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sea-passage had greatly increased the profits of a lucky smuggling venture. In order to carry out his purpose with the greater success, the Prefect sought out natives who, for a good fee, would undertake the office of spy and denounce their countrymen when they found in their possession any English goods.
This new subjection to a completely foreign State caused but little excitement amongst the islanders. Three years before they had been made subjects of the King of Holland without experiencing any change on their islands or in their mode of life, and so now again they heard with perfect indifference that they had become subjects of the Emperor of the French. Under this latest Government things would doubtless remain the same on the sea and on the sands as they had been in the days of their fathers and grandfathers. On Sunday, before the beginning of the service, they heard their pastor read the notice of the annexation of Holland to France; and then at the close of the sermon they heard him offer a prayer for his Majesty Napoleon, by the grace of God Emperor of the French, King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, etc., whom the pastor commended to the protection and succour of the Most High, together with the Imperial Family and the officers of the army. Then, with but few words, the hearers separated, stolid as usual, and sought their own homes.
Uwen alone had risen suddenly and quitted the church at the very beginning of the prayer. His face had lost every tinge of colour, as though he were seized with a sudden giddi
At the dinner-table the pastor remembered the occurrence and inquired whether he felt sufficiently recovered for their usual afternoon reading of the Greek Testament. Uwen replied that he had not been actually ill ; then, after a moment's hesitation, he boldly declared that he could not pray for the French Emperor and his armies, as he considered him the mortal enemy of his own country, and as such he hated and abhorred him more than any being on the earth.
The pastor coolly replied :
“You are making, then, three great mistakes. In the first place, your home is not on earth, but it is prepared for you in heaven; then, you should not hate, but love, your enemies; lastly, the Scripture bids you, “Submit to every ordinance of God.” Come to me presently, and I will help you to get rid of this mistaken notion.'
After Pastor Remmert had left the room, Deena, before she withdrew for her usual afternoon nap, said to Uwen, with a yawn :
If you had any common-sense, or a proper feeling of all you owe to us, you would go to the Prefect at Aurich and beg him to pay you handsomely for the service of searching out and denouncing fellows who talk as you have just done.'
She went away, leaving Teda behind alone with Uwen. After a moment's silence, the latter asked his companion whether she had joined in the prayer for the Emperor Napoleon.
The girl nodded assent.
Of course, father is quite right. Napoleon could not be our ruler if it were against the will of God. Mother's advice,
very sensible. Uwen looked at her inquiringly.
•Can you mean that I should do as your mother said—offer myself to the French Prefect as a spy and informer against my own countrymen ?
He paused, but kept his eyes fixed anxiously upon Teda; who scornfully replied :
*This is mere talk. Prudent people would say you were doing a work well pleasing to God in assisting the rulers appointed by Him to fulfil the duties of their office. Besides, in doing this you might probably obtain for yourself some lucrative post, which would, in these times, be far better than studying to become a pastor, destitute as you are of all pecuniary means.'
Uwen turned as pale as he had done that morning in the church, but he only said, in a half-whisper :
"You would advise me to act thus ?'
'Yes, if you don't want to go on waiting in uncertainty, perhaps for years, until you have an income of your own and can do as you please.”
Her lips explained no further, but her eyes gave a meaning to her words, with an eloquence that could not be misunderstood, as she laid her hand caressingly upon that of her companion.
When he last spoke, Uwen had been on the point of leaving the room ; now he seemed irresolute, although he said in a voice scarcely audible :
“Never! Nothing in the world shall induce me !'
Still, he did not follow his first impulse. He was not a free man; he was completely under her influence, and fascinated by the spell of her star-like eyes.
NEW MASTERS, NEW MANNERS.
One day, when the summer was a little advanced, a very unusual thing occurred. Although it was a week-day, Pastor Remmert had summoned all the inhabitants of the island, both men and women, to meet him on the open space in front of the church, in order to make to them an important official announcement. All the islanders assembled at the appointed hour. Walmot, Roeluf, and Freda were also in attendance. When all were assembled, the pastor read out an edict, which had been forwarded to him from the office of the Prefect in Aurich, whereby the Emperor ordered and decreed that all the subjects of the department of the late kingdom of Holland, who had not yet assumed a family name, were at once to select one; and in case they neglected to do so by the end of a short fixed period, they would render themselves liable to a heavy penalty
Pastor Remmert was commissioned by the authorities to carry out on the island this new system of nomenclature, and he explained that everyone was at liberty to choose his own family name. As an example, he said that he intended to adopt for himself and his family the name of Osterloo, being that of the homestead on which he was born.
After the pastor had given these explanations, the people maintained for some moments a dead silence. At last an old fisherman said :
'Noä, Paäson Remmert, I sheänt do that.' And then another added :
Oor feythers niver did naw sich thing, and we weänt nayther.'
It was the first time the pastor had ever met with any opposition to his injunctions.
'It is the will of your ruler, and therefore a command of God, which, as Christians, you are bound to obey.'
But the hearers shook their heads, and repeated briefly, in the same tone:
• Noä, that we weänt. That's nowt to do wi't. That doänt consarn our maästers nowt.'
The laconic answers betrayed the steady, stubborn Frisian temper, which never recognised in anyone a right to forbid the long-standing customs of their forefathers. The men stood as indifferent as the downs to the inrolling of the tidal waves; and their faces indicated that no wind blowing from the mainland would ever induce them to withdraw their refusal. Scarcely knowing for the moment what course to pursue, the pastor gazed at them in silence.
Help came at last from an unexpected source, for Walmot suddenly called out : • Pastor Remmert is quite right, and you are all very
may be quite true that it matters to nobody what you call yourselves, but it will matter very much to you if you provoke the Prefect's displeasure. The question of a name is not worth bringing upon our island the French, in order to see the edict carried out. If you are but Germans and Frisians at heart, you will keep so all the same. Moreover, the law is not at all unreasonable, although it comes from foreigners. It is not, perhaps, so much needed here, but over on the mainland it is often very necessary, in order to prevent mistakes and confusion. Besides, it is not right, nor is it the custom anywhere else in the world, for the wife to have a different name from her husband, and the children to be named otherwise than their father. So you need not do it merely because someone commands you, but for your own sakes, and to preserve the island from harm. You have called me for the last thirty years Frau Utsee. If, in compliance with the new law, my husband is willing to adopt the name of Roeluf Utsee, then, Pastor Remmert, you can inscribe us both under that name in your register.'
It surprised everybody very much, and Uwen most of all, to hear Walmot speaking in favour of the French Emperor's decree; but her address had evidently produced more effect on the islanders than Pastor Remmert's appeal to the will of God on behalf of the appointed officials at Aurich. So the pastor gladly availed himself of the impression produced by his unexpected supporter, to announce that they might now all withdraw to their own homes and consult with their wives upon the choice of a family name, and in case they could not think of one, they might come to him for advice.
It was plain that the fishermen now regarded the matter in a different light to what they had done at first. It was certainly possible that the French might be angered by their refusal, and so the affairs of the island might no longer remain, on sea and sand, as from time immemorial. They nodded :
'Yees, and then we ken talk it ower wi' the missus an' oor bairns.
And they withdrew to their little low sitting-rooms or to the downs for this purpose.
There they sat puffing out thicker clouds than usual from their short clay pipes, sorely puzzled, and quite at a loss for an idea. It was an unusual and disagreeable task for their brains, and most of them only sank at every moment into a more hopeless state of incapacity. Taking it all together, the women and girls were the most inventive, although they had not the same resources as their equally puzzled sisters on the mainland. The soil of the island presented no diversity of moor and mead, glade and glen-no trees, no trades, no names of places, that could be used as a family name. There was nothing but sand, sedge, and sea. For a long time they all sat racking their brains; their imagination could not go beyond the few objects which the island afforded, and most of them fell back upon its animal life or the implements of their fishing business. Pastor Remmert had to inscribe on his list, for the most part, such names as Catte and Crabbe, Bird and Broom, Fisher and Ford, Roper and Rowe, Sawyer and Salter, Corder and Carpenter, Twist and Sterne, Spooner and Mason.
The names on the mainland, drawn up with the aid of learned philologists proud of the terminations sema, sena, inga, enga, unga, were but rarely adopted by the inhabitants of the isles, and the latter were spared from adding to the endless list of Tailors, Smiths, Bakers, Millers, and Farmers, that were adopted over there into the families of mankind.