By Hall Caine






Old Deemster Christian of Ballawhaine was a hard man--hard on the

outside, at all events. They called him Iron Christian, and people said,

"Don't turn that iron hand against you." Yet his character was stamped

with nobleness as well as strength. He was not a man of icy nature, but

he loved to gather icicles about him. There was fire enough underneath,

at which he warmed his old heart when alone, but he liked the air to

be congealed about his face. He was a man of a closed soul. One had to

wrench open the dark chamber where he kept his feelings; but the man who

had done that had uncovered his nakedness, and he cut him off for ever.

That was how it happened with his son, the father of Philip.

He had two sons; the elder was an impetuous creature, a fiery spirit,

one of the masterful souls who want the restraint of the curb if they

are not to hurry headlong into the abyss. Old Deemster Christian had

called this boy Thomas Wilson, after the serene saint who had once

been Bishop of Man. He was intended, however, for the law, not for

the Church. The office of Deemster never has been and never can be

hereditary; yet the Christians of Ballawhaine had been Deemsters through

six generations, and old Iron Christian expected that Thomas Wilson

Christian would succeed him. But there was enough uncertainty about the

succession to make merit of more value than precedent in the selection,

and so the old man had brought up his son to the English bar, and

afterwards called him to practise in the Manx one. The young fellow had

not altogether rewarded his father's endeavours. During his residence

in England, he had acquired certain modern doctrines which were highly

obnoxious to the old Deemster. New views on property, new ideas

about woman and marriage, new theories concerning religion (always

re-christened superstition), the usual barnacles of young vessels fresh

from unknown waters; but the old man was no shipwright in harbour who

has learnt the art of removing them without injury to the hull. The

Deemster knew these notions when he met with them in the English

newspapers. There was something awesome in their effect on his

stay-at-home imagination, as of vices confusing and difficult to true

men that walk steadily; but, above all, very far off, over the mountains

and across the sea, like distant cities of Sodom, only waiting for

Sodom's doom. And yet, lo! here they were in a twinkling, shunted and

shot into his own house and his own stackyard.

"I suppose now," he said, with a knowing look, "you think Jack as good

as his master?"

"No, sir," said his son gravely; "generally much better."

Iron Christian altered his will. To his elder son he left only a

life-interest in Ballawhaine. "That boy will be doing something," he

said, and thus he guarded against consequences. He could not help it; he

was ashamed, but he could not conquer his shame--the fiery old man began

to nurse a grievance against his son.

The two sons of the Deemster were like the inside and outside of a bowl,

and that bowl was the Deemster himself. If Thomas Wilson the elder

had his father's inside fire and softness, Peter, the younger, had his

father's outside ice and iron. Peter was little and almost misshapen,

with a pair of shoulders that seemed to be trying to meet over a hollow

chest and limbs that splayed away into vacancy. And if Nature had been

grudging with him, his father was not more kind. He had been brought up

to no profession, and his expectations were limited to a yearly charge

out of his brother's property. His talk was bitter, his voice cold,

he laughed little, and had never been known to cry. He had many things

against him.

Besides these sons, Deemster Christian had a girl in his household, but

to his own consciousness the fact was only a kind of peradventure. She

was his niece, the child of his only brother, who had died in early

manhood. Her name was Ann Charlotte de la Tremouille, called after

the lady of Rushen, for the family of Christian had their share of the

heroic that is in all men. She had fine eyes, a weak mouth, and great

timidity. Gentle airs floated always about her, and a sort of nervous

brightness twinkled over her, as of a glen with the sun flickering

through. Her mother died when she was a child of twelve, and in the

house of her uncle and her cousins she had been brought up among men and


One day Peter drew the Deemster aside and told him (with expressions

of shame, interlarded with praises of his own acuteness) a story of his

brother. It was about a girl. Her name was Mona Crellin; she lived on

the hill at Ballure House, half a mile south of Ramsey, and was

daughter of a man called Billy Ballure, a retired sea-captain, and

hail-fellow-well-met with all the jovial spirits of the town.

There was much noise and outcry, and old Iron sent for his son.

"What's this I hear?" he cried, looking him down. "A woman? So that's

what your fine learning comes to, eh? Take care, sir! take care! No son

of mine shall disgrace himself. The day he does that he will be put to

the door."

Thomas held himself in with a great effort.

"Disgrace?" he said. "What disgrace, sir, if you please?"

"What disgrace, sir?" repeated the Deemster, mocking his son in a

mincing treble. Then he roared, "Behaving dishonourably to a poor

girl--that what's disgrace, sir! Isn't it enough? eh? eh?"

"More than enough," said the young man. "But who is doing it? I'm not."

"Then you're doing worse. _Did_ I say worse? Of course I said worse.

Worse, sir, worse! Do you hear me? Worse! You are trapsing around

Ballure, and letting that poor girl take notions. I'll have no more

of it. Is this what I sent you to England for? Aren't you ashamed of

yourself? Keep your place, sir; keep your place. A poor girl's a poor

girl, and a Deemster's a Deemster."

"Yes, sir," said Thomas, suddenly firing up, "and a man's a man. As for

the shame, I need be ashamed of nothing that is not shameful; and the

best proof I can give you that I mean no dishonour by the girl is that I

intend to marry her."

"What? You intend to--what? Did I hear----"

The old Deemster turned his good ear towards his son's face, and the

young man repeated his threat. Never fear! No poor girl should be misled

by him. He was above all foolish conventions.

Old Iron Christian was dumbfounded. He gasped, he stared, he stammered,

and then fell on his son with hot reproaches.

"What? Your wife? Wife? That trollop!--that minx! that--and daughter of

that sot, too, that old rip, that rowdy blatherskite--that----And my

own son is to lift his hand to cut his throat! Yes, sir, cut his

throat----And I am to stand by! No, no! I say no, sir, no!"

The young man made some further protest, but it was lost in his father's


"You will, though? You will? Then your hat is your house, sir. Take to

it--take to it!"

"No need to tell me twice, father."

"Away then--away to your woman--your jade! God, keep my hands off him!"

The old man lifted his clenched fist, but his son had flung out of the

room. It was not the Deemster only who feared he might lay hands on his

own flesh and blood.

"Stop! come back, you dog! Listen! I've not done yet. Stop! you

hotheaded rascal, stop! Can't you hear a man out then? Come back! Thomas

Wilson, come back, sir! Thomas! Thomas! Tom! Where is he? Where's the


Old Iron Christian had made after his son bareheaded down to the road,

shouting his name in a broken roar, but the young man was gone. Then

he went back slowly, his grey hair playing in the wind. He was all iron

outside, but all father within.

That day the Deemster altered his will a second time, and his elder son

was disinherited.


Peter succeeded in due course to the estate of Ballawhaine, but he was

not a lawyer, and the line of the Deemsters Christian was broken.

Meantime Thomas Wilson Christian had been married to Mona Crellin

without delay. He loved her, but he had been afraid of her ignorance,

afraid also (notwithstanding his principles) of the difference in their

social rank, and had half intended to give her up when his father's

reproaches had come to fire his anger and to spur his courage. As

soon as she became his wife he realised the price he had paid for her.

Happiness could not come of such a beginning. He had broken every tie

in making the one which brought him down. The rich disowned him, and the

poor lost respect for him.

"It's positively indecent," said one. "It's potatoes marrying herrings,"

said another. It was little better than hunger marrying thirst.

In the general downfall of his fame his profession failed him. He lost

heart and ambition. His philosophy did not stand him in good stead, for

it had no value in the market to which he brought it. Thus, day by day,

he sank deeper into the ooze of a wrecked and wasted life.

The wife did not turn out well. She was a fretful person, with a good

face, a bad shape, a vacant mind, and a great deal of vanity. She

had liked her husband a little as a lover, but when she saw that her

marriage brought her nobody's envy, she fell into a long fit of the

vapours. Eventually she made herself believe that she was an ill-used

person. She never ceased to complain of her fate. Everybody treated her

as if she had laid plans for her husband's ruin.

The husband continued to love her, but little by little he grew to

despise her also. When he made his first plunge, he had prided himself

on indulging an heroic impulse. He was not going to deliver a good woman

to dishonour because she seemed to be an obstacle to his success. But

she had never realised his sacrifice. She did not appear to understand

that he might have been a great man in the island, but that love and

honour had held him back. Her ignorance was pitiful, and he was ashamed

of it. In earning the contempt of others he had not saved himself from


The old sailor died suddenly in a fit of drunkenness at a fair, and

husband and wife came into possession of his house and property at

Ballure. This did not improve the relations between them. The woman

perceived that their positions were reversed. She was the bread-bringer

now. One day, at a slight that her husband's people had put upon her

in the street, she reminded him, in order to re-establish her wounded

vanity, that but for her and hers he would not have so much as a roof to

cover him.

Yet the man continued to love her in spite of all. And she was not

at first a degraded being. At times she was bright and cheerful, and,

except in the worst spells of her vapours, she was a brisk and busy

woman. The house was sweet and homely. There was only one thing to drive

him away from it, but that was the greatest thing of all. Nevertheless

they had their cheerful hours together.

A child was born, a boy, and they called him Philip. He was the

beginning of the end between them; the iron stay that held them together

and yet apart. The father remembered his misfortunes in the presence

of his son, and the mother was stung afresh by the recollection of

disappointed hopes. The boy was the true heir of Ballawhaine, but the

inheritance was lost to him by his father's fault and he had nothing.

Philip grew to be a winsome lad. There was something sweet and amiable

and big-hearted, and even almost great, in him. One day the father

sat in the garden by the mighty fuchsia-tree that grows on the lawn,

watching his little fair-haired son play at marbles on the path with two

big lads whom he had enticed out of the road, and another more familiar

playmate--the little barefooted boy Peter, from the cottage by the

water-trough. At first Philip lost, and with grunts of satisfaction

the big ones promptly pocketed their gains. Then Philip won, and little

curly Peter was stripped naked, and his lip began to fall. At that

Philip paused, held his head aside, and considered, and then said quite

briskly, "Peter hadn't a fair chance that time--here, let's give him

another go."

The father's throat swelled, and he went indoors to the mother and said,

"I think--perhaps I'm to blame--but somehow I think our boy isn't

like other boys. What do you say? Foolish? May be so, may be so! No

difference? Well, no--no!"

But deep down in the secret place of his heart, Thomas Wilson Christian,

broken man, uprooted tree, wrecked craft in the mud and slime, began to

cherish a fond idea. The son would regain all that his father had lost!

He had gifts, and he should be brought up to the law; a large nature,

and he should be helped to develop it; a fine face which all must

love, a sense of justice, and a great wealth of the power of radiating

happiness. Deemster? Why not? Ballawhaine? Who could tell? The biggest,

noblest, greatest of all Manxmen! God knows!

Only--only he must be taught to fly from his father's dangers. Love?

Then let him love where he can also respect--but never outside his own

sphere. The island was too little for that. To love and to despise was

to suffer the torments of the damned.

Nourishing these dreams, the poor man began to be tortured by every

caress the mother gave her son, and irritated by every word she spoke to

him. Her grammar was good enough for himself, and the exuberant caresses

of her maudlin moods were even sometimes pleasant, but the boy must be

degraded by neither.

The woman did not reach to these high thoughts, but she was not slow to

interpret the casual byplay in which they found expression. Her husband

was taiching her son to dis-respeck her. She wouldn't have thought it

of him--she wouldn't really. But it was always the way when a

plain practical woman married on the quality. Imperence and

dis-respeck--that's the capers! Imperence and disrespeck from the

ones that's doing nothing and behoulden to you for everything. It was

shocking! It was disthressing!

In such outbursts would her jealousy taunt him with his poverty, revile

him for his idleness, and square accounts with him for the manifest

preference of the boy. He could bear them with patience when they were

alone, but in Philip's presence they were as gall and wormwood, and

whips and scorpions.

"Go, my lad, go," he would sometimes whimper, and hustle the boy out of

the way.

"No," the woman would cry, "stop and see the man your father is."

And the father would mutter, "He might see the woman his mother is as


But when she had pinned them together, and the boy had to hear her out,

the man would drop his forehead on the table and break into groans and

tears. Then the woman would change quite suddenly, and put her arms

about him and kiss him and weep over him. He could defend himself from

neither her insults nor her embraces. In spite of everything he loved

her. That was where the bitterness of the evil lay. But for the love he

bore her, he might have got her off his back and been his own man once

more. He would make peace with her and kiss her again, and they would

both kiss the boy, and be tender, and even cheerful.

Philip was still a child, but he saw the relations of his parents, and

in his own way he understood everything. He loved his father best, but

he did not hate his mother. She was nearly always affectionate, though

often jealous of the father's greater love and care for him, and

sometimes irritable from that cause alone. But the frequent broils

  • character [´kæriktə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.特性;性质;人物;字   (初中英语单词)
  • bishop [´biʃəp] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.主教   (初中英语单词)
  • practise [´præktis] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.实践(行,施);提倡   (初中英语单词)
  • altogether [,ɔ:ltə´geðə] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.完全;总而言之   (初中英语单词)
  • learnt [lə:nt] 移动到这儿单词发声  learn 的过去式(分词)   (初中英语单词)
  • injury [´indʒəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.伤害;毁坏;侮辱   (初中英语单词)
  • imagination [i,mædʒi´neiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.想象(力)   (初中英语单词)
  • steadily [´stedili] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.坚定地;不断地   (初中英语单词)
  • waiting [´weitiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.等候;伺候   (初中英语单词)
  • knowing [´nəuiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.会意的,心照不宣的   (初中英语单词)
  • gravely [´greivli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.庄重地,严肃地   (初中英语单词)
  • ashamed [ə´ʃeimd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.惭愧;不好意思   (初中英语单词)
  • conquer [´kɔŋkə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.征服;克服;抑制   (初中英语单词)
  • profession [prə´feʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.职业;声明;表白   (初中英语单词)
  • learning [´lə:niŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.学习;学问;知识   (初中英语单词)
  • disgrace [dis´greis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.耻辱 vt.玷辱;贬黜   (初中英语单词)
  • estate [i´steit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.财产;庄园;等级   (初中英语单词)
  • lawyer [´lɔ:jə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.律师;法学家   (初中英语单词)
  • beginning [bi´giniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开始,开端;起源   (初中英语单词)
  • hunger [´hʌŋgə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.饥饿;渴望   (初中英语单词)
  • ambition [æm´biʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.雄心,野心;企图   (初中英语单词)
  • philosophy [fi´lɔsəfi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.哲学;人生观   (初中英语单词)
  • vacant [´veikənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.空虚的,无表情的   (初中英语单词)
  • vanity [´væniti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.虚荣;自负;空虚   (初中英语单词)
  • complain [kəm´plein] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.抱怨,叫屈;控诉   (初中英语单词)
  • plunge [plʌndʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.插进 n.投入;冲击   (初中英语单词)
  • impulse [´impʌls] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.推动(力);冲动;刺激   (初中英语单词)
  • ignorance [´ignərəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.无知,愚昧   (初中英语单词)
  • cheerful [´tʃiəful] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.快乐的;高兴的   (初中英语单词)
  • cottage [´kɔtidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.村舍;小屋;小别墅   (初中英语单词)
  • promptly [´prɔmptli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.敏捷地;即时地   (初中英语单词)
  • throat [θrəut] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.咽喉;嗓子;出入口   (初中英语单词)
  • wealth [welθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.财富,财产   (初中英语单词)
  • despise [di´spaiz] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.轻视,藐视   (初中英语单词)
  • poverty [´pɔvəti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.贫穷(乏,瘠);不足   (初中英语单词)
  • patience [´peiʃəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.忍耐(力);耐心;坚韧   (初中英语单词)
  • mutter [´mʌtə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.咕哝;嘀咕   (初中英语单词)
  • forehead [´fɔrid] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.额,前部   (初中英语单词)
  • jealous [´dʒeləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.妒忌的   (初中英语单词)
  • frequent [´fri:kwənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.常见的,频繁的   (初中英语单词)
  • chamber [´tʃeimbə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.房间;议院;会议室   (高中英语单词)
  • restraint [ri´streint] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.抑制;管束;克制   (高中英语单词)
  • headlong [´hedlɔŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&a.轻率地(的)   (高中英语单词)
  • serene [si´ri:n] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.清澈的;宁静的   (高中英语单词)
  • concerning [kən´sə:niŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  prep.关于   (高中英语单词)
  • vacancy [´veikənsi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.空缺;空间;空虚   (高中英语单词)
  • limited [´limitid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有限(制)的   (高中英语单词)
  • consciousness [´kɔnʃəsnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.意识;觉悟;知觉   (高中英语单词)
  • repeated [ri´pi:tid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.反复的;重复的   (高中英语单词)
  • threat [θret] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.恐吓,威胁   (高中英语单词)
  • rascal [´rɑ:skəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.流氓   (高中英语单词)
  • positively [´pɔzətivli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.确实;断然;绝对   (高中英语单词)
  • heroic [hi´rəuik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.英雄的,英勇的   (高中英语单词)
  • obstacle [´ɔbstəkl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.障碍(物);妨碍   (高中英语单词)
  • pitiful [´pitifəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可怜的;慈悲的   (高中英语单词)
  • contempt [kən´tempt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.轻蔑;受辱;不顾   (高中英语单词)
  • homely [´həumli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.朴素的;不漂亮的   (高中英语单词)
  • recollection [,rekə´lekʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.回忆;追想;记忆力   (高中英语单词)
  • mighty [´maiti] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.强有力的 ad.很   (高中英语单词)
  • indoors [,in´dɔ:z] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.在屋里   (高中英语单词)
  • regain [ri´gein] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.收回;恢复   (高中英语单词)
  • casual [´kæʒuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.偶然的;临时的   (高中英语单词)
  • jealousy [´dʒeləsi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.妒忌;猜忌   (高中英语单词)
  • bitterness [´bitənis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.苦味;辛酸;苦难   (高中英语单词)
  • affectionate [ə´fekʃənit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.亲爱的   (高中英语单词)
  • uncertainty [ʌn´sə:tənti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.不可靠;不确定的事   (英语四级单词)
  • precedent [´presidənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.先例 a.在先的   (英语四级单词)
  • grievance [´gri:vəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.不平;冤情;抱怨   (英语四级单词)
  • trying [´traiiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.难堪的;费劲的   (英语四级单词)
  • yearly [´jiəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.每年的;一年间的   (英语四级单词)
  • outcry [´autkrai] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.喊叫;强烈抗议   (英语四级单词)
  • shameful [´ʃeimfəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可耻的;猥亵的   (英语四级单词)
  • eventually [i´ventʃuəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.最后,终于   (英语四级单词)
  • barefooted [beə´futid] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&a.赤脚(的)   (英语四级单词)
  • idleness [´aidlnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.懒;闲着不干事   (英语四级单词)
  • hustle [´hʌsəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.猛挤;催促 n.乱堆   (英语四级单词)
  • impetuous [im´petjuəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.急促的;猛烈的   (英语六级单词)
  • softness [´sɔftnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.柔软;柔和;温柔   (英语六级单词)
  • charlotte [´ʃɑ:lət] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.水果奶油布丁   (英语六级单词)
  • retired [ri´taiəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.退休的;通职的   (英语六级单词)
  • treble [´trebəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.三倍(重)的   (英语六级单词)
  • downfall [´daunfɔ:l] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.落下;垮台   (英语六级单词)
  • fretful [´fretfəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.焦虑的,烦躁的   (英语六级单词)
  • whimper [´wimpə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.啜泣(声)   (英语六级单词)
  • irritable [´iritəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.急躁的;过敏的   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 18:22:01
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