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Title: A Book of Burlesques
Author: Mencken, H. L. (Henry Louis), 1880-1956
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 Book of Burlesques" ***

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A BOOK OF BURLESQUES

by

H. L. MENCKEN



[Illustration]



Published at the Borzoi · New York · by
Alfred · A · Knopf

Copyright, 1916, 1920, by
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

Printed in the United States of America



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER                                      PAGE
     I. DEATH: A PHILOSOPHICAL DISCUSSION        11
    II. FROM THE PROGRAMME OF A CONCERT          27
   III. THE WEDDING: A STAGE DIRECTION           51
    IV. THE VISIONARY                            71
     V. THE ARTIST: A DRAMA WITHOUT WORDS        83
    VI. SEEING THE WORLD                        105
   VII. FROM THE MEMOIRS OF THE DEVIL           135
  VIII. LITANIES FOR THE OVERLOOKED             149
    IX. ASEPSIS: A DEDUCTION IN _SCHERZO_ FORM  159
     X. TALES OF THE MORAL AND PATHOLOGICAL     183
    XI. THE JAZZ WEBSTER                        201
   XII. THE OLD SUBJECT                         213
  XIII. PANORAMAS OF PEOPLE                     223
   XIV. HOMEOPATHICS                            231
    XV. VERS LIBRE                              237



The present edition includes some epigrams from "A Little Book in C
Major," now out of print. To make room for them several of the smaller
sketches in the first edition have been omitted. Nearly the whole
contents of the book appeared originally in _The Smart Set_. The
references to a Europe not yet devastated by war and an America not yet
polluted by Prohibition show that some of the pieces first saw print in
far better days than these.

H. L. M.

February 1, 1920.



_I.--DEATH_

_I.--Death. A Philosophical Discussion_


_The back parlor of any average American home. The blinds are drawn and
a single gas-jet burns feebly. A dim suggestion of festivity: strange
chairs, the table pushed back, a decanter and glasses. A heavy,
suffocating, discordant scent of flowers--roses, carnations, lilies,
gardenias. A general stuffiness and mugginess, as if it were raining
outside, which it isn't._

_A door leads into the front parlor. It is open, and through it the
flowers may be seen. They are banked about a long black box with huge
nickel handles, resting upon two folding horses. Now and then a man
comes into the front room from the street door, his shoes squeaking
hideously. Sometimes there is a woman, usually in deep mourning. Each
visitor approaches the long black box, looks into it with ill-concealed
repugnance, snuffles softly, and then backs of toward the door. A clock
on the mantel-piece ticks loudly. From the street come the usual
noises--a wagon rattling, the clang of a trolley car's gong, the shrill
cry of a child._

_In the back parlor six pallbearers sit upon chairs, all of them bolt
upright, with their hands on their knees. They are in their Sunday
clothes, with stiff white shirts. Their hats are on the floor beside
their chairs. Each wears upon his lapel the gilt badge of a fraternal
order, with a crêpe rosette. In the gloom they are indistinguishable;
all of them talk in the same strained, throaty whisper. Between their
remarks they pause, clear their throats, blow their noses, and shuffle
in their chairs. They are intensely uncomfortable. Tempo: Adagio
lamentoso, with occasionally a rise to andante maesto. So:_

FIRST PALLBEARER

Who woulda thought that _he_ woulda been the next?


SECOND PALLBEARER

Yes; you never can tell.


THIRD PALLBEARER

(_An oldish voice, oracularly._) We're here to-day and gone to-morrow.


FOURTH PALLBEARER

I seen him no longer ago than Chewsday. He never looked no better.
Nobody would have----


FIFTH PALLBEARER

I seen him Wednesday. We had a glass of beer together in the Huffbrow
Kaif. He was laughing and cutting up like he always done.


SIXTH PALLBEARER

You never know who it's gonna hit next. Him and me was pallbearers
together for Hen Jackson no more than a month ago, or say five weeks.


FIRST PALLBEARER

Well, a man is lucky if he goes off quick. If I had _my_ way I wouldn't
want no better way.


SECOND PALLBEARER

My brother John went thataway. He dropped like a stone, settin' there at
the supper table. They had to take his knife out of his hand.


THIRD PALLBEARER

I had an uncle to do the same thing, but without the knife. He had what
they call appleplexy. It runs in my family.


FOURTH PALLBEARER

They say it's in _his'n_, too.


FIFTH PALLBEARER

But he never looked it.


SIXTH PALLBEARER

No. Nobody woulda thought _he_ woulda been the next.


FIRST PALLBEARER

Them are the things you never can tell anything about.


SECOND PALLBEARER

Ain't it true!


THIRD PALLBEARER

We're here to-day and gone to-morrow.

(_A pause. Feet are shuffled. Somewhere a door bangs._)


FOURTH PALLBEARER

(_Brightly._) He looks elegant. I hear he never suffered none.


FIFTH PALLBEARER

No; he went too quick. One minute he was alive and the next minute he
was dead.


SIXTH PALLBEARER

Think of it: dead so quick!


FIRST PALLBEARER

Gone!


SECOND PALLBEARER

Passed away!


THIRD PALLBEARER

Well, we all have to go _some_ time.


FOURTH PALLBEARER

Yes; a man never knows but what his turn'll come next.


FIFTH PALLBEARER

You can't tell nothing by looks. Them sickly fellows generally lives to
be old.


SIXTH PALLBEARER

Yes; the doctors say it's the big stout person that goes off the
soonest. They say typhord never kills none but the healthy.


FIRST PALLBEARER

So I have heered it said. My wife's youngest brother weighed 240 pounds.
He was as strong as a mule. He could lift a sugar-barrel, and then some.
Once I seen him drink damn near a whole keg of beer. Yet it finished him
in less'n three weeks--and _he_ had it mild.


SECOND PALLBEARER

It seems that there's a lot of it this fall.


THIRD PALLBEARER

Yes; I hear of people taken with it every day. Some say it's the water.
My brother Sam's oldest is down with it.


FOURTH PALLBEARER

I had it myself once. I was out of my head for four weeks.


FIFTH PALLBEARER

That's a good sign.


SIXTH PALLBEARER

Yes; you don't die as long as you're out of your head.


FIRST PALLBEARER

It seems to me that there is a lot of sickness around this year.


SECOND PALLBEARER

I been to five funerals in six weeks.


THIRD PALLBEARER

I beat you. I been to six in five weeks, not counting this one.


FOURTH PALLBEARER

A body don't hardly know what to think of it scarcely.


FIFTH PALLBEARER

That's what _I_ always say: you can't tell who'll be next.


SIXTH PALLBEARER

Ain't it true! Just think of _him_.


FIRST PALLBEARER

Yes; nobody woulda picked _him_ out.


SECOND PALLBEARER

Nor my brother John, neither.


THIRD PALLBEARER

Well, what _must_ be _must_ be.


FOURTH PALLBEARER

Yes; it don't do no good to kick. When a man's time comes he's got to
go.


FIFTH PALLBEARER

We're lucky if it ain't us.


SIXTH PALLBEARER

So I always say. We ought to be thankful.


FIRST PALLBEARER

That's the way _I_ always feel about it.


SECOND PALLBEARER

It wouldn't do _him_ no good, no matter _what_ we done.


THIRD PALLBEARER

We're here to-day and gone to-morrow.


FOURTH PALLBEARER

But it's hard all the same.


FIFTH PALLBEARER

It's hard on _her_.


SIXTH PALLBEARER

Yes, it is. Why should _he_ go?


FIRST PALLBEARER

It's a question nobody ain't ever answered.


SECOND PALLBEARER

Nor never won't.


THIRD PALLBEARER

You're right there. I talked to a preacher about it once, and even _he_
couldn't give no answer to it.


FOURTH PALLBEARER

The more you think about it the less you can make it out.


FIFTH PALLBEARER

When I seen him last Wednesday he had no more ideer of it than what you
had.


SIXTH PALLBEARER

Well, if I had _my_ choice, that's the way I would always want to die.


FIRST PALLBEARER

Yes; that's what _I_ say. I am with you there.


SECOND PALLBEARER

Yes; you're right, both of you. It don't do no good to lay sick for
months, with doctors' bills eatin' you up, and then have to go anyhow.


THIRD PALLBEARER

No; when a thing has to be done, the best thing to do is to get it done
and over with.


FOURTH PALLBEARER

That's just what I said to my wife when I heerd.


FIFTH PALLBEARER

But nobody hardly thought that _he_ woulda been the next.


SIXTH PALLBEARER

No; but that's one of them things you can't tell.


FIRST PALLBEARER

You never know _who'll_ be the next.


SECOND PALLBEARER

It's lucky you don't.


THIRD PALLBEARER

I guess you're right.


FOURTH PALLBEARER

That's what my grandfather used to say: you never know what is coming.


FIFTH PALLBEARER

Yes; that's the way it goes.


SIXTH PALLBEARER

First one, and then somebody else.


FIRST PALLBEARER

Who it'll be you can't say.


SECOND PALLBEARER

_I_ always say the same: we're here to-day----


THIRD PALLBEARER

(_Cutting in jealousy and humorously._) And to-morrow we ain't here.

(_A subdued and sinister snicker. It is followed by sudden silence.
There is a shuffling of feet in the front room, and whispers. Necks are
craned. The pallbearers straighten their backs, hitch their coat collars
and pull on their black gloves. The clergyman has arrived. From above
comes the sound of weeping._)



_II.--FROM THE PROGRAMME OF A CONCERT_

_II.--From The Programme of a Concert_

     _"Ruhm und Ewigkeit" (Fame and Eternity), a symphonic poem in B
     flat minor, Opus 48, by Johann Sigismund Timotheus Albert Wolfgang
     Kraus (1872-)._


Kraus, like his eminent compatriot, Dr. Richard Strauss, has gone to
Friedrich Nietzsche, the laureate of the modern German tone-art, for his
inspiration in this gigantic work. His text is to be found in
Nietzsche's _Ecce Homo_, which was not published until after the poet's
death, but the composition really belongs to _Also sprach Zarathustra_,
as a glance will show:


    I

    _Wie lange sitzest du schon
      auf deinem Missgeschick?
    Gieb Acht! Du brütest mir noch
      ein Ei,
      ein Basilisken-Ei,
    aus deinem langen Jammer aus._


    II

    _Was schleicht Zarathustra entlang dem Berge?--_


    III

    _Misstrauisch, geschwürig, düster,
      ein langer Lauerer,--
    aber plötzlich, ein Blitz,
      hell, furchtbar, ein Schlag
    gen Himmel aus dem Abgrund:
      --dem Berge selber schüttelt sich
    das Eingeweide...._


    IV

    _Wo Hass und Blitzstrahl
    Eins ward, ein Fluch,--
    auf den Bergen haust jetzt Zarathustra's Zorn,
      eine Wetterwolke schleicht er seines Wegs._


    V

    _Verkrieche sich, wer eine letzte Decke hat!
      In's Bett mit euch, ihr Zärtlinge!
    Nun rollen Donner über die Gewölbe,
      nun zittert, was Gebälk und Mauer ist,
    nun zucken Blitze und schwefelgelbe Wahrheiten--
      Zarathustra flucht ...!_

For the following faithful and graceful translation the present
commentator is indebted to Mr. Louis Untermeyer:


    I

    How long brood you now
    On thy disaster?
    Give heed! You hatch me soon
      An egg,
      From your long lamentation out of.


    II

    Why prowls Zarathustra among the mountains?


   III

    Distrustful, ulcerated, dismal,
      A long waiter--
    But suddenly a flash,
      Brilliant, fearful. A lightning stroke
    Leaps to heaven from the abyss:
    --The mountains shake themselves and
    Their intestines....


    IV

    As hate and lightning-flash
      Are united, a _curse_!
    On the mountains rages now Zarathustra's wrath,
    Like a thunder cloud rolls it on its way.


    V

    Crawl away, ye who have a roof remaining!
      To bed with you, ye tenderlings!
    Now thunder rolls over the great arches,
      Now tremble the bastions and battlements,
    Now flashes palpitate and sulphur-yellow truths--
    Zarathustra swears ...!

The composition is scored for three flutes, one piccolo, one bass
piccolo, seven oboes, one English horn, three clarinets in D flat, one
clarinet in G flat, one corno de bassetto, three bassoons, one
contra-bassoon, eleven horns, three trumpets, eight cornets in B, four
trombones, two alto trombones, one viol da gamba, one mandolin, two
guitars, one banjo, two tubas, glockenspiel, bell, triangle, fife,
bass-drum, cymbals, timpani, celesta, four harps, piano, harmonium,
pianola, phonograph, and the usual strings.

At the opening a long B flat is sounded by the cornets, clarinets and
bassoons in unison, with soft strokes upon a kettle-drum tuned to G
sharp. After eighteen measures of this, _singhiozzando_, the strings
enter _pizzicato_ with a figure based upon one of the scales of the
ancient Persians--B flat, C flat, D, E sharp, G and A flat--which starts
high among the first violins, and then proceeds downward, through the
second violins, violas and cellos, until it is lost in solemn and
indistinct mutterings in the double-basses. Then, the atmosphere of doom
having been established, and the conductor having found his place in
the score, there is heard the motive of brooding, or as the German
commentators call it, the _Quälerei Motiv_:

[Illustration: Musical Score]

The opening chord of the eleventh is sounded by six horns, and the
chords of the ninth, which follow, are given to the woodwind. The rapid
figure in the second measure is for solo violin, heard softly against
the sustained interval of the diminished ninth, but the final G natural
is snapped out by the whole orchestra _sforzando_. There follows a
rapid and daring development of the theme, with the flutes and
violoncellos leading, first harmonized with chords of the eleventh, then
with chords of the thirteenth, and finally with chords of the fifteenth.
Meanwhile, the tonality has moved into D minor, then into A flat major,
and then into G sharp minor, and the little arpeggio for the solo violin
has been augmented to seven, to eleven, and in the end to twenty-three
notes. Here the influence of Claude Debussy shows itself; the chords of
the ninth proceed by the same chromatic semitones that one finds in the
_Chansons de Bilitis_. But Kraus goes much further than Debussy, for the
tones of his chords are constantly altered in a strange and extremely
beautiful manner, and, as has been noted, he adds the eleventh,
thirteenth and fifteenth. At the end of this incomparable passage there
is a sudden drop to C major, followed by the first statement of the
_Missgeschick Motiv_, or motive of disaster (misfortune, evil destiny,
untoward fate):

[Illustration: Musical Score]

This graceful and ingratiating theme will give no concern to the student
of Ravel and Schoenberg. It is, in fact, a quite elemental succession of
intervals of the second, all produced by adding the ninth to the common
chord--thus: C, G, C, D, E--with certain enharmonic changes. Its
simplicity gives it, at a first hearing, a placid, pastoral aspect,
somewhat disconcerting to the literalist, but the discerning will not
fail to note the mutterings beneath the surface. It is first sounded by
two violas and the viol da gamba, and then drops without change to the
bass, where it is repeated _fortissimo_ by two bassoons and the
contra-bassoon. The tempo then quickens and the two themes so far heard
are worked up into a brief but tempestuous fugue. A brief extract will
suffice to show its enormously complex nature:

[Illustration: Musical Score]

A pedal point on B flat is heard at the end of this fugue, sounded
_fortissimo_ by all the brass in unison, and then follows a grand pause,
twelve and a half measures in length. Then, in the strings, is heard the
motive of warning:

[Illustration: Musical Score]

Out of this motive comes the harmonic material for much of what remains
of the composition. At each repetition of the theme, the chord in the
fourth measure is augmented by the addition of another interval, until
in the end it includes every tone of the chromatic scale save C sharp.
This omission is significant of Kraus' artistry. If C sharp were
included the tonality would at once become vague, but without it the
dependence of the whole gorgeous edifice upon C major is kept plain. At
the end, indeed, the tonic chord of C major is clearly sounded by the
wood-wind, against curious triplets, made up of F sharp, A flat and B
flat in various combinations, in the strings; and from it a sudden
modulation is made to C minor, and then to A flat major. This opens the
way for the entrance of the motive of lamentation, or, as the German
commentators call it, the _Schreierei Motiv_:

[Illustration: Musical Score]

This simple and lovely theme is first sounded, not by any of the usual
instruments of the grand orchestra, but by a phonograph in B flat, with
the accompaniment of a solitary trombone. When the composition was
first played at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig the innovation caused a
sensation, and there were loud cries of sacrilege and even proposals of
police action. One indignant classicist, in token of his ire, hung a
wreath of _Knackwürste_ around the neck of the bust of Johann Sebastian
Bach in the Thomaskirche, and appended to it a card bearing the legend,
_Schweinehund_! But the exquisite beauty of the effect soon won
acceptance for the means employed to attain it, and the phonograph has
so far made its way with German composers that Prof. Ludwig
Grossetrommel, of Göttingen, has even proposed its employment in opera
in place of singers.

This motive of lamentation is worked out on a grand scale, and in
intimate association with the motives of brooding and of warning. Kraus
is not content with the ordinary materials of composition. His creative
force is always impelling him to break through the fetters of the
diatonic scale, and to find utterance for his ideas in archaic and
extremely exotic tonalities. The pentatonic scale is a favorite with
him; he employs it as boldly as Wagner did in _Das Rheingold_. But it is
not enough, for he proceeds from it into the Dorian mode of the ancient
Greeks, and then into the Phrygian, and then into two of the plagal
modes. Moreover, he constantly combines both unrelated scales and
antagonistic motives, and invests the combinations in astounding
orchestral colors, so that the hearer, unaccustomed to such bold
experimentations, is quite lost in the maze. Here, for example, is a
characteristic passage for solo French horn and bass piccolo:

[Illustration: Musical Score]

The dotted half notes for the horn obviously come from the motive
of brooding, in augmentation, but the bass piccolo part is new. It
soon appears, however, in various fresh aspects, and in the end it
enters into the famous quadruple motive of "sulphur-yellow
truth"--_schwefelgelbe Wahrheit_, as we shall presently see. Its first
combination is with a jaunty figure in A minor, and the two together
form what most of the commentators agree upon denominating the
Zarathustra motive:

[Illustration: Musical Score]

I call this the Zarathustra motive, following the weight of critical
opinion, but various influential critics dissent. Thus, Dr. Ferdinand
Bierfisch, of the Hochschule für Musik at Dresden, insists that it is
the theme of "the elevated mood produced by the spiritual isolation and
low barometric pressure of the mountains," while Prof. B. Moll, of
Frankfurt a/M., calls it the motive of prowling. Kraus himself, when
asked by Dr. Fritz Bratsche, of the Berlin _Volkszeitung_, shrugged his
shoulders and answered in his native Hamburg dialect, "_So gehts im
Leben! 'S giebt gar kein Use_"--Such is life; it gives hardly any use
(to inquire?). In much the same way Schubert made reply to one who asked
the meaning of the opening subject of the slow movement of his C major
symphony: "_Halt's Maul, du verfluchter Narr!_"--Don't ask such
question, my dear sir!

But whatever the truth, the novelty and originality of the theme cannot
be denied, for it is in two distinct keys, D major and A minor, and they
preserve their identity whenever it appears. The handling of two such
diverse tonalities at one time would present insuperable difficulties to
a composer less ingenious than Kraus, but he manages it quite simply by
founding his whole harmonic scheme upon the tonic triad of D major,
with the seventh and ninth added. He thus achieves a chord which also
contains the tonic triad of A minor. The same thing is now done with the
dominant triads, and half the battle is won. Moreover, the
instrumentation shows the same boldness, for the double theme is first
given to three solo violins, and they are muted in a novel and effective
manner by stopping their F holes. The directions in the score say _mit
Glaserkitt_ (that is, with glazier's putty), but the Konzertmeister at
the Gewandhaus, Herr F. Dur, substituted ordinary pumpernickel with
excellent results. It is, in fact, now commonly used in the German
orchestras in place of putty, for it does less injury to the varnish of
the violins, and, besides, it is edible after use. It produces a thick,
oily, mysterious, far-away effect.

At the start, as I have just said, the double theme of Zarathustra
appears in D major and A minor, but there is quick modulation to B flat
major and C sharp minor, and then to C major and F sharp minor.
Meanwhile the tempo gradually accelerates, and the polyphonic texture is
helped out by reminiscences of the themes of brooding and of
lamentation. A sudden hush and the motive of warning is heard high in
the wood-wind, in C flat major, against a double organ-point--C natural
and C sharp--in the lower strings. There follows a cadenza of no less
than eighty-four measures for four harps, tympani and a single tuba, and
then the motive of waiting is given out by the whole orchestra in
unison:

[Illustration: Musical Score]

This stately motive is repeated in F major, after which some passage
work for the piano and pianola, the former tuned a quarter tone lower
than the latter and played by three performers, leads directly into the
quadruple theme of the sulphur-yellow truth, mentioned above. It is
first given out by two oboes divided, a single English horn, two
bassoons in unison, and four trombones in unison. It is an
extraordinarily long motive, running to twenty-seven measures on its
first appearance; the four opening measures are given on the next page.

[Illustration: Musical Score]

With an exception yet to be noted, all of the composer's thematic
material is now set forth, and what follows is a stupendous development
of it, so complex that no written description could even faintly
indicate its character. The quadruple theme of the sulphur-yellow truth
is sung almost uninterruptedly, first by the wood-wind, then by the
strings and then by the full brass choir, with the glockenspiel and
cymbals added. Into it are woven all of the other themes in inextricable
whirls and whorls of sound, and in most amazing combinations and
permutations of tonalities. Moreover, there is a constantly rising
complexity of rhythm, and on one page of the score the time signature is
changed no less than eighteen times. Several times it is 5-8 and 7-4;
once it is 11-2; in one place the composer, following Koechlin and Erik
Satie, abandons bar-lines altogether for half a page of the score. And
these diverse rhythms are not always merely successive; sometimes they
are heard together. For example, the motive of disaster, augmented to
5-8 time, is sounded clearly by the clarinets against the motive of
lamentation in 3-4 time, and through it all one hears the steady beat of
the motive of waiting in 4-4!

This gigantic development of materials is carried to a thrilling climax,
with the whole orchestra proclaiming the Zarathustra motive
_fortissimo_. Then follows a series of arpeggios for the harps, made of
the motive of warning, and out of them there gradually steals the tonic
triad of D minor, sung by three oboes. This chord constitutes the
backbone of all that follows. The three oboes are presently joined by a
fourth. Against this curtain of tone the flutes and piccolos repeat the
theme of brooding in F major, and then join the oboes in the D minor
chord. The horns and bassoons follow with the motive of disaster and
then do likewise. Now come the violins with the motive of lamentation,
but instead of ending with the D minor tonic triad, they sound a chord
of the seventh erected on C sharp as seventh of D minor. Every tone of
the scale of D minor is now being sounded, and as instrument after
instrument joins in the effect is indescribably sonorous and imposing.
Meanwhile, there is a steady _crescendo_, ending after three minutes of
truly tremendous music with ten sharp blasts of the double chord. A
moment of silence and a single trombone gives out a theme hitherto not
heard. It is the theme of tenderness, or, as the German commentators
call it, the _Biermad'l Motiv_: Thus:

[Illustration: Musical Score]

Again silence. Then a single piccolo plays the closing cadence of the
composition:

[Illustration: Musical Score]

_Ruhm und Ewigkeit_ presents enormous difficulties to the performers,
and taxes the generalship of the most skillful conductor. When it was in
preparation at the Gewandhaus the first performance was postponed twelve
times in order to extend the rehearsals. It was reported in the German
papers at the time that ten members of the orchestra, including the
first flutist, Ewald Löwenhals, resigned during the rehearsals, and that
the intervention of the King of Saxony was necessary to make them
reconsider their resignations. One of the second violins, Hugo
Zehndaumen, resorted to stimulants in anticipation of the opening
performance, and while on his way to the hall was run over by a taxicab.
The conductor was Nikisch. A performance at Munich followed, and on May
1, 1913, the work reached Berlin. At the public rehearsal there was a
riot led by members of the Bach Gesellschaft, and the hall was stormed
by the mounted police. Many arrests were made, and five of the rioters
were taken to hospital with serious injuries. The work was put into
rehearsal by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1914. The rehearsals have
been proceeding ever since. A piano transcription for sixteen hands has
been published.

Kraus was born at Hamburg on January 14, 1872. At the age of three he
performed creditably on the zither, cornet and trombone, and by 1877 he
had already appeared in concert at Danzig. His family was very poor, and
his early years were full of difficulties. It is said that, at the age
of nine, he copied the whole score of Wagner's _Ring_, the scores of the
nine Beethoven symphonies and the complete works of Mozart. His regular
teacher, in those days, was Stadtpfeifer Schmidt, who instructed him in
piano and thorough-bass. In 1884, desiring to have lessons in
counterpoint from Prof. Kalbsbraten, of Mainz, he walked to that city
from Hamburg once a week--a distance for the round trip of 316 miles. In
1887 he went to Berlin and became fourth cornetist of the Philharmonic
Orchestra and valet to Dr. Schweinsrippen, the conductor. In Berlin he
studied violin and second violin under the Polish virtuoso,
Pbyschbrweski, and also had lessons in composition from Wilhelm
Geigenheimer, formerly third triangle and assistant librarian at
Bayreuth.

His first composition, a march for cornet, violin and piano, was
performed on July 18, 1888, at the annual ball of the Arbeiter
Liedertafel in Berlin. It attracted little attention, but six months
later the young composer made musical Berlin talk about him by producing
a composition called _Adenoids_, for twelve tenors, _a cappella_, to
words by Otto Julius Bierbaum. This was first heard at an open air
concert given in the Tiergarten by the Sozialist Liederkranz. It was
soon after repeated by the choir of the Gottesgelehrheitsakademie, and
Kraus found himself a famous young man. His string quartet in G sharp
minor, first played early in 1889 by the quartet led by Prof. Rudolph
Wurst, added to his growing celebrity, and when his first tone poem for
orchestra, _Fuchs, Du Hast die Gans Gestohlen_, was done by the
Philharmonic in the autumn of 1889, under Dr. Lachschinken, it was
hailed with acclaim.

Kraus has since written twelve symphonies (two choral), nine tone-poems,
a suite for brass and tympani, a trio for harp, tuba and glockenspiel,
ten string quartettes, a serenade for flute and contra-bassoon, four
concert overtures, a cornet concerto, and many songs and piano pieces.
His best-known work, perhaps, is his symphony in F flat major, in eight
movements. But Kraus himself is said to regard this huge work as
trivial. His own favorite, according to his biographer, Dr. Linsensuppe,
is _Ruhm und Ewigkeit_, though he is also fond of the tone-poem which
immediately preceded it, _Rinderbrust und Meerrettig_. He has written a
choral for sixty trombones, dedicated to Field Marshal von Hindenburg,
and is said to be at work on a military mass for four orchestras, seven
brass bands and ten choirs, with the usual soloists and clergy. Among
his principal works are _Der Ewigen Wiederkunft_ (a ten part fugue for
full orchestra), _Biergemütlichkeit_, his _Oberkellner_ and
_Uebermensch_ concert overtures, and his setting (for mixed chorus) of
the old German hymn:

    Saufst--stirbst!
    Saufst net--stirbst a!
    Also, saufst!

Kraus is now a resident of Munich, where he conducts the orchestra at
the Löwenbräuhaus. He has been married eight times and is at present the
fifth husband of Tilly Heintz, the opera singer. He has been decorated
by the Kaiser, by the King of Sweden and by the Sultan of Turkey, and is
a member of the German Odd Fellows.



_III.--THE WEDDING_

_III.--The Wedding. A Stage Direction_


_The scene is a church in an American city of about half a million
population, and the time is about eleven o'clock of a fine morning in
early spring. The neighborhood is well-to-do, but not quite fashionable.
That is to say, most of the families of the vicinage keep two servants
(alas, more or less intermittently!), and eat dinner at half-past six,
and about one in every four boasts a colored butler (who attends to the
fires, washes windows and helps with the sweeping), and a last year's
automobile. The heads of these families are merchandise brokers; jobbers
in notions, hardware and drugs; manufacturers of candy, hats, badges,
office furniture, blank books, picture frames, wire goods and patent
medicines; managers of steamboat lines; district agents of insurance
companies; owners of commercial printing offices, and other such
business men of substance--and the prosperous lawyers and popular family
doctors who keep them out of trouble. In one block live a Congressman
and two college professors, one of whom has written an unimportant
textbook and got himself into "Who's Who in America." In the block above
lives a man who once ran for Mayor of the city, and came near being
elected.

The wives of these householders wear good clothes and have a liking for
a reasonable gayety, but very few of them can pretend to what is vaguely
called social standing, and, to do them justice, not many of them waste
any time lamenting it. They have, taking one with another, about three
children apiece, and are good mothers. A few of them belong to women's
clubs or flirt with the suffragettes, but the majority can get all of
the intellectual stimulation they crave in the Ladies' Home Journal and
the Saturday Evening Post, with Vogue added for its fashions. Most of
them, deep down in their hearts, suspect their husbands of secret
frivolity, and about ten per cent. have the proofs, but it is rare for
them to make rows about it, and the divorce rate among them is thus very
low. Themselves indifferent cooks, they are unable to teach their
servants the art, and so the food they set before their husbands and
children is often such as would make a Frenchman cut his throat. But
they are diligent housewives otherwise; they see to it that the windows
are washed, that no one tracks mud into the hall, that the servants do
not waste coal, sugar, soap and gas, and that the family buttons are
always sewed on. In religion these estimable wives are pious in habit
but somewhat nebulous in faith. That is to say, they regard any person
who specifically refuses to go to church as a heathen, but they
themselves are by no means regular in attendance, and not one in ten of
them could tell you whether transubstantiation is a Roman Catholic or a
Dunkard doctrine. About two per cent. have dallied more or less gingerly
with Christian Science, their average period of belief being one year.

The church we are in is like the neighborhood and its people: well-to-do
but not fashionable. It is Protestant in faith and probably
Episcopalian. The pews are of thick, yellow-brown oak, severe in pattern
and hideous in color. In each there is a long, removable cushion of a
dark, purplish, dirty hue, with here and there some of its hair stuffing
showing. The stained-glass windows, which were all bought ready-made and
depict scenes from the New Testament, commemorate the virtues of
departed worthies of the neighborhood, whose names appear, in illegible
black letters, in the lower panels. The floor is covered with a carpet
of some tough, fibrous material, apparently a sort of grass, and along
the center aisle it is much worn. The normal smell of the place is
rather less unpleasant than that of most other halls, for on the one day
when it is regularly crowded practically all of the persons gathered
together have been very recently bathed.

On this fine morning, however, it is full of heavy, mortuary perfumes,
for a couple of florist's men have just finished decorating the chancel
with flowers and potted palms. Just behind the chancel rail, facing the
center aisle, there is a prie-dieu, and to either side of it are great
banks of lilies, carnations, gardenias and roses. Three or four feet
behind the prie-dieu and completely concealing the high altar, there is
a dense jungle of palms. Those in the front rank are authentically
growing in pots, but behind them the florist's men have artfully placed
some more durable, and hence more profitable, sophistications. Anon the
rev. clergyman, emerging from the vestry-room to the right, will pass
along the front of this jungle to the prie-dieu, and so, framed in
flowers, face the congregation with his saponaceous smile.

The florist's men, having completed their labors, are preparing to
depart. The older of the two, a man in the fifties, shows the ease of an
experienced hand by taking out a large plug of tobacco and gnawing off a
substantial chew. The desire to spit seizing him shortly, he proceeds to
gratify it by a trick long practised by gasfitters, musicians, caterer's
helpers, piano movers and other such alien invaders of the domestic
hearth. That is to say, he hunts for a place where the carpet is loose
along the chancel rail, finds it where two lengths join, deftly turns up
a flap, spits upon the bare floor, and then lets the flap fall back,
finally giving it a pat with the sole of his foot. This done, he and his
assistant leave the church to the sexton, who has been sweeping the
vestibule, and, after passing the time of day with the two men who are
putting up a striped awning from the door to the curb, disappear into a
nearby speak-easy, there to wait and refresh themselves until the
wedding is over, and it is time to take away their lilies, their
carnations and their synthetic palms.

It is now a quarter past eleven, and two flappers of the neighborhood,
giggling and arm-in-arm, approach the sexton and inquire of him if they
may enter. He asks them if they have tickets and when they say they
haven't, he tells them that he ain't got no right to let them in, and
don't know nothing about what the rule is going to be. At some weddings,
he goes on, hardly nobody ain't allowed in, but then again, sometimes
they don't scarcely look at the tickets at all. The two flappers retire
abashed, and as the sexton finishes his sweeping, there enters the
organist.

The organist is a tall, thin man of melancholy, uræmic aspect, wearing a
black slouch hat with a wide brim and a yellow overcoat that barely
reaches to his knees. A pupil, in his youth, of a man who had once
studied (irregularly and briefly) with Charles-Marie Widor, he acquired
thereby the artistic temperament, and with it a vast fondness for malt
liquor. His mood this morning is acidulous and depressed, for he spent
yesterday evening in a Pilsner ausschank with two former members of the
Boston Symphony Orchestra, and it was 3 A. M. before they finally agreed
that Johann Sebastian Bach, all things considered, was a greater man
than Beethoven, and so parted amicably. Sourness is the precise
sensation that wells within him. He feels vinegary; his blood runs cold;
he wishes he could immerse himself in bicarbonate of soda. But the call
of his art is more potent than the protest of his poisoned and quaking
liver, and so he manfully climbs the spiral stairway to his organ-loft.

Once there, he takes off his hat and overcoat, stoops down to blow the
dust off the organ keys, throws the electrical switch which sets the
bellows going, and then proceeds to take off his shoes. This done, he
takes his seat, reaches for the pedals with his stockinged feet, tries
an experimental 32-foot CCC, and then wanders gently into a Bach
toccata. It is his limbering-up piece: he always plays it as a prelude
to a wedding job. It thus goes very smoothly and even brilliantly, but
when he comes to the end of it and tackles the ensuing fugue he is
quickly in difficulties, and after four or five stumbling repetitions of
the subject he hurriedly improvises a crude coda and has done. Peering
down into the church to see if his flounderings have had an audience, he
sees two old maids enter, the one very tall and thin and the other
somewhat brisk and bunchy.

They constitute the vanguard of the nuptial throng, and as they proceed
hesitatingly up the center aisle, eager for good seats but afraid to go
too far, the organist wipes his palms upon his trousers legs, squares
his shoulders, and plunges into the program that he has played at all
weddings for fifteen years past. It begins with Mendelssohn's Spring
Song, pianissimo. Then comes Rubinstein's Melody in F, with a touch of
forte toward the close, and then Nevin's "Oh, That We Two Were Maying"
and then the Chopin waltz in A flat, Opus 69, No. 1, and then the Spring
Song again, and then a free fantasia upon "The Rosary" and then a
Moszkowski mazurka, and then the Dvorák Humoresque (with its
heart-rending cry in the middle), and then some vague and turbulent
thing (apparently the disjecta membra of another fugue), and then
Tschaikowsky's "Autumn," and then Elgar's "Salut d'Amour," and then the
Spring Song a third time, and then something or other from one of the
Peer Gynt suites, and then an hurrah or two from the Hallelujah chorus,
and then Chopin again, and Nevin, and Elgar, and----

But meanwhile, there is a growing activity below. First comes a closed
automobile bearing the six ushers and soon after it another automobile
bearing the bridegroom and his best man. The bridegroom and the best man
disembark before the side entrance of the church and make their way into
the vestry room, where they remove their hats and coats, and proceed to
struggle with their cravats and collars before a mirror which hangs on
the wall. The room is very dingy. A baize-covered table is in the center
of it, and around the table stand six or eight chairs of assorted
designs. One wall is completely covered by a bookcase, through the glass
doors of which one may discern piles of cheap Bibles, hymn-books and
back numbers of the parish magazine. In one corner is a small washstand.
The best man takes a flat flask of whiskey from his pocket, looks about
him for a glass, finds it on the washstand, rinses it at the tap, fills
it with a policeman's drink, and hands it to the bridegroom. The latter
downs it at a gulp. Then the best man pours out one for himself.

The ushers, reaching the vestibule of the church, have handed their silk
hats to the sexton, and entered the sacred edifice. There was a
rehearsal of the wedding last night, but after it was over the bride
ordered certain incomprehensible changes in the plan, and the ushers are
now completely at sea. All they know clearly is that the relatives of
the bride are to be seated on one side and the relatives of the
bridegroom on the other. But which side for one and which for the other?
They discuss it heatedly for three minutes and then find that they stand
three for putting the bride's relatives on the left side and three for
putting them on the right side. The debate, though instructive, is
interrupted by the sudden entrance of seven women in a group. They are
headed by a truculent old battleship, possibly an aunt or something of
the sort, who fixes the nearest usher with a knowing, suspicious glance,
and motions to him to show her the way.

He offers her his right arm and they start up the center aisle, with the
six other women following in irregular order, and the five other ushers
scattered among the women. The leading usher is tortured damnably by
doubts as to where the party should go. If they are aunts, to which
house do they belong, and on which side are the members of that house to
be seated? What if they are not aunts, but merely neighbors? Or perhaps
an association of former cooks, parlor maids, nurse girls? Or strangers?
The sufferings of the usher are relieved by the battleship, who halts
majestically about twenty feet from the altar, and motions her followers
into a pew to the left. They file in silently and she seats herself next
the aisle. All seven settle back and wriggle for room. It is a tight
fit.

(Who, in point of fact, are these ladies? Don't ask the question! The
ushers never find out. No one ever finds out. They remain a joint
mystery for all time. In the end they become a sort of tradition, and
years hence, when two of the ushers meet, they will cackle over old
dreadnaught and her six cruisers. The bride, grown old and fat, will
tell the tale to her daughter, and then to her granddaughter. It will
grow more and more strange, marvelous, incredible. Variorum versions
will spring up. It will be adapted to other weddings. The dreadnaught
will become an apparition, a witch, the Devil in skirts. And as the
years pass, the date of the episode will be pushed back. By 2017 it will
be dated 1150. By 2475 it will take on a sort of sacred character, and
there will be a footnote referring to it in the latest Revised Version
of the New Testament.)

It is now a quarter to twelve, and of a sudden the vestibule fills with
wedding guests. Nine-tenths of them, perhaps even nineteen-twentieths,
are women, and most of them are beyond thirty-five. Scattered among
them, hanging on to their skirts, are about a dozen little girls--one of
them a youngster of eight or thereabout, with spindle shanks and shining
morning face, entranced by her first wedding. Here and there lurks a
man. Usually he wears a hurried, unwilling, protesting look. He has
been dragged from his office on a busy morning, forced to rush home and
get into his cut-away coat, and then marched to the church by his wife.
One of these men, much hustled, has forgotten to have his shoes shined.
He is intensely conscious of them, and tries to hide them behind his
wife's skirt as they walk up the aisle. Accidentally he steps upon it,
and gets a look over the shoulder which lifts his diaphragm an inch and
turns his liver to water. This man will be courtmartialed when he
reaches home, and he knows it. He wishes that some foreign power would
invade the United States and burn down all the churches in the country,
and that the bride, the bridegroom and all the other persons interested
in the present wedding were dead and in hell.

The ushers do their best to seat these wedding guests in some sort of
order, but after a few minutes the crowd at the doors becomes so large
that they have to give it up, and thereafter all they can do is to hold
out their right arms ingratiatingly and trust to luck. One of them steps
on a fat woman's skirt, tearing it very badly, and she has to be helped
back to the vestibule. There she seeks refuge in a corner, under a
stairway leading up to the steeple, and essays to repair the damage
with pins produced from various nooks and crevices of her person.
Meanwhile the guilty usher stands in front of her, mumbling apologies
and trying to look helpful. When she finishes her work and emerges from
her improvised dry-dock, he again offers her his arm, but she sweeps
past him without noticing him, and proceeds grandly to a seat far
forward. She is a cousin to the bride's mother, and will make a report
to every branch of the family that all six ushers disgraced the ceremony
by appearing at it far gone in liquor.

Fifteen minutes are consumed by such episodes and divertisements. By the
time the clock in the steeple strikes twelve the church is well filled.
The music of the organist, who has now reached Mendelssohn's Spring Song
for the third and last time, is accompanied by a huge buzz of whispers,
and there is much craning of necks and long-distance nodding and
smiling. Here and there an unusually gorgeous hat is the target of many
converging glances, and of as many more or less satirical criticisms. To
the damp funeral smell of the flowers at the altar, there has been added
the cacodorous scents of forty or fifty different brands of talcum and
rice powder. It begins to grow warm in the church, and a number of
women open their vanity bags and duck down for stealthy dabs at their
noses. Others, more reverent, suffer the agony of augmenting shines.
One, a trickster, has concealed powder in her pocket handkerchief, and
applies it dexterously while pretending to blow her nose.

The bridegroom in the vestry-room, entering upon the second year (or is
it the third?) of his long and ghastly wait, grows increasingly nervous,
and when he hears the organist pass from the Spring Song into some more
sonorous and stately thing he mistakes it for the wedding march from
"Lohengrin," and is hot for marching upon the altar at once. The best
man, an old hand, restrains him gently, and administers another sedative
from the bottle. The bridegroom's thoughts turn to gloomy things. He
remembers sadly that he will never be able to laugh at benedicts again;
that his days of low, rabelaisian wit and care-free scoffing are over;
that he is now the very thing he mocked so gaily but yesteryear. Like a
drowning man, he passes his whole life in review--not, however, that
part which is past, but that part which is to come. Odd fancies throng
upon him. He wonders what his honeymoon will cost him, what there will
be to drink at the wedding breakfast, what a certain girl in Chicago
will say when she hears of his marriage. Will there be any children? He
rather hopes not, for all those he knows appear so greasy and noisy, but
he decides that he might conceivably compromise on a boy. But how is he
going to make sure that it will not be a girl? The thing, as yet, is a
medical impossibility--but medicine is making rapid strides. Why not
wait until the secret is discovered? This sapient compromise pleases the
bridegroom, and he proceeds to a consideration of various problems of
finance. And then, of a sudden, the organist swings unmistakably into
"Lohengrin" and the best man grabs him by the arm.

There is now great excitement in the church. The bride's mother, two
sisters, three brothers and three sisters-in-law have just marched up
the center aisle and taken seats in the front pew, and all the women in
the place are craning their necks toward the door. The usual electrical
delay ensues. There is something the matter with the bride's train, and
the two bridesmaids have a deuce of a time fixing it. Meanwhile the
bride's father, in tight pantaloons and tighter gloves, fidgets and
fumes in the vestibule, the six ushers crowd about him inanely, and the
sexton rushes to and fro like a rat in a trap. Finally, all being ready,
with the ushers formed two abreast, the sexton pushes a button, a small
buzzer sounds in the organ loft, and the organist, as has been said,
plunges magnificently into the fanfare of the "Lohengrin" march.
Simultaneously the sexton opens the door at the bottom of the main
aisle, and the wedding procession gets under weigh.

The bride and her father march first. Their step is so slow (about one
beat to two measures) that the father has some difficulty in maintaining
his equilibrium, but the bride herself moves steadily and erectly,
almost seeming to float. Her face is thickly encrusted with talcum in
its various forms, so that she is almost a dead white. She keeps her
eyelids lowered modestly, but is still acutely aware of every glance
fastened upon her--not in the mass, but every glance individually. For
example, she sees clearly, even through her eyelids, the still, cold
smile of a girl in Pew 8 R--a girl who once made an unwomanly attempt
upon the bridegroom's affections, and was routed and put to flight by
superior strategy. And her ears are open, too: she hears every "How
sweet!" and "Oh, lovely!" and "Ain't she pale!" from the latitude of
the last pew to the very glacis of the altar of God.

While she has thus made her progress up the hymeneal chute, the
bridegroom and his best man have emerged from the vestryroom and begun
the short march to the prie-dieu. They walk haltingly, clumsily,
uncertainly, stealing occasional glances at the advancing bridal party.
The bridegroom feels of his lower right-hand waistcoat pocket; the ring
is still there. The best man wriggles his cuffs. No one, however, pays
any heed to them. They are not even seen, indeed, until the bride and
her father reach the open space in front of the altar. There the bride
and the bridegroom find themselves standing side by side, but not a word
is exchanged between them, nor even a look of recognition. They stand
motionless, contemplating the ornate cushion at their feet, until the
bride's father and the bridesmaids file to the left of the bride and the
ushers, now wholly disorganized and imbecile, drape themselves in an
irregular file along the altar rail. Then, the music having died down to
a faint murmur and a hush having fallen upon the assemblage, they look
up.

Before them, framed by foliage, stands the reverend gentleman of God who
will presently link them in indissoluble chains--the estimable rector
of the parish. He has got there just in time; it was, indeed, a close
shave. But no trace of haste or of anything else of a disturbing
character is now visible upon his smooth, glistening, somewhat feverish
face. That face is wholly occupied by his official smile, a thing of oil
and honey all compact, a balmy, unctuous illumination--the secret of his
success in life. Slowly his cheeks puff out, gleaming like soap-bubbles.
Slowly he lifts his prayer-book from the prie-dieu and holds it
droopingly. Slowly his soft caressing eyes engage it. There is an almost
imperceptible stiffening of his frame. His mouth opens with a faint
click. He begins to read.

The Ceremony of Marriage has begun._



_IV.--THE VISIONARY_

_IV.--The Visionary_


"Yes," said Cheops, helping his guest over a ticklish place, "I daresay
this pile of rocks will last. It has cost me a pretty penny, believe me.
I made up my mind at the start that it would be built of honest stone,
or not at all. No cheap and shoddy brickwork for _me_! Look at Babylon.
It's all brick, and it's always tumbling down. My ambassador there tells
me that it costs a million a year to keep up the walls alone--mind you,
the walls alone! What must it cost to keep up the palace, with all that
fancy work!

"Yes, I grant you that brickwork _looks_ good. But what of it? So does a
cheap cotton night-shirt--you know the gaudy things those Theban
peddlers sell to my sand-hogs down on the river bank. But does it
_last_? Of course it doesn't. Well, I am putting up this pyramid to
_stay_ put, and I don't give a damn for its looks. I hear all sorts of
funny cracks about it. My barber is a sharp nigger and keeps his ears
open: he brings me all the gossip. But I let it go. This is _my_
pyramid. I am putting up the money for it, and I have got to be mortared
up in it when I die. So I am trying to make a good, substantial job of
it, and letting the mere beauty of it go hang.

"Anyhow, there are plenty of uglier things in Egypt. Look at some of
those fifth-rate pyramids up the river. When it comes to shape they are
pretty much the same as this one, and when it comes to size, they look
like warts beside it. And look at the Sphinx. There is something that
cost four millions if it cost a copper--and what is it now? A burlesque!
A caricature! An architectural cripple! So long as it was _new_, good
enough! It was a showy piece of work. People came all the way from
Sicyonia and Tyre to gape at it. Everybody said it was one of the sights
no one could afford to miss. But by and by a piece began to peel off
here and another piece there, and then the nose cracked, and then an ear
dropped off, and then one of the eyes began to get mushy and watery
looking, and finally it was a mere smudge, a false-face, a scarecrow. My
father spent a lot of money trying to fix it up, but what good did it
do? By the time he had the nose cobbled the ears were loose again, and
so on. In the end he gave it up as a bad job.

"Yes; this pyramid has kept me on the jump, but I'm going to stick to it
if it breaks me. Some say I ought to have built it across the river,
where the quarries are. Such gabble makes me sick. Do I look like a man
who would go looking around for such _child's-play_? I hope not. A
one-legged man could have done _that_. Even a Babylonian could have done
it. It would have been as easy as milking a cow. What _I_ wanted was
something that would keep me on the jump--something that would put a
strain on me. So I decided to haul the whole business _across_ the
river--six million tons of rock. And when the engineers said that it
couldn't be done, I gave them two days to get out of Egypt, and then
tackled it myself. It was something new and hard. It was a job I could
get my teeth into.

"Well, I suppose you know what a time I had of it at the start. First I
tried a pontoon bridge, but the stones for the bottom course were so
heavy that they sank the pontoons, and I lost a couple of hundred
niggers before I saw that it couldn't be done. Then I tried a big raft,
but in order to get her to float with the stones I had to use such big
logs that she was unwieldy, and before I knew what had struck me I had
lost six big dressed stones and another hundred niggers. I got the
laugh, of course. Every numskull in Egypt wagged his beard over it; I
could hear the chatter myself. But I kept quiet and stuck to the
problem, and by and by I solved it.

"I suppose you know how I did it. In a general way? Well, the details
are simple. First I made a new raft, a good deal lighter than the old
one, and then I got a thousand water-tight goat-skins and had them blown
up until they were as tight as drums. Then I got together a thousand
niggers who were good swimmers, and gave each of them one of the
blown-up goat-skins. On each goat-skin there was a leather thong, and on
the bottom of the raft, spread over it evenly, there were a thousand
hooks. Do you get the idea? Yes; that's it exactly. The niggers dived
overboard with the goat-skins, swam under the raft, and tied the thongs
to the hooks. And when all of them were tied on, the raft floated like a
bladder. You simply _couldn't_ sink it.

"Naturally enough, the thing took time, and there were accidents and
setbacks. For instance, some of the niggers were so light in weight that
they couldn't hold their goat-skins under water long enough to get them
under the raft. I had to weight those fellows by having rocks tied
around their middles. And when they had fastened their goat-skins and
tried to swim back, some of them were carried down by the rocks. I never
made any exact count, but I suppose that two or three hundred of them
were drowned in that way. Besides, a couple of hundred were drowned
because they couldn't hold their breaths long enough to swim under the
raft and back. But what of it? I wasn't trying to hoard up niggers, but
to make a raft that would float. And I did it.

"Well, once I showed how it could be done, all the wiseacres caught the
idea, and after that I put a big gang to work making more rafts, and by
and by I had sixteen of them in operation, and was hauling more stone
than the masons could set. But I won't go into all that. Here is the
pyramid; it speaks for itself. One year more and I'll have the top
course laid and begin on the surfacing. I am going to make it plain
marble, with no fancy work. I could bring in a gang of Theban
stonecutters and have it carved all over with lions' heads and tiger
claws and all that sort of gim-crackery, but why waste time and money?
This isn't a menagerie, but a pyramid. My idea was to make it the boss
pyramid of the world. The king who tries to beat it will have to get up
pretty early in the morning.

"But what troubles I have had! Believe me, there has been nothing but
trouble, trouble, trouble from the start. I set aside the engineering
difficulties. They were hard for the engineers, but easy for me, once I
put my mind on them. But the way these niggers have carried on has been
something terrible. At the beginning I had only a thousand or two, and
they all came from one tribe; so they got along fairly well. During the
whole first year I doubt that more than twenty or thirty were killed in
fights. But then I began to get fresh batches from up the river, and
after that it was nothing but one fight after another. For two weeks
running not a stroke of work was done. I really thought, at one time,
that I'd have to give up. But finally the army put down the row, and
after a couple of hundred of the ringleaders had been thrown into the
river peace was restored. But it cost me, first and last, fully three
thousand niggers, and set me back at least six months.

"Then came the so-called labor unions, and the strikes, and more
trouble. These labor unions were started by a couple of smart, yellow
niggers from Chaldea, one of them a sort of lay preacher, a fellow with
a lot of gab. Before I got wind of them, they had gone so far it was
almost impossible to squelch them. First I tried conciliation, but it
didn't work a bit. They made the craziest demands you ever heard of--a
holiday every six days, meat every day, no night work and regular houses
to live in. Some of them even had the effrontery to ask for money! Think
of it! Niggers asking for money! Finally, I had to order out the army
again and let some blood. But every time one was knocked over, I had to
get another one to take his place, and that meant sending the army up
the river, and more expense, and more devilish worry and nuisance.

"In my grandfather's time niggers were honest and faithful workmen. You
could take one fresh from the bush, teach him to handle a shovel or pull
a rope in a year or so, and after that he was worth almost as much as he
could eat. But the nigger of to-day isn't worth a damn. He never does an
honest day's work if he can help it, and he is forever wanting
something. Take these fellows I have now--mainly young bucks from around
the First Cataract. Here are niggers who never saw baker's bread or
butcher's meat until my men grabbed them. They lived there in the bush
like so many hyenas. They were ten days' march from a lemon. Well, now
they get first-class beef twice a week, good bread and all the fish they
can catch. They don't have to begin work until broad daylight, and they
lay off at dark. There is hardly one of them that hasn't got a psaltery,
or a harp, or some other musical instrument. If they want to dress up
and make believe they are Egyptians, I give them clothes. If one of them
is killed on the work, or by a stray lion, or in a fight, I have him
embalmed by my own embalmers and plant him like a man. If one of them
breaks a leg or loses an arm or gets too old to work, I turn him loose
without complaining, and he is free to go home if he wants to.

"But are they contented? Do they show any gratitude? Not at all.
Scarcely a day passes that I don't hear of some fresh soldiering. And,
what is worse, they have stirred up some of my own people--the
carpenters, stone-cutters, gang bosses and so on. Every now and then my
inspectors find some rotten libel cut on a stone--something to the
effect that I am overworking them, and knocking them about, and holding
them against their will, and generally mistreating them. I haven't the
slightest doubt that some of these inscriptions have actually gone into
the pyramid: it's impossible to watch every stone. Well, in the years to
come, they will be dug out and read by strangers, and I will get a black
eye. People will think of Cheops as a heartless old rapscallion--_me_,
mind you! Can you beat it?"



_V.--THE ARTIST_

_V.--The Artist. A Drama Without Words_


CHARACTERS:

  A GREAT PIANIST
  A JANITOR
  SIX MUSICAL CRITICS
  A MARRIED WOMAN
  A VIRGIN
  SIXTEEN HUNDRED AND FORTY-THREE OTHER WOMEN
  SIX OTHER MEN


PLACE--_A City of the United States._

TIME--_A December afternoon._

(_During the action of the play not a word is uttered aloud. All of the
speeches of the characters are supposed to be unspoken meditations
only._)

_A large, gloomy hall, with many rows of uncushioned, uncomfortable
seats, designed, it would seem, by some one misinformed as to the
average width of the normal human pelvis. A number of busts of
celebrated composers, once white, but now a dirty gray, stand in niches
along the walls. At one end of the hall there is a bare, uncarpeted
stage, with nothing on it save a grand piano and a chair. It is raining
outside, and, as hundreds of people come crowding in, the air is laden
with the mingled scents of umbrellas, raincoats, goloshes, cosmetics,
perfumery and wet hair._

_At eight minutes past four,_ THE JANITOR, _after smoothing his hair
with his hands and putting on a pair of detachable cuffs, emerges from
the wings and crosses the stage, his shoes squeaking hideously at each
step. Arriving at the piano, he opens it with solemn slowness. The job
seems so absurdly trivial, even to so mean an understanding, that he
can't refrain from glorifying it with a bit of hocus-pocus. This takes
the form of a careful adjustment of a mysterious something within the
instrument. He reaches in, pauses a moment as if in doubt, reaches in
again, and then permits a faint smile of conscious sapience and
efficiency to illuminate his face. All of this accomplished, he tiptoes
back to the wings, his shoes again squeaking._


THE JANITOR

Now all of them people think I'm the professor's tuner. (_The thought
gives him such delight that, for the moment, his brain is numbed. Then
he proceeds._) I guess them tuners make pretty good money. I wish I
could get the hang of the trick. It _looks_ easy. (_By this time he has
disappeared in the wings and the stage is again a desert. Two or three
women, far back in the hall, start a halfhearted handclapping. It dies
out at once. The noise of rustling programs and shuffling feet succeeds
it._)


FOUR HUNDRED OF THE WOMEN

Oh, I do _certainly_ hope he plays that lovely _Valse Poupée_ as an
encore! They say he does it better than Bloomfield-Zeisler.


ONE OF THE CRITICS

I hope the animal doesn't pull any encore numbers that I don't
recognize. All of these people will buy the paper to-morrow morning just
to find out what they have heard. It's infernally embarrassing to have
to ask the manager. The public expects a musical critic to be a sort of
walking thematic catalogue. The public is an ass.


THE SIX OTHER MEN

Oh, Lord! What a way to spend an afternoon!


A HUNDRED OF THE WOMEN

I wonder if he's as handsome as Paderewski.


ANOTHER HUNDRED OF THE WOMEN

I wonder if he's as gentlemanly as Josef Hofmann.


STILL ANOTHER HUNDRED WOMEN

I wonder if he's as fascinating as De Pachmann.


YET OTHER HUNDREDS

I wonder if he has dark eyes. You never can tell by those awful
photographs in the newspapers.


HALF A DOZEN WOMEN

I wonder if he can really play the piano.


THE CRITIC AFORESAID

What a hell of a wait! These rotten piano-thumping immigrants deserve a
hard call-down. But what's the use? The piano manufacturers bring them
over here to wallop their pianos--and the piano manufacturers are not
afraid to advertise. If you knock them too hard you have a nasty
business-office row on your hands.


ONE OF THE MEN

If they allowed smoking, it wouldn't be so bad.


ANOTHER MAN

I wonder if that woman across the aisle----

(THE GREAT PIANIST _bounces upon the stage so suddenly that he is bowing
in the center before any one thinks to applaud. He makes three stiff
bows. At the second the applause begins, swelling at once to a roar. He
steps up to the piano, bows three times more, and then sits down. He
hunches his shoulders, reaches for the pedals with his feet, spreads out
his hands and waits for the clapper-clawing to cease. He is an
undersized, paunchy East German, with hair the color of wet hay, and an
extremely pallid complexion. Talcum powder hides the fact that his nose
is shiny and somewhat pink. His eyebrows are carefully penciled and
there are artificial shadows under his eyes. His face is absolutely
expressionless._)


THE VIRGIN

Oh!


THE MARRIED WOMEN

Oh!


THE OTHER WOMEN

Oh! How dreadfully handsome!


THE VIRGIN

Oh, such eyes, such depth! How he must have suffered! I'd like to hear
him play the Prélude in D flat major. It would drive you crazy!


A HUNDRED OTHER WOMEN

I certainly _do_ hope he plays some Schumann.


OTHER WOMEN

What beautiful hands! I could kiss them!

(THE GREAT PIANIST, _throwing back his head, strikes the massive opening
chords of a Beethoven sonata. There is a sudden hush and each note is
heard clearly. The tempo of the first movement, which begins after a
grand pause, is_ allegro con brio, _and the first subject is given out
in a sparkling cascade of sound. But, despite the buoyancy of the music,
there is an unmistakable undercurrent of melancholy in the playing. The
audience doesn't fail to notice it._)


THE VIRGIN

Oh, perfect! I could love him! Paderewski played it like a fox trot.
What poetry _he_ puts into it! I can see a soldier lover marching off to
war.


ONE OF THE CRITICS

The ass is dragging it. Doesn't _con brio_ mean--well, what the devil
_does_ it mean? I forget. I must look it up before I write the notice.
Somehow, _brio_ suggests cheese. Anyhow, Pachmann plays it a damn sight
faster. It's safe to say _that_, at all events.


THE MARRIED WOMAN

Oh, I could listen to that sonata all day! The poetry he puts into
it--even into the _allegro_! Just think what the _andante_ will be! I
like music to be sad.


ANOTHER WOMAN

What a sob he gets into it!


MANY OTHER WOMEN

How exquisite!


THE GREAT PIANIST

(_Gathering himself together for the difficult development section._)
That American beer will be the death of me! I wonder what they put in it
to give it its gassy taste. And the so-called German beer they sell over
here--_du heiliger Herr Jesu!_ Even Bremen would be ashamed of it. In
München the police would take a hand.

(_Aiming for the first and second C's above the staff, he accidentally
strikes the C sharps instead and has to transpose three measures to get
back into the key. The effect is harrowing, and he gives his audience a
swift glance of apprehension._)


TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY WOMEN

What new beauties he gets out of it!


A MAN

He can tickle the ivories, all right, all right!


A CRITIC

Well, at any rate, he doesn't try to imitate Paderewski.


THE GREAT PIANIST

(_Relieved by the non-appearance of the hisses he expected._) Well, it's
lucky for me that I'm not in Leipzig to-day! But in Leipzig an artist
runs no risks: the beer is pure. The authorities see to that. The worse
enemy of technic is biliousness, and biliousness is sure to follow bad
beer. (_He gets to the_ coda _at last and takes it at a somewhat
livelier pace._)


THE VIRGIN

How I envy the woman he loves! How it would thrill me to feel his arms
about me--to be drawn closer, closer, closer! I would give up the whole
world! What are conventions, prejudices, legal forms, morality, after
all? Vanities! Love is beyond and above them all--and art is love! I
think I must be a pagan.


THE GREAT PIANIST

And the herring! Good God, what herring! These barbarous Americans----


THE VIRGIN

Really, I am quite indecent! I should blush, I suppose. But love is
never ashamed--How people misunderstand me!


THE MARRIED WOMAN

I wonder if he's faithful. The chances are against it. I never heard of
a man who was. (_An agreeable melancholy overcomes her and she gives
herself up to the mood without thought._)


THE GREAT PIANIST

I wonder whatever became of that girl in Dresden. Every time I think of
her, she suggests pleasant thoughts--good beer, a fine band,
_Gemütlichkeit_. I must have been in love with her--not much, of course,
but just enough to make things pleasant. And not a single letter from
her! I suppose she thinks I'm starving to death over here--or tuning
pianos. Well, when I get back with the money there'll be a shock for
her. A shock--but not a _Pfennig_!


THE MARRIED WOMAN

(_Her emotional coma ended._) Still, you can hardly blame him. There
must be a good deal of temptation for a great artist. All of these
frumps here would----


THE VIRGIN

Ah, how dolorous, how exquisite is love! How small the world would seem
if----


THE MARRIED WOMAN

Of course you could hardly call such old scarecrows temptations. But
still----


(THE GREAT PIANIST _comes to the last measure of the_ coda--_a passage
of almost Haydnesque clarity and spirit. As he strikes the broad chord
of the tonic there comes a roar of applause. He arises, moves a step or
two down the stage, and makes a series of low bows, his hands to his
heart._)


THE GREAT PIANIST

(_Bowing._) I wonder why the American women always wear raincoats to
piano recitals. Even when the sun is shining brightly, one sees hundreds
of them. What a disagreeable smell they give to the hall. (_More
applause and more bows._) An American audience always smells of rubber
and lilies-of-the-valley. How different in London! There an audience
always smells of soap. In Paris it reminds you of sachet bags--and
_lingerie_.

(_The applause ceases and he returns to the piano._)

And now comes that _verfluchte adagio_.

(_As he begins to play, a deathlike silence falls upon the hall._)


ONE OF THE CRITICS

What rotten pedaling!


ANOTHER CRITIC

A touch like a xylophone player, but he knows how to use his feet. That
suggests a good line for the notice--"he plays better with his feet than
with his hands," or something like that. I'll have to think it over and
polish it up.


ONE OF THE OTHER MEN

Now comes some more of that awful classical stuff.


THE VIRGIN

Suppose he can't speak English? But that wouldn't matter. Nothing
matters. Love is beyond and above----


SIX HUNDRED WOMEN

Oh, how beautiful!


THE MARRIED WOMAN

Perfect!


THE DEAN OF THE CRITICS

(_Sinking quickly into the slumber which always overtakes him during
the_ adagio.) C-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h!


THE YOUNGEST CRITIC

There is that old fraud asleep again. And to-morrow he'll print half a
column of vapid reminiscence and call it criticism. It's a wonder his
paper stands for him. Because he once heard Liszt, he....


THE GREAT PIANIST

That plump girl over there on the left is not so bad. As for the rest, I
beg to be excused. The American women have no more shape than so many
matches. They are too tall and too thin. I like a nice rubbery
armful--like that Dresden girl. Or that harpist in Moscow--the girl with
the Pilsner hair. Let me see, what was her name? Oh, Fritzi, to be
sure--but her last name? Schmidt? Kraus? Meyer? I'll have to try to
think of it, and send her a postcard.


THE MARRIED WOMAN

What delicious flutelike tones!


ONE OF THE WOMEN

If Beethoven could only be here to hear it! He would cry for very joy!
Maybe he _does_ hear it. Who knows? I believe he does. I am _sure_ he
does.

(THE GREAT PIANIST _reaches the end of the_ adagio, _and there is
another burst of applause, which awakens_ THE DEAN OF THE CRITICS.)


THE DEAN OF THE CRITICS

Oh, piffle! Compared to Gottschalk, the man is an amateur. Let him go
back to the conservatory for a couple of years.


ONE OF THE MEN

(_Looking at his program._) Next comes the _shirt-so_. I hope it has
some tune in it.


THE VIRGIN

The _adagio_ is love's agony, but the _scherzo_ is love triumphant. What
beautiful eyes he has! And how pale he is!


THE GREAT PIANIST

(_Resuming his grim toil._) Well, there's half of it over. But this
_scherzo_ is ticklish business. That horrible evening in Prague--will I
ever forget it? Those hisses--and the papers next day!


ONE OF THE MEN

Go it, professor! That's the best you've done yet!


ONE OF THE CRITICS

Too fast!


ANOTHER CRITIC

Too slow!


A YOUNG GIRL

My, but ain't the professor just full of talent!


THE GREAT PIANIST

Well, so far no accident. (_He negotiates a difficult passage, and plays
it triumphantly, but at some expenditure of cold perspiration._) What a
way for a man to make a living!


THE VIRGIN

What passion he puts into it! His soul is in his finger-tips.


A CRITIC

A human pianola!


THE GREAT PIANIST

This _scherzo_ always fetches the women. I can hear them draw long
breaths. That plump girl is getting pale. Well, why shouldn't she? I
suppose I'm about the best pianist she has ever heard--or ever _will_
hear. What people can see in that Hambourg fellow I never could imagine.
In Chopin, Schumann, Grieg, you might fairly say he's pretty good. But
it takes an _artist_ to play Beethoven. (_He rattles on to the end of
the_ scherzo _and there is more applause. Then he dashes into the_
finale.)


THE DEAN OF THE CRITICS

Too loud! Too loud! It sounds like an ash-cart going down an alley. But
what can you expect? Piano-playing is a lost art. Paderewski ruined it.


THE GREAT PIANIST

I ought to clear 200,000 marks by this tournee. If it weren't for those
thieving agents and hotelkeepers, I'd make 300,000. Just think of
it--twenty-four marks a day for a room! That's the way these Americans
treat a visiting artist! The country is worse than Bulgaria. I was
treated better at Bucharest. Well, it won't last forever. As soon as I
get enough of their money they'll see me no more. Vienna is the place to
settle down. A nice studio at fifty marks a month--and the life of a
gentleman. What was the name of that little red-cheeked girl at the café
in the Franzjosefstrasse--that girl with the gold tooth and the silk
stockings? I'll have to look her up.


THE VIRGIN

What an artist! What a master! What a----


THE MARRIED WOMAN

Has he really suffered, or is it just intuition?


THE GREAT PIANIST

No, marriage is a waste of money. Let the other fellow marry her. (_He
approaches the closing measures of the finale._) And now for a breathing
spell and a swallow of beer. American beer! Bah! But it's better than
nothing. The Americans drink water. Cattle! Animals! _Ach, München, wie
bist du so schön!_

(_As he concludes there is a whirlwind of applause and he is forced to
bow again and again. Finally, he is permitted to retire, and the
audience prepares to spend the short intermission in whispering,
grunting, wriggling, scraping its feet, rustling its programs and gaping
at hats. The_ SIX MUSICAL CRITICS _and_ SIX OTHER MEN, _their lips
parched and their eyes staring, gallop for the door. As_ THE GREAT
PIANIST _comes from the stage_, THE JANITOR _meets him with a large
seidel of beer. He seizes it eagerly and downs it at a gulp._)


THE JANITOR

My, but them professors can put the stuff away!



_VI.--SEEING THE WORLD_

_VI.--Seeing The World_


_The scene is the brow of the Hungerberg at Innsbruck. It is the half
hour before sunset, and the whole lovely valley of the Inn_--still wie
die Nacht, tief wie das Meer--_begins to glow with mauves and apple
greens, apricots and silvery blues. Along the peaks of the great snowy
mountains which shut it in, as if from the folly and misery of the
world, there are touches of piercing primary colours--red, yellow,
violet. Far below, hugging the winding river, lies little Innsbruck,
with its checkerboard parks and Christmas garden villas. A battalion of
Austrian soldiers, drilling in the Exerzierplatz, appears as an army of
grey ants, now barely visible. Somewhere to the left, beyond the broad
flank of the Hungerberg, the night train for Venice labours toward the
town.

It is a superbly beautiful scene, perhaps the most beautiful in all
Europe. It has colour, dignity, repose. The Alps here come down a bit
and so increase their spell. They are not the harsh precipices of
Switzerland, nor the too charming stage mountains of the Trentino, but
rotting billows of clouds and snow, the high flung waves of some titanic
but stricken ocean. Now and then comes a faint clank of metal from the
funicular railway, but the tracks themselves are hidden among the trees
of the lower slopes. The tinkle of an angelus bell (or maybe it is only
a sheep bell) is heard from afar. A great bird, an eagle or a falcon,
sweeps across the crystal spaces.

Here where we are is a shelf on the mountainside, and the hand of man
has converted it into a terrace. To the rear, clinging to the mountain,
is an Alpine_ gasthaus--_a bit overdone, perhaps, with its red-framed
windows and elaborate fretwork, but still genuinely of the Alps. Along
the front of the terrace, protecting sightseers from the sheer drop of a
thousand feet, is a stout wooden rail.

A man in an American sack suit, with a bowler hat on his head, lounges
against this rail. His elbows rest upon it, his legs are crossed in the
fashion of a figure four, and his face is buried in the red book of Herr
Baedeker. It is the volume on Southern Germany, and he is reading the
list of Munich hotels. Now and then he stops to mark one with a pencil,
which he wets at his lips each time. While he is thus engaged, another
man comes ambling along the terrace, apparently from the direction of
the funicular railway station. He, too, carries a red book. It is
Baedeker on Austria-Hungary. After gaping around him a bit, this second
man approaches the rail near the other and leans his elbows upon it.
Presently he takes a package of chewing gum from his coat pocket,
selects two pieces, puts them into his mouth and begins to chew. Then he
spits idly into space, idly but homerically, a truly stupendous
expectoration, a staggering discharge from the Alps to the first shelf
of the Lombard plain! The first man, startled by the report, glances up.
Their eyes meet and there is a vague glimmer of recognition._


THE FIRST MAN

American?


THE SECOND MAN

Yes; St. Louis.


THE FIRST MAN

Been over long?


THE SECOND MAN

A couple of months.


THE FIRST MAN

What ship'd you come over in?


THE SECOND MAN

The _Kronprinz Friedrich_.


THE FIRST MAN

Aha, the German line! I guess you found the grub all right.


THE SECOND MAN

Oh, in the main. I have eaten better, but then again, I have eaten
worse.


THE FIRST MAN

Well, they charge you enough for it, whether you get it or not. A man
could live at the Plaza cheaper.


THE SECOND MAN

I should _say_ he could. What boat did _you_ come over in?


THE FIRST MAN

The _Maurentic_.


THE SECOND MAN

How is she?


THE FIRST MAN

Oh, so-so.


THE SECOND MAN

I hear the meals on those English ships are nothing to what they used to
be.


THE FIRST MAN

That's what everybody tells me. But, as for me, I can't say I found them
so bad. I had to send back the potatoes twice and the breakfast bacon
once, but they had very good lima beans.


THE SECOND MAN

Isn't that English bacon awful stuff to get down?


THE FIRST MAN

It certainly is: all meat and gristle. I wonder what an Englishman would
say if you put him next to a plate of genuine, crisp, _American_ bacon.


THE SECOND MAN

I guess he would yell for the police--or choke to death.


THE FIRST MAN

Did you like the German cooking on the _Kronprinz_?


THE SECOND MAN

Well, I did and I didn't. The chicken à la Maryland was very good, but
they had it only once. I could eat it every day.


THE FIRST MAN

Why didn't you order it?


THE SECOND MAN

It wasn't on the bill.


THE FIRST MAN

Oh, bill be damned! You might have ordered it anyhow. Make a fuss and
you'll get what you want. These foreigners have to be bossed around.
They're used to it.


THE SECOND MAN

I guess you're right. There was a fellow near me who set up a holler
about his room the minute he saw it--said it was dark and musty and not
fit to pen a hog in--and they gave him one twice as large, and the chief
steward bowed and scraped to him, and the room stewards danced around
him as if he was a duke. And yet I heard later that he was nothing but a
Bismarck herring importer from Hoboken.


THE FIRST MAN

Yes, that's the way to get what you want. Did you have any nobility on
board?


THE SECOND MAN

Yes, there was a Hungarian baron in the automobile business, and two
English sirs. The baron was quite a decent fellow: I had a talk with him
in the smoking room one night. He didn't put on any airs at all. You
would have thought he was an ordinary man. But the sirs kept to
themselves. All they did the whole voyage was to write letters, wear
their dress suits and curse the stewards.


THE FIRST MAN

They tell me over here that the best eating is on the French lines.


THE SECOND MAN

Yes, so I hear. But some say, too, that the Scandinavian lines are best,
and then again I have heard people boosting the Italian lines.


THE FIRST MAN

I guess each one has its points. They say that you get wine free with
meals on the French boats.


THE SECOND MAN

But I hear it's fourth-rate wine.


THE FIRST MAN

Well, you don't have to drink it.


THE SECOND MAN

That's so. But, as for me, I can't stand a Frenchman. I'd rather do
without the wine and travel with the Dutch. Paris is dead compared with
Berlin.


THE FIRST MAN

So it is. But those Germans are awful sharks. The way they charge in
Berlin is enough to make you sick.


THE SECOND MAN

Don't tell _me_. I have been there. No longer ago than last Tuesday--or
was it last Monday?--I went into one of those big restaurants on the
Unter den Linden and ordered a small steak, French fried potatoes, a
piece of pie and a cup of coffee--and what do you think those thieves
charged me for it? Three marks fifty. That's eighty-seven and a half
cents. Why, a man could have got the same meal at home for a dollar.
These Germans are running wild. American money has gone to their heads.
They think every American they get hold of is a millionaire.


THE FIRST MAN

The French are worse. I went into a hotel in Paris and paid ten francs a
day for a room for myself and wife, and when we left they charged me one
franc forty a day extra for sweeping it out and making the bed!


THE SECOND MAN

That's nothing. Here in Innsbruck they charge you half a krone a day
_taxes_.


THE FIRST MAN

What! You don't say!


THE SECOND MAN

Sure thing. And if you don't eat breakfast in the hotel they charge you
a krone for it anyhow.


THE FIRST MAN

Well, well, what next? But, after all, you can't blame them. We
Americans come over here and hand them our pocket-books, and we ought to
be glad if we get anything back at all. The way a man has to tip is
something fearful.


THE SECOND MAN

Isn't it, though! I stayed in Dresden a week, and when I left there were
six grafters lined up with their claws out. First came the port_eer_.
Then came----


THE FIRST MAN

How much did you give the port_eer_?


THE SECOND MAN

Five marks.


THE FIRST MAN

You gave him too much. You ought to have given him about three marks,
or, say, two marks fifty. How much was your hotel bill?


THE SECOND MAN

Including everything?


THE FIRST MAN

No, just your bill for your room.


THE SECOND MAN

I paid six marks a day.


THE FIRST MAN

Well, that made forty-two marks for the week. Now the way to figure out
how much the port_eer_ ought to get is easy: a fellow I met in
Baden-Baden showed me how to do it. First, you multiply your hotel bill
by two, then you divide it by twenty-seven, and then you knock off half
a mark. Twice forty-two is eighty-four. Twenty-seven into eighty-four
goes about three times, and half from three leaves two and a half. See
how easy it is?


THE SECOND MAN

It _looks_ easy, anyhow. But you haven't got much time to do all that
figuring.


THE FIRST MAN

Well, let the port_eer_ wait. The longer he has to wait the more he
appreciates you.


THE SECOND MAN

But how about the others?


THE FIRST MAN

It's just as simple. Your chambermaid gets a quarter of a mark for every
day you have been in the hotel. But if you stay less than four days she
gets a whole mark anyhow. If there are two in the party she gets half a
mark a day, but no more than three marks in any one week.


THE SECOND MAN

But suppose there are two chambermaids? In Dresden there was one on day
duty and one on night duty. I left at six o'clock in the evening, and so
they were both on the job.


THE FIRST MAN

Don't worry. They'd have been on the job anyhow, no matter when you
left. But it's just as easy to figure out the tip for two as for one.
All you have to do is to add fifty per cent. and then divide it into two
halves, and give one to each girl. Or, better still, give it all to one
girl and tell her to give half to her pal. If there are three
chambermaids, as you sometimes find in the swell hotels, you add another
fifty per cent. and then divide by three. And so on.


THE SECOND MAN

I see. But how about the hall porter and the floor waiter?


THE FIRST MAN

Just as easy. The hall porter gets whatever the chambermaid gets, plus
twenty-five per cent.--but no more than two marks in any one week. The
floor waiter gets thirty pfennigs a day straight, but if you stay only
one day he gets half a mark, and if you stay more than a week he gets
two marks flat a week after the first week. In some hotels the hall
porter don't shine shoes. If he don't he gets just as much as if he
does, but then the actual "boots" has to be taken care of. He gets half
a mark every two days. Every time you put out an extra pair of shoes he
gets fifty per cent. more for that day. If you shine your own shoes, or
go without shining them, the "boots" gets half his regular tip, but
never less than a mark a week.


THE SECOND MAN

Certainly it seems simple enough. I never knew there was any such
system.


THE FIRST MAN

I guess you didn't. Very few do. But it's just because Americans don't
know it that these foreign blackmailers shake 'em down. Once you let the
port_eer_ see that you know the ropes, he'll pass the word on to the
others, and you'll be treated like a native.


THE SECOND MAN

I see. But how about the elevator boy? I gave the elevator boy in
Dresden two marks and he almost fell on my neck, so I figured that I
played the sucker.


THE FIRST MAN

So you did. The rule for elevator boys is still somewhat in the air,
because so few of these bum hotels over here have elevators, but you can
sort of reason the thing out if you put your mind on it. When you get on
a street car in Germany, what tip do you give the conductor?


THE SECOND MAN

Five pfennigs.


THE FIRST MAN.

Naturally. That's the tip fixed by custom. You may almost say it's the
unwritten law. If you gave the conductor more, he would hand you change.
Well, how I reason it out is this way: If five pfennigs is enough for a
car conductor, who may carry you three miles, why shouldn't it be enough
for the elevator boy, who may carry you only three stories?


THE SECOND MAN

It seems fair, certainly.


THE FIRST MAN

And it _is_ fair. So all you have to do is to keep account of the number
of times you go up and down in the elevator, and then give the elevator
boy five pfennigs for each trip. Say you come down in the morning, go up
in the evening, and average one other round trip a day. That makes
twenty-eight trips a week. Five times twenty-eight is one mark
forty--and there you are.


THE SECOND MAN

I see. By the way, what hotel are you stopping at?


THE FIRST MAN

The Goldene Esel.


THE SECOND MAN

How is it?


THE FIRST MAN

Oh, so-so. Ask for oatmeal at breakfast and they send to the livery
stable for a peck of oats and ask you please to be so kind as to show
them how to make it.


THE SECOND MAN

My hotel is even worse. Last night I got into such a sweat under the big
German feather bed that I had to throw it off. But when I asked for a
single blanket they didn't have any, so I had to wrap up in bath towels.


THE FIRST MAN

Yes, and you used up every one in town. This morning, when I took a
bath, the only towel the chambermaid could find wasn't bigger than a
wedding invitation. But while she was hunting around I dried off, so no
harm was done.


THE SECOND MAN

Well, that's what a man gets for running around in such one-horse
countries. In Leipzig they sat a nigger down beside me at the table. In
Amsterdam they had cheese for breakfast. In Munich the head waiter had
never heard of buckwheat cakes. In Mannheim they charged me ten pfennigs
extra for a cake of soap.


THE FIRST MAN

What do you think of the railroad trains over here?


THE SECOND MAN

Rotten. That compartment system is all wrong. If nobody comes into your
compartment it's lonesome, and if anybody _does_ come in it's too damn
sociable. And if you try to stretch out and get some sleep, some ruffian
begins singing in the next compartment, or the conductor keeps butting
in and jabbering at you.


THE FIRST MAN

But you can say _one_ thing for the German trains: they get in on time.


THE SECOND MAN

So they do, but no wonder! They run so slow they can't _help_ it. The
way I figure it, a German engineer must have a devil of a time holding
his engine in. The fact is, he usually can't, and so he has to wait
outside every big town until the schedule catches up to him. They say
they never have accidents, but is it any more than you expect? Did you
ever hear of a mud turtle having an accident?


THE FIRST MAN

Scarcely. As you say, these countries are far behind the times. I saw a
fire in Cologne; you would have laughed your head off! It was in a feed
store near my hotel, and I got there before the firemen. When they came
at last, in their tinpot hats, they got out half a dozen big squirts and
rushed into the building with them. Then, when it was out, they put the
squirts back into their little express wagon and drove off. Not a line
of hose run out, not an engine puffing, not a gong heard, not a soul
letting out a whoop! It was more like a Sunday-school picnic than a
fire. I guess if these Dutch ever _did_ have a civilised blaze, it would
scare them to death. But they never have any.


THE SECOND MAN

Well, what can you expect? A country where all the charwomen are men and
all the garbage men are women!--

_For the moment the two have talked each other out, and so they lounge
upon the rail in silence and gaze out over the valley. Anon the
gumchewer spits. By now the sun has reached the skyline to the westward
and the tops of the ice mountains are in gorgeous conflagration.
Scarlets war with golden oranges, and vermilions fade into palpitating
pinks. Below, in the valley, the colours begin to fade slowly to a
uniform seashell grey. It is a scene of indescribable loveliness; the
wild reds of hades splashed riotously upon the cold whites and pale
blues of heaven. The night train for Venice, a long line of black
coaches, is entering the town. Somewhere below, apparently in the
barracks, a sunset gun is fired. After a silence of perhaps two or three
minutes, the Americans gather fresh inspiration and resume their
conversation._


THE FIRST MAN

I have seen worse scenery.


THE SECOND MAN

Very pretty.


THE FIRST MAN

Yes, sir; it's well worth the money.


THE SECOND MAN

But the Rockies beat it all hollow.


THE FIRST MAN

Oh, of course. They have nothing over here that we can't beat to a
whisper. Just consider the Rhine, for instance. The Hudson makes it look
like a country creek.


THE SECOND MAN

Yes, you're right. Take away the castles, and not even a German would
give a hoot for it. It's not so much what a thing _is_ over here as what
_reputation_ it's got. The whole thing is a matter of press-agenting.


THE FIRST MAN

I agree with you. There's the "beautiful, blue Danube." To me it looks
like a sewer. If _it's_ blue, then _I'm_ green. A man would hesitate to
drown himself in such a mud puddle.


THE SECOND MAN

But you hear the bands playing that waltz all your life, and so you
spend your good money to come over here to see the river. And when you
get back home you don't want to admit that you've been a sucker, so you
start touting it from hell to breakfast. And then some other fellow
comes over and does the same, and so on and so on.


THE FIRST MAN

Yes, it's all a matter of boosting. Day in and day out you hear about
Westminster Abbey. Every English book mentions it; it's in the
newspapers almost as much as Jane Addams or Caruso. Well, one day you
pack your grip, put on your hat and come over to have a look--and what
do you find? A one-horse church full of statues! And every statue crying
for sapolio! You expect to see something magnificent and enormous,
something to knock your eye out and send you down for the count. What
you do see is a second-rate graveyard under roof. And when you examine
into it, you find that two-thirds of the graves haven't even got dead
men in them! Whenever a prominent Englishman dies, they put up a statue
to him in Westminster Abbey--_no matter where he happens to be buried_!
I call that clever advertising. That's the way to get the crowd.


THE SECOND MAN

Yes, these foreigners know the game. They have made millions out of it
in Paris. Every time you go to see a musical comedy at home, the second
act is laid in Paris, and you see a whole stageful of girls wriggling
around, and a lot of old sports having the time of their lives. All your
life you hear that Paris is something rich and racy, something that
makes New York look like Roanoke, Virginia. Well, you fall for the
ballyho and come over to have your fling--and then you find that Paris
is largely bunk. I spent a whole week in Paris, trying to find something
really awful. I hired one of those Jew guides at five dollars a day and
told him to go the limit. I said to him: "Don't mind _me_. I am
twenty-one years old. Let me have the genuine goods." But the worst he
could show me wasn't half as bad as what I have seen in Chicago. Every
night I would say to that Jew: "Come on, now Mr. Cohen; let's get away
from these tinhorn shows. Lead me to the real stuff." Well, I believe
the fellow did his darndest, but he always fell down. I almost felt
sorry for him. In the end, when I paid him off, I said to him: "Save up
your money, my boy, and come over to the States. Let me know when you
land. I'll show you the sights for nothing. This Baracca Class
atmosphere is killing you."


THE FIRST MAN

And yet Paris is famous all over the world. No American ever came to
Europe without dropping off there to have a look. I once saw the Bal
Tabarin crowded with Sunday-school superintendents returning from
Jerusalem. And when the sucker gets home he goes around winking and
hinting, and so the fake grows. I often think the government ought to
take a hand. If the beer is inspected and guaranteed in Germany, why
shouldn't the shows be inspected and guaranteed in Paris?


THE SECOND MAN

I guess the trouble is that the Frenchmen themselves never go to their
own shows. They don't know what is going on. They see thousands of
Americans starting out every night from the Place de l'Opéra and coming
back in the morning all boozed up, and so they assume that everything is
up to the mark. You'll find the same thing in Washington. No
Washingtonian has ever been up to the top of the Washington monument.
Once the elevator in the monument was out of commission for two weeks,
and yet Washington knew nothing about it. When the news got into the
papers at last, it came from Macon, Georgia. Some honeymooner from down
there had written home about it, roasting the government.


THE FIRST MAN

Well, me for the good old U. S. A.! These Alps are all right, I
guess--but I can't say I like the coffee.


THE SECOND MAN

And it takes too long to get a letter from Jersey City.


THE FIRST MAN

Yes, that reminds me. Just before I started up here this afternoon my
wife got the _Ladies' Home Journal_ of the month before last. It had
been following us around for six weeks, from London to Paris, to Berlin,
to Munich, to Vienna, to a dozen other places. Now she's fixed for the
night. She won't let up until she's read every word--the advertisements
first. And she'll spend all day to-morrow sending off for things; new
collar hooks, breakfast foods, complexion soaps and all that sort of
junk. Are you married yourself?


THE SECOND MAN

No; not yet.


THE FIRST MAN

Well, then, you don't know how it is. But I guess you play poker.


THE SECOND MAN

Oh, to be sure.


THE FIRST MAN

Well, let's go down into the town and hunt up some quiet barroom and
have a civilised evening. This scenery gives me the creeps.


THE SECOND MAN

I'm with you. But where are we going to get any chips?


THE FIRST MAN

Don't worry. I carry a set with me. I made my wife put it in the bottom
of my trunk, along with a bottle of real whiskey and a couple of porous
plasters. A man can't be too careful when he's away from home----

_They start along the terrace toward the station of the funicular
railway. The sun has now disappeared behind the great barrier of ice and
the colours of the scene are fast softening. All the scarlets and
vermilions are gone; a luminous pink bathes the whole picture in its
fairy light. The night train for Venice, leaving the town, appears as a
long string of blinking lights. A chill breeze comes from the Alpine
vastness to westward. The deep silence of an Alpine night settles down.
The two Americans continue their talk until they are out of hearing. The
breeze interrupts and obfuscates their words, but now and then half a
sentence comes clearly._


THE SECOND MAN

Have you seen any American papers lately?


THE FIRST MAN

Nothing But the Paris _Herald_--if you call _that_ a paper.


THE SECOND MAN

How are the Giants making out?


THE FIRST MAN

... bad as usual ... rotten ... shake up ...


THE SECOND MAN

... John McGraw ...


THE FIRST MAN

... homesick ... give five dollars for ...


THE SECOND MAN

... whole continent without a single ...


THE FIRST MAN

... glad to get back ... damn tired ...


THE SECOND MAN.

... damn ...!


THE FIRST MAN.

... _damn_ ...!



_VII.--FROM THE MEMOIRS OF THE DEVIL_

_VII.--From the Memoirs of the Devil_


January 6.

And yet, and yet--is not all this contumely a part of my punishment? To
be reviled by the righteous as the author of all evil; worse still, to
be venerated by the wicked as the accomplice, nay, the instigator, of
their sins! A harsh, hard fate! But should I not rejoice that I have
been vouchsafed the strength to bear it, that the ultimate mercy is
mine? Should I not be full of calm, deep delight that I am blessed with
the resignation of the Psalmist (II Samuel XV, 26), the sublime grace of
the pious Hezekiah (II Kings XX, 19)? If Hezekiah could bear the cruel
visitation of his erring upon his sons, why should I, poor worm that I
am, repine?


January 8.

All afternoon I watched the damned filing in. With what horror that
spectacle must fill every right-thinking man! Sometimes I think that
the worst of all penalties of sin is this: that the sinful actually seem
to be glad of their sins (Psalms X, 4). I looked long and earnestly into
that endless procession of faces. In not one of them did I see any sign
of sorrow or repentance. They marched in defiantly, almost proudly. Ever
and anon I heard a snicker, sometimes a downright laugh: there was a
coarse buffoonery in the ranks. I turned aside at last, unable to bear
it longer. Here they will learn what their laughter is worth! (Eccl. II,
2.)

Among them I marked a female, young and fair. How true the words of
Solomon: "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain!" (Proverbs XXXI, 30.)
I could not bring myself to put down upon these pages the whole record
of that wicked creature's shameless life. Truly it has been said that
"the lips of a strange woman drop as a honeycomb, and her mouth is
smoother than oil." (Proverbs V, 3.) One hears of such careers of
evil-doing and can scarcely credit them. Can it be that the children of
men are so deaf to all the warnings given them, so blind to the vast
certainty of their punishment, so ardent in seeking temptation, so
lacking in holy fire to resist it? Such thoughts fill me with the
utmost distress. Is not the command to a moral life plain enough? Are we
not told to "live soberly, righteously, and godly?" (Titus II, 11.) Are
we not solemnly warned to avoid the invitation of evil? (Proverbs I,
10.)


January 9.

I have had that strange woman before me and heard her miserable story.
It is as I thought. The child of a poor but pious mother, (a widow with
six children), she had every advantage of a virtuous, consecrated home.
The mother, earning $6 a week, gave 25 cents of it to foreign missions.
The daughter, at the tender age of 4, was already a regular attendant at
Sabbath-school. The good people of the church took a Christian interest
in the family, and one of them, a gentleman of considerable wealth, and
an earnest, diligent worker for righteousness, made it his special care
to befriend the girl. He took her into his office, treating her almost
as one of his own daughters. She served him in the capacity of
stenographer, receiving therefor the wage of $7.00 a week, a godsend to
that lowly household. How truly, indeed, it has been said: "Verily,
there is a reward for the righteous." (Psalms LVIII, 11.)

And now behold how powerful are the snares of evil. (Genesis VI, 12.)
There was that devout and saintly man, ripe in good works, a deacon and
pillar in the church, a steadfast friend to the needy and erring, a
stalwart supporter of his pastor in all forward-looking enterprises, a
tower of strength for righteousness in his community, the father of four
daughters. And there was that shameless creature, that evil woman, that
sinister temptress. With the noisome details I do not concern myself.
Suffice it to say that the vile arts of the hussy prevailed over that
noble and upright man--that she enticed him, by adroit appeals to his
sympathy, into taking her upon automobile rides, into dining with her
clandestinely in the private rooms of dubious hotels, and finally into
accompanying her upon a despicable, adulterous visit to Atlantic City.
And then, seeking to throw upon him the blame for what she chose to call
her "wrong," she held him up to public disgrace and worked her own
inexorable damnation by taking her miserable life. Well hath the
Preacher warned us against the woman whose "heart is snares and nets,
and her hands as bands." (Eccl. VII, 26.) Well do we know the wreck and
ruin that such agents of destruction can work upon the innocent and
trusting. (Revelations XXI, 8; I Corinthians VI, 18; Job XXXI, 12; Hosea
IV, 11: Proverbs VI, 26.)


January 11.

We have resumed our evening services--an hour of quiet communion in the
failing light. The attendance, alas, is not as gratifying as it might
be, but the brethren who gather are filled with holy zeal. It is
inspiring to hear their eloquent confessions of guilt and wrongdoing,
their trembling protestations of contrition. Several of them are of long
experience and considerable proficiency in public speaking. One was
formerly a major in the Salvation Army. Another spent twenty years in
the Dunkard ministry, finally retiring to devote himself to lecturing on
the New Thought. A third was a Y. M. C. A. secretary in Iowa. A fourth
was the first man to lift his voice for sex hygiene west of the
Mississippi river.

All these men eventually succumbed to temptation, and hence they are
here, but I think that no one who has ever glimpsed their secret and
inmost souls (as I have during our hours of humble heart-searching
together) will fail to testify to their inherent purity of character.
After all, it is not what we do but what we have in our hearts that
reveals our true worth. (Joshua XXIV, 14.) As David so beautifully puts
it, it is "the imagination of the thoughts." (I Chronicles XXIII, 9.) I
love and trust these brethren. They are true and earnest Christians.
They loathe the temptation to which they succumbed, and deplore the
weakness that made them yield. How the memory at once turns to that
lovely passage in the Book of Job: "Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent
in dust and ashes." Where is there a more exquisite thought in all Holy
Writ?


January 14.

I have had that scarlet woman before me, and invited her to join us in
our inspiring evening gatherings. For reply she mocked me. Thus Paul was
mocked by the Athenians. Thus the children of Bethel mocked Elisha the
Prophet (II Kings II, 23). Thus the sinful show their contempt, not only
for righteousness itself, but also for its humblest agents and
advocates. Nevertheless, I held my temper before her. I indulged in no
vain and worldly recriminations. When she launched into her profane and
disgraceful tirade against that good and faithful brother, her
benefactor and victim, I held my peace. When she accused him of foully
destroying her, I returned her no harsh words. Instead, I merely read
aloud to her those inspiring words from Revelation XIV, 10: "And the
evil-doer shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of
the holy angels." And then I smiled upon her and bade her begone. Who am
I, that I should hold myself above the most miserable of sinners?


January 18.

Again that immoral woman. I had sent her a few Presbyterian tracts: "The
Way to Redemption," "The Story of a Missionary in Polynesia," "The White
Slave,"--inspiring and consecrated writings, all of them--comforting to
me in many a bitter hour. When she came in I thought it was to ask me to
pray with her. (II Chronicles VII, 14.) But her heart, it appears, is
still shut to the words of salvation. She renewed her unseemly
denunciation of her benefactor, and sought to overcome me with her
weeping. I found myself strangely drawn toward her--almost pitying her.
She approached me, her eyes suffused with tears, her red lips parted,
her hair flowing about her shoulders. I felt myself drawn to her. I
knew and understood the temptation of that great and good man. But by a
powerful effort of the will--or, should I say, by a sudden access of
grace?--I recovered and pushed her from me. And then, closing my eyes to
shut out the image of her, I pronounced those solemn and awful words:
"Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord!" The effect was immediate: she
emitted a moan and departed. I had resisted her abhorrent blandishments.
(Proverbs I, 10.)


January 25.

I love the Book of Job. Where else in the Scriptures is there a more
striking picture of the fate that overtakes those who yield to sin?
"They meet with darkness in the day-time, and grope in the noon-day as
in the night" (Job V, 14). And further on: "They grope in the dark
without light, and he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man" (Job
XII, 25). I read these beautiful passages over and over again. They
comfort me.


January 28.

That shameless person once more. She sends back the tracts I gave
her--torn in halves.


February 3.

That American brother, the former Dunkard, thrilled us with his
eloquence at to-night's meeting. In all my days I have heard no more
affecting plea for right living. In words that almost seemed to be of
fire he set forth the duty of all of us to combat sin wherever we find
it, and to scourge the sinner until he foregoes his folly.

"It is not sufficient," he said, "that we keep our own hearts pure: we
must also purge the heart of our brother. And if he resist us, let no
false sympathy for him stay our hands. We are charged with the care and
oversight of his soul. He is in our keeping. Let us seek at first to
save him with gentleness, but if he draws back, let us unsheath the
sword! We must be deaf to his protests. We must not be deceived by his
casuistries. If he clings to his sinning, he must perish."

Cries of "Amen!" arose spontaneously from the little band of consecrated
workers. I have never heard a more triumphant call to that Service which
is the very heart's blood of righteousness. Who could listen to it, and
then stay his hand?

I looked for that scarlet creature. She was not there.


February 7.

I have seen her again. She came, I thought, in all humility. I received
her gently, quoting aloud the beautiful words of Paul in Colossians III,
12: "Put on therefore, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness,
humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering." And then I addressed her
in calm, encouraging tones: "Are you ready, woman, to put away your
evil-doing, and forswear your carnalities forevermore? Have you repented
of your black and terrible sin? Do you ask for mercy? Have you come in
sackcloth and ashes?"

The effect, alas, was not what I planned. Instead of yielding to my
entreaty and casting herself down for forgiveness, she yielded to her
pride and mocked me! And then, her heart still full of the evils of the
flesh, _she tried to tempt me_! She approached me. She lifted up her
face to mine. She smiled at me with abominable suggestiveness. She
touched me with her garment. She laid her hand upon my arm.... I felt my
resolution going from me. I was as one stricken with the palsy. My
tongue clave to the roof of my mouth. My hands trembled. I tried to push
her from me and could not....


February 10.

In all humility of spirit I set it down. The words burn the paper; the
fact haunts me like an evil dream. I yielded to that soulless and
abominable creature. I _kissed her_.... And then she laughed, making a
mock of me in my weakness, burning me with the hot iron of her scorn,
piercing my heart with the daggers of her reviling. Laughed, and slapped
my face! Laughed, and spat in my eye! Laughed, _and called me a
hypocrite_!...

They have taken her away. _Let her taste the fire!_ Let her sin receive
its meet and inexorable punishment! Let righteousness prevail! Let her
go with "the fearful and unbelieving, the abominable and murderers, the
white-slave traders and sorcerers." Off with her to that lake "which
burneth with fire and brimstone!" (Revelation XXI, 8.)....

Go, Jezebel! Go, Athaliah! Go, Painted One! Thy sins have found thee
out.


February 11.

I spoke myself at to-night's meeting--simple words, but I think their
message was not lost. We must wage forever the good fight. We must rout
the army of sin from its fortresses....



_VIII.--LITANIES FOR THE OVERLOOKED_

_VIII.--Litanies for the Overlooked_


_I.--For Americanos_

From scented hotel soap, and from the Boy Scouts; from home cooking, and
from pianos with mandolin attachments; from prohibition, and from Odd
Fellows' funerals; from Key West cigars, and from cold dinner plates;
from transcendentalism, and from the New Freedom; from fat women in
straight-front corsets, and from Philadelphia cream cheese; from _The
Star-Spangled Banner_, and from the International Sunday-school Lessons;
from rubber heels, and from the college spirit; from sulphate of
quinine, and from Boston baked beans; from chivalry, and from
laparotomy; from the dithyrambs of Herbert Kaufman, and from sport in
all its hideous forms; from women with pointed fingernails, and from men
with messianic delusions; from the retailers of smutty anecdotes about
the Jews, and from the Lake Mohonk Conference; from Congressmen, vice
crusaders, and the heresies of Henry Van Dyke; from jokes in the
_Ladies' Home Journal_, and from the Revised Statutes of the United
States; from Colonial Dames, and from men who boast that they take cold
shower-baths every morning; from the Drama League, and from malicious
animal magnetism; from ham and eggs, and from the _Weltanschauung_ of
Kansas; from the theory that a dark cigar is always a strong one, and
from the theory that a horse-hair put into a bottle of water will turn
into a snake; from campaigns against profanity, and from the Pentateuch;
from anti-vivisection, and from women who do not smoke; from
wine-openers, and from Methodists; from Armageddon, and from the belief
that a bloodhound never makes a mistake; from sarcerdotal
moving-pictures, and from virtuous chorus girls; from bungalows, and
from cornets in B flat; from canned soups, and from women who leave
everything to one's honor; from detachable cuffs, and from _Lohengrin_;
from unwilling motherhood, and from canary birds--good Lord, deliver us!


_II.--For Hypochondriacs_

From adenoids, and from chronic desquamative nephritis; from Shiga's
_bacillus_, and from hysterotrachelorrhaphy; from mitral insufficiency,
and from Cheyne-Stokes breathing; from the _streptococcus pyogenes_, and
from splanchnoptosis; from warts, wens, and the _spirochæte pallida_;
from exophthalmic goitre, and from septicopyemia; from poisoning by
sewer-gas, and from the _bacillus coli communis_; from anthrax, and from
von Recklinghausen's disease; from recurrent paralysis of the laryngeal
nerve, and from pityriasis versicolor; from mania-à-potu, and from
nephrorrhaphy; from the _leptothrix_, and from colds in the head; from
tape-worms, from jiggers and from scurvy; from endocarditis, and from
Romberg's masticatory spasm; from hypertrophic stenosis of the pylorus,
and from fits; from the _bacillus botulinus_, and from salaam
convulsions; from cerebral monoplegia, and from morphinism; from
anaphylaxis, and from neuralgia in the eyeball; from dropsy, and from
dum-dum fever; from autumnal catarrh, from coryza vasomotoria, from
idiosyncratic coryza, from pollen catarrh, from rhinitis sympathetica,
from rose cold, from _catarrhus æstivus_, from periodic hyperesthetic
rhinitis, from _heuasthma_, from _catarrhe d' été_ and from
hay-fever--good Lord, deliver us!


_III.--For Music Lovers_

From all piano-players save Paderewski, Godowski and Mark Hambourg; and
from the _William Tell_ and _1812_ overtures; and from bad imitations of
Victor Herbert by Victor Herbert; and from persons who express
astonishment that Dr. Karl Muck, being a German, is devoid of all bulge,
corporation, paunch or leap-tick; and from the saxophone, the piccolo,
the cornet and the bagpipes; and from the theory that America has no
folk-music; and from all symphonic poems by English composers; and from
the tall, willing, horse-chested, ham-handed, quasi-gifted ladies who
stagger to their legs in gloomy drawing rooms after bad dinners and
poison the air with Tosti's _Good-bye_; and from the low prehensile,
godless laryngologists who prostitute their art to the saving of tenors
who are happily threatened with loss of voice; and from clarinet
cadenzas more than two inches in length; and from the first two acts of
_Il Trovatore_; and from such fluffy, xanthous whiskers as Lohengrins
wear; and from sentimental old maids who sink into senility lamenting
that Brahms never wrote an opera; and from programme music, with or
without notes; and from Swiss bell-ringers, Vincent D'Indy, the Paris
Opera, and Elgar's _Salut d'Amour_; and from the doctrine that Massenet
was a greater composer than Dvorák; and from Italian bands and
_Schnellpostdoppelschraubendampfer_ orchestras; and from Raff's
_Cavatina_ and all of Tschaikowsky except ten per centum; and from prima
donna conductors who change their programmes without notice, and so get
all the musical critics into a sweat; and from the abandoned hussies who
sue tenors for breach of promise; and from all alleged musicians who do
not shrivel to the size of five-cent cigars whenever they think of old
Josef Haydn--good Lord, deliver us!


_IV.--For Hangmen_

From clients who delay the exercises by pausing to make long and
irrelevant speeches from the scaffold, or to sing depressing Methodist
hymns; and from medical examiners who forget their stethoscopes, and
clamor for waits while messenger boys are sent for them; and from
official witnesses who faint at the last minute, and have to be hauled
out by the deputy sheriffs; and from undertakers who keep looking at
their watches and hinting obscenely that they have other engagements at
10:30; and from spiritual advisers who crowd up at the last minute and
fall through the trap with the condemned--good Lord, deliver us!


_V.--For Magazine Editors_

From Old Subscribers who write in to say that the current number is the
worst magazine printed since the days of the New York _Galaxy_; and from
elderly poetesses who have read all the popular text-books of sex
hygiene, and believe all the bosh in them about the white slave trade,
and so suspect the editor, and even the publisher, of sinister designs;
and from stories in which a rising young district attorney gets the dead
wood upon a burly political boss named Terrence O'Flaherty, and then
falls in love with Mignon, his daughter, and has to let him go; and from
stories in which a married lady, just about to sail for Capri with her
husband's old _Corpsbruder_, is dissuaded from her purpose by the news
that her husband has lost $700,000 in Wall Street and is on his way home
to weep on her shoulder; and from one-act plays in which young Cornelius
Van Suydam comes home from The Club at 11:55 P. M. on Christmas Eve,
dismisses Dodson, his Man, with the compliments of the season, and draws
up his chair before the open fire to dream of his girl, thus preparing
the way for the entrance of Maxwell, the starving burglar, and for the
scene in which Maxwell's little daughter, Fifi, following him up the
fire-escape, pleads with him to give up his evil courses; and from poems
about war in which it is argued that thousands of young men are always
killed, and that their mothers regret to hear of it; and from essays of
a sweet and whimsical character, in which the author refers to himself
as "we," and ends by quoting Bergson, Washington Irving or Agnes
Repplier; and from epigrams based on puns, good or bad; and from stories
beginning, "It was the autumn of the year 1950"; and from stories
embodying quotations from Omar Khayyam, and full of a mellow pessimism;
and from stories in which the gay nocturnal life of the Latin Quarter is
described by an author living in Dubuque, Iowa; and from stories of
thought transference, mental healing and haunted houses; and from
newspaper stories in which a cub reporter solves the mystery of the
Snodgrass murder and is promoted to dramatic critic on the field, or in
which a city editor who smokes a corn-cob pipe falls in love with a
sob-sister; and from stories about trained nurses, young dramatists,
baseball players, heroic locomotive engineers, settlement workers,
clergymen, yeggmen, cowboys, Italians, employés of the Hudson Bay
Company and great detectives; and from stories in which the dissolute
son of a department store owner tries to seduce a working girl in his
father's employ and then goes on the water wagon and marries her as a
tribute to her virtue; and from stories in which the members of a
yachting party are wrecked on a desert island in the South Pacific, and
the niece of the owner of the yacht falls in love with the bo'sun; and
from manuscripts accompanied by documents certifying that the incidents
and people described are real, though cleverly disguised; and from
authors who send in saucy notes when their offerings are returned with
insincere thanks; and from lady authors who appear with satirical
letters of introduction from the low, raffish rogues who edit rival
magazines--good Lord, deliver us!



_IX.--ASEPSIS_

_IX.--Asepsis. A Deduction in Scherzo Form_


CHARACTERS:

  A CLERGYMAN
  A BRIDE
  FOUR BRIDESMAIDS
  A BRIDEGROOM
  A BEST MAN
  THE USUAL CROWD


PLACE--_The surgical amphitheatre in a hospital._

TIME--_Noon of a fair day._

_Seats rising in curved tiers. The operating pit paved with white tiles.
The usual operating table has been pushed to one side, and in place of
it there is a small glass-topped bedside table. On it, a large roll of
aseptic cotton, several pads of gauze, a basin of bichloride, a pair of
clinical thermometers in a little glass of alcohol, a dish of green
soap, a beaker of two per cent. carbolic acid, and a microscope. In one
corner stands a sterilizer, steaming pleasantly like a tea kettle. There
are no decorations--no flowers, no white ribbons, no satin cushions. To
the left a door leads into the Anesthetic Room. A pungent smell of
ether, nitrous oxide, iodine, chlorine, wet laundry and scorched gauze.
Temperature: 98.6 degrees Fahr._

THE CLERGYMAN _is discovered standing behind the table in an expectant
attitude. He is in the long white coat of a surgeon, with his head
wrapped in white gauze and a gauze respirator over his mouth. His
chunkiness suggests a fat, middle-aged Episcopal rector, but it is
impossible to see either his face or his vestments. He wears rubber
gloves of a dirty orange color, evidently much used._ THE BRIDEGROOM
_and_ THE BEST MAN _have just emerged from the Anesthetic Room and are
standing before him. Both are dressed exactly as he is, save that_ THE
BRIDEGROOM'S _rubber gloves are white. The benches running up the
amphitheatre are filled with spectators, chiefly women. They are in
dingy oilskins, and most of them also wear respirators._

_After a long and uneasy pause_ THE BRIDE _comes in from the Anesthetic
Room on the arm of her_ FATHER, _with_ THE FOUR BRIDESMAIDS _following
by twos. She is dressed in what appears to be white linen, with a long
veil of aseptic gauze. The gauze testifies to its late and careful
sterilization by yellowish scorches. There is a white rubber glove upon_
THE BRIDE'S _right hand, but that belonging to her left hand has been
removed_. HER FATHER _is dressed like_ THE BEST MAN. THE FOUR
BRIDESMAIDS _are in the garb of surgical nurses, with their hair
completely concealed by turbans of gauze. As_ THE BRIDE _takes her place
before_ THE CLERGYMAN, _with_ THE BRIDEGROOM _at her right, there is a
faint, snuffling murmur among the spectators. It hushes suddenly as_ THE
CLERGYMAN _clears his throat_.


THE CLERGYMAN

(_In sonorous, booming tones, somewhat muffled by his respirator._)
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here together in the face of this
company to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony,
which is commended by God to be honorable among men, and therefore is
not to be entered into inadvisedly or carelessly, or without due
surgical precautions, but reverently, cleanly, sterilely, soberly,
scientifically, and with the nearest practicable approach to
bacteriological purity. Into this laudable and non-infectious state
these two persons present come now to be joined and quarantined. If any
man can show just cause, either clinically or microscopically, why they
may not be safely sutured together, let him now come forward with his
charts, slides and cultures, or else hereafter forever hold his peace.

(_Several spectators shuffle their feet, and an old maid giggles, but no
one comes forward._)


THE CLERGYMAN

(_To_ THE BRIDE _and_ BRIDEGROOM): I require and charge both of you, as
ye will answer in the dreadful hour of autopsy, when the secrets of all
lives shall be disclosed, that if either of you know of any lesion,
infection, malaise, congenital defect, hereditary taint or other
impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in eugenic
matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be ye well assured that if any
persons are joined together otherwise than in a state of absolute
chemical and bacteriological innocence, their marriage will be septic,
unhygienic, pathogenic and toxic, and eugenically null and void.

(THE BRIDEGROOM _hands over a long envelope, from which_ THE CLERGYMAN
_extracts a paper bearing a large red seal._)


THE CLERGYMAN

(_Reading_): We, and each of us, having subjected the bearer, John Doe,
to a rigid clinical and laboratory examination, in accordance with Form
B-3 of the United States Public Health Service, do hereby certify that,
to the best of our knowledge and belief, he is free from all disease,
taint, defect, deformity or hereditary blemish, saving as noted herein.
Temperature _per ora_, 98.6. Pulse, 76, strong. Respiration, 28.5.
Wassermann,--2. Hb., 114%. Phthalein, 1st. hr., 46%; 2nd hr., 21%. W. B.
C., 8,925. Free gastric HCl, 11.5%. No stasis. No lactic acid. Blood
pressure, 122/77. No albuminuria. No glycosuria. Lumbar puncture: clear
fluid, normal pressure.

Defects Noted. 1. Left heel jerk feeble. 2. Caries in five molars. 3.
Slight acne rosacea. 4. Slight inequality of curvature in meridians of
right cornea. 5. Nicotine stain on right forefinger, extending to middle
of second phalanx.

(_Signed_)
SIGISMUND KRAUS, M.D.
WM. T. ROBERTSON, M.D.
JAMES SIMPSON, M.D.

Subscribed and sworn to before me, a Notary Public for the Borough of
Manhattan, City of New York, State of New York.

_(Seal_) ABRAHAM LECHETITSKY.

So much for the reading of the minutes. (_To_ THE BRIDE): Now for yours,
my dear.

(THE BRIDE _hands up a similar envelope, from which_ THE CLERGYMAN
_extracts a similar document. But instead of reading it aloud, he
delicately runs his eye through it in silence._)


THE CLERGYMAN

(_The reading finished_) Very good. Very creditable. You must see some
good oculist about your astigmatism, my dear. Surely you want to avoid
glasses. Come to my study on your return and I'll give you the name of a
trustworthy man. And now let us proceed with the ceremony of marriage.
(_To_ THE BRIDEGROOM): John, wilt thou have this woman to be thy wedded
wife, to live together in the holy state of eugenic matrimony? Wilt thou
love her, comfort her, protect her from all protozoa and bacteria, and
keep her in good health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee unto her
only, so long as ye both shall live? If so, hold out your tongue.

(THE BRIDEGROOM _holds out his tongue and_ THE CLERGYMAN _inspects it
critically._)


THE CLERGYMAN

(_Somewhat dubiously_) Fair. I have seen worse.... Do you smoke?


THE BRIDEGROOM

(_Obviously lying_) Not much.


THE CLERGYMAN

Well, _how_ much?


THE BRIDEGROOM

Say ten cigarettes a day.


THE CLERGYMAN

And the stain noted on your right posterior phalanx by the learned
medical examiners?


THE BRIDEGROOM

Well, say fifteen.


THE CLERGYMAN

(_Waggishly_) Or twenty to be safe. Better taper off to ten. At all
events, make twenty the limit. How about the booze?


THE BRIDEGROOM

(_Virtuously_) Never!


THE CLERGYMAN

What! Never?


THE BRIDEGROOM

Well, never again!


THE CLERGYMAN

So they _all_ say. The answer is almost part of the liturgy. But have a
care, my dear fellow! The true eugenist eschews the wine cup. In every
hundred children of a man who ingests one fluid ounce of alcohol a day,
six will be left-handed, twelve will be epileptics and nineteen will
suffer from adolescent albuminuria, with delusions of persecution....
Have you ever had anthrax?


THE BRIDEGROOM

Not yet.


THE CLERGYMAN

Eczema?


THE BRIDEGROOM

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Pott's disease?


THE BRIDEGROOM

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Cholelithiasis?


THE BRIDEGROOM

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Do you have a feeling of distention after meals?


THE BRIDEGROOM

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Have you a dry, hacking cough?


THE BRIDEGROOM

Not at present.


THE CLERGYMAN

Are you troubled with insomnia?


THE BRIDEGROOM

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Dyspepsia?


THE BRIDEGROOM

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Agoraphobia?


THE BRIDEGROOM

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Do you bolt your food?


THE BRIDEGROOM

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Have you lightning pains in the legs?


THE BRIDEGROOM

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Are you a bleeder? Have you hæmophilia?


THE BRIDEGROOM

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Erthrocythæmia? Nephroptosis? Fibrinous bronchitis? Salpingitis?
Pylephlebitis? Answer yes or no.


THE BRIDEGROOM

No. No. No. No. No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Have you ever been refused life insurance? If so, when, by what company
or companies, and why?


THE BRIDEGROOM

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

What is a staphylococcus?


THE BRIDEGROOM

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

(_Sternly_) What?


THE BRIDEGROOM

(_Nervously_) Yes.


THE CLERGYMAN

(_Coming to the rescue_) Wilt them have this woman et cetera? Answer yes
or no.


THE BRIDEGROOM

I will.


THE CLERGYMAN

(_Turning to_ THE BRIDE) Mary, wilt thou have this gentleman to be thy
wedded husband, to live together in the holy state of aseptic matrimony?
Wilt thou love him, serve him, protect him from all adulterated
victuals, and keep him hygienically clothed; and forsaking all others,
keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live? If so----


THE BRIDE

(_Instantly and loudly_) I will.


THE CLERGYMAN

Not so fast! First, there is the little ceremony of the clinical
thermometers. (_He takes up one of the thermometers._) Open your mouth,
my dear. (_He Inserts the thermometer._) Now hold it there while you
count one hundred and fifty. And you, too. (_To_ THE BRIDEGROOM.) I had
almost forgotten you. (THE BRIDEGROOM _opens his mouth and the other
thermometer is duly planted. While the two are counting_, THE CLERGYMAN
_attempts to turn back one of_ THE BRIDE'S _eyelids, apparently
searching for trachoma, but his rubber gloves impede the operation and
so he gives it up. It is now time to read the thermometers._ THE
BRIDEGROOM'S _is first removed._)


THE CLERGYMAN

(_Reading the scale_) Ninety-nine point nine. Considering everything,
not so bad. (_Then he removes and reads_ THE BRIDE'S.) Ninety-eight
point six. Exactly normal. Cool, collected, at ease. The classical
self-possession of the party of the second part. And now, my dear, may I
ask you to hold out your tongue? (THE BRIDE _does so._)


THE CLERGYMAN

Perfect.... There; that will do. Put it back.... And now for a few
questions--just a few. First, do you use opiates in any form?


THE BRIDE

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Have you ever had goitre?


THE BRIDE

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Yellow fever?


THE BRIDE

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Hæmatomata?


THE BRIDE

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Siriasis or tachycardia?


THE BRIDE

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

What did your maternal grandfather die of?


THE BRIDE

Of chronic interstitial nephritis.


THE CLERGYMAN

(_Interested_) Ah, our old friend Bright's! A typical case, I take, with
the usual polyuria, oedema of the glottis, flame-shaped retinal
hemorrhages and cardiac dilatation?


THE BRIDE

Exactly.


THE CLERGYMAN

And terminating, I suppose, with the classical uræmic
symptoms--dyspnoea, convulsions, uræmic amaurosis, coma and collapse?


THE BRIDE

Including Cheyne-Stokes breathing.


THE CLERGYMAN

Ah, most interesting! A protean and beautiful malady! But at the moment,
of course, we can't discuss it profitably. Perhaps later on.... Your
father, I assume, is alive?


THE BRIDE

(_Indicating him_) Yes.


THE CLERGYMAN

Well, then, let us proceed. Who giveth this woman to be married to this
man?


THE BRIDE'S FATHER

(_With a touch of stage fright._) I do.


THE CLERGYMAN

(_Reassuringly_) You are in good health?


THE BRIDE'S FATHER

Yes.


THE CLERGYMAN

No dizziness in the morning?


THE BRIDE'S FATHER

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

No black spots before the eyes?


THE BRIDE'S FATHER

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

No vague pains in the small of the back?


THE BRIDE'S FATHER

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Gout?


THE BRIDE'S FATHER

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Chilblains?


THE BRIDE'S FATHER

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Sciatica?


THE BRIDE'S FATHER

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Buzzing in the ears?


THE BRIDE'S FATHER

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Myopia? Angina pectoris?


THE BRIDE'S FATHER

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

Malaria? Marasmus? Chlorosis? Tetanus? Quinsy? Housemaid's knee?


THE BRIDE'S FATHER

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

You had measles, I assume, in your infancy?


THE BRIDE'S FATHER

Yes.


THE CLERGYMAN

Chicken pox? Mumps? Scarlatina? Cholera morbus? Diphtheria?


THE BRIDE'S FATHER

Yes. Yes. No. Yes. No.


THE CLERGYMAN

You are, I assume, a multipara?


THE BRIDE'S FATHER

A what?


THE CLERGYMAN

That is to say, you have had more than one child?


THE BRIDE'S FATHER

No.


THE CLERGYMAN

(_Professionally_) How sad! You will miss her!


THE BRIDE'S FATHER

One job like this is en----


THE CLERGYMAN

(_Interrupting suavely_) But let us proceed. The ceremony must not be
lengthened unduly, however interesting. We now approach the benediction.

(_Dipping his gloved hands into the basin of bichloride, he joins the
right hands of_ THE BRIDE _and_ THE BRIDEGROOM.)


THE CLERGYMAN

(_To_ THE BRIDEGROOM) Repeat after me: "I, John, take thee, Mary, to be
my wedded and aseptic wife, to have and to hold from this day forward,
for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness,
convalescence, relapse and health, to love and to cherish, till death do
us part; and thereto I plight thee my troth."

(THE BRIDEGROOM _duly repeats the formula_, THE CLERGYMAN _now looses
their hands, and after another dip into the bichloride, joins them
together again_.)


THE CLERGYMAN

(_To_ THE BRIDE) Repeat after me: "I, Mary, take thee, John, to be my
aseptic and eugenic husband, to have and to hold from this day forward,
for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, to love, to cherish and
to nurse, till death do us part; and thereto I give thee my troth."

(THE BRIDE _duly promises._ THE BEST MAN _then hands over the ring,
which_ THE CLERGYMAN _drops into the bichloride. It turns green. He
fishes it up again, wipes it dry with a piece of aseptic cotton and
presents it to_ THE BRIDEGROOM, _who places it upon the third finger of_
THE BRIDE'S _left hand. Then_ THE CLERGYMAN _goes on with the ceremony,_
THE BRIDEGROOM _repeating after him._)


THE CLERGYMAN

Repeat after me: "With this sterile ring I thee wed, and with all my
worldly goods I thee endow."

(THE CLERGYMAN _then joins the hands of_ THE BRIDE _and_ BRIDEGROOM
_once more, and dipping his own right hand into the bichloride, solemnly
sprinkles the pair._)


THE CLERGYMAN

Those whom God hath joined together, let no pathogenic organism put
asunder. (_To the assembled company._) Forasmuch as John and Mary have
consented together in aseptic wedlock, and have witnessed the same by
the exchange of certificates, and have given and pledged their troth,
and have declared the same by giving and receiving an aseptic ring, I
pronounce that they are man and wife. In the name of Mendel, of Galton,
of Havelock Ellis and of David Starr Jordan. Amen.

(THE BRIDE _and_ BRIDEGROOM _now kiss, for the first and last time,
after which they gargle with two per cent carbolic and march out of the
room, followed by_ THE BRIDE'S FATHER _and the spectators._ THE BEST
MAN, _before departing after them, hands_ THE CLERGYMAN _a ten-dollar
gold-piece in a small phial of twenty per cent bichloride._ THE
CLERGYMAN, _after pocketing it, washes his hands with green soap._ THE
BRIDESMAIDS _proceed to clean up the room with the remaining bichloride.
This done, they and_ THE CLERGYMAN _go out. As soon as they are gone,
the operating table is pushed back into place by an orderly, a patient
is brought in, and a surgeon proceeds to cut off his leg._)



_X.--TALES OF THE MORAL AND PATHOLOGICAL_

_X.--Tales of the Moral and Pathological_


_I.--The Rewards of Science_

Once upon a time there was a surgeon who spent seven years perfecting an
extraordinarily delicate and laborious operation for the cure of a rare
and deadly disease. In the process he wore out $400 worth of knives and
saws and used up $6,000 worth of ether, splints, guinea pigs, homeless
dogs and bichloride of mercury. His board and lodging during the seven
years came to $2,875. Finally he got a patient and performed the
operation. It took eight hours and cost him $17 more than his fee of
$20....

One day, two months after the patient was discharged as cured, the
surgeon stopped in his rambles to observe a street parade. It was the
annual turnout of Good Hope Lodge, No. 72, of the Patriotic Order of
American Rosicrucians. The cured patient, marching as Supreme Worthy
Archon, wore a lavender baldric, a pea-green sash, an aluminum helmet
and scarlet gauntlets, and carried an ormolu sword and the blue
polka-dot flag of a rear-admiral....

With a low cry the surgeon jumped down a sewer and was seen no more.


_II.--The Incomparable Physician_

The eminent physician, Yen Li-Shen, being called in the middle of the
night to the bedside of the rich tax-gatherer, Chu Yi-Foy, found his
distinguished patient suffering from a spasm of the liver. An
examination of the pulse, tongue, toe-nails, and hair-roots revealing
the fact that the malady was caused by the presence of a multitude of
small worms in the blood, the learned doctor forthwith dispatched his
servant to his surgery for a vial of gnats' eyes dissolved in the saliva
of men executed by strangling, that being the remedy advised by Li
Tan-Kien and other high authorities for the relief of this painful and
dangerous condition.

When the servant returned the patient was so far gone that Cheyne-Stokes
breathing had already set in, and so the doctor decided to administer
the whole contents of the vial--an heroic dose, truly, for it has been
immemorially held that even so little as the amount that will cling to
the end of a horse hair is sufficient to cure. Alas, in his professional
zeal and excitement, the celebrated pathologist permitted his hand to
shake like a myrtle leaf in a Spring gale, and so he dropped not only
the contents of the vial, but also the vial itself down the oesophagus
of his moribund patient.

The accident, however, did not impede the powerful effects of this
famous remedy. In ten minutes Chu Yi-Foy was so far recovered that he
asked for a plate of rice stewed with plums, and by morning he was able
to leave his bed and receive the reports of his spies, informers and
extortioners. That day he sent for Dr. Yen and in token of his
gratitude, for he was a just and righteous man, settled upon him in due
form of law, and upon his heirs and assigns in perpetuity, the whole
rents, rates, imposts and taxes, amounting to no less than ten thousand
Hangkow taels a year, of two of the streets occupied by money-changers,
bird-cage makers and public women in the town of Szu-Loon, and of the
related alleys, courts and lanes. And Dr. Yen, with his old age and the
old age of his seven sons and thirty-one grandsons now safely provided
for, retired from the practise of his art, and devoted himself to a
tedious scientific inquiry (long the object of his passionate
aspiration) into the precise physiological relation between gravel in
the lower lobe of the heart and the bursting of arteries in the arms and
legs.

So passed many years, while Dr. Yen pursued his researches and sent his
annual reports of progress to the Academy of Medicine at Chan-Si, and
Chu Yi-Foy increased his riches and his influence, so that his arm
reached out from the mountains to the sea. One day, in his eightieth
year, Chu Yi-Foy fell ill again, and, having no confidence in any other
physician, sent once more for the learned and now venerable Dr. Yen.

"I have a pain," he said, "in my left hip, where the stomach dips down
over the spleen. A large knob has formed there. A lizard, perhaps, has
got into me. Or perhaps a small hedge-hog."

Dr. Yen thereupon made use of the test for lizards and hedge-hogs--to
wit, the application of madder dye to the Adam's apple, turning it lemon
yellow if any sort of reptile is within, and violet if there is a
mammal--but it failed to operate as the books describe. Being thus led
to suspect a misplaced and wild-growing bone, perhaps from the vertebral
column, the doctor decided to have recourse to surgery, and so, after
the proper propitiation of the gods, he administered to his eminent
patient a draught of opium water, and having excluded the wailing women
of the household from the sick chamber, he cut into the protuberance
with a small, sharp knife, and soon had the mysterious object in his
hand.... It was the vial of dissolved gnats' eyes--_still full and
tightly corked_! Worse, it was _not_ the vial of dissolved gnats' eyes,
but a vial of common burdock juice--the remedy _for infants griped by
their mothers' milk_....

But when the eminent Chu Yi-Foy, emerging from his benign stupor, made a
sign that he would gaze upon the cause of his distress, it was a bone
that Dr. Yen Li-Shen showed him--an authentic bone, ovoid and
evil-looking--and lately the knee cap of one Ho Kwang, brass maker in
the street of Szchen-Kiang. Dr. Yen carried this bone in his girdle to
keep off the black, blue and yellow plagues. Chu Yi-Foy, looking upon
it, wept the soft, grateful tears of an old man.

"This is twice," he said, "that you, my learned friend, have saved my
life. I have hitherto given you, in token of my gratitude, the rents,
rates, imposts and taxes, of two streets, and of the related alleys,
courts and lanes. I now give you the weight of that bone in diamonds,
in rubies, in pearls or in emeralds, as you will. And whichever of the
four you choose, I give you the other three also. For is it not said by
K'ung Fu-tsze, 'The good physician bestows what the gods merely
promise'?"

And Dr. Yen Li-Shen lowered his eyes and bowed. But he was too old in
the healing art to blush.


_III.--Neighbours_

Once I lay in hospital a fortnight while an old man died by inches
across the hall. Apparently a very painful, as it was plainly a very
tedious business. I would hear him breathing heavily for fifteen or
twenty minutes, and then he would begin shrieking in agony and yelling
for his orderly: "Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!" Now and then a nurse would
come into my room and report progress: "The old fellow's kidneys have
given up; he can't last the night," or, "I suppose the next choking
spell will fetch him." Thus he fought his titanic fight with the gnawing
rats of death, and thus I lay listening, myself quickly recovering from
a sanguinary and indecent operation.... Did the shrieks of that old man
startle me, worry me, torture me, set my nerves on edge? Not at all. I
had my meals to the accompaniment of piteous yells to God, but day by
day I ate them more heartily. I lay still in bed and read a book or
smoked a cigar. I damned my own twinges and fading malaises. I argued
ignorantly with the surgeons. I made polite love to the nurses who
happened in. At night I slept soundly, the noise retreating benevolently
as I dropped off. And when the old fellow died at last, snarling and
begging for mercy with his last breath, the unaccustomed stillness made
me feel lonesome and sad, like a child robbed of a tin whistle.... But
when a young surgeon came in half an hour later, and, having dined to
his content, testified to it by sucking his teeth, cold shudders ran
through me from stem to stern.


_IV.--From the Chart_

Temperature: 99.7. Respiration: rising to 65 and then suddenly
suspended. The face is flushed, and the eyes are glazed and half-closed.
There is obviously a sub-normal reaction to external stimuli. A fly upon
the ear is unnoticed. The auditory nerve is anesthetic. There is a
swaying of the whole body and an apparent failure of co-ordination,
probably the effect of some disturbance in the semi-circular canals of
the ear. The hands tremble and then clutch wildly. The head is inclined
forward as if to approach some object on a level with the shoulder. The
mouth stands partly open, and the lips are puckered and damp. Of a
sudden there is a sound as of a deep and labored inspiration, suggesting
the upward curve of Cheyne-Stokes breathing. Then comes silence for 40
seconds, followed by a quick relaxation of the whole body and a sharp
gasp....

One of the internes has kissed a nurse.


_V.--The Interior Hierarchy_

The world awaits that pundit who will study at length the relative
respectability of the inward parts of man--his pipes and bellows, his
liver and lights. The inquiry will take him far into the twilight zones
of psychology. Why is the vermiform appendix so much more virtuous and
dignified than its next-door neighbor, the cæcum? Considered
physiologically, anatomically, pathologically, surgically, the cæcum is
the decenter of the two. It has more cleanly habits; it is more
beautiful; it serves a more useful purpose; it brings its owner less
often to the doors of death. And yet what would one think of a lady who
mentioned her cæcum? But the appendix--ah, the appendix! The appendix
is pure, polite, ladylike, even noble. It confers an unmistakable
stateliness, a stamp of position, a social consequence upon its
possessor. And, by one of the mysteries of viscerology, it confers even
_more_ stateliness upon its _ex_-possessor!

Alas, what would you! Why is the stomach such a libertine and outlaw in
England, and so highly respectable in the United States? No Englishman
of good breeding, save he be far gone in liquor, ever mentions his
stomach in the presence of women, clergymen, or the Royal Family. To
avoid the necessity--for Englishmen, too, are subject to the colic--he
employs various far-fetched euphemisms, among them, the poetical Little
Mary. No such squeamishness is known in America. The American discusses
his stomach as freely as he discusses his business. More, he regards its
name with a degree of respect verging upon reverence--and so he uses it
as a euphemism for the whole region from the diaphragm to the pelvic
arch. Below his heart he has only a stomach and a vermiform appendix.

In the Englishman that large region is filled entirely by his liver, at
least in polite conversation. He never mentions his kidneys save to his
medical adviser, but he will tell even a parlor maid that he is feeling
liverish. "Sorry, old chap; I'm not up to it. Been seedy for a
fortnight. Touch of liver, I dessay. Never felt quite fit since I came
Home. Bones full of fever. Damned old liver always kicking up. Awfully
sorry, old fellow. Awsk me again. Glad to, pon my word." But never the
American! Nay, the American keeps his liver for his secret thoughts.
Hobnailed it may be, and the most interesting thing within his
frontiers, but he would blush to mention it to a lady.

Myself intensely ignorant of anatomy, and even more so of the punctilio,
I yet attempted, one rainy day, a roster of the bodily parts in the
order of their respectability. Class I was small and exclusive; when I
had put in the heart, the brain, the hair, the eyes and the vermiform
appendix, I had exhausted all the candidates. Here were the five
aristocrats, of dignity even in their diseases--appendicitis, angina
pectoris, aphasia, acute alcoholism, astigmatism: what a row of a's!
Here were the dukes, the cardinals, nay, the princes of the blood. Here
were the supermembers; the beyond-parts.

In Class II I found a more motley throng, led by the collar-bone on the
one hand and the tonsils on the other. And in Class III--but let me
present my classification and have done:


CLASS II

  Collar-bone
  Stomach (American)
  Liver (English)
  Bronchial tubes
  Arms (excluding elbows)
  Tonsils
  Vocal chords
  Ears
  Cheeks
  Chin


CLASS III

  Elbows
  Ankles
  Aorta
  Teeth (if natural)
  Shoulders
  Windpipe
  Lungs
  Neck
  Jugular vein


CLASS IV

  Stomach (English)
  Liver (American)
  Solar plexus
  Hips
  Calves
  Pleura
  Nose
  Feet (bare)
  Shins


CLASS V

  Teeth (if false)
  Heels
  Toes
  Kidneys
  Knees
  Diaphragm
  Thyroid gland
  Legs (female)
  Scalp


CLASS VI

  Thighs
  Paunch
  Oesophagus
  Spleen
  Pancreas
  Gall-bladder
  Cæcum

I made two more classes, VII and VIII, but they entered into anatomical
details impossible of discussion in a book designed to be read aloud at
the domestic hearth. Perhaps I shall print them in the _Medical Times_
at some future time. As my classes stand, they present mysteries enough.
Why should the bronchial tubes (Class II) be so much lordlier than the
lungs (Class III) to which they lead? And why should the oesophagus
(Class VI) be so much _less_ lordly than the stomach (Class II in the
United States, Class IV in England) to which _it_ leads? And yet the
fact in each case is known to us all. To have a touch of bronchitis is
almost fashionable; to have pneumonia is merely bad luck. The stomach,
at least in America, is so respectable that it dignifies even
seasickness, but I have never heard of any decent man who ever had any
trouble with his oesophagus.

If you wish a short cut to a strange organ's standing, study its
diseases. Generally speaking, they are sure indices. Let us imagine a
problem: What is the relative respectability of the hair and the scalp,
close neighbors, offspring of the same osseous tissue? Turn to baldness
and dandruff, and you have your answer. To be bald is no more than a
genial jocosity, a harmless foible--but to have dandruff is almost as
bad as to have beri-beri. Hence the fact that the hair is in Class I,
while the scalp is at the bottom of Class V. So again and again. To
break one's collar-bone (Class II) is to be in harmony with the nobility
and gentry; to crack one's shin (Class IV) is merely vulgar. And what a
difference between having one's tonsils cut out (Class II) and getting a
new set of false teeth (Class V)!

Wherefore? Why? To what end? Why is the stomach so much more respectable
(even in England) than the spleen; the liver (even in America) than the
pancreas; the windpipe than the oesophagus; the pleura than the
diaphragm? Why is the collar-bone the undisputed king of the osseous
frame? One can understand the supremacy of the heart: it plainly bosses
the whole vascular system. But why do the bronchial tubes wag the lungs?
Why is the chin superior to the nose? The ankles to the shins? The solar
plexus to the gall-bladder?

I am unequal to the penetration of this great ethical, æsthetical and
sociological mystery. But in leaving it, let me point to another and
antagonistic one: to wit, that which concerns those viscera of the lower
animals that we use for food. The kidneys in man are far down the
scale--far down in Class V, along with false teeth, the scalp and the
female leg. But the kidneys of the beef steer, the calf, the sheep, or
whatever animal it is whose kidneys we eat--the kidneys of this creature
are close to the borders of Class I. What is it that young Capt. Lionel
Basingstoke, M.P., always orders when he drops in at Gatti's on his way
from his chambers in the Albany to that flat in Tyburnia where Mrs.
Vaughn-Grimsby is waiting for him to rescue her from her _cochon_ of a
husband? What else but deviled kidneys? Who ever heard of a gallant
young English seducer who didn't eat deviled kidneys--not now and then,
not only on Sundays and legal holidays, but every day, every evening?

Again, and by way of postscript No. 2, concentrate your mind upon
sweetbreads. Sweetbreads are made in Chicago of the pancreases of horned
cattle. From Portland to Portland they belong to the first class of
refined delicatessen. And yet, on the human plane, the pancreas is in
Class VI, along with the cæcum and the paunch. And, contrariwise, there
is tripe--"the stomach of the ox or of some other ruminant." The stomach
of an American citizen belongs to Class II, and even the stomach of an
Englishman is in Class IV, but tripe is far down in Class VIII. And
chitterlings--the excised vermiform appendix of the cow. Of all the
towns in Christendom, Richmond, Va., is the only one wherein a
self-respecting white man would dare to be caught wolfing a chitterling
in public.



_XI.--THE JAZZ WEBSTER_

_XI. The Jazz Webster_


ACTOR. One handicapped more by a wooden leg than by a wooden head.

ADULTERY. Democracy applied to love.

ALIMONY. The ransom that the happy pay to the devil.

ANTI-VIVISECTIONIST. One who gags at a guinea-pig and swallows a baby.

ARCHBISHOP. A Christian ecclesiastic of a rank superior to that attained
by Christ.

ARGUMENT. A means of persuasion. The agents of argumentation under a
democracy, in the order of their potency, are (_a_) whiskey, (_b_) beer,
(_c_) cigars, (_d_) tears.

AXIOM. Something that everyone believes. When everyone begins to believe
anything it ceases to be true. For example, the notion that the
homeliest girl in the party is the safest.

BALLOT BOX. The altar of democracy. The cult served upon it is the
worship of jackals by jackasses.

BREVITY. The quality that makes cigarettes, speeches, love affairs and
ocean voyages bearable.

CELEBRITY. One who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know.

CHAUTAUQUA. A place in which persons who are not worth talking to listen
to that which is not worth hearing.

CHRISTIAN. One who believes that God notes the fall of a sparrow and is
shocked half to death by the fall of a Sunday-school superintendent; one
who is willing to serve three Gods, but draws the line at one wife.

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE. The theory that, since the sky rockets following a
wallop in the eye are optical delusions, the wallop itself is a delusion
and the eye another.

CHURCH. A place in which gentlemen who have never been to Heaven brag
about it to persons who will never get there.

CIVILIZATION. A concerted effort to remedy the blunders and check the
practical joking of God.

CLERGYMAN. A ticket speculator outside the gates of Heaven.

CONSCIENCE. The inner voice which warns us that someone is looking.

CONFIDENCE. The feeling that makes one believe a man, even when one
knows that one would lie in his place.

COURTROOM. A place where Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot would be
equals, with the betting odds in favor of Judas.

CREATOR. A comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh. Three proofs of
His humor: democracy, hay fever, any fat woman.

DEMOCRACY. The theory that two thieves will steal less than one, and
three less than two, and four less than three, and so on _ad infinitum_;
the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to
get it good and hard.

EPIGRAM. A platitude with vine-leaves in its hair.

EUGENICS. The theory that marriages should be made in the laboratory;
the Wassermann test for love.

EVIL. That which one believes of others. It is a sin to believe evil of
others, but it is seldom a mistake.

EXPERIENCE. A series of failures. Every failure teaches a man something,
to wit, that he will probably fail again next time.

FAME. An embalmer trembling with stage-fright.

FINE. A bribe paid by a rich man to escape the lawful penalty of his
crime. In China such bribes are paid to the judge personally; in America
they are paid to him as agent for the public. But it makes no difference
to the men who pay them--nor to the men who can't pay them.

FIRMNESS. A form of stupidity; proof of an inability to think the same
thing out twice.

FRIENDSHIP. A mutual belief in the same fallacies, mountebanks,
hobgoblins and imbecilities.

GENTLEMAN. One who never strikes a woman without provocation; one on
whose word of honor the betting odds are at least 1 to 2.

HAPPINESS. Peace after effort, the overcoming of difficulties, the
feeling of security and well-being. The only really happy folk are
married women and single men.

HELL. A place where the Ten Commandments have a police force behind
them.

HISTORIAN. An unsuccessful novelist.

HONEYMOON. The time during which the bride believes the bridegroom's
word of honor.

HOPE. A pathological belief in the occurrence of the impossible.

HUMANITARIAN. One who would be sincerely sorry to see his neighbor's
children devoured by wolves.

HUSBAND. One who played safe and is now played safely. A No. 16 neck in
a No. 15½ collar.

HYGIENE. Bacteriology made moral; the theory that the Italian in the
ditch should be jailed for spitting on his hands.

IDEALIST. One who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage,
concludes that it will also make better soup.

IMMORALITY. The morality of those who are having a better time. You will
never convince the average farmer's mare that the late Maud S. was not
dreadfully immoral.

IMMORTALITY. The condition of a dead man who doesn't believe that he is
dead.

JEALOUSY. The theory that some other fellow has just as little taste.

JUDGE. An officer appointed to mislead, restrain, hypnotize, cajole,
seduce, browbeat, flabbergast and bamboozle a jury in such a manner that
it will forget all the facts and give its decision to the best lawyer.
The objection to judges is that they are seldom capable of a sound
professional judgment of lawyers. The objection to lawyers is that the
best are the worst.

JURY. A group of twelve men who, having lied to the judge about their
hearing, health and business engagements, have failed to fool him.

LAWYER. One who protects us against robbers by taking away the
temptation.

LIAR. (_a_) One who pretends to be very good; (_b_) one who pretends to
be very bad.

LOVE. The delusion that one woman differs from another.

LOVE-AT-FIRST-SIGHT. A labor-saving device.

LOVER. An apprentice second husband; victim No. 2 in the larval stage.

MISOGYNIST. A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.

MARTYR. The husband of a woman with the martyr complex.

MORALITY. The theory that every human act must be either right or wrong,
and that 99% of them are wrong.

MUSIC-LOVER. One who can tell you offhand how many sharps are in the key
of C major.

OPTIMIST. The sort of man who marries his sister's best friend.

OSTEOPATH. One who argues that all human ills are caused by the pressure
of hard bone upon soft tissue. The proof of his theory is to be found
in the heads of those who believe it.

PASTOR. One employed by the wicked to prove to them by his example that
virtue doesn't pay.

PATRIOTISM. A variety of hallucination which, if it seized a
bacteriologist in his laboratory, would cause him to report the
streptococcus pyogenes to be as large as a Newfoundland dog, as
intelligent as Socrates, as beautiful as Mont Blanc and as respectable
as a Yale professor.

PENSIONER. A kept patriot.

PLATITUDE. An idea (_a_) that is admitted to be true by everyone, and
(_b_) that is not true.

POLITICIAN. Any citizen with influence enough to get his old mother a
job as charwoman in the City Hall.

POPULARITY. The capacity for listening sympathetically when men boast of
their wives and women complain of their husbands.

POSTERITY. The penalty of a faulty technique.

PROGRESS. The process whereby the human race has got rid of whiskers,
the vermiform appendix and God.

PROHIBITIONIST. The sort of man one wouldn't care to drink with, even if
he drank.

PSYCHOLOGIST. One who sticks pins into babies, and then makes a chart
showing the ebb and flow of their yells.

PSYCHOTHERAPY. The theory that the patient will probably get well
anyhow, and is certainly a damned fool.

QUACK. A physician who has decided to admit it.

REFORMER. A hangman signing a petition against vivisection.

REMORSE. Regret that one waited so long to do it.

SELF-RESPECT. The secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious.

SOB. A sound made by women, babies, tenors, fashionable clergymen,
actors and drunken men.

SOCIALISM. The theory that John Smith is better than his superiors.

SUICIDE. A belated acquiescence in the opinion of one's wife's
relatives.

SUNDAY. A day given over by Americans to wishing that they themselves
were dead and in Heaven, and that their neighbors were dead and in Hell.

SUNDAY SCHOOL. A prison in which children do penance for the evil
conscience of their parents.

SURGEON. One bribed heavily by the patient to take the blame for the
family doctor's error in diagnosis.

TEMPTATION. An irresistible force at work on a movable body.

THANKSGIVING DAY. A day devoted by persons with inflammatory rheumatism
to thanking a loving Father that it is not hydrophobia.

THEOLOGY. An effort to explain the unknowable by putting it into terms
of the not worth knowing.

TOMBSTONE. An ugly reminder of one who has been forgotten.

TRUTH. Something somehow discreditable to someone.

UNIVERSITY. A place for elevating sons above the social rank of their
fathers. In the great American universities men are ranked as follows:
1. Seducers; 2. Fullbacks; 3. Booze-fighters; 4. Pitchers and Catchers;
5. Poker players; 6. Scholars; 7. Christians.

VERDICT. The _a priori_ opinion of that juror who smokes the worst
cigars.

VERS LIBRE. A device for making poetry easier to write and harder to
read.

WART. Something that outlasts ten thousand kisses.

WEALTH. Any income that is at least $100 more a year than the income of
one's wife's sister's husband.

WEDDING. A device for exciting envy in women and terror in men.

WIFE. One who is sorry she did it, but would undoubtedly do it again.

WIDOWER. One released on parole.

WOMAN. Before marriage, an _agente provocateuse_; after marriage, a
_gendarme_.

WOMEN'S CLUB. A place in which the validity of a philosophy is judged by
the hat of its prophetess.

YACHT CLUB. An asylum for landsmen who would rather die of drink than be
seasick.



_XII.--THE OLD SUBJECT_

_XII.--The Old Subject_


§ 1.

Men have a much better time of it than women. For one thing, they marry
later. For another thing, they die earlier.


§ 2.

The man who marries for love alone is at least honest. But so was
Czolgosz.


§ 3.

When a husband's story is believed, he begins to suspect his wife.


§ 4.

In the year 1830 the average American had six children and one wife. How
time transvalues all values!


§ 5.

Love begins like a triolet and ends like a college yell.


§ 6.

A man always blames the woman who fools him. In the same way he blames
the door he walks into in the dark.


§ 7.

Man's objection to love is that it dies hard; woman's is that when it is
dead it stays dead.


§ 8.

Definition of a good mother: one who loves her child almost as much as a
little girl loves her doll.


§ 9.

The way to hold a husband is to keep him a little bit jealous. The way
to lose him is to keep him a little bit more jealous.


§ 10.

It used to be thought in America that a woman ceased to be a lady the
moment her name appeared in a newspaper. It is no longer thought so, but
it is still true.


§ 11.

Women have simple tastes. They can get pleasure out of the conversation
of children in arms and men in love.


§ 12.

Whenever a husband and wife begin to discuss their marriage they are
giving evidence at a coroner's inquest.


§ 13.

How little it takes to make life unbearable!... A pebble in the shoe, a
cockroach in the spaghetti, a woman's laugh!


§ 14.

The bride at the altar: "At last! At last!" The bridegroom: "Too late!
Too late!"


§ 15.

The best friend a woman can have is the man who has got over loving her.
He would rather die than compromise her.


§ 16.

The one breathless passion of every woman is to get some one married. If
she's single, it's herself. If she's married, it's the woman her husband
would probably marry if she died tomorrow.


§ 17.

Man weeps to think that he will die so soon. Woman, that she was born so
long ago.


§ 18.

Woman is at once the serpent, the apple--and the belly-ache.


§ 19.

Cold mutton-stew; a soiled collar; breakfast in dress clothes; a wet
house-dog, over-affectionate; the other fellow's tooth-brush; an echo of
"Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay"; the damp, musty smell of an empty house; stale
beer; a mangy fur coat; _Katzenjammer_; false teeth; the criticism of
Hamilton Wright Mabie; boiled cabbage; a cocktail _after_ dinner; an old
cigar butt; ... the kiss of Evelyn after the inauguration of Eleanor.


§ 20.

Whenever a woman begins to talk of anything, she is talking to, of, or
at a man.


§ 21.

The worst man hesitates when choosing a mother for his children. And
hesitating, he is lost.


§ 22.

Women always excel men in that sort of wisdom which comes from
experience. To be a woman is in itself a terrible experience.


§ 23.

No man is ever too old to look at a woman, and no woman is ever too fat
to hope that he will look.


§ 24.

Bachelors have consciences. Married men have wives.


§ 25.

Bachelors know more about women than married men. If they didn't they'd
be married, too.


§ 26.

Man is a natural polygamist. He always has one woman leading him by the
nose and another hanging on to his coat-tails.


§ 27.

All women, soon or late, are jealous of their daughters; all men, soon
or late, are envious of their sons.


§ 28.

History seems to bear very harshly upon women. One cannot recall more
than three famous women who were virtuous. But on turning to famous men
the seeming injustice disappears. One would have difficulty finding
even two of them who were virtuous.


§ 29.

Husbands never become good; they merely become proficient.


§ 30.

Strike an average between what a woman thinks of her husband a month
before she marries him and what she thinks of him a year afterward, and
you will have the truth about him in a very handy form.


§ 31.

The worst of marriage is that it makes a woman believe that all men are
just as easy to fool.


§ 32.

The great secret of happiness in love is to be glad that the other
fellow married her.


§ 33.

A man may be a fool and not know it--but not if he is married.


§ 34.

All men are proud of their own children. Some men carry egoism so far
that they are even proud of their own wives.


§ 35.

When you sympathize with a married woman you either make two enemies or
gain one wife and one friend.


§ 36.

Women do not like timid men. Cats do not like prudent rats.


§ 37.

He marries best who puts it off until it is too late.


§ 38.

A bachelor is one who wants a wife, but is glad he hasn't got her.


§ 40.

Women usually enjoy annoying their husbands, but not when they annoy
them by growing fat.



_XIII.--PANORAMAS OF PEOPLE_

_XIII.--Panoramas of People_


_I.--Men_

Fat, slick, round-faced men, of the sort who haunt barber shops and are
always having their shoes shined. Tall, gloomy, Gothic men, with
eyebrows that meet over their noses and bunches of black, curly hair in
their ears. Men wearing diamond solitaires, fraternal order watchcharms,
golden elks' heads with rubies for eyes. Men with thick, loose lips and
shifty eyes. Men smoking pale, spotted cigars. Men who do not know what
to do with their hands when they talk to women. Honorable, upright,
successful men who seduce their stenographers and are kind to their dear
old mothers. Men who allow their wives to dress like chorus girls.
White-faced, scared-looking, yellow-eyed men who belong to societies for
the suppression of vice. Men who boast that they neither drink nor
smoke. Men who mop their bald heads with perfumed handkerchiefs. Men
with drawn, mottled faces, in the last stages of arterio-sclerosis.
Silent, stupid-looking men in thick tweeds who tramp up and down the
decks of ocean steamers. Men who peep out of hotel rooms at Swedish
chambermaids. Men who go to church on Sunday morning, carrying Oxford
Bibles under their arms. Men in dress coats too tight under the arms.
Tea-drinking men. Loud, back-slapping men, gabbling endlessly about
baseball players. Men who have never heard of Mozart. Tired business men
with fat, glittering wives. Men who know what to do when children are
sick. Men who believe that any woman who smokes is a prostitute. Yellow,
diabetic men. Men whose veins are on the outside of their noses. Now and
then a clean, clear-eyed, upstanding man. Once a week or so a man with
good shoulders, straight legs and a hard, resolute mouth....


_II.--Women_

Fat women with flabby, double chins. Moon-faced, pop-eyed women in
little flat hats. Women with starchy faces and thin vermilion lips.
Man-shy, suspicious women, shrinking into their clothes every time a
wet, caressing eye alights upon them. Women soured and robbed of their
souls by Christian Endeavor. Women who would probably be members of the
Lake Mohonk Conference if they were men. Gray-haired, middle-aged,
waddling women, wrecked and unsexed by endless, useless parturition,
nursing, worry, sacrifice. Women who look as if they were still innocent
yesterday afternoon. Women in shoes that bend their insteps to
preposterous semi-circles. Women with green, barbaric bangles in their
ears, like the concubines of Arab horse-thieves. Women looking in
show-windows, wishing that their husbands were not such poor sticks.
Shapeless women lolling in six thousand dollar motorcars. Trig little
blondes, stepping like Shetland ponies. Women smelling of musk,
ambergris, bergamot. Long-legged, cadaverous, hungry women. Women eager
to be kidnapped, betrayed, forced into marriage at the pistol's point.
Soft, pulpy, pale women. Women with ginger-colored hair and large,
irregular freckles. Silly, chattering, gurgling women. Women showing
their ankles to policemen, chauffeurs, street-cleaners. Women with
slim-shanked, whining, sticky-fingered children dragging after them.
Women marching like grenadiers. Yellow women. Women with red hands.
Women with asymmetrical eyes. Women with rococo ears. Stoop-shouldered
women. Women with huge hips. Bow-legged women. Appetizing women.
Good-looking women....


_III.--Babies_

Babies smelling of camomile tea, cologne water, wet laundry, dog soap,
_Schmierkase_. Babies who appear old, disillusioned and tired of life at
six months. Babies that cry "Papa!" to blushing youths of nineteen or
twenty at church picnics. Fat babies whose earlobes turn out at an angle
of forty-five degrees. Soft, pulpy babies asleep in perambulators, the
sun shining straight into their faces. Babies gnawing the tails of
synthetic dogs. Babies without necks. Pale, scorbutic babies of the
third and fourth generation, damned because their grandfathers and
great-grandfathers read Tom Paine. Babies of a bluish tinge, or with
vermilion eyes. Babies full of soporifics. Thin, cartilaginous babies
that stretch when they are lifted. Warm, damp, miasmatic babies.
Affectionate, ingratiating, gurgling babies: the _larvæ_ of life
insurance solicitors, fashionable doctors, Episcopal rectors, dealers in
Mexican mine stock, hand-shakers, Sunday-school superintendents. Hungry
babies, absurdly sucking their thumbs. Babies with heads of thick,
coarse black hair, seeming to be toupees. Unbaptized babies, dedicated
to the devil. Eugenic babies. Babies that crawl out from under tables
and are stepped on. Babies with lintels, grains of corn or shoe-buttons
up their noses, purple in the face and waiting for the doctor or the
embalmer. A few pink, blue-eyed, tight-skinned, clean-looking babies,
smiling upon the world....



_XIV.--HOMEOPATHICS_

_XIV.--Homeopathics_


1.

_Scene Infernal._

During a lull in the uproar of Hell two voices were heard.

"My name," said one, "was Ludwig van Beethoven. I was no ordinary
musician. The Archduke Rudolph used to speak to me on the streets of
Vienna."

"And mine," said the other, "was the Archduke Rudolph. I was no ordinary
archduke. Ludwig van Beethoven dedicated a trio to me."


2.

_The Eternal Democrat._

A Socialist, carrying a red flag, marched through the gates of Heaven.

"To Hell with rank!" he shouted. "All men are equal here."

Just then the late Karl Marx turned a corner and came into view,
meditatively stroking his whiskers. At once the Socialist fell upon his
knees and touched his forehead to the dust.

"O Master!" he cried. "O Master, Master!"


3.

_The School of Honor._

A trembling young reporter stood in the presence of an eminent city
editor.

"If I write this story," said the reporter, "it will rob a woman of her
good name."

"If you don't write it," said the city editor, "I'll give you a kick in
the pantaloons."

Next day the young reporter got a raise in salary and the woman
swallowed two ounces of permanganate of potassium.


4.

_Proposed Plot For a Modern Novel._

Herman was in love with Violet, the wife of Armand, an elderly diabetic.
Armand showed three per cent of sugar a day. Herman and Violet, who were
Christians, awaited with virtuous patience the termination of Armand's
distressing malady.

One day Dr. Frederick M. Allen discovered his cure for diabetes.


5.

_Victory._

"I wooed and won her," said the Man of His Wife.

"I made him run," said the Hare of the Hound.



_XV.--VERS LIBRE_

_XV.--Vers Libre_


    Kiss me on the other eye;
    This one's wearing out.


  +--------------------------------------------------------------+
  | Transcriber's Notes and Errata                               |
  |                                                              |
  | 'oe' ligature has been converted to individual letters 'o'   |
  | and 'e'.                                                     |
  |                                                              |
  | One instance of a letter 'r' with caron above has been       |
  | rendered as plain 'r'. [Dvorák]                              |
  |                                                              |
  | The following words (number of instances in parentheses) are |
  | found both in hyphenated and unhyphenated forms.             |
  |                                                              |
  |   to-morrow (7)      tomorrow(1)                             |
  |   vestry-room (2)    vestryroom (1)                          |
  |   wood-wind (3)      woodwind (1)                            |
  |   stone cutters (1)  stonecutters (1)                        |
  |                                                              |
  | The following typographical errors have been corrected.      |
  |                                                              |
  |   Error     Correction                                       |
  |   get       gets                                             |
  |   striken   stricken                                         |
  |   lavendar  lavender                                         |
  |   Judus     Judas                                            |
  |   hynotize  hypnotize                                        |
  +--------------------------------------------------------------+





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