-
sixpence, bread at nine pence; a cry had arisen for the Union of
Britain with the Sea; and on the 27th of January a plebiscite among
the Trade Unions resulted in an affirmative vote of five millions
out of an electorate of nine.
Now, at this time the bulletins respecting His Majesty were of a
settled depression: he lived, but languished; and it was understood
that the new Ministry's first act would be the appointment of a
Then appeared a rumour: alterations were going forward at Buckingham
Palace on a scale of splendour new to Western mansions; the Prince
of Wales had passed three days, from the 17th to the 19th, in the
_Boodah_: and the saying went that, on the night of the rejection of
the Land Bill, a compact had taken place between the Prince and the
Sea for a three years' Regency of the latter.
Excitement ensued, the matter becoming an election test: and 180
Labour Members, with 70 Liberals were returned pledged to support a
Regency of the Sea.
A definite coalition, meantime, had been announced between the Jews
and the Conservatives.
Never was election so rolled in dust and noise, in the result the
Jews having the casting vote: and if ever race was looked at
askance, it was they now by the British.
The session having been opened by Commission, a resolution passed
Lords and Commons that the Prince of Wales be empowered to exercise
the Royal Authority; whereupon the Prince at the palace, having
heard the Address, read a reply, sufficiently startling to the
country, though well foreknown to those present: he laid stress upon
the new conditions of the world--that phlegmatic eye, which had seen
so much, lifting a moment in punctuation to dwell coldly upon his
hearers, then coldly reading again; the difficulties, he said, which
he was called upon to face on behalf of His Majesty were not lightly
to be undertaken, and his fuller answer would be contained in a
proposal which he would make in the Lords as a peer of the realm.
The next night in a crowded House he read a speech distinguished by
extraordinary dignity and severity: "My lords", he said at one
point, slapping the table, though those eyes remained royally null:
"when will your lordships learn to recognize the facts of life?"
and, having proposed His Lordship's Majesty, the Lord of the Sea, to
be Regent during His Majesty's illness, such Regency not to exceed a
period of three years, he recommended a plebiscite.
No plebiscite was taken: for within some days the sense of the
constituencies was revealed, and the Leader in the Lords received
stern hints from the Liberal Leader, which damped pride: so their
lordships abstained from Westminster, their Resolution being passed
by just a quorum.
The country wondered at the ease with which the whole went off--not
knowing that those who might have led resistance had a thought, and
a prospect, inspired by one Pat O'Hara, which comforted them.
And now a Deputation of Five took boat in the _Prince George_, to
wait upon the Lord of the Sea in the _Boodah_ Throne Room, where the
Lord President read the information that they were a Committee
appointed to attend His Lordship's Majesty with the Resolutions of
"We are instructed", he read, "to express the hope which the Lords
Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons, entertain, that His
Lordship's Majesty, from his regard to the interests of His Majesty
the King, will be ready to undertake the weighty and important trust
proposed to be invested in His Lordship's Majesty, as soon as an Act
of Parliament shall have been passed for carrying the same into
He then read, and delivered, the Resolutions.
Hogarth replied, reading: "My Lords and Gentlemen, I receive the
communication which your two Houses have instructed you to make to
me with those sentiments of regard which I ever entertain for your
two Houses. Deeply impressed with the necessity of tranquillizing
the public mind throughout the world, I do not hesitate to accept
the office and situation proposed to me".
So the Deputation departs; five days later twelve British
battleships surround the _Boodah_, come to accompany the Lord of the
Sea to England; and at eleven on the morning of the 9th, his yacht,
borne in on the strong thunders of a royal salute, drops anchor in
He had set so gorgeous a standard of luxury to Europe, that no one
dreamed of making his entry into London an ordinary _fête_; and, as
the procession traversed the triumphal arches of Piccadilly, he,
swept to the gods in the lap of gallant sublimities, plumes, sabres,
showering hoofs, squad-troops, outriders, showed to the Prince
beside him and to the Czarowitz before him a miniature of Rebecca
Some streets cheered--not all much: but during the illuminated night
all London seemed to abandon itself to revelry.
The next morning Hogarth went in state to the Chapel Royal for
certificate of Communion, attended by heralds, Sergeants-at-mace,
sword-of-state, the Duke of York; and after "the service"
communicated under a canopy at the hand of the Bishop of London.
Then, on the 14th, Lords and Commons had a final conference over the
Regency Bill, when the Assistant of the Parliaments uttered the
worlds: "_Le Roy le Veult_"; and on the 15th, the swearing-in day, a
party of grenadiers with colours and fifes marched into the palace
grounds, continuously to play "God Save the King"; while yeomen and
ushers, together with servants-in-state of the Lord of the Sea,
lined the great hall and staircase, life-guardsmen lining a vista of
state-apartments ending in a Blue-velvet Room, recently decorated;
by 2.30 P.M. Privy Councillors commenced to arrive, till at 3.45
P.M. the Lord of the Sea sent Admiral Quilter-Beckett to the
President of the Council, ordering his presence; and presently was
himself seen coming up the vista, accompanied by his own household-
officers, to the Blue-velvet Room where he sat at the table-head,
the Royal personages on each hand, his own officers ranged on each
side of the entrance-arch; and now one by one entered the full-
dressed Councillors, with bows which he returned, taking seat
according to precedence--Canterbury, then the Lord Chancellor, then
York; and last came and sat a certain Mr. Forrest, Keeper of the
Hogarth then rose and said:
"My Lords: I understand that by the Act passed by your Parliament
appointing me Regent of this Empire, I am required to take certain
oaths, as prescribed by the said Act: I am now ready to take these
Whereupon rose the Lord Privy Seal, made a reverence, approached,
and read, while Hogarth pronounced after him:
"I sincerely promise and swear that I will be faithful and bear true
allegiance to His Majesty King George. So help me, God.
"I do solemnly promise and swear that I will truly and faithfully
execute the Office of Regent of the King's Empire according to an
Act of Parliament entitled 'an Act, etc.', and that I will, etc. So
help me, God".
He then subscribed the two oaths, and after him the Privy
Councillors, the Lord President first, as witnesses. It was then
delivered to the Record Keeper, who deposited it in a box, while
Hogarth presented his Lord's-Supper certificate: whereupon the Lord
President bent the knee and kissed his hand, then the Royal
personages, then the Archbishops, advancing in order on both sides.
It was a week of Hope, the turning over of a new leaf, so the spirit
of festival reigned, and was deepened when the evening papers that
day announced that a _ukase_ of the Sea had reduced rent on British
ships by 1s. 9d. per ton, and was heightened when during that and
the following nights Hogarth dispensed three millions in fêting
England: his illuminations having no resemblance to those sickly
twinklings, tremulous at their own cost, previously deemed good
enough for the jubilee-days of an empire; the people were
astonished: ample and planetary his mind, his hand right royal, and
London, bursting into light, flashed tidings of our earth to Mars.
It was incredible then that any had ever wept, or would weep again;
the bitterest foes of the Regent caught the contagion of world-gala;
Europe flocked to London; theatres were gratis; the illusion of the
comet of the final night was complete, her lurid rays sprawling 2000
feet aloft in stiff portentousness, prophesying Change, the parks
all transfigured into universes of moons, crescents, stars, jerbs,
Roman-candles, _pots de brin_, girandoles of rockets, pagodas,
marquees, each tree a net of fireflies, while from five hundred and
thirty balloons, with silent burst, snowed diverse fires.
The new reign opened with promise.
ESTRELLA, THE PROPHETESS
For three weeks a Provisional Ministry carried on the Government,
confining itself to Supply; till, on the 3rd March, the Lord Regent
succeeded in forming a Cabinet; and at 9 on the evening of the 5th
for the first time addressed himself to the country in the House of
That night the world seemed hushed to listen, the peridom of Britain
packing the Gallery with rainbow, and the peerdom those benches and
cross-benches, red as massacre and the Scarlet Woman, where thronged
580, while to Charing Cross spread the crowd without. He, from the
Throne, addressed them, and they, startled by the revelation of a
caste chaster far than Vere de Vere, and a pride far more serenely
throned than Hohenzollern, acknowledged him high-born..."Your
lordships will not fail to perceive my will to invigorate some of
our ancient epithets: thus, the First Estate of the Realm shall,
during the present Regency, be veritably 'First', and in no case
last"; anon he blew his bugle: "Let us play the man!--easy to say,
hard to do: yet it was first said by an Englishman when the doing, I
think, was hard enough, his martyr's shroud already rapt aloft in
flame: _that_ was magnanimous, my lords, I declare! _there_ was the
That same night a new Land Bill was introduced by Sir Robert
Wortley, the Prime Minister--a bill drafted, criticized, and re-
altered during two years by the legal experts of the Sea, proposing
the "purchase" of Great Britain at a price of twice the annual value
for inherited land, and seven times for land held by purchase: this
to be paid in two and seven years respectively, without interest,
lands yielding no revenue to become crown-lands from the date of the
Bill, which was called: Land Department (Creation) Bill.
It passed first reading; but the question was: would the Jews vote
for the second reading? Reluctant enough the Jewish members, but
there were rumours that the Jewish electorate were instructing their
representatives to repent and vote for.
And now spread far the League of Resistance, so did the Adair Street
Society, its secret daughter, of which Admiral Donald (O'Hara) had
now been elected Honorary Vice-Master, and whose Roll contained the
names of an extraordinary number of Territorial officers.
The Society was busy: had building four yachts, all models of the
Admiral's yacht attached to the _Mahomet_, which was called the
_Mahomet II_; every dusk companies of 25 to 40 men drilled darkly in
the back yard at Adair Street, some of them Territorial officers: in
rotation they came, they drilled, over 1000; a top room piled with
revolvers, swords, bowie-knives...
For the land-magnates laughed at the notion of submitting to the
Bill: rather, said they, "rivers of blood". The mention by Hogarth
of Ridley and Latimer they considered irrelevant; their fathers'
heroic mood was a detail: not an entail.
In secret they met. Anarchists of the reddest hue.
One night when the Bill was approaching second-reading Frankl
introduced Harris as a member; and wide-eyed stood Harris, though
still cynical, with elegant walking-stick, hat cocked, and "I sye",
he whispered, "are all these real, living lords?"
"Large as life", answered Frankl.
"Strike me dotty! The Lord said unto my lord, sit thou at my right
hand"...the reason of this introduction of Harris being a relation
which had arisen between the Army and the Lord Regent, who had been
taking a startling interest in this branch of the services, had
visited Aldershot, and held five reviews, flattering the soldier by
private notice, shifting officers. By an Order in Council of the 3rd
March, a reorganization was effected in the Army Board and
Consultative Council, of the new men the Adjutant-General being
General Sir Merrick Parr, uncle of Admiral Parr of the sea-fort
_Shakespeare_, while the Commander-in-Chief and Inspector-General
were the direct creations of the Regent, and the whole Headquarters
Staff bound to follow him through thick and thin; and that "second
reading" was near, which, if the Jews would vote against, well and
good for Adair Street, but, if not, there remained either (1) the
prompt execution of O'Hara's scheme without waiting for the four
yachts, copies of the _Mahomet II_, which were slow in building; or
(2) the knife of Harris.
But, as to (1), when three delegates from the Society had waited
upon O'Hara in the _Mahomet_ to urge immediate action, O'Hara had
replied: "No, my lords, I cannot enter into this undertaking until
preparations are complete, since the troops we send would never be
allowed to land on the forts, if they arrived in ships not
apparently our own. Your lordships cannot be more anxious than I to
rid the earth of a devouring lion like Richard Hogarth, I do assure
you; but, tut, is there nothing else meanwhile? Just let me
introduce to your lordships a little young man whom I know"--he had
But when the three delegates had gone, he had struck his brow,
exclaiming: "Wretch that I am!--that great and good fellow, the
fairest of the sons of men!...what a black depravity must be in
this heart--" he had underlooked in the mirror, and cut a face; "but
ah, Hogarth! this heart is in your net; and I loved the mother,
He had sought the altar, and that night had written piteously to
Hogarth, appealing for fresh friendship and reconsideration of his
sentence of dismissal.
So, at any rate, was Harris introduced to Adair Street, became its
chief minister, and ten days before the second-reading debate had
won, by O'Hara's recommendation, an _entrée_ into the Palace as
servant to a gentleman-usher-daily-waiter: and now he made bright
the knife of the assassin, tending its edge as a gardener the tender
sprout, the knife being his _métier_ and forte, he despising the
noisy, mediate, uncertain pistol, nor could use it, his instincts
belonging to the Stone Age. But the days passed, and he could by no
means get near to Hogarth.
One night he boldly penetrated to the royal antechamber with the
knife under his waist-band, having passed the stairs-guard by a
specious official envelope. As it was late, he thought it must be
about the Regent's bedtime, having the vaguest ideas as to royal
ways and bedtimes, Hogarth being then in a consultation with three
of the Cabinet destined to last till morning. And Harris: "Can I see
the Lord Regent?" with that lifted brow of perpetual surprise and
"You? Who are you?" asked a gentleman-in-waiting.
"That's neither 'ere nor there, if it comes to that. I'm Captain
Macnaghten's man, then".
"But what is it you want?"
"He told me to give the Regent this 'ere"--showing the envelope.
"Weally! then, give it to me".
"He said I was to give it to the Regent's self".
"Then, go to blazes quickly, will you? and let Captain Macnaghten
know fwom me that he has been dwinking".
Harris could not penetrate the ten-fold barrier; but he lay in wait;
watched from some coign every Royal exit and entrance, careful that
Hogarth never saw his face; and he cherished the knife-edge.
One night, four days before the debate, he stood by the Green Park
railings, listless, smoking, when--he started: saw a hurried figure
come out--face muffled--Hogarth!--alone.
Hogarth walked a little, entered a cab; Harris, in another, shadowed
Down Piccadilly, the Hammersmith Road, into the Addison: Hogarth
alighted; Harris followed.
Now, at this time Hogarth had a spy, who presented him reports of
the doings of Rebekah Frankl--a species of literature which the
Regent found agreeable; and, as for two days Rebekah had, for some
reason, been at a villa of Addison Road, this escapade of the Lord
Regent was motived by his hope of catching there some glimpse of
her, the house being small, he having seized his first chance of
secret escape from state-affairs near midnight: and behind him, like
the shadow of death, stole the assassin.
Hogarth, going soft up to the house, leaned aside from the frontage
steps to peer; but Venetian blinds barred him from the least sight
of the interior, though he could hear sounds, strange sounds, as of
wailing; and, as the villa was in the midst of quite a spacious
ground, well grown with trees and shrubberies, he stole round to the
back, peered into an open door level with the garden, and within saw
a doorway of twilight in the midst of darkness; had hoped to see a
servant, who might talk gossip, or even contrive him sight of the
Sacred Body; had ready bribe in hand: but nobody there. So, after
some hesitation, he entered; and Harris, just then come to the
house-corner on tiptoe, discerned him go in, ran on hot bricks to
the door, and now distinctly saw Hogarth, who had passed through a
kitchen, standing on three wooden steps before a doorway which
framed a faint light in the room beyond.
On which a shivering of eagerness, quick as winking sheet-lightning,
shook Harris' right knee.
Hogarth, meantime, having seen the chamber before him empty, in his
headlong way had entered, and the guess now in Harris' mind was
this: "It's a girl: a night out"....
He hesitated, Hogarth being once within the house and lost to him,
but after some minutes dared to follow.
Hogarth, meantime, had seen that the light came from a death-taper,
with which was a vessel of water for ceremonial purification, and a
napkin, here being all the preparations for _tahara_ (washing); and
suddenly, in a near room, arose the clamorous dole of _shivah_ (the
seven mourning-days), Rachel weeping for her children, because they
are not: a Jew was dead: "shema, Yisrael...": and this explained
Rebekah's stay there, for the bereaved may not leave the house. A
peer at the bed--a covered face--pierced him with a compunction like
shame: here was _kodesh_, and he a desecrator with his earthy
passion: so he turned to beat a retreat by the way he had come--when
a faint sound that way, made by Harris; and, instead, he leapt
lightly through a window five feet above the garden.
Some moments later Harris, entering on prowling all-fours, and
seeing the bed-clothes hang immediately near, stole under; waited:
no sound save the singsong lament; and "O Gawd", thought he, cynic
even in his palest agitation, "there shall be weeping and wailing
and gnashing of teeth"....But that Hogarth had not come to wail and
gnash he felt convinced: if he heard no sound above him, that might
be because of the sounds around; so he crawled barely out, and,
kneeling, put up a most cautious groping hand, the bed being in the
darkest part of the room; someone there: and swiftly as a dolphin
twists to dart and snap, his knife was in a breast and instantly
ready to strike its expected bedfellow.
But the breast was alone, the breast of Estrella, the Prophetess,
four days dead.
Harris snatched off the face-cloth, peered upon a noble old visage,
fixed now in trance, and said: "Well, I'm--"
Now he ran, but in the kitchen stopped wild-eyed. It I might be
murder-he was not certain; at least it was out-rage, and he might be
traced: there was the cabman who had brought him--his absence from
the Palace---"Bah! it can't be proved...." But still, if he were
even arrested, and Hogarth got to hear of his presence about the
Court--that would spoil all. He listened: all that part of the house
a settled solitude, the servants themselves sitting _shivah_; and
back he ran, seized upon the little old body, not now stiff, _rigor
mortis_ having passed, saw that the sheet was unstained, and
snatched her away out to the bottom of the garden where shrubbery
and holly-hedge formed a jungle.
Now he set to dig with hissing haste; and, even as he hissed and
digged, he talked without pause, envenomed, heaping her sanctity
with insult: "Old cat you...dust to dust and ashes to ashes, it
is....What you want to do that for? under you go in the cold, cold
sod....Who arst you to put your little finger in the pie? There's
another one for you, fair in the gullet! Now take her up tenderly,
lift her with care-and down she goes"....
Such were Estrella's _kaddish_ and "House of Life"....As he had
only the knife, and the work was slow, and in the midst of it an
outcry from the house, the body missed, he stopped, listening, but
without acute fear, knowing it improbable that they could dream of
seeking in the grounds, and as a matter of fact their minds were a
mere paralysis of holy wonder; so presently he had the little body
in a two-foot grave, arranged surface and dead leaves to
naturalness, leapt a wall, and got away.
Never did act of assassin have result so momentous: for though the
predictions of Estrella had lately spread far among upper-class
Jews, it was only on the day after her burial by Harris that her
fame reached to each Jew under the sun.
It was given out that divine confirmation had been vouchsafed to her
prophecies by the snatching of her body, like Enoch's, into Heaven,
or by its burial, like Moses', by Jahvah: for when no explanation
but one is extant, the brain fastens upon that, and embraces it.
And as Estrella, who, in life, had guarded her hard sayings for the
few, had left papers revealing for her whole race what she had
dreamed, like wildfire now ran her message among the Chosen.
Now Temple and Synagogue were crowded: rabbi and pawnbroker and
_maggid,_ clothes-man and _takif,_ were infected; and there spread
the cry (for the most part meaningless): "To Zion!"
It may be that the Jewish electorate were now too agitated with the
near probability of Shiloh to interest themselves in any mundane
question: at all events, it was during that rage that the
Government-whips announced the certainty that the Jewish members
would vote against the Land Bill.
Hogarth first heard it pretty late at night from the Prime Minister;
and "Ha!-the Jews", he went: "so they have dared, these men? I never
thought that they would! May God deliver me from His ill-chosen
"And ill-choosing, it seems, my Lord King".
"Quite so! But, Sir Robert Wortley, is it supportable this thing?"--a
brand now on his brow--"an alien race in Britain opposing thus
daringly not _my_ will only, but the plain will of the people? And
have I the air of one who will support it? Rather, I assure you,
would I govern without a Parliament! But stop--perhaps I shall be
found capable of dealing with these mischievous children of Israel.
Give me a night: and to-morrow at noon come, and hear. Of course,
this second-reading business must be postponed ".
And deep and wide, in lonely vigil, wrought the Regent's thought
that night, till morning: of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, of
tendencies, histories, soils, ports, railways, possibilities, race-
genius, analogies, destinies; of Rothschild and I Solomon; of Hirsch
and Y'hudah Hanassi; of the Jewish Board of Guardians, Rab Asa, and
the Targum on the Babylonish Talmud; of the Barbary Jews, the
Samaritans, and Y'hudah Halevi; of the Colonial Bank, and the
When at dawn he threw himself dressed into bed, he had resolved upon
a very great thing: their expulsion from England, Pole and
Hungarian, Baron and coster, and the little child at the breast, ten
His eyes had closed toward sleep when, with a start, he remembered a
prophecy uttered one evening in the _Boodah_ Throne-room, and these
words: "Richard, deal gently with my people...."
Two nights later, with a retinue, he hurriedly left England-for
THE ORDER IN COUNCIL
Three days before that setting-out, O'Hara's appeal for pardon had
come under the Regent's notice: and as he had read, his eyes--once
more--had softened, as he had thought: "It would be a great crime to
forgive him the long list; but never mind--we will see"....
And he had meant to reply, but suddenly the Jews had swept O'Hara
quite out of his mind.
He was away hardly two weeks: and when he returned, Palestine and
western Armenia were his, all his acts of this period bearing
resemblance in largeness and rage to the incredible forced-marches
If one spreads apart the first two fingers, he sees exactly the
country ordained by Hogarth for modern Israel: the first finger
Palestine, looking upon the Mediterranean; between the fingers, the
Syrian Desert; the second (longer) finger that Mesopotamia, "the
cradle of our race" between the Euphrates and the Tigris, this
opening upon the Persian Gulf, and the trade of the East.
The then population of this area was only 300,000 (Arabs, Turks,
Jews, Greeks) in the Palestine finger, omitting Russian pilgrims to
Jerusalem; while in the Mesopotamia finger--all that Hinterland of
Palestine called "Turkish Armenia"--not 320,000 Armenians had been
left by Khurdish rapine and Turkish atrocity: we may therefore say
that the whole was an uninhabited land waiting for inhabitants.
The only things needed (according to modern notions) to make it
immediately colonizable were roads and railways, and the Regent had
not returned to Dover when both were making in Palestine, the
Sultan, left thunderstruck with a chronic eye of scare by that
visit, "lending his co-operation", consoled meanwhile by a
Conversion Loan of thirteen millions out of Sea-revenue; to which
add a grant-in-aid of fifteen millions to the emigrants, and the
remark of Hogarth's Chancellor about this time becomes intelligible:
"Your Lordship's Majesty's expenditure is exceeding revenue by 50
per cent"; so that Beech's was soon realizing considerably in bonds
over Europe, and Hogarth temporarily poor--had stubbornly refused
any Parliament-grant for the Regent's personal establishment.
And suddenly from the blue fell his bolt: at that same table of the
Regent's oath-of-office assembled eighty-seven Jewish lords and
gentlemen at noon of the 24th March, the first day of the month
Nisan in the Jewish year 5699, ordered, each by himself, to the
Royal presence; and the Regent, with the gravest eyes, both palms
pressed on the table, in an embarrassment of compunction, rose and
spoke with them--Rothschild and merchant-prince, Chief Rabbi,
Manchester Chief Minister, Heads of the Alliance Israélite, Anglo-
Jewish Association, Jewish Board, Jewish philanthropists, writers;
and they could not believe themselves awake.
He began by speaking of himself, the fact of his power, with such
graciousness, that all were affected, not by the power, but by the
gentleness which wielded it: Providence had given him the disposal
of the earth, and it was for him to do his poor best--a lonesome,
sorrowful post; so that talking could never alter in anything the
main point; but it could modify details: and he had called them to
invoke their great administrative gift and expert counsel; he told
of the exodus which he designed, the home which he had prepared
them; recommended a Sanhedrim of Chief Jews to form the Provisional
Government of the new State, with the Chief Rabbi as its head under
the title of Shophet (Judge); would offer a contribution of
£ 15,000,000 from his Exchequer toward an emigration and colonizing
fund, and doubtless emigration bureaus would be at once established
at principal centres; he would also hand over a Deed of Gift of this
larger Judaea as between the Sea and the Jewish people to the
Central Authority as soon as established; also, duplicates of the
text of the Treaty as between the Sea and the Ottoman Empire. What
he gave he gave, he assured them, with a free heart, without
condition; except, of course, one: that no inch of the new land
should ever "belong" to any particular Jew: for he gave, as Nature
gave the earth, not to a hundred, but to all, living and to be born,
occupiers to pay rent, not to any adventurer calling himself
landlord, but to the Central Authority, representing all. This done,
he would invoke with confidence upon their able race the blessing of
In tones so mellow did he utter himself, that for many minutes
stillness reigned, every face pale.
Until a baron stood up with ashen under-lip, to say that such a
scheme, it seemed to him, must remain for ever abortive, unless
enforced by Act of Parliament--
But Hogarth checked him quick.
"No, my lord, not by Act of Parliament: the how your lordship may
leave to me. I dare say you will see it in this evening's papers".
It was by an Order in Council!
* * * * * * *
"DECLARATION of the Court of Great Britain respecting the Order in
"At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 24th day of March, his
Lordship's Majesty, the Lord Regent, in Council.
"WHEREAS His Lordship's Majesty was pleased to declare in the name
and on behalf of His Majesty the King on the 23rd day of March: THAT
if at any time, after the expiration of the three months following,
any of the hereinafter mentioned trades, occupations, pursuits, or
acts, shall be carried on or done within the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland by any person being a person coming within the
sense of the term "Jew" as hereinafter defined, THEN and thereafter
such person shall be liable to the pains and penalties hereinafter
* * * * * * *
No Jew might own or work land, or teach in any Cheder or school, or
be entered at any Public School or University, or sign any stamped
document, or carry on certain trades, or vote, or officiate at any
public service, and so on: parentage, not religion, constituting a
"Jew". Through Britain this piece of Russian despotism sent a wave
of quiet gladness, and an epidemic of jest broke out, in club,
factory, "Lane", and drawing-room: "You hurry up--to Jericho!"
became the workman's answer to a Jew; it was remarked that the
chimney of train and steamship would furnish a new pillar of cloud
by day, and pillar of fire by night, to go before the modern Exodus;
they were little to be pitied, for even Heaven was their mortgagor
in land, with promise to pay--the Promised Land; a syndicate would
be formed to "pool" milk and honey, and either Sharon or Salem would
become the new Get-O at any price; being a rather Peculiar People,
they would call the new Temple "the 'Ouse" (of Prey-ers), and make
contango-day coincide with Passover....But let him laugh that is of
a merry heart: as for Israel, with weary breast and hunted stare he
sandalled his foot for the final Exodus: yet not as them without
hope. Already--some days before the Order in Council--the
disappearance of Estrella's body, her daring prophecies, had led to
the embarkation of 700 Jews for Palestine; and when the Regent's
Edict gave startling confirmation of her prediction of "the Return",
in many a million hearts thrilled the certainty: "the Day of the
Lord is nigh!"
And with that their stoicism and organizing strength, they mutely
turned to follow the finger of Destiny: their _takifs_ (rich men),
hard upon the unchosen, were, as usual, liberal to their own, the
fund swelled, and a Committee left England for the accumulation of
stores and implements; at the same time two Parliament Bills were
passed in two sittings, empowering the purchase by Government of
land "owned" by Jews on Land Bill terms, and quickening the
machinery for the collection of debts due to Jews.
Whereupon, "You see", said the Chief Rabbi, "he drives us out: but
he makes us aprons--if only of fig-leaves--to cover us. Let us bow
to his rod, and thank him, and go: he is God's Minister".
So they went: the world's mercantile marine having been summoned,
sea-ports were turned into caravansaries of gabardine and ear-lock:
the Exodus began.
In the midst of which it came to the knowledge of the Regent that
the house of Frankl was making ready for departure.
And now Hogarth rebelled against Heaven: self-forgetfully he did his
best, and it returned and struck him dead: for what good, he
thought, would his life do him, she always in Asia, he in Europe?
He wrote to her, a passionate hotch-potch of command and grovelling
supplication: if she went, he would curse her; would go mad; would
blaspheme God; would throw up everything; would die.
He had promised to go down to Oxford to receive a degree, and as up
to the time of his departure she had not replied, he went half-
unconscious of himself and those about him.
Now, upon Adair Street the Expulsion had brought despair, the
second-reading now assured, the Jews' vote over, and new writs
issued; the second-reading debate was actually in progress at that
date of the Oxford visit; and though the four yachts, copies of the
_Mahomet II_, were being rapidly put together, the Bill, if at all
pressed, must get through before they could be ready; nor could the
House of Lords long delay its passage.
There remained Harris, so far ineffectual, but not therefore
hopeless: so he, spurred, went down to Oxford.
But what Harris could not do was to get near to Hogarth: his task
was, as it were, to pluck Venus from the firmament; but he mused, he
mused upon her, with musing astrologic eye, with grand patience,
fascinated by her very splendours, not without hope. When at 8 P.M.
a banquet was served to 250 guests in the Radcliffe Library, the
upper gallery being open to a crawling public to see the lions feed,
Harris, watching thence the unattainable under the blue of the
canopy--blue always in honour of the Sea--thought within himself:
"Ah, Mr. 76, you've got it all, ain't you?--for the time being. But
'ow'd you feel if I had a pistol now? Gawd! I can just see him
nicely curl and kick. Worse luck, I can't shoot a bloomin' 'ouse".
But the opportunity was so exquisite, that he resolved to try--the
exit reached, would run, get a pistol, and return; but at the door
itself a hand touched his shoulder, and, with a twist of guilty
scare, he saw--O'Hara.
"Good Gawd!" he whispered, "what you want to startle anybody like
that for? Don't you know that the wicked flea pursueth every man,
but the righteous shall escape his filthy snare?"
"What are you doing here, boy?" asked O'Hara.
"Thick-head! ain't I down 'ere after this precious Mr. 76?"--for
Hogarth, if Monarch of the Sun, would have remained for Harris only
a glorified 76, Colmoor being for him the reality of the universe,
all else mirage, such stuff as dreams are made of.
"Well", said O'Hara, "come with me: want to talk to you"--he just
come from the _Mahomet_ through Spain and France, drawn to Hogarth
as moths to a candle, his petition for pardon not yet answered; and
he assumed that Hogarth's wrath still blazed, though, in fact,
answer was only delayed by competition of greater interests, Hogarth
having forgotten O'Hara; at any rate, O'Hara, with shrinking qualms,
had come to Oxford, thinking: "I will try and get at him for one
more talk--I am not afraid of your eyes, my son: tut! I've seen the
great brow in a prison-cap. And the haughty beast still loves old
Pat at bottom, I do declare. Be bold, be bold, but not _too_
bold....Well, I will! And, if I perish, I perish, and he perishes,
too, so help me, God"....
And to Harris, walking by the towing-path, he said: "No, boy, don't
you. Not now. Tut!--those lords: they are only making you their
tool. Don't you understand? Hogarth is robbing from them the land
which they have robbed from the British people, and they naturally
wish to murder him: but what have _you_, or I, to do with that? Let
the thieves fight it out between them, while we enjoy ourselves, if
we can. Weren't we happy in the _Mahomet_, boy--we two? Didn't you
roll whole weeks drunk? That was better than Colmoor, eh, Alfie? And
didn't I have my incense, my grapes, my little Circassian, and ten
thousand pounds in yellow gold a year? Wasn't that all right? Well,
we may have it again!--not in the _Mahomet_, perhaps, but somewhere.
Do nothing--not yet: till I give the word. If you _must_ kill, get a
dog, or a horse, or an obscure old man, not the Regent of England--"
"Dirty old swine!" cried Harris, angry, "'aven't I forbid you again
and again from making game of me? You're doing it now! You just try
that on, and go up thou bald-head, it _is_!"
"But is this understood between us?"
"Old duffer! you are one thing to-day, and another thing to-morrow:
there's no knowing how to tyke you. You're such a sinful old
'ypocrite, that you play-act before yourself, I do believe. What is
it you do mean? You myke anyone sick of you; your incense and your
burnt sacrifices are an offence unto me. This Mr. 76 once put a
knife into me, and I mean to put another into him: 'ow's that?"
"'Ow about your sweet friend, Frankl? I'm under contract with him,
"Better put the knife into Frankl".
"Into the pair of you, it strikes me!"
"Well, if you make the least attempt upon Hogarth now, you get not
"Bah! shut that--!"
But the threat won sullen consent; and when after the Banquet the
Oxford guests had driven to see the illuminations, spoiled by
boisterous Spring-winds, and when the Regent returned to his
chambers, he caught sight of O'Hara amid the throng that lined the
stair; upon which, after stepping up past, he stopped, twisted
round, to say: "You, Admiral Donald?"
"If I might speak ten minutes with your Lordship's Majesty--"
Those bold eyes of O'Hara dropped.
"Well", said the Regent, "I will see. Come to-morrow--about five,"
and went on up.
The next morning the Degree was conferred in the theatre, Doctor of
Common Law--"an appropriate one", the Master of Balliol remarked,
"though 'Surgeon' would perhaps be the _mot juste_"; and thus at
last Hogarth donned cap-and-tassel, though not Frankl's--a livery
which drew from Harris the reflection: "Sweet beauty!--in his
mortarboard". The nip upon the brow of the college-cap peak
resembled the nip of the Scotch prison-cap, awaking memories: but
the symbolism was different.
Meantime, the Regent's eye wandered, madness and folly in his heart,
and fear, till at four a letter came, he having left Loveday at
Buckingham Palace with instructions to open letters and send the
She had written:
"What you can expect of me I am unable to conceive. Have you not
expelled me? Let us be worthy of our long friendship, and 'play the
man'....'My exaltation to afflictions high'....With prayers for
you, I say good-bye: and will remember.
Loveday had added: "She left London at noon for Southampton. Purchas
followed to spy. Machray's other detective waits in Palace for
As to the dinner in Christ Church Hall, and the Ball, which were to
end the program of this last day, at four-thirty the news spread
that the Regent had been taken ill.
"Have you not expelled me?"...Was she angry? Did _she_ not know
that he meant well? Hogarth, breaking into a rage, leapt up, with,
"I swear to God that not one step does she move out of this country--!"
and rushed to a bell: a gentleman-usher came.
"What about going?"
"All will be ready in fifteen minutes, my Lord King".
"I feel bad: say ten minutes; tell the Lord Chamberlain".
"Yes. I might mention--did your Lordship's Majesty grant a ten
minutes' audience to Admiral Donald for this hour?"
"_Who_? Yes, I think--Just kick him down the stairs! Or no--say I
may see him some day".
This message, as the usher dashed through, was faithfully dropped at
O'Hara's consciousness; and O'Hara said: "Hoity-toity...!"
Bent-backed he descended to the Quadrangle, with a sense of defeat,
rebuff, contumely, rage, but quite sprightly said to Harris, waiting
beyond the Gateway: "Well, boy, how can we make a night of it? I
feel that way".
"Seen Mr. 76?"
"Tut, no. Sharpen up that knife for his throat, boy!"
And Harris exclaimed: "Another chynge! Strike me silly!--what did I
sye? Give me a new 'eart, O Lawd, it _is_--you grey-haired old
duffer. Chopping and chynging, always the syme--to your old wife
Jyne. I'd be ashamed of myself in your plyce. But sharpen up the
knife, it _is_".
Late the same night the Regent received at the Palace a telegram
about Rebekah: She had travelled alone to Southampton, where a
landau at the station had awaited her, in which she had driven to a
country-house near the Itchen named "Silverfern", two miles from
Bitterne Manor, in which lived an elderly gentleman, Mr. Abrahams,
ark-opener and scroll-bearer in the Synagogue, with his wife and two
sons. The passage of these, and of Rebekah, was booked by the
_Calabria_, Jewish emigrant-ship, to sail in four days.
Hogarth no sooner heard these tidings than he tumbled into crime:
resolved to kidnap Rebekah; to break his own law for his own behoof:
one of the basest acts of a King.
He had four days: and by the end of the second four men lay in wait
round "Silverfern", one a sea-fort sub-lieutenant, one a detective,
and two others very rough customers: a cottage having been hired by
them for the reception of Rebekah in a dell a mile higher up the
But something infects the world; and gravity badgers the bullet's
trajectory; and a magnetic "H" disturbs the needle; and "impossible"
roots turn up in the equation; and the finger of God is in every
Hence, though the four ravishers lay in wait, and actually effected
a seizure, the Regent did not get his girl.
None of the four had ever seen her: but as there was no young lady
except her at "Silverfern", that seemed of no importance, so she had
been only described to them as dark and pretty.
But on the night after Rebekah's arrival, there came to "Silverfern"
a new inmate: Margaret Hogarth.
_Her_ passage, too, was booked to Palestine.
For Frankl had said: "In expelling the Jews, he shall expel his own
sister. Oh, that's sweet, after all!"
At this time Frankl's interest in Land Bill and England was dead,
two interests only remaining to him: so to realize his share in the
Western world as to reach Jerusalem loaded with wealth; and also,
not less intense, to hurt Hogarth, to outwit him, to cry quits at
It was hard--Hogarth being set so high; but he invoked the help of
the Holy One (blessed be He): and was not without resource.
Why had Hogarth never had him seized, racked? What restrained the
Regent _now_? That was a question with Frankl. Hogarth might say,
even to himself, that Frankl was vermin too small to be crushed,
that he waited for his sister from God; but lately the real reason
had grown upon Frankl: it was because Hogarth _was afraid_ of him!
afraid that Frankl, if persecuted beyond measure, might blurt out
the Regent's convict past, and raise a sensation of horror through
the world not pleasant to face. Harris, O'Hara, Rebekah and Frankl
alone knew that past, and the motives for silence of the first three
were obvious; nor had Frankl whispered that secret even to his own
heart in his bed-chamber, conscious of his own guilt in the matter
of the Arab Jew's death, fearing that, if the wit and power of
Hogarth were given motive to move heaven and earth, the real facts
might not be undiscoverable: then would Frankl be ground to fine
powder by the grinders. But if he was going to Palestine, what
Also, there was Margaret: she should go out as a Jewess.
She arrived at "Silverfern" in the charge of a Jewish clerk, and the
Abrahams received her as an afflicted orphan, committed to Frankl by
her father; she, like Rebekah, to go under their care.
Well, the evening before the departure, Mr. and Mrs. Abrahams, their
two sons, Rebekah and Margaret, all go for a stroll--about nine
o'clock, that morning one of the four ravishers having been to the
house on some pretence, seen Margaret with Mrs. Abrahams under the
porch, and noted her well, her grey tailor-gown, her brooch, her
singing; and now, as all walked out under the moon, they were
watched, the watchers, surprised at the presence of _two_ young
ladies, concluding that the smaller--Rebekah--must have arrived
later: so upon the large and shapely form of Margaret their gaze
fastened, as the party passed near their hedge of concealment,
Margaret then remarking: "My name is Rachel Oppenheimer--" and Mrs.
Abrahams with gentle chiding answering her: "No, be good: your name
is Ruth Levi".
For during two years at the Jewish Asylum at Wroxham they had tilled
into her shrieking brain, "Now, be good: your name is Rachel
Oppenheimer", and one day she had said: "My name _is_ Rachel
Oppenheimer", and had been saying it ever since.
In fact, there was a real Rachel Oppenheimer, a dependent of
Frankl's, at Yarmouth, who was rather mad, and when it had been
necessary that Margaret should be out of the way in order to secure
Hogarth's conviction, two doctors had examined this Rachel
Oppenheimer, and given the legal certificates by means of which
Frankl had put away Margaret; and she during two years of sanity in
an atmosphere of lunacy had screamed for pity, till one morning she
had shewed the stare, the unworldly rapture, and had started to sing
her old songs.
After which, Frankl, hearing of it, and touched by some awe, had got
her out, and kept her in one retreat or another.
But in all her madness was mixed some memory of his devilish heart,
and every fresh sight of him inspired her with panic, she in his
presence hanging upon his eyes, instant to obey his slightest hint:
hence her beckoning down to Hogarth from that window in Market
Now, on this last night of England the Abrahams party strolled far,
two days like Summer days having come, on hedge and tree now
tripping the shoots of Spring, the moon-haunted night of a mild
mood: so from "Silverfern" lawns they passed up a steep field
northward, down a path between village-houses, and idled within a
pine-wood by the river-side.
The moon's glow was like one luminous ghost: and buttercup, daisy,
snowdrop, primrose gathered Margaret, vagrant, flighty, light to the
winds that wafted her as fluff, and tossed them suddenly aloft, and
back they came to be tangled in her bare hair; and now she was a
tipsy bacchante, singing:
"Will you come to the wedding?
Will you come?
Bring you own bread and butter,
And your own tea and sugar,
And we'll all pay a penny for the Rum".
"Poor Ruth!"--from Rebekah, an arm about her waist.
"There is such a huge pool which is wheeling", said Margaret, gazing
at it with surprise, "and it goes hollow in the middle: my goodness,
it does wheel! and there is a little grey duck in it ranging round
and round with it, and this little grey duck is singing like an
"Do you know where we are going to?" asked Rebekah: "to the land of
our fathers, Ruth, after all the exile in this ugly Western world;
and it is he who sends us, the fierce-willed master of men".
"My name", said Margaret, "is Rachel Oppenheimer"; and immediately,
wafted like a half-inflated balloon which leaps to descend a
thousand feet away, she sang:
"Happy day! Happy day!
When Jesus washed my sins away..."
Then, woe-begone, she shook her head, and let fall her abandoned
hand; and Rebekah, speaking more to herself: "Did you never hear of
Hogarth, the King, Ruth? or see him in some dream in shining white,
with a face like the face in the bush which burned and was not
But now Margaret laughed, crying out: "Oh, there's a man riding a
shorthorn bull that has wings; white it is: and up they fly, the
bull pawing and snorting, all among the stars. Oh, and now the man
is falling!--my goodness--"
She stood still, gazing at that thing in heaven.
"Well, what has become of the man, dear?" asked Rebekah.
"I can't make out....But I should like to marry that man".
"Ah, if wishes were fathers, we should all have babies, Ruth, to say
"Oh, look--!" cried Margaret.
A rabbit had rushed across a path ahead, and she ran that way beyond
a bend....When Rebekah followed she had disappeared.
On Rebekah's outcry all set to search wood, path, river--she was
gone; but after five minutes a voice a long way off in the wood,
"O what a pretty place,
And what a graceful city...."
on which the two youths flew toward the sound, and presently the
rest, following, heard a shout, a cry, then silence, till one of the
young men came running back, his face washed in blood: he had seen
some forms, and, as he had approached, been struck on the brow, his
brother felled. When all came to where the brother lay insensible,
no sign of Margaret; nor could villagers and police, searching
through the night, find her.
She had gone without surprise with her four captors, who had carried
her to a cottage of boarded-up windows: and the same hour Hogarth
had the news.
The next morning the four received detailed instructions at the
village _poste restante_: the lady-attendant at the cottage was to
ask the prisoner if she would go to London, try to persuade her,
and, if she consented, make her sign pledge of honour (enclosed) to
go without any attempt at escape during three days.
The men were surprised: for that Margaret was deranged they had seen
at once, and supposed that the Regent must know it: what, then,
could her pledge do? Their business, however, was to obey: and when
Margaret was asked: "Will you go quietly to the Palace in London
with us?" she answered: "Yes!" and sang:
"Here we go to London-town:
See the King with his golden crown,
By noon the Abrahams and Rebekah were being tugged out of harbour,
to the hand-wavings and god-speeds of seven emigrant-boats by the
quay; but it was not till five that the Regent's emissaries could
obtain a special train on the thronged lines; and not till after
seven did they arrive with Margaret at the Palace-gates.
Now, that night the Lord Regent and the Prince of Wales were
attending a banquet at the Guildhall, given in honour of sea-rent
reduction on British ships, and at the moment when Margaret arrived
Hogarth, already _en route_, thinking of Rebekah, muttered: "By now
she is here!"
But since Frankl, on getting news of the disappearance of Margaret,
had at once conjectured the hand of Hogarth, as Margaret was being
handed from the cab at the Palace-gates, she saw two terrible eyes,
and, snatching her hand free, flew screaming down the street--eyes
of Frankl, who, conjecturing that hither she would be brought, had
taken stand there half the afternoon, knowing precisely the effect
upon her of the sight of his face; and said he: "You see, you
haven't got her yet--though you _shall_ have her to your heart's
As she could only run southward or northward, he had posted two
motor-cars, one containing a clerk to south, the other Harris, to
north, so that, as she ran, one or other should catch her, hustle
her in, and dash away.
In fact, she ran north, right into the arms of Harris, her surprised
guardians still ten yards behind; and "Quick!" hissed Harris, "come
with me, or 'e'll 'ave you!" and was off with her.
Upon which Frankl drove to the Market Street house, where he found
Harris and Margaret; and again, with screams, she sought to fly,
though her first terrors gave place to a quiet subservience after
some minutes of his presence.
"Oh Lawd!" said Harris, "she started singing in the car, you know.
Sing me songs of Araby, it _is_. Enough to give anybody the sicks".
"You see this gentleman here?" said Frankl to Margaret.
"Yes", she whispered: "oh my!"
"Well, it so happens that very likely you are going to live in the
same house as him--a big Palace with all gold and silver, where the
King with his crown lives, and all. So while you are there, I want
you to be his friend as if it was myself, and do everything he tells
you, same as myself, in fact. Do you see?"
"Yes", she whispered, her large form towering above Frankl's, yet
awe of him widening her eyes.
"What's your name?" said he.
"My name is Rachel Oppenheimer", said she.
"All right: come up and dress".
She followed him up to a back room, where was a lamp, a glass, etc.,
and on an old settee evening-dress complete, shoes, roses, head-
"Now", said Frankl, leaving her, he, too, in evening-dress, "I give
you ten minutes to rig yourself out in that lot: a second more, and
you catch it".
And in fifteen minutes they two were in a cab, _en route_ for the
Guildhall, Frankl, who had invitations for himself and daughter,
saying: "You understand? you keep your eye fixed upon me the whole
time--never mind about eating--and when I hold up my finger _so_,
you rise and give them a little song...."
It was a function intended to be memorable, the Lord Regent going in
state, attended by 150 Yeomen, King-at-Arms, six heralds and all
Heralds' College, to be met at Temple Bar by my Lord Mayor, that day
made a baronet, with his Sheriffs and Aldermen on horseback; the
Guildhall in blue velvet, the platform at the east end bearing rows
of squat gold chairs, while a canopy of deep-blue velvet, lined with
light-blue sarcenet, dropped ponderous draperies, tied back with
gold ropes, over the floor; on the canopy-front being Sword and
Sceptre, the Royal Crown of Britain, and the Diadem of the Sea; the
canopy table and the other looking like a short and a long wine-
banquet of the Magi in Ophir: present being members of the British
Royal House, Ambassadors to Britain and the Sea, the two
Archbishops, Ministers, the Speaker, Officers, Fort-Admirals, the
Regent's Household, the chief Nobility, the City personages.
Farthest from the short royal table, near the foot of the long,
where the dishes were _kosher_ for a Jewish colony, sat Frankl, and
opposite him Margaret; and that face of Frankl was pinched and worn.
He prayed continually: "May God be my Rock and my High Tower; may
the Almighty be my Shield this night...." while in two minutes
Margaret had begun to be a wonder to her neighbours--heaved sighs,
threw herself, beat plate with knife, hummed a little, yet conscious
of wrong-doing, her eyes fixed upon Frankl.
"Oh, my!" her sigh heaved mortally, head tumbling dead on shoulder.
"Are you--unwell?" asked a startled neighbour, all shirt-front, eye-
glass and delicacy.
"I see a long table with gold plates", she whined pitifully, "on
every plate an eyeball dying...."
Frankl controlled her with a glance of anger.
And in the second course after turtle, with a fainting prayer to
Jehovah, the Jew clandestinely held up a forefinger; upon which she,
after some hesitation, remembered the signal, and like a dart shot
to her feet.
Now every eye fastened upon her, from Regent's and Prince's to the
bottom, those near her, who knew her now, feeling a miserable heart-
shrinking of shame.
With sideward head she stood some seconds, smiling; and she sighed:
"My name is Rachel--"
But soon, her mood now rushing into sprightliness, she stamped, and
with an active alacrity of eye, sang:
"Will you come to the wedding?
Will you come?
Bring your own bread-and-butter,
And your own tea-and-sugar,
And we'll all pay a penny for the Rum,
We'll all pay a penny for the Rum".
The Regent had risen, while Frankl, calm now in reaction, gazed
sweetly upon his face: the vengeance of a Jew--nor was he half done
with vengeance. Certainly, Hogarth was pale: he had sought her long,
and found her _so_. "Why it is my own heart", he thought, "and they
have made her mad".
One moment a stab of shame pierced him at the reflection: "_Here!_"
but in the next his heart yearned upon her, and he rose nimbly and
naturally far beyond Lord Mayor and Prince, and the rut of the
world. After a perfectly deliberate bow, he left his place, and
walked down the length of the hall to her, amid the gaping gods,
Loveday, too, and three others, when he was half-way, following.
He had her hand, touched her temple lightly, yet compellingly,
"Dear, don't you know me?--Richard?--_Dick?_"
No, but at sight of Loveday some kind of recognition seemed to
light, and die, in her eyes.
"Will you come, dear, and sit up yonder with me?" Hogarth asked, his
face a mask of emotion.
Wearily she shook her head; and "John", said Hogarth, "take her
home"; whereupon Loveday led her out, the Regent returning to the
Half an hour later he found it _à propos_ of something to say to the
Prince: "That lady who sang is my sister, Your Royal Highness--seems
to have been subjected to gross cruelties, and has gone crazy".
The next morning everyone knew that she was the Regent's sister; and
a man said to a man: "There is madness in the family, then...."
The second-reading of the Land Bill had passed by a 59 majority: and
it would now have been easy work to hurry through its remaining
stages in a couple of weeks; but the Regent had awaited the nation's
verdict in the return of the 120 to fill the Jewish seats, sure of
So the 23rd was a great night--the third-reading--the majority 115
at 8 P.M.; and the next day, which was marked by a very brilliant
levée, the Bill was before the Lords.
This stage it might easily have reached four weeks before, but had
been shelved for the election of the 120: and in those weeks the
four copies of the _Mahomet II_. had been launched.
And suddenly--bad news from Palestine: news that there, too, after
all the safeguards, the greed of a few was working to plant the old
European wrong: for, the Sanhedrim being short of funds for a
railway, a syndicate of five merchant-princes had offered to buy
from it an estate between Jerusalem and the Jordan, and when the
Chief Rabbi had pointed out that the offer was monstrous, in view of
the terms of the Sea's Deed of Gift, a fierce discussion had ensued,
a schism; and although the syndicate's offer had been rejected by
27, at the next session the defeated leader, like some warlike
Maccabæus, had surged with his faction and a hundred Arabs into the
Mosque of Omar where the Sanhedrim met, to cast those who did not
escape by flight into prison in the Pasha's Palace. In the hands of
his clique the Government remained.
Such was the news....
It was followed in three days by a Representation to the Regent,
signed by 90,000 Jews in Palestine, the fourth name being Rebekah
Frankl's, they imploring him for their sinking ship just launched,
calling him "Father".
For though the Jews had been content to see that Europe which they
contemned parcelled out among a few, while the mass of men hovered
countryless--from this had arisen their lucre--their mental quality
was too rich in business shrewdness to tolerate in their own case
any such Bedlam: yet they stood helpless before the disaster, and
only in the Regent was hope.
On that night of the arrival of their Petition, the Prime Minister
and the Commander-in-Chief dined in the Palace, placid men at the
moment when soup began, the Regent's sky quite clear, for, though a
rumour whispered that the Lords were designedly lengthening
discussion of the Bill, this gave no one any concern.
During entremêts, however, a scribbled card was passed into the hand
of the Commander-in-Chief, and, as he read, his eyebrows lifted.
Craving permission, he hurried out, had some talk with his Director
of Military Intelligence, and returned pale.
Afterwards, as they three sat on a balcony overlooking the lake,
with cigars, the Regent said: "I have thought, Sir Robert Wortley,
of sending out at once two thousand Tommies under, say, General Sir
John Clough, to the help of those poor Jews...."
Here the Commander-in-Chief cleared his throat, and in a strained
voice interfered: "That is, my Lord King, if we ourselves have not
need of every soldier of the line within the next week".
The Regent deposited his ash with peering eyes, puzzled.
"What does your Lordship mean?"
"Your Lordship's Majesty, I was summoned from dinner just now to
talk with Major-General Sir Maurice Coppleston, who reports
movements of armed men, just come to his knowledge, and now going
forward on a considerable scale, all northward. He gathers that
these can only consist of Territorials and Yeomanry Cavalry, of whom
not less than twelve battalions of rifles and three batteries of
artillery, officers and men, are now on the way to, or massed upon,
York. How widely the movement may actually extend--God knows".
Silence now: Sir Robert Wortley suddenly whitening to the lips. Then
Hogarth, in a very low voice, said: "They do not know me".
"If I may crave leave to retire at once--" from the Commander-in-
Chief; and Hogarth gave consent.
Queer things, omens, doubtings, weird clouds, gathered about Hogarth
that night. When at eleven he gave audience to Admiral Quilter-
Beckett, arrived from the _Boodah_ Quilter-Beckett said: "Strange
the fine weather here: at sea it is quite rough, the _Boodah_ well
under foam, and that old _Campania_ pitches so--"
"You have come, then, in the _Campania_?"--from Hogarth.
"Yes, my Lord King".
"And what about the yacht?"
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