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Title: A Williams Anthology - A Collection of the Verse and Prose of Williams College, 1798-1910
Author: Lehman, Edwin Partridge [Compiler], Park, Julian [Compiler]
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Williams Anthology - A Collection of the Verse and Prose of Williams College, 1798-1910" ***


A Collection of the Verse and Prose of Williams College






The present work owes its existence to a conviction on the part of its
editors that much material published by past Williams undergraduates
in past and present literary periodicals of the college, deserves a
resurrection from the threatening oblivion of musty library shelves.
That this conviction has been justified by the quality of the verse
and prose herein published, the editors believe; and they therefore
submit this volume to the public without undue fear as to its
reception, adding only the caution that its readers remember always
the tender age of the writers of these pages.

The purpose of the editors was to collect material which might be
adjudged to possess real literary merit; but in some cases in which
the historical interest attaching to the production, either by reason
of its subject or by reason of the fame attained in later years by its
author, is obvious, this rule has been waived. Among such exceptions
may be cited that of the Resolutions addressed to President Adams by
the students, and copied herein from the pages of the _Vidette_. The
matter has been arranged in the order of class seniority, with two
exceptions. It has seemed fitting to the editors to begin the work
with that immortal song, "The Mountains"; the second exception is that
of the series of biographical sketches entitled "Nine Williams
Alumni," which for obvious reasons were published as a whole.

The editors burrowed through all files of the college publications
which the college library contains, files which are reasonably
complete. In such a mass of material, some ninety volumes, it will be
astounding indeed if some creditable work has not been passed
inadvertently over. If such a mistake has occurred it is at least
pardonable. The editors fear only the presence of some unworthy matter
in this volume, a sin of commission and hence vastly more heinous.

In going over the works of their academic ancestors the editors have
been struck by several very interesting facts. The literary quality of
the poetry, as all will recognize, has made a steady advance, until
the last six years of the _Lit_. have seen the magazine second to
none, for verse at least, in the intercollegiate press. Dutton,
Westermann, Gibson, Holley, all of the same collegiate generation--they
are names which are widely known and which have brought the college
renown of a nature which, ordinarily, she is apt to obtain rather by
athletic than by intellectual means. It is striking, too, to notice
how the college poetry has changed during the seventy years of its
existence, as the present compilers have known it. There are specimens
of the "poetry" of the early days included herein, which find a place,
as is intimated elsewhere, not so much for their intrinsic merit as
for the interest attaching to them in other directions; and as for the
prose of the _Quarterly_ and the _Vidette_, it was, indeed, like the
essays of the college press to-day, carefully written and with a
degree of that indescribable something called "style"; but so
philosophical, heavy, and devoid of any human interest that we cannot
imagine the average student going through the magazine at a sitting as
(despite all reports to the contrary) is done with the college papers

An interesting light on the alteration in undergraduate problems that
has gradually come about is furnished by a reading of Mr. Mabie's
essay included herein. At the time of its production Mr. Mabie saw the
need of a greater degree of organization among the students, in order
that the college might thereby become more of a community. How
directly opposed the present-day cry is! Student organization has
to-day so spread and so wound itself about the very life of the
college, that it threatens to hide the intellectual aims for which the
college exists. The editors venture to express the opinion that, had
Mr. Mabie written when they are writing, his essay would perhaps have
had a different tone.

The college has indeed much to be proud of in its literature and
journalism--for it has been enriched with names like Bryant, Prime,
Franklin Carter, Mabie, Stoddard, Scudder, Alden, Gladden, G.L.
Raymond, L.W. Spring, G. Stanley Hall, H.L. Nelson, G.E. MacLean,
Cuthbert Hall, Isaac Henderson, Bliss Perry, F.J. Mather, Rollo Ogden:
many of them are represented here; and we are glad for the college
that their fame had its beginnings, even if often modest, in our
student publications.

For the purpose of embodying the literary history of the college as
completely as possible in one volume, the compilers have added an
appendix containing the names of the editors of the _Literary Monthly_
for the twenty-six years of its existence. For the same purpose, they
quote below a chronological sketch of the various publications, which
appeared in the _Gulielmensian_ of the class of 1908. The present
editors cannot vouch for all the facts there set forth.

"So far as is known, the earliest periodical published by Williams
undergraduates was _The Adelphi_, a bi-weekly, of which the first
issue appeared August 18, 1831, and the last June 21, 1832. After
twelve years _The Williams Monthly Miscellany_ was started in July,
1844, and continued until September, 1845. After another lapse of
several years, _The Williams Quarterly Magazine_ was founded in July,
1853, and continued publication until June, 1872. Meantime, April 13,
1867, _The Williams Vidette_ had been started, and in 1872, the older
_Quarterly_ was merged into it. The _Vidette_ was published
fortnightly until June, 1874, when it, together with _The Williams
Review_, a tri-weekly, started in June, 1870, was united to form the
fortnightly _Williams Athenoeum_, the first issue of which appeared
October 10, 1874. In May, 1881, another fortnightly, _The Argo_, was
started, which, with _The Athenoeum_, appeared in alternate weeks
until April, 1885, when the two gave place simultaneously to _The
Williams Literary Monthly_ and _The Fortnight_. Two years later,
April, 1887, _The Fortnight_ was reorganized into _The Williams
Weekly_. In 1904 _The Williams Weekly_ became _The Williams Record_.

"Volume I of the _Gulielmensian_ appeared in the early spring of

To these must be added two more, whose existences have begun since the
above was published. A humorous monthly, _The Purple Cow_, first saw
the light in the fall of 1907 and has since prospered. Two volumes
have appeared of _Coffee Club Papers_, containing productions read
before the meetings of that body. The first volume bears the date of
1909 and the second of 1910. Every class on its graduation publishes
its _Class Book_ and these sometimes attain a degree of literary
merit; hence any review of the literary interests of the college would
be incomplete without at least mention of them.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now the editors have done their task. It has been pleasant work;
may the results prove as pleasant to those before whose literary
palates they are spread. It remains only to thank the alumni for their
loyal financial support through the subscription blanks sent out in
June, and the library staff of the college for the generosity with
which more than the ordinary facilities of the library have been


_Williamstown, Massachusetts, November 1, 1910_.




  O, proudly rise the monarchs of our mountain land,
    With their kingly forest robes, to the sky,
  Where Alma Mater dwelleth with her chosen band,
    Where the peaceful river floweth gently by.

  The mountains! the mountains! we greet them with a song!
  Whose echoes, rebounding their woodland heights along,
  Shall mingle with anthems that winds and fountains sing,
  Till hill and valley gaily, gaily ring.

  The snows of winter crown them with a crystal crown,
    And the silver clouds of summer round them cling;
  The autumn's scarlet mantle flows in richness down;
    And they revel in the garniture of spring.          _Chorus_.

  O, mightily they battle with the storm-king's pow'r;
    And, conquerors, shall triumph here for aye;
  Yet quietly their shadows fall at evening hour,
    While the gentle breezes round them softly play.    _Chorus_.

  Beneath their peaceful shadows may old Williams stand,
    Till suns and mountains never more shall be,
  The glory and the honor of our mountain land,
    And the dwelling of the gallant and the free.       _Chorus_.

_Quarterly_, 1859.


From the _Hampshire Gazette_, Northampton, Mass., July 25, 1798

Sir,--Though members of an infant Institution and of little
comparative weight in the scale of the Union, we feel for the interest
of our country. It becomes every patriotic youth in whose breast there
yet remains a single principle of honour, to come forward calmly,
boldly, and rationally to defend his country. When we behold, Sir, a
great and powerful nation exerting all its energy to undermine the
vast fabrics of Religion and Government, when we behold them
inculcating the disbelief of a Deity, of future rewards and
punishments; when we behold them discarding every moral principle and
dissolving every tie which connects men together in Society, which
sweetens life and renders it worthy enjoying; when we behold them
brutalizing man that they may govern him,--as friends to Humanity; as
sharers in the happiness of our fellow-men, as Citizens of the world,
our feelings are deeply affected. We commiserate the fate of our
European Brethren; we weep over the awful calamities of anarchy and

But when we behold this Nation, not contented with its vast European
dominions, but endeavouring to extend its Colossean empire across the
Atlantic, every passion is roused; our souls are fired with
indignation. We see that their object is universal domination; we see
that nothing less than the whole world, nothing less than the
universal degradation of man, will satisfy these merciless destroyers.
But be assured, Sir, we will oppose them with all our youthful energy
and risk our lives in defence of our country.

Untaught in the school of adulation, or the courts of sycophants, we
speak forth the pure sentiments of Independence. We give you our
warmest approbation. We behold with true patriotic pride the dignified
conduct of our Chief Magistrate at this alarming crisis. We are highly
pleased with the moderation, candor, and firmness which have uniformly
characterized your administration. Though measures decisive and
energetic will ever meet with censure from the unprincipled, the
disaffected, and the factious, yet virtue must eternally triumph. It
is this alone that can stand the test of calumny; and you have this
consolation, that the disapprobation of the wicked is solid praise.

At this eventful period our eyes are fixed upon you, Sir, as our
political Father, and under Providence we rely on your wisdom and
patriotism, with the co-operation of our national Council, to
perpetuate our prosperity; and we solemnly engage, that, while our
Government is thus purely and virtuously administered, we will give it
our whole Support.

These, Sir, are the unanimous sentiments of the Members of Williams
College, who, though convinced of the evils of War, yet despise peace
when put into competition with National Freedom and Sovereignty.

Signed by a Committee in behalf of one hundred and thirty Students of
Williams College--



WILLIAMS COLLEGE, June 19, 1798.


From the Italian of T. Grossi by


  Swallow from beyond the sea!
    That, with every dawning day,
  Sitting on the balcony
    Utterest that plaintive lay!
  What is it that thou tellest me,
    Swallow from beyond the sea?

  Haply thou, for him who went
    From thee and forgot his mate,
  Dost lament to my lament,
    Widowed, lonely, desolate.
  Ever then, lament with me,
    Swallow from beyond the sea!

  Happier yet art thou than I,--
    Thee thy trusty wings may bear,
  Over lake and cliff to fly,
    Filling with thy cries the air,
  Calling him continually,
    Swallow from beyond the sea!

  Could I too!--but I must pine,
    In this dungeon close and low,
  Where the sun can never shine,
    Where the breeze can never blow,
  Whence my voice scarce reaches thee,
    Swallow from beyond the sea!

  Now September days are near,
    Thou to distant lands will fly,
  In another hemisphere;
    Other streams shall hear thy cry,
  Other hills shall answer thee,
    Swallow from beyond the sea!

  Then shall I when daylight glows,
    Waking to the sense of pain,
  'Midst the wintry frosts and snows,
    Think I hear thy notes again--
  Notes that seem to grieve for me,
    Swallow from beyond the sea!

  Planted here upon the ground,
    Thou shalt find a cross in spring;
  There, as evening gathers 'round,
    Swallow, come and rest thy wing.
  Chant a strain of peace to me,
    Swallow from beyond the sea!

_Vidette_, 1871.




  Oh fortunate Antonius! o'er whose head
  Calm days have flown and closed the sixtieth year,
  Back on this flight he looks and feels no dread
  To think that Lethe's waters flow so near.
  There is no day of all the train that gives
  A pang; no moment that he would forget.
  A good man's span is doubled; twice he lives
  Who, viewing his past life, enjoys it yet.

_Quarterly_, 1865.



"Horace,"[1] Ode 30, Book III.

E.C. BENEDICT '21[2]

  I've a monument reared more enduring than brass,
    Which is higher than pyramids built by the kings,
  Through the rains and the tempests, unharmed, it shall pass,
    And the wear the corrosion of centuries brings.
  For, not all shall I die, but my greater part still
    Shall survive from the grave, and my fame shall increase
  Long as virgin and priest on the Capitol Hill
    Shall ascend to their altars in silence and peace.
  Where once Daunus of deserts and rustics was king,
    Where swift Aufidus roars, in my praise shall be told
  That, though humble in birth, I was foremost to bring
    Into Italy's songs the Greek music of old.
  Then, Melpomene, take to thyself all the pride
    Of the glory thy merits so justly declare,
  And now freely of Delphian laurel provide
    A fresh coronal wreath to encircle thy hair.

_Athenoeum_, 1875.

[Footnote 1: The Melpomene of Horace was, I suppose, the Greek muse of
singing, not the muse of tragedy, nor a general muse.]

[Footnote 2: Died 1880.]



  "Thou silent, pallid dream, in marble stone!
    No rare, sweet phantasie which my divine
  And all unearthly-mingled soul has thrown
    Around a glowing form, art thou, where shine,
    As garlands wove about a kindled shrine,
  The beauties of a godlike art and more
    Etherial thought fashioned to high design,
  But a remembrance of that unknown shore
  Where youth and love eterne on spirit pinions soar.

  "O'er the hushed vales and gulfy hills of Greece
    Night brooded on her darkly jewelled wing,
  Binding in drowsy chains of dewy peace
    Sweet birds, white flocks and every living thing,
    And lapsing streams which to the forest sing.
  Beneath that pillared fane which guards the place
    Where spirits twain sleep in the charmed ring,
  I slept after the banquet, and the rays
  Of a past heaven flashed on my soul's astonished gaze.

  "The emerald isles that sail a silver sea,
    Caverned by plumy groves of sunny palm,
  Broke on my startled vision suddenly;
    When as but quickly parted, sweet and calm,
    That long forgot yet ever haunting psalm
  Floated from lips that flew to greet me home.
    A meteor flamed; I woke in rude alarm;
  Above me orbed the temple's sullen dome;
  Around me swam the early morning's starless gloom.

  "Of that fair dream thou art the memory,
    My genius, in its wildest fancy, bound
  And petrified to immortality!
    A holy presence seems to hover round
    The deep, perpetual loveliness, as crowned
  With angel radiance, and plumed for flight,
    Thy pinioned sandals spurn the flowerless ground,
  Striving to gain that far Olympian height
  Towards which in rapturous awe upturns thy longing sight.

  "Why are thy parted lips so dumb and cold?
    Else with my eager arms about thee thrown
  And folded in thy soft embrace, had rolled
    The Lethean tide of love, in which, unknown
    And all unheeded in their state, had flown
  The future and the past, merged in that sea
    The present, whose far deeps are felt alone
  By the pale diver, reaching breathlessly
  Through pearled and coral caves concealed from mortal eye.

  "Oh, shape divine! Such madd'ning grace must have
    A soul, a consciousness of love and life
  Though tombed in pallor, with no epitaph
    But silence! What mighty spell with power rife
    Can wake thee into Being's passion strife?
  Yet if there be such, let it rest unsought;
    For every boon thou couldst from breath derive
  I would not wrest from thee that higher lot,
  The need of deathlessness, thou pale, embodied thought!

  "Great poet souls and people yet unborn
    Shall lay their speechless homage at thy feet,
  And still thy life be in its rosy dawn,
    Whose eve eternity alone shall greet.
    While I, to whom thy changeless smile were sweet
  As heaven, long mingled with earth's vilest mould,
    Shall be forgot! What wealth of fame can mete
  The loss of love? None, none! Thy fate is cold,
  But oh, what starry treasures might it not unfold!"

  He ceased. A lambent halo seemed to play
    About her head, as lightnings round the moon;
  Her marble tresses streamed in golden spray--
    A tremor throbbed along her limbs of stone,
    And sky-hued veins with life's warm pulses shone.
  One thought of wordless love beamed from her eyes,
    Then, gently floating from her shining throne
  'Mid blushing smiles half drowned in tearful sighs,
  She faded slowly heavenward through the sunset skies.

_Quarterly_, 1853.

[Footnote 1: Died 1900.]



  Master of human destinies am I;
  Fame, love, and fortune on my footsteps wait.
  Cities and fields I walk; I penetrate
  Deserts and seas remote, and, passing by
  Hovel and mart and palace, soon or late,
  I knock unbidden once on every gate.
  If sleeping, wake; if feasting, rise before
  I turn away; it is the hour of fate,
  And they who follow me reach every state
  Mortals desire, and conquer every foe
  Save death; but those who doubt or hesitate,
  Condemned to failure, penury, and woe,
  Seek me in vain and uselessly implore;
  I answer not, and I return no more.

The date of first appearance of this sonnet is not known to the
editors. It is extracted here from Professor A.L. Perry's
_Williamstown and Williams College_, (1899), and of it Dr. Perry
remarks "Ingalls also wrote a notable sonnet on 'Opportunity,' which
will no doubt survive, for it has a fine form and considerable
literary merit, though godless in every line."



  Old Autumn thou art here! upon the Earth
  And in the heavens, the signs of death are hung;
  For o'er the Earth's brown breast stalks pale decay,
  And 'mong the lowering clouds the wild winds wail,
  And, sighing sadly, chant the solemn dirge
  O'er summer's fairest flowers, all faded now.
  The Winter god, descending from the skies,
  Has reached the mountain tops, and decked their brows
  With glittering frosty crowns, and breathed his breath
  Among the trumpet pines, that herald forth
  His coming.

              Before the driving blast
  The mountain oak bows down his hoary head,
  And flings his withered locks to the rough gales
  That fiercely roar among the branches bare,
  Uplifted to the dark unpitying heavens.
  The skies have put their mourning garments on
  And hung their funeral drapery on the clouds.
  Dead Nature soon will wear her shroud of snow
  And lie entombed in Winter's icy grave.

  Thus passes life. As hoary age comes on
  The joys of youth--bright beauties of the spring,
  Grow dim and faded, and the long dark night
  Of Death's chill Winter comes. But as the spring
  Rebuilds the ruined wrecks of Winter's waste,
  And cheers the gloomy earth with joyous light,
  So o'er the tomb, the Star of Hope shall rise,
  And usher in an ever during day.

_Quarterly_, 1854.

[Footnote 1: Died 1881.]



  We lie beneath the forest shade
    Whose sunny tremors dapple us;
  She is a proud-eyed Grecian maid
    And I am Sardanapalus;
  A king uncrowned whose sole allegiance
  Resides in dusky forest regions.

  How cool and liquid seems the sky;
    How blue and still the distance is!
  White fleets of cloud at anchor lie
    And mute are all existences,
  Save here and there a bird that launches
  A shaft of song among the branches.

  Within this alien realm of shade
    We keep a sylvan Passover;
  We happy twain, a wayward maid,
    A careless, gay philosopher;
  But unto me she seems a Venus
  And Paphian grasses nod between us.

  Her drooping eyelids half conceal
    A vague, uncertain mystery;
  Her tender glances half reveal
    A sad, impassioned history;
  A tale of hopes and fears unspoken
  Of thoughts that die and leave no token.

  "Oh braid a wreath of budding sprays
    And crown me queen," the maiden says;
  "Queen of the shadowy woodland ways,
    And wandering winds, whose cadences
  Are unto thee that tale repeating
  Which I must perish while secreting!"

  I wove a wreath of leaves and buds
    And flowers with golden chalices,
  And crowned her queen of summer woods
    And dreamy forest palaces;
  Queen of that realm whose tender story
  Makes life a splendor, death a glory.

_Quarterly_, 1856.



  A lonely island in the South, it shows
    Its frosted brow, and waves its shaggy woods,
    And sullenly above the billow broods.
  Here he that shook the frighted world arose.
  'Twas here he gained the strength the wing to plume,
    To swoop upon the Arno's classic plains,
    And drink the noblest blood of Europe's veins--
  His eye but glanced and nations felt their doom!
  Alas! "how art thou fall'n, oh Lucifer,
    Son of the morning!" thou who wast the scourge
    And glory of the earth--whose nod could urge.
  Proud armies deathward at the trump of war!
    And did'st thou die on lone Helena's isle?
    And art thou nought but dust and ashes vile?

_Quarterly_, 1857.



From one who belonged in a remote antiquity to the fraternity of
college editors, a contribution to this centennial number[1] has been
solicited. Perhaps I can do no better than to recall a few impressions
of my own life in college. Every year, at the banquet, I observe that
I am pushed a little nearer to the border where the almond tree
flourishes, and I shall soon have a right to be reminiscent and
garrulous. At the next centennial I shall not be called on; this is my
last chance.

I came to college in the fall of 1856. My class had been in college
for a year, so that the vicissitudes of a freshman are no part of my
memory. I shall never forget that evening when I first entered
Williamstown, riding on the top of the North Adams stage. The
September rains had been abundant, and the meadows and slopes were at
their greenest; the atmosphere was as nearly transparent as we are apt
to see it; the sun was just sinking behind the Taconics, and the
shadows were creeping up the eastern slopes of Williams and Prospect;
as we paused on the little hill beyond Blackinton the outline of the
Saddle was defined against a sky as rich and deep as ever looked down
at sunset on Naples or Palermo. I thought then that I had never seen a
lovelier valley, and I have had no occasion to revise that judgment.
To a boy who had seen few mountains that hour was a revelation. On the
side of the picturesque, the old way of transportation was better than
the new. The boy who is dumped with his trunks at the station near the
factory on the flat gets no such abundant entrance into Williamstown
as was vouchsafed to the boy who rode in triumphantly on the top of
Jim Bridges' stage.

The wide old street was as hospitable then as now; if the elms were
something less paternal in their benediction their stature was fair
and their shade was ample; but the aspect of the street--how greatly
changed since then! There were two or three fine old colonial houses,
which are standing now and are not likely to be improved upon; but
most of the dwellings were of the orthodox New England village
pattern, built, I suppose, to square with the theology of the Shorter
Catechism, or perhaps with the measurements of the New Jerusalem, the
length and breadth and height of which are equal. The front yards were
all enclosed with fences, none of which were useful and few of which
were ornamental. The broad-shouldered old white Congregational
meeting-house stood at the top of the street in Field Park; it was the
goal of restless Sophomores for several hours every Sunday, and it was
also the goal of all ambitious contestants for college honors. Griffin
Hall was then chapel, museum, laboratories, and recitation-rooms;
East, South, and West Colleges, with Kellogg Hall, on the West
lawn,--"factories of the muses," in Lowell's expressive phrase,--stood
forth in their naked practicality much as they stand to-day. Lawrence
Hall library, in its earlier, wingless character of colossal ink-pot,
Jackson Hall[2] and the little magnetic observatory, still standing,
completed the catalogue of the college buildings.

The faculty of that day can be recalled without difficulty: President
Hopkins, whose clear and venerable name no eulogy of mine shall here
disfigure; his stern-faced but great-hearted brother Albert; Emmons
the geologist; Griffin, Tatlock, Lincoln, and Chadbourne, who
succeeded Hopkins in the presidency; Bascom, the only survivor to-day,
and Perry, the best-known of them all. I have taken no pains to
refresh my memory of the faculty of 1856, but I am confident that here
are no omissions. It will be somewhat less easy for undergraduates
to-day, writing so many eventful years after their entrance, to recall
the names of their teachers. One only of our memorable nine is now in
service, and long may he serve the community! All these were ranked as
professors; there had been tutors and instructors before our days, but
none in our time.

The _Gul_ of those days was a four-page sheet containing in briefest
form the membership and official lists of the various fraternities and
associations; it sold for ten cents a copy. The only other college
publication was the _Quarterly_, a solid magazine of about one hundred
pages. None of the fraternities then existing, I think, possessed a
chapter-house; their rooms were in more or less obscure quarters, over
stores or in private houses. There was quite as much rivalry between
them then as now, and poorer spirit. There was also an Anti-Secret
Confederation, of which General Garfield in his time was the leader;
it mixed freely in college politics and was no less clannish than the
other fraternities. The absence of chapter-houses and the less fully
developed social life of the fraternities left room for a stronger
class feeling and perhaps a more sympathetic college spirit than
exists to-day. The smallness of the classes and the absence of the
electives, too, aided the cultivation of class feeling; the classes
ranged from forty-five to sixty, and the whole class was held solidly
together during the whole course, all reciting in the same room three
times a day from the beginning of freshman year to the end of senior.

College singing was hearty and spirited, but our repertoire was
limited. I recall many evenings of blameless hilarity on the benches
under the trees in front of East College. For more ambitious musical
performance we had our "Mendelssohn Society," whose concerts were not
probably so classical as we then esteemed them, but whose rehearsals
gave us not a little pleasure. Athletics had hardly a name to live.
Now and then a football was mysteriously dropped into the West College
yard, and kicked about in a very promiscuous fashion; the freshmen and
sophomores generally had a match of what was by courtesy called
base-ball. The only intercollegiate contest of which I had any
recollection, and as it seems the first ever to take place, was a ball
game at Pittsfield between Williams and Amherst. Amherst was the
challenging party, and the college by vote selected its team with much
care and went forth to the contest with strong hopes. The game was not
lacking in excitement. It was none of your new-fangled, umpire-ridden
matches: the modern type of base-ball had not, of course, been
invented. Foul balls were unknown, the sphere could be knocked toward
any quarter of the earth or sky; runners between bases could be pelted
with it by any of the outfielders. I think that the score stood
something like 60 to 40, and it was not in favor of Williams. It was a
melancholy company that trailed homeward after this contest past the
Lanesboro pond; but since then I understand that times have changed.

[Dr. Gladden has embodied his college reminiscences more fully in his
recent volume _Recollections_, wherein is told also the story of "The
Mountains." (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1909.)]

_Literary Monthly_, 1893.

[Footnote 1: October, 1893.]

[Footnote 2: Demolished in 1908.]




  Ye guardian mountains of the western world,
  Enthroned like monarchs of primeval days!
  Ye that hold lofty converse with the stars,
  And bind your shaggy brows with clustering clouds
  As if with wreaths of laurel! ye that count
  Your years by thousands, and your bosoms robe
  With all the pageantry of Autumn's gold,
  And lull your sleep of ages with the wild
  And murmurous drone of woodland waterfalls,
  And multitudinous song of windy groves!

  What spell hath bound ye now? what lethargy
  O'ercomes your ancient power? that undisturbed
  Ye slumber on, as if ye heeded not
  The piercing shriek from yonder fuming car,
  Which saith that even here presumptuous man
  Has dared intrude upon the green domain,
  Which ye inherited when Time was born.
  Awake! arise! are ye forever dumb?
  Let Greylock, most majestic of your band,
  Stand up and shout aloud to Audubon,
  Until from peak to peak the sound rolls round,
  Until yon mountain that o'erlooks the west
  Takes up the cry, of vengeance upon him
  Whose strange devices break your long repose.

  In vain! ye are indeed forever dumb,
  Obedient to the will of Destiny,
  Who sits enthroned among the stars of heaven,
  And unto man's inquiring vision points
  Toward the westering sun forevermore.
  Such is the law that rules the universe;--
  Planets and systems, e'en the sun himself,
  Around one common point progressive move.
  And thus a few millenniums more shall man
  Proclaim the march of mind, and when ye pass
  Into oblivion with your weight of years,
  When galaxies and suns are quenched in gloom,
  Th' unshackled soul of man, itself a star
  Lit by the smile of God, shall wing through space,
  The destined heir to immortality.

_Quarterly_, 1859.



  Ye golden bells, that toss your heaven-born fragrance
    On air around,
  And know to make the most harmonious music
    Without a sound!

  Ye fragile flowers, whose delicate, dear tendrils
    Upward do climb,
  Reveal to us the sweet, mysterious secret
    Of love sublime!

  Entwining with your gentle cunning fingers
    The ragged tree,
  Ye leave behind ye crowns and chaplets wondrous,
    Of jewelry!

  Not pearls nor diamonds of a radiance peerless,
    Not amethyst.
  When softly swaying on the human bosom,
    Or flexile wrist,

  Can add to life and beauty lustrous splendor,
    With grace divine,
  As when ye wreathe on gnarled oak and holly
    Your trailing vine!

  Oh, love of God! in gracious ways unnumbered,
    With gentlest touch,
  Thou teachest men and pitifully showest
    Of patience much!

  We pray, dear Father, teach thine erring children
    This lesson meet--
  To climb through fragile, earth born, human tendrils
    To life complete.

_Quarterly_, 1871.



According to common opinion Americans are the nation most addicted to
speechmaking. Laboulaye makes a good point by representing the son of
a leading character in "Paris in America" discovered by his father
before a large audience, in the full tide of political speech, and
maintaining afterwards to the old gentleman that it is the common
practice among all the boys to make a speech on every possible
occasion, that they may thus fit themselves for public life.

In New York, which tends rapidly to become the center of activity for
most of the important influences of our country, there are every year
many dinners, anniversaries, and assemblies, at which oratory of an
ephemeral nature finds expression and attention. All the
nationalities, all the religious and literary societies, all the
clubs, all the distinguished foreigners, and all the leading and
following colleges, must have a dinner, and every dinner must have at
least a dozen speeches. Most of these speeches are more eloquent to
the opinion of their authors than to the minds of their hearers.

It certainly is one of the best moral illustrations of the first law
of motion that in spite of all the heroism necessary to endure such a
volume of speech, the patient public seems (if we may judge from the
increase in volume) every year more and more willing to sit at the
tables and listen to this flow of sound. Perhaps this patience is only
apparent, for competition for an opportunity to speak is said to be
lively. Possibly every one of the thousands who listen is secretly
comparing the eloquence of the speaker with his own skilful ability,
and not quite calmly biding the time when he shall enrapture, where
the present speaker wearies and annoys.

Yet not every speech made on those occasions is dull. Now and then the
happy mingling of fun and sense really lifts the company out of the
tiresome monotony. Were it not for these addresses beautiful and rare,
we can believe that dinner speeches would be abandoned, or exchanged
for a single oration from one competent to delight.

For the distinguishing mark of the dinner speech should be that it
amuse not in the rough, coarse way of the demagogue, but in the
subtle, fine way of the man of culture.

The dinner speeches with which the readers of this paper are perhaps
most familiar, those made when the alumni of a noble college gather
around the table of their alma mater, ought to be characterized by the
broad sympathy, the quick insight, the flexible grace and the genial
humor of the thoroughly educated man. Although to make fine dinner
speeches can never be an aim worthy of an earnest man, yet to have the
power and culture from which such a speech usually comes, is the
highest aim in a literary regard that any man can have. It is a
short-sighted and one-sighted earnestness that despises the wit and
banter of society, and affects the isolation and grandeur of pure
thought. The mountain summit is too far removed from the walks of men
to make it possible for the recluse to wield all the influence that
his powers may entitle him to exert. The metaphysician less than the
poet, the country minister less than the successful lawyer, is the
autocrat of the dinner-table.

Because Williams and Yale have produced great and useful men, it does
not follow that their commencement dinners are always marked by the
finest flow of wit and wisdom, nor that pioneers in civilization who
bring great honor to their alma mater should always and everywhere
speak for her. Dinner-speaking is a fine art, not one for which men
need absolutely European travel and study, but one which is never
mastered except by those who love and perhaps know how to reach all
the beautiful thoughts of every age and clime. It is the cultured
gentleman of social experience, who may or may not be a man of great
ability, but who knows how to weave the poetic and humorous and
commonplace into beautiful or grotesque forms, that delights and
surprises a dinner company. Social experience and good abilities will
not alone make the successful speaker. Underneath and back of all must
be the gentleman. A lawyer, though of splendid position, can ill
afford to say at the festal table of his alma mater, "Harvard takes
great poets and historians to fill her vacant professorships; my
college takes boys, who have proved their qualifications by getting
their windows broken." Those who go deeper than the surface will
perhaps surmise that Harvard has had better material to work upon than
some colleges; not perhaps material of finer abilities, but material
that has been more under the influence of sweetness and light.
Possibly her graduates are as superior at making dinner speeches as
are her trustees in choosing professors.

A gentleman must make the happy dinner-speech, for only he can
perceive the proprieties of the situation. He will neither improve the
occasion to give the corporation advice as to the management of the
college, nor try to point out to a company of Unitarians the superior
advantages of the orthodox faith, nor exhibit to invited guests the
rags of his alma mater's poverty. He may, perhaps, avoid the
commonplace by so doing, but he will certainly transgress the rules of
propriety. The commonplace at a dinner, repeated every year under so
nearly similar conditions, cannot be avoided, but can be transformed
by the art of the master.

What could be more difficult than the duty of presiding at the dinner
of the New England Society and rehearsing the threadbare story of the
landing of the Pilgrims and dilating upon it in such a way as to
entertain New Englanders, who ever since their childhood have heard
the declamations of Webster, Everett, Winthrop, and the rest, about
that heroic band? Yet by a mixture of shrewd wit and eloquence Mr.
Choate, a Harvard graduate, went over again, last year, at the
sixty-fourth anniversary of the society, the main facts of the
history, and dwelt upon the relations of New Englanders to New York,
making a speech that, printed, fills ten octavo pages but which the
audience found charming from beginning to end.

This, like every other fine art, has something cosmopolitan in it. It
eschews the local and narrow, refuses to belong to any sect or party,
and appeals by the widest culture to men of culture. The dinner
speeches of our own Bryant are thus liberal and catholic. So were
those of Mr. Everett in the main, though one discovered the superb
actor now and then arranging his robe or making use of his splendid
presence and reputation to draw attention to himself. Of course, when
such a man comes as a guest into a company somewhat foreign in thought
and life to his own belongings, he can neglect the rules that good
breeding imposes on those who compose the homogeneous circles and
become narrow. But he must be narrow by praising not his own methods
but the unexpected excellence of life found among his hosts--thus,
while apparently dwarfing himself, he throws the dignity of his own
reputation and history over that which he eulogizes and really
exhibits the truest catholicity of spirit. To do this and perfectly
conceal the satisfaction that one has, because he can do it, was
perhaps difficult for Everett. Most men who heard him pardoned the
failure. It was easier for Dickens. His life was in some sense less
splendid but more real.

The amusement and good feeling which it is always the aim of the
dinner speaker to create, were largely the aim of Dickens' life. The
humor, the knowledge of human nature, that he always had at command,
were employed in his writings and daily thoughts to enliven and cheer
men. No wonder then that his speeches are models of breadth and
sweetness and appositeness, and that good judges regarded him when
living as in this department of expression unrivalled.

He who is so guided by the love of letters engrafted on the love of
man as to give constant and ample expression to these motives, will be
neither a reformer without grace nor a scholar without manliness. Give
to such a man a flow of animal spirits and a dash of wit, and he
should be not unapt to entertain even when poised on the dangerous
wing of an after-dinner speech.

_Review_, 1870.



A very interesting and significant feature of university life in the
early days was the great part played by students in the scholastic
community. They were not only included in the group described by the
word "faculty," but they were charged with administrative and
executive functions. The movement toward self-government, which has
already borne fruit in many of our colleges, is in no sense a modern
influence; it is a return to a condition widely prevalent in the early
history of university organization. Not only did the students share,
through various deliberative bodies, in the determination of the
gravest questions of academic policy, but, in many cases, the
executive head of the university was not only chosen by them but was
often one of their number. The rector of the Italian universities was
in most instances a student, often under twenty-five years of age. The
rector of the University of Paris, who was charged with the gravest
administrative functions, took precedence of the archbishop, and sat
at times in the royal councils with princes and nobles, was originally
elected by the student communities, and was often a very young man;
and yet Paris was essentially a university of professors. Bologna,
which was a university of students, was governed directly by the
general assembly of undergraduates. Whether governed by students or by
masters,--alumni as we should say,--these historic institutions were
essentially democratic, and the student seems on the whole to have
been the most important figure; not only because at the beginning he
formed the constituency for the popular teacher, but because later
when these throngs of students formally organized he had the largest
share of privileges and for a long time the controlling voice in the
management of affairs.

"Universities," said Professor Croisat at the centenary of the
University of Montpellier in 1889, "do not come into the world with a
clatter. What we know least about in all our history is the precise
moment when it (Montpellier) began." It is impossible, in many
instances, to fix the date of organization of many of the foremost of
the older institutions; they were not made, they grew. There was a
deep necessity for their existence in the intellectual and spiritual
condition of the times, and they sprang into being here and there, in
Italy, France, Spain, and England, in response to that need. They were
notable, at the beginning, not for academic calm, but for turbulence
and vitality; for they were not universities of science, they were
universities of persons. The differences of scholastic rank were not
very sharply defined. In early days, whenever the university body was
formally addressed by Pope or Emperor, the students were named in the
same sentence as the masters.

It is unnecessary to recall here the changes in condition which have
separated the student class sharply from the teaching body and
divorced it almost entirely from governmental functions. What is
significant for the purpose of this article is an apparent disposition
in many quarters to recede from the extreme position of entire
exclusion of the student body and a tendency to move in the other
direction. That tendency may become very marked and lead to a very
radical change of policy in the government of colleges, a change so
radical as to be revolutionary in its effect. It is certain that the
government of colleges, like that of states, must from time to time
undergo marked modifications if it is to remain vitally representative
of, and harmonious with, the growing and changing life of the college.
In healthy institutional life there is free play and interaction of
all the forces that go to make up the organic life, and a certain
flexibility is involved in all growth. The student community, is,
after all, in most institutions the prime object of interest. A few
foundations exist for the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake,
instruction being incidental; in most institutions, however,
instruction is the foremost and absorbing function, and the student's
welfare is, therefore, the controlling factor. In western colleges,
where the edge of hunger for knowledge has not yet been dulled by
opportunity, it is not an unknown thing for a committee of students to
wait on a president or chancellor and announce the failure of some
professor to prepare himself for recitations by fresh study of his
subject. It would be well if students in eastern colleges would
sometimes put on a similar boldness; they would help heads of colleges
out of very trying difficulties with well-meaning but incompetent or
indolent professors. Undergraduate popularity is often illusive and
unstable, but undergraduate perception of incompetency is often very
keen and discriminating.

But whether admitted to, or excluded from the government of the
college, the student community plays a part not always recognized in
its educational influence and work, and many men receive more
influential impressions from the atmosphere in which they live and the
men with whom they associate during their college career than from
their instructors. Nothing is so pervasive as an atmospheric
influence, and, in its way, nothing is so important. It is significant
that foreign students rarely speak of Oxford without commenting on its
atmosphere; something in the air of the old town which, although
intangible in its operation, is a positive factor in the educational
result. Specific courses of instruction are less numerous than in many
other places, and such instruction as is offered is often defective in
methods and spirit; but the life of the place is adjusted to
intellectual work; the library facilities are great, the traditions
which seem to be part of the very structure of the colleges are
liberalizing and make for generous culture. In such an air it is easy
to study by one's own impetus and to develop in ourselves the passion
for perfection. Culture is so different from training or favoring the
acquirement of knowledge that it is so often totally lacking in men
who have carried both processes to great length; it is indeed rarely
conveyed, though it may be greatly aided, by definite instruction. It
cannot be said of the great mass of college graduates that they are
men of culture. Culture comes, in a sense, by indirection, a man
absorbs it and furnishes the conditions for its growth, but he cannot
receive it directly from his teachers. There are, in every college,
teachers, who stimulate culture in students not so much by reason of
their scholarship as by reason of their attitude toward what they
know. For culture is always a personal quality; a ripeness which comes
from the generous enrichment of a man's nature by contact with the
best things. In certain atmospheres men ripen, as in certain others
they remain hard and unaffected.

The atmospheric quality of a college is determined largely by the
character and traditions of undergraduate life. If that life has
generous ideals, sound impulses, and traditions which appeal to the
imagination, the atmosphere will do as much for many men as the formal
instruction they receive. It will inspire self-respect, firm
ambitions, and general dignity and nobleness of nature. Men will be
drawn together by the sympathy of aspiration, rather than by mere
congeniality of habit, and their daily association will have an
educational influence of the most lasting kind. It is this association
which often leaves its mark on men who have failed to make right use
of the opportunities for specific instruction which surround them. A
college education is complete, so far as any provisional education is
complete, only when the student receives the strong impress of both
teachers and associates; when instruction is competent and vital, and
undergraduate life is wholesome, generous, and aspiring.

It is a significant fact that when a group of men develop creative
gifts in later life it will generally be found that their
undergraduate life together discovered strong sympathetic aspirations
which bound them together and gave their intercourse a very
stimulating quality. The action and reaction upon each other of a
group of young men of generous aims are peculiarly delicate and
influential, affecting the very sources of individual strength and

Such influences are intermittent and irregular; it would be a great
gain if they could become continuous and, in a flexible sense,
organic. Student life has been, at times, highly organized and
penetrated by intellectual impulses. Colleges differ greatly in this
respect, but in American institutions the student life of to-day does
not anywhere near realize its rich possibilities. Its interest in
athletics is so great that in this single field it may be said to be
fairly well organized and fairly effective in securing the end for
which it works; but in no other field is a similar activity
discoverable, unless it be in that of journalism. One of the most
interesting features of the intellectual and moral revival now going
on in France is the notable change that has come over student life, a
change shown in a revival of song, of old student customs, of
solidarity of feeling, and of a generous enthusiasm for the common
traditions and views. May not American students learn something from
this contemporary illustration of the possibilities of organized
student life?

_Literary Monthly_, 1893.




There are themes which no man can cope with. There are times when
those ordinarily confident shrink back at the thought of grappling
with the mighty issues that lie before them. There are minds of a
structure so singularly complex and unique, that one leaves the study
of them impressed only with a deep, abiding sense of his inability to
fathom them. We have in our midst one such, the penetration of whose
manifestations and phenomena is well calculated to baffle the most
zealous investigator. Reared among the rugged hill-sides and verdant
vales of Williamstown, his character and oratory bear the evident
impress of his nurturing. If to Elihu Burritt belongs the title of
"The Learned Blacksmith," not less to William Pratt is due that of
"The Eloquent Wood-sawyer." Though he cannot, like Elihu, claim a
knowledge of eight languages, he can at least use the one of which he
is master, in a manner at once astounding and gratifying. No son of
Williams needs to be told who he is; yet for the benefit of those
unacquainted with his genius and oratorical ability, we will endeavor
briefly to sketch his early career before enlarging upon the grander
triumphs of his later years.

The subject of the present article was born not far from the year
1810. Whether or no any comet or other unusual heavenly phenomenon
heralded his entrance upon the scenes of earth, is not recorded. If,
however, the astronomical appearances which are said to accompany the
birth of the mighty ones of the sons of earth are gauged with any
degree of fairness, there should have been at least six large comets
and any number of meteors distinctly visible. His early life glided by
gently as the placid Hoosick, by which he frolicked. Several desperate
attempts were made by various misguided individuals to educate him.
From all these, however, he escaped unscathed, with the wings of his
genius unfettered. At what precise period he began to exhibit symptoms
of that highly original and forcible eloquence which he now possesses,
we are unable to state. We presume that his first efforts were
co-existent with the commencement of his career as a wood-sawyer.
Certainly, at present, he is rarely filled with the divine afflatus
except when plying his saw. He is unlike Shakespeare, as he often
repeats. One utterance--"Ottah"--the coinage of his own brain, seems
to be the attempt of his daring and unschooled genius to strike out
not only into new lines of thought, but even to find a mystic mode of
expression. This term is evidently a portion of a language wholly
differing from our own. It is at once a noun, adjective, and verb,
and, in the full flood of his eloquence, it changes from the one to
the other with astounding rapidity.

The extreme versatility of his genius renders it peculiarly difficult
to give any adequate idea of his oratory. He is equally bold in the
expression of his sentiments on any subject. Perhaps for convenience
in consideration we may roughly divide his oratory into wood-pile and
conversational eloquence.

Specimens of his genuine wood-pile eloquence, though by no means
uncommon, are yet not easily accessible to the biographical compiler.
Very few of his sayings have ever found their way into print, and when
thus presented they are of necessity shorn of much of their strength,
and deprived of the impressiveness which they derive from the orator's
gesticulation and delivery. We will, however, endeavor to present our
readers with a few, selected at random, from discourses on various
occasions and subjects.

It is morning. A group of students, just before going into recitation,
cluster around Bill in the hope of getting a speech from him. He
remains deaf to their entreaties till the bell sounds, when with
uplifted hand and glaring eye he thus addresses them, in a voice
audible for about half a mile.

"Go in and take your secretary, persecuting yourself with the
dandelions and robes of righteousness. All the life, all the music,
and the blood and electricity rolling over the mountains with the
elements of pietude spread all over the fundament. Ottah!! R-R-R-Rose
Ottah! Rack-a-tack."

As might be surmised from a perusal of this effort, his peroration is
rarely in keeping with the main portion of his oration. In fact, the
close of all his speeches may be said to be very similar, being
invariably "Ottah," or some variation of it.

Occasionally the exuberance of his genius leads him into the error of
crowding together metaphors to the detriment of perspicuity. When, for
example, he says:

"The waters of heaven descending on the breast-bones of the women; and
the youthful Moses, sitting on the back-bone of eternity, sucking the
pap of time," we feel that there is a redundancy in the expression.

Some specimens of his remarkable verbal and figurative power in
conversation are forcible in the extreme. It is said, with what truth
we know not, that on one occasion the venerable head of this
institution ventured to "tackle" him in a religious argument. Bill,
after listening with a deference which was evidently a tribute of
respect to the Doctor's position rather than an acknowledgment of the
cogency of his reasoning, settled the question by an interrogatory:
"Dr. Hopkins, do you suppose I'm goin' to believe that when I die I'll
go up and sit on one of those clouds with my legs hangin' over?"

We infer from the above that his religious belief is somewhat vague.

Soon after the marriage of Charles, Bill's son, the heir apparent of
the Pratt estates, Bill was asked how Charles' wife was getting along,
whereupon he was pleased to remark that he believed she was "under
conviction." Since then the conviction has become a certainty, and
Bill is a grandfather. Commenting on the appearance of his grandchild,
he has been heard to say: "She's a pretty child. I say she looks like
Charles. Charles says she looks like me."

There are few scenes that abide longer in the student's recollection
than those in which Bill is the central figure. It not infrequently
happens that, when a number of lovers of fun are gathered around him
as he vigorously brandishes axe or saw, one of them, willing, for the
sake of drawing him out, to make a martyr of himself for the public
good, addresses him. On such occasions a conversation, something as
follows, occurs:

Student--"Bill, what do you think of the constitutionality of the
configuration, esthetically considered?"

No reply is elicited from Bill, but a scornful "Ottah," as he puts on
a new stick and continues his work.

Student, (not discouraged)--"Really, Bill, I should like your opinion
on that point."

Bill, (having finished his stick)--"You ain't no kind of a man. You
hain't got no elements, no justice of earth. When I see these young
men and the monument of liberty imported from Long Island for the
benefit of the rising generation, Ottah! Rolling Ottah!! Rang Dang! Du

Of course a rebuke so scathing and sudden as this, never fails to
annihilate its object. Being assured by the rapturous applause which
ever succeeds his efforts, that he has made a good hit, Bill suddenly
becomes as impenetrable as Gibraltar, and saws vigorously.

If, at a time like this, "the Professor," _alias_ "Niobe," having
snatched a few moments from his professional perambulations in search
of "_Coffee_," steps forward, signalizing his debut with the
interrogatory: "Do ye think I'm a common laborin' man?" naught is
wanting to complete the student's bliss.

"The Professor" is by no means as varied in his accomplishments as
Bill, his only quotable utterances being the one already given and
another, supposed to be severely sarcastic: "How lang has he been
_so_?" He, however, has, in the recesses of his brain, a dim idea that
Bill is weak, viewed from an intellectual standpoint, while Bill has
an equally indistinct belief that "the Professor" has very little
furniture in his upper story. How far either of them is wrong our
space does not permit us to say. Both have a supreme contempt for
students, regarding them as effeminate cumberers of the ground. In the
presence of Bill, "the Professor" does not appear to advantage. Being
entirely unable to compete with him in a war of words, he is usually
forced to betake himself to dancing; which, compared with oratory, is

Occasionally the adversities of life seem to press upon Bill with
peculiar force, rendering him extremely dejected. At such times,
though his flow of language does not forsake him, he is without that
cheerful aspect and spontaneous expression ordinarily so
characteristic. No longer does he cause the campus to ring with his
hearty vociferation, but he grumbles very like an ordinary mortal:

"I tell yer now I don't believe no man ever got rich sawin' wood. I
tell yer it's hard work to saw wood all day and car' it up two pa'r
stairs on yer back. I've sawed wood mor'n thirty years. You ask Mist'r
Tatlock, if yer don't believe it. Mist'r Tatlock's nice man. There
ain't no temptations about him. I sawed last night till twel' o'clock,
an' it's hard work. Say, that feller up in that room gin eight dollars
for that cord o' wood, an' it ain't good for nothin'. It's all full o'
the Ottahs in the lucination of the veins."

In the fall, Bill, for a season, abandons wood-sawing for the lighter
and more refined occupation of stove-blacking. While engaged in this
profession he never fails to assert his profound and lasting
conviction that, like sawing, it does not offer a broad and easy road
to opulence. His execution of whatever work is given him in this line
is at once artistic and masterly, showing that excellence in oratory
is not incompatible with an aptitude for the fine arts. His outfit is
eminently complete and choice. In order that he may fail in no portion
of his work, he usually carries with him a stock consisting of:

1. About 35 brooms, carried in a large sack. These are useful in
putting on the finishing touches, and ensuring an unapproachable

2. Brushes of various kinds, comprising shoe-brushes, hat-brushes,
clothes-brushes, hair-brushes, tooth-brushes, nail-brushes,
shaving-brushes, and sometimes, a stove-brush. These are useful in
many respects, the shoe-brushes and hair-brushes being instrumental in
doing the heavy and plain work, while the shaving-brushes and
tooth-brushes are extremely handy in doing justice to the filagree
work and ornamental portion.

3. A platform, or dais, on which to place the stove.

4. A stick, curiously carved, to beat out of pipes.

5. Cloths, of various sizes and patterns, to wipe the poker and the
legs of the stove.

6. Oil-cloths, for emergencies.

7. One large bottle or jug with a stick in it, and two smaller ones,
all filled with mysterious decoctions whose composition and properties
are known to Bill alone.

8. A sponge.

9. Small boxes containing a dingy powder.

10. A wheel-barrow, on which Bill vainly attempts to carry the rest of
his goods.

We have been thus minute in describing his equipment, knowing him to
be at the head of his profession, and hoping that any youth aspiring
to celebrity in it, who may chance upon these pages, will profit
therefrom. We regret to be obliged to state that there are some so
utterly out of sympathy with the cause of art, as to assert that the
greater portion of Bill's utensils are useless; and that by much
puttering he loses time without improving his work. These persons we
are inclined to class among those zealous but unthinking lovers of
simplicity, whose misdirected reformatory efforts in other departments
of life are so well known. As might be expected, Bill treats these
sacrilegious innovators with the contempt they so justly merit. Were
an officious stranger to try to convince an artist that one color
would answer all his purposes as well as a greater number, would the
suggestion of the untutored interloper cause the artist to waver in
the sternness of his faith? And shall the subject of this sketch
revolutionize his mode of stove-blacking at the promptings of an
untaught spectator?

It would be by no means surprising if such nicety of execution as that
to which we have alluded tended to draw his attention from rhetorical
themes. Yet, spite of this apparently necessary result, some of his
grandest and most startling flights of oratory have had their
inspiration from incidents connected with stove-nigrification. Bill
has, as it were, soared on the legs of the stove, like Perseus on
Mercury's sandals, to unexplored realms of space and thought. At such
moments the stove-pipe becomes to him a magic telescope, through which
he peers far into the unfathomable depths.

There are times when, through the influence of passion, he for a
little time lays aside his oratorical embellishments. We remember one
such occasion. He had just finished sawing a pile of wood, when a
student, who was looking from a window, told him there was one stick
which he had not sawed, and taunted him with intending to purloin it.
Instantly his countenance became livid with rage, his lips separated,
showing a fine dental formation, and he exclaimed in pure

"You're a liar. You lie."

The student, perceiving from Bill's descent to the vernacular of
common men that his ire was roused, abjectly and unqualifiedly

"Well," said the orator, threateningly, "you'd better take that back.
I've sawed wood more'n thirty year, an' no man ever 'cused me o'
stealin'." Then gradually becoming good-natured, he added,
"Crucifixin' yourself in the observatories of life in the gray dawn
over your jewelry. No sir, I never stole nothin'. _You_ do. You'd
steal if you wan't afraid to. Ottah!"

We regret to be obliged to chronicle one incident that would seem to
indicate something of malevolence. The impartial historian, however,
must not shrink from the full performance of his duty.

Another of the notables of this region, of sable lineage, called, on
account of a peculiar propensity to split two-inch planks with his
head, "Abe Bunter," not long since honored the students of this
institution with a series of calls for the purpose of soliciting money
to purchase for himself a bovine, to replace one providentially taken
from him. His success may he inferred from a remark let fall by Bill,
accompanied by a demoniac chuckle:

"Say, old Abe Bunter's round with an inscription, an' he hain't got a

Like all great men, Bill has his eccentricities. Fresh meat, and,
indeed, meat of any kind except pork, he abominates. Beefsteak,
especially, is an object of indescribable aversion. Untold wealth
would not suffice to induce him to partake of it. This repugnance is
due partly to a fear of being choked with bones, and partly to a scorn
of its tenderness. The physical weaknesses of students he attributes
entirely to their consuming so much of it. Viewed from his standpoint,
perhaps students are effeminate, for he possesses the strength of
brass, and an amount of endurance astonishing to contemplate.

His ordinary working-hours are from six in the morning till six at
night; but, when business presses, he rises, like the virtuous woman,
while it is yet night, and brings down on his devoted head the
anathemas of various students by commencing his day's sawing under
their windows at the moderately early hour of one A.M. He is a living
proof of the utter and irreclaimable falsity of the idiotic doggerel:

  "Early to bed, and early to rise,
  Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

Last summer, however, during the heated term, he was obliged to come
down to the limit of ordinary mortals, as he feared that the influence
of the sun's rays would bring about a degeneration of the Ottah and
Verdigres in the brain, and result in an explosion of the blood-veins.
By careful sanitary precautions he was enabled to avoid this fearful
malady and preserve his physical well-being.

He can, and will, for the comparatively slight sum of twenty-five
cents, hold his breath for five minutes. He, himself, asserts that he
can do it for seven minutes, but that the doctor advised him against
doing so, as it might produce a fusion of the Ottahs.

His costume is at once serviceable and unique. It usually consists of
from two to five shirts, and three pairs of pantaloons. He never was
known to wear the same hat or pair of boots all day. Occasionally he
dons a vest, and, at rare times, a coat. In stature he is below the
medium height; nevertheless, his appearance is eminently imposing and
prepossessing. His countenance is rather oblong, and wears an
expression that is a singular mixture of profound gravity and fearful
earnestness. His eyes resemble those of some species of fish, and are
set under curiously wrinkled brows that nearly conceal them.... Such
is Bill Pratt, honest, cheerful, and industrious, the maligner of no
man. His sturdy figure long holds a place in the memory of every
student; his photograph decorates every student's album. Without him
our college would be incomplete. Esteemed by all for his unfailing
integrity and industry, laughed at by all for his oddities, he remains
ever the same. We trust that the day is far distant when he will be
among us no more, and when the college walls shall cease to echo his
chaotic and ungovernable eloquence.

_Quarterly_, 1869.



  Fair Phrygian Attis, loved of Cybele,
  Fired with the service of her awful shrine,
  Had wandered far before his restless soul
  Along the gleaming sand-line of the beach.
  At last he came to a deep shaded nook,
  Where giant trees thick wreathed with twisting vines
  Clomb the steep hills on every side but one,
  And rimmed the sky with a green fringe of leaves.

  But toward the south wide open to the shore
  It seemed a lap, wherein the sun and sea
  Together lay warm in each other's smiles.
  Down the steep sides a little babbling brook
  Leapt with low laughter, fleeing from itself,
  Then, wid'ning out into a lucid pool,
  Crept slowly seaward through low banks of fern.
  Here, stretching his bare limbs upon the sward,
  He watched the water falling down the rocks.

  His jetty hair, curled loosely on his head,
  Fell down upon his shoulders glistening white,
  The rounded symmetry of breast and limb,
  And the rich color of his sensuous lips
  Almost belied the down upon his cheek.
  No uncouth garments hid his perfect form,
  Nor marred its grace, but, naked like the gods,
  The ruddy sunlight bathed him in its glow.

  So, as the day sank down the golden west,
  And the long index shadows toward the east
  Seemed telling of the morn that was to rise,
  A band of nymphs came past him where he lay
  Half-hidden in the grass, and to the pool
  Rushed with sweet rivalry and little screams
  To feel the water cold around their limbs.
  They saw him not, nor dreamed that mortal eyes
  In that lone glen were looking on their play.

  Soon they passed on, save one who near the bank
  Had lain to rest till sleep stole eyes and ears.
  Then Attis rose and would have sought the shrine
  But when he saw the sleeper he stood still.
  He was too young to know the power of love
  When mighty Cybele from his far home--
  His home, which lay beyond the heaving sea,
  And which to think of even yet would bring
  The bitter tears into his dark-lashed eyes,--
  Had brought him as a priest into her fane,
  And bound him by an oath of dreaded wrath
  To be hers only, hers forevermore.

  But years had passed since then, he was a man,
  And man's strong passion drove into his cheek
  The ruby symbol of its first felt power,
  As leaning o'er he gazed upon the nymph.
  She moved a little under the hot glance
  That burned from Attis' eyes upon her face,
  And seemed about to wake. Quick he drew back,
  Walking away a few steps towards the beach,
  Then turned to take one last look ere he went;
  She had not woke, her head lay on her arms,
  And her face looking toward him seemed to smile.

  He could not go, he dared not longer stay,
  But stood and wished, and feared, and let his wish
  Conquer his fear; returning step by step
  Again he bent above her. Then, at last,
  The wrath of scorner Cybele forgot,
  He thought of nothing but his newfelt love.

  Sudden she raised the lids, and her full eyes
  Looked straight upon him. Attis laid his hand
  Upon her arm to stay the flight he feared,
  Saying, "Fear not, 'tis only Attis, I,
  And 'tis my love that holds me here by thee."

  She smiled back on him and her hand in his
  Thrilled with a touch that maddened through his veins;
  He bent down over her and all his soul
  Slid through his lips in one long burning kiss
  Which lovers only know.

          Lo, Cybele,
  Her chariot, lion-drawn, grinding the sands,
  Stood awfully before them. Not a word
  Came from her lips, but her great angry eyes
  Dark with the wrath and vengeance of the gods
  Gloomed forth a hate no mortal could endure;
  Pale Attis looked in them but once, and then
  In frenzied madness fled along the shore.

_Quarterly_, 1871.



  My other self, my bosom friend,
  Thy faithful arm in mine enwinding,
  Let us fare forth amid the trees,
  Each in the other comfort finding.
    For though our boyhood be so near,
    Yet have we tasted grief and fear.

  I feel upon my heart the weight
  Of things unknown, the dread of living,
  And thou, dear friend, canst strengthen me
  By thy heart's wondrous gift of giving;
    So, when life's strangeness frighteneth me,
    In perfect trust I turn to thee.

  Thou dost not scorn my foolish fear,
  Nor e'er upbraid my dreamy thinking;
  Thou dost not brand me with contempt
  Because of all my frequent shrinking.
    Thou art a tower of strength to me,
    So let me walk awhile with thee.

  Not all our hours are hours of dread:
  We know the hours of splendid hoping;
  When life's ongoing ways shine clear,
  And vision takes the place of groping;
    In those Great Hours I seek for thee
    To walk amid the trees with me.

  How hath God made our lives as one,
  Knitting our fortunes up together
  In comradeship that welcometh
  The clearing or the lowering weather--
    The joy or pain--heart answering heart!
    Are we not friends till Death us part?

  Then mount with me the rugged hill
  And let our thoughts go seaward soaring,
  Until in fancy's ear there sound
  The chime of surf, the tempest's roaring;
    And, by the sun-glint on the sea,
    We trace the years that are to be.

  My other self, why bound by death
  The compass of our friendship's reaching?
  Why doubt the promptings of our hearts,
  Or falsify our spirits' teaching?
    Must not the friends beneath the sod
    Still walk amid the trees of God?


_Literary Monthly_, 1909

[Footnote 1: Died 1908.]




  Sweetly the June-time twilights wane
  Over the hills of fair Lorraine,

  Sweetly the mellow moonbeams fall
  O'er rose-wreathed cottage and ivied wall.

  But never dawned a brighter eve,
  Than the holy night of St. Genevieve.

  And never moonlight fairer fell,
  Over the banks of the blue Moselle.

  Richly the silver splendor shines,
  Spangles with sheen the clustered vines,

  And rests, in benediction fair,
  On midnight tresses and golden hair.

  Golden hair and midnight tress,
  Mingle in tender lovingness,

  While the evening breezes breathe upon
  Marie and Jean,--and their hearts are one!

  "The spell of silence lifts at last,
  Marie, the saint's sweet day is past!

  "Her vesper chimes have died away,
  Where shall we be on Christmas day?"

  With answering throb heart thrilled to heart,
  Hand met hand with sudden start.

  For in each soul shone the blessed thought,
  The vision fair of a little cot,

  Nestled beneath the lilac spray,
  Waiting the blissful bridal day!

  Low bowed in tearful silence there,
  Their hearts rose up in solemn prayer,

  And still the mellow lustre fell
  Over the banks of the blue Moselle.

  And still the moonlight shone upon
  Marie and Jean,--and their hearts were one!


  Six red moons have rolled away,
  And the sun is shining on Christmas day.

  Over the hills of fair Lorraine--
  Heaps of ashes and rows of slain.

  Where merrily rang the light guitar,
  The angry trump of the red hussar

  Flings on the midnight's shrinking breath,
  The direful notes of the Dance of Death!

  Underneath the clustered vines,
  The sentry's glittering saber shines.

  Over the banks of the blue Moselle,
  Rain of rocket and storm of shell!

  Where to-day is the forehead fair,
  Crowned with masses of midnight hair?

  A summer's twilight saw him fall,
  Dead on Verdun's leaguered wall.

  Where, alas! is the little cot?
  Ask the blackened walls of Gravelotte!

  Under the lilac broods alone
  A maid whose heart is turned to stone.

  Who sits, with folded fingers, dumb,
  And meekly prays that her time may come!

  Yet see! the Death-god's baleful star!
  And War's black eagle screams afar!

  And lo! the Christmas shadows wane
  Over the hills of sad Lorraine.

_Quarterly_, 1873.



  And thou didst idly dream,
    Or, careless of thy action, think,
  To cast a veil o'er all the past
    And weld anew the broken link?
  Vain thought to weave anew the bond
    That thou didst ruthless sever;
  Know friendship often turns to love,
    But love to friendship never.

  And love ne'er dies but when some hand
    Too careless of their mimic strife,
  Slow cleaves its tendrils from their hold,
    And hurls them down bereft of life.
  And love once fled can ne'er return,
    Nor in its stead can friendship stand,
  Nor twine again the tendrils frail,
    Nor e'er unites the broken band.

_Athenoeum_, 1875.



An early memory of my earliest youth.

  There came into the village I called home
  A traveller, worn and faint. His garments held
  The alien dust of many a weary march;
  None but a child would e'er have thought the man
  A thing to look at twice, much less adore.
  But unto me, child that I was, the look
  In his large pleading eyes seemed so divine,
  The massive brow so free from thought of earth,
  The curves of his sad mouth so tremulous
  With more than woman's love and tenderness,
  And in each word and act such gentleness,
  That the quaint thought possessed and held my mind,
  That by some strange hap an angel soul,
  As penance for some small offense in heaven
  Had been compelled to traverse in this wise
  Our darkened world. And not alone his look
  Which made his rusty vesture fine, nor yet
  Alone the birds which fluttered round him as
  He were a friend, led to the same belief--
  But he with other men had naught in common.
  They called him fool and idiot, jibed at him
  And at his rags, and mocked his lofty air
  So far above his low condition.
  And yet unto their jeers he never word
  Replied, nor ever seemed to know that they
  About him crawled; but fixing his great eyes
  Upon the sunset slopes, while mirrored in
  His face was seen the battle in his heart
  Of hopes and fears, he rather breathed than spoke
  Such words as these, except that his had soul:
  "At length, O weary heart, it seemeth me
  The rest is near. The air seems full of promise;
  My eyes are fixed on what they cannot see;
  My ears are filled with whispers not quite heard.
  All things seem waiting as to hear good news.
  The western breeze hath messages for me;
  The western hills lean down and beckon me.
  It must be, sure, because, it _must_ be so,
  That just beyond those hills, O heart, there doth
  Await us both the rest we long have sought."
  They told him that the world was round, and so
  It could not be that all this journeying
  Should e'er do more than bring him back to us,
  If he through weary years should persevere.
  "I know," he quick replied, "the world is round
  To railroads and canals, and yet I do
  Believe," and, voicing o'er his hopeful creed,
  And striding on, he soon was lost to view.

  We heard of him as passing through the towns
  To west of us; but soon he was forgot
  By all except myself and one poor maid
  Whom much love led astray. And soon she paid
  The debt of Nature, not as doth befit
  Such payment dread, but, maddened by cold looks,
  She, sporting with dank grasses in a pool,
  Gave back to God the life His creatures scorned,
  And breathed in death moist prayers to heaven.

  Since then hath any mention of the man
  Reached me. Nor have I ought on which to rely
  Except a dim remembrance. Yet in me
  A fixed belief hath taken root, and grows
  With growing years,--that, far beyond those hills
  I' the west, upon high plains, among his peers,
  The fool hath long been deemed philosopher.

_Athenoeum_, 1876.



  Like some fair girl who hastes to meet her swain,
    Yet hesitates each step with maiden fear,
  So the still stream glides downward to the main,
    Pausing at times in fern-set pools,--and here,
    Where bend the willow branches to the clear
      Deep pool beneath, and where the forest hoar
      Seems whispering old tales of magic lore,
        They say by night the fairies dance in glee,
      And on the moss beside the curving shore
        The Queen of Elfland holds her revelry.

  From beds in purple buds where they have lain
    Until the mystic midnight time drew near,
  To chimes of hare-bells and the far-off strain
    Of forest melodies, the elves appear
    In all the gorgeousness of goblin gear.
      With brilliant dress the golden-beetle wore,
      With scarlet plumes the humming-bird once bore,
        They come in troops from every flower and tree,
      And 'round the fairy throne in concourse pour,--
        The Queen of Elfland holds her revelry.

  Yet mortal eyes see not the goblin train
    Whose bells sound faintly on the passer's ear,--
  Who dares attempt a secret sight to gain
    Feels the sharp prick of many an elfin spear,
    And hears, too late, the low, malicious jeer,
      As long thorn-javelins his body gore,
      Until, defeated, breathless, bruised, and sore,
        He turns him from the haunted ground to flee,
      And murmurs low, as grace he doth implore,
        "The Queen of Elfland holds her revelry!"


      Sweet mortal maid, that fairy world of yore
      Has vanished, with the midnights that are o'er;
        Yet come and sit beside the stream with me,
      That I, beholding thee, may say, "Once more
        The Queen of Elfland holds her revelry."

_Argo_, 1882.




  When the forest flames in crimson and gold,
    While the sinking sun seems a molten mass,
  And a beautiful blaze is all the wold,

  The sumach flashes, a banner unrolled,
    And yellow-clad boughs glow like burnished brass,
  When the forest flames in crimson and gold.

  What secrets the listening leaves are told,
    As strollers along worn wood-paths pass,
  And a beautiful blaze is all the wold!

  In the gay, glad light grow wooers bold,
    For there's brightness e'en in the dark morass,
  When the forest flames in crimson and gold.

  And when she is gently coaxed and cajoled,
    The hues find mirrors in cheeks of the lass,
  And a beautiful blaze is all the wold.

  But still is there one who remains e'er cold
    In the glow of the Indian summer; alas!
  When the forest flames in crimson and gold,
    And a beautiful blaze is all the wold.

_Athenoeum_, 1883.



  O'er the deep sighing sea,
  Mirrored as dreams of thee,
    Stars watches keep.
  Wavelets laugh soft and free,
  Calling my love to me;
    The world's asleep.

  Far from the day's dull care,
  Into the moonlight fair,
    Our boat shall speed;
  Songs floating on the air,
  Haste we with music rare,
    Where Love would lead.

  Life's but a transient dream;
  All things that are or seem,
    Breathe but a day.
  Come, eyes that on me beam,
  Leave what ye sorrow deem,
    While yet ye may.

_Fortnight_, 1886.




  In holland brown she stands to greet
  Me as I come adown the street,
  The sunlight falling on her hair
  Leaves warm caresses gently there--
  A picture with true grace replete!

  The roses twining round her feet
  Breathe gentle fragrance rare and sweet,
  She sings a merry rustic air--
    In holland brown.

  O years that fly so swift and fleet!
  O storms that 'gainst her window beat!
  Keep her from harm and tears and care!
  That future years may find her where
  In days of June we used to meet,
    In holland brown.

_Fortnight_, 1886.



  Many years have left their shadows on the pathless flow of time;
  Many bards have with soft music sung their lays of ancient rhyme,
  Since the day when rosy Hylas plunged into Scamander's wave,
  Since the am'rous Naiads bore him where no human arm could save.

  On the waves swift Argo rested; scarce a ripple stirred the sea,
  While across the Dardan meadows sighed the breezes soft and free;
  Then the sun, in golden splendor, sank into a sea of flame,
  Darkness o'er the blue hills rested; yet no fair young Hylas came.

  For the water nymphs had loved him, when they saw his beauty rare,
  And with yielding lips caressing, they entwined him with their hair,
  Till they bound him, still entreating, with this soft and silken chain,
  Till they drew him 'neath the waters, whence he ne'er should come again.

  Then the moon, a crescent jewel, edged the clouds with silver light,
  While they sped like shallops sailing, swift-winged messengers of Night.
  And the stream, dark-hued and somber, sighed in surges on the shore,
  Gently sighed among its rushes, "Hylas! Hylas!" o'er and o'er.

  Yet no voice replied in answer, tho' the sighing louder grew,
  Tho' with sorrow bowed the flowers and their tears were drops of dew;
  No sweet echo breaks the silence, tho' the heart may hope and yearn,
  O'er the stream a realm of quiet, on the shore the empty urn.

_Fortnight_, 1886.



  The mellow light steals o'er its silent strings,
    That catch the sound of some far sylvan strain;
    Such fantasie as thrills the poet's brain,
  Or Morpheus, floating 'neath the pale stars, brings.

  And list! Divinely, on its own sad wings,
    It sings a wondrous pitiful refrain,
    Methinks some soul with aching grief is lain--
  That moans and dies with broken murmurings.

  The voice is hushed, the lights are low and spent;
    The dancers bid farewell, with tired feet.
  Too few, I ween, this thing of wood has meant
    A tenth part what its harmony, so sweet,
    Has told to me. 'Mid joy, the sorrows greet
  The wanderer, their hearts by weeping rent.

_Fortnight_, 1887.



  Dim, distant, tinkling chimes,
  That summoned men in olden times
    To pray the Virgin grace impart;
  Ye solemn voices of a day gone by,
  Whose mystic strains of melody
    Alike touched peer and peasant's heart:
  Your music falters in the fleeting years,
  Yet still comes faintly to our ears,
    Saved by a master's cunning art.

_Literary Monthly_, 1885.



In the country, with a soft, calm, hazy afternoon to keep you company!
To feel that Nature and yourself have moods in common, for you are
lazy and Nature is lazy, too, and blinks sleepily at you from filmy,
dreamy eyes that open and shut with your own in a sort of drowsy
rhythm. What more delightful than to yield yourself entirely to the
present mood and wander off somewhere, aimless except to see and feel?
The trim soberness of the dusty road with its gray windings and vistas
of sand-ruts becomes less matter-of-fact at length, and so you leave
it to itself, and seek a path that leads to the heart of Nature and
far from ways of men. Down grassy slopes and over little hillocks that
pique your curiosity by shutting out the view of what is coming next;
now skirting the edge of a furrowed potato-patch, and now sauntering
down cool lanes of corn, listening to the breezy lisping of the long,
green leaves that flap you softly in the face; now across a moist spot
where a spring bubbles forth, apparently only to nourish a family of
cowslips, and so on and on until you break the stillness of a shady
wood as your feet keep alternate time among the heaps of leaves whose
rustling is varied by the occasional noise of crackling twigs. The
damp air, freshened by contact with trickling drops and oozy bogs, and
perfumed with spicy cedar, soothes and cools. Yonder lies prostrate
some mighty giant of the forest, victim of a ruthless storm, grim with
decay and raising a vertical base of black sod and tangled roots torn
from the earth where a gaping wound shows its former place. Here a
rock, moist with swamp-sweat, lichen-covered and set in moss. There a
clump of thick-grown cedars, deep shelter for the timid rabbit. All is
noiseless, breathless. Not even the squirrel chatters, for it is not
long past noon. But farther on comes a dull, low murmuring, scarcely
to be heard at first, so nicely does it fit this gentle monotone of
silence, yet soon filling the trembling air with overtones that rise
and fall and swell again in varying chords. It is the river. A few
steps more and you are there, and beside the stream in a fragrant bed
of ferns, with one hand caressing the delicate tresses of the
maidenhair, and the other dipped among the ripples, you give yourself
up, half dozing, to thoughts of the long ago and the far away that
seem to float up from the past along the dim windings of the stream.
The sun makes dancing spots of dark and light between the fluttering
leaves, and throws a changing shadow upon yon deep pool, where a grand
old beech, festooned with clematis, leans its gray trunk far over as
if to bless the stream whose waters, bubbling swiftly over the pebbles
a little higher up, calm themselves here to rest in peace. The
wood-thrush sends its plaintive, solitary note of silver-globuled
melody from the inmost forest. No other sound, save when a wagon now
and then rolls its quick rumble across a bridge, and then is gone like
some self-conscious intruder. But luxury like this is the very thief
of time. Before you are aware the waves of heat have ceased to form a
throbbing air-hive for humming insects, and the cool of early twilight
has come on, attended by lengthening shadows. And so home again along
the dewy fields, while an orchestra of crickets chirps a happy end
beneath the summer stars to the day that is done. It is in ways like
this that poets renew their souls, the old their youth, and weary
hearts, in sweet release from care, gain strength for life.

_Literary Monthly_, 1887.



  There are strange complications in it all,
    This life of ours--had I fourfold the wit
  That as his share to any man doth fall,
    I fear me that I could not fathom it.

  This sorrow bringing laughter, and joy tears,
    Conflicting things we cannot understand;
  This constant longing for great length of years,
    That brings but weary limb and feeble hand;

  Eyes that are dim, and saddened, lowly life;
    These hot-waged wars, squalid with cries of pain,
  This joy in contest and this thirst for strife,
    In which both suffer, and there is no gain;

  Strong love that ere long turns to stronger hate,
    Sin leading into good, good into sin--
  In very truth do lambs with tigers mate.
    The world is wide, and strange things are therein.

_Fortnight_, 1887.



  A great thought came to a great singer's heart,
  Out of the grandeur of the changeless hills--
  A thought whose greatness e'en in our day fills
  Men's minds with nobler feeling. All his art
  He lavished on the poem that he wrought,
  That it might be, through all the years of time,
  An inspiration, to all men, sublime,
  And nor for fault of his hand come to naught.
  So it hath been. The singer lieth dead;
  His words live on. And still the mountains stand,
  And all men say who know them, in that land--
  And through all ages, it will still be said--
  Not gold that perisheth, from deep-hid veins,
  They give us, but the thought that aye remains.

_Literary Monthly_, 1887.



  Come, friend scholar, cease your bending
    Over books with eager gaze;
  Time it were such work had ending,--
    Well enough for rainy days.
  Out with me where sunlight pours,
  Life to-day is out of doors!

  Busy? Pshaw! what good can reach you
    Frowning o'er that dog-eared page?
  Yonder rushing brook can teach you
    More than half your Classic Age.
  Banish Greeks and Siren shores,
  Let your thoughts run out of doors!

  Rest we here where none can spy us,
    Deep in rippling fields of grass;
  Scented winds blow softly by us,
    Lazy clouds above us pass;
  Higher yet my fancy soars--
  All my soul is out of doors!

_Literary Monthly_, 1888.

[Footnote 1: Copyright, 1907, by T.M. Banks. With permission.]



  Once on a bright October day,
    I took the road whose winding track
  Leads up among the hills away
    Across Taconic's shaggy back,
  Leaving the valley broad and fair
  For barren heights in upper air.

  At last I stood upon the crest;
    The ruddy sun was sinking low,
  And all the country to the west
    Lay flooded with a golden glow--
  A fairyland of misty light,
  Unsullied by the touch of night.

  I turned, and lo, a sudden change
    Had swept across the valley's face.
  The shadow of Taconic's range
    Had fallen on the lovely place;
  And darkness followed thick and fast
  Behind the shadow as it passed.

  Since then the changeful years have flown
    Till now once more I seem to stand
  Upon the mountain top alone,
    And look abroad upon the land.
  But all before is gray and dim,
  Half-hidden in the cloud-wrack grim;
    While in the Berkshire valley stays
    The light that dawned in happier days.

_Literary Monthly_, 1893.

[Footnote 1: Copyright, 1907, by T.M. Banks. With permission.]



  If all the stars were gems, love,
    And all those gems were mine,
  I'd give them in exchange, love,
    For that dear heart of thine.
  But, since the stars so bright, love,
    Are neither gems nor mine,
  What can I do, but sigh and rue
    My luckless lot, and pine,
  And gaze on high, where night winds sigh,
    Across thy lattice vine?

  If all the little birds, love,
    That twitter 'mid the dew,
  Could sing in words and tell, love,
    The love I bear to you,
  They would not end their song, love,
    The night's long vigil through;
  But all the wings that morning brings
    Would soar amid the blue,
  And float along on waves of song,
    With carols sweet and new.

_Literary Monthly_, 1893.



  Placed 'midst the city's busiest life,
  Not a stone's throw from the deadly strife
    Of the metropolitan mart,
  Old Trinity stands; her spire, like a hand,
  Points ever upward; her chimes demand
    From the hardened world a heart.

  Clustered around her, buried, lie
  Many whose names can never die,
    Founders of their country's weal:
  Patriot churchmen, statesmen, soldiers,
  There they sleep who were its moulders;
    Sculptured stones their deeds reveal.

  Trinity's self was new-born with the nation;
  Springing from ashes of desolation,
    She helped to forge posterity.
  Now she looks from her chosen station,
  At pageant, starvation, begg'ry, ovation,
    Results of her sons' prosperity.

  Within, away from the din and crowd
  And the mendicants' cries and the laughter loud,
    Of Pleasure in hand with Youth,
  Is the silent yet eloquent reign of Peace
  And the utterance of words which shall not cease
    While the earth has a place for Truth.

  When peal on peal the organ's voice
  Calls the assembled to rejoice
    For blessings unsurpassed,
  Or when its milder tones tell Grief,
  Then e'en Death's triumph is but brief,
    Old Trinity's charm but half is grasped.

  Far sweeter it is in the twilights glim,
  When the symbolled altar is growing dim,
    And the wayward shadows dart,
  To watch the golden light stream in
  Each lofty window, as though all sin
    At its entrance must depart.

  Saints' and martyrs' pictured graces,
  Illumined by these heavenly traces,
    Shine in blue and saffron and red;
  But in the sun's last traces, above their faces,
  Beam the eyes which no might from the soul effaces,
    And the Christ's mock-crowned head.

_Literary Monthly_, 1894.



  'Neath fading leaves and dreary skies,
  A late-born rose burst into bloom
  And gazed about with sad surprise,
  'Neath fading leaves and dreary skies;
  Let fall from Summer's bier, it lies
  In Autumn's pathway 'mid the gloom
  Of fading leaves and dreary skies,
  A late-born rose, burst into bloom.

  Beside the ever restless sea
  Fair Autumn stands. With beckoning hand
  She hails the passing days, which flee
  Across the ever restless sea,--
  Their sealed ears hearing not the plea
  Which sea-winds waft from that fair land
  Beside the ever restless sea,
  Where Autumn stands with beckoning hand.

_Literary Monthly_, 1894.



  Adrift in taintless seas she dreaming lies,
  The island city, time-worn now, and gray,
  Her dark wharves ruinous, where once there lay
  Tall ships, at rest from far-sea industries.
  The busy hand of trade no longer plies
  Within her streets. In quiet court and way
  The grass has crept--and sun and shadows play
  Beneath her elms, in changing traceries;
  The years have claimed her theirs, and the still peace
  Of wind and sun and mist, blown thick and white,
  Has folded her. The voices of the seas
  Through many a soft, bright day and brooding night
  Have wrought her silence, wide as they, and deep,
  And dreaming of the past, she waits--asleep.

_Literary Monthly_, 1897.



  It comes with the autumn's silence,
  When great Hills dream apart,
  And far blue leagues of distance
  Call to the Gypsy-heart.

  When all the length of sunny roads,
  A lure to restless feet,
  Are largesses of goldenrod
  And beck of bitter-sweet.

  Then the wand'rer in us wakens
  And out from citied girth,
  To go a-vagabonding down
  The wide ways of the Earth.

_Literary Monthly_, 1898.



  When our sabers rattle merrily against our lances' butt,
    And our bugles ring out clearly in the coolness of the dawn,
  You can see the guidons waving as the ranks begin to shut,
    And the morning sun beams forth on the sabers that are drawn.
  Then the bits begin to jangle and our horses paw the air,
    When we vault into the saddle and we grasp the bridle-rein;
  Of danger we are fearless and for death we do not care,
    For we fight for good Don Carlos and the grim grandees of Spain.

        So to horse and away,
        At the break of day,
      With never a thought of fears;
        For Spain and the right
        We'll die or we'll fight,
      Sing ho, for the cavaliers!

  As we gallop through the villages or through the sylvan glades,
    Merry maid and buxom matron smile and wave as we ride by;
  There are broken hearts behind us as well as broken blades,
    For the cavaliers are gallants till the war-notes rend the sky.
  But when summer breezes waver and grow cold with news of war,
    We gird our good swords closer and we arm us for the fight;
  Maid and wine cup fade behind us, lance and helmet to the fore,
    And we wheel into our battle line for Carlos and the right.

        So to horse and away,
        At the break of day,
      With never a thought of fears;
        We'll die or we'll fight,
        For Spain and the right;
      Sing ho, for the cavaliers

  When at last the brazen bugles ripple out the ringing charge,
    We rise up in our stirrups and we wave our swords on high,
  The dust clouds rise beneath us, and the demons seem at large--
    The cavaliers are charging in to conquer or to die.
  Grim death may claim his victims from out our whirling ranks,
    Our plumes may be down-trodden in the grimy, bloody sod:
  The cavaliers will meet their fate without a word of thanks,
    But they've died for good Don Carlos, for old Spain, and for their God.

        So to horse and away,
        At the break of day,
      With never a thought of fears;
        We'll die or we'll fight
        For Spain and the right;
      Sing ho, for the cavaliers!

_Literary Monthly_, 1897.



  At dawn he toils the steep to gain the flower,
    The lure that beckons from the height afar;
  Noon wanes to eve, the bloom has fled, but lo!
    High in the purple night there gleams a star.

_Literary Monthly_, 1897.



  They crowded round to see him, great and small,
  The conquered admiral of a conquered fleet,
  Shorn of his glories, thrown from his high seat,
  Great by the very greatness of his fall.
  Hope, honor, fortune, lost beyond recall,
  Greyhaired and bitter-hearted; doomed to meet
  His country's censure, sharper than defeat;
  His foeman's pity--that was worst of all.

  He heard them faintly, as one hears, amuse,
  Amid his vision voices far away
  That call him from sad dreams to sadder day;
  For he was where he would be could he choose,
  At peace beneath the waters of the bay,
  Where all his ships lay silent with their crews.

_Literary Monthly_, 1898.



  I wondered why the western hills were always smiling so,
  Until one evening when the heavens were like a fiery sea;
  For, as the Sun crept down the sky amid the sunset-glow,
  He paused upon the western hills, and kissed them tenderly.

_Literary Monthly_, 1900.



Through the gathering gloom of a summer evening a young man walked
wearily up the dusty road toward the Waring farmhouse. In each hand he
carried a brimming pail and as he stepped along the milk in them
flopped softly against their tin sides. Out from the white streak of
sky behind his figure stood strongly relieved in silhouette, large,
stooping, dispirited. The whole attitude was one of extreme fatigue,
though for the silence and automatic movement of him you might almost
think him a piece of ambulatory mechanism. Once or twice, to be sure,
he turned his head, perhaps to look off over the cultivated fields and
to calculate the labor still to be put on them, or possibly to draw a
sort of unconscious, tired satisfaction from these encouraging results
of so many weary hours. At any rate his pace never altered. Overhead
the large maple trees reached their glooming branches in a mysterious,
impenetrable canopy that rustled softly in the dusky silence. For the
night was still, despite the squeaking of katydids and the distant
peep of frogs. Along the sides of the road as it stretched on ahead
like a brownish ribbon and vanished under the farther trees, ran stone
walls, low and massive, and sharply hemming in the dusty highway from
the cool, green fields beyond.

David Waring was not consciously aware of anything in the world, but
his whole body was alive to the anticipation of the near end of his
day's work. A few minutes more and he should have set the milk into
the coolers, thrown off his overalls, and washed himself in cold
spring water--and then he could drop into a chair on the quiet porch
and take his ease.

Quite unexpectedly just ahead of him a young woman stepped out from
the shadow of a tree and sprang lightly into the road. "Hello, David!"
she said, waiting for him to come up to her. "You look as tired as a
plough-horse. What's the matter?"

"Well, I am, Janet. It doesn't hardly seem as if I could push one foot
ahead of another. Here I've been working all day long, and only just
done at eight or nine o'clock."

"Poor boy," answered the girl. "Come and sit down a few minutes while
I talk to you. I didn't go round to the house because I knew your
father and mother would be off at meeting."

David needed no urging. He placed the pails of milk by the roadside
and together the two sat down by the stone wall.

"I'd let you put your arm around me if you didn't smell so cowy," said
Janet with a little laugh.

"That's not my fault," he answered. "Somebody's got to milk the poor
old beasts, and I don't know who would if I didn't. That doesn't make
me like it, though. Oh Janet, when I feel as tired as I do to-night I
get terribly sickened with all this humdrum life on the farm! It's
just work, work, from morning till night and when you get done you're
too tired to read or talk or do anything but just go to sleep like a
big ox. If it weren't for father's and mother's sakes I believe I'd
quit the old place in a minute. If I could only go off somewhere--anywhere,
only to be out of sight of the farm!"

"Well, I like that, Mr. Waring," said the girl, with a look half
indignant, half smiling. "Is _that_ the only thing that keeps you
here? I guess perhaps it's time for me to go home now."

"Oh, Janet, don't take it that way! You know what I mean. I'm just
sick and tired of the whole business, and I wish to goodness I could
throw it over. By the way, I suppose you know my brother's coming home
from Yale to-morrow. It's almost two years since I've seen him except
for a week or two. I guess he'll have changed some; his letters sound
so, anyway."

"That's just what I came down to ask you about. I heard it yesterday
and I'd be awfully glad if you two would come up to supper day after
to-morrow--that's Sunday. I'm so anxious to see him because I know
he'll have lots to tell us about college and the city and things like
that. Oh, David, I get tired too of always staying here in the country
and teaching school forever, when there are so many things to learn
and so much to see off there in the world. That's what Loren can tell
us about. It'll be next best to getting off somewhere one's self."

During the course of the conversation the streak of white in the west
had turned to gray and the night was rapidly closing down. The girl
jumped to the ground; "Good-night," she said, as she started away,
"I'll see you both Sunday,--sure, now!"

David picked up his milk-pails and completed the work of the day. A
little later he had seated himself on the porch. He felt discontented
and unhappy though he could not have told exactly why. But one thing
was evident--he was not anticipating Loren's home-coming with much
pleasure. He felt, in fact, a certain reluctance, or rather timidity,
about meeting this younger brother of his who knew so much and talked
so much, and seemed to enjoy himself so thoroughly. He anticipated
keenly the difference that two years must have brought between them,
and dreaded the time when they should be put side by side once more
and compared. For David, too--the older of the boys by a year--had
expected to go to college and till the time came had never doubted the
expediency of it. But, as is so often the case, that merry-making
force in human affairs that we call Circumstance--or is it
Providence?--had it fixed up otherwise. Mr. Waring had suddenly
lighted upon chronic poor health as a daily companion on the walk of
life, and his time was so much engrossed therewith that David seemed
called upon--nay, impelled--to become the main-stay of the farm; Loren
was still too young; financial affairs were far from encouraging; Mrs.
Waring looked constantly to her older son for advice and assistance;
in short, the golden gate of the future seemed to be drawing to,
without any voluntary effort of his own. Yet he had often recalled
since then the night--that breathless night in August four years
ago--when he and his dearest ambition had had their last battle, and
he had forced it to cover. "Loren shall have the best chance I can
give him," he had said to himself, with his teeth gritted, "and God
help me to stick it out here on the farm!" Thus it was, that, as
usual, Dame Circumstance had won out by a good margin.

And now Loren had been two years at Yale and was coming home for the
summer. Loren had learned a vast deal at college; among other scraps
of intelligence he had discovered that his family were a little
outlandish, and that Melton was altogether too slow a place for a
rational being like himself to exist in except, at the best, for a few
summer weeks. His latest letter, received only yesterday, was a
characteristic one, and David had unintentionally resented its tone of
breezy self-assurance: "... I suppose I shall show up at fair Melton,"
it had read, "about 2:35 on Saturday, unless, that is, I happen to get
a few days' invite to New York. Of course David will be down to meet
me and bring my trunk up." The words were innocent enough, but they
had insinuated their way into his mind and rankled there like an evil
thing. "Yes, _of course_ I will be down," he said to himself somewhat
bitterly; "of course I will, that's to be expected. And bring up his
trunk for him; yes, that's just what I like--the chance to fetch
Loren's trunk, and I like his way of taking it all for granted, too."

The mental transition to the matter of Janet's invitation was a
natural one. He began to wish that she hadn't been in such a hurry
about giving it. What could she want of Loren? He wasn't anything to
her. Why did she have to be all the time hankering after new friends?
"New friends!" With a slight internal start David realized that only
three years ago Loren had never been away from home. "New friends!"
Why, Janet had known them both ever since the old days of skip-rope
and hide and seek! What more natural than that she should want to see
her old play-fellow again? Why should _he_ complain? Hadn't she said
once, "I love you, David," and wasn't that enough to make him trust

A little way down the road he heard the step of some one approaching
and in a moment the shape of a man grew visible through the darkness.
He turned, opened the gate, and stepped to the porch. In his hand he
carried a suit-case. This he set down heavily and approached the door.
David sprang to his feet. "Why Loren, is that you? We weren't
expecting you to-night."

"Well, how are you, old boy?" cried the new-comer. "It's bully good to
see you again. No, I didn't expect to get up to-night, but there
wasn't much doing at college and I didn't get my invite, so I thought
I might as well come on home. Where are the folks?"

"Out at meeting just now, but they'll be back in a little while. Sit
down, you must be tired."

Loren took a chair and sunk into it with a sigh of comfort. "You're
right I am. I tell you it's hard work to walk a mile and a half with a
suit-case. And all the time you were just sitting comfortably out here
on the veranda listening to the katydids." He drew out his pipe and
lit it. "Well, how are all the folks? Same as usual?"

"I guess so. Father's failing a little, and mother worries a good
deal, but keeps pretty well."

"That's good. They must be mighty glad to have one of us at home to
look after things. Lord, but I've often imagined you outdoors driving
around in the open air and enjoying life when I've been plugging up
for some beastly exam. But, apropos of the health bulletin, etc., is
Janet Manning here still, or has she gone off to college?"

"No, she's teaching school at the Corners. I saw her a minute
to-night, and she invited us up to supper there on Sunday."

"Good! That's something like. Shall be much charmed to see the little
schoolma'am again. She's a slick little girl--at least she used to be.
In my opinion she's wasting her time up here in the woods. Why, that
girl's got ability, and I call it a shame for her to bury herself in
the country just for her mother's account. But say, isn't that a wagon

The two went down to the gate and stood there waiting for the buggy to
draw up. When Mr. and Mrs. Waring were out, David took the horse to
the barn and unharnessed in the dark. Then he reentered the house, and
without saying anything more than "Good-night," went up to his room.


It was late in the afternoon of an August day. From the high gable
windows of the barn the yellow sunlight shot through the dusty air in
a long, straight shaft and rested on the lower part of the haymow,
gilding every dry wisp with a temporary and fatuous splendor.
Elsewhere in the barn it was already half dark. On one side the hay
rose up in a tremendous heap almost to the roof, where it vanished
dimly in the dusky shadows. Opposite were the cow-stables, five of
them in a row, each occupant munching her cud contentedly and now and
then giving vent to a soft, self-satisfied low. From one of the stalls
could be heard the rhythmical squirt of milk against the milking-pail,
for David was engaged upon his evening work. On a rickety chair near
the hay-loft sat Janet, holding a timid little barn cat in her lap and
stroking it nervously. She was speaking in a voice that betrayed
considerable agitation.

"Well, I'm just going to leave it with you to decide, for I'm not
ready to do it myself. But it does seem to me that it's the chance of
a lifetime. It's just a question of whether I shall always stay on
here teaching district school, or see a little of the world and have a
chance to go on studying."

She stopped, and a moment of strained silence ensued, broken only by
the sound of the milking. David pressed his head against the flank of
the cow and choked back something in his throat. Then he managed to

"Of course, Janet," he said, with an attempt at composure. "I can see
how it must attract you--this opportunity of going off to college, and
I don't mean to put anything in your way. Such questions a person has
to decide for one's self, and I don't see how I can give you any

"Yes, there you are again. You just won't say yes or no; but I am sure
all the time that you don't really want me to go. You'd like to keep
me here at home, just an ignorant, stupid country girl. Why don't you
want me to make something of myself, David? I know I've got ability,
and you know it as well as I do, but it isn't of any use to me here.
Wouldn't you feel proud of me if I went off and did something worth

David could not answer at once. He sat with his eyes shut, his knees
pressed rigidly against the pail, and against his head he felt the
warm, throbbing pulse of the animal in front of him. Upon his mind a
picture was forcing itself with cruel insistence. It was the Janet of
a year hence, well-dressed, sedate, intellectual, with all her new
college interests to talk of; and side by side with this he saw
himself--what would _he_ be? Just the same as ever, only a little more
awkward and out of date, and when he talked it would be of--yes, his
cows, and the new pig, and the price of potatoes! It was Loren who
would be suited to her then; it was they who would sit under the trees
together and the farmer could go about his chores. The impossibility
of her continuing to love him struck him with a new pang of
conviction, and he felt helpless before it.

"Why don't you say something, David?" asked the girl, rapping her foot
on the floor and unconsciously pulling the kitten's fur. "You're not
angry with me, are you?"

David saw that he must speak, and he determined to dissimulate no
longer. "No, Janet, but can't you see how it must look to me? How can
you expect me to be happy over it? Do you suppose, dear, that you
could feel toward me, after a year at college, just as you do now?
Don't you see how it would separate us and you'd have all your new
friends and studies to take up your time and I'd just be plodding
along here in the woods like a clod of turf? How could you ever keep
on loving me? Don't you see, Janet, how it sort o' breaks my heart to
say yes?"

The jets of milk shot into the pail with an angry rapidity. The bar of
sunlight lay almost horizontally now across the upper emptiness of the
barn, transforming the thick-hung cobwebs into golden draperies and
accentuating the twilight gloom below. Janet threw the kitten out of
her lap and, jumping from the chair, walked nervously to the window
and looked out absently upon the meadow below.

"Well, I supposed it would come to that," she said, with some
indignation in her voice. "It's nice to feel that you can't trust me
out of your sight. Don't you think that if you really loved me as you
say you'd be as glad as I was that I could get a better education? But
of course, if you're afraid to trust me, why, I suppose I can give it

The strain of decision had been a hard one for Janet, and she was now
on the verge of giving way under it. Her shoulders shook, and she put
her face in her hands. David heard her sobbing softly.

"Janet," he said, "if you think that this is going to be a valuable
thing for you, I'm not going to say a word against it. You know that
every wish I've got is for your good, and that's God's truth. If you
think it's best to go, I'm going to try to think so too, and I'll do
everything I can to make you happy."

Janet had left the window and came toward him, a joyful smile breaking
through her tears. "You are a dear, good boy, and I love you," she
said, and allowed him to kiss her. He held her long in his big arms
and his own eyes filled with burning tears.

He could not banish the thought that this might be the last time.


The gray desolation of a March afternoon brooded out over the wide
meadows, out over the dim woods beyond, and still on to the
half-visible hills in the distance, where it merged itself
imperceptibly into a low, lead-colored sky. Though the rain was not
falling, everything dripped with the damp. In front of the Waring
farmhouse the road, wallowing with fat mud, stretched off in a dirty
streak under the glistening limbs of the maples. The door of the house
opened and David came out. His mother followed him anxiously.

"David, I hope it isn't bad news," she asked, laying her hand lightly
on his shoulder. "Can't you tell me about it?"

"Not now, mother. It's nothing very unexpected; I'll tell you later,
but I'd rather wait a little while." He pushed open the gate and
stepped out into the road, his heavy boots sinking in to half their

The mother watched him with strained attention as he set off towards
the barn. There was a sort of savage aimlessness in his gait. His
shoulders were bent forward, his hands thrust deep into his pockets,
and he looked neither to the one side nor the other of the road. At
the barnyard gate he seemed to hesitate a second, then turned in, and
the small, gray-haired woman on the step sighed and went back into the

David strode deliberately through the yard and out of the gate on the
other side--the one that opened on the sloping meadow behind the barn.
Not a living thing was in sight. A chill, white fog had slowly settled
over the land, obliterating outline and color, toning everything down
to a monotonous sameness of appearance--a flat, unrelieved vacancy.
David walked on mechanically, unmindful of any destination or definite
purpose; a dumb bitterness wrung his heart, and, in comparison with
that, all that was external and objective seemed unaccountable.
Involuntarily he thrust his hand into his coat and drew out a letter.
He had read it twice already.

       *       *       *       *       *

"My dear David,--I hardly know how I am to tell you what I know I must
tell you--and if not now, certainly before many more weeks pass. Let
me admit then first of all that you were right in your anticipation of
what college life would do for me. It _has_ changed my ways of looking
at things more than I can tell you, and things that once seemed very
beautiful to me are so no longer. This was inevitable and we need not
regret it, for I know that the aggregate enjoyment of life has been
increased, at least potentially. You may know that your brother Loren
spent part of his Christmas vacation here, and he has just been here
again for a flying visit. Need I tell you the result, David? I think
you foresaw it long ago, and I cannot of course feel sad that things
have come about in this way, though I realize that for a time, at
least, it may be hard for you to understand it. But there are many
interests we have in common, he and I; I know that you will see
sometime that we were made for each other and that you will be happy
with us in our great happiness.

"I doubt whether this news will much surprise you, for I know, from
the tenor of your latest letters, you have noticed a change and have
been suspicious of the truth...."

       *       *       *       *       *

Ah, yes, he had noticed it and had had suspicions; but to have it come
to this, and so suddenly--it was more than he could bear. His throat
ached and his hands were wet with perspiration. He looked up into the
sky and saw nothing there to help him--nothing but a roofless expanse
of drizzling gray fog. Not a bird chirped in the distance. The brook
down below him ran on silently without an audible ripple. Everything
was silent and motionless. If only a cow would low or a hen would
cackle back in the barnyard, life would be a bit more tolerable. It
was as if all the world had become soulless and dead.

How he had loved her! ... No other thought could find entrance in his
mind ... and now, it was all over. She belonged to some one else and
had left him without a thought, almost, of the pain it was going to
bring him. "Hard to understand!" She was wrong: he had understood it
from the first, and far better than she. Had he not told her so that
afternoon when they sat together in the barn? But understanding it
made it no more easy to bear. He wondered whether he could bear it. He
seemed so cruelly alone with his sorrow. The silence seemed shouting
at him.

Suddenly, without knowing why, he looked back to the barn. A little
figure, wrapped in a plaid shawl, was coming towards him: it was his
mother. A sharp thrill of tenderness ran through him. "Poor little
mother," he said softly, "you are longing to help me," and, somewhat
ashamed of the way in which he had left her recently, he turned and
walked back to meet her.

"Come with me to the barn," she said, and together they returned,
silently, each timid of the other. Entering the building they sat down
on the hay, side by side. "Read that, mother," he said, and handed her
the letter. She glanced it through, and then, taking his hand in hers,
faltered gently, "My poor boy! I can guess what it must mean to you."

He put his head down in her lap and sobbed like a child, while she
stroked his hair and face and spoke shy words of sympathy.

"David," she said, "it was for your father and me that you gave up
college. Perhaps you think we don't appreciate it, because we never
say much. I know what it has cost you and how nobly you have stuck to
your duty, and you know that in God's sight whatever may come of it
you have done the kindest thing."

"Oh, but mother, that doesn't make it any easier to lose Janet. She
was so much to me, and we were going to be so happy together."

"Hush, little boy, you mustn't take it so hard. Perhaps some day
you'll see that it was for the best."

The afternoon light was fading and the rain was beginning to fall
softly outside. In the dimming light the two continued sitting there
together, hardly speaking a word, for what comfort could words bring?
And slowly a vague peacefulness began to fall upon his heart under the
gentle touch of his mother, and rising, he kissed her silently and
went out to his work.

_Literary Monthly_, 1902.



  "Now for enditing of Letters: alas, what need wee much adoe about a
  little matter?"

In a letter to Miss Sara Hennel, George Eliot writes that "there are
but two kinds of _regular_ correspondence possible--one of simple
affection, which gives a picture of all the details, painful and
pleasurable, that a loving heart pines after ..., and one purely moral
and intellectual, carried on for the sake of ghostly edification in
which each party has to put salt on the tails of all sorts of ideas on
all sorts of subjects." These two classes embrace, perhaps, the great
bulk of letters, but George Eliot says there is a third class to which
her correspondence with Miss Hennel belongs--one of _impulse_.
Strictly speaking, all of the letters which really belong as such to
literature come under this last head. The result of a perfect fusion
of the two other styles, they exhibit a sparkle, a pungency, and
lightness of touch, which take the curse from mere gossip, supple the
joints of intellectual disquisition, and mark unmistakably the
epistolary artist. The letter-writer, no less than the poet, is born,
not made, and his art, though for the most part unconscious, is no
less an art. The expression of every sentiment, the choice of every
word, however random it may seem, is determined for the born enditer
of epistles by a sense of fitness so exquisite that its niceties of
distinction escape analysis and only its more general principles can
be enunciated.

The most vital of these principles is pretty generally observed.
Thackeray perceives it when at the close of a delightful letter to
Mrs. Brookfield he exclaims, "Why, this is almost as good as talk!" He
was right: it was written talk. If read aloud with pauses for the
correspondent's reply, the perfect letter would make perfect
conversation. It should call up the voice, gesture, and bearing of the
writer. Though it may be more studied than oral speech, it must appear
no less impromptu. This, indeed, is its essential charm, that it
contains the mind's first fruits with the bloom on, that it exhale
carelessly the mixed fragrance of the spirit like a handful of wild
flowers not sorted for the parlor table but, as gathered among the
fields, haphazard, with here a violet, there a spice of mint, a
strawberry blossom from the hillside, and a sprig of bittersweet. This
is the opportunity for the clergyman to show that he is not all
theologian, but part naturalist; the farmer that he is not all
ploughman, but part philosopher. This is the place for little buds of
sentiment, short flights of poetry, wise sermons all in three lines,
odd conceits, small jests rubbing noses with deacon-browed moralities;
in short, for every fine extravagance in which the mind at play
delights. Sickness and sorrow, too, and death, if spoken of reverently
and bravely, must not be denied a place. So we shall have a letter now
all grave, now all gay, but generally, if it be a good letter, part
grave, part gay, just as the mingled threads are clipped from the webs
of life.

That such a letter cannot be written with white gloves goes without
saying. The first requisite is freedom from stiffness. The realm of
good letters is a republic in which no man need lift his hat to
another. It is hail-fellow well met, or not met at all. So when the
humble address their superiors, or when children write to austere
grandfathers, they suffer from an awkwardness of mental attitude which
is the paralysis of all spontaneity. Before the indispensable ease can
exist, certain relations of equality must be established. But there
are some whose fountains of speech, in letters as in conversation, lie
forever above the line of perpetual snow. They never thaw out. Bound
by a sort of viscosity of spirits, that peculiar stamp of the
Anglo-Saxon temperament, they are incapable of getting their thoughts
and emotions under way; with the best will in the world, genuine
warmth of feeling, minds stocked with information on all subjects,
they are never fluent. The man with no ear must not hope to be a
musician, nor the man with no fluency a letter-writer. Yet this is not
all. You will find some at perfect ease in conversation who, touching
pen to paper, exhibit the affected primness commonly ascribed to the
maiden aunt. They have not learned that this is a place where words
must speak for themselves without comment of inflection, gesture of
the hand, or interpreting smile. Here to be unaffected one must take
thought. As on the stage a natural hue must be obtained by unnatural
means, so in the writing of letters one must a trifle overdo in order
to do but ordinarily. A word which rings on the lips with frank
cordiality will stare coldly from the written page and must be
heightened to avoid offense. This is a license requiring the exercise
of moderation and the utmost tact. Not all expressions suitable for
conversation need reinforcement in black and white. In speaking one
frequently raps out a phrase whose literalness one's eyes warn the
listener to question. These must be toned down or glossed. An example
of the toned down variety, which illustrates as well men's fondness
for assailing their friends with opprobrious epithet, is offered by
Darwin when he writes, "I cannot conclude without telling you that of
all blackguards you are the greatest and best." If Darwin had been
talking face to face with Fox, he would doubtless have called him a
blooming blackguard outright.

A writer in a journal of psychology points out the strong psychic link
existing between a certain short expletive of condemnation and a
refractory collar-button. These words seem to come at times charged
with the very marrow of the mind, and, if the letters of a man who
occasionally indulges in them be wholly purged of them, the letters
lose one of their most distinctive characteristics. The point to be
made is, that the personal word is all-important, that till the fact
is related to the writer, it is dead. If we want news, we can consult
the dailies; but in letters facts are little, ideas about facts
everything. That is to say, all events, especially the more trifling,
should be shown through the colored glass of the writer's personality.
What concerns you is not what happened, but what relations the
happening bears to you and your correspondent.

When once the personal vein is struck, nothing is so easy as to find a
theme for a letter. The materials are only too plentiful if the eyes
and heart are open to receive them. Stevenson wrote that he scarcely
pulled a weed in his garden without pondering some fit phrase to
report the fact to his friend Colvin, and we may be sure that the weed
was not allowed to wither, but when it was transplanted, flourished
again and reached its destination in a veritable Pot of Basil. No
great events are necessary; the plainest incident, the morning's
shopping, is as good as a Pan-American exposition for ideas to
crystallize about, since exactly in proportion as an event is embedded
in opinion, comment, and feeling, must its value as an epistolary item
be rated. While the born letter-writer is driving a nail or polishing
a shoe, a thought apropos of his occupation or of stars, perhaps,
drops complete and perfect like ripe fruit in an orchard. It matters
little; seen through the eyes of a friend, all homely things are
invested with an extrinsic interest and a new glory not their own.

... By the very nature of the composition a mean man cannot possibly
write a good letter. When we cast about for a perfect exemplar of the
epistolary style, we must of necessity look among the high-souled
men--Cowper, Lamb, FitzGerald, Hearn--for where else shall we find one
to stand the test of self-revelation? Happily, one of the blithest,
manliest, completest spirits of our times was a matchless writer of
letters--Stevenson. Aching for absolute honesty of style and making
clearness almost synonomous with good morals, he has given us in the
Vailima collection and in the two larger volumes of his correspondence
an almost unexampled self-revelation. The man Stevenson is _in_ them,
"his essence and his sting." The grip of his hand and the look of his
eye lose none of their force in the transparent medium through which
they are constrained to pass. Knowing that a man who constantly gives
his best finds his best constantly growing better, he never hoarded
his ideas for publication, but poured his intellectual riches into a
note to a friend as freely as if each line were coining him gold. It
results that the lover of Stevenson would almost prefer to give up all
the romances rather than the letters. For they feel that in this
correspondence, besides finding the qualities which distinguish the
other works, they have met face to face and known personally the
romancer, the essayist, the poet, and above all the man who, ridden by
an incubus of disease, spoke always of the joy of living, the man who
knew hours of bitterness but none of flinching, the man who grappled
with his destiny undaunted, and, when death hunted him down in a South
Sea island, fell gallantly and gazing unabashed into "the bright eyes
of danger."

Stevenson approached close to the beau ideal of epistolary art. When
we and our friends have achieved it, distance will be annihilated and
there will be no such thing as separation. We shall draw from our
little box a small white packet, and, though Nostradamus may offer us
every secret of magician or alchemist in exchange for it, we shall
refuse offhand. How shall he lure us with a shadow, a ghostly
visitant, savoring of the pit and summoned only by the most
marrow-freezing incantations? Here in our hand is a mysterious, more
potent charm, bringing us the warm, human personality of the man. We
are not spiritualists, yet here sealed in the white packet is an
incorporal presence. Given but a mastery of the twenty-six signs and
their combinations, and lo, the heart of our friend served up in
Boston bond! Then, as for enditing of letters, we shall rise up and
call them blessed who have made "much ado about a little matter."

_Literary Monthly, 1901._



  This whole, far-reaching host of ancient hills
  That all thy kingdom's rugged boundary fills,
  Yields thee unrivalled thy supremacy.
  'Tis not by chance that they thus kneel to thee;
  Those scars, that but increase thy grandeur, tell
  Of battles thou hast fought--and hast fought well,
  For, conquered at thy feet, two giants lie
  Who once did dare their sovereign to defy.
  When earth with sea, and earth with earth, and sea
  With sea, all mingled, fought for mastery,
  Then didst thou meet thy foes, and by thy might
  Didst win, and since hath kept, thy regal right.

_Literary Monthly_, 1901.



  Thy name is not the highest in thy art,
    Though music sweet thou singest in thy songs
    That unto thee alone of all belongs,
  Uplifting Love in every burdened heart;

  Thou hast not left us perfect poetry;
    But thou hast left by far a greater thing,
    A poem such as man did never sing--
  Thine own brave life, a lifelong victory.

_Literary Monthly_, 1902.



All day long a reeking mist had been rolling across the valley, at
times all but obscuring the Peak where it rose between its pair of
flanking hills. Sifting clouds had surged and seethed in the Cleft, as
those who dwelt in its vicinity called the interval between the two
hills and the loftier and more distant Peak, and rose now and then
barely enough to reveal the greater mountain, but never yet had quite
cleared the summit. The mist had slimed the whole world with a coating
of wet, and when the wind chanced to set the bare limbs of the trees
to swaying, the drops would spatter on the ground and scarcely be
absorbed, so waterlogged was the earth.

Mrs. Trent rolled up her knitting in a napkin, picked a few stray bits
of yarn from her black dress, and stepped to the window. She looked
out across the valley toward the Cleft to see if perchance the clouds
would open enough to permit her a view of the Peak. Not once, but many
times that day had she arisen from her work to search for a glimpse of
the mountain, but every time she had failed.

"No, it's hidden, still hidden," she murmured half aloud. "It is hard
to be shut up here with my thoughts,--with such thoughts. I wish the
clouds would lift and let me see the Peak. Then I am sure that things
would not seem so dark. If I could only get one glimpse, I would feel
almost, yes, almost as though Doctor McMurray had been here and had
told me he was sorry."

She stood looking out the window for a time, but the clouds only
gathered more heavily in the Cleft and the Peak remained shrouded in
the mist. At last she turned wearily back toward her chair, and was
about to resume her knitting when her ear caught the sound of wheels
pausing before the house. She hastened across the room toward the door
and threw it open with a gesture of fear, as though she had been
anticipating the coming of unwelcome visitors and now had reason to
suppose that they had arrived. The tremor of suspense, however,
quickly passed, for she saw outside no less a person than Doctor
McMurray himself.

"Doctor," she called, "put your horse in the barn and come in. It does
my heart good to see you."

Presently the door opened and the old minister's face appeared, that
face which had looked in at every house in the valley whenever trouble
brooded there, and always had brought with it good cheer and hope for
now close upon half-a-century.

"A wet day, Mrs. Trent, a wet day. But seems to me there are signs of
clearing. It is always much pleasanter to look for fair weather than
for foul, don't you think so?"

Mrs. Trent nodded.

"Doctor McMurray," she said, "I was almost afraid to go to the door
when I heard you drive up; I thought the lawyers might be coming

"The lawyers?" he echoed, "What, can they be troubling you again?"

"Yes, I got a letter from the district attorney's office yesterday
saying that he would send a couple of men out to-day."

"I'm sorry to hear that, Mrs. Trent, for I know it will be hard for
you to go over the thing again. I had hoped that when your husband's
trial was over they would let you alone. Now that poor Jacob has paid
the biggest price a man can pay, it seems that common decency ought to
keep them from worrying you about the matter any more."

"Well," she said, clasping her hands and looking absently out the
window, "I presume they want to make quite sure. Mrs. Withey's case is
coming up again the first of the week, you know, and there must be no

"But I can't see how there can be any mistake," exclaimed the doctor.
"At Jacob's trial everything was so clear, his guilt was so fixed,
that there seemed no chance for a mistake. Mrs. Trent, it looked to
me, prejudiced in favor of your husband as I was, that there could be
no doubt that Jacob gave old Mr. Withey the arsenic and that Mrs.
Withey was his equally guilty accomplice. I think this second trial
must only be a repetition of the first, and that Mrs. Withey must be
found the murderess of Andrew Withey, just as Jacob Trent was proven

Mrs. Trent leaned forward in her chair. Her hands were clenched and
every muscle in her frail body was drawn tense. The look in her eyes
startled the good doctor, and, thinking that he had recalled too
harshly the ugliness of her husband's crime, hastened to make amends.

"Mrs. Trent," he said, "I am sorry that I spoke so. It was cruel of

"No, no," the woman answered thickly, "I am used to that, it doesn't
shock me to hear so much about Jacob now. But tell me, doctor, tell
me, are you sure she will not get off? Will they treat her as they did

"What, Mrs. Trent, you surely wouldn't wish trouble to any fellow
creature if it could be avoided, would you?"

"Doctor McMurray," replied Mrs. Trent in a very low voice which seemed
to come from her inmost soul, "Doctor McMurray, that woman robbed me
of my husband, of Jacob, and then led him to a murderer's grave. That
is so. Do you know, now that so many weeks have gone by since they
took Jacob away, sometimes I feel that he is true to me somewhere, and
that she, that woman, was the one who led him on to do wrong. You ask
me if I would see any fellow creature suffer. I answer no; but I say
too that that woman has no claim to be fellow creature to any human
being. She robbed me of my husband."

For a time the two sat in silence. The rain continued to drip, drip
from the eaves, and the Cleft was still clogged with mist. Then the
old doctor broke the silence.

"I am afraid we do wrong, Mrs. Trent, in brooding over these troubles
of ours. Heaven knows you have provocation. There seems to be no doubt
but that your husband gave arsenic to old Mr. Withey, and it seems the
more grievous when we think that the natural ailments of the old man
must soon have hurried him across the Great River in any case. It is
also true that he did it for the love of a woman whose youth and
beauty he conceived to have won him heart and soul. But, Mrs. Trent,
it is also a fact that we are here to live above these things, hard as
they may seem, and to forgive those who do us ill."

Mrs. Trent rose from her chair and stepped toward the window which
looked out toward the Peak. Her hands, which she had folded behind her
back, worked convulsively.

"The Peak," she said at last. "The Peak is covered with clouds; I
cannot see. Forgive--forgive her? All is cloudy, I cannot see."

Doctor McMurray, being no common man, said not a word. He softly rose
and took his stand beside Mrs. Trent at the window. For some time the
two stood looking out over the valley, watching the heavy, leaden
clouds as they banked themselves up against the opposite hillside. The
rain continued to trickle from the eaves, the only sound audible above
the breathing of the man and woman. At last Doctor McMurray broke the

"It seems to me the clouds aren't lying quite so low on the hills as
they were. I wouldn't be surprised if it was going to clear up."

Mrs. Trent looked at the old man for a moment, and saw his meaning.

"Perhaps," she said doubtfully, "perhaps."

Doctor McMurray moved away from the window and began to draw on his

"Why, you're not going, doctor?" exclaimed Mrs. Trent with a note of
distress in her voice, as her eye took in his action.

"Yes, I'm sorry, Mrs. Trent, but I must look in at old Mr. Gebhart's
on the way down. The poor man has stomach trouble, I believe--they say
it's just the same thing that Mr. Withey had--and I think he'll be
looking for me."

"Doctor, you're so kind," Mrs. Trent interjected. "You're always
keeping an eye out for the unfortunate. But look here. I've got some
medicine out here in the pantry, some Epsom salts, which they used to
come and get for old Mr. Withey. They used to tell me it did him a lot
of good. I wish you could wait till I get a little for Mr. Gebhart."

Mrs. Trent hastened from the room, and Doctor McMurray heard her
moving pans and bottles on the shelves as though she were in search of
the medicine. Suddenly the sound ceased; he waited a minute or two,
pacing uneasily up and down the room, with the thought of the sick old
man heavy upon his mind. At last he called:

"Mrs. Trent, can't I help you? Don't trouble if you can't find it

No answer reached his ears for a moment. Then Mrs. Trent emerged from
the pantry walking unsteadily, as though she carried a terrific
weight. Doctor McMurray was at her side in an instant, and led her to
a chair.

"Tell me," he urged, "what is it? What is the trouble?"

Mrs. Trent covered her face with her hands, and her slender figure
bent silently before the strength of her emotion.

"Look," she moaned at last; "go and look for yourself. There are two
of them, two."

Doctor McMurray obeyed. He went into the pantry, and there on a shelf
stood two wide-mouthed bottles, very much alike save that one had
never been opened. He looked at them in silent wonderment, not knowing
for the instant what message they conveyed. He picked them up and read
the labels; then he had an inkling of what they meant, for one was
marked "Arsenic," the other "Epsom Salts." He went back to Mrs. Trent.

"You think there has been a mistake?" he said softly.

Mrs. Trent raised her head from her hands. Her voice was strained and
unnatural as she answered:

"I know there has been a mistake, and I know that I made it."

"Tell me why."

"It is very simple. They sent up from Mr. Withey's that last night for
some Epsom salts in a great hurry. I knew there must be some great
need, so I rushed to the pantry. Jacob wasn't at home. I reached to
the top shelf and pulled down a bottle, one of those bottles. In my
hurry I didn't look at the label, but poured the little white crystals
out in a paper, and they took them away. Then I put the bottle back in
its place and went on with my work. In the morning I heard Mr. Withey
was dead."

"But the arsenic--the arsenic," interposed the doctor. "How did it get

"Heaven knows; you remember Jacob used to get it once in a while to
keep his horses in condition. I presume he got a fresh bottle of it
about the same time I got some more Epsom salts, and they were both
put up there on the top shelf together. It is all too plain. I got the
bottles mixed and opened the wrong one."

"And so Jacob was innocent?"

"Yes, and I could have saved him if I had known in time. Oh, Jacob,
Jacob," she moaned, compressing a world of remorse into the words.
"And it was my mistake--my mistake!"

"Then Mrs. Withey is innocent, too," said Doctor McMurray. "Don't you
make it out so?"

Mrs. Trent looked up sharply. It seemed as though she had for the
moment forgotten her lesser trouble in the new consciousness of the
greater. The mention of the other woman's name brought back all the
profound sense of wrong which she knew she had suffered at her hands.

"Mrs. Withey--innocent!" she gasped.

"Yes, she is innocent, and you have the power of saving her life."

"Doctor McMurray, that woman robbed me of my husband--both of his love
and of his memory." Mrs. Trent was in deadly earnest.

"But--she is innocent, and you can save her from a wretch's death,"
the old man repeated.

"Save her--her, who stands in my mind for all that I ought to hate?"

"Mrs. Trent," Doctor McMurray said in a low voice, "you ought to hate
no-one, not even if he uses you as Mrs. Withey has used you. If we
keep on hating the clouds will never lift."

Mrs. Trent rose heavily from her chair and labored from her window
that she might look out across the valley toward the Peak. Her voice
was hoarse as she answered:

"Oh, I'm afraid the clouds will never lift. The hatred of that woman
is like a fog which closes in upon my soul, and shuts off every beam
of sunshine. I can't see through it, and the heaviness of it chokes
me. The clouds will never lift."

The old minister came up beside her, and stood looking for a time out
toward the Peak. The mist which all day had hung so low around the
foot of the hills had risen appreciably, and now the Cleft itself was
beginning to clear, revealing the dark base of the Peak itself. A
single ray of sunshine shot out of the west and struck straight into
the Cleft.

"Look, look, Mrs. Trent," exclaimed Doctor McMurray. "The Peak is
beginning to show. Don't you think the weather will clear? Ah, it must
clear, it must before they come, before the lawyers come. Tell me, do
you not think it will?"

Mrs. Trent's face was very pale. Her eyes gleamed very large and
feverishly bright from beneath her lashes, as they searched the
opposite side of the valley. For some moments she kept silent, and for
the second time that afternoon there was no sound in the room save the
labored breathing of the man and woman. At last there became audible
the slowly increasing creak of a carriage, and the splashing of a
horse's hoofs through the sea of mud in the roadway. Doctor McMurray
heard, and he knew that Mrs. Trent heard also.

"Mrs. Trent," he said softly, "Mrs. Trent, are the clouds lifting? Can
you see the Peak?"

Still the woman kept silent. The sounds of the wheels grew momentarily
louder, the voices of men talking broke in upon them, and then the
carriage stopped before the door.

"Mrs. Trent," pleaded the doctor for the last time, "tell me, can you
see the Peak?"

He heard the men climb out of the carriage and come up to the door,
then a loud knock.

Mrs. Trent at last broke her silence.

"Doctor McMurray," she said, speaking quite softly, "Doctor McMurray,
do you see? The Peak is clear. All the clouds have lifted!"

_Literary Monthly_, 1905.



  When the weary sun, his day's course run,
  Sinks into the western sea,
  And the mountains loom in the growing gloom
  With far-off mystery,
  When the shadows creep o'er plain and steep
  With stealthy tread and still,
  And the fettered stream to its icy dream
  Is left by the sleeping mill,
  From the frozen north I then lead forth
  My swiftly flying bands,
  In close array on the track of day,
  As she flees to other lands.

  From the wintry zone where the forests groan
  'Neath burdens of dazzling white,
  And the tempest's roar as it strikes the shore
  Turns daylight into night,
  My armies throng and we march along
  In the light of the peeping stars,
  Which smile with glee at our chivalry
  And the shock of our mimic wars.
  For when earth and deep in a shroud of sleep
  Lie peaceful and still below,
  Supreme I reign in my airy domain,
  The monarch of ice and snow.

_Literary Monthly_, 1095.




AHASUERUS, the Wandering Jew.

ANSELM, a holy monk.

A band of travellers,--merchants, peasants, soldiers, who stop at the
monastery over night.

Monks of the monastery.

The time is the twelfth century, a Christmas eve.

The place is the great hall of the monastery of St. Cuthbert. The room
is a large one, with cold stone walls and a heavy-beamed ceiling,
lighted by flaring torches. The rear wall is broken by a massive oaken
door leading to the courtyard of the monastery, and two rudely glazed
windows. On the right an open doorway leads to the chapel and to one
side of the doorway is a shrine to the Virgin and Child, before which
some candles burn with wavering flames. On the opposite side of the
room is a huge fireplace with a blazing log fire. The wind is roaring
outside, and even blows through the rude hall in great, gusty
draughts, while a fine powder of snow sifts in through crevices of
windows and door.

SCENE I. [The travellers, with some of the monks of the monastery, are
seated before the fire. The Jew, bent, gaunt and gray-bearded, stands
to one side, unrecognized, muttering to himself indistinctly. He has
evidently just entered, for the melted snow still gleams from his
clothing. The company disregard him, conversing among themselves.]

A SOLDIER. Now, by Our Lady, 'tis a raw cold night--
  I mind me when on such a night I lay
  Unsheltered in the trenches facing Mons
  In Flanders.

A MERCHANT. Hem! Sir Longbeard tells a tale.
  List, all!

THE SOLDIER. By Holy mass--

THE MERCHANT.        Ho! Hear the oaths!
  They 're thick as--

THE SOLDIER.        Hark ye! Hush thy meddling tongue!

A PEASANT. A quarrel! Mark them!

A MONK.        Shame! On such a night
  When angels fill the air, and voices sweet,
  Mysterious, sing their golden songs of peace--
  On this glad night to quarrel?

THE SOLDIER.        Why, to-night--

THE MONK. On such a night was Christ, our Saviour, born,
  While all the earth was wrapped in sacred peace.
  This is the holy eve, and on the morrow,
  With solemn chant we shall observe the birth
  Of that sweet Christ-child whom we worship all.

THE SOLDIER. Then I'll not quarrel--my hand upon it. There.

THE MERCHANT. Nor I. And here's my hand, good soldier. There.

[The company is silent for a moment, while the wind moans in the great

THE MERCHANT [crossing himself]. Hark to the wind. Meseemeth that it wails
  Like some lost soul.

THE SOLDIER.        Some say it is the soul
  Of that accursed Jew who crossed our Lord
  When he was on his way to Calvary,
  And was condemned to wander ever more
  Until the Christ a second time should come.

[The faces grow solemn, in the fire-light, and the voices are

THE MONK. The Jew! Oft have men seen him bent and worn,
  When darkness fills the earth, still wandering,
  Still living out his curse.

THE PEASANT.        List! Hear ye not?

THE SOLDIER. Again that mournful wailing of the wind.

THE PEASANT. How came he by the curse?

THE MONK.        Know, when our Lord,
  Full weary, bore his cross to Calvary,
  He paused a moment, resting, but this Jew,
  Ahasuerus--cursed be the name--
  Reviled the Saviour, and commanded him
  To move away. Whereon our blessed Lord:
  "Because thou grudgest me a moment's rest
  Unresting shalt thou wander o'er the earth
  Until I come."

THE SOLDIER.        Ah, would I had been there--
  The cursed Jew! An arrow through his heart
  Had stopped his babbling!

THE PEASANT.        And had I been there,
  He would have felt the weight of my great fist
  Ere he had spoken twice.

[The Jew mutters indistinctly to himself in his corner.]

THE MERCHANT [in a low voice].        Dost hear the man?
  Old gray-beard murmurs.

THE SOLDIER.        How! Is he a Jew?

THE MERCHANT. See how he cowers when we look at him.

THE MONK. He is no Jew. On this thrice-blessed night
  No Jew would dare seek shelter in Christ's house.

THE PEASANT. Yet they are daring--and men tell strange tales
  Of bloody rites which they perform apart.

THE SOLDIER. May God's high curse rest on their scattered race!

[The Jew flashes a quick glance upon them, and then looks down again.
An unusually strong gust of wind sweeps through the hall, and strange
moanings are heard in the chimney.]

THE PEASANT. Lost souls! Oh, Mother of Christ!

THE MERCHANT.        They wail in pain.

THE MONK [making the sign of the cross]. 'Tis but the wind--or on this
      night mayhap
  We hear the noise of vast angelic hosts
  That sob to see our Saviour come to earth,
  A simple Babe, to suffer and to die--
  So brother Anselm tells.

THE SOLDIER.        And what knows he
  Of angels' doings?

THE MONK [terrified.] Still! Thou impious man!
  Hast thou not heard the fame of Anselm's name?
  A very saint on earth, his eyes behold
  Things hidden from mankind; his face doth glow
  All radiant from his visions.

THE SOLDIER.        Wretch that I am!
  Ah, woe is me to speak thus of God's saint.

[The deep-toned monastery bell rings.]

THE MONK. Come, follow me. Below us in the crypt
  The pious brethren this night have set forth
  The sacred mystery of Jesus' birth;
  Shalt see the very manger where he lay.
  Make haste and come.

[The company arise and pass out, all save the Jew. The monk, last,
stares at the gaunt figure a moment, opens his lips to speak, then
shakes his head and departs.]

SCENE II. [AHASUERUS, alone. He looks around him, as if to see if any
remain in the room, then slowly moves toward the fireplace and holds
his trembling hands before the fire.]

AHASUERUS. Ah, God of Jacob! Hear the Christians talk.
  "Dog Jew!" "Accursed Jew!" I hate you all!
  Your Christ sits on his kingly throne this night--
  But I am steadfast. How the very wind
  Doth buffet me and chill my aged bones!
  Ringed all about with enemies, I stand
  Unharmed--for by Jehovah's dreadful curse
  I live--nor can I die--until He come.
  How chill the wind sweeps through my withered frame
  While curses and revilings dog my steps--
  My weary, ceaseless steps. Ah, God! To die!
  Have I not expiated yet my sin?--
  To bear life's heavy burden o'er the earth,
  To wander from Armenia's distant hills,
  Through desert places now, and now through vales
  That flow with plenty; now through sordid towns,
  Until at last I reach the western seas;
  Then, ever homeless, to repeat my steps?
  Death were a blessing, yea, a gentle sleep--
  To feel delicious numbness seize my limbs,
  Mine eyes grow heavy, and the weary flight
  Of immemorial time forever stayed
  In sleep, in dreamless sleep--would I might die!
  I am so weary, weary of it all.

[He sinks down upon a bench, and is silent for a moment, in deep
thought; a smile flits over his face, as at a pleasing memory, then
the worn, hunted look returns.]

  Faint shadows nicker 'round me, and at times
  Vague dreams of joy experienced long ago
  Beguile me for a moment, then I wake;
  Dim musings of that time when, yet a child,
  I prattled in the shade of Judah's hills
  And trod her leafy valleys aimlessly--
  But that was long, long centuries ago.
  Sometimes I dream, that when God bade my soul
  To leave its blest abode and come to earth
  In this vile guise, all-terrified it prayed
  This trial and affliction to be spared;
  But all in vain.
          And now the curse of God
  Is on that soul. The darkness hideth not,
  Oh, Lord, from thee; night shineth as the day.
  What weariness unspeakable is mine!

[He throws himself down on the bench in utter dejection. Suddenly he
lifts his head--footsteps approach.]

SCENE III. [Enter ANSELM. At first, not aware of another's presence,
he kneels before the Virgin's shrine, and mutters a short prayer in
Latin. Then he arises and advances slowly, absorbed in meditation.]

ANSELM. This is the eve--the sacred eve of Christ.
  The wind is wild, and stormy is the night,
  And yet methinks despite the elements
  A holy peace pervades the solemn world--
  As when amid the hush of earthly strife
  The blessed Child was born.

[The Jew groans to himself, and the monk starts, then looks with
half-seeing eyes.]

  A stranger! Peace be unto you, my son,
  And may God's holy calm be yours amid
  The strife and turmoil of the outer world.

[AHASUERUS sits motionless. A bell sounds.]

  The vespers ring. Come, join with me in prayer;
  Together let us reverence the God,
  The great all-Father, who sent unto us
  A little Child to lead us back to Him.

[The Jew acts as if he does not hear, but the monk is already at
prayer and does not notice. AHASUERUS gazes steadfastly into the fire,
while all is silent but the crackling of the flames and the moaning of
the wind. Then the monk arises.]

  Pray, let me sit beside you; all alone
  My brethren left you? Let me play the host.

[He sits down beside AHASUERUS; the Jew stares at him.]

  You seem amazed, fair sir.

AHASUERUS [slowly].        I am a Jew.

[The monk starts, then sits down again, while the Jew regards him


AHASUERUS [bitterly].        "Dog Jew," they call me.

ANSELM.        God forbid!
  Yet once I would have scorned thee like the rest.
  But, long years past, before I sought these walls,
  Adventurous I rode into the East
  And underneath the walls of Joppa fell
  A victim to the fever. Many days
  I lingered in its grasp, and when I woke
  To strength, I found a Jew had tended me.
  E'en then I scorned him, but with gentle words
  He heaped great coals of fire on my head.
  And then I dreamed a dream--upon a cross--
  Two other crosses near--outlined against
  A dark and dreadful sky, I saw a man;
  And lo, it was a Jew--Christ was a Jew.
  With tears I sought mine host, and told the tale,
  And he was swift to pardon--he, a Jew.

[AHASUERUS will not trust himself to reply, but gazes steadfastly into
the fire. From the adjacent chapel the low notes of an organ fall upon
their ears.]

ANSELM. You speak not. Ah, I wonder not at it.
  On such a night is meditation good,
  And soothing to the soul. The wind is high
  But cannot harm; the torches flicker low,
  While softly like a benediction falls
  The distant melody upon our ears;
  And in the silent watches of the night
  God's holy Spirit broods o'er all the world
  And bringeth calm and peace to all mankind.

AHASUERUS [wildly]. For me there is no peace--I am the Jew
  Who, cursed of the Lord, must wander till
  He comes again. For me no peace, forever!

ANSELM [starts]. Thou art that Jew!

AHASUERUS [despairingly].        I am that Jew. Farewell.

[AHASUERUS pulls his cloak around him and arises to leave. As he
totters toward the door the monk looks after him irresolutely, then
turns his eyes to the Virgin's shrine as if to seek counsel.]

ANSELM [whispers to himself]. Those eyes--still gaze--in mercy. A-a-h,
  How sad they look!
          [aloud]. Ahasuerus! Hold!

[ANSELM hastens after the Jew, and seeks to lead him back. AHASUERUS

AHASUERUS. Not so! I am accursed. Let me go!

ANSELM. Forgive me, if I have offended thee,
  For I am weak--yet see; I pray you, stay.
  Without, the night is wild--and here is calm.

AHASUERUS. The storm was e'er my lot.

ANSELM.        But now the calm
  Invites to rest.

AHASUERUS [slowly]. To--rest?

[He stands undecided, then submits to be led back to the fire. For a
moment neither speaks, then AHASUERUS cries out.]

AHASUERUS.        There is no rest
  For me, nor ever can be, for I
  Am curst of God.

ANSELM.        O miserere! Pray!
  Pray and with you I'll pray.--O, thou sweet Christ,
  Look down in pity on this erring one!
  We all like sheep have gone astray; O God,
  Thou shepherd of the flock, lead us to thee.

AHASUERUS [whispers]. May God be merciful!

ANSELM.        O, holy Babe,
  That on this night did'st come to earth to seek
  Thine own, look down upon our need and grant
  Thy mercy. Holy Mother, intercede.

AHASUERUS [brokenly]. Cease, cease. It is enough. O, not for me
  Is God's high mercy,--I am ever curst.

ANSELM. God's mercy is not limited, O, no.
  His grace is all-sufficient, even for thee.
  All we are weak and sinful, He is strong.
  Oh, call upon His name, and He will come.

[There is silence for a moment, save for the plaintive notes of the
organ. Suddenly AHASUERUS rises, tears coursing down his cheeks.]

AHASUERUS. At last, O God, at last, my hard heart breaks.
  I thank thee for these tears; the burden lifts--
  Sing unto God, O brother, and rejoice!
  The darkness disappears, and lo, the light--
  Behold, the Light!

[As he speaks, a miraculous radiance fills the room; AHASUERUS slowly
sinks down upon the floor, ever gazing heavenward in mute adoration,
while the monk falls before the Virgin's shrine in prayer. There is a
sound of many feet from without, and the company of the earlier
evening enter noisily, but drop on their knees in awe as they behold
the miracle. AHASUERUS murmurs in a low voice hardly to be

AHASUERUS.        Lord, comest thou--to me?

[Then dimly, like a distant strain of music, a wondrous Voice is
heard, and by some understood.]

THE VOICE. I come, Ahasuerus; lo, I come. Behold, I stand at the door,
      and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will
      come in to him ... Behold, I come quickly.

[AHASUERUS falls back, and a look of deep peace overspreads his
countenance. The radiance fades away, and there remains only the
flickering light of the torches, which are almost extinguished in the
great gusts of wind that sweep through the room. Far above, the joyous
chimes are pealing a welcome to the new day.]

_Literary Monthly_, 1905.



To think that it all happened within a rifle shot of the greatest city
in America, in the very outskirts of New York--this was strange. A
romance of old Spain, tingling with the memory of times when men
fought single-handed for the toss of a rose or the gleam from under
the black lashes of a _senorita_, or bled and died for the sake of a
yellow silken scarf! That such a thing should have happened as it did
seems preposterous, and yet, on second thought, it occurred so
naturally that at the time there was no idea of its being in the least
out of place in this prosaic New World. It was like a dream of the
past--and yet it was no dream.

It was our Saturday half-holiday and Henderson and I were driving the
stagnation of a week's confinement out of our lungs by a long walk
into the country. We were just starting back in the approaching dusk
when a round stone that I happened to step on turned under my foot. I
tried to grin, and hobbled along for a moment; then I sat down at the
side of the road.

"It's my ankle. I don't believe I can make it, Fred."

"Make a try at it, old man. It's only a short mile to the railroad
station and there won't be any footing it from there. Perhaps walking
will ease it up."

I got up, but after a few steps sat down again.

"I'm awfully sorry, Fritz, but I simply can't do it. The thing hurts
like all time."

He stood still and looked about him. The road followed the curve of a
hill, at the foot of which flowed a tiny brook. Ahead, it passed
through a little colony of houses, perhaps twenty in all. The hamlet
had an air about it that marked it from numerous others we had walked
through that afternoon. The cottages appeared brighter and there were
gardens among them that seemed unlike the others we had passed. No
hotel or public house of any kind was to be seen.

"I wonder what this place is," said Henderson. "It doesn't look
especially alluring."

I looked up from the task of rubbing my ankle.

"No," I commented, "it doesn't seem alluring, and I suppose
ninety-nine hundredths of the people that pass through here look at it
the same way. But to you, Fred, I'm pretty sure it would be rather
attractive, and I know that it would be to me with this beastly foot."

"What! Stay here all night? I guess not."

"If you only knew what it was," I ventured.

"Probably another of Washington's headquarters, or the site of the
Battle of--."

"Wait a minute before you explode, and give me a chance. This is the
Spanish colony."


"The Spanish colony."

"What Spanish colony?"

"Of all things, do you mean to tell me that you never heard of it?"

"I do."

"Well," I said, "it's wonderful how much New Yorkers don't know about
themselves. This place was settled a long time ago by the few
Spaniards there were in this part of the country, and they've stuck
together ever since. I don't believe there are a hundred people in the
city that know about the place. Maybe it's on account of the war, when
these people had to keep pretty quiet, but whatever it is, they are
here. I've been through here before and I've often wished that I could
have stopped off. Now the Lord seems to have taken matters into His
own hands."

If there was anything Henderson enjoyed it was tales and relics of the
old Romance lands, and I knew it. Then there was my ankle, which was
throbbing painfully.

"If your old foot really is as bad as you say," said Henderson, "why,
we can put up here over night. To-morrow is Sunday, you know, and we
don't have to be back."

He spoke condescendingly, but I knew that if I suggested that after
all we might get back he would almost get down on his knees and plead
with me. So I spared him the trouble. We started again toward the
little hamlet. Henderson wanted to stop at the first house we came to,
but I pulled him on.

"Let's tackle that larger white one ahead there to the right," I
suggested. "It looks to be the best of the lot--and besides, the last
time I was through here I noticed a mighty pretty girl standing in the
doorway--one of those black-eyed story-book _senoritas_ you so dote

"I'm surprised at a man of your age and dignity noticing _senoritas_,"
he laughed. Nevertheless he turned into the little garden and raised
the iron knocker.

The door was opened almost instantly by a short, rather stoutish man,
well past the prime of life. There was nothing in his dress to mark
him from the average middle-class New Yorker, but his face was swarthy
and the hair that was not grey was glistening black. We explained our

"I am afraid you can find no accommodations," he said, with but the
slightest trace of an accent.

Henderson said something to him in Spanish, and as he did so the man
stared a moment, smiled, showing all his teeth, and then answered in
the same tongue with a flood of words that I could barely understand.
Then he took our hats and bowed the way into a little parlor.

"Will the _senor_ with the injured foot recline upon the sofa? I will
bring in hot water to bathe it. We have a large room upstairs with a
bed for two, where the _senores_ may pass the night." He took out a
large gold watch. "It is now quarter before six. Dinner will be served
at half after the hour. Till then the _senores_ may rest. I will bring
the hot water to your chamber."

Promptly at six-thirty Henderson and I descended the stairs. The rest
and a bath had done us both good, and even my ankle, though badly
swollen, had ceased to give much pain. From the house and from our
host we had gathered much of interest. His family had come over some
seventy-five years ago and had moved directly to the little house,
which the widower Senor Lucas de Marcelo and his daughter Adelita
still possessed. Don Lucas himself was a jeweller, going in to the
city every day. We found him waiting for us at the foot of the stairs.

"In but a moment dinner will be prepared," he said. "If the _senores_
will pardon me, I must go out to the kitchen. To-night is the big
dance, the _mascarade_, for which Adelita must dress." He raised his
voice. "Adela! Hasten, little one."

"I am coming," called a clear girlish voice.

Henderson and I waited in the little parlor. Back in the house we
could hear our host moving about among the pots and pans. Then from
the top of the stairs there sounded a soft voice:


Don Lucas dropped his work and stepped into the parlor.

There was a swish, a click of high heels on the stairs, a flash of
red, with a momentary glimpse of white, and the girl stood before us.
The father spoke:

"_Senores_, my daughter."

She bent low and then arose, smiling as her father had smiled, showing
the white of her teeth. She was dressed all in red, from the roses in
her black hair to her tiny, outrageously high-heeled Spanish slippers.
The hair was parted in the middle and drawn back, giving an almost
child-like expression to the handsome face with its snapping black
eyes and full red lips. Under the dark wave behind each ear she had
effectively pinned a cluster of rose-buds. Over her gleaming shoulders
she had thrown a scarf of the thinnest red silk, and a similar scarf,
fringed with black lace, was drawn about her hips and knotted at the
left side. The heavily ruffled skirts fell within a few inches of the
floor, but as she turned they swung higher, showing her slippers and a
bit of red silk-covered ankle. In her hand she dangled a tiny black
mask. Her father looked at her proudly.

"It is the dancing costume of the Old Country," he explained. "It is
in honor of the _mascarade_ to-night."

We passed into the little dining-room. Just before we sat down
Henderson managed to whisper to me:

"Whew! I guess you're right about the good-looking girl."

All through the meal he watched her covertly, and the moment he took
his eyes from her face I noticed that she would glance over at him.
Then the second he turned her way her eyes would drop and a dull red
would suffuse her face and neck. Whether Henderson noticed it or not I
do not know, but I did. When the coffee was brought in by Adelita our
host opened a box of mellow cigars, and we passed out into the parlor.
In the doorway the girl stopped her father and excitedly whispered in
his ear.

"Please," she pleaded, "you know you are old and do not like to stay
so late, and he is young and big and could take as good care of me as
you. Please, _padre_."

"Would it be right?" he queried. Then he thought a moment. "Perhaps--"

"_Bueno_," she cried. "Good. Ask him, _padre_, please, please."

The old man smiled. Then he came over to where Fred and I were

"Did you hear the girl," he asked, "the little scamp? She thinks I am
too old to take her to the ball--and too uninteresting. She wishes to
know if the _senores_ would care to go with her in my place. It would
perhaps be interesting to you."

I guessed what she really wanted, so I spoke:

"You go, Fritz. I'd like to, only my foot's too bad."

"I won't go without you," he said.

Here I took him aside and told him what I had seen at the table.

"Now," I said, "if you don't go you're a fool. And personally I'd
rather stay here anyhow and talk to the _don_."

"All right. I'll do it."

The girl was watching him, and as he spoke she smiled. Then she walked
over to him, put both her hands in his, looked up into his face and
laughed aloud, a cheery, rippling laugh.

"For to-night," she said, "you shall be my cavalier, _mi caballero_."
Then I heard him whisper in Spanish:

"I will. And you shall be my lady."

After half an hour of bustling and sewing and rummaging in trunks,
there appeared on the stairs some six feet of Spanish cavalier. I held
him off at arm's length.

"Well, old man, you look like a prince. You pretty near match the
princess. But where did you get that rig?"

"Oh, the boots and the picture hat"--he nodded his head and the
feather moved majestically--"they belong to old Marcelo. He used to
wear 'em. They have had a masquerade ball here every year for the past
fifty years, more or less--Don Lucas couldn't quite remember. These
boots"--they were patent leather with yellow tops--"fit as if they
belonged to me. This cape is an old one of the girl's turned inside
out"--it was light yellow satin--"and the red sash is hers too. I tell
you, this is the best fun I've had in years. And isn't the girl a
queen though!"

"Well," I began--but here she came into the room.

"It is time," she said, "that we started, you and I." Her father
descended the stairs. Adelita threw her arms about his neck and kissed

"Good-night, _Padre_--till later. _Buenas noches_. Good-night,
_senor_." This to me.

"_Buenas noches_, Adela," murmured the old man. "Good-night, _senor_.
Take good care of the daughter." The father and I passed into the

She took Henderson's hand and led him out of the door. They did not go
out of the gate, but turned through the little garden, past the house,
and followed a narrow path that ran down the hill. As the grass was
high on either side he followed where she led, holding fast to the
hand she stretched out to him. Suddenly as the path dipped down the
hill she commenced to run. Henderson held back. She looked over her
shoulder, laughing.

"Are you afraid to follow?" she asked in Spanish.

"No, little one, I am not," he answered in the same tongue, "but I am
afraid that with those high heels you will wrench your ankle."

"Oho," she laughed, "I was born for this." But she stopped and walked

The moon was just rising, big and red, as if it were autumn instead of
late spring. The girl drew in a deep breath.

"Look at that, _Senor Federico mio_, look at that." She still spoke in
the Old World tongue.

Now they had reached the little brook that tumbled down through the
rolling valley. The girl spoke again.

"Here the path is wider. You may walk beside me--if you like." She
glanced up from under her black lashes. "The hall is but a short half
mile down the stream here to the left." They proceeded, walking
slowly, the brook purling and murmuring at their side. The girl drew
in her breath again, deliberately and deep.

"Smell the roses. It is the long arbor of Don Benito, through which we
must pass. Ah, it is wonderful."

The heavy musk of roses seemed literally to fill the bottom of the
vale. With it was mingled the scent of the grass and of the field
flowers. Over all hung the moon, yellow and near.

"It is wonderful," mused Henderson. She came close to him.

"Remember," she said, "to-night I am your lady, and you--you are my
cavalier. Take care of the feather in your cavalier's hat, for here is
the arbor." He bowed his head, and they passed beneath the
sweet-scented array of blossoms and buds. Then, as they rounded a
corner of the slope, there came to them from far down the valley the
sound of music and the glint of lights through the uneasy leaves of
the maples.

"Hear it," the girl cried, "hear it! They may be dancing. Let us
hurry. 'Sh! Now we are getting too near. We must mask. Here, _senor_,
help me with my mask and I will do the same for you. Thank you. Stoop
lower, please. There, now it is right!" They proceeded. "I wonder what
Carlos will say to this. He will be surprised when we unmask. Until
then he will not know me--nor you either." She lowered her voice. "I
told him that my costume was to be that of a shepherdess."

They were close to the hall now. A turn brought them to a wider path
which led directly to the building. Up the steps and into the throng
of masks they passed, the girl now holding tight to the man's arm. The
orchestra was playing a waltz and the pair swung into the whirl,
dancing fast and gracefully. The music stopped; a man in the costume
of a Spanish sailor came up and asked for the next. The girl looked
down, then glanced quickly up and pointed silently to the tall
cavalier at her side. The sailor bowed and passed on. Then the music
started again.

"I cannot speak, you see," the girl panted as they swept around a
corner, "or they would know my voice. Of course--oh look, there is
Carlos. He must be looking everywhere for me."

A tall man, clad in the helmet and boots of a Spanish military
officer, stood in the center of the floor, intently watching each
couple as it passed. Adelita he followed closely with his eyes, as if
perplexed. Then he shook his head.

"He does not know me," she laughed.

But at the end of that dance he strode up to her and bowed.

"May I have the honor?"

She said nothing, but inclined her head. Then they waltzed off.
Henderson stood at the side watching the whirling crowd. The vivid
reds and yellows and greens of the costumes blended harmoniously in a
swirl of color that seemed a part of the music, the laughter, and the
splendor of the night. Just then the couple passed, the man talking
intently, the girl with her head bowed, saying nothing. As the dance
ended, Henderson was about to go up and accost an attractive looking
shepherdess, when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around,
surprised. It was the tall officer whom Adelita had called Carlos.

"Stranger," he said in English, "why have you made my Adela, Senorita
de Marcelo, try to hide from me? Do you think, although she has not
spoken, that I could fail to know her? Do you think I would not
recognize her even if she came in a black cowl and robe? Who are you
that have dared speak to her as you have? I have watched her--and you.
Hear me, interloper, I will not have you dance with her or speak to
her again. The rest of the house is yours--and welcome." He was
answered in Spanish.

"With my compliments, mind your own business. When I need advice I
shall come to you, and not before. Who are you--and pray, who am I?"

"I--I am Senor Carlos Gerardo," he answered in the native tongue. "How
do I know you? Bah! I know every man in the room. You heard what I
said about Adelita. Now remember."

Henderson turned on his heel and walked directly over to where the
girl stood, talking with the shepherdess. Adelita looked down as he
came up and tapped the floor nervously with the toe of a red slipper.
Her face was flushed.

"May I have this dance?" he asked.


They swung off to the tune of a catchy American popular air. Few of
the dances had been Spanish. He waited, and at last she broke the

"Carlos danced with me and tried to get me to speak, but I would not.
Nevertheless he knows me, and is angry--very angry. But it will do him
good. He--he said he was going to speak to you."

"He did," put in Henderson dryly. "Is it the custom here to allow no
other man to dance with one's friends?"

"No," she said, "it is not. But he--Carlos is very jealous."

After the dance the officer came up to Henderson again.

"You heard me," he muttered. "I cannot bear with this."

Again Henderson turned on his heel and again he asked her for the next
dance. She had it with the sailor, but promised him the one after.

It was warm inside, so after their waltz Fred and the girl went out on
a little balcony which hung low over the brook. The moon was high in
the heavens, and shone softly through the whispering leaves. From up
the valley a gentle breeze brought the heavy scent of the roses.

"It is so hot inside," the girl said, her voice so low that it seemed
part of the night, "and out here it is so cool and--and wonderful."
Again she came close. "For to-night you are my cavalier, and I am your
lady. Oh, if to-night could but be every night. You are so big and
kind and--different."

"And you," he said, with the romance of it mounting to his head, "you
are more than different. If to-night only _was_ every night. For
to-night you are my lady."

A shadow darkened the doorway behind them and a long arm shot out for
Henderson's neck. Surprised, he turned blindly. It was Don Carlos.
Quick as a flash Fred hit him full between the eyes, and with the
other arm tried to loosen the hold on his throat. There was no sound;
the girl stood breathless. Again he struck and the hand at his throat
tore away. There was a flash of steel in the hand of the Spaniard--but
the blow never fell. The girl stood between them, her arms spread
apart, her eyes flashing.

"Carlos," she said slowly, "if you ever strike a blow like that, be
eternally cursed by me. You fool! Know you not that I was playing with
you? How I hate you! Go!" She stamped her foot. "Go, I say."

He turned with bent head, and without a word passed into the building.
As he disappeared, the girl sank back, her face white, almost greyish,
against the red of her dress.

"Hold me, _senor_," she said weakly. "I am not well. Could--would you
take me home--to my father?"

Without a word Henderson picked her up bodily and stepped off the
little low balcony into the grass. Not until they reached the arbor
did she speak.

"Thank you. I think I can walk now."

He set her down and she smoothed her rumpled skirts. Then they
proceeded together slowly. Silently they followed the path which a few
hours before they had so gaily trod, and silently they ascended the

The old man and I had not yet gone to bed when they entered the house.
She came in laughing.

"Is it not early, my angel?" he asked. "It is but little past
midnight." She smiled.

"Yes, _padre_, it is early--but I--I thought I would return."

Late that night, as Henderson and I lay in bed--he telling me the
story of the evening--we could hear the girl in the next room,
sobbing, sobbing as if her heart would break. It made Henderson

"I'd like to do something," he said. "The scoundrel! He ought to be

I grunted and tried to get to sleep, but it was useless. Fred was
tossing restlessly, and the girl in the other room was still sobbing,
sobbing. Suddenly there sounded a whistle, low but clear. The sobbing
ceased. The whistle sounded again. We heard a quiet step and the noise
of an opening window.

"_O Carlos mio_," she breathed in the mother tongue, "I knew you would

"Adela _mia_," he called softly, "my angel, I hoped you would be here
and--and you are."

"You have been so long," she sighed.

"Henderson," I said, "if you have any decency, go to sleep."

We rolled over and closed our eyes, while unknown to us the breeze
wafted up the heavy night odor of the roses and the yellow moon slowly
moved toward the western heavens.

_Literary Monthly_, 1906.



  When March has tuned his willow pipes,
    The robins in the rain
  Take up the song with plaintive notes
    And sing the sweet refrain.

  Then April, sleepy child of Spring,
    Awakes, to music yields,
    Goes dancing 'cross the fields.

  The modest buds, once red and brown,
    Burst forth in plumes of green,
  And interlace the barren boughs
    With wreaths of vernal sheen.

  The old sun-dial beside the walk
    Takes heart for sunny day;
  But half-awake marks sleepy hours
    By light through spring-time haze.

  When March has tuned his willow pipes,
    The children passing by
  Kneel down and pluck the early flowers,
    And smile, they know not why.

_Literary Monthly_, 1906.



  I'm coming, I'm coming,
    The miller has lifted
  The gates that have bound me;
    At last I am free,
  And where the grey sands
    O'er my courses have drifted
  My swift happy waters
    Shall hurrying be.
  Like hearts that unburdened
    From grief come to weeping,
  And smile 'mid their tears
    At old sorrows past;
  So my sunny waters,
    The white rapids leaping,
  From dark fearsome valleys
    Come singing at last.

  I'm coming, I'm coming,
    The children shall love me;
  The beeches, the willows,
    The golden elm trees
  That close by the village
    Are drooping above me,
  Shall float on my billows
    Their last withered leaves.
  The grey flocks shall meet me,
    The meadow larks greet me,
  And oft the shy new moon,
    In veiled halo lace,
  Through bare tangled branches,
    In sad brooding shallows,
  Shall trail her cloud tresses,
    Shall bathe her pale face.

  I'm coming, I'm coming,
    O hearken, sad-hearted,
  My sweet singing voices
    Shall teach you by day;
  And in the night's darkness
    The stars gently mirrored,
  All borne on my current,
    Shall mark you the way.
  Dark mountains may tower,
    Dark valleys may lower,
  But follow, sad-hearted,
    Come smiling, light-hearted,
    Come fare to the river;
  His Hand in the forest
    Has marked the true way.

_Literary Monthly_, 1907.




  She told me of her garden, all the flowers,
  Of hallowed lilies and the glories bright,
  Frail tinted cups filled with the morning's light;
  The primrose drooping for the evening hours.
  She spoke of hedges, hawthorns, and the powers
  Of weeds and frost in April, and the blight
  Of birds and children; prayed her blossoms might
  Not so allure them to her paths and bowers.
  And I turned silently upon my way,
  And sought His untrod forests and the hills,
  My free companions of no guile nor art--
  Their holy strength is more than rocks and clay;
  I sought the comfort loneliness instills:
  Dear Christ! She spoke her own vain, selfish heart.

_Literary Monthly_, 1910.



  Over the hills
  Softly the slumber light
  Seems to me creeping,
  Stealing with twilight,
  While the world sleeping
  Breathes in the lower light
  Prayers for its loved ones
  Over the hills.

      Stars watch, and the fire glows,
      Fading it goes, fainter it glows,
      Lips of vain speaking silently close--
      The breath comes, but the breath goes.

  Some mothers stifled lie,
  Sobbing till life is gone;
  Some fathers bitter die
  In their remorse ere dawn;

      Stars watch, and the fire glows--
      Something comes, something goes.

  Far in the night
  Beckon the locust trees,
  Whispering, calling,
  And from their drooping leaves
  White blossoms falling
  Float on a magic breeze,
  Far in a phantom world,
  Far in the night.

      Clocks chime and the night goes,
      Slowly it goes, brighter it grows,
      Tired hands folded rest in repose--
      The breath comes, but the breath goes.

  Some watchers on the hill
  Wide-eyed await the dawn;
  Some workers in the mill
  Wearying are toiling on;

      Clocks chime, and the night goes--
      Slowly it lighter grows.

_Literary Monthly_, 1910.



  The moon hath a hidden face and fair,--
    Never we gaze on its features calm;
  She gazeth afar on the star-lit air,
    On star-lighted regions whose breath is balm;
  But never, ah never, her glance doth show
  To the world of men in the deeps below.

  O love, do you know that there dwells in thee
    A hiddenest spirit that dreams alway,
  And never the world can her features see,
    Of the spirit that shunneth the earthly day?
  Only I know that she lives, to rise
  Some day, some night, in your love-lit eyes.

_Literary Monthly_, 1906.




  Are we but truants from a parent stern--
    Whose strait commands with fear we long obeyed,
    Till, gladdened by the sunlight, far we strayed,
  And lingered by the woodside and the byrne,
  The bird's sweet passion at the sun's return,
    The flower's grieving at his sight delayed,
  With wistful, long-pent love, to watch and learn,
    Till evening come, and we turn home dismayed?

  Or have we grown unto our fuller seeing,
    The manhood of our days, when evermore
  Our Father speaks and, punishment decreeing,
    Is high and silent from his sapphire door?
  Forever past, the childhood of our being:
    He stoops to reason who but spake before.

_Literary Monthly_, 1908.




  Beside the grim, the grey, cold sea
    I heard a goblin call to me;
  Beneath a rock, beside the water,
  He cried, "Go pray thy lady daughter
    To bring some wine to me.

  "For coldly runs the salt, salt tide,
    And I am prisoned fast and long,
    And I was wont to feast and song,
  And roaming through the woodland wide.

  "For coldly runs the salt, salt tide,
    And I am wont to have my will,
    And he that brooks it fareth ill,
  When I may roam the woodland wide.

  "Of old, of old I roamed the wood,
    Of old I dwelt in lordly state,
  Before they came, the black-heart brood,
    To make me thus disconsolate.

  "For coldly runs the salt, salt tide,
    And stones are hard that prisons be;
  Yet here in daily hope I bide,
    That one will hear and come to me.

  "They came with drums and dancing fire,
    And wreaths and chants and incense sweet;
  They stole away my heart's desire,
    That was all fair and lithe and fleet.

  "And coldly runs the salt, salt tide;
    Alone they bound and prisoned me,
  Nor may I taste of aught beside,
    Though well I know the sweets there be.

  "A thousand gnomes brought golden urns,
    With red, red wine and crystal filled;
  And all my couch was flowers and ferns,
    And whatsoever maid I willed.

  "But coldly runs the salt, salt tide,
    And men ride up the high, white road.
  And many a goodly maid beside--
    Nor ever glance to my abode.

  "The bee sucks sweetness all the day,
    And dwells in flowers from morn to night;
  But never, never need he stay,
    And never feels he gloom nor blight.

  "But coldly flows the salt, salt tide,
    And I am weary of my breath;
  Though all the world is fair beside,
    And yet I taste nor life nor death.

  "In feasts we sat at silken boards,
    Endraped with silver gossameres,
  And 'round me sat my bearded lords,
    And maidens served whose sires were peers.

  "And coldly runs the salt, salt tide;
    I loved too well and she was fair,
  And here in bondage dire I bide,
    Who never thought to know despair.

  "I hate the stone, I fear the water;
    I dread the grey, the moaning sea;
  I pray thee bid thy lady daughter
    To fetch some wine to me.

  "For coldly, coldly, runs the tide;
    And all the foam is salt and strong;
  And here, athirst and cramped, I bide,
    And I have waited, waited long."

_Literary Monthly_, 1910.



  Across the breadth of many memoried years
    I catch a whiff of strong, salt air
      Light-hearted blowing of the gentle wind,
        And all the swaying of the sad and silent sea;
        On high a golden star, bright, peerless, free,
      In endless space confined,--
  And light as laughter 'gainst my cheek, star-lit with tears,
    A wavy lock of sweet brown hair.

  The star wove silver webs across the ways
    Carved by the wind, a half-breathed sigh,
      That spoke in ripples. "O Heart's Delight,"
        I cried, "The skiff comes for me now across the water."
        And, as I bent to kiss her, Love's fair daughter,
      She barely breathed, "Good-night,"
  And some musician blended Chopin with her phrase:
    "Good-bye, Love's youth, Youth's love, good-bye."

_Literary Monthly_, 1907.



  The deep, dark clouds are yonder massed,
    And rain has drenched fields drear and dun,
  But o'er the farthest hills at last
    I see the sun!

_Literary Monthly_, 1905.



  Mysterious damozel in white,
  White like the swans that glide upon the pool below,
  Who art thou that with fingers light
  Playest upon those ivory keys such music low?

  O winged youth in dreamful thought,
  With eyelids weighed with utter sweetness, who art thou,
  With garments by the breezes caught,
  Whose hands with drowsy motion ply the bellows now?

  The youth and damsel answer not.
  But thou, O listening knight-at-arms, thou mayest tell
  Who are these minstrels mild, and what
  The strains that here outside this quiet city swell.

  The youth with languid moving wrist
  In puissance may with any of the gods compare;
  No marvel thou must stay and list,
  For 'tis the Song of Love breathes on the evening air.

  Know by the calm her lips disclose,
  By the fine shades and faery lustre of her eyes,
  The damsel is the queen of those
  Whose names are written Beatrice in Paradise.

  While yon still towers in sunset lie,
  Her face oblivious of all else I'll ponder long.
  My body thrills with ecstasy!
  My heart beats with the rhythmic pulsing of the song!

_Literary Monthly_, 1906.



  The north road, the south road,
  Highway, byway,
  There never was a road men trod
  That did not lead them home.

  The east road, the west road,
  Your way, my way,
  Men's tangled footprints end in God,
  Through Arcady or Rome.

_Literary Monthly_, 1907.



  Her beauty lies upon her face
  As sunlight masks the barren sea;
  A fitful, accidental grace
  Which time shall ruin utterly.

  Not like the Beauty all divine
  (The "house of God," the poet saith),
  Which is the craftsman-soul's design,
  Its majesty supreme in death.

_Literary Monthly_, 1908.



The Fool was sitting by his half-built sod house. This was the season
of building, for the sun shone; and moreover presently would come the
bitter unending rain of winter, when it were better to be abiding
safely at home. Nevertheless the Fool sat happily idle, for he never
_could_ get enough of the sunshine, though he rose with the sun in the
morning and wistfully watched it set at night. Now he was twirling a
dandelion between thumb and finger, and gazing out across the valley
to the running hills of the north country. It so happened that the
Fool's house was on a cross-road, and presently, as he was a-sitting
at his ease, along came the King of that land, with a great cavalcade
of soldiers and retainers. And because on their brazen shields and
helmets the sun was reflected more brightly than from yonder peak, the
Fool turned to gaze at them as they wound past. In sooth, had it not
been for that, he would never have given them a glance at all, not
having much curiosity about the things other people love to gape at.

Beside the King rode the King's Favorite, a very goodly man, one who
was closest of all to the King's ear and heart. Plainly enough could
the Fool see, even though he was only dreamily a-looking, a bright
golden figure seated upon the saddle with the King's Favorite. This,
as all men know, was Preferment, and a sudden wistful longing seized
upon the Fool's heart, that he had never known the like of since the
time he had cried for the moon. His jaw dropped, and his eyes grew
misty. In a little while the troop was by, gone around the hill, but
the Fool could not forget them, and many new desires tugged at his

"Why," he wondered, "doth not Preferment live with me? Am I not as fit
a man as the King's Favorite?" And he stretched out his long legs and
looked at them.

As long as the Fool was occupied with dreaming and laying the sods on
his house, or hunting for the dun deer of a moonlit night, he was
company enough for himself, turning his fancies over and over in his
mind, as the wind bundles the clouds about the sky; then when he had
arranged his conceptions to his taste, he was free to admire them
undisturbed, until a new fancy happened along to displace them; just
as the wind leaves off driving the clouds at sunset, and in the west
there is a sweet tableau for men to look at, till night blots out the
scene. So the Fool was usually well content to be alone. But when, as
now, he was perplexed by any problem that disturbed his simple
cheerfulness, he had to seek some other and wiser man for counsel, not
being one of those men, more mind than heart, who unravel problems
with as much accuracy and equanimity as a skilful weaver plies his

So that evening, with the moon sending his shadow out ahead of him,
the Fool walked overfield to the cave of the Wise Man. Timidly
approaching, he peered through the entrance and found the Wise Man
sitting still and alone, gazing into the ashes of a flickering fire.

"Please," said the Fool anxiously, "why does Preferment ride with the
King's Favorite and never with me?"

The other did not stir for a long while, but after the Fool had
shifted several times from one foot to the other, beginning to despair
of an answer, the Wise Man spoke.

"Because," he said slowly, still looking into the fire, "thou hast
never desired him to." And, having spoken, he kept silent, and after a
little the Fool turned away.

"I never desired him to?" he muttered over and over to himself. "What
does that mean?" And he stood stock still and looked about for
explanation; but none was vouchsafed by the moon, or the bushes, or
night itself, the customary adviser of the Fool's doubts and queries.

"How is this?" he said again. "Did the King's Favorite, then, desire
him? And will Preferment come if he be wanted? And how does one ask

All this was inexplicable to the Fool and he took courage to return to
the cave.

"Tell me," he asked of the Wise Man, "did the King's Favorite want
Preferment more than I? And how does Preferment come if he is wanted?"

The Wise Man nodded gently to himself. "Aye," he muttered, "so it is,
so it is." The Fool gazed in amazement at this, but because he thought
all Wise Men are somewhat mad, he waited and did not run away, as his
heels advised.

"Listen," the Wise Man began again, "this man has so wanted Preferment
all his life that he has given up everything that is dear to him. He
has crushed underfoot every dream and vision save this alone, to be
seen in the company of Preferment." The Wise Man turned and looked
about at the Fool. "He has no sod house,--no days afield and by the
brook. He never heard the night-song of the wind or the winter-rune of
the pine. Nothing of all these things that you love has he had."

The Fool's eyes were round with amazement. "No sod house?" But the
other was sunk into a reverie and gave no answer. The Fool stood first
on one foot, then on the other, then with his old smile he turned and
skipped away. As he returned through the night, walking, hopping, or
running, as the need came to him, he crooned to himself a song he had
once made up.

  "My lips are a-tremble with a grave little song.
  I care not if the wide world hear.'
  Its words happened forth as I dreamed and trudged along.
  I care not if the wide world hear.

  "It has not worth nor weight, it is neither sweet nor strong.
  I care not if the wide world hear.
  For I sing it to myself when the great doubts throng
  And I care not if the wide world hear."

That was all, but he hummed it with great content, beating time with
one hand; and as for the King's Favorite, for all that Preferment
rideth on the pommel of his saddle, I doubt not he never sang such a
song to himself, or took such pleasure in the singing.

_Literary Monthly_, 1907.



  Upon mine ear a deep, unbroken roar
  Thunders and rolls, as when the moving sea,
  Too long asleep, pours on th' resisting shore
  Full half his cohorts, tramping audibly.

  Yet here's no rushing of exasperate wind,
  Booming revolt amidst a factious tide;
  Nor hateful shock on toothed reef and blind,
  Of foaming waves that with a sob subside.

  No! but more fateful than the restless deep,
  Whose crested hosts rise high but fall again,
  I hear, in solemn and portentous sweep,
  The slow, deliberate marshalling of men.

  No monarch moves them, pawns to gain a goal;
  They felt a fever rising in the soul.

_Literary Monthly_, 1909.



  All verse, all music; artistry
    Of cunning hand and feeling heart,
  All loveliness, whate'er it be,
    Is but the hint and broken part

  Of that vast beauty and delight
    Which man shall know when he is free;
  When in his soul the alien night
    Folds up like darkness from the sea.

  For e'en in song man still reveals
    His ancient fear, a mournful knell;
  Like one who dreams of home, but feels
    The bonds of an old prison cell.

_Literary Monthly_, 1909.



Jane always called him the professor, a name which that individual
accepted without comment, as he did everything else. In fact, since he
had been possessed of titular rights, but two people had ignored
them--his mother and Mary. His mother had been dead--oh, a very long
time, and it was nineteen years and some months since Mary had
followed her. When Mary had died people said that Jane was coming to
live with the professor; Jane came, and now people said quite
unthinkingly that the professor lived with his sister. Jane was
high-minded, also strong-minded; her hair was very thin and very
straight, a fact for which she was sternly and devoutly thankful. Jane
was stern and devout in everything--even in cooking preserves. To the
professor, Jane had been surrounded by a sort of halo of preserves,
ever since he had recovered from his awe of her unapproachable
angularity as to allude to her before admiring play-mates as the "old

When the professor had married, Jane had strongly disapproved--Mary's
cheeks were much too pink, her hands much too soft, and her ways of
life led her into the flowery meadows of the world and the flesh, if
not the devil. The professor had been infatuated, and the year or so
of married life seemed only to augment such infatuation, and
incidentally Jane's ire. Well, the golden year was over, and the
little butterfly had gone to its rest, fretfully, fearfully. And then
Jane wrote; wrote that the professor needed somebody to superintend
him, to see that he did not take cold, and to cook his preserves; so
she was coming. The professor did not wish to be superintended, he
wanted to take cold in comfort without being asked how he took it, and
he abominated preserves; to all of which Jane was supremely
indifferent. Jane came; the professor wore overshoes and ate

So the professor lived with his sister. At first the direful system
which ruled everything from the time of the cat's entrance to the date
when the furnace fire should be started, chafed on him. His
declarations of independence were received pityingly, as the prattles
of a tired child. Gradually he resigned himself, and the germs of
discontent followed the wake of the other germs which Jane had
promptly and forcefully annihilated.

So the years went on; in time the professor grew tired of ranting and
mild objections gave way to sighs of resignation. There had been bones
to pick in plenty. The professor had a sneaking fondness for dirt--not
mud, but historic dust, so to speak; Jane decreed all foreign matter
as damned eternally. The professor liked fiction; he had once in the
first years of Jane's rule started a novel, which having been
inadvertently left in the living-room, was consigned to the flames;
Jane had intimated, moreover, that the authors of such monstrosities
would probably end in the embrace of the same element. Whereupon the
professor's wrath was great; but his house was built on the sand; so
was his novel; and five years afterwards he knew it.

Although Jane's fanatical cleanliness had been far-reaching, the
professor's study was nearly immune. In the first place the door was
usually locked and the key discreetly lost; and in the next place the
professor had mildly but very obstinately insisted, through all the
twenty years, that his desk, which is the sanctum sanctorum of the man
with a past, remain untouched. Jane sniffed copiously over this
stipulation, and, as she liked to do a thing thoroughly or not at all,
the study remained as a whole comfortably mussy. Sometimes, however,
Jane had twinges of conscience, resulting in the disappearance of all
old, unbound, and destructible matter which presented itself. So the
professor painstakingly replaced equally old and disreputable matter
around the study when the whirlwind had passed, and waited till the
dust settled.

Of late the professor had been ill with a chronic rheumatism. He
grumbled a good deal about the "positively senile" character of his
affliction and finally agreed to take to his bed for a few days in the
hope of luring nature to a hasty cure. The professor was rather
helpless when he was ill; Jane was painfully and triumphantly
energetic. One memorable day, when the invalid had fallen into a
restless sleep, he was awakened by the vigorous ministrations of Jane,
who was creaking around the room in an ostentatious effort, to be
quiet. The professor looked and wondered what she would do if he were
to yell. Seeing he was awake, she stepped over briskly and began to
arrange his bedclothes and pillows. Her hand touched his sore leg. He
winced and groaned inwardly.

"I am going to sit here and read to you," she announced with the stern
cheerfulness which gave the recipient of her benefits a fitting sense
of the self-sacrifice which prompted them. Jane usually read tracts,
and the professor did not feel religious; in fact he was conscious of
an emotion of most unchristian belligerence.

"Aren't you neglecting your house-work to attend to me?" remarked the
victim with clumsy and obvious intent.

"My house is always in order, professor," answered the supremely
ignorant one tartly.

"How fortunate; my study, too,--I suppose that is in order?" The
professor felt most out of place as an inquisitor but he was

Jane looked at him, with as near a quizzical expression as her very
unquizzical nature would permit.

"You know I'd do it if you weren't so stubborn about using a
wastebasket instead of that desk," she said.

"Better clean it out, Jane--clean it all out--anything, anything,--"
but she was gone. He took the tract which she had left on his table
and carefully tore it in four pieces, and hid them under the mattress.
Then he went to sleep. The professor was in distinctly a rebellious

In the natural course of time, which, when one has numerous queer
pains in most unexpected places, is short,--the professor awoke and
lay on his back watching a fly walking around the edge of a rosebud.
Pretty soon the fly flew away--then the professor thought of something
else--something he had not thought of for some years. Strange how
inactivity of the body affects one. The professor raised himself in
bed with some effort and drew on his dressing gown and slippers. Then
he hobbled across the room, out of the door, and down the hallway
towards his study.

At the turn of the narrow corridor the odor of long-hidden dust met
him,--and he hobbled faster. His lips were set in a manner that was
strange to him, and a fear was in his heart--a fear of the cleanliness
which may be akin to godliness, but to which a pressed flower is as
the dust upon the walls. At the door he hesitated, bewildered. On his
desk was heaped a pile of papers, in which letters, lecture notes, old
pamphlets, were scattered in contemptuous disorder. Jane had just
dropped an armful into the fire which blazed with that comfortless
instability common to paper fires in the daytime. She had gathered
another armful and was advancing toward the hearth, when she saw the
apparition in the door-way and stopped. The professor was paler than
usual, and his hands shook a little.

"Do you know what you're doing, Jane?" he asked, quietly enough.

"Yes," she answered defiantly, "I do. You've had 'em hanging around
long enough."

"You know whose letters they are?"

"Yes," she said. "Why, what--"

The professor, forgetting his rheumatism, had advanced in two strides,
and with one blow knocked the papers from her arms, so that they lay
scattered on the floor.

There are wrongs committed against the sacredness of sentiment which
cannot be put in words. The professor checked the torrent which rose
to his lips: Jane would never understand. The only thing which she did
comprehend was a strength in her brother of which she had never
dreamed--not the strength of the worm which turns, but of the man who
had endured because he wished to, and whose endurance was at an end.

"You never had a heart, did you, Jane?" he said finally. "The past is
not sacred to you, and the present---well, the present does not count
for much when one has no dreams--or visions.... I think, Jane, you had
better go."

"Where?" she questioned vaguely. There was no asperity in her voice
now, only puzzled helplessness. It was the inevitable surrender of the
commonplace in the light of a greater understanding--in the
realization of an unknown law to the significance of which some never
attain. She had come inadvertently to a marriage feast for which she
had no wedding garment; and she was naked and ashamed.

"Anywhere--anywhere; only go," said the professor. His thoughts were
far away now.

"I shall not come back, professor--perhaps it is better," she said.

There was a new tone in her voice, and the professor turned sharply.
Jane hesitated. Then he caught sight of a photograph lying among the
letters on the floor.

"That, too," he murmured. He stood and looked at it; Jane passed out
of the room.

Slowly and painfully the professor stooped down and gathered up his
wife's letters and his wife's photograph. He sat down in the big plush
chair by the fireside and thought for a long time. He was thinking of
an old quotation from some Sanskrit poem--"Every yesterday a dream of
happiness, every to-morrow a vision of hope--" That was all he could
remember, but his mind said it over and over. Well, his
yesterdays--the yesterdays of long ago--were dreams of happiness--he
had no visions; to-morrow offered him nothing. After a while he took
Mary's picture and looked at it. His dreams slowly settled to
earth--and he began to adjust his perspective. It was a long, long
time since he had even remembered--since the dream had been more than
a vague light shining through the mist. Now he wondered, as he stared
at the pictured eyes, so laughingly helpless, at the chin, so
characterless, at the pretty mouth from which no word worth listening
to had ever proceeded--wondered whether the light was other than a
reflection from Youth's glamour. Then he took up the letters and read
them one by one. He wondered why they seemed so shallow--why he had
never noticed their irresponsible dancing from light to shade, from
light affection to unreasonable and trifling fretfulness. The last
letter he held in his hand for some time after he had read it. It was
written from a summer resort. "You had better not come down," it read,
"you would just spoil the delightful little time I am having with Mr.
Sanders--so stay at home with your books like the dear old bore you
are. Please send me ..." He remembered how it had hurt. He remembered
shortly afterwards how she had been taken ill, and how she had chafed
and feared, and how the dark had taken her while she cried in terror.
He remembered--so much. He wished that he had not tried to remember.

It began to grow dark. The professor lifted the bundle of letters and
the photograph, and placed them in the fire-place as carefully as if
they had been burnt-offerings. Well, they were--to a dead Romance. The
charred paper crumbled where he had laid the letters--a few black
pieces floated drunkenly up the chimney. The fire had gone out long
before. The professor fumbled in his pocket for a match. When he had
found it he struck it on the brick hearth, but his hand trembled so
that it burnt his fingers and he dropped it. He lit another,
carefully, deliberately, and held it to the pile of papers. They
caught, the edges blackened and curled; finally the whole mass blazed
viciously. The photograph had fallen to one side and remained unburnt.
He stooped over and placed it on top of the blazing papers; then it,
too, burned.

A light flared from the gas jet, and the professor looked up. Jane
stood there in her black travelling dress. Her eyes were red with

"Good-bye, professor," she said. "I thought you wouldn't mind if ..."
She hesitated. The professor thought she looked rather pitiful and
thin and tired.

"No, Jane," he answered quietly. "You are not to go. I don't suppose
you will understand, but my dreams have all gone--and the vision has
come. And I need you, Jane."

"Then you forgive me?" she said tremulously. "I did not know ..."

"There is nothing to forgive, Jane. I did not know, either."

Jane broke down and the professor rose and put his arms around her,
awkwardly, and kissed her. He had not kissed her in years. They sat
down together before the hearth and gazed into the blackened ashes. He
held her hand in his. Finally she spoke. She almost understood--

"Shall we have apple dumplings for supper, professor? The kind you
used to like?" She was smiling now.

"No, Jane," he said gravely, "we'll have peach preserves."

_Literary Monthly_, 1909.




  All men must feel the beauty of a star
  That rides in the illimitable space
  Of heav'n; the beauty of an Helen's face;
  Or of a woodland water, glimpsed afar,
  Where haze-empurpled meadows, undefined
  And slumbrous, intervene; of quiet, cool,
  Sequester'd glades, where in the level pool
  The long green rushes dip before the wind.

  These all men feel. But three times blessed he
  Whose eye and ear, of finer fibre spun,
  Sense the elusive thread of beauty, where
  The common man hath deemed that none can be.
  The beauty of the commonplace is one
  In substance with the beauty of the rare.

_Literary Monthly_, 1910.




  We lesser poets clothe in garb ornate,
  In words of dizzy fire, in awkward phrase,
  In humble thunderings, that only daze,
  Though meant to rouse in flames of love or hate,
  The thoughts that those brave souls of stuff divine,
  Whose words breathe inspiration, have long since
  In jewelled lines set forth. Where we bear hints
  Of grape, they bear the ruddy full-pressed wine.

  And yet the fire that thrills us is no less,
  Nor coarser, than the fire that they, the great,
  Have felt. Our pens are feebler; but the play
  Of deep emotions, the fine stir and stress
  That mark the soul's rare movements, are, in state,
  Equal to those of lines that make men pray.

_Literary Monthly_, 1909.




There was shouting and hand-clapping from all the gay company, and a
shower of gay words for me when I had done with my singing; and my
lord, greatly pleased, and prophesying that some day when I should be
riper in years I might win the crown of peacock's feathers from the
hands of the Princess Eleanor herself, bade me come on the morrow dawn
to sing an alba under the casement of the bridal chamber. The bride,
too, this new wife that had taken my own lady's place by my lord's
side, she, come but yesterday from her thick-witted Bohemia, and whom,
never loving, I might always truly pity, spoke me fair and besought me
to make verses thenceforth in praise of none save her. I answered as
best I might, but I fear me my speech came but falteringly, what with
my heart beating against my ribs like the armor-smith's hammer, and
the thought uppermost in my mind of the dark business yet to come that
night, before the shame and wrong of it all might be righted--a black
business that none but I in all that company wotted of.

So presently, when all the people made a noisy procession to see the
bridegroom and the bride to their high chamber, I did not go among
them, but stole apart in the shadow and tarried there until the
serving-folk had ceased their scurrying about and the house had grown
quiet in its besotted sleep. Then I crept back to a dark corner by the
great hearth where the stone was warm to the touch and whence I might
see if any passed along the hall. I was all alone there with the
drained goblets, the withering garlands, and the gutted torches, not a
soul abroad, and not a sound save the breathing of the dormant
stag-hounds by the hearth, or the faint disputes of the rats over the
pasty fragments on the table.

Sitting thus, I would go hot of a flash and then cold just as sudden.
Fear? No, by Our Lady, but this was the first time I had ever had a
finger in such a pie as this now baking, and the strangeness of it
made me tremble. But fear, pah! Besides I was in the right, and does
that not make the just hand steady and the pious eye true? I took up
my lute and touching the strings so gently that I myself could scarce
hear, I sang, soft as summer wind at even, so softly that none, not
even the great hounds heard.

Sang I:

  The vision tender
    Which thy love giveth me,
  Still bids me render
    My vows in song to thee;
  Gracious and slender,
    Thine image I can see,
  Wherever I wend, or
    What eyes do look on me.

  Yea, in the frowning face
  Of uttermost disgrace
  Proud would I take my place
    Before thy feet,
    Lady whose aspect sweet
  Doth my poor soul efface
  Leaving but joy and grace
    In me to meet.

  Who shall deny me
    The memory of thine eyes?
  Evermore by me
    Thy lithe white form doth rise,
  If God were nigh me
    Still, in so sure a wise
  Quick might I hie me
    Into His paradise.

Thus I sang to the memory of my true lady, for it was the last song
our brave Renaud had made for her before he rode away to Terre Sainte.
So when the song was finished I sat a long time still, taking counsel
with my sad heart over the black past: how, four May-times ago, I had
ridden blithely forth as singing page in my lady's train, when she
left her own fair land of Aragon to be wedded to this grim Count Fael
of the North; how from that time forth I had dwelt here in his castle,
vassal to him only because he was lord to my liege lady, but fearing
alway his stern face, that froze the laugh on the lips and made
joyousness die, stillborn; how my sole happiness had been to serve my
lady and sing her such songs as I made, and my grief to see her fair
face fade and her grey eyes grow less laughing day by day. Then one
morning had come this brave Renaud, Chatelain of far-off Coucy,
seeming to bring in his eyes, his voice, his lute, all the merry
Spring times we had missed. So he came often and often, teaching me
the great art of song he knew so well; and we were all very happy. But
bye-and-bye he came only when my lord was out a-hawking or to tourney,
and then very quietly, but always with his lute and with song to my
lady. I guessed well which way the wind was blowing, but surely the
pitiful Virgin granted my lady, and justly, this one little hour of
happiness. So it went on and on for a long time and it seemed that my
lord was always away to hunt or to battle, and that when he came back
the songs of Renaud of Coucy never ceased, but only changed their
place, coming now by night under my lady's casement.

Then there was spread abroad through the land this great fire in all
hearts to go to Terre Sainte and to deliver the holy Jerusalem of Our
Lord from the curse of the Saracen hand, and our poor Renaud must feel
himself among the first to go. So one sad morning at early dawn he had
come under my lady's window and sung her that farewell which so filled
my heart, and I had heard from my post in my lady's antechamber. But
oh, Mother of God! so had my lord, who, being at home and sleepless,
had risen betimes and was walking in the cool of the morning on a
little pleasaunce next my lady's tower, and hearing the song, had
looked unseen at the singer, had guessed the bitter truth, but had
held his peace till a riper time.

From then we went on much as before Renaud had come to us, except that
I sang his songs to my lady with all the art he had taught me, while
she sat pale and fair, her hands idle on the tambour frame and her
eyes looking on something far, far off. So for a long time there was
no ill-hap, only my lady's eyes grew dreamier and dreamier and her
thoughts dwelt less and less in this dark Castle of Fael, and she
cared no longer to go a-maying in the pleasant meadows with her women.
Then, one twilight, when my lord had been back from the hunt three
days, and when there had been deep wassailing in the hall, and my lady
had kept to her chamber the whole time--one twilight I stumbled over a
dead man at the foot of the little-used stair to my lady's tower and,
dragging the body to the light, found it to be Jaufré that had been
aforetime esquire to Renaud. But why he should be lying here scarce an
hour dead, here in fair France in this Castle of Fael under my lady's
tower, when he might have been serving his master in all the blithe
fighting in Terre Sainte,--I could not guess. But I raised not hue nor
cry for, certes, there was some black mystery here; only wept silently
and prayed mercy on his soul that had been so brave and so merry a
fellow. After a while, when my eyes were less red, I went and mingled
among the folk in the hall, where there was talk of how my lord had
passed through to his chamber an hour ago, very pale and with the
wine-fumes all cleared away, it would seem, and had let call the cook,
who came back with something under his apron and looking as if he had
seen a spirit, but dumb as a stone. Also, said they, my lord had
commanded that he and my lady would sup alone in her great chamber,
and that I only should serve them.

So presently I went up and served my lord and my lady where they sat
at a little table alight with many tapers, like the shrine in the
great church at Soissons, with the goblets and the silver dishes
making a brave show among them. There was a strange air over it all,
like the breathless moment in a tourney when the tucket has blown and
the knights pause before giving spur. My lady, when she spoke at all,
spoke in a voice as of some one stifling, but my lord said never a
word and ate and drank but little, his eyes always on my lady's face.
Bye-and-bye up came two little meat pasties, borne by the fat cook
himself, who charged me with a certain one for my lady and another for
my lord. I thought nothing whatever on this, for often there was
special pasty made for my lady without hare's meat, which she
disliked. So I served the pasties, and I remember the faint sweetness
of her garments, like wind from apple-blossoms, and how yellow was her
hair and how clear her face in the light of the many tapers. That
course, too, they ate in silence, but before I could take away the
dishes, my lord broke the stillness.

"Lady," quoth he, "is the flavor of this pasty pleasing to thy

"Ay, sir," spake my lady, "it hath a piquant savor I have not met

"Lady," said he, "it is fashioned of passing good meat and rare, so
rare that I doubt thou wilt ever enjoy its like again. For far
countries have contributed to its making, with spices from Araby and
Cathay, and corn from Egypt, and citron from Spain, and from the Terre
Sainte there is, minced into very little pieces, the heart of that
noble sieur Renaud, the worshipful Chatelain of Coucy. His esquire I
haply intercepted with a dagger on his way to thy chamber with his
dead lord's heart in a silver casket as a gift for thee."

For a while my lady did not move, the gold chalice closed in her
delicate fingers half-way to her lips; then with one little breathless
sob such as the hare gives when the fangs of the hound are about to
close upon her, she, very slowly, set down the goblet, and, just as
slowly, rose to her feet, her face the grey-white of the pearls at her

"Messire," said she, and her voice was clear and steadfast, but very
faint, like a bell tolling afar off in the deep forest, "messire, thou
hast done me great honor in this feast, and on none daintier, I wot
well, sup the Blessed Saints in Paradise. But since such viand has
consecrated these my lips, it is only seemly in me to take vow never
to let other pass them, the which I swear by the blood of Holy Jesu."

Then, swift as thought, she fled from the great chamber into her
closet, where she was wont to pray, swung the door to behind her, and
slid the bolt. At that sound up sprang my lord and let cry a great
shout, so that all the serving-folk rushed in with great hubbub and
stood stricken and panting, while my lord called thrice at the door.
But no answer came therefrom, and the great room was very, very still;
until at last the people were commanded to beat down the door. Then
all the folk crowded close together to peer within, spoiling the table
of its waxen tapers to cast light into the darkness, and there, O Kind
Mother of God, lay my lady all in a little huddled heap before the
shrine, an empty vial in her hand, and the breath departing from her
body. Then came her women with low sobbing and laid her on her bridal
bed and began to make ready the grave clothes.

From that time I had lived on here in the castle of the black shadow,
the better that I might do honor to my lady's memory and bring surer
retribution on him that had been my lord, for, certes, I, vassal to my
lady alone, no longer owed allegiance to her murderer. Now at last was
come my chance on this night when he had brought him home a new wife
to take the place of her that was but a little while in earth. Poor
ladies, both! and if the thought that the blessed Jesu was merciful
sometimes made me falter, the thought that Messire God was just, and
that I might be the unworthy instrument of His justice, made my
purpose burn within me like a new torch. Thus the long night drew near
its ending, and the great logs in the fire had turned to coals when
the appointed hour came. I stole in shadow from the hall, my heart
pounding, but my purpose very steady, and passed silently through
passages and corridors where here and there lay one in besotted sleep,
until at last I came out in a little court by the postern. The warders
were long since guzzled to a torpor in their quarters, so there was
neither let nor hindrance when I slid the bolt and welcomed in
Avenging Justice in the shape of him who stood without, my old lord of
Aragon, uncle and protector to my lady. We met with silent greeting as
his picked men of arms filed in after him till the little court was
full; then some were despatched to possess the guard quarters and the
drunken soldiery, others to stand watch over the serving-folk.

After I had pointed them out the way to the high chamber where Fael
lodged that night, I stood watching as they went in silent file up the
stone stair. Then I turned and passed out by the postern and down the
hill to the encampment of my countrymen. I knew that behind me Justice
was taking her relentless course and that I had been her minister.

_Literary Monthly_, 1908.




  Where, where is Ganymede? Where are the fair
  That graced the tales of Ilium years agone?
  Where are the visions of earth's aureate dawn,
  When the wing'd bearer bore Jove's nectar rare,
  When Naiads laughed and wept and sunned their hair
  At sun-kissed pools, deep-recessed, where the fawn
  And satyr sought the sloping cool-cropped lawn,
  And glimpsed the gods and lurking maidens there?
  Where now is Ganymede, and where is Pan?
  Where is fair Psyche, where Apollo brave?
  Are they all fled, affrighted at the span
  Of centuries? Or sunk beneath the wave
  Of solemn Lethe? No, rare poet; when
  I scan thy pages they all live again.

_Literary Monthly_, 1907.

[Footnote 1: Copyright, 1908, by Julian Park.]



The muse of poetry is a lady of many whims. Fancy, not reason, seems
to determine her actions. She loads the untutored ploughman with the
most lavish gifts, while the scholar sits neglected in his study. She
places a golden crown on the brow of the slave and flings a tasselled
cap at the master. And yet the fool's raiment is worn with as serious
and dignified mien as is the kingly crown. She is a malicious person,
and while she keeps a straight face before you, it is a hundred to one
that she winks behind your back. To be most trusted when she is most
deceitful, that is her role.

Very few of us have not at some time come under her spell. The most
guiltless-looking has somewhere in the lower drawer of his desk or at
the bottom of the tin box where he keeps his old papers, a manuscript,
which he at times, half tenderly, half contemptuously, lifts out,
after making sure that no prying eye is near. _He_ has caught the muse
winking. Were he still illusioned, that poem would never have wasted
its aesthetic fragrance within such close confines. It would have been
most neatly printed in calendar form and sent to appreciative friends.

But though the majority of us have become chary of the muse, there are
some who have never seen through her trickery. To this unfortunate
class belonged a certain Mrs. Simons--her real name is charitably
withheld--who found that she could gratify a moody disposition, of
which she was the unhappy possessor, by writing verses. No one
appreciated them, but, far from dampening her enthusiasm, it afforded
her a sort of bitter joy, that considerably increased her already
large number of available themes. Her poems now proclaimed that she,
Mrs. Simons, was singing to stocks and stones; no one would listen,
and her tender nature would soon succumb to this unwarranted neglect.
But triumph would come, when, as a cold corpse, she would lie in an
open grave, with all her formerly unsympathetic friends and relatives
weeping and wringing their hands at the sad spectacle. Alas, their
grief and contriteness of heart would be too late. The little word
which might have saved her from this early death, now spoken, would
fall on deaf ears. At last her verses would be read and their gloomy
prophecy would fill the world, ever afterwards, with remorse. But Mrs.
Simons did not wilt away and die like a flower deprived of water and
sunshine. She could not overcome her naturally sound constitution,
and, in spite of her wishes to the contrary, she lived to a ripe old

Verse demands, as a rule, serious, if not exalted, themes. It is
strange how ambitious they sometimes are. I knew a young man who had
never been especially fond of poetry and had never attempted to write
it, until, one day, he had an imperative desire to test his powers in
that line. And what was the modest subject that the tyro chose? A
history of the earth from its birth "amidst the crash of worlds,"
through the countless centuries until, cold and dry, it affords no
sustenance to life, and becomes a vast desert like the moon. The poem
came to an abrupt end after "monsters huge" had appeared upon the
scene, and, to my knowledge, was never resumed.

Among the many who have advertised their bigotry or their ignorance by
publishing original compositions, for which it would be hard to find
any suitable descriptive term, are two women, one of whom is well
known. They are Julia A. Moore, self-styled "The Sweet Singer of
Michigan," whose works are included by Dr. Crothers in _The Hundred
Worst Books_, and a Mrs. L., a native of Rhode Island, but "by
adoption a westerner," as she explains in her introduction. If it were
a question of which had the less poetic merit it would be hard indeed
to decide between them, but as to the sincerity of the one and the
pomposity of the other, there can be no doubt. The Sweet Singer plays
upon the strings of her own heart in a way that makes your eyes grow
dim. She has moments of modesty, too, about her work that are very
gratifying. But Mrs. L. is cold and egotistical; lifted so high above
the ordinary plane of life, in her estimation, that no arrows of
criticism can possibly reach her. The introduction to her book
_Mariamne, Queen of the Jews, and Other Poems_, is concise and
statistical. One can see that she has perfect self-confidence in her

"The authoress is a native of Rhode Island, but by adoption a

"Graduated from the Female College, Oxford, Ohio, when under the
control of the Rev. John Walter Scott, D.D.

"Married and lived thirteen wedded years in Covington, Kentucky. Then,
urged by her only brother, Levi L., a lawyer residing at M., Illinois,
she removed (1870) to that city. Here she engaged in arduous and
unremitting study, laboring to deserve the esteem of the gifted and
cultured people with whom she had cast her lot. With the same laudable
ambition that moves the man of business to be identified as successful
in his life career, the writer, whose only wealth is the acquisition
of knowledge and the cultivation of an inherited gift, comes before
the public in a pursuit that has ever proved the animating ally of
education and good breeding and the strong cordon of social

Her first poem, _Mariamne, Queen of the Jews_, has a footnote which
contains this interesting, if rather incomprehensible, sentence:

"The reader must take the production with its stamp of originality,
which is the plainer synonym of afflatus or inspiration."

Undoubtedly she successfully diagnosed the case.

Two passages from this remarkable poem, which is her most ambitious
effort, will bear quoting:

  "The swooping winds across the spicery snare,
  The aromatic smells of redolent wood,
  Camphor, cinnamon, cassia, are incense there,
  And the tall aloe soaring into the flood
  Of pearlaceous moonlight stimulates the air
  Which scarcely soughs, so heavy with vesper scents;
  The calamus growing by the pond, did spare
  A spicey breath, with sweet sebaceous drents
  Of nard, and Jiled's balsamic tree, balm sweet,
  Were all which filled this estival retreat."

The other:

  "The problem of Existence here when tried,
  God remains God though matter returns to dust;
  The fool can read this truth; but, if denied,
  Does spirit return to be from what it came?
  Is there reunition of love with God as at first?
  The Brahmin trusts his soul even higher, its flame
  Refines in th' Nirvana that absorbs its load,
  Though this divine psychism seems lotus flowed,
  Seems spirit inane as that on flowers bestowed;
  Islamism prepictures the voluptuary's abode
  Of Love unending: It is 'Love, love, love,'
  Which souls have cried since eons began to move."

Now it is an infinite relief to turn from this inflated but would-be
stately style to the homely diction of the Sweet Singer, as found in
the _Sentimental Song Book_. Her book of verse is small and
insignificant, and has not the prosperous, self-satisfied appearance
of Mrs. L.'s volume, with its gold letters shining from a green cloth
background. At the top of its paper cover the price is modestly given:
25 cents. Then is printed: "The Sweet Singer of Michigan Salutes the
Public," with a likeness of the author directly beneath. She is
depicted as a strong, masculine woman with heavy, black eyebrows,
large, black eyes, and a mass of coarse, black hair tumbling over her
shoulders in a way that makes one think that she has washed and sunned
it, and has forgotten to put it up again. She wears a sort of crown or
band at the top of her head. There is nothing in the homely face, with
the squat nose and thick lips, that would betray sentimentalism, and
yet those honest eyes were probably continually suffused with the
tears for which her ultra-sensitive nature was responsible. Below her
picture follows this simple introduction, without reference to any
"laudable ambition," "acquisition of knowledge," or "cultivation of
inherited gifts."

       *       *       *       *       *

"Dear Friends: This little book is composed of truthful pieces. All
those which speak of being killed, died or drowned, are truthful
songs; others are 'more truth than poetry.' They are all composed by
the author.

"I was born in Plainfield, and lived there until I was ten years of
age. Then my parents moved to Algoma, where they have lived until the
present day, and I live near them, one mile west of Edgerton.


       *       *       *       *       *

Among those pieces "which speak of being killed, died or
drowned,"--and it was on these melancholy topics that she was at her
best--are four poems which deal with the sad history of the House
family. They seemed to have had the most abominable luck. When they
couldn't get shot or induce the small-pox to hasten their departure
from this world of care, they passed away for no reason at all.
Somehow they just could not keep alive. Martin House is the first of
whom she speaks. He enlisted with a friend in the federal army at
Grand Rapids. The final stanza of "The Two Brave Soldiers" discloses
their fate--

  "It was down in old Virginia
    Those noble soldiers fell,
  In the battle of Hanover town,
    As many a one can tell.
  They fought through many a battle
    And obeyed their captain's call,
  Till, alas, the bullets struck them
    That caused them to fall."

Hattie House had no reasonable excuse for dying, but she managed to
fool her mother:

  "Hattie had blue eyes and light flaxen hair,
    Her little heart was light and gay,
  And she said to her mother that morning fair,
    'Mother, can I go out and play?'

  "Her mother tied her little bonnet on,
    Not thinking it would be the last
  She would ever see her dear little one
    In this world, little Hattie House.

  "She left the house, this merry little girl,
    That bright and pleasant day--
  She went out to play with two little girls
    That were about her age.

  "She was not gone but a little while
    When they heard her playmates call--
  Her friends hastened there to save the child,
    But, alas, she was dead and gone.

  "Those little girls will not forget
    The day little Hattie died,
  For she was with them when she fell in a fit,
    While playing by their side."

Lois House, however, did not have to resort to any subterfuge. The
divine Providence spared her the trouble. She had just married an
exemplary young man, who "had courted her a long time in triumph and
glee," and

  "They loved each other dearly and never deceived,
  But God he did part them, one which he laid low,
  The other He left with his heart full of woe."

The last verse almost has a touch of poetry in it:

  "They placed her fair form in the coffin so cold,
  And placed there Joy's picture as they had been told;
  They bore her to her grave, all were in sad gloom,
  And gently laid her down to rest in her tomb."

In "William House and Family" she disposes of them collectively:

  "They once did live at Edgerton,
  They once did live at Muskegon,
  From there they went to Chicago,
  Which proved their fatal overthrow."

Pathos evidently appealed to Julia A. Moore in a way that was not to
be resisted. She was also very careful about facts. For instance, what
could be more explicit than these lines from "The Brave Page Boys"?

  "John S. Page was the eldest son--
    Edward C. Fish was his brother-in-law;
  They both enlisted in the Mechanic,
    And served their time in the war.
  Fernand O. Page was the second son;
    He served in the Third Infantry;
  He was wounded and lost both his feet
    On duty at Yorktown siege."

Enos Page was rather unfortunate:

  "In the Eighth Michigan Cavalry
    This boy he did enlist;
  His life was almost despaired of,
    On account of his numerous fits,
  Caused by drinking water poisoned--
    The effect cannot outgrow;
  In Northern Alabama, I hear,
    Came this dreadful blow."

In "The Grand Rapids Cricket Club," one of the few poems that deal
only with minor misfortunes, a certain player, Mr. Follet, tried a
good remedy for a novel accident.

  "And Mr. Follet is very brave,
    A lighter player than the rest,
  He got struck severe at the fair grounds,
    For which he took a rest."

I could quote from the _Sentimental Song Book_ until I had entirely
exhausted the material, and each verse would create a surprise. And
yet, in spite of the grammatical distortions, in spite of the
sentimentality, there is something pleasing in the absolute
unaffectedness of the little book. That Mrs. Moore has been
appreciated is borne out by the fact that when she travelled from town
to town she used to be met at the station by a brass band or by a
delegation of prominent citizens. Wherever she went she was humored,
and her numerous friends vied with each other in showing her
attentions. All this she took as a natural recognition of her genius,
and happily was never undeceived. However innocent the _Sentimental
Song Book_ may be of any literary value, the writer's sincere attempt
to express her ideas are as plain as the face which embellishes the
cover of the book. She was an ignorant woman, and her utter disregard
of grammatical and poetic principles can be easily forgiven. But what
can be said in behalf of Mrs. L., a graduate of the Oxford Female
College, Ohio, when, in a piece entitled "Genesis," occurs this

  "Once, the stars the Lord has scattered
  Bountifully on the sky,
  Some soul thought they there were spattered
  For an ornamental dye;
  The huge Opalescent Concave
  Wore the polish of a stone
  Which the fracturing fires engrave
  With a thunder-splitting tone;
  And the things they claimed as sponsors
  For the young religious thought
  Were the things that were the monsters
  Recently from chaos brought.
  Then the tree inlaced in corsets
  Laced some maiden in its arms,
  'Twas a lover's trick, to toss its
  Purgatories at her charms,
  And the lilies in the shallows,
  And the echoes 'mong the hills,
  And the torrents in their wallows,
  And the wind's great organ mills,
  And the waters of the fountain,
  And the mists upon the river
  Had the gods who made a mountain
  Of our cosmographic sliver."

Evidently they did not give as thorough a course in the pronunciation
of French at the Oxford Female College as they do here at Williams. At
least this deplorable fact is indicated by the first stanza of "La
Fille du Regiment":

  "Proudly marches on the nation
    Which its patriots will defend,
  But remains a loyal station
    With its daughters to commend,
  Cheerfully to send the heroes
    Who are called to field and tent,
  Cheers for those who hold the vetoes,
    Vive la Fille du Regiment."

Shall we attribute it to a coincidence that Mrs. L.'s best poem
strikes a very familiar chord? It is called the "River of Tears":

  "The world is swept by a sorrowful flood,
    The flood of a river of tears,
  Poured from the exhaustless human heart
    For thousands and thousands of years.
  It is sweeping thousands and thousands of lives
    On its currents, swift and strong,
  O the river of tears for thousands of years
    Has swept like a flood along."

Perhaps its poetic merit may be explained by the first few lines of
Bryant's "Flood of Years":

  "A mighty hand from an exhaustless urn
  Pours forth the never ending flood of years
  Among the nations. How the rushing waves
  Bear all before them!"

--and so on. There is no need of continuing.

But why disturb the bones of poor Mrs. L., who is but one of the many
thousands of contributors to mortal verse? May they rest in peace. She
had her dream, and never woke out of it. Undoubtedly she was all the
happier as it was. And now let the Sweet Singer raise her harmonious
voice once more, and close this paper with the last stanza of her
poem, "The Author's Early Life," which I think is the most beautifully
extraordinary--since I cannot say extraordinarily beautiful--of the
entire collection.

  "My childhood days have passed and gone,
    And it fills my heart with pain
  To think that they will nevermore
    Return to me again.
  And now kind friends, what I have wrote,
    I hope you will pass o'er,
  And not criticise as some have done,
    Hitherto herebefore."

_Literary Monthly_, 1910.



At first the darkness was impenetrable, black and choking. There was
no sound, except for the occasional soft spatter of water that dripped
to the stone floor from the mouldy ceiling. Then through a narrow,
barred window came the moonlight in a mottled shaft of phosphorescent
green, and licked its way across the floor, to the edge of the bier.
It shone on two kneeling, crouching figures, and full on the face of
the corpse.

The eunuch, a great, gaunt negro, lifted his head and showed his red,
rolling eyes and his skin, gleaming like bronze in the moonlight. "He
was my friend," he whimpered, bending over the loathsome dead. "He was
my friend."

"Aye, aye," mused the jester, fingering the mildewed shroud, "and
sooth, he was the finest mute that ever crooked a back in the Bohemian
court. Famous he was, all hereabouts, to the marches of the northern

"And so high was he in the king's favor and graces!" snivelled the
eunuch. "They shall never find another such as he."

"True, true; and yet hast heard another must be found? The king has
thus ordered: another mute must now be gotten to take his
place--another just so strange." The jester bent over the face and
shuddered. A few swift clouds sped across the moon, and caused the
greenish shadows under the misshapen features to flicker and melt
grotesquely. Then the light shone clear again and he saw the broken,
twisted nose; and the eyes that stared obstinately from their split
lids; and the gaping, grinning mouth that, years ago, the torturers
had cut wide upon each seared and tattooed cheek; and the swollen,
split lips that could not hide where once had been a tongue. He passed
his hand along the shroud and lightly touched the ugly hump where the
spine had been pressed and snapped, and the slanted shoulders and the
twisted hips and legs. "Thou wast so laughable to all the court," he
cried. "Thy bones were so comically broken. And now, another must be
made for the court's delight, just so comical as thou. Aye, aye," and
he sighed heavily, "Jesu have pity on the child's face of some young
page or squire."

The iron door behind them swung suddenly open, and a captain of the
palace guard clanked into the donjon. The flare of a spluttering
flambeau, which he held in his hand, caused them to blink and shrink
away, beyond its yellow circle. But he thrust it close to their faces
with a cross oath. "Silence," he growled, "cease thy shrill
chatterings. What dost thou here, foul black? By what right hast thou
left thy post before the ladies' hall--before the chamber of the
king's favorite?"

"He was my friend," the eunuch faltered. "I wished to pray for him
that was my friend."

"Pray? To thy heathen gods?" Upon his coat of mail the captain thumped
a vigorous sign of the cross. "Go, get thee back, lest aught should
happen in thy absence. Thou knowest the penalty, both for thee and any
gallant that dare pass the Lady Suelva's portal. Thou know'st the
penalty," and he slapped his thigh with the flat of the halberd that
hung from his girdle.

"Hush!" Faint from across the courtyard came a voice singing, a high
fresh tenor voice. The black sprang to his feet and stood rooted in
trembling horror. "From what corner of the yard comes that
serenading?" thundered the captain. The jester rose to the window; he
looked first out into the courtyard, then back at the eunuch, who
stood picking nervously at his tunic; then out of the window again.
"From below the Lady Suelva's chambers. See! Someone is climbing the
winding steps of her balcony!"

"And Lady Suelva? Has she come out on the balcony?"

"I cannot see; a tilting-post stands directly in the way." In the
furthest corner of the donjon, a dim black square disclosed an ugly
trap leading down to the torture-room. To the trap-door the captain
bounded, and from above, they could hear the thump of his feet on the
creaking ladder. He was up again in an instant, chuckling viciously.
"I found them all asleep, the old torturer and his two sons. But ho!
they are awake now--I kicked them hard awake. They have much to do
to-night." He stopped for a moment at the big iron door. "Wait here
till I return," he commanded, and ran stealthily into the courtyard.

The eunuch fell to his knees again, and prayed jabberingly--this time
for his own soul. The jester softly trod the length and breadth of the
stone flaggings, and stopped to peer at the corpse and its face. "Jesu
ha' mercy," he repeated ofttimes; "Jesu ha' mercy!"

The pulsating suspense broke with the reentrance of the captain. Over
his shoulder was slung a dark, limp burden which he swung down and
held out in the crook of his thick arms, as if it were a doll.

"Twas a tussle the young peacock gave me," he said thickly. "Look
ye--I have lost my flambeau, but come to the window and take a squint
at him." He held the figure up to the grating, to where the moon shone
pale on its face and tumbled locks and over its gay-colored tunic, and
lustered its silken hose.

"By St. Godfrey, what a handsome lad! Who is he?"

"Methinks he is a squire but lately come to court, so there'll be few
to miss him, when the night's work is done."

The jester sighed. "So young he is and fair. See that great purple
welt across his forehead."

"'Twas where I clubbed him senseless."

"And must thou torture him to death? Must he so surely die?"

"Aye, so run my orders. He will die--and thou too, black. Hold thou my
burden, fool, whilst I undo my halberd!"

From the kneeling eunuch came a shriek and moan and incoherent
jabbering. The captain cursed and stayed his uplifted arm.

"It is too dark to strike," he growled. "Wait till the moon is from
behind that cloud. Ugh! It is black here, pitchy black." A full, heavy
minute elapsed, disturbed by the scuffle of the negro's feet as he ran
and cowered in the furthest corner, and the soft creaking of the iron
door, and a sudden suck and soughing of the night air. Then the moon
slipped slyly from its frayed woolly covers, and relit the donjon
keep. "Holy God and Father," and the halberd clanked noisily to the
floor. In the half open doorway stood the king's favorite, the Lady
Suelva. Against the frosted green background of the moonlit courtyard
her shimmering robe, her white face and throat, and her long hair of
flaming copper stood out gloriously. She did not move, but stayed
peering through the unaccustomed gloom, as if to recognize the dark
figures before her. The eunuch flung himself at her feet, and squirmed
and grovelled. "Save me, lady save me!" But she thrust him from her
with a sharp push of her foot.

The captain turned to the jester. "Take down thy burden," he
whispered. "Down to the torture room with him."

But the lady heard and came forward. "No," she said imperiously, "lay
him down upon the floor, and let me see what has been done with him."

The captain grumbled and swore under his heavy mustache. "Take him
away, fool. Do as I bid!"

But the lady stepped between. "Stop! Let me see him." Her voice rose
high and shaking; she was fast losing her stately calmness.

The captain sneered. "See him! And why? Have you not seen enough of
him this night?"

"No, no! he was but singing to me!"

"Yet I found you with him on the balcony."

"I swear it," she repeated, "he was but singing to me."

The captain heaved his shoulders with so great a shrug that the
ringlets of his coat of mail jangled and clinked. "I have my orders,"
he said, "which come from the king himself."

"The king?" She snapped her fingers. "And who orders the king? He
would obey my slightest wish."

"No use, dame. Nor heaven nor hell could save this squire from his
death. As for the eunuch, he will mayhap be spared, if thou so wish
it. He is thy servant--and his life at thy command." The negro whined
and moaned and crept to kiss her feet.

But Suelva flung herself back. "What care I for his foul black hide?
'Tis the young squire's life I crave."

"Then both must die."

"Mother Mary! But let me hold him in my arms." She tore the jester's
burden from him, and staggering under its weight, turned to the middle
of the room. Then she saw, for the first time, the bier and what it
bore. She gasped, and let the squire's body sink in a huddled heap on
the floor. "Who is it?" she asked, crossing herself. She looked
closer. "Yes, I remember thee, fond old mute. Pha! but thou smellest
of the grave. And why have they left thee lying here, this fortnight?"

From the dark corner came a stifled cry and piping gurgle. "My lady,
oh, my lady!"

"How now, black; let go my skirt."

"Mistress, let me whisper close. He need not die, thy lover."

"Hast thou some scheme? Quick, tell it to me."

"First speak the word to let me live."

"Aye, we spare thy life--but haste!"

"He is but a young stripling; his bones are not yet set and hardened.
Let him be made the king's mute."

The jester heard the words. He flung himself upon the eunuch, and
grasping his throat, throttled him until his black face ran with shiny
sweat and his great white eyes hung nearly from their sockets. "I
feared that thou wouldst dare to speak of that--squealing coward--I
might have known it." Again he whacked the woolly head against the

The captain dragged them apart. "Why so wroth, fool?" he asked.
"Sooth, 'tis a wise plan, and one to save me a deal of trouble. For it
was my special commission from the king to furnish a new mute. And
since the lad must suffer, lady--come, by the Holy Tokens, I'll make a
bond with thee. I'll spare his life, an' ye say nought of it to the
king. I'll keep intact his pulse and true heart's beat; and thou, in
turn, give me his lower limbs to twist and his doll's face to
alter--only to alter slightly," and he laughed lewdly.

Lady Suelva moved to look at the dead mute; but the wily black had
thrust himself before the face and hid its loathsomeness. "Do as he
bids, mistress," he whispered. "Let thy lover live and love thee. Let
him have life."

"And what a life!" cried the jester. "Oh, noble lady, be merciful and
let him die."

"Would not the king or some one recognize him?" she asked.

"No," answered the captain; "he is but lately come to court--and
anyway, there's none would recognize him after--"

"Might he not some day blurt out the truth?"

"Ho, you forget: mutes make safe lovers, for they have no tongues."

She recoiled. "True. And so, may he love me fearlessly in such a

"Aye, and thou him--that we promise thee."

She dropped to her knees, beside the unconscious squire. She took his
head in her lap, and with her warm hands brushed back the locks from
his bruised forehead. "He is so beautiful," she sighed, wavering. "It
were a shame--"

"He would never be beautiful again," said the jester.

"Rather an ugly lover than a dead one," retorted the captain.

Lady Suelva fell to sobbing. "Canst thou not spare him altogether?"

"Nay! nay!" He stamped his foot impatiently. "And it were best to

"Only wait till he awakes from the hard blow thou gavest him. He will
decide for himself."

"'Twill be by far less painful if done now."

"Then take him."

"Think well and long," said the jester. "'Tis a life of hell thou
wouldst prolong him to. The jeers, the coarse and ribald laughter of
the court, the scorn and teasing--aye--God! I know the life, for I too
suffer as a courtier's play-thing--and yet, I have a straight body and
a human face and a tongue to answer with. What canst thou offer him to
compensate for all his loss and misery?"

She looked up proudly. "My love. Is it not enough?"

The fool bowed. "It must be, when kings crave for it. Yet beauty such
as thine can only love the beautiful."

"Then I shall pity him--with all my heart's strength; I'll comfort his
poor life with sweetest pity."

"Lady, pity is the meanest gate of love."

The captain growled and swung his halberd viciously. "Keep thy wit for
the king's ear," he said. "The lady Suelva hath spoken her decision.
We dally no longer." He bent down and lifted the squire's body over
his back. Then he turned to the eunuch. "Take thou the old mute's
corpse. I have kept his carcass these seven days; to serve as a
pattern. So carry it down."

The black's eyes dilated again, and he shrank back. "I dare not touch
it. He was my friend."

"Bah. Then take thou my load," and in exchange the captain slung the
corpse across his own shoulders. As he crossed the room, the loose
head showed upside-down over his back, bobbing and flabbily wagging
its grin-split face.

The lady stared at it rigidly. She seized the jester's arm. "And is
his face to be a counterpart of that one?"

"Aye--every feature exactly."

The captain threw open the trap-door and went down the ladder. The
eunuch, staggering a little under the squire's weight, followed him
and disappeared from view. Suelva ran forward a few steps as if to
call them back; then she stopped short, hand at breast.

"'Tis too late," said the jester bitterly, and shut down the

"God pity me," she sobbed. "I was too selfish of his life--and of his

"And now, be sure, he will do naught but hate thee!"

As if to spite her overwrought emotions, she turned on him sharply.
"Thou art impertinent, fool."

He smiled sadly. "Unpleasant truths must ever seem impertinent--but
they are no less true. An' I be the court fool, pray, noble lady, what
art thou? We be all king's play-things--my wit and thy beauty and the
mute's deformities. For all of us sweet life is slowly spoiled--for
the mute and me by scorn and snickerings; for thee by the cold glitter
of lavished finery and callous flattery. That squire, young and
beautiful and bursting with ambition, was only a play-thing, too--thy
toy, to dally with and break."

"Nay, nay! I loved him dearly and so shall for all time."

The jester laughed shortly. "I had not meant for thee to glance upon
this scene," he said, "but if 'twere best, then look, lady, look!" and
he threw open the trap. A great red light flared up into the donjon,
and waved and danced along the moon-green walls. The empty bier seemed
licked in ruddy flames, and on the moist mould of the ceiling, each
little drop of water sparkled like a ruby.

"Look at him," repeated the jester. "Shrink not; they are only heating
the irons."

She crept to the edge of the trap, and peered down, fascinated. "Who
are those huge hairy men, with wild beasts' faces?" she asked.

"The torturers."

"Oh! what have they done to his hair--to all his long, pretty locks?
How strange he looks with his head shaven thus! And see! what is the
torturer to do with that glowing iron in his hand? Ugh!" and she fell
back, near swooning.

There was a sudden sizzle of burnt flesh and stenching smoke.

"Look," commanded the jester. "Look again."

"I dare not--nay, I cannot," and she flung herself away from the trap,
and lay at full length on the floor, with the moon and the furnace
light reflecting a mad swirl of color over her upturned, staring face.
For some moments she lay there, and above her stood the jester.
Neither spoke nor moved; they could only listen and listen to the
noises below them: the soft purring of the furnace-fire; the scuffle
of the workers' feet; the deadened clank of instruments; the faint
groans of the insensible youth; the binding, searing, ripping of
flesh; the crack and crunch of bones.

"Quick," cried the jester, "before they bandage him; quick! look
again," and when she shrank further back, he pushed her forward to the
very edge of the trap, until she could not help but see. "And couldst
thou love him now?" he asked, and keenly searched her face.

She said no word, but slightly swayed from side to side. She threw her
hands before her eyes, and dug her fists deep into them, as if to blot
the sight from her memory. She crouched, stunned and sickened. Her
hands dropped back to her breast; and the jester saw the expression of
her features.

There was no sign of love in her face; there was no tenderness or
pity. Only black horror and disgust; only a sullen, disappointed rage,
and a scowling disgust.

"They have made him as ugly as the king's gorillas," she sobbed. "Ugh!
he is ugly!"

The jester nodded his head mockingly. "Thou art right. They have made
him too foul for thee ever to love, have they not?"

"Love? God! I could not love a beast like that."

"Nor couldst thou even pity him--is he not too foul even for pity?"

"Nay, I'd never dare to pity such a thing. He is too horrible, too
loathsome. I would swoon if he touched me."

"What, lady, neither love nor pity? Yet this may merely be a passing
sickness of the humours. To-morrow thou mayest love him better than

"Love?" She was fast growing hysterical. "I could never bear the sight
of such a mangled dwarf." Thrusting her hand inside her dress, she
drew out a gleaming bodkin, and flung it at the fool's feet. "Kill
him," she screamed, "kill him!" Then she rose unsteadily and staggered
out the iron door.

"Kill him!" the jester echoed. "Merciful Mary, I thank thee!" and,
concealing the bodkin in his blouse, he descended the ladder, to help
the captain and the torturers in their work.

An hour later, the squire's corpse was thrown over the castle walls.
"'Tis a shame," growled the captain; "he would have made so fine a
mute. One of the torturers' knives must ha' slipped, whilst they were
cutting out his tongue. For I noticed that the spinal cord was severed
at the base of the mouth--and that is a sure death, you know."

"So? I had not known that," said the jester softly, and he smiled to

The old dead mute was placed back on his bier and the trap-door shut
down. "So now I must hunt for another page or squire," growled the
captain, and he clanked wrathfully out of the donjon.

The jester stayed a little while, to pray for the mute's soul and for
the squire's soul and for his own. Then he too rose and, swinging the
iron door behind him, left the corpse alone. The moonlight shone dimly
and more dimly through the grating, and soon had disappeared. It left
the donjon keep in total darkness, and in a stillness broken only by
the dripping of water from the mouldy ceiling.

_Literary Monthly_, 1910.


[Footnote 1: A series which ran through Vol. XXV. of the _Lit_.,



Already long past the threescore years and ten allotted man, Dr.
Bascom exerted a vital influence on the college when we first met him.
On the shadowy side of the valley, and even then silvery haired, he
moved beneath these classic shades like a patriarch, "the grand old

The facts of his life and of his achievements require volumes for the
telling. They speak of his genius-like career at Williams, of his keen
philosophical insight, and of how, after being graduated in 1849, he
tried the law and theology before accepting a tutorship in his alma
mater. A score of years from 1855 to 1874, he served the college as
professor of rhetoric, although his desire was to give his attention
to philosophy. The times were filled with conflict and struggle, and
Dr. Bascom accepted the presidency of the University of Wisconsin,
where he made a glorious record covering fourteen years. In 1887 he
returned to Williamstown with unimpaired powers, and became lecturer
in sociology and later professor of political economy, a position
which he filled till 1903. They speak of his degrees of honor:
Wisconsin, Amherst, and Williams conferred the LL.D., Iowa College the

It is in the evening of his life that it has been our good fortune to
know him. As when, the day's work done and the worries of its earlier
hours laid aside, we look forward to the rest that awaits us and live
over in thought the events of the day that is gone, the conflicts lose
their bitterness. Here is a man whose limitless energy built up a
great university; whose straightforward counsel for many years shaped
the policies of one of the political parties of the Commonwealth;
whose earnest teaching pointed out to many a man his civic duty; and
whose personal life is an incentive to high intellectual morality. By
a score of books covering the various fields of rhetoric, aesthetics,
political economy, philosophy, and religion, he has moulded public
opinion in his generation. The same undaunted ambition keeps his eye
bright now as then; the same keen brain grapples with vital problems;
the same magnetic personality commands respect and love.



Henry M. Alden has been the editor of _Harper's Monthly_ since 1869,
and is still in active service. He was transferred to this position
from _Harper's Weekly_, of which he was the editor for the five years
preceding. For this long and distinguished service he seems to have
had little or no preliminary training. The first six years of his
life--he was born in 1836--were spent in Mount Tabor, a Vermont hamlet
with the rude life of a remote country town three quarters of a
century ago. From Mount Tabor he removed in 1842 to Hoosick Falls, New
York. Here, after some service as an operative in a cotton mill and
other tentative vocations, he prepared for college, and, in the autumn
of 1853, entered Williams, where he supported himself by teaching
during the long winter vacations and by such miscellaneous work as
fell in his way. "I remember among other things," said the late
President Henry Hopkins to the writer, "that he took care of my
father's horse."

In Mr. Alden's day the opportunities at Williams in the way of
preparation for an editorial career were very slender. The only
student publication was a quarterly magazine of less than a hundred
pages, and by some oversight his class-mates failed to elect him as
one of the five editors. At Andover Theological Seminary, where he was
a student from 1857 to 1860, the opportunities for 'prentice work as
an editor were wholly wanting. Hence the preparation which the college
and seminary afforded for his life-work was of a very general and
indirect sort. Yet his success has been one of the notable landmarks
in the history of modern periodicals. In the conduct of _Harper's
Monthly_ with its wide range of attractive material, he has done the
world a service, high and fine. For the first thirty years of this
service Mr. Alden seems to have devoted himself to the task of
securing and organizing the material to be printed. In 1900 he added
to the departments of the magazine an "Editor's Study," and begged "an
audience speaking in his own name." Here he discusses from month to
month such topics as the shiftings of popular taste, the story with a
purpose, the volunteer contributor, rejected manuscripts, the
"dullards of the college world for whom a Jowett or a Mark Hopkins is
superfluous," and the present outlook of literature.

That such a career was possible for Mr. Alden--the career of an
indefatigable editor, keenly alive to the various needs of the reading
public, with an office in a great New York business establishment,
bethumped without by the roar of elevated trains and confused within
by the noise of incessant printing presses--no one who knew him in
Williamstown from 1853 to 1857 had the slightest conception. Then and
there he was a dreamer, and showed relatively little interest in this
present material, workaday world. Dr. Gladden says in his
_Recollections_ that he could never find out how he got down from
cloudland to Franklin Square. But as a matter of fact, in whatever
hostile regions he may have sojourned, he never quite lost his
residence in the supersensual world. Somehow he succeeded in reaching
Franklin Square and becoming an editor without ceasing to be a mystic.

The literary history of Mr. Alden the mystic, as distinguished from
the editor, seems to have begun with the appearance of an essay on
"The Philosophy of Art" in the _Williams Quarterly_ for December,
1856. Then, three or four years later, came "The Eleusinia," two
articles printed in the _Atlantic Monthly_. These papers led to the
delivery in 1864 of a course of lectures before the Lowell Institute
on "The Structure of Paganism." Some thirty years afterward two books
appeared--_God in His World_ in 1893 and _The Study of Death_ in
1895--which may be regarded as the culmination of the mental and
spiritual characteristics revealed in the _Williams Quarterly_ essay
and in the _Atlantic_ papers. Both of these books abound in rhythmic,
melodious pages of prose poetry like the rhapsody on "The Coming of
the Bridegroom" or on "The Lesson of the Sea." Mr. Alden's prose is
perhaps more poetic than his verse. Of the latter, scanty in amount,
the best is his "Ancient Lady of Sorrows," before whom pass

  "All shapes that come, or soon or late,
  Of this world's misery."

In general, the books may be described as an interpretation of the
great problems of life by the mystic intuitions as distinguished from
abstract intellectualism, which finds that many of these problems are
hopelessly beyond its reach. If one cares for the philosophy of nature
and history, of Christianity and other religions, brilliantly
expounded by an idealizing, poetic optimist and seer, we commend him
to "God in His World" and "The Study of Death."



Washington Gladden, whose very name irradiates the nobility and
wholesomeness of the man himself, has for years been a foremost
interpreter of the perplexing problems of our time. His appeal is to
honest intelligence in whatever concerns human welfare. He has done
much to humanize theology and stimulate popular interest in modern
scholarship. Moreover, in the region of industrial, social, and civic
reform he stands out conspicuously as a bold champion of the Golden
Rule in its application to every-day activities; and though sometimes
charged with being a dreamer, he shows that the sky (to use his own
figure) is less remote than is commonly supposed, and in fact adjoins
the surface of the earth where human feet daily walk.

Dr. Gladden, who is now a little more than seventy, was born in
Pennsylvania. He prepared for college in Owego, New York, and was
graduated from Williams in 1859. After preaching in New York state for
a few years, he came to Massachusetts, where he was settled first in
North Adams, and then in Springfield. Since 1882 he has been minister
of the First Congregational Church in Columbus, Ohio. As preacher,
author, and lecturer he is famous throughout the English-speaking
world, and all his recent books (the latest being his _Recollections_)
are published simultaneously in England and the United States. The
honorary degrees conferred on him are D.D. and LL.D.

The instructive and practical elements in Dr. Gladden's writings, the
wide influence he exerts in the cause of aggressive righteousness, and
his interesting personality, do not, however, measure the full extent
of his gifts. One has only to read his well-known hymns to realize
anew that here is lyric quality of the first order. Then, too, the
Williams alumnus, whether he sings hymns or not, has the warmest place
in his heart for "The Mountains," and when he comes back to the
college with white hair will continue to thank Washington Gladden for
that song. While serving as one of the trustees of Williams, Dr.
Gladden was a familiar figure at commencement. His personal presence
indicates the character of his thought, and the spirit which
challenged him to high daring in the early days is still unflinching.
During the present disintegration of old beliefs, this servant of the
truth has always been eager to reconstruct the new with the clear and
definite purpose of meeting the highest requirements of life.



It was largely owing to her location that Williams College gained the
son who was to become her sixth president. Born at Waterbury,
Connecticut, and thus well within the centripetal sweep of Yale,
Franklin Carter left New Haven at the close of his sophomore year for
reasons of health, and later sought the more favorable climate of the
Berkshire Hills. Thus, once a member of the class of 1859 at Yale, he
was graduated from Williams in the class of 1862. There came a
blending of these affiliations throughout his career. Williams was the
first to claim him, as professor of French and Latin till 1868 and
then as Massachusetts Professor of Latin until 1872, when Yale drew
him to a professorship of German, to relinquish him in 1881 when he
succeeded Dr. Chadbourne as president of Williams. For twenty years,
the third longest administration in the history of the college, he
stood at the head of her interests.

The history of education can show fewer periods more critical or more
rapid in change than the last quarter of the nineteenth century in
this country. Williams was in her own crisis when Dr. Carter came as
president. How he met it, and how he guided the college in a steady
movement toward larger things, a mere comparison of the catalogues
marking the limits of his administration can tell the younger men of
to-day, who enjoy the fruits without knowing the process. Such a
comparison would show an increase of sixty per cent. in the number of
students and over one hundred per cent. in the number of instructors.
This period also saw an increase in real estate, buildings, and
improvements of $600,000, and, in addition to this, of $900,000 in
invested funds.

But educational realities go deeper than outward prosperity. A college
reflects her president's personality in things of mind and of spirit.
To business capacity Dr. Carter added distinguished scholarship and
the genius of a teacher born. All this was made living effective by
single-hearted loyalty to the best interests of the college as he saw
them and by devotion to the highest moral and intellectual good of the
students. He did not swerve from duty as he understood it to follow an
easy popularity. The burdens that he bore and the labors that he
accomplished, at personal cost in more ways than one, rested in the
last analysis on this substratum of self-denying service.

His work has extended far beyond the college. His grace of expression
in both speech and print, the keenness of his wit, his administrative
power, and his command of educational resources have been recognized
and made available beyond the limits of his presidency and apart from
the demands of Williams alone. Honored in many spheres, he has thus
brought added honor to the college. The solidarity of his achievements
for Williams is revealed more clearly as time proceeds. More and more
the alumni are coming to appreciate this as both historical fact and
academic heritage. This shall be his reward as he continues, and may
it be for long, to live close to the college and to the town that he
has served and loved.



It would be easy enough for me to study critically Mr. Mabie's books,
for he has written many and they are well known and widely read; I
might give you a criticism of him as thinker and author. If criticism
is, (as I believe Matthew Arnold once defined it) the discerning of
the characteristic excellencies in things, I could easily show you the
charm of Mr. Mabie's English, the wide range of his culture, the
sweetness and light of his interpretations of nature and human life.
But this is rather a brief tribute to the man himself whom we sons of
Williams have known and admired these many years, and this or any like
tribute, however inadequate, will serve to pay a little of the debt we
owe him for all that he is and all that he has done.

Born in 1846, he graduated from college in 1867 and from the Columbia
Law School in 1869. As I graduated eighteen years later, I never knew
him in those earlier days. But the law did not claim him; almost at
once he turned to literature, for that clearly was his God-given
aptitude. For nearly thirty years he has been an editor of the
_Christian Union_, which afterward became the _Outlook_.

... The boy is father to the man. The gentleness, the refinement, the
generous outlook on life, the genial friendliness, have only grown
into nobler forms through the strenuous years. But he is an editor as
well as a litterateur. He has had his share in the fight to preserve
our national ideals. The years have put iron into his soul and
strength into his judgments, and the sweetness has become only the
pleasing incasement of the strong medicine which our social and
political life so often needs. So his personal influence has grown in
weight and effectiveness. Mr. Mabie is serving the state, the church,
human society, in all the wide range of its interests, with singular
efficiency and is quietly achieving many very useful things; and
withal it is done with methods that are constructive and with the
gentle arts of a gracious persuasiveness and a winning courtesy.

May he have many years of rich and fruitful work, and a golden harvest
of all the good deeds he has sown!



To some of the college body the name of Henry Loomis Nelson is nothing
more than a name, but the three upper classes, especially that
considerable portion of them who at one time or another came under his
influence, will not soon allow the memory of his personality to pass.
The facts of his life are simple enough and as well known; the fruits
of that life would take many pages to set forth. His power as
educator, journalist, and man of public affairs reached infinitely
further than most of us, who first saw in him the man of even, witty
temperament, were used to realize.

Professor Nelson was graduated with the class of 1867, later taking
the M.A. degree; the college further honored him and itself by
conferring the degree of L.H.D. in 1902. Together with Mabie and
Stetson of his class, he organized a little circle for literary
discussion; and that group, each afterward to attain eminence, showed
more vital interest in art and letters than can be found to-day. After
taking his law degree at Columbia he went to Washington as newspaper
correspondent and there began a great series of political and economic
writings. Called to the editorial chair of _Harper's Weekly_ in 1895,
he resigned it after four years because, he said, he felt that he
would be false to his own convictions if he wrote those of the
publisher, false to the publisher if he used the magazine to voice his
own. His writings include also a novel as well as treatises on
political science. In 1902 he came back to his alma mater as head of
the department of Government. He died on February 29, 1908.

In his devotion to the ideals of Williams as he saw them, Dr. Nelson
was, many have said, more distinguished by manly but quiet zeal than
any other graduate of his prominence in public life. He stood for
scholarship, fine scholarship of course, but even above that he put
honor, a gentleman's code of honor. He was unconditional in his
contempt for hedging, for trickery, for meanness. Constantly he showed
himself an idealist, as in his advocacy of an absolute honor system.
But in all there was the play of a shrewd wit, the touch of sureness,
lacking snobbery, of the man who knows where he stands, and a love of
entertaining others. For only six years we knew him as a teacher, but
the time was long enough for many of his ideals and ideas to take
root, and the fruit of them will long be apparent.



Harry Judson entered Williams from Stillwater, New York, and it was
said that he made the best entrance examinations ever passed up to
that time. Immediately upon his graduation, the third in his class, in
1870, he taught public school in Troy, and was initiated as a reformer
in municipal politics when Troy was infamous for corruption.

The second public era of his life, 1885 to 1892, witnessed his
introduction to the West as professor of history in the University of
Minnesota. This was the time of the refounding of that institution
under the beginning of President Northrop's administration, to whom
Professor Judson became a right hand. His career is an illustrious
example of one rising slowly and patiently through every grade of the
public school system, to its crown in the highest grades in the state
university. It must have been of inestimable worth to him to become
familiar with the genius of a state university, so peculiarly a
people's institution and so characteristic of the middle West.

Unconsciously he was preparing for crowning his career in the new
University of Chicago. It is not strange that, in 1889, three years
before he became a member of the university's first faculty, President
Harper's attention was attracted to him, and he brought the early
drafts of his plan for a herculean university to Professor Judson for
criticism. When the inner history of that university is written, in my
opinion, the world will be surprised to learn of the contribution of
Professor Judson, who was Dr. Harper's Secretary of the Interior from
the beginning. What Mr. Rockefeller was as a silent partner in money
matters, Dr. Judson was in matters of the mind.

As dean of the Faculty of Arts, Literature, and Science from 1892 till
his accession to the presidency, he was in admirable training for that
office. His facility in using his knowledge, his versatility of
powers, fired by an innate energy, regulated by steadiness of purpose,
and aimed at the highest ideals, make his name synonymous with
efficiency incarnate. His modesty equals his ability. Harper stands as
an heroic figure, a Napoleon with visions of educational conquest,
selected by the far-seeing Rockefeller to build a university in the
center of the nation and to give the West intellectual self-respect.
With the same keenness of vision Mr. Rockefeller and the trustees
selected as Dr. Harper's successor a human figure, one in almost every
way a contrast to Dr. Harper; an Elisha succeeding an Elijah and
fitted to balance and round out the creative stage in a university to
be not only the biggest but the best in the West. Williams as the
mother of many educators must place the name of Judson beside that of
Mark Hopkins.



Dr. Hall was born in 1852, and died within a short time of two of his
best and best-known college friends, H.L. Nelson and Isaac Henderson,
on March 15, 1908. On being graduated from Williams in 1872 and from
the Union Seminary, his first pastorates were spent in Newburgh, N.Y.,
and in Brooklyn, whence he was called to the presidency of Union
Seminary in 1897. The most brilliant of his achievements was perhaps
embodied in his two trips to India as the Barrows lecturer of the
University of Chicago;--he had a wonderful aptitude in applying the
principles of Christianity to an alien civilization. A class-mate, the
editor of the _Springfield Republican_ is the author of the tribute to
his memory which follows.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is around the thought of Cuthbert Hall the college boy, rather than
the distinguished president of a great seminary and all the rest, with
the world so much his parish, that any word of loving memory shapes
itself. He was refined and winning. If ever the sunlight of a gracious
nature touched any youth, it rested on him; the unworthy and the
trivial passed him by. His adjustment of values even then was mature
and firm. His literary taste and product were superior. He was a
natural gentleman, and that meant a Christian by all the call of his
nature. Love of the fine, the high, the genuine, and the generous, was
instinctive. His breadth of charity and welcome for knowledge in youth
became the distinction of his manhood.

Qualities were conspicuous in his life that bound worldlings to him in
a bond of fellowship that grappled the best that was in them. Goodness
of his sort is commanding--the practical power of a pure life is a
pulpit asset that reenforces the spoken word beyond all human
calculation. Under his leadership Union Seminary could not have been
other than liberal and sympathetic toward devout scholarship that
might seem to threaten the ancient foundations of faith.

When a class-mate late in life found repose in the Roman church, Dr.
Hall could see and say that such anchorage was best for his friend.
All paths that led to trust in God and the strengthening of the
essentials of character were allowable in the brotherhood of the
service of humanity.

The world of scholarship has its arrogancies--sometimes it is critical
over-much, intolerant toward the lesser requirements of busy men
outside. This man never lost touch with men as they passed. His own
assurance of belief was a flame which lighted many torches. It was a
sane and a glad evangel that he gave to his students, and brought in
almost constant and always ardent addresses to the youth of many

Intellectual integrity was joined in him with the finest spiritual
apprehension and expression, so that he was qualified to carry a
message to the cultivated of India, where he got his mortal hurt. In
the knightly loyalty with which he labored his zeal was a highly
tempered blade. He respected all faiths, but an abiding assurance of
the supremacy of the service of Christ gave him unwavering serenity
and poise. It is easy to think of Charles Cuthbert Hall entering the
Supreme Presence reverently, unafraid, rejoicing, as naturally as a
child would come home.



The subject of this brief sketch may indeed be termed a Williams man
both by heredity and by environment. He passed his boyhood and early
youth under the very shadow of our hills; and his father, Professor
A.L. Perry, was for years the most widely known as well as the most
generally loved of its faculty.

Bliss Perry was born in 1860; after graduation, in 1881, he became
instructor in English and elocution at his alma mater and in 1886 was
advanced to the full professorship. In 1893 he accepted a call to the
same chair at Princeton. Six years later he was appointed to the
editorship of the _Atlantic Monthly_, thus becoming one of a famous
line of editors including Lowell, Howells, and Aldrich. He remained at
the head of the _Atlantic_ for just ten years, resigning in August
1909 to devote himself wholly to the duties of the chair of English
literature at Harvard, which he had accepted two years before and
which had already been filled by Longfellow and Lowell. The year
1909-1910 he spent abroad as Hyde lecturer at the Sorbonne.

Professor Perry's publications extend over the fields of fiction,
criticism, and the occasional essay. His _Study of Prose Fiction_, a
clear exposition of narrative writing, is one of the best-known
college textbooks on the subject. His _Walt Whitman_ is without doubt
his most careful and elaborate critical work and is a recognized
authority. The _Amateur Spirit_, a series of familiar essays, shows
Professor Perry at his best and should be read especially by those who
delight to study the personality of an author as revealed in his work.

But whatever fame Professor Perry may have attained in the fields of
literature, to Williams men he is the teacher. In _The Amateur Spirit_
he has written: "Your born teacher is as rare as a poet.... Once in a
while a college gets hold of one. It does not always know that it has
him, and proceeds to ruin him by over-driving, the moment he shows
power; or to let another college lure him away for a few hundred
dollars more a year. But while he lasts--and sometimes, fortunately,
he lasts till the end of a long life--he transforms the lecture-hall
as by enchantment. Lucky is the alumnus who can call the roll of his
old instructors, and among the martinets and the pedants and the
piously inane can here and there come suddenly upon a man; a man who
taught him to think, or helped him to feel, and thrilled him with a
new horizon."

Those of us who have been under Professor Perry's instruction in the
class-room must smile to note how--all unconsciously--he has here
portrayed what we know him to be. Scholarly in his tastes, clear in
his thinking, simple and direct in the expression of his thought, and
always human in his personality, he "taught us to think, he helped us
to feel, and he thrilled us with a new horizon." To us he seemed the
ideal teacher, and as teacher and as man withal he has won the loyalty
of Harvard, Princeton, and Williams men alike.




"Mister," my companion in the smoking-car addressed me rather timidly,
"hev you ever bin to Ebenezer?"

I looked at him a moment: kindly eyes, tanned face, grizzled beard;
clothing of that indescribable, faded greenish brown which had lost
all resemblance to its original color.

"Yes," I answered, "I've been there a number of times."

A moment's pause; then, "Quite a sizeable place, so folks say."

I assented, wondering what was to come.

"An' to think I've never seen it--never bin to Ebenezer in all my
life, an' I live right back here a piece, not ten miles over the hills
from Ebenezer. But if this here train stays on the track till we git
there," he added with some pride, "I'm goin' to see it.

"I'm goin' to see Ebenezer, jest to think of it! Well sir, it makes me
all het up. Many's the time when I come in fr'm chores, I'd set by the
fire an' read the _Ebenezer Weekly Review and Advertiser_; an' there
I'd see, 'Ebenezer items: Squire Hodge's store painted; the Ebenezer
Dry Goods Emporium moved into new and more commodorious quarters,' et
cetery. Then I'd say to Mandy, 'Mandy, some day we'll go to Ebenezer.'
But we never went. Well, I s'pose it's all fer the best." He sighed
and shook his head.

"But I'm goin' to see it all now." He brightened up again. "Yes, sir,
poor Mandy's fixed so she can't leave the house now, kind of laid up
with rheumatiz. A spell back, though, when our daughter got married,
an' time kind o' hung heavy on our hands, Mandy says, 'Why don't you
go alone, pa? Now's a good chance. So I fixed things up spick an'
span, an' Nancy--that's our girl--come over this mornin' to stay with
her ma, an' I--well, it'll be grand! D'you s'pose I c'n see it all in
one day?"

"Oh, yes."

"Well," he sighed contentedly, "that's good. Say, you've bin awful
good to me, tellin' me all about Ebenezer. I'm glad I met some one
who's had experience in such a big town." Silence for a minute. Then
he leaned over confidentially.

"D'y' know, it sort o' seems 's though the sunshine was a leetle bit
brighter to-day than usual, all on 'count of my goin' to Ebenezer.
Only I wish Mandy c'd be along."

"Ebenezer!" yelled the brakeman. "Ebenezer!"

_Literary Monthly_, 1906.



When we were at home the gas always went out at a certain time, and if
we were tempted to finish just one more chapter of _Coral Island_ or
_Out on the Pampas_, we needs must steal a candle from the pantry
stock and furtively read by its flickering light. Our own sense of
danger, together with the imaginative effect wrought upon our excitive
minds by the dancing candlelight and the awesome shadows of the still
house, gave a strange relish to our childhood reading.

At boarding-school we found (among its other strange things) the
electric light. At nine-thirty the bell in the chapel sounded taps,
and all the lights in the school were extinguished simultaneously.
Then the master would make his rounds and find the whole school
evidently asleep in their beds. But presently doors would open and
books would be read by the light in the hall. Still we had that same
adventurous feeling in our readings, still that sweet taste of stolen

When we were graduated from the boarding-school, put away the
proverbial childish things, and came to college, we were given a
freedom such as we had never had before. No interfering master, no
provoking lack of light to annoy us. We could burn our lamps all
night, and receive no paternal rebuke or master's chastisement. And
now, though there is none of that sweetness of stolen fruits, none of
that creeping insecurity of former readings, there is an undisturbing,
quiet secureness that makes our books more living to us. Now, when all
the dormitory is asleep; when the lighted windowpanes have ceased to
cast their gleams upon the snow; when the streets are deserted, the
pool-rooms closed, and the last good-fellow has gone to bed, and only
oneself is awake, then we have the full enjoyment of our quiet study
lamp-light. We may yawn once or twice, a creak on the stair may
startle us,--but we do not go to bed. We reach out our hand for some
favorite volume, Stevenson's _Garden of Verses_, _Underwoods_, or
Emily Bronte's _Wuthering Heights_: and read far on into the night
towards cock-crow. We mingle our reading with dreams, and read on and
on, finding a new feeling in our book: we find the author's deeper
meaning. Our reading is undisturbed by the ghost-creep of childhood
and the adventuresome daring of boarding-school. Formerly we had the
mere tale or story; now we feel in a small degree the soul-expression
of the writer--an indefinable, will-o'-the-wisp sort of thing; a
something not always caught, but that strange intangible something
which lends the spark of immortality to the master creations.

_Literary Monthly_, 1909.

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