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love and patience of a woman for a scoundrel
who deserves at her hands only horror
and contempt. Yet she forgives him
everythingeven things too bad to be repeated
hereand in the end throws over an honest
lover and a noble heart for the sake of the
wretch who had betrayed, deceived, and
ill-treated her, and who will do so again
"outside the picture." Her craven love for
him is shown to be no good in any way. It
neither restrains his baseness, nor rekindles
his love, when that happens to be on the
wane. For his love seems to have been a
kind of periodic affairnow at spring tide,
and now at the lowest ebb; and the fact
that he knew his infatuated mistress was
waiting for him ready to give him all her
love so soon as he should condescend to
turn back and accept it, was no incentive
to him to behave well to her; it was simply
one restraint the less. And the novelist
was right; for when long-suffering passes
beyond magnanimity and becomes self-
dishonour, it merely adds to the sin of the
offender as well as to the degradation of
the victim; thus creating two crimes instead
of one.

Excess is one of the great evils against
which we have to fight: and excess, in
even heaping up the burning coals of
forgiveness on the head of a sinner,
transforms into a vice that which is one of our
loveliest virtues. Neither then when it is
revenge in ambush and punishment in
ambuscade, nor when it is so excessive that
it cuts away the first duty we owe ourselves,
namely self-respect, can that kind
of patience known by the phrase of
heaping coals of fire on the head of him who
has offended us, be praised or practised
without limitation. This is not saying
that we are not to forgive; but that we
are not to carry the virtues of the Christian
into the vices of the slavenot to confound
the sweet humiliation of the saint
with the writhing baseness of Uriah Heep
not to pour out our "precious balms"
for the purpose of creating a sore, not of
healing a wound.


THE continental war is bringing into
operation many curious methods of conveying
information from one person, or body
of persons, to another. What is needed for
the ordinary purposes of peaceful everyday
life, in this direction, we can all judge
pretty nearly; but none save military men
can tell what the exigencies of the battlefield,
or the beleaguered fortress, may require.
There is the foot messenger, swift,
alert, cunning, exposed to all sorts of
privations in regard to food, attire, resting-
places, and likely to be captured and shot
as a spy by the enemy. Fenimore Cooper's
Harvey Birch tells what a man may
reasonably expect to undergo if he really acts
as a spy in this way, penetrating into the
enemy's camp in order to ascertain the
state of matters there. But foot messengers
may also be needed from one part
to another of some particular general's
forces, or from a besieged town to friends
outside; and such a messenger has every
reason to be watchful and cautious, as well
as swift and strong, to elude those who
will be glad enough to catch him. Or the
messenger may be a horseman, required to
convey despatches to a distant country in
the shortest possible space of timeon,
on, on, day and night, with very little
regard to food or rest. A striking example
of this kind was given some years ago by
Mr. Baillie Fraser, in his Winter's Journey
from Constantinople to Teheran. As a
king's messenger, or Foreign Office courier,
it became his duty to carry some very
important despatches from the English
government, in the winter of 1833-4, at a time
when Persian politics were in a troubled
state. He travelled across the whole breadth
of Asia Minor on horseback in the depth
of winter, changing horses frequently; and
what he had to undergo is a marvel to read.
Or the messenger may dash along roads in
a carriage, sleeping night after night as he
rides, and scarcely entering an inn or hotel
for more than an hour at a time. Or, in
modern days, he may go by rail, covering
an immense range of ground in a short
time; but then, if the enemy tears up the
rails, or brings the engine-driver to a stop
by a volley, this mode of travelling may be
cut short in a very embarrassing way. Or
semaphores and signal flags may be used to
convey messages by means of visible
objects, varied in size, shape, position, and
colour, according to the word or phrase to
be expressed. Or brilliant lightselectric,
magnesium, oxy-hydrogenmay be flashed
at intervals in the night, with variations of
colour and brightness having pre-arranged
meanings. Or bottle papers may be used;
messages written on slips of paper, put
into bottles, sealed up, and left to float
down a river to friends who may perchance
pick them up. Or, most marvellous of all,
the electric wire may be laid down as fast